“Adventurous” as an adjective is not something that you’ll always see following the word “parent.” And even the combination of the two, which is “adventurous parent,” just doesn’t register nicely to the ears. People can think that it means neglectful or impulsive, which are descriptions that don’t fit well for parenthood.
However, adventurous can still pertain to an individual that is willing to go out of his/her comfort zone. And by comfort zone, we mean from the daily grind. But is it still possible to embrace your adventurous spirit after parenthood? The straight answer is yes.
You might be thinking if the days of your paddling and camping are all now behind you after you decided to build a family. But the truth is, you are not “stuck” in this lifestyle. Sure, you’re still be doing typical mommy or daddy duties, but you can again experience new things for the first time.
You can still relive experiences that you’ve done before you have kids. Or you can also discover a side of yourself that you’ve put on hold when you’ve entered parenthood. And all of this is possible while being a responsible parent.
Taking Everything One Step at a Time
You don’t have to pressure yourself to change overnight. And for me, it isn’t about “changing,” but instead, it’s more of discovering a new side of me. You don’t just see an Instagram post of an off-road biker and immediately expect yourself to be able to do that on the weekend.
What I have to realize is that I have to take everything one step at a time. Perhaps just like me, it has been a long time since you’ve last ridden a bicycle. Yes, we don’t just forget how to ride all of a sudden, but you also have to accept that you’ve undergone some physiological changes.
You may not be as flexible, or you may be noticing that you’re getting tired faster than when you’re in college. At the same time, you might also be still recovering after giving birth. The bottom line is you have to ease into your transition with this adventurous lifestyle.
This includes putting yourself into an easy fitness routine first, as well as small habits that you can do every day. Remember that “adventurous” doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be very risky and intense. It can be as simple as including a simple hike in your walks with your children.
As mentioned in this useful reference, you can take your children with you as you jog through various terrains. This can help with your transition into this new lifestyle, without the pressure of completely changing your daily habits. You are also easing yourself into physical activities that are not too different from what you’re used to.
When I found out that I can actually go through hills and even rough trails while pushing a stroller all on my own, it motivates me more to commit to this new lifestyle. Yes, I may not be immediately riding bicycles off-road, but it’s small steps like this that fuels me to do something different from my day-to-day mom life.
Before becoming a parent, going on hikes or other “adventurous” trips is easy. You can easily schedule your trips, and you’re only responsible for yourself. But now that I have kids of my own, I know that planning and making trips are going to be a family decision.
I have to make sure that my mommy duties are done, and that I won’t be coming home to more tasks that I left beforehand. This is also what I like to keep in mind. Will my future self thank me when I do this? What I mean by this is that I want to be confident that I won’t be coming home to a pile of work that I’ve left.
Think about it. You already come home tired from a hiking trip with your kids, and you realize you have a pile of dirty dishes in the sink. Or that you have postponed writing back on emails because you assumed you could easily do them once you get home. I aim to be adventurous but also realistic. While impulsive trips seem exciting, they’re something I have to leave in my pre-parenthood life. Besides, planning is also fun, especially when the whole family is involved.
What I like to do is to have everyone responsible for different tasks. My husband can make sure that our car is complete with everything we’ll need for camping. While on the other hand, my kids can do the packing of their bags nights before our trip. Of course, supervision is a must when packing items, especially if you’re with your kids. Before our trips, I create a list of must-haves, so that we’re confident that we won’t be running short on any necessities and gears.
Bringing My Kids with Me
Most of the time, we get so caught up in our daily lives because it’s comfortable. Now, this is not to say that I encourage you to drop your well-paying job and bring your kids with you to live in a trailer truck. But every now and then, we need to unwind and do something out of our comfort zones. And we can still do this even if we already have a family of our own.
When I first thought of bringing my kids with me on hikes or off-road trips, I had so many doubts and what-ifs. It is quite overwhelming because it is very different from our usual trip to the park or zoo. But experiencing the world with my children has created a better bond in our family. We get to discover different sides of each other and the outdoors just prove itself to be the best classroom without walls.
Sure, there will be hardships like getting bruises from slipping down on a steep path or itchy mosquito bites. But I will never forget the sound of their laughs when dad can’t get the fire going. Or their looks of awe when they finally see their first waterfall.
It is going to be uncomfortable and scary. But I enjoy discovering and finding out that I haven’t lost the adventure in me. I hope one day, when my kids reach this age, they’ll remember their adventurous sides as well.