Mark is the early riser out of the two of us so he gets out nice and early for a bit of me-time when we are on holidays. It also helps that he is also the most chill man you will ever meet. Not much makes him mad…I have enough rage for the two of us and he just seems to take it all in his stride. Check in at the airport and the journey to the airport are probably the only times you will see him squirm a little. It probably also helps that he can Dad the situation out of anything. You know, when they seem to be completely oblivious to the screaming child that is rolling around on the floor? Or when said child is asking the same question over and over again? That is my man!
So as a travelling family I am sometimes left wondering how he can possibly stay so chilled when I seem to have just as epic meltdowns as the kids do at times. He just lets me rant like a lunatic and then just makes me all calm…drives me nuts! So it made me think of things I have done that keep me sane, from the small hotel rooms to the apartments that we have stayed in. Travelling with your family is an amazing experience but there are times I just need a minute by myself…these are a small selection of some of the craziest things I have done to get those precious minutes when getting out of the hotel or apartment is just not going to happen
1. I sat out in the hallway for a good 20 minutes
We had all had a huge day walking the streets in London and the kids were ratty and tired. They had been bickering like you would not believe and I was getting to that stage where I was close to joining in! Mark had said to me that I should go out and have a walk around the block but I was just so tired from a whole day of walking that I just sat out in the hallway.
A lady walked past me and asked me if I was locked out. Looking straight up at here and said ‘No I am ok, Thank you. I am having a walk around the block to have some time away from my husband and kids’ Right then she looked straight back at me silently nodding and held her hand out for a high 5. I gave her one and she walked away. At that point, our silence had spoken volumes to each other.
Travelling with family is not always fun!
2. I had a bath with no water in it.
We had the biggest bath tub you had ever seen in our apartment in Riga and while the entire apartment was actually huge it seemed that both girls just wanted to be with their mum…all day and most of the night. So one night I just needed some time and it was late. So I ‘ran’ myself a bath and sat in it…with no water. I hate wasting water as we live in a country town that most summers have to have water restrictions. It was actually pretty comfy and once I drew the curtain no-one knew (well until now anyway) I got a good 45 minutes for that and everyone was very surprised that I did not have wrinkly skin when I got out.
Now as some of you would know I used to have extremely long hair until about 4 months ago when I cut it all off, around 40 cm in total. I only wore it one way and there was no real reason to keep it so I went! My head is so much lighter now! But while we were on holidays I could spend at last 20 minutes in the bathroom by myself ‘doing my hair’ I really think that both the girls and Mark were really disappointed when I walked out of the bathroom with my hair in the exact same way as it always was…in a bun on top of my head!
4. I pretended to be asleep
Yep, I went there. It was early one morning and everyone was awake. It was the first time that we had had a comfortable bed in weeks and I just laid there. The best bit was though that I got to listen to my family laugh and have fun while I was just an observer to it.
We all sometimes need a break when travelling with family
5. I offered to go to the laundromat
It had been a really bad week for us. We had wet clothes and just seemed to be getting dirty in nearly every spot we went to. (Travel is not always so pretty) We were staying in Berlin, in a hotel and the laundry service was so expensive. So we had to look for the closest place that we could wash some clothes. Neither Mark or I was keen on doing it and in my haste to get there I left my iPad, phone and book in the hotel room. So I literally sat there and watched our clothes wash and dry but it was a great time out for me and the neighbourhood was quite colourful in the end!
Look in all honesty I love travelling with my husband and kids. Seeing how the kids react to a place is one of the best things that you can experience. They see things in such an innocent and sometimes blunt way, but there are times that you just need that 5 minutes. At home I work, I have trips to the supermarket (there is no way I get a trip to the supermarket by myself in a foreign country as there is just way too much to see!) or I can go and see a friend. While we are away that is somewhat harder to achieve so as I say to my friends I just have to think outside the box when travelling with family!