I love the idea of a glass of a wine and putting your feet up after a long day. In winter it would be a cup of cocoa and some cookies, whilst snuggled up with your other half / your cat / dog / magazine, you name it. Relaxing sounds lovely, except for a small detail. Since having a baby, somehow I have lost the ability to relax. Come to think of it, it’s quite possible I’ve never possessed it.
A few years ago, in my pre-baby era, together with my husband, we booked a day at a spa. A beautiful establishment with great treatments, it was shaping up to be a lovely day. We arrived, got the robes on and started “relaxing”. Up until that moment, I never realised switching off could take so much effort. We just couldn’t let go. I had tons of thoughts on my mind, from home, redoing our bedroom, things that needed finishing in the office.. We had our treatments, and instead of staying and enjoying the pool, jacuzzi and the steam room, we got dressed and drove back to the office. Somehow making progress at work felt more productive than just enjoying ourselves. We had all the time in the world to have fun, we just simply did not have the ability to switch off.
Then came the baby.
I was warned by everyone, that this is the end of a chapter for us, the countless holidays and spontaneous breaks are over. “You will be on call 24/7 for the rest of your life.” I should have listened. Instead, believing in my superior ability to multitask and just get on with things, I decided to go ahead and reproduce. I use the first person purposely, as my husband, like with most things, let me make that decision.
Fast forwarding two years, we are now parents to an awesome, little girl called Eva. In the last year we have managed to rebrand a successful marketing company, set up my photography business, and make sure Eva hasn’t suffered in the process. We always find time for her, whether it’s baby groups, music classes or any other activities going, she’s there. The year has flown and the constant pace and no off time took it’s toll on our relationship, our mental health and everything else in the process. We needed a break.
My parents came to the rescue, and offered to step in and look after our home, our kids and the dog, whilst we went off for a ten day jolly in Italy.
As I am writing this, I am 10,000 metres up in the air, on our way back, and there are some ideas I developed over the last few days. The main one is a concept of a “parents only hotel”.
From the moment your babies are born, holidays are never going to be the same. Going away with kids? You are still on full alert 24/7: “In case of emergency, where is the nearest hospital?”, “How deep is the hotel pool?” “I don’t want them to touch this, it’s probably covered with some dodgy fungus (ok, maybe that’s just me, referring to anything within 5ft of any hotel pool)”.
Leaving kids with grandparents and going on your own? You have two choices: couples-only hotels (full of mostly people who did not have a year of sleep depravation, and look rather rested and happy, energized by their active sex life) or a regular hotel (full of kids, which is either going to make you feel guilty, because you miss yours but still left them at home, or annoyed, because who wants to listen to other people’s kids screaming in your ear). There is no good alternative. That’s where a parents only hotel concept comes in.
Target market? Run down folks, who due to having kids, ruined their chances of having savings and spare cash. People, who used to enjoy finer things in life, therefore don’t want to settle for mediocre. People who most likely have travelled a bit prior to having kids, but if that’s not the case, they are not fixated on doing it now.
What we are looking at: easy on the eye hotel in the middle of nowhere. No pressure to go and “see” stuff, no temptation to spend money on things you will most likely never use (fancy wine corks, kitchen mats with a photo of a salsa dancing senioritas, or any other touristy trinkets). Warm temperature, but not boiling hot. We don’t want to be forced to bare our cellulite ridden thighs. Comfortable beds are probably the most important aspect we would be looking at. A memory foam mattress is a must, but there should be a choice. Huge beds. If you decide to bring some sexy back, there would be sound proof walls, in case you get vocal.
Fluffy carpets should be liberally sprinkled around. We don’t want to feel as though we are in a hotel, we want to have a feeling we are back in the life, where we can have those fluffy carpets without worrying about spillage or baby vomit. A huge bath with a jaccuzzi, because now we would finally have time to have a bath, without anyone knocking on the door, asking you to find their teddy bear, or asking where baby wipes are.
The hotel facilities would include a spa, with skilled therapists, who would be able to pick up any subject you wish to discuss, beyond the pleasantries. Not a big talker? They would also be able to embrace the silence.
There would be a yoga class available to anyone regardless of their flexibility level, because we were meaning to start doing it around 2006 anyway, we just never had the time or the energy. There would be a meditation class, for people like me, who struggle to switch off and de-clutter their mind.
There would be a beautiful garden with orange trees, and benches hidden conveniently, should you wish to read that book you were meaning to read, when it was in the top ten bestsellers over five years ago, without anyone judging your literary choices.
I might have taken the concept of utopian life too literally, but you get my drift. Those who know me well, know that one of my favorite books of all times is “The brave new world” by Aldous Huxley. He presents us with the world of the future, where his main characters have sex orgies and take hallucinogenic drug called soma, which takes their mind for “holidays”. I do not support any drug taking but the book shows you, that even in an advanced, futuristic society created by Huxley, people still needed a break. We are not robots, regardless how much we try to do it all, and have it all. Everyone needs some time to recharge. Stress is said to be the main cause of cancer.
I believe we should start campaigning for scientist to look into “banking sleep”. Imagine, if you could “recharge” by using those extra few hours you previously banked, in order to feel refreshed, where coffee just doesn’t cut it anymore?
I am about to descend into the land of nappies and constant vigilance. The land of protecting my daughter from choking on a grape, eating dog biscuits and opening the hot oven. The land of stair gates, and mashed banana covered couches. The land of laughs at simple pleasures, like stroking the dog and playing on the swing. I may complain about it sometimes, but I would never change it for anything else. Sometimes though, I do love to have the ability to enter the utopian hotel, or even just a simple hotel, with an average bed. Two weeks are great, but I will settle for a weekend. I like the ability to miss my land occasionally 🙂
I would like to dedicate this blog post to two wonderful women, whose land is a home to many happy babies. They laugh at my struggles with only one toddler, whilst holding their prosecco, after putting their large brood to bed. No one sees their day to day work, people rarely comprehend the skill that it takes to get this shit together. They are mothers to happy, loved kids. Sometimes, I wish they adopted me. Tracy and Helen, you two make it look bloody easy. Love you both x