When are you coming to visit?
How many of you are parents with young children, or perhaps had young children (at some point in your life), and can think of past traveling experiences?
Did your children travel well during those past experiences?
Now close your eyes and try to envision a child that is easily overstimulated – by sounds, changes in routine, changes in scenery – who has difficulty with changes and transitions as a whole. Now try and picture those overstimulating factors I just described, and think about each one of those potentially triggering a severe meltdown, including, but not limited to: violence, aggression, self-harm, screaming, etc.
Do you have a clear picture of what I’m describing?
Every time we leave our house, whether it’s just a quick trip to the grocery store, an appointment, or a trip – we have to be mentally and physically ready for a meltdown. The last long-trip Apollo took, the entire traveling party arrived at our destination emotionally and physically exhausted. We found out the hard way that Apollo doesn’t travel long-distances very well, but especially not in an airplane. When I say that Apollo screamed bloody-murder, thrashed around, and kicked the person’s seat (in front of him) for nearly 3 hours straight – please believe me when I say that that statement is without exaggeration. During our flight, we tried anything and everything we could think of to calm him down, and nothing worked. Apollo was so dysregulated and screamed so much that he made himself physically ill. He screamed and screamed until he lost his voice, his airway became very inflamed and swollen, and he developed a condition called Stridor. For several days after our arrival, Apollo was not himself, he was dysregulated, violent (he broke a flat screen tv), and he wasn’t processing through the changes and transitions well. On top of the typical struggles that we face during changes in his routine/schedule/environment, Apollo also had an inflamed/swollen airway, and was struggling to breathe. You could say that this entire experience was miserable for all of us, and unfortunately it lasted DAYS; not minutes, not hours, but DAYS thereafter.
– Expert Advice –
After the trip (presented above) generated serious health and safety concerns, we made an appointment to speak with Apollo’s healthcare provider – and together, with Apollo’s therapists, we decided that it would not be in Apollo’s best interests to travel farther than he can handle; and at this time he can tolerate about an hour in the car before triggering a meltdown.
– Open-Ended Travel Plans –
At this point in our lives we tend to make open-ended travel plans – where we can cancel them at the last minute, on the off chance that Apollo or Athena are having a rough day. Justin and I do not enjoy canceling plans – we love to travel, we love fellowship, and we miss family and friends; however, trips aren’t enjoyable when your children are dysregulated and miserable the entire time.
– Just Deal With It –
Luckily, we have a lot of people in our life that get it – get our life, and our struggles, and are super understanding – especially when plans fall through. However, one can assume by reading up to this point, that we also have individuals that are not as understanding – and are vocal about our need to suck it up, and deal with it.
Has anyone ever told you to suck it up and deal with it – in reference to traveling with young children?
How do you handle comments like that?
I know for me personally, I do not handle comments like that very well; especially when the individual(s) making the comments have not lived what we have lived, and therefore cannot truly understand where we are coming from.
I don’t remember purchasing any tickets for a Guilt Trip?!
Prior to reading Rachel Hollis’ books, “Girl Wash Your Face”, and “Girl Stop Apologizing”, I had an unconscious desire to please others, and to be accepted by others. It wasn’t until I read those two books, and was able to take a step back and really assess myself, that I realized how much of a people pleaser I truly was.
There are many different organizations that say that the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. I had to first admit that I had a people pleasing problem to myself, before I could make a plan to change and move forward. While admitting anything is hard enough to do internally, it’s even harder for me to admit publicly – yet here I am.
You see, Rachel’s books helped me realize that my duty as a Mother, as a spouse, and as a person that matters and has purpose, is to put the best interests of my family first, surround myself with loving, accepting individuals, and ignore and distance myself from the judgement of others. At the end of the day, I know in my heart, that Justin and I are doing what’s best for ourselves and our family, and we owe no explanation(s) for our actions/decisions to others.
It’s sickening to think back on previous experiences, and the amount of time I spent in misery – all because I desired acceptance from others. I’ll say it again, I voluntarily took MANY guilt-trips against my better judgement, because I desired acceptance.
Am I the only one that has ever taken guilt trips to please family and friends?
Unfortunately, it took me many, MANY years, and many, MANY, guilt-trips before I was confident enough to stand up for myself and our family. Today, I’m so thankful that I am in a much better place in my life where I no longer feel any desire to please or seek acceptance from others.
So, when are we coming to visit? We will consider traveling to visit family/friends when our children develop a tolerance for traveling, and when the time is right for our family; until then, family and friends are more than welcome to come visit us!