This is my very first post. I am both nervous and excited as I sit here in front of my laptop typing this out at the dining table. Paw Patrol is on in the background. My three year old is eating an entire cucumber after devouring a bowl and a half of mac and cheese. My one year old is roaming the house wrecking the place and periodically passing me various objects. Along with my husband of five years (together for 13 years), this is my family. We live in a townhouse in the Leslieville area of Toronto, Canada.
I am new to blogging. I have been toying with starting a blog for a long time. I am finally doing it, even though I think I might be nuts. As my first post, I thought I would share a bit about who I am and what this blog is all about. Let’s start this off with five confessions that even some of my friends and family don’t know about me. I figure if I am going to share with you here I may as well start with a bold introduction.
Confession # 1: I wasn’t sure for the longest time if I actually wanted kids
I was born and raised in the city I love, Toronto. I have always enjoyed what it has to offer. Amazing bars and restaurants, concerts almost every night, interesting and diverse neighbourhoods, the list goes on. When I was in my twenties I enjoyed hanging out with friends after shifts at my retail job. When I wasn’t working, in school or doing schoolwork, my friends and I took in different events in one of those diverse neighbourhoods or we would try out a sushi place or catch a movie. When I met my husband at twenty-five, we did all of these things together. We also traveled a lot. He is a runner so we would visit cities he’d marathon in or we would go somewhere for a long weekend. Once or twice a year we visit his family in Ireland, where he is from. We have been around the world. We had a good life before having kids.
I knew that having children would change things. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to sacrifice the life we had to have kids. In the end, we decided we wanted to have children and in 2017 we welcomed our first child into our lives and in 2019 our second was born. As all you mother’s know out there, it was a big adjustment. I knew it would be hard but I didn’t know it would be THAT hard. No matter how difficult it can be at times I never regret having them. They have brought so much joy to our lives.
Confession #2: I used to be an extra in movies and music videos
I have many passions. One of those passions is film. I went to the University of Toronto for film history and theory. I’ve worked as a script supervisor, locations manager, continuity supervisor, executive producer, and an extra. You can see me in a little known movie called Charlie Bartlett starring Robert Downey Jr. and the late Anton Yelchin. I’m in the scene that takes place in a school auditorium. If you pause the movie at the exact moment you will see me reacting to something being said on stage. I was also in the Sloan video The Lines You Amend. I don’t think you can actually see me. I was there though. I went with my sister and it is one of the fondest memories I have with her.
Aside from working behind and, partly in front of the camera, I have also worked for local film festivals. The two main being TIFF and Hot Docs. I started off as a volunteer with TIFF and it grew into a job in the tech departments of both festivals. These were fun jobs with long days and nights but lots of laughs and good times. I swear you have to be a little kooky to work in tech. I went to my share of parties and saw and even met some celebrities. I will always look back on those days foundly and I still have lifelong friends from working at those festivals.
I have moved on from those days and now I am working for myself. Trying to build something of my own for me and my family.
Confession # 3: I had a rough go when I became a mother
I am not going to sugar coat it, being a mother is hard. I didn’t realize how hard it was until I had kids. I was definitely unprepared for the change my life would take when I had them. I didn’t transition well after both births. With my first I was so tired and found it hard to let go of my old life. I mourned it in a way. I was also alone a lot. I had my parents, but they don’t live close by. They would come and stay with me to help and to spend time with their new granddaughter every few weeks. My sister lives in the city, but back then she lived way on the other side of town. She also had her own kids to take care of. She came when she could. I was so grateful for that. My husband is a great father and very hands on. He helped me when he would come home from work, and still does. I started to lean on a group of fellow new moms in my neighbourhood that I met through a Facebook mom group and that helped a lot. I would not have made it through my first year without them.
With my second I was even more exhausted and had the added job of taking care of a toddler. I felt like I was being pulled in two directions and that one day I would snap in two. Add on a global pandemic and a citywide shutdown and you have a recipe for disaster. We have made it through with the help of my husband and zoom chats with my friends and family. I look forward to sharing all this with you in future posts. I have a lot to say.
Confession #4: I miss working in the film industry
I often think about being on set or working the hustle and bustle of festival life and I have a twinge of sadness that I am not doing that anymore. I miss my coworkers and the good times we had getting through long nights at TIFF Bell Lightbox or the Elgin or doing a night shoot until the wee hours of the morning. There is a sense of camaraderie because we were all working together for one cause. I have some amazing stories I will share with you at some point on this blog. I still write film reviews from time to time on a site I run with my sister called Critical Focus. If you are a film buff you should check it out. This keeps my love of film alive and I am forever grateful that I still get to do this.
While I miss my former life in the film industry, I find the same kind of camaraderie in my life as a mom. I have a community of mothers who I can lean on. We are all in this together, sleepless nights and all. That’s what I want this blog to be. I want it to be a place where soon-to-be mom’s, new mom’s, and parents of all kinds who have been doing this for a while and kicking butt can come together to be a community. A place where they can find support and lean on each other. The road since becoming a parent has not been an easy one and it is only with the support of my family, friends, and other mom’s in my community that I have been able to get through it and get to the point where I feel comfortable starting this blog and sharing my experience with you.
Confession #5: I’m getting the care I need
This pandemic has hit me hard mentally. I was already having a hard time after my youngest was born. I didn’t know what was wrong, but I just felt off. I just didn’t feel like me. It was more than that feeling a new mother or any parent gets when they don’t feel like themselves. I did not feel like myself x 100. It’s like that quote in Lord Of The Rings: I felt “thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.”
My youngest was born in late August and as much as I was enjoying the simple life with a newborn and the crazy life with a toddler, I still felt strange. Then the world basically stopped when Covid-19 hit. I was a wreck. I needed to do something so I could make it out of this lockdown intact. Without my own sanity, where would we all be? After much debate and reaching out to some friends I made a virtual session with a counselor.
It has helped so much and I recommend it if you feel you need to deal with some stuff. It is amazing how great it feels to have someone outside of your inner circle listen to you and offer a perspective on things you never would have seen for yourself. The more sessions I had, the more confident I became, and the more I began to feel like myself again. I am still tired and at times I feel stretched thin but I don’t feel like I will break anymore. It all seems so much more manageable even when you don’t feel like it is. I am still having sessions and they continue to offer me clarity on things.
What is this blog about and why now?
Part of the reason I am starting this blog is that it has been a way for me to explore the things that were making me feel so outside of myself. It is an outlet for me. I hope by being an outlet I can help you too. Maybe you can relate and we can commiserate in writing and reading together.
I’ve been wanting to start this blog since 2018 when my husband, 18 month old , and I headed off for a 3 week vacation to Southeast Asia (I will definitely write about our adventure soon). I was doing a lot of research on the places we were going to visit because we didn’t know the languages. I needed to know things like where I could buy formula and what kind of formula should I buy, if that city we were in didn’t have our regular formula brand. I found out where to do diapers changes when we were out and about in Tokyo and what fun things we could do with a toddler in Singapore. I then came up with the idea of writing a mom travel blog because we traveled so much. By this point, my oldest had been to four countries in Southeast Asia, and she had been to Ireland 5 times already before turning two, so I had lots of experience traveling with a child.
The backbone of my travel blog was there and then pandemic chaos happened. I had no time or energy to continue. So, along with being a blog about the challenges of parenthood, I also want it to be a fun resource. I am a film buff, baker, wine enthusiast, travel obsessed mother and I hope I can bring some laughs, comfort, and community to you so you know you are not alone in this. We may not have physical villages helping us raise our kids anymore, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have virtual ones. I hope you will become part of mine.