Contemplating the simple life

We have returned from our short break on the coast and have since enjoyed two child free days. We had prearranged to have Lottie and Emmy in care for the Thursday and Friday of this week. Yep parents of the year eat your heart out!

It has been bliss!

I questioned our decision thinking it was unfair to pay others to look after our children while we kicked back and relaxed or got some of those pesky jobs around the house done without the kiddies underfoot. While questioning it, I was secretly thinking how nice it would be to be at home by ourselves without having to tend to anyone else’s needs and do whatever took our fancy for once instead of what the girls wanted to do.

worth-celebrating

Of course I sounded out a few people about what their thoughts were surrounding this idea –

Husband – Hell yes why are we even discussing this – it’s a no brainer

Sister in Law – Hell yes – what are you waiting for?’

Carers – Excellent idea – have you booked them in yet?

So with that resounding approval I went ahead and booked. Yes in the back of my mind is still the thoughts of the beautiful parents who love their children more than life itself and couldn’t stand to be away from them for more than a moment and then I remember that I am not one of these parents. I work part time to fulfill my need for a career, I enjoy sleeping in my own bed with no intruders, I look forward to sitting at the hairdressers for 3 hours by myself and I don’t mind if they don’t talk to me – silence is delightful.

I still got the guilts and have done some sewing for them during the day but it got me thinking of how life could be if we didn’t have to work all the time. I started contemplating the simple life.

Back in the day, Mums never worked outside the home and the Dads only worked 9-5 Monday to Friday and enjoyed their weekends. They lived in a comfortable house (not with a cinema room included) and possibly only had one car. Kids played outside all the time and their parents didn’t always know exactly where they were. They also weren’t fearful that they wouldn’t return as soon as they got hungry.

Nowadays, Mum works a paid job too to help meet the bills. Everyone wants a brand new house for their first house and it must meet a huge list of minimum requirements (what do you mean we can’t fit a cinema room??). Two luxury cars in the driveway and how many months wages are those engagement rings supposed to cost now?

Unfortunately in our quest for the biggest and the best we have had to sacrifice so much without even knowing it. I would love the freedom of sending the children off to school and only needing to bake and clean the house for the 6 hours they are gone. And don’t doubt for a moment that my husband wouldn’t enjoy kicking back more often.

I fear we have over complicated our lives and become so wound up with being busy and needing to have everything that we have lost sight of the bigger picture. We never have time to ourselves, we never stop to smell the roses and we keep trying to outdo the Jones’. Maybe if we all took a step back and asked ourselves what we really want out of life we might be surprised by the answers. They won’t have anything to do with material things. They will have things to do with time. We need to buy our time back and not be a slave to the Jones’. We need to evaluate where we would be content. Where we would be happy.

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Holidays with children

Holidays bring to mind visions of long warm days, sipping cocktails and relaxing beside a pool or beach.
My husband and I travelled a lot before having children. We come from a regional town and travelled outside of Australia for the first time for our honeymoon. This was the start of our love affair with travel.
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Different countries and cultures are fascinating.  Same country, different cities is fascinating.  We first moved from our regional base to Melbourne.  This was an eye opening experience.  We thoroughly enjoyed the city lifestyle. Took us a little while to start exploring as we overcame our nervousness of being in such a busy unknown urban environment. Once we widened our comfort zone, living overseas didn’t seem so scary.
So next step along the life plan was to throw caution to the wind and uproot ourselves once again and head overseas. London was our destination and we had no idea what we were in for. We travelled extensively throughout Europe while we were based in London.  Flying in to a new destination for a weekend was a thrill.
We eventually decided it was time to head home and start a family.
A family of your own is exciting.  You have so many wonderful ideas about what a great parent you are going to be.  We often discussed travel as a part of our children’s upbringing.  We have been away a few times with our children now – not overseas yet.
We have struggled with our children on holidays. They never seem to sleep properly when we are away. They sleep in separate rooms at home and struggle to sleep in the same room without a lot of intervention from us. Usually means we need at least a three bedroom house to save ourselves the stress. Expensive…..
We also don’t seem to be able to have a quiet day. We need to keep them active or they harrass us no end. We bring activities with us, toys, colouring in books, reading books and dvds – most things that happily occupy them at home but not when we are away.
We are currently away and things seem to be tracking along a little better. Maybe we are more prepared or more relaxed about the whole thing or maybe the girls are just getting a little bit older. We are staying at the beach and have had some glorious weather. The girls went straight to sleep tonight and we had both an active morning and a more low key afternoon. Hopefully tomorrow continues along this line and it might give me hope for future overseas travel being an option sooner rather than later…..