Every day in February, we are celebrating the 28 Days of Mom Love with bloggers across the globe. Make sure to come back and check out our posts every day this month! Click here if you missed one!
I was an active duty Air Force Officer for 5 years. When I became pregnant in the summer of 2014, I was certain I would remain in the service until I retired. However, what I didn’t know is that my baby would need a little extra care after she was born. At 6 days old, our pediatric urologist suggested our daughter remain in a one-on-one type care instead of a daycare setting until we could better assess her kidney function and reflux. Right there in that doctor’s office, I decided to leave the military and stay home to care for her myself. This would save us tons of money on a full time nanny and would give me the time to bond and care for our baby the way I wanted to.
Being a stay at home mom has given me a new outlook on full-time moms. It’s tiring, it’s way harder than I thought and, at times, it’s not fulfilling. Yes, I am grateful to stay home and raise my babies. Yes, I love having the flexibility to go to playdates and mom’s groups and meet my husband for lunch. However, emotionally and mentally, I had a hard time feeling satisfied. There was a void I couldn’t seem to fill even though my days were maxed out with diapers, snacks & reading the same board book 93748 times.
In the fall of 2015 we took our first international trip with our daughter; Germany, Austria and Italy. This trip ended up laying the foundation for how I found myself as a stay at home mom. Travel.
Travel has been in veins since I first tasted real European food in Paris in 2004. 11 years later our 2015 Europe trip reinvigorated my passion and love for travel, but this time it was all about Family Travel. Bringing our daughter with us was so much more than I could have ever hoped for. For me, seeing my children in different cultures, different places and experiencing different languages, schedules and people is extremely fulfilling. I love giving them these little pieces of the world and I know that no one can ever take these experiences away from them. The quote “Collect Memories, Not Things” rings true in our family and we often ask for experiences instead of material gifts.
In late 2016 we welcomed our son into the world and at 5 months old we took him on his first International trip. Since that first European romp, we have traveled to 20 states and 10 countries with our children. We are heading back to Europe in April to give Italy, Switzerland & France a go and plan to hit at least 5 more states in 2018.
I have found that planning our trips, researching all the kid-friendly places and then taking my kids to these places has helped not only me, but also my family. We are able to re-connect on our excursions. As a military family, we spend a lot of time apart from my husband, so these trips give our family true quality time and help strengthen our family bonds.
Whatever it is that makes you happy as a human being, don’t lose sight of it. It is possible to find something you are passionate about and raise babies at the same time. For some, that means staying in the work force. For others, it means staying at home with kids and doing some serious side-hustle on the side. Whatever makes you happy and feel whole, go do it mama bear. I’ll be over here cheering you (and your family) on!
I am a mom of 2; a one and a two-year-old. Currently living in sunny Florida with her kids & husband of 7 years, Jimmy. She manages a thriving Young Living business and operates her family travel website where you can find travel tips, resources, airline guidelines, shop for travel gear and read real life family travel stories.