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

A: I have a 10 month old daughter and we are expecting a second little girl next fall!

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

A: At the end of last summer, we went camping with some friends and their kids in Maine. Our baby was 2 1/2 months old, and we were going for five nights of camping. We went without expectations of how it would be, and we had never slept in a tent with our baby or spent days at the beach! Finally, it was perfect, with some stress and adaptation, but beautiful memories and the desire to do it again.

We decided to shorten our stay by one night at the last minute because the day of our departure, it announced a deluge and that it did not tempt us to pack up our camp-site the following morning in the pouring rain with a baby in the arms...!

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

A: Every time I see her discover something new. Whether it's putting her hands in the sand or touching the snow for the first time, I can't get enough of her little look of fascination and wonder.

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

A: It's been finding an equilibrium of a family-couple-wife balance in which the whole family is comfortable.

I had school during my entire maternity leave, so my "time off" was a bit intense at times and not too restful. My boyfriend has been particularly present; without his help, it wouldn't have worked. It's not easy being a Ph.D. student, having classes and doing homework while taking care of a newborn, breastfeeding and having short nights, despite the help I got. Through all of this, it was vital for me to be 200% present for my daughter, but it was also essential to find time for my couple to spend time together and with our baby. It was challenging to juggle our schedules, our obligations, and what we wanted, but we eventually found a way that we were all comfortable with. My advice for that: communication (and compromise). It's not always easy, we agree, but for me, it was really important that we try to stay a bit of a team as we were before we became parents! And finally, through all these new things, we should not forget ourselves as women and take time for ourselves, even if it's not easy. If we are fulfilled, we can also be our best version of a mom!

Q: Your dream family adventure/vacation?

A: Oh... that's not an obvious question... definitely outdoor trips with family. I'd really like us to go out west as a family and to Central America in the next few years.

Q: Your best superpower as a mother?

A: Being organized, but flexible I would say. You make plans, you know (pretty much) where you're going, but you're always really aware that they can go in a completely different direction in a split second. I think that's what keeps the activities as enjoyable as possible and keeps us motivated to organize them.

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

A: I breastfed my daughter until she was 9 months old... For outdoor activities with babies, I found it particularly practical. Otherwise, compotes or smoothies in a pouch are a real winner in my house!

Q: Your ideal day outside?

A: A really simple day, with no schedule and not necessarily far from home where we can enjoy what is around us - lakes, mountains, whatever - as long as we all enjoy it together and ideally where we can bring our dog!

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

A: 1. I need something that will allow my baby to nap, whether it's a baby carrier, backpack or the wagon!

2. A change of clothes, no matter how long our outing is.

3. Water and snacks

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

A :  Oser et se faire confiance ! Y’a pas de demis victoires et ce ne sera pas toujours simple. Des fois, ça va bien aller, des fois, ça va la catastrophe, mais pour toutes les fois où ça va fonctionner, ça en en vaut la peine. En bonus, on se rappelle surtout des activités qui ont fini par être le fun et oublier les petites complications autour ! Si une journée, aller prendre l’air ça fini par être une micro randonnée dans laquelle on a dû revirer de bord après 20 minutes ou qui a fini en marche dans le quartier, et bien ça fait aussi partie de la game. Ça m’est arrivé plusieurs fois et il faut lâcher prise sur nos attentes et être à l’écoute de nos minis. C’est eux qui décident et il faut les respecter si on veut les amener dans nos activités <3 !

Oh and one last thing, even if it's not always obvious, try not to compare yourself too much with what you see on social networks or what you hear (that, for me, is still a work-in-progress...). I don't think it's all perfect and simple for any family so it's just letting go of what we have and what we're doing well. There are days when just getting out of the house is already a struggle (or a victory haha) and that's okay!

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