The title of my post summarises my feelings about camping. I like camping in general, but this year I dreaded it. I hoped we will not have to go. I hoped husband will decide it is not Summer enough to bother, I hoped my health problems which followed me all Summer will not stop co conveniently (yes, really, I got so used to feeling uncomfortable that I preferred it to feeling uncomfortable camping without the problems - there is no win). I hoped husband will decide to spoil me and do a 'homecation' with some decent trips and lots of time with our child so I can finally recover.
None of it happened. And we left for Wales. For a quality family time I was told. To be joined by two more families. The husbands of these 3 families went to university together and stayed the best buddies. It is great. For them.
Quality family time: husband would wash dishes few times (because I complained about being tired so much before we left he saw it as a treat for me - while he did the washing I was chasing our enthusiastic 2 years old eager to explore and after 2 days started to do the dishes as it was much more relaxing). Husband took our child for 2 walks and played with our child while we were all at the beach (I read a magazine in one sitting. The next day on the beach as a group he ignored the two of us completely as it was my turn - suddenly we have turns!). When we visited local leisure centre for swimming on rainy days husband allowed me to swim few lengths every now and then between passing our child between each other or minding her on my own. He also allowed me to go and shower by myself (bathrooms in the camp site were BAD).
Quality family time in my husband's eyes: we went to Wales and I liked it. Everybody is happy.
I didn't count husband's cooking into the quality time because he loves cooking outdoors and sees his camp kitchen as an extension of a manhood.
Why I don't think it was really a quality time: husband didn't ask me what I would like to do or where I would like to go or who I would like to go with. Everything evolved around the guys being together, drinking together, making fire in the evening and drinking together. And the kids of course, the kids must have good time with their dads who miss them a lot while they are at work (and we are so blessed to have them around 24/7). He wouldn't even think about asking our friends to look over our tent after our child finally went to sleep so he could be with me or go for a walk with me. He would run off to be with his boys the moment the child closed its eyes. He would assume that I am having the best time of my life, too. And why don't we wives become best buddies, too, and chat nicely among ourselves? Wouldn't that be convenient?
On our last day a new couple arrived nearby and I watched the wife putting her younger child into a sling on her back and preparing breakfast while chatting to her older child while her husband unrolled his yoga mat and started his Sun Salutations with a very serious expression. I realised that I packed my yoga mat, too. It was in the back of the tent and I never found the time or energy to unroll it. When I started stretching once on a blanket my child started to climb all over me. Husband saw it, said we are playing nicely together and went to have a beer and a chat with his mate.
We did have family time because all families did their own thing at some time of the day. So that probably counts as the holiday for me.
I watched the other families and thought that nobody is perfect partner or parent. It all works out in the end. If the wives continue to put the men and children first of course.
But relating to camping, I used to hike and sleep in the tent or under the sky a lot and I slept like a log. But year after year it is more and more difficult to get comfortable. I bought nice wide sleeping bags instead of mummy, started to pack our pillows which would be unthinkable in my backpacking years, invested into a better matres which doesn't loose at least half of the air you pumped in before you even lie on it. And yet I wake up every time I turn, I get frozen arm, sore hip and my nose and face get way too cold. But the morning coffee tastes absolutely best every day, there must be some truth about the outdoor cooking magic my husband keeps bashing out about (as long it is me who prepares the morning coffee as he needs to sleep off his last good night yet again).
So all in all lets carry on and look forward the day I am making money again and can afford some time for myself only. He can mind the child and have a really quality time together.