Working Mothers Holiday Enid Blyton Style
We’ve been a long time in Noddy Land in our house (no really, this is a literary reference not me berating myself for a series of school girl errors of late ha ha!) and have recently moved on to Enid Blyton’s The famous Five. We’ve started with Five on a Treasure Island which is the first of Blyton’s much loved middle class, isn’t-life-wonderful, childhood adventure stories of five little poppets doing wholesome things together on holiday. By page two I decide this is going to be a rip-roaring good read and a marvellous source of parenting tips when Blyton has the mummy figure telling her little darlings that she’s packing them off to stay with rellies in the south west whilst her and daddy sod off to Scotland. Genius! The book’s written in 1942 and Mother shows not the slightest bit of sadness, guilt or need to justify having a jolly twosome with Father some four hundred miles away for a week. A week! Yes, a week!
Blooming Nora ladies where did it go wrong in the last seventy years? Is it because we’re now working more than we ever did and not spending so much time with our lovelies that the thought of having a holiday without them is something to be enjoyed in private and not publicly shared for fear of castigation? Well I’ll tell you something. When our children were 2.5 years and 6 months old we upped sticks and fled to the warmth of Dubai for four whole nights without them to celebrate my 30th. (At least that was the excuse I gave to my mother-in-law. Quite frankly milestone birthday or no birthday at all I’d had enough of breast-feeding through a winter of two discontented small children and I needed to replenish my reserves before I auctioned myself or them on ebay).
So what’s my point? Holidays with the family are great but sometimes a holiday alone or just with our partner is even better and more necessary. I’m mailing you about breaks away because this is traditionally the time of year when people make holiday plans for the year ahead – unless you are one of those superly-duperly smashing parents who bagsy the best Cornish cottages as soon as they go on sale in September the year before. Damn you for getting there before me!
We’ve made it away at least once a year just the two of us since our son was one and it’s something I really, really look forward to. This year it’s two nights in the West Country for my birthday in March and it’s the prospect of dancing to my own tune for 48 hours without interruption that makes the whole affair so darn appealing. I think we all have to have down time and I’m not sure how much quality down time any of us get unless we’re completely removed from the possibility of having to take care of someone else.
Some other friends are just back from three nights on the slopes in France for the first time since their son was born five years ago (because she didn’t think her parents would be up for taking charge of the kiddies) and the grandparents coped so well they’re game for looking after the children again next year. Whoop, whoop! The lesson? Ask and your would-be babysitters might say yes. Don’t ask and they certainly won’t. If you have any more reservations just lie back and think of Enid Blyton. Seventy years ago mummies and daddies didn’t think twice about bundling their sproggs off so why should we? We’ve got iphones, Skype video-conferencing and YouTube now – let’s use this so-called life-enhancing technology to give us a proper life enhancing experience!
Until next time, happy holiday hunting and if you’re after some family bolthole suggestions I can happily recommend Martinhal in Portugal and The West Bay Club on The Isle of Wight not least because they’re absolutely super for having fun with the children but they have great spas too.