Traveling is exhausting work. It’s weird because it entails so much sitting and waiting and very little physical exertion but new surroundings and people and schedules take a toll on the mental load.
Traveling when you’re a parent is doubly exhausting, no matter the circumstances.
Maybe you’re like me today, flying solo on a business trip. You’re taking conference calls between flights while simultaneously checking in with the babysitter and reminding your spouse that it’s gymnastics night, or that the children haven’t been bathed in a few days.
While not as physically exhausting as traveling WITH my actual children, the mental load is high. I am guilty—it’s spring break and I didn’t have the option to reschedule this trip. I am sad—three days is a long time to go without any snuggles and smiles. I am anxious—imagining all that could go wrong in a few short nights away.
Maybe you’re like me last month—traveling with all your kids in tow—sweating from the heat of a human on your lap and digging through a bag dusted with crumbs to find yet another snack.
I just passed a couple with four children, carrying infant twins in their arms while pushing the worn out and whiny 6 & 10 year olds in the stroller.
There is a mom two gates over with a crying infant and I can just see the angst for one hands-free minute in her eye.
There’s a dad I passed with a baby strapped to his chest and a toddler strapped to the back of a suitcase wheeled behind him. As fun as both sound, no one looked to be having a pleasant time.
There’s a feisty crawler over there, her mom cringing at the thought of her baby scooting around on airport ground but out of other ideas.
If you are a parent, and you are in an airport right now grab a freakin’ beer because you deserve it. Whether you left your kids at home this time, or you have to order that beer with 2 apple juices and a “milky” you deserve it.
And if you’ve experienced grumpy travelers who’ve given you “looks” for your children’s behavior today, make it two.
This post was originally shared on the author's blog, Please Bring Coffee, which offers humble ramblings about surviving parenthood on laughter and luke-warm coffee.