Re-committing to the outdoors

Summer rains have seen my daughters do different things. The seventeen-month-old bangs the door, wordlessly pleading to get out into the garden. She runs around free, stomping puddles, pushing her little car around, generally whooping and enjoying the little piece of wilderness behind our house.

My four-year-old, on the other hand has taken to saying she doesn’t want to go out if it’s raining. This makes me a little sad because I don’t know if it’s nature or nurture. The fact is, I don’t want to go out if it’s raining.

And I’ve spent a lot of time putting obstacles in the way when it does, insisting she has to put on the boots and rainsuit (these days I sometimes let the younger one run outside as is, finding it easier to change her when she comes in if it’s not too cold and crazy out there). More times than not, I’ve suggested we do something other than go out in the rain. Because I don’t want to be out there myself.

Actually, when I have suited and booted them up and gone for a rainy stomp somewhere, we’ve all had a lovely time. So I’m inclined to think that my own attitude to the weather conditions has more of an impact than I want to admit.

Recommitting to the outdoors - Dinefwr-2

I find it easier to wait for the weekends when Laurence is around so he can lead us on a walk, take us camping or find some other reason for us to go outside. Meanwhile, I am so conscious that I am the one here most of the time, that a childhood outdoors was one of the reasons we chose to home educate and that I don’t want them to think of it as his “thing”.

So I’m finding myself needing to re-commit to the outdoors. Being out in nature is too important for their happiness, their health, their imaginations, their peace, their inner wilderness for me to allow my disconnect to become theirs. And it’s too important for mine.

Recommitting to the outdoors - Dinefwr

We took the photos in this post when we were at Dinefwr in Wales a few months ago. We stumbled upon it using the National Trust app and it turned out to be one of the most fascinating National Trust properties we’ve been to.

There’s a castle and a historic house, a pond (Talitha went pond dipping in it) and a medieval deer park. We did one of the tours and there is just so much history in that place. I love that it spans many eras and that the house is fully hands-on so you can sit in chairs and touch most objects. Do check it out if you’re ever over that way.

Recommitting to the outdoors - Dinefwr

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  • It sounds like a really special place. I can completely relate to what you say in this post. I think I’m guilty of this too – not just with being outside but with doing crafting activities or pretty much anything that involves effort I don’t have the energy or time for in that post-school, pre-bedtime space of time with a baby and a five year old. I must try harder. Hopefully the summer will rejuvenate me!

  • Oh Dinefwr is such a lovely spot – we went there last year as well and Mr A loved pond dipping. I find it was easier to get Mr A outdoors in the rain when he was longer…now he is coming up to 5 he seems to have a slight aversion to rain unless he is with his friends then he is usually running around without a top on. I do think though it’s really important to get outdoors for everyone, for our souls and reconnect with nature

    Laura x
    Laura recently posted..5 months & thinking of weaning

  • I’m SO guilty of this. In fact I think I always have been, my parents were always wanting to go on walks and being outside as much as possible and I would protest about it constantly until about 30 mins into our walk when I would disconnect and feel inspired and I knew afterwards that it had done me good..I really really need to try more with Wilf and I would much rather sit in a cafe and chat with him than go to the park of woods! xx
    fritha recently posted..Small Kitchen Spaces

  • I can really relate to this! I’m not a fan of being cold or wet or uncomfortable, and hadn’t really thought on passing this off onto Eliza. True to type she loves jumping in puddles, so we should get out more when it’s raining x

  • I am terrible at going out when it’s raining! Even just to the shop, we generally hibernate until it stops but I guess it is a shame that kids pick up on that as from an early age they think it’s fun and want to go out puddle jumping in it! I think now T is a bit older and we can all get covered up well I wouldn’t mind so much but we def need to invest in some outdoor waterproof gear as Cherry doesn’t even have a rain coat at the moment! x
    Jess @ Along Came Cherry recently posted..Pizza Making, Train Sets And Tutus #LittleLoves

  • You’re so right about the whole going out in the rain thing…I remember still being sent out in the garden with our wellies and rain macs on to play whatever the weather, but now I’d probably refrain from it thinking it will cause a cold or even worse…mess! haha! I know this is one thing I need to do when I become a parent- chill out more and embrace the outdoors! x
    katie albury recently posted..My Last Few Weeks Of Freedom…

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