Take a holiday, go back to work

HAVING children changed the way I saw everything around me, suddenly everything had sharp corners.

The back veranda, once a place of relaxation and maybe a quiet drink, was now certain death to toddlers in my eyes, as the half metre drop could clearly break their little neck. 

Having children also changed my perception of summer holidays, and the definition of a holiday.

I’ve heard it said that going on holidays with kids, is no holiday for the parents.

Behind every relaxing family holiday, there is a mum making sure it happens.

There is just so much more to organise, and even more cost as well as an expectation to have fun.   Yet still we pack our swimmers and go, why?

Do you remember the summer holidays you had as a kid? Carefree, went on forever and every meal was left over Christmas ham.

You could take off on your push bike, and come back at dinner time. Activities just happened, and you went along for the ride, how good was that.

I want my kids to have those same fond memories of school holidays too, even if their only purpose is to remind them when they are older, how good they really did have it.

This far into the school holidays I’m starting to get worn out, and you may well remember our camping debacle from my last column.

However I press on, dragging the kids to Questacon and the pool, and this week we may even venture to the beach.

This all sounds lovely, but the reality is my children behave on holidays as if they’ve consumed the entire contents of the hotel mini bar, and run around like its schoolies week.

Last year a poll* confirmed that a quarter of Australians would rather be at work, than take the whole family on a holiday. At this point in my life I can absolutely, one hundred percent, relate to this.

In fact staring at my computer screen as I write this column, has to be one of the most relaxing moments of these holidays to date.

In seven days our summer break will be over, and we will be lamenting the loss of slow morning starts and the lack of timetables, and being able to cook meals without rushing.

It will be back into the mum taxi and into the school routine again. This year I know I will conquer the school return chaos, with even our local school principals already on the ball and helping me out.

Last week we received the high school yearly calendar and newsletter in the mail. Brilliant idea. I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again, the schools in Goulburn are fantastic.

Especially when they take busy mums like me in hand, and try to get me organised.

I know that day will come when I will miss all this bustle, and soon all of my children will be at school.

So for now even though I don’t sound it, I am grateful for all that we are and everything we get to do, because not everyone gets to ‘enjoy’ a family like ours.

* Lonergan Research Poll Oct 2012 

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