There was a moment in our mini-break I yelled at the children: “If you don’t calm down right this minute then I am packing everything up and we are going home.” My husband followed with the same “empty threat” a few minutes later. Then we marched them out of our hotel room to the playground up the hill. And there, for about two minutes we sat quietly soaking up the marvellous views of the Barossa Valley. On our holiday, we went to four playgrounds and had four ice creams stops. We were in one of the world’s most beautiful wine regions and we went to no wineries.

Holidays are not the same as they used to be. The only thing vaguely “holiday” about our two day break was that I didn’t log on to my computer, my husband took no photographs, nor did he do any editing, and I did not (I REPEAT) did not do any washing.

I am not sure what my highlight was? Perhaps it was when the magpie swooped, then stalked us, sitting on a fence staring into our car windows menacingly until we drove screaming from the park. Or it was when the 4yo made us stop so she could poo on the side of the busy road. Or there was the moment we decided it would be best to just let our 2yo eat all the butters on the table while we dined on the biggest schnitzels we’ve ever seen at the local pub.

Or it was when the same 2yo screamed each time we carried her tantruming body from each playground we visited. She would then thrash about while the two of us held her down to put her in her car seat. Then she would scream until our next destination.

 This short video sums up the joy.

And then this happened.

Yep, that’s right our three girls sat quietly and ate breakfast, at their own table, in the hotel’s restaurant. Miss 5 ate five breakfasts, Miss 4 ate three bowls of Coco-Pops and Miss 2 did not have a tantrum – win, win, win.

And then this.

And this.

So, as we drove home from our idyllic hotel, we reminded each other that holidays of the past are firmly in the past. And yes, moving our family to a different setting, is just that, moving to another setting. The kids will still ask us for something to eat every 3.5 seconds, the girls will still run around squealing, they will still have meltdowns in shops over not getting “insert random toy which they can’t live without here” and they will still climb into our bed at night.

But while we wrangle the kids, we don’t wrangle our life. We put aside the daily work/house demands. Although it’s the “same, same, but different” we do arrive home more refreshed. Well, as refreshed as parents of three children can be.

What are your family holidays like?

bigwords x