When Bronwyn was about two months old, we took her on a road trip south to see my family. Before this, Gabriel and I liked taking road trips together. Chatting, listening to audio books or music, he teaching me how to drive a standard transmission–it was all good fun.

Enter a newborn who didn’t like her car seat. So much to pack. Driving on little sleep. Trying not to wake anyone else in the house when she cried at night. Stopping for an hour to feed her (we soon abandoned that practice in favour of getting to our destination within the same decade.) Our entire trip revolved around this baby and her myriad, constant needs. These new parents were stressed out by the time they got home. I told someone that while I used to like travelling, doing it with a baby is a whole different ballgame. That trip scratched my travelling itch for a long time.

Last month, Gabriel and I again took a road trip south. We were going to sing at our friend’s wedding in Pennsylvania, and because it would be a quick trip, we left the two oldest kids at home and took two-month-old Nicholas.

Let me tell you: it was SO MUCH FUN. No tantrums, potty accidents, or whining. So little to pack. Uninterrupted adult conversation while the angelic baby slept in his car seat. Listening to books by P. G. Wodehouse instead of Thornton W. Burgess. Only one kid to keep track of at the wedding. We felt so free!

And that is what a change in perspective can do.

The Free Parents

The Free Parents

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