I was there, fellow mom traveler or mom traveler want-to-be. It felt like I’d never get out of the mom rut. Would I ever get to see a beach again? Would I ever get to visit Europe or Japan? Could my husband and I travel with our kids and live to tell the tale?
Even while knowing I was fortunate, I was nevertheless completely overwhelmed when I found myself with a newborn and a 12 month old baby. I write often about babywearing and it’s because I don’t think I’d have been able to do so well without it. Usually, I’d wear both kids at the same time, but even wearing one is a huge help to most moms. In fact, I still wear my 4 year old daily (at her request). This is why I continually strive to share the babywearing love and encourage moms who feel like it isn’t working for them to look for and utilize their local babywearing group for further education.
“I have that part taken care of and I’m comfortable with my choice. I want to travel, but it seems so impossible.”
It does, doesn’t it? Money, time, and energy are definitely in small supply when you have babies and young children. It doesn’t mean that you have to give up your dream to travel!
We went through a long period of time during which my daughter did not sleep through the night. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the amount of her wakefulness was unusual. I finally asked my sister during our trip to Wisconsin, if any of her children had slept so poorly (she has 6 kids, remember!) She surprised me by answering no. My daughter’s needs were a little more intense for a little bit longer than most, but that doesn’t make those needs wrong. I say this to offer you hope. There are huge variations on normal sleep for babies and children. People will often tell you to do a lot of extremely detrimental things to get your baby to sleep. I beg of you to get through the phase without doing something that feels wrong to your parenting instincts.
One day, I told myself that I can be stuck at home not sleeping or we could go see the world while not sleeping. It was completely possible to do things that challenged oneself while raising babies. Maybe I won’t be hiking to a lava lake in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but certainly some exotic travel isn’t completely out of the question (from a short trip to a nearby lake or even a longer trip to Europe).
That’s the day I told my husband that I do want to live abroad and to go ahead whenever he was ready to pursue an opportunity.
Reasons to travel now!
I wish we had made a budget, so that we could have taken an “exotic” trip when my children were around 1 and 2 years old. At this point, they would eat anything I offered them. I also used a method called baby-led weaning when I started serving them solids. While the method encourages allowing kids to have certain size pieces of food served to them, the most important tenant for us was that our children were never forced to eat (being spoon fed and having the spoon shoved in their mouths). By the ages of 1 and 2, they were more than capable of (messily) feeding themselves and very open to new textures and tastes. Visiting another country or region of our country could’ve helped introduce them to even more tastes and textures than I was providing at home, partially due to my limited culinary skills.
At ages 4 and 5, it’s a little more challenging to introduce new foods. It can be done, as they are still young, but it isn’t as easy. Toddlers and preschoolers really like to exercise control on their eating choices.
Another reason I wish we had sacrificed for more travel early on was to introduce being in new places, with new sights, sounds, and smells.
All those reasons being said, I was a mombie, even with coffee. I completely understand if this is where you are in your current journey. Wishing for more and yet, not able to move towards it. Because, obligations.
Mombies can do hard things and indeed prove that every single day
Moving is one of my most-hated activities. Even remembering those difficult weeks of our move earlier this year make me cringe. Truly, I still cannot believe that I was capable of moving my family to another country. I can’t believe we traveled to another country on a house hunting trip and forgot the kids’ tablets (which have all now bit the dust, even the replacements). I’m still marveling at the huge change in our lives, all while missing seeing our families. Though, I love our new house, I’m missing the house we sold. Moms do hard things every day while raising little humans. Even the most schedule-following person knows that parenthood throws so many challenges our way.
So you want to travel? And you dare to travel with your babies and kids? Yes, mom friend, it’s a challenge. It’s also rewarding. The activity from that beach vacation can lead to the best sleep of your life (since you’ve brought little lives into being), because your darlings are sleeping. Little ones can hike with you. Cruises and all-inclusive resorts have many activities for kids. And if those prices are a bit high, camping is definitely an intriguing option.
For the mom traveler who feels like giving up
Don’t give up. You can do this. You can take that dream trip or necessary trip with your family. Yes, you.
I believe in you.
Do you have a dream trip you’d like to take with your children? Did you do it or are you still working toward that dream?
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