When I became a dad, I aspired to share all the activities that I love with my daughter. I have strong, happy memories of my parents taking me camping, fishing, skiing, hiking, diving, and surfing as a young child. I figured this would be no different with my own child and we would be out in the wild soon doing all the activities I loved together. I assumed there would be no ‘real’ interruption to continuing to do the activities I did before she was born and soon enough we would be out creating memories together.
Expectation versus reality is a funny thing…
I bought my daughter a scooter at 8 months, a balance bike at one year, various balls, basketball, soccer, rugby all well before the time when she should have the capability to use them.
My wife and I received a lot of parental advice when we had our first baby; however, one piece of advice we didn’t receive was a simple, realistic picture of what the first few years would look like. We would have benefited from a clearer real-world explanation of not only what our life, schedule and routine would look like, but what goals we could achieve. I knew children napped but I never considered we would need to stay close to home or the pram. I knew they started walking around one but I didn’t imagine they didn’t have the stamina to go for a hike until four or five years old. I remember starting swim lessons from a very early age but didn’t imagine swimming confidence wouldn’t come until three to four years.
I believe with this knowledge I would have planned my time better and set different goals in the early years of my first child. I would have spent my money differently on gifts and researched differently for the holidays we took.
I hope you can use the above chart to map out the early-year priorities for you and your child to start creating wonderful memories. And I hope you can get you back enjoying the outdoors in sooner, albeit in a different form.