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Have Baby, Will Travel

Or not. It's up to you. "Have baby, will travel" was my mother-in-law's motto when DaddyMan was a little boy. Some families have a great time traveling with little ones and showing them the world, and some do not. A lot of it has to do with the child's temperament, the parents' temperament, budget constraints, the physical health and abilities of the family members, and the behavior of fellow travelers. Those things are mainly outside of our control, but two powerful tools are within our control: planning ahead and saying no.

Here I am at a wedding venue with Nux Gallica, who is all gussied up and trying to hitchhike out of there.

There are lots of fun things about traveling with a baby or during pregnancy--you get to show off your bump or baby to far-off loved ones in person (so much better than on Facebook!), shake off cabin fever, and maintain connections to the larger world. I first felt my Nux Gallica move when I was about four months pregnant, while putting up my swollen ankles, lying on a chaise lounge in the waiting room of an Indian restaurant in Chicago. A bartender noticed my wilting, pregnant state and brought me a complimentary glass of mango lassi. Moments after the first incredibly sweet taste, Nux leapt for joy in my womb. My best girlfriends from college and my husband were all around me, and some of them got to feel Nux dance as I sipped some more. It's a lovely memory that couldn't have been made at home.

On the other hand, I really was wilting and exhausted on that trip. And it was only two months since I had vowed never to travel again, after a stressful business trip at two months pregnant. But looking back, I know that both trips would have been much more enjoyable if I had known better how to prepare myself and all of my traveling companions for the many needs of a pregnant woman. I wrote a list of tips that would have made my travels a lot easier in a post called "Traveling while Pregnant." (Many of these also apply to parents traveling with children.) And if you just don't feel like traveling at all? Pregnancy and early parenthood are marvelous times to learn the joy of saying no, which I also posted about. You have the ultimate excuse to make demands or to opt out of travel entirely, because you are doing the most important job in the world: creating the future.

From the comfort of home or wherever you may travel, stop by The Magic Nutshell on the first Friday Monday of each month for more posts in the Middle Path Mother series.


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