So Im back!!! and I've hit the ground running, as I'm sure most of us have after the summer break.
I've got suitcases, washing, piles of holiday washing and new uniform everywhere!
We(My mum and I) had this trip booked about a year ago, and then it was to escape the shocking weather old Blighty has to offer us in our summer holidays.
As time went on, my dad fell ill and my patient levels declined, and the holiday became more than just an escape from the weather. At this point I realised, that my Mum wouldn't be able to come with us, and that I would be going it alone for a few weeks. I built it up, and it was escape from my current reality, that was full of stressful and uncertain times.
It also gave me hope that I was going to be a 'better Mum"
A less stressy Mum,
A less shouty Mum
A more fun Mum, because I thought I wouldn't have the external problems making me all the above, and the most important external distraction of social media.
I was looking for calm, I wanted to give myself a break from the pressure I put on myself, the self doubt and comparison that I made, made me on edge and feel just a bit shitty.
The first part of the holiday was bliss I felt relaxed and I didn't even turn my phone on!
It was only when I was flying solo with the girls I felt the need to have my phone with me, but it was all too easy to have a sneak peak at emails.
I was surprised however at myself control, not to click on social media. Although its a fantastic tool, and great way to keep in touch with family and friends, its also too easy for me to get lost in it, and before I know it and hour or two has passed.
I didn't take my phone to the pool or beach, I was the crazy Mum playing, splashing and swimming with my children, but most importantly interacting with my children, and it felt good.
I'm not saying that's for everyone, but it's a change I wanted to make in my life, I wanted to be present, be in the moment, I didn't want them to have to fight for my attention.
Nothing else I had planned, went to plan....I was under the false presumption that being away I would be more chilled, as the girls would simply play outside, or swim.
I assumed that once the girls were in bed, I would get some chill time and maybe read book(who was I kidding!) in the mornings my plan was to wake before them, and attempt to meditate and do my yoga practise.
I also thought I wouldn't have 'jobs' to do and all would be fine & dandy....It couldn't be further from the truth.
The reality is very different, No matter where you go(run too) if you've got your kids in tow you still gotta 'Mum' running around after them ,wiping bums, fetching food & drinks, and be the red coat(child entertainer)....you get me....
Even when its glorious weather outside, they still needed some down time in front of the tv, which 9 times out of 10 led to fighting, which meant me shouting.
Even though we had no toys (as such) with us, they still managed to make the house look like we'd been robbed!
I still had to cook and wash up, whilst they screamed and messed up what I had just tidied 5 mins before.
I still had my monthly visitor, which plays havoc with my mood and tolerance levels, I was still shouty, although not as shouty...more Darth Vader, as the walls were not very sound proof!!
On the up side, and yes there is an up side, I was with them 24/7, they made me laugh out loud daily, we laughed together, we laughed at each other. we also had a lot of stares, as anyone who knows me, knows my laugh is VERY loud, but the stares turned to smiles as we all know how infectious a childs laugh can be.
I co-slept with all three of my babes, we went to bed at the same time, we woke up at the same time.
We swam together, built sand castles together, we danced and occasionally went out for dinner together, but most importantly we made memories together!
It was exactly what we all needed, as I knew as soon as we came home, I was loosing all of them to school(weep).
Holidaying solo with my 3 babes, taught me a lot about myself,
*I should accept the way I am and the way I deal with things (always striving do to better, and too hard on myself)
*I shouldn't expect too much of myself or other around me.
*I'm VERY OCD about certain things, and maybe I should get help!
*I felt more comfortable in bikini than I thought I would, and that I didn't care what people thought.
*Im massively rubbing off on the girls( a friend came to stay and I heard one of them telling her to shake the dust off the tea bag before putting it in the cup!) so I know they do listen really.
*They will protect each other and Me, even if it was against an unruly child with a water pistol.
*They will stand up for what is right, even at 4 years old and to a stranger
*Its easier to let them 'help' if they want to help (but only if Im in the right mood, to cope with the spillages-haha!) because the reality is, dinner will most certainly end up on the floor
So I guess, what Im really saying is...if you ever get the chance, or have the chance to go away solo parenting but don't think you can do it-YOU CAN.
I did it, just don't set your expectations too high.
My tips are, talk to them if they're old enough, get them on side.....mine are little live wires and hard work(a friend correctly described her time with us, as carnage) but when I really, really need them too, they pull it out of the bag. They behave in a manor that surpasses their years.
And there is nothing better than strangers taking the time, to come and tell you how lovely and well mannered your children are. Which proves there is ALWAYS someone watching.
But who cares!!
This is your time, time you don't get back, so go grab it by the horns!
You may be a little more grey, but you'll be forever thankful