This is a message of hope to all the frazzled moms out there traveling with kids…
Believe me when I say, I can relate.
Traveling with the kids has become our new normal since we moved down South. And let me just say, we have two very active young boys. So am I worried when we are traveling with kids?
Before a trip, I have nightmares of my one-year-old screaming his head off on the plane. Because, well, he’s one. And it’s what happens. All day. Everyday.
These are mixed with visions of my five-year-old, running around the airport bored out of his mind, because our flight was delayed.
Does it happen this way? Well, not exactly. But it’s not that far off.
All that aside, I’ve learned one very important lesson when traveling with kids. It is time to let go of the mom guilt and shaming that exists in our society today and allow mothers to parent however they deem necessary. It is not our business to judge others and critique their parenting style, no matter the situation.
So to all the moms traveling with kids soon, here you go…
FORGET THE TECHNOLOGY-GUILT
Other people have no idea that when you are home with your kids, they are on a strict “technology use” schedule.
When you are 30,000 miles up in the air and the only thing keeping you sane in that moment is an iPad, than so be it! Ignore the stares and criticizing glares. Let it be. If it keeps your kid quiet and entertained, especially if you are a nervous flyer like me, than let them have it. Trust me, when you’re traveling with kids, don’t try to enforce rules.
On one particularly stressful trip, I found myself constantly repeating the phrase, in a rather loud voice, “Wow, how great is it that you can use the tablet such a long time today. What a special treat!”
Suddenly realizing what I was doing, I stopped stressing and validating my parenting choices to absolute strangers.
BRING AN ARSENAL OF SNACKS & TREATS
Literally. Empty out your pantry if you need to. Whatever you feel will keep your child happy, fed and quiet should be in your bag, quite possibly in bulk. A hungry kid, is a cranky kid.
Also, it is smart to bring “special treats” along as well. Include things that your child does not have on a daily basis, like lollipops or other sweet treats. This will make the trip more exciting and give them something to look forward too. Who knows, maybe they will even be more adept at behaving if they know something special is coming their way.
IGNORE UNSOLICITED PARENTING ADVICE
It’s bound to happen. Your kid will start acting up and everybody and their mother has something to say about it. Smile politely, nod your head and then proceed to do whatever your heart tells you to. You are your child’s parent and nobody knows them better than you.
AND FINALLY, TAKE A DEEP BREATH.
The 140 people your screaming toddler bothered during the flight will soon be a thing of the past. The grumpy old man whose seat your son kicked repeatedly will not be scarred forever. Some things are beyond our control. Remember, you have just as much right to be traveling with your kids as anybody else.
So here’s to all the moms traveling with kids. Hold your head up high and breathe.