I have a real love/hate relationship with going to the beach. I should clarify. Going to the beach pre-kid was great. Hours spent basking in the sun, reading a good book, and taking a quick dip to cool off whenever I felt like it. Going to the beach post-kid is a different story. Sometimes it feels a bit like a horror story, or a war novel. And then sometimes it’s a surprisingly upbeat, light, and easy read. And yes, all of these stories tend to take place within the same trip. Here’s why I get seriously mixed feelings every time I’m getting ready to head to the beach.
I have to bring an excessive amount of stuff
I no longer pack solely for myself, I pack for the whole dang family. That usually means enough sunscreen, snacks, cold drinks, towels, clothing changes, and beach toys for a family of six – even though there’s only three of us : ) I’m exhausted and ready for a rest by the time I’ve hauled everything from the car to the sand.
Parenting in a bathing suit is the worst
There is no outfit I’d rather wear less when I need to actively parent a toddler. I’m constantly picking her up, putting her down, squatting down to her level for a talking to, or rooting around in the bottomless beach bag for something. Not the most flattering angles to begin with, and now I’ve got to do it in my mom bikini. Ugh.
So many potential dangers!
I spend literally every second at the beach worrying that my kid going to drown, get kidnapped, choke on sand, or get horribly sunburnt. Good times.
Leaving is a nightmare
Leaving anywhere – whether it’s the park, a birthday party, or a play date – is a tough transition that usually results in my normally sweet daughter turning into the devil. Times that by ten when we’re trying to leave the beach. She alternates between whimpering and rage screaming while I frantically try to round up our towels, toys, and shoes that are now scattered all over the beach.
BUT – my daughter has the time of her life
And that’s a big but. She spends hours happily digging in the sand, splashing in the water, and she does most (I said most) of it with a giant smile on her face. And when my daughter’s smiling, I’m smiling.
So I have to admit that even with the crazy packing, stressing, and bathing suit wearing that makes me dread the beach, it’s one of my favourite places to be in the summer. And nothing beats stealing a quick glance in the rear view mirror on the way home to see my kid blissfully and peacefully passed out.