July 26, 2012 by Carin
Our first official road trip as a family of four was has been completed. My husband and I had talked with several people who we knew had a traveled with kids for any tips and trips. My husband and I went into our trip to Milwaukee, WI with low expectations and didn’t expect anything to go right. We were told that to expect the kids to not nap, bedtime would be later than normal, the kids would probably be tough to handle and that any and all schedules should be thrown out the door. Hence our low expectations for our first trip. Hope for the best, expect the worst, Right?
Well to be totally honest things went far better than we ever imagined. Our first afternoon at the hotel was a bit of a rough one. After being on the road for 6 hours, the kids were restless, but very tired. Over tired being the optimal description of what they were. Nap time that afternoon took a few hours for them to settle down and finally fall into a dreamy nap sleep. After that first battle I figured I would be packing the kids up Tuesday morning and heading home, leaving my husband to find his own way home from after his conference ended Wednesday morning. But to my surprise the kids settled in pretty easily that first night…mostly from exhaustion and the following day, they were still exhausted from a late night and early morning which resulted in an easy and long naptime. It was awesome and I couldn’t believe how well they were doing. I was surprised and happy that they were doing so well adapting to the change.
I learned that our kids will always surprise us when we least expect it. Being that they are 1 and 3 years old, we didn’t really think we could yet be surprised by their actions. But we were, happily! From what we were told they would be like most kids, going to be close to their worst during the trip because they would be off their schedules. And they were off their schedules but they handled it really well. Grace was always happy, lively and ready to be herself. Myles was generally happy, a few meltdowns from being overly tired, but for the most part he had a good time checking out all the new things we did and saw. They were great and my husband and I even looked at each other a few times to comment on how well they were doing and or how well they handled the trip.
Lesson in all this, no matter what age your kids are, expect them to surprise you when you least expect it and be really happy about it. Now I don’t expect them to always do as well as they did with this break in their schedule. But I will be less worried, hesitant and fearful of what the next road trip holds and enjoy all the moments.