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I’m one of those girls who grew up always wanting to be a mother someday. It was just something I always saw as part of my future. When my husband and I found out that we were expecting for the first time, to say we were thrilled would be an understatement! We eagerly anticipated the arrival of our first little bundle of joy.
She arrived a few weeks early but healthy and happy just the same. She was such a great baby that we were ready to go again in less than a year. Our second little sweetheart arrived right on time in the middle of a blizzard. About five and half years later, our little buddy joined the family.
Having a family has been one of the most enriching experiences for us as people. We both grew up in healthy families who instilled the value of family life in us even though our experiences were different.
We’ve written before how Tim grew up on several acres. He was always outdoors either exploring or doing chores to help maintain the family property. I grew up in a small town with a yard and woods behind it. While I didn’t have as many yard chores at Tim, I still spent much of my childhood outside. A wonderful gift both of our mothers gave to us was the childhood experience of time in nature. We could explore to our hearts’ content as long as we came in when they called us for dinner.
Unfortunately, many children today are growing up without these experiences in nature. It has been dubbed “Nature Deficit Disorder” by renowned author Richard Louv. To gain insight into this problem and some possible solutions, we recommend his book Last Child in the Woods.
A wonderful gift both of our mothers gave to us was the childhood experience of time in nature.
Several factors have led to my becoming the Trail Mom. Improved sections of the D&H and O&W rail trails opened up through our town in the last year. I found the #150hoursoutsideproject at YourNaturalLearner.com. And my husband encouraged me to start up the blog focused on families reaping the benefits of using the trails. It has been an exciting journey since last August when we first put the blog up.
Dedicating ourselves to cultivating the trail family lifestyle has had an impact on me as a mom. I’m more aware of time that we spend in front of screens that we could be spending out on the trail. I’ve made opportunities to take each child on solo bike rides or walks on the trail to develop that individual relationship. I’ve learned new things about how time in nature affects children’s development. Overall, I believe that I can say that this journey so far has made me a better, healthier mom. Although there is more work involved in planning, the experience has grown me as a person in ways that I would likely have missed out on if we hadn’t started Trail Family.
I’d like to wish all you trail moms out there a Happy Mothers’ Day! I know that you invest so much time and energy into cultivating the trail family lifestyle with your kids. I hope that you all get some much deserved pampering and have a lovely, relaxing day enjoying your family.
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