Pre-emptive anxiety

I’m not your typical worrier. In fact, I rarely worry at all. I don’t really believe in it. It’s one of the upsides of my personality. I don’t often look far enough into the future to worry about anything, or stress about anything, or freak out about the unknown. I just kinda…I don’t know…live. I’m easy-breezy like that. Except?

Right now I’m kinda mildly freaking out below the surface of my calm exterior.

In less than two weeks I will be boarding a plane, with a toddler in tow, by myself and I will head to Michigan for 9 days of glorious reunions, weddings, hanging out with old friends, and meeting new ones.

I’m tickled pink about the reunions, weddings and fun part. I’m scared shitless about the traveling by myself with a toddler part. I’m kinda nervous about being a single parent for 9 days. And I don’t know how I’m going to make it being away from Brad for that long. We’ve never been apart for that long. The longest was 5 days, it happened 3 months into our relationship, and it was awful being away from him that long. Needless to say, I can sometimes feel my heart pounding when I stop to think about this trip.

I’m excited, don’t get me wrong. I’m really really really excited. I just don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to pack. I don’t know how to handle the airplane ride. What if she screams the entire time? What if she demands to crawl up and down the aisles? What if she wants to crawl through the airport? I don’t have enough hands for all the juggling that I’m going to have to do checking in and during our layover. What about the equipment needed to take care of a baby?

It’s completely common, over the last few weeks, for me to be going through my day and think, “I don’t think I’m going to pack diapers. I’m just going to bring enough for the day we’re traveling and then buy some at Target.” Or, “I can’t decide which stroller to bring, the mac-daddy one or the umbrella one. I need to text Elizabeth and see what she thinks”. These thoughts happen out of the blue, and they happen often. Do ya’ll know how completely uncharacteristic it is of me to think about anything weeks in advance? I mean, I literally just threw my daughters first birthday together in about a week and a half…and I knew that was coming for a whole year! Do you see what I’m saying?

I’m stressing myself out about this crap. It’s giving me gray hairs. I keep reminding myself that the traveling is only 1 day, and it’s not even 8 hours…and the whole trip is only 9 days. PLUS, I’m going for a pretty dadgum awesome reason, and we’re going to be fine. It’s going to be great. Zoe is going to be great on the airplane, and will probably be making friends with everybody like she’s apt to do. And besides, there’s always Benadryl…right? Just kidding! Mostly.

Anyways…basically this post is a cry for advice. Any and all advice. I could care less if you have ever traveled with a kid or not. If you have an idea…send it my way. Btw, I’m bringing our carseat and stroller on the plane with me and I’m borrowing a pack-n-play there. Also, I’m against leashes on children {although I’ve definitely considered it for the airport part}. Ok…advise away!

Happy Tuesday ya’ll!

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9 responses to “Pre-emptive anxiety

  1. Once, I traveled alone from Florida to Washington with a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 6 week old baby. I don’t really remember too much about it, so I guess it went pretty smoothly. Then there was the time we were travelling with a 2 year old who threw up all over me three times on the plane, but that is a different story. I know though, that regulations are stict concerning what kinds of drinks and foods are allowed, so check those out so you will not end up leaving everything behind at security. Take enough diapers for two days and extra clothes for both of you, just in case you have an accident or they lose your luggage. Take her favorite toy, some books and snacks, and some music on your I-Pod. Pray you get seated next to someone who has a bunch of kids. I’m sure everything will be fine. Hope you have a great trip.

  2. We traveled when J was about six months old, and it was not as bad as I thought it might be. Melinda’s packing advice is great. I’d add: wear slip on shoes, no belt, no jacket, etc., so security is easy. Check TSA guidelines if you’re bringing any pumped milk (it’s really not a problem to do this), and look out for a “family” line at security so there’s less pressure. Bring toys and snacks, and try to think of it more as special mommy-daughter time than as time away from home and Brad. (You could Skype in the evenings, too.) You can check the stroller and carseat at the gate, but if you don’t need them in the airport, I’d recommend checking them ASAP, so you don’t have to carry them, dismantle them, get them through security, etc. That’s a pain. You are going to be fine; it’s going to be great. And the worrying just means you’re a mom! (I mean that in a good way!)

  3. I have 0 advice on this one 😦 Sorry. But know I’ll be thinking of ya.

  4. it CAN be stressful traveling with little ones!! Use your stroller in the airport- you will want her contained when your hands are full. Bring snacks, little toys- things you an use (one at a time!) to interest her. Don’t use all your tricks at once! You are right about the diapers- but make sure you have plastic bags in case of outfit changes, and take plenty of wipes, etc. But don’t worry- I’m sure you will have a great trip!!

  5. Melanie Wilson

    We traveled a lot with our twins before they turned two. At 18 mo we went to Cali (from Jax) for a week long RV trip. I actually bit the bullet and bought a DVD screen/player, one that fits a car and actually works perfectly on an airplane. I brought some cartoons, and they did great. This may be a bit too old for your little one, but I wrapped a bunch of presents that I bought at the dollar store. They loved opening them and each of them lasted a good 15 min before I needed to find a new trick. Snacks are good, but the flight attendants LOVE babies/toddlers and kept us in full supply of snacks anyway. I brought empty sippy cups so I could fill them with juice, powdered baby formula or whatever once through security. Lots of baby wipes and diapers and change of clothes. We bought a big box of diapers when we got there, no need to use your luggage storage on that one. You will be by yourself? So I would suggest the umbrella stroller, it will fold up the quickest when you are getting on the plane. You can check your carseat or pack n play at the curbside checkin, so you don’t have have to drag that through the airport. But keep your stroller with you…keep that baby in it as LONG as possible. Some hubs have great play areas for kids to burn off energy. Look at your transfer airport to see if there is a kiddy zone for your layover. Let’s see, what else? Pray for an empty flight. No one wants to sit next to a baby, so maybe people will move so you can have the row of seats for yourself. We got lucky on every flight we have taken to not actually have to put them in the lap. Good luck!

    Melanie (You don’t know me. I am friends with Brian, and know Brad through him and Gator events. But I’ve read your blog and LOVE it. Keep up the good work.)

  6. Clara was a tad older {13.5 months} than Zoe when I flew solo with herfor our move, so I fell ya! I’d say, definitely bring extra bottles, or if she’s stil nursing, and extra diapers! Clara went through 4 outfits in the 3 flights from Michigan to Alaska- flying can do funny things to little tummies. Bring extra snacks already portioned into serving bags; make friends with your “neighbors” when you first get on and let them see just how cute Zoe is, that way they’ll be a bit more understanding if she gets fussy; bring new books {even cheap ol’ $ store books}, new toys, and pretty much anything that Zoe loves, maybe even breaking into crayons…? I’d recommend an umbrella stroller to take with you- they’re lighter, fold easier and tuck into smaller places, less things to carry when traveling solo with a little one is a big thing! Check the airline’s TSA section too for what they allow; usually you’ll get your carry-on bag, purse and a diaper bag when your babe is with you. Using a backpack to store the snacks and goodies and diaper bag to store the diapers, wipes and clothes worked great for me.
    Just remember to breath and enjoy the ride. It’ll end. And you’ll survive. πŸ™‚

  7. We, too, have done this. 1)Don’t feel bad about the Benadryl. Most docs will recommend it, too! There is some calming herbal stuff for kids, too. 2)Does she have her own ticketed seat on the plane? If not, you might want to check the car seat as luggage. You can also rent a carseat with most rental car companies if you are getting a car while you’re there. 3)I have to go against PP advice and say to bring the regular stroller b/c: a)storage so you’re not carrying a ton of bags, and even if she wants to get out and roam, you can put your bags where she would be sitting. b)umbrella strollers don’t do the one-handed close, which your mac-daddy stroller probably does. c)your mac-daddy is also probably easier to push one-handed, if necessary, than the umbrella. 4)If you are carefree with her, and want to let her explore, USE THE LEASH! (I was anti-leash also, until I traveled solo with 3 young boys! It’s not for people who can’t control their kids. It’s for people who only have two hands, and are against airport kidnapping or child escaping! You can borrow mine! It’s the cute puppy one from Target.) 5)Def use a backpack! You can bring reasonable amounts of liquids for babies, so juice boxes might be helpful. 6)It was also the time we bought the portable dvd player. You are also welcome to use ours if needed. HTH.

  8. I travled from Virginia to Florida wham Bryce was 6mo. Even ad a layover and all went fine. I think I would call Jessica! πŸ˜‰

  9. no advice but cant wait to hear about it!! you will do great and zoe will charm the entire plane with her cuteness πŸ™‚

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