We interviewed many moms for the Traveling With Kids book, every one of whom had a unique story or perspective on traveling with children due to their own personal experiences. I remember being particularly moved by Karen H.’s story: she traveled through India alone with her two sons, then eight and ten. Having just returned from a trip to Mexico with my boys (my husband joined us mid-trip), I’m sure I thought “I bet I could do that”.
But this past week, my eyes were really opened to the practicalities of traveling alone with multiple children and I feel I should stop and take a moment to praise all the single moms who travel with kids or moms who, due to whatever circumstances, end up traveling alone with their children. You are my heroines.
For being patient with your early-rising child and still calm when your night owl doesn’t want to sleep yet.
For being willing and able to cherish your children even when they’re endlessly badgering you – and only you – all day long.
For working really, really hard to balance the interests of your oldest with the needs of your youngest.
For getting out there and navigating public transport while keeping your brood together.
For knowing when to have a day where all you do is stop at the playground and visit the ice-cream store (maybe even twice).
For managing long airport layovers necessitated by booking your flights with a limited budget.
For not flinching when one child starts vomiting but the others still want to play.
For accepting that the chances that you will get any time to yourself during your vacation are slim, but for choosing to travel nonetheless – and enjoying the time with your children away from the stresses of your daily life.
Long may you travel and if your path crosses mine, I promise to lend a hand if I can.