Friday, December 12, 2014

What Hiking Taught Me

In my last few posts I have talked about my "Project Get Outside" and "Hike it Baby 30." I haven't written as much lately, and I think the hiking challenge was the start of the writing decline. I think I go through seasons of not only needing to write, but even more so needing to be heard. I process by talking out loud and by writing through my feelings. I think often times this blog becomes a place where I can do both of those things. I know I can write through my feelings, and often times the next day I might have a couple of text messages about my posts. Just getting little messages is the support I need from those posts.

But once I started getting outside more, and then trying to hike more, there has been a little less time for writing. The Hike It Baby 30 was more of a challenge than I thought. Thirty miles is not that many miles. But when you are hiking there can be a lot of work put into a mile. Then add the baby, more work. Then add the toddler who wants to walk and also has to be carried at the end even though she still thinks she wants to walk. That's a lot of work. But we did it. I did flat dirt trails and brought my jogger when it was both girls and me alone. Andrew went with us for a few days and we did everything from a brand-new place with harder trails, to getting lost in a place we had been several times, to walking 6.5 miles along our greenbelt, and finishing off downtown along the river. It was a great month. I often felt tired and really did not want to get out on a few cold and rainy days. Andrew pushed us and so did the Facebook group full of other moms. There were many moms hiking miles in the snow. Which made me feel inspired to take my girls out in the beautiful Texas weather.

I think what I realized tonight though, half a month after this contest was over, was that hiking taught me something. It taught me that I can do more than I think I can. Even with stressful life circumstances (well stressful stages of childhood) like Blanche finally being ready to be potty trained (while we were trying to hike in the woods) and Rosemary getting four teeth all at once. We had a few bumps, but that is normal for any time with small children. There were days when I wanted to give up and not go anywhere because I had already dressed Blanche twice, she kept stripping down to use her potty, Rosemary would be crawling toward the potty with pee in it and then unrolling the toilet paper... all while I am trying to pack snacks... and we hadn't even hiked any miles yet.

But I think without knowing it, this contest pushed me into a new comfort level with the girls. I think I am braver at getting out, at meeting new people, at going to events and also have started making more goals for myself. During this hiking I stopped writing so much, but once the contest was over I didn't start back up with my blog. I moved on and started working on Rosemary's baby book that I had thought before that I just did not have enough time to work on. I started sorting and editing more photos, and even when I did feel like writing I have wrote more personally in my journal. One way is not any better than the other really, but I do find it interesting. I think I have less of a need to be heard. Less of a need to know the plan and a little bit more enjoyment with the everyday.

This last week we have had way more good days than bad. I would say even 6.5 out of 7. Which is really good. I'm not meaning bad as in horrible,  just exhausting. But this last week we have been doing so well! We have had a few really nice family days where it feels semi-relaxing and we are even home for most of the day! This is saying a lot with a very mobile baby and very active toddler. But they have played well and there have been almost "slow" mornings. That doesn't mean Andrew and I aren't still crawling out of bed each morning... because it will be awhile before we actually feel rested. But we are having fun. Andrew and I are play board games with my brother and card games alone sometimes. I am crafting and he is reading about wine. We have gotten our evenings back again. Oh the roller coaster life of parenthood.

Yesterday I had just been feeling off and a bit tired though. And Andrew took the girls to the park. Of course I was feeling a bit tired and grumpy and glad to see a few minutes alone. Then of course right as Blanche is leaving she shoots her soft and sweet little spirit right at my heart. She kept waving and waving goodbye to me through the glass door. When I finally cracked it open she said, "Okay, I have to leave now mommy okay?" After I told her bye one more time she asked, "Did you want to come mommy?" "Next time" I answered. She smiled and as she turned she whispered, "Yeah next time." I could have just fallen over right there. She had this little smile of assurance on her face. She happily ran to daddy. But that little whisper was like a thousand I love yous.

Once they were gone I started working on photos and listening to music. It just hit me that my entire world and life is my family. My job is motherhood. My job is wife and homemaker. There is nothing I would rather be doing. It can be a hard and trying job. Motherhood is difficult but it is worth it. I was reading a mom's instagram post just today and she was saying that in the end it really is no sacrifice at all. And I after reading some of her words and thinking through my own I know it is not. At least it is not me sacrificing things for my children that should not be giving up in the first place. All that my children are doing is making me a better person if I let them. They are making me stronger, one step at a time.

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