This blog was going to be something like ‘5 top tips for skiing with the kids’ but instead what came out of my mind was this… how a family ski trip can make you fall more in love with your hubby! Don’t get me wrong…I always love him but in the day to day and ships-in-the-night routine of family life, we don’t always express it or allow ourselves to feel immersed in it, you know what I mean? As we rush from hip hop practice to guitar lessons (for the kids) while making dinner and trying to catch up on the day amidst the flurry of kid questions, cuteness & chaos, it’s hard to really FEEL that love and to take the time to express it.
I’m more of a sand than snow girl, but given my Canadian up-bringing and hubby’s Canadian heritage (his grandfather is from Quebec), we thought that after 10 years of parenting it was high time we take our trio of darlings to see the snow (and hopefully to have a ski).
The roads were closed on day 1 so we decided to stay at a cabin at a camping ground just outside of Taupo. The accommodation was rustic and cold but the sunset that night and the kids and Matt playing by Lake Taupo made my heart sing. There’s also something magical in just getting away from the never-ending laundry pile and your to-do list at home.
I don’t know about your household, but a bunch of mums I’ve chatted with agree that their hubby (sorry if you hate that term, I mean husband, partner…) often comes home from work as “Grumpy Hubby”. One of the girls even proclaimed that here’s wasn’t so much grumpy but more “Boring Hubby” falling asleep on the couch. So getting your man AWAY from the mess of the house (Matt often arrives home and the first sentence is something along the lines of “who left their scooter on the lawn?”) is an amazing way for them to relax, to be ‘happy dad’ and for you to be reminded of the man you fell in love with. Does anyone else hear me on this??
Day 2 it was all go and we headed up to Whakapapa ski field. Thanks to our lovely friend Miree who loaned us all the ski gear (shout out to her for anyone who has kids that dance she co-owns Pure Dance dance shop with her mum and it’s A-mazing!). **She doesn’t sell or loan ski gear but she can set you up w awesome dance gear and shoes.
Watching hubby ski backwards (intentionally) as he guided our 6 year old Xavier down the hill filled my heart with warmth like the sun. So good to see him like this, like the way I met him those 19 years ago. We were in our early 20’s (me 4 years his senior lol) him with shoulder length hair sun-bleached blonde from the hot Aussie life from which he came.
As I watched him with the kids, teaching them how to ski, encouraging them and showering them with love, it made me love him event more… And memories of our days gone by came flooding back.
But I had my ‘mama lion’ on too… I have to admit I was a little torn at times staring with wonder and love at my kids bundled in their ski gear and fearing for them getting injured (falling or having someone smash into them – there were soooooo many people on the ski slopes!). More safety tips in our Keeping Kids Safe blog.
Exhibit A: A helicopter flys overhead and my immediate (safety-minded default setting) is that someone must be hurt… “It’s a scenic flight” my oh-so sensible hubby Matt assures me.
My multiple back injuries coupled with my fear of people crashing into me and my impatience with ‘people in my way’ were collectively my reasons (or excuses depending on your perspective) for not donning skis myself.
I was even optimistic (or deluded) enough to bring a book to read as I had visions of myself sitting in the ski cafe reading!! or even doing some work on my laptop! But instead I let go of my compassion to GTD (Get Things Done) and instead allowed myself some ‘be time’ (something I’m aiming to do more of anyways… be present, in the moment) observing the scene, feeling the gratitude and spending some adorable 1-1 time with each kid (well mainly Mr 6 as the ‘big kids’ spent most of the time skiing). I’ve got some more tips for you on how to be more mindful & less stressed in my GTG Blog here.
So instead of GTD, I was present, observing and not rushing or doing as I normally tend to do. At times staring across the hill dotted w people in their rainbow colours of snow gear (such a pleasant change from the monotony of black I see in the city streets & cafes of Auckland – and NZ wide) the behaviour and buzz of sound reminds me of a colony of penguins. Everyone together but in their own oasis of family or coupledom or friendships… looking out for echoer, encouraging one another and literally picking each other up when they fall. A lovely analogy of life really.
The ski experience was made even more amazing by the hot sunny weather and us retreating after the day to a friends nearby bach, rustic and beautiful, playing Uno (card game) around the fire with our clothes drying on the rack above. The ideal end to our first family ski trip. Yes it chewed through much of our holiday budget (one of my tips is to set up a separate ‘travel’ account with a fortnightly auto-payment into it).
Relationships/Marriage is tricky. It’s like a plant that needs nurturing and I know how easy it is to just let things slip onto auto-pilot. To be on your phones or laptop watching Netflix instead of looking each other in the eyes… To forget to speak in your partners’ ‘love language’ and to lapse into negative thoughts occasionally…
Family trips are awesome but my ultimate love-booster advice is to take a ‘stay-cation’ (you don’t need to spend heaps of dosh travelling far, just a night at a hotel or B&B even in your same city). You just need to ‘get away’ from the to-do list, the kids, the household chores that never seam to cease. You need time together without all that distraction, just to have fun and to be present. *Again start a separate bank account called your ‘LOVE Budget’ even if it’s just $10 a week and save up for it. My parents live in Wellington and the in-laws live in Aussie so when they come over to visit (for 2 weeks at a time) Matt and I will have a hotel night ONCE a year – and it’s amazing! *A person goal is to extend this to a 3 day stay-cation each year or more often now that the kids are older.
So… what are your thoughts and your tips/advice for keeping the love alive? Tell us all about it in a comment.
You can also find more tips in my Keeping the Love Alive blog.
Other helpful blogs for you!
- How to have a stay-cation and not break the bank
- How to be a Happy at Home Mum
- How Reiki can help you be a happy healthy mum
- Get Fit Feel Fabulous
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