Tag Archives: life

The Sugar Shack

Every year, close to springtime with snow still on the ground, my husband and I make a pilgrimage in the woods and head for a sugar shack. This is also known in our neck of the woods as “la cabane a sucre”, and it’s basically a chance to stuff your face. Bacon and eggs, beans in maple syrup, ham and cheese folded in a pancake, split-pea soup, and, if you have room, taffy on the snow.

What am I saying? Of course you have room! It’s the best part!

For the first time, my son got a taste. He loved it so much, he stole mine.

What do you get when you mix fresh cool air from walking through the forest and a jolt of sugar with the intense taste of maple syrup? A very sleepy baby!

 

 

I carried him out of the car seat like taffy slipping out of my arms and he barely fluttered his eyelashes. I plopped him down in my bed in full snow-gear and he had the longest nap in recorded history.

Sugaring off is such a short period of bliss. The very next day, the snow was gone.

Here’s a quick recipe I created to use up the maple syrup in a healthy way.

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I am Woman, hear me roar!

A typical day for my little family goes something like this:

7am – if not earlier – Wake up, mama! Time to get dressed, eat breakfast, then tackle my toddler and wrestle on his clothes and shoes. Despite the frantic pace, I still manage to make it funny. Alex loves it when I chase him around the house to dress him.

8am – Out the door! In the car! Drop off husband at work, and drop off child at daycare.

9am to 5pm – Work, work, work.

5:30pm – Pick up child and husband.

6pm – Fix supper in under 1/2 hour.

6:30pm – Sling supper on the table.

7pm – Husband and child watch his favorite kiddie show, Chuggington, for 20 minutes. In these 20 minutes, I sweep up the remains of supper flung on the floor – tonight was sticky spaghetti – load the dishwasher, wipe the counters, pick up toys and start supper for tomorrow night. If I get ahead now, I can save a precious 15 minutes tomorrow.

7:30pm – Bathtime!

8pm – Baby’s bedtime.

People, this is a good day.  A day like that makes me happy because everything went according to plan. It’s drudgery, yes. But the alternative is the wheels coming off the kiddie cart. Tantrums, traffic, and a tiff with my husband, can turn a frantic pace into a chaotic mess.

So I’ll take the frantic pace, and be grateful. I’m especially lucky because my husband is an equal partner in our family. He cleans, he cooks, he changes diapers, he keeps track of the bills and holds his end up, though he may complain all the way on bad days.

It’s International Women’s Day. And I don’t want special treatment for today. I don’t need a break, a pedicure spa, and for god’s sake don’t give me earrings. For me, today is an opportunity today to think of how to make things more equal. And I’ll know we’ll have gotten there the day that a man talks to his boss about achieving a better work-family life balance. It won’t be a woman’s issue anymore to hope her boss can tolerate the fact that she has a family now.  I know we’ll be closer to equal when parental leave will not be by default just for moms. Dads will be given the same time off and not have to worry for their jobs. Most of all, I wish for equal in a world where girls are still undesirable when born in certain countries, or hidden away, or hurt, or made to feel less than a man.

Today, I’m glad my man- a great husband and dad -is there by my side and shares the load all equal. For other families, sharing the load may mean that mom stays at home, or works part-time, or starts her own business. And dad can do the same. It’s all good.

So, ladies sing it loud: I am Woman, hear me roar!

You can bend but never break me, because it only serves to make me more determined to achieve my final goal.

If I have t0, I can do anything!

I am strong. I am invincible. I am woman.

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Holiday Traditions or Have yourself a sane Christmas.

I love Christmas! For me, it’s all about a dusting of snow, clementines and eggnog, a big turkey dinner, and my annual ritual of watching three movies:

  1. It’s a Wonderful Life.
  2. The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.
  3. A Christmas Carol. The 1951 version with Alastair Sims, of course.

Most importantly, I love Christmas because I get to cuddle up with my loved ones and tell them, in words or with gifts, how much they mean to me. This year is going to be special, because I get to share this with a little man, my son Alex.

Last year, he was too small to appreciate any of it. This time around, I hope I can instill in him the idea of family, love and gratitude for all the good things in our lives. He does not know, nor care, about Santa and he has not made him a list demanding toys and gadgets.  I hope it stays that way for a long time. Though I can’t control what other members of my family will give him, I hope they have heeded my wish to keep it simple.

Here are a few moments of a new holiday tradition: Trimming the Tree!

This angel goes here.

Mommy helping out a bit.

This is what a Christmas tree looks like when a toddler decorates it.

What really worries me is people “over-gifting” and Alex spending an hour on Christmas morning ripping through a mountain of presents. I’d hate to see him in that frenzy of “give-me-more”,  surrounded by crumpled up wrapping paper. That’s not what makes Christmas special.

Well, we’ll see how it goes and I won’t stress out about it before it even happens. I’ll remind myself that I can’t impose my values on others. After all, people are just so happy to have Alex in their lives they can’t help themselves but to give the whole world to him.

It’s all part of my new philosophy to keep it Zen. Recently, I helped produce a news feature with my friend (and fantastic reporter), Caroline, about how to deal with holiday stress. The lessons shared are worth repeating here:

1. Have a holiday budget

Don’t let consumerism go out of control. One gift is enough. And you’ll feel a lot less stress if you had time to make it personal and thoughtful, and fits within your budget. Create lists and amounts you want to spend. Avoid last-minute shopping and impulse buying. It’s a little too late to be thinking about that today I think, but the man we interviewed had a beautiful tradition of writing a letter to his wife, expressing all this gratitude and love for her.

2. Avoid overbooking yourself

Saying yes to too many events can leave you burned out.

3. Limit your exposure to toxic people

Budget your time for those must-attend events. We can’t always avoid them, but you can limit them to one or two hours. Don’t make it a whole-day affair because it will get overwhelming if it’s with people you’re not comfortable with and make you more stressed. Just say you have another commitment and you must leave.

4. Stay healthy

Get enough sleep and don’t overdo the food and drink.

And if you overindulge, go for a walk and take some fresh air.

5. Avoid sad triggers

Try to stay away from things that can provoke sad or negative thoughts.

Commercials and movies exposing the perfect family and perfect holiday are only edited versions of reality. Wallowing in them will only increase your feeling of loneliness and disappointment. It’s normal that things don’t work out perfectly. Just do your best, and take time to enjoy the good things.

Be kind to yourself and those you care about.

So, Merry Christmas to all. And God bless us every one.

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Seven Confessions

Reading over my last post, I realize I painted an incomplete picture of my life. Anybody who doesn’t know me might think, well this mom has it all… good for her (with a thick layer of sarcasm).

Then, my friend Caroline over at Spoiled Fruits of Empire gave me the opportunity to be a little more honest about myself. She nominated me to play this little game where I reveal 7 things you didn’t know about me, and then share 15 newly discovered blogs for the same badge of honor. Plus, you make a link to the blogger who originally nominates you.

I’m so happy to plug SFE. If you haven’t yet, pop over for a visit. Caroline is a great writer, and her blog posts are the wittiest prose I’ve come across. One of my favorites, and the one that got me hooked, was about her daughter Poppy and her doting grandfather. If she printed out all her posts and bound them in a book, it would be a best-selling hit and soon after a based-on-a-true-story movie.

Now, it’s my turn to spill the beans about myself. In no particular order, here goes:

  • Lately, my husband and I have been fighting at least once a week. We bicker daily even, quick little outbursts of frustration, and mostly it’s about parenting issues. Usually it’s worse on days when my husband hears stories from other parents describing their perfect children. “How come ours doesn’t sleep well? Why does he throw his food and make a mess? Why doesn’t he listen? Why is he freaking out? We must be doing something wrong!” My answer is a variation of “Get a grip!” Then I tell him to read this book and that book and I give him the short version explanation. Clearly, he’s only read the pamphlet on parenting and had no idea it could get this tough. Yet, he’s really a loving husband and father who just worries a lot about doing a good job.
  • I’m an Austenite. No, I do not reside in Austin, Texas. I read, and re-read, all of Jane Austen’s novels. Yes, Pride and Prejudice is my favorite. I have no idea how many times I’ve read it, but I usually crack it open once a year. There’s something that thrills me about how Austen turns a phrase, plus I’m a sucker for romance.
  • I’m a very stubborn person. The best (or worst) thing you can tell me is that it can’t be done. Watch me.
  • My house burned down when I was 10. On my birthday, no less. This sucked for a long time. My parents and brother took me to the mall to buy me a gift. When we returned, the firefighters had blocked the street and my house was in flames. Sometimes I wonder, was it a good thing that we were not home? Or would we have been able to save our house on time if we had stayed?  I’ll never forget the time I stepped back into our home, and found our beautiful Christmas tree tossed across the living room and holes hacked in the wall by axes to find the source of the fire. Half the house was gone. My father, equally as stubborn as myself, tried to fix the house himself and over 20 years later, he’s still fixing it. I’ve lived all my childhood in a dumpy house.
  • I’m a freak about a neat bed. The bed sheets must be crisp and taught. The blankets must be straight. I drive my husband bananas because he could sleep on a pile of dirty laundry and I’m always rearranging the covers. Of course, now that I co-sleep with my son, consequently sleep-deprived most of the time, I think I can now sleep standing in a messy closet if I had to.
  • I sneeze funny. I always try to hold it in and it comes out like a squeaky mouse, like this: Ha-Tchweeeee! One day, while I was driving, I tried to sneeze with my eyes open. Absolutely impossible.
  • I can’t stand a hungry person. I must feed them. I only have 1/8th Italian blood in me, but it seems enough to compulsively yell, “Mange! Mange!” and to load up their plate up with food. I’m the Nonna with a black cardigan and a white apron.

Okay, there you have it. Some of it is weird, some of it quirky. So now…

Tag, you’re it! (But only if you want to play along. Really, I’ve made this list to thank my favorite bloggers and to share some great blog resources for cooking and parenting.)

The fun stuff:

Just Wondering – Matt is a cool Seattle dad who loves to photograph gargoyles in his beautiful city. He uses some high vocabulary words, which I think makes reading his posts a lot of fun and get me thinking deep thoughts. Plus, his children are beautiful and sweet. Read this cute little post about their potatoes.

Momma Be Thy Name – Stephanie is the proud and exhausted mother of a toddler and baby twins. Consequently, she has great parenting insight and a life-saving sense of humor. Her latest post describes what her household is like when everything goes well.

On Becoming Mommy – Nikki is a healthy fitness mama who shares loads of ideas on healthy eating tips  for toddlers, on what’s worth buying for moms, and rounds up advice from other moms for great strategies on the first year. Her son is adorable, and I love reading the latest update on his new words.

Sapphire and Rain – I don’t think I’ve ever met a woman with more gumption. I say that with the highest respect I have for Jess, a single mom who has returned to university despite the heavy debt and stress load. She inspires me. Her little boy is a cutie and genius, just like her mom. And funny to boot.

The Monster in Your Closet – Another blogger who greatly inspires me. In the high seas of the Internet, Deborah challenges hundreds of readers to call-to-arms. Not only does she manage to read and respond to nearly everyone’s comments, she’s also a great mom and a published author, who loves  making silly stick figure cartoons and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I really got to start watching those.

And now for the useful stuff:

Veggie Smugglers: It’s hard to think of nutritious meals for toddlers. This mom has a zillion ideas and all kitchen and kid-tested in her home in Australia.

Chasing Cheerios: This blog has me wistfully wishing to be a stay-at-home mom. Loads of ideas on fun crafts and activities for toddlers. A few kooky ideas too… who decides to dye bags and bags of rice for a Rainbow Rice Pit? She does!

Simple Kids: When you need tips on a more zen parenting style, fun craft ideas or interesting books, visit Simple Kids. Oodles of fun links!

Made By Joel : Crafty Daddy alert. This is the kind of dad who can make bits of wires into a fun toy.

Smitten Kitchen: Mouth-watering stuff, all made from scratch, which fuel my dreams for a future life when I don’t have a toddler hanging off my leg.

Inquiring Chef: More food porn and great recipes, particularly this one, No-Knead Pumpkin Rolls. It was much easier than expected and delicious too!

The Pioneer Woman: She has the Best Pizza Dough recipe I’ve ever tried. Don’t doubt me on this. I’ve made it often, and all my friends have begged me for the recipe. It’s easy, and can stay in the fridge for up to 4 days. But that’s not the only reason why I love this blog. Her husband wears chaps. Yup, he’s a real honest-to-goodness cowboy. Oh goodness, check it out.

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When mom is at work…

I’m really feeling good about the daycare I found for my little guy. The webcam, which I have opened all day while I’m at work, gives me a much-needed link to him. Yes, I do manage to get work done. Actually, a lot of work done. Without it, I would be a wreck and would not be able to concentrate on any tasks.

Here are a few things I have seen him do that squeeze my heart:

– He’s started a book club. Regularly, he will sit down and pull out a book from the shelves. Seconds later, two or three other toddlers join him. I imagine they discuss the incredible appetite of the Hungry Little Caterpillar, perhaps as a metaphor for his emotional desire for love, but then all agree that he must just love eating fruit.

– He puts a doll on the floor, covers it up with a tiny blanket and pats its back. Maybe it’s some type of cognitive therapy for his sleep issues?

– When he’s done with his lunch, he takes his plate and gives it to his caregiver. Sometimes, he empties out the leftovers in the trash himself. I’m so proud.

My colleagues love to peek inside the daycare bubble too. It’s a little world, safe and snug, of toddler fun, naps and snack time, which cheers up just about any curmudgeon.

But there’s another reason for my “spying”, as one friend called it. I want to know what he’s up to, so I can share his day though we are apart. When I pick him up, we “talk” about his day and how great it was. If the lesson plan was about apples, that’s what we talk about when I put him in the car seat. My daycare ladies also provide me with notes in their Toddler Daily Report.

The best part of my day is picking him up after a long shift at work, learning about the fun and games, the number of diaper changes, his nap times (was it a good one?) and tasty meals.

These read like the finest literature for me:

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Conversation: Parental Leave and the Workplace

Here is the promised synopsis of the mommy conference we had at Melons coffee shop last week. Along with Samantha Cockburn, I was a guest speaker for Concordia’s University of the Streets Café and we were each chosen to speak about:

“The Parenting Profession: What impact does taking parental leave have on our ability to work and plan a career?”

We covered a lot of ground, considering issues of parenting and the workplace, which I’m dividing up here into the major subjects.

The Guest Speakers: Me and Samantha

We kicked it off with an intro from Samantha Cockburn, a successful entrepreneur and business-owner of Baby Auric, a cloth-diaper service in Montreal. Before embarking on this adventure, Samantha was climbing the corporate ladder at a pharmaceutical company. After her first baby, she realized that she just wasn’t the same person at work anymore. So she put her MBA to good use and launched her own business, giving her flex time to manage her family life, which now includes a 5-year-old and a 2-year-old.

What an incredible leap of faith! Leaving a full-time, well-paying job to start something new takes tremendous courage and I admire her for it.

On the other end of the spectrum, I am the mommy who went back to work full-time. That wasn’t a difficult decision. I’m a researcher for CTV News, producing investigative reports and daily news for over 10 years and I love my job. But at the end of the year-long leave, I didn’t feel my baby was ready for daycare. Having saved my money the moment I knew I was pregnant, I was lucky to extend my parental leave by an extra 5 months. Even so, returning to work was a difficult adjustment, despite having an understanding boss, quality daycare and flexible hours. Ultimately, leaving my 17-month old in the care of others for over 8 hours a day feels unnatural, like I’m neglecting my duties as a parent. And I miss him so much all day long. I’m still coping with these feelings, and it’s getting easier, partly in thanks to the daycare’s webcam. I can see he’s in a nurturing environment and that frees me to do my job without constantly worrying about him.

The Conversation Begins About Choices

Every mother has to face the decision eventually and we all handle the countdown to work differently. We were about 24 people, and only two dads, and the following were their thoughts as the conversation unfolded.

Hildy says she decided long ago how to handle her work life when she put all her cards down with her husband. Before having a baby, they planned what kind of lifestyle they wanted and calculated ahead of time how they could pull it off without a burnout.

Nicola had a plan too, but her maternal feelings took her by surprise so she adjusted by extending her leave. She says, “Women are in a difficult position and we’re not quite there in terms of equality. Plus we’re faced with the biological mechanism of being mothers.” She feels women end up making the concessions.

I noticed that we never know how we’re going to react until we’re there. The changes in our lives can’t be anticipated. There are the logical choices we think we’ll make and then our emotional response to motherhood.

Even before returning to the office, many women are feeling the impending doom of their parental leave coming to an end. A school teacher who came with her little baby confessed to feeling constantly stressed. Her time at home is slowly slipping away and going back to work is always at the back of her mind.

On the other hand, Nadine was looking forward to going back to work. “It’s nice to rediscover that part of your brain again.” But she still dreads leaving her daughter in daycare, not knowing what she is doing all day.

Work / Life Balance

Elizabeth pointed out how many of us grew up believing that we can do anything. Now we’re facing the traumatic realization that we can have it all, just not all at the same time. “And do we realize what’s at stake in the long run? How are we building this future generation? What do we want? We have to decide what’s important.” She adds, there’s a disconnect between what we want for the future of our kids and it doesn’t match our short-term vision.

Samantha agrees. As a mother now, she can’t think of anything else. “I don’t know how to make the shift in society. But if we don’t, there will be serious repercussions.”

For my part, I don’t believe in work / life balance. What really happens is you end up making difficult choices and then you need to accept the consequences. The brutal truth is you can only give 100% to a few things in life. For my part, I chose to let my house go to heck. Clean dishes and underwear is as close to clean as I get.

Where are the Dads?

I’ve also come to believe that we’d enjoy a better transition into the workplace when we include men in the conversation. It’s true; we’ve come a long way. My father never changed a diaper in his life, yet my husband is an expert at it. Stay-at-home dads are not an unusual trend anymore. And all this in just one generation. I think there’s hope for a lot more change.

Another mom brought up the example of Sweden, where paternity leave is extremely generous. This political policy has increased equality for women. It has also decreased divorce rates as men, increasingly primary caregivers, have more empathy for their partners when they learn how difficult it is to manage a newborn and household tasks like the never-ending pile of laundry.

Elizabeth cited a study from Concordia, how “hands-on” dads make for happier, more well-adjusted children.

In addition to the rewards for society and children, I think more-involved dads will also force employers to be more accommodating to parents in general. It can’t be just a women’s issue. (At this meeting, I think we only had two or three fathers present.) It has to be a family issue. Just by sheer numbers, we’ll get equality and respect for either parent, and bosses won’t be able to lump women in a category of problem employees.

Fathers Getting the Short End of the Stick

A mother brought up the example of her husband, who barely had time to be with his newborn. The irony is that he’s a lawyer, but the last man in his firm who made a stink about taking the full paternity leave was “unofficially fired.”

Another father shared his experience with parental leave. After returning from his due 5 weeks off, he was told “never to do that again” and got a lot of flack. And while he was gone, he could feel the nipping on his heels as two younger workers were eager to jump on his job. “I’m just a number, and I know it.” Without the support of his boss or his co-workers, one could understand why so many dads struggle to take the time off.

Social and Legislative Changes

One lady asked, “What will it take on a legislative level, something strong enough so dads don’t get flak and it becomes normative?”

Nicola would also like to see a change in legislation and believes there needs to be a shift in society. “We need to figure out how to get there.”

Though women still are discriminated when they are pregnant, as one mother explained her job being conveniently abolished, I think we were all surprised to hear fathers having a hard time too. Yes, we are luckier than families in the U.S., who get little to no time off. But that doesn’t mean we should be complacent. We need more family-friendly laws to support both parents.

Sarah also thought up of a couple of ideas to encourage employers to shift their focus away from the bottom line. Businesses that respect family values could be given a prestige symbol, a sort of certification label that could attract employees. And to denounce the worst businesses, she suggests the government set up an anonymous whistle-blower hotline, to report places not respecting the law.

Expecting More from our Employers

One woman says she has very little tolerance for companies and employers who can’t find a way to deal with parental leave. “Make it work. If you can’t, then you’re not good at your business. I think our definition of success needs to change.”

A mother, who has run her own business for the past 8 years, says “We have a lot of power to make demands that we couldn’t before.” If an employee says she has to leave at 5pm to pick up her child, an employer has to respect it, if they want to retain talented workers. “These are their values – take it or leave it.” And you can find a way to make concessions, such as agreeing to work later once a month. She thinks employees should be more demanding upfront. Employers will have to pay attention, whether they like it or not.

Someone else proposed that the workplace could do more to come up with creative solutions to help new parents, like work-sharing programs.

Freelancing

Not all of us are going back to 9-to-5 jobs. One pregnant woman who is a freelance artist explained how she’ll lose clients by taking any time off. “If I say no for a year, I won’t have a job,” so she can’t afford to pass up a gig. She’s even afraid to let contacts know that she’s pregnant because “they’ll think I’m off the radar.”

Samantha suggested using the government payments for parental leave for subcontracting. Another entrepreneur says she did all her work with her child strapped in a baby carrier. Sure it was difficult to have a toddler undo all the work in the store, but it was worth having her daughter around.

Changing our Careers to suit our Family Lifestyle

Many women are freelancing or starting their own businesses because they felt pushed out of the office where their values as a parent were not respected. It’s even more worrisome when young women, before even having children, downgrade their career choices so they can later “settle down” easily, but instead end up damaging their lives in the long run. I really don’t want to start a mommy war. Whether you decide to be a stay-at-home mom, or start a business, or go back to work, these are all good choices, but we shouldn’t have to limit ourselves.

Sheryl Sandberg, COO for Facebook, makes this important point in her speech recently for Barnard College. She also asks, how is it that after years of women getting university degrees, we don’t see equal numbers of them in the boardroom? Sandberg thinks that young women, even before having kids, are choosing jobs that remove them from high-level positions so they can have a better quality of life.

Case in point: Sarah, a young lady in her early 30s working on her MBA, says she worries about her future work-life balance, though she doesn’t have children yet. Concern for the future is affecting her present decisions, because she sees that the workplace doesn’t always relate well to mothers. At the same time, she notices that there’s a huge shift in men wanting to take on the role of caring for their children. But she was a little miffed when her ex-boyfriend told her he wanted to take the year-long parental leave. That was something she didn’t want to share.

Why share? Men should get a year-long leave too. I think that will revolutionize everything! When men are given a chance to nurture and women make their place at work, then we’ll get more accommodations for parenting life.

The Privilege of Motherhood

Towards the end of the conversation, a couple of moms wanted to point out that ultimately we are the lucky ones. “We are privileged as women to birth babies. We’re not emotional wrecks for nothing.”

Samantha definitely feels that way too. “Aren’t we lucky to have this role? I used to think I’m never going to pick up dirty socks. But at the end of the day, I’m the mommy. We play to our strengths. We don’t count hours to see who does more work. We’re trusting each other that we’re doing the best we can for the family.” It’s normal that we can’t cope with all of this. It’s tough. We should pat ourselves on the back.

Thank you Melons & Clementines for hosting and thanks Elizabeth for organizing a very interesting debate! It’s great to have these events to share knowledge. It’s one thing to find information online, but it’s really energizing to exchange ideas in our community. Two hours just flew by. Everyone that was there had something valuable to say. It was a great experience for me to hear we’re not alone in this. It really is an adventure.

Check out these links:

Concordia’s University of the Streets Cafe

Concordia’s study about dads

The Dark Side of Maternity Leave

Sheryl Sandberg’s speech at Barnard College

NY Times article about parental leave in Sweden.

The United States remains one of three countries that don’t mandate paid maternity leave.

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Woohoo!

Please play this song to best appreciate the importance of this post.

 

OK, it’s playing right? Here goes:

Last night, my little guy slept for 7 hours without interruption.

I put him down at 8pm, with the usual breastfeeding ritual, and he did not wake until 3am!

After 4 hours, I went to bed, convinced he’d wake up the moment my head hit the pillow, but not a peep. So I lay awake, waiting and waiting. At 1am, I heard a little cry and I sneaked into his room.  I would not have believed it had I not seen it with my own eyes. My baby just rolled over and went BACK to sleep by himself.

I wanted to organize a block party and skip down the street in delirious joy!

OK, I was just delirious. And way too excited to fall asleep. So I wasted that precious time and got only 3 hours of sleep. I kept thinking this was the beginning of a new era.

Will the gods punish me for my hubris? Whatever! Let them try. I’m prepared for the inevitable setback, but I won’t despair because I know if he did it once, he can do it again.

But here’s praying he’ll do it again tonight, because I really need to sleep. Good night!

PS: I will be over-analyzing this moment in a later post. I’m wondering myself what I did differently, or what has changed in his life to achieve this momentous milestone.

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The Parenting Profession

What an honor! I’ve been invited to be a guest panelist for a public conversation by my university.

The talks are hosted by different cafés throughout the semester, to tackle a variety of “societal challenges”. Anyone can come and give their opinion, and it’s a great way to learn and exchange ideas.

The topic I will be tackling:

The Parenting Profession: What impact does taking parental leave have on our ability to work and plan a career?

That’s a bit of a stumper. Where to begin?

Well, my first thought is, “I’m grateful.”

I know that I’m lucky to live in a country where I can get a year of paid leave. But let’s face it. It’s not just about the money, right? So much changes in our life from the moment we hold a precious baby in our arms. And then the impending return to work looms and our careers take a turn… down where?

So I’m gathering ideas to discuss with the crowd showing up at my favorite mama-baby coffee shop, Melons & Clementines, and I need your help.

How has your career fared since you had a baby?

Working hard for our little munchkins!

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