Travelling with children

There are few things I hate immensely. I hate getting an unexpected bone/cartilage in my food (I’m 85% vegetarian because this grosses me out so much). I hate the -40 degree weather that sends our city into a deep freeze for a few weeks each winter. And I absolutely hate travelling with kids.

Remember how much FUN road trips used to be?? (Of course I’m talking pre-kids here) The spontaneity! The adventure!! Times were far simpler when all you had to worry about packing were some fancy tops, skinny jeans, cute footwear, and a bag full of makeup and toiletries. And booze, of course. We never knew where we were going, making several visits along the way and going with the flow. The noise in the vehicle was your favourite band and conversation with your best friends. We could end up in Toronto, we could end up in Montreal, or hell, even Wawa (wow!).

Road trips now? Fuck. I dread them. Dread. With kids you need to plan a good three months in advance, and spend at least two months trying to get out of it. The only thing coming out of the speakers of my mom wagon is “Let it go”. When packing for trips I now have one bag devoted to diapers and wipes. I still haven’t updated my “cute” clothes from before kids, but I pack them anyway hoping I’ll miraculously get my pre-baby body back by sitting in a car for five hours. My footwear now is orthopaedic sandals and shoes because gaining 40+lbs each pregnancy destroyed my feet.

You pretty much need a bus to go anywhere with young kids, they have so much goddamn shit. The strollers, playpen, sheets and blankets for playpen, extras for when they piss everywhere, sippy cups, baby food, snacks, bottles, movies, games, bikes, toys, cleaning supplies for when the kids inevitably throw up or pee their pants in the car, books, car seats that take up the entire back seat, half the kids’ wardrobe because they’ll either go through three outfits a day or wear the same outfit for three days.

When you arrive at your destination with kids, they turn into feral animals hopped up on shitty fast food that you broke down and had to buy because you ran out of snacks an hour away from home. Finally set free from being strapped into a harness for hours, your children burst into the home of whomever you are visiting, destroying the place in seconds and gaining you the title of “parent who can’t control their children.” I can’t even imagine if adults had to ride in cars the same way as children – not able to lean our upper body forward, or shift in our seat. No wonder they scream the entire time!

Travelling with kids sucks. There’s no denying it. But the memories we make are worth every miserable kilometre travelled. The look on their faces when they see their Nana and poppa, their cousins, aunts and uncles, old friends we haven’t seen in far too long because life gets in the way. The memories we make doing things we don’t have in our city – the aquarium, the zoo, and some day when they’re a little older, Canada’s Wonderland, a baseball game, a Broadway show. These moments with our kids make the distance travelled all worthwhile – screaming, chaos, insanity and all.

xo Guest Blogger Sarah

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