People often, and by often I mean every day, ask me "How is it going with two kids on the road?" They almost always sound very, very concerned.
And I understand their concern because before we started this new chapter in our choose your own adventure book, I was very, very concerned myself. Life with one kid was hard. Life on the road with one kid was harder. Yes, it was also very fulfilling, but also very hard. How on earth would life on the road with two children be.
Super hard. That was my guess. So super hard in fact, that I wasn't sure we would be able to pull it off.
What was also very, very concerning was that Dave didn't seem very convinced that we could make two kids on the road work either. When we decided to take Lisel on the road with us, I was often the naysayer to Dave's cheerleader. "It'll never work!" I'd moan. "Of course it will," Dave would state in a voice brimming with boundless enthusiasm, "we can do anything!"
But when we talked about bringing both kids out with us my "It'll never work!" was more often than not met with a "Yeah. I'm having a hard time seeing it work myself."
Which was distressing, to say the least. Every bold (read crazy) idea needs a glass half full type pushing it along.
But after doing this for two whole months (which as I write it seems like barely any time at all, but what the hell) I'm here to report that our concern though warranted seems to be waning. Because it's somehow working. Traveling with a toddler and a baby seems to be going well so far.
We are very, very relieved.
I've been trying to pin down why it seems to be going well, and I've come up with a couple of ideas.
1) We know what we're doing. With Lisel we spent two years bumbling around in the dark, both learning how to be parents and learning how to travel with a wee one. Now we have a chance to apply all the things we learned. Plus we have a very seasoned traveler in Lisel to help us along and show her sister how it's done.
2) We're not so ambivalent about what we're doing. This applies mostly to me. I spent a lot of time during those first years wondering if our choices were the right ones. But now, after seeing what a great kid Lisel is turning out to be, I feel less worried. It's incredible how much nicer things are when you're not kvetching and worrying yourself and those around you silly.
3) And this I think is the biggest reason why we're enjoying the road with two kids. I apologize in advance to anyone I've said this to in person, because I'm finding it to be my standard response to those wondering how we're doing. Okay here goes...
Being on the road with two kids is not noticeably more stressful or exhausting than being at home with two kids.
It's different that when we had one kid, and being on the road put a physical and emotional strain on both parents at the same time. That was in contrast to being home, where we had the time and the space to give each other a break. Now, with two kids, there is no free time for either parent whether we're driving from Sandusky, OH to Philadelphia, PA or spending time in an around our humble abode.
So the road seems very, very doable. And there is the added bonus of getting to play good music with exceptional players when we're on the road. That joy cannot be underestimated.
And the extra added bonus of the road is that we don't have to do housework. Oh housework, how I abhor you and your sysiphean sysipheaness. Dave and I were never good at cleaning, and we're even worse now that we're picking up after four humans, rather than two. Oh hotel rooms, how I love your default cleanliness, and my ability to leave you a little bit, or a lot, messy.
So there you have it. Life on the road with two kids is actually pretty cool. Who knew?