Ahhhh vacation; feet it the sand, sun on my face, sea breeze tousling my hair, maybe even a cold beer, lying out on the beach all day maybe sleeping or snapping sun-kissed selfies, and no worries for a whole week. Absolute perfection.
Fast forward 6 years and “vacation” is now much different; 3 fair skinned boys have changed that definition a lot. So much so, that my new “vacation” is unrecognizable compared to my old vacations
1. Going to the beach
My packing for the day included a cooler for cold sandwiches and drinks, my phone, tanning oil, a towel, and sunglasses. Maybe a good book, if I was feeling like reading.
I’m hauling my body weight in beach toys, sun block, lunches, umbrellas, 5 towels, a full case of water bottles, boogie boards, rash guards, sun hats, and a mini baby pool. By the time I get to the beach and get comfortable, it’s time to pack it up and go home for the day!
2. Being at the beach
Ahhh, an excuse to sleep all day while catching up on the latest celebrity gossip. I got to the beach when I want, and I went home when I want. If I got too hot, I’d just jump in the water and hop right back out and resume tanning leisurely. And that’s it. That’s the life!
“Don’t drink the ocean! Don’t eat the sand! Get the shell out of your mouth! Wiping your eyes with sandy hands doesn’t get the sand out of your eyes! Stop shoving sand in your diaper!, don’t touch the dead fish!!” Just a nice sampling of a beach day with 3 boys!
Sleeping in, going for midnight walks on the beach, late night dips in the pool, millions of beach selfies, catching up on gossip, and anything else that sounds like fun. The world is your oyster on vacation! You can do whatever it is that you want!
What’s “relaxing”? There’s a whole new set of dangers in an unfamiliar environment that prohibit me from NOT being on edge 24/7. On the plus side though, our beach house has THE softest mattress ever. It’s literally like sleeping on a cloud… before the kids wake up at 6am!
4. Night life
“Let’s go check out that bar!” “Wanna go do dinner at this restaurant?” “Let’s stroll the boardwalk for a few hours.” The options for what to do when you get back form the beach are limited only by your imagination. You can find so much fun to have on vacation in the evening hours. And if you stayed up too late, you can sleep in the next day!
By “night life” you mean how my kids won’t sleep in a new place and how I get 4 hours of sleep if I can pass out by 9pm, right? I’m just hoping that I get to sleep early so I can get a full night’s sleep before the kids get up with the sun!
5. Quality time with friends and/ or your spouse
Hours and hours and hours of uninterrupted catching up, gossiping, hanging out, reconnecting, relaxing, unplugging from the “real world” at home. Just having fun getting away from the responsibilities of the world and just being with each other!
Vacations are an endurance test for your (often non-verbal) communication skills with your spouse. Everyone needs to have some responsibility of taking care of the kids getting out the door and to know what they need periodically through the day. Everyone just needs to know, without asking, what needs to get brought to the beach each day so there’s no “who has the sunscreen?” moments when you’re FINALLY sitting on the sand!
If all of this is putting you off from ever wanting to vacation with your kids, you can always take an amazing Staycation!
Yes, I know, people are crazy for ever wanting kids, right? Well, yes. But what was your favorite memory as a child? It was a family summer at the beach, or in the mountains, or at the lake… anywhere that you were with your family in a new, fun place. That’s what’s important to remember as a parent.
Yes, I’m sacrificing tanning and sleeping, but I’m making memories that my children will tell their children about when they get older! That’s what helps keep my sane when the baby has eaten his third mouthful of sand and the 4-year-old has taken his trunks off to pee in the ocean!
How do you deal with kids and vacationing? What do you do so you can get a break?
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