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Challenge: Traveling with Kids

If you want something done right, have a mother (or father) do it

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To be wholly truthful,

I’m drafting this post on an airplane.

On airplane home from a




very challenging,

tantrum and sibling-fighting-filled,


first and probably only-ever

European vacation

with my

handsome (goes without saying)


but easily-irritated husband,

my extremely intelligent,

but with a flair for the dramatics pre-teen,

her incredibly sweet,

also dynamically smart,




and occasionally defiant

nine-year-old “only boy in the house, wah!” brother,

and my karma-delivered mini-me

who is

seven going on seventeen,

- yep…smart as a whip, too -


totally unique,

but drives EVERYONE the good (and the bad) kind of crazy

and doesn’t sit still

or stop talking.

And then there’s me:

an *undiagnosed*


generally anxious and moody,

but creative,

and mostly always well-meaning


self-improvement seeking,

but consistent mistake-making of an imperfect human.

We are the griswalds on crack.

Whether we be in

Europe or America,

at our home or another’s,

in Publix or in public


And our crack is chaos.

And we bring it with us wherever we go,

no doubt,

but it is also what

defines us,

keeps us authentic

and enables us as a family

- and as individuals -

to be better.

To do better.

To make better choices.

To make the world better.


But in those “other” moments,

we are just

chaos walking.

The kind most wanna run away from, if I’m being honest.

To the beat of our drum.

To the song or a melody no one else hears.

At a pace all our own.

Running in our own race.

A race in which the winner is defined as a runner who didn’t drop out.

A participant who never gave up.

A mover who refuses to stop


or believing in themselves,

and is always aiming

(with a lot of “he shoots and he misses”)

to love and support those around them.


This post isn’t about me and mine,

though with all my blabbering on it sure seems that way.

This post IS about YOU and YOURS.

And FOR you and yours.

And it’s about you


[and remaining]

comfortable with

screwing up ——

often and in abundance.


Because it’s




And, yeah, sure,

maybe you and your rambunctious crew will,

on occasion,

screw up a snooty couple’s fancy dinner

or mayhaps you always leave

a noise

or crumb trail

wherever you go,

but it’s by way of anecdotal stories us mamas tell each other about this kind of REAL SH*T

— in person, via text or while in school pickup line —

and the world

— via our

head nod-causing posts,

laughter-inciting tweets

or bloody brutally honest divulgences,

that make “the rest of us” feel

seen and heard,


related to


And by way of such, each of us gets

“on board”

(I’m goofily laughing to myself here cause I’m on plane #2 of the day and me and mine have been up for 18+ hours so I’m truly hoping all this makes sense)

and in agreement

with the notion that

if you want something done right, have a mother do it.


‘Cause no other collective group of human beings on this planet handle shit better.

Or keep calm when shit hits the fan.

Or keep composure when cleaning up the shit that hit the fan and then went everywhere.

No other cohort of human is everywhere even when they are somewhere or nowhere.

From the mental bobbling

to the physical juggling,

there is no other


heart-ticking creation on this Earth

that does ANYTHING better.

Except for dad.

He does a good job too.

So we can give the dads credit too.

This whole being a parent thing is wild.

One minute all is good and well and everyone is happy and healthy


like a GIANT f*cking smack to the face,



and bickering

and coughing

and a holy heck of a lot of


and, by proxy, wine-ing.

Here’s where I just state the crux of my rambling in simple terms,

though I said it before,

I’m saying it again,

‘cause like a true parent I wanna repeat myself to ensure that you absolutely hear me


and by “you” I mean

the general public

and employers

and those who think children and the people who have them are the spawn of the Earth

if you want something done right, have a mother do it.

Or a dad.

We know what it takes to step to the plate. We know how to remain at that plate even when our own is overflowing.
We’ll even fill and then service the plate belonging to


and yours

and your clients and the like.

Point being:

We know how to give of ourselves.

Often more than we thought capable.

And it won’t always look pretty,

but it’s pretty much a f*ckin’ guarantee that we will show up and put out.

Maybe that’s the wrong choice of word

but who the heck cares

because I’m talking about

1. putting out a hell of a lot of effort

and, at the same time,

2. putting out fires,

3. all the while keeping the one lit that
remains inside of and drives us.

I hope any parents reading this feel comfort and belonging.

I hope any non-parent reading this will make any parent they know feel comfortable and like they belong - because they do.

Truth is that all vacation long,

I felt like a failure.

Why are MY kids arguing so much?

Why are MY kids whining so much?

Why aren’t MY kids more grateful


why can’t I seem to remain calm and patient and engage in positive parenting when MY kids are losing their ever loving minds?

Why is this happening to ME on MY vacation??

But tonight it hit me…

and you can



lack of sleep for this,

but I get it now,

and what I get is this:

Chaos is to a parent what flight attendants are to a plane full of tired travelers

- necessary and helpful.

We need chaos to teach us how to be adaptable and adaptability is perhaps the most helpful life tool a human can have in their toolbox.

…she wrote before she fell asleep…

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