If you have been following along then you know I love to talk about being a mama as well as share about my travels! Today on Motherhood Monday, I am going to join forces and talk to you about traveling with my little one or I like to call him “a tot”.
Jadon is now 16 months old and has already traveled internationally 5 times and has been on probably close to 70 planes, if not more.
Jadon’s Travel Log:
August 2016: New York City, United States | 4 months
September 2016: Israel | 5 months
February 2017: United States: NYC, Colorado, Texas | 10 months
June 2017: United States: California, Washington, Alaska | 14 months
August 2017: United States: Texas | 16 months
The hardest part about traveling with the tot is the aftermath, which we all know best as jetlag. Jadon and I are currently undergoing this monster, but we will save those stories for another beautiful blog.
For today, I wanted to highlight the top 5 things that I learned about myself when traveling with the tot and my hope is for you mama’s to be able to relate. You might not be flying across the ocean for 10 hours, but driving down to the grocery store is still just as hard. So, let me share the little wisdom I have gathered over my short 16 months of motherhood.
- Patience, patience, patience
Patience IS the name of the game. I had no idea what patience was until I became a mother. Waiting in a long line seems like nothing in comparison to trying to haul around 4 suitcases, a stroller, a diaper/toy bag, and a screaming, hungry tot. He may have a sweet smile, but I do have a secret… he has a good set of lungs!
- Deep breaths
Meditation is key. Okay, lets be honest with each other. When traveling there is no time for meditation, but there is time for deep breaths in the midst of chaos. It is not easy to travel with a little tot especially if you are doing it alone, but taking deep breaths have always been a “WIN” for me. I can recall a time when Jadon was fighting his sleep, and I was fighting not falling asleep on him. He was grabbing everything around us and I was being used as a jungle gym. Luckily, he was only grabbing my hair and not our close proximity neighbors in the plane. All he wanted was to use his little legs and run, run, run. My heart hurt for him and I wanted to be able to allow him to be set freeeeee, but the reality was we were confined in a small space with no room to move. In that moment as I could feel the tiredness overtaking my entire body and the impatience uprising from within, I quickly closed my eyes and took a deep breath. I felt re-centered and with a couple of breaths gained the energy to keep up with Jadon for 30 more minutes until he graciously decided to lay his head on my chest and surrender to his precious nap. It is in those moments, that if we can muster up just a little bit more then our tots will feel the love and grace we resonate towards them.
- Food, always have food
Food is so key when traveling. It is a beautiful way to keep the tot distracted and keep the mama happy. Each time we travel, the snack varies depending on what is trending with the tot. Goldfish and apples came to the rescue in our latest travels. Being stuck in the Chicago airport…. Thank God for goldfish and a stroller!
- You are NOT perfect
I would like to say I am not a perfectionist, but I do have an order to things and I love when things are in their right places. This seems to never be the case when traveling. In fact, this seems to be nonexistent in my life since post baby. (Like I always say, I live in blissful chaos!) Also, as much as I need to have grace on the tot, I also need to share that same grace to myself. When going from one place to another, whether across the world or down the street, you are living out of some sort of bag and things can get messy or misplaced. I have to constantly remind myself that it will be completely okay if there are crushed cookies at the bottom of my bag or if wipes are misplaced or if my tots change of clothes are the “dirty” clothes from two days ago. There are bigger problems and these little things should not cause anxiety in my life. Traveling reminds me that it is okay to be a “hot mess” mama and to not have it all together because in the end, I will still make it to my destination. It might be messy along the way, but as long as the tot is happy and mama is smiling then we are good to go!
- Have Fun!
Overall, with all the travels that I have done with my tot over the year, I have learned to just have fun! The traveling is not always the easiest, but the destination is sweet. Together we have made many memories as a family and the adventures are priceless. To be honest, enduring the trip is the hardest, but reminiscing about my crazy tot in a confined tube 30,000 miles up in the air, can be pretty comical. These stories will be the highlight of thanksgiving dinner ten years down the road and for that I am grateful.
Have fun and enjoy the moment whether it is tear filled or laughter filled.
Next month, I will begin to share stories and have guest bloggers.
I would love to hear some stories from you of when you traveled with your tot.
Send them my way! firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out the #motherhoodmondays and follow my tot at #adventuresofjadon
Keep on keeping on mamas and enjoy your Monday!