For the last 8 years, I have run my own business. It has come with some challenges but also some massive WOW moments. Being self-employed it now a way of life for me and our family. It is what we know and I know that […]
When you are a single parent you get into your groove. I have got used to the daily routine of parenting solo. But changes from the norm can sometimes bring chaos. Planning a single parent holiday can be daunting and stressful. But I like most single parents still want my children to travel and explore new places.
Holidaying alone with children can be nerve-racking and lonely. Yes, I hear you say how can it be lonely when you have the kids in tow. But in the evenings when they are off playing and in bed, it can lonely sitting on your own feeling like a spare part. Recently we came across a fantastic new business specialising in single parent holidays. Melon Holidays organise single-parent families in the UK and Overseas.
Also, another headache for single parents is time! I always short of it as being the only adult in a very busy house with 5 children, I’m always busy being mum, working, being housekeeper and taxi driver. So I don’t have hours on end to trawl the internet to find the perfect place for our family holidays. So with the lazy side of me coming out, I love the fact that someone else has researched the location and negotiated the 1 adult occupancy and so on.
This Easter we tested out their new glamping holiday in Lancashire. I have only camped once before with the kids but that was with my extended family. So hadn’t thought about camping with the kids alone. Glamping had crossed my mind because it wouldn’t mean me having to single-handedly put up a tent. This single parent holiday was based at The Hamlet in the grounds of Samlesbury Hall. The Hamlet is made up of brightly coloured shepherds huts. It is like a mini village as the kids called it. The huts are well equipped with en-suite shower and toilet. They had very comfort oak double bunk beds which easily slept 4 of us. the old two slept in a pod just yards away. Meaning they could have their own time.
The way the huts are set out means that you can get you know your melon neighbours without being on under each other’s feet. The whole site is very safe and secure meaning the kids have some freedom to explore. There is also crazy golf, a bee centre and mini farm on site.
The site was lovely and relaxed. Melon holidays help single parents to meet new families on their holidays. But as they are not fully escorted holidays it is up to you as an individual to dip in and out as you please. Our family spend some time alone doing our own thing and other times we joined in with other families. This meant that the parents could chat while the kids play together.
There is so much do to locally from visiting the Discovery Centre at Fairhaven to heading to Blackpool for a lively few hours. When we stayed the weather was a little wet but we still found lots to do. We spend a good few hours exploring Samlesbury Hall and learning about its history. There is also a fab adventure playground for the kids to run off some energy in.
As well as UK glamping breaks, Melon Holidays also organiser overseas trips. I am loving the look for their October break to Alcudia, who doesn’t need a bit of sun before winter sets in.
Disclaimer : We were offered a glamping trip with Melon Holidays in return for an honest review. All views, words and pictures are my own.
Recently the kids checked out the Mardles – The Egg Who Couldn’t Wait book and Mardles Cutie Stickers. Mardles bring characters to life with their augmented app. The app is quick and easy to download on Apple Store, Google Play and Amazon Apps. Once you have […]
I work for myself and I have to say that I love it. For years I have found the flexibility to work around the kids a godsend. Before all of them went to school fulltime in September. I managed to work with a preschooler buzzing around the house. Always looking forward to the other children being off on school holidays. Meaning we could enjoy being together and the lack of routine. But since they have all been in school full time, the school holidays are getting harder. I feel terrible for writing this but surely I’m not the only one finding it a challenge.
I love spending time with the kids, but life gets in the way. The bigger they get the more inquisitive they get constantly asking questions. This is essential for them to learn so I don’t want to put a dampener on that one. but how many whys can you answer in one day?
Then there’s the mess, 4 lots of toys out at once, no one owns up to who made what mess. Meaning a trail of devastation that no one wants to clear up as it wasn’t them. With the mess, we might as well pair up the arguing. Seriously I have to watch them like hawks to see who causes each argument. When I am in another room, it is usually about 10 minutes before someone storms off, something goes flying or someone is screaming out.
I try my hardest to keep the kids entertained with days out and breaks away. But with all the best intentions we can’t can’t be out all the time. Even when we are out at least one child wants to be home. I understand that the 16 yo doesn’t want to trail along with us all the time and that is fine. However, the 11yo seems to think as her older sister stays how she can too. She feels hard done by having to trail along. This holiday we have had a glamping trip away and several days out with friends. So you would think on they could nicely watch a film and chill for a few hours on the days I need to work, but no!
The work thing also now stresses me as I used to be able to catch up in the evenings when the kids went to bed during the holidays. Nowadays I am so blooming exhausted once they all go to bed due to later bedtimes now they are old. I usually collapse in a heap on the sofa.
I really want to focus on the good times with them as they are growing too quickly and before I know it they will have all flown the nest. So for the future half terms, I am going to make a decent plan. Meaning we can all enjoy it. I will be looking into holiday clubs and Grandma Daycare for a few days. So they are happy and entertained whilst I work. And make sure I plan ahead with work, not leaving me trying to meet deadline whilst they are requiring my attention. As they are now away from me at school a good chunk of their time. Then throw in all the afterschool clubs and other stress.
This has ultimately reminded me of the most important lesson in parenting. Which is never think you have it nailed as there is always a curveball on the horizon. Forever a learner!
Our Favourite Merlin Days Out
If you follow our family on Instagram you will see we love our Merlin Annual Passes. Brought on a whim in their sale in 2016 I wasn’t sure how much we would use them but we have got our monies worth. We have had lots of fantastic days out so I’m sharing the paces we will definitely be returning to.
- Chessington World of Adventures – I have very fond childhood memories of visiting Chessington Zoo with my family, there was only a few rides then and lots of animals. So the park has certainly changed over the years with many more rides but also plenty of animals too. As the kids range so widely in age 4 years to 16 years. It is sometimes difficult to keep them all happy. But Chessington has something for every one of them. And lots of things we all love, last year they have added the Gruffalo Ride to replace the famous Bubbleworks. I wasn’t so sure and the Gruffalo seems to have been overdone, but our family verdict was we loved it. A few of my thrill seekers love to ride the Vampire Ride, whilst the less brave of the family can have a merrier time on the Adventure Tree.
- Warwick Castle – last year when we first visited Warwick Castle we weren’t sure what to expect, but it was great fun with the Horrible Histories Maze, exploring the Castle itself, the younger girls loved meeting the Princess in her tower. But in 2016 the highlight of the day was the jousting. Then last year they have upped their game with War of the Roses Live, a fast-paced live show with horse and knights.
- Alton Towers – October 2016 we hired a cottage near Alton Towers so we could go for a few days. Then explore other places locally. Well there was so much to do we spent 5 out of our 7 days in the park. CbeebiesLand is great and all the kids loved it. Even the teen well she is a first generation Cbeebies baby. When she was little we only got an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon. Very different from nowadays when the kids get to have a permanent fix of Cbeebies. There is the big thrill seeker rides that T wanted to go on but The Smiler was probably my least favourite experience of the day. We also spent a whole day at the Waterpark, which was great too.
- Weymouth Sealife Centre – Is a great day out if the weather is good. It has a fab splash park, so the kids always have a blast in that. Last year they added a new adventure playground too, Carribean Cove. It’s location is a winner too, more or less on Weymouth seafront. So once we finish at the Sealife centre we can head across the road for a paddle and even fish and chips on the beach.