Another blogpost about the adventures of motherhood and kayaking from guest-blogger, Lori Neufeld
Dan and I learnt very early on, even before Finley was born, that paddling as a family would require a lot more hands than just ours. But we didn’t expect to have so much support from our families, friends and the paddling community.
|Christine Haylock -My dear friend and the editor of my blog posts! She's full of wisdom and encouragement. Kayaking photo taken by Dan on the Kananaskis River.|
Sierra Stinson -Auntie Sierra swears she's never having kids of her own, but she adores Finn and is always up for an adventure! Kayaking photo by Hayley McKee at Pushbutton on the Ottawa River.
So what can you expect when you invite a new mom like me on your next paddling adventure? Well, first off, THANK YOU! Yes, my life is in chaos some days and I spend more time washing laundry then wearing it, but I still want to go kayaking! I won’t always say yes, but I really appreciate your invite. Secondly, when I get into the car and look like I’ve been up all night… I have been. But give me an hour or so of peace and quiet and I’ll be good as new. When we get to the put in and you notice that I’m taking far longer than everyone else to suit up, don’t worry. My gear just doesn’t quite fit the same as it used to and I’ve got hip pads to adjust and clothing to work my way in to. If this is a day that the little one is coming along, you’ve got a whole new set of challenges to work with. Between extra clothing, carseats and piles of snacks, you’re losing at least 2-3 seats in your shuttle vehicle. But there will be Goldfish crackers for all! You might feel more like a Sherpa than a paddler and wonder why I packed so much stuff. Trust me, it’s all necessary. Throughout the day there will be many bouts of crying. If I’m not stressing over it, you don’t need to either. Kids are funny and mine talks about those tearful times with memories of laughter and joy. And at the end of day, when you’re unstrapping my boat and I’m chasing my runaway toddler down the sidewalk, know that this might have been the only day this week that I’ll get to exercise, socialize, and enjoy my favourite hobby. I’ve got another sleepless night ahead of me, but I’m more energized than ever.
Cathy Woods -An art teacher by day, Cathy is great with kids and has a passion for getting them outdoors. Kayaking photo by Dan on the Kananaskis River.
Continuing to kayak during this stage of parenting has been a lot more work than I anticipated. But it’s not impossible, especially with others who are so eager to help us. So whether you’re one of our close paddling friends or support another kayaking mom, Dan and I salute you. We’re beyond grateful for everyone supporting us on this journey.
Andy Hill -Andy was terrified to go near Finn when she was first born. Now they're buddies! Kayaking photo taken by Thomas Farren at Bus Eater on the Ottawa River.
Steven Walker -At only 18 years old, Steven paddles hard, he's the kindest and most helpful kid around (we're not sure how his mom got so lucky!) and he babysits for us on weekends! Kayaking photo by Dan at Sturgeon Falls.
Judy Wilson -A true river mom, Judy's constantly checking in on me and helping out. I don't know where I'd be without her! Kayaking photo taken by John Woods at Fort Whyte Alive.