In the past month, we’ve been in Paris, Brussels, St Ives and we’re on our way to Portugal to end off a very busy month. And those destinations don’t account for the work done in our hometown and nearby. We’ve been burning the candles at both ends, trying to make the most of the wonderful places we’ve been as well as getting the work done and we consequently found ourselves yesterday with a huge mound of washing, a backlog of emails and we were really REALLY tired!!
We are very lucky to have an extremely supportive family and yesterday our Mums took a couple of bags of washing each and a couple of bags filled with charity shop donations each. It was an enormous weight off our shoulders to say the least! Our always chaotic home is now back in its (still chaotic but that’s how we like it!) order and our bags are packed for a week in Portugal!
It’s a special trip as its a commemorative week to celebrate my brothers 21st birthday, my 30th and Dad’s 65th. We’re going to a villa we’ve been to several times before but it’s the first time it’s not just the three of us Lade’s! This landmark year we’re accompanied by my husband and baby, and my brothers girlfriend. It will technically be our fourth flight of the month (and our seasoned travelling daughters fourth flight of her little life so far!) but this time, when we arrive, the only thing we’ll need to do is pick up the hire car and head to the supermarket for supplies for a relaxing week in the sun!
When we get home, we’ll have a backlog of emails and the day we land we have to head straight to a theatre festival dinner event we’re guests at, so it’ll be business as usual but I think one of the reasons we’re able to do it all is because we really really love it!
Last week we hosted a theatre group at home while my husband choreographed their fights and I provided a lunch for them all whilst Scarlett happily played in her little adventure area, we also spent three days in a theatre in St Ives working on a production of West Side Story whilst chatting to cast and crew for an article I’m writing. In the same trip, as we were in such a beautiful town, we also went on a boat trip to see seals at the aptly named Seal Island(!) and had a fantastic Eurovision Song Contest party at the aforementioned theatre! A lot of people commented on how well Scarlett slept anywhere despite the noise and how happily she played and spent time with everyone whilst there were loud sound effects and so much going on. This is down to the fact that her entire life has been spent in and around theatres! She’s very used to our world of chaos and ridiculousness! So much so, it’s now mundane enough to sleep through a lot of the time!
Our priority of course is always Scarlett’s welfare, we make sure she’s got enough to eat, drink and schedule in enough time for her to sleep. She gets lots of interaction with other children who similarly spend a lot of time in theatres as well as children with more ‘traditional’ upbringings, and she also is very comfortable in the company of other adults from all walks of life. She does not suffer from our lifestyle, our opinion is that she hugely benefits from it. In the month of May as we have not yet had a quiet day, it’s only us that realise how tired we are from our schedules!
Whilst we’re away, our Mums will be making our lives a bit easier by going through our washing, and my Dad and brother will be making the week slightly easier by giving us a bit of time throughout the week to have some child free relaxing time (and of course Dad made the whole thing possible by sorting the holiday in the first place!).
All in all, my point is that we’re often asked how we do it all and the truth is, we couldn’t if it weren’t for our supportive and loving family! Between the four Grandparents, two Uncles and Aunties, we have eight people who are always at the end of the phone when we need to ask for last minute babysitting, or a lift somewhere, or (and often most importantly!) an ear at the end of the phone.
I’ve spoken before about the fact that my parents are divorced and have been for many years but they did it for my brother and I (and having both lived with them as a married couple, we can both confirm they made the best decision!). I’m not being flippant, my parents are a fantastic team, they are a real example of how to ‘break up a family’ correctly. Because they made that decision we are all able to now spend Christmasses all together and other important events. When Scarlett was born; they both, together, welcomed the three of us home from the hospital with a big (and very welcomed!) lunch and had decorated our lounge with ‘baby girl’ balloons and banners. Many people comment on how well they get on and how they can’t believe they’re not a couple. But believe me they’re not! I don’t think either of them will mind me saying that as a romantic pairing, they’re a disaster!! But both my brother and I always toast their wedding anniversary, half as a joke (we’ve always been wind up merchants and it’s fun to mock them both, it’s a kids prerogative!) but half as a toast, not to their marriage, but to their parenting partnership. I don’t know any other couple that divorced so well..! They are still a divorced couple however and so this week in Portugal, we’re going with Dad and not Mum, and we’re chatting to Mum about arranging a trip away at some point which Dad won’t be invited to! They both have a very close bond with Scarlett and although they’re in different situations, neither has a better or worse deal than the other.
Likewise, on the other side, Scarlett spends one day a week with her paternal Grandparents and always comes back (usually with a couple of tell tale cake crumbs or icecream marks!) having visited a lot of the locally based family. We are certainly not doing this alone!
My husband and I are slightly different. Just in general! Compared to the rest of our family, we have a very ridiculous lifestyle and have provided our parents and siblings with plenty of eye rolls and knowing glances over the years. Before we joined up to be ridiculous together, we were both individually ridiculous and caused our relations all kinds of hassle in the years before we sorted ourselves out and carved the road we’re now on. And even now, when we’re financially comfortable, and successful in our careers with a happy, healthy daughter, they still all come round sometimes to find us surrounded by washing because we’ve decided getting EVERYTHING out of the wardrobe to have a sort out the day before we go abroad would be a good idea…! Luckily, as we will always do with Scarlett, we’re not yet old enough to stop getting treated to the odd takeaway curry, or the washing up getting magically done, and as many more adulter adults (it’s a phrase..) than us have confirmed, we are unlikely to ever get too old to be able to go to our parents, it’s the joy of the lifelong contract you unknowingly sign when you first discover you’re going to be a parent! And hopefully when Scarlett chooses her own path in life, however chaotic or different to our own tastes it may be, we will always provide a crash mat for her to fall back on in case things don’t turn out as she hopes, or just for those days she needs to fall back for a little rest and a cuddle!
So thank you Mum and Dad (and Mum and Dad in law!) no children really thank their parents enough and we’re just the same but hopefully they all know how much we appreciate them. They all tell us to slow down a bit or try and relax more and even as they say it, I think they know we will mean to (really!) but probably won’t(!). None of us would be without our parents, and one day we sadly will have to be, so in the meantime; sorry for not slowing down (this is an apology in advance but we think you know this..!), sorry we don’t thank you all enough and thank you, for everything.