Parenthood in general is utterly and completely overwhelming at times. There are seasons and ebbs and flows and highs and lows. Many a time we think that we are just not going to make it through the day, much less do anything but feed the kids, maybe yourselves and keep everyone alive.
Though it’s oh so cliche, I do believe that with each kid we allow ourselves to relax just a little more and accept all the billions of things we cannot control (including those cute little babies!) (And yes, Mom, I know you told me so….)
Babies are resilient little things, and believe you me, they are usually 10x easier than any three year old I know….
But, it’s the unknown and the new that makes us nervous as parents. I have no qualms about hiking with my one week old baby (“hike” being more like a good I-just-had-a-baby waddle), but still get anxious about being on the river with my kids since it’s relatively a new venture for us.
All you river-rats probably feel completely the opposite. Again, it’s the comfort level and what we are accustomed to.
I’m not a pro at everything. In fact, I am not a pro at anything. At all.
But, I have the will (usually) to get out and a husband who gently nudges me to take a few more baby steps (literally) than I may have done on my own.
Back to the RIVER, boating, all things floating.
I learned (even though it may have looked like I already had it all figured out….which I didn’t….) that taking babies on the river is nothing to be scared of. No guarantees, of course, because this is LIFE, but so much more doable than I thought.
Here’s what I would have told myself at the beginning of the summer:
- Get that baby a life jacket that doesn’t squeeze their neck (like most infant ones out there). The Salus Bijoux is worth every single penny. They’re Canadian and the best place to get them is through Mountain Baby (let them know we sent you!) Save yourself the heartache and just start with that one. Then mark it up with Sharpie Extreme so if, God-forbid, that baby floats down the river, they’re marked well. Or if you misplace it while your brain is working in all its “New Parent” glory. Mom/Dad-Brain is a real, real thing. We marked up our boats and life jackets with our name and phone number just to be sure everything would be accounted for. And then we let the kids decorate their life vests too because it just adds that “personal touch” (and parents of the year for letting them use Sharpies!) In all seriousness, though, even regular Sharpies tend to fade and wear off through use and time. We LOVE Sharpie Extreme because they resist the intense UV rays and lots of exposure to water (which is truly maybe THE biggest test for how a marker performs)! Who has time for remarking gear?? Definitely not us!
- Go out on a nice day. Forecast calling for a possible storm? Save yourself the trouble at least the first few times. We got ourselves caught in some doozies this summer and the fun could have turned very quickly (my brain was making up all sorts of stories about what people were going to think of our parenting skills when our names hit the headlines…) Again, its all about getting yourself so you at least have an idea of what to expect.
- Pull over and feed the baby if you need to! Give yourself all day to get down that 3 mile stretch. It sure beats having a screaming, hungry baby the whole time.
- Put yourself in a comfortable boat and plan on Baby snoozing on your legs or someone’s lap. The lull of the waves is pretty much the best thing to get him/her asleep.
- Chill. Relax. Deep Breath. Laugh.
- Bring chocolate and wine.
This post is Sponsored by Shapie Extreme. It’s what we use to make sure we don’t lose our gear (or we at least get it…and the kid inside sometimes….back!) The new Sharpie Extreme permanent markers provide long-lasting bold color that will resist fading even in the most challenging conditions, such as UV rays, rain, snow and even mud. And we have plenty of gear to mark up!!
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