Many have asked "how do you make traveling with kids easier?" To that I would have to say "don't bring them."
I have two trips this week. Right now I'm in LA and next week I'll be heading to New York for the Playtime Universe trade show!! (AHHH!) My airline ride was bringing back nostalgic memories of one crazy trip I took with my sister and 4 kids a few years ago, I'll expound on that in a minute.
Here come the crazies
I love to people watch, so as much as I enjoy cutting everything close, being one of the first to my seat in the airplane is actually quite motivating for me. I love to watch everyone walk by, look at their outfits, which book they brought on the plane to read, check out their shoes, hairstyles etc......the list goes on. Aaaaaand I have just given myself total creeper status. Every plane has one, and I have been one myself, the frazzled mom, who God bless her probably DID brush her hair this morning, but getting from the house to the airport can feel like an episode of the Great Race, or Survivor.
As a mom, the center airplane aisle is your finish line, you made it!! Only the people on the sidelines aren't cheering you on.....actually it's more of a death stare/seat's-taken kind-of-look. As a parent you just have to accept the fact that no matter how good you look or how hard you try, there is just a huge stereotype behind traveling with kids. I've learned to embrace it, rather than fight it - that way if things go awful, I expected that, and if things go great, then I am the traveling mom of the year.
I really wish I had a picture of the trip me and my sister took to visit our grandparents about 6 years ago. We had 2 brand new nursing babies, a 3 year old and a 5 year old. Unfortunately I don't think we had any leftover hands to take snap a shot, but if I remember it correctly, we looked something like this picture.
I had Ethan strapped to the front of me in a snugglie, Esther and Ellie in a mile long double stroller. (At this point either Phil and Ted's awesome double stroller didn't exist yet, or I wasn't hip enough to know about it. Since I just used the word "hip" I'm gonna guess it was the latter of the two). I had a diaper bag and a purse on my shoulder, and my sister, although she only had one child was somehow loaded down with even more bags than me, and had a baby strapped on. We were everyone's walking nightmare, people cringing at the very sight of us getting near.
Someone in an airport once told me "you either have a great experience or a great story". This is probably my favorite saying now. It just means regardless of the outcome don't stress too much. Chances are it might go great, and 3 gold stars for you if does, you had a great experience! But it might go super, awful, horrible. Your baby might have a blowout and you don't have an extra shirt, or they might throw a toy and hit someone in the head.......more than once. In that case, someday (hopefully sooner than later) you'll have a great story to tell!
Our mind has this special place where it takes things that we don't want to remember, that's where the other half of the memories of that day of travel went, and here I am left giggling at the thought of the walking circus we were that day.
Happy trails everyone!
Photo credit: Google Images, moms.mylife.com & Attached Mummy