It’s been quiet on this blog recently. It doesn’t mean I’ve dropped the 365 project, or that I haven’t been working. It’s been a very full summer so far. I volunteered for a full week of Cub Scout day camp, took a blissful beach vacation with the family, and I’ve been shooting a crazy-wonderful amount of silhouette sessions! Unfortunately, it means there hasn’t been time left for things like blogging. BUT- I’m back now and hopefully settling into a good routine.
And speaking of vacation- that’s what I want to talk about this week. If you’ve been following me on instagram, you’ve seen my 365 posts at the beach.
As much as I’ve been wistfully looking back at the baby days with sadness that they are forever gone in our house, I have to say that big kids are pretty amazing. For the first time in nearly a decade, I SAT DOWN in my chair and actually relaxed for once while the kids played. This is the first year of my parenting career that sitting on the beach wasn’t a stressful day. I read a book- like the whole thing- with my toes in the sand. The bigger two spent the entire week on their boogie boards, riding wave after wave. The littlest splashed at the shoreline, built castles in the sand, dug holes, and hunted for seashells. No one needed to hover over them. We spent a decent amount of time in the water with the kids, as the 4 year old isn’t big enough to go past her ankles in the water, and she had a blast holding our hands to jump over (or crash into) the waves- but it was all fun.
Gone are the days of chasing a toddler to sunscreen them up, desperately trying to pin them down like a greased pig to make sure their little shoulders don’t burn. My kids held (relatively) still. They understood why the sunscreen was important.
Gone are the days of lunging to the shoreline because I took my eyes off the kids for a half second to talk to another adult, and now the toddler is running full force into the ocean without a care in the world.
Gone are the days of missing hours of family time, because the overtired baby won’t stop crying at the beach and needs to go back to the empty house for a nap.
There’s a lot I do miss- taking a beach nap with a sleeping baby on my chest. Chubby toddler thighs wobbling while learning to walk in the sand. The general cute factor of babies and toddlers. The simple joy in their little faces- the wonder at every new sight and sound.
But holy crap. I have a 9 year old, 7 year old and 4 year old and this was hands down the BEST week at the beach I’ve ever had as a parent. The kids had fun. I had fun. We played together, and I also got time for ME!
So to all you mamas in the trenches: hang in there. It may seem like you are never going to get a moment’s rest. But it will pass. And while the magic of babies and toddlers will pass with it, you will get a whole new batch of magic. You will get experiences. The ability to pack up and go without hauling armloads of bags and an hour of getting ready. Exploration. Actual discussions about some pretty interesting subjects with your kids. And best of all? The ability to actually sit and rest and watch your kids have a blast.
Here’s a summary of the other weeks that I didn’t blog- full stories are on instagram.