The Teaching Mum

A light-hearted look at parenting through the eyes of a very busy English Teacher.

Teaching Mum Learns the Hard Way on Holiday!


I need a holiday.

We have just returned from a wonderful family holiday at the Iberostar Fuerteventura Palace Hotel and I would highly recommend both the hotel and the resort.  But, this post is not a review – oh no, you know me better than that.  This post is about to explain to you why I started by telling you that I needed a holiday.

It all began with a simple comment from the Other Half on day one.  He had just emerged from the freezing pool where our girl had been holding him captive for three hours.  Withered like a prune with goosebumps covering his body, I beheld a broken man:

“Shall I see if I can get us an earlier flight home?  I can’t do this for another ten days.”

I opened my arms to him and gestured for him to come over.

“Don’t worry,” I said handing him a beer. “We’re on holiday.”

Our hands gently brushed as I passed him the drink; our eyes met and his lit up.

“Tag.  You’re it!”


I looked longingly over at my Kindle on the sunbed knowing that it would be at least four hours until I found out if Sansa was going to get pushed through the Moon Door by her Aunt Lysa.  (I’ve seen the series, so I know the answer, but the need was still great.)

Therefore, on the first day I learnt that in order to survive we needed to work as a team.  And so we did.  Never before have the Other Half and I been so in sync.

“We haven’t argued yet,” I noted as we were strolling down to dinner on the third evening.

“There’s no time,” he said, deflecting a low blow to the stomach from the girl for refusing to put her on his shoulders.

Unwittingly then, we became a tag team and spent the majority of the holiday at opposite sides of the complex.  This worked quite well in the early stages because the girl just wanted to play in the pool and the Dude wanted to go for walks and climb on anything that would put him in perilous danger.  Now, I hate being cold (and the pool was like ice), so more often that not, I spent the majority of my time peeling the Dude from walls, chairs, sun loungers, swings, slides, tables, the Fanta machine… where as the Other Half spent the majority of his time in the pool freezing while being continuously head-butted by a ‘shark’ donned in armbands, goggles and a cute tankini from Next.

Shark Attack!

However, in order to be a successful parenting tag team, there are rules you must abide by and it is important that you don’t become too cocky.  It is imperative that you choose a child* to tackle play with and there should be no crossovers and no blurring of the lines.  Because, once those lines start to blur, there is no going back.  Once you say ‘yes’ to your Other Half going to the Spar (of the shop kind) that is only ‘five minutes down the road’ then he will start to take liberties and by liberties, I mean that he will turn up two hours later with a half eaten bag of crisps and pictures of wild chipmunks on his iPhone.  Whilst this leisurely stroll and ‘once in a lifetime’ photo opportunity was taking place, you have been wrestling two kids in the pool (both of whom cannot swim unaided) while at the same time trying and failing to keep up a bikini you bought from Amazon that is too big on the boobs because you stupidly breast fed for fourteen months.  So, if you happened to be in the pool at the Fuerteventura Palace that day and you saw two small deflated lilos – it was probably me losing the battle with my bikini.

Excuse me. Can you tell me the furthest way to The Spar?

On a serious note, it is important to ensure that both you and your children stay protected from the sun at all times.  My children didn’t burn – thank goodness because the pain is terrible.  How do I know this?  I burnt.  Bad.  Usually, I am very cautious at applying cream.  However, a cool and very deceiving wind blew around the sunbeds and pool and because we were still learning how to become an awesome parenting tag team on the first day, my back went unprotected.  It had reached mid-afternoon before I asked my four year old to liberally apply cream to my back.  Reluctantly, she rubbed cream all over it for at least five seconds before giving it a quick slap, saying “all done” and running off back to the pool.

It wasn’t until we returned to the room when I looked in the mirror and realised that my back now resembled the scorched earth of Hell.

Always use suncream!

“It doesn’t hurt,” I said touching it.

By 7pm that evening, I was in agony and it continued for at least three more days.  The burn resulted in me wearing a t-shirt for the following three days which I suppose was a positive as it meant I didn’t accidently flash anyone in the pool.

I also learnt that applying sun-cream regularly helps with the preservation of your tan.  Days before the end of the holiday, my back began to peel.  And without going into too much detail the Other Half compared me to The Singing Detective infected with Greyscale.  My daughter though, she loved it.  Yes, she loved sitting on my back and slowly peeling the skin from it.  I was both disgusted in her for doing it and in myself for allowing her to do this in public, but the pull of my Kindle was just too strong now that I had finally started ‘A Feast for Crows’ and Tywin Lannister was dead.

Is it time for a nap?

Being only eighteen months old, the Dude still has a nap in the afternoon.  On holiday, I learnt that it was better for me  for him to have two naps a day.  After a few days, I had managed to time these to perfection.  He had a nap at 11am and 4pm, but they came at a price.  That price was my tan.  As you all know, sleep does not come easily to my son, so before each nap, I had to walk him in his pushchair around and around and around the complex.  Walking in and out of darkened corridors with a towel hanging over the pushchair in order to block out the light, I became known as ‘The Scaly Lady’: forever destined to haunt the halls of the Fuerteventura Palace moaning over why her son won’t go to sleep on his own.

The Scaly Lady. (On a serious note, the towel never completely covered my son and was completely removed after this photo.)

However, the upside to the long walks meant an hour and a half sunbathing session once he was asleep, no weight gain in an all inclusive hotel and I hatched at least four PokΓ©mon eggs.

Yeah, it’s time for a nap!

The last time we were on holiday, the Dude was merely a sparkle in my eye and our girl was almost two years old, which meant that she was too young for the kids’ club.  This year though, she was not only old enough to go, but she was old enough to be left there on her own while Daddy and I were free to relax and drink free alcohol look  after our blue-eyed-boy.

“Kids’ Club, Kids’ Club!” I would chant each morning.

“Nope!” she replied every day.  “Pool.”

Therefore, one of the final things I learnt at the ‘Hotel of Hard Knocks’ was that if you want a few moments to yourself, then you must get your children to make friends with other children.  This proved to be very difficult.  Not because my girl is unsociable.  She is actually brilliant at making friends and I am incredibly proud of her.  However, we learnt that if the majority of children in the hotel do not speak the same language as you, then it can be quite difficult to make friends.

A lot of the families in the hotel were German and British families were in the minority.  We found ourselves speaking REALLY LOUDLY in front of any family we heard speaking English.



Bless her though, she did manage to make a few friends, but wouldn’t bloody go to the kids’ club with them, preferring to play in the pool alone or with Daddy.

Finally, we learnt that next time we go on holiday, it might be worth learning German.  Being a family of blondes (mine’s from a bottle) we were often mistaken for German or Swedish holiday makers.

“Sprichst du Deutsch?” we were asked a number of times.

“Noooooooo,” we replied in our broad Yorkshire accent.

They would smile politely, inwardly disgusted in our lack of bilingual skills.

We would hang our heads in shame at our lack of bilingual skills.

It only lasted for a second though because one kid was off dashing into the pool and the other was off to climb on a table somewhere.

And my poor Kindle would be left discarded once again on a sunbed, alone.

My tag team partner. He doesn’t speak German.

*Having being blessed with two children, I am only certified to give advice to those with up to two children.  If you are tackling more than two children on holiday, then you are in my prayers…!





Mudpie Fridays
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

29 thoughts on “Teaching Mum Learns the Hard Way on Holiday!

  1. Hilarious! Not your sunburn of course but you description of a typical family holiday. I often wonder how people take their kids abroad – and now I know why we don’t! Really enjoyed your post πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for taking the time to read and retweet. It was a great holiday, but I really was knackered by the end of it. My family really are my muses and I don’t think I could write comically without them. Xx


  2. Haha! This post did make me chuckle. I’ll look forward to this when I take my little girl on holiday!

    Your sunburn made me wince! I can’t imagine how bad that would be to sleep on. Ouch.

    Great post!


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, I feel your pain (with the children and the sunburn!) I fear we live almost parallel lives e.g. two young children (NG – a girl – is 3, NC – boy – is nearly 1) who are my muses – and I also teach English (actually, that’s a lie. I used to teach secondary English until I gave it up to do PR for a school… I think you are AMAZING for teaching and blogging! Also, we had a very similar holiday in May. NW insisted on playing ‘Kickstone’ which is similar to ‘tag’ but involves, yes, kicking stones. Not advisable. Great post, lovely. #bloggerclubuk

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your poor back!! This did make me chuckle and I adore your pictures. Although my son is also notoriously difficult to get to sleep and I was hoping he’d grow out of it… But perhaps not! Hope you feel a little more rested after getting home πŸ˜‚ #BloggerClubUK

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes, I’m with you here and wrote a similar post. I’ve just had a weekend away with my girl friends to get over the week away with the family! Great photos. #BloggerClubUK x

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Other than the sunburn, hilarious! Also a little scary as I know o have this to come! #kcacols

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The pictures look lovely and despite the sunburn you look great. Hope you managed to finish your book!! #kcacols

    Liked by 1 person

  8. That was a working holiday and a half! Ouch for the sunburn. It definitely helps to have the OH around to help out. With just a 6 month old here, we have yet to experience a holiday with children – so many happy times to look forward too. *off to plan a weekend away with the girls! #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Haha – that’s hilarious! The sunburn looks painful though! I have a just turned 2 & a just turned 3, and I have just become a single mother so what I have learnt here is that I can’t take them on holiday as it will be impossible with no tag team! I could kind of work that out on my own though – it’s hard enough at the supermarket! At the very least, I’m going to need to learn German, aren’t I? πŸ˜€ #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aww, thank you for reading. Your tag team partner can be anyone – a parent, a friend, hell, I’ll even come! πŸ˜‰ I hope you are ok though as I notice you have said you have just become a single mother. Hats off to you – you must be amazing. I love your posts too – always funny. Xx


  10. Sorry about the Sunburn and your poor little kindle, left alone with no-one to read him πŸ™‚ Family vacations are exhausting, but fun adventures non the less! Thanks for sharing #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Yeah you definitely need an holiday. Without the kids. At home. In bed maybe. #kcacols

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Haha haven’t braved a sunshine holiday with my three yet. Don’t do well in heat but I have basic German lol so maybe I should give it a go #kcacols

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Great post! Your sunburn looks harsh though!!! Ouch! #kcacols

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Sorry for the sunburn but on the bright side good job for catching those pokemons πŸ˜‰ the photos look absolutely lovely #kcacols

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Despite the sunburn and the kindle this was hilarious. Your photos are lovely and you are gorgeous mummy. I’m in desperate need of some holidays. This is the first year that we haven’t gone anywhere. I need some sun please but of course not the sunburn please lol. Thanks so much for sharing this at #KCACOLS. It is lovely to have you. πŸ™‚ x

    Liked by 1 person

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