When pregnant with my son, I couldn’t help but get sucked into the vortex of social media articles chronicling the downward spiral of parenthood into a prison of sleepless nights, yoga pants, and takeout dinners with Frozen playing on repeat in the background. With dread, I watched as strong, independent women were dropping like flies to the powerful lures of mom groups, consumed by discussions regarding potty training and helicopter parenting. More and more, my friends sat at home, limited by their child’s routine, lamenting the length of time it had been since they had been to a restaurant or gone somewhere interesting.
I didn’t want to be like that. I didn’t want to leave behind my interests or put experiences on hold. I have always loved to travel, and having reached my 30s, with a flexible job and some money saved up, I was finally in a position to do it. I wanted to welcome my child into my life, and share with him the things that I loved.
A friend of mine had recently returned from Ireland with his 2 year old daughter. I was impressed with the trip asked for his advice. Two words…”Just Go.” It became our family motto. Just pack up, book the tickets, and go. The rest will happen. The plane ride happens, the awkward travel moments will happen, and there will inevitably be moments when you think to yourself, “Why did I ever do this?”, but how is that different from any other adventure?
There will also be amazing things that will happen. Your child’s smile will bring you to people you never would have met. Your child’s need to run and play will bring you to corners of the world that no guidebook will mention. Your child’s need for patience will make you slow down, and experience things through different eyes and in a different way. You will share moments and learn lessons as a family that could never have been choreographed on the living room couch.
I hope this blog can serve to inspire and inform parents to “Just Go” as we have. Whether its to the restaurant down the street where you worry your kid might make a scene, or on a 12 hour plane ride across the world, Go for it! Keep living, exploring and adventuring, and enjoy every minute with your children at your side.