Screaming baby on a plane.
Yup. I'm that mom. Just deal with it. Ask me for help. Don't glare at me. Don't wish I gave my kid Benadryl that won't put them to sleep, but only wakes them up more. Don't judge me with your stares and eye rolling. Yeah, I see you. Between my kids flailing arms and wails of over tiredness, I see you. Well guess what. I DONT FEEL BAD. Nope. And let me tell you why....
While I'm busy reeling in my kid, you travel by yourself. Or maybe with your spouse. Maybe you have kids and are secretly thanking God you don't have them with you or your single saying to yourself you will never be me... well, I can tell ya, you will be. I don’t feel bad, because I'm too tired and weighed down with stuff to feel bad. Your eye rolling is a stress I just don't have the time or care to take on. Traveling with a kid is hard. Let alone more than one. To the parents that do it with more than one, I praise you. Hell, I'd hug you and tell you how amazing you are if you were in front of me. Between my backpack and diaper bag and cooler and Minnie Mouse doll and stroller, blanket, travel ‘boppy’ and sweatshirt, I don't know how much more I can hold. Did I mention I am BY MYSELF? Oh, and let's not forget meal prep... nice portioned little meals stuffed into baggies in my over flowing cooler, with bottles and snacks for baby (enough to last a day if a flight gets cancelled or whatever). Then, on top of those nice baggies I have to remember to eat them every few hours while trying to hold an almost two-year-old on my lap on a puddle jumper airplane and everything under the seat or above.
Let's talk about dieting while traveling as well.... yes, as we walk through the airport by at least 10 different Starbucks and Peet's Coffee and Dunkin Donuts in every terminal. Ignore those fresh holiday pumpkin flavors calling your name and that caffeine fix you needed since 4am since you have been up. Let's not forget the 4 hour layover, as well. You have all of your food with you and all you want is that damn cookie the size of your hand that will cost you $4.50 to buy. Don't do it. Just don't. Because not only will the fact that paying $4.50 be absolutely ridiculous, but the guilt of eating it AFTER the fact will just make you more irritated than you already are. Not while eating it, because let's be honest, it will be delicious, but after, when you realize you didn't pack your food for nothing and eating a cookie won't justify or make your day any better. Trust me on that. It will only make you feel worse. It's also one more thing you do NOT need to carry because let's be real, one more item and they will consider your cookie an extra item that needs to be checked. Don't weigh yourself down with the guilt. At least if you’re going to get a cookie or have that indulgence, wait till your with people you want to be with or save that cookie for when you get where you are going, draw a hot bath when the kids are asleep and then go to town. Pick and choose when you want to indulge. It really makes all the difference in the world to how you enjoy it.
When you pack for a trip, whether it be car or train or bus or whatever, always plan ahead. I personally cannot for the life of me pack last minute. It stresses me out to no end, I ALWAYS forget something and I ALWAYS over-pack. I over-pack regardless, but at least when I start ahead of time I go through my things at least two times and remove stuff I realize I really don't need. Lists are my best friend. For this last trip I planned for the plane as if it was a whole trip in itself. I had a total of 6 flights to prepare for. Three different days of travel, all with layovers from one hour to four hours. I knew my daughter wouldn't nap for these so I had to prepare. Here's my list of necessities ....
-Mini DVD player with at least 3 dvds.
-Coloring book she has never seen before
-One toy aka doll she has never seen before
-Snacks for baby: pretzels, crackers, blueberries, cheese, puffs, milk, and 2 lollipops for emergency melt downs. Yes, yes I prepare for that.
-My meals: which for travel I do hard boiled eggs. They travel best for long travel days, rice cakes, blueberries, kale chips I make myself. (Baked Kale with a little sea salt.)
-I always keep at least one extra set of clothes for baby and me on me in case a flight gets cancelled and we are stuck overnight. I prep as if I may not get to where we are going for at least one day. I've had things happen too many times that flights get cancelled or delayed and I've been stuck overnight in airports more than I like to admit. I'd rather be safe than sorry.
Traveling in itself is stressful. Then add kids to the equation. It doesn't have to be terrible. But at times things are beyond our control. So again, please excuse me if my kid kicks you by accident or starts to wail. She is only expressing how I truly feel. Parenting is hard. Disciplining is hard. Then combine the two in public and its double as hard as well as you know your being judged. So, I say this to you, to the moms who travel with kids, take a breath, hold your head up, and know you got this. If I see you in the airport or wherever and your kid cries, I always have extra puffs and lollipops with me. And if I really see you struggling, I'll buy you that cookie.
Wendy Lee Govoni Capurso