I recently read that there are only nine hundred and something Saturdays between our kids being born and the time we will (hopefully) send them off to university. Scary huh? It’s made me stop and think about how we spend our time as a family.
E is 5 and T is about to turn 3 so life has settled down from the really hectic baby/toddler period and it is now so much easier for us to travel and try different things but so often we just don’t get round to it. We spend our free time dashing round supermarkets or off to birthday parties, letting the boys amuse themselves with DVDs while we do work on the house or supervising bike riding with one eye on work emails on our phones. Like so many young families, we’re just ‘busy’ and we let that stop us making time to do those things that we really want our boys to remember as they get older.
But nine hundred and something Saturdays just isn’t enough. E is nearly a third of the way through them already, how on earth did that happen? So Hubs and I have promised that from now on we are going to make time for proper holidays. This year we had our first whole week away as a family and it was wonderful. The boys got to do all sorts of things that they’d never done before, activities and clubs galore, but just as importantly there was plenty of time for the four of us to chat and play together, eating together every night rather than rushing through bath and bed time and planing the things we wanted to do the next day. We had T’s first trip to the beach and E’s first pony ride. It was exactly how I want the boys to remember their childhood and we will make sure we set aside the time to do it more often from now on.
But guess what? It turns out I’m not the only person who thinks family holidays are really important. Mark Warner, a company I was lucky enough to come across at last months Mumsnet Blogfest have made it their mission to provide exactly the kind of holidays that I want for my family. Summer resorts with great facilities, food, activities and sports as well as skiing holidays that cater for even the very young with ski schools all week. They aim to strike that challenging balance between everyone getting to do the things they want and enjoying yourselves together. Perfect! I’d love to see T trying out his first set of skis or E having a go at windsurfing. I just know they’d really throw themselves into it and I think those types of experiences are a big part of helping them become the confident, happy kids we want them to be.
Mark Warner are currently looking for a handful of Family Holiday Ambassadors (you can find out more about that here) and I’ve really got my fingers crossed that we might be able to be part of that great programme because now I’ve seen what a huge impact just taking time out as a family can have on all of us I can’t wait to head off on our next adventure. Whether it’s mastering sailing or conquering the piste, we’ll be doing it together.