Wednesday Write-Up: Frustration of a Traveling Mom

There are many who would say that I am suffering from what are called “first world problems” when I say there some frustrations that come along with traveling. Yes, I do realize that I am incredibly blessed and know that I am living many people’s dreams right now. And because of knowing and realizing these things, I struggle. I struggle with my own negativity when all I get to do by myself is go grocery shopping (no more girls nights for this lady). I struggle with missing my friends and family. I struggle with feelings of being an awful mother, toting my daughter around the world away from all that she knows in her short life so far. I struggle.

There are not only rainbows and happiness in this world, and unfortunately, I am the first to point out the bad. I have been trying to keep a positive attitude and acknowledge God’s blessings on me and my family. We have been granted the opportunity to take this amazing journey, and have been blessed in every instance. I should be walking around with a perma-smile on my face, singing praise songs and exuding joy, right?

And yet, sometimes, the small things weigh me down and make me forget the good.

After dinner tonight, we went to the grocery store, just for a couple of things. I always feels as though I need a Xanax after grocery shopping here in Lisbon. For some reason, they are always restocking the shelves in every crowded aisle, while waxing the floors with the big floor waxing thingy (why wait until the store closes for that right?). I am not a person that needs a 3 foot space bubble, but I sure love to be able to get my groceries and get out of the store without so much stress and craziness.

Then as I check out with my toilet paper and tampons (sorry all you men out there!) I was unable to pay with my visa since it was under 20 euros and had to hold up the whole line, while I trudged to the ATM in the corner of the store, to get cash for my purchases. I don’t know if I have ever been so red faced.

Tonight, Zoë fell asleep but wouldn’t let me lay her in her bed for over an hour, she kept waking up. I tried to be patient, I tried to enjoy the cuddle time. But in the end, my humanness and fallibleness makes me hand her off to Chad to rock back to sleep. And she is still awake, an hour and half later. This makes me sad and frustrated. Why can’t I be the patient, ever-calm and loving mother that I want to be? I want to be better.

Seriously, I am not that high maintenance! I promise! But, sometimes, on nights like these, I feel like an old towel that has been cleaning the toilets for too long and just needs to be thrown out.

Being a mom is not an easy task, being a traveling mom can be even more frustrating at times.


Yes, I know I sound like a spoiled brat, I know that I sound like I am unappreciative, but if I gloss over the bad and just give you all the greatness (which believe me, is a massive amount of great times), you may end up feeling as I do. That you cannot feel down and frustrated sometimes. That you should always be happy and eager to undertake the new cultures that envelope you. That you are unappreciative for the blessings you have been given, if you have a rough day and it gets to you. Simply, that you must always be happy while traveling.

I cannot lie to you, my friends and family, there are rough days when abroad.

But in the end, the good days do outweigh the bad. And this one little day will just be chalked up to culture shock and a traveling learning experience.

Until tomorrow, I will have a glass of amazing Portuguese red wine and try to relax, while trying not to cry, and pray to God to get me through my negative attitude. Because this is all part of it, the journey we have been given, and I relish the experience, both positive and negative. God will see me through this.

For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but the very things I hate. Romans 7:15

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

photo credit: via photopin (license)

  6 comments for “Wednesday Write-Up: Frustration of a Traveling Mom

  1. thankfultravelers
    May 29, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    I love that you are real! It is good, I believe, to be transparent so other travelers will not have unrealistic expectations. To say nothing of the fact that it is so important for moms to admit a need to stay close to God EVEN when living “the dream”, and that even those able to have an adventure such as this, life is still real.
    Appreciate the “real- ness ”

    • andthreetogo
      May 30, 2013 at 12:27 am

      Thanks mom! I have to admit that I woke up this morning thinking I may have sounded like a whiner. I was tempted to take down the post. Thanks for the encouragement! 🙂

  2. Cole
    May 30, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    Don’t take it down! I loved it Jen!

    • andthreetogo
      May 31, 2013 at 12:13 am

      Thanks sister! 🙂

      • Denise Heaney
        June 3, 2013 at 8:47 am

        Hi Jenny~
        i love reading about your travels mostly because it so real! you didn’t really sound that negative at all, and after I read your blog i feel like I’ve sat down and had a conversation with you! so personable.
        thanks for sharing, the good, and a little of the not so good!

        • andthreetogo
          June 3, 2013 at 9:27 am

          Thanks Denise! That’s exactly what I want from this blog! 🙂

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