So if you’re like me, you used to spend hours worshipping the sun and baking like a rotisserie chicken all lathered up in tanning oil. I know…I’d like to kick 17 year old self in the ass right about now for this along with other youthful mistakes, but hey, that’s what we all did and the crows feet around my eyes are here to testify to it! Anyway, these days going to the beach has become something entirely different for me. Not only has my choice of sun protection changed, but it’s not in fact a relaxing activity AT ALL!
For those with little ones, you know that the beach can sometimes be our arch nemesis when the sun starts to peak out behind the clouds and the kids start begging to suit up. Chasing toddlers, applying sunscreen every 20 minutes, sand, sand, and more sand…in places you wouldn’t imagine! Despite all this, I still love being near the water and seeing the pure joy on the faces of my babies as they dip their toes in the waves for the first time.
Now that I’m a seasoned mom-pro [HA! No such thing], I’m determined to learn from mistakes in the past and make this beach thing our thing this summer. And as far as I’m concerned there are s few essentials all parents need to stock up on and pack in the car to make sure the beach is blissful instead of a bomb! Check out my beach essentials below.
1. waterproof beach blanket- AN ABSOLUTE MUST. Especially the ones that come with handles or straps to throw over your shoulder because lord knows you’ll be shlepping at least one of the kids and you need to be arms free as much as possible. Also, they come in such cute patterns I have a hard time not buying a new one every time I go to Target!
2. mineral sunscreen- I’ve done a complete 180 when it comes to sun protection now that I’m older and wiser and I’m always eager to stock up on the mineral screens as soon as they hit the shelf. Now, one would think that the spray is always the easiest option, but my oldest guy will have nothing to do with it and runs for the hills as soon as he sees it come out of the bag. So I also like to have the regular old tube lotion to lather on him and a stick for the face. Sticks are also money because they are easy to reapply while you are running after them!
3. hooded towels- I love a good hooded towel for the kids at bath time and so why not at the beach! Takes care of that wet hair and wet body in one fell swoop.
4. Umbrella or tent for the kids- Both my boys have VERY fair skin and so I’m not taking any chances, especially since neither of them will keep a hat on for more than 10 seconds. An umbrella or a pop-up tent is genius to set up so they can still play in the sand and make sandcastles, but also get a little break from the elements.
5. Cute and functional accessories for mom- A cure cover-up, hat and sunnies and I’m out the door, but it also has to be functional. I can’t be chasing two boys around the sand with my ass hanging out so I opt for a cover-up unless I’m submerging myself in the water with them. That way I’m not self-conscious about my body and I can devote my attention to these crazy dragons I’m raising!