The Childfree Life

When having it all, means not having kids
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 Post subject: Kids on holidays
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:58 am 
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So we just got back from our Scandinavian adventure. It was brilliant. I just couldn't understand the people with kids. Ok so they have traveled there and the kid is screaming, everyone looks miserable, is that worth it?

The kids on the plane crying, waiting in airport queues crying, having a melt down in the museum.

The teenagers at the fort screaming and squealing, ok great, I can walk away, what about the parents, its constant for them.

They can have it, they can tell me I'm missing out. Sure, they can keep telling themselves that, their faces tell a different story.

To truly enjoy nature you need to be quiet, that is not happening with children present.


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 Post subject: Re: Kids on holidays
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:54 am 
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I've always said that "kids" and "holidays" don't belong in the same sentence. How is there anything relaxing about taking a kid on holiday? They're out of their routine, so they're overstimulated and hyped up. They have new opportunities for getting into trouble, and trying to Darwinize themselves - drowning in the sea, wandering away and getting lost, stepping into traffic on the wrong side of the road. The food is strange, which makes picky eaters a nightmare, and makes most kids sick. Time changes fuck up their sleep, and therefore their parents sleep. This is relaxing? And even better, you paid good money for this?

I suppose it's okay if you can afford to jam them in kids club all day and get shitfaced on the beach. But most parents can't.

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 Post subject: Re: Kids on holidays
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:25 pm 
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I have wondered the same things myself.

Someone I was friends with in college tried to post "cheery" reports on their vacation when her kids were like 8 and 5, and though she tried to spin it all as positive, fun, family learning time it was clear the kids were alternating between crabby and hyper, and they wound up cutting it from a week to four days because the kids just couldn't hack it and the fun factor was plummeting. She tried to spin that as splitting it between "vacation" and "staycation", but honestly reading between the lines I could tell they basically came home and spent those three days recovering and trying to get the kids back into a normal routine.

Because she's often put on a "perfect" act I found the whole thing evilly funny.

Vacation with kids sounds like misery to me...especially the way a lot of parents do vacations. They plan big trips to Disney, etc. My parents generally took us on road trips to visit family, and I'm sure we were bratty little shits at times, too. I'm sure my parents were miserable at times, too. But they weren't making things worse by blowing a lot of time and $$ on a trip that required a super-fixed schedule. We'd spend the day on the road, but there's flexibility in that. Plus they weren't inflicting their kids on a planeload of innocent civilians.


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 Post subject: Re: Kids on holidays
PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 6:47 am 
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This is timely for me as a colleague is about to head off to Europe in a couple of weeks and they're taking their 10-year-old (who's not a very hardy kid, by the way). She's concerned about the limitations they'll have in terms of how much they'll be able to do each day, the impact of the time difference on the kid, not being able to go out in the evenings, etc. Her husband seems to think they'll be able to cover a lot of ground each day and she wants to temper his expectations because they're traveling with a child. Interestingly, DH and I went to the same destination in 2012 and a lot of the fun things we did in the same city, she and her husband won't be able to do because of having a kid with them (like a lovely food tour that hits up a couple of fancy bars).

You can certainly have a different kind of fun traveling with your kids, but I'm beyond grateful DH can just do the things we enjoy on vacation without have to worry about tempering our expectations!


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 Post subject: Re: Kids on holidays
PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 7:26 am 
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All this crap boils my piss, the number of parents I hear justifying taking kids out of school in term time or 'having' to have a foreign holiday on the basis of 'kids deserve a holiday too...'. I've yet to hear any kid say 'I really need a fortnight's break on a Spanish beach' or 'I really want to see The Eiffel Tower and visit The Louvre', it's all bollocks.

I also think taking kids to Museums, Art Galleries and historic sites is a big fat waste of time and money. I love this sort of stuff, but I certainly didn't as a kid or teenager (with the exception of The Planetarium which I couldn't enough of). Getting dragged off to some Roman ruins or other on a school field trip wasn't my idea of fun, but as an adult I feel completely differently.
I think people come to these things in their own good time, I just don't believe forcing a kid around these types of locations sparks any kind of interest or broadens their minds, if they're not already interested. Plonking most 11 year olds in front of 'The Nightwatch' isn't going to inspire some kind of epiphany about the love of fine art especially when they'd rather be with their mates playing Grand Theft Auto.

Why do parents think that their kids are going to be different to every other kid or how they were as a child and teenager. What goes on in a parents head that they think their kid isn't going to be wanting to do the same things as they did? I wish I had a quid for every mother I met who thought her kids weren't doing the same things as she and the baby daddy were doing at the same age.

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 Post subject: Re: Kids on holidays
PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 7:38 am 
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A lot of parents (who can afford it) seem to prioritize travel for their children these days, saying things like "my parents never took us anywhere exotic so we think it's important for our kids to experience the world..." etc. etc. The colleague I mentioned above says they need to go abroad now that he's old enough to remember the trip. In my mind, remembering and appreciating are very different things. My parents never took me anywhere but I loved my summers playing with friends in my backyard. I didn't leave Canada until I was 24, when I went abroad on my own dime, and fell in love with travel from then on. I don't think I could have appreciated big trips as a child. My friend takes her kids to Paris and says they have to hang out in parks a lot. Well, they could do that right here! What's enriching about a kid playing in the dirt in France as opposed to playing in the dirt at home?

I'd cry if I finally got to Paris and had to spend all day pushing kids on a swing. :( Meh.


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 Post subject: Re: Kids on holidays
PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 7:54 am 
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Location: North Wales, UK
Exactly Laces, you've hit the nail on the head, remembering is not the same as appreciating or enjoying.

I did get taken on foreign holidays as a kid, because my dad was very good at winning competitions from the newspapers. All I can remember about Barcelona was getting prickly heat and chapped thighs from all the walking around and that is it. I know I've been to Sagrada Familia but all I recall is being hot, upset, bloody uncomfortable and doubtless getting on every adults nerves because I was crying and being petulant. Who could blame me when I was rashy, sticky, somewhere I didn't want to be, doing things I didn't want to do and having no control over it.

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 Post subject: Re: Kids on holidays
PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 1:57 am 
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All so true. A lot of our friends take their kids to the beach and stay at places that are set up for kids with big jumping castles etc. The kids all run around and play with each other and the parents kick back and relax.

We were tired with all the walking we did, A kid would never be able to do that.

I remember a work colleague taking their kid to New York. She had to spend half of each day in a nearby park to their Air B&B as their kid was tired and couldn't handle it. I remember thinking, what a waste of time, just stay at home and go to the park.


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 Post subject: Re: Kids on holidays
PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 8:42 am 
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Quote:
I also think taking kids to Museums, Art Galleries and historic sites is a big fat waste of time and money. I love this sort of stuff, but I certainly didn't as a kid or teenager (with the exception of The Planetarium which I couldn't enough of). Getting dragged off to some Roman ruins or other on a school field trip wasn't my idea of fun, but as an adult I feel completely differently.
I think people come to these things in their own good time, I just don't believe forcing a kid around these types of locations sparks any kind of interest or broadens their minds, if they're not already interested.
This is me too. I love museums and ruins as an adult, but as a child/teen, I would rather have had a tooth pulled than be dragged to some museum on a field trip. Granted, some museums are a lot more interactive and less stuffy than they were back then, but that doesn't include The Louvre.

Given that we lived in New Zealand and my parents weren't rich, I didn't get to go "abroad" (to Australia) until I was 16. But I have wonderful memories of some of the holidays we did take - camping in the tent, long days running on the beach and the grass with other kids, while the parents got drunk over lunch and fell asleep in the sun all afternoon. THAT was a relaxing holiday for everyone, and I certainly never felt that I was missing any "culture".

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 Post subject: Re: Kids on holidays
PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 8:18 pm 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
^^Same here. My parents weren’t rich, and we have a cottage, so every single vacation I went on as a kid was to the cottage. I didn’t travel abroad until I was well into my 20s (and even then, it was to the US for a conference).

Guess what? I don’t feel like I missed out on much. I have tons of happy memories of the cottage - swimming in the lake, going to the park every morning, morning and evening walks with my parents, birdwatching, playing board games, the friends I made while I was there - lots of stuff. None of this involved getting on a plane or being dragged all over creation doing stuff that kids find boring as shit. Did I get a little bored at the cottage on rainy days or once a week when we had to go to the laundromat? Sure, but my parents hadn’t paid an arm and a leg for the vacation, and furthermore, we’d be going to the same place the next year. Wasn’t like we were going to miss out on a ton of stuff I was cranky for a day.

Now, of course, husband and I enjoy travelling, but we still try to make it up to the cottage at least a couple times a year. The cats love it there too (except for the whole getting-in-the-car-to-go-there part - we’re still working on that).


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