If there’s a three-word phrase I’ve heard as much as “Just you wait…” as a new parent it would be “Enjoy it because….”. Both phrases are meant to inspire me to appreciate what I have in the here and now. But, I have to say, they both make my skin crawl. As if parenting wasn’t challenging enough, people have to constantly remind me of how much harder it’s going to get. Or that there is something worth dreading on the journey ahead.
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?
They say it takes a village to raise a child. I say: even better if that village shares your interests and some of your philosophy on child-rearing. Imagine my joy when I discovered a wonderful online community of other outdoorsy parents from throughout North America – from Alaska to Georgia, Alberta, Colorado and beyond. This group has been keen to collaborate on articles, share each other’s new blog posts, and also offer up tips on outdoor parenting. I thought it was high-time to feature a bunch of them!
I asked each one for their favourite posts and their tips for new parents who want to get in the outdoors. I hope you’ll be as inspired as I am by their wise and encouraging words.
I have always loved being a student, which is perhaps why I spend a considerable amount of time researching, reading, writing and processing information. And something that carries me through each day of parenting, whether I’m enjoying quiet play with my daughter at home, taking care of all the other ‘stuff’ in life, or spending time in the great outdoors, is the opportunity to learn from this new human being. I feel so privileged to be a student to such a humble and generous teacher each day. So, here’s a very short post today to share a bit of what Maya has taught me so far.