The most common arguments against holidays with young children are it’s too much hard work and they won’t even remember it. Well it absolutely is hard work. Bloody hard. But worth every minute, because they do remember it. Maybe they don’t remember every minute, (let’s be honest, a 5 hour kinder stint apparently only involved a single book, a snack and playing tag for a few minutes before it was home time!) but they don’t remember every moment of your regular home days either, so why not fill them with adventures and make some memories along the way. There aren’t too many aspects of parenting that are ‘easy’, so what’s one more element when it offers some really unique benefits alongside the obvious challenges…
The best counter argument I’ve ever heard about the ‘won’t remember anyway’ is that they don’t remember every book that you read to them, but you read them anyway. That’s how I feel about holidays. We are enriching their minds with new experiences. We are spending valuable time together as a family and creating incredible memories, and honestly, I clearly take lots of photos along the way, that one day they will be able to look back on, and we can tell stories of all of the things that happened on that day or in that place.
I find that when I’m at home, I’m always a little distracted or feeling partly divided, because the to-do list is always a mile long. That’s another great thing about being away on holidays, there isn’t anything else that you ‘should’ be doing. The chores and lists and realities of life (for the most part) can be left at home and you can focus wholeheartedly on the play time, adventuring and being present, without feeling guilty about all the rest of it.
We have a regular holiday with my extended family every year that this year, was a complete disaster (the river was closed due to a blue-green algae outbreak, I injured my knee and couldn’t walk, the temperature was forecast to be 45 and 46 degrees for the next 3 days and we were in a caravan), so we gave up and came home. In the week that followed we were both disappointed and frustrated that our ‘break’ didn’t eventuate, and the kids were confused because we had talked about a big holiday and all the fun things we were planning to do, so we booked an extra long, long weekend for just under two weeks later.
Trying to book last minute accommodation at the beach for Australia Day is almost impossible, but we found a caravan site and locked it in. We ended up in Robe, SA which we had driven through on a road trip holiday many years earlier (well before we had the kids), and basically dismissed, I’m glad we went back because I absolutely love this little town now! I had holidayed there as a teenager with my family but my memories were very different to what we experienced this time.
It’s a brilliant place to visit with young kids. The beaches are so deserted compared to Victorian beaches, and so many are child friendly. Most of you know that Ballarat isn’t known for its particularly good weather, but over here, when the temperature says 24 degrees, the ‘feels like’ temperature is also 24 degrees!! This is a novelty as usually 24 means a feels like temperature closer to 16, and still needing a jumper but we had the most spectacular sunny days with temperatures in the low 20s… (not a big deal to some, but clearly it had me pretty excited!)
We did the most ‘aussie’ thing we could think of for Australia Day, and drove along a beautiful beach, had fish and chips and laminations in the sunshine and went for a swim. Harry slept through the whole thing, but that’s just another part of the story that we will recall when we look back on the day in years to come.
I’m the first to admit that the whole trip wasn’t rosy and fun, but when so much of it is, it’s totally worth it. Let’s be honest, the days at home aren’t always 100% rosy either. So we’ll be ducking off for long weekends and holidays whenever we can fit them in, making memories with our children before they are grown up on us and we wish that we’d made time to do it more often.