Restore

Restore: To return (something, esp a work of art or building) to an original or former condition. To bring back to health, good spirits, etc.

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You know the phrase ‘I didn’t know how hungry I was until I ate something?’ or ‘I didn’t realise I was so poorly until I felt better?’ Well now I’ve invented a new one….’I didn’t realise how much we needed a family holiday together until we had one!’

For the last two glorious weeks we have been in France, staying in an old and crumbling gite near Royan, which is on the west coast near Bordeaux. Just the five of us for two whole weeks. The last time we went on holiday abroad for two weeks was four years ago, and then only week of it was just us as a family (then only four of us) and the last week was with my mum, brother and sister-in-law. It was the holiday where we got engaged, proposed to at Mont St Michel and it was lovely, but not in the same way as this. This has been magical. We have slotted into a relaxed, carefree routine and blended together as a family. Work and PND have not enabled that to happen for many reasons over the last year or so. My husband often works long hours and can be in Bristol on a Monday, Leeds on Tuesday, London on Wednesday and then Edinburgh at the end of the week. Sometimes we are definitely like ships that sail in the night and only have time for a brief ‘hello’ before tiredness sets in and one of us has dropped off to sleep on the sofa. We haven’t had a “date night’ when it has just been the two of us for at least the last six months, if not longer. And often the children see daddy briefly in the morning as he’s rushing out of the door or for a bit before bedtime. Weekends are also often so busy visiting lovely family and friends that again it’s never just us. In essence we’ve almost been too busy to be a family.

So last year when I wasn’t very well and it was a difficult time for us all, my husband thought it a good idea for us all to have something to look forward to. A two week holiday in one of my favourite places, where I used to holiday as a child and is filled with wonderful happy memories. We saved up and found a gite we could afford. The gite is very traditional and is a bit tired and things tend to fall apart in your hands the minute you touch them, but it’s been our home for the past two weeks and has been fantastic!

Somehow France has worked it’s magic. It’s relaxed us all; the 12 year old has had less hormonal moments than usual and even the 1 year old has been sleeping! Work and the groundhog repetitiveness of everyday life have been forgotten. The silly things my husband and I used to bicker about no longer important. I’ve actually managed to read two whole books and I haven’t worn any make up or done my hair once! It’s been so refreshing!

But more important than all of that is the little traditions and memories we are making as a family. Songs on the radio that become our French holiday songs. Games on the beach and in the sea that become our holiday games. Time spent making wonderful memories for the children to look back on when they are grown up, just as I have been remembering my wonderful holidays from when I was a child. You can read a poem I have written about building memories here. And also, in the evenings when the children are all in bed, my husband and I have had precious time to ourselves, time where we’re not too exhausted to have a conversation, time to listen to each other and laugh.

I know we’ve been very lucky to have been able to afford a holiday abroad (next year we will almost certainly holiday at home) and that this holiday as been the perfect first one as a family of five. We shall all treasure it forever and need to remember how important time as a family is. It is so easy to get eaten up by everyday life and all of the cr** that it can bring so….my mid-year resolution is to make sure that we have more time together as a family….and that my husband and I will have that all elusive ‘date night!’





26 Comments on Restore

  1. Afra Willmore
    August 19, 2013 at 7:34 am (4 years ago)

    Lovely post. Sounds like it was just what you needed. And a gorgeous picture.

    Reply
    • InstinctiveMum
      August 19, 2013 at 7:37 am (4 years ago)

      Thank you! Was just what the doctor ordered lol!!

      Reply
  2. Galina V
    August 19, 2013 at 7:55 am (4 years ago)

    A beautiful nostalgic photo! Sounds like a great holiday. I would imagine you will all treasure the memories for many years to come.

    Reply
    • InstinctiveMum
      August 21, 2013 at 2:46 pm (4 years ago)

      It was just perfect! The first of many lovely family holidays I hope!

      Reply
  3. Distressed Housewife
    August 19, 2013 at 7:57 am (4 years ago)

    This sounds so idyllic, glad you had such a lovely, relaxing time. It’s so important having time as a family but somehow so hard to fit it in! Lovely post x

    Reply
    • InstinctiveMum
      August 21, 2013 at 2:46 pm (4 years ago)

      So hard to fit in, but we’ve all vowed to do it more!

      Reply
  4. pinkoddy
    August 19, 2013 at 8:49 am (4 years ago)

    I am so glad you had a lovely holiday together – especially that much needed time. Am pleased to hear that it was just what you needed.

    Reply
    • InstinctiveMum
      August 21, 2013 at 2:47 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you, still feeling great from it now!

      Reply
  5. Coombe Mill (Fiona) (@coombemill)
    August 19, 2013 at 9:31 am (4 years ago)

    Family time together is a must, i can vouch for that. Even though we run and live our holiday dream we are away as a family in France now too. Glad your trip hit the spot for you all. Popping over from what’s the Story.

    Reply
    • InstinctiveMum
      August 21, 2013 at 2:47 pm (4 years ago)

      Oh I hope you have a lovely time while you’re in France! Your place is on our list for future family holidays! 😉

      Reply
  6. Lou Lake-Views
    August 19, 2013 at 11:44 am (4 years ago)

    It’s all too easy to get caught up in life that we forget to live isn’t it. It sounds like a perfect holiday and I’m really pleased you all had a lovely family time together.

    Reply
    • InstinctiveMum
      August 21, 2013 at 2:48 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you! We have a day out at the beach planned for this weekend for more family time!

      Reply
  7. Jaime Oliver
    August 19, 2013 at 1:06 pm (4 years ago)

    awwww honey i am so so pleased you got that essential magic time!!

    thank you for linking up with #MagicMoments x

    Reply
    • InstinctiveMum
      August 21, 2013 at 2:48 pm (4 years ago)

      Pleasure as always, and thank you x

      Reply
  8. Mummy Wife Woman
    August 19, 2013 at 2:51 pm (4 years ago)

    Such a wonderful post. Im glad that you got the quality family time you needed most of all. Im hoping our upcoming holiday (next week) works its magic for us too. Itll be our first family holiday!

    Reply
    • InstinctiveMum
      August 21, 2013 at 2:48 pm (4 years ago)

      Ah first family holidays are the best, I hope you have a wonderful time! X

      Reply
  9. Cathie B
    August 19, 2013 at 7:08 pm (4 years ago)

    Have read this with a massive lump in my throat. What a beautiful post and so pleased you have this amazing family holiday. #Whatsthestory

    Reply
  10. Mummy Zen
    August 19, 2013 at 7:38 pm (4 years ago)

    Sounds perfect! I wrote about our holiday last week too and mentioned the fact I read a book during the time away – unheard of during ‘normal’ life! It’s so nice to have the quality time together as a family too. So glad you had a wonderful time!

    Reply
    • InstinctiveMum
      August 21, 2013 at 2:50 pm (4 years ago)

      Lol I’ve realised when I could be book reading at home I’m normally on Twitter! Must read more at home!

      Reply
  11. Mumof2.com
    August 19, 2013 at 8:37 pm (4 years ago)

    I love holidays like that and more importantly ones that do us the world of good!! P.S – enjoy date night! x

    Reply
    • InstinctiveMum
      August 21, 2013 at 2:50 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you, date night date has been set! 😉

      Reply
  12. Iona@redpeffer
    August 19, 2013 at 8:50 pm (4 years ago)

    How lovely for you all to be able to enjoy such a lot of quality time together. Holidays can be brilliant for re-energising you. So glad you all had such a fabulous time and somewhere so special.

    Reply
    • InstinctiveMum
      August 21, 2013 at 2:50 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you! Glad you had a wonderful holiday too! 🙂

      Reply
  13. lauren
    August 22, 2013 at 8:56 am (4 years ago)

    You write beautifully. I’ve really enjoyed reading your posts. I’m off to France next week so I had a particular interest in this, and you’ve really made me look forward to going now. One year since my daughter was born, and a chance to restore and rest….

    Reply
    • InstinctiveMum
      August 25, 2013 at 6:19 pm (4 years ago)

      France is perfect for family holidays, I hope you and your family have a brilliant time and come home rested and restored x

      Reply

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