When you have a baby, everyone wants to see that baby. Although no one is really entitled to seeing your baby, they all think they are and sooner or later you will be guilted into obnoxious road trips to visit relatives. You’ll lie to yourself as you pack the car, “It can’t be that bad, right? I’ll have people to help with the baby. I’ll get a break! Maybe I can sleep in, or eat, or better yet – shower! Oh how I miss showers!” I’m sorry, mommies and daddies, but your fantasy? It’s just that: NOT REAL LIFE. Vacations used to be fun things. Now, they’re just insanity + parenting + spending money + hating your #(@&$^ life every minute + annoying relative trying to convince you that you should be doing X, Y or Z with your baby. Here are some super valid reasons never to bring your infant anywhere:
1. You must bring everything. Yes, everything.
Infants need a place to sleep, sheets for sleeping, clothes, diapers, snacks, toys, formula (if you formula feed), breast pump (if you breast feed or pump), bottles, a stroller, infant carrier, their favorite blanket – etc., etc., etc. They also take up an entire seat in the car, leaving you with a weird amount of space to play life-sized Tetris with your belongings. (Spoiler alert: packing the car is not as much fun as Tetris.)
2. When things break, you are screwed.
S-C-R-E-W-E-D. This trip, our playard (which was being used as Clark’s bed) broke. It won’t collapse. Luckily, the manufacturer is sending us a brand new replacement. But, in the mean time, we have 48 hours of travel left with no safe place to put our baby. (Did I mention we’re screwed?)
3. New, unfamiliar places mean PARTY TIME for baby (which means ZERO SLEEP for mommy and daddy. Hoo-fucking-ray!)
Please see above image for exactly how we’re screwed.
4. “Helpful” relatives question your parenting, disrupt routines, and test your patience
It’s like everyone with grown children forgets what it’s like to be the mother or father of an infant. Hello, I’m with my baby 24/7. If I say he’s hungry or tired, it’s not a suggestion. It’s your cue to either assist with the activity or hand the baby over.
5. You’re not at home.
Although it really, truly sucks being stuck inside with a baby most days, there is a certain calming comfort in being at home. Because, really, there’s no place like home.
But, in all this, a silver lining: you really learn to appreciate home. Your adult home. You know, the one where you’re in charge (sort of*).
*We all know the kids are in charge. Save me.