Struggling to find balance

My story may be different than many Hike it Baby moms. I went back to work right away after I had my baby, though admittedly at a much reduced schedule. After a year or so, and some personal losses, I found myself craving more time with my child, and decided to start staying home with him.

Mother and son hiking

I started joining Hike it Baby outings almost right away. And, since I had never not worked, I wasn’t quite sure how to fill my time, so we went hiking nearly every day, and sometimes twice a day. Those HiB30 Challenges were a breeze–and I found myself aiming for HiB120 since I found myself getting in 30 miles within the first week. I discovered baby wearing again, and there were few mountains I couldn’t climb…and few races I couldn’t conquer (with a stroller of course!).

But balance is always something I’ve struggled with. I find myself going all in in whatever I do; whether it’s a business venture, a job, hiking, exercise…I find myself so intrigued and excited about something new that other areas of my life (say a clean house and dinner on the table) suffer.

Balance evolves

When my child turned two and suddenly had an opinion, and a strong one at that, I wasn’t sure what to do. We still went outside nearly every day, but I wasn’t getting the miles in, so I started to look for some alternate ways to maintain my own sanity. I started doing HiB events for my kiddo, hitting the gym for me, and then picked up some contract work to start offsetting the cost of our gym membership.

Stroller walk

Remember how I said that balance has always been a struggle for me? I had so much fun working that it started really cutting into my free time. And then, my husband ended up taking a 30% pay cut in order to have a job, which meant that working became imperative for me. And figuring out how to juggle working (and by the way, I love what I do!), spending time with my child, and still getting in exercise became a struggle. It’s become incredibly hard for me to either commit to or join in with HiB events now that work is more of a necessity and I’ve taken on more. But, when I do get out, it’s amazing!

We’ve just started a new schedule, and although we’re definitely adjusting to it, I foresee getting out more often. I think that sometimes once you adjust to the idea of getting out less, the biggest hurdle is making the most out of half an hour here or an hour of outdoor play there. And it can be just as good as before, just different. In the end, we are all Hike it Baby, and we can participate at a level that works for us–whether every day, every week, or even once a month. Even if we don’t see them as often, our HiB friends are some of the best we’ve made, and some of the most supportive people in our circles.

And that whole balance thing? It may be for the birds, but if we’re getting outside several times a week, I’m getting exercise several times a week, and dinner is on the table 3-4 times a week, I can live with that.

Photo Credits: Jessie Emslie,  Kali Allen @kaliallenphotography

One thought on “Finding balance: work, parenting, and getting outdoors

  • Christina Dunsmore

    Ahh, so much freedom found in your words. Thanks for sharing!

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