is really hard work.

I was genuinely excited for our first holiday as a foursome in July, I had an Instagram idea of how blissful and laughter filled it would be, just like all those posts you see #Blessed, #MakingMemories a slight oversight by me was believing that’s actual real life.

If your family holiday looked like an Instagram account, I’m ditching my lot and heading with you next year.


Meanwhile, back to this years #FamilyFunInTheSun

Let’s begin with the travel needs for two adults, a toddler and an infant. I could have posted my clothes over in a small Jiffy bag, basics is an understatement, same for Joey.

Oisín had an impressive wardrobe selection but leading the way was the smallest of the family. Hannah had clothes, swimwear, day wear, nightwear, but it doesn’t stop there, buggy shade, food for ten days, I wasn’t taking the risk, formula for ten days, microwave steriliser, 8 bottles, yes 8! (Ois still has one at bedtime). It took a WEEK to get it all packed. Sorted, it would seem, till we got to the airport and just as we began to make those magical memories, our bags were 11 kilos over and we had to pay €110 excess baggage bill. #OOTD

Then we arrived in our apartment for the week and thought oh Jesus, I’ve signed us up for seven days in, well a death trap!  


I was a bit over the top, but I hadn’t slept much, kids don’t really allow you to nap on a flight, they do though, after two hours of wrestling and 20 minutes before you land. Anyway, back to the dangers.  You know what it’s like with your kids in your house, you know every inch of your home, the corners, potential hazards, danger spots. They’re all covered in foam and blocked off. It’s like the krypton factor for babies. Try open that door lock, CleverMamma won’t be defeated. There’s an overwhelming security knowing that even you can’t open some of the baby proofing locks.


Meanwhile, as I looked around sweating, part heat, part fear, with the air con blaring. Stood on the cold tiled floor that a drop of water would turn to an ice rink assessing the winding steep stone staircase; I had a moment of sheer anxiety as Hannah crawled by me headed straight for the glass coffee table. Right then Joey’s voice echoed telling Oisín to stay on the right going down the steep winding staircase so he didn’t just drop off the side. “Who’s ready to go to the pool” Oh lets throw water in the mixer. F*ck my life.



I adore Alvor and Portugal it’s so family friendly, I haven’t been there at peak season and peak August heat since the days when I stretched out on the beach all day sweating the previous nights cocktails out. I had forgotten just how hot that 36 degree heat is, I also didn’t account for a baby and a toddler trying to be sound in the heat. Also, pushing strollers in that heat is like mobile bikrim yoga. Thank god for afternoon naps, for the kids, not us and a sneaky moment in the shade with a cool glass of vino. #HotStuff

The daily lathering of suncream for all, bag packing and thinking ahead felt at times a bit relentless. You’re really just a Mammy in a different location, the holiday part, well as you used know it, doesn’t really apply. #Blessed

The week was a roller coaster of sun cream, sandy kids, sunshades, rRosè wine, flushed cheeks, an ice cream addicted two year old, swimming pool, cranky kids and roars of laughter.


It was far from an Instagram story, the kids had sand in every nook and cranny. They fought naps, refused bottles, lost their appetites with the heat, got hysterical over a Euro ride on a digger but amongst all the madness, Oisín discovered Ice cream and Little Mix, I can’t tell you how many times we listened to The Power. Hannah navigated the apartment bump free and I turned 37 surrounded by my family and a bottle of Matus Rosè. We managed to get a family picture with everyone looking in the same direction. #SayCheese

So maybe that’s the real magic of making memories, they’re not the picture perfect ones; they’re the tantrum, excess baggage, ice cream covered madness that make the best memories.

I won’t talk about having to pack up all the crap and get ready to come home. That was not a magic moment, also we rang ahead and paid for extra kilos. #RollOnNextYear

S xx