We recently took the family away for a mini holiday/weekend getaway, chasing trains for Mr M. To say that it was a complete disaster wouldn’t be true, we had short bursts of fun, excitement and family lovey dove in between the tantrums (terrible two’s) and poo explosions (new born with extremely violent bottom).To say that I enjoyed myself would be overkill. But I think the other three did (maybe except baby, who would obviously rather be snuggled up in bed with mum and her never ending supply of boobie).
Dearest fiance looked completely wrecked the entire time. Although, It was his first experience being with both babes all day long and granted, its no walk in the park. I was of course shitty and exhausted from being up all night feeding miss growth spurt, but hey who was the over optimistic one when booking a weekend away with a three week old and a toddler. That’s right self, this was your genius idea.
Suffice to say I needed help! So I have taken it upon myself to dedicate this Three Tips Thurday to a survival guide on getting away with littlies and actually enjoying yourself.
Tip 1. Keep your expectations at a realistic level Mumma!
Its not going to be all champagne dinners and shopping. In fact the best we did was Degani’s cafe toasted focaccias and even then we had to inhale them because as it turns out Mr two and a half knew how to open the heavy glass door that exited directly onto the road. Nice. I am totally investing in one of those monkey backpack leash things, or maybe the extendable doggy leash ones so he’ll get really far thinking “FREEEDOM” and then snap. Its wrong that I’m almost convinced isn’t it? No, in all honesty what did I expect? a busy two year old, a fun ‘swings both ways’ door and a cool road to play chasey with the cars on.
Anyway, if your can keep your expectations in check you might just find that a latte to go, and a walk to the park hand in hand with your man and tots in tow may be just as nice as that champagne dinner anyway (almost).
Tip 2. Make sure you choose accommodation with plenty of room to move (or to get away from each other if necessary)
This one is CRUCIAL! I had to push for an apartment rather than a hotel room with dear Fiancé, and thank god I got there. We had an absolute shocker of a night the first night we were away. I was up with baby girl every hour and big baby refused to go to sleep until after midnight. Daddy and I bed hopping and taking turns with upset miss and I can tell you right now if we had a small hotel room rather than a multiple room apartment I would have loaded the kids up and headed home!
Tip 3. If you have a distance to travel make sure you are stocked up to the eyeballs with activities and distractions.
We live interstate from all of our family on both sides, so I have become somewhat of a pro on long distance car trips with kiddies. They are a breeze now but I can tell you, the first five or so eight hour trips home were about as enjoyable as DIY home waxing.
With a baby under one you really have to be prepared to make a day of it. Stop as many times as you and bub need, I would even suggest driving the bulk of the trip through the night if you are an experienced driver and confident at night. This gives you a solid patch of time to drive straight through. Believe me that toilet stop or coffee break can wait until bub is awake!
For toddlers over one, the key is to have multiple activities planned but to have them in the front seat with you so that you can divvy them out one at a time. When bub is bored or getting restless have a break and sing a few (20) songs and nursery rhymes. Don’t forget to have handy a bottle and comforter (blanky, dummy, toy etc.)
I swear the trip is more exhausting for you than for the kids. but with the help of some carefully planed activities you may just make it in one piece.