Hi, Friends. I’ve become a terrible blogger, have I not? I apologize. Several of you have asked how it’s working having a baby in an Airstream. I haven’t been avoiding this question. (Okay, maybe I have…) In all honesty, I’ve drafted numerous versions of this post only to delete them because I didn’t like my writing. It’s a difficult entry to write, apparently.
Emerson just turned six months and in the last few weeks, I finally am starting to feel like a human being again and not an exhausted and overly-emotional new mother. Those first few months really knocked me off my feet. I faced some postpartum issues. Let’s just say, there was a lot of crying that I couldn’t seem to control. A lot. For example:
- Our pediatrician informed me that I was endangering my child because I was allowing her to sleep in my arms at night. I cried.
- I was exhausted because my child would only sleep in my arms. I cried.
- At night, while sitting upright holding my child, I would look over to see Chris sleeping. Lying down in bed. I was extremely jealous. I cried.
- Emerson was somewhat colicky and she cried. A lot. So, therefore, I cried. A lot.
So, yeah…those first few months my eyes stayed in red swollen state from all my tears. It’s a good thing Chris is incredibly patient and supportive. I’m a lucky woman.
The explanation above should answer the main question: Where does the baby sleep in the Airstream? In my arms. Eventually, I was able to put her down beside me and we shared the bed while Chris slept on the couch. But, for the most part, she was in my arms and I learned to sleep upright although it was never really quality sleep thus leading to my extreme exhaustion and subsequent crying fits. (And, please, no lectures on how this sleeping arrangement was dangerous to my child. I’ve already been lectured enough by the pediatrician.)
The other major challenge became apparent once Chris started back to work. He’s on the phone for most of the day. And, since Emerson cried a lot in those first few months, having conference calls with a crying baby in our small space became an issue. When the weather permitted, Chris would try to work outside but oftentimes, this proved difficult, especially if he needed to be on the phone. We always seem to be in windy campgrounds. So, Emerson and I took a lot of rides, went for walks when possible, and tried to stay out of the Airstream so Chris could get his work done. But, sometimes, I just wanted to be in my home to try and comfort my child. Sometimes, having to leave with a crying child wasn’t always the best option.
So, yes, a baby in an Airstream isn’t easy. It can be done, but it isn’t easy – at least for me it isn’t. Which brings me to the events that occurred after Boston.
We needed to be in Georgia shortly after Boston so we tried to get a lot of driving done that first weekend. We wanted to get down to Virginia and see some family before continuing on to Atlanta. What used to be an easy day trip turned into a traumatizing and exhausting drive now that we have a baby on board. That was in October. We are all still recovering from the Boston to Virginia trip. But, we made it. And, we stayed with family in Staunton, Virginia for the week. But, after that trip, we vowed to never EVER drive for that long again.
We were allowed to unhitch in the parking lot of the old mental institution in Staunton where my sister-in-law and her husband live. (Um, I should probably clarify that it’s not a mental institution anymore. It’s now renovated condos.) During the day, Chris remained in the Airstream working and Emerson and I walked around town and spent time in the condo. We played on the floor in a spacious living room. I did laundry (another challenge: Laundromats and infants. Not easy!). And, at one point, I was even able to lay Emerson down for a nap while I enjoyed some peace and quiet. And, then it hit me: I was ready for more space. I needed rooms with doors. I needed for Chris to have his own working space while I had my own living space. I wanted Emerson to be able to play on a floor, to practice her rolling, learn to crawl, etc. I needed more space for the dogs who were driving us crazy and not liking the newest member of our family. I needed more than 160 square feet.
I hated to admit it, but the Airstream life wasn’t working for me. At that point, I did the only thing I knew to do. I cried. I sat in the condo and sobbed. Was our Airstream adventure coming to an end? More importantly, how do I break the news to Chris that this just wasn’t working for me right now?
That night, we talked. It was a difficult conversation. The important question we had to ask was what was the best thing for our child and our family at this time?
That was in October. We’ve had a few campground stays since then but for the most part we have taken a hiatus from traveling. Our wonderful families have opened up their homes and allowed us to stay with them. We are currently enjoying the warm weather in Florida and trying to figure out our future plans. Emerson is now sleeping in her own bed and for longer periods of time. I am no longer sleeping upright. And, Chris is no longer sleeping on a couch. We are all happy campers…err…home dwellers, right now.
But, don’t worry – we don’t have another place to call home yet and so we will be back in the Airstream once the rest of the country warms up. (Did you know that last weekend, Florida was the ONLY state without snow. True story.) Once we are back on the road, our search for property begins. And, while we may have lost our full-timer status for now (*tear*), we will forever be Airstreamers. And, for those of you attending Alumapalooza this year – we will see you there!!!
In the meantime, stay tuned. I still have more to travels to write about and I will keep you all updated about our plans. As soon as we have them.