Learner holidaymaker

When I was a kid, I was a total beach babe.

renee-beach-pls
Holidays would mean sun, surf, freckles, sandcastles, shells, and cheese and vegemite toasted sandwiches. The days were easy and fun and hold some of the most precious memories of my life.

With our girls now three and one, I have been keen to help them create some beach holiday memories of their own.

When friends of the family invited us to stay with them up the coast recently, we jumped at the chance to have our FIRST EVER mini-holiday as a family of four.

Miss Three was beyond excited and spent almost the entire day before we left making up songs about the beach as she gathered together her Dora ‘surfboard’ and bucket and spade.

With no less than a million, ‘Are we there yets?’ we finally made it to our destination, slapped on some sunscreen, and headed to the beach. This however, is where the fun ended and the fear began.

Miss Three is terrified of waves.

beach-scared-mwm1

There was screaming. High-pitched, ear piercing screaming that makes people wonder what you are doing to torture your child.

We persisted in the blistering heat over the roar of the ocean, ‘C’mon, it’s okay, you’re safe. We won’t let anything hurt you. It will be fun’. The best we could do was to convince her to sit down on her towel.

So there we were on the first day of our long awaited holiday sitting on the hot sand a million miles from the ocean with Miss Three whimpering and Miss One getting cranky. We were definitely creating memories that day, but not the ones I was hoping for.

Desperate to cool down, we took the kids to a shallow creek. Finally, success. There were smiles and splashing … until an overzealous dog jumped into the creek with us, ball in mouth, eager to play. In his haste, he knocked over Miss Three who drank some creek water. Cue more screaming.

To top off a challenging first day, that night consisted of tag team screaming between Miss Three and Miss One out of sorts in their new environment. If there was an award for the worst holidaymakers in the world, it would be ours.

The next day Dave and I soldiered on.

I convinced Miss Three to let me carry her as I walked with her to the water’s edge. I could feel her trembling in my arms. There was no denying it, her fear was real.

Yet again we retired to the towel on the hot sand as I moaned to Dave, ‘I just want them to have a good time, why can’t they have fun like all of the other kids?’

Later that day, exhausted from the sleepless night before and somewhat depressed, we took a walk on the beach.

The waves were quieter and smaller, the breeze cooler, and the sun lower.

We showed Miss Three crab holes and how to draw in the sand. Before we knew it she was enjoying herself writing her name in the sand and running under colourful kites flying high in the sky. She then surprised us squealing in excitement as she played a game of chase with the ocean.

beach-fun-mwm2

And this, my friends, was the highlight of our first ever holiday as a family of four.

Perhaps our expectations were too high for our first holiday with two little people. We now know that the slowly slowly approach is best with our girls and that we need to be considerate of how unsettling it can be for themΒ out of their comfort zones.

There is no denying though, that our first holiday had moments of real happiness, of time spent just being, eating ice cream, breathing in the fresh air, and enjoying good food and company.

beach-love-mwm1

We’d like to extend a massive thank you to our friends for being so kind as to open up their home to us to give us a much needed getaway.

What are your experiences holidaying with kids?

Linking up today with the awesome Jess of Essentially Jess for IBOT!

49 comments on Learner holidaymaker

  1. Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit
    January 7, 2014 at 6:07 am (4 years ago)

    So pleased she got over her fears (and her screaming) – LOL.
    Each of our kids went through the exact same thing when it came to the ocean. They are now full on surfer kids who can’t wait to dive into the ocean with their boards every chance they get.
    Three cheers for beach holidays.
    Happy Tuesday!
    Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 7, 2014 at 1:49 pm (4 years ago)

      Hooray! That is great news, Leanne. Thanks. Hopefully it’s just a matter of time πŸ™‚

      Reply
  2. Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me
    January 7, 2014 at 6:13 am (4 years ago)

    I’m sure you won’t be surprised to learn that my middle was PETRIFIED of waves also, about a year ago, at just 3 years old, he would NOT go near them, scream and act like we were trying to kill him. Eventually we learned to let him play way up the foreshore and then as he grew confidence he came down further. Now he’s a fan of waves, even jumps in as far as his courage allows. I suppose it’s about realising that as little kids big waves and the fear of the unknown is a big deal. Go you guys for giving her the strength and patience – it’s not easy I know, especially when your child is screaming and everyone is staring!!!!!!!!!
    Lovely pic of you and so glad you had a break away from routine x

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 7, 2014 at 1:50 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you so much! It’s comforting to hear you have been through a similar fear with your little one and have worked through it. I can see it will just take time and patience. Just another excuse to have plenty of beach time this year πŸ™‚ x

      Reply
  3. Eleise @ A Very Blended Family
    January 7, 2014 at 7:06 am (4 years ago)

    Awww I am glad that she started to enjoy it, the waves are scary! I think all children go through a period of being scared of the water and the unknown. I know the beginning of last summer my daughter didn’t want to swim in the big pool because she was scared, but letting her play in the toddler pool gave her the confidence to get back in the big pool. Lagoons are a great way for them to get their confidence back. I need to take my girls to the beach more often, I tend to favour the pool.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 7, 2014 at 1:51 pm (4 years ago)

      Yes, we have definitely favoured the pool, but I’ll try to take them to the beach more often now. A lagoon is a great idea. Thanks!

      Reply
  4. Katie (@mumabytes)
    January 7, 2014 at 7:37 am (4 years ago)

    Waves are pretty scary, the poor thing. She will get past it, like you said, slowly, slowly is the way, so as not to freak her out. They need to go at their own pace. My little monkey is the opposite, but it is equally frustrating and worrying. She charges right into waves with complete disregard for the danger – I’m a bit of a stress head at the beach nowadays for that reason. It’s hard work holidaying with kids – you’ve got 2 under 5 so it’s double trouble! So glad you had a lovely break, you deserve it. Hope you’re all set for a great year ahead πŸ™‚ xoxo

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 7, 2014 at 1:52 pm (4 years ago)

      Thanks so much, Katie. Yep, I am excited about the year ahead πŸ™‚ Your little one sounds like a real cheeky monkey. I can see how it would be worrying for you also. It’s hard to keep an eye on them at the beach. xxoo

      Reply
  5. Kylez @ A Study in Contradictions
    January 7, 2014 at 9:43 am (4 years ago)

    So far I’ve hd two holidays with the kids, one to Port Stephens in November, and the other to my sister’s place in Wagga last week. The girls were surprisingly good I have to say, and luckily for us Punky is a total water-babe and loves the beach. The only problems we encountered were on the last days, they were both so over it, which meant that the drives home (Port 2.5hrs, Wagga almost 5 hours) were not much fun with screaming, sooking children. I think our next holiday will be 2 nights instead of 3, that seems to be their limit!
    #teamIBOT

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 7, 2014 at 1:53 pm (4 years ago)

      Wow. That is really a long drive with two little ones. Good on you for making it through. I’m glad you were all able to enjoy your break away!

      Reply
  6. lisa
    January 7, 2014 at 10:43 am (4 years ago)

    We have had mainly camping holidays with our 3 boys (some in caravan parks & others free camping) and a couple of holidays interstate in self-serviced apartments-I think holidays get better as the kids get older and more independent. It is really just “change location” holiday when they are babies or toddlers. But glad you & your family got some time away-breaks are so important.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 7, 2014 at 1:54 pm (4 years ago)

      They sure are Lisa. You sounds like you’re an old hand at them. My husband has threatened camping, but I’m not keen until the girls are much older πŸ™‚

      Reply
  7. Grace
    January 7, 2014 at 11:03 am (4 years ago)

    So cute! So glad she finally got to enjoy the ocean. The twinions love the beach but it took a couple of goes.
    I think the thing is, as the ocean can be unpredictable, that can be a little scary for a little one. And it’s just so, so big and vast!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 7, 2014 at 1:55 pm (4 years ago)

      Yeah that’s right. It must be so big and noisy to them and I can definitely see how it would be scary to them. That’s awesome your boys love the water. Mini surfer dudes in the making πŸ™‚

      Reply
  8. Deb @ home life simplified
    January 7, 2014 at 11:03 am (4 years ago)

    So glad she found her own groove. It is so hard to remember their perspective for things like this. My kids were slowly slowly until recently (like after 7yo lol). Xxx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 7, 2014 at 1:56 pm (4 years ago)

      Lol. So I may have a long way to go then, Deb πŸ™‚ xx

      Reply
  9. Sam Stone (@A Life on Venus)
    January 7, 2014 at 11:58 am (4 years ago)

    I am glad that you had moments of happiness Renee πŸ™‚
    We took our daughter to Hawaii when she was three and she loved it. She couldn’t really swim by herself then so Hubby or I always took her into the ocean. At first she was a bit fearful because it was different but in the end she loved it.
    I think with kids it just takes time for them to get used to something new.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 7, 2014 at 1:57 pm (4 years ago)

      Yes, I think you’re right. Wow, what a lovely holiday for you all. Hawaii is magic. What a special holiday for you all x

      Reply
  10. Kate
    January 7, 2014 at 1:52 pm (4 years ago)

    When the kids are so young, it isn’t really a ‘holiday’ at all but it is definitely an experience! Well done for persevering and good on you for still being able to count the blessings x

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 7, 2014 at 9:22 pm (4 years ago)

      No, it’s not really a holiday is it lol. I’m sure it will get easier as the get older x

      Reply
  11. ClaireyHewitt
    January 7, 2014 at 3:26 pm (4 years ago)

    We are big fans of the short break and take many each year, the kids always love it too. The worst bit for me is always the unpacking when we get home, we just always take SO much stuff.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 7, 2014 at 9:08 pm (4 years ago)

      Oh, I know! There is no such thing as travelling lightly with kids πŸ™‚

      Reply
  12. Tegan
    January 7, 2014 at 3:26 pm (4 years ago)

    We’ve only gone on holidays as a family last year and they were both beach ones. Mr 4 is definitely a beach babe but is still pretty wary of the waves. On the weekend was the first time that he went a bit deeper than past his ankles and it was so great watching him run in and out of the water with his dad.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 7, 2014 at 9:09 pm (4 years ago)

      That sounds awesome, Tegan. Sounds like you guys will have plenty more fun beach holidays on the cards in the future.

      Reply
  13. Zanni Louise
    January 7, 2014 at 7:34 pm (4 years ago)

    Holidays definitely change when you have kids…and I am not sure if they are always the most relaxing things. But you guys look like you had a great time, and beach is always good for the soul. Hope it gave you some restoration before the working year kicked in xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 7, 2014 at 9:10 pm (4 years ago)

      It sure is good for the soul, Zanni. I was able to sneak away for a couple of good swims and it made a world of difference xx

      Reply
  14. EssentiallyJess
    January 7, 2014 at 8:32 pm (4 years ago)

    My eldest loved water and couldn’t wait to get in it, and then the next three have all been much more cautious! They have found the love eventually, but it took me a while to realise that their personalities, need a slow approach at their own speed. Not like me just trying to make them get over it and find the fun!
    So glad you had a lovely time at the end, and I bet the next trip will be even more amazing xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 7, 2014 at 9:11 pm (4 years ago)

      Thanks Jess. I sure hope so. It’s interesting how some kids love it and others take a little while. We’ll get there eventually xx

      Reply
  15. SarahD @SnippetsandSpirits
    January 7, 2014 at 10:53 pm (4 years ago)

    This is one of the classic mistakes we make. We have this image in our heads of how wonderful a trip to the beach is going to be only to have the reality slap you in the face with hot sand, sun, wind, flies and scared children. Take her beach combing next time with a little guide book she will love it. It is always good to get aways from the mundane though escape the house and chill at the beach. Glad you got to have a little family holiday !

    Reply
  16. Annaleis from Teapots and Tractors
    January 7, 2014 at 11:13 pm (4 years ago)

    I have one who spent a lot of time on the towel two Summers ago. I just made sure everyone else had fun and when she was ready she dipped her toe. Fast forward 2 years and I had to swim out to get her from out of the waves just last week because at 4 and a half she was way more confident than she needed to be and poor Mummy was needing her to get out of the water. Keep trying.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 8, 2014 at 6:06 am (4 years ago)

      Thanks Annaleis. Yes, I think it’s just a matter of patient persistence. That’s great your little one is a real water babe now πŸ™‚

      Reply
  17. Carolyn @ Champagne Cartel
    January 8, 2014 at 7:00 am (4 years ago)

    Gorgeous pics, Renee! I can totally relate – we went away with our three in October for a beautiful beach holiday only to find Miss 1 hated the beach, hated the hotel pool and didn’t sleep more than three hours at a time overnight the whole week. But, like you, amongst the chaos and – I’ll admit – disappointment and frustration, we had some beautiful moments too. Hopefully we’ve been through our most challenging holidays now and the next one will be smooth sailing for us all!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 8, 2014 at 1:09 pm (4 years ago)

      God, I hope so, Carolyn πŸ™‚ It can be really tough with and on the little ones. I guess the only answer is to have more holidays to get them used to it πŸ™‚

      Reply
  18. Toni
    January 8, 2014 at 11:32 am (4 years ago)

    I can’t even imagine contemplating a holiday with bubba yet. I remember when we were younger we went to the beach all the time. I loved it, but I’m still scared of the waves. I much prefer the calm water.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 8, 2014 at 1:10 pm (4 years ago)

      Yes, I wouldn’t contemplate a holiday with a bub as young as yours yet either πŸ™‚ It won’t be long though πŸ™‚

      Reply
  19. NΓ©e Say
    January 8, 2014 at 9:44 pm (4 years ago)

    So glad Miss Three got over her fear of the ocean. Imagine how much more fun the next trip will be πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 8, 2014 at 9:49 pm (4 years ago)

      We’re a long way off yet, but we’ve definitely made some progress πŸ™‚ Thanks for dropping in πŸ™‚

      Reply
  20. Sheridan
    January 9, 2014 at 10:53 am (4 years ago)

    My youngest step son was deathly afraid of seaweed so if there was any on the sand he would demand to be carried and stay right out of the water unless he was picked up. The unknown and gross things touching you in the water. I totally get it!
    He still isn’t a fan four yrs down the track but he definitely loves the water now.
    Glad you got the opportunity to take your fam on a mini break.
    Visiting from IBOT!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 9, 2014 at 4:22 pm (4 years ago)

      I totally agree with your son. Seaweed is seriously gross. Isn’t it funny how they have their little ‘things’? πŸ™‚ I’m glad he loves the water now πŸ™‚

      Reply
  21. Lisa@RandomActsOfZen
    January 9, 2014 at 3:16 pm (4 years ago)

    So good to hear that you ended up having good times Renee. I know with mine, it has to be in her own time, it’s just not worth the struggle if they’re too scared. And anyway, maybe all those other kids started their beach time in the same way, who knows.
    I’m happy that you got some well-earned time away. Happy 2014 gorgeous xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 9, 2014 at 4:19 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you so much, Lisa. Happy new year to you too! Yes, you’re right. I don’t know how those kids started out. Probably the same way as mine. Thanks for popping in xx

      Reply
  22. Bec | Mumma Tells
    January 10, 2014 at 2:02 pm (4 years ago)

    I LOVE that last photo of you and Miss One. Beautiful. I found our first getaway with Big was initially overwhelming for her. But once she settled into it – brilliant! It was her first real experience of the beach and the perfect getaway. So glad you had the chance to take some time together like this as a little family. It’s the stuff of memories. X

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 10, 2014 at 7:57 pm (4 years ago)

      That is awesome. I’m so glad your little big girl loved her first time at the beach!!! The first of many fun times I’m sure xx

      Reply
  23. Josefa @always Josefa
    January 14, 2014 at 7:28 pm (4 years ago)

    Your holiday looks just perfect to me – screaming little ones and all – we have been on so many family holidays now that I have finally learnt to leave any expectations behind and just be. Tantrums and all! xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 14, 2014 at 8:57 pm (4 years ago)

      I think that’s a really good idea, Josefa. Lucky my husband is as chilled as he is and helps me to try to just go with the flow. xx

      Reply
  24. Sonia Life Love Hiccups
    January 15, 2014 at 4:50 pm (4 years ago)

    oh bless her – she just needed to get used to it in her own time. So glad it all turned out te way you had imagined hun and that last photo is one to treasure forever as it is just gorgeous. Holidays for us involve lots of the are we there yets too, and one of mine has a real fear of eating food in foreign countries. I have no idea why, but he just wants apples when we travel. xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      January 15, 2014 at 9:03 pm (4 years ago)

      Lol. That is so cute. That made me think of a friend who doesn’t like to try anything different food wise. He only ever wants meat and three veg πŸ™‚ x

      Reply

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