My Old Hunting Life vs. My New Hunting Life

December 5th 2013 and December 16th,  2013... Only 11 days separate these two dates. Only 11 days between life as I knew it, and a life I couldn't imagine. On December 5th, I shot one of my largest whitetails to date, only 3 days before my painful pregnancy was suppose to come to an end. I remember sitting in the blind that day with my husband Cody by my side thinking, what a beautiful December day to be sitting in the blind. Also thinking, I'm not going to be one of "those moms" who would let having a baby get in the way of my passion for the outdoors.. No baby was going to slow me down. Boy. Was. I. Wrong.

Berkley Georgia Robbins- showing mom and dad the proper way to hang a trail camera. Berkley Georgia Robbins- showing mom and dad the proper way to hang a trail camera.

 

Berkley Georgia entered the world 10 days late.. None the less, it was love at first sight. I became obsessed with this little girl from the moment they placed her on my chest. The days and weeks at home following, my obsession became much deeper. I remember thinking to myself, I will never leave this child for anything. ANYTHING. And in my mind, that also meant to do any hunting. In fact, I began to wonder to myself, how did I even enjoy hunting or anything else for that matter? All that mattered in my world was my precious little girl.

Now I suppose these feelings are very much a good thing, and quite natural. Knowing that we had a hunting TV show to produce and I was very much involved in our company, I thought to myself, well Cody is just going to have to find another girl to be on the show with him. I found nothing wrong with this. As the weeks turned to months, I was content with staying home from hunting trips and trade shows to be with my little girl. I started to notice that I had barely seen my husband due to the fact, all of our time we had spent together in the last 6 years, had 90% been in a deer blind, crouched beside big mulie bucks, or enjoying a spring day in our bear cage. Still I found nothing wrong with this.

Berkley was now 6 months old and Cody informed me that him and I were going to be hunting bears the coming weekend. Not. A. Chance. Is what went through my mind. After lots of tears and sleepless nights, I left my baby girl in the care of my mom, and Cody and I headed up a few hours north to sit for bears. To be honest, the first night sit was a nightmare for me. I bawled the whole time and didn't enjoy the beautiful evening or the Bears that put on a show for us 20 yards outside our blind.

Mama Bear and baby- with Berkley's first shed. Mama Bear and baby- with Berkley's first shed.

 

Back home I was content back with my baby. I remember laying in bed two nights later thinking, maybe that night in the blind wasn't so bad.. And it was kind of a treat to spend some time with my husband alone. These feelings instantly made me feel ashamed of myself as a mother. I fought these feelings for days.

Later that week we went back up to our bear cage. I mentally talked myself thru the evening, and focused on enjoying the Bears, the weather and my time with my husband. It was that night I felt I was "re-bit" by the hunting bug. I knew how I felt about sharing my time between my passion/ career in the outdoors and my baby. I felt like I couldn't choose both and how people would judge me as a mother.

Since then, I have come to realize, there can be many 1st's in my life. There doesn't have to be seconds or thirds. I love my baby, my husband, and the passion that we hope to share with our daughter one day, all equally. And that is perfectly fine. I am the best mother, and wife I can be. I also have come to realize that I can also be the best I can be to myself as well. And that means not loosing myself in the biggest life change I have ever endured.

I am so happy I have been able to find and balance in what and who I love. To all the women out there that struggle with family, and your love and involvement in the outdoors, there is no right or wrong. To be the best mother you can be, be true to who you are as well.  If you loose sight of who "you" are as a person, I believe this will reflect in a mixed perception of who you are from your child's point of view. Be proud to raise your family in such an amazing sport. every time I am sitting in a deer blind or next to a big old mulie buck, or hundreds of miles away on top of a mountain, there are defiantly tears from missing her, but there are way more smiles on my face, imagining the day she will be able to join me on such an adventure.

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