Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mother's Intution

I feel like I've been away from the blog world for a year...but it has really only been a week. Hi y'all. Did you miss me? I did! My husband and I went out of town for five days for a family wedding. It was a nice weekend; we spent loads of time with friends and family, and the wedding was a lot of fun. Bride was lovely...her dress was definitely competing with Princess Kate. (In my opinion!)

And yet we're glad to be back home too. Going on trips really tugs at my patience. I try to imagine everything going smoothly and always being in an energetic, happy mood. But as the saying goes, "Wherever you go, there you are." Life and people don't change just because you go on a trip. There's a lot of planning, packing, organizing, and laundry beforehand. In the car there's a plethora of bags, sippy cups, spills, lots of turning around in the passenger seat on the thru-way to find the lost book/pacifier/blanket. My purse becomes a 50 lbs weight as it tries to hold every thing we might need when leaving the car or hotel room. There's the challenge of trying to keep our diets healthy. There's crankiness when sleep routines and naps are disrupted. There's a lot of driving, waiting, walking, and breathing - it takes a lot of energy to pull off that smile at all times.

Even though life while traveling isn't always ideal, there are ways to make it more relaxing. Here's how we did it - and naturally, because we're so amazing, you should follow our lead:

Eating her pears one
morning in the hotel bed.
1) We split up the 8+ hour drive over two days, which ended up doubling the length of our whole trip. But it was definitely better than trying to cram it all in one day.
2) We took bathroom or snack stops whenever we needed without looking at the clock or miles
3) We had ample snacks and juice on hand while driving
4) We used disposable diapers instead of cloth all weekend
5) We used a car DVD player
6) We set limits and said "no" to extra plans or ended the day when needed
7) We upgraded to a nicer hotel room the last night, just to treat ourselves (and hey, for $5 it was worth it!)
8) We made exceptions, like stopping for McDonalds on the way home

You might think some of them are unnecessary, but they made a huge difference in our attitudes. I'm not an advocate for plopping your kid down in front of the TV for hours or treating it like a babysitter. Let me tell you, though, when those Baby Einstein dvds are teaching your kid sign language, and encouraging them to tell you what they see ("dog! baby! duck! cup!"), I can make an exception. And in the middle of dead-stop traffic, they were a lifesaver! And boy was it hilarious watching Little Olive's face light up while she sat down in McDonald's with her "fresh fries"!

Hooray for quality time
I think sometimes you just have to go with your gut and do what's needed when the time comes. Call it mother's intuition (<-- very cool article I read the other day) or whatever you'd like, but you just have to follow your heart (<-- another cool blog about this topic). I could have said "no" to the dvd player and dealt with a total meltdown for an hour on the highway. We could have said "no" to McDonald's and instead ate Subway for the third time that weekend. We could have kept our original reservation at the hotel and squeezed into that small bed. I could have gone out at night with all the young folk...and watched everyone else drink while I was falling asleep in the corner. Besides...with a pregnant DD, my husband would have never tried running home in the rain, illegally trespassed on a college campus, twisted his ankle, gotten lost, and hitch-hiked back to our hotel.

I mean, what a story for the grandkids!

All in all, it was a fun weekend and I'm glad we went. Share your tips for making traveling easier with youngsters!


i.ikeda said...

Sounds like a blast. And hey, I'm all for the dvds in the car. I told you how we use dvds to compliment N's language exposure. When we went to Boston to visit my brother, we put on a few of Japanese and Brazilian dvds, although she would get tired after one or two. But they helped. And I went in the back with her when DH was driving, and vice versa. That way the would-be passenger didn't have to keep reaching in the back for the cups, blankets, toy, etc.

We also used some coloring books and reading books in general, since we were riding in the back with her. All of that helped. But yeah, you're right on with the whole being flexible. You do what you gotta do sometimes.

Created2bholy said...

It sounds like you handled everything amazing and planned very well. Dan picks on me for all the extra toys, crayons, snacks and juice I always pack on trips but the kiddos sure do get bored easily and need quick distractions! I'm glad you had such a wonderful time!