Rock Climbing With a Baby on Your Back Is Inspirational Not Irresponsible

cliffsA woman in Wales has come under fire for going on rock climbing adventures with her toddler daughter strapped to her back. Pictures of Menna Pritchard, 26, scaling steep cliffs while wearing her 2-year-old daughter, Ffion, peering over her shoulder are amazing. But when the avid baby-wearer posted them online, some became outraged that she'd put her child in danger like that.

Personally I find her absolutely inspirational rather than irresponsible.

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I'm a pretty cautious parent when it comes to things like letting my children use a public restroom by themselves or ride their bike outside alone (I'll go with them anytime!), but when it comes to physical challenges, I push them to push themselves. I think the incredible example little Ffion's mother is setting for her to challenge oneself, explore, and push beyond one's comfort zone is amazing. It's something I wish I did more with my children. Sure there are always risks, but those are the risks that make life worth living. I'd rather visit the ER a few times if we must rather than have them be afraid to live life to its fullest. And it's never too young to start as far as I'm concerned.

Opponents of her active, extreme lifestyle while wearing her baby do have a point when it comes to the lack of helmet, however. In one picture Menna is seen wearing one, but her daughter isn't. She told the BBC it was 100 percent safe and she didn't need one, but others contend that it wasn't and that the site where she was is notorious for falling rocks. Even if it wasn't, a helmet can never hurt, and I wish she'd err on the side of caution when it comes to that. But as for the rock climbing and other adventures she undertakes while babywearing, I say go Menna, go.

Pritchard, a single mother, is an advocate for this kind of family exploration, and I hate that her good message has been sidetracked by the helmet issue, because while that's a mistake, she has a lot of good advice to offer too.

"My real passion is just getting people outdoors with their kids, and I wouldn't want to put anyone off," she told the BBC. "Being outdoors having a child can help you rediscover your sense of awe and wonder."

I agree. Just grab a helmet next time, please.

Would you go rock climbing while wearing your baby? What's the most dangerous physical feat you've attempted with your child in tow?


Image via AndyRobertsPhotos/Flickr

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