How to Thrive While Traveling with a Spouse and Kids

I’ve been a little MIA for a few weeks but I promise it’s with good reason. We just got back from a 17 day stay in Egypt! For those of you who don’t know, my husband was born there and his family lives in Cairo. We took the baby to meet his grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins for the first time! That being said, I have a whole lot of travel hacks for you that will save your marriage, your children and your sanity! There are links in here but they are not ads! They are legit what I used to help my family thrive! 
Here we go.

1. Talk about your expectations with your spouse a few days or even a couple weeks before you leave. Do they like to sleep in? Are they up with the sun and ready to seize the day? What sights do each of you want to see? What’s the culture of where you’re going? Anything you should be aware of, do or not do? 
Additionally, set expectations with your kids. Nobody likes walking into situations where they don’t know what’s happening and kids are no different. Talk about the plane ride- it will be a long way, there won’t be wifi. When we were talking with Mason about Egypt, we made sure to explain that the houses they live in are not like ours. They don’t have dryers for their clothes, their food is different and while we don’t expect him to eat all of it, we do expect him to try it. It’s ok if he doesn’t like it (but he did like most of it)! When we are in public, we expect him to stay near us and not take things from people even when they’re offered. Set them up for success from the get go by setting clear, concise expectations.

2. If you are flying- take a stroller but check it at the gate! Same with a car seat. The chances of the airlines losing it is less this way! Plus, you can use it to wheel around bags or your kids when you’re going long distances through the airport. 

3. Even if you’re breastfeeding, pack individual packets of formula. I only packed 2 and from experience, I will say that I wish I would’ve packed way more! There wasn’t always space on the plane. I got a stomach virus and had it for 11 days so my supply completely tanked and formula isn’t always available in other countries. Reading ingredients on these formulas is also not a good time.

4. If any one of your family members has food allergies, pack snacks! Airplane food is NOT allergy friendly. Though most airlines have stopped serving peanuts, it still doesn’t mean you can consume the food if you have any other allergies. I LOVED the Optavia chocolate shake meals. I packed about 10 and I used all 10 on the trip. They were the only thing I could keep down when I was sick and because you just mix them with water, it’s easy. If you mix it with only a little water, it’s like a pudding so it won’t make a mess. If you dump it in a water bottle, you have a shake with a decent amount of protein. I also packed things like individual packs of veggie straws, fruit strips, dried fruit, granola. 

5. You’ll want to seperate your carry ons like this. This is for a family of 4 but you get the idea.

Carry on #1– 2 pairs of clothes, 1 pair of pajamas and 3 pairs of underwear for each family member. Roll the clothes so you fit more in the bags and they don’t wrinkle as bad. Toothbrushes, contact solution, bathroom bags including 2 bars of soap! 1 bar you’ll use for showers and the other you’ll use to wash clothes if needed. The second leg of our trip, Lufthansa lost our bags and we didn’t get them for 5 days of our trip. Everything you’ll need in case this happens, put it in a carry on! 
Carry on #2– Electronics, iPads, chargers, phones, etc. 
Carry on #3– Snacks/food (nothing liquid!), 2 throw sized blankets packed over the top of the food and FUN- trust me on this. You’ll want to put coloring books, crayons, books to read, a sketch pad with some colored pencils, anything light weight that will keep them busy. For kids old enough to write, consider packing a journal for them to write down their memories- things they saw, enjoyed, people they met, what they saw that was different than where they live, things they ate and liked/disliked, etc.This will be a fun keepsake many years from now.
Carry on #4- Anything related to the baby- breastpump, charger, bottle brush (good luck finding one of those in any other country!) extra bottles, formula, etc. 

Seperating like this will help tremendously as you go through TSA and if you need something specific on the plane, you know which bag to grab quickly. 

6. Ladies- ZYIA LEGGINGS!! Thank God I wore a pair of jeans on the flight and packed a pair of Zyia black leggings in my carry on with a nicer t-shirt. Because the airlines lost our bags, I had to literally live in these leggings for 5 straight days. They were comfy enough to sleep in, easy to wash and dry quickly, nice enough to dress up with the nicer shirt I had and because Egypt is a billion degrees in July, they weren’t too hot! 

7. For kids, get 2 new toys (even for big kids) for them for the trip. One you’ll pack in the suitcase for the flight home. The other you’ll take on the flight to your destination. When they get bored, you’ll have a new toy for them to play with and it will be much more enjoyable for everyone.

8. Thieves Hand sanitizing Wipes. Life is messy and traveling isn’t always the most sanitary. I used these wipes for EVERYTHING- wiping down the plane/uber/etc, cleaning hands- kids and my own, wiping off pacifiers, anything that needed cleaned basically. They’re non-toxic, smell fantastic and chemical free. They are also allowed through TSA where a bottle of hand sanitizer big enough for a family for 2 weeks isn’t. 

9. Mighty Pro. A pre and probiotic. When I got sick and then my 11 year old got the same stomach virus (not covid, confirmed), these helped our digestive tract SO MUCH!! They’re small packets that taste like a pixie stick and don’t take up much space or weigh a lot. Other countries have food that doesn’t always agree with you. These help combat that.

10. Be Mindful of the BASICS! Children and adults alike cannot thrive if they are hungry, tired or thirsty. Yelling, getting short with them, adding to the negativity and the already tense situation will not help. Keep everyone fed, warm, hydrated and rested and whatever else hapoens isn’t a big deal. Every problem that happens after that is completely solvable. Most likely if there’s a meltdown, it can be traced back to one of these issues. 

11. Bonus Tip- Give everyone a job, even if it’s small. When kids feel important, they have something else to focus on besides how long they’ve been walking, how hungry or tired they are. For little kids, it might be looking for bathrooms or a certain type of food, the gate you’re going to, or watching for a man with a green shirt. Make anything up. It will pass the time and give them a focus. For older kids, it might be carrying bags, making sure all bags are accounted for, holding little brother’s hand, etc. 

For a couple’s only thriving while traveling and other relationship coaching tips, subscribe to my couple’s only weekly newsletter!

Above all, I know the pandemic created a hold on traveling but as someone who travels A LOT, I can honestly say that it’s very safe. Precautions are still taken but the world is opening back up for the most part and there are lots of things to see! 

Happy Travels!!

Kameran 

P.S- For numbers 4, 6, 8 and 9- if you’re interested in these products, email me and I can connect you to the people I ordered from or get you hooked up from my own website! 🙂 

They’re called blind spots for a reason.

One day last week I took Mason to school. I’ll preempt this by saying that we do a lot better when we can start our mornings slow and methodically. Fun fact, someone asked me once why I wanted to be an entrepreneur and I told them it was because I didn’t want to have to wake up to an alarm clock. That’s still true. Anyway, no matter how much I front load this kid- put your snack in your back pack, lay out your clothes, set your alarm, etc etc the night before, he will inevitably forget something the next morning. This time, it was his mask. 

The long and short of it is that I was more than irritated at the lack of responsibility and the number of excuses he was spouting off like a broken faucet. In the midst of my “mom speech” and in response to him telling me that he believes he’s always responsible, I found myself saying “you don’t know your own blind spots.” 

I further explained in 11 year old terms what that meant, dropped him off, said I love you, and went about my day but I couldn’t get that one phrase out of my mind. 

Nobody knows their own blind spots. It’s why I have a coach I’ve invested 4 figures into and why my own client roster is almost full. We are all looking for help to see our blind spots. Where do we need more work? 

What part is holding us back, keeping us from reaching our fullest potential? What part of us as an individual is continually sabotaging our relationships? Everyone has a blind spot or even a few. Some are more toxic and hurtful than others. But without bringing them to light and working through them, we continue to stay stagnant, never moving forward into the best version of ourselves. Isn’t that the point of life, to grow and become the best version of you possible? 

I was working with a client this morning and she was talking about how far she’d come in the last 2 years. It’s so important to reflect on those wins but when I asked her why she started this journey in the first place her answer was shocking. Her ex-husband had made a comment that she needed to “stop acting like such a victim.” This one comment sparked a wildfire in her soul and fueled her personal development so that he, nor anyone else would ever be able to tell her she was a victim again. She’s not. She’s powerful, impactful, and thriving. She is truly an inspriation and living into the absolute best version of herself every day. All because her blind spot was made visible. Granted, the fuel was significantly more blazened by the person who said it but the results have given her more confidence in herself and her abilities. She’s a better mom, a better teacher and a better friend throughout! 

The beauty is in the process. Deep within the hard. It’s undeniably hard to self-reflect and get honest with what needs work. It’s also liberating, rewarding and ego-boosting when you can honestly say you’ve done that work and are making the world, even if it’s just your tiny corner of it, better because of the work you did. 

So what version are you living into right now? How can you bring your own blind spots to light?

XOXO,
Kameran

P.S.- Have you checked out the 3 day relationship bootcamp I offered in my facebook group last week? It opened the doors to my 1:1 relationship course BETTER ME, BETTER US. This course is for anyone who knows they want a better relationship but their partner isn’t as committed to the personal development journey just yet. Check it out here.

Are you really helping?

The story goes that a man comes in and asks his wife for help on something but before it’s all said and done, the wife completes the whole project for her husband because “it’s just easier that way.” 

In a couple weeks, he asks her for “help” on a similar project as before. She agrees but does the project for him again. This repeats multiple times throughout the course of the year and finally one day she says “Why don’t you learn to do this yourself? Why do I always have to help you with this?” 

The answer is within herself. When he came to her the very first time asking for help, instead of doing the project for him, she could’ve taken the time to teach him how to do it on his own right then and there. Thus, preventing herself from the irritation and time of having to do it for him repeatedly. “It was just easier”…but was it really? In the short term moment, maybe but big picture, was it really easier than taking a few extra minutes to teach him to do it himself?

As this situation unfolded before my very eyes, I heard him tell his wife “you’re more of a do the thing and I’m more of a ask for help on it kind of guy”. 

The problem is not with men and women. I see this issue with people of all ages, genders, stages in life, etc. We are becoming more and more a society of needing things given to us, done for us and asking not for help but to be enabled. Yes, I said it. 

See, helping is doing something for someone who cannot do it for themselves. Enabling is doing something for someone who can do it for themselves…a lot of the time, “because it’s just easier.” 

In that moment where we believe that it’s just easier if we do the project, several things are happening cognitively. First, we believe that it will take a lesser amount of time if we just do it ourselves instead of teaching others to do it. Secondly, we so arrogantly believe on some level that if we do it, at least it will be done right. Third, on that same level, we don’t believe in the ability or intelligence of the person asking for help. Think about that for a second. We are so arrogant to believe that we are better, smarter, more equipped to do the task than our counterpart. I will also add that too much of this starts to become a breeding ground for contempt- one of the most toxic traits to have infiltrate a marriage.

At the same time, let’s say for a minute that the person asking for help truly has the intention of learning in their asking for help. Well, you’ve just taken away their chance to better themselves by agreeing to help but doing it for them. 

Let’s flip that coin now and say that the person asking really doesn’t want help but is asking so it sounds like they do. This is a manipulation tactic to get someone to enable them. It’s entitlement, selfish, lazy and crossing a boundary that says “my time is more valuable than yours so I’m going to care not about the time you’re going to waste in doing something I could do but don’t want to.” 

As a parent, it’s easier for us to do something for our children than to see them fail as they learn. But in that, aren’t we failing as the parent by doing things for our children instead of teaching them to be independent and thrive without us? 

As a spouse, it would be easier to do all the things our partner asks of us but if, in the end, we are continuously harboring negative feelings for our partner because of it, we really only have ourselves to blame for allowing the disrespect and agreeing to enable them. 

As a boss, how are you creating an environment that promotes self-improvement, learning, and being a self-starter but also asking for help when it’s truly needed? 

Where are you helping? Where are you enabling? How can you honor your own boundaries and create better time management for yourself by saying no? In situations where you are asking, do you truly need help to learn or are you asking to be enabled?

XOXO,

Kameran

How much stress can you take?

Do you hit snooze every morning? Is coffee a MUST in order to thrive each day? Are you irritable, snappy with your spouse/kids? You might be burnt out. 

Ever heard of microstressors? A microstressor is something that happens in your day that gives you a small jolt of cortisol. It stresses your body but comes across cognitively as an annoyance, irritation or inconvenience. Examples would be: your alarm clock going off when you’re in the middle of a REM cycle, your spouse asking you to do something for them when you’re already running late, a child telling you at 7 PM they have a science experiment due that night or they need a certain shirt, brownies or something else for the next day, a car pulling out in front of you on the way to work, spilling your coffee, etc. Anything that makes you have to pivot or utter curse words under your breath. 

Your body is only equipped to handle 40 microstressors per day. 40. If you hit snooze each morning, that’s another microstressor for each time your alarm goes off. That being said, think of how many times you experience a microstressor each day. Is it more than 40? Anything more than 40 causes your body to release extra cortisol (public enemy number 1) into your system causing belly fat, exhaustion in emotional, physical and mental form, and a taxation on your adrenal glands. Tired, cranky and out of energy and patience all the time? Now you know why. All of these extra microstressors lead to burn out and chronic stress. Chronic stress then leads to chronic health problems. 

So how do you overcome them? 

1. Get 7-9 hours of sleep. The recommended amount is 6-8 but 7-9 are needed to thrive, not just function. Turn off electronics at least 1 hour before bed. Get a diffuser or sound machine. STOP hitting SNOOZE!
2. Meet your other physiological needs- food, air, water, homeostasis. If those needs aren’t filled, you can’t concentrate on anything. Kids are the same way by the way. My 10 year old didn’t go to sleep until late last night and this morning, I think I heard at least 10 times in 2 hours how tired he was while he was trying to concentrate on school work. Kids need between 11-13 hours of sleep every night to thrive too. Ever tried to have a serious conversation when you’re hungry? Doesn’t work so well, does it? 
3. Eat healthy, enough and often. When your brain is depleted from nutrients, you can’t concentrate and everything is more intense. 
4. Exercise but if you’re exhausted, don’t try to do a HIIT or something strenuous. Do yoga or go for a nature walk. 
5. Socialize with friends. 2 hours a week with friends can increase happiness by 40%! Encourage your spouse to go on that guys/girls weekend! They’ll come back refreshed and be a better spouse/parent. 
6. Progress over perfection. There’s a difference in being a perfectionist and just living in fear and “perfect” doesn’t actually exist anyway! 
7. Deep breaths. Search cosmic yoga for a fun resource for your kids to calm down. For you, 5 deep breaths every 3 hours, indulging in a hobby, journaling, meditation. All of these are fantastic! 
8. Time management. Prioritize, let go of the small stuff (does it really matter if your spouse didn’t fold the towels right? They fit in the cupboard, they’re folded and you didn’t have to do it. Let it go), delegate, partner up, share the resources you have, stop trying to reinvent the wheel…see number 6 on the perfectionist thing. 
9. When you or your child are having a meltdown, ask “what need isn’t being met here”? What do you need?
10. Set expectations clearly, early and often. Talk to your kids about your expectations for the day during breakfast. Talk to your spouse about your expectations for budgeting at the beginning of the month, for the job you’re requesting they do before they start it, etc. 

If you need more information on microstressors or expectations, I’ve done a video on both in the facebook group. Feel free to join and check them out! I do free coaching in that group 2-3x a week every week! 
Otherwise, I hope this has helped and I wish you a weekend filled with less stress! 

XOXO,

Kameran

Hit Reset

“How in the name of Christmas does my house look like a hurricane hit when I just cleaned yesterday?”

It’s said that the way you keep your car or your house is a direct reflection of your life. Is your house chaos? Coordinated chaos? Neat and tidy? Boring and dull? Bright and happy? 

I’ve mentioned several times before but if you’re new here, my husband is a commercial airline pilot. Sometimes, like this month, he is gone for 4 days, home for 16 hours-5 days and gone again. The “joke” that’s not very ha ha funny is that he blows in, blows up and blows out. Well one day, not too long ago, I was not so secretly tired of walking behind him and our 10 year old picking socks up off the floor, grabbing the sweatshirt off the back of the chair, cleaning up 33 pairs of shoes by the door, etc. etc. I was also reading a book that I talked about a couple weeks ago called Atomic Habits by James Clear.

In the book, he talks about a bachelor that got tired of his apartment always being messy and refers to himself as “lazy”. But the one thing that got this bachelor on track was starting a “ROOM RESET”. When he was finished with the blanket, he’d shut the TV off, refold the blanket and put it back on the couch where it goes. He would literally reset the room before leaving it. 

This seemed completely brilliant! I started implementing this in my home immediately. When my husband started having to pick up all of his own things, I began to have more help, more time for what I wanted to do and less to pick up and he started understanding how much work it really takes to keep a home in order without losing your mind. We also implemented two other rules at the same time. A game called “one touch” and a rule called All+ 1. “One touch” means that whatever you touch, you touch once and put it where it goes right away. No more picking up a cup to move it to the counter then later move it to the dishwasher. Nope. Pick up the cup, in the dishwasher it goes. Dishes are in the dishwasher? You just got the responsibility of putting the dishes away, even if you’re 10. I’ll also add that my child doesn’t get an allowance. He helps out because we are a team and he is a part of that team. Everyone pulls their weight. I don’t get paid to cook dinner, he doesn’t get paid vaccum. Team effort. I will give him a little extra for detailing the car, or dusting base boards. All +1 means that when we do the room reset, you pick up all your junk plus one thing that isn’t yours. That way everyone is helping out. It gets done faster and the house stays picked up. 

So how does this apply to your life? Well for starters, it’s not too late to do a “reset” on your life. Stop dwelling on the past and move forward from where you are now. Reset where you are and start moving toward where you want to go. Reset your habits to start new ones or change old ones. Reset your relationship to be better. Get help, change behaviors, fix what’s broken, do a reset. Then check in every day. What’s it look like? How’d the reset go that day? What needs to happen to make it even better the next day? 

People never get to the end of something and know exactly what went wrong. They look back and think “what happened”? Small, repeated habits and patterns happened. They never got reset and now the breaking point has come. That breaking point may be your sanity, a divorce, a sippy cup of milk that has molded after getting lost under the seat, an extra 50 pounds, a health issue, whatever applies to you. 

If you don’t like who you are, what you’ve become, what your house, your car, or your life look like just yell out “RESET” and commit to it. 

XOXO,

Kameran