My Family Care asks Louise: August is Family Month, the kids are home and often holidays are taken as a family, but spending time together as a family is important all year round. What benefits are there to spending time together as a family and what kinds of activities help to foster a positive family atmosphere?
It finally feels like a holiday
My children are still quite young - 2 and nearly 6. It was only really the last holiday we had in Sicily that both my husband and I said we truly felt we all had a great break and holiday as a family. It was during this particular holiday that I received an email from My Family Care asking to write this, so I thought there would be no better time to write about the benefits of family holidays than whilst on one.
Being together as a family
The family unit is so very precious and yet at times it can be difficult to all come together over a period of time in complete harmony. But away from the daily routines, chores and busy lifestyles, holidays can be the perfect time to connect, have fun and grow. I have come to believe that our children can teach us so much about ourselves and being on holiday is a great time to really catch those lessons and precious moments.
At times, not just on holiday, things don't always go according to plan when you have children - tiredness, a messy meal, the list goes on... learning to let go and move on allows you the opportunity to enjoy the next moment - something that young children do so well.
A great holiday is far greater in my opinion than a perfect holiday!
Releasing your inner child
All too often you come back from holidays having over indulged, so on this particular holiday I decided to start to focus on my fitness (or fit-less would probably have been more appropriate!).
Without having a huge amount of time to go to the gym, what I thought I would try is keeping up with the children as much as possible. Running when they did, swimming when they did, watching the lizard climbing the wall, resting when they did. And wow, it felt incredibly rejuvenating AND fun!
It didn't always work, but it certainly opened my eyes to the fact that all too often our sedate lifestyles suppress our natural energy.
Following in their footsteps
Going with the flow of the children can result in a much calmer and happier holiday. What dawned on me by truly being present with the children and not wondering when I could take a break for myself was that I could really enjoy my time with them. It's not always easy to do but I think these will be the moments we miss dearly when we look back in 20 years.
Looking forward to the future
My final thought (well I have many but this was the last that I noted down) - Often we feel very deflated when we return from a holiday that we have spent so much time looking forward to. So, I often find holidays a good time to plan something positive and new for when we return, almost like a new years resolution (but not at New Year!).
Maybe it's to get fitter, start a new hobby, or spend more time together as family. Whatever that may be it extends the pleasure of that holiday into our every day lives. And if tapping into an old skill, identifying a new one or taking steps back into the working world is what you find it on your radar - check out Beyond the School Run. I hope you will be inspired.
Wishing you a truly great family holiday!
Louise Webster, Beyondtheschoolrun.com and Mother of two