Hitting the road

Hitting the road

Imagine yourself as a mother carrying a young baby and trekking with a group of like-minded adventurous people. Breaking barriers and cliched assumptions about young mothers is ‘Trek It Out’, a group of young mothers in the city, which loves mixing adventure with motherhood and intends to send out strong messages of how the arrival of a young one is actually a window to new experiences in life.

Life changes by leaps and bounds with the arrival of a bundle of joy in one’s house.

Young mothers are flooded with questions and advice which often limits their chances of taking up interesting challenges. This is where this club sends out messages of stepping out in the sun with one’s young child, climbing mountains and satiating the adventurous spirit within.

Ridhima Goel, founder of the group, recollects how she was an outdoor person and loved trekking but as soon as she got pregnant, she was advised to take it slow and change her lifestyle.

“Once Eesha was born, I was advised to stay indoors. When it came to the question of stepping out for work or leisure, it was always assumed that mothers should do so only after their child is of a certain age, so that they have their own ‘independence’,” says Ridhima.

Despite support groups which spoke about issues connected to mothers like babywearing to cloth-diapering, Ridhima felt the urge to create a space which encouraged more outdoor fun for mothers, while clearing their inhibitions. “Thus started this informal group, which set out for marathons, flash mobs, day outings, nature walks and more with other groups, and slowly created its own space,” she says.

Ridhima says that clearing apprehensions is the main goal of the group. “When we planned the Chikkamagaluru trip and trekked the challenging Mullayanagiri Hill, though some of us did have our own doubts, it turned out to be a life-changing experience,” she details.

Going out for treks and intense outdoor activities also helps strengthen the bond between the mother and the child, says Sunitha Aneel, a homemaker. Sunitha, mother of Aayush, says, “It was nice to see him all excited and learning new things. This was my first-ever trek in life. It was interesting to be so close to nature, with my child out there,” she says. She points out that Aayush was a shy child and it was wonderful to see him bond with other children.

The activities within the group make one feel empowered, stronger and more determined, vouches Niveditha T S, a homemaker. “During the trek, the route was steep and for a minute I thought of backing out. But the other mothers encouraged each other and before we knew it, we were on the top. It felt good to know that I was capable of doing things beyond what I had ever imagined,” she says.

She adds that now she is looking out for new challenges and things to work on. “I’m thinking of starting a business and doing some freelancing after being a part of this group. It has helped me push my limits,” says Niveditha.

The group has proven to be a wonderful space to meet different ‘supermoms’ who have their own success formulae, says Reshma Rakesh, an HR professional and mother of Pritwin. “Most of us have our own challenges but to see how others have made it till here was a delight in itself. It is all about breaking myths and how to interact with one’s own children,” she says.

Reshma adds that the group “has been a confidence booster for everyone and has been an encyclopedia of knowledge.” “Trekking with children is assumed to be difficult, but we are out to prove that nothing is impossible. It was challenging but a lot of fun as well and that’s how we like to keep it,” says Reshma.

Despite there being groups which plan meetings at cafes or child-friendly places, something as adventurous as this was very important to understand life goals, says Srividhya N, a social learning specialist.

“Apart from being a chatting and activity session, the trek helped boost my confidence and see my daughter Laya’s social skills getting enhanced. I never felt the pressure of watching over my child too, as everyone stepped in,” she says. Srividhya adds that the group has also been a great space to talk about relationship hurdles and gather tips on the same.

Jayasmitha Dutta, a business excellence lead and mother of Anokhi, says that the group is a great social space to communicate strong messages. “The trek was a great platform to tell other mothers that one’s child isn’t a limiting factor; rather, it’s an enabler. It was about proving to people that one can dream as big as they like and achieve any target in life. Children are great teachers too and this trip also taught each one of us that,” she says. Going out with a diverse group always helps in expanding one’s horizon to different things. “Your soft skills always get highlighted when interacting with different people,” says Jayasmitha.

The group is going to grow by the day, vouches Ridhima. “We are planning different activities and we want to continue spreading this spirit of enthusiasm,” she says.

Tini Sara Anien
(Ridhima can be reached at ridhimagoel@gmail.com)

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