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 💛


The Rock

You are the rock,
Solid and stable
You are the rock,
Strong and able
You are the rock,
Brave and bold
You are the rock,
Power you hold

But should you be left unprotected for long,
Is there not a chance, you will get weathered and worn?

How are you preserving yourself?
What protection mechanisms do you have in place?

If you’re like me, and you are the rock in your family, and your relationship, and your work, or one of these or any other area of your life, this is your reminder that you still need protection. You still need some sheltering or nurturing, for too much weathering of storms can lead to erosion.

How are you looking after yourself to prevent the wearing out or burning out that comes with being the rock in all aspect of your life for a long period of time?
Is that how you really want to show up?
Who can you or do you turn to for protection? For the occasional sheltering from the elements?

We can only be the rock for so long.
It is not failing to ask for help or support,
To need a break from being the rock all the time.
Taking time to nurture yourself, will only empower you to stand stronger and to weather the storms when those time arise.

How can you or do you create some space for yourself to have that much needed reprieve?

I’d love to know if this resonates with you 💛


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 💛


Perspective

This week I’ve been a bit in my head about how present I’ve been with the kids in terms of playtime & outings / activities, versus how much I’ve been trying to get bits done around the house, doing some work on my business, reorganising finances, talking on the phone etc.

I was questioning myself & engaging in a bit of negative self talk, & then this morning I shared how I was feeling with my bestie & my hubby.
It was the best thing I could have done as they both gave me another perspective, & pulled me out of the guilt ridden space that I had created for myself.

This morning I’d forgotten all about the fact that the twins had been sick this week & I couldn’t take them out of the house, or that the kids were all exhausted so they needed some rest time at home, or the things I have played & books I’ve read (albeit not as much as I would normally like), or that I am allowed to have goals, & that it is great that the kids have time to entertain themselves & create their own fun.
Then as I spoke to my bestie & we spoke about what we remember about growing up, & she reminded me of all the things I tell her that we’ve done on the weekends as a family;
& then I spoke to hubby & he reminded me that I do play with the kids & do lots of different things with them & that I am still my own person with things I want to achieve (whether around the house or for the family or for my business); I was able to look at things more clearly & get out of the space I was in.

Now I’m sharing this today to remind us all to never underestimate the power of sharing.
We are never alone.
There is always someone who is going through the same things, or who is willing to listen, or who can give us the pep talk we need & remind us of what we are not hearing over all the fog in our heads.

There is always someone who can help in any situation.
We just have to be willing to open up & to share.

The next time you find yourself stuck in your head, try saying things out loud to your partner, your friends or your family. You might be surprised by how they can support you, & you’ll wish you’d spoken up sooner.

Sending love to all the parents out there & to those who support us xxx


Balance & boundaries

Life is all about setting boundaries to create balance. It is also about recognising when we need to set those boundaries, and when we are out of balance. For me, I would love to paint at every spare moment that I have (around looking after our 3 little ones), but I know that some of my time needs to be spent managing the house and other things. I also know that, whilst I love my painting time, if I spend too much time painting and not enough of my time writing and in quiet reflection then things can also get on top of me. With so many moving parts, it is a constant work in progress to get things in balance.

Balance and boundaries are especially important when we are parents and have so many demands on us. I know that in a busy house with 3 little ones, it can be really hard to have time to myself, or just some quiet time, and so it is up to me to set boundaries to create that quiet time. Creating boundaries with our children also encourages them to learn patience, understanding and gratitude (and is definitely a work in progress). We also need to set boundaries with our families and friends, we need to set boundaries with our work and other commitments, and we need to set boundaries with our partners.

Setting these boundaries helps us to create balance. For example, it helps with creating a balance between time with the family, time with our partners, and time with ourselves. Whilst it can be incredibly hard to achieve, and some days might be easier than others, what can make it easier is knowing what quality time looks like with our families, partners, and ourselves. By knowing what quality time looks like, we can then make better decisions around how we spend our time, and can gain greater satisfaction from using that time to better serve us. Communicating with our partners and kids on the boundaries we want to create is also key.

We also need to take the pressure off ourselves. We don’t have to do everything, and we don’t have to achieve it all alone. It is okay to ask for help when we need it. Sometimes we might need to take a break from something to make room or give extra attention to something else.  When we feel we are spiralling and overwhelmed, the best solution is often to take a break and regroup. Whilst we might think we are ‘wasting time’ when we stop, this is not the case for when we take breaks, we are coming back with greater energy, greater focus and clarity, and often greater motivation.

If you’re recognising that you’re out of balance, speak up and ask for the help you need to create the space for you to restore balance, and be gentle with yourself.