Nine brutally honest truths about 'holidays' when you become a parent 3 weeks ago

Nine brutally honest truths about 'holidays' when you become a parent

We love the holidays but let's face it, a trip away once you have kids is a far FAR cry from the sangria-soaked days of poolside relaxing.

If your summer holiday is over and you have some time to reflect, was it in any way relaxing?

Holidays post-kids are basically a unique opportunity to do everything we do at home, only in 40-degree heat while paying for the privilege.

In short: It's international babysitting.

Expectations Vs. Reality: 10 Truths About "Holidays" Once You're A Parent:

1. Expectation: The holiday will be a nice chance to unwind.

Reality: The holiday will be a nice chance to pay €1000 a week to do all the things you normally do only in a less convenient, less well-equipped location.

2. Expectation: Parenting in the heat will be so much easier, less raincoats and mud and mess.

Reality: Parenting in heat is exactly 44 per cent harder than it is in cooler conditions. Myself, The Man and The Child chose Croatia for our first ever holiday abroad en famille. To say that The Child does not do well in heat would be a colossal understatement. His daily expression seemed to say "WHY??? Why have you brought me to this hell-furnace?"

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3. Expectation: This cute Dunnes sun hat will be perfect for the holidays.

Reality: As a race, we have explored Space and the depths of the ocean but can we come up with a sun hat that will stay on a child's head? NO.

4. Expectation: Sunblock can get a little messy.

Reality: Somehow there will be more sunblock on you than them. Especially on your clothes. And in your mouth.

5. Expectation: The wine at lunch is so nice and civilised.

Reality: The mild hangover at 3 pm, during the peak of the day's heat when the kids are MAX cranky is not nice and civilised.

6. Expectation: The sunblock battle is definitely preferable to the thoughts of them getting sunburned.

Reality: As much as you try to prevent this, they will rub the sunblock into their eyes. Through the howling, they will occasionally give you a look that says "Why have you betrayed me, mother?"

"Ah just let them roast," you might think, feeling a little kamikaze from the lunchtime wine, but remember you will be suffering through every step of the sunburn along with them.

7. Expectation: They'll LOVE the beach.

Reality: Sand. Gets. Everywhere. We will never rid ourselves of this sand-plague. This is life from now on; an all-pervading grittiness will accompany us every day. Forever.

8. Expectation: They'll be exhausted from the heat, bedtime will be a breeze...

Reality: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

9. Expectation: The holiday is going to be so relaxing.

Reality: You will be that person who arrives home and immediately starts lamenting how "exhausted" you are after your holiday. Others will want to stab you in irritation unless they too have enjoyed a family "holiday" recently, in which case they'll understand. It's EXHAUSTING.