White Chalk????

Its the end of August and its mayhem.

The last week of my life has been a little hectic, to the say the least.  In addition to a busy time in the office its also back to school prep time.  Which means its also appointment booking time.  And its massive acquisition time.  We’re also about to fly across the country for 10 days for a cottage stay AND a family wedding (read: packing for 4 people for a trans-continental trip with the two main activities on the exact opposite end of the wardrobe spectrum).  Add to that my entrepreneurial husband’s move into a new office space and the fact that the floors in our 18 month year old house are about to be replaced.  ALL OF THEM.  Yeah, so if I told you that I enjoy a large-ish glass of wine after work today I am sure you wouldn’t judge.  Right?

To say I could snap at any moment would be an understatement.  Am I holding it together ok?  The answer is a resounding “for now”.  My biggest worry is the proverbial straw that will break this Mother’s back.  At the moment, the straw just might be white chalk.  What now?  Yep, you heard me right – WHITE CHALK.


WTF.  White Chalk.  The bain of existence!

Shorty #2 is kicking off her preschool career this September and as part of her care package to contribute to the classroom (in addition to a pack of pencil crayons, some glue and an earthquake kit) the school has requested a box of plain white chalk.  Seems easy enough right?  Well, I’ve been to 3 stores already and NO WHITE CHALK.  Multi-coloured chalk a plenty – but no white chalk to be found.

Keep in mind that I have a full time job, 2 kids and a husband and have been running around the city for the past week dealing with all the shit on my plate and getting myself into 3 separate stores, all of which do indeed carry chalk but none of it white is just the sort of thing that could push me over the edge.  Like really?  What would happen if I drop the Shorty off for her 3 week gradual entry program (oh, THAT my friends is a whole other blog post) with a pack of multi-coloured chalk.  Would the teachers forgive and forget?  Or would I be forever branded as a problem parent.  Imagine, the scenario.  The one teacher says to the other “We’re missing one field trip payment.  Who could it be that hasn’t submitted?”  And she replies “I know.  Its that Mom who brought the multicoloured chalk.  Can’t follow instructions.”

These are the things running through my head when I wake at 4am. White chalk where are you????

Its 9am. Do You Know Where Your Kids Are?

Childcare.  It makes me CRAZY.  I don’t know if its ‘cos we live in a big city or if its just my bad luck.  But man, its been hard.  Really hard.

We were lucky, we had a blessed two year reprieve from childcare woes when we found our beloved nanny, H.  She was (is) amazing and truly became an honorary member of our little family.  She was offered a great job abroad and we were happy for her to follow her passion, but we were sad to see her go.

So here we are back in the muck, fighting for good childcare options.  You see in this town, daycare spaces are few and far between.  You literally have to put your kid on waitlists in utero.  Seriously.  I did this.  For weeks, I filled in application forms and sent off cheques to cover administration fees.  Once Shorty #1 was born and my return to work was 3 months in sight, I started calling around to check our waitlist positions.  328, 127, 222 – we were miles from the finish line.  And then just as despair was setting in, #30.  We were close, with 3 months to go surely a spot could/ would open for us.  Next month I save myself the heartache and called this one centre to find out we were now #128.  What.  The.  F%^&.  Are you kidding me?  How did we go down?  So after writing a scathing email and requesting a refund of my paltry $10, I set off to explore other options.

We ended up with a disastrous combo of a nanny share where the other Mom was a nightmare and a home daycare situation with a woman who ended up being completely nuts.  She actually hurt our kid to teach her a lesson about biting.  (I know I can sometimes embellish for comedic effect – but this actually happened, in 2008, in Canada – I am not kidding).

Finally we ended up in a great daycare that was our home away from home (and still is).

When #2 was on her way, we decided that the smart thing to do was hire a full time Nanny.  This is when H arrived on the scene and saved the day!  All was great for 2 years, until our dear H moved on.

Here’s where things get interesting…

Enter the new Nanny.  At first she was great.  We thought she was amazing.  Kids liked her, she seemed sweet.  Then one day she texted (texted!) to say she wouldn’t be coming in for a week (!) because her son was sick in the hospital.  Three days later we realized she was in Vegas and hadn’t learned that you should log out of your Facebook account when you’re using your boss’ iPad.  We sent her a lovely email telling her she was terminated effective immediately and oh yeah, could she put $10 on red for us?

So we are back on the hunt.  My stress level is high.  We’ll keep you posted and wish us luck.  We need it… again!

I am, I am, I am SuperMom

Take your daughter to work day - Shorty #2

Take your daughter to work day – Shorty #2

I was just reading Devon Corneal’s blog on Huffingtonpost.com about what not to say to a working mom.  (Here’s the link – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/devon-corneal/what-not-to-say-to-a-working-mom_b_2566952.html)  Its incredible to me that in 2013 women have to defend their decision to return to work after having kids!  Kinda like what not to say to a pregnant lady – working moms can be just as vulnerable when hit below the belt with the judge-y comments hurled at them by other moms.

Heading back to the workforce is a really hard thing to do.  At the end of the blessed mat leave, Mom’s returning to the office are torn. Hormones are still supercharged still, the work clothes only kinda fit and your sweet little bundle has been left in the care of some stranger!  The last thing anyone needs is some jackass SuperMom judging the choice to re-enter the work force.

DISCLAIMER: Just so we’re clear before people start tearing my head off in the comments section – this post is NOT targeting Mom’s who make the choice of full time parenting.  I applaud those parents for their choice and respect (and even envy) their position.  This post is about those blabbermouth know-it-alls that give working mom’s grief for choosing careers over staying at home with the kids.

When Shorty #1 hit the one year mark, I had to extricate myself out of the sweatpants and back into my heels.  IT SUCKED!  Big time.  I cried and cried.  The hunt for childcare was horrendous (THAT is a whole other post) and I was a wreck leaving her every day.  But then, once I was well back in the swing, the hormones had balanced and my good jeans were just starting to fit again – it hit me.  I was sitting on a plane waiting to fly somewhere to meet up with a client on tour, beating myself up for leaving Shorty and J.  In a this moment of self-flagellation, it suddenly all came together;  I have to do my job.  Its an important part of who I am and leaving the job I’ve wanted to do since I was 12 years old would actually be a disservice to my kids.  By doing the job I loved, I was showing Shorty #1 (and eventually Shorty #2) that a woman CAN do whatever she wants to do, she can be whatever she wants to be.  And I haven’t looked back since… until we started school and I met the SUPERMOM.

SU-PER-MOM – n. informal – A Mom who does not work outside of the home, who bakes proficiently and volunteers incessantly while at the same time judges all other Moms for their short-comings, life choices and perceived failings.

SUPERMOMS are a whole new breed compared to the Daycare Moms I had encountered in the past.  Daycare Moms share sympathetic smiles at drop-off time, nodding in solidarity at the peanut butter on your lapel or the fact that you forgot the kid’s lunch.  Some SUPERMOMS can be equally as sympathetic and cool as the Daycare Moms – but always in every class there is one SUPERMOM who wears the badge of SuperMomdom like no one else!  She breezes in with her little one.   She doesn’t worry about forgetting lunch, why Junior eats lunch at home everyday.  She says things like “Are you staying for carpet time?  Oh right, you have to go to work.”  She invites you to midday playdates and when you decline says “Oh right, you have to work.”  The SUPERMOM scares the sh*& out of me with her ability to make cupcakes, host a party and write up a whole class of Valentines in one fell swoop.

SUPERMOMS also stick together.  I see their sideways glances as I drop off the Shorties with my phone in hand and a conference call waiting.  I hear their asides – judging Working Moms for choosing careers over kids.  One time was much like being back in High School.  I was with Shorty at the playground after one midday preschool pick-up.  The SUPERMOMS were huddled on the other side of the jungle gym and were talking loudly about their maternity leaves and plans to stay at home.  One SUPERMOM was recounting a story about a former co-worker who had negotiated the ability to work from home on certain days to be home with her kids, “Can you believe it?  She is so selfish and our boss always gives her whatever she wants!”  I was shocked.  These SUPERMOMS knew me and they knew that I was currently working from home so I could continue to nurse Shorty #2.  Me and the SUPERMOMS weren’t really friends after that.

Take your daughter to work day - Shorty #1

Take your daughter to work day – Shorty #1

Its a juggle managing everything for sure, but all Moms are juggling no matter what their career path holds.  Its the expectation for Moms to be June Cleaver and Hillary Clinton that makes it so hard.  Loving our kids and living our lives as an example is all we can do!

What Do You Do?

A common question.  When we meet someone new, we ask the question “What do you do?” Its interesting phrasing, isn’t it?  I “do” lots of things.  But the reality is that this question is a perfect fit for me.  What I do for a living is an integral part of who I am and what I do.  My job is a lifestyle choice as much as a career choice.

Where it gets tricky is actually explaining what I do.  My Mom likes to explain it as “She’s so-and-so’s people.”  As in “have your people call my people and we’ll do lunch.”  That’s close, but I prefer to use the hub of the wheel analogy.

I am a manager.  I work with international recording artists, managing all aspects of their career.  If you place the artist in the centre of the wheel, the manager is the hubcap surrounding them and the spokes that feed into the hub are the other aspects of their career – touring, recording, label, publishing, endorsements etc.

Artists work around the clock, which means I do too.  Artists travel a lot, which means I do too.

I’m also a Mom.  See above and replace “manager” with the word “mom” and replace the spokes of the wheel with;  school, playmates, doctors, lessons etc.

Kids need attention around the clock, but the good news is that kids don’t travel that much on their own.

I guess being a manager is good training ground for being a mom.  The Momager handle is a reference to that and NOT some f^&%ed up Hollywood Stage Parent.  (I won’t mention them by name, they don’t need any additional SEO assistance.)

So that’s me, in a nutshell (“how do I get out of this nutshell?” – sorry couldn’t resist the Austin Powers reference).  I felt like it was important to share all that with you so you get the context of this blog and my just ok juggling skills.

So. What do YOU do?

PS – My Mom said I need to put some sex in the blog to keep people interested.  SOME SEX.  There you go Mom.  Hopefully that helps my SEO!