Friday, December 7, 2012

My Life As A Mom With Career

To set some things straight, I don’t consider myself a “working mom”, I rather call myself a full-time mom with a career, meaning that I spend some forty-some hours every week at my desk without, however, forgetting for only one moment why I am working as hard as I do. First of all, I want to provide for our family as best as I possibly can; I am lucky enough to have a job that is rewarding in so many ways. But what is important to me as well is being a role model to our daughters, proving to them that if they only work hard and are determined, not even the sky is a limit to their potential.
My normal day is about as follows:
6:00 – Beep, beep, beep, beep...
6:05-6:20 – Getting out of bed, dress myself and perform the morning routine in the bathroom, at which time usually at least one girl joins me or requires breakfast.
6:20 – Making breakfast for the girls.
6:30-6:40 – Putting away clothes I have folded, make Lily’s kindergarten lunch, coordinate their outfits for the day with the girls (this step sometimes does not happen if the evil blanket has taken me hostage a little longer in the morning).
6:45 – Running out to catch the bus
7:30-13:00/14:00 - Working till my brain starts smoking.

13:00/14:00 - Between 30 minutes and an hour lunch break. I usually go into town to run errands, shop for the girls, make calls for appointments, etc.

14:00/15:00-16:30/17:00 - Some more work; I like to take late lunch breaks so the afternoon is shorter.

16:30/17:00 - Run to catch my bus home

17:15/17:45 - Arrive home; most likely the hubby has prepared a wonderful meal by then. We have family dinner and talk about our day.

18:00 - Family time; we play games, dance, read stories, cuddle on the couch, basically catching up on mommy-daughter-time.

19:30 - BATHTIME

20:00 - Story time and off to bed with the two little ones. Oftentimes I cuddle them to sleep and try not to nod off myself.

20:15 - 23:00+ - Catching up on laundry and cleaning, blogging, calling friends, crafting and try to relax a little.

23:00 or later - It's finally mommy's bedtime!
It is not always easy; I admit, at times I am fed up and also feel guilty because of course I would love to take the girls to more play dates myself, socialize with other moms and be involved in Lily’s kindergarten; at times people's scrutiny still gets to me, who claim that I cannot be a good mother since I am away during the day. But then again I am glad to show them an alternative to the traditional ways; show them that they can too one day have children and a career and manage both with a little bit of discipline and organization skills. I truly believe that I am a better mom because I work; we enjoy our time together very intensively, have spontaneous picnic breakfasts on the living room floor or dance together in our bed. I am glad that I have a very flexible work schedule and can participate in the girls' activities and be as involved in their lives as could be. So far, I have not missed a single activity at Lily's kindergarten and I don't plan on ever missing one.
Our girls are my life and my inspiration to become a better person every day; and they are definitely the reason for me to strive to be a better person every day, at home and at work!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

House Update - The Planning Phase

As most of you may know from a post a few weeks ago, we are embarking on the journey of building - not buying - a home for our family; rather we will have a home build for us. As you may already know, we have bought the lot, had several meetings with the builder, have signed on two of our three loans (two government loans for environmentally-friendly building and for building a home as a young family and the traditional bank loan). Now, we have set the appointment to meet with the architect to draw the plans for our new home in order for us to hand in the building application to the town in January.

Before building can start in March or April we will still have to get the lot cleared of the trees and shrubs, which will be taken care of by the seller and have the ground leveled and compressed. Keep your fingers crossed for us that everything goes as planned! We'll give you an update after the meeting next week!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!

So far, we were not very lucky when it comes to white winter. During the first snow spell back in Washington in winter of 2008, Lily was still too small to enjoy any of it; what she liked most about the snow was the fact that I spent some extra days at home since my office was closed due to the streets being impassable. The winter that followed did not bring any snow at all; in fact, it was so warm that I returned her winter boots to the store in March. Violet’s first winter was marked by a ton of snow being dumped on us just before the holidays. Finding a sled for them as a holiday present was certainly a task! Lily, then 2 years old, went out with me once; she was seriously waist-deep in snow and braved her way to the playground - without any help from me - to go and play on the see-saw (I know, why the see-saw??). She also got to play with the sled until she took a somersault off the back and ended up face-down in a snow hill unable to move because she was bundled up like a little Michelin man. Once back home I was frozen solid and couldn’t get warm for the rest of the day. Jeans and running shoes were definitely not the right outfit for a trip through (for me) knee-deep snow; I had planned on only shoveling a little trail and was not prepared for a lengthy outing. Before we could take any more advantage of the white, both girls got sick – and once recovered, the snow was gone and did not return for the rest of the winter. Last year was a green winter as well with temperatures way above freezing, except that cold spell in February, when it was way too cold for snow. I believe I must have jinxed us all by buying the sled back in 2010!
I almost didn’t believe in winter fun for the girls any more, but lo and behold, on December 2, 2012, just in time for the meteorological start of winter, we woke up to the streets and houses being powdered and little white flurries whirling through the air. The girls stood on their chairs, looking out the windows in awe. Lily’s first question was: “Can we take out the sled??”, and to be honest, I was about as excited for snow as the girls were. If Lily and Violet had gotten their way, we would have run outside in jammies, but since I am the grown-up I made us all hot chocolate and honey and raisin oatmeal for breakfast. After the snow had slowed down a bit, I bundled up the girls and off we went. I was beautiful! While I shoveled the stairs and front yard, the girls went to explore the white powder covering everything. When I was done we even build a little snow man and had a snowball fight; yes, I do throw snowballs at my daughters!  
After two hours, which felt more like twenty minutes, I went back in to make noodle soup for lunch while the girls kept playing with the neighbors’ girls and the dogs. I can tell you, there is nothing better than a nice family lunch after lots of play outside.  Today, the snow is everything but gone, but more snow is expected for the weekends. Cross your fingers that it will be enough for some sled action!
The girls and their snowman