A lot of people have told me they admire my ability to get out all the time, with a kid, exploring, adventuring. First of all let me say that I'm flattered. I've never felt more independent than I have since G was born (you would think it would be opposite right?) It isn't always as easy as photos make it seem but there are a few things I've learned over the past 2 1/2 years that have made the whole "adventuring" thing much easier for me & my sidekick. I know things may not always be this way so while it's just the 2 of us I like to take advantage of any opportunity we have to adventure together. So here goes, I hope this helps with your future adventures! 1 - Be less tethered to things. Our adventures aren't always pre-planned, so there are times when I am not 100% prepared for a trip but that's ok. The more I accidentally left the diaper bag behind, the better it felt! I know this is not always an option with small children but my go to is usually a juice bottle, a treat bag, and a few diapers. These go easily in my purse or camera bag and that's it! For long distance trips if I remember to pack an extra pair of pants for G it comes in handy, worst case we've made pit stops at the closest Target for a quick change! You will feel the freedom without things weighing you down.
2 - Don't plan. The more you plan, the higher your expectations of how the day should go will be. Things don't have to be scheduled to the minute. Give yourself a little lead time if you have places to be before and after your adventure but other than that let things happen organically.
3 - Leave your phone in the car. I know, I know we all say it "I want to be more present" or "I hate all of my notifications" "I'm going to take a Facebook break" well here's a simple solution - leave it behind. If it's not there you can't compulsively check it right?! Chances are if you are out exploring in the middle of no where you won't have service anyway so leave it in the car, or at home. Even if it's just for the 15 minute run into Target. It will feel liberating I promise! You don't have to give up Facebook for life to be present.
4 - Don't give up on what you originally set out to do. Kids moods (especially toddlers) change constantly. It's inevitable. So if you get in the car and your child wants to scream because they dropped their toy, and then refuse to put their jacket on, or run through the store instead of sitting in the cart (sound familiar?) or are just having a rough day in general don't give up. Chances are if you ride it out their moods will get better. I know there have been many times when I've thought after our first stop "ugh we should just go home" and then 10 minutes later we are laughing and singing in the car and it turns into the best day ever.
5 - Have fun. This one seems obvious but I had to include it because I feel like as Mothers we are inclined to forget this part of Motherhood. There are so many things that run through our minds on a daily basis, trying to make the best decisions for our babies and our families, cleaning, preparing meals, getting our kids to their various engagements, etc. Don't forget that this part makes it all of the worry and stress worth it. Life is truly not worth living if you don't have fun!