LIVES: Arizona, US
OCCUPATION: Adventurer, co-founder of Born Wild Project and student (urban horticulture/sustainable agriculture)
MUM TO: Hadlie, 4
The Born Wild Project comprises a documentary film series and website – how did it begin?
It went from just a low-key parents’ get-together to a film. The response to the project has been so positive and people are so excited about it – more than we ever thought! The parenting community needs something like this. There aren’t any films about parenthood that are so achievable and relatable. We are not full-time adventurers or professional athletes. We are just parents who have the same priority in life and spend as much time as possible outside. We want to share that with everyone, to let all parents know how easy it is to give their children a lifestyle that allows them to step away from technology and connect with nature; whether that be climbing mountains, week-long camping trips or more outside play right in your own backyard, parks or local trails. We are not anti-technology, but there needs to be a healthy balance. Children need to spend more time outside.
More than 100,000 people now follow your epic weekend hiking adventures on Instagram. What has captivated so many people?
Instagram is by far the best and worst social media platform out there. I have so many bittersweet feelings towards it. Currently, I have a large following and it is so strange to me. My life is beautiful on Instagram! Perfect sunset photos, a slew of photos where my toddler looks blissfully happy at all times, a disgusting amount of perfectly adorable mushy love photos of [my partner] Jared and I. Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way saying my Instagram is fake. But people seem to forget that my life is sometimes not so beautiful in between all those pretty square photos. Sometimes I am stuck at work late in an office totally missing those perfect sunsets and Hadlie still has those toddler breakdowns because she can’t have 10 lollipops for lunch while we are out camping. And Jared and I are not perfect – we bicker about who loads the dishwasher better and I lose my damn mind every time he leaves the shower curtain open after he’s done. I just ask people to not be too hard on themselves when they are feeling jealous over someone’s seemingly perfect life, because I promise you, it’s not. With all of that being said, it’s a very rewarding feeling to know that I have so much support, love and am inspiring other parents and showing them that even when living a busy life, it is possible to get outside and make things happen.
How would you describe your parenting style?
Probably as a scene from The Jungle Book. We like to keep it wild. On the weekends when we are out camping or adventuring, you can find Hadlie throwing rocks and running around barefoot pretending to be a wild horse and I am usually right there with her, just as filthy and playing along with her imagination.
What’s been your most heart-wrenching moment as a mother so far?
I had a very difficult pregnancy and delivery with Hadlie. I was on hospitalised bed rest up right up until my emergency c-section. Hadlie then had to spend some time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Leaving the hospital without my baby – they wouldn’t let us stay the night with her – was by far the most challenging thing I’ve ever had to do.
How do you hope Hadlie will describe you as a mother in the years to come?
Being a parent is hard. We never feel like we are doing a good enough job. We have many failures and sometimes want to throw a temper tantrum on the floor like our kiddos because it can be so damn stressful. Hadlie has seen me in my best moments and she has also seen me in some not-so-great moments. I just hope that she will describe me as a loving mother and that she will know that I always tried my hardest to be the best role model, protector, best friend, mother, adventure partner and confidant that I can be.