Tuesday

What it means to be an "Outdoorsy" Mom.

Although I believe I was born with some degree of love of the outdoors, I also believe my love was nourished by my parents. My dad is also very outdoorsy and we were very close growing up as a result. But my mom isn't a typical "outdoorsy" mom, yet I credit her for most of my love of the outdoors.

She saw my love of the outdoors not just as her key to doing the things she loved, but as trait that could benefit me in my life (and it has) and that need to be cultivated. She spent time outdoors with her family because she saw the benefits for her children. This was before there was research documenting all the benefits of time spent in nature and before most of the awesome gear that makes outdoor activities so convenient and comfortable now-a-days.

My mom's encouragement helped me decide to study forest management in college and to work as a park ranger. A career very opposite than any other family member. But she saw that it made me happy and knew that was what was most important.

So to me, being an outdoorsy mom means you get your family outdoors because it is part of a well-rounded and healthy childhood experience. 

It doesn't have to mean you go backpacking with your children. It doesn't have to mean you go on two week long camping trips. And it doesn't have to mean you have elaborate nature-based activities every week.

Outdoorsy moms realize that children just need time outdoors; to explore, to take risks and just have fun.

Outdoorsy moms see the benefits of time outdoors as a family; to both their children's behavior and their family relationships.

I believe being an "outdoorsy" mom has more to do with your actions than your undying love of the outdoors and nature.

Happy Mother's Day to my "outdoorsy" mom and to all the "outdoorsy" moms out there!

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