A reader recently submitted this question:
My hubby has poor health, but I *need* more outdoor time! Any tips for a mom and kids outdoors on their own? Mine are 7, 5, 3, and 2 mos. We live in beautiful western Oregon, but I have a thing for the SW.
Meaghan, thanks for this excellent question. It’s something I deal with all the time as a stay-at-home-mom who is also an outside junkie. I actually really like getting the kids out on my own. I’m not much of a home body and getting the kids out for a hike or a trip to the lake always seems like a far better alternative than futzing around the house. Our situations aren’t that different–I’ve got a 5-, 3-, and five-month-old. Granted you’ve got an extra child, but let’s just call your oldest an extra ‘helper’.
Your style for getting outside with just you and them will be all your own, unique to your personalities and situation, but here are some random suggestions that might make getting out on your own easier.
PS rare photo of me (above) taken by my good friend and awesome photographer Rebekah.
1. Don’t psych yourself out.
It’s not as daunting as it sounds. One less adult can usually be mitigated with better pre-planning. Remember always what your objective is. To be outside? See something new? Have a wee adventure?
Figure out what you’re going for and ‘settle’ for doing only that thing. When the kids cry or complain, when something goes awry, when you call it quits early, just remember your objective… “well, my goal was to get outside for awhile today, and we did it!” Have that attitude in mind before you even leave the house and you’ll be surprised how easy it is to feel good about your solo trip from the moment you’ve locked the front door.
2. Pre-Plan. (more…)