What would you say is your biggest learning(s) since being a mom?
Making time for yourself is really important and it does not mean that you are not prioritizing your kids and family. If I get a chance to sneak away for a quick lunch with a girlfriend, go to the gym (by myself), or a pedicure. I come back refreshed and re-energized to be with my family. I feel that it makes me a better mom.
What, if anything, was the hardest about transitioning to mommyhood?
Balancing your new duties as a mom, wife and friend. It is really easy to jump on the mama train and not take time for your husband and your friends as you are prioritizing your child. However, your children will grow up and leave one day and you will be there with your husband. I received great advice from someone that I need to make sure that you are prioritizing your relationship with your husband as well as your children. My husband and I have 1 date night (or day date) a month. I also make time to see my girlfriends, whether we go for a run, coffee or lunch, it is important to have girl time.
What is your favourite thing to do with your children?
Go to the park or beach and have a picnic. Dylan (my 3 year old) loves helping me pack the snacks before we leave and kicking the ball around the park.
How do you balance work, family, hobbies?
This in an ongoing practice for me. Some weeks I feel really great about the balance in my life and then other weeks seem crazy. One thing I love about my job is that I can workout during the day, whether it is going to a yoga class or a run, I get to sweat during the day rather than taking away time with my little ones when I get home from work. I sit with my husband and we go through our calendar for the month, upcoming birthdays, family events, weddings, etc.; and we make a priority to select a date night and figure out a couple of options of dates that he can hangout with his friends and I can hang out with my friends. This way it helps to plan with the kids and also gives you something to look forward to for the month. My husband and I are planning a week long trip as a couple in January (when Johnny turns one). Our goal is to have one family vacation and one vacation (just the two of us) per year.
What advice would you give to new moms?
Every mom has good days and bad days. On the bad days, just survive, get through the day and think tomorrow is a new day. Everyone posts the “good” pictures on Facebook and social media, they never post the pictures of the baby that just pooped his diaper and it soaked through his sleeper; puked all over you and him; or just had a meltdown because they did not want to put on their socks before preschool. We all go through it and your good friends will talk to you about their good and bad days, and you will laugh together, because what else can you do.
Also, get a house cleaner! After I had baby Johnny, my mom gave me a birthday present for her house cleaner to come to my house once a month. This is really great so that each week I can clean and do the maintenance cleaning (which doesn’t take that long), and then the house cleaner can do a big clean every month. I really appreciate this so much, so that I can spend more time with my boys, especially when I go back to work.
Is there any item or anything in general you would say is a must-have or must-do for parents? and why?
A good stroller makes a huge difference. This was advice I received from a friend before I had my first son. She said make sure you spend money on a good stroller because you will use this everyday.
|Celine and her boys, Johnny and Dylan|