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Q: How many children do you have and how old are they?

A: I have an 8-month-old daughter.

Q: Your most memorable family adventure/vacation (positive or negative) and why?

A: In April we spent a month in the Dominican Republic with four other couples. For a first family trip, we couldn't have asked for more. It was a memorable experience! Traveling with a child brings its share of challenges, that's for sure, but all the beautiful moments and memories we brought back just made us want to dream about the next trip. We were able to experience our first swims with our little Raphaëlle, stroll along the seashore for naps in a baby carrier, surf for our own personal pleasure and go on mini adventures in the forest. 

Travelling with other parents was very reassuring for us, as we could always help each other, and living in a community of 12 in one house was really fun for both Raphaëlle and us. Spending time with so many people around her is stimulating and super good for her development. The chemistry that developed between the babies was a sight to behold. Definitely worth doing again!

Q: The moment you felt most proud of as a mother?

A: I have to admit that every day I'm proud to see my daughter's eyes light up when she sees me, and her big smile when she discovers something new. I love seeing the great chemistry we have together and hearing her laugh at all my antics. She's my best audience! Haha

But I'm often told that she's a happy baby who doesn't lack love, and I must admit that fills me with pride.

Q: The biggest challenge you've faced as a mother?

A: Breastfeeding! Not breastfeeding as such, because for me, it's been super easy and straightforward from the start, but what it involves. It's an incredible dedication you make to your child. For a lover of outdoor sports, it's certain that it constantly challenges you mentally because of your limited freedom in terms of outings you can afford between two drinks. But at the same time, it's brought me great satisfaction when I've found solutions and compromises to enable me to enjoy my sports.

Q: Your dream family adventure/vacation?

A: Having lived in Western Canada for 2 years and driven through it 5 times, I can't wait for the day when I can introduce our little Raph to the Rockies.

Q: Your best superpower as a mother?

A: I'd say it's my ability to go with the flow. I used to be the type to be disappointed when my plans fell through or to want to be everywhere at once. Since I've become a mother, I've had an incredible laissez-faire attitude. I'm aware that plans with a baby can change constantly, and I don't mind having to make so many "sacrifices" that aren't really sacrifices.

Q: What's your snack of choice for you and your kids in adventure mode?

A: Being able to breastfeed anywhere makes going out much easier, but since she's been eating, homemade pancakes or muffins are perfect for mini adventures. My latest discovery is the sugar-free mini cones that can be filled with overnight oatmeal or a spread of any kind.

Q: Your ideal day outside?

A: An ideal day is simply a successful outing for the three of us, i.e. my partner and my daughter. Since she's still young, we've definitely done more long walks with the little one in a baby carrier inside the coat. So for us, it was a success to get some fresh air with a bit of coffee or smoothie in hand, whether for 5 minutes or 2 hours. I love our four seasons and loved discovering and enjoying each of them with my daughter.

Q: The 3 things you can't live without for an outdoor adventure with your kids?

A: 1. my Gustine baby carrier, which I love and which has been used for many naps!

2. My Thule cart, which I've loved since day 1. It's so simple and efficient. I can assemble and disassemble it with one hand and it goes in all possible weather conditions.

3. My hiking backpack, which is now Raph's new favorite toy as she can finally admire the whole landscape.

Q: What's your best advice for other birth mothers?

A: Don't put too much pressure on yourself!

For my part, I found it hard to juggle between resting OR going outside because the weather was so nice. I often put pressure on myself to take advantage of the weather, but I don't have to. There will be other beautiful days...

As I said earlier, some outings can last 2 hours if all goes well, or they can end after 5 minutes because something goes wrong or you forget an essential piece of equipment on the way out. And if that happens, well, that's okay, don't pile it on your head. Yes, you might forget the diaper bag or leave without the snowsuit when it's -20... (#mombrain)

And one last simple thing. Take the help that's offered! My brother once told me that a strong woman is one who knows how to ask for help. And it's so true. Since that day, I've gladly taken all the help I've been offered, and it's made all the difference in making the most of those first moments with my daughter.

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