Holidays should be a time to put your feet up and leave the cooking and cleaning to someone else. Shouldn’t they?
Sadly it seems not. Going on holiday with kids is MORE stressful than a day in the office, according to the nation’s mums.
The study of 2,000 mums, by Teletext Holidays, found that one in four believe getting the kids packed and ready for a sunshine break and keeping everyone happy while away is more tiring than dealing with heavy workloads in the office or entertaining children during a day at home.
Four in ten mums admit they even dread the annual summer holiday with the family and 38 per cent avoid going abroad altogether because they worry about the stress.
The journey was named as the biggest holiday worry for 32 per cent of mums, while another 27 per cent said organising the break and getting everyone packed and ready to go left them tearing their hair out. But almost one in ten said the holiday itself was the most stressful of a family break.
The poll also revealed that half of mums will only book a holiday at a place where they have kids clubs, on-site entertainment and a maid service to make the break as stress-free as possible. But despite this, almost three quarters admit they still spend their holiday clearing up after the children, while another 52 per cent still have to wash the dishes. More than 43 per cent end up slaving away at the stove on holiday and half insist on making the beds. Seventy-three per cent even admitted they still clean up their hotel room or apartment before the maid arrives because they don’t want them thinking they are messy. More than a third of mums even said they don’t fully switch off while they are away, with one in 20 claiming they don’t relax at all. And a staggering 80 per cent of mums feel in need of another holiday as soon as they get back home.
Victoria Sanders, managing director of Teletext Holidays said: ‘’For many of the nation’s mums the work carries on despite the fact that they’re in a different location. ‘’A friend of mine who went on holiday with her children last year to a holiday cottage in Devon told me that she never again wanted to get the Hoover out or end up in Tesco. ‘’Travelling with children can be a huge strain so it’s not surprising so many mums come back from their annual summer break feeling that they need another holiday. ‘’Getting up early, preparing meals and tidying up after children doesn’t stop on holiday and that means that some mums even admit they dread their summer beach break.
‘’Choosing the right holiday which allows parents to switch off is so important. ‘’Research beforehand to choose a family friendly resort can help to ease the strain and we advise parents to consider all-inclusive holidays so that they don’t have to go near a supermarket or cooker. ‘’Many hotels and resorts offer babysitting or an evening kids club so at least parents can go out for dinner on their own.”
Researchers also found that the stress is made worse for some as one in ten mums say their partner doesn’t help out with the kids at all when they are away, because ‘they are on holiday’.
And more than a third feel that their family break away is more of a holiday for their husband or partner than for them.
Just over 36 per cent even row with their partner when they are on holiday because they don’t help out enough with the children.
Some lucky mums do get to enjoy their break though as one in ten say their other-half always offers to take the kids off their hands for a bit so they can sit back and relax.
Victoria Sanders added: “We’ve created a family zone on our website with all sorts of tips and advice for mums and dads at www.teletextholidays.co.uk including a new price tracker which highlights the best deal of the day in 20 of the most popular family destinations.’’