I love the family stories in Parent Tribe magazine. It’s great to hear how other families are doing things a bit differently and enjoying their time together. It really inspires me and I hope it inspires all my readers too. I have decided to start putting family stories on the blog too in between our editions of Parent Tribe so to start off I am sharing our family story.
If you would like to share your family story you can download the questions sheet here and send it back to me at [email protected]. If you have a home business I will always provide links through to your website to help promote what you do.
Family names and ages.
Hatti, 32, Garfield, 31, Jude, 5 and Felix, 1. Pets Mindi, 7, (dog) and Mork, 4 months, (corn snake).
Where you live.
Ambleside, The English Lake District, 25 mins from the place I was brought up.
Please explain your lifestyle and philosophy
We value time with each other over money and try to encourage and support everyone in the families passions. Garf likes to go to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Jude loves footy, Felix loves exploring and I am studying flower essences, enjoy yoga and of course creating Parent Tribe magazine! We like to have the kids around and have set our life up to make it possible.
We also think it’s important to live a healthy & ethical lifestyle. We get outdoors as much as possible, use natural healing remedies, try to be compassionate to one another, talk a lot about things, laugh about things and eat healthy foods. I am trying to be vegan and bring my children up vegetarian, however they can choose what they eat, so when Jude was 3 he decided to eat meat like Garf. They only really eat it when out and about, occasionally in the house. I just don’t like the meat or dairy industry, I don’t think they are very kind, so prefer not to support it. Being kind and compassionate is a biggie for us, both to each other, other people, animals and the world. We always try to respect our children’s wishes and show them as much love as we can without being too child centered. I think it’s hard to find that balance though, we are still trying! We are a breastfeeding, bedsharing, babywearing, baby led weaning, positive discipline family and it works for us!
All of this is a work in progress, we aren’t perfect in any way shape or form. Sometimes we shout, eat lots of crap, work too much and are miserable but just trying our best with what we know at the time and with a constant lack of sleep!
Do you work-from-home or are you a stay at home parent? Please tell us about it.
Yes we both do now and we love it. Garf works for his parents business. They own 2 B&B’s and we live in the bigger one in the on-site accommodation, a 3 bed apartment on the top floor. He works full time but because most days he works in the mornings and then isn’t on again until in the early evening, so we see him all the time. Jude often goes and helps him in his work too which I think is good for him. I don’t think kids are ever too young to join in with real life work, they really get a sense of achievement.
I work from home too as a graphic/ web designer for my business Creative Soul and creating Parent Tribe Magazine. My main ‘job’ (although I don’t like to call it a job) is looking after the boys. We don’t stay at home a lot. I take them to different groups and days out and have always made sure they are meeting people and having different learning experiences.
How do you make things work?
It’s quite easy to juggle kids and work at the minute with us both working from home. I don’t do loads of hours all the time, but I am starting to take more work on. I go through times when I am busier than others. On Garf’s days off I work most of one day and then we will do something together the next. I then fit in hours here and there during the week when he is around and evenings when everyone else in in bed. Having family around helps too. They don’t have the kids often as they are all busy working too, but if we have appointments or something a grandparent or Garf’s sister can help out with the kids for an hour or so.
We’ve never sent the kids to any nurseries but I have always gone to groups where I would find like-minded parents so that we can make some friends. This has been great for us all as I have made some brilliant friends and so have the kids. I think it’s important to show your kids how you can go out and create the lifestyle you want.
What inspired your lifestyle?
I think initially dealing with anxiety and depression myself put me on the journey to living a healthy and positive lifestyle.
Working and living in London in the fashion industry also opened my eyes. In London I felt a lot of people took everything so seriously and lived their lives for their career and for money and getting further up the ladder. I quickly saw through this and knew it wasn’t for me. I thought I was a career girl but now I know I am not. And I am really thankful I realised that so young. When I get to the end of my life I don’t want to look back on a career. I want to remember all the memories I have created with my beautiful family and to be proud of doing meaningful work that I loved doing. That’s one of the reasons I am not so keen on school. Everything is so focused on results and ultimately the career they will get in the end. I want my kids to just do what they enjoy and not have any pressure put on them to do otherwise. I’d like to try and inspire them to do meaningful work but if they want to be a bin man or if they want to be a doctor that’s fine as long as they enjoy life!
I think a lot of the other parent friends I have met since having my kids have also inspired me to live the way I am. Meeting and seeing people live in alternative ways and experiencing their happiness has led me to do the same.
What are your child/ children’s education options?
Our children have never been to any schools or nurseries but I have always taken them to local groups. I currently go to Bluebells & Conkers, a playgroup inspired by nature with lots of crafts and outdoor play, Wild Roots, an occasional group that meets to celebrate nature and show children how to do things such as build fires, forage for food, whittle sticks as well as sing songs and do crafts. I also go to a weekly home education group at a local national trust building where we put on different learning activities every week and the children also get to play all afternoon inside or outside in the garden or forest area. The local home ed community, although pretty spread out is thriving and the parents are so pro-active. We also have a bicycle club where we meet so the kids can go on different bike rides and different parents organise days out all the time to educational places, walks or summer camps.
I also set up a natural playgroup with a friend before we moved and I always try to get involved with the groups so that the children see me getting involved and doing meaningful work.
At the time of writing this my eldest is starting school in a couple of weeks at a tiny village school near us. He will only be going a couple of days a week and we plan to carry on with home ed the rest of the time. This has come as a shock to us both as we thought we would carry on with home ed at least until he was 6 or 7 but for many reasons we have decided to try out flexi schooling. I guess watch this space to see how it turns out!
If you work from home what is the best bit of advice you could give other parents who want to work from home?
I would say try and do something you love because sometimes you have to be strict and do it when you don’t want to. I often stay up until 1am doing work but to me it’s worth it as I can then spend all the next day with the kids doing fun things. I am lucky my kids don’t get up mega early so I can handle staying up late sometimes.
I couldn’t do it without writing lists. I try to write lists every night so I can look what I need to do and ticking things off gives me a sense of achievement. And if I don’t do that I forget things!
I would also say work hard and be confident in yourself but don’t put too much pressure on yourself. If it stops being fun then look for something else to do. You should always strive to enjoy yourself!
What is your favourite family activity?
I’d say just going to the park or for a walk all together and taking a take-away for a picnic dinner. This usually leads to Garf playing footy with Jude and me chasing Felix around as he likes to run off!
Three words to describe how you feel about your lifestyle?
Grateful, Relaxed, Free
If you have an awesomely inspiring family story then please share it with us at Parent Tribe! Maybe you are doing something different or interesting whilst bringing your children up like travelling, running a creative business or even living a simple natural lifestyle? Email Hatti now if you would like to share your story!