As we all know, hunting takes time, effort, skill, practice, patience and so many more things. Hunting as a mom takes all of these things times 10,000. Maybe not that much, but when you are living through it, it sure does feel that way.
I am a hunting mom. I have two young children and I started hunting before children (a time I like to refer to as B.C.). B.C., I hunted whenever I had time. I scouted hunting spots, I practiced, competed, and did indoor leagues in the off season. I went on hunting trips and I was well on my way to becoming an awesome hunter (at least to me). I then committed to starting a family and once that became a reality, everything changed. Please don’t misinterpret that statement; I am still the hunter that I always was and that I was striving to be, but life does change. It can be hard to see people on grand adventures, “living the life” on social media but please remember, even as a mom, you are still a hunter if you want to be. I want to touch on some points to remember.
You are Still a Hunter
You are still a hunter, but your hunting will not necessarily be what it used to be. Accept this – it is ok as long as you are happy. Do not look at what other people are doing and compare your life to theirs; you do not have the same life. Do not be offended if other people do not include you. Things have changed and you have changed. You are still a hunter but someone else may not see it that way or see you as the same way. I lost some hunting connections when I started a family and I made some new ones. All things happen for a reason.
You Need a Tribe
You must have support, “a tribe”. This takes many forms – your need friends to support you, to be happy for you, to encourage you and to go hunting with you. It helps if they also have a family, but it is not required. You also need support to help take care of your family while you continue to hunt and be the person you are. I hunt to provide for my family so my family helps support me. I have been in the woods pregnant; I have pumped for my babies while hunting. My husband (who does not hunt, by the way) rigged that pump up with battery packs and car charger so I could do what I needed to do while hunting. And I did it because I wanted to make it work.
Do What You Can
Do what you can. You have a family now and obviously that is important. For me to go hunting it takes a lot of pre-arrangement, a lot of planning. I have to make sure everyone is taken care of. If I am not able to make arrangements and make sure everyone is taken care of then I will change plans. Don’t let this make you unhappy, my family makes me happy. I will get a chance to hunt and that is all I need.
The saying “you do you” is the best way to sum this up. If you are a hunter, stay a hunter and do it the best way you can in a way that makes you happy. Accept change, accept happiness and do it with pride for who you are. One of my favorite things now is to go hunting and come home and have my children excited for me. To see them come running to me and say, “mom what did you get.” is fun. I remember I called home when I was on a hunting trip to check on things, because that’s what moms do, and my child got on the phone and said to me, “Did you get a deer yet mom?” I almost wanted to tear up. I hope one day that my kids will hunt with me, but I won’t push it. Until then, I shall carry on being a hunting mom.