Don’t worry, I’m not planning on chucking them all on eBay anytime soon. But four is definitely our number and we are DONE! Greg is waiting for his vasectomy appointment to come through and I am selling off or passing on all of my baby items. So why do people feel the need to suggest I “try for just one more”.
Firstly, I don’t want anymore children. I just don’t. Some practical reasons are that we can’t afford it, we have no spare seats left in our car, even the poor dog has been relegated to non-car dweller because he just can’t fit in! We also don’t have room in the house. It’s full of so much baby crap as it is, even when we take multiple trips to the dump, everything still seems crammed in to the brim. I’d probably lose a newborn in the mess to be honest with you, I’d find it buried underneath wipes, bumbos and rogue dummies with Etti chewing on its toes like a feral ferret.
Also, I genuinely don’t think my body could take another pregnancy, let alone another surprise twin one (seriously it could only happen to me). I know a doctor would probably tell me that I’m healthy enough but honestly, I don’t feel it. I still feel drained physically and mentally from the birth of the babies, I’m so scarred I can’t even watch women in labour on tv anymore, it fills me with the same dread that filled me when Rouxs giant head was crowning, and I just can’t bear to relive that moment.
We also have to take into consideration the four children we currently have. We are able to feed, clothe and love them all equally as best as we can, and I don’t want to push any of that any further. It’s hard to get all 4 kids dressed and looking presentable (yes I like my kids to look nice, shoot me). I want to be able to give them all equal amounts of help when they bring homework home, I want to treat them all when we go shopping and not have to wait for a birthday to come around or to rely on family members to help out financially. They have their fair amount of hand me downs but I like to buy them new things. And I don’t want to have to skip story time before bed because I need to get the baby number 6, 7 or 8 fed.
And the selfish reason is that I want my body back. Not just looking nice but feeling good, fit, and healthy. In mind, body and soul and all that jazz. My current look can only be described as 'Sharon from Eastenders' because my chin has become so chubby my neck is disappearing. It’s not a good look, sorry no offence Shaz.
So, after people insist I will have another, as if they have the power to change my stubborn mind, They always go on to ask “but what if you fell pregnant again? What would you do? Oh my gosh what if it’s twins again?!” The answer for some reason seems to shock them. I wouldn’t keep it or them, regardless of how many of them there was. Now, I don’t say this to offend people or to upset them. I say it because it’s the truth. I don’t want anymore children so why would I bring it/them into the world just because I’d feel bad for having a termination?
We do actually have the choice, we have the FREEDOM to make that choice in this country. And I may get messages from people that have struggled to conceive, or can’t conceive for any matter of reasons that don’t like the fact that I am so straight to the point on this. But we all have our story and our reasons, we have had our struggles to fall pregnant, we tried for over two years before the girls and then when I finally did fall pregnant we miscarried. So I know loss and I know struggle and I wouldn’t let anyone else’s judgements stop me from making that decision for myself and my family.
On the flip side to this, we’ve decided that as soon as I’ve lost some weight, my cycle is back to normal and I am ready, I will go through the process to donate my eggs. In all honesty it’s not something I’ve ever wanted to do until I had Etti and Roux. There was always something very personal about it and I kind of felt like I’d be giving a child away. But now I know I’m fully finito with the twin making a switch inside me just went and it was like the personal attachment I once felt to those little cells in my ovaries had disappeared. I’m seeing them as opportunities for happiness for other people. Exactly what I am experiencing now could be given to someone else. And that’s bloody amazing.
So for anyone wondering, yes I am done, I am happy and I am content. And that is exactly how it will stay.
How are we already into the last term of school? I don’t know about you but I feel as though this year is absolutely flying by. Soon school will be out and we’ll be busy packing the factor 50 and flip flops ready for our summer holiday. Whoop!
Where have you booked for your holiday this year? Staycations are fashionable obvs, but if you’re jetting off somewhere in search of guaranteed sunshine (lucky you) I’d hazard a guess that, like us, you’ve got a week or two booked in a family-friendly resort with plenty of nearby amenities, daily children’s entertainment, and a nightly mini-disco. Am I close?!
Family holidays can be hard work
Family holidays are great, of course, but the truth is, holidays with young kids can feel like hard work. You need to do everything in your power to make it run as smoothly as possible and if that means booking the same reliable hotel year after year, then so be it! Next month, we’re heading back to the beautiful Port de Pollenca in Mallorca for the third year in a row. What can I say… it’s not very adventurous but it totally works for us and we know that we’ll have a great time.
What about an adults-only holiday?
Even if we can’t head back to our honeymoon paradise, is it possible to try and recreate that vibe with an adults-only holiday? We all know that time to yourself away from the kiddies is a really good thing. It lets you rest, recharge and refocus your energy. Self-care must be a non-negotiable part of our day, even if only for ten minutes. A few days away would most likely work wonders.
How do you feel about the thought of a child-free holiday? Even a long weekend? Would you jump at the chance, or would you have reservations? I haven’t spent more than one night away from our son since he was born. The first night I spent away was for a hen-do. Ethan was just a babe and to be honest, I found it very hard at the time.
But now that he’s five, would it be easier? I’m not really sure! It may even be harder now as he can actually tell me how much he is going to miss me. I think that as much as we need time to ourselves, leaving our brood for a few nights is always going to be a wrench.
Some of my mum-friends have had longer solo trips away, whether for work or pleasure. One is heading to Ibiza next month for a hen-do and she cannot wait. Her twins are seven though, so she’s definitely earned a break! No making packed lunches, no school-run, no doing homework, and no ferrying to and from after-school clubs for a whole week. Bliss!
Plan it for a special occasion
My school friends and I are planning a 40th birthday celebration somewhere hot. It’s not for a few years yet but as most of us have families now, it requires some forward planning. We are already starting to put some money aside and dream about luxury villas in sun-drenched destinations. I’m thinking about a Kardashian-style vacay with a private chef. A girl can dream, right?
This will be a girls-only trip, to celebrate three decades of friendship and heading into our forties on a high. Although it’s not the sort of trip I could contemplate just yet, I think by then I will more than ready to be footloose and fancy-free for a week. And honestly, I think it will do us all some good.
Have you already been on an adults-only holiday? How was it? Maybe you don’t yet feel ready to be away from your little one? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Mums Off Duty
Look past the notion that your children might not fit into the zen-like atmosphere of a rejuvenating body cleanse and discover the hidden benefits of a detox spa retreat where you can bring the kids along too. Here, Health and Fitness Travel, the wellness holiday specialists, share the best wellness holiday destinations where you can take some me-time to detox and unwind on a family holiday without the worries of childcare arrangements. With Kid’s Clubs offering an exciting range of action-packed activities to keep them fully entertained, stressed-out parents need no longer compromise their well-being.
Oman: Zighy Bay Family Holiday
Escape to an out of the ordinary family activity holiday at Zighy Bay in Oman where your children can experience numerous activities as you detox in tranquillity. Guided by childcare professionals, let them explore the landscape from new heights with slack lining, rock climbing and kayaking. Whilst your kids experience this detox spa retreats spectacular surrounding scenery, you can escape to the Six Sense Spa to detox and cleanse with re-energising facials, massages and holistic Asian therapies. Enhance your body cleanse with a group yoga class as your children are preoccupied by this fascinating outdoor spa retreat.
Portugal: Longevity Medical Spa Family Holiday
Enjoy quality family time with active tennis clinics available for both children and adults all year round on a spa and sport holiday with Longevity Medical Spa. You can also enjoy some ‘me-time’ in the safe knowledge that your kids will be completely preoccupied in the Koala Club with access to their own swimming pool and games room. Leave your children in safe hands whilst you enhance your well-being with cleansing Thalassa and detox spa therapies. Parents are welcome to embrace the healing power of marine therapies and highly effective scientific spa programmes, designed to optimise health and vitality.
Mauritius: Shanti Maurice Family Holiday
Venture to this tropical paradise to experience a truly family friendly holiday, where the kids club has its own toddler pool and games room, together with activities like face painting and crab hunting. Whilst you enjoy the rejuvenating effects of yoga and Pranayama sessions to enhance your detox cleanse with traditional meditative techniques, you can trust that your children will also be safely enjoying organised field trips to the nearby Crocodile Park and Casela bird sanctuary. As your kids get closer to nature, you can re-connect with yourself during detoxifying spa treatments.
Thailand: Soneva Kiri Family Holiday
You and your family can explore a secluded sanctuary on this detox spa retreat in Thailand. Kids clubs activities are available for all ages, with the Intrepid Explorers Club designed especially for the under 5s. Older children can enjoy a treehouse adventure in the Eco Den, where rainforest walks, water activities and chocolate making will inspire their creativity. At the same time, you can learn to detox on holiday as you experience cleansing facials, body scrubs and signature massages to banish those toxins from your body, leaving you fully refreshed for your return to everyday life.
Vietnam: Fusion Maia Family Holiday
Situated on Vietnam’s stunning East Coast, Fusion Maia offers creature comforts for all ages. Set within tropical gardens, parents can indulge with a minimum of 2 holistic treatments each day, while little ones join in with their own mini treatments. The Mini Maia programme has a host of creative activities to stimulate their minds every day from 2pm-4pm, including cookie decorating and singing. Based on your well-being goals choose from the Raw food, Juice Cleansing or Alkaline Detox programmes, each tailor made to cleanse your body, boost immunity and leave you revitalised.
For advice, guidance and booking visit www.healthandfitnesstravel.com or call 0203 397 8891
About Paul Joseph:
Wellness Travel Specialist and Entrepreneur, Paul Joseph, is the co-founder of Health and Fitness Travel, a global leader in wellness holidays worldwide. Always ahead of the curve in pioneering new health programmes that revive the soul, boost fitness or address serious health issues, the worldwide wellness tourism industry has now become a multi-billion sector, growing faster than travel in general. Paul has a wealth of PR, Marketing, Sales and Management experience in the health and tourism industry, consulting leading hotels on their wellness strategy and contributing regularly to broadcast and media interviews.
About Health and Fitness Travel:
Health and Fitness Travel is a global luxury wellness travel company that originated in the UK in 2010 and is committed to providing healthy holidays that enhance and change lives. Created by Paul Joseph and Adam Heathcote as a result of their passion for health and fitness travel and offering bespoke holidays to improve people’s well-being to lead happier and healthier lives.
Health and Fitness Travel offers clients a tailor-made seamless service with the very best health and fitness holidays, handpicked by its expert team, together with exclusive and added value packages with the best deals. As leading specialists, Health and Fitness Travel has also created their own collection of trademark healthy holidays in various destinations which include Fusion Fitness™ BodyBreaks™ and Discover Recover™, offering clients the best value and holiday experience. For more information visit: www.healthandfitnesstravel.com
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There is nothing I love more than relaxing by a pool, sunshine beaming down on me, with a cocktail in one hand and a book in the other. Our holidays abroad were the highlights of my year; our chance to switch off and relax. Fast forward a few years and my pasty skin has not seen Greek, Cypriot or Spanish sun in too long, thanks to our tiny tornado who now rules the roost.
We haven’t been abroad since I was pregnant. Every now and then we consider booking a last minute beach holiday, but then we come to our senses. We’ve realised that the peace and quiet that we used to enjoy on holiday would be replaced by constantly having to entertain a child who is far too keen on water and would have our stress levels shooting off the scale, as she edged ever closer to the pool; probably throwing away her arm bands, rubber ring and float as she went, just to add that extra bit of drama and danger! So we needed an alternative holiday that catered for all of our needs, but that we could all still enjoy. And this is where we fell in love with staycations.
A staycation is simply a holiday spent in your home country, or even just in your home town and venturing out on day trips. Having grown up in a seaside town, I could never understand why people would want to holiday within Britain. Why weren’t they racing to the travel agents to book themselves on the next flight to Corfu?! But since becoming parents we have realised that staycations are actually a great idea. If you are still yearning for the sun, sand and sea of international shores, but don’t think you are ready to face it all with kids, then read on as I share with you the reasons why a staycation is a great alternative.
It’s cheaper than holidaying abroad
Obviously if you decide to spend your break at The Ritz for a fortnight, then that will be much more expensive than a package deal to Spain. However, staycations can be done on a tight budget if you shop around and are flexible with your dates. There are lots of budget friendly hotels in Britain, and a huge number of holiday camps and caravan parks that cater specifically for families with young children. And as much as I enjoy holidays abroad as an adult, some of my best childhood memories come from holidays to a Butlins that was 25 minutes away from my house, or from trips to British seaside towns. I didn’t need a huge complex with an on site water park and spa: all I wanted was a face painter, a decent disco and Slush Puppies on tap. Holiday camps and parks have also come a long way since we were kids and are now providing much more for families, but still at relatively low prices. So get booking and make some memories!
We try to pick destinations that are far enough away from home so that we actually feel like we are away; but then we try not to travel too far so we can avoid having to spend too much time in the car. We have found that breaking a long road journey up into shorter parts makes it much more enjoyable for everyone. For example, on our way to Scotland we usually stop off in Leeds for a night or two to visit friends before setting off on the next leg of our journey. This also gives added bonus of making it feel like another mini holiday.
Less travel time
I hate flying. I’m always convinced that something bad is going to happen to the plane, to the point that I have to sit by the window just so I can keep make sure that everything looks ok and no bits have fallen off the plane. Thankfully so far no wings have dropped off on my watch, so I’m here to tell the tale. Flying is quite a stressful experience for me, so if I was to add a toddler into the flight equation, the anxiety levels would be through the roof. Trying to keep myself calm whilst dealing with a toddler confined to their seat for hours on end, after having spent a good few hours in the airport terminal, and so is understandably bored, is not the calm and peaceful start I’d like to my holiday. By staying in Britain we have managed to avoid most of the issues that can come from traveling with small children, and that has made our holidays all the more enjoyable. We try to pick destinations that are far enough away from home so that we actually feel like we are away; but then we try not to travel too far so we can avoid having to spend too much time in the car. We have found that breaking a long road journey up into shorter parts makes it much more enjoyable for everyone. For example, on our way to Scotland we usually stop off in Leeds for a night or two to visit friends before setting off on the next leg of our journey. This also gives the added bonus of making it feel like another mini holiday.
You’ll have everything you need nearby
Accidentally left behind the only nappy cream that your child’s sensitive skin doesn’t react horrendously too? Pop to the local Boots and pick up some more. Have they decided that the only thing they want to eat that week are some very particular own brand yoghurts/cake/chicken nuggets? Get yourself down the supermarket and stock up. The beauty of a staycation is that all the familiar shops that you use on a day to day basis at home will still be just a short drive away, perfect for when a toddler tantrum demanding is close to ending the holiday before it even starts.
Discovering hidden gems
Millions of people from across the world flock to Britain every year to visit our world famous tourist attractions. We are a nation steeped in history, culture and beauty, but so many of us choose to jet off to other countries to explore when we actually have so much left to discover on our own doorsteps.
So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start enjoying your staycation!
Mama of a Cool Kid