The Cottage

It’s that time of year again. Time to open up The Cottage — for a good laugh about calling it that, you need to click here.

The cottage I’m referring to is my cousin’s cottage about a two-hour drive from Toronto. My kids really love being there. I love being there too, but I haven’t always loved it. You see when you have babies sometimes you’re a super relaxed parent and you just take your kids everywhere without batting an eye… or sometimes you’re like me.

Sometimes when your husband wants to go to the cottage or camping, you say, “Sure! That will be fun!” but then you stress about packing the million things that you need for a measly two nights. You stress out the days leading up to your “mini-break” and wonder how you’re ever going to make it. You hate the drive up there because one of your kids will most likely puke and cry the entire drive. Once you’re up there, you lose even more sleep because your baby is not in his/her regular surroundings and then you have a pretty miserable time. You’re hot. You’re tired. And you will likely do it again the following weekend — because, you’re either a martyr, trooper or an idiot. The three can be synonymous.

I did eventually see the light and started to say no. Sometimes it’s ok to just stay at home for the weekend in the summer and enjoy your neighbourhood. But now that the kids have grown a bit I don’t mind these trips as much. Sure I still don’t like packing, but it’s not so bad…

Truth be known: I have a little bit of OCD. Just a little. I don’t like sitting on couches that are not mine. Really. This is crazy I know, but I don’t. I don’t like sleeping on beds that are not mine. I don’t like bugs. I don’t like living out of a suitcase. I don’t like mosquitos. I don’t like the idea that the place is empty all week. See where I’m going with this? So you’re probably wondering why I’m going to the cottage… Well, I love my family and my friends. I also rarely turn down even a little bit of fun and spending time with my people trumps my issues. Thank God. Otherwise, I would never go anywhere.

So I’ve done something this year to lessen my load.

I’ve purchased some plastic storage bins. One for under the bed that we sleep in, and one huge one for the foot of the bed. I used to be super OCD and basically NEVER left anything up there… I think it was that deep down inside I was hoping that I wouldn’t return with my kids until they were older. But the frequency of my trips has increased and it’s annoying to have to bring these things up EVERY weekend, so I’m going to bite the bullet and leave some stuff up there in my pretty storage containers.

The under bed storage will be used for storing all of our sweaters and sweat pants. We always bring them up with us EVERY time we go up. We don’t always wear them as lately our summers have been so hot that they haven’t been necessary. My plan will eliminate a lot of back and forth of the same stuff.

My giant storage container will hold our four sleeping bags and extra bath towels. I still have to figure out what to do for my pillows… (Stella if you’re reading this I LOVE YOU and the bin is not actually that big! Oops.)

It makes sense to leave things up there. It will ultimately give me less stress when I’m packing and that’s the goal since we’ll likely be going up almost every weekend this year.

Here’s my list of what I’ll be leaving there this year:

Extra towels
Hooded sweaters
Long sweat pants
Flip flops
All toiletries
Spare clothes
Sleeping Bags
Pillows (don’t know where yet…)


The cottage is perfect for the kids. It’s across the street from the beach — which they love and I love because the water is shallow for what seems like miles so I don’t really have to worry about them going too deep. This year we’ll be brining up all of our bikes — as both kids enjoy riding and we’ll make sure to explore the surrounding area… something that I really never wanted to do while they were babies.


Serenity now.


We are very lucky and blessed to have a relative who enjoys our company so much that she doesn’t mind having us with her every weekend. And this plan is to make it as enjoyable as possible for all of us (ahem, ahem… me). Really? A happy Sandy is a guaranteed happy weekend.

Do you frequent a cottage in the summer time? Is there anything that annoys you about going?

  • Kelly T

    Sandy, if you have a vacuum at the cottage get some space bags for your pillows. Once all the air is sucked out they take up no room and they’ll be protected. You can get them at Solutions.

    • SandyEl

      Thanks Kelly! I’m going to look into it now. :)

  • Miskele

    this article could have been written by me. sigh… yes a blessing to have a husband w/ a family cottage, and babies that love being there. Me? Bite the bullet as with all mom things.

    • SandyEl

      Always a sacrifice isn’t it? *sigh*

  • Pingback: Brits at The Cottage | Parenting Success()

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