Hi everyone! Kyla here…I’m happy to welcome a new contributor to the Peaks & Harbours team, my dear friend Vanessa Norris. Vanessa is an amazing mom to two girls, a kick-ass high school Science teacher and passionate environmentalist. So without further ado, please welcome Vanessa!
What does it mean to spend a year at home with a baby and toddler?
I have finally accepted that I am clinging on to the last few threads of my second maternity leave with white knuckles and a raw heart.
Friends, misogyny has got me down (that, and the stomach flu). The political events of the last couple weeks have made me realize that there is still so. much. work. for us feminists. And I feel sad. And mad.
I don’t want to rehash the events of the recent U.S. election, there is much pithy analysis on this topic and I don’t have much to add. What I’ve really been thinking though is about is my own experience of misogyny, and my friends’ experiences.
So I spent the weekend updating my identity. My online identity that is. In addition to updating all my social media channels (except LinkedIn, because it doesn’t make sense to me) and completely transformed my website into a vision of who I want to be. And now I am exhausted. Who knew constructing a virtual identity could suck the actual life out of someone? Continue Reading
Hello Peaks & Harbours readers! Go gently on this first-time bloggess (bloggeuse? bloggetrix?). A few months ago, Kyla wrote about our book club, and I want to carry on with the conversation about #selfcare but maybe extend it to just mean #care.
These past few weeks have been hard, and I thought that it wasn’t the best time for me to write another post for Peaks and Harbours about work/life balance. Mostly my balance has been work, full stop. My husband was out of town for a trial (for a week), I had a court hearing, we did a pop up shop for my kid’s clothing line Devon’s Drawer, and my son had his birthday party. Then our poor nanny had to go off work because of an injury (we miss you Skye!), so it’s been a scramble to cover child care. In between all of the work and chaos, I’ve had less time than usual for the life half of that elusive work/life balance.
I have had the absolute pleasure of working with Tara for the past three years in my day job, Associate Director of New Works here in Vancouver. At least once a week she’s in the office, stroller in tow, to meet with her GM Janice, and get down to the business of running an amazing dance theatre company. She’s a ray of fresh, real sunshine, and always make you laugh. I’m so delighted that Tara is our newest interview on the site today – read on and don’t forget to see her next performance in a week!
It’s Wednesday! Are you all back into the swing of it yet? I know, me neither; but, we’re halfway through the week already and I know we can do it. Now let’s take a break from the lunch-making, the work blouse-ironing, the side-project hustling, and take a moment to meet Meera Bennett, one of our newest contributors to Peaks & Harbours. Meera is smart, kind, and has all the balls in the air as a full-time lawyer, owner of Devon’s Drawer (with her mama), mother of two, and everything in between.
Here’s Meera on her early experiences as a working mother – give her a sweet hello!
My husband and I were the first of our friends to have a baby. If I’m going to be honest, our son was a baby of convenience. You may laugh when you read this, because, if you have kids, you know that babies are not convenient. However, my husband had a one year contract in Ottawa, and I wanted to go with him for that year AND have a job when we came back home to Vancouver AND we were thinking about having kids anyways. I figured that the best way to both go away for a year and have a job on my return was to have a baby. So we had a baby. It’s not like we were all that young – I was 29 when my son was born – but we are both lawyers and our colleagues and friends were not even thinking about having babies yet. It felt a little crazy and impulsive.
When my son was eight months old, and my the end of my maternity leave was looming, I started to get a lot of questions from family and friends about whether I was going to be returning to work. I was told that working with kids was hard, a baby needs its mom, and we could live on my husband’s salary. I suppose I can be a bit prickly, and these questions were well intentioned, but I was insulted. I spent almost eight years getting my post-secondary education, I love my job, and I really value the financial independence I get from working. Also, why wasn’t my husband getting these questions?
So, I went back to work. It was hard, of course, but also joyful and wonderful and I was so glad that I was working again.
Being one of the first of my friends to have kids means that, now my friends are having their first kids, I get a lot of questions about returning to work. I always say the same thing. The first few months are hard (for the kids and parents), but working is wonderful as long as you like what you do for a living.
I now have an almost five year old son, and a 15 month old daughter. I’ve just gone back to work (for the second time) to my full time job working as an in house counsel for an administrative tribunal. In addition, I run a children’s clothing line with my Mom (Devon’s Drawer,www.devonsdrawer.com
), and I am on the board of directors for the Salt Spring Centre of Yoga. I am intermittently involved with a number of feminist and poverty law organizations. I also somehow fit in an almost daily yoga practice. Although my life is busy, I wouldn’t change a thing.
When Carina asked me to write a column on work/life balance for Peaks and Harbours I briefly hesitated; I don’t think I have all the answers. Sometimes I just work a lot and miss my kids. So, this blog is not going to be a “list of ten things you can do to lead a balanced life”. Rather I hope to document my attempt to keep it all together, and provide a joyful narrative about being a working mom.
If you want to meet me in person, my Mom and I are doing a Devon’s Drawer pop up shop at Chorus and Clouds on September 10
, and I’d love to see you there
! I’m also going to be leading a discussion at Chorus and Clouds
on October 4
about work/life balance, please come!