How becoming a parent is like going on safari…

Super Safari Baby Mobile by Etsy seller sheepcreekstudio

I’m pregnant!

Which means that Mike and I are adding a third person to our future travel and restaurant reservations. This is both exciting and scary as hell for me.

I never expected to have a baby, so the idea of becoming a parent is quite daunting. I’ve spent a lot of time freaking out about how our truly wonderful life is about to drastically change. And, at least for a while, become a lot less wonderful.

During conversation number eleventy-one about my having a baby panic, Mike (who seriously, has been so wonderfully patient with me) said the one thing that was able to finally calm my existential parenting crisis. He said…

“Becoming a parent will be like going on safari.”

Mike and I went on a honeymoon safari in Tanzania, and if you haven’t already done so, go read our post called “10 reasons honeymoon safaris aren’t as sexy as you think.”

To recap, it wasn’t the easiest choice for a honeymoon for these reasons:

  • Safaris are physically uncomfortable.
  • The hours are exhausting.
  • We dealt with some truly horrifying Circle Of Life stuff.
  • Many a time we wished for a day off, or for the trip to be over, just so we could actually relax.

But at the same time, we’re so glad we went! We’d absolutely make the same honeymoon choice again, even with our 20/20 hindsight.

During the low points, we held hands and got through it at a team. During the high points, we held hands and marveled at our good fortune. And when it was over we came out of it with a new perspective on life, a tighter bond, and wonderful memories.

All that, Mike said, was what he expects having a kid will be like. And that, I thought, made the most sense of anything I’d ever heard about becoming a parent.

Advice welcome!

But if anyone else has advice for traveling and going to restaurants with a newborn, we’d love to hear it! No seriously, PLEASE leave a comment with your best tips and tricks for dashing and dining, and I’ll love you forever.

Author: Megan Finley Horowitz

I'm a part-time writer, editor, and full-time eater from Los Angeles. I live with my husband/travel partner, our rescued senior chihuahua and grumpy-ass cat.

8 thoughts on “How becoming a parent is like going on safari…”

  1. Congratulations so much!!!

    Some of the best advice we were given was that our life doesn’t revolve around our kids, they fit into it. We started taking ours out young so they could learn social norms and how to wait in a line without throwing a fit, to be respectful. Don’t laugh and say its cute when they are being terrible, go ahead and correct that shit – it will be hard because they are cute, but it will be 100 times easier if you get it under control when they are young instead of waiting…. now our kids can pretty much go anywhere and be ok.

    1. Thank you!!! I totally feel like this is a do-able thing. I 100% plan on having this kid fit into our lives instead of the other way around. Besides, our life is AWESOME. You’ll be lucky to fit into it, kiddo. 😉

  2. Mom of 5 here. Honestly, all you need is that sense of adventure you already have. Mike made the perfect analogy. If you survived and enjoyed the safari, then you will not only survive but ENJOY being a parent. So many wonderful moments are in store for you! Just like your safari honeymooon, you will be saying, “I’d do it all over again!”.

  3. Your shoot is amazing! Congrats! My daughter is 14 months old and here is the advice I can give. Newborns are easy to bring to restaurants and travel with. Til about 3 months all they do is eat, sleep, and poop. They’re very portable, enjoy being held, have a flexible and late bedtime, and tend to fall asleep wherever. Problem is that you’ll be so tired and recovering that you might not feel up to going anywhere. My husband and I used to take the baby on a walk in the stroller until she fell asleep and then wheel her into our favorite local pub for a quick happy hour. She loved hanging out at restaurants and parties during this age and we’d just pass her around and take turns eating. When they hit about 4 months their nap schedules start firming up and some babies (like mine) won’t sleep in carseats or strollers so you have to be home for 3 naps a day and it makes getting out hard. But their bedtime becomes consistent and early so you have your evenings to yourself again (yay eating dinner with two hands!). When they start crawling it gets hard to bring them places cause they just want to explore but right around that time they’re more interested in eating solid food and might like to eat off your plate. As far as traveling: if you don’t want to lug a bunch of baby stuff around look into renting it where you’ll be staying. You can rent cribs, high chairs, baby bath tubs, and even toys. Using Uber/Lyft is easy with an infant carseat without the base (you can just thread a seatbelt through) and getting through airports is easier if your carseat attaches to the stroller. I didn’t have an infant carseat-stroller system and had to borrow one. If you’re going to be doing a lot of traveling look into the Doona. It’s an infant carseat that has wheels and a handle that turn into a stroller. Also look into baby-carrier options. My daughter kinda hated baby-carriers until she could be facing out but lots of babies love them and they make travel easy. The Ergo Omni 360 will hold a newborn without an insert and does face in and face out carry and can be adjusted for you and your husband. You might already have all the stuff you need but these are the things I would register for now if I had to do it over again. Good luck! It’s a lot of fun 🙂

    1. AAAHHHH!!! This was awesome to read! Guess what we have chilling at our house right effin’ now: A Doona and an Ergo 360. I’m so stoked to have these purchases confirmed for ease of travel!!! Thank you! I LOVE your routine of stroller walks to happy hour. That’s fantastic. We live in the perfect spot to pull that off. BONUS: Happy hour being early means that tired AF new parents don’t have to be out late. Brilliant. Thank you thank you thank you!!!

  4. I LOVE your routine of stroller walks to happy hour. That’s fantastic. We live in the perfect spot to pull that off. BONUS: Happy hour being early means that tired AF new parents don’t have to be out late. Brilliant. Thank you thank you thank you!!!

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