0

Holidaying as a family: Maintaining your health and your sanity.

Holidaying as a family: Maintaining your health and your sanity.

Life with little ones is hectic at the best of times, I should know I’ve had three in three years! Leaving the house is a daily battle, you almost need a military operation to pull it off and coming out the other end can leave you with some post-traumatic stress. It might just seem like a trip to ASDA, but to my kids it’s a defiant battle with three main targets, how to:

A) Give mum a heart attack thinking they are missing/been kidnapped

B) Find the most valuable and breakable item in the store and destroy beyond all recognition, making sure Mummy has to pay for the damage they’ve caused

C) Scream, Swear or just plain whine enough to make an entire store of strangers glare at mum like she’s raising the Antichrist.

That is just a trip to the shops, so how are we going to pull off a holiday? I mean all of us, leaving the house, for longer than a few hours and all coming back alive and unscathed…is that even a possibility?

Let’s be honest, we go on holidays to relax, unwind and escape reality, when you’ve got kids it can be really difficult to achieve that, especially in an unfamiliar place that you are spending your hard-earned money on. The average family go on one holiday a year, so that’s a lot of built up anticipation and expectations, you need to make sure it’s going to be worth it and that you actually unwind, relax and maintain your mental health whilst having your kids with you.

11148740_1093304584035262_5104633598668851528_n.jpg

Here are some tips on how to ensure you stay healthy, well and relaxed on holiday:

#1 Plan

Some prep before hand is essential to have a relaxing time, I don’t mean organised activities from hour to hour, I mean…DO YOUR RESEARCH.

Questions

First things first, your accommodation:

Does it have a travel cot?

Does it have a safe deposit box?

Stair gates?

Washing machine or nearby launderette?

Important factors you need to be aware of. The last thing you need is to arrive and realise there is nowhere for you to keep your expensive belongings or money safe and that your toddler or baby has to starfish in between you and your partner every night, because it’s either that or the floor when the hotel have no travel cots…I don’t know about you but I don’t find a swift kick in the face very relaxing and that is the reality of bed sharing with a toddler.

If you’re in a villa then is the pool gated?

If you’re in a hotel is there a crèche? Is it safe and governed? Or is there a creche nearby if you want to stay in a villa? 

Are there real reviews?

Check it all out, the key to a successfully relaxing holiday is peace of mind.

14718817_1357484164283968_2828492162070801321_n.jpg

Activities

OK so I know I said no activities, you don’t want to be rushing from place to place to get somewhere for a certain time, but it is handy to know what is going on in and around where you are staying.

If you know there is a certain show or activity you were interested on from say 1pm it might be nice for you to make your way over there in plenty of time, but if it gets a couple of days in and your on Google searching for where to go and what to do because the kids are getting restless, it just means more time wasted on that, that could be spent relaxing.

Have a little look on trip advisor before your holiday, find out where has the best reviews and save your self the disappointment of getting food poisoning from the 0 star restaurant you could have avoided.

2# Indulge and Hydrate

Drink, drink and drink some more…water!

If we’re talking about a summer holiday, especially abroad, staying hydrated is a no-brainer. I mean it’s a great idea to stay hydrated every day of your life, but when you are in an environment where you will become dehydrated rapidly, it’s important not only for your health but for your enjoyment to make sure you drink plenty.

You don’t want to risk causing yourself damage and ruining your holiday just because you forgot to drink, I mean you’ll get thirsty so you’ll more than likely drink, but it’s important to drink bottled water and be healthy. Even if you aren’t usually a “healthy” person, you are out of your usual environment so therefore are more at risk if you do dehydrate.

Little ones will have no idea they have to keep themselves topped up with water, they might tell you they are thirsty but don’t wait for that, make sure you remind them to drink plenty. It’s only a small detail that won’t even seem like a big deal, carrying water around with you, but it could be the difference between your holiday being relaxing and healthy or ruined by being unwell due to dehydration.

water

Eat safe

Also make sure you eat plenty, if you’re planning on a busy holiday with lots to do, then don’t forget to eat and eat well! You are in an unfamiliar place so look at your surroundings, look at how hygienic the area is that you are eating in, if you don’t feel something is quite right then don’t eat it, but don’t stop your self indulging, you’re on holiday after all! It’s important to stay healthy but holidaying is a time of enjoyment so scoff the cake and for that week or two don’t worry too much about your waistline, a bit of indulging never killed anybody.

14368623_1322969821068736_1241223363736717865_n

3# Book Smart

Be realistic

When booking your holiday, you flick through the brochures and watch the adverts of the couple clinking their wine glasses together, snuggled in a shawl, watching the sunset. That’s great there’s no reason that can’t happen, but be realistic! If you are taking little ones with you, then book into a family friendly place, DO NOT book into a couples paradise.

Pandora’s Box

It’s all well and good thinking your kids are well-behaved, but when all the couples are cooing at each other over a candlelit dinner and you’re trying to contain Pandora’s box (a.k.a your kids) it isn’t that relaxing.

If junior decided to catapult meatballs across the room at a family friendly restaurant, then the waiter will no doubt duck without batting an eyelid because he will have become a master of dodging little people food fights and Freddie his new best friend with will be in fits of giggles at the other side of the room.

Whereas if Junior pie faces the guy who is about to change his girlfriend’s life by getting down on one knee, you won’t get the smirking glance from a fellow mum who knows what you are going through, you’ll get the laser stare of the ice queen who spent three hours doing her hair that your child has just streaked with spaghetti.

dsc02439

Family Friendly

Trust me…just visit family friendly areas and restaurants! For your peace and tranquillity, even if there are kids running around, you can relax, because everyone’s in the same boat, your kids are running around too, there’ll probably be a crèche or some activities where you can leave the kids so you can get some one on one time. You don’t want to spend the entire trip red-faced or trying to contain a pack of wild beasts, set them free in the right environment, sit back and chill whilst watching the carnage unfold.

4# Open invite

I’m not saying invite the world on your holiday (1. Impossible and 2. Unrealistic) but it’s becoming an increasing trend to holiday with other families or even with a large number of your own relatives. If you don’t have friends (or you can’t stand the ones you have) and your extended family are the reason you need a holiday than this option may not be for you.

Multi-generational

But if Nana and Grandad need a holiday and love watching the little ones, it means you get lifetime memories with a larger portion of your family and let’s face it you’ve got ready-made, trustworthy babysitters whilst you clink the champagne glasses, cuddle up and watch the sunset (see, I told you it is possible).

dsc02904

Bring your bestie

If your best mate has a family of their own, why not go together? Share a villa (half the cost for each other) you’ve got ready-made playmates for your little ones and you can take it in turns watching the brood of kids from both families while you clink, cuddle and watch the sunset (becoming more realistic now, isn’t it).

Basically, you are making your holiday cheaper (in theory), more relaxing (trusted babysitters & playmates) and more enjoyable (spending time with people you like). There’s every reason to expand the number of people coming on your holiday, for your enjoyment and also for your peace both physically and mentally.

#5 Where to go

Thinking of where to go? Think relaxing, beautiful sunsets, stunning scenery and an air of elegance…Tuscany is a region in central Italy, it is full of character and the perfect place for a relaxing family holiday.

If you’re like me and have a brood of kids, that make the thought of staying in hotel fill you with dread, then a villa is the place to go. No worries about disturbing guests or irritating staff with your kid’s wacky ways.

11107465_1002299786469076_101777868307997576_n.jpg

Here’s the best place to rent a villa https://www.to-tuscany.com/

They have over 350 positive reviews on Feefo reviews and are a trusted merchant on there too: Feefo

They are also highly commended on thegoodwebguide.co.uk

Check out the To-Tuscany pages:

Facebook Twitter G+ Pinterest To Tuscany Blog Flickr Youtube Instagram Flipboard  To-Tuscany Newsletter

#6 Remember why you’re going

You want to enjoy your holiday, relax and rejuvenate. Make sure you don’t over do activities, booze or just not taking care of yourself. You don’t want to come home feeling like you need a holiday to get over your holiday.

Keep reminding yourself why you’re there and if something is stressing you out or making you unwell then don’t do it. Just remember these three key facts which sum up all the yammering I’ve done above:

  1. Stay healthy (Eat right & drink plenty)
  2. Make it easy (Do whatever gives you mental peace)
  3. Enjoy (Lay down, walk, dance, sleep..if it makes you happy then do it)

    BE HAPPY

    91

 

0

Two toddlers and baby…with Bronchiolitis

Adjusting to life with three kids has had it’s difficulties but considering I has a Cesaraen and struggled through a painful first few weeks of Breastfeeding, adding a third child into the mix with a 1 year old and 2 year old hasn’t been as earth shattering as I had made it in my mind.

It seems I was given a peaceful couple of months, Nicole was sleeping through and the boys have always been great sleepers, that was until they all came down with Bronchiolitis.

If you’ve never seen a 10 week old baby with Bronchiolitis, it’s heartbreaking. It is equally as devastating to see my boys poorly too, but they can at least clear their own airways or let me know when they are feeling sore or poorly. Poor little Nicole is just suffering and has no idea why, she has lost her voice and can’t lay flat with out looking like she is drowning on fresh air.

I kept them in the house for three days thinking it was a virus, but they just seemed to get worse. So by the Monday it had been five days, I got the first appointment I could at the doctors, ventured on the thirty minute walk in the freezing cold only to be told it need to run it’s course…which could be up to three weeks! Apparently the only other option is hospital admission, don’t get me wrong I’d rather them not need medication, but it was heartbreaking knowing I couldn’t give them more than Calpol to make them feel better.

So now we’re tucked up watching Christmas films and letting it “run it’s course”, whilst Jack cries anytime Nicole coughs and Mikey cries anytime Jack cries, there’s a domino effect happening approximately every 2 hours of tears, then snot, then coughing and finished by vomiting, it’s not a fun cycle.

Everyone told me having three kids under three would be difficult, it isn’t I love it…what’s difficult is seeing them all poorly, I can’t wait to get my happy healthy babies back to themselves once this has run it’s course.

3

7 things you should never say to someone who has suffered a Miscarriage

7 things you should never say to someone who has suffered a miscarriage

1) It’s mother nature’s way of saying it wasn’t your time.

**Spoiler Alert** Mother nature is about as real as Santa Claus. People like to say mother nature delivers you a little present every month as a nice way to say you’re going to have a period, you’re going to bleed and it’s going to hurt. A Miscarriage is NOT a period. My body makes me have a period every month all by itself, my body can’t make a baby all by itself. If I lose a tooth you aren’t going to put a pound under my pillow and tell me the tooth fairy has been, so don’t tell me mother nature decided it wasn’t my time. We made a baby and it died, it was our time…but it was taken from us.

2) At least you weren’t too far along.

I knew I was pregnant, I was ready to be mum or maybe I wasn’t but who cares? I was going to be a mum. I felt the pain of my baby dying, I might not have felt my baby move, I may not have even got the chance to see them on a scan, but my baby was there, growing inside of me and then…my baby was taken from me. Excruciatingly, devastatingly taken from me. To me the number of weeks pregnant I was doesn’t change the fact I lost my baby and it certainly isn’t for you to judge the ratio on how far I was to how much pain I should feel. You can’t feel my pain, so don’t try to measure it.

3)Well, you can always try again.

But we wanted this baby, we’d prepared for this baby. This wasn’t a pizza we’d burnt that we could just go to the shop and get another one, this was a life growing inside of me. It’s amazing how many people actually have the balls to say this comment and not realise they are offending you. When I lost my Dad, people didn’t tell me it’s OK you can get another one, but yet when I lost my baby they felt that was replaceable. Even if you do go on to have other children, they are exactly that….other children, not replacements.

4) You would really get along with my friend, she had a Miscarriage so you have loads in common!

Really? I would get along with someone because we both have the same loss? We might share the same pain, but what else do we have in common? Losing a baby doesn’t just happen to one “type” of person, we might get along, but Miscarriage happens in 1 in 6 pregnancies, so according to your theory those people would all get along. It’s devastatingly true but Miscarriages aren’t fussy about who they happen to, no-one is safe.

5) What did you do wrong?

You and me have both wondered this then…I’d love to know what I did wrong, at least then I could blame myself, but I can’t. I did everything how you’re supposed to, I was healthy, happy and excited to meet my baby, but if I hadn’t already felt like this could be my fault you have just now put that doubt in my mind. Not only have I lost my baby, but now you’re telling me it must be my fault, it’s not. It’s hard enough to accept that people are just trying to help when they are dishing out “possibilities” of why this might have happened, deep down I know they are just trying to help in their own way, but this explanation offers nothing but blame, blame onto a woman who has just lost her baby.

6) At least you can have a drink now.

Don’t get me wrong, getting blind drunk, might take away my problems for a split second, but it will just bring with it a whole host of other problems. Being able to go out and party properly is not on my priority list, I would give up ever partying again just to have my baby. You are trying to justify me losing my baby with a night out, you may just be trying to help, but think about what you are saying.

7) At least you have other kids

For the parents who have already got children, they face one of the biggest stigmas. People think it’s OK for them to lose a baby, because they’ve already got one, or two or three. NO! They’ve lost a baby, if anything it’s heartbreaking for them in a different way, they have evidence in front of them of what they have lost, they look at their children and how they were once a black and white image on a Sonographer’s screen and now they sit cuddling that child, that’s what they’ve just lost, they were ready for a little person for their sibling to love, a whole other personality to join their family, instead that won’t happen, they were ready to change their whole lives around and add another person to their family and now that person is gone. Their pain isn’t any less, their pain might be different..but so is everyone’s.

0

It’s OK to be “that” mum

I’ve been that mum, the one that the other mums snigger about because she doesn’t like to leave her baby, or that people sneer at because she doesn’t like other people holding him, or that others judge because she worries about literally everything.

They say she needs to have a break from her baby so she will have time to miss him, or she can’t be selfish and has to share her baby or even that in their day there wasn’t any of these precautions and they turned out OK.

I genuinely don’t think people realise they effect their words have on us. As if we don’t question ourselves enough already now we have people telling us, we’re too clingy, selfish or even becoming doctor’s overnight and diagnosing us with Post Natal Depression.

I’ve been like this with my children, when I have had Post Natal Depression and also when I haven’t, let me tell you something…even if she does have PND, taking her away from her baby will definitely NOT make it better, if it isn’t what she wants it WILL make it worse.

All of my babies have been born towards the later end of the year, so when you get visitors there tends to be a lot of winter virus going around. I don’t think people realise when they paint you as the psychotic OCD mum, that the reason you don’t want an ill person holding your new baby is because it might just seem like a cough to them, but to a baby it can be life threatening, it could mean ending up on a Children’s ward around older children with Bronchitis and sickness bugs.

Maybe the reason they don’t want you to hold their baby is because they just don’t want to let go of them, I never wanted to let go of Jack. I loved cuddling him, I knew it would be short lived, that in a few months he’d be starting to move and eventually he wouldn’t sit still for my cuddles. Surely it was me who needed the most cuddles, as his mother? We had the strongest bond after all. I carried him inside me.

That’s another point, we carried them inside us for three quarters of a year, why would we suddenly want to be separated from them? They are happiest with us, listening to our heart beat, the smell of their mummy and the sound of her voice.

For those who say in their day there wasn’t any of this to worry about, I’m sorry but you’re ignorant. Move with the times, there’s so much more to worry about now, because we have access to so much more information. Safe sleeping, anchoring furniture, stair gates, blind cords the list goes on and on, I’m of the opinion, if I can take the precaution, then why not do it? In your day it might have not been the thing to do to have bonding time without visitors, but I’m sure in your day a lot of women felt unable to speak out about how they feel, well this is my day and I want alone time with my baby and lots of it.

If there is one thing that really grates my cheese, it’s a group of people passing a baby around. Each to their own and if you’re happy for people to play pass the parcel with a tiny human, fair enough. But for me, it’s torture, watching your baby be lifted from person to person, knowing they aren’t settling anyway because they aren’t with you, but then to be disturbed every ten minutes, after just getting warm in someone’s arms, getting passed to another place…again! Yet people look at your like you’re insane or selfish for not sharing your baby.

I think most people make judgement because they literally don’t get it, they aren’t bad people, they genuinely think they are within their rights to have a sense of entitlement to your baby, but they don’t, this is YOUR baby and YOUR life. They will never have the bond you have with your baby and that is the most important bond, so don’t worry about how it’s affecting them, if that makes me selfish, then I’ll take that.

I’ve had people snigger and make comments about how I won’t pass my baby or like other people holding them, to me I don’t see why that’s something to laugh about. If someone takes your baby out of your arms without asking, for me it’s torture, that baby is a piece of me.

The best you can do is stand up for yourself and explain it to people, I have a lot of people in my life who get it and now don’t make any assumptions or take any liberties. But I also still have a lot who will never get it because they just aren’t willing to listen, they just label you as that mum.

Well I’m definitely that kind of mum…and proud of it.

0

A break from blogging

So  I’ve had a bit of a break from blogging the last few months. I’ve really missed it and feel there are so many things I have missed recording about my little monkey’s.

To re-cap I have two little boys Jack (2.5 yrs) and Michael (1.5 yrs) and write about all the trials and tribulations of being their mummy. Since I stopped blogging things have changed quite a lot, I am now expect a baby GIRL!

I will talk about my pregnancy more in upcoming posts but I’m still in shock it is a girl!

I just wanted to write a quick post about why I haven’t been blogging for a while, there has been no major reason other than life just getting in the way.

So now I have my 2yr old, 1 yr old, 20 weeks Pregnancy and my wedding in 8 weeks! Safe to say I have plenty to write about…..

1

Home Sweet Home (At last)

Over the past couple of years we’ve done a lot of moving!

In 2013 I moved in with Paul at his mum’s house and by December of that year baby Jack was home with us, by February 2014 we’d moved into our first house (rented) the freedom and space were amazing….the bills not so much!

We quickly realised being a “Grown Up” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, our house never felt like a home, it was small, cramped and mouldy. We were ill for the entire year we lived there because of the damp in the house.

Fast forward to March 2015 and we’ve moved back over near our parents to a semi-detached property and instantly, we’ve felt it….we’re home!

(As you may have guessed the reason my blog has been a bit quiet lately is due to the moving house and savouring the moment, but don’t worry the ranting mummy posts will soon return)

0

Calpol Vapour Plug and Night Light Review

http://www.boots.com/en/Calpol-Vapour-Plug-Nightlight_46977/

Following my babies both having bad chests and snotty noses, my mum and I spotted this Calpol vapour plug in. It’s safe for babies from 3+ months so having a 5 month old & a 15 month old this seemed perfect, we plugged it in half an hour before bed time and when we went to bed the room felt fresh and smelt minty.

The following day my boys were noticeably breathing healthier! For only £6.99 you get 5 strips to use and can collect 699 boots points with an advantage card. You can find them online at the above link. Definitely worth trying for your little ones, but remember to unplug it after use as the safety instructions on the packaging explains.

It also works as a mild night light! BONUS!