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Bear168
07-27-2012, 20:07
Ok Question of the day! For me it's been the question of a few months.

Is it selfish and irresponsiblefor a dad of twin two year olds to take a 6 month hike. I retire in Feb of 2014 and was planning on athurhike. Will be 50 when (if)I start. So at the same time don't want to wait to long. But was blessed with two of the most precious gifts from god. ( JohnJr and Thomas). My wife is supporting the hike and pushing for me to do it, so it's not her that is saying it's selfish and irresponsible. Opinions !

hikerboy57
07-27-2012, 20:17
Noone knows the answer better than you.
and him.
ask him.

johnnybgood
07-27-2012, 20:20
Your wifes' the only one that really matters. If she weren't supportive then you might have to reconsider.

mattusmc
07-27-2012, 20:22
I think if it is something you plan, then go for it and see how it goes. You may make it and you may come off after a few weeks. You will definitely need support from your wife. As long as she supports you, then you can stay longer and enjoy the trail. Remember it is the journey not the destination. Enjoy the time you have on the trail as it will be some of the be memories you will ever have good and bad. Your wife being supportive is going to motivate you to make the right choice. But, it is not selfish or irresponsible to reach a goal. People who think so are jealous you have the balls to do it!

10-K
07-27-2012, 20:23
Noone knows the answer better than you.
and him.
ask him.

Should be ok as long as he takes is SILWF....

10-K
07-27-2012, 20:24
If you're retiring at 54 I'm going to assume you've got your finances in order. Check with your wife and if you can work it out why not? You can always get off the trail.

hikerboy57
07-27-2012, 20:29
Should be ok as long as he takes is SILWF....

I knew you would provide the correct answer.:)
however you were not the he I had in mind.
damn my lack of proper capitalization.

Supreme Being
07-27-2012, 20:32
You have an amazing wife, sir! I have to agree with you. There may never be a better time until they are much older. At this age, your sons may not miss you quite as much as they would when they are older. You also are not yet involved in another career or job. However, you must prepare yourself to get off the trail should your wife decide that she really needs your help. That would be the deal breaker.

dink
07-27-2012, 20:37
As long as the spouse is OK with it, it's good...2 year olds are not going to care much either way. Now if the kids were older they would give you a hard time to "me too" hike. My 5 year old grandson always wants to come with me but the 2 year old just says "too long to walk, carry me"!! Enjoy the walk...plan for a repeat when the kids are old enough to join you too!! :)

Don H
07-27-2012, 21:07
I thrued last year at age 53, retired, with a wife and two kids aged 14 and 19. I'll tell you it was hard on everybody. But everyone was proud of me and very happy that I finished.

It will be tough to go that long without seeing the wife and kids. Of course being from NJ you'll be close enough to get off the trail for a visit. I did that, took a week off and came home. Leaving again was the hardest thing for me, it would have been easier just staying on the trail. I thought about quitting every day but I'm too stubborn.

You should read AWOL on the Appalachian Trail. Author David Miller had a wife and kids when he thrued.

If you don't mind me asking, what did you do before retiring?

Papa D
07-27-2012, 21:15
My wife and one daughter (age 6) are great supporters of my hiking - they regularly send me off on two and three week ventures. I can do between 200 and 400 miles on the AT given three weeks and right now (just finished a 170 mile hike) that's enough for me (at least for now) - - I have lots to tell my family about, I get to live the life for a few weeks and then hang out with my kid. I'd suggest that you go on a few 2 week trips and see how YOU feel - - my guess is that in the first week you'll feel liberated and it will continue into the second week. By the end of the second week, you'll miss your family - - if you push it into week three, you'll miss your kids and you'll make the choice to head home.

I plan on doing another AT thru-hike - - probably when my daughter is about 11 or 12 when she can join me in the summer on and off for a couple of weeks - - I've got about 5-6 years until that happens - until then 2-3 week trips are really nice - you'll be surprised how much you can get done in that time : I end to ended the Long Trail (for example) when my daughter was 4 yrs old - super fun - 275 miles - but I was happy to get home - my longest trip as a Dad was a 360 mile (near run) Roans through southern VA - Carvers Gap to VA 43 - last year. .... (how many guys get to do that - I'm lucky)

WingedMonkey
07-27-2012, 21:18
Are you serious?

You waited 'till you were almost 50 to have a family and now you want to go on vacation? You will be almost 70 when they get out of high school.

Did you ask us if you should have kids?

Why would you ask us if you should go hiking?

Your wife just want's you to get out of the way.

All of my previous reply have been that a parent can leave a child to go hiking based on me being born on a military base, but you seem to think children are like hiking...just a hobby.

:sun

Lone Wolf
07-27-2012, 21:22
Ok Question of the day! For me it's been the question of a few months.

Is it selfish and irresponsiblefor a dad of twin two year olds to take a 6 month hike. I retire in Feb of 2014 and was planning on athurhike. Will be 50 when (if)I start. So at the same time don't want to wait to long. But was blessed with two of the most precious gifts from god. ( JohnJr and Thomas). My wife is supporting the hike and pushing for me to do it, so it's not her that is saying it's selfish and irresponsible. Opinions !


selfish? yeah. no brainer. stay home til they're out of the nest.

Papa D
07-27-2012, 21:27
We made the decision to have ONE kid not only to spoil her (lots of travel, good school, personal attention, etc.) but to spoil ourselves - - for me, it's long distance hiking, rock climbing, and river trips, for my wife, it's her workout regiment and travel - - I'm not sure what to say about twins - - hike your own hike sort of equates to live your own life, but I can say for sure that having one kid gives us a lot more freedom than our 2-kid parent peers

Sailing_Faith
07-27-2012, 21:29
Do it.

You will leave your children a gift if they grow up with the example of your following your dreams.

WingedMonkey
07-27-2012, 21:30
Are you serious?

You waited 'till you were almost 50 to have a family and now you want to go on vacation? You will be almost 70 when they get out of high school.

Did you ask us if you should have kids?

Why would you ask us if you should go hiking?

Your wife just want's you to get out of the way.

All of my previous reply have been that a parent can leave a child to go hiking based on me being born on a military base, but you seem to think children are like hiking...just a hobby.

:sun

Do I need to add that my lesson was made to the OP,and his post?

max patch
07-27-2012, 21:35
You're a section hiker for the next 16 years.

coppertex
07-27-2012, 21:43
I find the responses to question interesting. When a woman asks this questions, the replies are much more negative.

Papa D
07-27-2012, 21:47
I find the responses to question interesting. When a woman asks this questions, the replies are much more negative.

really - I haven't seen a thread with a woman asking this question, so I don't know - - I know that when I'm not in the woods or working, I'm more than happy to be "Mr. Mom" while my wife goes out and plays.

hikerboy57
07-27-2012, 22:00
I find the responses to question interesting. When a woman asks this questions, the replies are much more negative.

I don't remember any thread with a woman asking this question either. most of the time the guys get slammed for thinking about leaving their wife and kids. every case is different and this is unique circumstances. we can tell him what to do his heart will g

Rain Man
07-27-2012, 23:13
I find the responses to question interesting. When a woman asks this questions, the replies are much more negative.

I have observed the same thing, yes.

Personally, if the OP indeed has the support of his wife, I say go for it. Six months goes by in the blink of an eye. I know. I have sent TWO daughters overseas for a year each as high school foreign exchange students. Would not have robbed them of the experience for anything.

Besides, as others have pointed out, he can abort the hike (unlike men who leave on military tours) or he can visit the family or they can visit him.

Go for it, yes.

Rain:sunMan

.

chief
07-27-2012, 23:19
When your wife is outwardly supportive of your fun times, especially those that take you away from home for extended periods, BE VERY AFRAID! In the end, you will pay.

Sailing_Faith
07-27-2012, 23:35
When your wife is outwardly supportive of your fun times, especially those that take you away from home for extended periods, BE VERY AFRAID! In the end, you will pay.

Rather sad thought.


A thread I tried to start some time ago (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?81022-The-people-in-your-universe) comes to mind... still not sure how to express it.

Big Dawg
07-27-2012, 23:40
Go for it!!!

shelb
07-27-2012, 23:53
Six months in the life of a two year old is 25 % of their existence! While your wife may be supportive, once she is a single parent for night after night/day after day, it starts to get old. (Believe me, I supported my husband when he took over as Scoutmaster to take our oldest camping...one weekend a month, two weeks a summer. I also supported his new hobby - Civil War reenacting -again, with our older son. However, after I realized he was gone a minimum of 2 weekends each month, plus extra days of every week (and the two solid weeks of the summer), taking care of our youngest two, who were still in diapers, became very old. I finally told him he could only be absent 35 over-nights a year.)

Back to your case, if you do the hike, I suggest you take a week to go home once a month. During that week, you do EVERYTHING in the home (ALL cooking, child-care, cleaning, etc.). Not only would you be giving your wife a well-deserved break, you would be around your kids...who need you...

Bear168
07-28-2012, 00:17
FYI. We did not wait by choice but it was what dealt us and we have no regrets! Just because im older does mean i cant make a good father. If I thought they were a hobby as you put it, I would not be fighting within myself on doing the hike. The wife knows that it's been a dream and is willing to let me do it as a retirement gift. As for the military thing did 18 years between active and reserves so I know that life style. Not asking for permission to go just for others thoughts. I'm still trying to figure out what your lesson was other then you have nothing nice to say and assume a lot.

Bear168
07-28-2012, 00:23
Last post is for wingedmonkey. Thank you everyone else for your responses

Feral Bill
07-28-2012, 00:45
50 is far from old. If you are going to be kicking yourself for your decision either way, I'd suggest putting off the trip until the twins can at least understand where Dad is. Better still, wait until they can join you for parts of the journey.

freckles
07-28-2012, 00:58
If your wife is supportive, I say go for it.

But then she gets to go on a six month vacation to the Bahamas. ;)

Bronk
07-28-2012, 02:20
Yes. Selfish. Irresponsible. But you really didn't come here to have people tell you that. You already know it to be true. You came here looking for people to encourage you to do what you want to do, not what is responsible. Its sort of like the people who say "I prayed about it and this is what God wants me to do." Its always funny how God wants people to do what they already decided they wanted to do to begin with. You'll probably not be surprised to find out that there are many people here who will encourage you to abandon your family for 6 months to go on a vacation. There are some here who did exactly that, and encouraging others to do it too somehow justifies in their mind their own hike. Kind of like a woman who dumps her kids at a daycare and then criticizes stay at home mothers for being too lazy to work.

Post this same question on a forum for mothers of young children and see what kind of response you get.

You've had 32 years of adulthood to have your fun. Now you have kids. Guess what? You took your retirement in the beginning and now you're going to spend the last years of your life raising your kids. And that's not a criticism...might be a better way to do it.

rickb
07-28-2012, 05:45
So your kids are 6 months old now and will turn 2 when you'd start the Trail?

Geesh.

OzJacko
07-28-2012, 06:02
If you are keen and your wife is supportive, by all means go.
HOWEVER just be prepared for far more off trail pressure on you to quit early.
No matter how well meaning your wife is with her support, there will be times the child/ren/her are sick, sad or injured during 6 months.
6 months is a LONG time.
All of you will have mood swings.
Hiking for that long is NOT FUN everyday! You just need a child with a temp when you are on the 4th day in a row with rain and bingo! - You're off trail.
I would suggest by all means go but don't be surprised if you're off trail by the end of Virginia and do not be disappointed with this.
You can complete it in other years.
But the only thing you should listen to is your wife and your own heart.

Kryptonite
07-28-2012, 06:47
I do not believe that you are generally "selfish and irresponsible" or you would not be asking this question. My first reaction was that you have a heck of a good wife! My second reaction was, "go for it!" if your wife was OK with it. I then read the responses and started thinking about this more.

Does your wife work outside the home? If she does - I think it would be very hard on her to do both. With my teaching degree, I had to take several Early Childhood Education classes. The brains of babies at 0-4 change more at that age than any other age. If your twins are stuck in daycare rather than having a dad providing a lot of stimuli on a daily basis - it would make a big difference. Most of the time, parents have absolutely no choice though.

If this was reversed and we were asked by your wife about leaving 2-yr old twins with YOU, I think many of us would be horrified that a mother would do this. It's a New Day and Dad's are so much more involved in their kids' lives now.

Just because your wife is cool with this doesn't mean that it wouldn't be absolutely exhausting for her. I know that you really want to do this, but perhaps it would be better if you hiked the AT in 3 or 4 sections where you were only gone 1-2 months each year? If you do plan on going back to work, I would suggest a long section hike for a few months and then shorter sections as you have time.

kayak karl
07-28-2012, 06:58
Six months in the life of a two year old is 25 % of their existence! While your wife may be supportive, once she is a single parent for night after night/day after day, it starts to get old. (Believe me, I supported my husband when he took over as Scoutmaster to take our oldest camping...one weekend a month, two weeks a summer. I also supported his new hobby - Civil War reenacting -again, with our older son. However, after I realized he was gone a minimum of 2 weekends a year, plus extra days of the week (and the two solid weeks of the summer), taking care of our youngest two, who were still in diapers, became very old. I finally told him he could only be absent 35 over-nights a year.) Back to your case, if you do the hike, I suggest you take a week to go home once a month. During that week, you do EVERYTHING in the home (ALL cooking, child-care, cleaning, etc.). Not only would you be giving your wife a well-deserved break, you would be around your kids...who need you (that is, if you are a good father...).

i like this answer :) wish you got more with a "i've been there" attitude.

if you leave and find you miss your family or you hear something in your wife's voice, go home. i wouldn't call this quitting. i'd call it loving your family :)

rocketsocks
07-28-2012, 07:14
i like this answer :) wish you got more with a "i've been there" attitude.

if you leave and find you miss your family or you hear something in your wife's voice, go home. i wouldn't call this quitting. i'd call it loving your family :)I agree, not a big deal, if you have to leave the trail, for whatever reason...you go, maybe you come back maybe you don't, who cares, all those decisions are between you and your wife. Have a great hike if you decide to go :)

Marta
07-28-2012, 08:06
Besides your wife's input, you might seek input from the children. You might be surprised at how much two year olds resemble real people in having feelings, opinions, wants, and needs. ;-) While it is certainly possible for you to leave them for six months, this is one of the periods in a child's life when they will care most about having you around. Kids that age don't have much going on in their lives except being with their close family. It would be very hard to walk away from that.

WingedMonkey
07-28-2012, 08:39
Last post is for wingedmonkey. Thank you everyone else for your responses


Is it selfish and irresponsiblefor a dad of twin two year olds to take a 6 month hike

Did you read your own question? Why would you ask for opinions if you only want a cheer squad?

BobTheBuilder
07-28-2012, 08:46
Come on, man!

You know that the answer is "No", so you guilt your wife into saying she doesn't mind, then you come on to a hiking forum to ask for peer approval. Are you surprised that you found a lot of people supporting your preference? Kind of like an alcoholic asking the liquor store owner if he should buy another bottle of booze. If you want to be an inspiration to your kids, try sticking around and being their dad.

max patch
07-28-2012, 08:50
Last post is for wingedmonkey. Thank you everyone else for your responses

Monkey just said what you didn't want to hear. Don't shoot the messenger.

Papa D
07-28-2012, 09:10
I think that you would completely scratch the itch you want to scratch by hiking a shorter trail and taking a one-month hike - - consider the Colorado Trail (475m), The Long Trail(276m), The John Muir Trail(211m), The Benton MacKaye(300m) - - all of these are fantastic, scenic, and frankly have very few dull sections (the AT is wonderful but there are quite a bit of necessary dull sections that are necessary to complete the corridor).
Hiking one of these trails would make you happy and your family would be just fine for a few weeks - - they might even be able to meet you at a halfway point, help with re-supply, etc.
I think this is a great idea for you.

Cookerhiker
07-28-2012, 09:16
Six continuous months is a long time (1) for your wife to raise twins by herself, and (2) for you to be away from kids when they're so young. I think it will be hard on both of you more than you realize.

Can you break the hike up, say in 2 month increments with breaks in-between? Does it have to be a continuous S-N thruhike? Are you open to flipflopping? How about hiking April & May in the South, July & August in New England, October & November in the mid-Atlantic?

Pedaling Fool
07-28-2012, 09:18
Ok Question of the day! For me it's been the question of a few months.

Is it selfish and irresponsiblefor a dad of twin two year olds to take a 6 month hike. I retire in Feb of 2014 and was planning on athurhike. Will be 50 when (if)I start. So at the same time don't want to wait to long. But was blessed with two of the most precious gifts from god. ( JohnJr and Thomas). My wife is supporting the hike and pushing for me to do it, so it's not her that is saying it's selfish and irresponsible. Opinions !
Selfish and Irresponsible are two completely different things. Yes, you are selfish for wanting to do a thru-hike. But it doesn't seem to be irresposible, judging by your post, unless of course you're leaving some bit of info out.

Papa D
07-28-2012, 09:20
Six continuous months is a long time (1) for your wife to raise twins by herself, and (2) for you to be away from kids when they're so young. I think it will be hard on both of you more than you realize.

Can you break the hike up, say in 2 month increments with breaks in-between? Does it have to be a continuous S-N thruhike? Are you open to flipflopping? How about hiking April & May in the South, July & August in New England, October & November in the mid-Atlantic?

I can't imagine the OP actually sticking to this routing of 2 months on trail and 2 months off. I really think just choosing a shorter trail would be very satisfying for him. When his kids are about 10 or 11, that would be the time to thru hike the AT if he wants to - - they could spend the time at summer camps, with grandparents, etc.

Coffee Rules!
07-28-2012, 09:42
Wow. For a place with a mantra of HYOH, which can easily be extrapolated to Live Your Own Life, there sure are a lot of judgmental comments posted here. Why am I not surprised? Why did I come back thinking I could just lurk? **Smacks self on forehead and goes back to hiding**

Papa D
07-28-2012, 10:07
Wow. For a place with a mantra of HYOH, which can easily be extrapolated to Live Your Own Life, there sure are a lot of judgmental comments posted here. Why am I not surprised? Why did I come back thinking I could just lurk? **Smacks self on forehead and goes back to hiding**

The OP was asking for a "judgement call" - - I wouldn't call the comments unnecessarily judgmental being that this was what was requested - it's just the nature of a thread like this. Frankly, the OP knew the score when he posed the question - - really, only he can answer this. Some have said "yes.", some have said "no", most have placed some qualifiers on their responses - - nothing completely out of line though based on the initial question - - don't be so hard on everyone or you become the judgmental one.

Lostone
07-28-2012, 10:30
We have no idea who we are speaking to here.....He could be a rich guy whose wife has a nanny and really isn't raising their boys, or a city worker who hit 25 years and doesn't have a pension or much of a savings account.

The reason you ask here is you already know the answer and are looking for reasons to go......

Here is a thought, Go to a parenting website and ask the question....... What do you think their responses would be?????

So your on a website with Hiking enthusiasts and they are telling you to go hike.....Imagine that. Yet there is a group of folks telling you NO.


I don't care about your age, don't care about your financial status, But you have a responsibility to those boys and your wife and it is more than simply sperm donor or monetary support.

Right now the 6 month those boys aren't too hard to manage, but in the next year they are going to get very mobile.....I remember my kids being exhausting from 14-30 months.....my son had one speed and that was run........

Section hike and fulfill your parental obligation. Part of the sacrifice when you decided to become a parent.

Lostone
07-28-2012, 10:33
Rainman there is a huge difference between a military deployment, mandatory, and a recreational hike, optional....

Just as there is a huge difference between hiking your own hike and living your own life...... Hike your own hike only impacts you.....living your own life impacts everyone around you....your wife and extended family....

Wise Old Owl
07-28-2012, 10:43
just a thought after reading all this ... how many of you remember what was going on with mum & dad when you were 2?

RED-DOG
07-28-2012, 10:45
Make sure their taken care of first and your hike comes second, but yeah if your wife is supportive go. RED-DOG

coppertex
07-28-2012, 10:49
just a thought after reading all this ... how many of you remember what was going on with mum & dad when you were 2?

Yeah, but a kid that lived in a cage when he was two wouldn't remember, but it would absolutely adversely effect his entire life. If it were my kids, I would wait until they were older. This is such a personal decision that all of us can only say what we would do in our own lives, but really don't have the right to tell anyone else to do in their lives.

Sailing_Faith
07-28-2012, 11:05
Yeah, but a kid that lived in a cage when he was two wouldn't remember, but it would absolutely adversely effect his entire life......

Didn't hurt me.

.... much.

4shot
07-28-2012, 11:12
as others have said, you asked for input so here's mine....I have thru hiked and I was (am) a dad. Being a dad is way more important than walking a trail. No way would I miss any time of raising my kids and helping my wife do so. both my kids were over 20 when I hiked.The 18 years will go by soon enough and you can hike the entire AT then.yes you will be older but if you maintain your fitness it is not unrealistic.as they say, the trail will still be there. Until they are adults, I would vote for shorter hikes (either on the AT or some of the other options mentioned).

Wise Old Owl
07-28-2012, 11:21
Well I will share this, when I was two, I was in Melbourne Australia, my dad was in the USA for 6 months I hear playing golf once with Mr. Mallory (Inventor of Duracell)... I have no recollection of it, other than playing in the back yard, tormenting the cat & going down the sidewalk on my scooter. I turned out ok, and my relationship with my dad was Ok, years later when I was eight living in NJ and he was in Chicago for months, it was a bigger problem then. he would be flying off for months to various places. He was home for Christmas. Some of the post here "somewhat" appear as helicopter parenting... the kids will get over it. The wife is supportive, and they can visit from NJ on the trail. Its really up to the parents to work it out. Been there done that.

4shot
07-28-2012, 11:31
Well I will share this, when I was two, I was in Melbourne Australia, my dad was in the USA for 6 months I hear playing golf once with Mr. Mallory (Inventor of Duracell)... I have no recollection of it, other than playing in the back yard, tormenting the cat & going down the sidewalk on my scooter. I turned out ok, and my relationship with my dad was Ok, years later when I was eight living in NJ and he was in Chicago for months, it was a bigger problem then. he would be flying off for months to various places. He was home for Christmas. Some of the post here "somewhat" appear as helicopter parenting... the kids will get over it. The wife is supportive, and they can visit from NJ on the trail. Its really up to the parents to work it out. Been there done that.

I spent a year in Texas on a work related project while my kids were in high school/middle school. It was part of my job so I did it so I could provide for my family. IMO, there's a difference between travel related to work and going off on a solo trip for pleasure.

ultimately the decision will belong to the op. He must have misgivings or the topic wouldn't have been brought up here.

Wise Old Owl
07-28-2012, 11:33
4shot ya nailed it I agree with you...

Deadeye
07-28-2012, 11:53
Is it selfish and irresponsiblefor a dad of twin two year olds to take a 6 month hike

Yes it is.

You will have many opportunities to hike for a day, a weekend, a week, or more. You will never regain those lost 6 months. Never.

You will regret every stupid mistake you made as a parent for the rest of your life, and this is a big one. Spend as much time as you possibly can with them. Take them hiking. If they like it (no guarantees!, maybe one, maybe both, maybe neither) you will have a hiking partner for life, and memories far better than you'll get with a solo thru. You can always thru when you're older, but those 6 months are lost forever. You asked for my opinion, there it is, but yours is the only one that matters.

Papa D
07-28-2012, 12:00
I'm almost always in the "just do it camp" about most things and my wife and daughter encourage me to go and hike for weeks at a time but I'd still say to do a shorter hike for this guy.

Sure WOO, they would get over it but I have one little kid who is now going into 1st Grade and I know how incredibly formative age 1 and 2 is. When my daughter was 1-4 we had a nanny (who was wonderful) - the funny thing is that the nanny now lives in a different state but my daughter still has expressions and mannerisms that are just like the nanny's - the way she waives her hand, the way she claps, the way she tosses her hair over her head, etc. - -they still talk on the phone every couple of weeks. She is also stubborn like me and funny like her Mom in ways that were never "taught." - - age 1 and 2 are incredibly meaningful formative times even if you don't immediately recognize it. Speaking for myself (and someone who just finished a 15 day hike), I miss my kid and wife after a few weeks and am super happy for some hugs.

And who says WOO turned out ok? :D

pervy_sage
07-28-2012, 12:29
Ok, I'm gunna bust all yer chops on this one. Unless any of you can state you are a certified child/developmental or family psychologist then y'all are blowing smoke. Just like I get to hear if you haven't thru'd then you shouldn't be giving out advice, the same applies here. And just being a parent doesn't count, cuz you are living in your own little world which is likely wrong.

Most folks are only adequate parents anyway. Few people go to school for parenting that I know, unless you went to school for developmental psychology, in which case you can call yourself an expert. Grade school teachers have more training for parenting than the parents they must deal with, yet the teachers are forced to yield to the parent's opinions good bad or otherwise.

Parenting seems to be more an apprenticeship thing that one learns from their parents. Unfortunately, most folks parents actually sucked at being parents, which usually means they will likely suck as well. The proof in that, just turn on the news.

He shouldn't be looking for advice form this forum. He'd get just about as good advice by popping down to the local pub or asking the checkout gal at the supermarket.

Actually, the single mom at the supermarket would probably give him better advice, which would likely be "we don't need your sorry no good arse around, we can make it on our own."

There are kids out there who live most of their childhood being beaten, burned, sexually and verbally abused, and funny thing is most survive, and some even thrive and are better people for it. I would think daddy not being around for a few months is a relatively mild event. Some here sound like they'd be scarred for life. In reality, studies have shown that parents actually have little impact on the development of children and the ultimate outcome of their personalities.

My opinion (which is what was asked) and suggestion would be, see a professional, do your research. You will likely be told don't worry about it. So long as the hike is well planned, the wife is on board and has plenty of support financially and from friends and family, and the children (if they are cognitively able) are included in the adventure, things will be fine. Mail letters from the trail for mom to read out loud, talk to them on the phone, send lots of pictures , and when able have them come to visit on the trail. The hike is your own, the adventure can belong to all of you if done right.

Above all, do your research and make your decision based on empirical facts, not on public opinion. In any case, crowd-speak is only good for brainstorming and uncovering options, not making the decision for you.

hikerboy57
07-28-2012, 12:59
pervy you ever raise a family?which do you think is better,no parents being a part of their childrens life, one parent or two?
when i chose to be a parent,i didnt want to miss a moment of their lives growing up.so i postponed my own "Goals"and "dreams"because i wanted to be with them more than anywhere else. after my divorce,my ex had custody, i was only able to see them once a week.
it was killing me everyday i couldnt be with them, and eventually i was able to find some balance.
your advice is so misguided when it comes to parenting, i can only assume you didnt have a strong relationship with your own parents(yes its an assumption and im familiar with abbott and costello).
im on the fence with the OP, ecause his wife is so "supportive". but this support i believe is temporary and a bit of word service as his wife understands how important this goal is to her husband. shes saying it, but i feel she doesnt really believe it in her heart, just wants her hubby to be happy.
in the end, i berlieve the OP will chosse not to leave his kids just yet, and like so many of us have, section hike until the kids are older.

4shot
07-28-2012, 14:30
Ok, I'm gunna bust all yer chops on this one. Unless any of you can state you are a certified child/developmental or family psychologist then y'all are blowing smoke. Just like I get to hear if you haven't thru'd then you shouldn't be giving out advice, the same applies here. And just being a parent doesn't count, cuz you are living in your own little world which is likely wrong.

pervy sage...you state that unless one is a "certified child/developmental or family psychologist then y'all are blowing smoke". You then proceed to put in your $.02. From this can I assume that you are a "certified" psychologist? Or are failing to heed your own advice, which would be extremely ironic to put it kindly, and "blowing smoke" along with the rest of us idiots?

pervy_sage
07-28-2012, 15:32
Hikerboy, you missed the point entirely, and you have given an example of why no one here (unless they are trained) should be advising the OP on anything other than where to seek useful advice.

I am sorry your relationship with your children was so difficult for you, but by your own words it was you that had a the biggest problem with your situation, and you suffered. The reality of how that affected your children is not something I, nor you, nor most parents have the education or training to determine in an objective fashion.

Parents have a mistaken idea they are the center of the child's universe. If anything, parents are an impediment to the child's natural tendency to explore and learn.

Fathers in particular aren't really useful till the child is older anyway, and in fact as is shown with lesbian couples, really isn't needed at all so long as those who raise the child create the proper caring environment. Anyone who thinks otherwise is full of themselves and is motivated by their own selfish desires.

Nowadays, it's the daycare workers that have more influence on the child during the formative years. The real parents, in order to "provide" for the child only get to spend a couple hours a day with them, which usually involves the electronic babysitter cuz they are exhausted from "providing." Not exactly what I would call good parenting.

As for your assumption, you are right in the error of assuming. My parents sacrificed every opportunity that may have bettered their existence for us kids. All that did was to make me feel guilty for existing and taking so much from them. And in 3 out of the 4 of us (me being the odd one out), they were repaid in resentment for not having provided more.

It is my opinion, through observation and my own experience that kids really can and should be coddled less, and should actually be deprived of some things to make them better people. Hell, a man grown from a single mother household managed to become President. How do you think that happened?

But I will reiterate that my advice, separate from my opinion, is for the OP to seek someone with real knowledge on the subject to base and make a well thought out decision. Whether it is selfish or not is irrelevant. Having children is an act of selfishness to mitigate our own mortality. Everything humans do is pretty well selfish. Even acting selflessly is actually selfish in the sense one wants to be looked upon in a good light, so asking whether this particular act is selfish is pointless. A jaded point of view I know, but it is mine to have.

I believe his real concern is whether his absence will adversely affect the children (or his wife) so he can justify the act, and consequently not feel guilt about it. He feels guilt now, thus he is seeking absolution for his desire (I know someone else already mentioned that). We are not qualified to do that, and are acting as enablers by cheering him on, or being abusive by admonishing him.

As you mentioned, "He" is more likely to have the answer, or as I suggested, a certified family psychologist. Whichever gives him the best shot at peace of mind in his decision that HE makes. It sure as hell ain't in a forum among strangers. If he's using us as his crutch, then he's just looking for some nameless faces to blame if it all goes to hell. Not a good idea.

Oh, and not that it is vital to the discussion, I do have a child. I am just not stuck on myself to think I'm all that important in her life right now. I will be there when she shows a need for what I can offer, but until then she's growing up just fine and has many people that care about her, all of whom are equally important and influential. I am just an entertaining speck in her vast world.

kayak karl
07-28-2012, 15:40
"Fathers in particular aren't really useful till the child is older anyway, and in fact as is shown with lesbian couples" if the child has a gay couple (2 men) they are useless???

i have a feeling , your the frog!

pervy_sage
07-28-2012, 15:52
pervy sage...you state that unless one is a "certified child/developmental or family psychologist then y'all are blowing smoke". You then proceed to put in your $.02. From this can I assume that you are a "certified" psychologist? Or are failing to heed your own advice, which would be extremely ironic to put it kindly, and "blowing smoke" along with the rest of us idiots?

I'm human, and can't help myself any more than everyone else. Beside, I could say I was a pro, and someone would inevitable cry BS anyway.

I did make the distinction between opinion and advice. Opinions, as you know, are like bellybuttons.

My point was more to the irony of the god-like thru hikers who think their opinion/advice is golden and the juxtaposition of the cry from parents who think just cuz they had sex and something came of it they also have some keen insight to the way of things. Most parents are babes in the woods, and usually don't have the hang of it till they are grandparents. Hikerboy was kind enough to display that behavior on que, inadvertently supporting my point.

You want to see the difference in the outcome of a child raised by a good psychologist, I encourage you to read "Appalachian Trials" by thru hiker Zach Davis (aka The Good Badger). His mother is a family psychologist, and it shows in his life, his writing, and his attitude. I am not saying there aren't intuitive folks out there who are naturally good at rearing children, but I would bet it is the exception rather than the rule.

MuddyWaters
07-28-2012, 15:54
Do what you feel you want.
At 2 yrs old, it isnt a big deal to the kids, probably more to the mommy.
When they get to be old enough to be involved in sports, activities, you can forget it until they are in college.
So you do have a window here
Now is better than later
You can always visit every once in while. You can come off trail for a week, go home, then go back.
They can meet you at trailheads and spend a day or two
Where there is a will, there is a way. You dont have to abandon them totally to do it.

MuddyWaters
07-28-2012, 15:57
oh yeah,
1) yes its selfish, but so what
2) doesnt have to be irresponsible, depends on the approach
3) doesnt have to take 6mo, could be as short as 3-4

hikerboy57
07-28-2012, 16:13
I saw the first hand what happens to children when parents leave them at an early age. it took 15 years to heal that wound. the 1 thing I will agree on is that no advice here is going to help him make a decision he has to make the decision
Pervy, I do agree with a lot of what you said. People though do not have kids for their own egos. Reproduction is kind of the instinct is in every species.
I never told the op not to hike. I've left it up to him to decide.

pervy_sage
07-28-2012, 16:17
"Fathers in particular aren't really useful till the child is older anyway, and in fact as is shown with lesbian couples" if the child has a gay couple (2 men) they are useless???

i have a feeling , your the frog!



My point was the fact that someone being there to supply the right environment for a child is far more important than who that someone is, man, woman, wolf, whatever. My opinion of fathers (in a traditional marriage and traditional American culture) is that many are not nurturing types, mainly due to upbringing than ability. They are educators, and function better with children that are seeking a mentor to show them the way of the world. But again, that is just my opinion which is honestly useless in this forum.

You are just restating the similar premise to get my goat cuz I didn't expressly present that particular scenario. I guess I took it for granted folks would be able to figure that out themselves.

If I had the time, I would be happy to write a dissertation on this particular case study complete with citations and empirical data to back it up, but I don't have to because other much smarter people who are educated (and parents) already have, and THEY AREN'T HERE. The OP should find them, not a gaggle of INTP's that would rather be out on the trail or trolling the forums than dealing with real people or their kids.

Most who responded to the OP did so because they had an emotional response to the question and felt compelled to give their heartfelt genuine advice. I responded because I had an emotional response to the emotional responses and felt compelled to give genuinely rational advice, mixed with my emotional venting concerning the other emotional responses. Which in turn evoked other emotional responses belittling of my response and insults because I touched a genuine nerve.

Bad on me for being trolled. I give up, you win.

Rain Man
07-28-2012, 16:20
Rainman there is a huge difference between a military deployment, mandatory, and a recreational hike, optional....

So far as I know, joining the military is entirely voluntary, i.e., "optional."

Rain Man

.

MuddyWaters
07-28-2012, 16:26
I have had to spend weeks to months away for work , periodically, my whole career.
Including overseas.
I was standing on a mountaintop in France one fine morning when I got a phone call from my 5 yr old daughter because her gerbil had died.
Its not a big deal
Its not that long of a time
You will be in touch
Break it up, visit them, have them visit you
It will pass before you know it.

tiptoe
07-28-2012, 16:26
I'm taking care of my granddaughter this weekend, and she turns 3 tomorrow. Can't believe that you would let your spouse take on the care of TWO toddlers all by herself. She's either a saint or is grossly underestimating the work and support involved in raising small children. Defer, defer this until later. There are many hikers in their 60s and yes, 70s on the AT. it can be done.

MuddyWaters
07-28-2012, 16:31
Never put off anything you really want in life
Tomorrow doesnt always come for everyone

Kryptonite
07-28-2012, 16:51
Never put off anything you really want in life
Tomorrow doesnt always come for everyone

I think this expression though can also apply to his children. They are not guaranteed a "tomorrow" either. There are car accidents and childhood diseases that happen everyday. How would he feel missing a single day of their lives vs. fulfilling his dream? I personally think he should section hike for now. When they are teenagers and are driving their mother crazy, he should take them both on a thru and give his wife a vacation! LOL

hikerboy57
07-28-2012, 17:01
Never put off anything you really want in life
Tomorrow doesnt always come for everyone

yeah but didnt he really want kids?

MuddyWaters
07-28-2012, 17:10
When you cannot read the future, you have to go with the odds.
Odds are, healthy kids will be fine
Odds are, a certain percentage of adults die before age 60. The bell curve exists here.

Willingness to miss out on a few months of their life is a different matter, from ability too.

Look at all the divorced parents out there. A very large percentage of dads today see their kids one or two weekends a month.
Why is no one railing against them.

hikerboy57
07-28-2012, 17:12
When you cannot read the future, you have to go with the odds.
Odds are, healthy kids will be fine
Odds are, a certain percentage of adults die before age 60. The bell curve exists here.

Willingness to miss out on a few months of their life is a different matter, from ability too.

Look at all the divorced parents out there. A very large percentage of dads today see their kids one or two weekends a month.
Why is no one railing against them.

sometimes its not their choice. he is choosing. hes the only one that can figure it out.

Different Socks
07-28-2012, 17:12
If you do go, think of the great stories you will have to tell your kids AND that will instill in them a longing to be on the trail someday as well.

MuddyWaters
07-28-2012, 17:26
sometimes its not their choice. he is choosing. hes the only one that can figure it out.

Disagree, always a choice. Parents that get divorced have chosen to put their wants, over what is best for their kids. It is always in the best interest of the kids to have the parents stay together says the experts.

Now were talking 50% of all parents mind you, 50%.....

hikerboy57
07-28-2012, 17:32
we simply have different belly buttons.. my divorce was not my choice but my wife's. and the kids suffered because of it. admittedly I am a flawed individual.
but I'm working on it.

MuddyWaters
07-28-2012, 17:36
Reminds me of a comedians bit about his divorce:

" just one of those things, we werent compatible. She wasnt a morning person.., I liked to screw other women. Nobodys fault really...."

hikerboy57
07-28-2012, 17:40
"i was married for 13 years;2 of the happiest years of my life!"

Kryptonite
07-28-2012, 17:53
Disagree, always a choice. Parents that get divorced have chosen to put their wants, over what is best for their kids. It is always in the best interest of the kids to have the parents stay together says the experts.

Now were talking 50% of all parents mind you, 50%.....

I do not know what "experts" you are talking about, but I do have a background in teaching and Child Development and I can tell you that "staying together for the sake of the children" is most decidedly not the general consensus of experts now. Thirty years ago, maybe, but not now.

Moreover, it does not always "take two" to get a divorce. Many men and women wake up from seemingly "perfect" marriages to discover that their spouse has met someone else and now wants out.

hikerboy57
07-28-2012, 18:02
I do not know what "experts" you are talking about, but I do have a background in teaching and Child Development and I can tell you that "staying together for the sake of the children" is most decidedly not the general consensus of experts now. Thirty years ago, maybe, but not now.

Moreover, it does not always "take two" to get a divorce. Many men and women wake up from seemingly "perfect" marriages to discover that their spouse has met someone else and now wants out.

my older daughter tells me all she remembers about our marriage was that we were constantly fighting.divorce was the right choice both for us and the kids. i just didnt agree with it. and although we get along fine now, my ex did everything she could to drive my kids away from me.
i do agree that many parents shouldnt be parents, but i also dont think its right to generalize about any group.

bobqzzi
07-28-2012, 18:54
Ok Question of the day! For me it's been the question of a few months.

Is it selfish and irresponsiblefor a dad of twin two year olds to take a 6 month hike. I retire in Feb of 2014 and was planning on athurhike. Will be 50 when (if)I start. So at the same time don't want to wait to long. But was blessed with two of the most precious gifts from god. ( JohnJr and Thomas). My wife is supporting the hike and pushing for me to do it, so it's not her that is saying it's selfish and irresponsible. Opinions !


Short answer: Yes, even if your wife is okay with it. You would become a stranger to the children in 6 months.

Lone Wolf
07-28-2012, 20:45
Short answer: Yes, even if your wife is okay with it.

i thought i was pithy. good answer

Driver8
07-28-2012, 21:22
My thought: three weeks on trail, one week off at home, three, one, three, one. Maintains the vital dad-twins connection, which is very important for kids at all ages, even moreso, imo, at such an early age. Give yourself six months, hike hard in your on-trail time, enjoy time with your family and support your wife in the home week as she is doing for you in the other three. I respect the HYOH and LYOL creed and am only suggesting the above as an idea which might work well as food for thought.

Papa D
07-28-2012, 21:37
I think this thread is played out - the OP never even responded to any of the suggestions. It's a dead horse.

kolokolo
07-28-2012, 21:41
Well, Bear168, I think you have a very generous wife.

You know that if you do this, you will be deep in her debt. In the imaginary credit/debit department, you will be way, way in the red for a long time, and you will both know it. You will need to return the favor in some fashiion. That doesn't mean that you stay home with the kids while she goes hiking for 6 months, or while she goes on an extended vacation, but you should find some way to go the extra mile for her. You will need to find a way to show through your actions over an extended period that you appreciate what she has done for you.

I like the idea from a previous post that you take a certain amount of time periodically during your hike to go back home and give your wife a break. During that time, you take care of the kids, you cook, you clean, you let her relax and take a break. Six months is a long time, and I think it would be good to touch base back at home periodically. Maybe not one week per month, but some period of time on a regular basis. You also will not become a stranger to your kids.

Whatever you decide, I wish you best of luck. It sounds like you have a great and supportive relationship with your wife, and I hope that you know how valuable that is.

Wise Old Owl
07-28-2012, 21:58
"i was married for 13 years;2 of the happiest years of my life!"


Got Dog?:sun

cabbagehead
07-28-2012, 22:11
____yes____

hikerboy57
07-28-2012, 22:21
I think this thread is played out - the OP never even responded to any of the suggestions. It's a dead horse.

never stopped us before.

Bear168
07-28-2012, 23:30
Sorry for not replying last night. I work the over night shift and we got our butts handed to us and continued into the day got some overtime. Got to read the post today but had to get some sleep. Not surprised at the different ends of the thoughts out there. Hope to get to respond to some of the post tonight or in the morning. Most were on the same thought process that I am pondering. Even most of the ones that were against doing the hike had valid points as did so that we're supportive. I am a firm believer that we all can learn, no matter how old we are. Never hurts to bounce ideas off others . Someone may have been in the same spot and did or did not do it. They may offer some insight. Thanks for the thoughts.

Bear168
07-29-2012, 00:11
UHFox I guess My wife and I have one of those few great relationships. Not saying everyday is perfect. But We have been through a lot and it has only made us stronger. As for doing things to repay her. Guess we are lucky in that we share the work around here as needed. We work together to make things happen. She had a period of time (10 months)when she was unable to do much , if anything around the house, so In that case i stepped in. but it's not about her having to repay anything. She does that everyday by being a loving wife. It's about taking the time to do what we have to do to keep the marriage working.. I know there will be some remarks about this, but we both believe in working to keep the marriage strong and doing we are on the life time plan.

Papa D
07-29-2012, 07:25
Well, he did read all of it - I stand corrected

OzJacko
07-29-2012, 07:35
And the decision is to be made by 2 people - Bear168 and his wife.
Every person on this planet is an individual. What you or I would do may well be different but it is their choice.
Leaving for this hike if they both agree is not irresponsible or "bad" parenting.
HYOH or in this case Live Your Own Life seems more appropriate.
I repeat my earlier comments that I think the OP will struggle to complete a thruhike because of the pressures that will arise over time, but the decision to try is theirs.
And whether he succeeds or not should not be cause for "I told you so" responses either.

Sailor (The other one)
07-29-2012, 09:48
I don't know you well enough to say what would work for you. For all I know if you put off your hike you'll be miserable and make your family miserable - or the opposite. So my suggestion here is what I think I would do in your situation.

Point one: Just before reading this thread, I read this one http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?83787-Over-60-yo about truly old people thruing the AT and loving it. 50 just isn't too old to wait.

Point two: I worked as a therapist helping people resolve early childhood trauma. Not consciously remembering something is not the same as not remembering. Two-year-olds will be impacted by the loss of a father (or other mother or caregiver etc) for 6 months. How they will be impacted depends on too many other factors to judge, including the parts of their personality they are born with.

Point three: I've also worked with adults resolving grief issues, and worked with many who carried enourmous pain for having, in their view, abandoned their families partially and totally.

Therefore I would seek to be totally selfish and enjoy my family until the kids are old enough to either join me (and kids under 12 have thrued the AT) or to truly not care (which depends on the individial kid) and then thru hike and enjoy that too. I'd bring them camping as soon as practical and section hiking as they grew.

Best of both, seems to me.

Maddog
07-29-2012, 09:50
Ok Question of the day! For me it's been the question of a few months.

Is it selfish and irresponsiblefor a dad of twin two year olds to take a 6 month hike. I retire in Feb of 2014 and was planning on athurhike. Will be 50 when (if)I start. So at the same time don't want to wait to long. But was blessed with two of the most precious gifts from god. ( JohnJr and Thomas). My wife is supporting the hike and pushing for me to do it, so it's not her that is saying it's selfish and irresponsible. Opinions !

Nope...HYOH!!! Maddog:)

Lostone
07-29-2012, 10:56
" She had a period of time (10 months)when she was unable to do much , if anything around the house".

I am guessing that because of her age she was restricted because of the pregnancy.

Oh here is how and why she is supportive, She owes Bear 10 months....... Nice, Glad you guilted her into letting you hike.



You honestly have no idea how much work toddlers are not to mention they will be in the middle of terrible two's. So unless her mother is moving into help in your absence then it is a bad idea

MuddyWaters
07-29-2012, 12:19
Point one: Just before reading this thread, I read this one http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?83787-Over-60-yo about truly old people thruing the AT and loving it. 50 just isn't too old to wait.

There are a few people that are "old" thru hiking. Met one this yr , "Padre", who is 74, and you would never know it. I would have pegged him for mid 60s.

However, you are gampbling on being healthy enough to do that at that age, and that is exactly what it is, a gamble. Many will not be. Almost 50% of men will DIE by 75.

Health and overall condition goes downhill like falling off a cliff between 60 and 70 for most people.

bear bag hanger
07-29-2012, 12:45
I'm not quite so sure you should leave a couple two yr olds for six months, your talking about 20% of their lives. But it's your life, not mine. Plus, I suspect your wife may be trying to tell you something!

booney_1
07-29-2012, 12:58
A slightly different point of view, from a father of three, about your age. Most of the previous posts have dealt with responsibilities and duties to your wife and children. One of the benefits of getting older is the appreciation that the sand in the hour glass of time is finite. YOU will be missing out on something irreplaceable if you take 6 months off. Watching your kids grow, develop and discover the world is one of the best experiences of life. Sharing that with someone you love...priceless. Get to know your young kids the way a younger man, with a full time job cannot. Be a caregiver, teacher, mentor to them. Do it for YOURSELF, the kids will be rewarded, but more so you. In three years (a blink of an eye) they will be entering kindergarten, and when you drop them off it will be with tears in your eyes, like the other Moms...

Bear168
07-29-2012, 14:37
" She had a period of time (10 months)when she was unable to do much , if anything around the house".

I am guessing that because of her age she was restricted because of the pregnancy.

Oh here is how and why she is supportive, She owes Bear 10 months....... Nice, Glad you guilted her into letting you hike.



You honestly have no idea how much work toddlers are not to mention they will be in the middle of terrible two's. So unless her mother is moving into help in your absence then it is a bad idea

sorry! no guilt put on her. But maybe I can try that for somrthing else.(joking) Yes Grand Ma and two aunts are in agreement with me going and are willing to help.

Miami Joe
07-29-2012, 18:12
FYI. We did not wait by choice but it was what dealt us and we have no regrets! Just because im older does mean i cant make a good father. If I thought they were a hobby as you put it, I would not be fighting within myself on doing the hike. The wife knows that it's been a dream and is willing to let me do it as a retirement gift. As for the military thing did 18 years between active and reserves so I know that life style. Not asking for permission to go just for others thoughts. I'm still trying to figure out what your lesson was other then you have nothing nice to say and assume a lot.

The lesson was that he might have daddy issues. J/K wingedmonkey. :) Why not just section hike? In my opinion, a thru-hike with two-year-old twins back at home wouldn't be any fun at all. I'd constantly be thinking about them, missing them and feeling guilty about being away.

Gorgiewave
07-29-2012, 18:19
When your wife is outwardly supportive of your fun times, especially those that take you away from home for extended periods, BE VERY AFRAID! In the end, you will pay.

I get this. "Yes", though apparently a simple word, means nothing, but closer to "no" than anything else. Last year I spent months asking for, and apparently receiving, approval to go home to see a soccer match soon after she had a planned operation when she said repeatedly that she preferred to recover alone. My mistake was to not over-rule her with enough insistence.

Likewise, if you're going out for dinner and she asks "Is that what you're wearing?", this is not a request for confirmation that that is your outfit for the evening. It means "Are you kidding?"

DaSchwartz
07-30-2012, 02:04
Yes, it is 100 percent selfish and irresponsible to do this. Why would you abandon your more precious gifts from God for six months. Your asking this on the most friendly forum you can find, ask this on any parenting forum and you know the true answer. Your kids need a Dad, your wife needs a husband. Be there for them.

sheepdog
07-30-2012, 08:44
Is it selfish and irresponsible for a dad of twin two year olds to take a 6 month hike?Yep, Anyone can hike the trail. It's just walking. It takes a real man to be a dad.

10-K
07-30-2012, 08:51
but i also dont think its right to generalize about any group.

I think as a rule parents with SILWF's raise happier, healthier children and marriages that last. :)

10-K
07-30-2012, 08:55
I can't believe I'm on the other side of this issue as I'm normally one of the few discouraging people from leaving their families to hike. In this case the OP appears to have his I's dotted and his T's crossed.

I say go hiking.. Stay in touch and if you need to get off the trail do it without a resentment.

I've got 3 kids and I can tell you that you are not going to scar your 2 year old twins for life by hiking the AT. Dang, we have soliders who do tours of duty for months at a time and their kids seem to survive.

bamboo bob
07-30-2012, 09:20
Of course your wife is supportive. That way her boyfriend can come and go as he pleases.

max patch
07-30-2012, 09:38
Ask Dr Laura...

Don H
07-30-2012, 10:10
Have any of you read "AWOL on the Appalachian Trail"?

prain4u
07-30-2012, 10:26
On the the SURFACE, it SEEMS to be an irresponsible act. You will be criticized by many people within your family and within your circle of friends. HOWEVER, I would highlight several points I have seen surface on this thread:

1) Ultimately, this is a decision between you and your wife.
2) At this young age, your kids probably won't be as negatively impacted by your prolonged absence as they would at any other age in the next 18-19 years.
3) You CAN always come off the trail if this hike no longer "works" for you, your wife or your kids.
4) Kids somehow cope and survive (and most turn out "O.K") when a parent is gone for many months due to military duty--and may people actually APPLAUD those parents for finding ways to make the prolonged absence "work".
5) In this day of electronic communication, "Smart" phones, Skype, and rapid transportation--being "gone" on a six month hike does not necessarily mean that one has to be completely "absent" for the entire six months. (In World War Two, when daddy was away for two years in a war zone, daddy was truly "absent". Yet, the WWII generation of spouses and children somehow survived those very prolonged absences.

6. I have noticed, that society (and even this online community) is much more likely to be critical of a mother who chooses to go on such a prolonged hike than a father. (I admit that I am still very "old fashioned", I do think that very young children GENERALLY benefit more from a mother's presence in the earliest years than from a father's presence. So, I confess that I would POSSIBLY give a different answer to a mother than to a father regarding a six-month absence when there are YOUNG children involved)

prain4u
07-30-2012, 11:04
Here is a clarification of my earlier post. I am NOT trying to say that a father's presence is NOT important in the lives of young children. Nor, am I saying that women can't (or shouldn't) go on a six month hike when their children are very young. The presence of BOTH parents is important to children at all ages--and any parental absence has implications and consequences. Thus, parents need to make such a decision after much very careful thought

I am merely saying that there is a long standing societal norm (backed by some actual research data) which would perhaps suggest that very young children form stronger bonds with--and benefit more from--a female presence than a male presence. (It has something to do with children being biologically "hard wired" to be more drawn to things like a typical female voice than a typical male voice and adult females being more likely than adult males to "hear" certain sounds like a small child crying).

Thus, with me being very old-fashioned, I admit that I would MAYBE give a different answer to a female (than to a male) regarding a six month absence for a thru hike when there are very young children involved. (But, in the end, everyone has to make their own decisions and Hike Your Own Hike)

Slo-go'en
07-30-2012, 11:37
The OP seems to have stepped aside while this is being hashed out...

When ever someone says it's their "dream" to hike the AT, but does not indicate they have any prior hiking or backpacking/camping experiance, this is a red flag. This "dream" often quickly turns into a nightmare and what was suppost to be a 6 month hike ends in 6 days. I suspect should the OP start this hike, it would not last 6 months.

So, unless the OP does have backpacking/camping experiance, I would strongly suggest going out for a couple of weeks to see if it really is something you want to do for six months. Also, do it during a week with cold and wet weather to get the full experiance.

Personally, I'd wait until the twins turn 3. That's when you REALLY want to go away for 6 months!

Feral Bill
07-30-2012, 12:09
. Dang, we have soliders who do tours of duty for months at a time and their kids seem to survive. 1. They are not playing. 2. Their kids, I'm pretty sure, miss them greatly.

Bear168
07-30-2012, 12:19
Sorry for not being as quick to post, but have had some long days at work. Over time , take when you can. Glad to say over the years I have be able to do some trips for several weeks at a time,(fun kind) as well as day or weekenders. Plus doing forced marches (not so fun kind) and being in the feild for weeks at a time. Cold weather traing 1 1/2 months ect.(militery). Even did some trail editing for the ALDAHA guide a few years ago. Lots of tent camping but thats diffrent and does not count. So if by chance I do attempt this, I have good idea what i'm getting my self into. I know the percentages of who make it and who don't. I'm not afraid of not making Im afraid never trying. I would enjoy the time I get and push to finish. But if I have to get off thr trail for family matters, injury or what ever reason I would not get mad or take it out on the family. Life is to short to sweat the small ****. I do agree 100% with you and I would advise some with no exposure to do the same thing. Still on 1 or 2 trips before I wouls try it. You may be right about the 3 year time!.



The OP seems to have stepped aside while this is being hashed out...

When ever someone says it's their "dream" to hike the AT, but does not indicate they have any prior hiking or backpacking/camping experiance, this is a red flag. This "dream" often quickly turns into a nightmare and what was suppost to be a 6 month hike ends in 6 days. I suspect should the OP start this hike, it would not last 6 months.

So, unless the OP does have backpacking/camping experiance, I would strongly suggest going out for a couple of weeks to see if it really is something you want to do for six months. Also, do it during a week with cold and wet weather to get the full experiance.

Personally, I'd wait until the twins turn 3. That's when you REALLY want to go away for 6 months!

10-K
07-30-2012, 12:22
Let me tell you how to live your life.....

No me!! NO ME!!! NO me!!! no ME!!!

Don H
07-30-2012, 12:25
Have any of you read "AWOL on the Appalachian Trail"?

I'm not asking this question to get a review on the book, I'm wondering if anyone here has read it and can see how the author's hike compares to the OP's situation. David Miller hiked the trail and he has a young child. He writes a book about it, becomes well known in the hiking community and now makes a living selling a guide book. Seems like it worked out OK for him.

Thruhiking with a family worked out for me and it will be OK for Bear168 too. And if things don't work out he can come home. It's not like he's quitting a job and leaving his family penniless. He's retiring and pursuing something he wants to do for a few months. I can relate.

kayak karl
07-30-2012, 12:28
Is it selfish and irresponsible for a dad of twin two year olds to take a 6 month hike?

Yep, Anyone can hike the trail. It's just walking. It takes a real man to be a dad.

i agree with sheepdog, just because he's sheepdog :D

Bear168
07-30-2012, 12:30
Thanks to everyone who suggested reading AWOL.

I read it a while ago. But just pulled it of the shelf to re-read it again. I'm sure I will be reading it with a diffrent outlook. Since becoming a Dad I've noticed a diffrence in my outlook when I deal injured and sick little ones. I'm looking even less foward to the next baby cpr call, they sucked before, but seen it effect people diffrentally after they have thier own children..



Have any of you read "AWOL on the Appalachian Trail"?

Bear168
07-30-2012, 12:48
Thruhiking with a family worked out for me and it will be OK for Bear168 too. And if things don't work out he can come home. It's not like he's quitting a job and leaving his family penniless. He's retiring and pursuing something he wants to do for a few months. I can relate.[/QUOTE]

Chainsaw it's all good. Everyone is entilted to thier own opinions. I'm sure I'm not the first person ask this question and I'm sure there are others out there. they just never opened the pandoras box! LOL Thanks

Feral Bill
07-30-2012, 12:56
Let me tell you how to live your life.....

No me!! NO ME!!! NO me!!! no ME!!! Um, the OP did ask.

Winds
07-30-2012, 13:14
Hey John, didn't read this whole thread, so sorry if this has been mentioned a few times...

Sell the children, buy all new gear, and hike yourself silly! Poof, done.

OR, do whatever you, your wife, the grandmother, the neighbors, and the girlfriend (some overlook the girlfriend here, not wise!) think is best. And have a blast!

:)

Creek Dancer
07-30-2012, 13:19
I guess you could ask yourself if it would be selfish of your wife to leave you at home with 2 year old twins while she went on vacation for six months.

RITBlake
07-30-2012, 13:46
I would say yes.

You're not in the military.


Ok Question of the day! For me it's been the question of a few months.

Is it selfish and irresponsiblefor a dad of twin two year olds to take a 6 month hike. I retire in Feb of 2014 and was planning on athurhike. Will be 50 when (if)I start. So at the same time don't want to wait to long. But was blessed with two of the most precious gifts from god. ( JohnJr and Thomas). My wife is supporting the hike and pushing for me to do it, so it's not her that is saying it's selfish and irresponsible. Opinions !

Bear168
07-30-2012, 21:13
I would say yes.
!2You're not in the military.

No not currently in. Did not say I was. But served 18yrs between active and reserves. Got out in 2002

Wise Old Owl
07-30-2012, 21:27
Short answer: Yes, even if your wife is okay with it. You would become a stranger to the children in 6 months.

I disagree

Wise Old Owl
07-30-2012, 21:49
...................

Lone Wolf
07-30-2012, 21:52
I guess you could ask yourself if it would be selfish of your wife to leave you at home with 2 year old twins while she went on vacation for six months.

best reply yet

cabbagehead
07-30-2012, 21:53
I'm no expert on child development. I would do whatever is best for my offspring because they would be much more important than me.

daddytwosticks
07-31-2012, 07:17
Family is always first.

Sailor (The other one)
07-31-2012, 08:05
However, you are gampbling on being healthy enough to do that at that age, and that is exactly what it is, a gamble. Many will not be. Almost 50% of men will DIE by 75.

True. But for me it would be gambling either way. Do I go thru now and gamble not being there for my kids - in fact, gambling I won't get some disease or fall of a cliff or be absent when my kids are bad sick, or... ad infinitum? Or do i gamble that I won't ever thru, that I'll be the kind oif person who resents my kids because of my choices? Do I gamble with my kids or with my thru?

Later in this thread 10-K accurately points out that many of the children of service people who do multiple tours away from home "survive." Orphans also "survive." As do quadriplegic children, abused children, abandoned children, wounded children... I'd bet a ton 10-K and most otheres here would want more for their children than mere survival.

Bear168
07-31-2012, 10:07
If your wife is supportive, I say go for it.

But then she gets to go on a six month vacation to the Bahamas. ;)


True. But for me it would be gambling either way. Do I go thru now and gamble not being there for my kids - in fact, gambling I won't get some disease or fall of a cliff or be absent when my kids are bad sick, or... ad infinitum? Or do i gamble that I won't ever thru, that I'll be the kind oif person who resents my kids because of my choices? Do I gamble with my kids or with my thru?

Later in this thread 10-K accurately points out that many of the children of service people who do multiple tours away from home "survive." Orphans also "survive." As do quadriplegic children, abused children, abandoned children, wounded children... I'd bet a ton 10-K and most otheres here would want more for their children than mere survival.

I think your mis reading 10-k.
To say that the children of our service members only merely survive is a injustice to men and WOMEN who leave their children and wives or HUSBANDS behind to serve our country. How many of us have had parents who severed and were not there for a period of time. How many of us had a parent or parents who was home but worked and we never got to see them for most of thier growing years, not just 6 months. With all these children that have been abused, not loved or mistreated there be some screwed up maladjusted adults out there. Not counting the ones who were really abused. I'm not using our service members time away as a excuse to justify a 6 month hike. For the posters who are comparing the two as to say. The kids will (servive)be ok as long as there is continued care and love given. As is the case In most of our deployed families. I have to agree and it's a good point. To those to say that a single parent short or long term can not raise a happy, heathly and chold that knows thier loved I have to say your slapping alot of good people in the face. As far as disabled children or adults for that matter do more than survive! But that another whole rant

Don H
07-31-2012, 10:26
Watching the Olympics got me thinking about all the athletes with families and how much their spouses and children sacrifice so that their athlete can compete. Many dad and mom, husband and wife, athletes leave home for months if not years of training prior to the Olympics. They give up YEARS of family life for just the chance to compete in one or two events. That sacrifice pales in comparison to a few months away from home to hike the trail.

Bear168
07-31-2012, 10:28
Oh wait I forget to mention as did everyone else. What about children of gay partners. Lol

Bear168
07-31-2012, 10:40
Watching the Olympics got me thinking about all the athletes with families and how much their spouses and children sacrifice so that their athlete can compete. Many dad and mom, husband and wife, athletes leave home for months if not years of training prior to the Olympics. They give up YEARS of family life for just the chance to compete in one or two events. That sacrifice pales in comparison to a few months away from home to hike the trail.

They don't do it because it's fun or for themselves. It's only for thier country. Thanks Don of for some OT .

10-K
07-31-2012, 10:43
I think your mis reading 10-k.
To say that the children of our service members only merely survive is a injustice to men and WOMEN who leave their children and wives or HUSBANDS behind to serve our country. How many of us have had parents who severed and were not there for a period of time. How many of us had a parent or parents who was home but worked and we never got to see them for most of thier growing years, not just 6 months. With all these children that have been abused, not loved or mistreated there be some screwed up maladjusted adults out there. Not counting the ones who were really abused. I'm not using our service members time away as a excuse to justify a 6 month hike. For the posters who are comparing the two as to say. The kids will (servive)be ok as long as there is continued care and love given. As is the case In most of our deployed families. I have to agree and it's a good point. To those to say that a single parent short or long term can not raise a happy, heathly and chold that knows thier loved I have to say your slapping alot of good people in the face. As far as disabled children or adults for that matter do more than survive! But that another whole rant

As long as you understood what I meant, which you did 100%, that's all I care about. Folks get so blind that they can't see beyond the horizon of their own bias around here quite often.

At the end of the day it's a call only you can make in collaboration with your wife. If she's really for it I'd say get on the trail and see how it goes.

The last time I checked you can quit hiking any time you want and go home.

10-K
07-31-2012, 10:45
Ok folks... Let's play what if...

You are suddenly transformed into Bear168!!

A man knocks on the door and offers your family $10,000,000 if you will separate from your wife and twins for up to a 6 month period with the caveat you can go home any time you want and forfeit the $10,000,000.

What do you do?

... oh, and you can talk with them on the phone all you want and you're allowed to visit with them from time to time if you want.

10-K
07-31-2012, 10:47
My guess is that the great majority of you would jump on the 10,000,000 bucks.

Pedaling Fool
07-31-2012, 11:42
Watching the Olympics got me thinking about all the athletes with families and how much their spouses and children sacrifice so that their athlete can compete. Many dad and mom, husband and wife, athletes leave home for months if not years of training prior to the Olympics. They give up YEARS of family life for just the chance to compete in one or two events. That sacrifice pales in comparison to a few months away from home to hike the trail.That's true and there are tons of other examples of where fathers (or mothers) can't spend an "appropriate amount of time" with their children. What's appropriate? I don't know, but take your pick, there are plenty of "experts" to pick from on this subject; seems like we have a few here :rolleyes:. If everyone just had a simple 9-5 job then nothing would get done. We have a lot of comforts of society, thanks to crappy parents :D

Dr Laura, would it be morally wrong if I....:rolleyes:

Berserker
07-31-2012, 12:10
Ha ha ha, this thread has been great. I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve gotten mad and then there’s been healing :).

Anyway, I love threads like these where all the “experts” come out. There were some decent responses that didn’t say “yes” or “no”, but rather challenged the OP to be more introspective and make his own decision. Is he being selfish...we don’t know his situation so maybe he is and maybe he’s not. Someone else made the statements that we don’t know if this guy is rich, poor, how his relationship is with his wife, etc.

And as for the children (I’m still chuckling to myself about the input from all the “child experts” on here), will they be scarred…pretty doubtful as they’ll remember little at that age. I’d say that the bigger issue is likely to be that his wife is a fairly new mother and may not have a full grasp on the scope of what it takes to care for two 2 year olds. But then again we don’t have enough info as maybe his wife has been in child care for 20 years.

Bear, since you asked for opinions I’ll give you mine. I’m 39 years old with a 7 year old and a 5 year old. If I had the finances in place and could take the time off right now to do a thru I would not because it just would not work for my situation. For me section hiking is my only current option, and I’m thankful every time I can get out and do a hike. Your situation is different so only you and your family can determine whether or not doing a thru hike will work for you guys.

The other thing to consider is do you really want to do the AT? Not knowing your background do you know what you are getting into? Perhaps you’re having a mid-life crisis :D (I think I am at 39)? If your main goal is you are looking for something in the hiking realm that would give you a sense of accomplishment there are many other fine options that are much shorter such as trails like the JMT.

Well anyway, there’s my input. Good luck in whatever you decide to do.

Feral Bill
07-31-2012, 12:34
Ok folks... Let's play what if...

You are suddenly transformed into Bear168!!

A man knocks on the door and offers your family $10,000,000 if you will separate from your wife and twins for up to a 6 month period with the caveat you can go home any time you want and forfeit the $10,000,000.

What do you do?

... oh, and you can talk with them on the phone all you want and you're allowed to visit with them from time to time if you want. Is a through hike worth $10,000,000? Not to me, and certainly not to two year olds who will wonder where dad got to for a big chunk of their young lives. The money would be a big plus or the whole family. So, yes I'd take the cash, but no, I wouldn't take the through for a few years.

max patch
07-31-2012, 13:06
My guess is that the great majority of you would jump on the 10,000,000 bucks.

You are comparing apples to oranges.

There is no advantage -- only disadvantages -- to the children for dad taking a 6 month kick azz vacation.

But with a $10 million dollar payoff the parents -- and the children -- are basically set for life. They can now be a family 24/7 without jobs getting in the way.

Don H
07-31-2012, 13:19
Watching the Olympics got me thinking about all the athletes with families and how much their spouses and children sacrifice so that their athlete can compete. Many dad and mom, husband and wife, athletes leave home for months if not years of training prior to the Olympics. They give up YEARS of family life for just the chance to compete in one or two events. That sacrifice pales in comparison to a few months away from home to hike the trail.
Correction, I meant to say that hiking the trail pales in comparison to training for years for the Olympics!

Sailor (The other one)
07-31-2012, 13:41
“To say that the children of our service members only merely survive is a injustice to men and WOMEN who leave their children and wives or HUSBANDS behind to serve our country. “

To say that’s what I said is entirely inaccurate. If you’re looking for someone to fight with in defense of our service people, you’ll have to look elsewhere. And as I pointed out, “I'd bet a ton 10-K and most others here would want more for their children than mere survival.” I know I would, and I bet you would, too.

This is not about mere survival. The service members I’ve known serve so that their and our children can do more than just survive. And I’ve known dozens of other parents who’ve done the same in other ways. I did not say that deployment condemns children to only merely survive. That’s your issue. And I’m one of those abused, abandoned, traumatized and disabled who has also done more than survive and I’ve helped hundreds of others, including traumatized service members, do more than just survive. I’ve worked with many of them who had to deal with their guilt because they wanted much more to be at home with their kids than to have to leave them. One of the reasons I feel so strongly about this is because of the pain I witnessed while I helped them work through this stuff. It’s a slap in the face to be lectured by someone who so badly misrepresents my point.

“(I’m still chuckling to myself about the input from all the “child experts” on here).”

I am an expert. Spent 12 years as a therapist working with people on the results of childhood trauma, including service members. “…they’ll remember little at that age…” is a nice fantasy but in reality it’s nonsense. As I pointed out, not consciously remembering is not the same as not remembering. If you’ve ever trained for something then find yourself able to do it without having to stop and think about it, you’ve experienced memory not stored in consciousness. I look both ways when I cross the street. I don’t consciously recall being taught that. A large number of mental health problems, from personality disorders to OCD to multiple personality disorder to some forms of schizophrenia (all of which I’ve worked with) are commonly caused by childhood trauma not consciously remembered. I don’t find anything to chuckle about people with no expertise claiming to know “…they’ll remember little.”

But you cannot predict what will happen to the individual child. Something that traumatizes one kid might mean nothing to another. Some might be hurt by a father’s six months absence and some might not. Some may thrive and excel and have excellent mental health raised by a single loving parent, or foster parent, or relative. I’m not telling the OP what to do. I’m simply saying what I would want to do, and why. Take the risk and shoot for both.

10-K
07-31-2012, 14:33
You are comparing apples to oranges.

There is no advantage -- only disadvantages -- to the children for dad taking a 6 month kick azz vacation.

But with a $10 million dollar payoff the parents -- and the children -- are basically set for life. They can now be a family 24/7 without jobs getting in the way.


Really? I thought the trauma was caused by the absence of the parent for 6 months.

So you're saying you'd traumatize your children for $10,000,000 because you'd have enough money afterwards not to work and let jobs get in the way.

FWIW, the only disadvantages are the ones he and his family decide. It's up to them.

Feral Bill
07-31-2012, 16:14
Once again, the OP asked for opinions as to whether his plan was selfish and irresponsible. You can hardly criticize people for weighing in on either side. No one has said he should not be allowed to make his own choice.

max patch
07-31-2012, 16:26
So you're saying you'd traumatize your children for $10,000,000 because you'd have enough money afterwards not to work and let jobs get in the way.



Yep. Because $10 million sets the children up for life and the vast advantages this provides them over the next 80 years more than offsets the loss they will experience during the 6 month absence.

A thru without this imaginary pot of gold at the end only provides negatives to the children.

StealthHikerBoy
07-31-2012, 16:26
Iíll chime in as someone who has been putting off a thru hike attempt for many years, until my kids are in college. I guess for this decision it is all about thinking through the benefits and drawbacks of each choice. For me, the decision has been selfish. I am going to truly enjoy the time I spend on a thru hike someday. But, I donít think I would ever enjoy it more than spending 6 months with my kids. Ever. My kids are teenagers, and both of them, along with my wife, would support it if I chose to do this. But, I value the time I have with them enough that I havenít considered doing it until I donít have the time with them anymore. Until then, I feed the hiking desire with some weekend hikes, and longer ones when I can.

Iíd support my wife if she wanted to thru hike. But, yes, I would also be thinking that she would rather take off on us for 6 months than be with us for 6 months. If not, why would she do it?

The original poster asked: ďIs it selfish and irresponsible for a dad of twin two year olds to take a 6 month hike?Ē It may not be irresponsible, but I donít see how it could be considered to be anything other than selfish. You are putting your own desires ahead of others who depend on you. That is pretty much the dictionary definition of selfish, isnít it?

Bronk
07-31-2012, 17:22
Ok folks... Let's play what if...

You are suddenly transformed into Bear168!!

A man knocks on the door and offers your family $10,000,000 if you will separate from your wife and twins for up to a 6 month period with the caveat you can go home any time you want and forfeit the $10,000,000.

What do you do?

... oh, and you can talk with them on the phone all you want and you're allowed to visit with them from time to time if you want.



A man asks a woman if she will sleep with him for a million dollars. She replies "of course I would!"

He then asks her if she would sleep with him for 50 cents. She replies "of course not, what kind of woman do you think I am?"

The man replies "we've already established that, we're just haggling over the price."

10-K
07-31-2012, 17:33
A man asks a woman if she will sleep with him for a million dollars. She replies "of course I would!"

He then asks her if she would sleep with him for 50 cents. She replies "of course not, what kind of woman do you think I am?"

The man replies "we've already established that, we're just haggling over the price."

I was thinking of that exact joke when I was typing my reply!

MedicineWoman2012
07-31-2012, 17:54
I am a Mom of 20yo and 10 yo that loves the time we have spent on the AT. This year I attempted a thru hike and made it to Hot Springs ..20 days into it I was missing my youngest so alot and his Dad was really digging into his reserved energy and funds to help support him while I was on the trail. I had the time of my life and enjoyed the reunion far more than I thought I would..it was suppose to be a short visit with them and return to the trail but I didnt have the heart to leave them while visiting. I had a broken foot ..didnt realize it was broken until I returned home just thought it was a small injury. I don't regret getting away for that long hiking for stress relief and to clear my head. I think having twin two year olds can adapt but their Mom may seek refuge for stress relief also ..in time would you do the same for her? I have returned the favor to his Dad and it worked wonders for both of us. I would disreguard any really negative comments just take what ya need and leave the rest. BTW..I didnt ask WB what they thought because I already had a great idea of what they would say about a Mom of a 10 yr old heading out for a possible thru hike. I did come back with a much clearer head and a far more experienced Mom on the trail. The boys perfer to camp with Mom than to goto the movies now :o)




FYI. We did not wait by choice but it was what dealt us and we have no regrets! Just because im older does mean i cant make a good father. If I thought they were a hobby as you put it, I would not be fighting within myself on doing the hike. The wife knows that it's been a dream and is willing to let me do it as a retirement gift. As for the military thing did 18 years between active and reserves so I know that life style. Not asking for permission to go just for others thoughts. I'm still trying to figure out what your lesson was other then you have nothing nice to say and assume a lot.

10-K
07-31-2012, 18:29
Exactly. The odds of anyone finishing a thru hike are pretty slim so it's probable that he'd be home before finishing anyway, if he didn't get off sooner because his wife needed him or he missed the kids or whatever.

It's not like an iron gate on a time lock is going to slam shut when he walks out and not reopen for 6 months.. dang.

Anyway.. go, stay - whatever. As you can see, there are a lot of experts on raising children here.

My only experience is raising my own 3 and they're about grown so I've done my hitch.....



I am a Mom of 20yo and 10 yo that loves the time we have spent on the AT. This year I attempted a thru hike and made it to Hot Springs ..20 days into it I was missing my youngest so alot and his Dad was really digging into his reserved energy and funds to help support him while I was on the trail. I had the time of my life and enjoyed the reunion far more than I thought I would..it was suppose to be a short visit with them and return to the trail but I didnt have the heart to leave them while visiting. I had a broken foot ..didnt realize it was broken until I returned home just thought it was a small injury. I don't regret getting away for that long hiking for stress relief and to clear my head. I think having twin two year olds can adapt but their Mom may seek refuge for stress relief also ..in time would you do the same for her? I have returned the favor to his Dad and it worked wonders for both of us. I would disreguard any really negative comments just take what ya need and leave the rest. BTW..I didnt ask WB what they thought because I already had a great idea of what they would say about a Mom of a 10 yr old heading out for a possible thru hike. I did come back with a much clearer head and a far more experienced Mom on the trail. The boys perfer to camp with Mom than to goto the movies now :o)

kayak karl
07-31-2012, 18:34
Oh wait I forget to mention as did everyone else. What about children of gay partners. Lol
i did in the beginning?

10-K
07-31-2012, 18:37
Oh wait I forget to mention as did everyone else. What about children of gay partners. Lol

As long as they were using a Sawyer In-Line Water Filter (SILWF) they'd be ok.

10-K
07-31-2012, 18:38
I'm leaving for Vermont and the Long Trail in 12 hours.... Ya'll got this.. :)

WingedMonkey
07-31-2012, 18:48
My only experience is raising my own 3 and they're about grown so I've done my hitch.....

Cool...now that you are 50 and wanting to retire why don't you have two more?

:banana

10-K
07-31-2012, 18:58
Cool...now that you are 50 and wanting to retire why don't you have two more?

:banana

Oh no.. I'm done.

16895

4shot
07-31-2012, 20:26
Once again, the OP asked for opinions as to whether his plan was selfish and irresponsible. You can hardly criticize people for weighing in on either side. No one has said he should not be allowed to make his own choice.

Nothing is as frustrating as someone who's opinion is wrong apparently.

hikerboy57
07-31-2012, 20:32
Everyone's opinion is wrong. They are just opinions.

Winds
07-31-2012, 21:02
For those who wish to get caught up quickly.

A Thread Summary:

Bear168: With two 2-year olds, and my wife’s permission to thru-hike, am I a selfish and irresponsible dad to go?

1. No one knows.
2. Your wife matters, the kids don’t.
3. The journey is the destination and people are jealous of your balls.
4. You can always get off the trail.
5. I lack proper capitalization skills.
6. Your wife is amazing, but can be the deal breaker and force you off the trail.
7. The 2-year olds won’t care.
8. You’ll have lots to tell your family.
9. Are you serious? You didn’t ask us if you could have kids. Your wife wants you out of the way. You think children are just a hobby.
10. Having one kid gives you more freedom.
11. Do it.
12. Your wife is the only one that matters.
13. Papa D is more than happy to be Mr. Mom.
14. Six months go by in the blink of an eye. Daughters can be sent overseas for their education.
15. BE VERY AFRAID, in the end you’ll pay.
16. Sailing_Faith is sad.
17. Go for it!
18. Shelb supports Civil War reenacting and being a single parent gets old.
19. Bear168 is older, but can be a good dad. You have nothing nice to say and assume a lot.
20. Put off the hike until the twins are old enough to miss you.
21. Your wife deserves a six month vacation in the Bahamas.
22. Yes, selfish and irresponsible. Now that you have your kids, there’s a better way to do it.
23. Be prepared for far more off-trail pressure. 6 months is a LONG time. All you will have is mood swings. Hiking for that long is NOT FUN everyday! You need a child with a temp for 4 days, and your trip is done. Listen to your heart.
24. Love your family.
25. Seek input from your 2-year old children. You might be surprised at how much two year olds resemble real people. That age, they will care most about having you around. It will be very hard to walk away from your children.
26. Did you read your own question?
27. You knew the answer would be NO. You are like an alcoholic. Try sticking around and being their dad.
28. Don’t shoot the messenger.
29. Scratch the itch you want to scratch and hike less.
30. 6 months is a long time.
31. You are selfish but not irresponsible.
32. The time to thru-hike is when your kids are 10 or 11.
33. Coffee Rules is going back into hiding.
34. Don’t be so hard on everyone.
35. We don’t know who we’re speaking to here. Go to a parenting website. You’re on a website with hiking enthusiasts. Fulfill your parental obligation.
36. There is a huge difference between hiking and living your own life.
37. Wise Old Owl wants to know about your parents when you were 2.
38. Kids that live in cages can’t remember.
39. Sailing_Faith lived in a cage, and it didn’t hurt, much.
40. 18 years go by soon.
41. Wise Old Owl tormented cats but turned out ok. His dad was home for Christmas.
42. 4shot spent a year working in Texas. There’s no difference between work travel and long distance hiking for pleasure.
43. You will never regain those lost 6 months. You will regret every stupid mistake. Take the 2-year olds hiking. My opinion doesn’t matter.
44. Daughters will learn expressions and mannerisms from a nanny.
45. No one here is a certified child/developmental psychologist. Just being a parent doesn’t count. You are living in your own little world which is likely wrong. No one should look for advice in from this forum. Single moms at the supermarket give better advice. Parents have little impact on the development of children.
46. Eventually, Hikerboy57 was able to find balance.
47. Pervy_sage goes on to write a book of brilliance, see whole middle section.
48. It’s not a big deal to the kids.
49. Hikerboy57 left it up to him to decide.
50. Joining the military is optional.
51. Tiptoe is taking care of his granddaughter this weekend.
52. Tomorrow doesn’t always come for everyone.
53. There are car accidents and childhood diseases that happen everyday.
54. Sometimes, people can’t read the future.
55. It’s always in the best interest of the kids for parents to stay together.
56. We have different belly buttons. Hikerboy57 is flawed. 2 of his 13 years married were his happiest.
57. Spouses sometimes meet someone else and want out.
58. You would become a stranger to the children in 6 months.
59. Lone Wolf thinks he’s pithy.
60. It’s a dead horse.
61. You will owe your wife for a long time.
62. We can all learn.
63. Every person is an individual.
64. You guilted her into letting you go. Her mother should move in.
65. 50% of men will DIE by 75.
66. Your wife is trying to tell you something.
67. Don’t take your kids to kindergarten if you don’t want tears in your eyes.
68. Grandmother and two aunts are going to help.
69. You should overrule your wife with enough insistence.
70. Gorgiewave doesn’t wear appropriate clothes out to dinner with his wife.
71. Do not abandon gifts from God.
72. Soldiers kids seem to survive.
73. Your wife has a boyfriend.
74. Ask Dr. Laura.
75. Kids somehow cope and survive.
76. Wait until the twins turn 3, then go away for 6 months.
77. Bear168 works long days.
78. Don H can relate.
79. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions.
80. You’re not in the military.
81. Wise Old Owl disagrees.
82. …………
83. Cabbagehead doesn’t have offspring.
84. Family is always first.
85. Do I gamble with my kids?
86. With children that have been abused, some are screwed up maladjusted adults. Disabled children do more than survive!
87. Don H watches the Olympics.
88. Folks get blind and can’t see the horizon.
89. Something silly about money.
90. We have a lot of comforts thanks to crappy parents.
91. This thread has made Berserker cry, and he is thankful.
92. Feral Bill would take the money.
93. There are only disadvantages to children while dad is on vacation.
94. Sailor (The other one) is an expert in something. But he cannot predict what will traumatize a child.
95. StealthHikerBoy would support his wife if she wanted to leave for 6 months, but not really.
96. Bronk cracked a joke, maybe?
97. 10-K sorry he couldn’t beat Bronk to the joke.
98. MedicineWoman2012 broke her foot.
99. 10-K is worried the thread can’t continue without him.
100. Everyone’s opinion is wrong.

Wooosh!

Now, hike on!
:)

Papa D
07-31-2012, 21:27
I'm leaving for Vermont and the Long Trail in 12 hours.... Ya'll got this.. :)

Have fun 10K - you'll really enjoy the LT.

Nobody talks much about Hancock, VT - - better than decent re-supply, pizza joint, breakfast, and hostel (The Gathering Place) with a river to swim in if you think about it.

Papa D
07-31-2012, 21:30
For those who wish to get caught up quickly.

A Thread Summary:

Bear168: With two 2-year olds, and my wife’s permission to thru-hike, am I a selfish and irresponsible dad to go?

1. No one knows.
2. Your wife matters, the kids don’t.
3. The journey is the destination and people are jealous of your balls.
4. You can always get off the trail.
5. I lack proper capitalization skills.
6. Your wife is amazing, but can be the deal breaker and force you off the trail.
7. The 2-year olds won’t care.
8. You’ll have lots to tell your family.
9. Are you serious? You didn’t ask us if you could have kids. Your wife wants you out of the way. You think children are just a hobby.
10. Having one kid gives you more freedom.
11. Do it.
12. Your wife is the only one that matters.
13. Papa D is more than happy to be Mr. Mom.
14. Six months go by in the blink of an eye. Daughters can be sent overseas for their education.
15. BE VERY AFRAID, in the end you’ll pay.
16. Sailing_Faith is sad.
17. Go for it!
18. Shelb supports Civil War reenacting and being a single parent gets old.
19. Bear168 is older, but can be a good dad. You have nothing nice to say and assume a lot.
20. Put off the hike until the twins are old enough to miss you.
21. Your wife deserves a six month vacation in the Bahamas.
22. Yes, selfish and irresponsible. Now that you have your kids, there’s a better way to do it.
23. Be prepared for far more off-trail pressure. 6 months is a LONG time. All you will have is mood swings. Hiking for that long is NOT FUN everyday! You need a child with a temp for 4 days, and your trip is done. Listen to your heart.
24. Love your family.
25. Seek input from your 2-year old children. You might be surprised at how much two year olds resemble real people. That age, they will care most about having you around. It will be very hard to walk away from your children.
26. Did you read your own question?
27. You knew the answer would be NO. You are like an alcoholic. Try sticking around and being their dad.
28. Don’t shoot the messenger.
29. Scratch the itch you want to scratch and hike less.
30. 6 months is a long time.
31. You are selfish but not irresponsible.
32. The time to thru-hike is when your kids are 10 or 11.
33. Coffee Rules is going back into hiding.
34. Don’t be so hard on everyone.
35. We don’t know who we’re speaking to here. Go to a parenting website. You’re on a website with hiking enthusiasts. Fulfill your parental obligation.
36. There is a huge difference between hiking and living your own life.
37. Wise Old Owl wants to know about your parents when you were 2.
38. Kids that live in cages can’t remember.
39. Sailing_Faith lived in a cage, and it didn’t hurt, much.
40. 18 years go by soon.
41. Wise Old Owl tormented cats but turned out ok. His dad was home for Christmas.
42. 4shot spent a year working in Texas. There’s no difference between work travel and long distance hiking for pleasure.
43. You will never regain those lost 6 months. You will regret every stupid mistake. Take the 2-year olds hiking. My opinion doesn’t matter.
44. Daughters will learn expressions and mannerisms from a nanny.
45. No one here is a certified child/developmental psychologist. Just being a parent doesn’t count. You are living in your own little world which is likely wrong. No one should look for advice in from this forum. Single moms at the supermarket give better advice. Parents have little impact on the development of children.
46. Eventually, Hikerboy57 was able to find balance.
47. Pervy_sage goes on to write a book of brilliance, see whole middle section.
48. It’s not a big deal to the kids.
49. Hikerboy57 left it up to him to decide.
50. Joining the military is optional.
51. Tiptoe is taking care of his granddaughter this weekend.
52. Tomorrow doesn’t always come for everyone.
53. There are car accidents and childhood diseases that happen everyday.
54. Sometimes, people can’t read the future.
55. It’s always in the best interest of the kids for parents to stay together.
56. We have different belly buttons. Hikerboy57 is flawed. 2 of his 13 years married were his happiest.
57. Spouses sometimes meet someone else and want out.
58. You would become a stranger to the children in 6 months.
59. Lone Wolf thinks he’s pithy.
60. It’s a dead horse.
61. You will owe your wife for a long time.
62. We can all learn.
63. Every person is an individual.
64. You guilted her into letting you go. Her mother should move in.
65. 50% of men will DIE by 75.
66. Your wife is trying to tell you something.
67. Don’t take your kids to kindergarten if you don’t want tears in your eyes.
68. Grandmother and two aunts are going to help.
69. You should overrule your wife with enough insistence.
70. Gorgiewave doesn’t wear appropriate clothes out to dinner with his wife.
71. Do not abandon gifts from God.
72. Soldiers kids seem to survive.
73. Your wife has a boyfriend.
74. Ask Dr. Laura.
75. Kids somehow cope and survive.
76. Wait until the twins turn 3, then go away for 6 months.
77. Bear168 works long days.
78. Don H can relate.
79. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions.
80. You’re not in the military.
81. Wise Old Owl disagrees.
82. …………
83. Cabbagehead doesn’t have offspring.
84. Family is always first.
85. Do I gamble with my kids?
86. With children that have been abused, some are screwed up maladjusted adults. Disabled children do more than survive!
87. Don H watches the Olympics.
88. Folks get blind and can’t see the horizon.
89. Something silly about money.
90. We have a lot of comforts thanks to crappy parents.
91. This thread has made Berserker cry, and he is thankful.
92. Feral Bill would take the money.
93. There are only disadvantages to children while dad is on vacation.
94. Sailor (The other one) is an expert in something. But he cannot predict what will traumatize a child.
95. StealthHikerBoy would support his wife if she wanted to leave for 6 months, but not really.
96. Bronk cracked a joke, maybe?
97. 10-K sorry he couldn’t beat Bronk to the joke.
98. MedicineWoman2012 broke her foot.
99. 10-K is worried the thread can’t continue without him.
100. Everyone’s opinion is wrong.

Wooosh!

Now, hike on!
:)


If you need a trail name, Cliff Notes would fit.

MuddyWaters
07-31-2012, 21:31
Well, at least he didnt ask if he should also bring a gun.

max patch
07-31-2012, 21:46
i nominate WINDS to write summaries of all threads once they hit 100 posts.

coppertex
07-31-2012, 21:47
Winds, I must say that was incredibly entertaining and an accurate summary. Thank you.

Wise Old Owl
07-31-2012, 21:48
Cliff notes - Winds brings it home to da house!

hikerboy57
07-31-2012, 21:51
i nominate WINDS to write summaries of all threads once they hit 100 posts.

I dare you to try it at the cafe.

pervy_sage
07-31-2012, 22:11
Winds, that was utterly amazing.

Still working on the thesis paper by the way...

4shot
07-31-2012, 22:16
how much money should the OP take? Would his wife still approve if she knew he was secretly planning to walking a few blue blazes? or that he was thinking about slacking sobo back into Daleville?

jesse
08-01-2012, 05:13
This is a great site for getting info about gear, trail conditions, accommodations, etc. But you gotta be a moron to seriously take any advise on personal issues from WB.

Berserker
08-01-2012, 08:56
Winds, I don't read many posts on here that actually make me laugh out loud, but while I was reading yours I audibly laughed right here in my cubicle at work. Thank you for the wonderful start to my morning sir :D

pervy_sage
08-01-2012, 09:17
This is a great site for getting info about gear, trail conditions, accommodations, etc. But you gotta be a moron to seriously take any advise on personal issues from WB.

I don't know about moronic, but definitely misguided. The types of folks here I would guess (and this is only a guess based solely on personal observation) are very caring, emotionally intuitive, empathetic, passionate, self sacrificing people that would give the skin off their back for friends, family, and even the odd stranger. This usually means they feel strong guilt about taking time for themselves and their own dream fulfillment (being selfish) which causes them stress when faced with this type of personal puzzle. Bear168, from what I have gathered, is a responsible adult who served in the military (strong sense of duty) and is currently an EMT (strong sense of helping others). I can feel the outpouring of empathy from everyone, some for the children, some for the wife, and some for the OP. If he wanted guidance in making a decision, he probably shouldn't be asking folks with similar tendencies. That is like a drunk asking the other guys at the bar if he should stop drinking.

Don H
08-01-2012, 09:19
Winds, all you got out of my posts is that I watch the Olympics and can relate???? You're never gonna pass the test with those Cliff Notes:)