Working Moms


This isn't really working mom related, but I like the perspective you ladies have so I hope you don't mind me asking this here. I grew up in Michigan and always spent tons of time on the lake. As an adult I've really gotten away from that, unfortunately. DH and I are thinking of buying a boat for tubing, skiing, cruising, etc. We don't live on a lake, but a 10 minutes drive away. We have two young children, 2 year old and 5 month old, and both work full time. So, I'm not sure if we'll ever have enough free time to get out on the lake to make it worth it.

Do any of you have a boat? How often do you get out? At what age did your kids really start to enjoy it?

Re: Boating?

  • cltk12cltk12
    Fifth Anniversary 500 Comments

    We don't own a boat, but the summer prior to us getting pregnant we joined a boat club and LOVED it.  We went every Saturday and sometimes even on Sunday too. We'd also get out once a weeknight.  

    Now with a child, we decided to just rent a boat once a month (or every other weekend) rather then spending the money on a boat to see if we enjoy it with a child.  I don't know how relaxing going on a boat with a 13 month old will be for me if I have to focus on him the whole time.  We're actually going for the first time on Saturday.

    Anywho, renting could be an option for your family too to see how often you'd really go out. 

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  • We have a drift boat that has a small motor on it for when we go out on the lake vs. river.  We have no taken it out in almost 3 years and I don't know if it will go out this summer or not.  DD is very interested and loves talking about it but I just don't know if she would sit still the whole time on my lap or wear her lifejacket the whole time.  She would have to do both and my H isn't the kind of guy to just go for an hour he is an all day person. 

    I love the suggestion of renting a boat. 

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  • We have a boat, but it's more of a fishing boat as my husband is an avid fisherman.  We do take the kids out in it though, both just cruising around as well as taking them fishing, and they enjoy it.

    For me, I wouldn't mind if we didn't have it.  It's too big to store in our garage so we have to pay for a storage unit for it.  Then, there is the maintenance on it, the insurance, the oops I screwed up my trolling motor and need a new one type stuff and just all the time it takes up.  My husband totally doesn't mind it but honestly, it's all so putzy for me - drive to storage locker, hitch it up, drive to the lake, put it in the water, cruise around a little bit only to head back in and do everything again - wait in line to get the boat out, hitch it back up, clean it up, drive it back, unhitch it, drive back home.  I just don't love it enough for it to take up so much time.

    Are you or your husband handy with a boat?  My husband can fix a bunch of the stuff on his boat himself which helps out a lot.  If he couldn't heck, he'd have that thing somewhere all the time getting little stuff fixed on it.

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  • Hi, I am in Michigan too Smile Unless I lived on a body of water, or in a community where it was less than a 10 minute drive to the nearest body of water, I would skip it until they are older. With kids that young, it is a lot of work getting them on a boat and when they are that young, its not like you can engage them in tubing and water skiing.
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  • We co-own a boat with friends of ours who have a little boy almost exactly a year older than DS, and they were out all the time last summer. But, we mostly just relax on the boat and they alternated who was the sober parent ;) We also do a lot of evening cruises on the Chicago river and he would typically stay with a sitter those nights. Very little waterskiing or tubing going on.

    Our boat is a cruiser and does have a cabin below, so it is possible to put our LO inside to take a nap, which makes life a lot easier. If we didn't have that, I don't think it would be worth having - considering the time it takes to get to the dock, get the boat out, and clean-up time, we would never be out for more than an hour.

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  • AZ123AZ123
    Long-Lasting Membership 1000 Comments 25 Love Its
    We are like the above poster where we own a boat for fishing but we use it as a family. We go out for a couple of hours with the little ones. DS1 (5) swims off the back of it. DS2 (2) hangs out or goes swimming. We picnic and dock. The kids love it and scream when they see the boats in the water. It is a hassle though but my DH and I have an understanding that I load and handle the kids and snacks but he handles everything else so I don't clean the boat or anything.
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  • My IL's have a vacation home on a small inland lake that is about a 1 hour drive from our home.  There are two boats there:  the pontoon boat that belongs to DH and I, and the speedboat that belongs to the ILs.  Both boats are used by whoever is out at the lake house.

    Re: How often - We live in Wisconsin, so our summers are rather short.  But during the 3 months of summer, we're at the lake house the majority of the weekends.  It's a great place to spend the summer with DS (and cheap for us).  If we didn't have the house, it'd be a lot more work to use the boats.  We can stay overnight, run in to use the bathroom, take naps, cook meals, etc.

    Re: Age of LO:  DS was 6-10 months when we were at the lake last summer.  We had fun with him and took him swimming in the lake.  We also set up a tiny baby pool on the pontoon and he enjoyed that.  This summer he is 18 months and loving it at the lake house, and he definitely loves the boats!  I look forward to taking him tubing when he is older, and eventually teaching him to water ski.

    Our situation is great because of access to a house right off the dock.  I think the boats would be much more work, and less enjoyable, if we didn't have that situation.



  • skyejoskyejo
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    I'm in Michigan :) Buying a boat is definitely on my list but not until the girls are older. Right now the thought of hauling them on and off the boat multiple times a month sounds less than enjoyable. We'll rent the occasional boat this summer and focus on purchasing one when the girls are able to enjoy tubing and swimming.
  • Thanks for the input everyone. My family has a lake house up north but it is a good 4 hour drive so we don't make it up there too much. I wish we lived in a neighborhood that was on a lake but we don't. Renting is a great idea!
  • We have a 25' cabin cruiser. Sleeps 4 and has a small kitchen and bathroom. We spend pretty much every weekend in it on Lake Michigan! LO is 9 months old and loves it. The key is there are beds down below that he takes his naps on. Our friends kids are almost 5 and 7 and they've been boating on a similar boat since they were babies, and absolutely love it.
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  • image GMH1183:
    Thanks for the input everyone. My family has a lake house up north but it is a good 4 hour drive so we don't make it up there too much. I wish we lived in a neighborhood that was on a lake but we don't. Renting is a great idea!

    Yeah, if you live downstate, I would totally discourage you from buying a boat, unless you are both committed to going up north most weekends in the summer.

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    DD #1 passed away in January 2011 at 14 days old due to congenital heart disease
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  • At one point we had 3 boats. A sailboat, a large speed boat, and a small rigid inflatable. We've gotten rid of all of them. They were great when we were younger. Now, not so much. They're an incredible amount of maintenance unless you can afford to buy new. Boat stands for Bust Out Another Thousand. 

     The sailboat was the best one because it used very little fuel and was the least amount of maintenance. But it cost us a ridiculous amount of money for the slip. 

    Pas for taking young ones out, it depends on where you go. We always boated on the Chesapeake Bay in Annapolis. The summer crowd plus drinking boaters would make me hesitate to take young ones out.  

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