The Do’s and Dont’s of a family Staycation with a Baby
On a Budget!
Lets face facts, maternity pay doesn’t get you very far especially when you spent all your savings renovating your new house before you had the baby. Which makes a staycation the only summer holiday option. I’m not complaining because we enjoy our home, and last year we went to Ibiza and the South of France – so I will stop you there before you get the violins out.
Babies are quite easy going when it comes to holidays, at 6 months old he is only really interested in boobies, toys, naps and blowing raspberries. However, as parents we feel we want to ‘have a little holiday’. We want to make memories, we want to get out and about, we want to make the most of it.
As with most things in my life I am not good at letting things just happen, I like to have a pre-holiday chat about what we are going to do. So I called a meeting with Mr B and we went through a loose itinerary for the week off. We planned our objectives, we voiced our opinions and we applied some blue sky thinking. So far so good, no arguments yet and we are one day in.
- Planning the food shop carefully is going to be key to happiness all week long. A normal weekly shop doesn’t seem quite right does it. We’re planning on a few day trips so picnic food is a must, plus we can spend a little more time on evening meals so we might actually be able to get the pasta machine out and dust off our favorite cook books. What ever we choose to eat feels like it needs to be a little bit more special. Plus a bottle of gin for good measure!
- Find some friends. Mid week fun with friends who also have a baby is going to feel like a proper little treat. Knowing that all your non-baby friends are bored at work while you get together for a lovely BBQ, to drink, be merry and compare babies is the perfect way to spend a week day.
- Do something new. We have never taken O to the beach! We live about 40 miles away and its far too busy at the weekends to even bother. So while we can enjoy a week off not in school holidays for a few more years, we are beach bound. For sand in our toes, our sandwiches and pants!
- Rope in the grandparents. We all know grandparents are the best humans on this earth, so generous with time and money – so lets utilise that, and pop on down to somerset for a night at ‘Hotel Mum and Dad’
After the few days planned to go out, I’ve left the schedule a bit looser, because inevitably these days will be filled with lazy mornings, breakfast in the garden and walks in the countryside – or they will be filled with an anxious mother who’s schedule for the week has gone out the window and the washing is piling up in the corner. The reality of the staycation can be that it is full of contradictions and old habits dying hard. You might envisage easy mornings having double tea in bed and tickling the cat until 10am however, when you mess with a babies schedule that way they will get you back later, by danger napping at 5:45 and leaving you tag teaming the bedtime routine until 9:30pm! But here’s the the good bit, there are two of us now for a whole week! So that means half the work for me right? Can you hear the conviction in my voice? Can you also here the sarcasm?
What ever happens to my lovely morning schedule I must keep reminding myself that this is also Mr B’s week off. That’s the bit that’s hard right? When you are on maternity leave or if you are a stay at home mum most days, then you get used to your own schedule, and then all of a sudden there are two of you! For better or for worse sometimes I find it hard to adjust to this. So I will try and stick to the following do’s and don’ts for spending a week with Daddy
Do – spend quality time together
Don’t – think quantity means quality
Do – have another cuppa in bed
Don’t – beat yourself up about it, he wont be a stationery baby forever
Do – fill your days with activities
Don’t – think you have to spend lots of money and do things every moment of everyday
Do – give each other time to do something for yourselves
Don’t – waste this time playing on your phones!
Do – odd jobs around the house
Don’t – get bogged down with a big DIY project, DIY can wait another week
Do – roll with the punches and remember to have a good time
Don’t – be too hard on each other, its a ‘holiday’
Do – remember to make memories
Don’t – do the same thing as every other weekend!
So here I sit, on the conservatory floor, typing this blog, with baby O rolling around in front of me. We have only had one cup of tea in bed, we have no food in the house and Mr B is already asleep on the sofa nursing an adult headache. The holiday has started. Good intentions and targets still to be met. But if i’m totally honest with you, i’m having a lovely time so far.