We’re excited to have a new BC Parent profile with a twist. Rather than just one parent, we got to connect with two! Eric Hogan and Tara Hungerford are two loving, sensitive and creative Vancouverites. This husband and wife team are television writers/directors and creators of The Gumboot Kids programs, which airs in 180 countries including on CBC Kids in Canada and Amazon Prime in the USA. They’ve also published 6 Gumboot Kids Nature Mystery storybooks for kids ages 3-7 years old with book #7 and #8 available in bookstores in now (October) — Books are available at Vancouver Kidsbooks.
What’s the most challenging part of being a parent?
As attached parents, we try to truly listen to our children. This takes practice and discipline. It also means we must work through our own stuff and get it out of the way of what serves our children best. Oh, and getting everyone to sleep at a decent hour. We’re night owls!
What do you love the most?
It’s pretty simple. We love hanging out together. We work hard to create uninterrupted time and space for us to connect and have fun. We love feeling cozy, safe, and connected. We love to chill out at the beach, at the park, or on our couch by the fire. There is nothing more sacred than these moments together.
What is the best advice you ever received as a parent?
“Never try to make a happy baby happier.”
“If you make a mistake, apologize.”
“Whatever arises, love that.”
What is something about you we would find surprising?
Our kids are homeschooled. Our approach to their education is focused on self-directed learning — meaning nurturing curiosity and creativity. We have a community of amazing teachers through a program in Vancouver called Brain Boost. Pre-COVID, the children physically attended Brain Boost’s facilities for classes, but during the pandemic, this has shifted to virtual classes. This community has been a blessing for our family — the teachers are wonderful and our children have developed great bonds with them.
Our kids are also involved in our production company. They help out with different aspects of productions, from giving feedback on the work to acting and performing in most of our shows. We’ve even filmed episodes of our various TV series in our backyard! (Gumboot Kids, I Love, Baby, Baby)
What have you been doing to stay sane during Covid?
Working hard on projects, communicating and connecting as a family, going for walks every day, yoga, cooking, laughter, decluttering… We have also had to be disciplined about turning off the news and shutting off the devices!
What has been the most difficult part of being a working parent during Covid?
We are used to this lifestyle as we are a homeschool family. We weren’t sure if we could continue to do what we do for work with all the new regulations and restrictions, but we’ve found our way. We traveled for work a lot prior to Covid, which could be exhausting. Zoom meetings have been a blessing! We’ve managed to continue producing our tv series’ and writing more storybooks — and we’re grateful for that.
Favourite self-care activity?
Salt baths with lavender essential oil, and hopefully this leads to… deep sleep.
What is your go-to family-friendly Lower Mainland activity?
We always get excited at the idea of having lunch at the Granville Island Market then jumping on an Aquabus for a tour around False Creek. It’s a really cool perspective of Vancouver!
Favourite rainy Vancouver day activity?
We get our rain gear on, pack a thermos of oat milk hot chocolate and go out for a geocaching adventure. When we get back home, we snuggle up next to the wood-burning fireplace and watch a comedy. Cozy and blissful for all.