The Transition to Parenthood: 5 (More) Things I Didn’t Consider

Hello dear readers! I’m sorry I disappeared for a little while. Life with a toddler is busier than I have ever experienced before. Busier than a full course load and 30+ rehearsal hours a week when I was studying theatre at Queen’s University. Busier than when I was working three jobs at the same time so that I could afford my rent here in Banff. Busier, much busier, than life with a newborn.

What’s on the menu today? I’ve been thinking again about the logistics involved in being a part-time working and outdoorsy mama. I first wrote about it in The Transition to Parenthood: 5 Things I Didn’t Consider. And as we’ve entered toddlerhood, I have discovered more things I didn’t consider. People seemed to have appreciated the first post in this series, so why not a second? Here we go.

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Gearing Up for Winter: How to Dress Babies and Toddlers

Dressing babies and toddlers for the cold isn’t easy. Finding items is one thing; stuffing the kid into various layers is another! Make it easy on yourself and look for items that let you layer easily and get out the door before you all break out into a sweat. It’s also nice to have the kit we need on hand before the colder seasons arrive, so I recommend you start looking for items early. Hand-me-down items are often the best approach since at this age our kids are growing so fast, but you can also find what you need at outdoor retailers. Here are my top picks for keeping babies and toddlers warm in winter…

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7 Tips for Hiking with a Toddler

It feels like it wasn’t that long ago that we had a baby we could snuggle into a soft carrier to take hiking, and who would fall asleep for long portions of the journey. But things have changed rather quickly, and we now have a toddler bubbling over with personality and propelling herself with her own two feet.

Though the newness of doing outdoor activities with a baby can be overwhelming, once that little person sleeps less and walks more, you’ve got a whole new set of wonderful (and totally manageable) challenges to contend with. Of course, this depends on your toddler. Some can sit longer than others. Some sleep anywhere. Mine is a restless little ball of energy who doesn’t want to miss a thing.

Either way, all toddlers are inherently busy and explorative, so if you have two-foot-high trail buddy in tow, these tips should come in handy.

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How Do You Define Adventurous Parenting?

Usually when you set off to write a report or dig into a topic, you need to define your terms. It is important that your reader understands how you define certain concepts so that you’re able to take off from the same launch point. That being said, something that is fun about The Adventures in Parenthood Project is my quest to pick apart some of the concepts surrounding adventurous parenting, including the very definition of these two words.

So, to help me make some headway, I put a question out to my community of outdoor family bloggers: How do you define “adventurous parenting?”. Their answers reveal a broad spectrum of perspectives, from “parenting is adventurous in itself” to qualities that make one parenting style more adventurous than others. It’s not about being better or worse at parenting; the reality is that some people are willing to do things with their children that others are not, and it’s all a matter of choice. I’ll leave you to read their definitions, and please take some time to provide your own in the comment of this post!

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Take It Easy, Mamas: Finding Value in Unexpected Setbacks

I know as well as any new mama how it feels when that-friend-who-started-trail-running-a-month-after-delivering-a-baby posts a photo of her latest baby-free jaunt through the woods. I’ll admit I still feel those pangs of jealousy as I think back to my own first month postpartum, to my post-baby body. I still feel them now. On the surface some women make it seem like they just plopped a baby out and then it’s business as usual. (Is this actually ever the case!?) Physically speaking, it seems they heal quickly and their bodies are good to them.

This just wasn’t, isn’t, the case for me. And I discovered that comparing myself to others really is futile because I don’t want others to compare themselves to me. I know that I post a lot of photos of me doing active, outdoorsy things, so I wanted to set the record straight. Since May, I have only been doing those things when I feel good enough to do them. Otherwise, I’ve been coping with health issues that have come as a major surprise to me.

A surprise and a major wake-up call.

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Adventure Travel with Baby: 40+ Helpful Tips and Insights

Before we started a family, my husband and I shared a passion for adventure travel, and made a concerted effort to plan an annual trip. That didn’t change when we had our baby girl. We had the goal of travelling abroad with our daughter in her first year of life, and though we knew it would be challenging, in the Winter of 2014 we set off for 70 days in the South Pacific when Maya was just ten months old.

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The Kid Question: How An Adventurer Decides to Become a Parent

I just spent the week at the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival, the annual gathering of adventurers, adrenaline junkies, mountain artists and authors up at The Banff Centre. Being a new parent, I entered this year’s festival with a very different outlook on what it means to lead an adventurous lifestyle. As I listened to people’s stories of epic climbs and expeditions, I was curious to know how these “real deal” adventurers felt about parenthood. Did they want to have children? Had they chosen not to? If they did have children, how were they be able to balance life as a mother or father with their adventurous pursuits?

How does a life of adventure without kids compare to a life of adventure with kids?

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Taking Risks Outdoors as Parents: Part 3

Here’s the scenario I left you with in Part 2 of this series: Back in August my husband went on his first big trip since we had our daughter – an ascent of Mt. Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. Prior to leaving he told me, “This trip could very well be about more than just climbing Mt. Robson. I’ll see how I feel about being disconnected from my wee family up there.”

I left you wondering how things went, and asked: Would he be able to separate himself from his emotions during the climb? Decide it is just too much for him right now, and give up on climbing big peaks for awhile?

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10 Tips for Camping with a Baby

If you’re a new parent, the thought of taking your baby camping might seem pretty far-fetched. But if it’s something you love to do you may be tempted to give it a shot. Break them in early, right? I figured that the earlier we took our little one out, the better. If I didn’t try, I’d never know, and I might get too comfortable with the idea that it would be too hard. So, this past week my husband and I packed up our sleeping bags and ventured into the great unknown: sharing a tent with a 10-week-old baby.

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From Outdoor Adventurer to Parent: 5 Most Popular Posts About Transition

I have been blogging here on adventurousparents.com since May 2012. Interestingly, I didn’t become a parent until 10 months later, and I started this website before I even got pregnant. Of course the topic was on my mind before we decided to start a family. In fact, our concern about giving up our lives as outdoor adventurers was the catalyst for this whole project.

Over the years I have used this website to reflect on the transition to parenthood, to dig into tough topics (some controversial) and to give my readers a window into what this transition actually looks like. These posts have always proved to be the most popular, perhaps because they are as honest as my writing comes online. Honesty and rawness resonate with people, and help others to open up. I have greatly appreciated the discussion that follows.

These posts speak to the highs and lows of parenthood as someone who also loves outdoor adventure.

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The Real Voyage of Discovery

Parenthood is all about learning to see the world through the eyes of a child. This is something I learned early on in my journey as a mother, and it is the basis for the short film, Eye of the Beholder (a collaborative project with Doug Urquhart of The Upthink Lab and composer Michael Wynne). I wrote all about it in How My Daughter Inspired a Film that Went “Viral.” But for today, here’s a quote to remind you that life is all about the small things and in gaining new perspective on the familiar.

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