Okay. Hey, this is Brenna Jeanneret from The ReWild Mama's podcast. And this week, so if you have been following along and listening to the podcast, you know that I always ask at the end of the episodes if you have input or feedback or you have an idea for the show or you wanna be on the show, any of that. I love to hear all of it. And a really good friend of mine, who I have known forever. She's one of my most favorite people in the whole world, talking about you Tiff. This episode’s for you. She mentioned to me that I, you know, I'm pretty extroverted. That’s part of why I started this podcast in the first place is because I was missing my friends, especially my mom-friends having a little guy in tow during this whole lockdown. I've been having a hard time with it. So the podcast was an idea I had to sort of build a virtual community for myself and also, you know, for other people out there who might also be missing that.
And my friend Tiffany pointed out to me that I'm an extrovert. But what about the other side of the coin? What about the introverts out there? Like my husband and my son. I have lots of friends who are introverts, and a lot of them, you know, are sort of breathing a sigh of relief right now because they don't have to interact with people all the time. Or maybe they're psyched because they're like, yes, Thanksgiving’s called off. Awesome. Like, I don't have to deal with that. So in an effort to be more inclusive because I haven't talked about that side of the coin because I don't have a lot of experience with that. I wanted to make sure that we touched on that, and I thought it was a great idea.
So my awesome friend Abby, who is also a Hike It Baby ambassador, has agreed to come on, and I was just telling her, the irony of asking an introvert to come on a podcast like this is not lost on me. So I just I want to make sure, Abby, that you feel like I am thanking you enough for coming on because I really appreciate you being so willing and giving us your input. So, thank you so much.
Oh, you're very welcome. And I'm just happy to do it. And I have a feeling because we have a lot of the same mom friends and they’ll be like, she's an introvert. Like what? Like that doesn't seem like her at all, but yeah, yeah, we're actually talking about that too.
Yeah. So, actually. So, Abby, why don't you just go ahead and introduce yourself and we can just start from there.
Okay. Um, I'm Abby Czachur as Brenna said. I am one, I should say now the Hike It, Baby ambassador for the Madison Wisconsin branch. Um, right now, we're not doing anything in person. So it's somewhat trying to connect online, which makes it hard to do, you know, with the hiking groups. So I've lived in Wisconsin. It will be four years this coming May, and I've got three kiddos. A soon to be 8 years old, 5, and the little guy’s two. And, yeah, we've been home a lot as much as everybody else. Yeah. It's not without its challenges, as everybody knows, but I guess my kind of perspective with this will be, a stay at home mom with three kids.
Yeah. Well, so on that note, has it been different for you than from friends of yours, who are seeking more community and more interaction, like physical interaction with people? Has it been different for you? Have you been sort of like I'm good? I'm fine.
Yeah. I mean, definitely. I just you know, when your whole routine and your schedule changes. I mean, there was definitely an adjustment period, but I think pretty early on, I felt pretty good not having to go. I'm not saying that there are not days where I'm just like we have to get out of the house because I'm going to go insane. Um, just, you know, like that hustle and bustle of just having to go places and see people and like doing it, you know, day in and day out just because that's what life was like before. Having to get people to school on time. I was going to a gym every day, which I immensely enjoyed. But if I didn’t have that one person that I knew, you know, you don't really want to talk to anybody else. I found that kind of hard. Now that we are eight months into this or whatever we're at now, um, kind of taking that step back and just being like this is a really nice breather.
Not that there are no hard parts or like there hasn't been challenging things with it, But just that lately, it's really nice not to have to do something we don't want to do. I don't mean that, in a bad way, like we don't have to be here at a certain time. We're doing, you know, and it works for us. Virtual school right now. We opted to stay with that when our district had changed. It's funny because now I just get kind of annoyed like, Oh, it's we have to get you on zoom like you have to go talk to people. I don't have to be there, but you still have to do that. But, you know, it's like its own freedoms.
Yeah, definitely. I know Abby through Hike It Baby. And so you have been an ambassador for Hike It Baby as long as I have lived here. I think you took a little break, and then you came back. So for you too, you know, be putting yourself out there and leading hikes and, sort of involving people. And you have to be the point person and to answer questions. I mean, you know, leading Hike It Baby hikes is not really that much pressure like it's a pretty easy thing to do. But for somebody who might not be into talking to people all the time or into being in groups of people, you know? How did that go for you? How did you make the decision to be a Hike It Baby ambassador?
The initial push was that we had just moved here. Other than meeting the neighbors a couple of times who are now really great friends. And I love dearly. I happen to find a card at a store. And I was like, Well, we'll just go try this out. We like to be outside and again, not knowing anybody. We just decided to go for our first hike, and I fell in love with it instantly because it was just, like, cool. You know, this is like-minded people that want to do this with their kids, and you could very quickly tell like it was like you said, low pressure, you know, you're just trying to get out. Which sometimes is an adventure on its own! No, but I very quickly fell in love with it, and, um new. It's something that I wanted to be more part of and it just seemed like the next step for me was to represent and be part of the branch. I should say, outside of just hosting hikes. And I just thought it would be something really fun to do when it got me involved in the community here in the Madison area. And I mean, I knew I'd be uncomfortable. I have to say, the first hike I actually hosted, I had horrible anxiety. You know, just to find myself I’m a very type-A I'm an anagram one, you know that person? I know that about myself and I accept it. I was so beyond nervous. I was not going to do something right. I was going to forget to ask people if they signed the waiver. You know, just all of these things and that just, you know, made me uncomfortable because I'm like, I don't wanna be like, Oh, did you sign the waiver? Oh, no, you didn't? You know, like and then having to have that conversation.
But, um, you know, it's harder. I have to say when There's a large group of families that show up and that's great. I'm happy. It's just, you know, the small talk is where I have a hard time, and that's what makes me nervous. And I know it's something I have to do, and I do it because I know the benefit of me being out with the kids and then having people to be with too outweighs that discomfort in myself.
Yeah, definitely. Yeah, it's funny you bring up the big hikes because so we live outside of Madison. And so to come into Madison was a little bit of a trek. But, you know, we would do it, but we didn't do it as much. And so I was used to like, you know, meeting up with one person, like the one person hosting the hike, and they're like, Oh, sweet, somebody came. You surprised me because they weren't expecting it. But a couple of times when I did trek into Madison, those big hikes that you're talking about like they’re big! There was one I went to, and it was...I can't remember the name of the park, but there was a playground. And then there was also, like, a nicely paved walking area. And it happened to be like the location was perfect. So everybody came there was probably like, I'm going to say, between 20 and 30 parents there with, you know, any number of kids, like we quickly lost track of everybody because it was like everybody swarmed. You had to line them up and be like Hey, this is what we're doing! You can hike there are there. And then everyone just scattered. It was insane. I've never seen that many people before. You're just like, Okay, I'm keeping track of what if somebody got hurt? Because there's just some responsibility, you know, hosting the hike. Not that you're responsible for it, but you know I mean, like, you're just making sure things are okay.
Right. And you would be the go-to person. Yeah. If somebody got hurt, it would be like, Okay, well, let's find Abby. She's the leader of this trip.
Yeah. Figured somebody fell behind and you lost, you know, like, not lost Lost. But like, somebody fell behind. You don't know where they are. You know you make sure they had a good time. The smaller ones. I tend to just be a little more at ease and, comfort level-wise than the larger ones again, just because it's socially exhausting. I just, need a day to go home and not do that again.
Yeah, you're just kind of...you mentioned it briefly, but it’s probably a really nice thing, because if you wanted to go hiking now, I mean, you do have a couple of older kids, so they've got their school and do whatever, but you could go hiking just on your own at your own pace. You know, get your guys together, go out for a hike like no big deal. You don't have to be in charge of anybody else except for them. So, it's probably a lot less mentally taxing. Do you feel like you've gone out more now because of that?
I'd say this summer. We were going out. Okay, let’s backtrack a little. Early on in the pandemic. I said to Brad, Brad is my husband, everybody, we have to get out of the house. I just need to be outside because it felt like we could go nowhere, you know? And we went on a weekend cause that's when dad could go with us. So we picked an Ice Age Trail segment, Um, Brooklyn Wildlife Area, and there were a lot more people out than I had realized because we were like, oh, those parking lots are really full, you know? And then finally, we were just like, Okay, we drove 30 minutes to get here, like, we'll just go out and we had a run-in with, um, another couple hiking with their dogs that were, um, off-leash That came up to us and, um, you know, just kind of nocked the kids over and everything. It was just it was very stressful because you're just like, Oh, we're not supposed to be near anybody. And we've seen so many people. I mean again, I have to say the vast majority of people are, I say, incredibly considerate of others hiking like I've been mostly impressed hiking with the kids, like, you know, whether you step off-trail or somebody else steps off for you. But, you know, people give space or you throw your mask on to pass each other. You know, that kind of a thing? I have to say overall, it's been great. It's just, you know, that one incident kind of scared me off for a while, which we’re pretty avid, hikers. I don't feel like this should do it, but it's just I got so freaked like, what if this happens if I take the kids by myself? So, we just kind of had I pulled back for a bit, and then, um, yeah, I'd say we got out fairly often over the summer. But since school just picked up, and Olly is, she's in four K. So that's virtual as well, we opted to the virtual for that. And, I have to say, some days we are very on top of it between the two. You want them to do their stuff. Other times, you are just like we should just play hookey! You need it. I need it.
I feel like there are probably so many families out there that are, like, Yes, me too! That's why the trails are so packed. People are like, whatever. We're just going to go, this is ridiculous.
A couple of weeks ago, it was one of the last warm days we had, that 70-degree weather we had at the beginning of the month and I was just like, guys, we're going to do Lion's Den and we're just gonna go. Mind you, it's like almost two hours for us to go over there, as you know, but it's so totally worth it. I felt a little unseasoned because I was like, Oh, we could be in shorts. And as soon as we got to the lake water, of course, everybody had to get wet. It was like everybody was freezing. And then, you know, Olly refused to put her shoes on. To walk back to the car at that point was like a mile. And I'm just like, I can't carry you, I've got your brother.
They were probably like oh, my gosh, what's happening? Like Mom, we're free! We're out of the house. We're gonna be insane. Like that's what happens.
I'm like you guys! ...you don't realize, your kids have forgotten, how to act out of the house. In a few interactions, we've had them out and they're, like, feral.
My son and my husband are both introverts, and the little guy will just...so he doesn't care about people anyway. He has no interest. He's like, I'm good. Like, I just wanna hang out with Mama and Daddy and Bop and Gram. I'm like, Okay, well, that's a very old circle for you to be hanging out in. But that's cool. So, actually, for him, I mean, this is perfect, because those are the people in our bubble. So those are the only people who can hang out with anyway, so it works out. But when we were telling him about the virus we sat him down and it was a semi-serious conversation. And he knows, we have to give other people space. If other kids show up at the playground, we leave. We have to put our masks on. We're always giving space on the trail. But, dude, if we are out somewhere normal, we've got our masks on we are just walking by someone, he will, throw himself up against the wall and just cower. Like oh, my God, don't let anybody touch me. Don't look at me. Don't talk to me! So it's good, but it's also so extreme. I'm like, have I ruined you for life? Like you're not ever gonna wanna get out of this bubble. Not talk to anybody?
My oldest just had her annual doctor's visit. And of course, it got rescheduled many times. I only had to take her, so that was an adventure on its own. But anyway, so you know the pediatrician in there, like trying to have a semi conversation. And we're talking about stuff and she is like, Hi, just like randomly in her mind. Wait, what? And she just keeps interjecting. I think there's one time I had to take her into the grocery. I'm like, Okay, here are the rules. Don't touch anything with the cart, don't talk to people and I was just trying to check out and it got super awkward! Oh, my gosh, you forget. Like how they're out of practice. It's true.
So Abby, with your two older girls, would you say they're extroverts or introverts?
Um, I will say, I think Leola is definitely, well, I have to say she could go either way. She's probably an extroverted introvert. More like myself. Okay, Yeah, there are definitely times where she has zero problems, you know, getting in there and like being around people. But there's, underlying stuff, whether she's, like, tired or hungry or, you know, like, whatever, like stuff. And then, she'll pull back. I see more so of like, um oh, my gosh, I have to say if she's singled out if she has to demonstrate something or you know what I mean? Like the center of attention, where the focus is on her. You just kind of hit that point like this is not fun anymore, right? I gotta, we gotta go.
Yeah. So Olly is a little more introverted, like, you know, we'll be like, Hey, we're gonna go out, and she's like, I'm cool, I'll just stay. Are you sure? She’ll see the neighbor kid out because they're in our social bubble. Um, we'll see them every day. And I was like, thank God for them because I think we would have gone crazy. She's got her one friend, and I think she's good. So, I mean, they both have expressed, like, we missed our hiking friends and, you know, our school friends and that kind of thing, but yeah, like her buddy across the street is her person. And I think she would be totally okay.
Well, that's good. What about Simon and Brad? I mean, Simon might be too little to tell. I mean, I could tell with our little guy, like, right away, he's always just been like, I'm good, but I don't know. Can you tell?
I feel like he's pretty go-with-the-flow. He loves to do whatever they're doing so. Yeah, anything. He was wearing hair bows because Olly had to have hair bows in. And so, yeah, he's pretty much in the mix of whatever is going on, but it's kind of funny. He's got his little buddy. It's one of the neighbor kiddos as well. They’re about a year apart. And they're like two peas in a pod the two of them. Just, like go off and just play outside. And awesome. Simon follows him around, and they're just content just hanging. It's like, Okay, the boys are off we'll see him later. Brad, is definitely an introvert. Yeah, like, um, he does not enjoy crowds or social situations outside of small things. I have a fond memory of taking him to a concert once, and he pretty much wanted the ground to swallow him up and take him away. He just did not. It was not fun for him.
Jean is an introvert, but not to that extent. I think he would...he'll come out to things with me, but he would just prefer to be at home and with his own stuff or whatever or out in the middle of nowhere, climbing. I prefer that too, but also as parents now it's become, you know, watching your kids grow up is like, I mean, it's a crazy thing anyway, but watching them sort of, like take on certain traits and not take on other traits. Jean will say to me all the time, he's like, I really hope, you know, he's not as introverted as I am like he's not as like, capable to be without people as I am because he worries because he's like, well, you know, I think it's good to have friends and a social network and community and whatever. It could very well be a phase. It could be partly the virus. It could be a whole bunch of things like he just might not be social yet or he could just be watching the scene and taking it all in and then when he feels confident, he knows what to do. And he's seen it before, and then he wants to be a part of it.
My sister's son is way on the other end. So she was talking to us about it and she's like, man he really misses kids. And I was like, Really? Because he's a year and a half, roughly a year and a half a little bit younger. So I'm like, Really? I'm like, How can you tell? And she's like, well, every morning, he slams up against the window and peers outside at the park with all these other kids playing. And he's just like, staring like really wants to get out there and like, oh my gosh, like I've never seen that behavior in my own son, like not even close. So, like that kid, definitely. You can tell like he's going to need, you know, some social interaction. He needs some friends and some little kids.
I was just thinking oh my gosh, like social interaction. Reentry is gonna be so hard because I'm just thinking of, like, teachers, you know, like parent-teacher conferences and that kind of thing when they describe her oh, she's so good. And she's so enthusiastic but it was just like every time I'd get here at home I had this very grumpy, overtired child. That's like screaming or crying and I realized I'm like, it's exhausting it tiring. And I had read something. I know. I'm sure friends that listen will be like you've said this before. But you're their safe space, like, you know. So for her to, like, have the fallout with me, even though I'm just, like, what is going on? Like, why are you doing this to me? And only, uh, you know when you think, like, okay, you have to spend all day being good and listening, you know, and being nice and friendly and you know, that’s kind of tiring. And I'm like, that's exhausting to be a people person in a little body.
Yeah, it's true. I've been reading a lot of books that talk about that too. That's why you know, they wait all day long, to have the meltdown with you because they feel safe. So it's like, Oh, man, heard how great you were and how polite and sweet and now there’s this tiny dragon erupting in my living room. What is going on?
Yeah, you wanted a snack and I guess I got you the wrong color cup.
Yeah, right. You picked up the plate and threw it across the wall or threw it across the room. I feel like it's so good to read that stuff and to talk about it and to hear it. And then in the moment, I'm in it I totally, lose any sort of logical thinking, and I'm just like, why are you doing this?
I know I've said to the teachers are you sure? Like, this is the kid?
So, when this is all over, do you think anything will change for you guys? I mean, not in terms of COVID. I mean, going back to normal life in terms of feeling anxiety or like you don't want to be involved. Do you think re-entry will be more difficult for you or do you think you'll be ready?
I think it will be difficult. I'm not saying not anybody else has had a very difficult year. Just like family-wise, I've lost both of my parents this year and it’s been a lot. It's still obviously dealing with that, and again in the grand scheme of things, I feel almost thankful for the breather in life. You know that's the best way I could. Just like we're never probably ever going to get an opportunity to just really slow down. And I know this is just kind of the way our little life bubble is working, but, like, not having to do anything that we don't want to...like, I'm pushing almost a year with all three of my kids at home with me. I'm probably never going to get this again. So I've been trying to just kind of take that and be like, OK, this is kind of cool, Like, you know, we've been able to be together, and that's kind of neat. I think I'm just gonna, I don't know like I think about it. It's gonna be so weird to just fall back into that schedule where we're, like, go, go, go all the time. Or it feels that way at least. Are we going to be more cognizant of like Okay, No, we just need to set aside, like, more specific you or restful to recharge or, you know, like even with Brad, like he was traveling quite often before. He's in entertainment. He doesn't entertain. He builds entertainment. Sorry. Like family entertainment. There you go. Just having him around has been an adjustment too because every couple of weeks he'd be off somewhere for a week to 10 days or more. Then he'd be back. And I always tell him the first three days you're gone like day three is like the absolute worst for us because, you know, we have to readjust and then we’re, like, cool. The four of us find our groove and we're good. And when dad comes back and reentry is tough. This is like that but bigger. Much bigger than that, right?
Yeah...because I know a lot of parents have thought about this, um, with doing, you know, zoom and online school and at home. Like, have you considered keeping them home with you? Or do you feel like, you know, like I'm ready. Like everybody. Like everybody's ready. Go back to school.
I think when we feel comfortable, they're ready. They want to. Leola especially because she's already had that, like, school experience. Like she loved going to school. She very much enjoyed being there. Um, you know, I'm seeing her friends and that kind of thing. Olly kind of got shafted for lack of a better term. You know, her first experience of school was at home with mom and mom is not really that great of a teacher. It's hard. I don't have time to pull out beads and make pumpkins right now. You're trying to run tech for one or help turn in an assignment, and the little guy is screaming. You're just like, I'm sorry. We can't do a craft right now.
...hopefully and really trying to stay optimistic about it that she does get to at least experience 4K before the school year is over. She knows who her teacher is and she was very excited to go to the same school at Leola went to and had the same teacher. So I mean, she's familiar with her. So I'm hoping if she gets to go in person, then that will be not too hard of an adjustment for her. I think we'll be able to just kind of slide back in cause she already knows her. At least I think she'll be able to kind of slip back in relatively easy where it won't be like a brand new experience for all of us.
I feel like kids are so they're so flexible at this age that you know a re-entry for them. I mean, there will be bumps, but it's not gonna be as difficult. I feel like adults are much more rigid, you know? Okay, um, so, like for you, specifically, what do you feel like would be helpful in terms of, you know, like making the re-entry more smooth. Like, Do you feel like leading Hike It Baby hikes again would help with that or starting small? Or what do you think?
I think it would have to be small. Dealing with the three little people, I think not to overload myself because I tend to do that. That's just how I am. And then I'm like, Oh, we have to pull back. And then I'm just like, pull way back, you know, like, we're feeling good again. Let's do this. Um, I think, yeah. Starting small. Um, you know, maybe less frequently, you know, to start, and then just see how it goes, because I think we're all kind of going to be there. Um, I think the big thing for me and I've realized it more in the last several months is, I have to listen to myself a little bit more as far as giving myself time, to recharge, and giving myself more alone time to hike. I found that very, very helpful in the spring. I feel like it sounds so bad when I say like schools kind of a break for me, but like we had our own little like things going, but I didn't realize those, like, built-in breathers were there until they weren't I guess. That's a better way of saying it like my built-in breathers were there until I didn't have them anymore. Um, so I've been trying to be better, as far as asking when I need something because I tend to not do that. That was the mom role. You know, you don't always do that, but I have to say like just getting out on a hike by myself has been such a big help in the last several months. And I've had the itch again to just like I need to just spend a couple of hours with not anybody like needing me or like yelling my name or like, clinging to my leg.
Yeah, definitely. I feel like that's such great insight for the audience. You know, that listens to this podcast because, you know, so many of us find that breather when we're outside, and like for me, I like to do it with other people. I also really enjoy hiking by myself, though. And I did it just like a couple of weeks ago for the first time, probably since he was born. And I was like, oh, I forgot how fast I can go, I'm so fast, look at how fast I am! Anybody want to raise me? I was like, this is insane because usually a toddler hike, like most of it, is just standing there. So it's not. Actually, it's a misnomer guys. Yeah, anyone listening, it's a misnomer if you're actually going for a hike with a kid like it's not happening. You’re just standing there.
Yeah, it was the day after my mom had passed and I was still in Cincinnati. I told my sister I just need to go have a mourning by myself. Like, you know, she's like, I totally get it, just go. And I ended up doing just over five miles of the Cincinnati Nature Center, and I was surprised at how fast I was. I was only out there that long. I thought I was gone for...And I was like when I looked at how far I had gone, I was like, oh, I didn't feel like I had done that much. So just like crisscrossing around and I find like, Oh, that looks interesting. So I kind of go that way and, you know, and I was just like, Oh, this is really nice. And I was, like, alone and it was fabulous.
Yeah, I think I think that's the other part of it. Like not only getting out by yourself like to be outside on your own, because so many of us are trapped, you know, or not trapped because, of course, you know, we all love our families. But when there are so many limitations and so many restrictions, it starts to feel a little claustrophobic. You know how that feels. You just feel like you need to get out. And I feel like being outside on your own is huge and also what you said, Abby, like, for me anyway. And I think a lot of people listening, being outside and on my own is one thing. But I really need, like to feel satisfied. It needs to be challenging like it needs to be kind of difficult. I need to feel like I've done something right like you've accomplished something. So yeah, I don't know what I'm getting at here but, you know, for anybody who is worried about the reentry or maybe if you do have some anxiety about hanging out with people in large groups and you're working to get over it. I feel like Abby, you had a lot of really good insights on the episode today about good ways to deal with that. Like, you know, make sure that it's challenging without a challenge it's empty. It doesn't really mean too much. It's just like parenting kids if you don't give them a little bit of slack to figure out on their own that falling off the chair and bonking your head is not a good idea they're not going to figure out on their own. So it's having the confidence to know these things or to have the experience to be able to do them and to do more and more and more and know what your body is actually capable of. So I don't know. Yeah, I think those were great insights, Abby. Thank you so much.
Well, if if you've been listening to the whole episode, thank you so much for joining us. Thank you, Abby, for coming on. You are awesome. And if you have any suggestions about other upcoming shows or topics you'd like me to discuss please email me at TheReWildMamas@gmail.com or you can also find me on my website at BrennaJeanneret.com And tell your friends about the podcast. Share it wherever can get the word out. And thanks so much for listening everybody we’ll see you again in a couple of weeks.