Armed with quick wit and a self-deprecating sense of humor, Erica Levine Weber fell deeply in love with an adventerous lifestyle—before falling even more in love with her now-husband and starting a family.
Cue the dramatic music: Dun dun dun!
Except, is it really that dramatic? I mean, obviously your life changes from top to bottom. But is it possible to have it all? To be the best kind of mother, and fulfill all your traveling dreams?
Erica is here to tell you it is. Her blog—The Worldwide Webers—details how she and her husband spent the first year of their daughter’s life visiting four continents and more than 30 countries, with at least 60 flights and more 100,000 miles along the way.
Now she’s sharing why we don’t have to decide whether to travel or have a baby.
You can choose BOTH—and here’s why she did…
1. Boobs do not get charged as extra carry-ons
Erica: You can bring boobs everywhere, even though they could tip the weight allowance scale. It will never be cheaper to travel as a family then when your babe is under two. Hotel rooms, airplane seats, food costs… It’s all cheaper with a breastfeeding infant or tiny toddler.
2. Cage-free kids are the healthiest
Erica: I like my kids the way I like my eggs: cage-free. If you think a colored play space is good for a kid’s imagination, just imagine what running around the Taj Mahal could do. And the latter is way more fun for us as parents.
3. What kind of fish am I being? Selfish
Erica: That’s right, I’m doing this for me, because I love to travel and the memories we make will be ingrained in my head (and in the iCloud) for life. Just like a kid’s second birthday party, all the money and time spent is for our memories as parents, not for the pint-sized guests of honor.
4. Breaking routine can be as beneficial as keeping it
Erica: Don’t get me wrong, a day without the toddler’s midday nap can be a recipe for disaster. But, realistically, life isn’t always routine or perfectly timed around a kid’s schedule. Finding ways to incorporate her routine into travels or creating fun activities to keep her stimulated enough to break the routine keeps all parties adaptable and flexible.
The more times she sleeps in cribs other than her own, eat at restaurants where she has to not be a total demon or nap off schedule, the better we all get at meshing real life with toddler life.
5. A changing table with a view
Erica: If I’m going to change diapers and negotiate toddler tantrums it may as well come with a view and man-to-man defense. Home life gets chaotic with work, kid classes, school, play dates, cooking, cleaning, etc. And all these are generally accomplished with a divide-and-conquer method where my husband is at work and I’m holding down the family fort. When we travel, all those distractions go away and all of a sudden it’s two parents spending time with our one (almost two) kids, so life actually becomes a lot simpler and more fun.
6. I want the next phase, not a new phase
Erica: I want to continue my life’s passions and include my family, not turn into a completely different person who forgot their sense of adventure. Exploring with kids doesn’t have to break the bank, dip into your limited day off allowance from work or even be to far off lands. It can be as local, short and financially savvy as you make it. It’s all about the journey anyway, right?
7. I dare you to tell me “no”
Erica: I know where my toddler learned her hatred of the word “no.” I don’t like to be told no as much as the next person. So when we had our first baby and people responded, “no more travel for you”—and now going into our second baby hearing “no really, now you’re definitely anchored”—all I think is “challenge accepted.”
And if that incredible travel boost wasn’t enough, here are a few more “Motherly” thoughts from Erica.
How do you make your mornings run smoothly?
Erica: One word: FOOD. I get yogurt into my daughter as quickly as possible to bring her blood sugar and mood straight up. Hangery is real with her and we’ve found a quick high-protein yogurt, such as plain Skyr, where she gets to add “sprinkles” (aka granola) quickly pushes her into being human.
The lifehack or tip that has changed my life. . .
Erica: You don’t get what you don’t ask for. This has been applied to all aspects of my life and certainly to our travels. From asking airline staff to move passengers around so we get a free seat for the toddler to asking her nursery to accommodate her in various ways, I’m never afraid to inquire, and I’ve found that people are more willing to help than you’d think! You just have to be a self-advocate and ask for it.
What superpower have you discovered as a mom?
Erica: I’d say patience, but I’m still working on that! Maybe more time with the Bhutanese monks and I’ll have it down by the time she’s a teenager (unlikely, I know). For now I’d say physical strength. At nine months pregnant I’m still bending, chasing, carrying and roughhousing with my 2 year old. Turns out mom strength is a real thing!
This quote inspires me. . .
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while you could miss it”
To me Motherly means…
Erica: Loving them versus liking them, hearing them versus telling them and following Olaf’s guide to parenting by giving lots of warm hugs.