Camping with three kids

"I would rather rub chillies in my eyes than do it again"

If you're thinking about camping with three kids then it may be a good idea to reconsider ALL of your options, like a staycation, visiting a distant relative or just cancelling your annual leave altogether and going to work! All of those options have to be better than going camping with three kids. After doing it last weekend, I can safely say I would rather rub chillies in my eyes than do it again.


I thought it would be a great idea to take the family camping for the weekend at the Big Church Day Out festival last weekend. L wasn't keen, mainly because she doesn't like festivals or crowds, but I really wanted to go so I did. Big Church Day Out is a festival that brings together thousands of Christians from all over the UK and Europe to worship and celebrate all that is good.


The festival has a special place in my heart as we took the girls there last year and it was the day after our embryo was transferred and that little embryo is now our tiniest human. So technically she has been to the festival twice! I remember thinking about how we could be pregnant the whole day we were there, so it's nice to go back with our little success story.


Thankfully, L came with us on the Friday to set up. I was grateful for the extra pair of hands, which was needed just to transport all the stuff. I mean, have you seen how much STUFF you need to go camping? Then all the child paraphernalia on top of that! Jeepers, my car was weighed down and bursting at the seams. Then all that STUFF has to go back home with you and be put away in the right place when all the excitement of the trip has worn off and all that's left is the smell of outdoors and portaloos haunting you.


The first night we were all excited and clean and enjoying ourselves. We went out for dinner in the village pub, which was lovely and I thought, "This is easy. I can totally do this." Then there was the night. The dark of night set in and the Chaotic One decided it would be fine to wake five times. Thankfully, the tiniest human did me a favour and I only had to get up to feed her once. She is an angel. L whispered "warrior" when I got up and it made me smile and feel strong. When I asked her the next day why she said it, her reply was, "You just are, and even more so because you're determined to do this with the kids this weekend." Aww, made me feel all warm, gooey and appreciated inside.


I was sad when L left, but I understand her and I know there is no point in forcing her to do something she doesn't want to. So off we set on our separate ways. I had made this cart to transport the kids around, which I'd seen on Pinterest. It was perfect. More so when I managed to recruit someone else to drag them around in it!!! I got loads of comments about it, although I wasn't feeling quite so smug when I came round a corner too quickly and it rolled over with the bigger girls inside! Bad mum moment! They were fine, of course, but I certainly took the corners a lot slower after that. So I could be seen over the weekend with the Tiny One in a sling strapped to my chest and the two bigger girls being transported along in their wagon. I was sweating! Like full-on-almost-exploding-knee-pit-and-under-boob-sweat sweating!!! Not attractive at all. Thankfully I did manage a shower over the weekend. It was just the kids that didn't!


We saw some fantastic artists on the various stages and there was loads for the kids to do. They had an absolute ball. The downside was I spent half my time in portaloos with the kids. I tried to make them go when I was there, but then they would say they didn't need it. I would then walk about 500m back to a stage or exhibit and one of them would now need it, so I'd have to go all the way back, three kids in tow with the baby pinned to my chest. That made it interesting when I needed the toilet! I was grateful I had a blocked nose, but seriously I was so sick of having to visit those plastic cabins full of dirty mess. You can imagine my WTF-face when I dropped my hair towel on the floor in the portaloos and then the grand finale was my friend, who gave G a punnet of blueberries. Before I knew it she had eaten the lot and nobody needs to clean up that mess, by hand, from a travel dinosaur potty positioned at your camp. L could not hack this as even I was broken!


I don't think I've been so thankful to see my house. It feels like luxury five star accommodation in comparison. I was so grateful for running water and toilets that flush, but I think L wanted to bleach us all when we arrived back home.


Some bits of the weekend were AMAZING. Spending time with friends, seeing the girls having such a great time outdoors, the artists and sessions we took part in were brilliant, thought-provoking and interesting. To top it off, I came away with a nice sunkissed glow. But if it hadn't have been for my friends who helped me out, I wouldn't have lasted the whole weekend so for them I am grateful. Now I could sleep for a week, my body feels like it's been hit by a bus and all of the prep that went into it was too much. Next year I'm definitely just going for the day. L said she will come too! Woohoo!


So after that super busy weekend I've been smacked in the face with the joys of half term! Seriously, why do the nurseries and schools close?! I'll be there super sharp on Monday morning to drop the noisy ones off, as I need some quiet time and my toddler to stop telling me, "I don't like you!"


Check back every other Friday to read Katy’s latest column or catch up with them all here.



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