Work In Progress

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my favorite photos of the week (all iPhone @bluebirdkisses)

I must confess, I haven’t picked up my camera in over a week and I’m not sure when I’ll get a chance to again.  The weeks seem like they are just flying by and before I know it its Monday again.  Every Monday I promise myself that I will work really hard during the week and disconnect on the weekend.  I promise that I will take my laptop and cell phone and lock them in a closet for two days.  But then I never do.

The bigger truth is that my friend Nicole and I have been working on something big.  A project.  Secret project!  So as it would go with all secrets I can’t really tell you what it is.  Its killing me not to tell anyone.  I am probably the worst at keeping secrets. I ruin every surprise Michael ever plans for me.  I search and ask as many questions as it takes to figure it out.  And when I’m on the giving end of a surprise, I’m usually too excited to keep quiet so I spill the beans.

But not this time.  All I can tell you is that I’m excited, and exhausted because the only time Nicole and I get to work on our super secret project is at night once the kids are in bed.  So between that and blogging there’s not much time left for anything else, including early to bed.

So there you have it, a blog post about nothing other than my sheer excitement.

To Work Or Not To Work? The Mommy Dilemma.

hippie mom

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During the Christmas break as we were sitting down to dinner, Johannes began asking Michael about his day at work.  For a few months now Johannes likes to pretend that Montessori is actually his work…and me? well I’m his Go Train driver, subway driver or SkyTrain driver, depending on his mood.  So on this day the boys were chatting about their “work” day.  I interjected with a statement about groceries, or something of the sort, to which Johannes abruptly stated, “Mommy this is a conversation about work.  Daddy and I are talking about our work.  You didn’t go to work, you just stayed home all day.  So you are not allowed in this conversation.”

silence.  crickets actually.

Maybe its the fact that since finishing high school I never took more than one or two weeks off of anything until Magnus was born.  Or that I had been stressing out over the idea that in a few short weeks I would be heading back to work.  Whatever the underlying reasons may have been, he touched a nerve.  At three and a half years old he touched a nerve because with the flick of a switch I was transported 10, 12, 14 years into the future.  I then realized something fundamental.  It doesn’t matter what path I choose, to work, to stay home, to work from home.  It doesn’t matter.  The kids don’t get it and they likely won’t get it until they become parents of their own.

Its not just my dilemma, the working mom vs stay at home mom.  Its a battle most mom’s out there tackle at one point or another.  For some its a decisive lean in one direction or another.  For others its not a decision at all, but rather a necessity.  And yet for many women, mothers, wives, its not a clear answer.  We spend years in post secondary institutions, we cultivate ambitions and acquire dream jobs.  We dream of being career women, and mothers, and having it all.  The house, the family, the job.  That’s the dream isn’t it??  And yet when our children are born a switch turns for so many of us.  We feel this love we never felt before and we quickly realize how unforgiving the passing of time really is.  We start to miss our children before they even grow, and we begin to doubt our own ambitions.

Its a roller coaster of doubt and uncertainty, with a heavy dose of guilt mixed in.

Will our children grow up to appreciate the choices we make as moms, whether we stay home or go to work?  Maybe.  Will we as moms and career women have regrets about either choice or direction?  Probably.  Is there a perfect scenario?  I’m not really sure.

At the end of the day I believe its both a personal choice to work or stay home with the children, combined with the right circumstances, and as Anne-Marie Slaughter so beautifully wrote in the article, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All”It’s time to stop fooling ourselves, says a woman who left a position of power: the women who have managed to be both mothers and top professionals are superhuman, rich, or self-employed.

Slaughter believes that we’ve been lied to as a generation. Lied to that we can in fact do it all. Be superhuman. Have both the perfect home life and the perfect career and that we should accept no less.

What do you think?

the new 4moms mamaRoo + an awesome giveaway!

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You guys might already know about the 4moms mamaRoo, or at least, if you follow me on Instagram you see Magnus in his mamaRoo all the time.

Magnus loved his mamaRoo from the very beginning, and I use it mostly at meal times when I have to cook and clean and feed Johannes or hurry him out the front door.  But this past week, with me headed back to work I found myself relying on the mamaRoo even more so than before.  I wish I had 4 hands, 2 to hold my baby, and 2 to make breakfast and help Johannes get dressed.  But I don’t.  And Magnus is just as happy being swayed from side to side or sometimes just sitting there observing all of the commotion of the morning.

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The biggest difference in the new mamaRoo is the bluetooth and the iTunes app!  I usually put the mamaRoo at the front door of the kitchen in the morning or by the window when I’m working from home, and I can control the movement and sound entirely from my phone, which is kind of amazing.

I honestly didn’t know how or if I would need any device when I had Magnus, when Johannes was little I just held him myself.  But its a different ball game with two kids, it really truly is and I’m on my own at the busiest times of the day.  So for us the mamaRoo is the best ever, and 4 months later Magnus still enjoys it.  He doesn’t fall asleep in it like he used to, but he loves it to sit and just relax now or play with the odd toy.  I call it the robot-babysitter.  I am already nervous about what I’ll be doing to occupy him when he outgrows it!  This is the only way aside from the carrier that I’ve been able to keep both kids happy and entertained.

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So with all that said I have another AMAZING GIVEAWAY for ya’ll!  A new bluetooth capable mamaRoo of your own!  All you have to do is enter below by leaving a comment, and for an extra entry follow the blog on Facebook.  The giveaway is open to North American mamas only (sorry you guys from other parts of the world, this time its just NA) and contest closes January 16.  Good luck you guys!

PS Facebook link isn’t working in the rafflecopter widget so you can click here instead!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

**thanks everyone who entered, the winner has now been selected and emailed**

it takes a village

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When they say “it takes a village to raise a child” it really does reflect our daily life.  It takes a village of my whole family to raise our boys.  My mom, my dad, my grandmother, the aunts and uncles and close friends.  Everyone pitches in and helps out, and for that we are so grateful.

Today is my first day back in the office and I’m not going to lie, its been so much tougher than I thought it would be.  Two months ago Magnus was tiny and sleepy and I felt I was ready to do more.  Now some things have changed.  We found out about Johannes’ condition and we know that it likely won’t get better until we have his tonsils removed, and even then there are no guarantees.  Likely Magnus has this condition too, and by the time he turns 2 we will be once again battling recurring fevers, stomach pain and nausea.  I’m nervous about whether I will have the flexibility to continue to raise my children the way I want to raise my children.  To be able to bring them home at a reasonable hour, feed them home cooked food, and still have time to enjoy them before they get tucked away in their beds so very early.

But I am lucky.  Because I have a village and I know other parents do not.  I’m lucky because my office is around the corner from my mom and dad who will watch Magnus when I’m at work.  I’m lucky because they will help cook us meals, love our children and bond with them in some ways that other grandparents and great grandparents do not ever get to bond with their mini humans.  I’m lucky because I have great friends who offer support and help and I know that if push came to shove they would help us should we need it.

I’m relying on my village more than ever this month, while we adjust to a new normal.  And hey…2015 will be the best year yet!  Fresh opportunities and ventures have me pretty excited.

Any advice for returning back to work??  I can’t much remember what it was like heading back to work with Johannes when he was little, it feels like ages ago now.