I have been tagged by Susan of Mountain Mom and Tots in her blog post about how she is #RockingMotherhood. She told us the 10 ways that she is rocking at being a mom, and has suggested that I am also #RockingMotherhood, especially “outdoors Canadian style” as she puts it. It isn’t often enough that we take a moment to recognize when another mom is being awesome, and it is even less often that we recognize our own successes in the field.
Below you’ll find a list of 10 ways that I feel I am #RockingMotherhood in the outdoors, and I urge you to reflect on your own parenting and the ways that you are #RockingMotherhood, because you are! You can do a quick search of the hashtag #RockingMotherhood on any social media network (like Instagram or Twitter) for some inspiration from other moms. I would LOVE to see you post your own #RockingMotherhood photos but to also use the tag #RockingMamanhood and I’ll repost some of them to my own feeds and spread the self-love.
Alright…here is how I am #RockingMotherhood in the outdoors…
1. I hiked while pregnant.
I actually tried backcountry camping for the first time while pregnant. Trail Dad and I spent 3 nights hiking a section of the Rideau Trail and camping along the way when I was about 17 weeks pregnant. Aside from that, I spent a great deal of time hiking throughout my entire pregnancy and am kicking myself for not having taken more photos (I honestly have maybe 3…and one is a shadow, one is my belly and then there’s the one above). I wrote a post based on my experience of hiking while pregnant and offer 12 tips for anyone looking to do the same. I truly believe that I my labour and delivery were easy because of the level of physical fitness and mental calm that hiking gave me. Did you hike while pregnant?
2. I breastfeed trailside.
Nothing says “Maman on the Trail” more than using my body to nourish my son on the side of the trail. To be totally honest, I love the ease of it. There’s no trying to keep a bottle warm or warming one up trailside, there’s no packing a million snacks and hoping he doesn’t just feed them all to the forest animals, and there’s no mess. If I can rock motherhood for my own selfish reasons, heck, I’ll do it! I really do love the relationship and bonding that come with breastfeeding as well, and feeling that much more connected to nature, but I’m all about keeping our packs light and our little one happy. I wrote a post about nursing on the trail if you’re unsure about it, check it out! Have your nursed your little one trailside?
3. I change diapers trailside.
Aaand the other side of being a “Maman on the Trail” is the diaper changing. When we’re out hiking for a few hours or more, a diaper change can’t be avoided. We have gotten pretty good at finding picnic tables and benches to make it a little easier, but with our Lil’ Helper change mat, I am happy to change a diaper just about anywhere. Bonus if there are pinecones nearby to distract Huckleberry! Where’s the oddest place you’ve changed a diaper?
4. I let my kid eat dirt.
*Gasp* Yes, you read that right, I let my kid eat dirt. From the moment he could eat solid food, he has been making a snack of dirt, grass, sand, etc. Spending as much time outdoors as we do, he’s bound to try some, so we might as well embrace it and let him explore the outdoors with all of his senses. I’m 95% sure there’s some research somewhere that suggests the health benefits of eating dirt, but I don’t need to read it to know that I ate dirt and I turned out alright so he will too! What is your stance on mud pies?
5. I took my son backcountry camping twice before his 1st birthday.
Any way that we can spend time outdoors together is amazing and so beneficial, but the immersive experience that comes with sleeping outside is such an incredible thing to share in as a family. When Huckleberry was just 6 months old, we went backcountry camping for the first time as a family (and for the second time in our relationship). We also celebrated Campsgiving, a.k.a. we spent Thanksgiving camping in the woods together, when Huckleberry was 10 months old. Check out the hashtag #Huckleberrycamps to see some great photos. We can’t wait to sleep in a tent as a family again, especially now that Huckleberry is a toddler – I am SO excited to watch him experience nature up close for an extended period of time! Have you camped with your kids yet?
6. I challenge myself to get outside more.
Getting outside on a regular basis can be tough. It requires planning, dedication, and some serious motivation. I am not always capable of mustering up the kick in the butt that I need to get out the door, so I sign myself up for some extrinsic motivation in the form of challenges. I have done the Hike it Baby 30 Challenge four times now, I have done the 30×30 Nature Challenge twice, we completed the Frontenac Challenge for the first time last fall, and I am signed up for the 365 Mile Challenge in its inaugural year. All of these challenges have done nothing but increase my love for the outdoors and my dedication to getting my son out as often as possible. How do you challenge yourself to get outside?
7. I make us “go anyway”.
I am a “rain or shine” maman. No matter the weather, we get outside. And adopting the “Go anyway” mentality, as inspired by the folks at Tablespoon of Wild, has worked wonders on squashing all of the other excuses to stay inside. The dishes can wait, the laundry can wait, heck, this blog post can wait (and did), because we NEED to go outside together. I love that I have prioritized the outdoors, and I truly believe it not only makes me a better maman but also a better human. Seriously! What gets you outside when you have a million reasons not to go?
8. I let my son take the lead.
Now that Huckleberry is putting some miles on his own two feet, I try to let him take the lead as often as possible. Yes, there are days when his turtle pace drives me crazy, and I would really rather just strap him on my back and go for a real hike. However, slowing down and letting him lead the way is teaching me a while lot about patience, curiosity, my son, and the little things in life, including every blade of grass, pebble and insect. Do you let your little one(s) lead the way?
9. I model a love for the outdoors.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to rock motherhood in the outdoors is simply to let your kids see you loving the outdoors. I don’t make any special efforts so “show my love” for nature, I just do what I do and hope that it rubs off on my little guy. I absolutely LOVE mushrooms and stop to take a photograph of almost every single one that I see. I pick up litter and try to encourage others to do the same. I climb trees and dig my toes in the sand and make snow angels. But these are all things that I would do with or without Huckleberry around, I do them because I love the outdoors. What do you do to show your love for the outdoors that you hope your kids will pick up on?
10. I inspire other families to get outside.
I think one of the most profound and somewhat unique ways that I am #RockingMotherhood in the outdoors is by inspiring so many other families to get outside. Through my work with Hike it Baby and through my blog, I am encouraging parents, both locally and around the world, to spend a little more time outside. I host hikes with my local branch of Hike it Baby, I tell our Tales from the Trails, I review some great products, I share tips and tricks, and I post some fun photos, all in hopes that just one more family will get outside today. How do you inspire others to join you outside?
How are you #RockingMotherhood in the outdoors?
In the comments below, or on Instagram using the hashtags #RockingMotherhood and #RockingMamanhood, share the ways that you are #RockingMotherhood in the outdoors!
Do you want to play along?
As part of the #RockingMotherhood movement, I tag Jessica of One Babe and Done, Chantelle of Tablespoon of Wild, and Rachel of Rockies to Islands because they inspire me to rock motherhood in the outdoors on a daily basis.
- Thank the blogger that tagged you and link to their blog.
- List 10 things you believe make you a good mother (this is just a guideline. It can be more or less than 10.
- Tag some bloggers to join in the #RockingMotherhood Tag.
- Grab the #RockingMotherhhood badge (below) and add it to your post or sidebar.