{TRAVEL} A Sweet Escape To Summerland

At first it may seem strange that I passed up the opportunity to bring my whole family along on a press trip to Summerland, BC this past weekend. Finding a destination that can accommodate a family of 5 can be challenging (and often unaffordable), so one would think that I would jump at the chance to travel with my whole family in tow.

Bringing my little swarm of bees did cross my mind. I knew that there would be other families in our group – families with babies, toddlers, teens, moms and dads, and even pregnant moms filled the roster of guests who would be joining us. But I had been longing for a getaway with my oldest for awhile, and I knew that she would benefit greatly from some one-on-one bonding time with mom. So I packed our bags, created a “Road Trip” playlist for our 5-hour drive, and we hit the road for our mother-daughter weekend excursion to the Okanagan.

Summerland

Mother-daughter road trip!

My girl was full of questions, and as we drew closer to our destination, I could feel the air fill with anticipation. She wanted to know every detail of our itinerary, the names of the people who would be joining us, and whether or not there would be girls her age. I did my best to answer, and hoped that she wouldn’t be overwhelmed by the unfamiliar faces and surroundings when we arrived.

Summerland Resort

Summerland Waterfront Resort & Spa – I took this photo (no filters needed)

When we arrived at our destination, the Summerland Waterfront Resort & Spa took our breath away. We squealed in unison as we dashed towards the sparkling lake, and skipped down the dock to soak up the view. Our anticipation subsided and we were bursting with excitement.

When we opened the door to our two-bedroom suite, our jaws dropped. We had stayed at several BC resorts, but none had been as spacious as this one. With 2 full bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 3 TVs, a large deck, and a fully-equipped kitchen, we realized that we would have had more than enough room for our whole family.

We were mere minutes into our trip, and we were already eagerly planning our next visit.

When we met up with the rest of the Vancouver Mom bloggers, I could feel my girl seize up, her 8-year-old shyness taking over. She locked eyes with a few of the girls who looked on wearily in her direction, but was hesitant to make the first move.

My fellow moms and I sat the girls at the same table and wandered away chatting, and it didn’t take long for the girls to introduce themselves and start playing together. They became fast friends, and were inseparable for the rest of the trip.

Fireside s'mores with new friends by the lake

Fireside s’mores with new friends by the lake

Our weekend was a blur of adventure. Saturday started with a visit to the beautiful Okanagan Crush Pad winery, where we sipped on an array of wines while the children visited farm animals and strolled through the vineyards. Then a pop in at Summerland Sweets where the children sampled 20 flavours of gourmets syrups while the adults sipped on fruit wines from the on-site Sleeping Giant Fruit Winery.

Taking a stroll through the scenic Crush Pad vineyard

Taking a stroll through the scenic Crush Pad vineyard (Photo by Jessica)

Summerland

The girls hanging out at Summerland Sweets

We stopped at the Trout Creek Trestle Bridge to snap photos of the Kettle Valley Rail Trail, and then hopped over to Tickleberry’s for some sweet treats and some highly-anticipated ice cream cones.

A gaggle of happy kids and their cones

A gaggle of happy kids and their cones

After our treats, we headed over to the main event of the day – the Pig Out Festival. Full of activities for kids (including the hours-of-fun jumping pillow pictured below), food and wine samplings from over 30 award-winning BC wineries and restaurants, and live music, the family-friendly festival was the perfect place to spend the afternoon sipping, sampling and mingling with friends.

Summerland

The kids had so much fun bouncing, they barely ate lunch!

Our day full of adventure was all thanks to the expert planning of our tour guide, Karen of Authentically Okanagan, a custom travel tour company who knows how to marry the popular wine hot spots with the kid-friendly hidden gems of the Okanagan to make the perfect visit for families and friends.

The rest of our visit was spent by the pool, visiting, splashing, and bonding, enjoying the comforts of a first-class resort with a laid-back family-friendly feel.

The pool at Summerland Waterfront Resort & Spa

The pool at Summerland Waterfront Resort & Spa

I fell in love with Summerland, and will definitely be back – next time with the rest of my family! And I brought some of the weekend’s good vibes home with me to save for later.

Good vibes only

Good vibes only

For more on all there is to see and do in this beautiful BC destination (beside golfing and wine tours), stay tuned for my story on BC Living.

{FAMILY} Snippets From the Life of a Soccer Mom

I woke up at 7am to the sound of rain pounding against my window and grunted softly as I rolled out of bed.

As I shuffled slowly towards my bedroom door, I contemplated the consequences that would result if I allowed my oldest daughter to skip her early-morning soccer game.

Did I really want to wake all 3 of my peacefully-sleeping children to drudge through this torrential downpour and stand shivering on the sidelines with my 2 youngest whining in my ear?

After a quick mental tally of the pros and cons of my actions, I decided that it was my responsibility to set a good example for my children. I was the parent after all.

We battled through the usual morning routine – the nagging pleas to finish their breakfasts, the  ceaseless requests to get dressed quickly, and the repetitive reminders to put on their shoes and coats. I took a swig of my tepid coffee and we piled into the car – just in time.

As I drove towards the soccer field, the rain fell harder. Clicking the windshield wipers up a notch to counteract the water coverage, I toyed with the idea of turning around and calling it quits.

When we arrived, the parking lot was full. I pulled into a spot that was located as far away as possible from our designated field, unloaded my stroller, umbrella and 3 drowsy kids, and power walked to the team’s meeting spot.

soccer mom

As I rushed my hesitant daughter onto the field, I shouted promises of hot chocolate and treats, and urged her to play her best.

And then I stood there. In the pouring rain. For an hour and a half.

Huddled under a small umbrella that I shared with my shivering son and restless toddler, there was nothing I could do but grin and bear it.

I watched as my big girl ran around on the field. No hood, no umbrella, and no gloves. She was SOAKED and she didn’t give up. I didn’t dare complain about my frozen fingers, or numb toes, or dripping wet hair. Because I was just a spectator. I was the parent.

It took everything I had to mask my excitement when the whistle blew 3 times indicating the end of the game. As we raced to the car, my daughter burst into tears. And then my son. They were frozen, frigid, and famished.

As we drove home I quietly wondered to myself: why do we do this? My kids like soccer but they certainly aren’t passionate about it. They’re not training to be professional athletes, and they certainly aren’t star players. They wouldn’t beg to go if I offered to skip a game, and they wouldn’t miss it if I allowed them to quit.

And then I remembered why I wanted them to play soccer in the first place. I wanted them to connect with a new group of friends. To get more exercise and to learn to work as part of a team. I wanted them to forge bonds, to try something new, and to learn about commitment. I wanted them to experience the victory of winning, and the feeling of defeat. Because those life skills, regardless of where they end up in the future, will make them better people.

What keeps you going as a soccer parent?

{FAMILY} 8 Things That Made Me “The Worst Mom EVER” (Today)

Along with having an 8-year-old daughter comes an elevated level of sass. As she tries to navigate through her pre- pre-teen years and all of the emotions that accompany this fragile age, her strong will and desire for independence are unparalleled, and her emotional ebbs and flows completely a mystery to us as parents.

And as the cherry on top – she is idolized by her 5-year-old brother, whose stubbornness and desire for attention are equally as prominent. The two siblings have created the ultimate duo – rivalling each other some days, and other days teaming up to battle the wicked force that is “mom”.

And always on the sidelines is my littlest. Forever wanting to keep up with her older siblings, she mimics everything they do or say – duplicating and elevating her siblings’ frustrations towards their “unfair mom”.

If they are playing together nicely, I am the enemy who “ruins all the fun”, and if they are battling each other, no matter whose side I support, I become the “meanest mom” for not supporting the other. I’ve learned to accept the fact that I just can’t win – that I’m going to be known as the “worst mom EVER” for everything that I do. And I’m ok with that, because I know that one day it will pass. Right?

worst mom ever

That time when they made ninja outfits – so they could spy on me and ninja kick me.

In the meantime, here are just some of the things that I’ve done today that have earned me the title of “worst mom EVER” in the eyes of my children:

1) I asked them to get dressed for school. -> my 5-year-old son:”MOM! You ALWAYS ruin all the fun. You’re the MEANEST.”

2) I gave my 8-year-old daughter a little pat on the back when I dropped her off at school (respectfully honouring her wishes for me to stop kissing her in front of her friends) -> met with incessant eye rolls, and a loud “PSSHHT Bye MOM.”

3) I offered my youngest her favourite soother when she was acting fussy. -> she threw it at my face and yelled “NO!” and then begged for her “soo-soo” as if it hadn’t just been offered.

4) I offered to put a freshly-made blueberry muffin in my daughter’s lunch for her recess snack. -> met with “MOM! I don’t even LIKE muffins.” (funny, she did last week…)

5) I wouldn’t let my daughter skip her ballet class after school to go on a play date, but offered for her to have one the following day. -> “ugh MOM! I don’t even LIKE ballet. You’re ruining my LIFE by not letting me have a play date.”

6) My two oldest were fighting over which show to watch after school, so I suggested that we turn off the TV and do something else. -> suddenly on the same side: “Mom, you’re the WORST! Why can’t we just watch a show and relax after a busy day at school?”

7) I suggested that my son wear a rain jacket to his soccer practice so that he doesn’t get soaked. -> “I will NEVER. That’s the worst idea EVER.”

8) When asked what we were having for dinner, I responded “I’m going to bar-b-que some steaks and make rice and broccoli.” -> all 3 children “YUCK! That’s not my favourite. Gross.” (littlest just chimed in with “No, no, no” while shaking her head).

Don’t get me wrong, these comments and objections weren’t said without reprimand.

I can remember being in my children’s shoes, and I know that it is a passing phase of self-discovery and desired independence. But, seriously. Whose kids are these?

 

{FAMILY} Take Care Of You

For that past two weeks I’ve been wholly consumed by the dizzying chaos of back to school and back to work. My days have been jam packed with onboarding new clients, attending conferences, workshops, and networking events, taxiing the kids to and from soccer practices and dance classes, catching up on neglected housework, and keeping my toddler entertained amidst it all.

All the while I have been fighting what I had assumed to be the inevitable back-to-school bug – resisting submission to my body’s cries for rest. Loading myself up with nasal spray and Tylenol so that I could get through the day without an overabundance of hack attacks and nose-honking blows.

In the back of my mind I knew that my body needed attention – that I wasn’t my full self, but I shook off those feelings and kept my focus on my kids. Making sure that their needs were being met. Making sure my work was up to par.

When I realized that I was feeling more and more physically depleted, the thought crossed my mind to pop into a clinic to make sure that I didn’t have an infectious bug – you know, so I could make sure my kids didn’t catch whatever it was that was bringing me down.

It took me 3 days to actually make that visit, and when I did, the doctor was not too pleased with me.


 

“In the back of my mind I knew that my body needed attention – that I wasn’t my full self, but I    shook off those feelings and kept my focus on my kids.”


 

I hurriedly told her that I had had a cold for about 2 weeks, and that it was likely nothing but that I had a nagging cough and aching/rattling in my chest that just wouldn’t subside, and I wanted to just double check that it wasn’t anything that I could pass on to my three kids. When she gave my chest a listen, she shook her head and said “Oh honey, you are so sick. You were definitely right to come in – you should have come in a lot sooner.”

She said that I had an abundance of fluid in my lungs – that it was definitely pneumonia, and that if I had waited much longer I would have ended up in a hospital bed. She shook her head and told me that as a mom, I should be taking better care of myself – that putting my own needs aside could be worse for my kids in the long run.

She sent me home with a prescription for antibiotics, and 2 different puffers to help settle the swelling and fluid build up in my lungs.

I left feeling a bit ashamed. I’m always writing about how important it is to take time out for yourself. Preaching about how moms need to be a bit more selfish. And there I was, being gently reprimanded by a doctor (and fellow mom) for doing exactly the opposite of that.

I’ve been told to rest, and this weekend I plan on doing just that. And while it is impossible to completely toss aside the daily responsibilities of a self-employed career mom of three kids, I’m going to do my best to take the doctor’s (and my own advice) to heart – and you should too. Take Care Of You.

take care of you quote

{FAMILY} What Makes A Mom

This year I had the opportunity to work on the fourth annual Leading Moms event – a day full of inspiring talks from extraordinary moms. As always, the speaker lineup was filled with an array of  diverse women, all invited to share their stories and experiences with an engaged audience. Every year, whether I’ve attended as a guest or as a member of the event organizing team, I’ve always left the event feeling connected and inspired, and I’m sure this year’s event did not disappoint.

While I was unable to attend the actual event this year, there were some negative comments shared on the event’s site that left a bad taste in my mouth, so I wanted to share my thoughts.

One of this year’s speakers was Morgane Oger, a transgender activist, leader in social change, and mom of two young children. Some commenters questioned her validity as a “mom” and challenged the Leading Moms event team on the choice to include a trans mom on the panel of speakers. And everyone is entitled to their own opinion – if they don’t like the choice of speakers, they are not obliged to attend the event.

Haters gonna hate.

When the speaker lineup was first revealed, the thought that Morgane was a trans mom didn’t even cross my mind. My only thought was that I was excited to hear her story, to learn more about her perspective as a mom and the experiences, struggles and successes she had faced on her journey towards motherhood.

I can understand the fear of the unknown. I know that not everyone is inclusive, and that some people feel the need to express themselves when they are strongly opposed to another person’s opinions and perspectives. But what I will never understand, is the need to attack another person’s personal choices – choices that in no way affect their own lives – in a way that is so hurtful, and on a platform that is so public.

Many poisonous words were slung on the topic of trans moms, but what bothered me most about the backlash was the argument that the only thing that makes a person a mother is the ability to physically give birth to a child. As an adoptee, this comment hit me on a personal level.

In my eyes, it is not only the hours that it took to push a baby into the world that makes a person a mother, but the hours – days – years – lifetime – afterwards that earns the title of ‘mom’.

There are so many babies who are brought into this world by women who did not intend to become mothers. And if those children were as fortunate as I was, they were connected with people who devoted their lives – their hearts to those children. People who committed to nurturing those children, loving those children, and providing for those children unconditionally. And those people are equally as deserving of the title of ‘mom’, or ‘dad’, or ‘parent’.

Not everyone can have babies naturally. And not all people can love and care for a child naturally either.

A person can become a mom biologically, or emotionally – how that mom came to be is not what matters. What matters most is that the child who calls that person “mom” knows that they are loved.

A lifetime commitment to loving a child unconditionally – that is what truly makes a mom.

 

 

 

A Week By The Lake – Unplugged

For the last week, I was (almost) completely disconnected from the digital world, and it was exactly what I needed.

Lake

Ruby Lake, BC

Our family rented a house on the beautiful, serene, hidden treasure that is Ruby Lake, located in the heart of BC’s Sunshine Coast. Joined by another family, we settled into our lakeside retreat and enjoyed 7 days of outdoor adventure – completely unplugged from technology.

Our days were filled with family fun on the water – boating, paddle boarding, swimming, and tubing, and our nights were spent eating on the sun-drenched deck, and stargazing under the moonlit skies.

At first I was nervous about the idea of a full week without Wifi. Due to the nature of my work, I am constantly plugged in – writing, checking in on social media, and responding to client emails. The thought of being completely disconnected from the digital world was daunting, and I was embarrassed by my distress.

But a week spent gazing at the breathtaking views of the lake, enjoying moments with family and friends and being physically active outdoors, left me feeling refreshed, revitalized, and ready to return to reality.

I’m going to make more of an effort to unplug. While I love technology and the opportunities that have come to me through the online world, nothing compares to real-life, offline adventures.

Lake

In My Daughter’s Shoes

I have vivid memories of what it was like to be 8. I can still remember how it felt to curl my tongue into the gaps of my missing teeth. I remember suddenly feeling butterflies in the pit of my stomach while talking to a boy in my class that I had known for years, unsure of why I was having those funny feelings. I remember feeling self-conscious about my knobby knees, and I can still remember conversations that I had with my best friend.

My oldest daughter is now 8, and I can’t believe that I’m the parent of an 8 year old. Now that she’s at an age that I can remember, parenting somehow feels a bit different to me. My daughter is developing her own personality, experiencing feelings and emotions that I can remember feeling, and I feel more confident as a mother – because I once walked in my daughter’s shoes.

Sure her experiences as an 8-year-old are different than mine were, but I’m hoping that I can help her to navigate through the confusing, exciting, overwhelming, challenging waters as she transitions from child to tween.

mother daughter

The challenge though, is that as she matures, I feel as though my status as “mom” in her eyes is maturing as well. I feel like I’m slowly moving from mom-with-an-enthusiastic-exclamation-mark, to mom-with-a-sarcastic-eye-roll, and I know that it’ll only get more difficult as she moves towards her teen years.

I can still remember suddenly feeling a tinge of embarrassment when my mom kissed me goodbye in front of my friends at school. I can remember rolling my eyes when my mom interrupted my friends and I during a play date, and I can remember crying in my pillow, convinced that my mom was ruining my life because I couldn’t watch TV until my homework was complete.

But I also remember feeling confused about my feelings towards my mom. I remember feeling guilty when I pulled away as she leaned in to give me a kiss, or rolled my eyes, not completely understanding why I was suddenly being so mean to the woman who I looked up to the most. I was suddenly annoyed by my hero – my best friend, and I didn’t understand why.

I’m learning that it’s important to give my daughter the space that she needs to mature. I need to be more conscious of how I speak to her and act around her in the presence of her friends, and most importantly, I’m realizing that it’s more important now than ever to establish a trusting relationship with her that goes beyond the because-I-told-you-so status of mom.

I’m doing my best to teach her that it’s alright to be honest with me about her feelings, even if it means that mine might get hurt. I hope that I’m doing it right, and that I don’t forget that I was once in her shoes, and that my mother was once in mine.

6 Things I Learned From Taking My Daughter To Her First Concert

6 months ago, I bit the bullet and emptied my bank account on a pair of floor seats to Taylor Swift’s 1989 World Tour concert – a gift I was going to give to my daughter for her 8th birthday.

I was nervous, unsure if she was too young for a stadium concert – and especially worried that floor seats would be too overwhelming for her first concert experience, but I knew that Taylor Swift would be a positive role model for my little girl and felt confident that the content of the show would be suitable for a young audience.

After a months-long countdown, the big day arrived, and my girl was ecstatic. She picked out her outfit (cutoff shorts, a cute top, a sparkly necklace, black ankle boots, and hair chalk to accent her cute little bob).

first concert

I was going to wear a pair of cute heeled boots or summery wedge sandals, but then I realized that my choice in footwear could either make or break the evening.

I’m so relieved that I opted for comfort because I wouldn’t have survived the night otherwise! We did a lot of walking, standing in line ups (oh the lines!), and on several occasions I was carrying my almost 50lb baby girl in my arms as we danced and swayed to the music.

Flats saved the day for this mama!

TIP #1: When taking young children to a concert, be sure to dress comfortably.

We left the house almost 3 hours before the scheduled start time, to allow for ample time to find parking (the sold-out concert crowd of 50,000 people, plus a few other high-attendance events scheduled in the same downtown neighbourhood meant a carefully-planned driving route was mandatory).

Once we parked, we strolled to a nearby restaurant and enjoyed a relaxing pre-concert dinner. This gave us time to chat, allowing me to prepare her for what to expect at her first concert – the opening bands, the waiting, the line ups, the encore, the standing and screaming and the overwhelm of being amidst such a large crowd.

After dinner, we sauntered over to the stadium and entered the building with plenty of time to find our way to our seats.

TIP #2: Plan out your route, and arrive as early as possible.

first concert

Arriving early gave us time to scope out the t-shirt stands, closest washrooms, and to find our seats before the large crowds poured in through the doors.

I was especially concerned about selecting floor seats for the concert, but when we arrived and found our seats, I was so pleasantly surprised. The floor seats were carefully spaced out in allocated sections, and our seats were located in the front of our section (which meant lots of leg room and easy in-and-out access for bathroom breaks!).

TIP #3: When selecting your seats, opt for easy-access (even if it means spending a bit more money).

We waited until the opening act started to play before we hit the t-shirt lineup, and we stopped in for one last bathroom break just before Taylor Swift was scheduled to hit the stage.

And then the big moment arrived.

The look on my daughter’s face when Taylor Swift appeared on stage was one that I will never forget. Wide eyed, grinning from ear to ear, and screaming at the top of her lungs, my daughter leapt into her first concert experience like a rockstar, and I soaked up every moment of her excitement.

TIP #4: Take lots of pictures!

first concert

 

first concert

first concert

TIP #5: Buy the t-shirt.

The line ups were unbearably long, and the prices were outrageous, but buying the t-shirt (or any other keepsake to commemorate the occasion) is totally worth it. Her first concert was the perfect excuse to indulge – a special drink at dinner, a commemorative t-shirt, and a very, very late bedtime – it was definitely worth breaking the rules (and the bank!) to make the night a little extra special.

As the concert came to a close, my little girl wrapped her arms around my waist and squeezed me tightly. I knew it was her way of thanking me for the best night of her life, and I took it all in as we danced to Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” hand-in-hand.

TIP #6: Leave early. 

There’s always a bit of a drawn-out finale, and that’s the best time to make your exit before the crowds become unbearable. As Taylor Swift slowly strutted herself off the stage and the crowds roared, we rushed out of the building, beating the gaggle of fans who would quickly follow suit.

It was an expensive and exhausting night, but worth every penny and sore muscle. My daughter and I made memories that will last infinitely longer than our cracking voices and throbbing feet, and bonded over a mutual love for dancing and music that will hopefully carry us through many more concerts in the future.

5 Tips On How To Stay Sane as a Mom of Three

As a career mom of three, I’m constantly asked the same question: How do you do it all? And the answer is easy: I don’t.

The truth of the matter is, any mom who tells you that she ‘does it all’ is simply lying. It’s just not possible to give 100% of yourself to everything that you do. Doing it all (in the true sense) would be like riding a unicycle, blindfolded, while juggling 100 balls in the air with one hand. I don’t know about you, but for me, balls would get dropped.

But while I’m not ‘doing it all’, I do like to think that I’m successful at what I’m doing. Because successful moms don’t strive for perfection, they create their own definition of success. The key is to recognize that you can’t do it all, and to prioritize the things that you are able to do by the things that are most important to you.

Striving for perfection will drive you crazy, so why not strive for perfectly imperfect instead?

To keep your sanity amidst the chaos, here are 5 things that will keep you from completely losing your mind:

mom of three

1) Practice saying no.

Stop being a ‘yes’ mom and pick and choose your projects and events based on how they will be of benefit to you and your family. You can’t be everywhere all the time – learning how to effectively manage your time will play a big role in finding your own success. I know it’s easier said than done, I’m always the first to say yes when asked to work on something or attend an event, but if I say no to a few things, I find that I have more time for the things that need to get done, or that I love to do.

2) Take time out for yourself.

As moms we tend to put ourselves at the bottom of the priority list. But spending too much time meeting the needs of others can be draining. People always ask me how I could possibly find time for myself with a business and three children. I find the time because I make it a priority. A massage, a quiet hour of focused writing at a coffee shop, or even a short nap are enough to maintain my sanity.

3) Limit your children’s activities.

Extracurriculars can be extra time suckers – especially with multiple children, and I can’t even imagine how much busier it’ll get when my third child is old enough for after-school activities. As much as I’d love for each of my children to take soccer, dance, swimming, skiing, skating, piano, and karate lessons, I know that too much running around will drive me insane, so I limit each child to two activities (one that I choose, and one that they are interested in pursuing). It’s still busy but limiting the number of activities that they take allows for us to enjoy family time together too!

4) Accept help from others.

I’m constantly feeling overwhelmed as a mom of three, yet I have a bad habit of saying ‘no thank you’ when help is offered. When my husband offers to take over with the bedtime routines, I tell him I can do it and then rush around to get it all done myself. My parents are always offering to take the kids for the night and I kindly decline, worried that my busy little trifecta might be a burden on them. Accepting help from others will allow us to enjoy a little rest – which I’m sure we could all use.

5) Lower your standards.

Your house doesn’t have to be perfectly clean all the time, and no one’s going to die if you order pizza every once in awhile. I remember thinking it was so important to cook gourmet, perfectly-balanced dinners each night, have the house perfectly clean before bed, and never have the laundry basket more than half full. And then I had kids.

If you try to do everything yourself, you will lose your mind. Accept that you can’t do it all, let others help you, and take the time to smell the roses. Because you only live once, so make the most of it.

Working Moms: Why The Labelling Needs To Stop

I recently came across this article proclaiming that “being a stay-at-home mother is not a job” and it caught my attention. Underneath the link, the Facebook feed was flooded with angry words from moms of all backgrounds, disgusted by the message behind the post, and horrified by comparisons such as this one:

“No, Stay-at-Home-Mothers, choosing to create your own little person upon whom you’ll spend all your time and energy is a hobby. It is a time-consuming, sanity-deteriorating, life-altering hobby — a lot like a heroin addiction, but with more Thirty-One bags.” Source

And I get it, maybe comparing the choice to stay at home with your children to that of a heroin addiction is a little over the top, but I don’t think that was the point of the article.

I’ve stayed at home with my children, I’ve worked at a full-time in-office career, and I’m now working for my own business as a work-at-home mom. I’ve had hands-on experience as a mom who falls into each of these lifestyle choices, and I can honestly say that no “working mom” life is easier or more challenging than the others.

The truth is: being a mom is hard. Leaving your children in childcare to spend the day at a gruelling office job is a difficult decision and comes with many daily challenges. Deciding to stay at home with your little ones full time is a trying lifestyle and a true test of patience and stamina, and attempting to make a living by running a business at home with little ones at your feet is exhausting and challenging as well.

working mom

For some reason, society -and especially moms, get caught up in the terminology. Moms are categorized as SAHM (stay-at-home mom), WAHM (work-at-home mom), or career mom, as though having a specific “mom label” denotes a certain level of superiority or accomplishment. Statements are constantly made implying that one lifestyle is harder than another, and feelings get hurt when a mom who works outside of the home is referred to as a “working mom” (because being a SAHM mom is work too!).

But you guys, this is not a competition. This is life. We have all made our own decisions as to how to navigate through the journey of motherhood, and there are no right or wrong decisions. We are all doing the best that we can with what we’ve got and we need to stop being over-sensitive, competitive, and insecure about our decisions.

I don’t think that the author of the aforementioned article is trying to poke fun at the stay-at-home parenting lifestyle, I think she is just trying to dissolve the feelings of invalidation that many of the moms in her circle are experiencing – with perhaps a touch of sass. I think it’s ok to share our own perspectives because we are each having our own unique experience as ‘mom’. We should embrace each other’s perspectives, learn from each other’s stories, and support each other’s decisions. Because in the end, regardless of our employment status, we are all moms.

Stop the mom wars and start opening your minds to the possibility that we are all winners. Be happy in your own skin and don’t worry so much about the words of others – stop focusing on the labels.