The Power of Hiking with Kids | Motherhood + Marriage
Having 3 little ones under 5 at home had me burnt out, fed up, and overwhelmed. Then one day I had the marvelous idea to Get Out. And I mean much more than a money breaking and totally exhausting trip to target. I wanted to get out into the world with my children.
So I decided to Go Hiking With My Kids
At first this was not easy. I was not particularly in shape. Like I said I had just had 3 babies and my pregnancy hormones could only be sated with cheese burgers. I was also completely overwhelmed with how to handle all 3 of my kids alone out in the wild. Trips to the store were hard enough.
But I was Determined to make a change, and I wanted this to work.
Because anything would beat what my home life was like at the time. I was working from home and learning how to grow my photography business (now turned Fine Art Business). This meant lots of time on the computer for me. Meaning the kids were mostly busy destroying the house. That or they had their faces planted in a screen. Just like momma.
So when I came to the conclusion that a change had to happen, hiking was the first thing on my list to try. Okay, it was the only thing on my list to try. I was grasping at straws. But I had always dreamt my family would be an outdoors family.
Hiking with my kids, I thought at the time, would also hit on a few other levels. It was great exercise, which we all needed, and it gave me an opportunity to get my camera out.
Little did I know it would lead to so much more.
Since I had absolutely no clue what I was doing, the beginning was a learning journey. The beautiful thing about that though, was that we figured it out together. And it wasn’t nearly as hard as trying to go grocery shopping. In fact, it was pretty amazing. Even when it was tough.
Here the kids could let out their wild energy. They could jump off rocks, balance on tree limbs, poke sticks in the mud and get dirty. I could laugh at their antics instead of telling them to hush, or glare at them, for the thousandth time.
Out in the wonderful world, we left behind the need for filler.
Being together in the world was enough. We traded in technology, toys, bickering, and busy work; with working together, learning together, exploring, exercising, and an immense sense of freedom, wonder and peace.
Here, in the wild outside, is where I learned to be a Happy Mom.
Something about being in the fresh air gave me peace. Gave me a mental strength that seems to be sapped when I am indoors. But being outside, hiking with my kids, I am patient. Understanding. And completely focused on my children and us as a family.
After a while, I was even able to bring these feelings back home. I was gaining a better understanding of my children and their feelings + interest. With this newfound insight, I now saw a major discord in our home life.
Now I saw the toys and TV as a distraction to what they really enjoyed. Which was being active and engaged, learning with each other, and others, in an open environment.
I also realized my work was much more productive when I took breaks from it and refreshed myself. Being outside and away from a million thoughts and needs tying up my brain, brought my creativity back.
After a while I got my husband in on it. And that is when life really started to get good.
Watching my husband bond with our children in this way was exactly what our marriage had been needing. More often than not, he traded playing ball in the yard with the boy, for sitting on the couch together staring at a device.
To see them explore together, grow together, and unite again in such a deep way triggered a huge change for our entire family.
And it was more than the way he was interacting with the kids. We were accomplishing things together. Overcoming feats, planning together, and motivating each other.
I couldn’t get enough. I was addicted to this feeling of… togetherness.
We decided after a few short months of doing this that we would make it our lifestyle. One night I brought up a crazy idea to live in an rv, and travel with our children. And he was 100% on board. All it took was one 10 minute conversation and our whole life got thrown onto a different course.
Now I’m not saying it was all because I started hiking with my kids… but thats exactly what I am saying. I can clearly look back and remember the feeling of that first hike I took my son on. While everyone else was napping, we were changing the course of our entire families lives.
So if you are a struggling momma, frustrated at home with the kids. I urge you to get outside and hike! It is a million times better than spending your day walking around target, spending too much money on regret. Maybe you can even get your husband to tag along… one day.
One great way to start hiking, even in the busiest stages of life, is finding quick hikes for a unique lunch. You can even keep it healthy and budget friendly by packing some fruits and veggies. Plus babies are the easiest when you can throw them on your back and let them be till snack time!
What has been holding you back lately? What can you do to tackle it? Remember, You Got This IF You Try!
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