2 on 1 – Mama Flies Cross Country Solo

It was the dreaded 5:30 pm flight to the East Coast.  But this time my husband is already there.  After 1 week without him, I was more than ready to give up my single parenting duties.  But to do that, I had one more challenge. 

A 5:30 pm solo cross country flight required serious logistics and coordination.   Just getting to the airport was an effort.  I had to pick each kid up at their own school, with enough time to make it to the airport, but not cutting their naps too short.  Then, at long term parking I need to get:

  • 2 suitcases,
  • 3 backpacks,
  • 1 stroller, and
  • 2 kids

from the car to the shuttle bus to curb side check in.  One small issue, I can’t actually push a stroller AND roll 2 suitcases.  I relied on the kindness of strangers to help me get the bags to the curb side check in. 

Then the airport had its own logistics. Now  I needed to get:

  • 1 suitcase,
  • 3 backpacks,
  • 1 stroller,  and
  • 2 kids

through security,  (No, son you don’t have to take off your shoes.  Yes, I know you want to.  Please don’t throw a fit.  Fine take them off.  Great now your sister wants to do it too.  Now I need to add shoes to my mental list), to our gate, and on the plane.  All this while the 2 year old decides she wants to walk (more like casually stroll) the whole way, while I’m trying to keep the 4 year old from running too far ahead, and keeping the rushed crowd from trampling the 2 year old they don’t see.   Some running around and playing at the gate burned energy, but the two were still pretty excited to be getting on the plane to see their dad. 


We made it to the gate with no loss of energy

The flight was the final challenge.   A red eye is easy. PJs on and to sleep as the plane takes off.  The kids wake up refreshed in New Jersey.  But  a 5:30 pm flight requires some actual entertainment before sleep.  I’m not going to lie, I knew I was out numbered so I took the easy way out.  I came with electronics fully loaded and charged.  A new tablet just for the kids, my old phone which still had their apps in case fights broke out, and my phone so I could read my book (ha) and write (ha ha).  Thankfully this mostly worked, though as my daughter got more tired she insisted on using my magic finger to help her often.


Food and electronics, how else do you handle a cross country flight?

By  8:30 pm PT, I had the kids shut down the electronics,  go to the bathroom (by the way, 3 in an airline bathroom is seriously tight), and put on their PJs.  We read a few stories them it was bedtime.   Being in the back row was tough for the kids due to the light from the galley.  But they both finally feel asleep, my son across two seats and my daughter on my lap (tell me again why I have to pay for a seat for her?)

When we landed at 2:30 AM ET (11:30 PM PT), I need to get:

  • 1 suitcase,
  • 3 backpacks,
  • 1 tablet,
  • 2 phones,
  • 2 pairs of shoes,
  • 2 lambies, and
  • 2 sleepy kids (sure, now my daughter won’t walk at all)

off the plane, and to baggage claim (thank you gate checked stroller).  When I saw my husband waiting at the exit, I knew I had made it, I had survived.  I sighed in relief, until I realized I had to do it again in a few days…

5 thoughts on “2 on 1 – Mama Flies Cross Country Solo

  1. I think as a mum, especially a solo travelling mum, the boundaries of how much one can carry (regarding both weight and number of items, and still not having groomed a third hand), has been extended beyond my wildest dreams 😉 Glad you made it!

  2. Pingback: Help! Tips for Flying With Children During a Pandemic | Around the World with Kids

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