‘Lets take a family holiday!’
‘Let’s go away for a family break’. This in theory sounds like heaven but in reality it raises the question: ‘A break for who?’ The other statement: ‘It would be nice for us as a family to get away’. Which begs the question that every mother and some fathers ask:
‘What exactly am I getting away from?’
The idea of getting away from our every day environment appears to be a welcomed escape from the household ‘institution’. However, the process is far from enjoyable or relaxing.
The requirements needed to organise a ‘break’ is exhausting.
Before you even get in the car you need to research, plan, book and budget the holiday. The list of questions that need to answered can seem daunting. for example:
- Where can we go that is affordable and family friendly? (Without being a dive!)
- What type of accommodation? (Clean and not surrounded by night clubs)
- Will we be able to cook our own food or will we have to eat out everyday? ($$$)
- How will we travel there? If we fly, will we need to hire a car? ($$$)
- What activities are there for all family members? (Safe and affordable)
All of these logistical questions need to be addressed before you even do one of the most frustrating tasks. Packing!!!
When it’s just yourself packing is a breeze, but when it involves children than it becomes a military operation. It isn’t only clothes and toiletries, but all the extras you think you need. In this exercise your imagination goes absolutely crazy conjuring up all sorts of emergencies. For example if you go to a mountain resort you pack provisions just in case a tsunami inexplicably occurs. As parents we manage to pack everything including the kitchen sink to cater for the emergencies and illnesses our irrational fear ridden brain concocts. In the end we travel with a mammoth amount of luggage of which 80% won’t be utilised.
For me, just packing for all possible disasters is emotionally draining before we even pile into the car.
Travelling to the holiday destination, whether it’s a long or short journey is a test of stamina . Trying to keep calm under the barrage of whingeing and fighting can make you want to throw yourself out of the moving car just for a break. During this soul-destroying journey you hold onto the positive thought that once at your final destination all will be rainbows and sunshine
To cut a rambling story short, it never is rainbows it’s just more hard work. Unpacking and getting the kids settled is so energy draining, especially when left solely on the shoulders of one parent. I’m sure you know which parent I’m talking about. Yep, the same one who does the planning, packing, peace keeping, meals, bedtime, safety and activities throughout the ‘break’. Guess who??
When it’s suggested that we should ‘go away for a break’, a wave of exhaustion flows through my body.
Going on a family holiday isn’t a break but more hard work in a different location. You can never take a break from being a parent. When it comes to domestic and child care duties these still fall predominately on the mother. Sometimes it’s due to lazy men, while other times it’s our need to be in control that don’t allow our partners to help. Either way as ‘modern women’ we are still playing the same ‘old fashion’ role, only in a different location.
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