The juggle, that is motherhood, is real. Between laundry, dishes, diapers and nap times, how do you fit in a date night, exercise, or anything else without losing your mind?!? We as moms juggle so much!
But what I have learned in almost 11 years of business, and seven children later, is that it is 100% possible to be a great mom AND follow your dreams at the same time. It takes planning, strategy, and a hard look at your priorities, but in the end it is so possible to do well.
I’m excited to once again to be speaking about the topic of work-life balance and how to design your life so you can be a great mom and follow your dreams at Toronto’s BabyTime Show!
Come hear me share my Time Saving Strategies for Busy Moms on Friday November 16 at 2:30pm, and Saturday November 17 at 11:30am at Toronto’s BabyTime Show.
In addition to speaking, I am again going to be offering FREE STRATEGY SESSIONS FOR MOMS. Whether you are pregnant, or juggling life with little ones in tow, join me at the original baby show for everything prenatal to preschool. We can chat all things strategy, from time management, home management, ideas for a new business, or how to have a business or a blog with small kids in the mix, come join me at booth 268. Book your time with me here!
Hello my friends! I feel like it’s been a while since I have shared what is going on in my family, so today I am sharing an update on what it is like to be a working mom of 6, and share a tool that has been really helpful in navigating through life as a mom on the go [and today I am on the go with my youngest son in our new Bugaboo Bee⁵]!
Working mom of six… even whenI read that I feel tired! But as I share often on my Instagram and my YouTube channel, navigating life with my large crew has been equal parts enjoyable, equal parts challenging, but most of all really, really fulfilling.
Motherhood, like anything, is a skill. It has a learning curve. You can feel like you have it all together one minute, and then feel like you are going to lose your mind the next moment. Add on to that the very real pressures that come with a job outside of the home, and it can all be a difficult space to navigate. As I have told many of my first time mom friends, I think having your first child is harder than having six children in a lot of ways! There is such a steep learning curve with your first child, and such a drastic change in your identity, your regular schedule and your body!
But with eight years of this motherhood gig now under my belt, and six gorgeous humans who I get to call my children, I have a little more confidence, I am way less hard on myself, and I have learned strategies that help me to persevere through the challenging parts of motherhood.
When people ask me, “how do you do it?” I honestly don’t always know what to say. But I will share this: one strategy that I have learned is an absolute necessity to thrive in motherhood is self care. And let’s just say I have failed pretty epically at it over the years. But what I have learned is that if we want to be good moms, good contributors to society, and generally nice people to be around [lol] we have to listen to our bodies, listen to our emotions, and take care of ourselves so we can take care of others.
This weekend I spoke at event [a really fun ladies tea event in Oakville on the topic of creating family memories at home] and I knew that I would be pretty tired after it. So I booked a babysitter, and made sure I would have enough time on the way home to do something I LOVE- which is to spend time on the waterfront in my home of Toronto, Canada.
We only hung out for about thirty minutes- but boy was it restorative. There is something so soothing to me about water. I love how peaceful it is, how vast it is, and for me it is just so restorative. I live in a really busy city- and I just love how even in my urban dwelling I can escape to a scene like this for a moment of rest. [It doesn’t hurt that there was a pierogi food truck nearby- so yummy]
It can be really challenging to make rest a priority. For many years, I didn’t think rest was important enough to hire a babysitter for, and spend money on to achieve. But what I find is when I rest, I dream. I am a dreamer. I love having the space to just think. To listen. To recalibrate. And my spouse, my kids, and myself are all better off as a result.
With my large family of six kids ages eight and under, one of the ways we make our family work, and make it easier for me to have this self-care time, is to have more than one stroller. This way, if I am doing something on my own with the baby, and my husband or a babysitter is taking care of the rest, whoever is taking care of my other children has the flexibility to take my older kids out on their own adventure.
The Bugaboo Bee⁵ stroller makes traveling with my infant on my own really simple. It’s compact design makes it ideal for my urban neighbourhood- it’s narrow width is easy to navigate around crowds and shops and the suspension design makes for a smooth ride on my self-care trips to the water (or the mall, lol).
It’s also incredibly flexible- it has integrated attachment points for things like coffee cups and a comfort wheeled board [no need for adapters], customizable colours on the faux leather handle bar grips and changeable wheel caps, and my favourite, the Bugaboo Bee⁵ has 700 possible design configurations- so you can customize your stroller to your heart’s content.
And speaking of heart’s content- how much fun is this bassinet fabric design? I love the denim and the butterflies (my three year old is a big fan of the pinks ones)! In my work as an interior designer I just love to have beauty all around me- and this stroller is no exception.
To learn more about Bugaboo and dream up your own design, learn more here. And for more self-care strategies for busy moms, watch here.
How do you take care of yourself as a busy mom? What tools help your family make this possible? Love to know in the comments below.
Cheers to designing your beautiful life,
Special thanks to Bugaboo Strollers for partnering with me on this blog post.
I am so excited to share with you all that 2 weeks ago, we had our 7th baby, Phoebe Margaret! She is incredibly sweet, and so far the adjustment has been pretty amazing. The older kids have been champion helpers and my little guys adorably help in their own way (which means trying to feed their newborn sister their milk bottles and kissing her with open mouth kisses on her head, lol).
But even though I'm a mom with a fair bit of experience, let's just say the last two weeks have been filled with EVERY SINGLE EMOTION POSSIBLE. I have felt peaceful, elated, exhausted, inadequate, powerful, depleted, and on and on and on.
And even though I have LITERALLY written a book on motherhood, and have worked hard at being self-aware, I found myself being INCREDIBLY hard on myself for things like the kitchen being messy, and then I found myself being hard on myself FOR BEING HARD ON MYSELF. LOL #thestruggleisreal
So I created this YouTube video for all you new moms, soon-to-be moms, and new-again moms, who might need these reminders- because I need them myself! If you prefer to watch, press play below, otherwise read on below : )
When you are discharged from hospital after having a new baby, they have you fill out a form acknowledging that you will call your doctor for a 6-week appointment, that you have read the Caring for Baby information booklet, that you will call Public Health if you have more questions, etc etc etc. Well… that form isn't really going to help you friends once you are home and on your own. THESE ARE THE THINGS that a mom should really have to check the boxes on when she has a baby:
1. I UNDERSTAND THAT SPENDING EXCESSIVE TIME ON SOCIAL MEDIA MIGHT LEAD TO ME FEELING SUPER CRAPPY ABOUT MYSELF.
2. I will not go on Pinterest for nursery decor ideas because it might make me feel crappy about how messy my house is.
3. I acknowledge, that if I spend time looking at skinny Instagram fitness models, I might feel crappy about my flabby, post-partum belly.
4. I acknowledge, there might be days I do not shower, do not brush my teeth, and all I accomplish is keepinbg my baby alive and myself alive- and I am OK with that!
5. I WILL NOT EQUATE MY SELF-WORTH WITH HOW CLEAN MY KITCHEN IS.
6. I will not scream at my husband because I think he's not "doing" anything. (Side note, I legitimately told my husband in the middle of the night once "I wish you would grow a pair…" as in a pair of breasts LOL)
7. I acknowledge that I may want to eat an entire box of Oreos and that is OK (Nutrition experts, I am sorry. I think in the first 2 weeks a new mom has enough to worry about that they get a bit of grace when it comes to food. Healthy food is SUPER important for the record, but so is being not hard on oneself).
8. I ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THERE WILL BE LOTS OF PEOPLE OFFERING ME ADVICE, AND I WILL ONLY LISTEN TO THE ADVICE OF PEOPLE I WOULD BE WILLING TO SWITCH PLACES WITH.
9. I acknowledge, that coming home from hospital everyone has different energy and I won't compare myself. If I feel like taking a walk, I will. If I feel like lying down all day, I will.
10. I understand that I have nothing to prove during this time. The most important thing is taking care of me, and taking care of baby. Anything else I accomplish on top of that is a bonus.
11. I acknowledge there will be things that will make me cry. Like literally, anything. And that is OK.
12. I ACKNOWLEDGE THAT JUST BECAUSE I HAVE BIRTHED A CHILD, ALL MY INTERESTS I HAD BEFORE HAVING A BABY HAVE NOT VANISHED. I WILL NOT FEEL GUILTY FOR WANTING TO DO THOSE THINGS.
13. I acknowledge that I will receive unsolicited advice from strangers, and I will simply say thank you, and have a nice day.
14. I acknowledge that this is an amazing time in my life, and I am going to try and enjoy it as much as I can be journaling, taking photos, and savouring quiet moments.
15. I PROMISE TO NOT PUT SO MUCH PRESSURE ON MYSELF EVERY GOSH DARN DAY, AND NOT BE ANYTHING, OTHER THAN THE MOM OF THIS NEW BABY.
Was this helpful? Can you relate to any of the points? Let me know in the comments below : )
It's Mother's Day, and I have been reflecting a lot on my journey as a mom. Oh my word, it has been a journey full of ups, downs, pivots, spins. There are so many things that I know now, after 9 years of experience, and almost 7 babies later, that I wish every mom knew. Click below to watch the video, or read on below:
I wish all moms knew that children are not a burden. There are things about motherhood and raising kids that are inconvenient, for sure. The amount of pee and poop I have cleaned from all kinds of surfaces, let me tell you. But these things, these things that might not be pleasant, might require us to give and give of ourselves make us better people. Children are not an inconvenience.
I wish all moms knew we could beat to our own drums. It is so OK if you want to do life differently than your mom, your sister, your best friend, your work colleague, that girl on instagram, that's alright. You want to know why? Because your life is yours. It's YOUR LIFE!!!
I wish every mom knew that if you want to quit your job and be with your kids more full time YOU SHOULD DO IT. Don't just go back to work because a bunch of people are telling you you should. Don't go back because you are afraid that you won't have a job if you take some time off to be at home- heck, you are probably GOSH DARN TALENTED and can get a job again regardless of how much time you invest in being home.
I wish all moms knew that making decisions from a place of fear is usually not the best approach. It might provide a solution for your family, but it probably isn't the best solution for your family.
I wish all moms knew that success as a mom is so possible, but that success just might look different than how you originally pictured it.
I wish all moms knew that it is a far better strategy to measure success by looking inward, rather than looking sideways and comparing yourself to others.
I wish all moms knew that becoming a mom does not mean you sacrifice your dreams. You can be a great mom and follow your passions. YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO SQUASH ALL YOUR DREAMS AND TELL THEM TO BE QUIET JUST BECAUSE YOU BECAME A MOM. I believe that ALL MOMS CAN DESIGN THEIR LIVES SO THEY CAN PURSUE THEIR PASSIONS AND GOALS BUT NOT AT THE EXPENSE OF THEIR FAMILIES. It is possible.
I wish all moms knew that your life is yours, and yours alone to live. Which means that sometimes when people give you advice, you need to nod and smile, but not take that advice.
I wish all moms knew that motherhood does not have to be lonely. You're not in it alone. If you are feeling sad, insecure, or no one is experiencing what you are experiencing, that is a lie. Talk about it, ask for support. We are not meant to do this alone.
I wish all moms knew that motherhood is hard sometimes, but it does not have to be hard ALL THE TIME. We can design our lives so that our schedules include time for friends, time for self care, time for hobbies- it does not need to be hard all the time.
I wish all moms knew that kids will fail- and that is ok. Let them fail.
I wish all moms knew that when kids don't excel the way you pictured it, THAT IS OK. IT IS NOT A REFLECTION OF YOU AND YOUR ABILITY TO PARENT. It is simply a reality that we all have different gifts and talents. AND THAT IS A-OK.
I wish all oms knew that you don't have to enroll your child in multiple activities for them to become a great person. If they have an interest, foster it. But it should not be at the expense of your sanity, or your child's sanity.
I wish all moms knew that motherhood is not a competition. Who cares whose kid is the smartest, whose house is the nicest, who can bake the best cake. WE DON'T HAVE TO DO IT ALL. THERE IS ROOM FOR EVERYONE TO EXCEL.
I wish all moms knew what a joyful noise the sound of small children can be.
I wish all moms knew that motherhood can be fun! You get to revisit your own childhood in so many ways, you get to play, your get to become a kid again. It can be so much fun.
I wish all moms knew that the toddler phase is kind of like a choose your own adventure book- and they choose the adventure, you don't, by the way!
I wish all moms knew that giving your child a sibling is an incredible gift. It might seem like there is no way you can give anymore of yourself, but the gift of a sibling IS A GIFT TO EVERYONE.
I wish all moms knew that sometimes motherhood can make you feel like YOU ARE LOSING YOUR MIND. But THAT YOU ALWAYS GET IT BACK, I PROMISE.
Happy Mother's Day to all my fellow mamas who are working hard, sacrificing lots and following their dreams at the same time.
As a busy working mom of 6 (soon to be 7!) children, time out times are really important to me. Taking moments to myself (even if they are just a moment) are so important to me as they allow me to recharge, and provide the attention and energy necessary to give to my family and my work. Today I've teamed up with Green and Black's Chocolate and developed this recipe, designed for moms who are on the go, where a time out might happen in their car waiting to pick up their kids from school, or on a quiet break from work.
YOGURT PARFAIT WITH DARK CHOCOLATE
– vanilla Greek yogurt
– roasted walnuts
– granola (optional if trying to stay low carb)
– berries of choice (strawberries, blueberries, whatever is in the fridge)
– Green and Black's Dark 70% Chocolate
– sprigs of mint for garnish
– glass jars with tight sealing lids
1. In a glass jar, place a layer of yogurt, followed by a layer of nuts, granola and berries.
2. Repeat until jar is approximately 3/4 full. Set aside.
3. Take four squares of Green and Black's Dark 70% Chocolate and chop into small pieces.
4. Sprinkle the chocolate on top of the layers of yogurt, nuts, granola and berries, covering the surface completely.
5. Add a few berries and a mint leaf for garnish.
6. Enjoy your time out treat! I like to make a few of these at a time, seal them up and have back up time out treats in my fridge, ready to go when I need one!
Making time for yourself as a mom can be a challenging task at times. Amidst competing demands of work, family, friends, hobbies, and taking care of your own personal needs, it can seem like an impossible task! But it is possible! If you're struggling with how to make time for yourself and not feel guilty about it, here are my tips:
1. Schedule it
I cannot tell you how important it is to schedule in time out time the exact same way you would schedule a dental appointment, or soccer practice for one of your kids. Sometimes I think we give more priority to the needs of our teeth than we do our own mental and physical health!!! So literally put it in the calendar as a recurring appointment, schedule childcare for that time, and think of it as a necessary investment in you.
2. Make your car a place of rest
Depending on your season of life, it might not be possible to schedule a great deal of time to self care. Sometimes a time out can only happen in your car before you pick up your children from school- and that is OK! So think about ways you can make your car a place where you can take a little breather just for you. I like to ensure I always have an audio book on my phone that I can listen to as I wait to pick up my kids in the school parking lot, current magazines tucked into my glovebox, an essential oil spray in the car at all times that I can use for my body and my car for a quick refresh, and a tasty treat to consume all on my own (check out my super simple yogurt parfait recipe that is a go to time out treat for me!)
3. Put your phone away
In today's digital age it can be so easy to whip out your phone any second you get a moment. But what I have learned is that sometimes it is just more beneficial to keep the phone in your purse and sit in silence. It can be an uncomfortable feeling at first to just sit- but in the quiet is where I often get my best ideas, and feel the most refreshed. So the next time you find yourself with a moment alone and you are tempted to pull out your phone, try closing your eyes, taking a few deep breaths, and just sit in silence.
How do you make time for yourself in the midst of motherhood? Tell me in the comments below.
If you've been following along on my Instagram, you know I've been talking quite a bit about coaching and life design lately. In fact, I am kind of obsessed! I am obsessed with the concept of moms designing their lives around what matters most, and helping moms to understand how to make their schedules work for them to combat overwhelm and promote progress on goals.
So I am SUPER EXCITED to let you all know that I have a very special speaking engagement coming up at The BabyTime Show, Toronto's biggest and longest running show of its kind. The BabyTime Show is the perfect place for new parents and parents of young children to learn from the top experts, try & buy from local vendors and top brands, and walk away feeling confident in their skills, prepared with all the essentials needed for parenthood.
Celebrating its 20th year, The BabyTime Show and I have teamed up for two very special presentations.
On Friday April 27, 2018, at 8:30am, I will be hosting a special pre-show, 1-hour presentation, on how to conquer your calendar, balance it all, and design a life you love.
In this special presentation, I am going to walk you through my 6-step framework to help you identify what matters most to you, put your unique priorities into your calendar, and the habits and strategies that I use every day to make everything stick, and give you a life with less overwhelm, more balance, more time and more freedom. Essentially I am sharing the process that has allowed me to build a 6-figure business while raising my 6 children!
On Sunday April 29, 2018, at 2pm, I will be hosting a 30-minute encore presentation of my life planning presentation, followed by 6 EXCLUSIVE 20-MINUTE ONE-ON-ONE COACHING SLOTS WITH ME!
You'll get all the benefits of my 6-step framework condensed to 30-minutes, plus one-on-one time with me to strategize and get assistance on making progress toward your goals. But act fast- there are only 6 spots and they will go quickly. To book your time and view the remaining spots, click here.
If you.ve ever wanted to do a coaching program with me, but have felt like time or money have not been on your side, this is a great way to get a bit of clarity on your goals and MOVE FORWARD!!!!!