A Gold Coast resort
9 July 14
Our lives are full of amazing contrasts. Most of the time we’re camping off-grid, but sometimes we get to stay in a fancy city hotel. This last week at a Gold Coast resort apartment was one those amazing adventures that I treasure for its relative extravagance in our otherwise frugal lives.
In January, a friend offered us the use of her furnished apartment for the last week of her year-long lease. She was pregnant and planned to move out before the end-date so that she would be fully settled in her new accommodation before the baby arrived. When I said yes, I wasn’t actually sure if we would be able to make it to the Gold Coast for those dates, but circumstances brought us here easily.
A Gold Coast holiday is almost a cliché. Families from Australia and New Zealand travel here year-round to escape cooler weather and experience the beaches and theme parks. We’re accustomed to beach-living, and I’m not quite ready to take the girls to theme parks, so our stay was all about the resort and its facilities.
We were excited to share our time in the apartment with another family. The girls love living with friends, and I always appreciate the extra freedom that I gain from living with other adults. We could take turns with taking the kids to the pool or supervising them in the apartment. It was possible to go out for groceries with only those kids who were interested in the outing, and we all could generally relax and simply live as we wanted.
It’s been a very relaxing holiday, as we haven’t felt pressure to do anything other just follow the kids’ leads. I’m certain that the key to communal living with another family is definitely in a shared parenting-style. I need to feel confident that the other adults will deal consciously and respectfully with my children — however emotional or needy they may be presenting at the time. If I’m not certain that this will happen, I cannot fully trust my children to another’s supervision lest they are misunderstood, bullied or harassed.
This week was a natural time of co-parenting and learning. In sharing our lives with another family, there are inevitably conflicts between the children, but we didn’t experience anything too drastic or irreconcilable. I’m thankful to have good friends whom I trust and that trust me with their children, as that gives me respites in this solo-parenting gig I’m becoming accustomed to.
Thank you to the friends who shared our Gold Coast adventure with us, and thank you also to the friend who offered us the apartment in the first place! We all enjoyed our time — our Gold Coast holiday experience! — and now are happy to leave the city for quieter places once again.