Rule Number 1: Pack Light.
There is no reason why you need toys galore, clothes galore or towels galore. Pack a bucket per kid. A shovel per kid. A towel per kid. And you are good to go. We keep a change of clothes in the car at all times during the summer anyway so if a change is needed just keep in your trunk. Gone are the days I could actually bring books to read or a kindle or a chair or a journal. Julia brought at least 6 books, her journal, crayons, a pen and a pencil and I looked at her and said, "Julia...I love you...but those items are not leaving the car." I had to carry Micah, the stroller and a thirty one bag...that was it!
Rule Number 2: Everyone MUST help.
This is just basic mommy survival skills talking here. I gave the kids a pep talk before we even got to the beach. I said, "Guys, mommy is super pregnant (I'm not sure what that means but it sounded important) and so I need you each to do your part if we are all going to have fun at the beach. You each need to hold your bucket and your towel...and Mark you are going to hold Micah's bucket." I never understood why parents are carrying 3 million things on the beach while their kids run ahead and have not a thing in their hands to help. I'm teaching my kids now that we are a team and we all do our part.
Rule Number 3: Sugars and Salts are a must!
Sorry to all of you health nuts out there, but in my opinion a beach day is a vacation day and on vacation you do not count calories. I made sure we had lots of water and fruit at breakfast (watermelon, oranges, and grapes) but all the snacks I packed were granola bars, crackers, pretzels, etc. The beach we go to has a huge food area which is totally covered so you can enjoy the shade and breeze. I pack snacks but we order hamburgers and hot dogs for lunch so I don't bother with soggy sandwiches or eating sand. I always pack a ton of fruit juices that may have sugar but after being in that hot sun we all need a little extra!
Rule Number 4: You splash your mom and you will get hurt!
Okay, maybe not hurt! But watch out because mommy does not like to get wet at the beach unless it is my feet...it's a black woman thing I think bc my hair is my crown and glory. Mark tried to splash me a couple of times and I just looked at him and said, "Mark...don't do it." And he laughed and went back into the waves!
Rule Number 5: Ice cream is the last stop of every beach trip. It's tradition!
We had to teach Daddy this rule. Daddy does not like to spend money. Daddy's pockets are sewed shut. But we took him to the beach and me and the kids explained to him the importance of ending every beach trip with a treat at the ice cream shop across the street. And...he...agreed! Seriously, don't mess with a pregnancy craving...and don't mess with tradition!
Be calm and beach on!