How Parenting is Like Camping

All the parents who hate the dirt, bugs, and lack of showers implicit in camping already know from the title why having children is like camping. Dirt. Bugs. Lack of showers.

But I feel the need to expand a bit more for those who have not experienced the wilderness joys of small children.

1. If it’s not locked up, wild things will eat it.
My toddler climbing the fridge to eat what’s in the freezer = your teen eating a week’s worth of groceries in one sitting = bears. They all need it, they all want it, and they all *will* get it unless it’s properly stored.

2. You’ll be surprised at the end of a day how much dirt can get on one person.

3. Rain is the least of your worries.

4. You will learn to handle bugs. Don’t care if you like ’em or hate ’em. Children and camping are both inextricably linked with bugs.

4. People tend to plan for the first day (year) and forget to brace for the third. If this blog teaches you nothing else, let it be that Year (day) Three is the hardest.

5. Someone won’t like the food.

6. You’ll get less sleep than you think.
Nope. Even less than that.

7. The fun is exhausting. So are the frustrations. So is the worrying.

8. You can never have too many washcloths.

9. When you forget sunscreen or bug spray, bad things happen.

10. No matter how prepared you are, you’ll forget at least one thing.

11. No matter how many times you’ve done this, at least one really obvious thing will surprise you.

12. Good luck using the phone, shower, or bed.

13. It will be your most ____________ experience ever.
(You fill in the blank. Rewarding? Amazing? Annoying? Memorable? Frustrating? Give me a status update on your camping or parenting below.)