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to have not enjoyed this family holiday? am i completely selfish and just an AWFUL parent?

(279 Posts)
dirtyface Wed 10-Jul-13 09:58:39

went away last week with dh and our 2 dcs aged 4 and 7

its the first time we have been away as a whole family (for various reasons) and i was really looking forward to it. but mostly it was hard work and pretty shit.

the kids are usually pretty good at home. but on holiday, they played up, fought, acted spoilt, constantly demanded things, moaned that things were "boring" , pissed about at bedtime till all hours as they were so excited, woke us up early every morning, we barely got 2 minutes together. and managed one shag the whole time so i was grumpy and irritable, as was DH. and we absolutely haemorraged money on god knows what so both of us were a bit stressed cos of that.

and most things we did were pretty boring for us as they were child focused. so i was EXHAUSTED and miserable by the time we got home and had never been so glad to be home from a holiday in all my life

is this what its like? i bet we spent two grand all in (that includes paying for the actual holiday itself). and for what?

the kids had a good time at least i might add!

sorry if i sound a massive ungrateful so and so - am prepared to be told i am blush

NutellaNutter Wed 10-Jul-13 10:01:46

YANBU. Holidays with young kids are just shite, unless you take a nanny or put them in holiday clubs for long sessions. Not just the same work in a different place but actually MORE work.

claudedebussy Wed 10-Jul-13 10:02:39

sympathies. i feel like that too!

lydiajones Wed 10-Jul-13 10:03:17

YANBU - holidays can sometimes be harder work than staying at home!!

We go camping every year (and cook nearly every meal) while I dream of an all inclusive holiday somewhere hot!!

Idocrazythings Wed 10-Jul-13 10:04:24

Unfortunately you have to lower your expectations when holidaying with children. It can be very hard work.

andrea315 Wed 10-Jul-13 10:04:29

That's holidays with kids ! They need a new name for them ;)

pictish Wed 10-Jul-13 10:05:00

It's what you make it. You don't have to do kiddy activities every day. We go camping and like long rambles through the hills and so on, so we do a bit of the kids out, and most kids love scrambling over rocks and jumping across streams.
Is also free.

Flobbadobs Wed 10-Jul-13 10:05:13

YANBU, theres a massive expectation for family holidays to be 'fun' when in sctual fact they can be bloody hard work!
We stopped going on the organised type holidays like Centre Parks or Butlins and started hiring holiday cottages and going to festivals because our DC's were exactly the same. It gives you more freedom to just lounge and the children more of a chance to play without the pressure of organising things all the time.

mazzi2fly Wed 10-Jul-13 10:05:14

We try and go on holiday with another family if possible, then the kids have playmates and are more settled and stop bothering us for stuff all the time.

Methe Wed 10-Jul-13 10:05:46

Where did you go?

We had a holiday like this a couple of years ago to marmaris, which is an absolute hovel btw. The kids were 6 and 18m and it was such an effort it was just exhausting. We never had sex once! All our meals were eaten by the soundtrack of my whining toddler and when he went to sleep the hotel started the disco.. It was so noisy the whole time! Holidays should be quiet.

I told dh I would never ever go on another hotel holiday with kids ever again and I bloody mean it!

We're going camping this year, they're 8 and 4 how. It had bloody well be better or it'll be the last holiday until they can pay for their own!

Holidays with kids are notoriously hard work for everyone.

Justforlaughs Wed 10-Jul-13 10:07:06

I am feeling like that about our forthcoming "holiday", 2 weeks in tent with 4 kids - one of whom does not want to go. I hate camping, but it's the only way we can afford to take them away this year. I won't sleep, I will end up trying to pacify a 15 yo etc, etc, and it isn't going to be a "holiday" at all, I'll come back more exhausted than when I went.

dirtyface Wed 10-Jul-13 10:07:21

lower your expectations ....Lol idocrazythings - that was EXACTLY what i was telling myself most of the time grin

and absolutely YY to this >> Not just the same work in a different place but actually MORE work

VulvaVoom Wed 10-Jul-13 10:10:05

DH and I took 8 month old DD on a Sun holiday in June, I found it bloody exhausting.

I was in bed and asleep one night at 9pm (unheard of) and we came home a day early - can't see it getting any easier either, so my sympathies!

Imagine it's harder when the DCs whinge and are ungrateful too.

dreamingbohemian Wed 10-Jul-13 10:11:31


But as you say, this was the first time you all went away, so maybe take it as a lesson learned? Next time you can manage things differently.

We've actually never taken DS (3) on a proper holiday, except to the ILs bungalow, because we are big wimps.

littlepeas Wed 10-Jul-13 10:12:15

Holidays with dc are not remotely relaxing - we recently went glamping and we came back exhausted! Do try and make the best of it though - they will be teens soon enough and then you'll have to bribe them to go away with you!

pictish Wed 10-Jul-13 10:12:24

I don't accept that holidays with kids are crap at all. I enjoy all our holidays, as we take everyone into account and compromise. We do accept bedtimes will go out the window and so on...but that's all part of the holiday vibe. Free and easy.

We have three kids...11, 5 and 4...and something as simple as a tube of bubbles each, can keep them entertained for a good solid half hour in the morning, running around outside playing with them. We get a coffee in peace.

I'm not saying we never get stressed or have our 'events' - but I wouldn't say I have ever had anything approaching a miserable time. Unless on the rare occasion we have been with <shudders> other people.

So long as we can please ourselves, we're a happy bunch on holiday.

dirtyface Wed 10-Jul-13 10:13:53

it wasn't abroad methe it was in this country (seaside area)

oh god thats another thing. THE BEACH with kids = HELL

i had deluded visions of sauntering about on the beach in my new bikini (a la celebs in magazines) while smiling indulgently at my happy children splashing in the sea and playing. while dh took some lovely happy family pics of us all to post on facebook

the reality was sweatily hauling all their stuff about, sand in the picnic, sand EVERYWHERE while being attacked by seagulls (yes really) and consoling them when they were upset about getting wet and getting sand on themselves hmm . getting comfortable on the picnic blanket only for them to come stampeding all over it with sandy feet DEMANDING things.

Damnautocorrect Wed 10-Jul-13 10:15:07

We do self catering Cornwall, its lovely still hard work but the beach days, rock pool hopping and lovely walks help keep the costs down

Methe Wed 10-Jul-13 10:15:10

Pictish any other tips? You sound like you have the kind of holidays I aspire to grin

ClaimedByMe Wed 10-Jul-13 10:17:53

Ahh the family holiday - same shit different place smile

I am not a fan and am very glad we cant afford one this year!

pictish Wed 10-Jul-13 10:21:22

Tips? Chill out. Take everyone into account. One day doing what mum and dad like, one day doing something for the kids... and in our case, taking an afternoon out to do something our eldest chooses. One day doing something free....
Never be in a rush in the morning. Don't worry about being back for bedtime.

Stuff like that.

sparkle12mar08 Wed 10-Jul-13 10:21:41

Same old shit, different view...

It helps if it's a pleasant view, but it really is the same old job I'm afraid.

Nagoo Wed 10-Jul-13 10:21:43

I expected my holiday last year to be hellish, with 18MO and 5YO.

It was alright.

My top tip is to split them up TBH. Spend the whole day tag team parenting, take one kid each and abandon all hope of actually talking to each other at any point. This has the bonus of them not being able to say anything to piss you off

Then in the evenings keep them up at the hideous disco thing while you share a £9 bottle of wine, and then go to bed to start again.

I don't anticipate that any of the holiday will be for me, so I am quite pleased when it turns out that I do enjoy the pool or the magic show or whatever it is. Also I am that idiot parent that will join in the dancing with my kids. I don't care what the strangers think of me, so I just do whatever I think will make the DC happiest, and I know where they are.

Then I take a secret day off work when they've all gone back to school and do what I want.

wispawoman Wed 10-Jul-13 10:22:51

Go camping (preferably abroad with pretty well guaranteed sun) - Eurocamp, that sort of thing. Usually hoards of other children, hopefully a childrens' courier for a couple of hours a day, safe and fenced environment. Just accept that when they are small you are on duty all the time anyway unless you can persuade (or pay) another responsible adult to take responsibility. I (and grown up kids apparently) have very fond memories of these - kids remember the den building in the woods and the pool, I remember the relaxing evenings round the tent with a glass of wine watching kids and dad playing 20 -a side football with all nationalities!

Kiriwawa Wed 10-Jul-13 10:23:47

I have never understood the popularity of the beach holiday with small children - it's always a nightmare (and I say that as someone who lives by a sandy beach).

I think camping/holiday camp is actually much better with smaller kids. They can find other kids to play with which gives you a break and there's enough to entertain them to not have to spend much on extras.

I now only do camping/holiday camp or go on holiday with friends with kids. Single family in a self-catering cottage in the middle of nowhere is a recipe for overspending and not having fun IME

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