Letting Go Of Mom Guilt with Rebecca from Hike Like a Woman 7


What an absolute thrill it is to have Rebecca  Walsh guest posting for us today! Rebecca is a crazy hiking Mom who hauls her two young children up and down mountains almost daily. She owns Just Trails, with her husband and writes trail guides in Southeastern Wyoming and Northern Colorado. Rebecca also runs the popular blog, Hike Like A Woman and is getting ready to launch two more projects, Moms Who Hike and The Great Adventures Podcast this fall.

Please warmly welcome Rebecca to NW Healthy Mama! 
Rebecca, William, Finn

If your Facebook feed has been anything like mine lately it’s been full of adorable preschoolers standing on the front porch of their perfectly manicured homes holding signs proving that they are indeed heading off to their first day of Pre-K.

For the second year in a row I’ve chosen to keep my 4 year old out of preschool.

I’m sure the socialization would do him some good, and I know that it’d be great if a professionally trained teacher were to help him learn to write his name. But he’s my little buddy, my friend. I love hanging out with him. I have one more year to have adventures with him before he’ll grab his pint sized backpack full of new school supplies and head off into the classroom.

As I was sorting through my feelings regarding preschool I was conflicted.

• Am I wrong to keep my child out of preschool?

• Is he really going to be ready for kindergarten?

• What have I become? Since when do I really care about these things anyway?

So I did what I usually do when I have a lot on my mind. I took my kids and headed to the mountains for a morning on the trails. We had a fantastic time, splashing in two different high alpine lakes and then hiking to a beautiful waterfall. 

But it wasn’t enough. I couldn’t get over my mixed feelings about preschool.

When I got home I plastered a photo of my child standing in a beautiful canyon on Instagram and wrote out exactly what I was feeling.

“Sometimes I wonder if I should put my 4-year-old in preschool. Am I selfish for wanting to keep him out of the classroom and in the mountains with me instead? Is he learning about plants and animals, the weather, our natural world and environmental stewardship when we hike together? Or should he be learning how to read, write and share toys with others instead?”

A good friend from high school chimed in with exactly what I needed to hear. 

“Tell Mom guilt to beat it,” she wrote.

There is so much truth in these six words.

Why do we, as mothers, feel guilty for the decisions that we make for our children? Aren’t we all just trying to do the very best that we can do for our families in the first place?

Why do we compare ourselves to others? Why on earth was I caring so much about preschool?

It’s time to put our phones down and step away from the Facebook feed and the staged Instagram photos. We need to look into the eyes of our children, give them a smile and a hug and release the Mom guilt.

I don’t have a photo of my child standing on by the front door ready to start preschool. But I do have a photo of my child standing in the canyon of a mountain. That’s just what’s best for my family, right now.

It’s hard to let go of the Mom guilt, the feeling that we’ll never be good enough or make the right decisions for our children. But deep down we know what’s best for each and every one of them, because we made them.

So go, take a hike Mom, and get rid of that guilt.Preschool ClassroomAbout Rebecca:

 Rebecca Walsh is a crazy hiking Mom who hauls her two young children up and down mountains almost daily. She owns Just Trails, with her husband and writes trail guides in Southeastern Wyoming and Northern Colorado. Rebecca also runs the popular blog, Hike Like A Woman and is getting ready to launch two more projects, Moms Who Hike and The Great Adventures Podcast this fall.

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About Angela Strand

Angela is a wife, mama to three little ones and a lifelong Washington State resident. Besides facilitating the NW Healthy Mama website, she loves being involved in her kids’ school, hiking with her girlfriends, growing all the things, writing, reading and taking photos.


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7 thoughts on “Letting Go Of Mom Guilt with Rebecca from Hike Like a Woman

  • Andrea Laughery

    Rebecca this is SO great and I appreciate your honesty and transparency and the feelings you have about this because SO MANY of us do! My son just turned 3, and I have no clue what to do with him. There is no handbook on what to do with this age. Ha. He’s crazy smart, we spend a lot of time together, and we play outside every day…but I was feeling that pull this year too. He’s a very shy and introverted child and I felt the socialization with other kids would be good for him. We are going once a week, as a parent-child preschool situation, and he’s really loving it. In summary, it’s always about doing what’s right for our kids and selves and not anyone else. High fives, mama!

    • Rebecca

      Thanks for your comment Andrea, I agree, it’s about doing what’s right for our kids and ourselves and having the courage to maybe do something a little bit different than everyone else.

  • Sally Kanehen

    this was so great! It’s definitely something I struggle with from time to time, and the perspective is perfect. Us as moms do know what’s best for our littles, and there is no one perfect way to do it! Also, you’ve inspired me to take my 3 boys on more hikes. Thank you!