I was always determined that having children would not stop me from doing what I wanted to do, the kids would have to fit in with me. Sadly as time has gone on and i’ve started the slow decline to forty with three kids in tow it hasn’t worked out like that. No touring Africa and Morrocco with the kids in tow for me, a trip to Sainsbury’s seems like an epic adventure and if it goes without tantrum an achievement greater than the acquisition of any university degree.
Alongside this I do feel like life is passing me by, I used to love going to gigs, the theatre, the cinema and to nice restaurants. I loved having adventurous days out exploring woodlands, beaches country houses looking for wildlife and fossils. To a certain extent we still do a little of this, but at a snails pace with the constant backdrop of moaning, loo visits and worries over food. Its not the same.
|The Flying Seagulls|
However, this weekend marked a slight change in approach as I was lucky enough to win some tickets to The Wilderness Festival on the brilliant Mummytips blog (which I have been reading pretty much since its inception). The husband is becoming a seasoned festival goer since going to Camp Bestival last year and persuaded me to throw caution and instinct to the wind and bring along the whole family. Now, I have to admit this did leave me in a little bit of a cold sweat, little Ned is bottle fed and to be honest from my twenty odd years of festival going experience I couldn’t see any possible way to sort out his bottles. A tiny bit of research resolved this with the discovery that you can buy pre-sterlised disposable teats to put on bottles. Armed with a new larger tent, my trusty duvet and air bed and Pot Noodles we ventured into the Oxfordshire countryside.
The Wilderness Festival is staged within the most beautiful setting imaginable and I think it was this that helped to make it such a wonderful experience. I have to admit, for me it was ruined by kids. Who wants to be forced to go to bed at 10pm when there are some brilliant live bands playing and have to clean festival toilets for emergency poo’s when five minutes earlier our own private ‘bog in a bag’ back in the tent was not needed.
Still, I went and experienced and that was better than not experiencing anything. I think the kids really got a lot out of the experience; they saw all manner of different people, music and theatrical performances. They tried out stilt walking and wild swimming and memorably for me ran about the place pretending to be butterflies whilst Stornaway played a magnificent secret gig in advance of their main stage performance. They loved The Flying Seagulls, the bubble shop with the most amazing bubbles to pop and special kids entertainment group, making swords in the Barefoot Books tent and the culinary delights of Pot Noodles. Even little Ned enjoyed hanging about in the baby sling looking at all the different brightly coloured things going on and waving his hands to the music. Me and Fifi had a good old dance to some Ska Soul music at the roller disco and i will forever remember her little arms around my neck whilst I was trying to sleep through the festival white noise. Just magical.
Would I go again? I have mixed feelings on this, I want my children to experience all that life has to offer and they really did enjoy this. However, I know that if I had gone with the husband my experience would have been much better, maybe that’s selfish. Can you have the best of both worlds? I don’t know, unless you have a nanny- hmmm!