This is the first post I’ve written in almost a year. Well… that’s not entirely true… I’ve started LOADS of posts but never got to the end of any of them due to the many, many, MANY distractions that having a small baby brings. I’m 7 months in, still alive (as is my daughter – a victory on my part) and am slowly regaining the ability to construct a sentence that does not involve the words ‘poo’, ‘projectile’, ‘bottle’ or ‘help!’. Therefore I thought it was time that I dust off the laptop and stop looking at Secret Escapes and actually write something (whilst looking at Secret Escapes as I’ve decided to conquer my fear of international travel with a child).
Before I go on to tell you (briefly, I promise) about all the wonderfully amazing stuff that happens after you have a baby, I need to let you know that it is not and never will be an excuse to only have a UK-based summer holiday. Here’s why:
1. Driving 17 and half hours to end up at a destination where it invariably rains, is NOT easier than getting on a flight where there are first aid trained professionals, serving alcohol, and arriving somewhere actually nice. And likely to be warmer than the Isle of Skye.
2. You will not save money by avoiding an airport. You will spend twice as much trying to find indoor entertainment and paying for petrol and hot drinks and waterproofs, on obscure A-roads where it is very likely that you will get murdered if you stopped on the side of the road.
3. A screaming baby in the back of a car in 90 mph winds and torrential rain literally drains the fun out of EVERYTHING.
4. And finally – there is very little bikini motivation for a UK-based holiday (especially in Scotland) so prepare to hate yourself whenever you look in the mirror for neglecting all health and fitness regimes in favour for biscuits. Mainly because biscuits are the only good thing to happen on UK-based holidays (especially in Scotland).
A previous solution to all of the above would naturally be to get drunk. That’s fairly obvious. With a baby – that can literally not happen. In short…Go on Secret Escapes (other discounted holiday sites are available). Book a holiday. Make it a good one. Do not go to the Isle of Skye with a baby AND a small dog and expect anything other than a torturous challenge that will require a holiday on your return. *
I promise to keep it brief. I’ve started a blog on this about a million times elaborating on how life affirming having a baby is, the huge sense of achievement that follows and that you celebrate the weirdest things… (I’ve actually done a dance at a fart and a burp renders a reaction only really appropriate to a lottery win). But despite feeling like the cleverest human on the planet and declaring with great gusto ‘I made a person!’ I had to take account of the fact that quite a few people have done this before. I’m not taking away from the miracle of life or anything, but when you realise that every single person that walks this earth got here the same way my daughter did (I’m aware there are a few variations on the exit strategy – but you catch my drift…) it kind of puts it into perspective.
All I can say is that I was totally unprepared… for any of it… What it was going to feel like, (emotionally… I’m not going to go in to ANY detail on the physical side but tbh – it was actually ok) how we were going to be as parents, if I’d suit being a Mum, if I’d like it… I hadn’t done all the stuff I was supposed to do yet… Monetise this blog, get my (unwritten) book published, successfully pull off a jump suit, wear a high bun in public and not fret about my horrible hairline….
So when she arrived, all wrinkly and purple and lovely, I thought I’d go into a panic about all the things I hadn’t done. That’s not what happened. I couldn’t care less about my tax return, my next job, my unpublished status and the fact I hadn’t (despite trying more than once) broken any Guinness world records. All that stuff, I now realise, were just distractions to make everything else seem worthwhile. To give myself purpose. To feel like there was a point to me…
Well now there is. Every second of every day I am needed and I’m working and it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done whilst being the most fun and most fulfilling. No job, no book deal, no outfit could ever compare to the feeling of being a parent and, I could not recommend it enough. It is the most amazing role that I’ve ever been lucky enough to experience and every day is hilarious. (If you don’t laugh, there’s a high risk you’ll cry).
I now wear a high bun most days and don’t give a toss about my horrible hairline. Although I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to being acutely aware that she may have inherited it.
*N.B Sleep deprivation may cause some tiredness-related over reactions/ significant lack of enthusiasm.