Thursday, March 22, 2012

Travel with the tribe...can I do it?

Pictures have nothing to do with post...although, it is an outing where our whole family ventured to HomeDepot. 

I have done it in the past.
Packed my tribe up and forged through the six hours of driving to get to my mom and dad's house.
I love going there. 
Hanging out.
Making their  quaint town feel like mine, just a wee little bit. (Since they have moved away from my childhood home).

And the opportunity is here.
I can pack up my tribe of 3 and adventure there.
Ed has work, big projects to get done and travel.
So me staying home doesn't sound very thrilling.

However,  we really haven't travelled with Sydney since Christmas...and she was still in her infant seat then. 
She has eaten in a restaurant sitting in a high chair only 2 times...I think.


I am realizing, as I mentally try to get in the mind frame for this trip...
that three is different than two.
This stage is different than the last stage, when we travelled.
Carseat carries can be plunked on the floor, even if I cringe when doing it, so that I can assist the boys in bathroom breaks - or take one myself.  But now she will be more of a challenge when we stop to run into the disgusting public restrooms.

Three has me avoiding the zoo, children's museum, and even Target on any given day.
I would rather ask a friend to pick up a gallon of milk, if it means I don't have to pack up the three and trudge into the store. 
3 variables are just more overwhelming than two. 
And I feel like I have been playing it safe.  And now I am stuck. 
I have lost my courage.

I fiercely want to make the trip.
I so badly want to meet my new nephew.

But, Miss Syd...

She is a variable that I can predict will do just fine...but there is the chance that she will not do well.

And the boys...
They offer up their own set of challenges.  It is a lot of work to entertain away from home.

Managing three outside of our home environment...without our books, beds, bikes, friends, routines...well it all can just seem overwhelming.


Ed's mom and dad live four hours away.  4 is different than 6.  You can split four with a long lunch around hour two. 
Two movies could be shown.
A park stop.
Or one movie and family singing, games, and books for the other two. 
After hour 4...you have the horrid last two hours when everyone, including me, can't stand being in the car for much longer.

Typically,
My adrenaline kicks in on these trips.   So today I pack.

I know ...
The drive and packing are always worth it.
The drive there holds this adventure that offers me the chance to prove something, not sure what or to who, but if there are rough patches I get through them. 
And adrenaline will get me there...it is the ride back that lacks the adrenaline and depending on how the ride there goes, the ride home can be VERY daunting.

It just seems overwhelming and exhausting. 
I don't have too many friends that travel with their children, that far, on their own.
My sister TOTALLY understands and I can tell she is nervous for me to even attempt.
My mom keeps reminding me that I will see them in less than a month.

But, I used to do this.  I think I can.  I think I can.

But then, there is a voice that does keep telling me that maybe I can't.  And that it is okay if I admit defeat.  I have cried off and on all morning.  I don't know what to do.

Note:  Ed has offered to drive us all there many times in the last couple weeks on weekends that we have had free.  I just hate thinking of going to my mom and dads for one day.   So I have been holding out for Charley's spring break in hopes of extending the trip a few days. 

I want to go.
But maybe I can't.

Advice?

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can you drive at night when the kids are sleeping? Or does anyone you know have a teen that isn't doing anything over spring break that maybe could go with you and read and play games with the kids while you drive?

The Tompkins Family said...

If anyone can do it, it's you! Funny, I posted something very similar today about our recent road trip. I think I can do it on my own. But, I only have 2. I'm the opposite though. I don't mind the drive home. I know if it's awful and cringe worthy, at least at the end of it we will be safely home and can get our bearings again.

Anonymous said...

I think you should go and make memories! I know how you feel about packing them all up and entertaining by yourself for that long, but maybe you could have an old toy in a brown bag and give a new bag to them every 30 mins or something. Or maybe get some kids books on CDs and play them in the van to listen to. I say do it afraid and I don't think you will regret it! =) Jamie Trampe

Karina said...

I think you can! The fact that you even think you (maybe) can, probably means you can. There will be moments that make you want to cry, but I find those moments usually start with me getting tears in my eyes and end with me laughing hysterically with how ridiculously awful it is ("it" being overwhelmed in a moment with 3 children). Pack those bags, say a little prayer to the road trip gods, turn on the dvd player, and prove to yourself that you are, indeed, supermom...at least until you get to your parents and can hand off the kids and take a little breather! Good luck!

jessica said...

You CAN do it! I know you can. I understand where you are coming from. Bathroom stops are the hardest. Do you have a portable potty or would the boys just go in the grass? That way you don't have to go in every time? You CAN do it! But I understand! I can drive to my parents which takes me 6 - 7 hours. But I haven't ventured to my sisters b/c it is 7 1/2 with Chip and so I know it would be 8 - 8 1/2 on my own and that is too stressful for me. We have to know what are breaking point is.

Anonymous said...

You will be fine. Let the stroller be your best friend! I use it for bathroom breaks, everything when I think I might need an extra hand for the older two. ( or when crawling on the floor is not acceptable.)
And it is only the drive, once you get there you will have helpers. And plenty of distractions. You will be so glad that you did it!!
And restaurants...I haven't been very brave about bringing all 3 kids out at the same time. We are masters of take-out. :)
Jennie

Lynelle said...

You can do it! The drive home with be worth the time with your family. I know what you are feeling. Just thinking about driving 9 hours to my parents this summer makes we nervous. Just put syd in the stroller every bathroom stop.

Grandma Charlie said...

I, for one, KNOW you can do it. Think of the times you have worried and wondered how the trip would go when it went from one to two kids, and how they surprised you. I am basing this comment on my own NEVER SAY DIE experience traveling with my 3. It was always worth it.

Heather (One Take On Life) said...

I believe you can do anything you put your mind to. I think with Sydney being just over a year that is the biggest thing, your boys travel well, and its great to start them young:) But ultimately you are the judge of what you want to take on.

Goings on at the Glenn's said...

I for one would not want to do it on my own. Dan and I have a system. He drives, and I tend to the needs of the kids (passing back snacks, changing the movie in the DVD player, and sometimes even changing a diaper on the run (not safe I know but we've done what we had to.) We don't have a mini van either we are still in our little Mitzubishi Galant and pack all 3 carseat in the back. I know exactly how you feel. I live more than 10 hours away from my family and My in-laws are 5 hours away. It is hard! But spring break is the first week in April and we are driving to the in-laws so I guess I can wait that long. I can handle one more week...I think.

Goings on at the Glenn's said...

But I have thought about doing just what you are doing and packing the bags and trying it once. I just don't know if I can handle it in the car we have right now. I want a van sooo bad with "captains chairs" so the kids don't complain about who is touching who or who is leaning on whose shoulder.
But I agree with Grandma Charlie. Kids can surprise you with how good they can be. And they are amazing sometimes of helping take care of each other. I think you could do it.

Anonymous said...

I have NEVER felt your pain more than this blog!! 3!!! YOWSERS!!!! AmyK

April Kaiser said...

You can do it! Better than flying with all three ha ha.... at least if they are all screaming and crying it only disturbs you :) Do it!!!! Enjoy the adventure and I can’t wait to hear all about it! ;)

Raina and Andy said...

See you all on Saturday! Ill get you a Starbucks or bring wine...your choice
Can't wait. Love baby Hugh

Amy said...

Go! Go! Go! You can do this and so can your kids, Sarah! Pack some fun surprises for the road, some great (and easy snacks), some good "old" movies and maybe a new one or two for the drive home. Bring the stroller or a sling (you can borrow my Ergo pack if you'd like) for the bathrooms. Stop at rest areas for bathroom and run around breaks. I have several good games and some books on iPod you could have. The journeys will be memories and the time there will be SO WORTH IT!

Cara R. said...

Oh, I hear what you are saying, but I say DO IT! What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger! Right?! :o) Honestly, 6 hours does not seem so bad. The other poster beat me to this, but at least it is NOT a plane. Seriously! My husband is retired Air Force. The closest we ever lived to my parents was about 8 hours (by car) and the farthest was about 24 hours (by plane, including getting to the airport, layovers, etc.). Even when we lived in NH, it was still TWO LONG DAYS of driving to visit my family in TN. Of course, I didn't do the driving all at once. But, I did do it. It was that...or stay at home...because there was no way DH was ever going to get enough time off to make the long drive worthwhile (or the plane ticket affordable). So, I traveled. Alone. A lot. Except that I wasn't alone because the kids were with me. Which is worse than being alone. LOL!

Anonymous said...

Go! You can do it. Use the stroller for bathroom breaks. It may be long, but your kids will understand you are by yourself and may be even more resourceful than you think.
I once took my boys (newborn and 3 at the time) through the airport with the baby strapped in the Baby Bjorn, the 3 year old walking, the stroller had the diaper bag, the new born car seat, the Britax car seat, and my purse, with no help. We made it through security, packed it all up again and to the gate. A very nice man carried my car seats down the jet way and placed them in our seats for us.
If there is a will, there is a way! Go for it.
Kristin

Anonymous said...

Could someone come to meet you at hour three or four for a lunch/dinner break, then they take one or both boys in their car back to the house? Also, the idea of driving after bedtime seems smart to me...just as long as you get to sleep in the next day!

Susan S said...

I say Grandma Charlie knows best! As a "sort of single mom" I have found myself "packing up and going" just for a change of scenery for all of us. Usually when you get there it makes it all worth it!!

I recommend bringing toilet paper. We made a very long trip to Madeline Island so much shorter by handing Zach a roll of toilet paper. He giggled and giggled as he continually unrolled it. It's kind of a mess and we had TP EVERYWHERE but it was so worth it!

I say go!!

Danifred said...

Oh, how I can relate these days. I have lost all my courage since Blue's birth. I am homebound and scared to death to venture out with the 3.

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