Why Are We Here?
Let’s have some real talk, okay? It’s winter time where I live (WV, USA). As a result, it’s cold and dreary and depression is my constant nemesis. I get by most days distracting myself with household tasks or a day out with my kiddo. Other days seem endless.
I started this blog on a whim. I invited my Disney Bestie (Amber) to join me, and we are both absolutely stoked about the potential in this space. It’s this tiny flame that we’re protecting from the wind – giving both of us this minuscule bit of light and warmth. We’re excited to share our passion for travel with other parents, but above all, we want to open a dialogue about motherhood.
Spoiler alert: It’s not always fun. or easy, or even enjoyable – even when you love your children more than life.
Infertility and Parenthood
It’s important to know that Amber and I met online many years ago when we were both navigating infertility. Our husbands had similar diagnoses, and it was nice to know someone going through the same processes. Meanwhile, we realized we had so much in common that we could have been sisters. That was over ten years ago.
Today, my son is 11, and my daughter is 8. Her son is 7. We came through the other side. I think that as a result of infertility, we both felt that we had actual lives before parenthood. We had each traveled a bit, and as such, knew without question that there was a whole world out there. Then, they were here – those hard-to-get children that we fought like hell to bring home.
First, the baby phase consumed us. New babies are delicious and sweet-smelling and soft – it’s impossible to put them down. Then, the toddler years overwhelmed us. Toddlers never stop, in case you wondered. Once the kiddos started preschool, we felt a little tied down. After all, every school preaches good attendance.
Suddenly, we find ourselves parents of Actual Kids. The kids aren’t babies or toddlers any longer! They read, and write, and wipe their own butts! It’s bloody brilliant! However, while they were growing up, we were both wrapped up raising our individual families. We stopped growing as women, and became consumed instead with lunches, dentists, proper manners, sunscreen, doctor visits, adoption attorneys, fertility treatments, and a surprise pregnancy.
Now, what happens when you look around and realize you have everything you ever wanted? I can tell you. Complacency strikes like Thor’s hammer. One day while you’re scrolling through Facebook or Insta, you see other families on vacation. They’re in Florida! They’re on road trips! They are exploring that great big world that you had forgotten about.
My husband has PTSD as a result of his career military service. Traveling isn’t high on his list of things to do, obviously. From the airport to being in a hotel room with one exit to standing in a theme park full of people… He had zero interest. I had to reach a point in my life, and in my relationship with him, that I could travel without him. I had to be able to say, “It’s okay that he stays home where he’s happy while you and the children go do a thing that makes you happy.” That’s exactly how I ended up driving 15 hours to Walt Disney World with both my children, alone.
Was it easy? No way, friends. Traveling as a solo parent is not for the faint of heart. Was it fun? Oh, yes. We created memories that will last a lifetime, as well as planting the seed for a lifelong love of all things Disney.
Amber’s story is her own, and she’ll pop in to tell it eventually. Suffice it to say that she loved Disney enough to become a travel professional, even going so far as to book my first vacation for me. She’s the resident expert, while I just really love being on the move.
It’s Okay to Need More
Now that you know a bit about us, you’ll understand that we worked hard to have our families, and they’re incredibly important to us. We also acknowledge that motherhood is freaking hard, yo.
I’m going to say it again to make sure you heard me: I don’t care if you work outside the home, or work from home, or you stay at home and care for your family full time… Motherhood is beautiful and singular and cosmic and visceral and exhausting and hard.
When I announced that I’d be taking the kids on a road trip to Disney, most people thought I was crazy. What would have been crazy, at least to me, was staying stagnant and never showing these small humans anything outside my comfort zone. The world is big. It’s massive. We are capable of safely traveling to most of it, so long as we take weather, political climate, vaccinations, etc. into consideration during the planning phase.
With so many travel opportunities in front of us, and as loud as my house gets when the kids are cooped up, why in the world would I stay home?