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What to Expect on a Night Away with a Toddler (when you’re not Expecting!!)

We all just returned from a fun weekend in Chester for my step dad’s 50th with a toddler. My sis in law had found a cool house for us all to stay in for 2 nights and we hit the zoo, had a meal and chilled out. We took the gremlin of course and my ever growing bump enjoyed the ride!

The gremlin was the gremlin. She had late nights so was tired but was also her usual vivacious, hungry, attention-loving, early rising self.

I think after a couple of nights of gremlin life my bro and wife were ready for the off switch (unfortunately doesn’t happen when you have a toddler or any age children for that matter!) The gremlin was noisy, chatty, woke the house up and was pretty demanding at times but hey ho? Part and parcel of an almost 3 year old eh?

For us maybe. For those not with children no and it is tough and lets say challenging…

Which made me think, what should you expect going away with kids when you’re not expecting or don’t have the gremlin experience that we have everyday?

1) Sleep. Forget it. It is likely there will be a call out during the night; a bad dream, the duvet has moved, they are lying on their best snuggly…..whatever!! They will wake early. They will have verbal diarrhoea and they will want to come and see you. Game playing starts immediately after breakfast don’t you know?!


2) Lunchtime can be anything from 11.30 onwards. So forget having that brunch. Their hanger isn’t worth it so save some room!


3) Whining is standard. It becomes like white noise to parents. They tune it out but be prepared to want to murder them for the constant moaning! The wrong person is pushing the buggy. They don’t like this. They want an ice-cream, a drink, a cuddle, a wee…..there is no other being in the Universe but the gremlin!!


4) Things will get trashed. Food platters, party decorations, displays, piles of clothes. Everything and anything is something to do and will get played with, no matter how long you have spent arranging.

5) Don’t think you can sit and chill on the sofa. Every minute of the day is playtime. You are a perfect accessory and have to be involved in every made up game whether you can be arsed or not. That cup of tea will be monitored until every last drop is consumed and you can get up and PLAY!

6) Adult conversation? What’s that. You are fighting to get a word in edge ways with a small person who will get louder and louder until you acknowledge them (usually to tell them to wait to talk!!)

7) Bedtime will get delayed. We are out of routine. We are away. 8pm sadly becomes 9pm! That kid-free window becomes a slit.

8) Us parents will then mong out. Gone are the late nights drinking, playing games and dicking around. How many hours will it be until we get awoken?!

So those of you not expecting or not with littlies just yet have a think before you accompany your friends and family with kids. It’s exhausting, frustrating, sleep-less, loud and you are on kids rules BUT it is also a whole lot of fun too!



  1. August 1, 2016 / 6:51 am

    I can imagine your little family with the gremlin. I am sure they were loving it all though. Hope you had a nice time #MarvMondays

  2. August 1, 2016 / 8:03 am

    Haha love this. As parents we take it all as part of everyday life but if you don’t have kids it can be a bit of a shock! Xx

  3. August 1, 2016 / 8:56 am

    Haha, all very true! I’m sure your family loved it though 🙂 #MarvMondays

  4. S and b mama
    August 1, 2016 / 9:43 am

    True, true and true. I’m glad you all had a nice time x

  5. Kim (sisterkin)
    August 1, 2016 / 1:07 pm

    Ha, this is great! Yes, as a parent you kinda forget what it is like to have an uninterrupted conversation or a relaxing long drawn-out meal. Family members should be forewarned and come armed with haribos and endless patience. #MarvMondays

  6. August 1, 2016 / 4:26 pm

    This made me chuckle – when we went away with family in the past we’d all fight over who had to share with whichever sibling has the smallest kids at the time – now we are the ones everyone is trying to avoid! It’s funny how quickly you get used to it though. #fartglitter

  7. Mama, My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows
    August 1, 2016 / 5:21 pm

    Yes, this all sounds very familiar. Really looking forward to coming to stay in a few weeks. At least we’re prepared although we will be adding to every point on this list with our own little terror xxx


  8. Squirmy Popple
    August 1, 2016 / 7:31 pm

    Awww, Chester – I used to live there! We’re attempted our first holiday with the Popple now that she’s technically a small toddler in a few weeks. She’s started sleeping so well, and I know it’s all going to go out the window when we’re away. I’m prepared to bribe her with ALL THE SNACKS in order to get some peace and quiet. #fartglitter

  9. August 1, 2016 / 9:12 pm

    Yes this is soooo true!! I think K&P may have discovered this on holiday this year, oops. Popping over from #marvmondays

  10. August 1, 2016 / 11:12 pm

    At least you avoided the trip to the hospital by paying such close attention and never taking a moment off. Yay you! (It gets better)

  11. August 2, 2016 / 3:47 pm

    I so know where you are coming from on this one. Hence after staying with my sister in Easter we wont be doing it again. #MarvMondays

  12. August 2, 2016 / 7:38 pm

    I know exactly what you mean. We have just become so accustomed to the constant noise and mayhem, but I can see my (child free) sister and her hubby’s eyes start to twitch after a few hours of it, let alone a whole weekend together! It’s definitely a shock to the non parental system. (But good fun!)
    Thanks for linking with #fartglitter xx

    • August 3, 2016 / 1:24 pm

      Only me again lovely! Thanks for hosting #bestandworst xx

  13. yvonne
    August 2, 2016 / 8:32 pm

    Nodding along to all of these, especially number 6! I am good at talking but my little boy is an expert! x #fartglitter

    • yvonne
      August 4, 2016 / 7:49 pm

      Popping back again from #bestandworst

  14. From Day Dot
    August 3, 2016 / 8:31 am

    Oh it sounds exhausting!! She looks really cute and I imagine it is a lot of fun as you say, but I’m worn out from just reading about it let alone doing it myself! #bestandworst

  15. Rach
    August 3, 2016 / 8:31 am

    I have to be honest, an 8pm bedtime sounds like bliss – it’s 9pm in this house – and that’s early! In all seriousness it does sound bloody exhausting this going away with kids lark, I’ve only done it once and my son was a baby and it wasn’t too bad (despite the fact he had a stomach bug). I know that when we attempt it in October (Peppa Pig world – think of me won’t you) it’s gonna me an um experience shall we say? #bestandworst

  16. August 3, 2016 / 10:24 am

    It has been a long day here. Everything you say is true; on repeat! #bestandworst

  17. August 3, 2016 / 11:00 am

    I kind of feel sorry for adults when they first experience the relentlessness of having kids around. They kind of get that shell shocked look, don’t they! Ha ha sounds like you had fun though! x #bestandworst

  18. August 3, 2016 / 12:11 pm

    Oh no, my eldest is nearly 15 months so all of this is literally around the corner for me! Glad you had a good break, bet you need a holiday to get over that one though!


  19. August 3, 2016 / 1:27 pm

    Its how completely endless it is that surprises people. There really is no break whatsoever. #bestandworst

  20. August 3, 2016 / 4:14 pm

    I know for a fact my sister doesn’t relish the idea of going on holiday with us – why would you if you don’t have kids?! #bestandworst

  21. August 3, 2016 / 5:17 pm

    Brilliant post. So true. Those without kids don’t know the REAL shit that parenting brings along, but they also don’t know how lovely and awesome and amazing these littles can make our lives! Despite all the tantrums and the exhaustion.

  22. mummy here and there
    August 3, 2016 / 5:35 pm

    Nodding to all basically everything gets up heaved and routine gets throw out of the window but at least their is ice cream to consume and enjoy 😉 x #bestandworst

  23. Nige
    August 3, 2016 / 7:20 pm

    Everything so very true fab photos lovely post thanks for hosting #bestandworst

  24. Caroline
    August 3, 2016 / 7:39 pm

    Sounds like a fabulous weekend break 🙂

    • Caroline
      August 3, 2016 / 7:40 pm

      Forgot to add the #BestandWorst tag x

  25. Kaye
    August 3, 2016 / 7:41 pm

    Those poor child-less people we inflict our children on, haha. I suppose it’s good practice for those won are considering children in the future. Hope you’re all well & bump! Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays. Kaye xo

  26. August 3, 2016 / 7:57 pm

    I remember the days! I’ve just written a post about parents and non-parents actually which I’ll be sharing soon. Non -parents don’t know what’s hit them when they spend time with small children do they? It must come as such a shock. The whole world revolves around these demanding small beings. I love Chester, in fact I’m off that way tomorrow. Great post Tor xx #bestandworst

  27. Briony
    August 3, 2016 / 9:35 pm

    The whining, dear god the whining. I have indeed tuned it out but I should imagine it drives the rest of my family crazy. Hope you had a fab time. Was Chester zoo good? #bestandworst

  28. August 3, 2016 / 10:17 pm

    Yeah, I dont think anything could have prepared me for the endless WHINING that they’re capable of. Jealous of your 8pm bedtimes though, ours is meant to be 7.30 and ends up being closer to 10 before he actually sleeps! #bestandworst xxx

  29. Lex @ Mumisthewordblog
    August 4, 2016 / 10:58 am

    Such a true and relatable post. I always over organise when having overnight stays. I don’t think you can be too prepared for different scenarios haha. Sounds as if you had an amazing trip! #bestandworst

  30. August 4, 2016 / 11:25 am

    This is so very true, but I’m sure it was a lovely time with your family! We’ve experienced all this from just starting the summer holidays eeeek xx #bestandworst

  31. Something Crunchy Mummy
    August 4, 2016 / 8:34 pm

    This is brilliant and definitely a very accurate account of a parents everyday life! It’s hard going away with non parents but they know what they are getting! #bestandworst xx

  32. Something Crunchy Mummy
    August 4, 2016 / 8:34 pm

    This is brilliant and definitely a very accurate account of a parents everyday life! It’s hard going away with non parents but they know what they are getting! #bestandworst xx

  33. August 4, 2016 / 8:50 pm

    You’ve pretty much described our holiday to Center Parcs!


  34. August 5, 2016 / 7:40 am

    Love your honesty here! I think it can def be a little tough for childless relatives to holiday with your kids but I always say “You think this is bad, at least your lives go back to normal when you get home – this IS my life!” I love T being around my family as they graciously help me to keep him occupied which is a big relief – and, like you say, we have fun too xx #marvmondays

  35. Jaki
    August 5, 2016 / 11:08 am

    So SO true!! It’s a challenge but fun at the same time – I recently had TWO weeks of this in Portugal. Bedtime for EJ was sometimes 10PM and STILL he was awake with the sunrise! I wouldn’t have changed it for the world though, reading your post makes me realise it’s all completely normal! #fartglitter

  36. August 5, 2016 / 1:24 pm

    This is great haha! I remember our last hotel night away with the kids! exhausting haha

  37. August 6, 2016 / 1:05 pm

    You forget once you have kids just what life was like before. We just take it in our stride but it must be a bit of a shock to those who haven’t experienced it yet! Great and funny list. #BestandWorst

  38. August 6, 2016 / 10:38 pm

    This is all, sadly, so true!! The noise is just relentless and my boy wakes up even earlier when we’re away. I’m used to Leo’s noise and craziness but my family always find it a shock!xx #bestandworst

  39. August 7, 2016 / 8:24 pm

    This is exactly right! Toddlers take no prisoners and they like everyone to be involved with everything. From early starts to endless ice creams. This did make me chuckle! #bestandworst

  40. August 9, 2016 / 11:43 pm

    The moaning kilss me. I need to reach the white noise level. Do tell me where that is or how to do it, please! Argh… #fartglitter

  41. August 10, 2016 / 12:05 am

    Yes, that is all very true! People with no experience of kids must wonder why we are not all just making the whining stop (because we can’t)! #bestandworst