Almost daily diary!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Did you have a lovely time?

Well, the children are home on Sunday night and my single life will be over. I have adjusted to it, scarily without much trouble at all, though I appreciate that is mostly because I have had such a wonderful time with my Significant Other and filled the end of this week with visits to friends.

I have also had brain space. Time to consider, time to regroup and ponder.

Holidays took on a different shape when I was with Husband. I can see the pattern now, though it formed over time and became part of the 'routine'. People ask you, before you go away, "Are you looking forward to your holiday? Are you excited?" I would always say yes, just to be polite but in reality I can't remember feeling that excitement, not for a very long time.

Had I forgotten how to get excited? Perhaps there was not much to be excited about. Sometimes time away with children can be just as hard work as being at home. All the same chores, just in a different place especially when they were little. I didn't get excited, in fact I didn't get anything. I went through the motions, packing and planning, clothes and food, games and essentials, all the things that made the holiday a success for everyone. But what about me? Did I forget to enjoy myself? Was there any enjoyment? Perhaps I forgot to pack the fun?

The morning of the departure of the family holiday was always stressful. Time constraints prevailed, even if we were only going the 3 hour journey to Cornwall by car, Husband had to be on the road at a certain time, a time chosen by him. There was much huffing and puffing if the rest of us dragged our heels. The car was packed to the gunnel's, the house emptied, or so it seemed! Weeks of lists and precooking (to save work whilst there so I could enjoy myself) came to fruition, off we would go.

There was no anticipation, there was no sense of fun, there was no excitement, just a feeling of exhaustion and the knowledge that life would continue, just the same, in another location.

Then there was what to do whilst we were away, day trips and the like. My "I'd like to go to..." was often ignored, "I'm not doing that" or "Well, we're certainly not going there" would be Husbands retort. In the end I think I forgot to say what I wanted to do at all. I was scared, not frightened, but scared that I would loose myself, forget what I liked, what I wanted to do, who I was - is that what it is to be a Mother? Sometimes I do have a wish to see something or go somewhere, and to have that wish dashed hurt me, it hurt inside, a very real pain and I held it against him, silently.

Did the children have fun? I hope so. What will they remember? Their own normality I think, for none of us knew any different, at the time. This was how it was, the holiday thing, I thought, this is how it is for everyone. But no, it clearly isn't. People get excited about their holidays, look forward to them, they "Have a Lovely Time!"

I know what was missing now. It is not what you take, it is not in the planning or the lists, it is not in the timing or the weather. Not entirely. It is the company you keep. To love someone, to care for them and enjoy their company, to be cared for, that is what it's all about. The fun is attached to that, a bit like Buy One Get One Free! It's a part of the whole, all there to be enjoyed.

When you return to work after a holiday it is customary for people to ask you if you had a nice time, someone always does. Over the last years I have always gone through the motions of saying "Yes, thank you." But not this time, this time I experienced the excitement, the enjoyment and the fun. I can say, in all honesty when they ask me, "Yes, I had a fantastic holiday, thank you".

(Thank You x)


Steve said...

"It is not what you take, it is not in the planning or the lists, it is not in the timing or the weather. Not entirely. It is the company you keep. To love someone, to care for them and enjoy their company, to be cared for, that is what it's all about." Yes, yes, yes! Absolutely spot on! This should be the first rule of The Holiday for absolutely everybody. So glad you had such a wonderful time - hope you get to enjoy many more!

Akelamalu said...

I'm so pleased you hear that you had a 'fantastic' holiday! Who you're with DOES make all the difference. :)

Half Mum Half Biscuit said...

That was so nice to read - a real sense of Happy Beginnings! It can be a bumpy track, the one that leads away from 'old' 'life-partners' nice to hear you are on the motorway, or an A road, or the scenic route or whatever...

~JarieLyn~ said...

I'm so glad you finally experienced real fun and excitement on your holiday. I know what's it like to not have fun with the person you're traveling with. Isn't it great discovering new things about yourself?

Liz said...

So did you have a good holiday, suburbia?!

Lakeland Jo said...

great post

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

I'm so pleased for you...


Fi from Four Paws and Whiskers said...

Sooo glad you really did enjoy it!
I so remember the other holidays - four small children... no rest for me. Same chores in more difficult conditions.
I often felt like that about Xmas... I can remember one year I was upset because I knew what EVERY present was under the tree because everyone had given us money to buy stuff for the kids and I had even had to help them shop for my own present!
Seemed so silly, but I missed the anticipation and excitement and resented the heavy load I was carrying in making it 'happen' for the family. I don't regret it - just think I should have made a stand sooner.

Looking forward to reading about your new life - well done

The Dotterel said...

Sounds like a holiday of discovery (or re-discovery?)... Either way, a wonderful one. So glad for you.

TechnoBabe said...

Whew. That brought the memories to the forefront. Three kids, all the stuff that had to be taken, and the food to be prepared. I could hear the same responses to my ideas and suggestions as you describe in your post. No, that isn't the way it should be for a mother or a wife at all. Good that you know that now. Good that you know you are worth so much more.

Working Mum said...

What a sad picture you paint of those family holidays in which you had little say or enjoyment; especially when you say you thought that was normal.

At least you've discovered the joy of a good holiday now and can look forward to many more.

nick said...

It's amazing how obligatory it is to say we had a wonderful holiday, even if it was a total disaster. Even if the disappointments were completely beyond our control, we somehow feel inadequate for not making it perfect. Good to know that you really did have a great holiday for a change. And yes, the right company is so important.

Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3 said...

Happy happy happy!!

Anonymous said...

Generally, I am a little uber honest about what a tiresome f**k up holidays with kids can be lol! When yummy mummies tell you otherwise, don't believe them, for we all know they LIE!!!

Letty - A Little Girl With A Curl said...

wow! You have really thought this all through Suburbia, well done you!

One of my friends used to say long ago, that her family holiday consisted just of swapping one sink for another one. Which I remember thinking rather a sad thing to say.

I think especially when children are young, holidays are not what they are cracked up to be, and if you are with someone like your husband, sucking the joy out of everythimg, it does not bode well for good memories on your part.

I had several holidays when our Eldest Daughter was in the "difficult" stage, and I was still suffering the effects of post natal depression from my youngest child, that when I look back I feel no 'joy' in those few 'bad memories' holidays.

However, when I ask my grown up children now about the particular holidays when I was feeling so blue, they reply unanimously, how much they enjoyed themselves and what good memories they have!

I guess what I am trying to say is, sometimes "our" memories as mothers are kind of fogged and influenced by how we were feeling at the time.

I think you are probably aware now you have made the right decision with all this.

To enjoy a holiday, even if at times it has its bizarre moments, you have to be with somebody who not only loves you, but makes you laugh.

I will get off my soap box.....LOL!

Although one other thing, we have long since stopped having family holidays obviously, 21, 27 and 30 are the ages of my children, however a family villa holiday was recently suggested by Husband, and greeted with much enthusiasm by them all. So perhaps what goes around comes around!

love from Letty ;0D
yes, back blogging once more!