travel with me from SAHM to working mum….
Occasionally the tedium of the domestic bubble is relieved by a holiday. Holidays work best when they are either needed or activity-packed. Our New Year holiday was the latter. This is not to say that as a family we didn’t need a break but rather that skiing is so different from our usual existence that it provides perfect relaxation. This year not a flake of snow has fallen on the Surrey Hills. Gloves have been unnecessary.
We are fortunate to have been skiing almost every year since becoming a family. At first it provided the ultimate childcare break. Initially, as a SAHM I appreciated the on-site nurseries and nannies, snow rangers and kids’ clubs which enabled me to have a break from the children and enjoy long, uninterrupted hours with my husband. We generally stayed in chalet accommodation with other families, variously family, friends or strangers, generally in France, but occasionally Italy. The chalets were run by ‘gap yar’ seasonaires usually from one of the Home Counties (for my American followers, this is the posh bit around London). Food was variable: cordon bleu to dog’s dinner. Chalets were scruffy, home-from-home comfortable. But as the children grew and became competent skiers we decided to self-cater.
I don’t mean to knock self-catering, it has its place. It was certainly a relief to have a relaxing breakfast to our own timetable (one holiday, if you didn’t order a boiled egg 6mins before the end of breakfast then it was presented to you raw!) and better for the waistline not to eat three course meals with wine every night. But I did enjoy returning to a catered chalet again this year. What luxury to lounge on a sofa reading a book, play a game with the kids, or soak in the bath, while a meal is created for you in the next room. When all you have to do is heave yourself up from the sofa after a long day’s skiing and plonk yourself at the table. The food was good too. Nothing fancy, just freshly-prepared family food that the children did not have to be violently cajoled to eat. Mercifully no green peppercorns mistaken for pink (ouch! hot, hot, hot), or shards of glass in the chocolate mousse, although there was a concern about some undercooked chicken with bloody juices, but we can allow a teenage chef one small error.
For a SAHM a holiday can often be: ‘same shit, different sink’. Not having to think about food, be it shopping, which day to eat it, at what time, how hot the oven should be, wrestling with unfamiliar pots and pans, now that’s what I call a holiday. Husband, I know you spy on my blog, take note!