Summer means it’s time to kick back and enjoy some down time. It’s also prime vacation season which used to mean I would grab a book, a towel and a bathing suit and hit the road. Lake, beach, pool...whatever the occasion that would pretty much cover it for my twenty something year old self. Wasn’t I cute and clueless! Oh, girl how your life is about to change...
After having kids of course you still vacation but the post kid vacation bears strikingly little resemblance to the pre kid vacation. When the post kid vacation looks in the mirror it doesn’t even recognize itself (then it pours a glass of wine, eats a pint of rocky road and SWEARS one day it’ll get back to its former shape).
In the spirit of the season I’m going to share with you the ways vacationing has changed since kids have entered the picture. If you have kids you’ll probably have a few to add yourself and if you don’t have kids...well...consider it free birth control!
So here we go! Top five vacationy things that have changed post kids:
Number 1: Everything.
All of it. I could probably stop the list right there but I promised you four more. So onward we go...
Number 2: The amount of stuff you pack.
This one seems obvious because you added people so naturally you need to add more stuff but hear me out...
You might figure that you’re packing is going to double when you’re packing for another person. Especially a kid. They’re, like, SO small! How much room can their stuff take up?
Answer: OMG A LOT!
Little kids need all their seats and strollers and other gear. Big kids need every toy you have in your house, especially the ones they haven’t touched in 8 months and suddenly CAN’T LEAVE BEHIND!
Trust me. For every additional kid sized human you add to your trip plan for 74x more stuff per person than you previously brought.
Number 3: The variety of sunscreen you need to bring borders on obscene.
Seriously. Sunscreen is sunscreen, right? WRONG!
Back in the day I’d bring, like, two tubes of different SPF sunscreen (one for when I wanted to burn and one for when I wanted to burn a little less).
Now? Spray sunscreen, stick sunscreen for the face (cause “DON’T SPRAY MY FACE!”), cream sunscreen for when I wanna know what it would be like to wrestle a greased up octopus (dude, I swear they grow additional arms to fight you off while you try to rub it in). You need every SPF over 50 and specialized ones based on age and body part. Face is different than legs for some reason because...who knows why, just take my money.
Number 4: The food. Oooooooh the food...
Did you know that an average sized toddler who usually only needs 5 goldfish and an 8th of a grape to get him from breakfast to lunch will suddenly grow four extra stomachs once you take them on vacation?
I never knew “breakfast dessert” was a thing until we were on vacation and my then 5 year old finished his cereal and asked my mother for dessert. And she gave it to him. Cause “It’s vacation!”
The amount of snacks they need to get through an average day is astronomical. Put “S#*^load of goldfish, popsicles and cookies” on your shopping list. Then underline and highlight it.
Number 5: The relaxing.
Vacation is typically considered a time to “take a load off” or “escape from reality”. But not so much when you bring your loads of reality with you.
I love my kids. Loooooove them! And I enjoy that they enjoy their time. But bringing them on vacation is like a doctor packing up his patients and letting them tag along on his trip to the Hamptons. It’s work.
Every year we go to the lake for a couple weeks in July. And every year I pack a beach chair. And every year it’s a lonely, lonely little chair. But it gets to leave the basement for those weeks. So it’s kind of a vacation for the chair. How nice for the chair!
Honestly though, if you pack kids you don’t have to pack anything that facilitates sitting. Look at all the space in the car I just saved you...now you have room for more toys! You’re welcome.