Take Off, Eh.

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Take Off, Eh.

01/20/2017

Jan 20 Mama Blogger: Krista Broda

Krista Broda is a Bachelor-loving, coffee-guzzling, married mom of two crazy boys. Originally from Vancouver Island, she moved to Saskatchewan In 2009 after falling madly in love with a lifelong Prairie boy. She loves to travel with her family and drink only the finest white wines that can be found for under $12 a bottle.

Take off, eh.

I am not an expert on children. I am not an expert on flying airplanes. I am; however, a self-proclaimed expert on flying in airplanes with children.

In four years, my boys and I have logged many kilometres.  Due to my being a stay at home mom and my husband working like a sucker, 9 out of 10 times I fly alone with our two boys.

I know this is a common fear among new mothers and I sympathize for the panicked mom that is terrified of being “that person” on the plane – so I have compiled a list that should help ease the in-flight-anxiety.

Rule #1 – DO NOT worry about what other people think.

I cannot stress this one enough. If you stop worrying what other passengers think, 90% of your anxiety from flying with kids will go away.

Poof.

Your goal when you step on the plane is to get from point A to point B without hitting a mountain – it is not to make sure you have 270 new best friends by the time the plane lands. There is actually a very, very slim chance you will ever see any of them again. Remember this: You and your baby have every right to be on that plane, just as the businessman next to you, and the uber rich lady across the aisle that couldn’t get a seat in first class. Everybody has a reason they are on that plane.

There’s a good chance you will get looks or feel like everyone at the gate is petrified they will be sitting next to you – but you need to walk on that plane like you own it, sit in your seat and don’t make eye contact with anyone unless they look nice. If you don’t know what you’re doing, fake it. Also, if anyone around you stares like they are wondering where their little goodie bag with earplugs, a sucker and a charming little apology letter is, tell them they should’ve packed it their damn self. Do not ever apologize to anyone for flying with your children. Ever.

Rule #2 – Efficiency is King

One sure way to get the eye rolls we all fear is to fumble your way through security and then sprint to your gate and onto the plane with SO. MUCH. STUFF.  I am a “babywearer”.  I wear my 18 month old in a Tula – which is easily my number 1 must have item when travelling. My four year old LOVES airports, and he loves to run, so having a carrier for my youngest allows me to hold my oldests hand and/or yank him back by his shirt collar.  Also, have you ever tried to hold a baby in one hand and collapse a stroller with the other? It should be an Olympic sport.

I invested in a Lug Piddle Paddle backpack diaper bag (again, with the free hands). This is all I take on the plane for me and my two children. My 4 year old has his own little Lug backpack that he packs with trucks and stickers. In my bag I pack the following: extra diapers and wipes, change of clothes and pyjamas for both, snacks for days, balloons, and straws,

For entertainment during a layover – both of my boys could stare out an airport window ALL day. A game of “I spy” can kill a lot of time. A great time waster is to find a quiet spot to blow up some balloons and when the kids are done having the BEST TIME EVER with your brilliant idea, pop the balloon and throw it away like yesterday’s garbage.

Rule #3 – Use common courtesy

Remember when I said not to worry what other people think? That was not an excuse for letting your kids behave like a pint-sized Charlie Sheen on the plane. If you are travelling for 8 hours – you are going to need to give your child your undivided attention for THAT long. There will be no downtime. Pay attention when you see them kicking the chair and make it stop. My baby would stop crying the second I blew in his face with a straw.

Shake the measuring spoons.

This is not the time to be worried about looking like a fool. I’m sure the passenger beside me would rather look over and see me hiding under a blanket playing peek a boo, then holding a screaming baby while playing Candy Crush.

With my 4 year old – he knows if he’s a great listener on the plane, he will get juice and cookies once the cart rolls by, which is a rare treat – and that’s enough for him.

If your baby continues to cry, walk off the plane with your head high and nail it the next time. It is not a reflection on your parenting if you tried.

Rule #4 – Enjoy yourself

One thing I should mention, I am NOT a “type A” personality. I actually can’t really relate to people who get stressed when plans change beyond their control.  Flying is an adventure – especially to kids. I used to LOVE flying as a kid, and still do. There will be delays, lost luggage, cancelled flights – nothing is a big deal to kids if you make it fun. We’ve had a few unexpected hotel stays and my boys were thrilled.

Children are unbelievably intuitive. If you’re stressed, they’re stressed. If you’re irritated, they’re irritated. If you’re enjoying yourself, they’ll think it’s the best day ever.  You need to enjoy yourself and relax, or the whole “flying with kids” thing is never going to work. What’s stopping you from getting the $8 airplane wine?

Next time you fly, challenge yourself to see if you can relax and roll with whatever the airlines throw at you.

These are my 4 rules to live by when I travel. Do you have any tried and true tips for flying with children?

 

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One response to “Take Off, Eh.”

  1. Candace says:

    I love everything about this. I would only add that if you are alone and those friendly strangers offer to help, don’t be an idiot and accept the help! 3 wonderful retired friends were flying to Mexico with my boys and myself (we left my working sucker husband behind too) and my 2.5 year old at the time was so happy to have extra hands to hold walking to customs. The also kept him happy in his seat while I changed the baby in the airplane bathrooms!

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