I’ve been on both sides of the “working mom” coin. I’ve spent long days at home with a newborn. Not earning a paycheck, and yet building a family. Where there are no sick days, tight budgets, but lots of joy. I’ve also spent long days in an office. I know what it feels like to pay someone else to spend precious time with your child, while busting tail to earn a masters and climb the professional ladder.
And, then there’s the now. Currently, I exist somewhere in between these starkly different, and yet not so different worlds. I don’t work a “traditional job.” I write words, tell stories and take pictures that are fueled by a deep passion for family and the healing power of wild places. My office exists on various social media platforms, where “business hours” don’t exist. I work with like-minded brands, test products, review, and share. I connect with people over a shared passion and from that, opportunities fall into place. I hustle for work and shift our budget constantly so that I can be there. Be there to bus my kiddo back & forth to school, be there to man the snack table at the 1st grade Halloween party, be there for rock climbing class and the bajillion other activities his fierce little heart desires. There are still no sick days, still financial wins and losses, but this is what works for our family … right now.
Danielle Deering, theadventureproject_tap
The thing I think a lot of women are missing is that there are a million different ways to do this whole mom thing. And, more importantly, that there is no right way to do this mom thing. I’ve heard all the “Well, I can’t be there mid-day because I actually work” with eyes rolling comments at soccer practice. I’ve also seen the dirty looks given because a mom did not have the time to make a “Pinterest-Worthy” snack for the birthday party. “Is that even organic?” comments passed freely behind backs. Is anybody else ready for the movement where if it’s not supportive and inclusive to all moms doing the best for their child and family, whatever that looks like for them, then we don’t want any part of it movement? Where are those moms at? Because those moms, those are my people.
If you’re like me, and you’re seeking refuge from the endless mom competition, there’s one place I know of… a sacred place where more women support women. It’s not perfect. Some BS still exists. But, I have found the great outdoors to be the great equalizer for all us mamas. While on the river or loading the tram, I see the supportive and positive side of women in the wild come out. Where a hand is lent to help the mom with hands full grab the fallen ski pole. Where a snack is shared between families to help curb a meltdown. Where the size of a paycheck or what yoga class you attend has no place.
I’m beyond blessed to work alongside and sometimes in collaboration with some of the most supportive and inspiring women I’ve ever had the pleasure to do life with. Before writing this article, I tossed some of these ideas around with a few of those same mamas and they shared the following on how the outdoors affects their own sense of being.
Alexandra from @middlewest_mama shares “I feel like I am the best version of myself in the outdoors and in turn that makes me feel confident.” She goes onto say, "I feel really lucky to have fallen into a community of empowering and supportive women.”
Amanda Edmonds, adventuringwithkids
Amanda Edmonds from @adventuringwithkids states, “I am at home in the outdoors. That is my element. It’s in crowded cities and when trying to be a domestic goddess where my confidence plummets.”
Morgan Peirce, outandbackwithkids
Morgan Peirce from @outandbackwithkids and outandbackwithkids.wordpress.com shares, “I feel pretty confident outdoors. I have guided professionally in many outdoor activities. Many of the outdoor sports I partake in I have been practicing continually for almost 15 years now. And this chance I have to share it with my children and other families is really incredible and something I don’t take for granted.
Is there something magical that happens when fresh air is breathed and our bodies are moved, that makes us more secure in ourselves and therefore less worried about what the other mom on the trail is up to? I think so. I’ll be over on @theadventureproject_tap helping hold space for moms supporting moms and of course, the magic of the outdoors. I hope you’ll join me in that mission and as always, thanks for reading.