People With Kids at The Beach Vs. People Without Kids at The Beach

beachBeach image via Shutterstock

I have two boys. They require a crap-ton of preparation before heading to the beach. As much as I adore summer and the time I get with them, I find myself sometimes longing for the days when all it took to go to the beach was me, a towel and a good book. Those days are long gone, and I can tell you from experience it is pretty easy to pick out who has kids on a beach and who doesn’t. Kids don’t need to be anywhere near people to tell if they have them or not.

People with kids have two tons of crap with them. No really. They have boogie boards, kick boards, noodles, buckets, shovels, rakes, plastic things shaped like stars and turtles, coolers, chairs, towels (enough for way more than the amount of people with them) eight varieties of sunscreen, (baby sunscreen, face sunscreen, sunscreen in the form of a stick, spray, cream, sweat proof, water proof, keep you looking like Casper guaranteed), umbrellas, and a big giant blanket.

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People without kids have a towel, a chair and a cooler.

People with kids have a cooler filled with juice boxes, sandwiches, pretzels, goldfish, watermelon, grapes, granola bars, water, cookies, chips, crackers, cheese, yogurt sticks, strawberries and a baked ham for the love of Pete. There is pretty much nothing left in the kitchen of their home. It’s all in the damn cooler.

People without kids have beer, water (if they’re smart), and a sandwich.

People with kids look exhausted before they even set up for the day. They seriously look like they need a nap, an IV of coffee and possibly a hospital stay.

People without kids look either hung over or well rested. There is nothing in between.

People with kids set up beach chairs but never sit in them for all that long. They are either building a sand castle, getting their kids a snack, chasing a kid, calming a crying kid, applying sunscreen to a kid, preventing a kid from going out to sea or looking around and wondering how long everyone will stay happy.  They absolutely never get to sit back and close their eyes. No sir. People with kids are like prison wardens…always watching.

People without kids are sitting in their chairs, holding conversations, sipping a beer, or simply watching the waves.  They may even *GASP* get to close their eyes and take a nap. (I’m getting sleepy just thinking about it.)

When people with kids decide it’s time to leave the beach, it’s usually because the kids are crying, hitting each other, pooped through a stupid flipping swimmy diaper, or there are no snacks left to keep the kids quiet.  It takes them approximately 45 minutes and 12 seconds to pack up all the crap they showed up with.  They may actually NEED a hospital stay at this point.

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They head to their mini vans and SUVs and throw all the crap in the back. They then load up all the kids, get in the car and head home to relax. HAHAHAHHAHAHA No, that’s not right. They head home to give a bunch of tired kids baths, feed them (kids seriously eat ALL THE TIME) and hopefully get them to bed before they themselves are face first in a plate of cold spaghetti.

People without kids fold up their chairs and head off the beach to a bar.  They then go home take peaceful hot showers and sleep for 14 hours.


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  1. says

    Great article! Made me laugh bc i’ve seen this. Poor exhausted parents who know that these “fun” trips are really more just for the kids. But through all the chaos i know that the memories made far outweigh the stress

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      • Megan says

        The only way to take kids to the beach is to rent a house ON the beach. It is well worth the extra expense. You can walk them up to the house for a meal or a poop or a nap or whatever. No need to haul stuff back and forth. And you can sneak back down to the beach while they nap!!

        My kids are now 20, 17, and 14 and I STILL would rather pay the extra for the place on the beach even though they now walk themselves back and forth!! Even if it means going every other year instead of every year (which is pretty much how it’s gone for us…)

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  2. says

    So much truth.
    The one time I took kids to the beach was a nightmare. I didn’t think it was possible to yell, threaten, discipline, and be more angry than we are at home! Geez.
    Why do people act like I’m terrible if I don’t do this every summer.
    I’ll find a different way to “vacation”.

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