Family Vacations Need Warning Labels

Seasoned parents LOVE to warn you about all the hard times that having a child brings.  The crying, pooping, sleepless nights, spit up, throw up, flung food, etc.  They revel in their deep knowledge of all things baby.  You can almost see their chests puff up as they deliver their warning messages and their been-there-done-thats.

We’ve been guilty of doling it out ourselves.

But nobody EVER warned us about the first family vacation.

Before I begin – it was not that bad.  I just wasn’t prepared for how different a week at the beach had become.


We just returned from our first official week-long vacation since Buggy entered the world a little over 2 years ago.  Yes, it is sad that this is the first time.  There was a 3-day weekend trip and that should have tipped me off.

I think the best way to express the changes that occurred with my beloved beach vacation pre- and post-Buggy is with a before and after comparison.

Beach vacation BEFORE Buggy

  • spend almost 12 hours a day sunning myself on the sandy shoreline
  • boogy board to the point that I’m sore the next day
  • actually get in the water
  • avoid getting too sandy at all costs
  • sleep in
  • go to bed late
  • read 3 books or more during the course of a week
  • eat whatever, whenever, wherever
  • bikini body
  • catch sand fleas for fishing bait for the boys
  • spend many hours out on the pier watching the husbands/boyfriends fish

Beach Vacation AFTER Buggy

  • spend 2-3 hours a day on the sandy shoreline
  • 30 minutes or less TOTAL of boogy boarding
  • I think the highest part of my body to get wet were my knees
  • plop right down in the sand to build castles, having it rubbed all over me with little hands, and flung all over me with tiny shovels
  • sleep till 5:00 AM if you are lucky (Seriously, my child’s sleep was OFF.)
  • asleep by 9:30 PM or earlier (Hey, we were up at 5 AM!)
  • read 1 book but don’t have time to start it until 4 days in and desperately try to finish it before going home and NEVER having time to finish
  • eat at regular intervals; healthy snacks for the beach (my digestive system and waistline thank me); cooked and cleaned just like at home (Buggy’s not quite a restaurant lover)
  • tankini body
  • catch sand fleas to put in Buggy’s bucket
  • spend 10 minutes on pier – all 10 minutes consisting of constant panic attacks whenever Buggy gets near the railings

The biggest sand box ever!

Previously, my week-long beach vacations were spent relaxing, tanning, and enjoying post-college pre-child fun with friends.  Hubby would spend the majority of his time fishing.

Now, it is not relaxing, I’m a little tan, Hubby fished for a total of a few hours, and we played a few rousing games of Scrabble after Buggy hit the hay.  No, not Words With Friends.  Actual board game Scrabble.  We kept it old school.

A friend that joined us for the first weekend of our trip looked at the clock as he said, “It’s been a long day” and realized it was only 5:30.  He then looked at Hubby and I and stated, “Hanging out with you guys is weird.”  Luckily for us he ended his stay with the following comment: “I had fun.”

And I concur.  I had a lot of fun.  It was awesome watching Buggy’s first experience with the ocean and the beach.  It was awesome having some time with just the 3 of us, not at home, and without errands and chores.  It was awesome finally going on vacation again.

I'd say that's a happy face.

This one's getting framed.

WARNING: Vacationing with a baby and/or toddler will result in having the exact same schedule, same duties, same tired ache, and possibly less sleep, but in a new location and not in the comfort of your own home.  Enjoy at your own risk!

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6 Responses to Family Vacations Need Warning Labels

  1. I feel your pain, sister! But it does get easier. My 4 year old is now a sand comber…she will walk for HOURS in the tide pools with a net, looking for little fish or crabs. It’s awesome to watch her and relaxing to walk along the beach with her. 🙂

    • AKeo says:

      I almost added “I’m sure it gets better when the kids get older” but was terrified to jinx myself! Thanks for the reassurance! I’m still catching up on my blogs (no internet in our rental)- I’m visiting you hopefully tonight.

  2. I hear ya. Our first beach vacation was last year, when my daughter was 2. It was hellish trying to fit in the fun before nap time. Then instead of going back to the hotel, we’d just drive around for an hour while she slept in the car seat. It was much better this year, in the post-nap era. I’m looking forward to the days when I can just lie in the sun and drink beer while she swims with her dad.

  3. Andrea says:

    I understand:) I miss those relaxing beach days! But I’m still jealous of the fact that you had a vacation at all.

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