Holiday Anxiety

On the flight over to Kefalonia as Paisley napped on my lap I balanced my Marie Claire magazine on her little bottom while trying to avoid flashing my breast to the rest of the row. As lovely as it was to finally have a few moments to read a magazine, something I used to do frequently and out of sort of habit on a plane pre-baby, I ended up reading an article on stress free holidays that made me think…

It made me realise how much additional stress I had put on myself before the holiday and how ridiculous I felt about it. I have lost count the amount on last minute online shopping orders I’d made or sleepless nights I’d had over whether she needed one more UV suit for swimming! Yes, mothers worry will always be part of us I’m sure but when I sat there with the sun slowly dipping behind the mountains by the poolside I was glad I read that article at the start of the holiday. It made me check myself on a few occasions when I was over thinking and adding stress to our holiday. For example…

Nap times. Yes, they’re very much needed but it really can be like putting a drunk friend to bed trying to get an excited toddler to nap on holiday. We tried to relax a bit and stop clock watching and help her when she needed it. I think that helped us all!

Food. I knew she would love the food over in Greece as Houmous has always been one of her favourites and was going to be a fail safe lunch option. Obviously the laid back lifestyle and fresh home cooking meant long, ‘relaxing’ meal times so we went with that and would tag team up to allow her time to explore while waiting for our meals. This is pretty much how meal times go for us as we wouldn’t expect her to sit patiently for her food like us at her age (even we struggle!) yet we only realised it must be a good idea when Lee saw a couple struggling with their daughter at the table looking over and whispering. Suddenly she was out her chair and toddling over to say hi to Paisley. Happy babies, happy parents!

Baby led exploring
. Some days we went with what Paisley seemed to want to do. Most of the time it seemed to be wanting to make friends by the poolside and not actually getting in for a swim but we had so many guests comment on how lovely she was (even the lady who’s sparkly flip flops ended up on Paisley’s feet…A lot!). Although it kept us on our toes keeping an eye on her by the pool she seemed so happy being allowed to be herself. She loves new scenery so hiring a car to explore was a great idea as she took in so many new sites!

Breastfeeding on demand. This holiday really confirmed for me the amazing benefits of milk on tap! Not only getting through security without a hitch but also travelling around new and unknown places. The photo above was at a beach that we drove a good 15 minutes winding down a cliff face to finally get to and there were no facilities bar a very old and smelly toilet (the guide books say there’s a bar but that was closed a while ago,you’d have to go back up the cliff to find anything!). With it being so warm Paisley was in need of hydration more often and even in tricky situations like this I could offer her a refreshment without the need of additional cool bags or cutting out trip short to find somewhere buy water or milk. I also found she was like me in that she didn’t want huge meals while she was hot during the day so I knew she was keeping hydrated but also getting nutrients from breastmilk which can be reassuring.

Relaxed trips. Not setting days and times so rigidly for exploring the island helped too. It meant we could call it on the day what we fancied doing (weather would always be a factor, no one wanted to climb a mountain on a 35 degrees day or go to the beach in the rain) and go on longer stretches of driving when she needed a nap. Hiring a car meant that we had a bit more flexibility and we managed to tick loads of the list yet be stress free (as stress free as you can be when you’re map reading and working out Greek road signs…)

So thanks to the reality check from that wonderful magazine article our holiday became a lot more about enjoying the moment and less about the military planning I was used to. And,  I LOVED it! 

Do you have any tips to help keep you relaxed before and during your family holidays? I would love to hear them as we start to look for ideas for our next family break…


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