Little Explorers and Adventure Mamas
Can any other mamas out there relate to the feeling of losing their identity after having kids?! I'll be honest, I sure did struggle with this, and I think it's pretty common. After almost 3 years since my first daughter was born, I can definitely say that being a Mom is now the favourite thing about myself. But that is not to say there wasn't some rocky roads and resistance along the way to making room in my identity for this overwhelmingly big part of who I now am. Pre-kids, "adventurous" was one of the top words I would use to describe myself. I have always loved the outdoors and was lucky to grow up close to the mountains in a family that supported lots of exploring through cross-country skiing, hiking, camping, mountain biking etc. I would even say it was the biggest part of mine and my husband's relationship when we first met and at the time we got married 2 years before having kids. Which was another tough adjustment to make. We have goals constantly about how we're going to fit some adventure back into our lives. But the thing is, sometimes I get so wrapped up in that that I forget we're actually living the biggest adventure yet - raising kids and gradually exposing them to our passion for outdoor adventures.
Photographing this family session (photos below) this spring, was actually a great reminder to myself about the "big adventures" that my own family goes on regularly. For little explorers, something like walking in the creek bed in rain boots and stopping to investigate the plants is an amazing way to spend a morning with their Mom before their baby sister arrives. I was so inspired by this pregnant Mom, who was in the midst of balancing all things life throws at you. She still knew to slow down and take time to "smell the flowers". It might not have been an epic hard mountain bike ride that she'd been used to pre-kids or a strenuous climb, but it most definitely was an adventure and one that will set her son up for bigger and bigger adventures every year of his life. This 3 hour Day in the Life of a Mom session told the story of a Mom and toddler Son out on a grand adventure together while they were waiting for their family to grow and I am so happy that they will both have these photos for a lifetime now.
And after the session, I loved reflecting on the fact that I am still "adventurous" too. It might be on a different scale than I was used too, but I think I realized that it doesn't mean that part of my identity is just gone forever. The little hikes/walks, the family bike rides with the girls in the chariot, or even just spinning in circles in a field - they're all probably stepping stones to get back to "big" outdoor adventures as a family in the future. And if any of you are adventure mamas like me, I really encourage you to join this Born to Be Adventurous Mamas facebook group. Annika is the fearless leader and creator of Born to Be Adventurous with her philosophy of "Adventure does not end when you have children. It is only the beginning." Check out these links for a couple of events I have photographed with this inspiring mama of two littles!