Since becoming a mum, is your idea of a break a solo trip to the loo and enough time to cut your toenails? Do you feel positively Mediterranean slinging a bit of feta in your shopping trolley, and having a siesta (or rather passing out from exhaustion), on the couch while the kids nap? It could be you are suffering from a well-known condition called MINOAH - Mum In Need Of A Holiday. Don't worry, it's not serious (in fact it's entirely made up for the purposes of a blog post), but urgent treatment is required - sun, sea and a shitload of wine. In case you are still unsure you have it, here are seven more symptoms of MINOAH...
1. You booked your last holiday through Ceefax - after 'setting the video' for Dynasty
If the last time you went abroad was when your hair was backcombed and you knew who was at number one of the charts/hit parade, then, let's be honest, it's time for a holiday. No more but-it's-just-so-hard-when-you-have-kids excuses - you really don't want to be that mum who thinks a can of Lilt in the park is exotic. But before you leg it to Thomas Cook, you should know a few things first: No one is pushing the pineapple any more, they don't do jazzercise in the pool and Stan Boardman-style jokes about the Germans are now widely disliked - and not just for being shit.
2. You find yourself slumped at the end of the day in front of Nickelodeon for over half an hour before changing the channel
True, this is pretty standard stuff for most knackered mums and is up there with boiling a kettle for no reason and mindlessly putting a nappy on a potty-trained child. However, you know it's time to dig out the luggage and lilo when you find yourself watching whole episodes of Peppa Pig and nudging your other half slumped next to you, wondering aloud: "Do you think Mummy and Daddy Pig shag much?"
3. That bottle of Prosecco is looking good by 10am
To be fair, after a night of broken sleep, squirting syringes of Calpol down gullets, humming Down in the Jungle while lying next to a restless cot and then still rising before dawn; you've pretty much completed a full working day by 10am. It's when wine o'clock starts earlier each day, to the point you're slurring as you dish up the Turkey Drummers, that it might be time to abandon the booze and book a break. Go somewhere soothing, sunny and where it's quite acceptable to drink alcohol in the morning.
4. You're in danger of getting rickets, given the most exposure you get to the sun is walking to Tesco - from its adjacent car park
There's no denying, slinging kids into a car is far more appealing than the prospect of wobbling down the road with a cumbersome buggy and sighing at a toddler: "Leave that stone where it is! No, I don't want to see the cat poo that looks like an elephant." Perhaps though, it's time to park the car and get a decent dose of vitamin D that's not in tablet form. Treat yourself to a cheeky jaunt where you can chide: "Leave that stone where it is! No, I don't want to see the cat poo that looks like an elephant", in a nicer, new environment.
5. You habitually forget what you've walked into a room for
You know you've become your dad when you shuffle upstairs, scan the room you've just walked into and mutter: "Now, what did I come up here for?" Slowly recalling it was your glasses that prompted your plod-like ascension, you then ramble room to room getting more vexed, with both the missing spectacles and huge row breaking out downstairs. Finally, just as you're about to lumber downstairs with empty threats of no TV, you tentatively pat the top of your head and feeling like a massive twat, discover they've been sitting there the entire time. Get thee on thy jollies, Grandma!
6. You are fixated, a little more than is healthy, with the man across the road's recycling bin
It's a sure-fire sign your world is titchy when you're trailing your indifferent partner around the house, relaying that the man across the road does a terrible job of his recycling. Similarly, your wearied spouse probably couldn't give a gnat's crap less that Three Car Woman parked in your spot again, and the grumpy postman knocked really loudly, most definitely, on purpose at naptime. Get a grip! Get away!
7. You haven't got the energy to shout
Ordinarily, especially in front of the overbearing baby brigade who scold their children via the medium of dance, you might chastise your misbehaving child through a self-conscious, gritted smile desperately supressing the urge to shout (before doing exactly that). So when you apathetically observe scenes of sibling violence, food-flinging and, *shudder*, your partner filling the wrong colour of beaker - something is seriously up. It's clear you need sandy, soggy nappies, over-priced plastic beach toys and many, many sticky ice cream kisses. The stuff of lovely, long-lasting and yes, rose-tinted memories. Altogether now: "Are we there yet? My need a wee-wee!"
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