Traveling is Not for the Faint of Heart

The girls and I are currently visiting my folks in GA. Family is really about as good as you can get and having my momma, daddy, sis, bro-in-law, and nephews & niece around for an entire week is a special kind of sweetness.

Single-parenting and traveling alone with my own babies is another story. Still sweet, but it's a hard-hard-difficult thing that pretty much makes me feel pretty neutral about traveling and visits in general.

My kids are REALLY well-traveled for their ages and I feel as though we have an airplane routine that works for us. A lot of parents worry about the airplane routine...I never really worry about the plane. (1) It's a limited amount of time with an end in sight (about 3.5 hours). (2) A bag of Cheetos given to a zealous 3-year-old to share with her sister lasts approximately 4 hours. (3) No one is really caring about your parenting philosophy or judging too harshly at several thousand feet. Everyone just wants to get to the ground alive and with their ear drums fully functioning.

Best air travel advice I ever got: "You want the moon honey? With a cherry on top? It's yours. How 'bout some whipped cream with that?" For real, if it's not too outlandish a request and does pose an imminent threat to the other passengers, my babies get what they want on an airplane. As an aside: my children have received several hundreds of compliments from skeptical-turned-pleasantly surprised passengers.

So, what's HARD?

Well. Single parents are my heroes. It's hard being the only one parenting. Because let's face it, my relatives are going to spoil the snot out of my kids...which doesn't work so great for consistency or routine. Also, if you're flying on a plane, you're most likely gonna deal with a time change. If I multiply our "Spring Forward" experiences by THREE, my kids are living in a special kind of through-the-looking-glass-sleep-deprived-dementia. Also, poop.

The past three days have been so good, but so hard.

For one, I openly admit my husband is a much better parent than I am. I try, but he and my oldest can handle "conflict" (read: fits) much more effectively. When I am left to my own devices, my three year old and I end up crying piles of mess. Lack of sleep and consistency + three-year-old brain (minus daddy) and you have the perfect equation for EVERYTHING being a fight. As an example: I was yelled at today for making her bagel EXACTLY how she has liked it for forever.

If you ever want a crash course in patience and trying not to lose your stuff with your kids. Travel solo. After several thousand tears, you'll get the hang of it.

The time changes are harder. Namely, because I can't control time. I've talked to God about that job title and the possible extra responsibility - usually at 5am EST which is 3am MT, the kids having gone to bed mere hours earlier. God and I have decided that I couldn't handle the time/space continuum and that my efforts in bathing and drinking coffee would be better appreciated by the general public.

If you travel, just know it could result in your kids sleeping like champs or not sleeping at all. Again, roll with it and try your hardest to not have an emotional break down. You're gonna need coffee.


This one is tricky. Nothing magnifies to difficulties of travel like your potty-trained kid deciding to completely disregard all rules of basic society, biology...Leviticus. Expect there to be bowel trouble. If you expect the worse, then those mornings when you DON'T awake to poo-covered sheets & a traumatized kid will be icing on the cake, my friends.

Bottom Line:
Traveling is hard on your kids. It's for real hard on you. Do not engage in anger. It can't fix anything and it confuses your kids...who are already confused, struggling, and nervous (but have no way to talk about or express those emotions).

If you travel alone with your kids often, you are a hero and deserve a parade. Go'head with your bad self...and don't forget the Cheetos.

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