Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Pumpkin Patch Survival Tips

Seasonal family outings can be, well, chaotic.  Finding the right time to go (when your kids aren't having a meltdown), making sure you everyone is available (husbands, mothers, in-laws, ect) and battling crowds doesn't often sound super fun. However, these family experiences are a must. God forbid you be the only mother not posting a pumpkin patch picture of your kids!

Here are a few tips I learned after my first "real" experience pumpkin patchin' with toddlers. 
  • Make a plan. Decide where you are going to go, when you are gong to go and with whom. Try and find times that aren't super crowded, (you know, like Sunday at noon when we went) to ensure that you won't spend most of the day dealing with an upset toddler who doesn't understand why they have to wait in line for the train (insert Nic's experience). Get your day organized and make sure everyone who wants to come (and be an extra pair of hands) is available. 

  • Prepare yourself.  Give yourself time to process your plan. This is especially important for the ever crowd-hating, easily overwhelmed, TH. Make sure he has ample time to accept that you are in fact going somewhere that is going to be slightly nutty and can mentally prepare. The last thing anyone wants is a fussy TH adding to an already possibly fussy kid situation.  Go over the details, (where you are going, when you are going, how you foresee the experience, how long you want to stay, what you are hoping to accomplish on the trip) so everyone in your group is on the same page. 

  • Dress the part. Knowing you are going to a busy event with little ones mean you need to be ready to move. Also keep in mind these outdoor events can often be messy so wearing your new Tory Burch flats is probably not the best idea. Grab your go-to "tennies" and be ready to wrangle running babies. Have bag/backpack/hip pouch ready with all your necessities so you can be hands free at all times. The last thing you want to worry about is holding on to anything besides a little hand or camera.

  • Be camera ready. We all know that aside from the ammmmaazing experience the real reason we all treck out to these "seasonal family activities" is to snap pictures of our little people looking cute and festive...and share them on social media. Have your camera charged and ready to go.  If you are using something a bit more fancy than your smartphone,  make sure everyone you are with knows how to use it.

  • Enjoy yourself! Even though going to these things are supposed to be fun, they sometimes end up being slightly overwhelming. Do everything in your power to relax, work together and enjoy it! Just watch your (hopefully un-tantruming) little ones run amuck amongst all the chaos and smile; that is why you are there! These times are precious and before we know it our kids are going to opt out of fun trips to the pumpkin patch or Santa Train. So live it up, enjoy every second and kiss those babies!

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