by Alex 

There’s a progression of activities that lead to a successful hunt. Take scouting for example.

I really do want to be out scouting. Hiking the areas I want to hunt before the season opens. Looking for rub marks on the trees. Seeing where the deer are eating and bedding down. It’s definitely an important part of the hunt. Not to mention breaking in my boots and actually getting some exercise to be in shape for hunting season.

What I struggle with is when, not as in the time of year, but when am I, a working mother of 3, supposed to find time (and energy) to actually fit that into my life?

Why do I feel so guilty scheduling a day to be in the woods? Or planning a weekend here or there for hunting? I don’t often put my desires above the needs of my family. Maybe they would buy it if I said I was “doing it for them.”  A successful hunt would put food on the table and in the freezer.  Don’t get me wrong, there are other benefits too: I get exercise, I enjoy nature. These activities recharge me – that’s good for the family, right?

Hunting like any other pursuit takes time, practice and commitment. What I’m realizing is I actually need to prioritize hunting- Hunting is personal. I do it for me. And, there is nothing wrong with that. All too often I do things for the benefit of other people.

So, this year, here is my plan –

  1. Communicate with my family – let them know how important hunting is to me
  2. Set Boundaries – make time for myself.
  3. Prioritize Hunting – set a series of dates for scouting, shooting practice, and hunting
  4. Be Grateful – for any time I am able to spend preparing and actually hunting

It’s the brief moments of time in between carpools, volunteering at school, and managing kids sports that I make count when I can. I am getting better at it as the kids get older and are more self sufficient. I’m passionate about hunting, there’s no doubt about that. It is a heritage that I have brought to my family, in spite of my family and because of my family. I believe in conservation, food from the source, and communing with nature. So I’m choosing to align a piece of my time and energy for what I believe in.

Yes- I’m a busy woman; wife, mother, employee, volunteer and hunter-  and Yes- I need time for myself.

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