Category Archives: Mama Talk

Working Mom of Two

I still cannot it has been 3.5 months since I ventured back into working. It feels like weeks, not months. I found going back this time very different than after Avery. After Avery, it was a world of unknowns, a scary one at that but as the days passed we fell into a new groove and life that we all enjoyed a lot. After Chloe I knew what to expect going back to work and it made the whole transition so much easier. But with working full time, being a Mom, a Wife, this blog, running & training for races plus everything else that falls my way there has to be some sacrifices too.

By nature, I am a type A person so letting things “fall to the wayside” is much easier said that done. Those dishes in the sink? Yeah, they do not need to be done, but for my sanity, they actually do and probably right now so the whole letting those little things go in order for me to still have time for my family is hard some days. But with a little work, a whole lot of planning and an awesome side-kick it is all very possible.

So what have I learned in this past few months?

1 – I cannot plan enough. True story. Meal planning, workouts, my lunch hours, grocery shopping…and more. I find planning these things and times to do these things helps us get it all done.

2- I have an awesome husband. I knew this already but without Chad I could not do what I do.

3 – Some days I am too busy to even notice “those dishes in the sink” or whatever might have driven me crazy before. This helps me to let those little things slide 😉

4 – Two kids is not twice the work. More like 100x – HA. But I would not change it for the world.

5- Flexibility is key – all the time. Kids get sick, they nap at the wrong hour, they get cranky, life gets busy and so on. I am such a planner that sometimes these last minute changes can really get to me but I am learning to roll with it more as life rarely goes as planned.

6 – Downtime is so important. I try and reserve the last hour of the night to just hang out with Chad, no blogging, no working out, just hanging out which these days means watching TV 😉 Hopefully this summer it means sitting outside with a cold drink 😉

7 – I am tired… a lot. But that is life right now so I do not dwell on it.

8 – It really does take a village. From my job being flexible, our great dayhome, family and friends. I could not do it without everyone.

I am the first to admit that our days are usually crazy and hectic but I also love them 98% of the time and would not change it for anything. After all, these two little faces make everything worth it:

 

Lindsey

Back to Work Transition

I feel like now that I have gone back to work twice I am a pro at this transition, well as “pro” as you can get with a big change like this! So I thought I would share some of my tips to get you through the transition and still have a semi-sane life 😉

1- Meal Plan. You guys knew this one was coming 😉 I get home by 5pm with the girls so there is really not a lot of time to think about what to make for supper and forget about 5pm grocery store stops! This way I can walk in the door and start supper.

2- Prepare the night before. I spend about 20 minutes in the evenings getting ready for the next day. This involved packing lunches, the dayhome bags, laying out outfits and anything else we need for the next day. This goes a long way in the morning when time is tight and things often go sideways (thank you, three year olds!).

3- Lower your expectations. Days are busy and sometimes things have to go on the backburner for a bit. But you will get into a new routine and everything will fall into place.  For me this means that my house is less tidy than I would like it, but in the grand scheme of things this is peanuts so I just let it be.

4- Schedule in your workouts. *If* you workout. I do a combination of early morning (5am), after the girls are in bed (7:30pm) and lunch time yoga classes. This is key for me to stay accountable and get my workouts done.

5- Use your lunch breaks. My lunch breaks rarely involve lunch! They are used for errands, grocery store trips, yoga class and appointments. But this frees up my evenings and weekends so I make it work. Granted, I have a flexible job and can eat lunch at my desk while working.

6- Set a cleaning schedule. I find this the easiest way to make sure things around the house do not get too away on us. This will look different for everyone but make sure you set aside time to do these things. Example, we do our cleaning Sunday after we workout (during naps) and laundry is started Friday night and all done by Sunday night so we are not fitting that in during our already busy week.

7- Have a visible family calendar. Ours is just a monthly printed one that is on the fridge but it allows us to see what we have going on and when so we do not double book and are aware of each other’s schedules.

And if all else fails, after a long day sit back and have a glass of wine and let everything “go” for the day and you will feel a lot better 😉

Lindsey

My SAHM Experience

This post has been sitting in my drafts for months and has been deleted and rewritten many times. At times I convinced myself to forget about it all together. But it is something that for months has been on my mind and I want to share.

Being a Stay at Home Mom is not for me. 

I think there is so much judgment in that statement it is hard for many to say and if they do there is that instant guilt that comes with it. But I refuse to feel guilty over it. Every single one of us is different, our personalities, our needs/wants, our families so why feel guilty?

I live in Canada where we are beyond lucky to get a full year of paid maternity leave and the majority of us take that full year off. I did when I had Avery and truly loved that time with her but something was missing near the last bit of my leave. Like any new Mom, my return to work was filled with anxiety of the unknown. Will my child hate me for leaving them with a stranger for 40+ hours a week? How will I balance working and taking care of my family? You loose a huge sense of control giving your kid(s) to strangers (at first) and that is scary.

It was within a couple week of going back to work that I realized something huge. I realized that missing piece of my puzzle. I was my career. I missed work. I promise, I am sober writing this 😉

A couple things to note at this point. My dayhome is amazing and Avery had no adjustment issues, from day one she loved it there. Two – my work? Equally amazing and we have a family first policy so never have I had to pick work over a child that needed me.

Fast-forward to when we found out I was pregnant again. I knew instantly that that a full maternity leave was not going to happen again. I will admit that the fact that my maternity leave should have ended in March played a huge role too. I mean a 9-12 month old and 3 year old at home in the winter when I go stir crazy if we don’t get out daily? Not for us.

I am sure many people questioned if I would go through with this and I got a few odd looks when I would tell people happily “I am going back to work three months early”. Usually people assumed it was for financial reasons and while that was a perk it was not one of the top reasons I chose to go back early.

I put myself first.

I strongly believe that in order to be a good Mom you need to sometimes put yourself first. A tired, cranky and unhappy person can’t equal a happy and content Mom. This is why I went back to work early – self-care.

Did I feel guilty over leaving Chloe at 9 months to go and work? Of course, I did! But I also know it will not scar her for life and she certainly will never hate for me doing so.

I am in on my third week back to work now and guess what? My kids still love me! Most days Avery cries to leave dayhome – and those are the only tears we see. Not only are the girls beyond happy at dayhome I am happy to be back at work. It is a win-win for US.

So to the Mom(s) out there that love their job and have their kids in care- do not feel guilty. We can be working Moms and still be great Moms – and for some of us, better Moms.

These two little souls are my everything, regardless of the hours I spend with them:

Lindsey

 

Lessons Learned as a Mom of Two

Six months into this Mom of two gig and some days I feel like I have my shit together then the next I want to drink by 9am – no joke. Anyways, along the way I do feel as I have gained some wisdom and have had to set some of my Type A tendencies aside in order to maintain some sanity.

Lesson #1

The kids do not always need to be happy. There will be days when they cry/whine A LOT.  This never killed any kid. Let them cry, put the baby in their crib for a few minutes so you can breath. I promise it will make you feel much better.

Lesson #2

Tidy the house once or twice a day. I drove myself nuts picking up 10 times a day and then realized it is not worth the 5 minutes or my frustration. Now I pick up at nap time and at 5pm.

Lesson #3

You will be late sometimes. This one was hard for me. I am always on time of not early. I try and give myself 15 minutes to leave the house but that does not always work out. Being a bit late is okay, and usually people will understand – I promise.

Lesson #4

You will forget things…a lot. I used to think I had a great memory, and now if it is not in my phone I will not remember. I usually have anywhere from 2-10 reminders set in my phone daily. Thank goodness for technology!

Lesson #5

Nap times will not always be productive nor should they be. I spend half of mine running around the house like a mad women doing everything on my list and they other half? I sit and stare at my phone and just give myself and my brain a mental break.

Lesson #6

Sleep will never sound so good. Between a toddler that fights bedtime some nights until 9pm, a baby that wakes at least once in the night and the toddler who also wakes to pee at night sometimes I have no idea what a 8 hour stretch of sleep is anymore. But somehow I have a new normal and this is all okay – for now.

Lesson #7

EVERYTHING IS TEMPORARY. The most important lesson. The cranky baby, the night wake ups, the threeanger attitude, the messy house, the endless laundry… it is all temporary, maybe its a few months or a year but regardless these things will not last forever. One tough days this is my mantra and it pushes me through.

At the end of every day I am so thankful for these two little faces, no matter what. Being a Mom is not easy but worth it 🙂

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4 More Months

Until what? Four months tomorrow and I am back to work full-time.

I made the decision shortly after we found out I was pregnant not to take my full maternity leave for a few reasons. I am sure many people though I might regret the decision or change my mind but I have not. I have been at home for 5 months so over half way done my maternity leave and still know this is by far the right choice for us.

I wanted to talk about this since I think that sometimes society pressures Moms into feeling that they should want to stay home full-time and if you do not feel that way there is something a matter with you. This is only my observation, I do not feel as if it is the truth. Being a working Mom or stay at home Mom are equally awesome and have their own perks but when it comes down to it all that matters is that you are doing what is right for you and makes YOU happy.

I love being at home with the girls and feel so fortunate to be able to do so. So many people do not have the benefit of doing this so the fact that I get to makes me feel very blessed. We have had an awesome summer off and seeing summer come to an end is bittersweet since I do not know if I will ever have a summer off work again with the girls.

Saying that there are some reasons why I know I am going to be more than ready to go back come January.

1- I miss adult time. Yes, I see Chad every evening and morning but for 8 hours of the day I am with a toddler and a baby 80% of the time. I miss my co-workers, and our conversations.  I miss talking about things other than parenting on a daily basis. I am lucky that many of my co-workers are my friends as well and seeing them every couple of weeks just does not cut it.

2 – I function better with away time from my kids. Yup, it is true. Being a Mommy 24/7 is exhausting – stay at home Moms you amaze me! By 5pm some days I want to run out the door for even a few minutes. When I am working for 8 hours a day there is nothing better than doing the opposite and running out the door but to see my girls instead.

3- Eating my lunch in peace. I know this is pretty low on my list but eating a meal without the girls some days seems like a dream. No toddler telling me what she does and does not want – which changes every second, no baby grunting at me for more food…sigh… 😉 I joke I have become the worlds fastest eater with two kids, it is like I kick into survival mode! And lunches out with no kids?! I cannot wait.

4 – I am ready to have my brain in work mode again. I totally have a mushy Mom brain these days and who can blame me! I am ready to think of work things and be more connected to what is going on. I try to stay somewhat connected while off but it is not my priority these days, the girls are.

5 – I want more money. HA. Doesn’t everyone? I told myself this could not be a deciding factor in staying home since we could afford a full leave. But when it came down to it I did not want to. I wanted to take a winter holiday, start looking at a new vehicle and well, shop. Taking home a third of what you are used to is not fun no matter what. With dayhome fees it only makes sense to work full-time as part-time is not worth it (for me).

I cannot stress this enough that these choices are only mine and I never judge anyone as to what they do. It is so sad that society does judge Moms on their choices but that is life. I love my girls to death and am so grateful to be home with them but just the thought going back to work in January makes me so happy.

I have to share one final and very important thing in my decision. My dayhome. I am so lucky have such a wonderful provider (hi Michelle if you are reading!) who I have known for many years. She is so caring and loving I know my girls are in even better hands there than with me –> truth. She is taking both girls back in January which I am beyond grateful for since Chloe will only be 9 months. Avery still asks a few times a week to go back there with her friends so I know she will be very happy to go back and Chloe will be just fine with her sister and Michelle. Moms – this is key, I think having a great dayhome makes going to work every day much easier.

Lindsey