We’ve been at the beach this week on our annual Wentworth Beach Trip. The beach is my happy place for many reasons, but flip-flops, no make-up and hair thrown up in a ponytail is my way of living. And the food… let’s just say my dad can cook. We’ve feasted on boiled shrimp, fresh corn, shrimp and scallop pasta, fried calamari (brought to us poolside no less) and for dessert every night… his famous homemade vanilla ice cream. We’ve done this summer beach trip for as long as I can remember. I have pictures of my siblings and my cousins at the beach when we were little kids. And we crafted so many memories from all that salt and sand. Now, that Matt and I have two kids of our own the beach trip is a little bit different, but just as special. I used to take a stack of books and by Friday I had plowed through all of them. Between slathering sunblock and searching for seashells, I definitely don’t get to read as much but watching my girls make memories is worth all the craziness.
I’ve learned a few things about vacationing with little ones these past three years…
1. Packing for a week away requires a PhD in logistics and preparedness. Seriously, swim diapers, swimsuits, regular clothes, swim toys, pack and plays, high chairs, beach towels… for two little people they sure do require a lot of stuff. Matt and I get to pack about six things total and we have to sit on the car trunk just to get it to close.
2. The concept of sleeping in while on vacation is a foreign concept. If you happen to have kids that naturally sleep in later while on vacation, congrats to you! Mine must be so ridiculously excited about the day’s events that they are ready to go at 5:30 AM. And then I have to spend the next two hours trying to keep them quiet so we don’t wake the whole neighborhood. At least not until the sun has broken the horizon.
3. When people who love you offer to help, it’s okay to say yes. For me, I struggle with this truth when I’m on vacation and at home. I’m surrounded by people who love me and our girls and want to help, but I still want to strap on my Superwoman cape and pretend I can do it all. Not wanting to bother anyone else, I refuse help. Meanwhile building up inside me is a pity party, wondering why my vacation isn’t as relaxing as everyone else’s. The simple answer is I’m refusing help. Being a mom means we have to wear the Superwoman cape a lot, but the problem with that cape is that it gets lonely in a hurry. Clark Kent may have been able to fly solo, but this girl needs help from time to time.
The key is accepting help when it’s offered and letting go of the cape. Often, I don’t want to because I want to “be it all.” But that’s a lie, and it’s one I’m tired of believing… the lie that says I’m only a good mom if I can keep all the balls in the air at all times, if I can do it all and be it all and not crack in the process. That lie will heap guilt on us as moms if we believe it. And it will leave us lonely every time.
God created us for community, and He knew we would need others… husbands, parents, best friends, sisters, neighbors. When I let someone help me, it exposes a vulnerable part of me. I have to admit I can’t do it all and that’s okay. After all, even Superman had Lois Lane.
p.s. Yes, I did see Man of Steel this week. Can you tell? 😉