A few weeks ago I boarded a flight with my two kids in tow. The flight was full of kids heading to the sunny island of the Turks and Caicos. Within seconds a smiling adorable baby head popped up over my seat and began to giggle. Moments later her mother turned around and immediately apologized for bringing the baby on the flight. You know what ladies, you all need to stop apologizing for bringing your children on flights.
Let’s face it, almost everyone you sit next to on a flight is annoying. Whether it’s the guy who insists on reclining his seat so his head is practically pressed against your chest or the complete stranger who wants to tell you their life story for the entire duration of your 6 hour flight. No one is the perfect flyer and that includes your kids.
The issue is that by setting these ridiculous standards of behaviour for our children and pre-emptively apologizing, it makes it seem like you are in the wrong for bringing your child on an airplane. The truth is you are not in the wrong at all. You paid for a ticket and even if your child is in your lap, that ticket includes your child’s flight. Some would argue that travel is a privilege and not a right but once you’ve bought the damn ticket it is your right to use it to get yourself and your child from A to B.
Like most of you, I’ve seen the viral posts about people handing out “apology goodie bags” before the flight with chocolate and ear plugs. I absolutely hate that idea. You don’t owe people on the flight anything and your children are not inherently bad humans you need to apologize for even before the flight takes off. Sure your kid may freak out on a flight but how about the person who insisted on eating chili the night before the flight or the guy that downed 6 shots of whisky in the airport lounge.
The message we as women are sending is out that parents should be apologetic for allowing their kids to travel and the notion of this is simply ridiculous. As a community of women, it’s time to stand up for our families and our right to take our kids wherever the hell we want to at whatever age we please.
My heart was broken reading this Facebook post recently from one of my favorite blogs, A Little Moxie. A mom of three boarded a flight that ended well with some chaos in between. At the end of a flight, a man stood up and said “you should teach your kids to be more quiet on plane”. Mariah, the mother who is deaf, didn’t hear him at first so he continued to repeat the statement. Luckily in this situation the women around her rallied against him and showed her some support.
Listen, motherhood is hard. We all know that. Travel with kids can also be pretty difficult at times. The woman in front of me could have kept her baby at home and travelled to the resort with just her older child. But you know what they would have missed? All those nights, I saw their baby who was just old enough to walk , strolling hand in hand with her family smiling at the sunset. They also would have missed seeing her eyes light up when Elmo, a character at the resort, walked over for a hug. They would have missed a period of valuable family bonding time that will continue to strengthen the bond of their family well after the flight home was over. So next time you sit next to a child on a flight, say hello and let those parents know you are available if they need help. If you don’t want to do that, at least take a deep breath, choose a good movie and before you say a word to the parents of a crying child, take a moment to get over yourself.
What do you think mamas? Feel free to comment below.