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A single parent off the beaten track

A single parent off the beaten track

Finding myself a full-time single parent with my 3 wonderful children in 2016, I had 2 choices: look ahead or stay frozen in time. I love the mountains so much, the similarity with my situation struck me. At the foot of the massif, it may seem insurmountable to us, but I assure you that one step at a time, we get there. Many say that I was a superwoman, but I believe that in the face of great challenges, human beings find their strength.

It all started with drawings of otters paddling and bears on mountain bikes. It occupied my mind positively as it was chaos around me. Quietly, these designs ended up on fabrics to make clothes for my children. It was at this time that my "fourth child" was born: Peakbwa! Was it a good idea to start my business while I was in the midst of separation? Initially I thought no, but finally, definitely! This project saved me, it allowed me to keep the focus on the positive.

Less is more

For me that means focusing on the essentials. We must learn as humans to let go of situations beyond our control and instead, become aware of the positive. Like when you're outdoors, energy is precious, and you have to use it for what really matters.

The day I found myself alone with my tribe, I was so sad about not going camping that I learned to drive, park and set up my tent trailer on my own. It took me a week to get everything ready. My goal: to go for 2 nights in a camp without service, full of bugs, with 3 explorers under 5 years old.

We came out of this adventure dirty and devoured by black flies… but so happy! It was important for me, family camping: I did everything to go there. It was not easy, but I was proud to have taken on this challenge. During a separation, even children are led to develop their autonomy more quickly. They impress me day by day in their mutual help, their understanding, their patience, their initiatives, their desire to help and their resourcefulness. There is always some good; you just have to find it.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained

From an early age, we learn to get up when we fall. I like the African proverb that says grass does not grow where everyone goes. The trick is to get them outside from an early age so that they learn and enjoy playing with branches and stones.

Come on, take out your baby carrier and go play in the mountains! Of course, this is different (and requires more effort) than watching your child hypnotized in front of a screen; but we are immediately happy to see them playing outside rather than not being very active. My children would tell you that camping is freedom! My third was 2 weeks old when he was introduced to camping. At the age of 3 months, he had already done 6 times!

You have to stay flexible on the routine. If they don't take naps, they'll easily fall asleep after a day in the great outdoors. Plan your outings with other families. On hikes, kids will challenge each other and go ahead instead of complaining that they are tired. Don't be afraid to take your baby out of his cozy nest, the most beautiful memories await you somewhere… in the bwa!

If you're a parent who likes to move around and, like me, hate wasting your time shopping, you might like the idea of PEAKBWA clothing. It's a great alternative to over consumption of toddlers clothing.

If you want to find out more about my little story, I invite you to follow my adventures:

Jacinthe Plamondon

Founder Peakbwa