The mid-year holidays are upon us and many of us are dreaming of warmer weather, relaxing family time and a change from the daily grind.
Recently I was chatting to a group of friends and we were laughing about how motherhood had changed our lives. No more relaxing breakfasts out, no more spontaneous strolls down shopping strips browsing in stores. Instead our mornings are spent at the park, we have our lunches at 11am and our dinners at 5pm and life seems to be loosely scheduled around our baby’s sleeps. Who would have thought going to the supermarket alone could be so liberating!
Jokes aside, life is just more complicated as a parent, but still lots of fun. We discussed how holidays and simple outings just seem to work better if some planning takes place, not excessive amounts, but it helps just to have a bit of an idea of what you need to pack to make life easier for everyone.
I love the water, as do my kids, but an outing to the beach is probably one that draws the most eye rolls from parents because there is just so much to take.
The thought of finding the ideal spot on the beach whilst holding a million items from your baby to beach bags, shade tents, inflatables, buckets, spades, all whilst your older children are yelling out at you because they have hot sand in their thongs and they need to stop right then and there to clean it out!
This is me sometimes, but I promise, it’s still fun.
Having always holidayed by the beach since I was a small child, I have the beach outing down pat. Here are my tips for a fun day by the water, as a mother of 3 girls 4 years and under.
- Apply sunscreen before you leave. If you wait till you get to the beach you will have at least one child taking off before you can apply it properly. Australian guidelines recommend that you also reapply sunscreen every 2 hours even if water resistant. Hats off to you if you make it past the 2 hour mark!
- Take lots of cold water in a freezer bag so that it is easy to stay hydrated. The kids always like a gulp of water that isn’t salty! It’s also handy to wash any little scrapes.
- Take hats with a drawstring tie so that they don’t blow off constantly and are not easily removed by little hands.
- Take snacks and fruit in containers so that they can be sealed easily to keep it free from sand or flies. You can also store wrappers in them so they don’t blow away and pollute the beach.
- Of course, take a Frog Orange baby carrier for water to ensure your hands are free when in the water with baby. This takes the stress out of a beach outing for me as I can have my youngest safely sitting on my front and can have my hands free to help the other two kids.
- Take another adult. Not imperative, but does make things a lot easier.
- Don’t worry about the sand. We all know sand is annoying. Go to the beach, enjoy and know that there’s absolutely no possible way you are going to be able to keep sand out of your beach bag, or off all of your things. Keep your expectations low - this always works.
Kids love the beach, the water and the fresh sea air. As a mother, what I love most about a beach holiday or a day at the beach is when it’s all over. All three kids are completely exhausted and are in bed early. Then it’s my time to relax, glass of wine in hand.
Love Victoria x