Parenthood. It is hard work.
They say it takes a village, but where is our village? In the modern world where we are trying to juggle so much, it can feel incredibly lonely, overwhelming and, let’s be honest, completely exhausting.
I became a single mum about 4 years ago. When I had my daughter I tried to be a ‘gentle parent’, and improve my lifestyle to give her the best start. I was passionate about this, and still am, but have also realised since being on my own that it is hard to sustain this 24/7 and sometimes it is vital that we reach out for support, or focus on our own self-care in order to be the parents we strive to be. At the end of the day nobody is perfect, and in a world of judgement, pretty pictures on social media and a real lack of parenting support within our society, it can feel like you are suffocating in your own little world of imperfection. Trust me, you are not alone!
When I first became a single parent my daughter was 2 and I set up Tribal Hearts Festival because I had this overflowing amount of ‘OH MY GOODNESS! There is another way to raise children that actually supports their mental wellbeing and creates more co-operative kids and peaceful homes!’ It seemed to be a contrast to the way I was raised and almost felt so simple (when you have a baby, responsive parenting is pretty simple in some senses.) I had a sling, I co-slept and had boobs that were almost constantly in use. Of course I never had a break but my daughter was happy (enough) so I was happy. But she grew up (read: ‘became the most headstrong child I’ve ever met’) and my circumstances changed too. I still really do believe that you can make changes in your life, a lot of which you might associate with the terms ‘gentle parenting’, ‘natural parenting’, ‘conscious parenting’, ‘instinctive parenting’ (but who likes labels!) and so on, that will make your life easier and your children happier. However, it isn’t always easy, and these days I feel I am in a more authentic place where I truly want to offer support to as many families as possible who struggle with the everyday, common challenges, and the more long-lasting, deep rooted challenges, that come with raising tiny humans – no matter what type of parent you consider yourself to be.
So what is Tribal Hearts Festival? It is a unique festival where you and your family can play, create, learn, connect and relax. We support parents in raising a healthy, happy tribe. Workshops include parenting talks and techniques to help enhance your relationships with your children, improve mental health in the whole family and interactive sessions on healthy lifestyle choices. In fact, I so wish that during the weekend of the festival I myself could attend the talks, because I need them just as much as any other parent!
Our wellbeing space offers practical tools that you can use every day and the intimate community feel of the festival can leave you with ongoing support, resources and friends to reach out to whenever you need. Our visitors have told us that it feels like one big family, and that was exactly my intention. It is a very welcoming, nurturing space, whatever stage of your parenting journey you are in. Even if you haven’t yet had children but are expecting, we have a pregnancy and birth tent to prepare you for an empowered birth experience!
As well as our workshops, we have plenty of family fun, and you may want to attend just for this. With an emphasis on creativity, play and nature, children are immersed in opportunities to explore and learn, express themselves and gain confidence whilst supporting all areas of development. We are big believers in child led play and there are opportunities for this dotted around the festival, as well as planned activities such as den building, story time, a science workshop, kids yoga, a drumming circle, family games and even more! Our ethical marketplace always goes down a storm and of course we also have great family entertainment and delicious plant-based street food. You can come for a day trip on the Saturday for the majority of workshops, or camp to enjoy our Sunday Funday (with secret sunrise party, treasure hunt, rounders, Tribal Feast and campfire!) Having been to numerous festivals with my daughter I know some of the common worries and stresses that they can cause! Tribal Hearts is a very small, and therefore safe, festival, perfect if it’s your littluns first festival experience. I felt there were festivals focused on wellbeing and conscious living, and festivals aimed at kids, but not many that combined the two in a super chilled, happy space.
This year is set to be the best yet, so I am so excited to share it with you, and hopefully see lots of new faces as well, to continue to grow our tribe and watch my vision unfold. This is an event set up entirely on love and I am so grateful to everyone who attends. I really do hope that my love shines through, from one parent to another; I see you and I support you, and I believe that we all have the power to give our children an amazing start to life, whilst not forgetting how important self-care is: because you all deserve to know that you are AWESOME!
Tickets are available here: www.tribalheartsfestival.co.uk
Glamping is available here: www.festivalglamping.com/tribal-hearts-festival
Get in touch if you have any questions (firstname.lastname@example.org) and find us on social media! We are currently running an amazing competition for everyone who buys tickets before May bank holiday Monday – check our Insta or Facebook for details.
Loads of Love & Light
(Festival organiser, home educator and full-time imperfect Mummy to Poppy, 5 years old)