To that tired mom staring off into space, finding herself questioning every life decision she has ever made — I see you.
To the moms who traded in their Type-A careers to stay at home and raise the kids they have brought into the world. To the moms who once navigated the challenges of the workplace with effortless calm and precision, but now are grappling with the often irrational whims and moods of infants and toddlers — I see you.
To the fiercely independent babes who once backpacked alone and swung off to solo adventures in their previous lives, who now find themselves planning virtually every nook of their day to day around what may least trigger their kids to be uncomfortable or unruly — I see you.
To the fellow moms taking a rare, peaceful break from the insanity on the exceptional moment that none of the kids need to be consoled, fed or changed at this singular point in time — here’s to us.
May we survive (as we always try to do), and still be happy with whatever version of ourselves we find once we finally stop grasping for air, and are finally just able to breathe.
It’s 10 am and at arm’s reach is my newly-opened bottle of (alcohol-free) Corona beer (it’s been a whirlwind week, so cut me some slack). The only other times I could remember when I would think that beer this early would be a good idea are, (1) when I’m lounging on the beach while on vacation, and (2) when I’m killing time on a layover at the airport. I couldn’t help but think of this tweet:
Now that this tweet’s stuck in my head, I also couldn’t ignore all the other ways this stay-at-home-with-an-infant life is so similar to how I’ve usually acted in airport terminals. For example:
I don’t care if it’s dirty, I’m going to wear the most comfortable pair of shorts I own. Like every single day.
Time passes as I’m on a sleepless daze, just waiting for the moment that somebody announces that it’s time to board now (yay!) and I could finally pass out and doze off in my airplane seat.
One of my fears is my phone running out of battery, so I’m always on the lookout for a chance to charge (if you’ve ever been held hostage by a sleeping baby on your lap, then you probably feel this one).
A lot of time is spent just sitting, sitting while dreaming of all the productive things I could have been doing.
At some point, I lose track of what time and/or day it is, and I don’t know whether I should have a beer or coffee.
After two years of not flying anywhere, I found myself positively giddy on my first time back at an airport — even if I wasn’t the one getting on a flight at all. We were bringing my sister to board her flight, and we had the whole gang in tow: me, my husband, my 3-year old and my 6-month old.
I barely remembered how small Stuttgart Airport was — you could probably walk from one end to the other in about 15 minutes (maybe 5 minutes if you’re late for a flight and are running). We arrived at the airport with a lot of time to spare before boarding time, so we roamed around trying to find a decent restaurant where we could settle down with the kids while we wait.
Aside from the McDonald’s and a rather well-stocked Edeka supermarket, there wasn’t much going for options (the big buffet restaurant is now unfortunately closed). What we did stumble upon had no food, but was actually a better option for keeping the little ones entertained.
Visiting beloved flower gardens during spring is always a good idea; it’s time for Mother Nature to show off her vibrant hues and delicate silhouettes.
The last time we went to Insel Mainau, though, we did not have two kids in tow yet. Now that I’ve seen the park through the eyes of an ever-alert parent, I just realized how much of a refuge it can be for families with small children.
I never really thought of visiting zoos as a children’s activity; I’ve always enjoyed meandering in zoos as an adult whenever I travelled. Now that I have a toddler who is thoroughly fascinated with making monkey and lion sounds all day, now I see the appeal of taking along your kids to see living, breathing, amazing animals.
When I first became a mom, I found myself often mourning the loss of my old self, of my old freedoms. I guess it’s quite common — unless you have an extra pair of hands to watch over your kid, you’ll find yourself saying goodbye to impromptu trips to the mall, sports events, the gym, anywhere where it may be overwhelming to try to do your own thing but at the same time, give your full attention to a small child.
Since we were gluttons for punishment, we set off for another long road trip, barely a week after we had our first international excursion with our 7-month old son. This time, we were off to the north to Ribe, the oldest existing town in Denmark, founded in the early 8th century.
To be honest, I wouldn’t know the difference between 8th century history from 18th century history, but I do know a charming old town when I see one. The drive through the fields was utterly soothing, although my husband didn’t really appreciate the very low speed limit (As for me — yay, somewhere I could drive!).