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Dublin: 9°C Wednesday 20 October 2021

Holidays over for another year? Here are 10 pluses to returning home that will cheer you up

Home Sweet Home carries many fringe benefits, particularly if you have kids, writes Claire Micks.

Claire Micks

I HAD TO grin and bear it. Smile, and nod graciously (albeit through gritted teeth), when asked upon my return to work, whether I had a nice “break”. Whether I’d had a good “rest”. “Yes, lovely thanks”, I routinely replied. As if ten days in the exclusive company of a two and a four year old equates, by any measure, to ‘down time’. Holiday? What holiday?

Now don’t get me wrong. We had a lovely time, we really did. And there was a definite sense of satisfaction at the end of it. But it was more of the kind that I got after summiting Kilimanjaro, than the kind you would expect to feel at the end of say, a fortnight in the sun. Or, perhaps a similar sense of accomplishment to that which pilgrims get after a weekend at Lough Derg? It was an achievement more than a vacation. All cooped up in confined quarters trying very hard to hold our patience day in day out as little people (along with the Irish weather) did their damndest to break us.

shutterstock_29603536 File Photo Source: Shutterstock/Kzenon

A week minding your own kids 24/7, for most of us working parents, is a much more demanding task than a week spent behind the desk. And that being the case, there are more than a few pluses to returning home to normality. Yes, Home Sweet Home carries many fringe benefits, particularly if you have kids.

1. Not being held hostage by the Irish weather. Oh, the sheer relief of watching Evelyn Cusack of an evening, and not feeling your stomach clench at prospect of another day trapped in a holiday home in the ****end of nowhere, with a broken DVD player and a couple of cabin fevered kids. Bring on your Orange Weather Warnings, Met Eireann. I’m no longer at your mercy. I will watch your torrential down pours from the comfort of my office/ car/ playroom. Not stranded on a remote beach somewhere eating soggy sandwiches, or in the car park of Fota Wildlife Park.

2. Digestive system (slowly) returning to normal. Long journeys. Fry ups (or baguettes/ pizza’s/pasta if abroad) along with the complete absence of any kind of veg, play havoc with my ‘constitution’. Sometimes the simple pleasures in life are the ones we value (and miss) the most. Oh, the joy of something approaching a normal routine. On all fronts.

3. No more ‘Are we having fun yet!!!’ pressure. There is nothing quite like having shelled out a few hundred quid, and dragged the kids and most of the contents of the house halfway across the country, to make you feel as if you are obliged to have a good time. (And leave you feeling more than slightly frustrated if you don’t). Much easier I find to deal with a tantrum in the frozen food aisle in Super Valu, than in the foyer of a four star hotel with only American tourists looking on.

4. Your Own Bed. Enough said.

shutterstock_147955946 Source: Shutterstock/bikeriderlondon

5. The relief of knowing that the waist/bikini line can be left fallow for another year, safe in the knowledge that no further public exposure will be required until at least 2016. Pass the Minirolls there, would ya?

6. The simple glory of them becoming lost again in their own toys, and the half hours peace you will inevitably get as a result as they become reacquainted with their household friends. Who knew you would miss the trampoline, or Disney’s Princess Castle, quite so much?

7. Gorging on pre-recorded telly. Particularly if your diet has been limited to Bog a hAon and Bog a Do for the previous week.

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8. The availability of decent coffee. Yes, first world problems and all that I realise, but there are few more frustrating moments than being served luke warm mud masquerading as coffee, when you’ve been up since 5.30am because the curtains in the holiday home are pretty much transparent.

shutterstock_135676616 Source: Shutterstock/Viktoria Gavrilina

9. (Mothers only need read this one) Getting the laundry back under control. Utterly pathetic I know, but the festering five day old pyjama bottoms at the bottom of the suitcase were starting to eat away at my soul. No matter how hard I tried to forget about them. Pressing ‘Start’ on the washing machine had a strangely cathartic effect….

10. Someone else minding the kids. It’s official – stay at home mothers should be canonised. I practically skipped back into work. Because I no longer really see it as such. It is not gainful employment so much as an excuse for someone else to mind my kids. Oh the joy of nothing more demanding than phone and e-mail to contend with. Last time I checked no client, no matter how demanding, physically pulls at your trouser leg every two minutes shouting obscenities at you, or routinely expects you to do the necessary after a bathroom break. A comfy seat. An uninterrupted coffee. Adult company. Sounds like a pretty good holiday to me?

Claire Micks is an occasional writer. Read her columns for TheJournal.ie here.

Read: ‘My four year old is ready to start school, but am I?’>

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Claire Micks

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