If they say it takes a village to raise a child, why would you leave that village at home when you go out to explore the world?
Now I understand that this is a bit unconventional, but I am a huge proponent of community living. For 8 out of 9 years of our married life, and even since our daughter was born, my husband and I have had roommates. They were our very best friends and it was a delightful time in our lives, though not without challenges. A natural occurrence when living in a situation like this with people you love and share common friends with, is that you go everywhere together. Camping this weekend? I’m coming. Headed to Coachella? We’re there. Want to plan a trip to Barcelona? Absolutely!
So it seemed fitting that after Renna came along, the tradition continued. Headed to the beach for a long weekend? Sure thing! Cabin times up north for New Years? We’re in!
I know that not everyone is wired the same way. Everyone chooses to give birth, feed their kids, dress their kids and discipline their kids differently. It would only be fair to assume that people will choose to travel with their kids differently. Some families are fiercely protective of the time they have together, and I completely understand that.
We have been incredibly fortunate to have known, loved, and been loved by some incredible people over the years, both friends and family. These same people love our daughter in a way that makes my mommy heart melt. These are the people that we have enjoyed being a part of our lives both at home, and on the road. Both with and without our little one.
In my opinion, there are 6 reasons why you should consider bringing loved ones along on your next trip with your kiddo. We’ll save the sappy stuff for the end.
1) More people = more fun
Screw this “less is more” crap. Extroverts, unite! When there are more people hanging out, contributing activity ideas, going on food runs, and creating intricate double elimination brackets for your next “recreational” game, laughter abounds and God knows it is good for the soul.
2) “Babysitters” so you actually get some quality time with your SO
Do you ever wish you could put your kid down for be and then leave the house with your husband and just go for a walk. Definitely not worth a babysitter, but would be very beneficial for your mental health. Having more people around for your vacation allows you the opportunity to leave them, sleeping or otherwise, in the care of other capable adults so you and your significant other can just be for a second.
3) Extra hands
There is no metaphor here. Plain and simple. If there are more people, then there are more hands to help you carry the heaping piles of who-knows-what that you packed to its final destination.
4) More people to hang out with your husband while you take a nap
Also, no deeper meaning here. If you stay out too late one night or could just desperately use a midday nap to make the most of your vacation, you can do so while your significant other watches the babe AND you won’t feel guilty about it because they still have company. It’s wonderful.
5) Socialization for your Little One
If you have other friends with kids, traveling together with them will improve the odds of your kid developing normal social skills. Let’s be honest, unless you are a SAHM (props to you!), it can be extremely challenging to get together with friends on a regular basis. Life is wild and there a litany of “to-dos” tugging at us on any given day. Take a vacay with your besties and perhaps your kiddos will become besties too! A girl can dream 🙂
6) The Development of Meaningful Relationships
I have continually touted travelling as a means to grow closer to your significant other because it has historically required my husband and I to work together more and communicate better. In the same way, when your friends and family travel with you and your babe, they see the ins and outs of what your family unit looks like, for better or worse. They participate with you in this relationship for a period of time that you would have otherwise spent apart, and this vulnerability has the potential to bring you closer (at least if you surround yourself with winners). Also, the ability for your kid to spend solid chunks of time with people that are important to you at a very early age will inevitably foster relationships that will last a life time.