Breaking Bias – International Women’s Day 2022

Last week, our 7yo was reading a book on World Civilisations for his home reading. After reading about several cultures and their family life, he started to question why the women HAD to stay home, and why the girls COULDN’T go to school, saying, “I don’t get it!?” My response was, “I know right!? How ridiculous!” 😂

Now, normally I would have explained and taught him some of the history, but –

a) I didn’t have the energy that night,

b) it was grinding my gears having to hear about the inequities of history, and

c) I was actually just so damn proud that he questioned these things in the first place!

This is exactly what I want for our kids.
I want them to question why things are the way they are, or the way they were. I want them to check their own biases and challenge the biases of others as they grow older. Lastly, I want them to know that they can be and do whatever they dream of being and doing regardless of any history or stereotypes.

In our household –

Mum ‘goes to work’ and Dad ‘stays home’, doing the school lunches, the drop offs and pick ups around his own e-business,
Dad takes the bins out & mows the lawn, and Mum puts the IKEA furniture together and fixes things,
Mum bakes cookies and cakes, and Dad bakes banana bread and makes pikelets,
Dad cleans the pool, and Mum patches and paints walls,
Mum irons the clothes, and Dad puts on the washing.
We share a lot of the roles and responsibilities as equals.
We work to each others strengths and we respect each other’s efforts, and this only grew when we switched roles 2.5years ago and both built on our understanding of what it was like to fill the others shoes.
And we don’t discriminate on ‘boy things’ or ‘girl things’ and we have conversations with our kids when these things surface.

My role as a mother, is not only to raise a woman who knows what she is capable of and the power she holds within, but to also raise 2 men who recognise the same in themselves and in the women around them

I take my role at work to break biases as seriously as I take my role in building women up, and supporting them to know the huge value they bring as equals.

We all play an important role. How are you playing yours?

I am very passionate about supporting women who are feeling lost and unclear in their direction and in who they are. If you need help to reconnect with yourself, gain clarity on your purpose, and create positive change, so that you can live a more conscious, joyful life reach out at http://www.embarked.com.au.


What it took

And this is what it took

For family bonds to be restored

For homes to be taken care of

For those odd jobs to be done

And this is what it took

For puzzles to be dusted off

For forts to be built

For more books to be read

And this is what it took

For families to bake together

For our bodies to be nourished

For health to be prioritised

And this is what it took

For children to learn of boredom

For friendships to strengthen

For the birds to be heard

And this is what it took

For driveways to be played on

For rainbows to be drawn

For neighbours to connect

And this is what it took

For time in nature to be appreciated

For music to be enjoyed

For creativity to come alive

And this is what it took

For communities to unite

For Mother Earth to regenerate

For new ways to be discovered

And this is what it took

For the world to truly slow down

And if this is what it took…

What are we taking away from all of this?

💛

By Simone Parker

@embarkedwithsimone

14.04.2020


New Chapter

It’s been three months since our new chapter began, with hubby coming home to be with the kids & invest more energy into his business, and I jumped back into a full time role in the corporate space.

Three months of adjusting, three months of working out our new normal, three months of finding our feet (& still counting)…

Three months of me…

Learning a new role, a new company, new people, new systems & processes

Learning how to switch from Mum mode to work mode & back

Learning what it’s like to arrive home each evening at the peak of witching hour(s) & being thrust into the kids nighttime routine before winding down

Learning the importance of the train ride & walks home to support switching modes & resetting

Learning to let go of expectations on getting all the things done, or things being done differently to how I would do them

Learning to deal with the real FOMO that comes from not being available as much for family & friends, or being part of the regular school routine

Learning to share the opportunities

Learning to prioritise even more & learning to let go of the guilt that comes from not being able to get to everyone or everything

Learning to appreciate the weekends in a new way

Learning how to keep my passions (quality family time, & my creating & sharing through my business) alive, & to keep those promises to myself that I wouldn’t let those passions slip…

And whilst I can’t & won’t speak entirely on hubby’s behalf –

Three months of him…

Learning a new role & new processes in the same house, with the same little people (for a whole lot more time), with less other people

Learning what it’s like to be a stay at home Dad, juggling 3 kids & their needs, whilst running a business

Learning what it’s like to eagerly wait the arrival of that second pair of hands

Learning of the special bond that deepens

Learning to let go of expectations to get all the things done whilst having little ones as your number 1 priority

Learning how quickly plans can change, & how to steal little bits of time where you can

Learning to prioritise in a new way, with new activities and responsibilities

Two roles

Equally as important

Equally as new

Equally as many challenges

Equally as many milestones

Equally offering a new perspective on the other

All of our triumphs & challenges to date have set us on this path & brought us to where we are today, & I am so grateful for this new chapter, however short or long it lasts, & for what we are both learning, & equally as important, for what our children our learning too

We have a new found appreciation & respect for the roles we held before & for the roles we each hold now. We both understand & have experienced the challenges of each role, & we have both experienced the joys that come with each role.

Never under estimate the opportunity to see another perspective

To embrace a new experience

And to go where the universe is guiding you 💛


Mum Friends

Motherhood changes friendships.

Whilst there can be a lot of emphasis on finding our tribe & connections with our mum friends, the reality is that motherhood can both strengthen and create new friendships, and create distance and cause friendships to end.

Motherhood really tests our friendships.

It tests for strength, compromise, compassion, trust, support, patience, quality, honesty, understanding, objectivity, love, resilience, loyalty, equality, heart, soul, & more.

Motherhood creates barriers.

Barriers of sleep deprivation, rollercoaster hormones, isolation, overwhelm, judgement, expectations, time, presence, parenting styles and choices, comparison, exhaustion, loss of identity, etc… All of which can affect our friendships.

Motherhood creates opportunities.

The opportunity to connect with our friends on a deeper level when we trust & share openly,

to let go of some friendships,

to rekindle old friendships,

to create new friendships,

to bond over something entirely new,

to learn a new approach or a new way of looking at things,

to reassess priorities,

to make changes.

As mothers (and fathers), we are changed from the moment we are blessed with the title.

We are different.

So, how can we expect everything else to remain the same?

It is not unusual for our relationships to be affected.

How can they not be when we are not the same?

When we are navigating our way through all the changes & the ups & downs of parenthood,

rediscovering ourselves & trying to find our new ‘normal’ when the goal posts keep changing with each milestone or each precious addition to the family, not to mention other pressures of work, finances, health, etc.

We are not alone when a friendship is tested, or lost.

We are not alone when we feel like we don’t have a ‘tribe’.

We are not alone when we feel like we no longer fit in with our circle.

We are not alone when we find it difficult to make new friends.

Motherhood changes our friendships, but it also creates many opportunities.

We can decide what we need.

We can decide what our priorities are.

We can decide when it’s time to make changes.

We can decide how we are going to show up.

We can decide what we are worthy of.

And only we can make the changes that are right for us.

Here’s to our mum friends (including our wonderful friends without their own children)

To our friendships that have weathered the storms,

To our friendships that have taught us a lot,

To our new friendships just beginning,

To our friendships yet to be sparked 💛


Getting out with twins

A big part of the Multiple Birth Awareness Week theme for this year around ‘Sharing the Journey’, is about joining a community or group to build a support network. personally, is something that I found quite difficult to do with a 2yo & newborn twins initially, & so I want to share a bit of my story in support of others who may be feeling the same.

In those first few months, I spent a large chunk of my time on the lounge (or in bed at night) feeding the twins. A process which took at least 1.5 hours & didn’t leave a lot of time before starting the next feed 🙈 I was constantly exhausted & getting through each day at home was enough for me without thinking about trying to leave the house solo with our 3 little ones. I couldn’t work out the logistics of trying to breastfeed the twins, sort out their naps, plus their older brother’s nap, whilst trying to keep him out of mischief & get to know new people & form connections. And to be honest, the whole idea terrified me & the thought was enough to overwhelm me.

In my experience, it was 10 weeks before I managed a full day at home on my own with all 3, & from there, my only solo outings would be a walk down to our local chemist for the twins weigh-ins with a midwife, or a visit to see family. It wasn’t until the twins were 1 (& 2 weeks) that I had the confidence to manage solo trips to the park, which I was very proud of then (& still am now). Shortly after that, & with the support of my sister-in-law, we then joined a local Playgroup which we all really enjoyed, & which also helped me continue to rebuild my confidence. It got us all out of the house, & gave me the chance to have some adult conversation & to make some new friends, & the kids a chance to play with some new friends too 💛

Putting yourself out there to meet new people & to join a new community isn’t easy. It takes courage, confidence, risk taking, faith, & more.
To those who haven’t yet felt comfortable to join a new group or community, you are not alone. Give it time. If it is something you want to do, then keep trying. Ask for someone to go with you, as you never know who might also be wanting to go but not wanting to go alone.
To those who run the groups & communities, thank you for creating these opportunities for us! Your work is incredible & much needed.
To those who have taken a chance & joined a community, Congratulations! I hope the connections you’re making is providing some extra support for you on your journey 💛


Sharing the Journey

Today marks the start of Multiple Birth Awareness Week for 2019 & the theme this year is ‘Share the journey’, encouraging parents of multiples to ask for support, build connections & community, & share their experiences. I personally feel this is so important for all parents, so that we know we are not alone in our experiences & are supported, & as a parent of multiples, I know firsthand the challenges that having 2 newborns brings, along with a 2yo in our case, & the importance of asking for or accepting the help when offered. I also know the importance of sharing the journey in a sense of sharing our stories as a way of creating connections, awareness, & opening up communication channels, having started writing & sharing when our twins were 6mo. There really is so much power in sharing our stories 💛

We are so very lucky to have so many people to share our multiples journey with, & we are so grateful to experience being parents & parents of multiples. Our support came in all ways from my Mum coming to stay with us for 5 & a half weeks when our twins were a week old & my husband went back to work, to parents, in-laws, sister’s, Aunties, friends, etc who would help out with nappy changing, burping, bathing, entertaining our 2yo, meals, etc. I also received great support from an amazing lactation consultant & our local chemist.
Sharing our journey with so many, has been vital to our success, especially over the first few months in terms of exclusively breastfeeding the twins, keeping our 2yo entertained, & my mental health, etc.
Over the week I will share & re-share a few more stories in support of MBAW to encourage others to reach out for support, to share their journeys & to know they aren’t alone 💖💙