Well, that was an experience! Our first overnight trip away with our little man. Or, as it should be called, how to fit as much “stuff” into your car as possible! It’s a good job we only have one child, I’ve no idea where we’d put a second!
In fairness it was a pretty simple weekend away. A trip to Dublin (a three-hour drive away) to go to a family birthday party (a 100th birthday party no less!) and then stay over with family. But, as with anything new with our little man, it just seemed so much more than that (how am I ever going to cope if we have to go away on a plane?! And it will happen – I’m from England and live in Ireland – at some point we will be going over…).
Now I’m a lousy packer at the best of times, although it’s rare that I forget anything which is usually because I take everything I can think of, you know, just in case. So I always bring too much stuff, especially if we’re going away in the car, after all the size of the car is the limit – no weight restrictions, unlike air travel. And I love it like that. Travelling in the car is so much easier. And for someone who hates packing as much as I do it is much less stressful.
But going away with a baby is a different ball game altogether isn’t it? There’s just so much stuff and the thing is, especially going away for the first time, it’s hard to know exactly which “stuff” to bring.
So I just decided to do my usual and bring as much as possible, forgetting that the majority of my boot is now taken up by a buggy and that a third of the backseat is taken up with a car seat. Then add in the fact that I’m paranoid about anything falling onto the little man in the back of the car. What if I had to suddenly swerve to avoid something in the road? (At the moment I’m “what-iffing” a lot, I think it’s something that comes with early motherhood.) So it meant that not only did the back seat have to be used, but everything had to be very carefully packed so that it was wedged in and couldn’t move. I actually think in the end I did a pretty good job trying to fit everything in, especially as we were kindly given early Christmas presents by relatives whilst we were away so there were more items to fit in on the way back.
What amused me was suddenly how unimportant packing for myself and my husband became. As long as we had everything we needed for our little man, nothing else seemed to matter for us except a toothbrush and a change of underwear! For the first time I didn’t have an outfit for every possible scenario, just a spare change of clothes in case my little man decided to be sick on me (which didn’t happen). It’s amazing how your priorities change once a little one arrives – it’s not all about you anymore. Not a bad thing really, although it is important to remember that you are still important.
So we’ve done it! Our first weekend away as a family. We had what we needed and had a wonderful weekend. But did we use everything we brought?
Of course we didn’t!