Were you, in your youth, a risk-taker? Before you became a mom, did steep hills on your mountain bike not faze you in the least? Did you actually jump out of a plane? Was adrenaline your friend? And did you, after having kids, drop all that? Are you all about attached to the ground safety now? Has your comfort zone become smaller and smaller? Maybe it’s time to break out of the classic mom mold and get in touch with your inner adrenaline junkie. It’s time to take a risk.
We are beings that spend serious amounts of time, thought and energy on safety. From the moment our children enter our lives, we create as safe as possible a world for them. That safety net extends to the whole family, and rightfully so. But in this desire for (the illusion of) absolute safety, have we forgotten how to take risks? Have you forgotten what it feels like to do something a bit scary, release some serious adrenaline — and feel wholly alive?
Moms are all about safety…right?
More than a few moms have dropped all adventure activity upon launching into parenting. While some would argue — and they are correct on many levels — that parenting is the greatest adventure and the greatest risk of all, more than a few moms have cut out more obviously physically risky activities on the basis of motherhood. You’re right that the higher risk of skydiving might not be worth it when there are babies at home, but does that mean you need to cut out all adventure and adrenaline inducing activity? Are you sure there’s not some activity you can do in relative safety that will allow you to get that lovely rush again? Indoor rock climbing? Trapeze school? Surfing? Something else?
Life is not without risk
Life is risk. Everything we do involves some level of risk. Yes, some risk is higher than others. You can feel pretty confident that your legs will hold your weight and you’ll get down the stairs to the coffee maker quickly and safely each morning — but getting up each morning is still a risk.
In addition, as examples to our kids, we need to show them how to take risks — physical, emotional, social, financial and more. Appropriate risk, of course. We need to teach them about balancing risk and reward — when taking a risk is worth it and when it’s not. The best way to do that is, of course, by example. By showing our kids the process of taking risks, including the facing the fear part, we teach them about appropriate risk taking. Moving from adventuresome to wholly risk averse is good for neither you nor your kids.
Get on that rollercoaster
The next time the opportunity presents itself, whether with your kids or with girlfriends, get on that rollercoaster, try that zip line or take that steep hill again (maybe more slowly and with more pads!). Take appropriate precautions, of course, and balance risk to reward — but take a risk in a way you haven’t since before you had children. It likely will be scary and exhilarating and thrilling and more and you’ll likely have a huge smile on your face in the end. It will be worth it.