Taking a family trip to the beach is something that both parents and their kiddos look forward to every year. But in reality, it's actually a lot of work for Mom and Dad, with the potential to turn into a total hot mess. Here are the 23 phases of the emotional roller coaster of taking your kid to the beach.
You imagine the ultimate family-time perfection and can't wait for the day to get started.
You pick out the sweetest water ensemble days ahead of time, and it couldn't look cuter.
Even though you're in charge of carting all of the gear, food, and towels, your kid still needs help carrying her shovel.
You try to scope out a spot far from where sand fights and screeches won't bother anyone.
Your kids manage to cover everything in sand within two minutes.
He feels sand for the first time, and his mind is completely blown — until he tries to eat it.
It turns out, she's not a fan of the water . . . or sand . . . or sunscreen.
While the sand is too hot, mom makes for the perfect resting spot.
They somehow manage to kick sand everywhere — especially on the childless couple glaring nearby.
But that's just the beginning — let the sand-throwing begin!
Until someone gets hurt and sunscreen mixes with tears to make for a painful combo.
Everyone is happily splashing in the water while you're a nervous wreck that someone is going to go in too deep.
You have to worry about kids pulling off your swimsuit — while also monitoring what they're doing with theirs.
It's time to reapply sunscreen, but they can't be bothered.
They learn the hard way that tantrums in the sand mean sand all over their faces.
Sand then gets in their food, and there goes lunchtime.
You try for that perfect beachy family snapshot, but the sun makes it nearly impossible.
Finally the blissful moment everyone is enjoying a cool treat and all is right with the world.
You accept that you're going to have to deal with a beach's worth of sand in their swimsuit later.
They make a masterpiece and couldn't be prouder.
But then the ocean rudely wipes away their creation within minutes of completion.
Despite being overtired, nobody is ready to leave the fun.
Your kids blissfully pass out in the back seat on the way home and you can finally start to relax!