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Family

Literally.

Today I learned that if you ‘lug-a-rug’ to the carpet cleaner you save 20% off your rug cleaning. I also learned that you should not have a wool shag-rug in your living room if you have a vegan chocolate lab who likes to eat any meat and dairy she can get her greasy paws on when she thinks you have left her for the evening and she gets all sneaky and shit and uses her invisible opposable thumbs to open the compost. Continue Reading

Meet Vanessa Norris!

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!

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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.

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The time for feminism (is now)

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.

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The busy life

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.

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Meet Tara Cheyenne, Artistic Director of Tara Cheyenne Performance

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!

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Meet Meera! Lawyer, working mom, and owner of Devon’s Drawer.

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!

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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?

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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.

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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!

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Culture Babes: Gallery Tours for you and your littles.

When Hilary’s email sailed into our inbox last week, I had to blink hard. Her ears must’ve been burning. Over the past couple of months, Bree and I have been eager to get back into focusing Peaks & Harbours on what we (and you!) love best – art & design excursions that thrill the grown-ups and excite the littles; promoting local businesswomen, artist, and creators; telling tales of our outdoor adventures; talking real about the world around us and our place in it; sharing tasty recipes that nourish you; and sharing our favourite hilarious moments – all from our amazing team of Peaks & Harbours contributors.

But I digress.

Hilary – Dr. Hilary Letwin to be exact – of Culture Babes, has been hosting events for five years that bring parents and kids to art exhibitions and performance events around the city, satisfying that deep craving to keep your intellect fed, with kids in tow. Now, without spoiling everything that Hilary has kindly written below, these are no regular gallery visits – they are more like, relaxed VIP tours for you and your littles. Got your attention? Read on readers, read on.

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