How Pattern Recognition Helps Us Co-Parent Peacefully
I'm the first to say travel with kids is absolutely doable. It comes with more baggage and less spontaneity but if it's a big part of your identity and your family, feel free to over-plan and over-pack to do it. For us, it was a non-negotiable. Travel was and is too much a part of our work and personal life to abandon in parenting but no amount of itemized packing lists could accommodate the new sorts of wrinkles that came up between Dan and I when we were first pretending to be jet-set with a baby in tow.
Our first trips out West were particular doozies. Throw a time change at me combined with my husband working while we're out of our regular routines (i.e. sans a babysitter) and inevitably I turn cranky by day three. For context, my parents live in Palo Alto which happens to be in Silicon Valley so naturally it's a work week for Dan, who I've mentioned before runs a tech company (this one).
This trip, the packing part was more last minute. It's a bit more intuitive two years in. But on the planning front, we added a step to plan for the feelings that have come up in past trips to the Bay. Luckily for us, I've talked about it here! We planned how I could ask for help and build in breaks, when we could schedule a date night and how he could make his days more efficient.
Patterns are funny things because you have to acknowledge that it's not all smooth sailing and still keep moving into the same current because it's worthwhile. Other patterns for us include when Dan's been traveling for work and returns home after a work week away. Trip after trip, I'd feel a lot of relief and a twinge of annoyance when he got back. On that one, about 18 months I realized I could get ahead of it by addressing it with myself and asking for a bit of extra help once he's settled in so I can have some time.
Bottom line for us, parenting is easiest in our routines and rythyms and I become a bit needier when we're out of them. In the end, asking for that bit of TLC or extra help doesn't make me a weaker wife, it actually makes me a little nicer.
Do you have patterns that come up for you in co-parenting or marriage? Have you addressed them or planned for them? xo
Featured Image via AWAY