Dear Parents: Bring Your Kids!

Dear Moms and Dads,


Your children are not simply an inconvenience. They are not “in the way” of your real life. They are not something to just deal with for a few hours and then move on.

They are not trying to make you crazy, test your patience or make you regret your life choices.

They are your children. And they love you and look up to you.

They want to be just like you, for good or bad.

But, don’t worry, those thoughts in your head, those frustrations – it’s not your fault. Our society has successfully engrained in us a firm resolve to do what we want, when we want it. And no one should get in our way, even our own children.

Sure, things change, especially as far as an outdoor life, when kids come along. More gear, less forward movement, more time to do it. It takes some adjusting and relearning and a whole lot of discovery.

But, don’t you see? Bringing them along makes the adventure even more epic. You can accomplish that adventure you’ve been dreaming of, but can you do it WITH the kids too?

Yep, that plan you have to bag a high peak may have to wait until the baby is a little older.

What once just took a long day on the trail may now take three.

You’ll have to navigate through some whining and tantrums and someone with a personality just as stubborn and driven as yours.

But, fostering a love for the outdoors (you know, so they can join you on all those grand plans you have in your head) starts now. By teaching them to love it alongside you, you’re teaching them that they matter enough to you that you want them on your team. For life.

Believe me, I totally get needing some kid-free time on your own. And I think you should take it. Every once in a while. Do what you need to do and don’t feel guilty about that. Some time on our own challenging ourselves to grow helps us be better people, better parents.

But, please don’t farm your children out on a regular basis because it’s easier without them. Make family time the majority and priority. It goes a long, long way.

When you’re struggling to maintain a level of patience and understanding amidst tantrums, a (very) slow pace and irrational kid-needs, remember your end goal: to raise fantastic adults. It takes time and effort. A lot of effort. And the bad days shape them just as much as the good days, maybe more.

This does get easier. It is worth it. You will make it, and so will they. Team-building, family-building starts now. Today. One forward step at a time.

Get out there.

And don’t forget the M&Ms.


Cheers and High Fives all Around!


A Mom Who Understands Rough Days on the Trail of Life

Dear Parents: Bring Your Kids!

© 2015, 2017, Tales of a Mountain Mama. All rights reserved. Republication, in part or entirety, requires a link back to this original post and permission from the author.



  • Amelia lives with her husband and five young children outside of Jackson, WY in Grand Teton National Park. As a mom, she quickly learned that the secret to sanity was to spend more time outside where tantrums don't see quite so bad. Amelia started TMM in 2012 to help encourage all families (including her own) to get outside, no matter the weather. Due to the necessity of having to keep so many kids warm and happy, she has become an expert in kids' gear and loves being able to share it with others.

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13 thoughts on “Dear Parents: Bring Your Kids!”

  1. LOVE this! Couldn’t agree more. I actually enjoy the family stuff more these days because it feels more epic. Yeah, we could do bigger stuff without kids along, but being able to climb anything (big or small) with kids makes you feel that much more rad. Overall, I just feel more proud of myself for the stuff I can accomplish when I bring the kids along, than I do for anything I’d do solo.

  2. So well said. Just because you have kids doesn’t mean life is over it’s just different. I agree with Tanya and get a lot more pride out of doing something hard with the kids than by myself. Also my older kids are getting to the age that all the blood sweat and tears from when the were little are paying off as the turn into amazing adventurers of their own. You have kids to make a family and that comes by spending both quality and quantity time. I wish out society would see how beneficial it is to not just outsource our kids ad their time to te most convienient provider. Bring them along, it makes everything sweeter

    • YEs! You are finally seeing the fruits of your hard work. We are getting there…but not as close as you are πŸ™‚ And “convienient provider” – drives me nuts (even if I secretly want that sometimes too). Our time with these little ones is fleeting. And we all need to keep telling ourselves (and each other) this!

  3. Well said. I feel like you’re my personal cheerleader since just yesterday I hiked with my three tots and my 3year old was saying ‘I don’t want to do hard things’. It would be easier for her to stay home, but my need for the outdoors requires her to come along, and I hope I’m teaching her that she’s capable of doing hard things, even when she doesn’t want to.

    • I think we all need personal cheerleaders from each other…all the time! Parenthood is tough. Good parenting is even harder πŸ˜‰ Nice work, Mama!

  4. So, so, so true! I crave epic ascents and quick paces and have to remind myself to slow down and see the world through the eyes of my children sometimes. Family, it’s most important. Thank YOU for this post!

    • Thanks, Rebecca. That time for big ascents will come (I keep telling myself)…and most likely will involve me chasing the kids up the trail! πŸ˜‰

  5. While researching before we drove up to Denali NP, I ran into a lot of advice that said not to bring children on the shuttles. Reasons given ranged from “it’s too long of a trip, they’ll be bored” to “you don’t want your kids to bother others on the bus.” We didn’t take that advice– we took the kids, car seats and all, on the full day shuttle ride. My daughter had an awesome 3rd birthday, and my 5 year old was amazed at everything we saw.

    • Really!?!? I can’t believe it was that obvious that they suggest no kids! I guess not all families have kids that could last that long. SO SOOO glad you took yours anyway! What a great experience for them. πŸ™‚

  6. I want to create the memories with my kids and I wouldn’t want it another way. I hope I am raising kids with grit. I love taking the kids with me so they can see me doing my hobbies and hang with my friends.


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