Choosing to be an active outdoor parent is tough sometimes. I’m starting my eighth month of pregnancy and every day I feel it more and more. Simple actions like putting on shoes and picking something up off the floor are now accompanied by sighs and grunts of exertion.
So you can imagine how hard it is to motivate myself to bundle Big E, little g and myself in snow clothes and traipse through the snow. It sounds like a lot of work but, like exercise or healthy living, I know I will feel better after I make the effort.
Being outdoors lifts my mood every time, even if it’s just for a few minutes every day.
It sounds like a lot of work but, like exercise or healthy living, I know I will feel better after I make the effort. Being outdoors lifts my mood every time, even if it’s just for a few minutes every day.
This snowman activity started out as a snowshoeing adventure but quickly changed once reality hit. Little g wanted to hold my hand to walk through the snow that was past her boots. I get it, that’s deep snow when you’re three feet tall. When I tried to tell her it’d be easier to walk in my footsteps she cried and complained.
Big E wanted to throw snow at everyone and was ecstatic to make the perfect snowball (which he eventually threw at me and his sister).
Making a snowman was the compromise. I got what I wanted – outdoor time with my kids. Big E got what he wanted – to smash snow together into round shapes. Little G got what she wanted – to stop trudging through deep snow. Where we live the snow is rarely wet enough to actually make snowmen so that was a treat on its own.
Sometimes being an outdoor parent requires flexibility and compromise. Actually make that ALL the time in ALL parenting. But the hard work is worth it when you and your kids can enjoy that time together.
Too much of my life is spent telling my kids what to do and not do. I relish the moments when we can all just play outside together. Even if it takes some work.
Susan Strayer, author of MountainMomandTots.com is all about getting families into nature. She lives with her husband and three young kids in the mountains near Sundance, Utah and spends her time hiking, biking, skiing and camping as much as possible.
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We live in a beautiful world, get out there and enjoy it.
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