Vacations, or Activities I Used to Enjoy before Having a Baby
Living with my husband and our baby out of state from our respective family and friends makes visiting rare, pricey, and challenging. Yet, we get homesick and want our son to know his family beyond just his mom and dad, so we purchase the tickets and pack our bags two to three times a year. But that’s about to change.
First of all, the last time we flew with our baby, he was three months old and was an amazing little traveler! He didn’t cry during the flight, and while he had difficulty sleeping through the night in a strange place the first night, he woke up less frequently with each passing night. Our biggest challenge was getting him to nap because he didn’t want to miss a second of all of the new faces he was suddenly surrounded with.
This time, however, he was seven months old. And this meant that he was attached to his home: his crib, his toys, the cat. And taking him away from those things for more than a day or so angered him–yes, angered him, in a precosiously tyrannical way.
Although he’s still an excellent flyer, by the time our trip was over, I hadn’t slept more than three hours per night for over a week. I was exhausted, foggy, slurring my speech, and short-tempered. I found myself sweetly muttering curse words to my baby in the wee hours of the night, and even more stupidly, asking him (only somewhat rhetorically) what the hell he wanted from me.
You’ve never seen such glee in a baby’s face as when we arrived home. Temper tantrums gone. Maniacal laugh-cry nowhere to be heard. And bedtime–which had turned into a sadistic nightly ritual in which my son would fall asleep only after screaming off and on for an hour, then awake multiple times during the night and kick me repeatedly in the gut, punch me in the jaw, and at one point stick a finger up my nose and scratch it (drawing blood) in a move that can only be described as ninja-like–was a non-issue. Our first night home, he fell asleep after a few minutes and awoke only once, falling asleep immediately after a feeding. The next night, he slept through the entire night.
The holidays will be here before we know it, which usually means traveling long distances; i.e., welcoming back the beast that was recently exorcised from my child. But my husband and I have decided that, as much as it pains us to spend Christmas apart from loved ones, the drawbacks are too much right now. The cost is exorbitant, and our baby’s ability to cope with change is just nonexistent.
Rather than wishing things were different and then plodding ahead with our plans when we shouldn’t, my husband and I have decided to work with what we’ve got.
- This means that we’re going to stay home for awhile.
- This means that we might take short weekend trips to relax and have fun, but no more long-distance traveling.
- This means that we can put our money towards paying off debt and saving for a house rather than giving our money to the airlines and pet sitters.
This also means that our son won’t see his grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins nearly as often as I’d like him to. The thought of him spending his first birthday and Christmas with just me and his dad breaks my heart: It’s not what I’d imagined at all. But we literally can’t afford to continue on the way we have.
So there it is, and it’s not all bad. I feel good knowing my husband and I have made an “Adult Decision“: a decision that’s no fun at all but that is the right thing to do for our family.