From Marketing to Motherhood

Being a mom is a great part of my life. It’s new, fun, adventurous, but this beautiful job is not a career and it’s certainly not fulfilling my desire to succeed, nor does it make me feel accomplished.

To bring these thoughts out in the open may seem harsh or insensitive to sahm’s or women who dream of conceiving, but to me it’s something I feel like I have to keep my mouth shut about and fake the fullness that children are supposed to bring to my life.

When you become a mom, the world starts to believe that this was your sole purpose. Consider ‘Mom’ to be your only title from here on out. Everything else in your life – career, friends, alone time – is just part of a support system to aide in your primary mission of being the best mom you can be. You may go to work or do something for yourself, but society wants us to feel guilty about it.

I love my daughters, but there is a big part of me that misses my old working life. And no amount of nursery rhymes, baby milestones, or cooking meals for my children will ever replace that.

In the last few months, I have been earning a living through freelance writing. It keeps the food on their high chairs and the shoes on their feet, but it’s not enough. For me, anyways.

Since early spring, I’ve been taking my time to apply to places that are looking for my professional background, experience, and education. I have no problem making it through to the interview phase, and yet the opportunities continue to go nowhere.

I am not ashamed of being a mom and so it will inevitably come up when I start discussing my life and current work. I don’t let the fact that I have children affect what I do. I have help and time and the ability to continue on with my career. Although, I can’t help but think that being a mother is a factor when potential employers are sifting through would-be hires.

Before I had babies, finding work was never an issue. I’m driven, experienced, and can give a good interview. But now it is a struggle.

The only thing that’s changed is the fact that I’m a mother.

Even the opportunities I do get are directed at women who are home with the kids; writing for baby websites and baby products.

I’ll say it again. I’m not ashamed of my children, but it makes me wonder if it’s even worth mentioning during the interview process.

I am capable of much more than being a mom. I pursued a life in marketing and paid good money for that dream to become a reality. The student debt still hangs over me and will be there for a long time. I owe it to my education and life to succeed in the field I am good at.

But it’s not about the money. Our bills are paid and we live comfortably.

It’s about the career. It’s about the passion and the work and the sense of accomplishment. It’s about the company culture and deadlines and clients. It’s about the stress and job well done. It’s about so much more than a salary.

It’s about being fulfilled as a person, and not as a mom.

Employers. Please don’t pigeonhole me for being fertile.

In fact, don’t discriminate against any hardworking, career-oriented mothers. Women are great at multitasking and we’re more than capable of juggling a career and children. Give us a shot. I’m sure we’ll all surprise you.

On a lighter note, this has opened up a new opportunity for me, one that is directed at giving up on finding employment and taking the reigns to create it. That’s right.

I am (slowly) looking to start my own business in providing content marketing services.

It may sound exciting and admirable, but the truth is that I’m terrified to take that step. To sacrifice security and comfort and to attempt something that could fail is something I have to constantly convince myself of being the right decision.

It’s a thought that I have abandoned and resurrected about a hundred times.

All that to say, sometimes us hardworking moms just need to create our own opportunities, and many already have.

To those who don’t let motherhood define them, you’re a rock star. Email me and let me know how you managed to take that next step for you and your family.

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Get What’s Yours: 11 Things That Are Just For Me

When you’re a mom who’s home with the babies all. day. long, it’s easy to believe that your life has been taken hostage by the tiny people who can’t even walk or talk yet. You give everything to the little thumb-suckers and it makes you believe that you have no life, no friends, and nothing left that’s yours.

How wrong we all are to think such nonsense!

Sure, your bed is still the sanctuary and oasis it’s been since the kids were born, but now everything from your meals to your sanity seems as if it was taken from you. Even your sense of time is robbed. Like, I don’t even know what day it is unless I have a bill due. My girls will be one year old soon and I feel like they just slid out of me a couple of months ago.

This sense of removal from everything you love and hold close to you – aside from your children, of course – is a hell of a lot to come to terms with. But we haven’t lost it all, moms. In order to keep ourselves from crushing our own identities, we should remember what is truly ours and cling to it like the climbing monkeys our babies are.

I do a lot for my babies, but I also do a lot for myself without even realizing it. Instead of wallowing in the memories of hitting the gym or hitting up happy hour, I’m choosing to look at what I enjoy, aside from getting giggles from my pups.

Coffee
1

When the girls are asleep in their car seats and Mama’s heading home, there’s no moment that compares to driving through the Starbs window and ordering a half-sweet dirty chai. Mmm, this indulgence is well deserved.

8:00 – 11:00 pm2

Between the hours of 8pm and 11pm, this time is all mine. I can do whatever I want, whether that means getting my thrills from the simplicities of a hot shower, cozy pjs, and cuddling during a stream of TOSH.O, or flying solo on a trip to Costco. WOOOOO!

Vanilla Body Wash3

I don’t spend too much time primping myself anymore. Mom buns, majorly-chipped nail polish, and stubbly legs are my new normal. But when I get in that shower and pop open my vanilla body wash, I feel like a new woman! One that takes the time to indulge in beauty and luxury.

Netflix Queue4

Let’s line ’em up. What’ll it be tonight? The Mindy Project, Nashville, Gilmore Girls, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, or Once Upon A Time? Doesn’t matter, they’re all my guilty pleasures, for my entertainment only, and are SO FAR FROM NURSERY RHYMES I COULD DANCE WITH GLEE. Only I don’t dance. Too tired.

Doing Groceries5

I do love me some fresh produce, samples, and the freedom that our local food mart provides. Until you become a parent, you’ll never understand how much joy this daily outing can bring to your life. Food is life, and among it you’ll find bliss… and chocolate and ice cream.

Skyrim6

Fully charged controller? Check. Fuzzy blanket? Check. Beer? Check! Let’s do this. When there is nothing in my way – no deadlines, no sports games, and no demanding infants – I take to the PS4 and commit myself for TWO WHOLE HOURS (or more, if I’m lucky!) to conquering caves, dragons, and quests. The mental break and escape from reality that this game provides rivals a long-forgotten pleasure: shopping with a disposable income!

Radio Privileges7

Babies can’t drive. Babies can’t talk. Therefore, they have no say and no opinion on whether they want to listen to my Adele CD or JACK FM or the Across The Universe soundtrack. Cry all you want, you’re gonna fall asleep anyways.

Instagram8

Since I love my girls so much, I can’t help but share them with the world. Yes, I know, proud mommy here. But really, I’m getting my jollies from building up my audience for this blog, and I don’t care who knows it! Not only that, but I love the detachment of wasting time scrolling through the lives of others. Oooo, that fancy restaurant looks amazing! That deep-fried thing also looks great! Honestly, I mostly look at food and babies.

Candy Crush9

This has been a thing for me pre-twins. I’ll never let it go, and I’ll never apologize for it. Send me more lives, people!

Writing10

This blog is all mine. Muah ha ha! It’s my outlet, my punching bag, and my confidante. I love it and it…hates me sometimes because I often ignore it, but it always forgives.

Barre + Cycle
11

A super new thing that’s mine is this very weird, but very tough, fitness trend – barre. I normally hate working out, especially since becoming so burnt out from baby-wrangling I can barely walk, but this might work out. I don’t know. For the next 30 days, I’m committing myself and will try to push aside the guilt of leaving the girls to do something for me. The June 30 Day Challenge is a super big thing that I just learned about at The Dailey Method (in the Glebe). Um, and can someone please join me so that I don’t do this alone? Wah!

So, those are my things. Aaaaand it makes me super happy to remember them all during the long and tiring, teething, and growing toddler days.

What are your things? I chose 11 because that’s the date of my girls’ 1st birthday, next month! But, I’d really love to hear any number of mom things.

Take control of your things!

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

I don’t know much about babies, but mine seem to get bored easily. In the daily debate of who gets to do what, their restlessness is a constant counter to my laziness and always is the winning argument.

While circulating through the same routine every day, they never last more than 15 minutes on an activity before getting mad at me. Simply for not knowing they’re bored again. One minute they’re happily playing, and the next they’re soooo over it.

Just because you babies grew from my insides does not mean I can read your tiny minds!

In my attempt to satisfy their cravings for constant excitement and spontaneity, I’ve discovered that they’re happiest away from home than in it. I know it’s because everywhere we go they’re treated like mini celebrities. They love meeting their adoring fans, signing autographs, and getting their photo taken. And since we live in this beautifully vicious country that is Canada, this really tests my desire to hermit.

Schlepping two babies around in the winter is exhausting. All I want to do when it’s cold outside is cuddle with them and binge Netflix, but try taming a squirmy infant.

AND THEY’RE AT THE MOST AWKWARD AGE EVER.

They can’t walk, but have the personality that lets you know you’re their bitch and have to carry their tiny asses to the car. They can’t talk, but with one look you can tell they’re judging the crap out of you for being lazy. They won’t cuddle, but will whine until you pick them up, just so they can claw at your eyeballs and climb up your body a la King Kong.

I’m not going to list the ways we need to prep to get the babes from the house to the car, but it’s extensive. And even though it’s minus 15 degrees, by the time you get them to the car you’re a sweaty mess. Mom tip: just stick to a disheveled bun and relatively clean face when you leave the house. With twins, spending time on hair or make-up during ANY season is an indulgence. Just like the doughnuts you cram into your face the moment you find the closest Tim’s.

There are not many places you can bring a double stroller to in the winter. Forget about the niche-y book or clothing stores or trendy coffee shops. Forget about the park, walking paths, or any outdoor hobby. And you can forget about taking them to any fun place for children, because they’re lumps. The only options you have are malls and major department stores, like IKEA or Canadian Tire. “Baby want some new wiper blades?”

Unless you’re my offspring and it’s two votes against one, there is no way I will leave the house during winter. These twinfants keep me from hibernating like the mama bear I am. They get me off the couch, out of sweats and into yoga pants, and moving towards civilization. I am a vertical member of society – and an unenthusiastic contributor to big-box income – because of their motivational whines.

Winter can bite my cellulite-ridden ass.

Identity Crisis

 

I was finally figuring out how to adult right around the time I got pregnant.

I paid all my bills on time. Started an RRSP. I was buying groceries that were NOT pizza pops, Kraft Dinner, or Alphaghetti. I (sometimes occassionally rarely) woke up early to run or read before work. And matured into the no BS, take-no-crap lady-person I am today.

I was discovering new sides of myself. The athletic me. The social me. The confident me. The online shopping me. Within a matter of months, I had to figure out another part – the mother me.

I quickly went from having it all to having it all covered in spit-up.

The realization that I was (gulp!) a mom just recently hit me. The first months with twins is a blur. You don’t stop for a minute to think, let alone think about yourself. Now that I’ve had a little more time to process, a new fear has crept into my thickening skull. And that is that I will slowly disappear. That the me’s that I have built will crumble. While the many me’s are capable of complimenting and living in harmony with one another, the mommy me is like a rabid raccoon, threatening to destroy all other personalities in its path.

“You shall not have friends. You shall not work. You shall dedicate all your energy, time, and undigested food to your spawn. You is tired. You is hungry. You is mom.”

As I near the end of my maternity leave, I have to prepare to smack this part of me that has taken up 100% of myself and make room for the professional me to exist again. Become The Workin’ Mom [< Um. Best new show, bee tee dubs].

Adult me has many sides, including a new facet which now includes a Baby on Board sticker, double stroller, and Costco-level amounts of wipes and diapers.

It’s taken a lot of support from my dynamite partner in crime, squashing of guilt, and pure mental gusto to not let the other me’s be extinguished.

I WILL SURVIVE.

 

Time Warp

Every day is a marathon.

With the girls getting older and staying awake for longer stretches of time, each day seems endless. While the day is not task-a-lackin’, I find myself glancing at the clock and thinking, “It’s only 9 am!?”

Between feeds, diaper changes, nap times, dishes, playtime, and making myself a tea, time becomes a bizarre concept. The same routines, lasting different durations. What would seemingly take an hour has only taken 15 minutes.

WHAT IS HAPPENING?!

Yesterday I was Super Mom. I completed every routine task; bums, bottles, chores. I also squeezed in baking cookies, grinding salt with my 15th century mortar and pestle, story time, and blog writing. This would all seem impossible two months ago, or would take all freaking day to accomplish. Now, I get everything done before noon. The hours drag, yet each hour is not without things to do.

Either I’m finally getting a knack for motherhood or something else is causing this phenomenon.

I have a theory. For the first six months after popping a slippery loaf (or two!) out of your own personal glove box, your brain is a good-for-nothing vat of mush. After this period of time, the brain begins to solidify into the reliable friend it once was.

The twins are now eight months old. Therefore, the brain requires much more stimulation than it did four months ago.

SO that’s my theory. I’m just bored.

In this time warp that is stay-at-home parenting, I somehow have lots of time, yet no time at all.