New BLOG

Hey friends! Will you follow me over to a new blog? spinkoutsidethebox.com
I’m busy working away on it and posts will be coming soon. I’m afraid of losing some of you who read this blog. I may keep this blog going too, not sure yet. But most of my energy will be focused @ spinkoutsidethebox.com

Really hope to “see” you there. You can follow via wordpress or e-mail. You’ll also find the FB and Twitter links on spinkoutsidethebox.com

Come on over….I hope you will.

pinkcanuck

Walking on the beach with wild Australian Seal Lions playing or sleeping all around us. This is at Seals Bay, Kangaroo Island. property of: pinkcanuck

That one time an IT employee made me cry

Today, I spoke with the head of IT services at my work. Being fresh off mat leave, I needed new passwords to be able to log in and do my work.

He asked me how being back was. Then he went on to say that he was “Mr. Mom” and stayed home with the baby for the year mat leave.

He said being at work is soooo much easier than being at home. I agreed. We laughed about being able to drink coffee and eat food while its still warm.

Then what he said next made ne cry. He said that despite all that…these are THE BEST years.

He said it with such sincerity that those words keep ringing in my ears. Oh how I hope to fully grasp how precious yet fleeting this time is.

THE BEST years.

Thanks IT guy for that reminder and for making me cry!

 

 

 

On raising my daughter to be a feminist

It’s a shame that many cringe when they hear the word feminist. People are often confused by what a person means when they say, “I’m a feminist”. The dictionary definition is such:

Feminist: advocating social, political, legal, and economic rights for women equal to those of men.

You don’t have to be a female to be a feminist. I love this clip where our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau identifies as a feminist and speaks about raising his sons to be feminists. It’s a one minute clip and worth the watch: Justin Trudeau Urges Men to be Feminists

How exactly do I plan to raise my daughter to be a feminist? The question gives me pause. It certainly won’t be a one time event but an on-going process. The following are a couple examples that come to mind. It’s not an exhaustive list but its a start.

  1. I plan to always raise her in a church that supports women in leadership and ministry. Thankfully, the Free Methodist Church is such a place. (p.s. Jesus was a radical feminist, I look forward to pointing this out to her!)
  2. I hope to instill in her the ability to ask, “why?” Example: why are baby showers only for the mothers and not also for the fathers? Where does that come from? And what do I think about that for today?
  3. I plan to instill in her a voice and knowledge re: finances. If she marries one day and decides to have her husband do the finances, that’s OK. That will be out of choice rather than inability to have an opinion on financial matters.
  4. Whether she decides to work or stay home with the kids, that will be her choice. I’ll remind her that the ability to choose is empowerment. (I’d also support dad being a stay-at-home dad if that’s what they want!).
  5. I’d want her to be aware of the inequality between males and females. The unspoken & spoken expectations that are rooted in sexism. But I’d want to do so in such a way that she is informed but not bitter. Passionate about justice but not poisoned by injustice. There’s a fine line — we must do what we can, when we can. But we will also face great disappointments in how others think & operate. This discouragement can cause us to not act at all. I hope that our daughter will be a feminist who will do what she can, when she can and will also remember the wise words of Mother Teresa:

People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered; Forgive them anyway.

 

Health risks of using baby powder

Johnsons-baby-powder

Did you hear? A court ruled that Johnson & Johnson must pay a family 72 million in damages. A woman’s death (ovarian cancer) was linked to using baby powder & shower to shower for decades.

While pregnant, I remember being told that baby powder is no longer recommended because of the risk of respiratory problems.

Baby powder can cause breathing trouble and serious lung damage if a baby inhales the particles. And the particles are small enough that it’s hard to keep them out of the air during use. – Jennifer Lowry (Pediatrician).

I wasn’t aware that it can also cause health problems in adults (cancer).

Here’s more on the story: http://www.nbcnews.com/health/cancer/court-orders-johnson-johnson-payoff-talcum-powder-ovarian-cancer-case-n524456

In need of a Mom Makeover

It’s been a year since I’ve had a haircut. Our daughter is over 10 months old. My hair is LONG. I don’t really have time to blow dry it anymore (something my fine/thin hair needs to not look totally limp). I often do the “messy bun” high on my head or pull it back in a ponytail. I know that short hair would likely suit me better, but every time I cut my hair short my immediate next goal is to grow it long again. Doesn’t that saying something? I like long hair and find it rather convenient. When I have short hair, I get tired of not being able to “put my hair away”(in a bun or ponytail).

But I’m looking rather drab these days. I think its time to call the hair dresser. I think about dying my hair darker (it’s a dirty blonde) but I know that means frequent trips to the hair dresser to keep the colour looking decent. I don’t have the time or money for that. Maybe I’ll go a shade or two darker or a shade or two lighter (as that’s been recommended for those who want low maintenance or are on a budget). But if its not very much of a  hair colour change…what’s the point? Maybe I should just stick with my natural dirty blonde. Hmm.

Okay, so now I’m concluding that I’ll keep my hair longish and not dye my hair. What a fabulous mom makeover! Aren’t you so glad that you read this post? Haha. What I really need for a mom makeover is to lose weight…. Gosh, that is hard, hard, hard work. But I would love more than anything to start shedding some pounds.

What’s your go-to for a mom makeover? Hair? Something else? Do you find that you’ve simplified your hair maintenance now that you’re a mom or do you still hit up the salon and aren’t afraid to change things up?

P.S. I’ve thought of asking for this hair cut (I don’t have bangs). My fear is that bangs would be a lot of work. OR make me look 10 years old? (I already look young for my age which is not so favourable now in my profession). Any mommas out there rocking bangs?

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The real reason why having a child is both the hardest & the best thing

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Prior to having a child, I enjoyed hearing from others what having a child is like. I wanted  insight into the biggest decision a person can make (that will rock their world as they know it). The most common answer that I received was, “It’s the hardest thing that you will ever do but it’s also the best thing that you will ever do.” Hmm. This response was so vague. It left me confused. Why exactly is it the hardest thing? And why is it also the best thing? I didn’t receive specific answers from anyone.  It was like there was a code amongst parents to remain vague and not go into detail re:  why it’s so hard.  I did have one person say, “If people knew just how hard it is they would never have kids!” Again, wasn’t helpful.

Now that I’m 10 months into mothering, I’m trying to give an answer as to why being a parent is both the hardest and the best thing. At first, I’d tell you that it’s the hardest thing because you just can’t fully understand how painful the extreme lack of sleep is or how annoying your child’s cry can be (and how they cry for a million reasons you’ll never fully understand). Also, no breaks. Did I mention no breaks? I just sat down to write this post and now I hear her crying…she’s awake from her nap. Parenting never ends. With everything else, you can turn it off/walk away/take a break. Being a mom is 24/7.

But the more I ponder the question “Why is it the hardest and also the best?” I’m forced to dig deeper than just the day-to-day of childcare. For me, I think raising a child is the hardest thing that a person can do because it requires you to model by example what you want your child to do, who you want them to be.

“It was clear from the data that we cannot give our children what we don’t have. Where we are in our journey of living and loving with our whole hearts is a much stronger indicator of parenting success than anything we can learn from how-to books.” – Brene Brown

Truth is, pregnancy and childbirth are hard. Sleep deprivation is hard. Being on 24/7 is hard. But that’s just the hard stuff. The hard AND the best is this: your child gives you the opportunity to be the best version of yourself. An authentic and vulnerable person. A person who sets appropriate & healthy boundaries. A person who loves others with actions and not just words. A person who loves self.  A person who lives with their whole heart.

“How much we know and understand ourselves is critically important, but there is something that is even more essential to living a Wholehearted life: loving ourselves.” – Brene Brown

Here’s the truth behind “having a child is both the hardest and the best”…a child gives you a choice: continue living on autopilot, doing the same old, or stop and consider if who you are is exactly who you’d want your child to be. Raising a child is not, “Do as I say, not as I do.”  Raising a child is, “monkey see – monkey do.” That, my friends, is hard. But this also can be the best thing that you ever do.

How I spend my time

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien

Time. Time has taken on new meaning now that I’m a mom. Oh how I value my down time. I don’t seem to have very much of that anymore! The introvert in me could spend all day reading and writing. I love solitude. A cup of coffee. A walk alone. Driving in the car with the radio off and having my thoughts keep me company. Yes, I’m one of those people!

As a mom to a baby, I struggle finding the balance between 1) getting things done and 2) recharging my batteries. And to be honest, I can waste too much time on facebook when I could have spent that time reading or writing (even blogging!).

I’m challenged by the following thought, “how will I decide to spend my time so that when the day is done I’m left feeling proud instead of discouraged?” It’s not so much a question of, “do I have enough time today to get things done” but rather, “how will I spend the time that I do have in front of me?” I’m on a journey to be better at how I spend my time (whatever I decide is the goal re: how to spend my time for that particular day). To be intentional instead of on autopilot (i.e I’ll just scroll through facebook….and 30 minutes goes by).

Time. We all have limited amounts of it. But we all get to start over each day and decide anew how we will use it.