After reflecting on our Colorado vacation, I feel convicted to share my new mom knowledge about how to have a good time in the wild! Here are my Top 10 Tips for having fun, staying married, and returning home with all your family members.
1. Before leaving home, realize that you WILL be in danger so scale back on the “I’m supermom, I will save the planet and all will live peacefully” thing. Whether it be bear or huge mountain terrain presenting the threat, it seemed the boys were in constant danger which creates a nice breeding ground for mom anxiety. Allow your husband to help you through this by dragging you kicking and screaming (if necessary) out of your comfort zone.
2. Buy 18 cases of water and then go buy 2 more. It won’t be enough.
3. Being clean is completely over-rated. If your children (or you) go without bathing for 4-5 days, you won’t die. In fact, your children will praise you for the hero mom that you are for allowing this.
4. Although camping for multiple days is not for the wimpy mom who requires a sleeping mask and perfect sleeping conditions, you’ll adapt. Swishing from the same cup after brushing teeth isn’t so bad. As Dayton reminded me, “We’re blood, Mom…it’ll be OK.”
5. If you get a ‘say’ in what type of 4 wheeler, you’ll be riding, always choose a manual transmission. If you understand the basics of driving a standard, you’ll get why this will slow down your death while descending down a gigantic mountain with boulders bigger than life.
6. When things go wrong such as tires blow on the trailer or for some reason, your husband has to back a long-bed truck with a loaded trailer down a very narrow, muddy, rocky road while it’s raining, stay calm and quiet only commenting when necessary. Do the things you know how to do such as getting your sweaty hubby some water from the cooler, stand in the heat with him to show your support. But I beg you ladies, don’t offer advice on things you know nothing about. (Insert the music of Stand By Your Man)
7. Pack snacks (LOTS), a 1st aid kit, sunscreen, walkie talkies, extra blankets, food for a month (even if your 4 wheel excursion is for a day), enough drinks to re-hydrate an army, more band aids, compass, binoculars, camera, oh and toilet paper. Prepare as if you are trying to avoid being on the show “I Shouldn’t Be Alive.”
8. When you arrive at your excursion destination, there is what they call a “staging” area. Try to avoid your son accidentally driving off the ramps while you look the other way and almost hitting a monster truck (rock crawler) before your day even begins.
9. If you notice your son sliding backward down the mountain, jump off your own machine and save him, SAVE HIM I tell you!
10. Ok, I said I would stop at 10 so here’s my final tip(s) for a great time. For the love of all things camping, don’t forget the s’mores, play hide and seek with your kids in a giant forest with trees that seem to reach heaven, look around at God’s glory, love your family til you cry, praise the Lord for the awesome people he has loaned you, and jump for joy at the opportunity to create such memories.