Interview with Wendy – single mom of 4, traveling, working, being organic, car free and much more

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When I heard of this single mom traveling with 3 kids, I was already intrigued. When I met her, I saw how amazing she was. Dealing with 3 kids under 6 (plus a teenager that was back home, so she has 4), traveling, renting a house in a different country, making friends, checking out the possibility to sell her natural products in Costa Rica, carrying a guitar along, disciplining her 3 children under 6 mindfully and recently having sold her car as a conscious decision to change, Wendy is pure inspiration.

I actually have developed an interest in watching the dynamics between other mothers and their children, how they manage their lives and I´m learning a lot with this. I love getting to know and spend time with such amazing women like Wendy. She works with plant medicines and as a freelance writer, as she describes it better herself on the interview. She also has a blog: Native Medicinals.

Wendy, you just spent 5 weeks in Costa Rica. What made you take off with 3 kids under 6?

I went to Puerto Viejo to explore the area as we are considering spending nine months or so there. I am a single mom and I choose to travel with my kids because I want them to explore diversity, language, and lifestyles outside of the United States.

How were your logistics? How did you move around with your kids?

We traveled around the local vicinity primarily on foot. For longer trips we traveled on the bus, which is quite convenient and affordable. We will have bicycles upon our return there.

Do you have any financial help?  How do you make money and how many hours a week do you work?

Financially, I am supported by my work. I study and teach classes and workshops on plant medicine. In addition, I make a salve that is effective at healing sunburn, coral bites, and cut and scrapes. It is all natural and great for kids. I also make a travel spray with essential plant oils. Inspire is anti-bacterial and can be used as a hand sanitizer, mouth spray, and deodorant. Both Healing Salve and Inspire are great for travel with kids. I make a wonderful rose water spray that is purely for enjoyment.

I do my work wherever I am. In addition to the plant medicines, I am also a freelance writer. I work about 20 hours per week.

You recently sold your car, how did you move around with your kids after that?  

In May of 2011 I made the conscious choice to sell my car. I live near Boulder, Colorado USA and we have a good bus system here so it is possible, but unpopular, to live without a car. I have found some difficulty in getting around, but friends are helping out and I am finding more community because of necessity. Neighbors have offered to pick things up from the store or give us ride to and fro. I am connecting with people I may not have otherwise met. In addition to polluting and consuming fossil fuels, cars support a model of isolation, that in the U.S., is quite prevalent. At this point I have no intention of going back to owning an automobile.

Do you get help with the kids to have some time on your own? Do you go out by yourself, or find time to date?

Creating time for myself is a challenge but quite necessary. I find I am more calm and centered and making good choices when I have ample time for my personal explorations. The kids are all school age now so they are in school from 9-1 Monday thru Friday. During that time I work and have some time to play. Building community wherever I am is key to having the necessary support as a single mom. I do trades with other mom’s for childcare. I’ll hire a sitter for a night out here and there.

It´s tough being the only one to provide an income and care, how do you manage stress?

I handle stress by focusing on the present moment. Sometimes the kids are so overwhelming I find myself freaking out. Having enough money and making it work as a single mom also stress me out. Transforming the anger and frustration into laughter and gratitude helps, but I am not perfect and this sometimes fails miserably. I try not to take my self and my problems too seriously. It is true what they say about laughter being the best medicine. I also practice meditation and yoga which support this practice. Spending copious amounts of time in Nature is very healing as well.

This article was originally posted on Tripping Mom by Marilia Di Cesare on August 29, 2011. Republished with authorization. Click here for all other posts.

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