The other day my husband and I took our 3 kids to the beach and I just need to take a moment and say that it wasn’t that bad, and in fact it wasn’t even a work out. It was… dare I say relaxing?
If you know me by now then you know how often I take my kids to the beach in the summer, like 4-5 times a week, but I would never call it relaxing. Most of the time I would call it fun but not reenergizing or calming. I love being outside so it is always nice to put my feet in the sand and feel the water rush over them. But even previous visits with my husband were always busy and took work.
Most beach trips I take with my children are done by myself because my husband usually worked crazy, long hours. But I learned when Mr. L was still in swim diapers how therapeutic the beach was for him. Not just the water, but the sand must be some form of textured, counter pressure, therapy. I remember from when he was just a little guy, he would crawl on all fours and rub his hair through the sand. I got many angry old ladies trying to either stop him or get after me for letting him do this. Umm what? He wasn’t hurting anyone and the great thing about kids is that they can be washed 😉👍
If your wondering how I handled these old bats complaining about my kid getting his hair all sandy, I can honestly tell you that I quickly but calmly would stand over him, sometimes with one of my babies on my hip, or folding my arms with a happy smile on my face. When these strangely common old woman would tell me to stop him I would ask them why? And tell them he wasn’t hurting anyone. Then they would often try to explain to me about the sand… Ya know, the stuff all of us were standing in? And were definitely going to all track into our cars? To which I would just smile and say, I know. And then I would just wait, standing over my child with special needs until they awkwardly grumbled and went away. And they thought I was the weird-o? I wasn’t the one trying to explain sand at a beach during a time that shampoo existed. His hair would be my chore, not theirs, simmer down ma’am.
So I’ve been through the stages of taking 2 in swim diapers and keeping track of them constantly trying to go in opposite directions, to just one in diapers, to taking two running littles with a third baby strapped to me. And yes, I always had the rule that kids needed life jackets on before they could even get out of my van. 😅
I remember last summer I was just like a head on a swivel keeping track of 3 kids under the age of 8 with one still in diapers. It felt like I was constantly at one corner of a triangle, rotating corners, while my kids traversed the beach like the ping pong balls they were. In fact my father in law actually came to the beach with me once last summer and the whole time he kept asking me where my kids were and I knew every second where they were.
One might be climbing the play ground while another was digging in the sand, and another was out to his hips in the water. But I always knew where my life jacket wearing, sun screened runners were. Why? Because it’s my job, that’s why. And no, my swimmers are not aloud to go out past their belly buttons unless I have a second adult with me. And no, my children were not nice enough to share the same interests in sand, water or play equipment at the same time, because that would have been too easy. 😜
But apparently all this work, constant reminders, and vigilance at making sure my kids were learning my safety rules are finally starting to pay off and it feels amazing. I mean my kids don’t magically have the maturity level of a 30 year old, and I am still holding to my no phones at the park rule- it gets left in the car, or my beach bag and I won’t respond to texts until all of my kids and back in my car.
But the other day I wasn’t standing at the ready to snatch up my youngest and go sprinting across the beach to stop one of my kids from taking off for the busy road. I wasn’t changing a diaper while swinging my head from side to side the whole time praying one of my boys wasn’t going to start swimming out past where they or I could reach (That happened once).
I actually got to sit down for a bit and watch as my kids pinged around the beach, swings, and play ground and came running back to me occasionally to check in. Most of the time they even remembered to ask before leaving me to do one of the close by activities and I didn’t have to yell after them, or run from kid to kid. I mean of course Little Miss A wanderer off to the swings once and she ran for the bathrooms without giving me a heads up. But can I say I almost felt average? And it was amazing.
I mean of course my husband was there so he did half the adult work of keeping track and tag teaming our squad. But even still, without him I probably would have only had to watch the toddler like a hawk and the other 2 would have gravitated back to me regularly and they might have even helped track their little sister with me. It was nice.
What I’m saying is, I’m grateful and hopeful. There is a light at the end of this baby stage, and it looks lovely. Not easy, but nice.
When did you start to feel a little freedom from the baby stage? Do you think of the beach as a work out or a place to relax? Tell us in the comments below 😎🏖🚼🧘♀️🧩
Ps. Keep your comments nice and not condescending. There are many know it all moms who will act like I don’t know what it’s like to raise kids to adulthood and the struggles it will bring, because I’m not a “veteran mom”. This is not the place for your negativity, so move along. This is a positive blog, thanks ✌️