Looking again at my calendar, I wondered how we had managed to schedule such a train wreck of a Saturday. The entire family - Momma, Daddy, toddler and baby - needed to leave the house by 6 a.m. and likely wouldn't return until dinnertime. In between, we would watch Daddy run a 5K, hit up the library, find a place for lunch and see a baseball spring training game. |
"We're crazy," I told my husband while packing diaper bags on the eve of our weekend odyssey.
The crazy plan was an accident of geography. The husband booked his 5K, then we both committed to the baseball game with friends, neither of us thinking of the fact that both venues were across town. Making the hour-long roundtrip from our house to the far side of town twice just didn't make sense, so a daytrip it was. I was sure it would be a disaster. The toddler would get tired and cranky. Blow-out diapers and accidental flashings while nursing would embarrass us all. Without naps, we would never survive.
I was wrong. We enjoyed the most fun, relaxing and pleasant day we had had as a foursome, in the four months since the baby's arrival.
Here's why: No distractions. I paid attention to my boys instead of dirty floors and piles of laundry. Television and computer screens couldn't tempt any of us. The husband abandoned his work cell phone on the nightstand. We had no to-do list to cross off and no real agenda. It was lovely.
Since then, I have tried to make weekend daytrips a family tradition. We don't take one every week. The house has to be cleaned sometime. But at least once a month, we spend a day gadding about as a family. The days usually start early and sometimes we're home early enough in the afternoon for a late nap, though we don't follow a clock on trip days. Everyone usually is whooped, which is a perk itself. The boys go to bed early, and the husband and I have time alone. We have stomped waves and dug holes in the sand at the beach. We have strolled along trails. We have taken boat rides.
We don't think about plans too much. The whole point is to reduce stress. But some prior planning is required. Here's how to organize your own family daytrip:
WHAT TO DO
WHAT TO EAT
My purse is huge and doubles as a diaper bag, in which goes:
Find more tips for making your family road trip a memorable one.
Pack the Diaper Bag--It's Time for a Family Day Trip
Hit the Road and Make Memories along the Way
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