Folks We Love with Peta Stinson of Sapling Child
Who’s in your family? Ages? Names?
Partner, Charlie: 37
Son, Max: 11
Son, Finn: 9
Son, Oliver: 5
How did you choose your kids names?
I have always loved the name Max. When you were little did you play that “what-would-you-call-your-kids” game with your teddies or dolls? Mine was always Max…I always knew I’d have a Max.
The others were chosen from a short list after they were born. My husband chose them, as I was too exhausted and euphoric to mind (although I did have input on that short list).
Currently in Canada, but we all carry that lovely (and sometimes unsettling) deep and slow burning wander lust within us, so we travel all around the world. We are originally from Australia (and have lived all over from the West Coast to the East), but we have also lived in Fiji and we’re onto Mexico next.
Designer/Owner at Sapling Child
What’s on your manifest board?
In terms of wanting to manifest a goal or mantra, it’s always this:
“Breathe it all in, love it all out”
It’s a constant lesson in patience, reflection & kindness, in the face of whatever happens.
I also keep a mood board of inspiring and beautiful words, and snippets of poetry that move me on my Pinterest account.
I love this piece too, goose bumps and wet eyes every time:
Tell us some of your most loved ways to spend the day with your clan?
It’s in the small moments. Lying on a blanket under the shade of a great tree in filtered sunlight with my love. Watching the kids play together as we whisper about how wonderful life is. I love when they come to you at the end of a summer day, tired and slightly pink and freckled across the bridge of their noses, with the tops of their heads warm and smelling like that beautiful mix of sunshine, dirt, & warm skin.
What are some silly/fun things that the kids do or say?
Oh goodness! I document all of the silly things that the kids do that make me laugh! It’s those moments that I never want to forget (and my memory is TERRIBLE, so I make sure to write down these moments on my online journal). Each day brings another moment of hilarity!
One time my son tied his shoelaces together at school, and he couldn’t untie them. So, he took his shoes off, and tried to sneak into assembly with no shoes. You need to appreciate that this was a private boys school (in Australia), and it was a formal meeting with neckties and dress shirts (Teresa will totally get the ridiculous-ness of this). Anyway, we got this note home from his teacher, who had to cut his laces off:
My apologies as I had to cut Finn’s shoe laces as he tied his shoes together at second break. I’m hoping that he doesn’t do this again and try to attend House Meetings with no shoes”
How do you successfully look into your child’s eyes, and ask them not to do something, while you can NOT stop laughing?
What are some things you really believe in?
With all my soul, I believe the world can be a better place.
I believe we can make changes in our own lives and in the manufacturing industry so that the environment will be healthy for generations to come.
Industry can start making changes, it can be done, and we are hoping to prove how much can actually be done.
Where do your passions lie?
Giving, helping, learning, art, poetry, and change.
Has your relationship with your other half changed since having kids?
Even though we have less time for each other, it’s getting stronger and stronger (which takes work).
There’s that cliché of falling in love more when you see your partner with your children, and of course that’s totally true.
Seeing him as a father has definitely shown me a side of him that is deeper, more patient and wiser than what I knew.
Beyond the kids though, our relationship grows deeper with time. We learn more about each other, and we work hard at keeping our relationship healthy.
What are some of your favorite life lessons you’ve grown to love? (even if
learning them at the time was hard)
Patience. I am THE most impatient person in the world. When I want something done, I tend to want it done yesterday. It’s a constant lesson for me….slow down…take your time…breathe it in…take the pressure off yourself. It’s a lesson I’m still learning, and one I don’t know if I’ll ever learn.
What do you wish you could’ve told yourself when you were a teenager?
Your first love will not be your biggest love.
What do you find most challenging about being somebody’s parent?
At the moment my challenge is how to stay present with them.
With technology now, even if I have my device tucked away, if I hear a ‘ding’ I’m thinking “Oh, that could be a work related issue that I need to deal with”, and all of a sudden even though physically I’m there with my kids, mentally I’m already thinking about something else. I’m working on mindfulness and staying in the moment, and trying to soak in the memories as this time is so precious and just FLIES by.
I’m constantly juggling with this. I mean, it’s such a first world, predominantly white, hetero, privileged, working woman’s problem right? I’m conscious of that…..really, in comparison to others it’s all pretty easy. So many parents have such huge challenges to overcome.
What do you want your kids to learn about the world?
Everything. That learning never ends. That everyone has a story. Everyone has worth. The world can be good, but there’s also a flip side. Learn your limits. Learn your strengths. Keep your softness, but don’t be taken advantage of. There will always be someone more learned than you, and more experienced than you, learn from them. Learn lessons and grow from your failures, and there will be failures. Be patient with others. Give back where you can. Carry empathy with you. Do something you love. Don’t be afraid of your nightmares. Be kind. Be strong. Be generous with your smile and your forgiveness. And make sure you always, always love your Mother, because she will love you more than you will ever know.
What are 4 things you can’t live without as a parent?
Tea (addicted), time out for myself (rare), sharable schedules (can’t manage without), and self-forgiveness (for my parenting fails).