Parenting 2.0

Posts Tagged ‘maternity leave


SAHM I am, (not anymore). If you’re another bloggy mommy reading this post you’ll know exactly what I’m writing about when I reference SAHM, and if you’re just some random person, friend or family member you may be wondering WTH? (And for that matter now may be wondering about WTH, too?) Well, even the bloggy mommy’s might not be familiar with that one. Basically it’s my G Rated version of the more profane MSN lingo – buy my WTH simply means “what the heck”. And SAHM? Stay at Home Mom.

So yes, WTH!  I was officially back to work last week, and my maternity vacation leave with Niko officially ended. How, I wonder? How did this happen? Well, that’s life for you. One day simply falls after another and before you know it a whole year has gone by and here I am back to battling rush hour and trying to get to work on time. Back to primping myself in the early morning: goodbye, lazy pajama mornings, au revoir bloggy mornings, and adios to my constant one on one time with the little monkey that has grown closer and closer to my heart by the day hour minute  – aka Niko. *Sniff sniff.*

Alas, such is life. And really we are SO lucky in Canada to have a whole year off, to bond and ease ourselves into this crazy world of parenting. I mean my sister-in-law had to go back to work after only three months, and that was longer than most people get in the States.  Usually it’s something like six weeks or basically the time it takes to blink in that first rush of bringing home the new baby.  So, I’m not complaining. I know I’ve been very lucky to have shared all this time with my little tyke. So lucky. So many memories. Wow, what a great year it’s been. And now, a new chapter begins. Niko’s new life in daycare. My life as a WOTHM: but there has to be a better acronym than that.  Yes, now I’m a working outside the house mom, not just a working mom (WM), because isn’t that what I’ve been doing all of last year anyway? Yup, now I’m a mom that faces the traffic, packs her babe up in the morning and rushes out the door to the real world, or at least the world that is my current reality.


Niko went for his first visit at daycare today and all reports came back positive. You never know for sure how your baby will react when being left alone in a new environment. Well, I guess he wasn’t alone exactly, seeing as he was with Sherri, his daycare provider and three other little boys. Yup, it’s all boys, except for one girl who comes in the afternoons.

So Niko did well. And more importantly, I did well. I had an appointment to get to, and it was easier to go solo rather than with the little guy in tow. Plus I even had time to fill my car with gas and run it through the car wash, as well as grab a breakfast sandwich to go from Tim Horton’s. I’m still in awe at what I can accomplish in an hour, when left solely to my own devices. Anyway, all went well. It’s reassuring. And tomorrow will be even more of a test because I’m dropping him off for a whole half day as I have plans to meet up with my colleagues to roughly plan out our teaching year. How did this day roll around already?

Yes, the countdown is on to go back to work. Well, I’m not really counting down, but I know “back to work” is looming closer and closer by the day. Bye bye mat. leave. It’s been fun a blast. Hello reality.


As Niko and I go about our daily business, son and mother forging forward into the world and further and further down maternity leave lane, we are not left with much time to do anything other than sticking with our routines. Some of our routines are as follows: Niko making a daily event out of commandeering his spoon, me trying to keep up with the laundry that goes with cloth diapering (and being a housewife in general), Niko becoming more interactive and busy by the day, me trying my best to entertain a nine month old, all the while keeping up with my blog, surviving the daycare dilemma (we found one, and we like it!), surviving the real estate roller coaster (we’re moving this week!), and surviving the tribulations of making my own baby food (I sort of lost that battle), just to name a few.

Amidst these daily adventures, my aptitude for the outside world has virtually vanished. I think I needed a reminder that yes, a world does exist beyond my relationship with Niko, with Borys, and with Frasier. That beyond the confines of my condo, there is a world, and it is thriving (or diving, depending on your perspective). It has come to my attention (in my blitz of parenting) that I have almost completely put the outside world on hold, not giving much attention to what’s going on beyond my immediate life (and the lives of the celebrities that I love to read gossip about). Which, by the way, Speidi (not to be confused with the masked superhero, but rather a nickname for the infamous reality TV couple, Spencer Pratt and Plastic Barbi, I mean Heidi Montag), is apparently getting divorced. So while my celebrity prowess is not something I am necessarily proud of, I do realize that I need to extend my reach beyond the troubles faced weekly by the Kardashian sisters. (Who are these women anyway? And why are they famous? This I have yet to discover.) Anyway, I know there’s a newsy world out there, a world that my husband reads about daily, a world that the rest of the population hears about daily, a world that I indeed need to reenter. A world that doesn’t include tuning in to The Hills, The Bachelorette or the ultimate in guilty pleasures Pauly D and the Jersey Shore.

So, in an attempt to get reacquainted with things non-baby related, I have resigned myself (after a little coercion – which some may classify as teasing – from my husband) to read the daily headlines (and if interested, the accompanying stories) on the CBC website. And man, have I (re)discovered a whole new world. Crazy stuff is going on. Some of it I don’t read too much about (I mean time is still an issue), but others are just so pressing they can’t be ignored. And while I personally can’t do much to help these situations, I at least am (slowly) reeducating myself about the current events of our times. And you know what? It feels good.

So after this long spiel, you may be wondering what is at the forefront of news stories in June 2010. In the present it’s easy to list them off, but days, months, weeks, years?, heck, decades from now, when people look back on this amazing post, they may wonder: What was it she was viewing on the CBC website? What was it that was going on in June 2010? Here’s a brief list of some headlines from this month, and here’s hoping that I can continue to stay In Touch with more than celebrity gossip. I think I can. I think I can…

Gulf Clean Up Requires Billions, BP Told

BP Oil Spill Cap in Action: New Underwater Video of Gulf Leak

Harper’s Gaza Flotilla Response Riles Activists

Guatemala Sinkhole is Massive, Swallows Building

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The hunt is on. I am now fully engaged in the process of looking for daycare for this coming September. (Although I try to comfort myself by remembering that I still do have a full quarter of my mat. leave left. That’s a lot, right? Right. Right?!) Anyway, now that we know where we’ll be living this Fall, I’ve started looking for a daycare provider in that area. But there’s something about leaving my helpless little babe (OK, by then he’ll pretty much be a toddler, but still…) who can’t talk and tell me if something’s wrong, with a complete stranger for half his life, that just doesn’t bode well with me. Yikes! I guess this is just the way the system works: it’s a little unnerving. I mean, I’m sure most caregivers are perfectly fine, but it’s the horror stories that float through my head. Maybe I need to reprogram that tape, and remind myself that he will have fun there and probably make some friends. The socializing will be good for him… It’s OK Mommy, it’s OK.  Really, I’ve been fortunate to have a full year off with him, as I know in the States this is not the case: sometimes it’s just a few weeks and at best a few months. But still, this does not make the process any easier for me.

So, we’ve got three appointments lined up this week and I’m hoping that one of them will pan out. One thing’s for sure, I am not settling for daycare. If for whatever reason I don’t get a good feel from any of these places, I will not be sending my little monkey there and the search will have to continue. Ideally I want to find a caregiver that I am happy with and that Niko is happy with. We want him to be stimulated, well cared for, to bond with this person and I want to be able to trust her completely. Is this possible? I sure hope so.

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Times they are a changin’…

After countless get togethers, pizza lunches, walks, telephone counseling sessions, laughs, swim lessons, and milestones, we have come the end of an era. That’s right. My friend Traci, who’s been off on mat. leave with me, is going back to work tomorrow and her (not so) Little Eli is turning one in just a couple of weeks! Wow!

I used to be awestruck at the size of Eli: he’s three months older than Niko and in the life of a baby this makes a huge difference. But this week, as we had our last official mat. leave outing together (at least for this round of mat. leave), Traci and I were both surprised to see that Niko and Eli are almost the same size now! Amazing (to us), but not entirely surprising seeing as growth is the natural progression of life.

Note: Click the following links to see how much Niko and Eli have changed over the past few months: Beautiful November, Niko and Friends, The Nap Pack, His First Report Card.




Balance is the key, right? It’s the key to maintaining harmony at home and work, and between home and work, but sometimes finding that key can be challenging! I mean I’ve got a car key, a house key, a bike key, a second set of keys, a key to my father-in-law’s, plus there’s the key to my heart… However, if I keep my sense of humour, and enjoy the everyday moments, finding balance becomes easier!

Currently I am enjoying being a first-time mom and getting to know my son, Niko. I try to maintain balance in my life, although inevitably the scales tip more heavily on one side from time to time. Finding time for myself is one key: I do cardio-kickboxing twice a week, while my hubbie Borys stands by on Daddy duty. Spending time with Borys, is another key: although we don’t have much time for dating (truth be told, we’ve only had one real date since Niko’s arrival), just hanging around together and talking and laughing about our day, provides quality connection time. Another key is getting out and about with baby Niko: I have some friends who are also on mat. leave, and getting our babes together offers entertainment, for everybody. Then there’s our spunky puppy Frasier, who provides lots of fun and laughs, and a good excuse to get us all outside enjoying the fresh air!

Is there a magic key to balance? Not really. Balance is a ring filled with keys, and each person’s key ring is different: what works for me, may be bunk for another and vice versa. But one thing’s for sure, life’s more enjoyable when we try (yes, we have to try, balance doesn’t just spontaneously happen) to maintain balance each and every day! So, what’s one of your keys?

Note: This post is an entry into “Mabel’s Labels BlogHer ‘10 Contest“.


woman_kickboxingGoal setting is what drives me to accomplish all the major things I have achieved in my life.  I usually set goals for myself and then do what I need to do to accomplish them.  Prior to becoming pregnant, karate had been a pretty big part of my life: I attended class about three times a week and eventually worked up to my black belt in June 2008.  Upon becoming pregnant I continued with karate until about seven months of pregnancy, when Borys and I went on a Halifax roadie.

Before Niko was born I set a goal for myself to return to the dojo before the New Year of 2010, and last night I achieved this goal! Again, I could not really do this without the amazing support of my hubby as he is the one who Niko-sits when I go.  But, in consultation with my doctor last week he cleared me for going back to exercise, but warned that if it hurt to do sit-ups (due to the c-section) to just take it easy with those for a while.  I have decided to attend cardio kickboxing classes as opposed to karate at this time, as it is a little more mindless: I just listen to the instructor and do as I am told, whereas karate takes a bit more focus and thought.  For now, this suits me just fine, and my new goal is to try to attend one kickboxing class a week!

I think it’s important for women, after giving birth, not to give up on themselves and to try to maintain their individual identity: the key here is balance. I mean, yes I am a mom, but that is only a part of who I am, a piece of the puzzle (albeit a big piece at this time!).  I am not saying that all women should start exercising; but whatever it was that drove them pre-baby should still be a part of their life post-baby.  For me, this happens to be karate and I think maintaining who I am as an individual will only help to make me a better mom overall.


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