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 💛


Us

Yesterday, we had a whole day of just us 💛

We were so grateful to have my wonderful in-laws offer to have the kids for the day so that we could finish building the kids main Christmas present, & to clean & sort the house for Christmas dinner tomorrow night, to prep for events after Christmas & finish some shopping etc.

With a big list of things to do, I decided that we’d make the most of our time together & start the day (once hubby dropped the kids off) with a walk on the beach & breakfast. I couldn’t tell you when the last time we’d done that was, but to be out in the sunshine together, without rushing to an event or to be doing anything but enjoying each other’s company was amazing!

It gave us such a boost, & we just had such a great day (& so productive!!), despite the rest of the day being ‘chores’ that we were given uninterrupted time & space to do 💛

If you can make the time / create the space over the Christmas holidays to do something together, in day light hours, I highly recommend it! Even if it’s just as simple as a 30min walk while the kids stay back with the family at the holiday accommodation if that suits your plans 💖

Becoming parents for the first time changes your relationship. Really changes it.

When you add a beautiful child into your relationship, the love you have for each other changes as you witness each other become parents & grow into your new roles. There are new milestones that bring a new level of excitement & more to celebrate. You are amazed at what you have created together & you grin when you say things like, ‘the three of us will be at Christmas lunch’ 💛

Whilst becoming parents brings a new level of love, & lots of positivity, it also brings extra tensions & challenges to your relationship. When you bring a bundle of joy into the world that needs your full attention, creates sleep deprivation / general exhaustion, needs so much of your time, changes your roles in the house, adds new financial costs changes your communication – ‘can you go & get a nappy for me, can you hold baby while I do this, have they had a feed, what time did they wake, are they due for another sleep, do they need a nappy change? etc. new pressures are added to your relationship.

Things then continue to evolve and there are new challenges (as well as joys) as your baby gets older & you decide what sort of parenting style you want to have, how you want the household to run, and then adding extra babies (twins in our case), changes things even more as all of the above doubles or triples.

As parents, you have to work harder to make time for each other, to communicate better, to check in on each other. To apologise when times are stressful & you both get snappy, to listen, to compromise. You have to put extra effort in to create the lightness & laughter that existed in the days of less responsibility, to make the effort to show your appreciation & affection.

Now it’s not all doom & gloom 🙈 but it’s important to note the changes & challenges, & to know that we all experience them in some way or another.

It’s also so important to go those extra miles. To communicate openly. To make time for each other. To spend time together, separately, & altogether as a family.

When the kids are all grown up & leave the nest, we’ll want to remember what it’s like to just be the two of us & to remember each other ❤️


Going from 1 2 3

Since becoming a mother of 3 (whoa!), not only do I pinch myself often, but I also find myself pondering over the differences between having our first baby, to now having 3 children. There are so many things that change when you bring home a second bub (with a third, in our case), and we definitely found the experience to be very different to our first. We’ve had so many, ‘this is new’ moments over the last year, which have continued to prove that this parenting gig is ever-changing, ever-challenging, and ever-rewarding. Having a 3yo and 1yo twins certainly makes life interesting…

One of the most noticeable changes when deciding to grow to a family of 4, is of course, the idea of a sibling. You start using the words sibling, brother, sister, etc. as you prepare your firstborn for the big change that’s about to occur, whilst hopefully getting a mostly positive response (if they’re old enough to understand). When you first find out that you are expecting, you might question whether you’ll be able to love another as much as your first, but once they arrive you soon discover there is more than enough room in your heart. That moment when you introduce your firstborn to their new sibling is one of excitement and nervousness as you await their reaction. Thankfully for us, this first meeting was one to be treasured, as our 2yo son was so proud to meet his little sister and brother, grasping their names quickly, and excitedly introducing them to the family.

When you bring your newborn home, the phrase ‘be gentle with your sister or brother’ seems to run on repeat, as you try teaching your eldest about the fragility of their new sibling. Those yucky feelings of guilt do unfortunately seem to grow as your time becomes apportioned across children, and your firstborn no longer has your undivided attention. You might find that you need to remind yourself of the joys that a sibling brings, and that although the adjustment may take some time, it won’t be forever. To add to this, the luxuries of ‘sleeping when baby sleeps’, or leaving your newborn on a play mat or in a bouncer for a few minutes disappear, unless their older sibling is napping or is right by your side (perhaps knocking on the toilet door). Although there are new risks and challenges, there are certainly new advantages, such as having a little helper who can get nappies or wipes from the nursery, or who can help feed, calm or entertain their younger sibling(s).

As they all get that little bit older, the battle of sharing begins, with sibling upsets over toys becoming more common than the cold. In our case, our son quickly learnt his power of influence, encouraging his little sister and brother into mischief, often opening bedroom doors and security gates for them to get through (thanks hubby for teaching him how to open the gates!). Whilst playtime can often resemble a cat fight in the street, there are times when they surprise you and play so nicely together (even if only for 2 minutes), and you stop questioning why you thought it was a good idea to bless your firstborn with a sibling. All jokes aside, one of the biggest rewards of having multiple children are those heart-melting sibling moments, whether it’s a kiss or cuddle, a little chat or giggle, a game of peek-a-boo, or helping one another, when you can see just how much they love and care for each other.

With the addition of siblings, also comes enormous change around the house. Mess is created in half (or a third) of the time, with food or drink spills needing to be cleaned straight away, or you risk them being spread throughout the entire house. Child locks become more important as, not only do you have 2 or 3 (or more) little people to keep watchful eyes on, you also have lots of little fingers that could get caught in cupboards and drawers. In our case, safety gates have been erected in an attempt to block off ends of the house to, again, minimise that risk of harming little fingers, to keep all 3 kids where we can see them, and of course to confine them to a space where we know the floor is relatively clean… There are also new challenges when it comes to family illnesses with multiple children, and maintaining your own wellbeing with the added pressure of managing a larger household. Each new child also comes with a new truckload of washing, and you learn not to celebrate seeing the bottom of the laundry baskets (if you see them!), because there is always another dirty item hiding somewhere (or being covered in breakfast, lunch or dinner). Despite the house becoming messier and the endless washing piles, our house has never been so full of love and gratitude for our family of 5.

Time also certainly seems to go faster with the more children you have. There’s always an event or milestone sneaking up on you, which become even more exciting as there are more special little people to celebrate with. As we’re rushing around getting ready to leave the house (when we leave…), I often find myself questioning where the time has disappeared to. It can be a mammoth effort getting 3 kids dressed and into the car, whilst making sure we’ve got the suitcase full of food, drinks, nappies, wipes, changes of clothing, toys etc., and we all have shoes. We usually find ourselves exhausted before we’ve even left the driveway. The days seem to fly when you’re running a larger household, and there is always something to plan or organise (a shout out to those with school aged children and the extracurricular activities that brings)… and the nights seem to vanish just doing the dinner, bath, book, and bed routine for 3 (and we don’t bath the twins every night). Despite time flying by, we still find time to embrace the special moments of family life with our 3 gorgeous giggles and family of 5 cuddles.

Whilst each stage of growing your family brings new challenges, we’ve found that they are far outweighed by the added love and happiness that a buzzing family home brings. Although things do become busier with each new addition, we found that we became more relaxed, as we were able to draw on our previous experience, and we worried less about noise and routine, and more about enjoying the ride. We’ve learnt to laugh at the impossibility of getting a ‘perfect’ family photo and embrace the perfect in everyday family life. As the saying goes, ‘if you think our hands are full, you should see our hearts’.

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