When Baby Makes Four
I remember when I was pregnant with Dek. Naysayers came out of the woodwork telling me how our travels would diminish. We would never go anywhere. We would just have to wait until the baby got older.
In the past two years I have proven all of these people wrong. We have flown across the country countless times. We have been to Asia and back twice, to Maui once and we are headed to the Big Island next week. We have even braved a road trip here and there.
So why, when I found out that I was pregnant with Baby Walkingon at the end of August, did I feel like life had shifted and all our travel dreams were over. How would I be able to hop on a plane by myself with two kids and go to Asia while Mike worked? Who would carry Dek while I carried the new baby?
Actually my first thought was, “well there goes the trip to Europe.” Now this really had nothing to do with another baby, it was more the timing. I had started to formulate a plan to fly to Switzerland at the beginning of May. I would then grab my friend, her daughter and her Mustang convertible. We would pop the kids in the backseat and head to my friend’s house in Italy. After that we would drive down to Sicily to another friend’s house where Mike would meet up with us. It was a great plan. Sadly my due date put an end to that. Drat. Even if I rescheduled my plans, it’s pretty hard to fit 3 car seats into the back of a Mustang. Double drat!
This first mental dilemma, literally right after the stick turned pink, should have given me a glimpse at the priorities in my life. If I was that worried about a cancelled trip, I could definitely figure out how to get two kids on a plane by myself or even with some help. Those anxious pregnancy hormones sure did rush in quick didn’t they though?
Life just has a way of throwing challenges our way and we learn to live with them or find a way around them. In those brief moments that I panicked that travel as I knew it was over, I thought of some of the incredible families traveling with 2, 3, and even 4 kids. Heck there is a family wandering around in an RV with 13 kids somewhere. Not my idea of fun, but hey, if they can do it I can certainly keep going with 2 kids.
Just to make sure I wasn’t crazy, I turned to my family travel blogger support group. I specifically asked the parents of more than 2 kids what they thought as more children were added to their lives. Did they have fears? Did it get harder? What were the benefits? Here is what I got in return.
Suitcases and Sippycups has 4 kids. They do a lot of road trips but get in the air on occasion too. She broke it down in a great and personal way for me. When you just had Dek, you were a new mom, learning the ropes along with him. That made things harder, because everything was new. The first time you got on an airplane with him was the first time ever. This time, there will be two of them and because of the numbers things it will be harder. But, you are not a rookie any more. You know how to do this now!
A Traveling With Kids Motto
Sometimes I think we travel even more just to prove that you can travel with four kids. – Suitcases and Sippycups
This is something I have personally taken on when traveling with Dek. I might not have four kids, but even traveling with one goes against so many people’s idea of sanity. I never claimed traveling families were sane did I?
Your Family Grows But You Just Roll With It
I started my blog because of the frequent comments I got. “You have four kids and you take them places? I can’t take my (one, two) out in public. How do you do it?” I don’t know how, I just know that I did, and the more places we went, the more they liked going to new places. Sure, there were times when we turned around and went home, it wasn’t always smooth sailing, but for the most part we just kept going and teaching and learning and enjoying our travels.– Travels With Children By Minnemom. She went on to say, I never thought of slowing down with four kids; I just choose our destinations very carefully and do a lot of bargain shopping to fit our travels into our budget. The number of miles on our vehicles would indicate that we haven’t slowed down one bit.
For us the tricky bit was figuring out how to do it with one. After that, we’d already decided that we weren’t staying home and it was more a matter of figuring out the logistics than anything else. These days I’m pretty confident flying solo with the three of them. It’s not my favorite scenario, but I just remind myself “I’ve been tired before, and I’ll probably be tired again.” We have such a great time together when we travel that I wouldn’t give it up just because of a the few hours on the plane might be tricky. – DeliciousBaby
I actually found it easier once I had the second because they were able to entertain each other and the second one never gave me hassles about seat belts, being in a car, etc. because he saw his brother already doing it. – 500 Places With Kids
Two or More Equals Someone to Share Stories With
More than one family commented on how much they love that their kids have someone to share their stories with and experience the world from their perspective.
For what it’s worth, I love seeing my kids interact with one another while traveling. We have three, and three can be a tough number for ‘family of four’ accommodations, etc, but it forces you to think outside the box! – Pit Stops For Kids
I also tell my kids that they always have friends to share their travel memories with. I love the “remember when” conversations they have. – Travels With Children By Minnemom
A friend of mine is a mom of six – travels to Australia every other year. She wrote a hilarious piece for my site called Hell In The Skies. She said going from 1-2 was 10x the work, and from 2-3 was 30x the work, and the rest just fell into place! – Have Baby Will Travel
Nothing in my conversation with these families left me feeling more nervous or like I was tackling the impossible. If anything it gave me hope. As I move through the first trimester (the black hole of pregnancy to those of us who suffer from 24/7 morning sickness), I’m still planning trips.
Stay tuned for more on traveling with a toddler while pregnant before we move into traveling with two. I have a feeling 2012 is going to be a wild ride. Oh and that trip to Europe, yeah, it’s rescheduled for next fall. Can’t wait!
NOTE: Please excuse my poor drawing skills in the photo above. Just having a little fun as we make room for Baby Walkingon in our family