This is what it’s actually like traveling as lesbian moms of two kids
If you looked at our social media, you would think we have been traveling for years when, in reality, we haven’t. We put on a stop on traveling when we started the journey to create a family. The journey was so rough that we became paranoid about everything we did once our first child was born.
Before kids, my wife and I traveled all the time. We were big savers and this made it possible for travel often. We cut out many things that I know a lot of us fall into the habit of doing: Going out to eat, grabbing a drink from a drive-through, buying new clothes, buying that item you think you need. In return for all this saving, we were on the road most weekends, usually driving to a beach. During the summers, we would go on at least one big trip like Europe or Hawaii. We loved just getting away from our daily work routine and taking a break.
After we got married, we decided to start our journey to get pregnant and buy a house at the same time. We were overwhelmed with moving and starting fertility treatments, so we put traveling on hold for a while.
It wasn’t until after our second child we started thinking about traveling again. Even though we struggled to have our second child, we had calmed down a bit and left the house more often. We started to think about traveling again and suddenly, that travel bug was back in us again. We knew there was never going to be a good time to travel with kids, so we took a big jump and started traveling.
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We have been addicted to traveling but we all know travel can be expensive. When we were younger, our dream was to travel the world, but at the time, it was out of reach. We looked at our spending habits, created a budget and now we live modestly, believing that less is more. We don’t go out to eat often, or shop for clothes unless it’s necessary. We are teaching our girls to save and reminding them that they don’t “need” everything 🤣). Saving money doesn’t always come naturally. It’s something that you have to learn. When I first met Katie, she spent money like no other and I actually thought she was rich 😂. Then I learned she just didn’t save money. Now we save money together and it is totally worth it. Even when we travel, we save money so we can afford another adventure. We are always looking for more ways to save money. That's why we're excited to partner with @GreenDotBank and their new Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account. Between using their own money to pay you 3% cash back for the online purchases you already make and letting you earn 3% annual interest when you put your own money into the free High Yield Savings account, Green Dot Bank helps you save so you can figure out what is #WorthSavingFor. For us, it’s travel. Maybe it is for you too or maybe it’s something else. Unfortunately, money doesn’t grow on trees so use a bank account that makes saving money effortless! 💰 What to you is worth saving for?
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We did worry about traveling with the kids. One of the things to think about being a same-sex family is where is it safe to travel. There are places in the world who do not approve of gay marriage and the consequences of being gay are very severe. We don’t want to ever put our children in any danger so it is something we need to think about carefully before we make travel plans. We do our research before we make any final decisions about where we will go. We definitely want to travel around the world so being gay is on the top of our minds when we pick places to go.
While remaining cautious with our travel bug, we moved forward. We got the kids passports and have since taken them to Hawaii, Canada, Italy, Spain and France. We heard multiple times we were crazy for taking our kids traveling to Europe so young. However, we survived! We also felt safe in Europe because we were on a cruise ship.
We have plans in the future to continue to use their passports. It’s so interesting to see how kids act when traveling. Our oldest daughter Kennedy, who is three years old, has become much better behaved traveling then she did on the first long trip. Our one-year-old hasn’t adapted as much to travel. She is at an age where she is changing so much that she isn’t really learning anything from travel. That’s okay! You get through those rough times like you would when you are at home. We came to the conclusion that our kids are challenging at home, and they are challenging when we travel—so we might as well travel!
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When we announced we were taking the kids out of the country to explore various places in Europe, we were told we were a little crazy ✈️. Did I agree, YES! Taking kids traveling is one thing, but taking them all over the place is another. The time change was difficult to process and not letting them walk around the entire time was hard too. They didn't understand how you can't just walk around when the streets are packed and they can't just eat endless amounts of snacks all the time 😂. But having them there was with us as we explored made us feel like we weren’t missing anything ❤️. If we had explored without them, I would have missed them. Yes, there were times when Katie and I both looked at each other and thought, "WHAT ARE WE DOING?" However, now that the trip has ended we have all these wonderful photos and videos look back on that we will cherish forever. Anyone else been told they were crazy and you knew you were, but you did it anyway? 😜 Share your stories below so maybe we can feel like we aren't so crazy after all! Shot by Ramon and Sonia @flytographer Use code: BABYBAILEY50 for $50 off your next photo shoot with #flytographer
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So what are the benefits we’ve noticed about traveling with kids?
Travel helped us get back on track with our screen time rules. We started out parenting with all these things we said we would and wouldn’t do with our kids and a lot of those things changed after we had them. One of those things was TV; tith our first child, we said no TV until after she turns two. We stuck to it pretty well but after she turned two, we let her go TV crazy. She watched so much TV. When our second daughter was born, she was exposed to the TV too since our oldest daughter watched it. Although she was mostly just watching Disney movies, it was too much screen time. We wanted our kids to be out playing, not in front of the TV. Since we have started traveling, our kids don’t watch near as much TV. I would say their screen time went from a Disney movie a day to maybe 30 minutes a week if that. Our oldest daughter, Kennedy, doesn’t have an interest in it and loves acting out the princess movies now. If she brings up the TV, we try to distract her with something else and if she does watch it, we limit the time she is watching.
Traveling has helped our family work more together as a team. When you are trying to deal with two screaming kids in the airport, airplane or with brand new surroundings, you become a better team. We know to consult the other parent before responding to our three-year-old who wants something (she is smart enough to play us against each other now). We also know when our kids have been pushed too far today and what activities they need to do now so we don’t have a meltdown on our hands.
Lastly, traveling teaches responsibility. We teach responsibility at home but I feel like traveling teaches this on a more intense level. For example, we started having Kennedy carry her own backpack with her things in it. She has told us a few times she doesn’t want to carry it and we say if you don’t carry it, then you won’t have any toys when we sit on the airplane. This really makes her think twice about it and eventually, she does carry it. At home, we tell her to be responsible. She is supposed to remember to put on shoes before leaving for school. However, when your child shows up to school without shoes on, you still have to go back home and grab some. This is why we feel responsibility when traveling works more effectively than it does at home.
From what we have experienced traveling with the kids this year, I would say everything about it is worth it. Even in the tough times when we have both kids crying in sync, we just look at each other and start smiling. We have learned to push them slowly out of their comfort zones but not too much. We have learned there’s a community of other parents everywhere we go. We are constantly getting compliments, offered help or just kind words about how understanding they are of our current situation. We’ve enjoyed those moments traveling where you are witnessing something that puts you in awe. It’s great to experience those moments as a family whereas before it was just Katie and I. We love having the kids with us when we see amazing places.
Katie and I love to travel and we hope it’s something our kids will love too. We all have each other and it’s okay to experience hard moments together. Sometimes we forget what we are passionate about when we start a new chapter in our lives. That’s what happened to us at first, but I’m so glad we got back to it. We are more determined to save now more than ever so we can go on more adventures together. Adventure is out there and our family is out there to experience it.
We are a girl meets girl love story! We fell in love, got married and we now have two children via reciprocal IVF. We love to travel and show our kids as much of the world as possible. You can find Christina and Katie on Instagram and YouTube.
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