Just like the Huggies ads, family holidays are all about bliss. There's running on the beach, watching sunsets together, loving each other to the max and endless fun. That is, until there isn't.
Because, just like those misleading ads, siblings fight, everyone's tired and too much of a good thing can sometimes be bad - cue all being stuck together all day every day.
So, when we decided to meet and holiday with family overseas, we figured it might be better for us all. We could never have predicted just how much.
These are the reasons why we'll never go on holiday without other families again…at least not for a very long time.
Limited fighting between Mr three and Mr eight
With three cousins to play with, ny sons spent limited time alone. Having other playmates meant that they weren't confined to each other's company and, subsequently, they fought less.
They didn't have to fight for attention. They didn't have to fight over who was going to do what first and they didn't fight over who was breathing on who!
For us, not having to referee fights was a much needed break.
They had constant entertainment
Having each other for company meant that the kids were easily entertained. They formed their own games and fun. They swam, they explored, and they ate ice-creams until they were ready to pop.
Never once did we hear "I'm bored", or "can you come do this, that or the other with me?"
That's not to say that we don't want to play with our kids when away. We do…. just not for 12 hours solid.
Being able to observe from a sunbed was definitely our idea of fun.
The kids were tired
Swimming, playing and generally not stopping all day meant that, come night time, the kids were completely worn out.
Bedtime was welcomed rather than fought and they were asleep the second the lights were turned out. Such a refreshing change from the norm.
Having the chance to sit on our balcony at a reasonable hour, the world was our oyster.
Mr three's confidence and social skills grew
Being with his cousins for two weeks meant he came on leaps and bounds socially. He became more patient, tolerant and more willing to learn.
His confidence grew, as did his independence, and anything everyone else could do, he could do better.
If there was an activity to do or fun to be had, he was first in the line….with his cousin's backing him up of course.
The kids formed memories (and bonds)
There's nothing nicer than memory making on holiday and going away with extended family only added to that.
We created memories together that we'll all cherish for years to come and the children created bonds that will be hard to break.
Returning to our own corners of the world, the kids are in regular contact and now have so many experiences to share.
We had adult company
I love my husband dearly, but nothing beats girl company for giggles, gossip, drinks and fun.
Holidaying with another couple meant that we shared the load of the kids, so all had a proper break Best of all, we didn't feel guilty for doing it and isn't that a dream holiday in itself?