Three Rooms and A Baby

We are going on holiday for a week. Nowhere fancy, just to a little cottage on the coast. We will have views of the harbour, be five minutes walk from the very quaint town, and a good bracing walk away from the beach.

It’s a final farewell to my time as full-time Mummy and I should be excited.

But I’m not.

I am dreading it. DREADING it.

The cottage and the location are beautiful. I know this because we stayed there with my parents last year.
They went on holiday for a week and the three of us joined them for a few days. This meant that my poor mum and dad had to sleep on an air-bed on the floor downstairs, while The Boyfriend, The Baby and I had the super-king size bed upstairs. In the only bedroom. Which is next to the shower room.

Apart from feeling a little guilty that we had ousted my parents from the rather luxurious bedroom, none of this mattered back then as The Baby was still so young I was counting her age in weeks (when did this stop?). We were sharing sleep, and we hadn’t got to the stage of having to bath her every night as part of a bedtime routine. A good old wash down every morning sufficed just as well.

It was not very long after those few days away that we booked this coming holiday (or I should say, my dad booked this holiday. Thanks dad!) not even imagining for a tiny second that anything would have changed.

Boy, have they changed.

Every evening we do the exact same thing. Tea, followed by stories or a little dance or CBeebies (oh, the guilt), followed by a bath, a bottle, and bed. In her cot. In her nursery.

The cottage we will be staying in has three rooms; an open plan kitchen/living room, a bedroom and a shower room. No bath. No nursery.

In my head, this is our holiday:

We walk a lot during the day, attempting to get The Baby to have something resembling a nap. We fail. We bath The Baby in the sink and attempt to keep the routine at least similar. The Baby screams and cries and knows that it’s nothing resembling similar. We give The Baby a bottle while she watches Waybuloo. This part is fine (if even this doesn’t go well, the second and subsequent nights of the holiday will be spent back at home). We take The Baby up to the bedroom, place her in the travel cot and spend the rest of the evening searching the cottage for anything that can be used as earplugs. Eventually The Boyfriend and I creep up to bed, and waken every hour to the screaming and squealing of The Baby, unsettled and in unfamiliar territory.

We will have no volume button on a monitor to turn down. We will have no door to shut to dampen the heart-wrenching screaming for ten minutes before returning to soothe and shush The Baby. We will all be in the same room. The crying and the screaming will be threefold.

In my head, the following day begins at around 5am (as most mornings seem to do these days) and we repeat all of the above. By day three, in my head, The Boyfriend and I are taking turns to sleep on the sofa. In newly-purchased ear-muffs.

The part I am most dreading, however, is not attempting to settle The Baby in a new and strange cottage, in a new and strange town. It’s attempting to settle her once we are back in our old, familiar house, in our old, familiar town.

The routine we have worked so hard at, that we have battled with, that has had me in tears so many times through guilt, frustration, and weariness, will, I fear, be in total tatters and will need to be re-learned by The Baby. And by then, I will be battling with and shedding tears over going back to work.

But maybe I’m being too negative. Maybe it won’t be so bad after all. Being by the sea and waking up to harbour-views for a week will make it a little easier, I’m sure. So too will the black-out blinds (thank goodness for travel blinds).

Although I’ve not even begun to think about how many bags we will need to take for an entire week…


Filed under The Girl

17 Responses to Three Rooms and A Baby

  1. O Dear!! Maybe after all the negative thoughts, the holiday won’t turn out too badly??!! Maybe there will be sunshine and fresh air aplenty to wear out Baby so she sleeps really well?? Let’s hope……….

  2. I sympathise, because I had a baby like this and a holiday like you describe.
    We took one of those flexible garden tubs and washed him in that.
    I can remember sitting outside the cottage drinking wine while he ‘screamed’ himself to sleep and the owners looked on barely disguised horror from their kitchen. I remember hanging towels and alsorts of stuff around the cot so he couldn’t see us. The routine did go out the window, but iy was OK. He was unsettled because it was somewhere different but we all adapted. Try and relaxed, the routine will return. Have a good time and if that involves doing it different go for it. Holiday bedtimes now are always at least an hour later in the hope that exhaustion makes it easier.

  3. Hi
    I’ve been there, believe me it won’t be that bad. Just make sure you get a few bottles of wine in..
    Like the site btw, I’m also new to blogging – maybe you can have a peek – x


  4. I know exactly how you feel. Except we are adding one more thing to the mix, a flight in an aeroplane (obviously in an aeroplane, what else?!). Have no idea how I’ll get all the stuff into the one bag we’ve got for our baggage allowance. I booked the holiday when I was pregnant. And naive. I agree with Evey that wine may be the answer (for you not The Baby. Obviously).

  5. Have no fear! I made the decision before the Minis came along to never let it interfere with my travel plans. I have severely regretted this decision on several occasions but continue to plod forward like a demented madwoman. Biggest advice for you? Have a sitter waiting at the house when you get home. Because that is the moment when you will lose it. She stays until the little people are asleep. And if they are jet lagged, that would be 4 am. Seriously. Worth every penny. x

  6. love your blog, have come over from mothersalwaysright Introducing!

    You’re right – holidays are stressful, especially for mums. I found a very funny but true article about that once which I will try hard not to plagiarise anytime soon…. the whole change of routine is not at all restful, and by the time you’ve got into the ‘holiday routine’ (day 5) you’re just about ready to pack and go home. But fret not, one thing I’ve always found, regardless, is that they do just love being back at home and there’s an ‘aaaahhh’ moment about it all which is to be cherised, not scared of. Look forward to it. And then forget about all the stress so you can book another holiday again next year… one of these years, it’s got to be good!!

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