Self Catering - Is it really a holiday?

Controversial statement but after a week in a Windmill in Norfolk with 12 people, I find myself asking... was it really a holiday?

Clearly being away from the office and spending time with the children is a total joy as a WoMo. A whole week, day in day out in their company is a truly lovely idea when I spend my life working full time. Conversations with my big girls that are typically cut short when someone needs to get out of the front door at home are finished, extended and good banter filled the air. Although the idea of a self catering ‘holiday’ for a week and the reality are in fact two different things.

The emotional and mental burden of planning a staycation 3 hours from home is pretty mega. The build up, the planning, the car loading, the list making and the coordination with all the other people is in fact exhausting. By the time you arrive you have had one hell of a day! And if you are travelling with toddlers, that car journey will have been all the more special. For me I just had one 3 year old in the car and two teens, so at least just 1 out of 3 asked me incessantly ‘are we nearly there yet?’ interjected with the odd moment of ‘I need a wee’ and then lets not forget, ‘I’m bored’.

We spotted 28 yellow cars, 6 tractors, 3 fields of cows (there was a debate about how many cows were in each field but that’s another story), 14 blue big trucks and 3 windmills. The excitement about spotting windmill number 3 was the best! It was our home for a week.

Cue arrival, car unpacking fest and the customary exploration of the windmill to define who would be sleeping where. By then it was wine time for me, and other family members started arriving. Making dinner for the masses was a major event but to be fair, my family are brilliant at mucking in. We all help, we all support each other and there are no passengers.

I actually enjoy cooking for a ton of people, so much so that at home even when cooking for 3 kids I seem to cater for 6, so the meal prep was enjoyable. The part I think I came home fully aware of, was the mental load. The constant ON in my mind of whether we had enough bread, enough milk, what was the next meal, what was the plan for the afternoon and when were the tide times. Add in sharing a room with my 3 year old who sleep talks far more than I had ever realised, and I drove home at the end of the week exhausted.

I fell in to bed the night I got home and collapsed. I almost wanted to cry with the joy of the good week we had all enjoyed, the fun I had had with the children and the successful holiday I felt we all accomplished. But I have to caveat this with the thought of going back to work without having sat still for 7 days was overwhelming.

A week after the windmill chilling on a sun lounger in the sun would have been just the job!