Mi Life Is An Adventure

Mi crazy, wonderful, beautiful life.

The Walk Before The Run April 25, 2012

We all have to start somewhere...

We all have to start somewhere right? We aren’t born doing all the amazing things we can do as adults. We have to learn to feed ourselves, to talk and walk. We learn empathy, how to appropriately express our feelings of happiness, anger, joy and sorrow.

We don’t know anything, and everything is a learning process. This continues our whole lives, through school, through relationships, through jobs, and through our surroundings.

I have thought a lot about what I am learning about myself lately. I’ve taken time to examine who I am, where I’ve been, and where I’m going. Figuring out how I am going to get there, and what I need to do to reach the finish line.

My life wasn’t easy growing up, it wasn’t horrible by any stretch, but it wasn’t easy. I always felt that I had to live up to my parents standards, even when I tried my hardest, I still failed in their eyes. They loved me fiercely, and still do. I’m blessed to have them both as a huge part of my life. I still find myself reaching to meet their expectations, but I allow myself to fail now. I’m ok with it, even if they aren’t.

I spent a lot of my teenage years in turmoil, bouts with depression, relationships that weren’t good for me, drinking, drugs, doing stupid things just to make my pain stop. Of course none of it worked. I still managed to keep up a good average at school, and got into college with no problem. I was taking law, but dropped out after a semester. It just wasn’t me. I was bound by all these rules, I’m not much for conformity.

After dropping out, I volunteered, I travelled a bit, I needed to find out who I was, what I needed to do with my life. I needed to slow down, and look at my life. I had always done what others wanted me to do, and pushed down what I wanted for myself.

After a year of no school, I re-applied and was accepted into the Early Childhood Education programme, where I finally felt at home. I was in my element. I could get down and dirty with a bunch of two-year olds and go home at night, happy. I’ve never had a super paycheck, BUT I get a lot more out of my job.

I had to try one thing in college first before settling on what I really loved and needed for my life.

I find myself in a situation now, where my life is up in the air, Shaughn is still in school, rarely home, I’m a mummy who does it all. I’m learning the ropes still, 8 months later. It’s painfully slow, and some days I don’t know if I can do it. I just think I have it figured out, and wham, something stops me in my tracks, and I have to start over again.

One day I’ll run again, one day this will figure itself out, and I will find my footing.

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…And then the sun reaches me. February 23, 2012

Days End

 Often in the winter months, I feel as if I am living in perpetual darkness. Living in Canada, where our winters last between 5 and 6 months it is not uncommon for people to have depressive periods during the dark winter.

I normally don’t. Normally I can deal with the crazy long nights and short days. This year has been a bit different. I have woken each morning in the dark, and begin work in the dark, and eventually when my day ends, again, it is dark.

With Shaughn being in school every night, Paisley and I are rather housebound, we get out every Tuesday to go to the grocery store, but until Saturday, that’s about it. Occasionally we will have company, but even that is minimal. The kids and I get out most days for a walk and to feed the ducks, but even that has done little to raise my spirits for more than a few feeble minutes.

I noticed the other day that the sun is still up when I am done work, and I wondered when that had happened. I have been so consumed in life, that I am not noticing the small things, like longer days. I’m still getting up in the dark, but the sun is usually just beginning to peek over the horizon when I begin work. This picture taken last week is at 5:30, and the sun is happily shining, slowly setting for the night.

I am a total sun person, I don’t mean the type to lay on the beach for hours, but I am the type who when she sees the sun, is instantly happy and warmer. During the summer months, I am outside for about 4 hours a day, most days we play in the yard, the sand piles up in my sneakers, the ants scurry past my legs on the grass. I soak up vitamin D like it’s water.

With all of this being said, I love winter, I always have. I adore the snow, but my favourite days are the sunny winter days where our snow sparkles, when I can occasionally see a ‘sun dog’, and where everything around me is bright. This winter has been seriously lacking in the snow department, but luckily, we’ve had some good sunny days!

Now with our longer days, I am feeling warm, I am feeling hopeful, and I know all is well in my world. As the sun touches my skin, my soul grabs hold of its rays to keep me cosy.

Welcome back sun, I sorely missed you!

 

Grant Me Patience To Accept The Things I Cannot Change, Like My Mother In Law. February 18, 2012

Arrrrrrrggggggghhhhhhh!

Almost 9 years ago, I married my soul mate. He is an amazing guy, smart, funny, cute, kind, generous…I also married his family, slightly dysfunctional, nuts, whacked…

I really do love them and am thankful that they are part of my life, I am also thankful they live 2000 kms away. Visiting is limited to twice a year, and 2 weeks at a time at the most.

I suppose it is because Shaughn and i were raised very differently. His mother is a free spirit, like REALLY free. Classic artist-hippy-celtic loving- gardening-dreamer who has one foot on the earth and another…well, someplace else. I was raised in a very strict home. I had rules and God help me if I didn’t follow them. My mother was very Catholic, and expected her children to behave, and to be polite. Shaughn, not so much. He had no rules, and was essentially raised much in the same free-spirited way that his mother still lives.

I am making my MIL out to be a weirdo, she’s not really; we are just very different. We have different ideas on how to raise my daughter, and what is important in life. Thankfully, Shaughn and I are on the same page when it comes to most things, and most importantly on how to raise Paisley.

So, those limited visits, well, now I am in the middle of one. She usually flies in for Christmas, but this year decided to come for the kids 4th birthday. She arrived on Thursday will the world a-swirling around her, she’s akin to a tornado. Within an hour of her arrival she had her bags unpacked, stuff everywhere, gifts out for Paisley, cookies for Shaughn…and I was still working, with 3 daycare kids running around. Arrrrrrgggggghhhhhhh!

My in-laws are probably some of the kindest, and generous people anyone can ever meet, they have helped us more than once when we were in a bind. Never any questions asked, never any  expectation for repayment. They always pay for our flights out to see them, and just shower Paisley with love. One thing I absolutely appreciate is that they are not grandparents who buy things constantly for Paisley; instead her visits with them are often spent doing things, and spending time making memories. This past summer the MIL had Paisley making fused glass magnets, working in the garden, and colouring and painting pictures with her. Every morning Grandad and Paisley would bake, or make jello, often I would find the two of them lost in a book together on the couch. I love it. These times, these memories are worth far more than a doll or clothes.

I will always have in-law issues, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t, BUT, in the grand scheme of things, I could have done far worse than marrying into Shaughn’s crazy family. I am thankful to have them as part of my life.

 

Absence, And Coming Back. February 10, 2012

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/shellykaynyc/4450086651/

it's been awhile...

I was on a bit of a blogging hiatus, I’m not sure why. I think sometimes life is just so overwhelming that I cannot think about much more than getting through my day, and counting the hours until I can go to sleep. Given the fact that my life is so hectic, when I sleep, I sleep well, deep, and un-dreaming. It’s that total state of absence. I don’t hear Shaughn come to bed, I don’t remember tossing or turning; often times, I wake the same way I fell asleep.

I miss blogging. It is a great outlet for me,  a way for me to organise my thoughts, and to remember things.

Shaughn is also absent from our lives a lot these days, he will leave for work around 8:45 on a good day, and I won’t see him until 10 that night. I would be lying if I said this wasn’t impacting our marriage. I miss my partner, my love, my person. Often when he gets home he is beyond exhausted, and certainly not in the head space for meaningful conversations, or talk of bill payments and laundry. Most nights I go to bed alone while he works on homework for the next night. I have learned to cherish our short weekends, our family time.

I have had to let a lot go these last few months, I am not nearly as concerned with my windows and floors, laundry is always at the bottom of my list…My main priority has been Paisley, trying to be a great Mummy while balancing the rest of my life. I’m doing ok with it, granted there are days when I’m not going to win Mother of The Year, but there are others when she just looks up at me and says ‘I love you Mummy’ that I know I’m not doing too bad of job.

I know my absence has been felt within my circle of friends, with them checking in occasionally to make sure I’m still treading water. I feel isolated much of the time, with my only connection to the outside world being the radio and text messages I share during the day. It’s not all doom and gloom, my brother (read: Saint) picks me up every Tuesday to take Paisley out for dinner while I grocery shop for the week. Weekends I usually get out for a bit, thankfully otherwise I might just lose my mind entirely.

I’m going to try to be less absent from this blog, I feel like I need to get my words on paper, to focus my thoughts, and to be more introspective. So, please forgive me if I am not posting regularly, forgive me for my absence, and if another hiatus is looming in my future, please pre-forgive that one too.

 

Mi New Outlook, Mi New Adventure, Mi Life Is A-Changin’ July 3, 2011

'Werk It Gurl'

I am feeling a little out of control these days as evidenced by my lack of posting, and my previous post, in which I believe I used the word FUCK several times.

I am still saying a lot of ‘Fucks’, but for different reasons. Shall we start from the beginning?

I used to love my job, I would get up each morning, get dressed, do my hair, even throw on some mascara. I would socialise with my co-workers, talk about TV, gossip about other co-workers, bitch about my husband. I was making decent enough wages, had full benefits, 3 vacation weeks a year, and a boss who appreciated me. That was before I opened my own home childcare after having Miss P.

I have had some serious job dissatisfaction of late. I am tired of unappreciative parents, I am tired of working 10.5 hour days making less than minimum wage per child. I am tired of the vomit, shit, and other bodily fluids I encounter on a daily basis.  Let’s just say on a scale of one to ten, I often feel about a minus fifteen. Overall, the children I work with are lovely. Several of them I have had with me since they were a year old. I have seen many firsts, and enjoyed them. It’s the other crap I hate.

I am stuck in this job for at least two more years, so I have started to examine my life, and make changes for myself, to help me feel better, be a better Mum, and caregiver to the children I work with. I have begun small meditations before bed each night, reminding myself to be patient, kind and loving to everyone in my life. It doesn’t always work, but I feel better. I joined a gym, and have been going religiously for 3 weeks. I go 4 days a week, and mix classes in with machines. I am loving it, it has been a HUGE stress relief and the physical results don’t suck either. I have an amazing workout buddy that I have really begun to value as a friend. She is getting me through the tough shit with humour and her practical “deal with it” attitude. To go with my new-found love of the gym, I have been eating super clean. My body is my temple and I should treat it as such…I’ve always thought of that as a crock of shit, I still do, but belive it or not, I really do feel better.

In amongst all of my ‘life changes’, my husband, who has been doing his own soul-searching has finally decided to go back to school. Yep, the guy with  double major university degree, who spends his days designing and making signs is going back to school. He has chosen to take a Personal Support Worker programme that has been consolidated into 9 months in the evening, allowing him to work full-time in the day.

This is a big FUCK. On one hand, I am so proud, excited, and amazed that he is entering such a noble field, on the other hand, I am scared shitless. How am I going to handle my life, and essentially being a single parent? How am I going to juggle swimming lessons, karate, my gym time, my job, cooking, cleaning, and some semblance of a family life on my own?

S has been MY rock, my “go to” guy. He is the one I bitch to, complain to, yell at, and cry to when I am having another terrible day. In September, I will only see him in the morning for an hour, and then on the weekends. He will leave at 8:45 am, and be home at 11:00pm each night. How am I not going to lose it? How am I going to support the guy who gives me all the support? FUCK!

So, what I have decided for the next two months, is to forget about school, forget about the impending life changes, forget about my crazy job, and I am going to focus on me. I am going to focus on me getting stronger, healthier – both physically and mentally, I am going to focus on being a better wife, and mother. I am worth it, and seeing how much I am giving up in the fall, I think I have the right to be selfish right now.

So, on that note, Fuck, here’s to all the good stuff that’s going to happen this summer.

 

No, I Don’t Babysit. May 17, 2011

I AM NOT A BABYSITTER DAMN IT!

A typical first conversation with me starts with “Hi, how are you”, eventually we get into the kids, the husbands, wives, animals, and the inevitable “What do you do for a living?” question.

I hate, dread, loathe, and despise this question, not because I don’t have a great answer, because I do, but because I am never sure of the other persons response.

I usually say “I teach young children, I run an in home childcare”, the most common response to this is “Oh, you babysit?”

HELLS NO, I DO NOT BABYSIT! I do not sit in front of the tv all day watching mindless shows while children either watch with me, or destroy my house. I do not let the children do whatever they please, I DO NOT BABYSIT.

I went to school, I have a diploma, I have worked in this low paying, dirty, shitty (both literally and figuratively) thankless field for 13 years. I teach children how to use a toilet and cutlery, I teach them colours, letters, numbers, I teach manners, and give them a predictable and easy routine. I teach art, drama, music. I am a doctor, nurse, psychologist, and vet.

I DO NOT FUCKING BABYSIT.

Often the next comment is along the lines of not actually having a teaching degree, you know, from a university. I just have college after all.

If it weren’t for people like me, children going into kindergarten wouldn’t have basic math skills, reading skills, or listening skills. They wouldn’t know how to use scissors, how to share, or colour within the lines. Children would run amok and teachers would be pulling their hair out by the handfuls.

Granted, there are always a few kids that do attend childcare that are nuts, and there are some kids who stay home who are amazing, but GUARANTEED on the first day of school, in every kindergarten classroom in Canada there is at least one child who is insane. There is one child that all the other parents thank God for knowing that it isn’t their child who is currently running around the room tearing books off the shelves, and throwing Lego all over the floor.

All I’m saying folks is, don’t take your caregiver for granted, give her respect, treat her with kindness, and remember the little shit running around the classroom, then, thank your caregiver, knowing it won’t be yours.

Never ever call her a Babysitter.

 

Get Famous? May 16, 2011

'I never go out unless I look like Joan Crawford'

Does the world need another blogger? Really?

Am I that narcissistic to think that I am so cool, so well written and spoken that people will actually want to read what I have to write?

So why blog? What is my goal?

Honestly, I am inspired to write by the numerous blogs I regularly follow. See below for a list.

While researching about how to blog, one of the sections was titled ‘Get Famous’. Well, I don’t need or necessarily want to be famous, I think this blog will be ever evolving,  I am hoping for a dash of humour mixed in with some sarcasm and wit. I hope it will also be informative and interesting.

So, a little about myself.

I am a 34-year-old, married Canadian Mummy. My beautiful daughter (Paisley, more commonly known as Pants) is three, and my partner of erm…13 years is Shaughn. We live in an average city, in an average house. We have a dog and cat, and 4 daycare children (beasts) that come daily for care.

I went to school for Early Childhood Education, graduating in ’99, after which I moved to the Arctic to work for 6 long cold months. It was then that I realised that I was meant to spend my life where restaurants didn’t serve seal meat, and blizzards lasted for hours not days. It was then that I also realised that I was meant to spend my life with Shaughn, wherever that may be.  After my contract was finished, I moved back to the south, and worked in centre based care for the next 10 years.

In 2008 I became a Mummy, and knew I could never go back to the childcare centre I had worked at. I needed a change, and home childcare was a better option for our little family. It’s been my passion since I opened my doors on Jan. 5, 2009.

I have a special interest in the LGBTQ community and how it relates to parenting, childcare, and the growth and development of children. I am also very interested in gender issues, women’s studies, and Canadian politics.

So will any of this make me famous?

Nah, probably not, but I’m cool with that.

*Blogs I Follow:

Uppercase Woman – Cecily Kellogg http://www.uppercasewoman.com/

Aiming Low – Various Contributors http://aiminglow.com/

Mamadojo – Various Contributors http://www.mamadojo.com/

Finding Summer – Summer Minor http://findingsummer.com/

 

 
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