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Have you been “mama-stalked”?
Last August I was walking around the Outdoor Retailer trade show when a stranger approached me and handed me a card. She had noticed Baby L strapped to my chest (it was hard not to notice a second person plastered to the first). Her name was Shanti Hodges and she invited me to check out her website – Hike It Baby.
Once she said Hike It Baby something clicked in my head. I knew Shanti. We were part of the same Outdoor Family Bloggers Facebook Group. From there I knew she cared about getting outdoors with kids, just like me and I was more than happy to check out her website.
HikeIt Baby is a community of outdoors lovers who lead hikes in over 150 cities. Chances are there’s a local Hike It Baby branch near you. Run by volunteers, all hikes are free and offer an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors with other parents of young children.
Since last August I’ve attended several local Hike It Baby Hikes and last month led a Snowshoe hike at Big Springs Park – my favorite local trail.
Little g was excited to try out her bear print snowshoes while Baby L was happy to sleep on my chest once again. We went out, a group of five mamas all carrying at least one child. We were all trying new things as most of the others had never been snowshoeing before.
We started out on the trail that followed a beautiful stream. I loved the ice formed by the water edge and the frozen landscape all around. It was great getting outdoors and we did pretty well for the first half mile.
Then all hell broke loose. We had gone just half a mile, but half a mile of snowshoeing while carrying twenty extra pounds (or more) is really hard. When we turned around to head back to the trailhead Little G decided she was done. She cried, complained, whined and refused to walk another step. Unlike another mother of a four year old I hadn’t brought a second baby carrier to strap her to my back. Instead I hobbled down the trail with Baby L in the wrap on my front and Little G clinging to my neck on my back.
It was awkward and difficult and we were all glad when it was over.
One great thing about hiking with other moms is that they get it. Yes my daughter’s crying was annoying to everyone but they’d also been in situations where their kid didn’t do exactly what they wanted when they wanted. They knew that sometimes adventures with tots don’t always go exactly as planned.