Living a Life of Love

The weeks and months leading up to my maternity leave were slightly stressful. Stressful only because the pressure I put on myself of course. I love working. I love working hard–I love accomplishing things and being good at what I do. I also enjoy being a part of a growing company and building a team and providing products and services I believe in. While it sounds like a cushy deal, taking a year off for maternity leave, for me, is a lot harder than it sounds.

Don’t be mistaken, I love my family, and I love being a mummy to Marigold and a wife to Martin, but it really doesn’t define me as a person.  It’s not the be all, end all of me.  Neither is my job.  I am the sum of these things and many others–all of which make me who I am.

While my current job isn’t exactly my dream job, it’s still awesome and I like the company and love my boss and the people I work with.  The hardest part is the timing, of course.  Putting my career on hold when things are positioned for growth in a major way isn’t the ideal scenario I had imagined when I first found myself with child.  I hadn’t expected that I would be getting a new boss, and that I would need to make a new and lasting impression on someone when I was tired, bloated and irritable. I didn’t think that I was about to miss out on something really rad for the next year.  I hate to miss out on things–I love to be right in the action!

I’m sure tons of other women and men go through the same thing when they take their respective parental leaves. I truly am grateful for the opportunity to take the full 50 weeks to spend time focusing on my new baby and growing family.

The last time I went on mat leave, I was literally counting the minutes before I could walk out the door and not return for several months, even though I was still there late on my last day.  This time I was really sad to go.  I was having sleepless nights thinking about the many projects I had on the go just before clocking out for the next year, and as my last day crept closer, I had expected my stress level to spike, but it slowly dissipated.  I was ready to go, and I know that I’m not in any real danger of being left behind at work.  I’m confident that I’ll be able to return and pick up where I left off and just spend this year focusing on real life–and my family.  What a treasure.

Almost three years ago now, I revived my blog because of this overwhelming need to write it all down.  I needed to tell everyone how I had never loved as much as I loved right then. With hormones running rampant, I’m sure, I was plagued with so many feelings and emotions, but it was the love that overflowed.

When I first discovered I was pregnant with my second child, of course I was thrilled, but there were hesitations that I hadn’t expected. I was worried about how I could possibly have TWO children (people survive with many more, I know I’m ridiculous) and look after them successfully. I was worried about our finances, and the size of our apartment. I was worried how Marigold will adapt. But most of all I was worried that I couldn’t possibly have any more love to give to another child. I just loved my little Marigold so much that I didn’t think it possible to have the capacity to love a new addition to our little family.

Two Peas on the floor, under a blanket

Two Peas on the floor, under a blanket

Martin gently reminded me that love multiplies as a family grows–and we have a never ending supply! We have found love in places that we never even knew existed.

The hardest part has definitely been dealing with my feelings for Marigold.  It’s weird, but I miss her.  I still spend time with her everyday, but she’s no longer my one and only, and I feel bad that my attention is divided.  This has been the greatest source of postpartum tears.  She is the most amazing big sister in all of the land, and I’m so proud with how she is handling it all.  She is a huge help with Baby Alice, and I can’t even count the amount of times I’ve heard her say “Don’t worry, Baby Alice.  Big sister’s right here” in the last 10 days.  And it melts my heart every time.

20140221_124904Miss Marigold and Lady Alice

One night I went to lay in Marigold’s bed with her before she went to sleep because I just missed her so.  I couldn’t stop the tears from coming, as they so often do these days.  I talked it over with Marigold, and for a not yet three year old, I’m impressed with her understanding.  I apologized for not spending as much time with her as I used to.  I got up to let her fall asleep, she said to me as I was leaving “Baby Alice needs you, Mummy.”  She totally gets it, and it just made me cry harder.  I’m so proud of her and I’m amazed at how awesome she is every single day.


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Baby Alice is just perfect from head to toe and I loved her just as much as I did Marigold when she was placed in my arms.  It’s like there’s a love explosion in your heart when you give birth–I would do it over and over again because the feeling is incredible.  And the results–well, they’re incomparable.

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So our love has grown.  Martin was right–I didn’t have anything to worry about.  We’re a family of four now.  I’m truly grateful for all the things that I have in this life, and I honestly don’t take it for granted.  I came from nothing, and now– I have everything.  And it’s definitely not lost on me, this extraordinary life of love.

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Alice's First Bath

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Moving to Scarborough

As Marigold continues to grow, I have less and less time to write. She’s requiring more attention to keep her amused each day, which means, less time for me to do the things I want. That on top of household chores that are mostly getting done at the bare minimum leaves me with only a few minutes to surf the internet, and play video games. And I’m going to learn to knit plus I want to learn to sew. God, if only I was one of those people that could get by on 4 or 5 hours sleep then I might be able to do the things I want.

I keep being faced with decisions that I really don’t want to make. We are constantly making easy choices from the minute we wake up in the morning and often we don’t even give it a second thought that we have a choice. Getting out of bed, brushing our teeth, what to eat for breakfast, what to wear for the day and the list goes on. And on and on and on. Then there are the larger life decisions: who you are going to marry, where you are going to live, what you are going to do for a career. But sometimes, an unexpected quandary presents itself before you and suddenly you have to make a decision about a situation you have no prior experience with. Or sometimes you are faced with a decision you have made many times before, and you need to be reminded that you’ve done it before on blind faith, and it’s worked out in the end…hasn’t it?

It would be great if every time you had to make a decision that the only person affected would be you, and you alone. I think this is the reason why decisions become so difficult–the outcome has a great impact on someone around you. And it’s typically someone close to you. Someone who you love very much. I always think back to moving to Toronto, the biggest decision of my life thus far. Again–my decision to move meant leaving Matt (and dumping his sorry ass–I can say that now, it’s been long enough) and hurting someone I loved very much. I was leaving behind my friends and family and the only life I had ever known, but on the other side of that decision was tremendous opportunity which I would not have had otherwise, and I’ve been reaping the rewards ever since.

The last unexpected quandary I faced was a high impact/low return type of decision. My decision, in fact, has permanently damaged a friendship, and hopefully most of that damage will be repaired, though I’m sure some scars will remain.

Sometimes you just need to stand up for what you believe in regardless of how much it might hurt someone and regardless of how supportive you really want to be. It makes me sad to think that I had to choose at all let alone make the choice I made. And though my decision is hurtful, I hope it makes a strong statement. Because after this, I’m not going to beat the dead horse, because the horse is already dead, there’s no sense in that. And beating dead horses just makes a bloody mess that becomes pretty impossible to clean up. I’ve said my piece and voiced my concern. I’m going to let the issue die and rest in peace. At the very least I can show my support for moving forward.

God, disappointing people sucks so bad. And I really fucking hate letting people down. I want to make everyone happy all the time, which is probably why I’m so great with customer service. But, I know deep down that making EVERYONE happy is an impossibility. I have to think now of how my decisions–high impact/low return, or high impact/huge opportunity will affect Martin and Marigold first and foremost. I have to do what is best for our family, even if that means letting other people down that I care about very much. I have to make sure that the choices I make are ones that Marigold will admire once she’s older.

You can’t take a mulligan. There are no do-overs. Life was so much easier when it was just me. I don’t mean because of the extra work of taking care of a family. I mean that if I fucked up, the only person that faced the consequences was me. Gone are the days of risking my job with people calling in sick for me because I was passed out on a toilet in the bar’s basement bathroom the night before (Thanks Peter Peattie). Gone are the days of complete and utter irresponsibility. Now MG and MM are in the line of fire, and I just want to do what’s best for all of us, even if it means moving to Scarborough**.

I want to be someone she is proud to call her mother. And sometimes that means closing some doors and opening some windows. Right now I’ll just wait for the window to open, and decide whether or not it’s time to close the door, and try not to get black out drunk while I’m waiting.

**For the record we are not now, nor ever moving to Scarborough, it’s just a phrase I use now to demonstrate just how much I’m willing to sacrifice for my family.

There’s Beauty in the Breakdown


The days seem to be going by so fast and yet I do nothing. I accomplish nothing. Our dishwasher broke a couple of weeks ago, so I guess doing the dishes accounts for more of my time now, but I think it’s a bit outrageous to think that it makes up about 50% of my time. But then there’s laundry, feeding the baby, feeding myself and changing the baby one hundred times a day.

Being a stay at home mom/housewife really isn’t what I thought it would be. I’m sure that will change once Marigold gets older, but really–years ago when I imagined being a housewife I figured I’d be smoking pot all day doing crafts and cooking, mixed in with sunny day trips to the park and settling down to cocktails in the evening by candlelight. Not so, my friends, not so.
The weather has been horrible, and I get it, April Showers bring May flowers, but really…this has been ridiculous. Who really wants to go out in the rain, especially with a baby? So I’ve been pretty much stuck inside, getting out when I can, which hasn’t been often. And yet, I’m spending all this time at home and there is still laundry piled on the table downstairs waiting to be put away, the floors still need washing, and the bathroom sink is disgusting. I did, however, manage to wax my eyebrows this morning.
This is so frustrating for me because I’m used to accomplishing so much in a day’s time. And I suppose I could try harder in the evenings when Martin’s home to get all this shit done, but the truth is that Marigold needs to eat almost every hour after 4 o’clock, leaving me drained, literally and figuratively.
I know I AM accomplishing something so great, it just can’t be quantified right now. I have to wait to reap the rewards of a healthy, happy and secure child once she’s older, but for fuck sakes, I just want to cross something off a list!
I have to learn to let go. I have to let go of my daydreams of becoming an excellent seamstress while I’m off on mat leave. I have to let go of my idealistic picture of a gourmet meal on the table waiting for Martin when he gets home each night. I have to let go of the fact that I will not be scrap-booking these baby memories for a couple of hours a day. I have to let go of the idea that I will have it all done by noon and being able to relax for the rest of the day. Oh, and I want to have a beautiful garden, by June. Jesus H, the list keeps growing, and it’s just not going to happen, is it?
AND relationships! God, the only relationship that I maintain with fervour these days aside from Martin and Marigold is my relationship with the internet. Sometimes it’s my only portal to the outside world. My good friends are all still there, but it’s difficult to keep in touch, since most people work during the day–the time when I am available to communicate, since after five I’ve mostly got one hand on the baby and the other on my boob to keep her from getting a black eye.
I fucking hate speaker phone, but now it’s almost the only option. The guilt that I feel for neglecting people is unspeakable! I really just have to accept that I can’t be everything to everybody, and really I can’t guarantee that I can be anything to anyone, since I’m the only thing this tiny little person has for 18 hours a day! My dear friends, don’t take it personally, I’m doing the best I can, and I still love you, and I hope you will be there again when I re-emerge from this lovely pit of baby barf and gummy smiles.
It seems that my priorities have to change, I have to refocus and modify my goals. Short term and long term. Believe me, I’m not complaining. I realize how lucky I am to have such a happy and healthy little girl and a partner who is incredibly supportive who tries to understand how hard this is on me and my body. I write simply to remind myself of this and to keep myself from going crazy. The negativity that I was once so accustomed to sometimes seems like heroin in it’s draw, especially since I’m alone all day.
And it’s all going to change again when I go back to work in approximately two months. Part of me is desperate to get back to it, but the other part of me is wondering how on earth I’m going leave this gorgeous child. Back when I was pregnant Martin and I decided to split the parental leave offered by the government, hoping that it would lead him into being a “stay at home dude” keeping his current position with “work from home” status. Progressive, I know. We figured it was the best option for us, since I’d likely go a bit nuts staying at home all the time. I never once thought about how difficult it would be or how much I’d miss my little girl until now…..
But that’s later. Much later.
Priority One: Let go and enjoy the beauty of it all. Live now, and don’t fret about it until the time comes.