A healing holiday?


This week’s Prompt from Sara over at Mum Turned Mom is this quote: In matters of healing the body or the mind, vacation is a true genius! Mehmet Murat ildan. Well, to be honest I’ve never taken a holiday to heal either my mind or body. I did go away on a family holiday with a five week old baby in 2012 though, and that was healing in many ways.

In those early days with my eldest I was pretty desperate and time with constant support from my family would have been amazing. Obviously that was never going to be the case as he came at the beginning of September. EJ on the other hand came at the end of July – the two of them bookmark the school summer holidays perfectly!

I was worried when my Mum first suggested a holiday at the end of August 2012 – the initial plan was to go to a fun holiday camp somewhere in Holland and it occurred to me that it must be pretty difficult to get a passport application (and photo) sorted for a couple of week old baby (although I’m sure people do it all the time!). Soon though the plan was changed to good old Devon – bit of a staycation instead.

My mum found a fab holiday farm which would accomodate 9 of us. It included an indoor pool which was fab for the kids but not so much for me. Women are generally advised not to go swimming much before six weeks after giving birth. I really had fun watching my brother in law fling JJ across the pool though much to his delight and hilarity – I’d never seen him so chilled out in the water before.

My mum cooked a few big family meals for us all and I’ll never forget one evening sitting down to a big cheesy cottage pie and JJ piping up by saying “mm this is Berry nice Grandma” – He was just about to turn three and it was the cutest little compliment ever!

We went on steam trains and the Rare Breeds farm near Totnes, we visited Salcombe Bay and went for a walk through Dartmoor (where JJ whizzed along so fast and furiously on his balance bike and managed to fall off grazing up his face in the process!).

We took a long boat trip down the Dart river from Dartmouth to Totnes and spent our evenings chatting amiably and taking it in turns to rock and cuddle the baby.

I think that, as women, we naturally go through a healing process after birth, physically, but it can take a long time to adjust mentally – first time round especially, but second time round there is also the adjustment to being a mum of two – learning how to deal with a toddler and a baby at the same time. Having something to look forward to and then company, support and people there to share in the lovely bits, if only for a week, was perfectly timed to make the adjustment a little easier and I will always treasure the memories of JJ’s last real holiday as the centre of attention in everything he said and did.