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To wonder why we aren't one of "those" families

(418 Posts)
Mypetsnails Wed 14-Aug-19 08:09:28

Sort of lighthearted. This is going to sound SO daft. But do you ever notice the families who seem, well, better at family-ing than everyone else?

We went to a thing at a National Trust place at the weekend. Took a picnic and sat on the big green. Right beside us there was this family that had a three sided shelter type thing which they'd popped their baby and picnic in to protect them from the sun. They'd brought tennis racquets and these gorgeous kids and their equally beautiful parents were taking it in turns to whack a ball around/sit in the shelter thing. They had a picnic cool bag the size of my kitchen, no idea what they brought but it was probably nicer than my tragic cheese sandwiches grin

Then there's the beach. We're trying to stop our towels blowing away, and the alpha family have a wall of windbreaks, a body board, and a barbecue.

DD is actually friends with a child from such a family, and they also have a really organised hallway with special named slots and storage systems for all the children's outdoor things. Plus the mum has a boot storage thing with a first aid kit, plasters, and spare clothes in it.

There's obviously nothing stopping me buying little shelters, bodyboards, and shoe storage for my hallway, but it's more that it wouldn't occur to me? And I don't know why? I used to play at a tennis club twice a week, why on earth don't WE bring racquets with us?

Does anyone know what I mean? I was a very solitary only child, and my parents didn't do a lot of child friendly things with me, so maybe it's a bit of a hangover from that - I remember feeling that my family and home was very different from other people's but when I tried to express why to my mum, I said "they have big tins for their biscuits and we just put ours into the cupboard" grin

velocitygirl7 Wed 14-Aug-19 08:24:40

I think my family may look like this blushI'm a neat freak and ridiculously organised, I think that's partly why we may give the impression of being 'that' family.
We are all well turned out but I shop carefully and we tend to wear a lot of classic, or more vintage clothes and have had a fair few comments over the years about how lovely we all look. We are definitely not rich though!
In reality, my dc & I haven't always had it easy, you wouldn't know by looking at us that dh isn't their Dad and until they were 8 & 4 we never really holidays or lovely days out. When dh came into our lives that changed and I remember our first ever holiday being so exciting (just a week at the seaside, nothing extravagant) I made special activity packs for the car, spent forever choosing things for them to wear and bits to take to the beach etc You would have definitely looked at us and thought we were 'that family'!!

MoobaaMoobaa Wed 14-Aug-19 08:25:12

On holiday the other week with 2 teens. There was a large family who set themselves up on the beach with a volley ball set, wind breaks blankets ect.. at about 10am. We could see them from our cottage. We went out for few hours came back and they were all still running around doing family games, and were still going 7pm. No sulky faces no tantrums just endless perfect happy family energy.

I was exhausted just seeing them grin 2 games of volley ball/football and my lot would have been bored......

MoobaaMoobaa Wed 14-Aug-19 08:27:08

should have put..2 games of volley ball/football and my lot would have been bored or arguing.

Barbarafromblackpool Wed 14-Aug-19 08:27:12

Sounds hard work

velocitygirl7 Wed 14-Aug-19 08:28:21

@MoobaaMoobaa we're definitely not the sporty family on the beach! That just sounds exhausting grin

LordProfFekkoThePenguinPhD Wed 14-Aug-19 08:28:37

Don’t worry - as soon as they get home the Walton’s turn into the Simpson’s.

Skyejuly Wed 14-Aug-19 08:28:59

I'm so unorganised and we often just rock up to beach with a towel and that's it Haha. We often stay all day though!

SummerInTheVillage Wed 14-Aug-19 08:29:52

I think our family looked like this when the DCs were young.


ZenNudist Wed 14-Aug-19 08:30:36

I dont envy that. I envy the outdoorsy family who manage an entire day on a judiciously packed backpack or two. Theres me at the beach with plastic bags full of buckets and spades 2 million changes of clothes and a picnic to feed the 5000.

pisspants Wed 14-Aug-19 08:31:15

Haha this made me laugh. I know EXACTLY what you mean and you have put it into words really well.
Picnic in a bag for life. Rubbish sarnie and packet of crisps. One or the other kids usually in a mood and me telling them to cheer up or hurry up!

Jeezoh Wed 14-Aug-19 08:33:31

We were a few kids in before we morphed from your family to the other type of family. Just took practice with us to define what to pack for a successful day out. We also do those kinds of days a lot due to budget constraints so we’re well practiced!

codenameduchess Wed 14-Aug-19 08:33:39

I often look at those families with a pang of jealousy. I try to be organised, I really do but it ends up with so much crap shoved in the car I can't face trying to haul it out and to the picnic area/beach, or forget to make the picnic for the lovely wicker hamper I bought 4 years ago and haven't used yet so we have Tesco meal deal sandwiches while DD gets dirtier than should be possible and whinges about everything.

How do these families stop the children from complaining?! I could be supermum and DD would still pitch a fit because she changed her mind and wanted a different sandwich or a fly came near her.

sandgrown Wed 14-Aug-19 08:33:55

I am neither organised nor tidy but when I have a day out with children and grandchildren it's like a military operation. I guess we look like one of "those" families.
We always look for special offers for days out to save money and nearly always take a picnic. Work colleagues often ask how I find unusual things to do but I faff about on the internet a lot!

probablymaybeperhaps Wed 14-Aug-19 08:34:18

How on earth did they carry all that rubbish equipment to the middle of the lawn? They must have all taken several trips! If everyone was playing tennis you'd all be banging into one another...

I come from a big family with loads of siblings and have several children myself but I like to be spontaneous, we fly with hand luggage etc - carting all that nonsense around and imposing adult organised compulsory "fun" on the children doesn't sound like anything I'd want to emulate.

I bet the kids can't entertain themselves and lack their own ideas because the adults always do it for them...

I do have first aid equipment in my car and always had changes of clothes when the children were preschoolers, but beyond that it sounds unappealing and stifling.

Teacakeandalatte Wed 14-Aug-19 08:34:47

To be honest you either are that family or you aren't. If a normal family tried to do this they would end up fighting about fitting all the windbreaks in the car and burning themselves on the BBQ. The kids would NOT want to play whatever game you had planned and would sulk then scream for icecream in front of a judgy older couple who would tut about kids of today being spoiled. When you get home exhausted you would find you had forgotten to sun cream your neck and it is red and itches all night so you can't sleep. Then the dc wake at 5.23 and demand pancakes for breakfast.

Coffeeandcrumpet Wed 14-Aug-19 08:36:14

I tried to be that family this week, I packed a bag with all sorts of things to make our day out organised, easy and lots of fun. I was feeling very smug... We got to out destination a couple of hours from our house to realise u had forgotten the barstards bag!! We had a great time in our usual chaotic style.

margaritasbythesea Wed 14-Aug-19 08:36:25

Ha! This was me for a single, solitary moment yesterday when I told the kids (11 and 8) that we're going on a long train journey. They piped up in charming voices, 'ooo Mummy can we take colouring books! Can we play gin rummy?'

I was proud. And alone apart from them, refrettably.

thebear1 Wed 14-Aug-19 08:36:31

We are not that family either. My two can only do about 40 mins on a beach and there is always arguing involved. Picnic wise would be cocktail sausages and quavers. So I know it would get eaten.

SpeedyShutter Wed 14-Aug-19 08:36:55

I tried to be organised yesterday. I brought a massive bag filled with a sandwich for each of us, some fruit, a squeezy yoghurt each, some mousses (I even remembered the spoons. I was so proud!), some biscuits, 2x drinks each and a picnic blanket for us to sit on.

I forgot wipes and ds sat in dog shit. I had to wash it off best I could in the tiny sink in a cramped toilet block that dd refused to go inside because it was full of spiders confused

Jumblebee Wed 14-Aug-19 08:36:57

I long to be one of those families! I even bought a rucksack cooler bag and ice packs so our picnics aren't warm (unfortunately the sun has since pissed off so I haven't had a chance to use it yet!)

I hate going to the beach, struggling with all our stuff in bags for life, using a throw as a blanket because I can never fold those carry-bag picnic blankets the way they are meant to be folded, my baby is a demon who hates water and staying still, and we never bring our own seats and windbreakers.

We don't drive so if we did we would probably try and be more like the alpha families, but right now dragging a pram, demon baby, six year old, picnic and picnic blanket is about as much as I can handle on the bus.

One day sigh cake

margaritasbythesea Wed 14-Aug-19 08:37:21

Grr regrettably

Xen20 Wed 14-Aug-19 08:37:40

I once stayed the night at a friends house, she’s an ultra organised super parent with timetables stuck on the fridge, meals planned and documented for the week on a whiteboard, teeth brushing time, reading times and bed times all clearly scheduled and risibly adhered too ...

At one point the children asked if they could play crafts. She said “of course”. They disappear and then return minutes later dressed in full aprons with the splashes on paint on the front, a wipe clean mat for the table and a tub of paintbrushes all perfectly maintained and organised in sizes. I actually burst out laughing. I didn’t mean to but it was like something off a spoof comedy.

purplereindeer Wed 14-Aug-19 08:37:53

I assume you just have other priorities!

I vary wildly. One day I am insta perfect, the next I'm ignoring my DC while I play video games and mainline red wine. Not quite, but also not far off.

I think my family tend to look better when we're on a day out in general though...we're all outdoorsy so are happier outside for a start. There is more chance I'll have put a stop to any weird combinations of clothing if we're out for the whole day rather than bumming around the shops, and DP may well have brushed his hair!

Spudlet Wed 14-Aug-19 08:39:23

Teacake I didn't realise we knew one another grin

I try to be that family but it rarely works... on those rarest of rare occasions though, I feel SO smug!

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