Are you ready to get a bit touchy feelly with me?
Just the other week my dear friend mentioned to me, “I feel like such a fraud. I mean you get outdoors all the time with your kids.”
Internally I chuckled. Um. No , I don’t. At least in my opinion. See I struggle with feeling like a fraud most of the time also.
And if I had to guess, maybe you do too.
In fact, this feeling of being a fraud or imposter is so common it has been named, diagnosed, and treated:
Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon or fraud syndrome) is a term coined in 1978 by clinical psychologists Dr. Pauline R. Clance and Suzanne A. Imes referring to high-achieving individuals marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud“.
Let me be honest. Last week the weather was perfect, the mountains beckoned, and we did nothing. Well, nothing outdoors that is.
Chris put in a new back door. And I took a nap cause I am fighting an infection and my kids played in the yard and watched a movie.
But we don’t write about those weekends, do we?
However, instead of simply enjoying the weekend for what it was, I felt like a fake, maybe even a little guilty? Surely my life should be photo worthy all the time, right?
Instagram sure makes us think so!
These shackles I made in an attempt to be free. – ‘Silver Lining’ by First Aid Kit
Sometimes the very things we go to for freedom and joy themselves become something that imprisons us. Maybe not the actual activity, but the labels it puts on us as people.
We are tired. Parents are tired. We think a night off or a vacation will solve it. But I think what makes us most tired is trying to keep up with the labels that we place on ourselves or are placed on us.
The rest we need is found in being loved for exactly who we are, where we are.
See, on the great scale we use to rank our status among our peers, there will always be someone who is more than us.
But the truth is, that measurement means nothing. It doesn’t measure reality. It doesn’t measure your love for your kids, your family’s unity, your joy or your value.
Some where during the last year or so, being an outdoor mom has become trendy. Cool. The in thing to do with our kids.
I think the adventure life beckons to all of us in a world filled with loud, urgent demands. I think we want to escape with our kids to the freedom the wild gives. Freedom to run and laugh and sit and scream. Freedom to adventure, find new places, push our bodies and be awe-filled again.
I think being outdoors allows many of us to feel again.
But as with any community, the pressure to perform, to do more or be more than who we really are is ever with us.
Let us be different.
Let us not be those people. Let us seek to inspire those who aren’t sure they can hike that peak while also being inspired by those who hike peaks far and above our own skill level.
Let us not compare our kids. Posture. Or promote.
Let us celebrate with each other the beauty of the kid clicking in their bindings for the first time and the kid that expertly skis down black diamond runs at age 7.
Let us take joy in the family getting out on their first hike and those hiking 10 miles a day with their kids.
Let us cheer on those families that are full-time travelers, and see great value in those families that are weekend warriors.
Let us be an inclusive community of outdoor parents.
That is why we are here. And we hope it is why you are here too.