Great Expectations: The Three Under

I can’t remember exactly when or how I met Farrah, but I knew that I would relate to her. She’s got twin toddlers (I don’t, of course), but she’s also got a preschooler. That’s three boys, three and under. Oh yes. That’s what she writes about in her blog, The Three Under. If ever there was a Super Mama, it would be Farrah.

She doesn’t sugar coat it, though. She struggles, she’s got her hands full, and she needs a break once in a while. Don’t we all?!

She’s got huge changes on the horizon, and we’re lucky to have her here talking about them. Give her some love, because you know she needs it!

You can follow Farrah on Twitter, Facebook, and her blog (she’s got a bunch of giveaways coming up in honor of her big trip, so you should definitely check it out!).

Welcome, Farrah!


To start this bluntly- I have never flown with a child. Traveled with a child- yes. Done the hotels, 12 hour drives, yes. But flown- no. So obviously an international flight has been out of my comfort zone. Ok then- how about MOVING to another country with not just one child, but three? And under 3? Yes- move my entire family (sans dogs) to a foreign country where we do not speak the language for the next 2-3 years.  We are hoping to be relocated to the Netherlands this October.

I have expectations on many levels. First and foremost- I have expectations for the JOURNEY.

My expectations for the flight overseas are as follows:

It’s going to be a nightmare. Complete and totally hell on earth. Harassment with the TSA screening, 3 year old epic meltdowns, angry co passengers on the plan, poop-tastrophies- and the likelihood that we will be banned from flying ever again.

Ok- so how’s that for an expectation? You might think I’m exaggerating- but in all honesty- I’m not. These are my very real fears. I know my children and I know what they’re capable of.

Let’s take it to the next level—the expectations I have for the DESTINATION.

Clusterf*ck. We arrive in a strange country and being outnumbered with our children I see catastrophe. Are there car seats? How do we get to the hotel? How will people be feeling? Sleeping? Eating? Meltdowns? Where are we going? How will they adjust to a new home? A school?  Pediatrician? What?

So I might be a little on the dramatic side, but this is 100% how I am feeling with a +10 of anxiety on the side.

My expectations are that I just don’t know what to expect. I have hopes. I hope that we make it there without ending up on the nightly news as the ‘worst air passenger family ever’. I hope that we land and can navigate to a regrouping spot without too much trauma. I hope that we can get some food, make a plan and arrive at an apartment/home/hotel in one piece and I don’t completely flip the heck out.

I expect that his company will be helpful in assisting with this relocation- but in all honesty- I think that might be a pipe dream. His company is too big to be in touch with the fact that I have three small children and we thrive on a schedule and predictability. How can I expect anything other than survival?

I have expectations for having a place to live. Currently we live in a 2300 square foot home on an acre and a half. I realize that in Europe that’s probably not an option. I expect that we are going to be living in a 750 square foot unfurnished apartment in all honesty- and I am trying to come to terms with that.

But enough with the negativity. I also expect that we are going to have the experience of a lifetime. I expect  that we see England and France- and show my oldest that there really IS an Eiffel Tower that exists outside of The Little Einsteins. I hope we can get to the point to where we can jump on the train and spend the weekend in Germany if we like. I have so many hopes and dreams for this adventure- every single one of my fears are worth it.

So this October, the adventure begins. I don’t know how it’s going to turn out- but as you can see I have many, many expectations.

Thanks to Greta for allowing me to come here and share this with you, and I plan on coming back to tell you how it turned out. In the meantime, I’d love any feedback you might have about air/international travel with small children!

10 Responses to Great Expectations: The Three Under

  1. mamamash says:

    Holy cow, that's an adventure. I admit I think you're a little crazy, and I'm jealous of that. I won't even fly from KCMO to Texas with my one kid for fear of massive meltdowns. I'm going to go follow you now so I can see how this all pans out. Good luck!

  2. […] is. She just moved into her new blog so come over and check it out. I’m participating in her ‘Great Expectations’ series today- and you can say I have an expectation or two to discuss. Probably […]

  3. My children are currently 4, 3, and almost 2 so I had 3 under 3 at one point. I can't imagine planning such a big move with them. I would be completely freaked out but also excited about the opportunities ahead. I look forward to hearing about your adventures!

  4. angela says:

    What an adventure that will be! I would be flipping out, too, but what an experience for all of you. I imagine it will bring your family even closer together and plant the seeds of adventure in your children for the rest of their lives. Good luck 🙂

  5. My girls have actually done well on very long flights thanks to drinks, snacks & crazy enough…Little Einsteins on DVD. Make sure you have something for them to watch. At that age it can be a lifesaver!

    What an amazing adventure you heading out on! It will all work out. You have a good heart…you deserve good things!

  6. Kimberly says:

    Wow, that sounds like an adventure! I would be a little overwhelmed too. But I think that will be a great experience for your family too.

  7. chickadee says:

    I have travelled – by air – with my children when they were toddlers. I prepared as best I could, packed extra changes of clothes, diapers, wipes and snacks in carry-on bags, brought the double stroller to the gate, and put on my best game face. It wasn't as bad as I imagined. I definitely changed my priorities – gave up any expectations for my own comfort, napping or reading. We watched the other passengers (most of whom were tolerant), we read the pictograms everywhere, we ran around wherever possible. Chicago airport has two playgrounds! The places you are flying may also.
    Good luck! Enjoy the adventure!

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  9. Shannon says:

    What a wonderful adventure. I think having these kind of experiences together can really bond a family together. Dutch people are very friendly and they love children. I'm sure that it will be a wonderful experience, even if the travel and the tight quarters are a little challenging. Best of luck!