When I created our Moms Who Inspire series, the Chintwins were the first women I wanted to interview. I’ve known one half of them, Crissy Barker (wife to photographer Nigel Barker) for two years now and every time I talk to her I am pulled in by her positive presence. Her sister Kimmy, who I met last year, couldn’t be more similar (aside from the fact that they are identical twins). What I love most about Crissy and Kimmy is how genuinely sweet they are. They are constantly interested in bringing more happiness, ease and kindness to everyone they encounter.
With five kids between the two of them, these women are inspirational for more reasons than I can name. As a new mom myself, I’ve always been in awe of how these sisters balance motherhood, career and family. Although they are over 1,050 miles a part, Kimmy in Alabama and Chrissy in NYC, they remain close to each other through their inspirational Instagram account Chintwins that has over 50,000 followers. Through Instagram they share their passions for yoga, health and parenthood.
What I came to realize after hearing their story is that Chintwins goes much deeper than just a fun instagram account where they can share beautiful photos. It’s a place that helps them feel more connected to each other and their followers. Growing up, their parents divorced when they were 4 years old, which had them spending most of their childhood going back and forth between houses, states and schools. Crissy and Kimmy were each other’s only constant.
During our interview I couldn’t help but feel at home with these women. When I asked them question #5 (What do you admire most about your sister as a mom?) I sat back and listened to them speaking kindly about one another, each one saying something that the other didn’t know that they admired about them. To be in the presence of such love and openness between siblings was something truly beautiful to witness and it’s why I’m so excited to share their interview with you below.
1. What’s been the biggest challenge being a mom?
We think the biggest challenge of motherhood is balancing the time you devote to your children and the time that you take to care for yourself. Another challenge is knowing how much we need to give to our kids and when, as our children grow up and develop they need different things from us. We over complicate parenting sometimes running around doing what we think our children need, instead of just stopping and spending time with them doing something simple. As a parent we must let them lead this dance of growing up, giving when it’s needed and stepping back when they need to learn to be independent.
2. What’s one thing that people would be surprised to learn about you?
We followed the Grateful Dead in high school and prior to that we were obsessed with the posters of Boy George and Prince that hung on our bedroom wall.
3. What lesson do you most want to pass on to your children?
We want our children to be proud of who they are and to follow their own hearts. We want them to know that love conquers all and that they have all of the light they need to overcome any darkness they encounter in life. We hope to be able show them that inner light that exists inside of them and help to keep them connected to it as adults.
4. Self-care can be a challenge for new moms. What advice do you have for new moms on how to incorporate self-care into their daily lives?
The demands of motherhood are physical and mental so taking time out for self care is so important. To be centered and present for your baby you need to know what your body and mind needs to be at it’s best, and that’s different for every mother. Running on empty and not asking for help from your support network is not good for you or your baby. The best advice to ask for help, don’t try to do it alone. Allow for others to support you during this time, so that you can enjoy every magical moment.
5. What do you admire most about your sister as a mom?
Crissy: I admire how present and attentive Kimmy is with her kids. No matter how busy she is or what she is doing, she’ll always stop and give her kids her full attention.
Kimmy: I admire how calm Crissy is. When I visited her in NYC last month, I noticed that she never gets stressed out in the mornings or rushes her kids to get ready. She just stays calm and somehow everyone gets out of the door on time.
6. What’s the best advice your sister has given you as a mom?
Crissy: Pick your battles. Kimmy told me not to sweat the little stuff and instead to practice letting go.
Kimmy: Put things into perspective. When my kids were young, Crissy would remind me that I can’t force certain stages or milestones. She told me to just allow my children to have their own timelines. Everyone will eventually be on the same page.
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