Six things I learnt from a day of solo parenting travel

June 7, 2019

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that we recently took a trip to Bristol. Dann was getting some new ink from a tattooist who was at the convention (shout out to Dani Green) so we decided to take the trip together and I’d go around the convention and then go exploring in Bristol. I had a little plan to go to Bristol Zoo Gardens with the boys and had a plan for it.

Unfortunately I wasn’t in a great head space on the day in question (see this IG post) and the boys were out of sorts, which made the situation harder. Long story short, I learnt a lot from a pretty stressful and teary day. So I’m going to share them today because I think they’ll help me in the future.

Though the first step is to get out more. I know I’ve been sticking to my comfort zone a lot recently particularly with Henry potty training and Dexter starting to find his feet. So I’m using this summer, especially June with the #30dayswild challenge, to get out with the boys as much as possible.

Check the weather

Usually I’m pretty good at this, but I have to admit my current weather app is proving less than accurate. It was boiling hot when we went out, and we had a lot of bus travel to do which was sticky and muggy. Luckily I did have spare shorts for Henry and a romper for Dexter, but I was in long sleeves which I couldn’t remove which I imagine contributed to my irrational mood.

Carry way more drinks than you think you’ll need

Leading on from the weather, I really should have packed more drinks. We only had one small drink, because Dann packed, whereas usually I pack a massive bottle for Henry and I to share. I absolutely should have double checked and packed that too.

People are kinder than you’ll think

Despite my miserable mood I was very appreciative to all the lovely people we saw throughout the day that were kind enough to hold doors open, and the bus driver who checked on me when I was close to tears rocking Dexter to sleep because he was super grouchy, and the girl in the cafe who helped me get milk for Dexter when I was absolutely desperate. People can be so nice.

Sometimes ice cream is the answer

Henry had two ice creams through out the day, and to be honest with the lack of drinks, I needed some bribery. And I’m 100% OK with this. Everyone needs a treat sometimes.

Take photos

I took two photos all day. Two. I mean I’m shocked, but also not all that surprised either. I truly had my hands full, but I now feel like I missed an opportunity. Photography is one of my greatest loves, and I feel like if I’d focused on maybe trying to get some pretty photos from the day, or even just a bunch of silly selfies with the boys, instead of getting overwhelmed, maybe I wouldn’t have had such a rough day. Usually my tactic for destressing is photos if I’m out and about, and I should have focused on that and gotten Henry to help me. I also absolutely should have brought his little wooden camera out with us! Hindsight is a wonderful thing!

Stress less

My main one. I should have stress less. Stressing only got me worked up and the kids worked up, making everyone miserable. I wasn’t in a great mental place when we left Southampton, and aside from the car journeys when I was back with Dann and the boys either slept or watched films whilst eating snacks,making them super peaceful, it meant I just had a bit of a crap day. I should probably have stayed at home to be honest.

But next time, I’m going to read through this post and remind myself that I can have a great day out as a solo parent whilst travelling. We had a great day out when we went to Cambridge, and most of it is down to being prepared and having the right mindset!

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As a mother who loves to travel, I’d love to take Henry on a trip to Disneyland Paris someday. The trip won’t be cheap, but I’ve learned that I can buy or rent a Disney Vacation Club timeshare on the DVC Resale Market at a steeply discounted price.