I’ve just been reading a great blog by some expectant parents who are clearly sick of receiving unsolicited ‘wisdom’ from jaded been-there-before parents whose primary message seems to be that their life is now over. It’s prompted me to share some of my own experiences as the mother of a two year old and the proud possessor still (by the grace of the universe and the strength of my fingernails), of a life…
One of the primary messages of the naysayers seems to be that you’ll never travel anywhere once you have a child. Simply not true.
Of course the journey will be different….
City breaks still delight but they now stand or fall on the quality and quantity of available playparks, rather than trendy bars and restaurants. Note, if you didn’t know it already: a leisurely meal becomes an oxymoron as soon as there’s a baby in the equation.
For our regular climbing and surfing trips we’ve had to suck it up and buy a motorhome (or RV). Terribly unglamorous but definitely functional. (Think fitting in pushchair, baby backpack, surfboards, climbing gear, toys, travelcot etc etc….oh, and one ungainly greyhound.) Luckily we were never terribly glamorous in the first place so the fall from grace was not so difficult to bear.
And who really cares about sacrificing street cred when it means we get to keep climbing in gorgeous places like this?
Yes, indeed. Travel you can, wherever your particular passions may take you. In fact, the day comes, sooner than you might think, when the little
tyrant darling will be telling you exactly suggesting destinations and directing your activities when you get there.
Below, Jack oversees a surf lesson for my friend on our local beach.
Ah yes, each stage of parenthood comes with its particular joys and challenges. That it is a stage is particularly important to remember at all times. Nothing stays the same. A comforting thought in times of trials and a wake-up call in times of (particularly fleeting) smug ‘We’ve got this parenting thing all sorted’ moments.
In some ways the earliest stages of babyhood lend themselves particularly well to travel. Pre-walking babies are really at their most portable. They weigh little, are pretty immobile and they sleep a lot and just about anywhere, freeing you up to do your thing.
On the flip side however, while Jack was at his most portable I was at my most immobile. Flooded with happy, hazy-making breastfeeding hormones I was content to pass the ill-defined days away on the sofa with him mostly clamped to my boob, dreamily gazing at him in simple amazement. This from a woman who never wanted babies.
And then, when we’d finally get him off to bed in the evening, we’d heave a sigh of tired relief….and break out the digital camera to review footage of him from that day….
Yup, take it from me, babies can accompany you to places you never even dreamed of.