We’re so proud of the young man that you’ve become, I don’t think any parent could wish for a better Son than you, or brother!
You’re clever, funny and handsome and your love and respect shines through in all that you do. And your polite and caring personality makes us so proud to be your parents.
We have to thank you Dylan. You were easy from the start.
Easy conception, easy pregnancy, easy birth and easy teen.
I also want to thank you for making us more ‘Present Parents’. You made me present to the joy of being a parent and of being your Mum. A privilege I’ll always hold dear. Such as the time when you were just three years young. I was taking you to the Dentist, when as we were holding hands and crossing the road out of the blue you said;
‘I love you Mum.’
I can still remember to this day thinking that this was such a good moment in my life. I wanted my mind to photograph it forever, so that when we were both older, we could look back upon that ordinary moment, with fondness of a great time. A time when we were both truly present together, enjoying one another’s company.
We were just going about our daily business. Yet, it was such an extraordinary, emotional moment for me. So much so that, I can still feel those positive, loving, warm, fuzzy feelings deep inside me, whenever I recall that moment now.
As normal and mundane as a trip to the dentist with your child may sound, I can guarantee that in years to come, you too will realise how special those everyday moments in time really are. Even if those moments do not feel like it today. Even the loss of their 1st tooth!
16 marks your first big milestone, an emotional time for us as parents.
Where did those years go?
Only a few months left in school and our boy will soon be a young man, (cringe I know) but you’ll always be my blue eyed baby boy!
Now children are returning to school, there’s a sigh of relief in the air for some that home-schooling’s over- Hooray! 🙂
But for others, it’s been a real opportunity in many ways.
I spoke to one Mum, Amy and her step son 7-year-old little Archie, about their experience of home-schooling during lock down. This week’s blog is part one of that interview. What an inspiring story from little Archie’s perspective.
PART 1- ARCHIE’S STORY
Here’s how 7-year-old Archie went from home schooling, to pint sized entrepreneur.
The 2020 lockdown changed most people’s lives in one way or another but one seven-year-old went from home-schooled little boy to pint-sized entrepreneur over the course of a few months. And, for Archie, the chicken did come first!
It began as part of a home-schooling project. Amy Frost bought a few chickens for her stepson Archie. The aim was to teach seven-year-old Archie about animal welfare and husbandry, as well as where food comes from.
Whereas some families found children resistant to home-schooling, this project turned out to be perfect for Archie. He threw himself into looking after the chickens and was soon collecting far more eggs than the family could eat. So, his entrepreneurial journey began as he decided to sell them locally. With the country in lockdown, eggs were difficult to get, and very soon Archie had a waiting list of 30 people wanting his eggs.
Next, he did his maths, and persuaded Amy to buy 6 more chickens. Still he struggled to keep up with demand, and then customers started asking if he sold other local produce too!
Rather than sticking just to eggs, Archie was inspired to expand his venture and look around for more local produce to sell. Together he and dad, Mark, and stepmum, Amy sourced a variety of local products, starting with Alderholt Flour – straight from the local historic Mill. And Archie’s Produce was born.
Having learnt his lessons well about the importance of local food, Archie was keen to get his produce from local producers only, and that gave the business the local edge it needed to succeed. Within a few days the young man had a website up, running, a two-week waiting list and orders started pouring in.
“It was Archie who suggested we try to find other families who keep chickens and see if we could buy from them to fulfil the customers!’
Here’s what else he had to say when I recently interviewed him.
HERE’S WHAT LITTLE ARCHIE HAD TO SAY TO SOME OF THE RATHER GROWN-UP QUESTIONS I ASKED HIM.
EMMA) What did you first think about home-schooling?
ARCHIE) It was fun and I got to play. My favourite subject was P.E because I played lots of football. Then ‘Tennis Maths’ because it was outside and I like Tennis. I like writing poems so we made up songs that were funny. It was fun. Then I learnt about the Hens and I could do lots of arts and crafts making boxes for them and stamping the egg cartons!
EMMA) That sounds like lots of fun, not (school) work at all! When did you realize that you were onto a good business venture and how did you persuade your parents to buy more chickens and expand the business to other produce, such as flour?
ARCHIE) When I had run out of eggs to sell, but lots of people still wanted eggs, I needed more hens and so daddy bought 6 more, but that wasn’t enough. Then I said we should find someone who also has chickens, buy their eggs and give them to our customers. Customers asked for extra food like flour. I was happy adding things to the shop because then we can deliver the food they can’t get.
EMMA) So entrepreneurial yet considerate at the same time. How many different types of produce do you supply now and are you looking to add any more to your list?
ARCHIE) I want to be the biggest shop and sell everything! I have lots of different food; salad, meat and vegetables to New Forest Shortbread and Fordingbridge Fudge. The cows down the road make the best milk and have won awards! They are the best!
This week we added the children’s milkshakes from their milk called Meggy Moos. Named after the little girl called Meghan. I want to keep adding different food so everyone can buy something they like.
EMMA) Wow that’s great ambition you have Archie, I hope you always think big! And I’m sure you’ll have something for everyone, that fudge and shortbread sounds divine. Why do you feel its important today to support local producers and source locally grown food?
ARCHIE) All the people who make the food have families and work very hard making the food.
EMMA) That’s so very true. You’re wise and have a lot of understanding and gratitude for your age Archie. I’ve always wanted to have hens and produce my own eggs, what advice can you give someone like me that’s never done it before?
ARCHIE) The girls are friendly and love cuddles. They must have lots of water and special food called Pellets. They need to eat Grit so the shells are hard and they like to be free, not in cages, but sometimes they dig holes in the grass because they like ‘mud baths’ so Daddy has to fill them in with other grass.
EMMA) Aww cuddles… I love the image that just conjured up in my mind of me cuddling hens and the thought of them roaming freely. You give us a real sense of how wonderful and so alive these hens are, not just there to fulfil a purpose for us humans but to live a purpose that’s worthwhile to them too. Can you explain to readers what the difference is between ‘free range’ and battery hens?
ARCHIE) Chickens like mine that live free outside and can run around are ‘free range’. Some chickens are stuck in a small house and never get out, they have no feathers and are very sad, they are ‘battery hens’
EMMA) That’s very sad ☹ I hope you sharing your knowledge with us today will encourage more of us to opt for the free range variety in future. How can we find out more about your produce and where you deliver to?
ARCHIE) I’m not allowed to deliver because of Covid, so Amy delivers for me all around Dorset, Hampshire and parts of Wiltshire. You can see everything in shop on my website www.archiesproduce.com
EMMA) I do hope someday delivery will be extended to Wales too? 😉Do you have an entrepreneurial role model you aspire to be like?
ARCHIE) Not really, I want to be a footballer like Ronaldo.
EMMA) Well that’s very possible Archie, I’m sure whatever you put your mind to you will achieve. What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt from this home-schooling business venture?
ARCHIE) To look after things and to help people makes you feel good.
EMMA) Two wonderful lessons that prove that, home schooling can teach our children some of the most important lessons in life. Can’t wait for part 2 next week when, I chat to Amy, Archie’s stepmum and get her thoughts on home-schooling.
Do you have a home-schooling success or horror story or do you have a parenting in lock down experience you’d like to share with other parents?
Eating high calorific foods, reduced activity levels and increased alcohol consumption were some of the thing’s lockdown comforted us with.
But moving forward it’s time to get out of our comfort zone on the couch and get going again.
With the easing of lockdown many of us moving forward will want to make some changes. Whether its healthier eating, more exercise or reducing our alcohol intake.
NO PLAN IS A PLAN TO FAIL
For positive change to be effective we have to plan ahead.
KEEP A DIARY OR JOURNAL- If you write down your goals in a way that inspires you, you increase your chances of success in achieving your goals by a whopping 30%!
KEEP FOCUSED – If you can measure your progress when working towards your goals, this figure increases to a staggering 60%!!!
SMARTER- As a Coach one way I help clients increase their chances of success in any endeavour is to, make sure my clients create SMARTER Goals.
These are: –
SPECIFIC – YOUR Goal, e.g. to be a certain dress size.
MEASURABLE- Size 10 e.g. is the measurement you want to be.
ACHIEVABLE – Make a meal & exercise plan to achieve your goal e.g. fruit salad for breakfast, soup for lunch, fish & salad for supper- aerobics 3 times a week.
RELEVANT- It must mean something to you, e.g. to look amazing in your bikini.
TIMED- when do you want to see the results, e.g. 6 months from now in time for your holiday in Spain.
ENTICING- How would that impact your life in exciting ways e.g. feel confident to start dating again.
RECORDABLE- Recording and Reviewing your results along your journey will keep you motivated to continue and help you change your plan if somethings not working.
TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR ENVIRONMENT- So for example if your goal is not to drink alcohol on a weekday, you have to make sure that you have no alcohol in your house to tempt you. If its to eat healthier then a good plan would be to stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables, so you have a handy snack available when you need it and have fresh wholesome foods to include in your meals.
PREPARE AHEAD- when going to work planning what you’ll have for lunch and taking your own packed lunch will not only save you some pounds money wise but also weight wise if you choose healthy options, so if one of your goals is to lose weight or just be healthy this will help you achieve that goal.
Also, by shopping in advance for groceries (when you are not hungry, I recommend eating something before you do your grocery shopping) that are healthy and batch cooking meals on your day off and freezing them, you ensure that when you get home from work, exhausted and starving, that you’ll have something quick, convenient and healthy to re heat.
My 5 Moving Forward Changes are;
To eat at least 2 servings of fresh fruit a day
Make a third of my diet vegetables
To only drink alcohol at the weekend
To do weight bearing exercise 3 times a week
To stop eating processed meats like ham, bacon, sausages etc…
What’s YOUR 5 Moving Forward Changes?
Now its time for you to break each change down into mini changes and make them SMARTER by answering the following questions.
I will achieve the following (e.g. Lose weight and be a dress size 10) ————————————————————————————————————————————————————
I will achieve this because (I want to look good in my bikini on holiday)————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
Here are the things I need to do (my mini goals) in this order to achieve my goal.
First: (e.g. snack on fruit) —————————————————————————–
Secondly(e.g. increase my vegetable intake) : ———————————————————————–
Thirdly (e.g. remove all alcohol from my environment):—————————————————————————
Fourthly (e.g. order some home weight bearing equipment such as handy dumbbells and some resistance bands and make an exercise plan):————————————————————————-
Fifthly (e.g. make a shopping list to include plenty of fresh fruit vegetables and fish and no processed meat):—————————————————————————–
Today I will start by (e.g. looking for healthy vegetable soup recipes on the internet) ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
For this I need access to the internet, find some recipes to follow, to buy a hand blender and some ingredients and I will get these from the supermarket and the internet ———————————————————————————-
I will know when I’ve been successful in achieving my mini goal when- (e.g. I find a healthy soup that I enjoy eating and is quick and easy to make.)
I will reward myself for achieving this by – (e.g. buying a new bikini in my goal size 10) ——————————————————————————
The obstacles I may face are (e.g. not finding a recipe I like or can quickly or easily cook)————————————————————————————————————————————————————
To over come this I’m going to- (e.g. try a few different recipes on my day off, when I can take my time and then make a big pot of my preferred soup and freeze for the rest of the week) —————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
I will review my progress ( e.g. in 2 weeks’ time on the 15th of July)——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
This is the progress I’ve made (e.g. I’ve lost 4 pound)————————————————————————————————————————–
I will be ready to tackle my next mini goal when (e.g. I have formed the habit of having home made soup for lunch everyday for 2 weeks)———————————————————————————————————
My next mini goal is (e.g. to start weight bearing /resistance exercise/ to join my local gym or buy some resistance weights I can use at home or do push-ups & sit-ups)——————————————————-
And then start the 12- step process above again for measuring that mini goal. Until eventually you will be on the path of achieving all 5 of your Moving Forward Changes.
Don’t dive straight in and try to achieve all 5 Moving Forward Goals at once, start with the easiest one first then, once you feel you are in good stride with that mini goal move onto the next, ideally leaving two weeks between them.
Don’t forget to keep a journal or diary of- your goal, your progress, your setbacks and success!
Let me know your goals moving forward, you can tweet me #My5MovingForward or DM me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. When you share your goals, you make then real and commit so share with your friends and family too
Or if you’d like 1:1 help in achieving your goals email me today firstname.lastname@example.org or take a look at our Mumatherapy page for more information. link here
Well it’s happened the first coming of age milestone, our first-born turns 16!
It’s an emotional day.
Like all loving parents, our children are our life. Everything we do, we do it for you. But soon you’ll be doing stuff for yourself, now you’ll have your national insurance number you’ll be able to work and legally able to do other things we’d rather you didn’t. But so far parenthood has been a very rewarding journey, full of love and laughter, and we just want you to know Holly how very proud your Dad and I are of you.
You had a tough entry into the world, giving me a tough time in the process, but since your initial birthday you have been an easy child ever since, and we want to thank you for giving us the best 16 years of our lives so far.
You’re funny, confident, caring, and full of that zest for life.You are always up to trying new things and giving anything a go, always facing your fears with determination, whilst always being thoughtful and empathetic towards others.
We’re so eternally grateful for everything you have taught us, especially all that’s good about this world.
We can all remember that moment we brought our first-born home from hospital.
On tonight’s Snow Moon I will reflect on the day you were born.I remember that snowy February day like it was yesterday, my husband Paul putting the car seat down in the middle of the living room and us both staring at our new arrival Holly, for what felt like hours.
We were just in awe of her. Scared and anxious at the same time.
All those fears surfaced.
How would we cope?
What do we do if she cries?
How will we know what she needs?
What if we don’t know how to be good parents?
Now on her sixteenth birthday, as a Mum, I feel so proud, privileged and happy to have come this far, to have learnt so much but more importantly, to love and feel loved by such a smart, wonderful, funny, kind and crazy daughter.
The pride and love I feel for her every day are overwhelming. Making that difficult birth and all those doubts and fears pale into insignificance.
Yes, even the toddler tantrums and teenage angst has been worth every minute.
So much so, I feel saddened that she is growing up way to fast, and I long for those baby days back.
Yes, children change your life in many ways, but always for the better.
It may be hard to imagine now when you’re in the thick of dirty nappies and sleepless nights, but it’s in those ordinary moments together, that one day, you’ll linger with your memories longing to go back.
Parenting is a very rewarding time and can be lots of fun if we let it. Enjoy and treat every day as a special one, because while your child is young, every day really is special and full of firsts. First words, first steps, first pee on the potty, first day at school, first boyfriend, all of which are magical moments for you and your child to cherish.
Believe me, the time really does go so quickly, one day you are crying into your pillow, begging for some sleep while they are teething, the next you are crying into a tissue as you are waving them off to university!
One day in the not so distant future, those dreaded night feeds, school runs, class assembly’s, duvet days and trips to the dentist, will become the best moments in our lives.
Today they are ordinary every day events, although tomorrow they’ll become the most extraordinary, priceless, irreplaceable nuggets of time in our lives. Time that all too often we take for granted because we are disillusioned that the work and worries that occupy our mind, are the things that need our attention the most.
Yet, neither now nor in the future will anyone or anything, ever bring us the joy, fulfilment or happiness that our children do.