There's a ton of negativity around traveling with babies. And fear. And since I'm an expert now I can say I totally get it. There's way more unknowns to handle when out of the comforts of home and it seems I start bracing for them days before we actually leave. Stuff, a time-crunch, and the ticking time-bomb that is any baby's mood are each on their own formidable opponents, and put together can make a cocktail of preemptive fatigue that makes traveling seem not worth it.
But it's also pretty amazing. Here's why:
1. People are so nice and helpful
I have had so many people, so many strangers go out of their way to help me. Collapse a stroller, lift bags, play faces on the plane, cut in line, give me privacy, give me encouragement, give Jamie snacks. People come out of the woodwork and it's actually a really empowering feeling of humanity and the thinness of our nonconnection. What is that quote... We are strangers here together? Either they've done the rigamarole before, or they know someone who has or, I don't know, they are just nice people. That's not to say there aren't selfish pieces of garbage out there, but most people not only get it and are understanding with delays/noises/gross spit-up or smelly child moments, but many go out of their way to make it better.
2. The magic of well-timed meals/naps
For me, the day to day of child handling is like a riddle that changes daily. No, hourly. It's a guessing game of reading cues and remembering advice and going with your gut and sometimes it all comes together just perfectly. Put another way, travel adds a bit of a game to the challenge of timing meals and naps. I keep points for myself every time I get it right and celebrate, out loud to anyone near me when it all comes together ("How great he fell asleep right before take-off!" "This change in schedule made for a perfect opportunity to diaper change and have a few quiet moments to eat" "HE SLEPT!!!!!"). I don't keep tally of the points against me because what is the point, really. It's not like Jamie is the opponent, it's just Mommy Shame Gremlins in my head and the selfish pieces of garbage who tsk tsk and know better than to have kids or take them anywhere.
3. Hanging out with new people in new place with a new baby!
Translation: travel is still travel. Going places is my favorite. BONUS: You have this tiny little human who gets to experience wherever you are going, meet your friends, and enjoy a little change in scenery. Watching Jamie with cousins makes it worth it. Holding Jamie while watching a sunset makes it worth it. Having Jamie in photos we can look back on later and remember going as a family makes it worth it.
Proceed: Photo Dump, in no particular order
|Layover in Newark|
|Cruise towel animal photo bomb|
|Park in Puerto Rico|
|Alabama cousin fun|
|Waiting to get picked up from Birmingham Airport|
|Camping with Fugeres|
|Zion Nat'l Park with Dad|
|John's wedding in St. George|
|Mission friends picnic in Utah|
|Napa and Dipu and our babies|
|Sprinklers somewhere warm|
|Trying out the FlyeBaby (attaches to seatback tray)|
|Unimpressed by the Gulf Coast|
|Didn't pack enough clothes!|
|The whole terminal to ourselves!|
|Striking a pose|
|Actually Jamie's passport photo|
|SAD. It's not all smiles. This is proof.|
|Thanksgiving in Leavenworth|
|Swimming with dad|
|Airplane food is gross?|
|Waiting in SFO|