Ah, holidays. Usually for us, the family break means one week. So far it’s always been somewhere in the UK, and we keep our fingers and toes crossed for tropical weather.
It’s just the 3 of us – hubby, 4-year-old daughter Bodhi Rae and me, and, since she was born, we’ve opted for places offering creche facilities, babysitters on site and all manner of everything for kids.
Most recently we stayed at Ickworth Manor in Suffolk, which provides the luxury of 2 hours of free creche services a day.
In addition we had a babysitter come round at 7.30pm (at extra cost – though baby listening is free) so we could have dinner together in the hotel, child-free – and it was bliss.
I was tempted too by the Sunday morning option, when someone will pick your child up from your room and take them to breakfast for an hour so you can have a lie-in. Heaven on a plate.
Our little one was fine when we left her – with the babysitter and at creche. Though, when I totted it up, it meant Bodhi Rae was being looked after by someone else for 5 hours every day of our holiday.
Which would have been 7 hours if we’d gone for the afternoon option too.
Gulp. Was that a lot? Should I feel guilty?
I had a hunch that when I (inevitably) wrote an article on this topic I might just get a few parents telling me they go on holiday to spend time WITH their child.
And I get it. I do. But you know, she had a great time. Being an only child means she doesn’t have a buddy her own age on tap.
So creches can be great for her – she even made a BFF at the hotel, a little girl who loved Bodhi Rae so much she wrote a letter which was waiting for us on our return to East London. Awww.
And we did get to be together as a family – when mummy and daddy were so relaxed and happy, enjoying time with our daughter, swimming and going on treasure hunts – but also knowing we had 6 date nights in a row to enjoy as well. How often does that happen?
Truth be told it didn’t happen in the end. On the third day of our trip I got a call to say my mum was critically ill in intensive care and I decided to return home and leave hubby and daughter to enjoy the remaining days without me. *Sigh*
But what I’d had of the holiday had been wonderful, and even only having half of it I felt utterly refreshed.
Now it’s back to the 9am to 5pm grind and putting £100 in a tin each month to save for the same holiday next year and – yes – we’ll be looking for the babysitting again.
What do you think?
Do you put your child into daycare when you go on holiday? Or do you think that’s a waste of precious family time? Tell us in the comments below or over on Facebook
For more info on Ickworth Manor
Ickworth Manor in Suffolk is part of the Luxury Family Hotels group, which offers luxurious escapism for all the family, which you can enjoy together or separately thanks to a varied range of childcare options, at 8 different hotels around the UK.
At Ickworth, there’s a walled fairy garden, a fabulously warm indoor pool, air hockey, badminton and bikes (you can even take your pets).
So that parents don’t have to bring huge amounts of luggage from home, changing mats, nappy bins and travel cots are supplied to those with babies whilst steam sterilisers, bottle warmers, and fridges are also available on request. There is even a bugaboo pushchair on site to save having to squeeze it into the car.
The Lodge is ideal for families who might want a little more room and independence and it’s also available for exclusive use for big family/friend gatherings.