Prior to having children Andy and I would head to the beach often. Sometimes we went with friends or family and sometimes it was just the two of us. Each time we enjoyed the peacefulness of the ocean, the rocking chairs on our deck and the sunsets. I would read on the beach, listen to music as I slumbered and swim in the ocean both briskly and leisurely. Our beach trips embodied the denotation of what a vacation was supposed to be: relaxing getaways that allow you to rest, recharge and come back refreshed.
Fast forward a few years and children enter the picture. Vacations are very different now that we have kids. The preparation alone is mind blowing. Kids need clothes, extra clothes, cribs, toys, booster seats for eating, special blankets and bears, books, special food, formula and the kitchen sink. If you forget the book that they have decided is their special one that week, you might as well turn around and go home because you are entering melt down city.
Once you arrive at the beach the trips are very different. Gone are the relaxing days of lounging on the beach, instead you suntan lotion up for a marathon in the sand. You try to prevent your child from drowning in the ocean while you playfully chase them back and forth in the surf zone. If they will sit long enough to build a sand castle, that is your only respite from constant activity. When they crash for their naps, you will most likely crash too.
Don’t get me wrong, I adore taking my kids to the beach. Seeing the wonders of the world as they rediscover it with every age is fantastic. Let’s just not kid (pun intended) ourselves. These are trips. They might be fun, wonderful, glorious trips, but they aren’t vacations: at least not for parents of young children. Those you need to take by yourself where you can sleep, a lot!
Peace, Love & Fun Trips with Your Kiddos,