Why it is so Important to Switch Off Once in a While

Ta-da-ta-da-ta-da-tada…. The music from Jaws played in my ears: “We do apologize, but there may be no working wifi in your cottage when you arrive” said the email. A nervous smile hit my face.
Of course, we are going on vacation and we are not planning to use gadgets all the time. But with three kids… I hate to admit it, but if I want to at least to make a cup of coffee – let alone drink it – I have to let them watch something. And nowadays that needs wifi. Not to mention work emails, keeping in touch with my clients etc etc etc.
So, the 10-hour drive to Scotland was fine. We downloaded some cartoons, the kids were entertained, they slept, they read some books, they enjoyed the vies, they played some games. We survived. I kept thinking that soon it’ll start – the unavoidable boredom of my kids of all that. But it didn’t.
We arrived at our cottage at night and went to sleep almost immediately.
Day 1 was easy. Everything was new. Kids were exploring. We were having quality family time together and having fun. But I had that little clock ticking, knowing that soon everything new will become old and kids will lose their interest… and then it’ll start. The nightmare of a holiday with two toddlers and an almost-a-teen… I found a hill with working wifi and have been checking working emails. I have just finished my Christmas mini photo session and was worried if all clients received everything. Then one of my regular clients, who is now a friend wrote to me: Just relax, Marina. Switch off and relax.
Such a simple, but necessary advice. Sometimes we just don’t know when it’time to really do it – switch off from the internet, work, our hectic lives… and just be in that moment.
I looked around me. Here I was – in magnificent Scotland highlands, way different from our usual Lincolnshire scenery. And I was missing it. Thinking that kids would get bored when they weren’t, thinking of work when all my clients were already busy with Christmas preparations, worrying constantly… I took a deep breath and threw my phone to my bag. My kids were watching sheep who grazed, totally mesmerized but what they saw. At that moment I noticed that a little baby deer appeared from absolutely nowhere and joined the sheep. Like a little sign, that switching off was the right thing to do.
A week went by like in a dream. And yes – we had our disastrous moments (after all – it’s life, not a magical fairytale) – but there were so many beautiful moments too – my two youngest started to really play with each other (not just stealing each other toys), my oldest started to write a book (which is so impressive for a 9 year old), we cooked together and they’ve tried so many new things (both boys have ASD and this is a big step for them), they actually posed for a few photos together (all three have PCS – Photographers Child Syndrome – inability to pose and pure hatred for cameras) and we’ve even had a few family pics taken by my photographer-friend, who was staying nearby.
Why am I sharing this – I have no idea if I am honest! But probably because us mums are used to being worried all the time and in the little vacations that we do get to relax we just keep going stressing out about things that don’t really matter. Switch off. Be in that moment with your family. Enjoy it. I know I will. From now on.

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