8 Reasons Why Every Dad should take Parental Leave

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HAPPY mid-SEPTEMBER EVERYONE!  Are we all adjusted back to regular programming, daycare/school/work?? Not so much around here… does it ever get easier?? WAHH.

Well, despite our difficult adjustment so far (I’ve been SPOILED with hubby home) I wanted to provide a bit of a recap as to why every Dad should take parental leave. If you’ve been following along up to this point you will know that my amazing hubby took this past summer off to stay home with our two munchkins (aged 1&3) after I returned to work from 12 months of mat leave. We learned early last year that in Canada, DAD’s also have the opportunity to take parental leave…and not just within the first 12 months, thus forcing Mom back to work. While most people know that the parental leave (35 or 37 weeks) can be split between both parents, and the government provides us a financial benefit, what most people are unfamiliar with, is the additional 9 months BEYOND the original 52 weeks that can be extended to the opposite parent who took the first 35 (or 37) weeks. The one caveat to this policy is that the government will only provide a financial benefit for a combined total (maternity & parental leave) of 52 weeks (Well, actually 50 weeks because the first two weeks is unpaid.. I still don’t understand that!). So YES, hubby stayed home for the summer (4.5 months), and did NOT get paid. Since his income is more than mine, this was painful…not gonna lie. HOWEVER, I would do it again 1000x over.. except I won’t have 1000 more kids so it’s more just a metaphor to say IT WAS THE BEST DECISION EVER, and here’s 8 reasons why: Continue reading

Taking a Break..

I know it’s only been a few months since I began this blogging journey and I have to admit, I’m totally loving it. It’s been two weeks of being back at my full time job since having my son, and there really are no words to describe how completely drained I feel. Obviously, this blog is taking a major back seat, and likely will be there for a few months at best. As much as I would love to continue writing a few times a week, it’s just not at all possible for me right now. I get a whopping 3 – 3.5 hours a night to spend with my kids, and then maybe 2 hours of downtime before I head to bed. This Mom is zonked come 10pm, and my brain is fried.

I’m going to take a short break from the blog because I need to focus on readjusting to life back at work, and still doing all that I can to spend quality time with my husband and kiddos. I find myself thinking about this little (big!) community daily, and I have been carrying a bit of guilt that I haven’t been overly active for a few weeks now. In addition, I’ve learned in the 4 months since I began this blog just how much goes into this world, and I want to be able to give as much as I can. Right now, I’m like half assing things and that’s not who I am. There’s a lot of stuff I want to get organized, and when I come back, there will likely be some changes as well. Good changes, ones that will hopefully help grow my reach.

Anyways, thanks for coming along this journey with me. I’ll still remain active on my instagram and twitter accounts, so be sure to follow me there! Check out my social links. 🙂

XOXO

Shannon

The end is here..

RETURNTOWORK.pngMY RAMBLINGS (SERIOUSLY) ON THE PAST YEAR’S MATERNITY LEAVE AND A MESSAGE TO MY READERS.

Okay, I have to start off by admitting that I’ve been slacking on here lately, but I have a good excuse! With the end of my mat leave nearing, I had to soak up every single second that I could enjoying time with my munchkins. We had B’s birthday party on the weekend, and it was a really small gathering of immediate family only. Remember when I posted about second children getting the shaft (post is here)? Yeah.. this is one of those things… the second time around, you don’t put all kinds of effort into first birthday parties. We were also all really sick for the past 2 weeks, and I wasn’t even sure we’d be able to have a party. Since hubs is off all summer with zero dollars for income, we also figured it would be best to save our coin and eliminate any unnecessary spending…..Not sure why I felt the need to share all that detail, but ah well….now you know. Also, fair warning that this post is really scattered, because that’s how my brain feels right now. Major struggles up in here with focusing on tasks at hand.. the end is here you guys!

TODAY is my final day of mat leave. <Insert crying face here> I can’t believe the day has come.. you guys, I’ve known this year was going to fly by, but you can never truly prepare yourself for it. I sat with K on the couch today just hugging her, because I know that I won’t be able to do that tomorrow. How on earth do Moms do it in the US? We get a whole year off here in Canada, and it still doesn’t feel like enough. Going back to work after 8 weeks…nope. I couldn’t do it! Ladies, send your congresspeople some letters and bags of dirty diapers telling them you won’t stop harassing them until they fix that ghastly maternity leave program. It’s a sad sad sad shame.

Anywhooo…The weather here has been GORGEOUS, and I am super super jealous that hubby gets to be home all summer and enjoy this time with the kids. Even though I got a year off, and was home last summer…it’s just not as enjoyable with a baby! Toddlers are wayyyyy more fun. We’ve spent the past two days in the backyard, setting up the outdoor toys, soaking up some sunshine and watching the kids love life. Hubby started his parental leave last week, and it’s been soooo nice having him home. I’m honestly afraid that come September I won’t want him going back to work….

I went into this past year knowing that unless I win the lottery, or lose my job, I will likely never be off work for a whole year again until I retire. With that realization always on my mind, I made it a priority to really soak up all that I could and enjoy my maternity leave as much as possible. I think I accomplished that, because it’s honestly been the best year of my life. We got through the first year of B’s life, and feel so good about what we accomplished. I overcame my postpartum anxiety (post here), conquered fears of leaving the house alone with two kids in tow, mastered muffin making, found and perfected the best pancake recipe EVER (link to come) and almost learned the lyrics to “Let it Go”. Those are just a few highlights…

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THESE TWO FACES HAVE GIVEN ME A PURPOSE

After spending a year as a Mom of two… I finally get it….why people have more kids. After having B, I didn’t understand…why 3/4/5/6 kids? What was the point? Two parents, two kids. bing bang boom. Made sense to me! But now.. I totally understand. Children bring a joy into your life that cannot be fabricated. It’s so honest, and pure. I’ll admit that I’ve had recent visions of a house full of kids…..will that happen for us? No. For many reasons…we’ve decided that we will not be procreating anymore…but I no longer look at 3 children families and think to myself “WHYYYY”. The baby year is hard…and nothing makes sense. It’s just a mish mash of emotions and craziness. However, beyond that… it’s fantastic (even though toddlers are assholes a lot of the time!!) I look forward to the years to come, and venturing down life’s path with two kids.

Since I’ll be back to work tomorrow, I anticipate that this little blog of mine may take a slightly different turn, because let’s face it.. life will be different. My hope is that I’ll find a way to connect to other working mom’s so we can all drown in each others sorrows. Stay tuned Momma’s, and if you have any tips/tricks on managing the work/life balance PLEASE SEND THEM MY WAY.

LASTLY…Thank you SOOOO MUCH to all of my regular readers who have given me the courage to keep blogging. It’s a scary world, and I absolutely have my moments where I question why on earth anyone would care to read what I have to say about being a Mom. There are so many incredible mommy bloggers out there, and I’ve been ridiculously fortunate to connect with them through the various social media channels. It’s been a really fun ride so far and I look forward to continuing this journey. It may be a slow ride, but even though I’m heading back to work, I’ll still be here. 🙂

 

The Countdown is On: My Return to the Real World of 9-5

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One month.

Whenever the thought crosses my mind, I actually get a gut wrenching pit in my stomach. It’s similar to the feeling that you left the house with the stove still on, only WAY worse. Have I done everything I can to prepare my kids to spend the days without me? How will I get myself and two kids ready in the morning to get out the door? Them to daycare, and me to my “day job”. Will I be so exhausted by the time I come home that I won’t be interested in spending time with them? You guys… I feel sick.

And yet.. Continue reading