Okay, I want to talk about something that I have been so fortunate to do recently: taking time for yourself to get outdoors again without your children. Yepp, I said it. And yes, this is a blog focused on outdoor pursuits in the Maritimes with your kids, however, for those of you who were adventurous and outdoorsy folks before having kids, I think it is important to continue to pursue your own adventures when you can. I like to call these “Mommy’s and/or Daddy’s mental health break trips”.
It is less about “ditching the kids” and more about not ditching your own identity and needs for enjoyment in life.
Here are some reasons to make time for your own hiking/paddling/cycling trips (sans enfants):
*You can go faster.
*You can go farther.
*You can take more risks.
*You can find much-needed quiet time! And/or social time.
*You can scope out a route that may be do-able with your wee one in the future (as mentioned here).
*You can have time to be YOU!
(In twenty years’ time when your children have their own lives and you have an empty nest, you need to still know how to be you!)
Being able to take such a trip requires a web of support for sure! I am incredibly fortunate that my partner stayed home with our baby girl while I went away to hike Cape Chignecto with some great friends. In my 4 days of hiking the 53 km of the Coastal Trail, I was also able to scope out future day hikes and backcountry overnight trips that we will do with our wee one in the coming years!
I returned feeling happier about the life I choose for myself and having more energy to hike and camp on smaller trips with my wee one! Not to mention feeling tremendously grateful! I worked my body and mind in ways I wouldn’t have if I had been hiking with my wee one. Parents are still people underneath all of their devotion to those little lives, and I encourage parents to not forget the ‘you’ inside, regardless of what that may be!