Holidays with kids. The dream vs. the reality

June 1, 2018

The thoughts I have before a family holiday always seem to differ from the reality. The dreams of lying on a beach, having long lazy lunches and lie-ins don’t tend to happen, but looking back on our holiday I wouldn’t have changed a thing.

But, in the spirit of honesty, for a bit of a giggle and for something I’ll look back on when the girls don’t want to eat with us when their teenagers I thought I’d pen down a few dreams I always have of holidays but then the reality of actually being on holiday with two little ones…

Relaxing by the sea

The dream – They’re older now so you might be able to watch them from the sunbed for 5 minutes.

The reality – Don’t be ridiculous. You sit down, do a little dance that no one has noticed only for one or all three of the family to come and ask for something/get you to move.

Family meals

The dream – Now they both sit at the table well we’ll be able to have nice family meals out.

The reality – When we think they’ll sit at the table we’re forgetting that Evie only sits there for the duration of her one course meal and by a meal I mean she’ll eat three mouthfuls before saying ‘no more’. Cue the husband and I eating in shifts as one of us runs after her as she sprints towards the marina.

The perfect resort

The dream – You go to a nice resort, everything is marble and white. It’s the perfect backdrop for photos

The reality – It’s a toddler accident waiting to happen. A slope made out of marble – perfect for a toddler perfecting her running skills. A sheer drop from restaurant to the bar – perfect for a toddler perfecting her jumping skills. Note to self. Buy toddler knee pads and a helmet for next year.

More time not spent in a darkened room

The dream – You’ll spend more time outside this year as one will sleep in the buggy and the other on a sunbed.

The reality – The toddler still needs to nap so instead of sitting in a dark room for 2 hours you spend those 2 hours pushing the buggy in the shade cursing anyone who makes too much noise.

Family photos

The dream – Get nice family photos of everyone looking relaxed and dressed up nicely for evenings out.

The reality – The toddler either runs off every time, won’t be held or screams. You then forget after the first attempt and leave with one photo of the four of you where the toddler looks as though they have hated every moment of the holiday (she didn’t)!

Flying with kids

The dream – The flight will be so much easier this year with a three-year-old and perfectly packed flight bags with every activity they could desire.

The reality – The three-year-old is amazing, however the toddler decides she hates everything you have packed and wants to scream, run up and down the aisles and certainly has no plans to seat. LONGEST THREE HOURS OF OUR LIVES.

Reading a book

The dream – I’m going to read a book and a magazine this holiday.

The reality – The magazine was used as a toy on the plane to keep the toddler amused and is now no more. You have no idea where the book is as it’s under a pile of clothes and you don’t have time to read it anyway.

Inflatable fun

The dream – You buy a big inflatable and think it will provide hours of fun.

The reality – They loved it for a day and then it soon lost its novelty. It took the husband longer to inflate and deflate it!


Sound familiar?

Sarah x

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  • Reply Sian Knapp June 2, 2018 at 6:34 am

    Oh so true!! Take us back to the days when the babies couldn’t walk ha! X

  • Reply Sara @ Magical Mama Blog June 7, 2018 at 3:18 pm

    Oh I related to all of this on a spiritual level! We’re off on a plane trip to visit family at the end of this month. The last time we flew, our daughter had just turned one. This time, she’ll be 18 months old. I can only imagine the new horrors that will come this time! Cheers to your fabulous vacation hope the pros always outweigh the cons!

  • Reply Welsh Mum Writing June 7, 2018 at 6:13 pm

    I feel like we have this to come. SB is two and we’ve been on two holidays now. We’ve done quite well all things considered, but I can see how it gets challenging when they get older. On the “positive” side I tend to set the bar pretty low when it comes to travelling with him, more so as we’ve done a lot of flights as my husband’s family live in Ireland. I’m not looking forward to next time as we’ll have the challenge of keeping him in his own seat. That’s not going to be easy! #ThursdayTeam

  • Reply Emma McCarthy June 8, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    We are off on our first holiday abroad with our three year old and an 18 month old in a few weeks and I’m completely dreading it. I hate flying (last flight I had was 7 years ago and had a plane dropping out the sky-convinced I’m gonna die moment, so not flown since) so I’m hoping that the kids will distract me from being totally petrified! I’m sure my eldest will be fine, but the 18 month old I am certain won’t want to sit still!! #ThursdayTeam

  • Reply mummy here and there June 9, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    haha this made me laugh and nod along to, so relatable X #thursdayteam

  • Reply Nicola June 11, 2018 at 7:50 pm

    This is very true but it does get easier, I promise! The last resort holiday we went on, my two were 4 and 10 and both asked to go to the kids club. They couldn’t get enough of it! For 5 hours a day they were entertained while we sat and ready books and sunbathed and every evening they were entertained at the disco. It was absolute bliss! #thursdayteam

  • Reply Helena June 12, 2018 at 2:56 pm

    I can so relate to this. We’ve decided not to bother with restaurants and I’m starting to wonder whether I ought to buy myself some roller skates to keep with the girls! #ThursdayTeam

  • Reply Kirsty June 13, 2018 at 10:07 am

    Hahaha! This had me howling, especially your “Don’t be ridiculous’ about relaxing by the sea because I can just hear you saying it. This is depressingly spot on, although we are lucky that our two are amazing flyers. I’m not sure how or why (I’m not great) but they just relax down, have some snacks, do some drawing and sing songs. Otherwise… Yep, totally not the ideal reality 😉

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