GUESTS BLOG POST FOR THE MAMMAS
NAVIGATING THE NARROWS
For as long as I can remember, travelling has been ingrained into my family behaviours. I was born in Chennai, India while mum was holidaying there and when I was four months old, we travelled back to Singapore where my dad was permanently based and in what would become my hometown for the next 22 years. Seeking change, freedom and the desire to live a purposeful life, I packed my bags and travelled to Melbourne when I was 22 and have never looked back since. I pursued higher studies, got a job, got married and had kids and then travelled once more to live in country Victoria to take in the crisp woodsmoke filled air during winters and the smells of fresh blossoms during spring. Travelling is such an integral part to our family and once our little mini family was formed with two little bubs, travelling became a quintessential addition to our annual routines.
After having kids, I realised that travelling while pregnant and/or travelling with an active toddler was the hardest. I’ve travelled in the first trimester (which to me has always been the hardest trimester given the incredible fatigue and loss of appetite) and the second trimester which personally I thought was the best trimester to travel because your appetite has returned and you get back your energy and start feeling pumped. Our most recent trip was to Bali when I was 25 weeks pregnant and it was double the trouble as we travelled with our very active 22 month old. While reading many forums on what to expect at Bali and what tourist sites to visit, I came across many threads highly discouraging the travel for pregnant women due to concerns about sanitisation and food hygiene.
Well, I’m living testament that you should just go for it and not worry too much about travelling while pregnant. We had an active, healthy holiday in Bali and even did some mini hiking in Ubud for our photoshoot. The key to any travelling is preparation especially if you have kids or pregnant. Bring along your kids’ favourite snacks and their toys - something small enough that you can just slip into your handbag. Bringing stuff from your home that kids are used to gives that element of familiarity in an unknown surrounding. Personally, I’ve had two fantastic pregnancies so travelling was a relatively easy affair for me. The real challenge came when I realised that my toddler had been weaned off and he didn’t have anything to suck on our flight to and from Bali when his ears popped. He wailed for the majority of the flight and became one of those kids we all dreaded on flights before becoming mothers! Frustrations abound and he didn’t want his daddy on the flight at all - he just wanted his over-tired pregnant mumma to cuddle him, rock him and put him to sleep which was a real challenge doing all three in those narrow aisles! What got me through the frustration was the mindset - the gratitude for the incredible opportunity to be a mum and to travel with the family while pregnant.
While the key to travelling with kids is preparation, as a mother, you also need to know how to deal with the unexpected. Whilst it is impossible to predict how a situation will unfold, you can prepare yourself by preparing your mindset. People either have a fixed mindset or a growing mindset. A fixed mindset belongs to a narrow-minded person. These people believe that their basic qualities like their traits, talents, beliefs are all set in stone. They don’t believe in evolution and development. Those with a growing mindset are polar opposites. They believe that almost anything can be changed and developed into something new or as a form of improvement. I hope you reading this belong to the latter because especially for a mum, that’s the kind of mindset that is going to get you through life in your new role.
I thought navigating the narrows was an apt title. A ‘narrow’ refers to a narrow channel connecting two larger areas of water and you could metaphorically refer to it as a narrow mind channel that you have to manage and navigate meticulously so that you can steer your ship in the right direction and come out with a clear vision.
About the Author:
Gaayathri Periasami is a wife, a mom of 2 beautiful boys and founder/owner of Baby Peppers- A sustainable and ethical lifestyle brand for mommies and babies. Located in Victoria, Australia but ships worldwide. You can find out more about her and her brand at www.babypeppers.com.au