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The Childless Bitch on Travel

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Editor's Note: When the post below was submitted to us, it completely pissed us off. After we all calmed down, we decided to post it. We're open-minded like that. The title for the post was originally "My Experiences Traveling as a Single Woman," but we took a bit of editorial license and changed it. We're not much for calling other women the B-word, but this time it seemed like the right thing to do. Tell us if you agree...


I am about to get on a plane to travel cross-country. To plan for this painstaking day, I thought it would be appropriate to speak to the mothers of the world who will be joining me, along with their screaming, coughing, drooling children.

Listen, I get it, it's hard being a mom..blah blah blah. Working down the hall from the Mom•Logic offices, I hear it all the time. Fine. I get it. I definitely get that traveling has got to be the worst of all mommy-duties. But face it--you chose to have children, and now you are choosing to transport them. I am just an innocent, single, non-disturbing airline passenger who, like you, had to pay a ridiculous price for an airline ticket. And let me be clear, I am not choosing to go on an exotic vacation with my three hot Italian boyfriends during this holiday time (a false sense of reality mommies often construct about life as a single person). But instead, I am being forced to join my quasi-loved ones in a small town on the opposite side of the country.
All I'm asking for is a little courtesy. None of us want to be trapped in an airport, stuck on a train, or tortured in traffic on the road. To make it a little easier on all of us, I have devised a quick list of Single Person-Friendly Traveling Rules for moms to keep in mind while traveling this weekend.

1. If you end up sitting next to me on the plane, you owe me a drink and/or an Ambien. Both are preferred.

2. Just because the terminal waiting area is carpeted, does not mean this is your child's play room.

3. While you are on your cell phone and cannot hear your child, I can.

4. It's great that you find your child hilarious one else does.

5. Knowing you have to go through airport security with a gang of children, plan ahead. Don't look surprised to find out you have to remove all five pairs of shoes on all 10 of your children's feet. I manage to take my jewelry and belt off before getting to the front of the line. All I ask is, work it out.

6. If your son is over the age of 2, I don't want to see him leaving a women's restroom stall--one in which I surely will have to use.

7. Starbucks is a special place. The airport Starbucks, in particular, is no place for a child. Move it to McDonalds.

8. Just because you have a child in a middle seat does not grant you the right to take over my aisle seat.

9. Diapers should not be changed in places where I can watch it happen.

10. Last, but not least, please remember the Chilis To Go is a bar before anything else--please be respectful.

next: Sex Never Gets Old
77 comments so far | Post a comment now
Sheri November 20, 2007, 1:44 PM

That’s the same one I was offended by. Where should my son go to the bathroom? Should I carry a litter box?

Sarah November 20, 2007, 1:50 PM

Amen! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched unruly children scream the entire flight while the parents simply sat there, unable to control them. And while I think 2 is a little young, I have seen moms with 8 year old boys in the restroom. That’s just creepy.

Hollie November 20, 2007, 1:52 PM

Wow…What I would give to see her taveling just so I can get my kids as irritatingly close to her as possible. Close enough to sneeze right on her. I pray she never becomes a mother. Yes I would like to see her learn a lesson but I wouldn’t wish her on any child.

Su November 20, 2007, 1:57 PM

I agree with all of them, from 1 to 10. It’s your choice to have children so why do I have to suffer. Yes, may think your child is being cute when they spit out their food but NEWSFLASH no one else does. So if you have kids, all we ask is be considerate.

Mike November 20, 2007, 2:06 PM

I agree… I don’t think your lil my problem.. more over.. you must discipline your child to be quiet in public … not SILENT but not SCREAMING while you have your itunes blaring…. if you dont want to discipline em.. let me..

Janet November 20, 2007, 2:20 PM

How about compassion for the KIDS, Mike? And Mike, weren’t you a kid once too? I mean, give me a freaking break. Most of the time, kids cry on planes because their ears hurt, not because they want to annoy you. And BTW I never have my iTunes blaring when I’m with my kids…puhleaze.

stephanie November 20, 2007, 2:28 PM

This completely freaks me out. I am about to travel for the first time with my 3 month old son and all I can think about him is crying. I have tried to think up different things to comfort him, breastfeeding(under a blanket), bringing a sling, I am also leaving ON thanksgiving, hoping less people traveling…etc just so I don’t get those looks from other passangers. Reading this just made my fears even worse.

Sheri November 20, 2007, 2:30 PM

Being a mother of 2.5, I can see the point to the story. My husband and I constantly remind ourselves that others aren’t as amused by our kids as we are. BUT many of us do what we can - they are people with personalities and we can’t always keep them from speaking up. My kids act better than a lot of adults on planes who think their conversation is important enough for all to hear and who get even louder with each passing drink.

One question - if you people don’t have kids, what are you looking for on a site called Mom Logic?

Ann November 20, 2007, 2:52 PM

It’s possible to have kids and agree with some of these rules. Sure, she’s harsh, but people who would get angry with this list probably relate pretty closely to it. We’ve done some of these, that’s part of being a parent no matter how hard you try. Some of these things are just nitpicking. But I have seen the people and children she’s referring to in this list, and it embarrasses me to be associated with them as ‘fellow parents.’

Jamie November 20, 2007, 2:53 PM

Listen, I have two kids of my own so I know whats it’s like to see other children out of control. It all comes down to the parenting!!! Plain and simple. I really think there should be mandatory parenting classes for people who become pregnant before the hospital will allow delivery.

Jamie November 20, 2007, 2:53 PM

Listen, I have two kids of my own so I know whats it’s like to see other children out of control. It all comes down to the parenting!!! Plain and simple. I really think there should be mandatory parenting classes for people who become pregnant before the hospital will allow delivery.

LJ November 20, 2007, 4:17 PM

Oh, she forgot #11. The back of my seat is not a freakin’ kickboxing bag. All you moms say you can’t control what your kid does? Well, you can certainly SEE and STOP your child from kicking the living crap out of the back of my seat. And if you don’t? Then it’s the three strike rule. The first time I will look between the seats and subtlely give both you and your child (oh yes, I will) the stink eye. Which in case you don’t read my language means - shut it down. When your future kickboxing champion continues practicing on the back of my $700 seat causing me to spill my $5 cocktail in my lap I will then not-so-subtlely throw the force of my body into the back of my seat to scare the pull-ups off your kid. And if that doesn’t work then it’s game-on between you and me.

Faith November 20, 2007, 4:36 PM

My kids are now 19,17, 13, and 10, but, I remember traveling with them while they were young. I have flown with a two month old (the easiest)and when my children were all ten and under. I always felt that it was my responsibility to keep them from being disruptive to others. Having a plan (especially a bag of M&M’s for takeoff and landing) was essential. Although I was nervous the entire time that they might be disruptive, the memories are priceless now. The only real issue I had was the flight attendant who didn’t understand why my 3 year old couldn’t wait like everyone else to go to the bathroom. I asked her if she really wanted to take that chance….she let us go into the first class toilet. Parents have to make sure that their children are not annoying to others. And, it doesn’t hurt if people without kids would maybe lend a helping hand to someone who could use it (a mom) rather than having a “better than though” attitude about the mom’s decision to have a child.

Karma Mom November 20, 2007, 4:48 PM

I can’t wait until you have a screaming, crying, snot-nosed child who walks at 9 mos and doesn’t talk until he’s three, you’re 6 month pregnant with your second, your mom is too ill that she can’t travel across the country to be with you for Thanksgiving, your husband who works 24/7 says he can’t leave until Thanksgiving morning so you are forced to fly alone with your toddler, you’re nursing, yet, another inflammation of that chronic hemorrhoid that showed up as a result of a 48 hour labor that ended up in a C—Section, you can’t stop sneezing from the terrible cold that you picked up from your child (and, obviously, you feel like crap and can’t take anything because you’re pregnant), you have now wet your pants from that last uncontrollable sneeze (yes, that nagging incontinence problem that you have been experiencing, too, as a result of that extended labor) and you and your toddler have just been seated on the plane next to two male college kids (who have clearly been drinking and want to keep the party going) on one side and a severely obese man (who has just finished an extra large chili dog at the airport) on the other side. Oh, did I mention that the person sitting in front of your toddler
is a reincarnation of your childless self? P.S. Just as the plane is taking off, your toddler announces, “Uh oh, I got poo poo!”

Good luck to you!

Alexandra November 20, 2007, 5:10 PM

I don’t have a problem with children. I enjoy them and find them amusing in public. What I have a problem is parents who are not parents in public. Fine if you want to ignore your kid’s temper tantrum at home. But out in public, be a parent.

Tina November 20, 2007, 7:46 PM

okay let me start off by saying that I do NOT have children but I do have 2 nephews under the age of 5!!

1. let’s be reasonable here…..if you travel via ‘mass transit’ that is a risk you are gonna have to take.

2,3,4 and 5. I agree with all of these!

6. are you serious????

7,8,9. I agree will all of these as well.

10. well if it is a bar where there are adult drinks and smoking then that is a rish the parent has to take by bringing the child into.

Kristi November 20, 2007, 8:10 PM

I do not have kids yet, but let’s be honest. I can understand that its harder to travel with more than just yourself. But at the same time, the airport/airplane are not places to let children run wild like I have seen millions of times.

Anonymous November 20, 2007, 8:57 PM

I pray this woman is infertile because she obviously hates children.

Julie November 21, 2007, 10:03 AM

Yes, it was my choice to have children. It was also YOUR CHOICE not to have children. What gives you the right to impose your selfish choice on those who have made a different choice? Most parents do everything they can to make airport travel convenient for our children and therefore pleasant for ourselves and those around us. We pack a multitude of snacks, games, videos (and earphones), lollipops to soothe ear drums. But remember, the same things that make travelling incovenient for all of us (having to arrive at the airport hours early to accomodate security, standing in long snaking lines at screening, sitting on the tarmac for long periods due to flight delays, etc.) test the limits of everyone’s coping skills. While children have fewer ways of expressing their frustations, their expression of that frustration should be more understandable coming from a child who has not yet developed the coping skills that adults should have.

The reality of our world is that our boys will use restrooms with their moms when dad isn’t travelling with us (and girls will use the men’s room if mom isn’t there). Some airports provide family restrooms to accomodate travelling families, but many do not. However, you can rest assured, if I’m letting my kids use that stall, it’s going to be cleaner for you when we leave that it was we entered it. Moms sterilize everything and public toilets are going to be super sterilized before we’ll let our kids touch them. If you want a clean restroom, you ought to specifically target a stall that a mom and her kids just left.

You whine more than my 6 and 2 year-old boys combined. If travelling when children are likely to be present bothers you so, book an early morning or late evening flight when fewer children are likely to be travelling. Pay for a first class seat (and if you book seat in advance, sweetie, you’re less likely to overpay). Sit in the first class lounge while you wait for your flight. You’re being “forced” to spend the holidays with your family? Thought you were the grown-up here. You’re peeved before you even to get the airport b/c you’re making a trip you’re dreading. Make the travelling experience more pleasant for all of us—Say no to your family and do what you want.

Lastly, at this Thanksgiving holiday, let’s have a healthy dose of proper perspective. When many in this world are living in civil war or unrest, struggling to have a roof over their heads and food on their tables, coping with the devastating illness of a loved one and many here at home have loved ones a world away fighting under dangerous conditions, it seems you have nothing greater to worry about than whether or not a child will disrupt your travel. How truly fortunate you are.

CD November 21, 2007, 11:12 AM

As another single person I have to agree. Its not the fact that children are on airplanes and cry and scream occasionally. Its the parents that will ignore a kids hysterical screams for cheerios/cookies/juice in order to teach discipline… the parents who listen to their ipods while their children throw a tantrum… and the (death penalty deserving) parents who take their sick kids on a plane. I cannot even count the number of times where I’ve been the unfortunate person sitting next to a child who wails for 4 hours because he’s in horrendous pain. Bless that poor baby, it’s not his fault. But really if I (someone with no kids) can tell your child is ill on the runway by his red runny eyes and stuffy noise and constant whimpers then he should not be on this flight.

It’s not that single people hate children, or even hate parents. We hate disorganized, bad, rude parents who feel their children entire them to a better flight experience than the rest of us.

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