You may be working, have one, two or three children, gosh you may have six! You’re juggling endless loads of washing, cooking, cleaning, paying school fees, helping with homework and supporting their extracurricular activities.
It’s so intense when you see it all written down like that, huh?!
Now, may I whisk you away for a moment?
Close your eyes and take a deep breath and think about being outside in nature. Imagine the wind moving through the trees, your favourite bird calling among a gentle chorus of forest sounds, or being beside a babbling creek. Does it calm you right away? It does for me.
Here are 12 solid reasons why it’s important for mothers to make time to be outside in nature.
Nature makes You a Better Mother
It balances your brain (and hormones).
Nature calms me. It slows down my mind and allows me time to refocus. Don’t take my word for it, researchers have found that time among nature significantly helps reduce anxiety, depression, anger, confusion, fatigue and hormonal shifts. Nature resets our brains so that we can be better mothers to our children.
Nature time strengthens your family relationships.
To me this is a no brainer but getting out in nature together will strengthen your bond as a family. Plus, you gain wonderful things to talk about at dinner time. We once spent the whole meal talking about how cool stick insects are. No, I’m not kidding!
Nature puts you in a better mood
I don’t know about you, but I am less likely to raise my voice at my kids when I’m outside with them. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever yelled at my kids outside (other than when they’re running away from me just as we’re leaving the park!).
Nature makes you feel relaxed and you’re more likely to be calmer around your kids.
Sunshine keeps the family healthy
Sunshine helps increase calcium absorption. Vitamin D from the sun contributes to bone strength. Sunshine improves the function of your liver and helps it better break down toxins and eliminate wastes. Fresh air will help the airways of your lungs dilate more fully. Exposure to sunlight will make trace minerals more accessible to your body. Sunshine is a natural antiseptic.
Yep, it makes sense to go out on a sunny day!
Nature experiences can greatly strengthen friendships
Time for a play date at the park or your local nature reserve?
Nature time doesn’t just strengthen your child’s relationships with friends, it serves you too. Connecting with other mothers out in nature gives us a chance to chat about our parenting struggles and support each other with empathy and advice. It also makes us feel less isolated, especially during the first few years of our child’s life.
My best friend and I do this A LOT!
Nature makes Parenting easier
Going for a walk can boost your natural immunity.
It starts with a cough and then the whole family is coughing and spluttering together. Going for a walk helps strengthen your natural immunity.
When you hear a sneeze or cough, it’s time to go for a walk. Fresh air gives you a break from all the circulating germs inside too.
Exposure to nature can help speed along recovery.
It’s too late, there’s tissues all around the house. You’re up each night because your little munchkins can’t stop coughing and now you have a tickle in your throat. Sickness in a household is the pits.
Don’t overdo it, but along with all the benefits above, nature speeds recovery. A gentle stroll through your garden or backyard is a good place to start.
Your kids don’t have to play sport.
My kids don’t play sports. And a heap of nature-mad people all over the world scream ‘Whaaaat!?’ I know what you’re thinking, and trust me, my inner voice condemns me too, but my kids are just not into sports.
And that’s okay.
My kids build their physical health by going outside and enjoying unstructured time in nature. Nature play is their sport. If your kids don’t like sports either, join the team and make nature your go-to physical activity, rain or shine. It’s a fun spectator sport too.
Nature walks can increase longevity.
Any time I think about my kids not having their mum around causes me to tear up. I want to be there to support them forever and who doesn’t want to be around to watch their kids grow and flourish?
It makes homework time easier.
I hate homework. Doesn’t everyone? Although I’m not a big advocate of it, we still try to meet some of the teacher’s requests. One of us almost always ends up in tears.
I hate math.
When you start to feel the emotions rising in you or your child, it’s time for a break. Nature breaks are my favourite homework hack.
It will help you manage screen time.
It’s only recently that I’ve realised TV and screen time aren’t the bad guys, however for me, it’s important that it’s monitored and provided in balance. Sitting by your child and asking them how they’re feeling and if they think it’s time to do something together outside is one of many strategies that helps us maintain balance in our home.
Time spent in nature makes you kinder and more caring.
Obviously! Have you ever met someone horrible that loves nature? Nope.
People who spend time in nature often care more about the planet and the animals that live alongside them. Of course, I want to foster those attributes in my children too and the best way I can do that is by filling my kids’ childhood with nature.
Every moment we spend outdoors contributes to better mental, emotional, physical, and relational wellbeing. So lace up your shoes–or better yet, go barefoot–and enjoy some time in the natural environment.
Nature makes your a better mother and makes parenting easier!
It’s worth the effort to get outside.