Mummy stuff, Summer, Travelling

Somewhere else the sun is shining

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When you are stuck between volatile childcare arrangements, too much to do and too little time to accomplish any of your smaller and greater plans, it’s easy to forget that behind the clouds, the sun is shining. I have been taking some time off – off the computer, off bars raised too high and off this so-called summer.

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On a bit of a whim, we had booked a week in St Tropez, and even when our flights to Nice got cancelled the day before our departure, we stuck to the plan and ‘just’ jumped in the car, drove through the night and into the sunrise. 16 hours with two small kids in the car – and there they dare to say young parents weren’t spontaneous.

It’s been so worth it. Finally some sun on the skin, finally the beach, finally some sand between the toes. I have been going to St Tropez for ages – it’ll be 20 years next year – and I just don’t seem to tire of the place. I love it in the quieter season just before the high season. And I love seeing my girls grow fond of the little village just like I did.

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Spending time with the children and doing little else (France is a bit third world when it comes to Internet, really), I realised that although I have the fastest possible Internet connection at home, and emails, blogs and social media pour in over three different iCloud’ed devices, I get little more done than when I am on holiday. With the big difference that I am stressed about it at home and relaxed when I am not.

As a solution, I have decided to retire into permanent vacation.

I wish.

I have decided to lower my expectations. Before I left, I had been working on an exciting project. But I had felt nothing but frustration about it, as I couldn’t give it the attention and time it needs and deserves. As long as the Pea doesn’t start nursery, I will be unable to get stuck in any kind of work that requires more than 20 minutes of my undivided attention. I can cut out an hour here and there, even a whole morning once in a while, but that’s about it.

I don’t want to feel frustrated or discontented, especially not around the girls. I just don’t do frustrated.

We will spend the coming couple of weeks in the park and on playdates, meeting friends for lunch and vandalising museums. There’s another family holiday coming up, after that it’s BIG school for Lil’ L and a couple of mornings nursery for the Pea, who’s first birthday it is in September. Time flies. And is way too precious to be spent frustrated.


  1. Lucky you, the sun isn’t shining here in London.
    I completely associate with what you are going through right now, and know how quickly my girls are growing up… it is very frustrating not to be able to do things like before having Olivia as I had all this free time when Isabelle was at aschool , but wouldn’t swap it for anything in this world! We missed you at Britmums!

  2. Julie says

    Deb, I totally agree with everything you say, time is precious with babies, they arent babies for long, and too much time is wasted worrying about ‘things’ I constantly feel stressed out, shoulders up round my ears and really I should just take life with a pinch of salt and a swig of tequilla…. well maybe not tequilla as I hate the stuff
    J x

  3. Ulli says

    That sounds lovely….and much needed. The weather has been abysmal here.

  4. Totally true- my youngest is nine months and it’s gone in the blink of an eye- there will always be time to work when they’ve flown the coop, now’s the time to cherish it!

  5. Yes, I try to remember these quotes: “will this matter a year from now” and “when nothing goes right, go left” and another favourite: “Turn off your computer and go outside”. Enjoy you summer break, your girls will never be that young again, sending you positive energy 😉

  6. Big M says

    You forgot to mention that we called our trip the pre-vacation vacation. Helps in getting ready for getting ready for vacation, makes sense doesn’t it…

  7. You’re absolutely right D…you can’t do everything at once. If you try you only end up doing half the things half decently – been there. And thats not a great option when it comes to parenting. You sound like me – always putting so much pressure on yourself. Good decision and enjoy the summer. Can’t believe that Lil’ L starts school in Sept! Where are the years going?? xxx

  8. Spot on! We booked a very last minute trip to Greece a few weeks ago because we really wanted to get away and get some sunshine (our ‘proper and planned’ holiday is not until next month). We spent pretty much the entire holiday disconnected from the rest of the world. It is the best feeling ever – just being with your loved ones without worrying about anything else. x

  9. I completely know where you are coming from having gone back to work last year after 1 months at home with my first and now balancing full time work with pretty much full time childcare morning and evenings…:-)

  10. Nothing like a break away to put things into perspective. Sounds like this was the best thing to do and came at just the right time. Always good to take a step back once in a while and re-evaluate a situation. I also find it so tough trying to get anything done while looking after the kiddies, there just isn’t a stretch of time that you can commit your energy to and it ends up being a lose/lose situation. I’m sure you’ll notice a massive change once school and nursery start up in September (that is until the holidays come round!) xx

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