Do you travel at Christmas? Far?with kids?
Our first Christmas with a new baby was hectic.
I had had a c-section and lost nearly 60 lbs in the first 6 weeks post-partum. I was tired. A new mom. We were on a very fixed income and we had an 8 hour drive to get to one set of family before moving on to the next.
We wanted to show off our bundle. We wanted to see all our friends, relatives, neighbours….and they wanted to see us…..in their homes….because it was -30 and winter and why not just come on over here?
Why not? I’ll tell you why not….because not less than a week after getting home from our 5 day whirlwind of family, feasting and pass-the-baby-to-me-with-my-germy-hands people my dear little boy and I were both so sick with strep throat we were both on medication, full bed rest, fevered up and almost unconscious for two weeks. Yep. Happy New Year to us. Miserable.
We learned a hard lesson that year: some families are greedy with their time with you. And some families don’t understand the value of consistent routine for little ones especially at Christmas.
Travelling is hard on kids and babiesand moms. If you’re going to visit family there’s a few things to keep in mind:
- you can’t visit everyone so make a priority list before you arrive
-get one friend or family member to agree to host a gathering so you can see many people in one place, on one night only. That way, you tried and those who missed out are not going to be ticked with you for lack of effort
-whenever possible leave little ones with Grandma and Grandpa or aunties and uncles while you and your spouse do the visiting. Trust me- your kids will thank you and you will thank me!
-try not to change sleeping locations more than once over your entire vacation: kids don’t do we’ll in strange beds and by the time they’re just getting used to it you up and change it on them!
-don’t force your kids to radically change their routines: don’t overdress them, take away nap times or play times…
-make sure everyone gets the opportunity to sleep in when necessary-don’t over schedule
-take cues from your family: cranky, whiny and angry usually means your baby, toddler, child (or husband) is overstimulated and in desperate need of a break- it’s okay to change plans or scrap them all together
And finally…… You’re never going to please everyone: mothers, inlaws, brothers, sisters…don’t sweat it. Remember this is YOUR vacation. Rest. Enjoy.
No stress. No sickness. Say no when necessary.
Your baby, your kids, your family, your life….you go with your gut and you’ll always be right.