Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Looking back..

We've just been on holiday with nine other couples and our combined twenty three children, aged from two to twelve.  There is nothing like a large group holiday to focus one's mind on a few things. 

Like how quickly my kids are growing up.  When I first went on this holiday, an annual thing which re-unites my husband and his gang of oldest friends, I was pregnant with my first daughter.  I was clueless, fat, loved up and loaded.   I still had a job, my own money, decent clothes and a good haircut.  I looked at the sleep deprived mothers in awe.  This was a world I had not yet entered.  Now I have three children and I am the most sleep deprived and clueless of them all.  And one of my children is nearly as tall as me.

Like the difference between boys and girls.  Not having much contact with boys I don't really see their inner workings.  But boy, do they play a lot of football.. and shuffle a lot, and mutter, and hang out in gangs.  But secretly you can tell they quite like girls and keep sidling up to them when they think none of their mates are looking.

Like how much energy children have.  Despite the fact that they didn't go to bed until gone nine most nights, they were all still up by six thirty every morning and did not stop until bedtime.    When does the teenage 'sleep in til eleven' thing kick in?  Although they can now get their own breakfast which is something I suppose.

Like how I am already becoming an embarrassment to my eight year old.  If I approached her at any point during the holiday, just to see if she was ok, she visibly cringed in embarrassment.  I couldn't get a nice word out of her.  Luckily only I received this treatment - to everyone else she was a joy and made me proud, so I'll forgive her.

Like how much I crave solitude.  Having spent most of the last decade looking after small children, when they are not with me, I really much prefer to be alone in peace & quiet.  Not easy in a house filled with forty three other people.
Like how little time I actually get to speak to my husband.  We couldn't talk in the car on the way down to the west country, so busy were we breaking up spats, dishing out snacks or taking music requests on the ipod.  When we arrived we were either sorting out children, eating dinner or out on a hike somewhere.  At night I slept alone, he slept with the kids due to snoring.  I cannot survive this particular holiday if I don't get at least seven hours sleep.  Then we're back in the car breaking up more spats and explaining over and over that no, we are not nearly there yet.  Suddenly we are back home in bed, the alarm is going off and poof!  He's gone to work... holiday over.

Like how differently everybody parents their kids, and how easy it is to be horrified.  And how differently children turn out depending on how they are brought up.

Like how one should never judge anyone else's parenting abilities, or at least judge, but keep it to yourself.. or only tell your husband, when you actually get a chance to speak to him.

Like perhaps I'm actually not doing too bad a job after all.

Like how quickly a sick bug moves around a large group of people.

Like how much longer will the kids come on this holiday with us?  Aged nearly eight, nearly six and two and a half, will we still be coming here in ten years?  When do they stop wanting to go on holiday with you?

Like that Jean-Paul Sartre had a point - hell is other people (sometimes).

Like how nice it is to get home to your own bed.


Chris Underwood said...

I have many of the same thoughts - so it's clearly not a woman thing!

Keep writing

Anonymous said...

Love this post. Your best yet. SB xxx

Anonymous said...

Ah yes .. all so true

cheekybaby said...

Loved this post, we too have holiday's with friends ( not 43 though!!!) and it's so interesting to how other people parent!!!!

Bush Mummy said...

Chris so nice to hear that I am not alone!

Thanks SB, are you my biggest fan?

Hi Anon, thanks for dropping by.

Hi Cheekybaby, it's a real eye opener isn't it?

BM x

Knackered Mother said...

Brilliant. Need tips on negotiating 7 hours sleep ;)

Family Affairs said...

Love big group holidays xx

עגלות תינוק 2012 said...

יפה מאוד תודה