I wish children came with user manuals and one of the options could put them in vacation mode.
As much as I was warned about taking trips with an infant, I never actually dreaded the idea.
Spoiler: I still don’t.
Not giving it even a second thought I jumped at the first opportunity of travelling because mommy desperately needed an escape.
Little did I realize that there is no escape from motherhood, this time the vacation was going to be more about finding a bathroom with changing stations and quiet corners to nurse my child rather than relaxing in spas, water sports and shopping sprees.
From what I have learned travelling with a child comes in 2 parts
Being in a foreign land with a 4 month old means getting or at least feeling lost at an average of 3 to 4 times daily. I felt thankful for each and every day that ended with me not losing my mind, my belongings or my baby primarily.
I missed meals and on top of that starving mommy had the fortune of taking full day trips with hardly sleeping the night before. Yeah that explains my panda eyes in the picture, but don’t worry, now is the time to get your hands on some designer shades. If you already did, then the investment will be well justified.
Things slightly got better or even worse (I am still not able to give a verdict) when I took my second trip (or trips) with Hoorain, who was now between six to nine months, to different parts in Australia. She was definitely more independent and weaning which meant I could last longer without having my meals and having to nurse her.
But her mid-day naps and attention span had gotten smaller which obviously meant a higher frequency of attention seeking tantrums, hair tugging, kicking and frantic crying.
“TMI” alert: Weaning also meant greater chances of diaper explosions and soiled onesies.
Always a good idea to save the good news for later. Right?
So here comes the better part of the deal moms. Those of you who were having second thoughts already about planning a vacation with your little ones; don’t!.
All that I mentioned above cannot hold you back from having the time of your life with your “mini mes”.
All being said about how a mother needs peace and time alone, a mother’s greatest need is “giving” and giving the best experiences to your child is what makes you forget about the chaos you had to go through when you ran out of wipes.
Your child might not enjoy the animal safari you paid a fortune for one bit but you will definitely have fun figuring out what amuses an infant about salt and pepper shakers at a local coffee shop and derive your energy and enthusiasm from the look on your child’s face.
“Sorry Mr. Gorilla for Hoorain’s disinterest but I think you look ravishing today”
Well if you think you have had the worst kind of mood swings during your child bearing period, you will change your mind about that once you travel with a child.
I am referring to the baby’s mood swings here, not yours 😛
Speaking of mood swings, mine too were on a roller coaster ride all along but I guess after attending to Hoorain’s, my mind had very little energy left to even process my own emotions. I considered that a win win!
One moment I’d be relieved after putting Hoorain to sleep hoping I have the next hour to myself to explore peacefully and the very next moment, I’d be trying to wake her up before the fireworks began, just to enjoy and capture her priceless reactions.
Not having to pack extra bottles and supplies every morning I would feel proud as punch about my decision of not introducing formula to her BUT on the other hand I don’t think I have to explain how I felt managing a hungry child without compromising my decency in public spaces.
Lets be honest! I had very little energy left before reaching mid-day but the key to my happiness all along was to enjoy with whatever I had left and tons of gratitude, something that I tried to capture in the pictures.
The pictures may seem perfect but super mommy is talented when it comes to photography. I thought I deserve a moment of self-admiration 😛
Although travelling alone means relying on strangers or your selfie stick for pictures, but babies are the most restless creatures and a lot of effort goes into taking a decent shot, and because I felt uncomfortable asking others to wait for my kid to smile or show the slightest sign of enthusiasm therefore I preferred using the timer mode, the right camera settings and lots of filters of course 😉
I managed to survive the madness and enjoy at the same time by keeping very low or no expectations at all. I knew Hoorain deserved sympathy more than me for missing her cozy naps and not getting her favorite home cooked fresh meals.
Sure mommy wouldn’t mind a sympathetic free massage or a treat as well but when travelling with a baby make your own rules, new rules maybe? Do not fuss about sleep patterns, processed food or too much sugar 😛
Spoil yourself and your baby because that is what a holiday means.
I might have made a lot of mistakes during my holidays but I am ready to take the risk again. At least way before Hoorain starts to comprehend and it gets difficult to explain why she can have as many candies as she wants when on a holiday. *winks*
Submitted By Arfa Siddiq.