What I’ve Learnt from the Holiday with My Kids

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Have these holidays added years to your life or taken them away?  Lol!  No, seriously, the holidays are a melting pot of emotions and balancing acts and are definitely not all rainbows and butterflies!  Basically, like life in general, you take the good with the bad.  And, like life in general, there are lessons to be learnt!  So, what lessons have you taken from your holiday with the kids?  Here are mine:

Devices are Getting in the Way of our Happiness

Seriously, we know it’s true!  While I sit here on my computer doing something productive and fulfilling for me there is a nagging in my head because I know that while I work my kids gravitate towards devices.  Ahhh!  What happened to books, glorious books?  To drawing and doing cartwheels?  What happened to full days in the swimming pool and nights under the stars?

I have learned that it is up to me.  I have learned that without my mom-turned-devil-woman voice they will not ‘get it’.  They will live their lives through the pixels on a screen.  Being here with my kids is everything I have ever wanted.  No, it doesn’t mean that I am focused on them all the time, but it does mean that I will do my work in segments and then move on to my kids.  Because, I am their example.  I will bake cookies with them and send them outdoors to play.  And, I will go for walks to the beach and cuddle on the couch.  I will let them climb into bed with a book.  We can’t get these moments back.  That is what devices has taught me.

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Kids are just Adults in Little Bodies

We give birth to them and they are so small.  They need us for every little thing.  There is nothing quite like that feeling of being needed so we hesitate to let it go.  My kids are 9 and 12 and they still need me, but more and more I have to accept and understand that they are really just adults in smaller bodies.  They are fully formed individual human beings (or more accurately, souls) and they are on their own journey.  This has been an incredibly difficult thing for me to accept.  We don’t even see them as separate from us, let alone individual!

When my son has a tantrum about not wanting to watch Masterchef again, or he can’t understand why playing Nintendo isn’t an option instead.  We forget that they are, now in this moment, the same fully-formed human being that they will be when they are 90yrs old.  They are perfect and whole.  They are fighting to be heard.  Being the adult, we forget this.  We have worked our whole lives to reach that place where we are a the top of the pack and we don’t want to be dictated to by our mini-me’s!  But, we have to learn balance.  We have to learn to let them be heard too.  After all, they’re little but they’re still whole.

tween-pulling-face-showing-hang-ten-sign

Personalities Clash – a Lot!

Wow, it’s tough keeping everyone happy!  We all have different likes and dislikes, wants and needs.  Feel like Subway for dinner?  Guess what, you’re the only one.  Lol!  One will want fish and chips, one will want curry and one will want spring rolls!  This is where the fighting begins, and it’s not pretty.  Lesson?  Give me a second, I’ll think of something.  Just kidding, the lesson is patience of course!  We are, after all, individuals with our own ideas about living this life that we are living.

When you are annoyed about your child complaining every time you want to go to your favourite café, remember that they are wondering why they always have to do what you want.  It’s their life, why do they have to listen to you?!  We have to go back to the fact that they are on their own path and we have to try to respect each others choices.  This applies to food choices, clothing, day trip destination choices, you name it.  We clash because we are different.  We were built differently, with different likes and dislikes.  This makes for an interesting life.  I only have 2 kids, I don’t know how people with more do it!  Keeping everyone happy takes the patience of a saint!

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Healthy Living is Hard

When you’re on holiday with kids all the bad habits move right in and make themselves at home.  It’s all about what’s easy, and the bag of chips becomes king!  We would go out for the day to explore the city and end up eating takeaways all day long.  Or, we’d pack a picnic and go out for the day but it would include those infamous chips and ham and cheese rolls.  Yes, I packed fruit but it generally made it’s way back home again.  I found that I needed to make a fruit salad after dinner to get that extra bit of healthy living in.

The lesson to take from this is a bit vague because, let’s face it, it’s a challenge.  What I can say is, find ways to include healthy living in your holidays.  Plan ahead with your picnics so that you include fruits.  Spend some time baking so that you get healthy muffins and muesli bars instead of chips.  When it comes to getting out and exploring, part of the fun is eating out, so don’t begrudge yourself that, but make an extra effort when you’re home.  Smoothies for breakfast, salads for lunch, sushi for dinner!

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Read my blog on Simplify your Healthy Living with Smoothies

Being in Nature Fixes Everything

Devices left at home, meal-time arguments aside and your feet grounded by the earth.  This is where everything makes sense.  All our disagreements are forgotten and the beauty of the ‘now’ is enjoyed by everyone.  We are instantly happier.  This is something that no words can describe.  It is where we belong.  For you it might be the mountains, for me (and my little family) it is the sea.  All 4 of us are blissfully happy at the beach.  It is our home.

When life get’s hard and the arguments are out of control just head out into nature.  Sit under the shade of a tree, feet in the sand.  Stare at the horizon.  Feel the breeze across your face.  Stress has no power here.  You unwind, you forget, you let go.  As for the kids, they thrive!  This is natural.  Before devices and TV’s and even books, we had this.  We had God’s green earth.  We had a connection to this most precious ground beneath our feet.  When I am in nature I feel this.  I see my kids, so ‘at home’, and it is fixes everything, this is what a holiday with the kids should look like.

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Holiday with kids, conclusion?

We don’t always get along, but boy do I love them!  This holiday with the kids has been wild, wonderful and white-knuckle tense!  Lol!  But, we got through it together and we learned from each other as we went.  I have 2 short weeks left with them and, although I may have a few more grey hairs, I’m already feeling sad at the thought of it coming to an end.

Our children are our greatest teachers, our greatest blessings.  Yes, we teach them, but they teach us so much!  Patience, tolerance, kindness, generosity, resilience.  We go through this life together and share our learning experiences.  We make each other stronger people, better people!  Words cannot say how grateful I am that I was chosen to be their mother.  It is a blessing I am thankful for every day.

I would love to hear your thoughts if you have kids!  Can you add to these lessons?  What has your holiday experience been like?  Please share in the comments.

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