We very recently took a 30 hour journey from Florida to Australia. Two adults, a 2.5 year old, a 1.5 year old cutting his eye teeth, a 7 week old (and let’s face it, he was the trip MVP), 9 bags, and a double stroller. As this drama was unfolding I realized it was a little bit like labor. In the beginning you think “I can do this” then towards the end you say “If this doesn’t kill me, I’m never doing this again” and then, shortly after it’s over, you think “It wasn’t really that bad.”
I’ve written on travel previously. How to travel organized and getting over jet lag are on the list. But I’ve got to be honest, sometimes you do all you can and then you just survive. Organized bags doesn’t mean that they aren’t heavy and annoying. Just because you have well-behaved children doesn’t mean they don’t go ape after 30 hours of car to airport to airplane to airport to layover to airplane. That’s life. Here’s what I learned.
(1) Sometimes all you can do is to laugh at your situation. When you have just managed to situate your heavy bags overhead, crawl awkwardly around two sleeping people and take one child to the bathroom, then crawl awkwardly back to your seat, sit down and attenpt to close your eyes and you hear “mommy, I got a dirty diaper again” all you can really do is laugh. Your seat neighbors will get irritated, or not. You’ll have to get more diapers from the overhead bin that you just managed to close then wait in line again. All the while the first few rows of your section are getting a good whiff of a dirty diaper. Ah well, that’s life with kids.
(2) Sometimes all you can do is cry at your situation. Around hour 36 when you’ve landed, taken 45 minutes to get through the line at customs with all your small immigrants and your mother and you are pushing a double stroller with an extra child sitting on top and your mother is pushing a suitcase trolley with 9 huge bags on it and you are sweating and leaking (#breastfeedingproblems) and everyone is giving you “obviously she doesn’t understand the concept of birth control” looks, all you can do is cry a little. A small pity party, a small personal pep talk, and an inner meltdown. Ah well, that’s life with kids.
(3) Sometimes all you can do is ignore your situation. When both of your toddlers are fussy because they are sick, and they are trying to steal the pacifier from the baby and thus spread germs all over, and they are hungry and exhausted, and your newborn is hungry and screaming “waawaaawaaa” and then they start screaming and you need to fill out important paperwork and temporarily problem solve… all you can do is ignore them. Everyone is looking at you like “can’t she keep her kids under control” obviously not comprehending that 36 hours is a lot to ask of small people, and your daughter is saying something snotty like “but I don’t want to, mama” really loud you just tell yourself “it’ll be over soon.” Just mentally plug the ears, ignore the crying and screaming and assure concerned passersby that all will be well. Ah well, that’s life with kids.
Will we make the trip again? Yes. Will I be well-prepared again? Yes. Will it matter? Probably not. But hey, that’s life with kids. You win some and you lose some and you being comfortable and well-rested doesn’t fit nicely into the equation.
- What I learned when my stroller had a flat in D.C.
- What I learned when I switched to the skirt swimsuit
- What I learned on a 36 hour journey wit lots of kids and even more bags
- What I learned during transition in childbirth (the near death experience)
- What I learned in my third 3rd trimester
- What I learned when I lost my daughter under the bed
- What I learned in my second 3rd trimester
- What I learned as a work from home (and stay at home) mom
- What I learned in my third 1st trimester
- What I learned when my 1 year old let herself out of the house
- What I learned when hosting a progressive dinner with 20 kids
- What I learned when my daughter woke up the entire 2nd floor of our hotel
- What I learned getting a urine sample from an 18 month old
- What I learned when my baby ruined my bedding
- What I learned at the public pool
- What I learned at a birthday party
A trip to remember no doubt. We did it with only a few scars to show for it and memories to last a lifetime.
Cry, laugh, ignore. Check! :)
Rachel Norman says
Yes…and lots of diet coke!
aunt kack says
glad you still your sense of humor and love for the adorable kids and your mother.
Rachel Norman says
I love your blog! Do you live in Australia? I saw on another post that you don’t have canned pumpkin where you live and it made me wonder and then I saw this post. I live in AU and moved here from NC and also type A personality so there is so much here I can relate to. I stock up on canned pumpkin whenever I visit home or someone visits me :-) Would love to connect more with you and hear your story if you are open to that!
Rachel Norman says
Ha, we DID live in Australia (in Sydney) but now moved back to Florida :)