Well, we survived our first family trip. Two adults, a 3-year-old and a baby all boarded a plane with 8 bags, a car seat and a stroller. On the way home my husband leaned over and said, “see hunnie, I told you there was nothing to worry about”. I gave him a look that could kill, now granted it all did go rather well our kids were great little travelers. When I ask my 3-year-old if he was ok with his bags he said, “yes mom, I have super muscles” he carried his own things the whole way even lifted his bag over the landing to get on the plane. I was rather impressed. Baby took a nap most the way. It all went surprisingly well but nothing was done just by chance. I worked for 4 days to get us ready for our 5-day trip and every inch of our allotted space was used wisely.
I have to be honest; I was a mess dreading this trip for the past 6 months. I love to travel and plan to travel with the kids when they get older but traveling with little ones is not my idea of fun. I know people do it all the time, and some say they love it. I think it is a load of work and quite expensive for a “vacation” that they will not remember. Yet sometimes you just have to do it so for situations like this I try to imagine what’s the worst that could happen, plane delayed for hours, hungry, tired kids a car that breaks down in the rain and the baby gets an ear infection that sort of stuff. I don’t mean to live in the negative but this is sometimes how I get through the stuff that is hard.
I am a planner; I feel comfortable when things are controlled and I know what to expect. I know I cannot control everything but I feel if I am ok with the worst that could happen then I will be alright. It sounds a little backwards way of thinking yet this strategy helps me manage risk in so many situations. When I know the worst, I have a plan to help ease the pain, I am also aware that it “could happen” so if it does, I am not totally caught off guard. Note, I am generally a positive person and I can always find the good in something this does not mean I am worrying about everything and putting loads of energy in to the negative. This process is just a general scan of what could go wrong so you are prepared. I find often what seems to be a “big problem” can be solved with easy fixes if you are prepared. It can also help put things in to perspective so if something happens it does not ruin your whole day. You can easily manage the moment of chaos and move on to enjoying what really matters. Here is a little guide to help set you up for success.
How expecting the worst can bring out the best
- Think of the worst things that could happen. Remember this is not “doom and gloom” but proactive critical thinking.
- Make a plan to solve them in advance. Find little solutions that will bring about ease.
- Let it go. Know that it may look different and may not be “perfect” and that is ok.
- Laugh about it. Recognize the situation that did happen and don’t let it upset you, move on and remember someday you will laugh about the crazy things that took place.
- P.S. When in doubt, Always Pack Snacks. No matter what, always pack snacks for kids and adults. Hungry people are rarely happy people small snacks like bars, fruit snacks and nuts can make a world of difference in many situations.
For example, on our family vacation the plane could be delayed, car break down, kids get hungry, tired, board or cold all this can be solved with a little pocket game, some crayons or even stickers, small snacks and lose layered sweater that can double as a blanket or a pillow.
I even do this for dinner parties and large events I host. Worst case I burn dinner and everything is horrible there is always pizza delivery and wine. In the end it is not what I planned but people are still feed and we can all still have a good time together.
The idea is to know that you always have an easy option. It takes a little bit of preparation but I have not once regretted the time I spent planning or preparing for a specific event. I am always pleasantly surprised at how well things turn out I believe firmly that is you have a plan and are prepared your rarely need your extra items. If something does happen then you are also ready without anything disturbing your day. When you take time to plan for the worst you are creating the
I hope this helps ease your mind for your next event. How do you deal with stressful situations?