12 Reasons Why I’m Grateful to Be a Traveling Mom

This is my first Thanksgiving as a mother.

Being a mother was not one of my highest priorities. It was one of those things that I figured would probably come one day, but I wasn’t going to seek it out.

wonderful-life 

After I got married, having kids still wasn’t on my radar. At all. I had big dreams, most of them having to do with travel. I wanted to experience the world, I wanted to grow. I wanted to learn. I was like George Bailey from the classic Christmas film It’s a Wonderful Life. He, however, got ensnared (as I saw it) by a job and family and never got to leave before achieving what he wanted. I wanted to break free. I wanted to live an unusual, fulfilling, and exciting life.

As years passed I found my desire for children actually dwindling, not growing. When I found out I was pregnant, three and a half years into our marriage, I was really scared.

Yet having a baby was the second best thing that ever happened to me (the first being convincing Jacob to propose to me five years ago this week, of course.) In honor of Thanksgiving, (which we may have to celebrate late because we’ll be leaving the country soon), here is my list of reasons why I’m grateful to be a traveling mother.

Reason #1 why I’m grateful to be a traveling mother:

I have discovered an entire new group of people that I love: babies. My exposure to babies was previously limited. Now I know that babies are joyful. Their innocence, goofiness, curiosity, and cuddliness makes every day brighter.

Reason #2 why I’m grateful to be a traveling mother:

I’m less cynical. I’ve never been a terribly cynical person, but more than ever, I see the future as a bright one, one in which people like my child will inherit a world filled with promise.

Reason #3 why I’m grateful to be a traveling mother:

Travel now has an added depth: I can show the world to my baby, and I feel like it really enriches his life as well.

baby hollywood

Dressed to impress in Hollywood

Reason #4 why I’m grateful to be a traveling mother:

Having a baby caused me to redefine my priorities. Family became more important to me than having fun; my spiritual path has been rejuvenated, I’ve become a more centered and balanced person, and it’s been a time of rebirth and discovery in more aspects of my life than just baby-related ones.

Reason #5 why I’m grateful to be a traveling mother:

It was easy to just float, to get in a comfort zone even in our ever-changing nomadic life, and having a baby abruptly shoved me out of that. I’m constantly having to learn and relearn things that are new to me. For example, I taught Ryder to sleep through the night…he got to a new age and I’m having to reteach him. It stretches me, helps me grow and though it’s hard I love it.

Reason #6 why I’m grateful to be a traveling mother:

I’m becoming much more efficient with my time. Time is the most precious thing we have, and Ryder is teaching me how not to waste it.

Reason #7 why I’m grateful to be a traveling mother:

Waking up to Ryder’s squeaks and smiles is the best way to wake up. It makes the fact that I get up about 3 hours earlier than my previously extremely laid back days I used to much easier.

Reason #8 why I’m grateful to be a traveling mother:

Parenthood is something that Jacob and I share—just one more thing to add to our list. I love seeing Jacob as a dad and it’s fulfilling to see how happy being a dad makes him.

Reason #9 why I’m grateful to be a traveling mother:

Pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding are several experiences that are unlike any other and can’t be duplicated anywhere else. They connect me to the women past, present, and future who also underwent this unique life experience.

Reason #10 why I’m grateful to be a traveling mother:

Labor was the most physically demanding thing I’ve ever done, and since then nothing seems quite as bad. Roller coasters, bungee jumping, and even nose surgery where the anesthesia failed to set in pale in comparison. I think giving birth made me tougher, and being tough for some reason is something I aspire towards.

Reason #11 why I’m grateful to be a traveling mother:

Having a baby brings new insight into each culture that we visit—we see how each country views children, not something we really noticed or cared about before. We make friends easier using the baby as a prop. Smile

mexicanfriendsbaby

At a ranch with a wonderful family outside of Mexico City, Mexico

Reason #12 why I’m grateful to be a traveling mother:

I look forward to the future, watching Ryder grow, seeing the person he’s going to turn out to be. It’s just another beautiful side of life. Not the only side, to be sure—I wouldn’t say parenthood is for everyone, and I wouldn’t tell anyone children were necessary to living a meaningful life—but it’s just one more shade to color a life beautiful, and I’m grateful that I was given the chance to be a mom, even though I wasn’t sure I wanted it.

Kalli Hiller

Article by Kalli Hiller

Kalli Hiller is a voluntary vagabond who, with her husband Jacob, has traveled full time for the last eight years.

Kalli has written 364 awesome articles for us.

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