Sometimes, just getting my toddler out of his pajamas and into clothes is a challenge — never mind actually getting all of the clothing, equipment and food together that we need for a day out hiking or skiing.
When my son was an infant (thus easier to wrangle), I did it for my own sanity — my sense of normalcy. Spending time outside, listening to the wind rustling leaves (or sometimes tuning out nature and listening to a good podcast or an uplifting playlist) was just what I needed to feel like myself again.
The best solution for me is to take a little time for myself. Sometimes I’m able to sneak out on a run by myself, other times I take my little sidekick along for the ride.
Also, I could usually rely on a good nap for the little guy when we were out on a walk in the woods. For all members of my family, being well rested is the key to happy and healthy family life.
As my son has gotten older and begun to assert his independence, I’ve made an effort to take him on at least one (but usually more) outdoor adventure each week, to share our natural world with him. To help him face challenges (like walking on uneven terrain, instead of our smooth floors at home) and feel a sense of accomplishment when he achieves them.
I take him out so that he can fail — like when he tries to climb up a rock and slips off. Or skis too fast and falls down. I take him out so he can learn that failure is not the end of the story, but one small step along the way.
I take him out so that he can see that though he is just a small part of the world around him, his impact can be great. Whether we are looking at 50-year-old etchings on tree trunks, picking up trash left by others, cleaning up our camp before moving on, or helping a friend on the trail, we can discuss the impacts of our actions.
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Originally published at www.theadventuremama.com.
Originally published at medium.com