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I have been surprised by some of the reactions we have received to news of our trip.
Quite a few people have made it clear that they think that we are wrong to travel with young kids.
On one level, I am surprised why this surprises me. Something that parenthood/pregnancy teaches you pretty quick is that everyone has an opinion, and many people think that it is perfectly ok to judge you openly once you are pregnant or have a child. In my opinion, it is one of the worst things about being a parent, and I try very hard not to do this myself. Of course people have an opinion about this and some are going to be negative, especially since your average person has traveled far less than me. To be fair, most people have just given me a look or something similar rather than criticized me outright, but it is still annoying!
On another level, I have questioned the wisdom of this decision myself. I have read my post at the end of our last trip overseas, where I state that I don’t think it would be worth the effort to travel with two super young ones. I take into account the possible dangers, the difficulties with traveling, the possibility of tropical diseases, and just how the hell we will get around with two suitcases, a stroller, a turning one year old and a two year old.
At the same time though, I don’t believe I am putting the kids in any real danger or doing anything deserving of condemnation. I just worry that it will be a lot of work, and that J and I won’t really enjoy it.
The main thing that gets to me about any judgement of this trip, is that anyone would think that we haven’t thought this through properly or thought at all. J and I are both intelligent, well traveled people that love our kids to bits. We wouldn’t do anything to put them in harms way. Like most other parents, we make many sacrifices for our kids. We would not do this if we didn’t think they would enjoy it. The trip has been planned around what will work best for the kids, and what they will enjoy.
I stopped questioning this decision myself when I first talked through the trip with S. She loves “holidays” and I went through all the things we would do:
Reading through this list, its hard to see how we could be doing the wrong thing by her. She is very excited about her “big holiday”. She is picking what toys will come and loves looking at photos of places we are going to go. Does she really get it? Most probably not. Will it be difficult at times? Of course, there are lots of difficulties at home too. But I truly think this will be the best experience of her life to date.
Why wouldn’t it?!