Holidays. It's something we look forward to all year (and depending on how extravagant the holiday is, save for all year, sometimes longer). We look excitedly and longingly at the brochures through the cold winter months and keep in mind as we trudge through snow on the school run that it is only X number of weeks to go until 'The Holiday'. After a while and as the date draws closer and it becomes more important, that is how it becomes referred to within our household 'The Holiday'.
The word 'Holiday' should be filled with connotations of joy, happiness and pleasure. When I was younger 'Holiday' meant to me two weeks of running around the swimming pool all day and spending your hard saved pocket money in the arcade on the 2p machines in the evening. I loved it and have many happy memories. And of course being a child I just arrived, I never had to think about all the work that went into packing us up and getting us away with all the 'right stuff'. It was just there, in a case in my two week temporary bedroom!
However, I have found, more as I have become a mother to two children I must say, and a wife (thankfully only to one man) that the word 'Holiday' firstly now evokes other thoughts. Prior to the excited 'Let's go!' ethos that 'The Holiday' requires I must set up a precision schedule.
This list includes, but is not limited to; list making, washing, drying, ironing, setting aside and ensuring ear-marked clothes do not get worn, packing, cleaning, fridge clearing (and quite often food shopping, because we have an 18 month old and my rule is to only holiday in the UK until he doesn't need pushing / carrying everywhere or walks where we want him to, doesn't cry every 60 seconds, and isn't hanging on my leg for a majority of the day) and all of that quite frankly resembles something of a Military Operation.
And it can be quite exhausting because you do not suddenly get a free day to do this. No it must be fitted in around all of the normal day to day stuff. Not that I am saying J2 doesn't try and be helpful, yes he happily pulls all of my nicely pressed clothes out of the suitcase and to be fair does replace them... in a screwed up ball. And despite mentioning all of the aforementioned tasks to Hubby, that doesn't seem to translate in man world, that I need more time (and I am assured by several girlfriends that this is the case in all of their households to, so must not be taken as a slant on my Hubby!)
I have got friends of course that don't bother with this, but seeing the amount of stress they put on themselves as D Day approaches, I am much more inclined to go with the small bit of stress relating to finding the extra time to be organised. I could forgo the cleaning and tidying before we leave, but do I want to return from a lovely break to walk into a load of mess and immediately have the hackles on my back shoot up? Do I want to walk in and find washing up moulding in the bowl or the house stinking because the fridge didn't get any attention? No, so Military Operation it is for me and I have to say it's always worth it (maybe the Hubby doesn't think so as he gets bellowed at for wearing an 'earmarked shirt') but hey!
But once it is done I can have a couple of days squealing with the kids and showing them where we are going. I can see the cases packed and stacked, the food box nestling content in the corner and smell the polish has been out and feel proud. Then I can really get that child hood feeling of looking forward to the 'Holiday' - and yes, I still go with my 2p purse!