You read that right. Flying without kids is a nightmare.
You probably think I'm insane and you might be right.
Hear me out.
Sometime last year Fran told me he would have to attend a conference in the summer of 2014. This isn't unusual for him and he was already traveling to two other places this year so I wondered why he was acting all mysterious and slowly giving me details.
Then he said it was going to be in Ireland and wanted to know if I'd come with. Score! I was all over it and started organizing and planning for the trip immediately. (Just kidding. I'm leaving tomorrow so that means I'll pack tomorrow morning and run around screaming, "Where are my socks?!")
We talked about it and decided the kids wouldn't go. It would obviously be less expensive and it would be an opportunity for us to get away for a bit. Our ten year anniversary is later this year so we're chalking this up to our celebration.
We would stay in Dublin for the conference week then travel around Ireland. The amount of travel time came to eleven days.
At first it was all excitement.
"This is going to be fun. We'll be able to take our time and see a lot of great stuff. The kids are being taken care of by their favorite people (AKA grandmas) and they'll be able to sleep in their own beds."
"Yeah, we're leaving the kids for eleven days, but it's okay. People do that right? I'm sure they will have so much fun while they're gone, they won't have time to miss us. Right?"
"What if our plane goes down in the ocean? Our kids will be left without parents! I'm the worst mom ever!"
It escalated quickly.
Me during the day: Yay, trip to Ireland. Fun times!
Me at night trying to fall asleep: Fiery plane inferno!
What is wrong with me? I thought traveling abroad without kids would be a dream. We can travel while they party with their grandmas and
fight play in the comfort of their own home whilst eating ice cream all day. Sounds like a win-win situation.
I did some serious internet research I like to call anxious Googling. It's when you want some information, but you're afraid of what you're going to find. It was a risk I was willing to take.
You know what I found? A million other parents have the same fear.
One mom wrote that she never had a fear of flying, but writes that after having kids she has "anxiety coursing through my veins" while going through airport security. Another wrote, "I used to love flying, but I have developed a fear that has grown more intense after each child."
I remember way back in my early 20's one of my coworkers said she flew without her young son and cried during the takeoff. In between muffled sobs she kept asking her husband what their son would do without them.
I felt bad for her, but we also laughed about it. I wondered why you would want to travel with a baby. Then I went and birthed my own human beings. Twenty-something Christine in her flared jeans just didn't understand.
So, what am I to do? There are many tips out there, from group therapy and medication to deep breathing and distraction.
I've also read that a fear of flying can come from a lack of control. I'm not a control freak, but I'm crossing all my t's and dotting all my i's on the home front.
First and foremost, the kids are going to be with people they love and adore. Franky's biggest concern is if they'll be able to make his oatmeal the right way so I'm pretty sure he'll be okay.
Some other things I'm doing:
- Writing up a general version of their daily routine.
- Making a list of their favorite local places (restaurants, parks, library, etc.) with directions
- Filling out medical release forms and leaving an insurance card
- Printing out a calendar for the kids so they can see when we'll be home
You might be wondering what this has to do with fear of flying, but making sure all is well at home makes me feel less anxious about getting on that plane.
I'm also going to follow the distraction advice. My iTunes and Kindle books bills are proof of that.
If all else fails, there's always wine!
On second thought, maybe not.
Do you have any tips on how to survive flying without kids? Fill me in!
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