Family Holidays : it’s a matter of perspective

So another Chinese New Year weekend has come and gone and its now time to head back to the daily grind of work. And whilst it was a good weekend of catching up with friends and family, as with all my holidays lately I’m left feeling more tired than when I started. Thankfully we were able to rest a bit for one day before worked started.

But it’s a familiar feeling; that you need a holiday to recover from the holiday you just had.

Whenever I go for a holiday I always envision that I’d have a ton of time to do things like catching up on my reading, being able to (finally) organise my music collection, or being able to do something spontaneous like organising a beach picnic or something fun like that.

The reality is far less glamorous and far more time consuming; especially for parents with 2 small children. Spending a weekend with an imaginative and energetic little boy is hardly dull, but mind you it can take a lot out of you to keep up! Our 2nd son is still in the feeding eating stage so he’s not much of a bother but when he need help getting settled he can be a handful too! There are no words to describe the relief when your kids are both asleep and finally mom and dad can get some precious time to themselves.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my 2 boys and I hardly contribute to the raising of the younger one yet as he’s still being breast fed. But being with them is an entire occupation in itself with the supervision, feeding, cleaning, etc. All my idealistic dreams of sitting under coconut trees and reading don’t hold up under the weight of this reality.

In many ways holidays as I once knew them are now a thing of the past.

But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s all sometimes just a matter of perspective. All those things I mentioned above that I do with my kids… my wife deals with them daily. So by being around I take a load off of her and she gets to have a break.

Furthermore, even though their schedules become a mess and my sons don’t sleep as much they are still fun and a joy (in retrospect) to be with. Just by being at home and not at work, I get to interact with them *so much more*. It’s not always a clear cut feeling of happiness to be minding them non-stop but there’s pride in seeing all the new things they can do and to be a part of their development.

Family holidays are not what I envision them to be, they’re so much more. In reality these holidays are less about relaxing more about a *break from the norm*. And what a break it is!

I may not get as much rest as I’d like but in 20 years when the boys are grown I know what I’d prefer having done when I look back on their younger days.


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