No I haven’t stopped writing blog posts for all of you, I was given the past two weeks off. In just two short weeks a lot has happened. Summer is over, school has started, I am back to being a stay at home mom, and I successfully traveled alone with my toddler. Here is a recap…
1. SAHM again: I have been pretty private about the challenges I’ve faced since deciding to go back to work. After taking 18 months off, I felt very lucky and proud to be hired by one of the top PR firms in the country. At this firm I had the opportunity to work with some awesome clients. But, as any working mom knows, it is really hard to balance it all, and it can take a village!
Ultimately, the struggles Landon faced with chronic ear infections and a weak immune system, prevented me from fully committing to a rigorous full-time schedule. I was staying home with a sick child for one week every month. In fact, he is home sick as I write this post. It was not fair to my new employer, it was not fair to my clients and the anxiety it caused me was not fair to my family. I just knew what I needed to do. I have decided to take another “break” until we get over this hurdle or at least until we have the proper infrastructure in place for back up care.
While, the situation was not ideal, I learned a lot about myself. For months I wondered if I really wanted to go back to work or not, and I quickly saw working was one of the best things for me. I learned what I wanted in a career and what I didn’t want. I was happy working, and I even think it made me a better mom – so I can’t wait to figure out my next venture!
2. Air travel alone with a toddler was so much easier than I imagined. There are a few key lessons I learned from our flight that are worth sharing for anyone considering flying with a toddler in the near future.
First, when travelling with young kids you MUST arrive to the airport early. 1 hour before the flight is NOT enough time. Aim to arrive two hours before flight to allow for long security lines and some time to run around the airport so your kids can expend energy before being seated for a few hours.
Flying with our car seat was key. Even though Landon is under 2, we bought him his own seat where he sat in his car seat. After running around the airport, he was tired. The moment the plane started taxiing on the runway, he was buckled in with his blanket and pacifier and he passed right out. He slept almost the entire flight both there and back. Note: We also purchased a special car seat dolly to avoid the need for a stroller and it made carrying the seat very easy.
An iPad (or any smart tablet) is all you need. Forget toys, crayons, books, etc. All you need is an iPad to provide entertainment. Prior to our flight I downloaded new shows, movies, apps and songs for Landon to listen to. Since they were new he was excited and engaged in them. When he woke up, he happily took his iPad and headphones and sat quietly until we landed.
3. Back to School: In Florida schools starts in mid August and Landon started on the 18th. All I have to say about going back to school is I have never been so proud and amazed by my son. In previous posts I have written about his “slow to warm” personality, but he is so independent and outgoing these days. On day one, among a symphony of crying toddlers struggling to say goodbye to their parents, we had no crying, no clinging to my leg – all I got was a kiss and a “bye mama, love you!” He then was off to play with the other kids. It has been the same every morning since. I love that he loves school and can’t wait to watch him grow even more independent and outgoing.