How Are You? You’ve Been On My Mind.

I’ve been getting a lot of texts and messages from friends lately asking me how I am. You see, where I live in Southern Ontario my kids have been moved from in-person to virtual school and as of yesterday my province went into a Stay-At-Home order, complete with a loud, unexpected and jarring Emergency Alert on my phone from the government yesterday.

It’s meant a lot, people checking in. It has taken me a second to realize that people are thinking of me because of my circumstance, a solo parent with four kids. It’s not like I have been having any kind of public meltdown on social media to worry them.

So, I asked myself…. how am I? I am writing this post on Friday January 15th. Today I am good. I feel solid. I have created a routine, lowered my own expectations and have been loading on self-care. But on Tuesday January 5th I was not okay. I was totally overwhelmed.

So I began waking up super early to fit even more into my day.

Parents, doesn’t it feel like we are being asked to be superhuman? We are asking to be spread thinner and thinner. I’m like a very dry piece of toast right now.

All of those statistics of women having to take a step back in their careers is really becoming a reality for me. But as a solo parent I cannot just stop. I also can’t drop my self-care (workouts, hot baths, pulling myself together) because I tried that one and had zero patience for anyone.

I can’t just leave my kids to do school completely solo… tried that one too and I quickly realized that two six-year-olds need me right at their side during virtual school. Luckily they have an extremely understanding teacher who lets them take lots of breaks and knows I am helping them get through the work and take big steps away from their screens while the teacher spends most of her time walking half the class through the technology because the reality is, most parents do not have the job flexibility I do to sit their with their child.

What about my two big kids? They have totally amazed me with how engaged and self sufficient they are the entire day with their online school. In fact, I basically don’t see them all day. BUT, the evening comes and they both spiral. The screen time, isolation and being cut off from their friends rears its ugly head and they need me. All of me. This one by the way is next week’s problem to solve… I’m thinking after school outdoor walks reading after dinner and early bedtime routines with more structure. This one will definitely come with pushback from my two pre-teens. But I’m the parent and they need this.

These are just the biggest things, the balls I am juggling that are made of glass. That cannot break. There are 50 other balls that are in the air. Some others are glass, most are plastic.

I am juggling, constantly.

Right now I’d say I’m swimming. Not drowning, not just trying to keep my head above water, or even treading water.

I am swimming.

Don’t get me wrong, I have my hell zone moments everyday. You know, those moments where you are going along fairly well and BOOM… you’re hit with this strong feeling of depression and it all washes over you…

When was the last time I was able to hug my parents? Will we get sick? I miss going out. I miss my friends. I’m worried about my kids. Will this isolation impact them long-term? If I get in a car accident can my local hospital take care of me properly, or is it too overwhelmed? Will my friends that own brick and mortar businesses lose everything? I feel claustrophobic.

Those moments.

Luckily something I learned from the first wave is that these hell zone moments are common for a lot of people and they are just that, moments. In those moments I acknowledge my feelings, I validate them and remind myself that these are big, real, normal feelings.

I don’t fight it.

I let the wave wash over me. Then if I can I step away from whatever I’m doing and switch it up. The moment moves on and I begin swimming again.

After talking to my friends, (funny enough the ones who have been checking in on me), I’ve realized just how good I have it. I have friends whose houses are mid-renovation and they are trying to do virtual school with the constant sound of a nail gun in the background.

I have friends who are full-on extroverts (I am not. I am an ambivert and homebody) and they are not built for this. They are not able to spread their wings right now and I cannot imagine what that must feel like.

So, how am I?

Today I am swimming.

How are you?

Health and Wellness for My Entire Family – How I Don’t Get Left Behind

This post was created in partnership with GSK.

When I became a mom of four, life always felt like I was going a million miles a minute. I tried to carve out time for myself here and there, but I sometimes thought that the days of feeling really healthy and fit might be behind me.

Today I am healthier now than I have ever been in my life. It’s pretty wild to think that after having four kids and at age 37 I have really found balance when it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle, getting daily exercise and really nailing the healthy eating habits thing.

I must say, I am pretty proud of myself.

I have always had a fairly healthy lifestyle, but after struggling for years with digestive issues, it became really obvious that I needed to make it a constant focus daily. Adapting intuitive eating habits partnered with focusing on nutrition-packed food for fuel… it was like everything fell into place.

When it comes to exercise, that too has fallen into place … finally! 

I was never a joiner and definitely had zero interest in any team sports. I would exercise here and there, but it never really became something that I’d look forward to or set goals towards. 

Last fall I tried CrossFit, (something I thought I’d never do because it looked too intense), but it has not only been the perfect fit for me in terms of pure joy when working out, but I have also joined a fitness community and conquered my social anxiety surrounding fitness.

To have these two extremely important wellness pieces fall into place while parenting four kids, running my own business and balancing it all during a time in the world that is already chaotic is a feat in itself is kind of amazing.

What is my secret? Drop the perfection and put my own and my kids’ health and mental health before everything else, as well as having organization in place so that there is space for wellness and selfcare.

Keeping my kids’ wellness front of mind and organized has been a system I have developed over the years and seems to really work. We have “expectation guidelines” pasted to our fridge. This includes everything from manners and daily personal hygiene to how we treat each other as a family. I have also split yearly wellness check-ups into seasons. Late winter is eye check-ups, late spring is yearly physicals and the fall is the dentist followed by vaccinations for flu and a check of when other vaccinations may be needed for myself or the kids in the coming year. 

Which brings it back to me. While taking care of everyone else, us adults can tend to fall through the cracks. This includes our own wellness check-ups and adult vaccinations, because they are not just for our kids, so talk to your doctor about what might be recommended. For more information on what vaccinations may be right for you at what age and for a customizable vaccination tracker, visit

Because here’s the thing… in a world where we’ve felt like things have been shaken up a lot, life’s real priorities have floated to the surface. Forget the material things or the superficial life before 2020, what really matters most is our mental health, our physical health and the deep connection we have with the people in our life.  

Take good care of yourself.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by GSK. While compensation was provided, all opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily indicative of the opinions of GSK. This post will not be monitored by GSK. If you need to report an adverse event for any GSK product, please call 1-800-387-7374.

Our Family Almost Didn’t Make It To Summer Break

We just crawled to the finish line. Our last month before summer break was a doozy! We had such a healthy year and then crashed and burned in June. On top of our family having one illness after another, we were forced to face some big time parenting problem solving.

Having four kids… you can always expect a wobbly plate. You focus on that kid and get them sorted, then triage the family and move onto the next wobbly plate and so on. Well, somehow, some way we had four wobbly plates for an entire month before summer break.

It was so draining for me mentally and emotionally that it began to have a physical affect on my body. Phew. Despite the stress we pushed through and I am happy to say we have restored the peace in our home in time for the summer break. Watch as I share our journey and then implemented a system that helped us changed the narrative in our home and created a positive atmosphere…

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A Day In The Life with Four Kids

It’s been a while since I shared a “day in the life” video with you, but I am so glad I took the time to film one this week. I began creating these types of videos way back when I first started dabbling in YouTube as a way to give you a fly-on-the-wall look into our busy life and how I do things with four kids, including twins.

Although our twins aren’t crawling around and in diapers like when I first began creating these day in the life videos, today with all four kids in school I face new challenges. So grab a cup of coffee, put your feet up, or… let’s be real, pop your AirPods in and watch while you do the dishes, or put it on for your kids too. Regardless of how you watch it, I hope you enjoy!

Don’t forget to subscribe to Nesting Story’s YouTube channel. I put new videos out every Monday and Wednesday!

Twins, four kids, the truth and why I’ve been afraid to say this out loud

A note to my readers… I have been sitting on this post for almost a year. I wrote it after a particular trying season, while taking a minute to breathe just outside of my daughter’s dance class. I was resistant to share it. Maybe because I needed the clouds to part. Although this still rings true when things get tough, it’s not such an overwhelming sensation anymore. I have updated my kids ages to reflect today. I hope that with sharing this piece, a mother somewhere might feel a little less alone.

Mother and four kids
Christmas portrait with twins and older siblings

I am about to talk about something that is an almost constant thought of mine. It is something that I think about often and I have only said out loud to three people before in fear that when I utter the words, I might not be understood. That I might be judged, or told that I am not grateful.

But I have decided to say these words out loud because I might not be the only parent of multiples to think this.

Maybe you will get it.

I’ve written a lot about our journey, from the moment we found out we were having two babies, to preparing for their arrival and babyhood with two. But the older our twins get, the less I feel I am going through twin-specific phases and the more I feel like we just happen to have two kids with the same birthday.

Truthfully, I forget I have twins half the time. But every once and a while, when we are in a pressure-cooker-situation, like trying to pop into a store and both of my four-year-olds melt down and they are too big to scoop up easily to abandon ship, I remember… oh yeah I have twins!

I should mention to anyone who is new to my blog, that I have two older kids too. An nine-year-old and a seven year old. Which as you can probably imagine, is a very busy life.

So here it is…

There is this sense of relief when I remember I have twins. The fact that I never had the choice to ease into four kids. The fact that I never had three kids and thought, let’s have one more.

Because in those moments, where I feel completely outnumbered and overwhelmed, I find comfort in the fact that I did not choose to jump from two to four.

Now before I get in too deep with this confession, I want to say that moms with four kids, or multiples are not “more of a mom” than moms with one, or two, or three kids. Moms with one kid have their own set of challenges, I get that. In fact I often tell parents that one was WAY harder than four, (no built in playmates, everything is a first, and there’s too much time to overthink every decision).

But we are busier. It’s a mathematical fact.

We have to bring four kids in from the car, who are cranky and hungry and just want to challenge us. We have to do four bedtimes, with four different sleep challenges. We have to satisfy four different appetites and keep track that each one ate at least something other than bread each day. We have four yearly dentist, doctor and eye-doctor appointments. Four different school and friend challenges… and the list goes on and on.

Every fall, here in Canada, we have to track down four sets of mitts, hats, winter coats, boots and snow pants, whether its digging through hand-me-down bins, or running from store to store not settling until you find snow pants with reinforced knee-patches, to save yourself a mid-winter shopping trip.

So, there it is. That’s the truth. It’s out there now.

But here’s the good thing… I wouldn’t have it any other way. I may have not chosen this path to four children, but I am so glad that I was dealt this hand.

Being a mom of four, and twins, has forced me to grow in ways that without my children, I would have never done. It has made me realize that it’s okay to give myself grace when I’ve had a rough day, and be kind to myself when it all feels like a lot.

On the hardest days I, ( after sometimes loosing my cool a little), will remind myself that letting go of perfection, and loving my family fiercely is almost always the solution.