News flash: Life doesn’t stop when you have a baby

I was reading a feature in Glamour magazine yesterday. It was the issue with Tanya Burr on the cover and it was all about the super-vlogger taking over the world – I thought it might cast some light on how to be a super-vlogger but it basically just tells you that Tanya is lovely and works really hard.

Enlightening stuff, thanks, Glamour.

Anyway, the feature I was reading was all about having babies. There were lots of opinions from different women with some saying they want lots of kids, many saying they’re not ready for kids and some saying they’re 100% sure they don’t want kids at all.

Whatever they decide to do it’s totally up to them and I respect anyone who knows exactly what they want – even if it’s not the norm. I’m also not going to patronise anyone with the whole, ‘You’ll want kids when you’re older, just you wait’, because a lot of people don’t and you shouldn’t be made to feel like you’re meant to have a maternal instinct to want kids.

The thing that really stood out for me was the amount of people who seem to have put their lives on hold when having kids. Others said they didn’t want kids because they want to travel and focus on their careers. Yey for wanderlust-fueled career ladies, there’s lots of us out there. But I don’t understand where the idea comes from that you can’t:

  1. Have a child AND a career
  2. Travel with a child

So I’d like to put the record straight for any ladies out there who – like me – want it all.

You can have a child AND a career AND travel. You might even be able to squeeze in a social life and a weekly gym sesh if you’re lucky.

We’re always told that you can’t have your cake and eat it too but, actually, you can. I do. In fact, you can even have two cakes because running around after kids burns a hell of a lot of calories and you’ll probably need the extra energy.

My son, George, is eight months old. He’s been abroad twice – once to the Maldives and once to Portugal – and we travel around the UK all the time. George goes to nursery two days a week so I get some time to myself and to work. I don’t have a single guilty bone in my body about sending him to nursery because he loves it there – sometimes a little bit too much and he doesn’t want to come home.

I’ve taken inspiration from The 4-Hour Work Week and I work smarter, not harder. It’s amazing how much more you can get done when you attempt to squeeze a full-time job into two days per week! I outsource some work, I hustle and I barter and my blogging business has grown and grown. The only month that I saw a dip in my income was the month I gave birth – and I’m not going to beat myself up about that one!

Yes, sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes I go to bed as soon as I’ve eaten my dinner because I just can’t keep my eyes open. Sometimes I look at Sam and realise we haven’t had a proper conversation in over a week. Sometimes I hate saying no to exciting travel opportunities because I don’t want to leave George for too long. But, most of the time, I feel lucky that I’ve been raised to have the attitude that I can have it all. It never crossed my mind that I couldn’t so I’d like to thank my parents for that one.

I wrote this post because I get a lot of emails from women who love to travel, love their careers and love the idea of one day having kids. That ‘one day’ might not be for another 10 years but rest assured that if you want it all, you can have it all and your life doesn’t have to stop when you have a baby.

TheTravelHack

Monica is the founder and editor of The Travel Hack. She began the blog in 2009 when she left the UK to travel around Asia and Australia for two years. She's now a professional blogger and has travelled around the world in search of stylish adventure travel. Monica has recently had her second baby and is determined to prove that travelling with a baby is possible!

SHOWHIDE Comments (17)
  1. To be honest I do believe that when you have kids everything changes and your life somehow stops.
    It’s just that kids need so much time and care. It’s a challenge.
    Nice reading that you believe that it’s possible to have it all.
    x

    1. It is true that lives changes, but it doesn’t stop. It evolves. You somehow get more productive at the “must do’s”. I can honestly say I don’t fee like I have less time in a day since I became a mom. It’s a bit heavier on the calendar, yes. We used to go out whenever we wanted to, and now we have to take turns and check babysits before we can say “yes” to a joint invite, but it makes you appreciate those things more, too.

  2. I totally agree with you on this. Since my kid was a bairn he’s done local (UK) and international travel every single year and I hold down a full time out of home job.

    It’s all about the attitude and how much you want something. My child has learns so much from travel that it does help his school work too…

    His 2nd flight at 1st old was a 13 hr long haul flight from LHR…I continue to plan for travel with the little man…

    I’m glad to hear of you continuing the travelling bug.

  3. Love this post so much! Totally agree with all your points.

    I’m currently writing this comment with my super cute 3week old bundle snuggling on my lap. Today we’ve been for lunch with friends and have finalised another adventure for 2016. Nothing is on hold – I’m still the same person I was before he arrived, but now I get to share it all with an amazing man (well, another one!).

    We’re further proof that you can have it all 🙂

    1. Yey for having it all 😉

      That’s something I kept saying when I first had George, ‘I’m still the same person’. I kind of expected to feel different and thought I wouldn’t want to travel but I haven’t changed at all. I’m just much more organised and better at packing now!

  4. Definitely! Of course things change after kids but there’s no reason life has to change entirely (or worse, stop). I can’t imagine ditching my career for 18 years or staying at home and giving up on travel either (and 13 overseas trips in 3 years proves it’s very possible to carry on). Priorities might shift, money might be tighter and there’s more juggling but one huge benefit of being alive today is there’s no reason you can’t do what you want AND have kids. After all, why wouldn’t you want to share the adventure with them?

    1. Exactly!
      I totally understand that lots of parents want to temporarily leave their careers while they’re taking care of their kids – but if you don’t want to, you definitely don’t have to!

  5. Brilliant! I’m not sure what “all” is & frankly I don’t care as of course it’s different for everyone. What I do love though is seeing people have their own personal “all”. The worst thing in the world would be to feel “wanting”. I admire all that you have achieved to date & have no doubt there is much more to come 🙂

  6. Life is definitely insanely different since my son came along (he’s 5 now … well, five AND A HALF if you ask him), but I’m so glad I was able to keep my blog and my business ticking along the whole time. Progress on both is a lot slower than pre-kids days but I can totally live with that. And of course you know I absolutely agree about travelling with kids! Although we live in the most isolated city on earth he’s managed to visit a dozen countries and he loves it.

  7. Amen, Monica! I’m back working full time now – in a more senior role than I was in before mat leave, so I’m busier than I used to be. Sometimes I feel guilty, but I still have tons of quality lovely time with my son. And we travel! Life changes completely with a baby, but it doesn’t stop at all. And I’ve somehow become a more efficient version of the person I was before which I love. Admittedly, blogging has been on the backburner for me recently, but our living situation has meant a severe lack of WiFi. Tonight is our first night in our new house, though, and once we’re fully reconnected, I’ll be back in blog land. Life couldn’t be more full! I love it!

  8. This is a great post! My son is 3 mo old, and I took some time off right after I had him, but now I’m back to working from home. I’ve even just expanded things a bit, which is great. My husband and I have also made it our priority to continue traveling, and though traveling with a baby is different, it is still great! Keep it up, Monica!

  9. This post really spoke to me. It seems to be the topic of conversation as you get older – when are you going to have kids? My answer has for the most part been – I’m not, or not until I’m ready, once I’ve traveled to XX number of countries. Truth is I’m scared that I won’t be able to do it all and something will fall. Thank you for proving that it’s possible!

  10. I totally needed to hear this right now! My husband and I are expecting our first child at the end of January and since I am now well into my third trimester, our travel has slowed way down (it’s now a struggle to sit in a plane/train/car for more than a couple of hours at a time). I worry that after the baby is born, our traveling days are over, but it’s so nice to hear that they aren’t!

    I would be interested to hear some of your tips for traveling with a baby as we have a trip from Europe to the US scheduled for 6 weeks after my due date for a Christening. After that, the plane tickets more than double in price, so we wanted to take advantage of my maternity leave and cheap airfare.

    1. Congratulations Meghan – that’s so exciting! I remember that third trimester feeling, not long to go now.

      I actually have a post coming out next week about flying long-haul with a baby. 6 weeks old is a great time to be flying with a little one because they sleep so much – it’s just a constant cycle of sleep – feed – nappy change so you’ll be fine. George loved his baby carrier at 6 weeks so maybe get one in case baby won’t settle and you need to pace up and down the plane. At 6 weeks, George wouldn’t be able to stay away for more than 10 minutes if I was bouncing him around in a baby carrier.

  11. This post has cheered me up immensely! I have always had the travel bug but with buying my house, working etc.. it always gets forgot about for ‘one day’ and now i have just found out i am pregnant..just as i was to embark on some long awaited travelling. Have done lots of breaks and general chilling out holidays but not the important places i have always wanted to see. I am flying out to the USA in around a month which i am looking forward to but was so worried that this would be my major first… and last trip for a long time, just as i was getting started 🙁 so to hear that it is still possible to live your dreams and be a mum is good to know!!

  12. Truly a great topic for the post. I am a proud mother who is a teacher by profession and a traveller by heart. My passion for travelling is still the same like before. Nice inspiring post for young mothers!

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The Travel Hack

The Travel Hack is a blog about stylish adventure travel and affordable luxury.

We believe luxurious travel can be affordable and isn't just for the rich. Follow along with our worldwide adventures as we share our trips and tips for incredible travel experiences on a modest budget.