{Re-thinking Parenthood}-Guest Post

In case you haven’t already met, let me introduce my good friend Lolli at Better In Bulk.  Did I mention that she has 5 kids like me?:

Better in Bulk

About 9 years ago, when my brother was 21 and my first son (my 3rd child) had recently been born, my brother came for a 10-day visit. He was single and naive (and I say that in the nicest way possible) and he was eager to spend some time with his nieces and nephew and tour the DC area.

As a brand new mother of 3, I was naive enough to think that touring DC with a preschooler, a toddler, and a newborn would be a cinch with my brother along.


Each day, we packed up the car. Strollers, baby carrier, diaper bag, changes of clothes, bottles, blankets, coats, umbrellas, bagged lunches and snacks. Am I forgetting anything?

Each day, we’d spend an hour getting the kids ready and the car packed, then another hour driving to downtown DC and finding a parking space. By the time we got to our destination for the day, we were already pooped, and all the kids wanted to do was eat.

We had a great time that week, but after a few days of our intense role as tourists, we were ready for a day close to home. We planned a picnic at a local park.

We spent well over an hour getting the kids ready, the lunches made, and the car packed. On the way to the park, we discussed the sad fact that no matter how far we were traveling or how complicated the outing, we still had to bring along the same amount of baby and kid gear. We arrived at the park exhausted. Again.

On the way home from the park, my brother said something in all seriousness and complete innocence that I have never forgotten.

“Before I came for this visit, I was thinking about settling down, getting married, and starting a family soon. But after spending a week with you guys, I’ve changed my mind. I think I’m going to wait for a while.”

Wise thoughts.

Nine years later, my brother is now happily married with a son of his own. He is handling parenthood like a star and is now a great tour guide, too. He took a turn showing me around Las Vegas while I was visiting there in October. This time I was the one traveling without kids (and can I tell you–it felt wonderful!).

I recently wrote a post about tips for taking long car trips with kids. Trips with kids are fun but tiring. What are some of your secrets for taking day trips with children? How do you make it an enjoyable experience instead of an exhausting one?

As a side note, I have since had two more kids to add on to the 3 that I had in 2001, and I happily leave the kids home as often as possible with my teenaged daughter (the one in the maroon coat) so that I can get around town with a little (ok a lot) more ease. Now that 4 of my 5 kids are in school, I spend most of my free time blogging at Better in Bulk.

*And don’t forget that a little comment love goes a long way in winning a few of my favorite things!

About Angie

Angie is a CRAFT dabbling, recipe making, WORD loving, sunshine hording, book DEVOURING, Mama to a lot! She's kind of in love with Instagram right now, so if you want her attention, go find here there. {smiling}


  1. Animal crackers, animal crackers, animal crackers! And grandparents. The essentials of any outing with children …
    .-= Stacia´s last blog ..Facing the Music =-.

  2. Like Stacia said, good treats are essential. I also try really hard to plan around naps so my kids are as tolerable as possible. I’m looking forward to the time my youngest no longer needs 2 naps so I have more room to work with!
    .-= Judy´s last blog ..Feed Me Books Friday: The Very Hungry Caterpillar =-.

  3. How wonderful that you were able to take a trip out to visit your brother without the kids! Kids are wonderful, but so are breaks. 🙂
    .-= Kelly Deneen´s last blog ..Photostory Friday: 365, Week 13 =-.

  4. Haha, its so funny how much stuff you need to bring for what seems like forever. And just when you think your kids are old enough to not need all that stuff you don’t bring it along and all heck breaks loose and you need it all. 🙂

    I am pretty sure we scared my brother into waiting to have kids too 🙂
    .-= jennyleite´s last blog ..Wordful Wednesday =-.

  5. Angie, Thanks so much for inviting me to spend a day on your blog! I’m glad I’m not the only one who considers trips (day trips or longer trips) with kids to be a lot of work! I still do them, though!
    .-= Lolli´s last blog ..I’m Out! =-.

  6. LOVE your brother’s reaction. But happy he overcame his fear (;-) to bring that beautiful boy into this world. There’s really something special about watching your siblings be parents.

    My brother has 4. NEVER saw that coming.
    .-= Ash´s last blog ..Um, well, that was awkward. =-.

  7. Help them pack snacks, drinks and change of clothes(even for bigs), while keeping the destination a secret. Keeps them from “pre-deciding” what it will be like or building it up too much and making you crazy prior to arrival.
    .-= Maggie S.´s last blog ..A Little Something for the Newlyweds: Nobody’s Feminist =-.

  8. Which was probably God’s purpose for his visit. Getting him back on track with the plan.
    .-= Jennifer´s last blog ..Fashion Friday: Where do you shop for your daughter’s clothes? =-.

  9. Snacks, sugary ones, to keep the kids entertained when nothing else will.
    .-= Allison @ Alli ‘n Son´s last blog ..Meal Plan 04.19.10 =-.

  10. I love Lolli from Better in Bulk!
    .-= erica´s last blog ..A year ago today… =-.