It is often said, amongst parents, that a holiday with young kids is a bit of a scam, with less of the relaxing part and more of the effort part. Whilst it’s true you need to redefine your expectations of a holiday when you have little ones, it’s possible to relax, reset and recharge. You just need to pick the right time, the right destination and have the right attitude. Two weeks ago I posted here about my hopes, fears and goals for this holiday. And the verdict is in.
Here are my top ten reasons in favour of holidaying with little ones, and why Noosa is the ideal destination.
1. The weather
The sunshine state never fails to deliver, and at this time of year it is comfortably warm. We enjoyed 10 days of uninterrupted glorious sunshine. It was warm enough for swimming every day but never oppressive. We were especially smug knowing that our home state experienced snow on the mountains while we were gone!
2. The Location
Noosa is the most PERFECT spot in Australia for a family holiday. It is really easy to navigate with young tackers and strollers. There are plenty of nearby attractions like Australia Zoo and Eumundi Market but it’s very easy to enjoy staying in Noosa, which is exactly what we did. The Noosa National Park is a national, natural treasure! While I chose to walk the picturesque coastal trail alone (ah, bliss), many parents were doing it with buggies or with kids strapped to their back or chest. There were also some crazy-fit individuals running it barefoot with surfboards. I was just pleased to enjoy a 5km stunning escape teute seule!
3. The food
Hastings Street is dotted with bustling cafes, shops and restaurants and there’s an ice-cream shop on every corner. Every restaurant, including the higher end ones, is set up for kids. The dozen ikea high chairs stacked in the corner and you know you’re in the right place. The surf club is the IDEAL place to have dinner with kids. The food comes out almost before you’re ordered and no child can resist chicken nuggets and chips and a generous scoop of ice cream to finish. Watching the sun set over the sea is magnificent.
4. The beach
The beach is SPECATCULAR and is the best option for families as it has gentle waves and is patrolled by surf lifesavers. And it’s only steps away from famous Hastings Street. One of the highlights of my holiday was a very peaceful walk along the stunning stretch of sand at 5.30am one morning (turn a negative into a positive – refer below to bad bits)
5. The company
One of the highpoints of our trip was spending time with close friends of ours – something we had arranged in advance. They have children the same ages and although we had separate accommodation we caught up most days for a swim, family meal or glass of wine. But the highlight was an adults’ dinner (babysitters from Noosa nannies) at Peter Kuruvita’s Beach House. His signature dish is a deconstructed snapper curry. We’ll have 4 thanks!
6. A break from GHDS
Life as a parent, working or at-home, is demanding, exhausting and tedious. I’ve written here about the Groundhog Day Syndrome that is a very real syndrome for the stay-at-home mum, especially in the early years when routines MATTER. Taking a holiday means a change of routine and is the perfect antidote to parenting fatigue. A break from all the “should dos” that infuse our lives back home.
I enjoyed a much-needed break from always thinking of the next meal, the next drop off, the next pressure. We were able to relax our schedule and move to a different rhythm. That rhythm went something like this: Beach o’clock, Pool o’clock, Beer o’clock, Siesta o’clock, and Stroll o’clock.
7. Change of scene
As much as kids love routine, even they get bored of the same parks and activities. Our girls enjoyed a different daily routine, which included sand, waves, collecting shells, feeding ducks, splashing in the river and eating lots of ice cream. Away from their toys the girls indulged in more ‘imagination games’ and role-playing. The highlight was the daily visits from the Rainbow Lorikeets on our balcony. Guaranteed 30 minutes of squeals of delight as they fed the birds bits of bread.
8. Family time
It was so lovely to enjoy 10 days of uninterrupted family connection. This was particularly important for Mr NASD who got about 12 hours more time with his girls each day. I can see the bonds have been strengthened, particularly for Miss H who has become attached to his hip. She thinks he is retired.
Another great benefit of this holiday was unplugging from my computer and most forms of social media (save for a few pics I couldn’t resist posting). My holiday was free from pitching, writing, blogging and it created the space for me to simply enjoy being.
10. The goals
You will recall I set myself goals for this holiday. I won some, I lost some..
The girls woke frightfully early in the morning due to the sun rising at 4.45am. On the upside we enjoyed daily siestas.
True to my word I rejected any AFD’s
I ambitiously took a book 500 pages long and only managed to get through half of it. But what a book!! If you haven’t already read ‘Gone Girl’, get it NOW.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering….hubby achieved his goals too.
Taking a holiday with young kids is totally worth the effort. For us, it was much more than just a change of scene. It was a chance to connect – to pause from life’s pressures. The holiday enabled us to time to enjoy a break from the frantic, hurried pace of our lives. And for me, slower mothering = happier mothering.
If you are overdue for a holiday, trust me – the reward far outweighs the effort. So, plan for it, budget for it, and make it HAPPEN!