Life with a five month old means a lot of down time staying at home, whether I like it or not. In the first few weeks and early months, staying at home to rest, nurse and ease in to the new role of mother was one of the bigger adjustments I had to make. Before having our baby, I loved going out for the day and making multiple trips to yoga class, to the gym before and after work, to get groceries, go shopping or just run out on a whim when I needed something. I usually did most of these activities on my own, occasionally meeting a friend for lunch or at yoga, but I loved a productive day where I got exercise in and multiple errands run.
Now I’m lucky if I get to brush my hair, or even remember the last time I showered! (I love you, dry shampoo) But seriously, errands, groceries and outings on a whim are just not what they used to be, and only the Lord knows how much I miss the smell of the sweaty gym floor. Three weeks postpartum, I had a dream I was working out and the one thing that stood out when I woke up was remembering the smell of the gym and my dirty old running shoes. I think I may have cried I missed that smell so much. Weird, yes I know. My point is, I’m not a sit at home and veg kind of person. I am a morning person and I like to go to points ABCDEF throughout the day, I don’t care how many stops I need to do. Total opposite of my sweet husband!
Enter Baby John Fredrick. He LOVES to sleep. Like literally, he could probably sleep all day if we just stayed in bed with him. If we have no morning plans (which I now have learned to avoid making if possible), he will easily sleep in until 10:30 at the very earliest. I used to get up with my husband at 6:30 and get my day started from there, usually be out the door by 8:30 making my rounds. But staying at home means adjusting to his schedule which results in very happy baby. He gets up at 10:30 and is ready for a nap again by 1PM. So Mama has had to tone down the amount of outings because he is kind of a homebody whose favourite activity is nursing on the couch and falling asleep latched for 2+ hours in the afternoon. That truly limits our outing time, since by the time I get ready and get him ready, he is hungry and ready for a nap again!
And getting a baby out the door is some time consuming work. Seriously, those parents with more than one baby (ha!) are superheroes in my book, but I guess every first time parent says that!
So in this adjusted season of my life called Motherhood, I have had to figure out activities to do with John Fredrick other than errands, because there is nothing he dislikes more than going from points ABCDEF throughout the day. We are going to join the Y soon where they have childcare but in the past five months, I have made it to the gym about four times and yoga only once.
Thank God we live in such a beautiful and temperate place. I make it a point to take John
Fredrick out for a long walks at least once to twice a week outside. That doesn’t include walks around our neighbourhood, but instead of several stops, I make it out to one spot and stick there for a couple of hours. These days, we have been loving our long walks on the trails at Lake Conestee Nature Park.
This is definitely a staple location for us every week, since there is such a beautiful trail with an observation deck over a small lake, and tons of birds to watch. In the main area there is also a fun park and lots of room for him to run around once he gets around to that. But now, this is one of my favourite places to go for walks with him, and friends during the week.
We go at least once a week and the best part is that it is only about ten minutes away from our house.
This weekend, after the snow storm, my husband was able to come with us for a long walk on Saturday. It was snowy, a bit icy, but so beautiful. John wore him for this walk so I got a bit of a break this time and got to practice shooting with our new camera which I am having a lot of fun learning on.
I absolutely love Babywearing and while my first love is the ring sling, I know that for longer carries and walks, it’s just not the ideal carrier. I absolutely love our Boba 4G in Dusk, it is so comfortable, and more importantly completely ergonomic for John Fredrick. When he gets older, we can switch it up and carry him our back. I love wearing him because he gets to see the world and experience things from our view, and it’s so much easier to kiss and hug him and interact with him when he is high up close. I made sure to get a carrier that was “man-friendly” so while I would have loved a fun colourful carrier, we opted for the neutral so John could baby wear as well. 🙂
One awesome thing about the Lake Conestee Nature Park is that not only does it have many trails to walk on, there is also a newly paved trail that is accessible for those in wheelchairs or even strollers. Another very cool aspect of the park is that it also hooks on to the Swamp Rabbit Trail that gets all the way downtown (and beyond) but we haven’t adventured that far (8+ miles!) on the trail.
My favourite part about the trail is the really pretty trails through the swamp areas and the observation deck where you can potentially see turtles, beavers, otters, as well as tons of different birds.
It was such a pretty day to enjoy this nature park and even more wonderful to share it with my husband who “misses out on all the fun stuff” (his words) during the week when he is at work. I tell him all the time we can switch for a day and he can try the stay at home dad role for the day and see how he fends. 🙂
After our walk which lasted only about 45 minutes, we decided to head back because the trails were quite icy and muddy and we got hungry. Our decision to go for walk was on a whim so we didn’t bring any snacks. Plus, our sweet little boy was tuckered out from all the snow day activities!
It honestly is such a wonderful feeling to be able to spend quality time together as a family. Two-day weekends are so short, I think people would be so much happier with an extra day. Even as a SAHM, I enjoy weekends because I also get a break since my husband is home to share the load and energy it takes to take him out. It’s been almost a week now since this outing so the snow melted and I actually went on another walk at Lake Conestee earlier this week and it was like winter never happened.
Hope you enjoyed the photos and hearing about our little trail walk. If you are in the Greenville area and have never visited the Lake Conestee Nature Park, it’s a great and simple place to visit especially with little ones. The fresh air gets them nice and drowsy and I always go home with a content napping baby. Hope this inspires you to get outside and enjoy nature, no matter the weather!