Over the Easter holiday break, we went away as a family of four for the first time. I had put off making the decision about whether or not to go since I wasn’t sure what kind of baby Austin was going to be and I am still not sure about this – people ask me “Is he a good baby?” and I have no clue how to answer. Against what criteria? He seems pretty good in that he rarely screams crying (immunisations day aside) and he is sleeping pretty well at night – for five to seven hours at a time which seems pretty good – but then he is also dependent on lots of cuddles to sleep during the day and is pretty good at the low-key whingy talk when he is not 100% happy. I think he’s good but he’s still a baby so…
Anyway, back to the trip away, I was waiting to see if his congestion cleared up (it didn’t) or that he didn’t have any special care needs (thankfully, he doesn’t) before I committed to saying yes. The trip was being arranged by the NCT group which we joined for Evelina over five years ago. Back when I was pregnant the first time, we were blessed with the best NCT group and we have stayed pretty close since. Working full-time for the last couple of years has meant that I have not been able to see the mums (and the children) as much as I would like so I was particularly motivated to try to make the trip away to a large house in Herefordshire for three nights.
I am so glad we did!
The house was large enough to comfortably accommodate all six families – 12 adults and 14 children in total – and there was plenty to do in the area to keep us all busy in the best possible way (easy mornings, busy afternoons, hectic but controlled tea-time and lots of great adult company). And if you are going to go away with a five-year old and a 8 week-old baby, I recommend doing it with so many willing helping and non-judgemental hands around! Evelina had a total ball with all the kids her age around and I had oodles of grown-up conversation. Rich could cut loose a bit with the dads and in the end, he had less sleep than me, I think.
I am so very grateful for those wonderful women – I am so lucky to have their friendship support and wisdom. It was only three nights but it felt like a real holiday and I can’t wait for next year!