Our family packed up to head to balmy Galway, Ireland (more to come about travelling overseas with two under age three soon) for the first half of February.
Soaked up the 10 degree sunshine, walked through green rolling fields and took in a bit of fresh ocean air without having to wrap both our kids in marshmallow parka layers before airtight sealing them into an all-weather stroller with heavy duty wind/rain/sleet cover and wheels that can plough through piles of snow and ice.
Even though I grew up in rural Ontario, living away for almost a decade caused me to view ‘Canadian winter fun’ with a bit of rose coloured specs.
We came home with jet lagged kiddos, most of us with colds and proceeded to stay sick for the majority of March.
So while I had planned to go to a few events in the first half of the month, because you know, International Women’s Day was happening so there were all of a sudden a bunch of events ‘designed’ (free, focused on women’s equality, political, professional development) for ‘people like me’ (parents, women, persons identifying as female).
Except, ironically most were still held at the crack of dawn or evening peak networking times, zero offered childcare on site and none were live streamed so those who couldn’t make it out could still participate. I’ve been told one was recorded but have yet to see/hear word on when that video will be shared.
Still, I had high hopes to attend with a mix of both kiddos in two to some and childfree to another, so I contacted the event hosts to inform them of my children’s attendance and to ensure it would be ok.
I was met with very warm responses and was looking forward to going, before the winter cold virus hit our house again and with a baby rocking an almost week-long fever, all plans went out the window.
Everything was cancelled.
I bailed on all events.
We went into survival mode.
Food became scarce.
Sleep even scarcer as I co-slept round the clock.
PJs were lived in.
Books were read.
Netflix was binged.
My boobs became the property of my baby (they mostly already were).
You’d think I would remember from my toddler being a baby but again, those dang rose coloured glasses (and I blame a bit of postpartum memory loss).
But seriously, nothing can prepare you for the clinginess and hanger of a sick baby whose weight range has always been in the 99th percentile range.
I was going…nowhere out of sight from that little man (his idea, not mine).
I learned about #JOMO. The Joy Of Missing Out.
I gave up on all forms of professional development besides reading, writing and practicing art.
I rediscovered the art of self-care.
Walks, naps, baths, trying to meditate, ignoring most of the world outside your window.
Then I posted a meme about cancelling plans on Instagram and it got a good response.
View this post on Instagram
It’s also called…parenthood. I may have done all of the above (except change my name, really) over the past 10 years. 🤷♀️🌎 But this past week has been a doozy: medical appointments for the whole family, jet lag (still) kicking our ass, teething and a virus which resulted in a fever that just wouldn’t break over the weekend. So all of those things I wrote about going to with and without my kids this week? Cancelled. #BYOBaby activism? On the back burner. Writing, creating, working, anything ‘productive’ by most people’s standards, other than mere survival day-by-day? Cancelled. The travel itself and experiences with our little family were wonderful! The kids were champs and we had many great times, some of which I will write about. After I have written a bit about self-care, managing expectations, parentpreneurship, the reality of trying to do things which really aren’t designed for you and what I plan to do about it. But for now, I’m going to practice it in real life and go to bed early with a cup of tea and a book.
I actually have ‘disappeared’ and resurfaced in foreign countries, but not with different names! Just a new husband. New babies. You know, the usual.
But it made me laugh because I have been practicing the art of extreme self-care all along.
Moving countries. Starting over. Changing jobs. Trying new things. Bringing my babies into business settings along with me.
Generally doing a lot of things which would have scared me previously but the more I do, the less I fear, the more I trust I know what’s right for me, the less I care what others think.
Sometimes you just need one of your children to remind you of what’s really important, that there’s joy to be had in ‘missing out’ and that tuning in to your own needs is really, where it’s at.
So thanks little dudes, I knew it all along but I don’t always listen to that little voice even though it’s right most of the time.
The photo below is a token Canadian winter one for you: we visited a sugar bush this week for some authentic maple syrup (season is happening right now) and I need to get my rose coloured glasses re-tinted again…pancakes and liquid gold always help!
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