No… this DOESN’T mean I’m pregnant! But it is something I’ve been thinking about a lot.
I’m at a point in life where I’m thinking about expanding out little family – how to add another child to our family mix, how to plan our travels around pregnancy and birth. Keryn Means of Walkingon Travels has seamlessly added baby number two into her travelling family. Just this week Keryn has whisked 3-year old Dek and 5-month old Ty off to spend 5 weeks in Europe. Keryn has boundless energy and enthusiasm for her boys and for travel. Who better to ask for advice on expanding a travelling family?
Two pink lines had just shown up. This wasn’t wholly unexpected. We’d been planning on this. It still didn’t make it any less terrifying. With the joyful news that I was pregnant again also came the usual fears; would he be healthy, how bad would my morning sickness be, how long would it last, and how the heck would we afford kid number two?
Something even more profound ate away at me as the months ticked by and we waited for our second child to join us. How was this going to change our travels? Could I really get onto a plane with two kids in tow? I just couldn’t wrap my head around that reality.
My first little man, Dek, had turned our world upside down. I didn’t think anything would be the same let alone that we would be able to continue our travels, but continue we did. Not only did we keep traveling, we traveled more than ever before. Within his first two years of life Dek had been to China twice, Japan and Hawaii, not to mention back and forth across the USA multiple times to visit family.
Life had changed when Dek came into the world, and it had changed for the better. I slowed down. If you knew me you would know what an impossible feat this was. Instead of running from sight to sight seeing as much as possible, I actually looked at my surroundings and saw what my husband and I had traveled thousands of miles to experience. Dek brought me down to his level, showing me dragon details in the stone work at the Forbidden City and the many nuances of a gravel path at Nijo Castle in Kyoto. I’m not sure I needed to know THAT much about rocks, but there you have it.
I knew I could do it with one kid, but could I do it with two?
Ty arrived; a beautiful, even-tempered little guy. He was so mellow that he gave me hope our travel dreams were not squashed and could continue. I didn’t waste anytime getting his travel legs wet. By 7 weeks old he was on a plane. At two and a half months he was taking his first road trip. He had acclimated himself to our travel lifestyle and seemed to be doing just fine. It wasn’t necessarily smooth sailing though. Adjustments had to be made as this little man took up more time and had more immediate needs than his big brother.
Figuring out how to nurse on a plane and on a road trip again was definitely a learning experience. I’d never had to deal with a road trip feeding schedule with Dek. I had to remember that Ty was freaking out in the back seat because he was hungry, not just because he was strapped in, although he didn’t seem to like that very much either.
The toughest thing I have had to learn is how to wrangle two kids on my own. A lot of our travels I start out by myself with the kids and then my husband joins us. This can be stressful, but it allows me to really explore a new place. My stress level will tested in October when I head to Europe for 5 weeks with the boys. I’ll have to navigate airports and railway stations through 3 countries before my husband joins us. It could be very… interesting. That may be putting it too mildly. It may drive me crazy, but it is worth it.
In the end I feel like my initial fears when pregnant with Ty were unfounded, just as they were with the first. Sure life has changed. And yes, I am more exhausted than ever, but this has not changed our travel lifestyle. I’m about to embark on my longest trip yet. I’d say our travels are looking bigger and better than they ever have been and both boys get to come along for the ride.
One thing is certain; the second those two lines appeared I knew our travel adventures were going to change. It just turned out so much better than I could have imagined.
About the Author
Mom and active blogger, Keryn Means left the publishing world in 2011 to take care of her growing family and follow her passion for travel. A native of Philadelphia, she spends her days exploring her new home in Seattle with her toddler and newborn sons. When her kids are asleep you can find her editing photos and writing away on Walkingon Travels. Keryn follows the mantra that just because you have kids doesn’t mean you have to put your travel dreams aside, if anything they just get bigger and more exciting. Follow along on their adventures via Twitter and Facebook.
Got any words of wisdom for parents thinking about expanding their brood? How does it affect your travel style through a second child into the mix?