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Monday, May 30, 2011

The Beach: Before and After Kids

We spent yesterday afternoon on the beach with our boys... and a couple who is expecting their first child.  I couldn't help but giggle when I thought about the differences between a beach trip pre-kids and a beach trip post-kids.

Well, I giggled and then I felt a little jealous.

Packing for a day at the beach

Pre-kids: Not much needed but your suit, sunscreen, and a towel.  You might add a beach chair, a book, games like horseshoe or cornhole.  Cooler of beer and snacks.

Post-kids: Suits for all kids, changes of clothes for all kids.  Every beach towel you own.  Sand toys, beach balls, floaties, water toys.  Cooler of water and juice boxes. Kid-friendly snacks.  Sunscreen. Swim diapers.  Regular diapers and baby wipes. The camera. Cell phone in case you need to call 911.  Baby powder to remove sand.  At least three bags to carry all of it in, plus a trash bag to collect all the mess afterwards. Don't bother with a chair because you probably won't sit down.

Activities at the beach

Pre-kids:  Reading, napping, chatting with friends, playing games, casual stroll along the beach, swimming.

Post-kids:  Keeping all kids from drowning or taking off down the beach.  Digging giant holes in the sand.  Non-stop counting of kids to be sure you have them all.  Jumping in the waves. Running down the beach.  Making sandcastles.  Doling out snacks and drinks.  Reapplying sunscreen to small backs and faces about 10 times during the afternoon.  Remembering whose towel is whose. Remembering whose shovel is whose.  Playing every possible beach game.  Talking to friends while not looking at them because your eye is on your children.

After the beach

Pre-kids: Going for a swim at the pool and then taking a shower.  Going out to dinner.  Relaxing.

Post-kids: Convincing the kids that yes, we will go back to the beach, so it's okay to leave.  Loading up the minivan.  Quick and easy dinner, but not out somewhere nice because those kids are TIRED.  Hosing off the kids at the house.  Bedtime for kids. Parents pass out before they can even bother getting showers.

Beach days with my boys are a blast and I wouldn't give them up to go back to those pre-kids days. Though we will make it a point to have Grandma watch the boys a few days this summer so that Hubs and I can do the beach in pre-kids style!


Blogger Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

The beach isn't exactly relaxing when you have 3 kids to watch, is it?

May 30, 2011 at 7:04 AM  
Blogger Daffy said...

I was just thinking that pre kids style sounds more like a vacation... and post kids sounds like awesome fun! Course I'm a post kids kinda of beach goer....er uh...if I had a beach to go to :O)

Looks like sandtastic fun!!

May 30, 2011 at 7:22 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

So true. I only have one kid and I'm exhausted after a day on the beach, I can't even imagine having to tackle the beach with 2+

May 30, 2011 at 7:32 AM  
Blogger JDaniel4's Mom said...

I think you are right! I balance of pre- and post is a great idea!

May 30, 2011 at 7:42 AM  
Blogger therealhousewifeofoxfordcounty said...

so very true. I love when single or no kids friends say just come.. it will not be that long of a day or something like that. I think I am freakin tired before we leave.. and with kids it doesn't matter if your gone for 1 day or a week you have to bring the same amount of stuff :)

Happy Monday!!

May 30, 2011 at 7:49 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

That sounds absolutely fantastic! And yes, I know the feeling as I was giggling to all things on your list. I am so jealous of your gorgeous weather...it was cold here yesterday. Have a great Memorial Day!!

May 30, 2011 at 7:51 AM  
Blogger Sorta Southern Single Mom said...

I wouldn't trade the mess for anything, but yes, it was a lot easier pre-kids!

At one point, my trunk was always covered with a fine white sheen from all the powder and de-sanding!

Glad you had fun! We always stay away on holiday weekends, but with school out in 9 days, we'll be there lots!

May 30, 2011 at 7:52 AM  
Blogger Not a Perfect Mom said...

baby powder? never knew that...

May 30, 2011 at 8:16 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

Your pictures make me miss the beach.

I have not been in soooo long. Three of mine (including The Coach) burn so badly we spend the whole day applying and reapply sun block.

May 30, 2011 at 8:57 AM  
Blogger Cindi said...

LoL! Very cute post and oh, how true!

May 30, 2011 at 9:18 AM  
Blogger Natalie said...

SO true! Doing any "fun" stuff with the kids usually isn't as "fun" as it was in the pre-kid days ;)

May 30, 2011 at 9:28 AM  
Blogger Natalie said...

So now I know what I have to look forward to once my little one gets bigger...lol! Thanks for giving me glimpse at my future!

May 30, 2011 at 9:38 AM  
Blogger Double Ls and Mommy said...

Beach outing is one of those most tiring things to do but seeing those smiles... Priceless!

May 30, 2011 at 9:50 AM  
Blogger Mom of the Twinkies and Tot! said...

Sounds EXACTLY how our day went yesterday & the hubs and I were discussing the differences between pre-kids and post-kids as well! We slept great last night after a busy day & I'm sure you did the same! I had the same idea as well about hitting the grandparents up to watch the kids one day this summer so hubs & I can go to the beach with just our bathing suits & towels & remember the good ol' days! Ha!

May 30, 2011 at 9:53 AM  
Blogger The Woven Moments said...

I, too, never knew of the baby powder phenomenon. Can't wait to try it!

This post was totally SPOT ON. I feel like a member of the Griswald family (of Lampoon's fame) whenever I schlep the entire contents of our home to the beach. Shame.

May 30, 2011 at 9:57 AM  
Blogger angela said...

I wrote a post about this a few weeks ago, because I am constantly amazed at the difference. And I only have two. And last year one of them was immobile. Yikes for this year!

May 30, 2011 at 10:01 AM  
Blogger Brittney said...

learn something new everyday with the baby powder.

you are so right though but both pre & post are fun one is just a little more of a hassle to prepare for the day

May 30, 2011 at 10:04 AM  
Blogger Evonne said...

The post-kids beach trip sounds exhausting, but it makes me want to take my kids to the beach that much more!

May 30, 2011 at 10:13 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...

EXACTLY. It's like plane trips before and after kids. Once it was a time to read magazines and nap. Now it's time for non-stop activity and snack distribution.

May 30, 2011 at 10:41 AM  
Blogger Crystal said...

That's too funny! You don't appreciate the ease of "pre-kids" until you have the kids and are now aware of the error of your ways! We never appreciate it until its gone!! You list made me giggle...we don't have a beach, but the pool outing is very similar. What once was relaxing and soaking up some sun is now A LOT OF WORK!

May 30, 2011 at 11:08 AM  
Blogger Alison@Mama Wants This said...

Pre or post-kids? BEACH, you got me at beach.

Love the photos, looked like everyone had fun!

May 30, 2011 at 11:12 AM  
Anonymous Angie said...

AMEN!!! I just survived my first WITH a child beach vacation and suffice it to say ... it was VERY different! It was a great trip, but I honestly felt like I needed a vacation when we got back from vacation. Great post - hope you have a fabulous holiday weekend!

May 30, 2011 at 11:45 AM  
Blogger Elena said...

It is funny how different everything is before & after kids. Glad you'll have Grandma watch the kids a few times for a pre-kids beach day. ;)

May 30, 2011 at 11:51 AM  
Blogger Angie said...

Seeing those huge smiles make it all worth it though!

May 30, 2011 at 12:06 PM  
Blogger Emmy said...

And this is exactly why sometimes I feel like the beach is overrated. :). I remember when we first moved to SoCal the beach was so wonderful and amazing- now it just seems like a lot of work

May 30, 2011 at 12:10 PM  
Blogger Kristina P. said...

Since we don't have kids I would agree! Except for the whole having access to the beach part. Sob.

May 30, 2011 at 12:14 PM  
Anonymous Kimberly said...

Ha! You got that right!!

May 30, 2011 at 12:34 PM  
Blogger Courtney K. said...

Boy do I hear ya! When we lived in Florida, we did lots of beach days, and it was always an hour long preparation to leave and to come back home...and we only had one child. I vote for grandma to babysit a few days so you guys can relax!

May 30, 2011 at 1:13 PM  
Blogger Lourie said...

Oooh a beach day without kids sounds awesome! My poor niece thinks she will be going to the beach the week after she has her baby. She is the towel, suit, and sunscreen variety. hahaha.

May 30, 2011 at 1:14 PM  
Blogger Oka said...

Beside spending valuable family time together, going to the post-kids is great because it is one trip that not only wears out the parents, but also the kids ;)

May 30, 2011 at 2:02 PM  
Blogger Brandi said...

Get out... baby powder removes sand? How am I living at the beach and I didn't know that?

Just getting out the door is exhausting, making sure no one drowns is exhausting, and don't even get me started on the clean up once we get home! Wears those little buggers out though, huh? ;)

May 30, 2011 at 2:26 PM  
Blogger Babes Mami said...

I'm in need of beach time, even with the kid!

May 30, 2011 at 2:41 PM  
Blogger Mom on a Line said...

One thing we always forget but need at the beach with kids is cash for ice cream. I never carry cash, but the beach only accepts cash. Pre-kids, I'd say no problem. With kids, my lack of cash for the ice cream man is painful on the ears.

May 30, 2011 at 3:43 PM  
Blogger Jayme said...

This is why I hate the beach! For me, it's more work than it's worth.

May 30, 2011 at 4:02 PM  
Blogger Tina @ Life Without Pink said...

That's why we hardly go to the beach anymore. We live a hour from the shore and its not worth it especially since we don't have a place to change.

May 30, 2011 at 4:20 PM  
Blogger The Riggs Family said...

Precisely why we skipped the beach vacation this year. B is simply too little and requires way too much. Next year though. I hope you get some adult beach time in this summer!

May 30, 2011 at 5:05 PM  
Blogger Venassa said...

Sounds like fun, but just a ton more work.

May 30, 2011 at 6:30 PM  
Blogger KSK said...

Whenever I think about going to the beach with kids, I think about the opening credits to 'Yes, Dear'...

May 30, 2011 at 7:17 PM  
Blogger Eschelle said...

ugh a beach with young kids is zero fun, i can't wait till they are older and I can just sit and read lol!!

May 30, 2011 at 7:50 PM  
Blogger Lauren Michelle said...

I went to the beach with my parents the other week, and there were a good many parents there with their kids. School isn't out yet, so there weren't too many, but you're absolutely right. You could tell a big difference in beach activities between the adults on their own vs. the adults with children. Little kids were running full-force into the ocean squealing at the tops of their lungs with their mom or dad scurrying behind after them. It was actually quite amusing. I think that, but wait until I have one of my own. Beach trips will be very different then. Glad you had a good time, though! Kids can make trips really interesting.

May 30, 2011 at 9:00 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Oh, I love this one! It's so different with kiddos. I still bring a book and chair (I DO NOT KNOW WHY), I just hold it and look relaxed and studious. Looks are decieiving, aren't they. I just read the same paragraph over and over and over the whole time I'm there. LOL

May 30, 2011 at 9:28 PM  
Blogger The Mommy Therapy said...

Love it! This is so true!

I do this mentally every time I do something like going out to dinner, vacationing, trips to the doctor, grocery store, etc.

I wouldn't trade pre-kid days for now at all, but I sure do LOVE when I have the opportunity to experience an outing as a kid-free person.

May 30, 2011 at 10:04 PM  
Anonymous tracy@sellabitmum said...

I am exhausted reading this. So happy we are 2000 miles from the beach.

May 30, 2011 at 10:36 PM  
OpenID Missy said...

Baby powder takes off sand? Who knew?

May 30, 2011 at 10:39 PM  
Anonymous lady goo goo gaga said...

OMg - so funny I just posted about the beach and getting these kids to learn to swim!! I just want to sit on the beach and read a magazine!! Is that too much to ask???????

May 30, 2011 at 10:44 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

Okay, that was hilarious and strikingly accurate. You nailed it. That couple has no clue what they are in for. {Insert wicked laugh here}

May 31, 2011 at 12:27 AM  
Blogger Unknown Mami said...

A beach outing turns into a major workout post-kids.

Great pictures.

May 31, 2011 at 12:27 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

The beach is fun but with kids it's not easy to enjoy it since you spend so much time making sure you have everything you need and then keeping an eye on the kids.

May 31, 2011 at 3:06 AM  
Blogger Keshyra said...

I think we had similar weekends, except at our beach it wasn't warm enough to go swimming. But lots of fun was had all around. I love the shot of the giant hole, was that all kid powered or was there some adult help there too? I think my monkeys would have loved to sit in a hole that big, great job!

May 31, 2011 at 4:53 AM  
Blogger mich said...

ha. i totally agree that you will never sit down at the beach once you have children ... i think i get a better workout at the beach chasing kids around than I do at the gym! its fun but not relaxing!

and i never knew that about baby powder ... i'll have to try it!

May 31, 2011 at 7:59 AM  
Blogger Tonya Marie Michalec said...

I too take my kids to the beach a lot and am envious of the Mommy with tanning and reading a novel on her beach blanket. But, then I remind myself that she is envious of her past summers with little one's.

May 31, 2011 at 9:25 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

This is all 100% true. The best thing about the post-kids beach trip is how they sleep after being in the sun and water all day.

May 31, 2011 at 9:31 AM  
Blogger StardustSavannah said...

Sigh. I still bring a book to look smart...but I'd rather be body surfing with the boys:)

May 31, 2011 at 9:39 AM  
Blogger MommaKiss said...

Packing for the beach with kids is INSANE. And I always make sure they're slathered in sunscreen, but typically forget myself. Beach Foul.

May 31, 2011 at 9:55 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I love pre-kid/post-kid scenarios. :)

May 31, 2011 at 10:30 AM  
Blogger Heidi said...

I had no idea about the baby powder. I'm going to have to remember that one!

May 31, 2011 at 10:34 AM  
Blogger Ma What's 4 dinner said...

I'm dying laughing because this is all sooooo true!!!! Especially the don't bother bringing the chair because there is NO chance you're sitting down!

Looks like it was fun though!

Lots of yummy love,
Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner

May 31, 2011 at 12:43 PM  
Blogger (Florida) Girl said...

Phew! I am exhausted just reading about it.

May 31, 2011 at 12:48 PM  
Blogger From Tracie said...

This is so very true!!

It is always nice to have a kid-free beach day with just the husband or friends....but those kid-filled ones are fun too!

May 31, 2011 at 1:10 PM  
Blogger Hutch said...

The post-kids list makes my head spin a little. How have I never heard about baby powder taking sand off?

May 31, 2011 at 1:57 PM  
Blogger Minivan Mama said...

It is no vacation when you have young kids. Still fun though!

May 31, 2011 at 2:04 PM  
Blogger Jenny said...

Totally agree with the list...its definitely nice building sand castles, digging huge holes...a book was pretty non-exsistent on our last beach trip! ha!

May 31, 2011 at 2:26 PM  
Blogger Heather (One Take On Life) said...

Love the list! It is a different sort of fun at the beach, and usually not all that relaxing. Oh well they are only young for a little while.

May 31, 2011 at 2:42 PM  
Blogger Alissa said...

So true. Especially the whole taking to people without looking at them thing. It's one of the oddities of parenthood.

May 31, 2011 at 3:17 PM  
Anonymous Jack said...

It gets a little bit easier when you are kids are older, but it never does match the prekids days. Or at least I haven't hit that spot yet, but I am hoping to soon.

May 31, 2011 at 3:30 PM  
Blogger Twins Squared said...

Oh boy. You were spot on from A to Z. Going to the beach next week with our four. Sigh. I love looking back on the pictures but I do think about how different it is PRE kids. The point is to relax and chill out, right? Definitely not what's going on anymore. But great for the memories!

May 31, 2011 at 7:53 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Ummm... why do I want kids again?! :)

May 31, 2011 at 8:48 PM  
Blogger Tiffany said...

I know exactly what you mean! We took the kids to the beach this weekend and it's crazy how much stuff you need. We barely squeezed it all in my husband's civic.
I like the idea of Grandma and Grandpa watching the kids once or twice to experience the beach pre kids. I never thought about it. :)

May 31, 2011 at 9:22 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

Ha! Keeping them from drowning. So true. I'm very much looking forward to lots of beach time this summer but certainly not for the same reasons I used to :)

May 31, 2011 at 9:53 PM  
Blogger Rach (DonutsMama) said...

I just love the beach and we've been going since we've been married. We're planning on going back next year when our daughter will be a year and a half old, but now I'm re-thinking after reading this, LOL! Thanks for the heads up!

May 31, 2011 at 10:12 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Years ago when my oldest were 2 and newborn we went to the beach with my husband's childhood best friend and his new girlfriend.

It was a nightmare. When it became evident that our two little ones had had enough we announced that we should be getting ready to go- she decided to go on one last walk to collect shells and then returned over an hour later! An hour with two young cranky children at the beach is an eternity.
She then insisted on eating at a very not kid friendly restaurant and then insisted we stop at a drugstore on the way home to get some aloe for her sunburn!
Your post brought back those horrible memories of that awful day!! :)
Luckily my husband's friend is now happily engaged to a much more considerate girl.

May 31, 2011 at 10:34 PM  
Blogger shortmama said...

Boy thats the truth whether its the beach or anywhere else!

June 1, 2011 at 12:50 AM  
Blogger Annie said...

This had me dying of laughter!! Oh how dead on you are Shell!!

We don't have beaches in Kansas....but we have parks. Parks have sand. Just no water. So everything you said still applies to me.

And the best part? At the end of the day the mom is the most tired of all and they are just so wound up from the fun trip.

June 1, 2011 at 1:02 AM  
Blogger The Blonde Duck said...

Everytime I read your pre/ post kids stuff, I get terrified of having kids!

June 1, 2011 at 6:30 AM  
Blogger Kate Fineske said...

I just found your blog via twitter. Loved your "About" page and loved this first post that I read!

I have 3 kiddos too (8, 4 1/2, 1 1/2) and - although we don't live close to the beach - I feel your pain as it relates to a swimming pool! My favorite part of your post... Non-stop counting of kids to be sure you have them all. LOL! At the pool this "keeping track concept," is even worse! Because one of our kids is in the baby pool, one is in the shallow end, and the other is going off the diving board in the deep end! Keeping track of them all is CRAZY!

Loved reading this. I think I'll subscribe :)

June 1, 2011 at 6:57 AM  
Blogger Rebecca @ Unexplained X2 said...

Bahahahahaaaa...I love that people with no kids have no idea what they're in for. You can watch it from a distance, but it's totally different when you're actually in it!

Tell me more about this powder to remove sand thing...please!

June 1, 2011 at 7:39 AM  
Blogger Andrea (ace1028) said...

Ah! So THAT's why we don't get to the beach. ;) I do remember those days. I long for them somewhat, wishing I could get TO a beach eventually. But this time it'll be post-kid, and she'll enjoy it as much as I will. And I'll see it in a new light. Right?

June 1, 2011 at 9:36 AM  
Blogger Lady Jennie said...

How I would like to have a kid-free day at the beach just once in the next 10 years. At least when we go to Bretagne we have extended family so can occasionally snooze with someone officially else in charge.

June 1, 2011 at 11:30 AM  
Blogger The Mommyologist said...

The pool post in my head is kind of similar...except I was going to throw something in about my bikini top being used as a life preserver and everyone at the pool getting a nice shot of my A-cup boob.

June 1, 2011 at 12:29 PM  
Blogger Mom of 12 said...

Sooo far from the beach! Sooo jealous! Hope you are enjoying the sunshine. We are finally getting a little her in Utah. Thanks for commenting on my blog.

June 1, 2011 at 1:45 PM  
Blogger Lexi said...

haha, I'm definitely not ready for kids! This is such a funny post though!

xox Lexi
Glitter & Pearls

June 1, 2011 at 5:21 PM  
Blogger Helene said...

Ain't that the truth??? We took the kids to the beach awhile back (I think I blogged about it) and it was anything but relaxing!!!!!!

June 1, 2011 at 6:16 PM  
Blogger Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

What a perfect day, for the kids! I'm always amazed at how much planning goes into a simple day out.

I'm a little paranoid taking all of my kids to the water. We were at a lake beach today and my 15-month-old kept bolting for the water every time I put him down!

June 1, 2011 at 6:17 PM  
Blogger Charlotte said...

I think it's a great idea to have someone else along to watch the kids so you and the hubs can enjoy some quality stress-free time alone, too. But I have to say: the pictures of the kids at the beach are way too precious. XOXO

June 4, 2011 at 7:15 PM  

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