So this happened – I became a parent this year. I know. BIG moment in my life. On February 1st I welcomed my little girl to this crazy, wacky world. The last four months have been exhausting, emotional, life changing and beautiful at the same time as I get used to my new role. The morning cuddles, gummy smile, developmental milestones and the fact I created new life (still amazes me!) make up for the sleepless nights and shift in lifestyle.
What it hasn’t changed though is my love and desire to travel the world – now with my daughter in tow. In order to prep myself on taking a future overseas trip, I have been spending my time the last 4 months getting out as much as possible with the little one, being out and about for 5-6 hours a day, trying out napping on the go, eating at busy restaurants and cafes, learning what to do if there’s no change table, trying out local transit during rush hours, driving a car through the city centre, and troubleshooting as much as I can in different situations. In other words, prepping myself to be independent as much as possible during travel and learning what works for my baby and what does not. This is my arsenal that I can hopefully pull out of my proverbial pocket during stressful travel days.
There are times I will succeed and there are times I will fail I have learned – but for me, it’s important to try even if I fail – rather than not try at all.
So a few weeks ago, my husband and I decided to go one baby step further and embarked on close-by ‘test’ trip – an overnight stay in Whistler, a mere 2 hour drive from our home.
10 things I’ve learned:
1. Enjoy and savour the moments in between the chaos.
2. There’s a lot more sh** to bring with a kid. And you will forget something.
3. There’s always time for “Mommy and Daddy Juice.”
4. A Starbucks patio table can act as a great base for swaddling a wailing child.
5. With team work, you can get through a 3 course meal on a patio…and actually have some moments to enjoy.
6. A place you’ve come to a gazillion times…will feel new and different because now your experience includes a new member of the family.
7. You will think of your party days as you pass by a bar you’ve been to before – and shudder at the thought that one day your daughter will probably visit those same places too.
8. Mama can have some spa time and not feel guilty about it.
9. You might get deals…simply because we are parents – and hotel staff are perhaps sympathetic? Our upgrade fee was reduced by half. Score.
10. You can stay out until 9:30pm…so long the little one is sleeping. And get kudos from the strangers sitting next to you for being out and handling a meltdown well.
“You’re doing great,” they say.
For being new parents who don’t know what we are doing sometimes, that means a lot.
Hopefully we can apply this to future trips. Cheers to parents everywhere!