Wanderlust and Parenthood: Travels with my family
It goes without saying that life changes a lot when you become a parent; many positive changes, and some less so. What many new parents find hardest is letting go of the life they had pre-children, and missing the things and the freedom that they used to enjoy. But while many changes are unavoidable and simply part of this new stage of your life, having children doesn’t have to mean changing how you live completely.
Jack and I have always enjoyed travelling, and we both knew that we didn’t want having a family to put a stop to our adventures. And more than that, we wanted our children to experience those adventures with us. We will always be happy to forego flashy gadgets and expensive clothes to save up for flights instead.
So now, well into our parenting journey, our 3 children are very well travelled. Of course it is practically more demanding packing up for 2 or 3 small people as well as yourselves, and it changes the pace of the trip, but it also makes the whole experience so much more rewarding. It has been wonderful to see how our children have benefitted from travel and experiencing other cultures. And going with children also opens up a whole new dimension of travelling to you; local people often love children and can be instantly more open, friendly and accommodating when you have babies or toddlers in tow.
So when earlier this year Jack was offered a 6 week job in Mallorca, we barely hesitated in accepting. We just knew we had to grab the opportunity to take the family for a Mallorcan adventure!
As we drove from Palma airport in the hazy Mallorcan sunshine towards our home for the coming weeks, I knew this was going to be a special time. I watched the fields of wild flowers open up either side of the road, marked out by rugged stone walls. The flat horizon was only occasionally broken by a vintage windmill – sometimes the sails no more than a skeleton of their former selves, while others were lovingly restored in beautiful eye-catching yet subtle colours. It was beautiful.
Our villa was at the end of a long straight drive; a little private oasis, just for us. Palm trees guided us to our new home and the bright magenta bougainvillea could be seen glowing in the afternoon sun from several hundred metres away.
The 6 weeks that we spent there will stay with us all forever. The children frolicked in the wild flowers, chased lizards, jumped out on frogs, watched the fields around us being ploughed and harrowed, spoke Spanish, swam every day, and fell asleep, exhausted, to the sound of crickets. And best of all, we all got on with each other so well as a family. No longer confined to our 4 restrictive walls at home, we each had our own space and the children were free to roam, explore and learn. There is no doubt that the experience we had there was enriching for all of us, both individually and as a family unit.
Becoming a parent is life-changing… but it doesn’t have to mean being stuck at home with screaming toddlers and nappies, and giving up all the things that once made you happy. Children are so adaptable when they are young, so whatever form your adventures may take- strive to continue them, with your children where possible… you will all benefit. Happy parents = happy kids = happy parents….etc!
While I was away I put my LushTums yoga teaching on hold, and I sorely missed it! However I am grateful to have such a flexible career I love that allows me to travel. I am now settled firmly back in Brighton with my new Monday morning class beginning this month at the Edge Community Centre on Pankhurst Avenue, and I am really looking forward to getting back to teaching with a little more inspiration behind me! I really hope you can join me there.
Mae Dewsbery, Pregnancy Yoga Teacher, LushTums Brighton