You might be under the impression that ski resort seasonnaires are all eighteen year old gap year students. And, to be fair, there are quite a few of those. So why on earth would you want to take a baby somewhere people work 48 hour weeks for minimum wage, ski hard and party even harder? This post aims to shatter some of those illusions by describing a day in the life of a ski season with Baby (Daisy). Scratch under the surface and you will find a huge diversity of people based in a ski resort. Including idiots with babies.
In some ways, spending a season in a ski resort is a form of slow travel. If we were here for only a week or two we would feel under pressure to ski every run, see every sight, visit every bar and restaurant… I find that this kind of jam-packed travel schedule does not work with a baby. They don’t always feel like going out for a meal or for a walk right then. If you are on a tight schedule, you either go and have a horrible time, or don’t go and end up feeling like you are missing out. By slowing the pace and staying in the same place for three, four, five months the time pressure is off. You get a chance to meet people and experience the place rather than passing through like a whirlwind. Here’s a taster of how it works for us.
A Day in the Life of a Ski Season with Baby: morning
7 – 9 am: We are not fans of rising early and fortunately neither is Daisy. Unless one of us has arranged a first lifts ski or, rarely, we have a babysitter for the morning, we will take our time. Have a couple of cups of tea (milk for Daisy), breakfast, get ready… It is nice to take the opportunity to not be rushing out the door to work or nursery or some other commitment.
9 am – 12.30 pm: On a typical day one of us will be in charge of Daisy for the morning. This could involve a walk, or the playground, or swimming, or simply playing in the apartment. The other will either work or go skiing. Generally, I work around two mornings a week and in theory ski the other five. However, I would say that I more typically ski around three times a week, for one reason or another. Sometimes we will treat ourselves to a babysitter for the morning so that we can go on a ‘ski date’. It is good to spend some time together on the mountains once in a while.
A Day in the Life of a Ski Season with Baby: afternoon
12.30 pm: Lunch time! On a regular day we will all have lunch at home. Roughly once a week we will go out for lunch with friends. Lunch time is our main opportunity to go out to restaurants. For much of the season it is simply too busy in the evenings for it to be fun to take a baby out. And it is even worse now Daisy can walk. As that is all she wants to do. At least when she was a baby she would sit still!
1.30 – 5.00 pm: Then we switch over. Two afternoons a week I have a babysitter so that I can do more work. The other five Daisy and I will do some type of activity. We have made friends with other local mums so I try to meet up with them regularly so that the babies can play. And Daddy will go skiing.
A Day in the Life of a Ski Season with Baby: evening
5.00 – 8.00 pm: This is core après ski time in these parts. And core give the baby dinner, bath and put her to bed time. Which obviously aren’t compatible. We’re pretty flexible about this; if one of us wants to go out for a drink, the other will look after Daisy. Sometimes we will go out for an early dinner as a family. It is also this time of day where we make time for other sports, such as running or swimming / sauna. Although I often run in the afternoons with Daisy in her buggy now she is old enough. And neither of us have been swimming much this year (except with Daisy). I think that may be one thing too many to cram into our days. Despite the slow pace of our life here.
8.00 pm – …: More often than not we flop in front of the TV or do some more work in the evening. We probably each go out with our friends one or so nights a week. But babies are no fun with a hangover. Very rarely we have a babysitter so we can go for dinner. But normally we would rather spend time together skiing than in a restaurant.
So there you have it. A typical day. It is certainly different to my typical days when a 20-something working in ski chalet for the winter. Of course there are many non-typical days where we do something together as a family. Examples include going to the zoo, bumboarding and swimming. I’ve also been making an effort to visit local museums this year to give Daisy some variety. It may sound like we spend a lot of time apart. And I guess at the moment we do. But it is better than if we were both working full time. And Daisy gets to spend lots more time with us than if we were working more traditionally, which is the important thing. And hey, in a couple of years she will be able to ski with us!