Thursday, March 22, 2012

{ traveling with a toddler : it's not for me }

our little family recently took a trip to costa rica, where i am originally from.
i decided to write a couple of posts about the subject of traveling with a toddler.
somewhat hoping that it helps other moms and dads attempting to do the same,
but mostly as a way to analyze the entire experience.

for the whole sha-bang!, click here.


we were only one day into our vacation and Jacob was up at 6am.
I can’t remember who woke up with him. I’m sure it was Phil, though.
Soon after, the other one got up and made breakfast.
We were concerned with the little boy who had barfed for five hours on the plane
and then continued to get sick for the remainder of the previous day.


Yes, I was concerned and worried, but if I’m being honest here
I have to admit that I was mostly wondering what i would do if the next 17 days didn’t change.
I questioned if I’d be able to relax and enjoy myself.
I was so looking forward to this time to do just that... relax and enjoy.

Not too long after that 6am wake up call I realized that, while I was on vacation,
I was still a mom. I wouldn’t escape motherly duties.

Before I go on, you have to believe me that I did have a great time and I did have a chance to relax here and there. I loved my vacation with my family. 

I had imagined my husband laying in a hammock, while my son built sandcastles,
and I sunbathed until I achieved a perfect tan.

But I soon realized that wouldn’t happen...
and I was disappointed.

There were lunches to be made, fruit to be chopped, diapers to change.

I don’t understand why I thought all those things would disappear when we got off the plane.
Isn’t that weird?

Sun and sand was not enough for Jake.
He still wanted our undivided attention and he would not have anyone else.

It was okay, though. Jake’s our kid and he is our priority.

It wasn’t a matter of Jake’s irrational requests,
It was a matter of me changing my own expectations.

I realized that even though I had purchased the tickets, packed for the trip,
 arranged the house rental, made phone calls, etc. etc.
The main man on this trip was Jake.

His schedule had to be followed, his needs had to be met, his wants had to be (mostly) satisfied.

That meant that instead of laying in the sun,
we’d be searching for a shady spot so his gentle skin wouldn’t burn.

That meant that we wouldn’t go out to dinner every night so that he could go to bed on time.

That meant Phil and I wouldn’t have free time to go snorkeling like we’d wanted to
because Jake would not be happy without us.

Once I embraced this, I experienced freedom.
The freedom that comes with acceptance, my friends!

We had a great time at our beach house. Then I had a great time at my aunt’s house.

I cared for my boy and did things for him to revel in.
When he was joyful, I was joyful.
There is no happiness like seeing my little one smile and laugh.

All the work that went into vacation was worth it. Totally worth it. Even if we didn’t go snorkeling.


Carolyn said...

Wow. So true. Even though I have not had any big trips with our little guy I totally have those same feelings and go through that thought process with every fun event we have planned and every free Saturday... motherhood is a vocation.

TicoTina said...

yep, life with kids definitely takes some mental adjustments from time to time! the best thing is if you have the backup person to lean on, I can't imagine not having my husband with me the whole time!

Unknown said...

Mine are 21, 18 and 12. Still a mom...always a mom. It can be hard sometimes though!


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