It dawned on me yesterday, while telling a friend about my exciting new blog, that what I have begun to do to myself is not only experience several degrees of hell while travelling with kids, but now I am essentially re-living that hell by writing about it all over again!
But as you know, the reason I am choosing to continue to do so is in the hope that it may in some way help others avoid my hellish experiences as they travel.
It also dawned on me that there are in fact, several surprise upsides to consider about your trip with the littlies that you may want to focus your thoughts on instead of the poop. And there are some fantastic upsides!
|Suddenly bath time becomes fun again!|
For example, if you're a stickler for routines (most parents realise kids benefit enormously from routines and a regular order to their day. i.e, dinner, bath, book, bed = Foolproof) then you may be relieved to hear the following. Your fears about them being away from home, in a foreign environment, with foreign times, foods, people, baths, beds etc... let them go. (The fears, not the kids). You'll know what i'm talking about when I say that I am always surprised that my child has graduated to the next stage of development - be it moving up to a 'big girl bed' or finally letting go of the 'bottle of milk at bedtime'. A trip away does in fact become the most perfect time to remove bad habits from home (without them sometimes even noticing!) or a clever time for you to introduce an exciting new stage for them, in a fun and adventurous way (that then comes home with them too!)
On our last trip to Mexico, the villa we rented in Tulum had a second bedroom with two single beds. We have been wanting to move Isabella into a 'big girl bed' for a little while now at home, instead of the cot. She is two. So, we bought a little butterfly mobile to hang above the big girl bed in this villa, threw the second mattress down on the ground next to it and turned it into an exciting new holiday adventure for her to sleep in a big girl bed. She loved it so much that when we got home we raced out and bought the big girl bed and she is now happily transitioned into it without even so much as a yelp of disagreement!
|Big girl bed success!|
I also noticed on another trip when Isabella was just about seven months old and we were touring around Chile and Uruguay that she suddenly learned the art of crawling (instead of just body sliding) and even crawling up and down stairs, as well as pulling herself up onto her feet whilst holding the furniture. Why, suddenly was this happening when I had been trying so hard at home to get her to grasp these new stages?? What did Chile have that our home didn't? The answer... carpet.
|Of course i'll put my pyjamas on mum!|
And, if you're like me and you dread certain parts of every day that you know, like clockwork, are going to be painful, like the post midday sleep cranks that your toddler gets, or the hideous game of cat and mouse that happens when you are trying to get them dressed for daycare in the mornings, or the tantrums that inevitably come when they are bored, have seen their own toys a thousand times, watched their own dvd's backwards and upside down two hundred times... a trip away is the most amazing chance to have a well earned break from those daily grind habits and if you're really clever, not allow them to resume again when you get home. (This usually involves talking to your child as an adult and telling them how awesome it has been for both parties to not have to do those yukky tantrums anymore and how proud you are of how grown up they are now that they don't need to do it anymore!) Doesn't work every time, but its always worth a shot!
So, the next time you feel that wave of anxiety at the thought of the upheaval of a trip somewhere with the kids, remember too the feeling of banging your head against the wall at the monotony of those tiny things in your daily life that drive you nuts, but that you're probably just accustomed too also. Your next trip is your chance to sneak in all the changes you've been wanting to make at home!
NB. It is still worth mentioning that it takes a little faith and creativity on your part to allow those changes to happen... taking some risks, like letting your adorable little angel sleep in a big girl bed without all the whiz bang side protectors and monitors etc that you'd normally have at home. Take some chances. Break the rules. Make some changes. You might be amazed.