Before Eilidh, I had a pretty wild life. Wild in many ways but laterally wild in the literal sense – out in the mountains every weekend, out in the country and parks every single day of the week. Running, cycling, walking, swimming. I couldn’t sit still and I couldn’t pass up on any mini adventures whatever day of the week it was. I thought nothing of making a 10-hour round trip up north, leaving at 4am on a Saturday, and I had an Instagram-worthy life.
I assumed that would carry on when I had Eilidh. And honestly, if pregnancy hadn’t rendered me so immobile for 3 years I think I’d have had many more adventures to tell you about.
However, we do still get outside every day and we make time for day and weekend trips to our favourite places – Perthshire, Glencoe, the Trossachs and the islands.
We have a puppy who can’t walk miles yet and a toddler who is as wild and independent as the puppy (and me ). We take some incredible trips, carrying Eilidh or taking our off-road buggy, because my mental health would suffer immeasurably if we stopped. I think nothing of taking Eilidh and the dog to Loch Ard, an hour away, for an hour-long walk on an afternoon off, her dinner a sandwich in the car home. But it’s not all fun and games and Instagram pictures, as you’d imagine.
Firstly let me start by admitting I don’t have teenagers. I have no idea what to expect with THAT minefield so this blog is purely aimed at those of you with wee kiddies. If you have teenagers and handy tips, let us know!
Secondly, I need you to understand one very important fact (and I’m guessing you know it very well already): kids are really fecking hard work. When they are babies they scream all the time, when they are toddlers they strop all the time and get tired. When they are 5 they want to do their own thing (I think – we’re not there yet).
But you can still go out and enjoy Scotland’s epic playground without wanting to jump off a cliff. Ok honestly you might still want to do that but I would argue that I’d want to do that if I stayed in, so I may as well have those feelings in beautiful surroundings.
I’m pretty sure most kids just want two things: