Whenever I would see mom’s travel alone with their child(ren) in the airport, I also wondered how could they fly alone. Honestly they are the real MVPs. I personally never thought I would join that club until yesterday. When my husband found out he had to fly out to the West Coast for a work conference, he decided to extend the trip and turn the last week before school into a mini family vacay.
When we first discussed it, internally I was like ok so I’m about to pack up the boys all alone, get through airport security, board a plane possibly sit next to a stranger and travel a little over 5 hours, cool. Basically I signed myself up to fly across the US with an 8 year old (pro international frequent flyer) and a 6 month old (second trip of his entire baby life, but master sleeper while on board). When you think about it, it doesn’t sound too daunting. But then I started to think about my Airport Warrior chronicle in my book Confessions of a Rock-Mom: The One With the Messy Hair and Smudged Lipstick. Like will I lose my ever lasting mind on the flight. Did I set myself up to have an adult meltdown in the middle of terminal 4 next to a Dunken Doughnuts? Naw, I had this, right. The night before the flight I could barley sleep because I truly had no idea what to expect flying solo. All I knew is that I had to get myself together because I was made for this.
Being the mom that I am, I low key over packed. The hubs had already taken majority of our luggage so I didn’t have to worry about struggling through the airport with too many bags. But, somehow I still ended up over stuffing a carry on bag, it was basically busting out of the seams. In my defense I wanted to have as many extra clothes for the boys. What if it’s too hot or too cold on the plane, like that’s about 8 outfits right there, plus extra pairs of socks just in case. I threw in about 20 extra bibs because Carter is teething so he drools like a leaking faucet. 3 blankets, a pack of Huggies Diapers, extra wipes, snacks, electronics and enough toys to entertain a baby for an entire week plus a pair of slides. Yes and that’s just the carry on rolling bag. Carter had his diaper book bag with more clothes and toys 🤷🏽♀️ baby food, 8 options to pick from. Who knew he may not have felt like having peas it may have been a carrot type of flight. CJ had his own book bag which y’all know I had to check. He literally dumped at least 1,000 pieces of LEGOs 🤦🏽♀️ So what did I do, dumped them right out and put his math and science packets in replacement of those deadly things. I had rather gotten a thousand paper cut than dealing with endless pieces of LEGOs booby trapping the plane.
We get to the airport, fly through self checkout like a breeze. Then there was security. So who’s bags get flagged, yup mine. Lord TSA tried to do the most. They had a staff meeting (OK not really), but a meeting of the minds to figure out if they would let me keep Caters peas and carrots. I think I gave them the I’m gonna git you sucka mama death stare that they finally approved his food. Sweet baby Jesus wrapping in swaddling clothes knew I needed his baby food. I would have been punching the air the entire flight.
On the way to the gate, we stop and order food. I selected a burrito with chipotle sauce. Lord knew I wanted to eat the burrito right then and there, but with Carter strapped on me, pulling his Donna car seat/stroller set (such a life savior), rolling a carrying on plus my handbag, I decided ok let me wait until we get on the plane to eat.
We board early and we get the perfect seats. We don’t have to sit next to a stranger (internally dancing) and I can see the bathroom so I can send CJ alone without worrying if he’s ok. Yes I am that mom who won’t send her 8 year old to the public restroom alone. Don’t judge me, judge your mama. The flight attendant ️️ were so awesome and made sure we were comfortable. Sitting and waiting for the airplane to take off, my nerves started to settle. I had made it through the first half of flying alone 🏾 now to get through the flight.
The goal to make it through the flight with no issues was to get Carter sleepy enough that he would be knocked out most of the time. At first I was worried because Carter wanted to look around, which is understandable for a 6 month old. But all I could think about was that darn burrito and how I wanted it so bad. Carter had to go night night. Plus I needed him sleep for take off so his ears wouldn’t bother him. Let’s just say Carter got so milk wasted he didn’t even make it through the flight attendants instruction. Y’all by the time we got in the air I wiped out my burrito so fast it was gone in 60 seconds, ok not really, but you get it. I was happy, CJ was happy and most importantly I had a sleeping baby.
The rest of the flight was pretty simple, Carter decided to settle for carrots. He laughed, smiled at everyone who passed through the aisle and jumped on my lap for about 3 hours. The rest of the time he slept. I took no issues because he wasn’t a crying screaming baby. For this to be his second and longest flight, I think it’s safe to say he can now graduate to international travels. I am also super proud to say that I am a proud member of a dope group called Rock-Mom flight warrior. So if you see a mom traveling alone with her children, cut her a break, help her out and simply smile.