Wednesday, July 18th, 2012...9:04 pm

My Mom Told Me Not To Tell You

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“I think I’m going to buy a leash for Miles,” I told my mom last week.

“Just don’t write about it,” she said.

“Of course I won’t,” I said, feeling all at once guilty and insecure about a parenting choice I was about to make.

I leave tomorrow on a plane. With both kids. Without Ken. Our house is in a further state of disarray (more on that tomorrow) and we needed a place to go, so we are flying to Ken’s parents’ house in Virginia.

I’m flying alone with two kids, one of whom is a very active one year old, and I wanted a leash. It’s my back-up plan so I didn’t have to worry about him getting lost or being trapped in a stroller for hours on end. I wanted a leash so I didn’t have to worry.

But then I realized I’d just worry about being judged.

Before I had kids I would have NEVER thought I would purchase a leash let alone use one. I probably eyed parents at the airports or in big crowds using a “toddler harness” with a bit of “I’m-never-going-to-do-that” judgment. But here I am. A $10 puppy leash (is that supposed to make it more “cute” than questionable?) in my bag ready to go for tomorrow’s trip. I’m ready for the looks (maybe).

Flying with kids is hard enough. What if they are loud? What if they cry? What if I’m stuck next to someone who hates kids? What if Miles just. won’t. sit. still? With all of the conversation lately about family flights or “no kids allowed” flights, an airport just doesn’t feel like a safe zone for a mom traveling alone. It feels like I will be a zoo animal on display for everyone to watch, for everyone to wonder about, for everyone to judge. So leash or no leash, I don’t think it really matters.

For what it’s worth, every single friend I’ve told about the leash either said they would do the same thing or that they totally understood. No judgment. No snide comments.

I hope that’s how I feel after my plane lands tomorrow.

Wish me luck!

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  • I certainly do not blame or judge you. I would be feeling anxious as well. It’s hard to know you are about to spend a day feeling all that pressure (real or perceived.) Good luck. Your kids are adorable, so that is a definite plus. ;)

  • No blaming or judging. The airport is a crazy place. I used a leash once, it had a teddy bear on it. I got a couple of pointers but two moms stopped me and said, “I wish they had those when my kids were little.” Good luck with the big adventure!

  • Let me be among those who judge… I’ve seen Moms without and with leashes. Those with are clearly the wiser. Not only will you have an easier time, but so will Miles!! The leash will connect him to the only safe and familiar element in a truly crazy world, enabling him to face it and explore with confidence.

  • I think you are pretty much a brilliant Mama! I love it. Smart. Good luck on your flight. Traveling with small children is incredibly difficult. I wish you well!
    Life with Kaishon recently posted..Growing up {Baby Sofia}My Profile

  • How did it go?? I just blogged about flying alone for the first time with my baby. We made it…assuming you did, too!

    annie recently posted..Celebrity Cool.My Profile

  • There are alot of solo travelers on SITS today! I am going to be one of them next week, and I have to say I don’t agree with the leash thing. But then again I really can’t judge, I only have one kid and I will be wearing him. At the gate I will let him crawl (or hopefully walk?!?! He should be walking any day) around the hallway to get all of his energy out. I still don’t like leashes but it’s not my decision for you, I think it’s great that you are doing things to make them safer in the airport. Also, I used to judge people’s parenting and I have done almost everything I said I would never do. So I might come back in 6 months and say I bought a leash too. Good luck at the airport!
    Monica recently posted..The Very Hungry Caterpillar Party Round-UpMy Profile

  • Also, because my first comment wasn’t long enough… lol… your RSS button link needs to be fixed :)
    Monica recently posted..The Very Hungry Caterpillar Party Round-UpMy Profile

  • I have 2 year old twins. If my husband would allow it, I’d have had them on leashes a year ago!

    I’ve been at this parenting thing for a bit, and let me tell you: No matter what you do, or what you choose, someone is going to judge you. You just have to learn to not let it affect you!
    Dakotapam recently posted..A Dairy Off The Beaten PathMy Profile

  • I definitely don’t judge! It’s one of those things I criticized before I became a parent, but now I totally get it. Hope the trip went well!

    I’m visiting from SITS Sharefest.
    Katie E recently posted..Memories Captured: 11My Profile

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