Today’s post is a very random one but I have some thoughts after a week away with my family, my mom, my sister and her family, and my mother-in-law. We were all in one house (this is the link to the rental if you missed it on Instagram) but managed to make it not feel totally chaotic at all times.
I think back to traveling when Amalia was really little and how anxious and stressed I was and almost can’t believe how far we’ve all come. Except for one rough afternoon, all four of us did a great job of relaxing and enjoying this trip without my normal traveling-with-kids anxiety. It felt like a miracle!
Here are some thoughts on how that happened…
The little things make the greatest memories: I was itching to get out and do things, see things, go to the beach, and experience where we were but that isn’t what happened. We spent most of the week in or around the pool of our rental house and that is where all of my favorite memories from the trip happened. Amalia mastered her under-water handstand, Luca laughed and screeched down the waterslide (with me and a life vest), and we had sun-soaked snack snuggles wrapped up in towels.
Watching my kids run around chasing their cousins through the house as I cooked dinner at night was another favorite memory that I’ll never forget.
That said, traveling with young kids is hard: On the plane ride wherever you’re heading you might find yourself cursing the decision to travel with a small child but the second you see them enjoying a new place, it’s worth it. But then an hour later they missed a nap and are screaming and it’s not worth it again. And suddenly they’re thriving and learning to swim and it’s worth it. But then they can’t find anything they want to eat out at lunch and it’s not. And so it goes, around and around until the trip is over. For us, the worth-its far out-weigh the not-worth-its.
We go into it knowing there will be challenging moments and just accepting those. That helps you jump from great moment to great moment easier.
Side bar, looking back on Luca skipping *all* of his naps I have to laugh now. Whenever we tried to put him down he would say, “No nap! Big pool! Big pool please, mommy!” My little water baby never wanted to stop swimming.
Going with the flow is the best plan you can make: I am a planner. Always have been and always will be. But with the exception of planning meals and buying groceries, I’ve learned to love going with the flow on vacation with kids. If they’re full of energy, we might take an adventure. If everyone is tired and cranky, we do something at the house or hotel. I find that if we try to make too many plans, I get stressed out feeling like we have to do them.
Make time for yourself: There was one day where I had zero minutes alone from the moment I woke up until I fell asleep and I felt overstimulated and uber-exhausted by bedtime. Every other day I made sure to take a 30-minute walk or rest alone to recalibrate. Once I tapped back in, Anel would tap out and do the same.
Try to sneak in a date night: This is usually not possible but we had a full house of aunts and grandparents to help so Anel and I were able to have a dinner out one night which was so nice to connect without a million humans crawling on our bodies.
Let go of the normal routine: I learned this one years ago but I wish I had known the first few times I traveled with baby Amalia that it’s ok for schedules to be off and naps to be missed. Everything will regulate when you get home. It will all be ok!
Document it but also put down your phone: We had a lot of adults around so we got lots of photos and videos but Anel and I tried really hard to put our phones down as much as possible and play with the kids. My favorite memories from this trip weren’t documented but will live forever in my head.
Photo by Tami for Flytographer.