Alice, 40, Tom, 41, Noah, 11 and Ned, 9 live in Leeds in the UK. They love adventures and were our first volunteer family where they helped us plan and make our outside toilet and shower block with recycled materials.
Please explain your lifestyle and philosophy
Our lifestyle is driven by trying to create a positive impact on the lives of others through our work and daily interactions. We value kindness, compassion, exploration, creativity, growth and our relationships with others and our world. Entrepreneurship and not being afraid to do something different are what we try and model for our children, as is living in a sustainable way with how and what we consume.
We currently have what looks like a fairly conventional set up but longer-term travel has become a huge part of our identity as a family. We have taken sabbaticals from school/work to facilitate this and and love how it brings us together as a family team. We definitely lean towards better to have tried and failed than not tried at all!
Do you work-from-home or are you a stay at home parent? Please tell us about it.
Our work lives are pretty varied! Tom is based in an office for his day job and for my work in property/design I can be at home, in a design studio or on a building site. We both coach CrossFit during the evening and at weekends from the gym we run with our business partner in Leeds. It’s a family affair and the boys join in with classes and (occasionally) help clean and tidy!
I would also say I am a stay at home parent as I’ve always fitted my work around caring for the boys and they are my priority.
How do you make things work?
Saying no to things, help from grandparents and being as flexible as we can with each other’s schedule. We also spend time dreaming, talking about and planning our work/family/life projects so we can actually make them happen. Lots of exercise in the fresh air, yoga, meditation and good food help to keep things grounded.
What inspired your lifestyle?
Gradual shifts in our perspective once we emerged from the intense early years of bringing up the boys…we started home-swapping with people from all over the world, created a fantastic community through opening our gym facility and took time out to back-pack around Sri Lanka, and the west coast of the USA and Canada. Meeting inspiring people, making new friends and being exposed to so many new ways of living has helped us to the path we are currently on and we’re currently considering our next move..
What are your child/ children’s education options?
We are lucky in that I was able to look after the boys full time until they started at play-school a few mornings a week when they were 3 1/2. They then joined a fantastic state primary school and have been there since. The school is nurturing and fun and has been great for them. We are also interested in world-schooling and the growth that non-conventional schooling can lead to and would consider this if we were to travel/live abroad again.
If you work from home what is the best bit of advice you could give other parents who want to work from home?
Be organised and have somewhere you can file papers etc. Try to separate work and child-care. Working in concentrated bursts of around 45 minutes works well for me as I can fit in household chores around paid work and not get too bogged down with either.
What is your favourite family activity?
CrossFit training, enjoying coffee and cake in cafes, road trips, walking to and from school together each day.
What has been your biggest family adventure so far?
1 month backpacking around Sri Lanka – a life-changing experience for us all.
What are you most grateful for (as a family or individually)?
Our good health is something we actively work at maintaining and it’s something that we are grateful for every single day. Also our relationships-which are at the centre of every decision we make.
Three words to describe how you feel about your lifestyle?
Lucky, grateful, inspired