Before I was a mother I used to say absurdly naive and smug things like: “I’m not going to let having kids change my lifestyle at all. I’ll still go to nice restaurants, have nice things, wear nice clothes, and travel, and not to Disneyland. Why do people just give up?” To whom I uttered these statements, I can’t recall, but bless them for not punching me in the face.
3.5 years and 2 kids later I understand that its pretty much impossible to go on living exactly the way you had been. Although we have less money, time, and energy to throw around the Husband and I do our best to maintain some semblance of our former life.
Occasionally, we go out to nice restaurants but not as much as I’d like. And when I say occasionally, I mean like, never. OK, it’s not that bad but we go far less frequently than during our childless days. On occasion we’ve even dared to take our kids out to “nicer”restaurants,places that tell you where the trout you are eating spawned and that sort of thing. You know the type. And of course, according to the script, our 3-year-old did break a piece of glassware 15 minutes into dinner. But we aren’t discouraged.
We do have some nice things too, so I suppose that hasn’t changed much. They just aren’t nice for very long. Like in our living room, we have this beautiful ivory wool rug. Yes I chose an ivory rug when I live with a 3-year-old and a 9 month old. It says something about me, I’m just not sure what. Delusional, foolhardy? Perhaps it reflects my desire to believe an ivory rug still fits my lifestyle and a reluctance to accept that in this new life, nice shit in my house will be destroyed. It apparently also says I’m quite tenacious as this is the SECOND ivory wool rug purchased in the last 3 years.
This is not to say I’m bitter because I’m not at all. I love being a mom and I love our life but the fact remains that we do things a little differently now. For one, we travel far less than we used to. The main obstacle is the cost. We’ve done a few road trips to relatives homes and one vacation which required air travel. That trip went well and now we are planning an April trip to NYC and I’m even starting to dream about traveling internationally. Realistically this is about 2 years out as we just don’t have the funds right now, but one can dream. Where would you go? This is my very tentative plan.
ITALY HERE WE COME!!!! (maybe)
Plane tickets are crazy expensive so I’d plan my trip for the off-season when they’re only ludicrously expensive. According to my very-thorough research the cheapest time to go to Italy is somewhere between October to March. I’d go with October.
Besides tickets, a major traveling expense is lodging. I love places with character and thus hate chain hotels. Romantic B&Bs are out of the question because apparently screaming children ruin the ambience. So my solution is to rent a small cottage. It would be great because we wouldn’t have to worry about our kids being too noisy or jumping on the floors at midnight etc. We would also have a kitchen which means we wouldn’t have to eat out all the time.
Where: Casa San Gabriel in Perugia, Italy
According to the owners Casa San Gabriel is “located in a stunning valley, surrounded by ancient olive groves, vineyards woodlands and a scattering of beautiful Umbrian properties.” Sounds good to me. And when you get bored with that you can take a swim, make pizza in their traditional, outdoor pizza oven, or take one of their pet alpacas for a walk.
Cost: Off season-4 nights $774