Hard work on holiday

FAMILY holiday – a contradiction in terms if ever there was one.

We have recently taken our first proper holiday since before we had a baby.

Admittedly, we’ve been away before now but I believe it isn’t a holiday if you’re camped out in your parents’ spare room.

Now, I fully recommend Mission Beach — it’s a beautiful, quaint spot and the people could not be friendlier.

But holidaying with children? It’s exhausting. Don’t get me wrong — our little boy is a pleasant little fella and slept on the flights both up and back.

A major blessing since we were squished at the very back of the plane with all the other screaming children and harassed parents.

However, taking both of us out of our comfort zones and usual routines presented a challenge.

I anticipated naps and meal times could become battles, so I worked hard to keep our lives as “normal” as possible — save for the tube-riding, croc-spotting, etc.

It worked well enough. Baby boy ate well, took naps with minimal fuss and seemed to keep up with our hectic tourist agenda.

As for me, I struggled along sandy beaches, through crowded markets and boarding boats with my five-month-gestation looming large out the front. And, at times, with son hanging off one hip.

I was far more grateful for scheduled naps than our 16-month old was.

Turns out our boy is a great traveller and loves meeting new people, so I can see years of globe-trotting ahead.

My parenting skills fared well, I thought.

I discovered I could soothe and put to sleep a teething child while floating downriver in the dark, spotting crocodiles.

And I reveled at the fact I was not “smote” for offering a box of donuts, instead of a yoghurt and fruit, for afternoon tea.

Now we’re home, I’m glad to see my carefully plotted daily routine has come through unscathed and we’re even planning our next trip.

Albeit, we will be staying in my mother’s spare bedroom this time.

There is, after all, much to be said about doting grandparents and their enthusiasm to babysit.

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