I’ve casually mentioned that my husband works from home in the past. When we left Charlotte 2 years ago to move to my hometown, Orlando FL, my husband’s job was gracious enough to let him work remotely. He travels to his office about 5 times a year for quarter ends and year end. It’s all dandy and a huge blessing for our family. You see, my husband is from NC so this set up allows him to visit family and friends in his hometown throughout the year. Everyone wins! We get to live in the sunshine/Disney state and my husband gets to travel to the Carolina’s multiple times a year.
Normally, I hold down the fort at home and take care of the house and our four-legged child when he travels for work. But since we have an infant (1 month old) and I am on maternity leave, I decided to tag along this time. We rented a car and headed for Rock Hill, SC. And boy(!) can I tell you, the trip was definitely a new experience!!
If grades were assigned:
Piper pretty much slept the entire trip. She cried once at the very end, but she had a poopy diaper and was ready to eat. She was perfect and I feel guilty (apparently, #momguilt never goes away) for keeping her in a car seat all day.
Mom (that’s me, duh) completely lost her mind. I only get a passing grade because I didn’t wreck the vehicle or cry. About 20 minutes (okay, maybe 30) into the trip, I realized that I left my wedding rings at home. I made Tony turn around – he didn’t put up much of a fight. I’m pretty sure he knew the detour was worth it to avoid my whining all week. I know I could have made it 7 days without my wedding rings, but I wasn’t trying to walk around the bible belt with a baby and no rings. Also – our jeweler is in Charlotte and I wanted my free cleaning.
Dad did good, just a little grumpy because (A) I made him drive an extra 40-60 minutes to retrieve my rings and (B) he got zero hours of sleep the night before. Despite his tiredness, he gets sympathy points for driving with spit-up all over him. At our first feeding stop, Piper projectile vomited spit-up all over him. I panicked, obviously, while he gracefully and calmly cleaned up the mess.
Ultimately, it was a successful trip based soley on the fact that we made it! It did take us ~4 extra hours, but we made it.
Summary of a road trip with an infant:
- 7am: Took our dog to the dog hotel (Dog Day Afternoon in Orlando is our favorite!)
- 7:30am: Picked up the rental car
- 8am: Got ready and packed SO MUCH STUFF into the car!!!
- 10:00am: Left the house
- 10:30am: Returned to the house to retrieve forgotten items (oops). We took advantage of the stop and changed the baby’s diaper and used the restroom.
- 10:45am: Left the house, again
- 1pm: Stopped to pump, feed, change diaper.
- 3pm: Stopped to pump, feed, change diaper — why are we still in Florida??!!!
- 6:30pm: Stopped to pump, feed, change diaper
- 9:30pm: Made it to the hotel! Unpacked and got everyone fed and ready for bed.
- 11:00pm: Lights out
After driving all day and constantly unbuckling my seatbelt to check on (and probably annoy) my daughter in her car seat, I learned that my days of traveling to SC/NC with one stop for gas and a restroom break are over. Life now includes the great responsibility of caring for someone else’s needs above my desire to be timely and efficient. It also includes a lot more coffee.
All the stops to feed, pump and change diapers did slow us down. No denying that. Each pitstop took us about 45-60 minutes.
But, thankfully someone invented this:
This device allowed me to pump in the car thus saving precious minutes from our trip. Best $40 I’ve ever spent. (You can get one for less on Amazon, but I bought mine the night before our departure at Best Buy). Without this power inverter, my pumping schedule would have been at the mercy of random outlets in public spaces. #newmomproblems
We head back to Orlando tomorrow -road trip round 2. Hopefully, we shed a little time off the trip. Our family is either going to master the art of traveling with a baby/child or just succumb to being tardy for the rest of time.
Any travel secrets for new parents?! Please share below! Let’s converse. 🙂