Thursday, January 28, 2010

Trade Offs

Anyone who knows me in real life knows that Hubby and I were avid travelers before we had kids. In fact, this blog was originally going to be a place for me to write up stories about a four month trip around the Pacific and Asia that we took. We've managed a few trips since Pumpkin was born- Seattle, Kauai, Oregon, as well as several trips to Arizona to see my family- but these were nothing like the trips we took pre-kids. Unencumbered travel is the number one thing that I miss about my life before I became a mother, followed closely by the freedom to sit in a pub with my husband and get pleasantly buzzed on some good beers.

I know that these things aren't gone from my life for good- they're just on hiatus. And there are some aspects of traveling with kids that are actually better than traveling without them. I certainly enjoyed the sea lions in Oregon more with Pumpkin there to show me just how cool they are.

But for the most part, I view the parenting thing as a trade off. I lost unencumbered travel and beer buzzes. I gained a little hand in mine as we walk and the feeling of giving and receiving unconditional love. Recently, I discovered the number one thing I've gained, which completely compensates for the inability to jet off to exotic locales: my toddler pulling silly faces to make my baby laugh. It heals the soul.

Unrelated aside- I am still adding to my post on scientists who are mothers. I've started putting in links to other posts/articles about being a mother and a scientist. I welcome suggested links.

5 comments:

  1. paola5:00 AM

    I tell myself parenting is simply a different kind of journey.

    Still I long to be able to travel 'unencumbered' again one day. Or perhaps just less encumbered. That is more likely to happen.

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  2. "my toddler pulling silly faces to make my baby laugh. It heals the soul."

    It really just is the most wonderful feeling in the whole world, isn't it? Oh the things I would (and have) happily give up for that!

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  3. @paola - "parenting is simply a different kind of journey." I love it!

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  4. I miss the ability to be spontaneous in the many ways we used to be. Everything in our lives now seems to require so much advance planning.

    But it's only temporary, right?

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  5. You'll be back on the road! Don't worry!

    There does seem to be a black hole in a kid's age timeline when it is probably not wise to travel. When they're infants it's easy and then forget it until they're able to walk long distances or sit still for any length of time.

    We've made our kids travel every year of their lives (going home to USA) and the best is before they're 10 months and then again when they're around 3 or 4 yo.

    But yeah, I would rather be stuck in the house with kids playing pretend rather than living a life without them.

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