GIVE ME A BREAK
ONLY A PARENT CAN UNDERSTAND THE IRONY OF “HOLIDAYING” WITH KIDS
When is a holiday not a holiday? When you’re facing a week in a kid-friendly caravan park. It’s not called a caravan park though – they call it a “holiday park”, but don’t let the marketing fool you.
It’s called that to lull you into a false sense of security because, in our adult minds, we still associate the word holiday with the ones we had pre-kids.
Remember those? You travelled in the off season (because why, why would anyone want to travel during school holidays?), lapped up cocktails, went shopping without having to go into a toy section, took only carry-on luggage that included books you could sit in peace to read, and you only had to book one room so it didn’t bankrupt you to go. You wouldn’t be caught dead at kidfriendly accommodation.
Now look at us (or me as the case may be) – paying an amount of money that once bought hubby and me three weeks in Bali, but instead now secures us a “holiday park” swarming with kids and not a swim-up pool bar in sight.
The last time we found ourselves in such a situation, I swore it would never happen again.
When the tent met an untimely end, we found ourselves in a tin-shed cabin that backed on to the dreaded jumping pillow, at a cost of more than $300 a night. I swore it was the last “holiday park” adventure we’d have.
Camping with basic facilities I’ll happily do. A patch of grass beside the beach and a piece of canvas over my head – that’s a great holiday. The “holiday park”, however, drove me to drink, with the two saving graces being that I rarely saw the kids and one of my favourite girlfriends was there to spend time with. I obviously didn’t swear loudly enough (which is unusual for me) because we are this week heading to a “holiday park”, albeit a different one to last time.
A holiday is also not a holiday when it involves selfcatering.
What that ubiquitous term, targeted at parents looking to avoid acquiring the debt of a small nation in order to take their kids away for some fun, means is: The kids get a holiday but mum and dad, not so much.
Again, when we’re camping, the old selfcatering job isn’t too bad.
Mostly because it pretty much involves hubby cooking, or otherwise feeding the kids from a packet of crackers and container of dip while I drink wine from my banana lounge.
But in a tin shed with a kitchen, what selfcatering means is an obligation to “cater” and dishes will still need doing.
So apparently I’m on holiday this week.