The saying goes: “a change is as good as a holiday”, but I never really understood what that meant until Cassie came into our lives. Every single moment of family time we get together is so cherished. Our lives are so incredibly busy that within a few short months of being a mum, I began to realise that holidays weren’t just about relaxing and unwinding as they were in the past. They were about creating memories as a family and taking time out to enjoy each others’ company.
When Cassie was just 8 weeks old, we found ourselves with a whole week free to ourselves as the excitement of Christmas died down and we welcomed in the New Year. We made a spur of the moment decision to road trip it from Sydney to Brisbane to visit my best friend. This is what memories are made of.
Everyone tells you that babies come with a lot of stuff. In this case, everyone is right. Stroller, carrier, bottles, clothes, port-a-cot, bedding, toys...the list goes on and our car filled up quickly. Very, very quickly. The admin was overwhelming, as we packed and piled everything into our car while tending to the needs of our two-month-old baby – but we made it, and we couldn’t have been happier.
The trip was a whirlwind of late night feeds, restaurant visits timed around feeds, settling a screaming baby while we drove and breastfeeding wherever and whenever. But the other side of it was truly magical and meant nothing else mattered. We watched Cassie’s eyes widen in delight when we took her to the butterfly sanctuary. We laughed as her tiny toes hit the ocean and waves gently splashed against her for the first time while she took it all in. We felt so blessed as we hiked to an amazing waterfall and enjoyed some time out as a family, and we felt so much love as my best friend met Cassie for the first time.
We had those down days where we stayed put in the hotel to catch our breath, as Cassie happily played with her favourite toys. Anything that rattled or made a little noise caught her attention and would captivate her for minutes on end. It was no different to how we would spend our afternoons at home, but we felt so far away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life that we found we were able to appreciate these little moments so much more.
I hope there will be many more holidays as a family in the future, but this one will always be my most treasured. The sleepless nights and uncertainty of caring for a newborn are all but a blur, but this holiday we took together is firmly stored away in my memory bank. Change really is as good as a holiday – and when you are sharing it with those you love most, it is even better.