With my book in hand and the kids sprinting towards the ocean, I spot the perfect chair for me to sit and spend the day. Plenty of sun with just enough shade that even though I will tell everyone I laid in the sun for hours, most of the time would be spent following the moving shade. I don't know what happens to our bodies after becoming mums but for me, I can sit in full sun for about thirty seconds before feeling like I'm about to die of heat stroke.
Next to me a young couple sit both in the same position reading through their books, completely uninterrupted. Cocktails sitting idly on the bench between them and only their towels for the potential swim if they can pull away from the world they have escaped to. No sight of giant bag filled with nappies, sunscreen, floaties, buckets, spades and water bottles, even though the hotel rooms linger 50 metres behind us. Not a care in the world except for each other and no thoughts as to time and schedule. I hated them yet fell in love with them and their perfect situation.
I place my book on my lap and position my legs, with flexed calves and an angle showing the slightest tan. Click goes my phone and it is straight away uploaded to Instagram with caption 'this is the life'.... for two minutes. I open my new book, picked exactly for this holiday. The type of book that needs no use of my brain, has zero suspense, just pure romance and fun. I call these holiday books. Chapter one, "Mum watch me do this". I look up, "that's great sweety, you are very clever". Right, back to Chapter One, "Now watch this, it's even better". "Wow so amazing, can you show Daddy next time". Ok, Chapter One, "Look at the boats mummy". Book is closed, reading dream is over. The couple look up to watch Eva demonstrate her final cartwheel, smile and immediately lower their heads back to their books. If only it was that simple. I hope they are taking full advantage before their life changes forever. Did we? Did we do everything we wanted and fully appreciate sleep ins and going to the movies and eating out at restaurants talking only to each other hearing everything the other is saying? I wanted to tell them. I wanted to say that when you have kids, you will love your life because they become your life, but they will also take over it. Prepare yourself because when you get there it's then on the count down to your children move out before you can have that life again. I always kind of figure when I get to that point, I will really just want to catch up on the hundreds of hours of sleep I have missed before I consider anything else.
We are on holiday and it is as relaxing as it can possibly be, because when you are parents and holidaying with children, your life stays pretty much the same each day except the addition of work, cooking and cleaning. Our kids don't sleep in until noon because there is no reason to rise with the sun. Our kids don't sleep through the night because we are no longer in our house, although I admit we were lucky with a few nights from exhausting them with swimming and activities. Our kids can't go and do activities and swimming by themselves to give us some alone time. We may be on holidays but we are still parents and have to parent. I realise this as I'm folding the clothes in the suitcase, which I have come to do every afternoon. It is either habit or I subconsciously miss the chores of daily life at home. I'm thinking thought one. As I carefully place the neatly folded pile into my side of the case I see the pile of books stacked along the back. Well that was some wishful thinking during packing. I haven't made it past the words 'chapter one' of my first book so probably didn't need the extra carry on weight of the three others I had brought along. What else did I bring unnecessarily? I should make a list so I know for next time, but I know me and like to be the over prepared type. Not as much or as practical as some I have come to experience, but my over prepared is extra books and mags, some blocks of chocolate (which did get eaten) and the hair straightener. I will add, come next trip, it is 100% likely that I will pack this extra weight once again, just in case.
So our short and temporary life was spent next to the pool or beach and our daily activities became a repetition of buffet breakfast, swim, morning snack, swim, buffet lunch, nap with an additional room service treat, swim and finally ending on an epic buffet dinner with a show. That is the short, sweet version of resort all-inclusive living. We love a bit of adventure so the five days we did this for was more than long enough and was grateful to get out of the resort bubble at the end. Mainly for concern of whether my clothes were going to fit me at home (thank goodness it's still winter there) and the fact that I literally began to struggle walking up a flight of stairs. Two weeks home now and I am still having buffet withdrawals and the need for an afternoon nap. Well that has always been there. And this is not just me either. Jack is asking for bacon, pancakes and banana bread for breakfast and gets gravely disappointed when a bowl of porridge and berries are placed in front of him. Eva completely forgot what a vegetable looked like and held up a piece of broccoli asking if it was edible, and Franklin brings me his swimmers every morning refusing to wear any other clothes, even though it is ten degrees outside. We are definitely experiencing holiday withdrawals. I'm yet to do a proper grocery shop and the seven loads of washing that I was faced with first day back is still sitting unfolded on the spare bed as a too overwhelming sight. I need to somehow snap my self into gear but how? Either way, it is Wednesday and my brain only seems to let me start new things on Mondays so I have a few days to figure it out.
There WILL come a time, probably when we are old but we will have our chance once again to sit by the ocean, without interruption, head in a book and endless cocktails by our side. But for now, we are doing it with kids and taking the moments to relax when we can. If my greatest conflict of the day was choosing between a nap or book, then it couldn't have been all that bad right? So cheers with our imaginary pina colada's and cosmopolitans as we go about our day and plan for our future holidays and adventures with our little ones! For I know these holidays hold our best memories so far.
© The Realistic Mum
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