This week we chatted to Laura, the incredible blogger behind Five Little Doves. After Laura lost her second child Joseph who was born stillborn she started her blog to share her experiences after loss and does an incredible job of sharing authentically what life after loss feels like and how they find happiness through adventures outside as a family.

So, to kick off Laura can you share with our readers a little about yourself?

Of course – so hello, I’m Laura! I’m a 40 year old Mum of five living in Lancashire with my husband Gareth. We have Lewis 16, Eva 8, Megan 7, Harrison 6 and Joseph who would have been 14 but was sadly stillborn in 2006. I share our lives raising rainbows on my blog Five Little Doves and try very hard to show that there is still so much happiness to be had in a life after loss.

And you do an amazing job of that! What would you say you do with your family to drive this happiness?

As a family you will usually find us outdoors playing in the garden, exploring in the woods or walking at the beach. Whatever the weather we are at our happiest outdoors when the children can run wild and we can enjoy the fresh air, plus it always tires them out which is a huge bonus!

We also love to travel as a family and this is something we do whenever possible. Nothing beats seeing the world through the eyes of your children and we hope to do continue exploring as the children grow.

I totally agree, it’s like discovering it all yourself again! What was your childhood like in terms of spending time outdoors?

The majority of my childhood memories are of our days outdoors, playing on my grandads farm, climbing trees, building dens, whizzing up and down the streets on our BMX’s. Living in Lancashire we had the countryside right on our doorsteps and my favourite memories are of us paddling in the streams in the summer months or sledging down the fields in the winter.

So you’ve always been part of a family that loves spending time outside, would you say that’s important to you, if so why?

Spending time outside is hugely important to us as a family. I think for me, I had such a happy childhood and I want my children to have the same – climbing trees, conker picking, fishing for tadpoles and making daisy chains. I am a huge believer that children should be children and I think childhood should very much be about running around barefoot or in your wellies, with dirty hands and grubby knees and having good old fashioned fun.

Why do you think so many children are growing up indoors?

I think technology plays a huge part in it which wasn’t really the case for me growing up in the 80’s. Children nowadays are happy staring at an iPad or playing a games console as opposed to going outside and making their own fun.

I also think that safety plays a huge part in it too, as a child growing up we would leave the house at 9am and return at 5 for tea, and my parents never batted an eyelid. Perhaps society as a whole feels far less safe for children to play out alone at a young age and with parents leading busy lifestyles and more stressful jobs, time as a family to get outdoors is limited.

What’s your favourite ‘wellies on’ family memory?

A couple of years ago we went on a day out to a nature reserve and my husband Gareth was taking it in turns to help the children along the stepping stones on what turned out to be quite a deep pond. As he helped Harry across the last step his welly caught on the last stepping stone, threw him off balance and he fell face first into the muddy water ripping both knees of his jeans in the process. I’m not sure I’ve ever laughed so much in all my life, especially as he squelched his way back to the car mumbling about how they were his favourite pair of jeans!! 

What an amazing memory – it’s always when things go wrong they’re at their funniest! So my final question – what are your top tips for other families looking to build more outside time into their kids days? Particularly when we’re heading into the colder and wetter part of the year!

My biggest tip would always be to never let the weather put you off. Someone once told me there’s no such thing as the wrong weather, just the wrong clothing and that’s really stayed with me.  I think we all feel less inclined to get outdoors when it’s cold or raining but having good quality wellies and waterproofs means you don’t need to miss out!

Thank you so much to Laura from Five Little Doves for spending the time talking to me! It’s been lovely hearing you insights and I hope lots of you will also enjoy reading them! For more from Laura make sure to check out www.fivelittledoves.com and follow her on instagram.