Everyday it seems I’m getting an email notification from Lindsey Wilson from OutsideMom.com. This woman is sure prolific! And not only does she keep up with her content, without fail she produces some of the highest quality content out there in the outdoor blogosphere. Period.
Based out of Tooele, Utah, Lindsey is an environmental educator and the passionate parent of three kids, aged 6, 3, and 6 months. She blogs so that others might feel encouraged and empowered “to take full advantage of the experiences the natural world has to offer their kids” (see her About page). When I had the chance to interview Lindsey via Skype, I had a picture in my mind of an energetic, fun-loving supermom. And she is. But, while we chatted, we also dug deep about some of the struggles she’d been through with her pregnancies and in bouncing back since (you can read about those in her most recent post, And then there were 3: Road bumps in the life of an outdoor family). Slowly, my preconceptions peeled away to reveal a deeply honest and very real human being. Now this was someone I could relate to.
As our interview went on, Lindsey was engaged and yet seemed a bit distracted by some thoughts running through her own head, as though she was having a dialogue with herself simultaneous to the one she was having with me. I realized that the tougher times this mom of three had been going through were leaking their way into our conversation, and that was perfectly fine with me. That’s what this study is all about, after all.
Grounded for Bad Behaviour
Lindsey grew up spending time in the outdoors, but it wasn’t until high school that she started mountain biking and rock climbing. She started kayaking a few years into college, and this has since become one of her main loves in the outdoors. Needing a bit of a self-esteem boost in her younger years, she credits kayaking with transforming her into a different person because of the confidence it gave her. This, among other things, has inspired her to share outdoor experiences with kids, and not just her own.
Rewinding back to her pregnancies, though, Lindsey had experiences that were fairly torturous for an active, outdoorsy woman and someone who needs to be active to stay happy. She was put on bed rest in both her second and third pregnancies due to the threat of pre-term labour. The second time she was told to rest from 32 weeks on. But in the third pregnancy, she was put on “low mobility” at 26 weeks (little to no walking, and no hiking, biking or kayaking) and by 31 weeks was on full bed rest. “I felt like I’d been grounded for bad behavior,” she wrote in one of her posts, Getting Outside During a Hard Pregnancy.
“The second one was manageable,” she said in our interview, just half a year from her most recent pregnancy. “This third one – that killed me.” A few times her husband, Joe, snuck her out into the mountains so she could lay in a hammock. “It was hard, really hard,” she said.
Thankfully, the third delivery was fairly fast and easy and Lindsey healed up quickly. She was so driven to get back into the outdoors (“sort of on steroids,” she added!) and quickly sprang back to explore new trails she’d never been on. She and Joe head outside with their kids, though it’s pretty mellow compared to what she does on her own. “We all seem to be happier when we’re out,” she said. “We all just flow together better as a family.”
One thing Lindsey has learned through experiencing the outdoors with her kids? Simple pleasures. No grand adventure needed here. “It’s cool to see how they can get so much joy out of the littlest things,” she said. Amidst all the “highs and lows in the evolution of the outdoor family,” as Lindsey wrote to me in a follow-up email, she’s figuring things out in baby steps. No doubt, she’s holding onto the simple pleasures her kids have taught her along the way.
One of the joys of my job is that I’m often not the only one to benefit from an interview or conversation. And in that follow-up email, Lindsey wrote, “Thanks for the interview. I think it helped me more than it helped you.”
It helped me equally. It was sure reassuring for me to find, in Lindsey, one more example of the people we all are offline – the good, the bad and the ugly. This is so much more relatable than the people who seem to have it all together.
I wish Lindsey all the best on her journey in parenthood ahead!