Monday, September 16, 2013

Travel with kids - Why does ANYONE do it????

So, I get that travel is supposed to be this amazing, fantastic thing.

People talk about it all the time in relation to kids.  They want to spend time traveling the world before kids.  They want to have kids young so that they can travel after they have children.  And some people are truly nuts - they want to travel with kids.

Now, I can see traveling with children when they're a certain age.  But right now?

On a scale of enjoyment, traveling with babies ranks right up with a visit to the dentist.  While it's fantastic to be able to see family and friends or new places, the opportunity cost of that trip always makes me question if I ever want to travel with kids again.

travel with kids
Oh hello tenth rest stop in one trip!
We recently went on a trip to my parents' home, which is only a few hours drive away from our home, for the weekend.  After both DH and I had worked that Friday, we packed up our already cranky kids into the car and headed out to my parents' home after dinner.  Since it was just around bedtime, both DH & I were hoping the kids would fall asleep on the way, so that they'd get a little sleep but then have some energy to see Grammy & Grampy before we put them back to bed.

That - of course - didn't happen.

From just about the moment we got into the car until about a half hour before we arrived at our destination {doesn't it always happen that way?} Little Lady cried.  So, if we take into account all the time we were driving, that was about two hours straight of driving.  It was on and off, where she would stop for a few minutes, and then Little Man would start talking or playing with a toy and it would start all over again.

Finally, Little Man got so frustrated that he couldn't sleep that he started crying.

That led to me giving him a device with Thomas and Friends on - only he had to listen to it really loud to hear anything over Little Lady.  So, it was one baby screaming and one cheeky train making noise at the same time.  Lovely.

travel with kids
Can we just go back to lazy Sunday drives around town only?
When we finally reached our destination, that's when the real fun started.

The kids spent a small amount of time saying hello to their Grammy & Grampy and running {or crawling} around the house, until DH & I determined it was bedtime.  We changed everyone's clothing into pajamas, put on diapers for the night, and brushed teeth.  I think?  Then DH took Little Man into my old bedroom and I took Little Lady down into the basement "apartment" area my parents have set up for us - which is amazing.

{We've tried many times before to sleep with all four of us in the basement, but it just doesn't work out.  Little Lady still wakes in the night to nurse, which wakes up Little Man.  When he wakes up, he is loud and that keeps Little Lady from just nursing herself to sleep and then she is bright-eyed and awake.  It then becomes a battle to get either back to bed.  So, we divide and conquer at this point.}

That night, however, no one wanted anything to do with sleeping.  I ended up walking and wearing Little Lady around for like two hours - maybe three?  She kept continually waking every time she heard a noise.  DH spent until like 2 or 3a with Little Man watching cartoons on his iPhone because every time he put it down Little Man screamed and cried - and DH didn't want to wake my parents.  And you know where this one is going...

Of course, the next morning - they were up bright and early and ready for the day.

And so it went for the rest of the trip.  At this stage of their lives, while I miss seeing family and friends as often as I'd like to be able - I just can't justify the absolute ridiculousness that frequent travel with such small children brings.  They're cranky, overtired, and overstimulated.  DH & I are cranky, tired, and overstimulated.  No one is calm, and for the most part, no one is happy - mainly because we're so darn exhausted all we can think of is getting everyone home into their own beds.

The beds in which they actually sleep.

As the kids get older, I'm sure that we'll do more travel.  I remember traveling with my family to some pretty awesome places {my favorite being a road trip out to Yellowstone Park,!}  For right now, they don't remember it and we can only put up with so much.  We sadly have to do the bare minimum right now to see our families because we love them - but any more than that just isn't going to happen for the four of us.

Anyone else feel me on this one?  Any other parents really despise travel at this point?

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  1. I absolutely love this post!! We only have a 2 year-old right now, but just got back from flying with her to Chicago for the weekend for a family party. At one point, I stopped in the airport and told my husband to enjoy it because we were NEVER flying anywhere again.

    I hope it gets easier one day, but there is absolutely 100% no place like home these days!!

    1. You are braver than I, lady! I am totally against flying anywhere with the kids {mainly because I hate flying so much} so neither have ever been on a plane before.

  2. We did an 8+ hour road trip to BC this summer and I wrote a post along these lines. And yes, to me it's worth it. My mom lives 3 hours away and Ethan hasn't slept in his car seat since he was 8 weeks old. Now that he's older it's easier for him to be awake 3+ hours, but once we're there we're fine. There's always 'no place like home' but it's also not fun to stay home all the time either. A healthy balance makes it worth it!

  3. I nominated you for the Oh So Fabulous Award. The details are here:

  4. I'm one of those nuts who timed my baby knowing we'd move abroad and travel a lot. I want her to visit as many cities/countries as possible!


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