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.
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.
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.
Mother of two small children and wearer of many hats, including conservationist and environmental consultant, McKittrick is no stranger to the balance of parenthood, adventure, work and all the “other stuff” in life. And this woman takes on big adventures, such as long distance backpacking expeditions, including a few with not one, but two very small children in tow. Check out my review of her book, “Small Feet, Big Land: Adventure, Home and Family on the Edge of Alaska.”