I’m lucky: my parents aren’t part of the retiree drug taking criminal set who have dubious hygiene and a need to visit the race track every weekend. They’re actually a set of quite responsible adults who, despite the need to feed my kids chocolate every time they come within a 100 km radius of them, are stellar babysitters. And this is much to their own detriment. Catastrophic in fact as I’ve roped them in to looking after our children whilst husband and I ski and eat our way around the top of Japan for 12 days.
Yes, that’s right. Fiela and I are going on a HOLIDAY- not a trip. Trips are when you take your kids places and have holiday like moments with a beer tower like this in Fiji.
Where were the kids when this photo was taken? At the Kids Klub (love you Outrigger Fiji-call me). To that end, we have booked a holiday skiing in Japan with the Duchess and Duke. Without our children. They’re staying home and doing things like school and gymnastics and dance lessons and Kiddie Kicks under the supervision of their collective grandparents. Oh sweet Jesus I think I might just cry tears of joy.
And before you stab me right through the screen, yes, I think I’ll probably miss the kids to the point my eyes might get wet (right into my plate of sushi and cup of sake), I’ll probs buy an inordinate amount of Hello Kitty products in an effort to stem my feelings of guilt (right before I step into that hot natural spring) and I’ll totes be indebted to my parents For Ever (or until the next time they have a brain snap and say “Yes, we’ll babysit your brats our grandchildren”).
I mean I do feel a bit bad for Mum and Dad. 12 days is a long time. I’m bypassing some of that guilt with the clear memories of my own childhood though, when those very same parents left myself and my three brothers at my grandparents for weeks at a time. That’s four kids, at least one week every summer and another somewhere in the year for good measure. Every year. Poor Nana must have been absolutely exhausted.
Oh the tears when the week was over and we had to go back to my mother’s own United States of Mum- the sobs in the back of the Kingswood as we drove down the highway to our own house and its boringness. Only now do I realise that my parents were probably crying their own tears when they drove up to get us.
Here are some other ways to get over the guilt of leaving your kids behind with long suffering grandparents:
- Pour yourself a wine/coffee/read the paper unmolested whilst on your break from the kids. That’s right, it’s a whole different experience isn’t it?
- Have some meals ready to go (frozen or vouchers from a takeaway place) for the grandparents so they aren’t having to cook the organic, paleo, wheat free, dairy free sustainably sourced meals you told them to.
- Prepare some nearby parents and friends to come and take your kids to the park for a few hours so they can sleep/ go to the toilet (Grandparents are used to doing that without an audience).
- Promise heaven and earth to some other school mums and dads to shlep your kids to drop off/pickup and save Nana and Pop the trouble.
- Write a manual on the kids weekly activities, doctor’s phone number, possible lunchbox inclusions etc for the grandparents to look, laugh at and ignore wholeheartedly.
And besides all of that and last of all, my parents are joining the Grey Nomads in a matter of months and let’s face it- they are a selfish bunch of gits. Travelling the country, having the time of their lives at Happy Hour in their camp chairs… No thought given to their children back here in the trenches of school and work. I mean, do they think they deserve that? Well, after 12 days with my kids, they certainly will.
So to all the grandparents out there babysitting often, taking the kids to school, doing a week+ stint while parents live it up or go to work, I salute you! Get in that caravan, pour yourself that glass of sav blanc or XXXXGold and enjoy yourself (but only after you’ve looked after the grandkids some more).
PS: Thanks Mum and Dad!!!!