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A Baby Can Change Your Plans, and That's OK!

Ubirr Rock, Kakadu National Park - The Lion King Baby Hold

This weekend was a long weekend but I am sat on my sofa on Sunday afternoon writing a blog post... That sucks for me but I guess is great for my blogging productivity! Instead we've been reminded once again, (our most valued lesson since becoming parents), that it is absolutely okay if at first you don't succeed, you have to crack on, change plans and try again another day. Unexpected things happen, plans are changeable and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

We had planned an awesome weekend in Kakadu, the amazing Northern Territory National Park and incorporated some of the finest waterfalls, swimming holes, stunning aboriginal rock art and some decent off road driving. We had packed up the car; swags, chairs, food, wine, more food, Ilsa's favourite toys, heaps of water, torches, nappies and associated accessories, swimming gear, cooking gear... The list goes on, we were well prepared!

Here's the kicker though. As much as we can prepare to make sure Isla is able to enjoy every experience we expose her to, so that we can live our lives fully while providing all of her needs and wants, some things will always be out of our control. But that's ok, as new parents we all need to roll with the punches, relax and realise that being flexible is the key to fitting a baby into our lives.

Mother and Daughter watching the sunset at Ubirr, Kakadu National Park

We had a great start to the trip, making better time than we expected on the way to Kakadu meant we could get to Ubirr in time for the legendary sunset. So we did. Tyres screeching into the car park with minutes to spare (not really, it was a safe, controlled, undramatic style of driving not fit for further description!). We made the walk up through the rock art sites onto the top of the escarpment to the breathtaking view of the plains and the sun melting into them. It really was incredible, and lived up to its reputation and then some.

Father and Daughter watching the campfire at Merl Campsite, Kakadu National Park

The sunset viewing left us setting up camp in the dark, which is no real problem. I rolled out the swags, poured some very weak wine and sodas and started a campfire. Some incredible camp site neighbour delivered a stack of wood because it's hard to find fire wood in the dark so here's a shout out to the kindly camp site neighbour - good form! We read Isla a few books, fed her and put her to bed, sweet dreams.

When we woke in the morning it was clear Isla was not well, she had all the symptoms of Hand, Foot and Mouth disease - a really contagious disease so he had to make a smart call. Staying in Kakadu would have been an unnecessary risk and a reckless one, putting Isla, and any child she came into contact with at risk of spreading the disease. We packed up the camp and returned to the city ready to plan our next Kakadu trip. I have no regrets about this trip, in fact I loved being able to show Isla that incredible sunset and I'm proud she's been able to spend another night out bush.

I don't believe having a baby shouldn't stop you from doing things, instead it should inspire you to discover the world again through fresh eyes. I have a renewed appreciation for everything I've been able to show Isla and I intend to include Isla fully in every part of my life.You just need to learn to be flexible. Sometimes you will have to leave a restaurant, return home from a trip, cancel a meet up at the last minute and that's OK. By planning ahead and working with your child's habits and comforts you can give each and every experience the best chance of success but maybe have a plan B too, and embrace it when it is needed.

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