Of course it can be a challenge being with each other all day everyday. But it's also really awesome. Justin and I have had our fair share of barnies on the road but we worked out pretty quickly how to diffuse them! We try to enforce 'Bec/Justin time' often. Even if it's just for an hour or so. It can totally change your attitude and give you that break you need. At times it can be full on having 5 in the caravan and we all need our down time at some point. When it gets to that point where we are bickering, one of us typically leaves for some time to ourselves. Justin will go fishing or I will go shopping. We come back a different person and never hold a grudge. I really love having Justin around as he's a great cook and very hands on with our kids! Although it was a huge adjustment for him! I have been a stay at home mum since our eldest was born, so for Justin it was a big change dealing with kids non stop and me also.
Our first month together on the road was tough, a huge adjustment for us all and you soon work out how you deal with your own situation. We stayed positive and optimistic the whole time and we soon got through the tough adjustment period..
I believe that the last few years has truly made our marriage stronger and we know each other better than ever. As for our kids, it has been greatly beneficial having us around all the time. Being present is one of the best gifts you can give your kids and we have seen it pay off. Having both parents around to discipline, give encouragement, teach and love is hugely beneficial to them at such a young age. We love watching there happy little faces, although not every day, they still have their moments. A Teething baby, the odd toddler tantrum and a 4 year olds attitude can be a testing day at times. But we figure, we'd be encountering this at home anyway! If it's too much for Justin or I, we opt out for a breather. You come back being a better parent and able to deal with situations a little better. We really have been able to work as a team and I think that is why our trip has been so enjoyable.
It's very busy with 3 young kids, but we generally have our kids down between 630-7pm. It works really well and justin and I get to have some time together, enjoy dinner/a drink and watch a movie. It's our time to have uninterrupted adult conversation. We really do treasure those hours from 7pm!
We've definitely had some hairy days with the kids! Being outside most of the day, our kids are pooped come dinner time. Which means 5pm can bring us some meltdowns. When our little rascals decide to throw a tantrum or push each other's buttons we quickly move them into the van. We do this as not to disturb other travellers. At least then, we can soundproof them and they can have it out in the van and calm down. But like all parents, we have our own techniques on how we deal with these behaviours. As long as it's consistent, your travels should be trouble free. We kept everything the same as we would have done at home which we think is really important.
Being able to communicate about how you're coping and adjusting to life on the road is important. If either of us needs to take a break from the chaos, then we do so with no judgement. We all deal with situations differently & we are definitely no experts on marriage/relationships, but feel that we now have a good grasp on travelling as a family full time. Being able to judge if one or the other need some time out becomes second nature. You soon find your groove!! Exercising is a big part of our lives and if you don't already, get on board as it greatly helps your sanity and gives you that break from the family!! Feeling fit, healthy and good about yourself is a great base to a happy family on the road.
Cheers guys, we really hope this helps!!
Bec & Justin.