You have my permission to adventure without the kids.
That’s right, you heard me. Actually, you don’t just have my permission, I highly encourage it. I’ll even help you plan and pack. Don’t have anyone to adventure with? Call me, I’ll go with you.
As Moms, our minds are constantly consumed with the needs of our family. I recently got back from a weekend retreat. I drove by myself and left the kids with my husband and mom for three nights. Let me tell you, I was two hours away from home before I was able to take a deep breath. It took me this long to clear my mind of the constant daily tasks that need to be done to manage a household. As Mamas, we are busy taking kids to school, picking them up, making sure they get homework done, nursing babies, wiping tears, kissing boo boos, refereeing, guiding, encouraging and so much more. Not to mention that in between these daily events we are finding time to plan dinner, make lunches, do laundry, clean the house and every other task that comes with a household. So let’s make one thing very clear right away…… YOU ARE A TOTAL BAD ASS. I don’t mean this in some superficial, cheesy encouraging kind of way. I mean it with the most genuine sincerity from one Mama to another. I see you. I see what you do on a daily basis. It is AMAZING. I am convinced that the multitasking and energy that a Woman puts into her family is paralleled by nothing else. Nothing can hold a candle to the fierceness of a Mama Bear and her love and devotion to her family. NOTHING.
In fact, so often, a woman will sacrifice herself, her passions and her needs for those of her family. It is so easy to focus on your partner and children and put yourself on the back burner. It’s so easy in fact, that as women, we don’t even notice until one day we wake up and look in the mirror, and we don’t even recognize the person staring back at us. Your passions are a thing of the past. Your love of hiking, backpacking, climbing, mountain biking, camping, running….whatever that may be for you, you just don’t have time for them. Or you might be thinking that you’re needed at home and it would be irresponsible of you to take off for an adventure. Well, I love you fellow Mama, but that’s bullshit. Let me tell you why.
You matter. Your passions matter. Your needs matter. Making time for what is important to you will not only be healthy for you, but also for your relationships with your kids and your partner as well. A few months ago, my husband and I went on a three-day backpacking trip on Catalina Island. We dropped all the kids off with grandparents and off we went. The first night we were there, as we were sitting at a picnic table eating dinner, I had this crazy goofy grin on my face that I just couldn’t shake. I told my husband, “I’m just SO happy right now.” Now, I love our children with every ounce of me. They light up our world and bring a joy to us that is indescribable. With that being said, THIS MAMA NEEDED A BREAK. I needed to get out and adventure without the kids. Desperately. That goofy grin carried on to the next night and next new campsite. I felt free and was able to relax. I sat and listened to the ocean without kids climbing on me or a baby attached to me. I didn’t worry about cooking dinner or homework. I drank ice-cold beer and we kayaked to our heart’s content. BLISS.
The thing about adventuring without kids….you come back happier, relaxed, and a more engaged Mama. You shine. You radiate a joy and contentment that your kids will see and feel. They’ll see you striving after your own passions, quenching that thirst for adventure and they will admire you all the more for it. They will see a strong woman who LOVES life, and this may be one of the best lessons in life that you can teach them. To believe in yourself, to follow your dreams, and to know that nature and adventure can heal you. Show them a Mother that not only teaches this, but leads by example in her own life. You can adventure alone. You can adventure with your partner. You can call up your own Mama, your Dad, brother, sister or cousin. Or go have a kick ass weekend with all your girlfriends. Is there a retreat you’ve been eyeing but just can’t quite muster the nerve to book it? DO IT. Just think of the connection and opportunity for growth this could provide in any of those relationships if you went off for an adventure together.
I’ve never been able to sit still for very long. I’ve always had this insatiable desire to go, go, go. Even now, when we have five kids and the youngest is six months old. I still find a way to make it work. Even if that means storing breast milk in the freezer and manually pumping in a tent while I’m gone. Thankfully, I’m surrounded by people who understand this and support it. My gratitude for these people in my life is overflowing. This is so important, my dear fellow Mama. Surround yourself with people who GET IT. Loved ones and fellow adventure mamas who understand why it is so important for you to adventure without the kids and will encourage you and support you every step of the way.
My dear Mama, YOU ARE WORTH IT. You deserve to take some time with yourself and adventure without the kids. They will be fine. When you come home and they open that door and run and jump in your arms, they will see a sparkle in your eyes. They will see you filled with excitement for what makes your soul dance and your heart sing. Your kids will see a Mother who truly LOVES LIFE.
Support AMI and Support Women’s Postpartum Health
I’m a wife and Mama/Step-Mama to five. Originally from California, I moved to Utah three years ago and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made, Utah is pretty rad. I love all things outdoors. My family and I hike, camp, and explore any chance we get. I don’t sit still for very long. I have a strong desire to always be on the go, exploring, discovering, and learning new things. You can usually find my husband and I on the trails in the mountains behind our house, camping along the Wasatch Range, the Uintas, or plotting out our next family adventure. Follow along with Kristi’s adventure, here.