What Mom are YOU?

I’d like to begin by saying I love all Moms.  Because, they get it.  The sleepless nights, puke stained clothes, preparing food non stop, peeing with an audience and hearing Mom repeated about a thousand times.  I like to think I’m a blend of many of these following Moms.  Wishing I had more of some and…… less of others……but all awesome!  Moms – you rock!

The New Mom – We’ve all been there and you can spot these poor souls from a mile away.  First sign, they only have ONE child and they are rolling in the pimp daddy of strollers with every bell and whistle.  Their child is dressed for a hike through the Antarctic and it’s the middle of summer.  There’s a diaper bag stuffed to the gills and the stroller basket is also overflowing.  Their hair is unwashed, possibly wearing a hat, no makeup, dark circles under their eyes and puke on their hair, shirt and/or pants (HA, let’s face it, that last description could be ANY Mom with a <6 month’r).  They are extremely on edge, confused, not able to form complete sentences and appear quite frazzled and freak at the smallest coo or grunt from their baby and quickly pick them up.  Oh they’re gonna regret that in 4 months!!!!!!!! Muahahahahaa!

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Overflowing bag, puke on shirt, baby bundled and looking…..disheveled and confused….yep, nailed it Zee, NEW MOM.

My Child Does No Wrong – I find quite often that these parents are actually the NICEST people you have ever met.  Not only do they see no wrong in other people….they also see no wrong in their own children.  Of course, this is all fine and dandy until their children start being nasty, not sharing or shoving around your children.  And hey, I’m not saying my kids never do any of that, they do, the only exception is that mine don’t get away with that kind of shit.  Even if it is going to result in my child throwing a temper tantrum and crying, they WILL share that toy, or ELSE!  I almost feel sorry for the parents that can’t be mean; it would be like living with a bully!  A pint-size bully at that!  I just want to scream, YOU CAN DO IT, BE MEAN!

Granola Bar – Oh boy.  These are out in full force these days.  With all the education about nutrition and chemicals, seems like everyone is on the band wagon.  And again, not necessarily a bad thing.  There is a lot of processed crap out there that is horrible for our kids.  My motto has and will continue to be small treats in moderation.  If however, your child tackles mine when they happen to see “R-I-T-Z” stamped on a cracker and proceed to stuff the entire contents of a bowl down their throat in 30 seconds, you might wanna loosen those reigns a little……

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Sporting her wooden spoon and fresh fruit, with untreated chemical free bandana hair, Miss Vi is all granola.

I Have The Smartest Kid – You’re at the park with your fellow moms and you are sooo excited because junior is FINALLY potty trained.  It has been the most intense and horrifying week/s/month, fine months, of your life but hooray you all made it!  Just then little Mrs. Perky says Oh really?  William’s been trained for months!  And he can already spell his name and has decided he’s going to be a doctor!  You know them.  No matter what your child has accomplished, their child has done better and they need to squash you.  You should promptly respond by saying, that’s wonderful, you might want to train him to pull his finger out of his nose before he starts medical school!

The Teacher – Everybody’s day job trickles into their personal life but for this Mom it’s on a whole other level.  And I’m not even saying it’s a bad thing, hell I wish I was that organized.  Everything their kids do is a lesson or centre or a craft or activity.  After 15 minutes of this, I’m tired.  I wonder, do the kids put their hand up at home to go to the bathroom?  I know I almost did at the park.

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Ok, so teacher Moms totally don’t look this angry. Zee however was taking her role extremely seriously. Learning is serious business.

I Think I’m A MILF – First things first, if you don’t know what a MILF is, then maybe you better google it.  Ok, so she USED to be hot.  Now, you’re dragging around a snotty nosed toddler and you have jam on your pants.  Those days are over sweetie.  No matter how tight those track pants hug your butt, and how many squats you do and how many times you whip your unnaturally perky boob out to feed your kid or how ridiculously you flirt with that single Dad, nobody’s buying it.  There is still a snotty nosed toddler, attached. To. Your. leg.

Diva – Hair, makeup, nails, heels and dressed to the nine’s with star bucks in hand.  And we’re meeting at a park.  At 9:30am.  You know who I mean.  I arrive with a travel mug, no makeup, a ball cap, my children half dressed and we are all still eating breakfast.  Oh man, I sound like the new mom…..LOL.

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Morning ladies! I barely had time to get ready this morning. I know I look a wreck, I haven’t even had my Starbucks yet!!!! Vi is my in-house Diva and had no prob pulling this look off!

No worries – I’ve known them, I’m sure you have to.  They are completely unconcerned about their children’s safety.  I know, I know, nowadays we’re super OVER protective BUT my mom definitely wouldn’t have let me sit by the side of the road.  Luckily for these Moms they generally have what I’ll term “hardy” children.  You know the kind that at the age of 10 months are doing the rock wall on the play structure and fall off backwards, land on their head and still manage to be okay.  My kids can’t even walk across a clear floor without falling on their face.

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There’s one of those “hardy” kids now….NOT. This was a very precarious moment, where I was worried the entire time he might land on his head…but no, instead he managed to smash his pinky finger. How? I have no idea. As long as he managed to be included in the photo shoot, he didn’t really care.

The Screamer – STOP doing that!  DO you need to pee? LEAVE your sister alone!  GET over here!  ARE you thirsty? WHERE is your shoe?  IF YOU DO THAT ONE MORE TIME I’M GONNA…..You know the type.  And to be honest, they probably don’t even mean anything by it.  It’s probably just how they were raised themselves (my husband, cough, cough).  But it can get a little nerve wracking to non-screamers.  Especially if they catch you not paying attention, then suddenly you hear, HEY! HEY YOU! I SAID DO YOUR KIDS WANT SOME CRACKERS?

The Perfect Mom – We all hate her.  Her kids are always well behaved, dressed nicely and not dirty.  They listen and say please and thank you.  Her husband is something great like a police officer, doctor or lawyer and treats her like gold.  In fact, she’s wearing a new bracelet he just brought home.  Barf.  She’s on parent council, volunteers with the elderly and rescues stray animals.  She is super nice, dressed neat and tidy, and never appears stressed or tired.  As much as you want to hate her she is just so damned nice!  Argh!

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Ohhhh right, there’s the perfect Mom now. She’s even sporting her new bracelet……

Funerals & Wakes: We’ll be the ones with kids

We take our kids everywhere with us.  Yes, we are those parents.  And it’s partly because well, we actually like hanging out with our kids and the other part is that we don’t have anyone to help watch them anyway.  So, they go where we go.  If they can’t go, then well, we don’t go.  Grocery shopping, doctor, dentist, liquor store, wakes…..wait, wakes?  Yes, wakes and funerals too.  We have since they were born.  In a carrier or in their car seat, they were there.  Death is unfortunately a part of life.  And with large families, it’s a large part.  So I believe the sooner, the better really.

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Lunch out with my Minute Maid models

And here is the most fantastic part of taking them.  PEOPLE LOVE IT.  Not just the family we are coming to pay our respects to but also those waiting in line.  Because it lightens it.  It adds a distraction.  It makes people remember good moments, happy moments.  The kids loudly admire and compliment AND smell all those flowers sent.  They look at the pictures and point out the funny ones, say who looks like someone they know, test out every chair and couch, try to drink and eat all the refreshments, pull all the Kleenex out of the boxes…..ok so there are some drawbacks.  But in general, it’s all good.

Now remember, you need to prep your kids before going.  Because if it’s an open casket, they are going to ask, so prep ahead.  My son asked a lot of questions.  And the best explanation I could find was that a person’s spirit leaves their body, similar to how smoke rises from wood when it burns.  Only we can’t see the person’s s spirit like the smoke but it flies up to heaven.  Their body is left behind but their spirit is gone.  And what’s spirit?  Well that is what controls a person’s body and makes their voice and their thoughts inside their head.  When someone dies, those things fly out (like the smoke) and up to heaven.  So far that has been enough.  He’s almost 7 so we’ll see how much farther we get.  It’s really up to you what you want to say.  Everyone knows their own kids.

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Dex being too cool for school. I’ll admit we almost stole the shoes.

There have been some touching moments……While speaking to the widow of one of our older relatives, Hazel (at age 2), whom I was holding, leaned forward and with her finger on her lips said, “Shhhhhhhh, he’s sleeping.”  The widow without missing a beat said “Yes, you’re right, he is, very peacefully.”  And gave her a bright smile and a little squeeze.

And there have been some comical moments…..my son at a recent wake kept trying to see down into the bottom of the coffin whispering “Where are his feet?  Why don’t we get to see his feet?”  For some reason children think keeping their legs covered is strange and I remember my nieces asking the same thing at my grandmother’s wake.

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Us taking our kids everywhere. My husband is totally rockin that pink Minnie Mouse backpack!

And there have been the hilarious moments.  Ok, hilarious NOW.  Just this past summer the girls became fully potty trained.  And they do really well…..but sometimes have accidents.  And so, there we were at a wake and suddenly BOTH girls needed to pee.  I said to my husband “They both need to go, take one!”  And he said, “No.”  Grrrrr……..So, I rushed them down the hall into the bathroom.  Hooray! 3 stalls (SIDEBAR – the NICEST bathroom I’ve ever seen in a funeral home).  Now here’s where every twin Mom gets the joy of twins.  I quickly got the first complainant (aka in twin terms as, the first to voice their need), Hazel, on the toilet, while Violet screamed, “Hurry, HURRY, HURRY”.  As I rushed around the door, I heard “It’s too late.” There Violet stood with pee streaming down her legs and forming a river (seriously) towards the drain a foot away.  Clearly, SHE should have been the first complainant.  The good news is, it was summer and she was wearing a dress with sandals and had managed to miss her dress.  Score.  Secondly, my super bright child WAS practically standing on a drain.  Woot.  So I peeked out the door to see….my husband actually, phew, with my son. What?  Because now HE also had to pee.  Of course he did, join the party!  So hubby ran for the backpack and I locked the door.

Lucky for us there was paper towel on the counter AND disinfectant wipes.  Seriously, BEST funeral home ever.  I folded some paper towel in a dry corner, stripped off the sopping sandals and undies and threw in the sink and stood Vi on the paper towel.  Then let hubby in with the backpack.  At this point Hazel was furiously screaming “I said, I’M DONE!!!!!” and I decided I should probably remove her from the toilet.  After she and her brother were washed up, I sent them away with their father.  We did a quick wipe bath of Vi, rinsed her feet in the sink along with her sandals, reassembled and stood in a dry corner again.

Then I “swept” the remaining pee puddle down the drain with paper towels.  And then I used the disinfectant wipes to clean the bathroom.  Because, you know, I really don’t get to clean enough at home.  As I came back into the sitting area of the funeral home, my husband’s family were all there, laughing.  And I laughed too because really, what’s a little pee?

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The rabble-rousers….don’t let those sweet scarves distract you…..wait, is that a knife she’s holding?!?

When I die, I want everyone to bring their kids.  I want them running rampant in the hallways, wreaking havoc and eating all the food.  Let the kids tuck things in my coffin and draw pictures on the side.  I want to hear giggles and squeals and screams, not crying (unless it’s a sibling fight between two kids over something like, “she looked at me the wrong way”, then let it fly!).  I want older people complaining it’s too loud. I want MUSIC!  FUN music, hell, let’s have a dance party for the kids and I hope the adults join in too.  Because you know if I was there, I would!

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Kids & Great Grandma. Pretty special lady that is now playing crib in heaven with my Grandpa Joe (and someone is probably cheating). At her wake, the kids did run rampant in the hallways and I know, she LOVED it.

McDonald’s versus Wendy’s. The debate is on. Kid style.

There are many bonuses to living in the country.  We have a huge lot, 3 acres actually, that includes a huge yard for our daycare-esque plethora of toys and also bush/forest area for the children to acquire ticks and burrs.  We KNOW our neighbours and by know, I don’t mean we wave sometimes, I mean it’s not uncommon for me to see my neighbour going across my yard to borrow a ladder from our garage, or calling them in the middle of the night for an emergency (like kidney stones).  And a super big bonus is that we hardly ever eat out.  When the nearest take out or restaurant is a 30 minute drive away, you find something in the fridge.  Of course there are also drawbacks to this when….there is nothing in the fridge.  Anyway, when we DO eat out, the kids go clean bonkers.  And for anyone else with small kids, you know by “eat out”, I mean one of the fast food demons.  My kids can spot a golden M from miles away.  There’s just one problem, Violet & Dexter LOVE McDonald’s and Hazel LOVES Wendy’s.  The fighting has become so intense sometimes that I just give up and drive to both and they eat on the fly, in the van.  I know, mother of the year.  Hey, I’m usually on my way to buy $500 worth of groceries at Costco, time is of the essence.

Please enjoy this video of the usual debate.  I’d like to add that we did not even eat out this day.  We just happened to drive by a McDonalds.  Do you know how many McDonalds and Wendy’s there are?  TOO MANY.

http://youtu.be/q3im_4l_gas

First Day Back Frozen Door Fiasco

Welcome to Canada.  Where one day it can go from -5 Celsius, to freezing rain, to plus 7 Celsius outside with normal rain, to -20 Celsius with the windchill……in 24 hours. That’s right, let us coat everything in a layer of water then snap freeze that into a “winter wonderland”.  That’s what I woke to this morning.  Add in kids that have been sleeping in til 9am for 2 weeks that just got woken at 6:30am.  Did I mention it’s also the first day back from Christmas vacation? Ughhhhhhh.

Ok, so there are some advantages to living in this icy hell. This is my backyard.....and my all star!

Ok, so there are some advantages to living here. This is my backyard…..and my all star!

The kids are grumpy and tired, ok, ok, I’M also grumpy and tired.  I make 4 breakfasts (because no one will eat the same thing), 2 lunches, negotiate 2 outfits (no, you cannot wear that tank top, seriously, where did she find the tank top?), do 3 sets of hair (braids like Anna for two), brush 4 sets of teeth and slap on some makeup to make me look human.  I think we’re ready.  No, wait, we need to collect every new toy we got at Christmas to take to daycare.  So while the kids do that, I run out and pry open the driver’s side door to start the van.

I race back in and we all struggle into sweaters, coats, scarves, hats, mitts and boots.  We finally make it to the van, not bad, we’re only 15 minutes late and the sliding doors are frozen solid. Fffffffff.  I pull and pull, then I throw myself against the door to maybe “loosen” it and pull some more.  Nothing.  So I go to the other side and do the same thing and nothing.  Looks like we’re going through the trunk kids.  Even the trunk takes 3 pulls and 2 body throws before it opens.  Finally it comes up, hooray!  Oh F again, the split seat is up.  As I struggle to get the split seat down, the camping chairs keep falling in the way……WHY do we still have 6 camping chairs in the trunk?!?  Finally it’s ¾ of the way down, good enough, who freaking cares and I pile the kids in.  While they get in their seats, I race back into the house and collect the bags and pitch them into the passenger front door (it opens! Gasp!).  Then I race around back, climb in through the trunk and buckle the kids up.

If you can't escape, you might as well embrace it!

If you can’t escape, you might as well embrace it!

I climb into the drivers seat and begin to pull away, at the same time the your door is open dinger starts going off…………oh yah, I can’t get the effing door open but it’s open enough to set off the damned alarm!  Arghhh!  At the same time Dexter yells “Mom!  The door is open!”  I say, yes, I know, it’s the stupid side doors, now they are frozen “open”.  Then Violet yells “Mom!  The door!”  And again, I say, I KNOW, it’s frozen open now.  As I turn out onto the Highway, yes we live on a Highway, I think hmm, that sounds like the door is, OMG, THAT door is open!!!!  Once again, due to the balmy weather, the latch for the front passenger door is frozen and IT is open.  It’s not like hanging open…yet, but I can see that it’s just sitting there.  Shit.  At this point I’m already doing about 65km/hr.  Double shit.  And there’s 3 cars behind me.  Triple shit.  If I slam on the breaks it’s going to fling open and all the bags are going to fly all over the highway.  My son is freaking out, but I say, it’s fine, don’t worry.  So, I keep going, my daycare is about 30 seconds away, I can do this!  So I creep along as the people behind me curse and swear (I can see them) and as I make the left turn (of course it had to be left) at 5km/hr (people behind are PISSED) into the daycare’s driveway, the door goes flying open.  I lay my hand on top of the bags and miraculously, nothing falls out!  And I let out a woohoo!!  And then I hear the giggling.  My son is hysterical.   And I start laughing too because really, what else can I do?  It’s too early to drink.

Cheers!

Cheers!

Head Lice Race = Punch in the head

Head lice.  Every parent cringes at the thought of these annoying little vermin.  However the reality is that they are actually pretty common.  Unfortunately for BOTH my sisters that reality is all too real.  All their children attend the same school and they each have a child that is in a class with a “carrier” or should I say a child whose parents are not evicting the vermin.  Unfortunately for our household one such infestation happened A DAY after we were there visiting for several hours for a birthday party.  Enter head lice checks.

What I remember of head lice checks was the tickle of toothpicks going through my hair…..and frankly….I LOVED IT.  Apparently I was some weirdo because to my pre-schoolers it’s like some foreign form of torture.  The first couple of days was an all-out war of holding down by 2 people, one with a flashlight.  After 2 “episodes” of this I decided perhaps I’ll take a different approach.

A "get along" day when they met Elsa!

A “get along” day meeting Elsa!

Siblings are competitive by nature.  When it comes to twins, this reaches a whole new level.  For those that know my girls, they know that if there was a piece of poop on the floor and I told them that only ONE of them could have it, it would result in a cat fight.  And so this is how Violet punched Hazel in the head.

I had the bright idea that I would make the head lice check “a race”.  This is an example of how quickly things can escalate.  I sat down on the couch, placed a blanket on the floor in front of me and yelled to the girls playing in the next room “Hey, Who wants to get their head checked first for bugs!!”  There was a scurry of motion and Hazel came flying through the door first, she did a stellar first base slide into the blanket and clapped.  About 2 seconds behind her came Violet…as she saw Hazel hit the blanket, her face changed into a mask of rage…..she rushed forward and before I could stop her, she punched Hazel twice in the head.  Wap, wap!  Ahhhhhhh!  I grabbed her wrist before she got in a third.  As Hazel bawled, I hauled Violet to her room.  Where Violet proceeded to scream, thrash, kick and punch the wall like a lunatic for 20 minutes.  Ever the optimist though, I managed to calm Hazel down AND check her for head lice during that time.

After 20 minutes, Violet exited her room, red faced but like nothing had happened and as sweet as pie, said “Ok, I’m ready.”

I am moving out when they turn 13.

Sweet.  Innocent.  Boxer.

Sweet. Innocent. Boxer.

Nothing says, Good Morning!……Like a slap in the face

I found this old story from my blog drafts and decided to share.  It’s an oldy (18 months ago maybe) but a goody.

Mornings at our house are pandemonium.  My husband and I both work, so dragging the kids out of bed is our way of life.  I refuse to complain here that our children are NOT early risers.  Yes, that’s right, our kids like to sleep in.  And when I say sleep in, I mean 7:30am.  For those with small children they know that really IS sleeping in.  Go ahead, hate me, just as I hate those parents with children that nap (mine quit at 18months).  Yes, our feelings are mutual.  Anyway I digress; the point here is that we try EVERYTHING to get them up.  Normally my husband does most of the waking but I often arrive to help when things get hairy.

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3 kinds of crazy

It was a typical morning and as usual my husband had my son up and dressed and was in trying to get our two girlies out of bed.  On this particular morning, Dexter had decided he was going to try and help and the pair of them were cheering the girls on, like a race!  I could hear from our the other room my husband shouting, who’s it gonna be!?  Who’s it gonna be!?  And they had each picked a girl to cheer on, Dad on team Hazel and Dexter on team Violet.  I thought they sounded so cute, I decided to go in to watch.  Just as Hazel jumped out of bed and Ryan started cheering loudly and giving high fives.  Suddenly Dexter turned and slapped Ryan across the face.  Hard………….Silence.  Ryan.  Stunned.  Me.  Also stunned.  Then Dexter in a very upset shaky little voice said “Daddy, that was SO MEAN and Violet was trying so hard”.  I could see Ryan beginning to recover and by beginning to recover I mean turning red and steam was beginning to blow out his ears.

I quickly stepped in to say “Dexter!  You can’t slap your Dad like that!  And actually you shouldn’t hit ANYBODY.”  There were a few seconds of contemplation and then just like that Dex recovered, Ryan simmered and they all pranced off to breakfast.

Did I mention it wasn’t even 7am yet?

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Don’t mess with my sisters!

I’m backkkkkk

Ok, so taking on two jobs probably wasn’t a good idea…..The good news is the second job is done for now. Yay! The even better news is that I found a WordPress app!!! Hooray!
As a maiden app testing voyage, I will simply share an event from my evening tonight.

Both my sisters have been hit with the dreaded head lice in their house. And of course we were JUST visiting 2 days pre crawler confirmation.
Tonight when I said, ok girls! Who wants to get checked for lice first? It erupted into an all out war of screaming and scrambling. Who knew head lice checks were so fun?

Violet won. And by won, I mean she punched her sister in the head twice and then spent 15 minutes in her room screaming like a lunatic.

My girls will fight over anything. If I said there’s a piece of poop on the floor and only one can have it, they would fight over it. Is it a twin thing or a sibling thing?

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She’s cute, she’s funny, she’s willing to punch you in the head for a head lice check…

You might be a Family of 5 or more if……

When I had only my singleton son, I didn’t really notice how things were setup for families.  Maybe because it was only for a couple of years but then after I had the twins something became very clear.  Things are generally not setup for families of more than 4.  They just aren’t.  Restaurants, hotels, grocery stores…..So I’ve had a bit of a learning curve, if you’re new to the club, please let me get you up to speed, if you’re in the club, well, then ENJOY  ;)

And then there were 3!

And then there were 3!

YOU MIGHT BE A FAMILY OF 5 OR MORE IF………

You lie while booking hotel rooms and pretend you only have 2 children

You steal chairs at restaurants from other tables angering fellow patrons

You regularly call the wrong child by a sibling’s name

You can’t find a babysitter capable of watching all your children

You drive a minivan, SUV, truck or any other bus like vehicle

You curse family 4 packs of tickets to amusement parks, zoo’s, museum’s, concerts……..

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They may have sent us over the 4 pack but they are extremely adorable……makes up for it…….most of the time….

You get angry when you see the words “family pack”….on anything

You can’t tell some of your children apart from behind

You don’t remember life without diapers, it’s been 6 years or more

You have to split the kids between both sets of grandparents for “sleepovers”

Bath time is like an assembly line

Having 1 child at a time feels weird and lonely but liberating

You’ve pushed a double stroller AND wore a baby carrier

Because 3 children weren't enough.....we got a dog too!  She "completes" the chaos

Because 3 children wasn’t enough…..we got a dog too! She “completes” us and the kids love her

You know and realized quickly that triple strollers are NOT practical

You had to purchase a larger dining table to accommodate all the boosters, high chairs and children

Your yard looks like a daycare centre

You use two grocery carts, one to transport your children and one for the groceries

You had to quit your job to manage the “household”

You haven’t slept more than 4 hours in years

You’ve been asked “Are they all yours?”

Your children have to share bedrooms

Fruit seemingly vaporizes as it enters the house

You have a Costco or Sam’s club card, AND YOU USE IT…..ALOT

And the number one sign is……………….You receive gigantic bear hugs from multiple sets of arms that literally knock you down and YOU LOVE IT!!

They might be a bit goofy but I think we'll keep them! ;)

They might be a bit goofy but I think we’ll keep them!😉

How dare you make me apologize for my children existing

So I’ve been markedly absent for a few months now. And I have a very good reason, I’m losing my job. Every “free” moment of every evening has been spent searching AND applying for jobs. To be honest I knew it was coming and have been applying for jobs for about 2 years now but it’s now taken on a new urgency. In 6 weeks I will be potentially unemployed with 3 kids to feed. I’m educated, I’m experienced and I’m putting in every ounce of effort I can muster.

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Trying to keep up my spirits! My silly sidekicks help.

When I first entered the workforce it was all sunshine and roses. The workforce is good for women! You CAN have children now; you won’t be penalized or judged. You can have both and be successful. And I think in some areas it is working….but not everywhere. And it’s all great and mighty for the owner, president or CEO to say that’s how my facility runs, that’s our mandate…..but does he or she really know? Do they know how the manager 2,3 or 8 levels below is managing things? And is it just the manager? What about the co-workers? I’ve taken 2 maternity leaves now in Canada. And for both I took my 52 weeks I was entitled to as a Canadian citizen. When I came back from the first leave, things seemed ok at first. Then the comments started…..”Oh, that happened when you were on ‘vacation’”…..”Must have been nice, I only got 6 weeks off”……”You’re leaving already?”….”Can’t someone else take care of them?”……”Can’t someone else pick them up?”……Or my all time favourite, just ignore my calls or emails completely, give me no response at all. When I returned from the 2nd maternity leave things were even worse. I was no longer consulted for things such as scheduling meetings or informed of significant events that impacted my work. And of course the comments continued. I was the outsider. So I knew my end was coming. I realized immediately that I needed to find a new position where I wouldn’t be judged on having taken those 2 years off. A fresh start. I’ve been looking for a job for 2 years. TWO years.

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Girls doing some light reading, an example of my career leaking into my homelife…….cookbook, cookbook, ORGANIC CHEMISTRY, cookbook…..I have absolutely no idea how that got in there. Seriously. No idea. But it’s a staple in the kitchen now, winged by eat, shrink & and be merry!

I’ve had about 7 interviews but so far no luck. I’ve got something terrible working against me. I look young and fertile. I can almost see the managers eyes narrow as I walk in. My fertile ovaries seem to be screaming to them that I may become pregnant at any moment OR heaven forbid a toddler may come stampeding in behind me screaming Mommy. I know that look. Because I’ve seen it 7 times now. I see you checking my shirt for milk stains or a snot smear or a thickening in my waist. And I know exactly what you’re going to say to me…”I don’t know what your personal situation is…..?” There it is. That open ended question. Every. Time. Sometimes worded a bit different but I know what you’re asking……Do you have kids/Are you planning on having kids? At first I was caught off guard. I’ve had interviews previous to kids and I never batted an eye at that question. I didn’t even really think about it.

Genie4thbirthday

The kids celebrating Miss Genie’s 4th birthday! Their furry sibling!

Just a few weeks ago I got a call from a recruitment agency. After playing phone tag for a day, they caught me in town, on a day off with my twin girls in tow. The message said call them back today…..and it was 3pm…crap! I was going to have to call back from town, with my girls there…..so I setup the girls with drinks and a snack in their seats in our stellar van and put on a movie. Perfect! I thought the girls would be quiet while I made a quick call to the agency to say yes interested, send me the details, it wouldn’t take very long. I didn’t want to step out of the van because of the noisy traffic. I had just started speaking to the woman for about 1 minute when one of my girls starting yelling…..Mommmmmmm! SHIT! I said, oh I’m sorry, you caught me on a day off in town and I have my girls with me but your message seemed urgent that I needed to call you, just hang on a second…..As I stepped out of the van into the noisy traffic, there was a pause and the woman said, can you just hang on a second?…….Ok. She came back on the line about 15 seconds later and said, oh, I’m sorry, there’s been a change and this position is now on hold. Really? That’ funny because you have called me 3 times in the past 24 hours, how long will it be on hold? Do you know why? She stumbled slightly and said sorry I don’t have any details but I will contact you when the position becomes active again. I could almost hear her starting the shredder. Mrrrrrrrrrrrrooooow. You turned me away because I have kids. Bottom line. And just for a second I was upset with my girls but then that thought vapourized in anger. How dare you make me apologize my children existing. I was and still am infuriated.

I don’t regret having my kids. I love them MORE than my career. Those feet stampeding to reach me first at daycare and the 3 sets of arms in our group hug that follows are irreplaceable. What I do regret is that clearly many people forget what it was like when their kids were young. I am sad that parents previously didn’t get a year off to bond with their children and are bitter at my generation. I worry for the younger women coming after me that want kids. I worry for the women coming after me that don’t want kids because they want a career. Can we have both without making sacrifices or suffering losses in one area? Can we choose one over the other without suffering losses? The answer remains to be seen. The idea is there. The policies are there. The upper management seems to be there……it’s the mentality of the workforce that isn’t. Not everyone agrees. Until we can convince everyone that it’s a good idea, the parents will continue to struggle.

KidsCouch

3 goofs and their furry sidekick once again

I want everyone to stop and consider the children of these parents working for you or with you…..How old are you? Who is going to be your nurse, financial assistant, mechanic, or social worker in 35-40 years? Those children. That’s who. They are the future. Let’s choose to invest and support those first critical months and years of development. You may appreciate that resulting intelligent, compassionate, caring adult……especially if THEY are wiping your ass in the nursing home.

Look what I grew! I made it myself!

Welcome to the wacky world of parenting! I feel like I know tons of people having lil bundles of joy right now!!  It’s not always easy and I think the best thing is to share that with others so they realize they are normal.  My youngest pair will be turning 3 this spring, whoaaaa how did that happen?!?!  So I’m almost, mostly, somedays? in the clear?….. Here’s some reality mood boosters for the new parents.

Crystal&GirlsBorn

Look what I made! My girls are almost 3 years old now…..AND I’m still alive!!!!!

  • You just shit out a bowling ball from your va-j-j.  It’s about as glamorous as it sounds.  That’s gonna take some time to heal……..don’t try to be wonder woman.  OR you just had major surgery and were sliced in half……that’s also gonna take some time to heal.  OR for those really fortunate ones you shit out a bowling ball and then got sliced in half to get the other bowling ball out…..someone get that woman a drink AND give yourself the time to heal.
  • Your body will never be the same.  You grew a human.  Say that if someone gives you flack.  If you had twins, even better because you get to say, I grew two humans, AT THE SAME TIME.
  • Breastfeeding is all good and wonderful but A) Not easy for everyone and B) Not always for everyone….to my knowledge, formula has not harmed any children to date and if it results in the parents getting 2 extra hours of sleep, it might be worth a bedtime top up.  Do not beat yourself up over this.  I think this is the #1 “shaming” that new mothers face.  And this bothers me because a new mom is dealing with so much already.  Let me just say it, I did not enjoy breastfeeding.  I did it, yes but I was so happy when it ended.  It just wasn’t for me and that is ok.
  • Yoga or track pants are completely acceptable wardrobe choices for public outings of new parents and/or parents of young children (we’ll use that term young loosely……once they hit double digits you may need a new excuse!)
  • Babies like to be swaddled snuggly after being born.  They were squashed to the max in your tummy so it freaks them out a bit at first.  I can stretch?!?!  What’s going on?!?  So, learn how to swaddle. And don’t go all out and be buying some fancy velcro swaddler, your baby is just going to barf all over it in 5 seconds and you’ll end up using the cheap ass receiving blanket anyway.  Make sure to tuck those arms and hands in too.  And it needs to be snug, not tight, snug.
  • Babies cry.  And sometimes cry for no reason, sometimes for hours (high fives all around for any fellow SURVIVORS of colicky babies).  If you need a break, take it.  Put them down in their crib, it’s the safest place for them.  Go sit down in another room where the crying is less loud and take a moment, eat some chocolate, watch a really funny youtube video, whatever will cheer you.  Go back when you are ready.  If they are crying, they are breathing and they and you will be ok for 5 minutes.
GirlsCry

Team Scream. How in the hell did I manage to get 3 colicky babies?!?!

  • If you’ve got a fusspot, get yourself a carrier or wrap, worth every penny.
  • You can have the best day and the worst day in a matter of minutes
  • Complete strangers will like to give you advice and touch your baby……and…..everyone will have an opinion but only YOURS matters
  • Don’t freak yourself Google’ing everything, ask your Doc OR if your Doctor is a moron (it happens, say when they have no children of their own and are still living with their parents) ask your Mom or Grandma or Aunt.  If they are useless too, find a girlfriend with a kid about 1 year older than your own.  You’re set.  Oh who are we kidding you’re gonna google it anyway, just don’t believe everything you read.
  • Tylenol and Advil are two completely different drugs….if one doesn’t work, you can give the other (just keep track of what time you gave what, write it down).
  • Gripe water, ovol and probiotic drops are miraculous things
  • Your level of housecleaning will drop drastically and that is ok
  • You level of personal hygiene will drop drastically and that is ok.  Hairy legs, pits, Chewbacca stylin!  But if the mailman is avoiding eye contact….it’s time.
DexterBabySweet

My son at only a couple months old. He was and is ridiculously cute. Good thing because he screamed at this age for 6 hours a day :s

  • When baby sleeps, YOU sleep, no matter what time of day.  That includes when you have company over.  See ya!
  • However being a mean mommy can sometimes pay off…..once baby gets a bit older, waking them from naps can sometimes equal better sleeps at night.  Yes, it is nice for your baby to have a nap during the day, yes, you can get tons done and have a nap yourself…..but if it results in your baby getting up frequently at night OR staying up until 10pm…..might be time to be a mean mommy and limit naps.
  • It is completely acceptable to turn off the ringer on your phone and ignore people at your door.
  • The best way to treat cradle cap is to comb your child’s hair, if they have limited hair, comb their head!  Watch the flakes fly! (Soft brushes don’t work, you need a baby comb)
  • There are lots of dangerous people out there…….but there are a lot of good people out there too and they are willing to help you if you ask.  I have had many strangers hold one of the twins while I paid for my groceries, food, clothes, prescription….alcohol…..:s….I even had a stranger pack my groceries for me once while the girls screamed, all she said was, do you need help?  And I said YES, yes I do.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  When others offer help, take it.
  • There are no stupid questions.  Especially when you are sleep deprived.  It’s like being really hung over all the time.

And my final thought is, the first 3 months suck.  Major.  Then it gets a bit better and a bit better and then it’s going A LOT better and you have to return to work (about 1 year in Canada)……then it’s hell again for a few months, then you adjust, phew and THEN you usually get pregnant with another baby.  F.  HAHAHAHA.  What were you thinking?!?!?!  Get a puppy instead!!!  HAHAHAHA!  I mean a fish, I mean a toy fish, I mean a painting of a fish.  There you go.

VioletMomHappy

It’s all worth it!