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...to find holidays stressful & over-rated (as a single parent)

(36 Posts)
mermaidofthewestside Tue 28-Mar-17 19:46:43

I'm sitting here on the verge of tears after just putting my son to bed. We are on holiday. I'm a single parent & he is 3.
I am utterly exhausted & thought it'd be fun to get a cheap flight away for a week. It is not fun. I am stressed, tired & have nobody to 'mind' him while I go for a walk or whatever... He's just clambering on me & demanding that we 'have more fun' all day long & I'm missing my job, friends & home like mad!
I sound horrible. I'm really not. He's a gem & when we are at home we both have time to do our own thing - him at nursery/play dates, me unwinding with friends in the eve.... This is just intense! He never sees his dad so he & I are together a lot....
My boy wound me up this eve & I shouted at him & we both ended up in tears.
I should have learned my lesson after the last holiday.
I wish I wasn't single.
I wish I was at home.
Asked a few people to come away with us but nobody could.
I have put a lot of energy into making the last two days as fun as can be...another week to go...
Am I being unreasonable & a horrible mum? Probably.

Mari50 Tue 28-Mar-17 19:51:20

No, YANBU, it's exhausting when they are so young and demanding and needing constant supervision.
On the brightside, they get older, less demanding and need less supervision and they also become better company. I went on holiday with my DD for a month when she was 6- we had a great time.
It will come- before you know it. Get him off to sleep and have a wee wine

Sleepinghooty Tue 28-Mar-17 19:53:14

Not single but on holiday with dc and without dh at the moment. And I know it's nothing like being a single parent but you have my sympathy- it's hard work!

I bet you look back on this time fondly though, it's lovely to get away and I'm sure your ds is having fun

pickledparsnip Tue 28-Mar-17 19:59:55

Don't be so hard on yourself, you're doing a grand job. Holidays are (in my opinion) stressful, and so are 3 year olds. I'm a single parent and have only so far taken my boy camping on my own. I'm considering going on a short break abroad, but only now he's 7 (to be honest wouldn't have been able to afford it before now).

3 year olds are hectic as fuck. Get yourself a massive glass of wine.

Keletubbie Tue 28-Mar-17 20:16:12

I'm a single mum. I love holidaying with my 9 yr old DD. We just booked last minute flights to France next week because we can. She's a fairly seasoned traveller and just wants to torture the locals with her Year 4 French.

It wasn't as easy when she was smaller. I used to holiday with family, friends or even my ex because I felt my hair greying trying to handle her on my own. Stay strong!

elQuintoConyo Tue 28-Mar-17 20:17:42

A crazy thought, but if you are anywhere near an Ikea you can use their creche free for 1 hour while you have a coffee.

Could your hotel direct you to a softplay?

flowers

mermaidofthewestside Tue 28-Mar-17 20:31:24

Thank you for all being so kind & understanding!
I'm drinking a glass of vino & trying to find something on YouTube to take my mind off feeling like such an utterly shit mother (any suggestions welcome! - I only have YouTube!)
I'm in Spain in an apartment.
No ikea or softplay but good suggestions smile

Laurendisorder Tue 28-Mar-17 20:55:13

Don't beat yourself up - can you cut your losses and get a cheap flight home?

dangermouseisace Tue 28-Mar-17 21:01:23

I hate going on holiday anywhere more than 2.5 hours from home.

Caravan on a holiday park is the way to go as a single mum- 'fun' already on site, other kids around = almost a holiday for you too.

dangermouseisace Tue 28-Mar-17 21:02:30

and YANBU flowers wine chocolate

Mermaidinthesea Tue 28-Mar-17 21:05:33

I never went on holiday as a single mum, it was much too expensive. We used to go camping locally for fun and my son sometimes went to stay with his grandparents abroad.
3 is a bit too young really, I think children of about 7+ like some sort of holiday but below that it isn't really necessary when you have the local pool and parks tbh.
At any rate I didn't flagellate myself over it - your best is all you can do.

lozster Tue 28-Mar-17 21:38:14

Total respect to you. I know someone else will come along with a tale of bonding with their two year old on an Everest expedition but I would be very scared to take my three year old away on my own. Hell, it is hard enough with my partner! I can almost guarantee your little one will only remember the fun bits not the shouty bits. Toddlers are bloody hard work but very forgiving.

In terms of suggestions for saving your sanity. What about a telly-a-thon? Or tomorrow see if you can buy a bunch of cheap cars, that keeps mine going for a good while. Or let him pick and make lunch? Main thing is not to beat yourself up. The family in the apartment below me last year (mum and dad) shouted non-stop for the entire week. I honestly take my hat off to you for expanding your sons horizons. If you still feel bad I can share some of my own bad travel tales to make you feel better!grin Have you ever been removed from a passport queue and ushered through because your kid is screaming so bad?!

lozster Tue 28-Mar-17 21:39:49

Sorry - missed that you only have you-tube. Make that a you-tube a thon not a telly-a-thin.

mermaidofthewestside Tue 28-Mar-17 21:46:18

Have you ever been removed from a passport queue and ushered through because your kid is screaming so bad?!
No! Sounds like maybe you have?

More kind & supportive words.... Thank you !!!
I think I'm just reflecting on my shouting earlier-I even said 'fucking' which I never have in front of the wee boy. What's wrong with me?
Some lovely suggestions-thank you
I really want to make the next few days super special - there's some pretty crappy stuff going on at home (with DS dad who he sees very very rarely) I wanted to make this holiday really special for him.
Deep breath....
It's gonna be ok I think.
Thank you thank you thank you smile

elQuintoConyo Tue 28-Mar-17 21:51:23

'Kay and Peele' on Youtube. 2 American comedians hilarious! I have only just discovered them blush they do a great sketch about racist zombies grin

If you can find a shop that is run by Chinese, called Bazaar Xines or something like that, with lots of tat hanging out of the door, they are basically pound shops. You can get all manner of cheapy goodies for dc - packs of 12 mini cars for €1, bubbles, plasticine, felt pens/crayons/colouring books.

Can I ask where you are? We are near Barcelona but could google and recommend places.

Hang in there flowers

EineKleine Tue 28-Mar-17 21:56:36

You realy really don't sound horrible at all. 3 is the hardest. When he is 8 and reading and swimming independently, it'll be way more good bits and way fewer tough bits. For now though, he's 3. It'll be special because it's a holiday and you're in Spain. A bit more chilling, pool, playground won't stop it being special.

lozster Tue 28-Mar-17 21:58:50

Well if you have never been removed from a passport queue then I offer up that one for you to aspire to! If you son can't accomplish that, my three year old suggests wrenching automatic doors open to 'get on the plane NOW' to be fair he was only just two then hmm

And yes to tat, choosing tat with their own money also adds to the enjoyment. If you pop over to travel there maybe some more people who live local and can suggest something such as a toddler group or library.

LickingTheButterKnife Tue 28-Mar-17 21:59:20

OP, where in Spain are you? I have friends with kids all around the country and they might have suggestions?

YeahILoveSummer Tue 28-Mar-17 22:00:12

Hang on in there! I did the same thing taking just myself and my 3 year old on a short break and I was exhausted as well! It was hard work but I look back on it and think I survived! Hope you enjoy the rest of your break smile

lozster Tue 28-Mar-17 22:00:35

Or is there a bus you can go for a ride on just for the hell if it?

Astro55 Tue 28-Mar-17 22:01:12

Can you get him to nap for an hour in the afternoons? Then spend an hour on the balcony?

Any other guests with kids?

Any drop off points for babysitting?

Failing that - just look forward to bedtime

cuirderussie Tue 28-Mar-17 22:02:34

Mermaid wineflowers you are NOT a shit mother...I was a single mum for years and holidays are hard when they're really little. I travelled a fair bit because I loved travelling and I was young and restless but to be honest I only started to really enjoy it when he was about five, that was a landmark age. Don't be hard on yourself. I've been to Spain with him a few times and one thing I noticed was how people bring their kids out late at night and it's much more laid back. I remember sitting in a bar with him where there were other kids and dogs and people weren't drunk the way they would be at home...it was really civilised! So I felt like I could go out for a walk in the evening, and hsve a glass of wine for me and a hot chocolate for him, not cooped up like I would have been at home. Not sure if that would help, if you could wear him out a bit with an evening walk?

3 year olds are a nightmare, stay strong flowers

dailymailarecunts Tue 28-Mar-17 22:11:10

Ahh love, I am just back from Disneyland with my 5 year old and it was, erm, well knackering quite frankly!

I started taking ds away when he was 2, but I have quite strict criteria - the cheesier location the better. Butlins, Blackpool etc. They are geared up to have entertainment on tap, even if it does make you want to boil your own head. I resign myself to it not being a break for me as well. I always come back exhausted, but I like to think I'm laying the foundations so he knows what to expect and it gets easier (and it does, I promise)

One thing that jumps out though - you are putting so much pressure on yourselves to have an amazing time and make memories, maybe try and relax and accept it might not be all that great all the time? Ds best memory of our last holiday was finding 'stoney' a pebble on the beach, and of Disneyland just now the best thing was the croissants and making me scared on one of the rides. It's the small things that matter to them, you don't need to go over board.

Hugs to you though, it's hard flowers

Porpoiselife Tue 28-Mar-17 22:12:38

Bless you, you are doing fine. We all lose our shit at some point so don't beat yourself up.

Holidaying with a 3 year old is hard work! They are full on all day and if it's just you then I can totally understand why you're drained!

I took mine on holiday last year to Spain, cheap flights, sc appartment and if was hard (youngest was then just turned 3) . But I had 3 older ones with me (10,12,13) that took up some of the slack with the youngest. Gave him some attention so I was able to cook, plan and even read my book for a bit on the beach shock (15 minutes!) And I still lost my shit at least 3 times during that week. But once all in bed, glass of wine on balcony and recharge it all turned out fine wine flowers

megletthesecond Tue 28-Mar-17 22:15:07

Yanbu flowers. I took mine camping for one night. Worst night of our lives. No sleep and tears from ds and me while dd kept us awake.

Never taken them abroad.

In the mean time I tolerate staying with family. No flights and sold walls.

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