Kids’ clubs on holiday. Ooh that was once a controversial topic. I don’t know what the current thinking is. Are they frowned upon by people who don’t understand the concept of: parents need a break too?
“You have kids and then don’t even want to spend time with them on your family holiday” – people have been known to say.
In the past, I have been known to say, in response to this: “fuck off!”
Everyone who owns small children knows that holidays are not what they were pre-kids. In fact, there should be an alternative word for a holiday with your kids, that probably wouldn’t include the word, ‘holiday’. A few weeks before, the anticipation is great. A few days before and you are feeling completely overwhelmed by the sheer scale of the task of packing for babies/toddlers/checking partner’s/if you’ve got time, you throw in a bikini and a sarong for yourself. By the time you get to the airport, you are heading straight for the Wetherspoons, or, if you’re lucky, the lounge where you feast on the complimentary drinks, while your kids are already wondering who this person is and when can they have a break from this stressed out individual – hey parents, we need a holiday too!.
A holiday by a pool seemed like a brilliant idea back in January, when all you could dream about was sun. When you descend on the pool on your first morning, however, the reality is that none of your children can swim and you have to be on it like a hawk. You buy yourself a cocktail just because it makes you feel grown-up, oh and as if you are on holiday. It then sits getting warm next to the Kindle that is switched off and realistically, will remain switched off for the duration. The 3 s’s: sun cream, sand and smalls – nuff said. If you are clever, you have somehow managed to bribe grandparents into joining you – probably on the proviso that they will get to spend quality time with their grand kids (mwahahaha). If you didn’t do this, you may well find yourself booking them in to the kids’ club, whilst alleviating your guilt in the knowledge that if you didn’t, you may well kill them and that they are just going to have so much fun in there with all those other little monkeys, who are muttering away to each other over the craft of the day: call this a holiday? I can do this crap at home.
My ex and I used to go on holiday to a hotel in Scotland, where there was a kids’ club. That’s why we went to that hotel. Recently the girls were talking about those holidays and one of them said that they had hated the kids’ club. Next thing I know, they’re all muttering in agreement. Rubbish! I told them. You loved going to that club. Admittedly it was run by a Scottish matriarch whom everyone, including the parents were terrified of. Every morning there was a long queue of hungover parents, waiting patiently in silence, counting down the minutes until they were next to sign for three hours of freedom. A couple of times we went to this hotel with my sisters. One morning my little sister decided to have a laugh with our brother in law by pretending to admire his new phone, whilst changing his ring tone. This particular morning we were all standing ashen and silent in the long queue, when my brother in law’s phone boomed out: “I’m hung like a donkey!” in an Alan Partridge voice. The matriarch didn’t look best pleased and it did cross my mind that she never treated our kids the same after that.
So where do you stand on this one? Are you putting your kids in a kids’ club while you relax by a pool this summer, or are you of the opinion that holidays are for the family to spend all the time together. Don’t worry if you feel this way. I won’t swear at you, because my kids can swim, put on their own sun cream and pour my wine when I am stuck to the sun lounger. There is light at the end of a very long tunnel. Happy holidays 🙂