The Balanced Working Mom and Other Mythical Creatures

Quick tell me; what do the Loch Ness Monster, BigFoot and the Balanced Working Mom have in common? Yes, they are all mythical creatures! If there is balance to be had between career and parenting, the only evidence I’ve seen of it is in grainy photos from afar that you are sure are doctored. No reliable first hand evidence of work-life balance has ever crossed my path. 

Image credit: www.theprettysweetlife.com

Image credit: www.theprettysweetlife.com

Despite my apparent cynicism, I’m all for working moms, whether out of necessity or desire. I’m a working mom myself. I simply have never found that elusive balance that allows one to thoroughly enjoy both career and work simultaneously, while also succeeding in both arenas. For while I thought it was me. There was something I was missing, or some fault in my scheduling or work ethic that meant I couldn’t find my balance. More and more lately I’m beginning to realize that the fault isn’t mine – how can you find something that doesn’t exist!

In my 6 1/2 years of motherhood I have been a stay at home mom, an employee working out of the house, a self-employed work at home mom and an entrepreneur. Each of these opportunities were/are highly flexible and very child friendly and yet I still wasn’t able to find a good balance between my career and family. I had periods that were very career focussed where I achieved great success, but felt my relationships at home suffering. The pendulum has swung the other way and I’ve spent intensive family time strengthening my bond with my husband and children at the expense of my career. I can assure you the pendulum has never swung in the direction of having a clean and tidy home on a regular basis. 

The one takeaway I’ve had from all of these experiences is not to burn out chasing that elusive balance, but instead plan for and build in those pendulum swings. Is there an upcoming time that will be very work focussed? How can you plan for your family in that absence. Maybe your partner is able to be family focussed during that time. Maybe you have good friends and family or an excellent childcare situation that will let you rest at ease knowing your children are happy and that the pendulum will always swing back the other way. Vice versa, how can you build up your career for family intensive periods? Do you have a business partner or collaborator that can help out, or a colleague who can job share while you take some family time? 

Most importantly, don’t get sucked into the lie that you can do it all. Photoshopping isn’t just for models!

Netflix Nostalgia: Saturday Morning Cartoons #StreamTeam

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Very few things make me as nostalgic as certain TV shows. Anytime I hear the word ‘palaeontologist' in any setting I automatically think of Ross and wonder “Did she get off the plane??”. As well as music and books, different stages in my life are clearly categorized by the shows I watched. Living with my big brother in my late teens was a period of The Sopranos and the original Law & Order. A bit earlier was Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Saved by the Bell and Happy Days. Oddly enough we didn’t have a TV for most of my early childhood, but my hubby has those classic fond memories of early Saturday mornings eating breakfast and watching Saturday morning cartoons. He’s been loving sharing … Keep Reading!

Huggies® Little Movers Plus for Toddlers on the Go

Hughes Little Movers Plus for Toddlers on the Go

I don’t know if it is true for all kids, but my girls were little movers from the get go. From rolling over to crawling, cruising to walking, running to climbing; they never stop! My youngest is now 2 years old and is constantly trying to keep up with and copy her gymnastics loving big sister - which means lots of time spent upside down and in comical body contortions. Which ALSO means lots of leaks for some diaper brands.  I’m not sure if my toddler has odd proportions (she is perfect to me) but it is surprisingly hard to find diapers that don’t gape around her legs while she is on the go. This has led to many more leaks in an otherwise perfectly dry diaper than I care to … Keep Reading!

Grief is not just for Moms #ShowUpForDads

A Grieving Father

  I’ve talked quite a bit about remembering and honouring all women on Mother’s Day, especially those who have suffered through infertility, pregnancy and infant loss, and I recently took a step back and asked myself - “what about the Dads”?  Friends and family can overlook grieving dads and may not know how to offer support, or may think that men would be uncomfortable with the show of emotional vulnerability. Despite our progress in banishing stereotypical gender roles, men are often still perceived and expected to be the strong silent type. To suffer in silence and not let their emotions show. Additionally, women tend to have bigger social networks that they can draw … Keep Reading!

3 Bathroom Hacks to Extend Your Clean

Lysol Bathroom Cleaning Hacks

I hate cleaning.  Even more than that, I hate having to clean AGAIN when I’ve just finished cleaning. Once it’s done I want it to stay done, at least for a little while. Lysol® has a full range of products that got my bathroom clean quickly and easily (including killing 99.9% of germs) from toilet to tub, sink to shower.  While I was using the Lysol® Bathroom Cleaning Foam in my shower, I enjoyed seeing exactly where the product was disinfecting and how easily it covered large surfaces as it was sprayed. The Lysol® Power Bathroom Cleaner was great for spraying my faucet, sink and toilet, leaving everything so shiny and germ free.  Since Lysol® did such … Keep Reading!

*GIVEAWAY* Whistler Children’s Festival

Win a Weekend in Whistler

With the Canadian dollar at a significant low, more families are looking closer to home for fun family adventures and staycation ideas, and we have the perfect one for you!  Whistler Olympic Plaza is the site of the 32nd annual Whistler Children’s Festival - a 3 day event presented by the Whistler Arts Council that will feature an exciting line-up of live performances, free activities, and a wide variety of hands-on creative workshops for kids. I know my 6 year old would literally be head over heels for the Circo-Circuit workshop, and my 2 year old would get a kick out of the Saggy Shakers workshop! And who doesn’t love the fabulous Bobs & Lolo … Keep Reading!

*GIVEAWAY* Mango Moka: New Coffee Shop on the Block

Welcome to Mango Moka

You can call Mango Moka a coffee shop, but that hardly does it justice. And "healthy smoothie, delicious sandwich, authentic Indian, tasty desert, fair trade coffee shop” is just a tad wordy. So while you may not be able to label them neatly, their east-meets-west fusion offerings will have you coming back again and again!  I was lucky enough to visit Mango Moka (a new coffee shop in Maple Ridge), shortly after they opened and sample some of their incredible food and beverages. The coffee was to die for, their sandwiches and smoothies all made on site and the treats rounded everything off perfectly.  I brought my 2 taste testers along and they devoured everything that … Keep Reading!

Let’s Get Fresh: VancouverMom.ca Top 30 Bloggers

The 2014 Top 30 Alumni

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (and it won’t be the last time); one of the biggest benefits of blogging, one of the reasons I started and a huge reason why I continue is the amazing community of bloggers I have met and formed great friendships with. I may be slightly biased but I think Vancouver has some of the best bloggers out there and the annual VancouverMom.ca Top 30 Bloggers round-up is proof. I had the honour of being nominated last year, and the group this year is no less stellar. The VancouverMom.ca celebration has become the most talked-about, anticipated event for some of the most digitally dialed-in moms in Vancouver and I know this year won’t … Keep Reading!

Sisters

4 Year old Adri draws Mommy with baby in her belly

Sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters.  Yes that happens to be a line from one of my favourite musicals of all time, but thankfully also applies to the two stars of my life. I worried a lot when I was pregnant with my second, how my oldest would adjust. So far - 2 years in - the novelty still hasn’t worn off.  Yes, they fight sometimes, but more often they get along. They play together, console each other when one is sad or hurt and love each other through it all.    While the girls rule the roost in our house, every family is different, and Netflix is celebrating those differences with an amazing line up of shows that depict … Keep Reading!

*GIVEAWAY* BabyBjörn Kitchen Products Test + Review

BabyBjörn Giveaway on Life Love and the Pursuit of Play

No one can say that our family doesn’t know how to eat. Of all the battles I have fought with my kids, food is rarely one of them, and while I appreciate their voracious appetites, it often translates into a major post-dinner clean up effort. Both of my girls have independent streaks a mile long and wanted to feed themselves pretty much from day one. Most often my desire to foster that burgeoning independence won out over my loathing of laundry and vacuuming, but now I don’t have to make a choice between the two!  I was so excited for the opportunity to take the BabyBjörn Kitchen Products for a test drive with my 2-year-old. While the Soft Bib wasn’t quite big enough for her, … Keep Reading!