Last weekend we went on our first ‘family of 5’ getaway (just us!) down to Margaret River. Hubby surprised me by booking ‘a weekend of fun and relaxation’ for Mother’s Day… I’m thinking there must be a second weekend coming up where he’s just booked the ‘relaxation’ part for me though 😋
In the days leading up to the trip, I wrote my list of packing essentials, did the last minute washing of anything that we needed to take and started piling up a few things ready to pack. The plan for the Friday morning was to throw the bags (& half the house) into the car and be on the road in time for the twins to have their morning nap on the way down. Sounding pretty organised for a little weekend getaway right..? Well as you know, nothing goes quite to plan when you throw kids into the mix. So instead of the relaxed morning that I had planned, the kid’s plans were to be hyped up and going crazy (Isaac), to be clingy and unsettled every time we tried to put her down (Evie), and to adventurously explore everything whilst getting hurt in the process (Noah). Needless to say, there ended up being the usual stress-fuelled spouse disagreements over why certain things weren’t done earlier, we ended up getting on the road later than planned, and there was silence (on my part) for the first 15 minutes, as I sat there bitterly thinking it would have been easier if we’d just stayed home.
The trip then turned a corner when both of the twins fell asleep and Isaac settled into asking his 50,000 ‘why?’ questions. Just as I started to relax, thinking that things were going to plan and the twins would sleep until we got halfway and could stop for lunch, Isaac decided it would be an appropriate time to belt out the ‘Bob the Builder’ theme song. This resulted in the twins waking after only 30 minutes, becoming unsettled and wanting feeds earlier than planned *cue first pit stop*. We got back on the road (surprisingly still heading towards Margaret River) and I received a text message from my beautiful sister telling me that she’d booked me a relaxation massage for the next day and to enjoy our weekend away – her timing couldn’t have been more perfect! After a great lunch stop with some seagull chasing, a play on the playground and some truck watching, we finally arrived at the resort (a 2.5 hour journey stretched to 5 hours) and got settled in. While Adam fed the twins their dinner, Isaac and I put on our gumboots and went searching for some puddles. We then had dinner in (some amazing local Fish & Chips) and called it a day.. well after the usual toddler bedtime fiasco 🙈
The next day couldn’t have started any better! We fed the twins their breakfast and then headed out for our own breakfast. Everything went smoothly from finding a great café with enough highchairs for the twins (big win!), great food / coffee, Isaac behaving like an angel, and the twins being easily entertained. We then went on a drive to a few places, with a playground break and chocolate stop getting us through until we ended up back at the resort, where all the kids had a sleep while I snuck out and enjoyed the most amazing relaxation massage ever!! (So lucky!!) I floated back home and once the kids woke up we all went out for a walk and early dinner. It was our first dinner outing with just us and the kids and.. it was hard work! Isaac was not interested in sitting in his chair (nothing could distract him) and the twins weren’t too happy either. We certainly learnt our limits, but we didn’t let it ruin the fantastic day we’d had. We went back to the resort, got the kids into bed, and I organised our clothes for the next day and packed up most of our things to ease the pain of the morning checkout. Adam and I then sat and relaxed on the lounge together and enjoyed having no dishes to do or house to tidy (another win!).
Sunday morning went relatively smooth again with Adam packing up the car whilst I entertained the kids. We checked out and set off on our drive to the Yallingup Shearing Shed, via a coffee and bakery stop. We had been looking forward to the Shearing Shed all weekend as this was our biggest treat for Isaac and we were excited for him to see and do something special. It did not disappoint, and he had a great time feeding and petting sheep and watching the shearing and sheepdog shows. We stopped in Dunsborough for a picnic lunch and then made the journey home. Once again, the car ride didn’t quite go to plan with out of sync naps, more stops than planned, and that last 20-odd minutes where everyone is a bit fed up and just wants to get home, but it wasn’t anything a bit of a sing-a-long couldn’t fix!
All in all, we had a great time! We got ourselves out of the house and got to take the kids (especially our eldest) out for some fun adventures. We got to test what works for us (breakfasts for now, no dinners out) and we were reminded of the beautiful place we live and how lucky we are to have our family of 5! On the car ride down Mr 3yo said to us ‘I love you so much, I love having you in my team’ and that’s what we are, a great big team of 5 who love doing life together!
For those travelling with young kids (especially a 2yo and 9mo twins), I’ve included my survival tips below:
- Pack plenty of wipes
- Bring extra clothes for messy activities
- Plan but also be flexible
- ABC – Avocados, Bananas & Cereal – makes feeding the twins whilst out & about so much easier (hubby did the banana part :P)
- Pack some toys to entertain the kids whilst out or just whilst back at your accommodation
- Always allow extra time for travel
- Don’t forget sleeping bags, blankies, music etc for making bedtime as easy as possible
- Enjoy making memories!