I live in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, but I’m not from here, originally. I was born in Ontario, and I spent a lot of my childhood in the Caribbean on an island called Curacao. When we moved home to Canada, we moved East to Nova Scotia, which is where both my parents’ families hail from, originally. I spent my teenage years there, and I went to university in New Brunswick.
My husband and I moved out West for the jobs and the mountains back in 2007. I love the mountains, but I miss my family, my old friends, and Halifax Donairs. I am slowly putting down roots out here, though.
What language(s) do you speak?
I speak English, and that’s about it. I understand a lot in French and Spanish, but I could never fabricate my own sentences successfully. I also understand Dog and Cat quite well, but again, I can’t speak the languages myself. Arf! Nope, doesn’t work.
When did you first become a mother?
My son was born in September of 2010, and I love, love, LOVE being a mother. Even through the colic. Even though he never sleeps. I love every second of it. People spent so much time warning me that I would never sleep in again, that it was okay to give myself time without the baby, that it was okay to be frustrated at times, that they forgot to tell me how AWESOME parenthood is.
This kid’s smile lights up my life. My depression and anxiety problems have actually been much better since he was born!
Are you a stay-at-home mom or do you work?
I am currently a stay-at-home mom, but I will be going back to work at the end of August. In Canada the government grants us a year’s maternity leave, where we receive unemployment funds at 55% of our normal wage. I wish it were longer; I don’t feel ready to go back!
Most women go back to their previous jobs, but I had the bad luck of being laid-off two weeks after I announced my pregnancy. I was a service dog trainer for a charity, and it was hit hard by the economic crisis of 2009. I was one of many staff laid off in 2010, so I went on unemployment (Canadians call it E.I.) and then maternity leave. I am now looking for a new job, probably as a Veterinary Technician.
I should probably search for daycare, too, but I keep putting it off…
Why do you blog/write?
I just love it. I have always loved to write. My first book, written when I was nine, included wonderful sentences like “the sun rose in the sky until it reached the midpoint, where it stopped” and “the berry bush was 48.5 feet wide and 32 feet deep.”
My dream has always been to publish a book of my own, and I hope that dream comes true some day. In the mean time, blogging helps hone my writing skills (which clearly needed to be done). I also love the feedback. I love to share a funny story from my life and hear what people have to say. When someone tells me that I made them laugh, or that something I said really hit home, it makes me feel good inside.
It also really helps, when I am having a bad day, to craft the blog post about it in my head, finding the funny side. It helps me laugh at myself, which I think we all need to do every now and then.
How would you say that you are different from other mothers?
I’m not sure I am that different. I suppose the biggest thing is that I am, first and foremost, a dog trainer.
I have a degree in Psychology and my concentration was in behaviour modification, so I approach raising my baby very… scientifically.
When I’m not sure about what to do in a particular parenting situation, I tend to resort to “what would I do if this were a dog.” Which means that I treat my baby like a puppy at points.
That seems to amuse people.
So far, it’s working…
What do you view as the challenges of raising a child in today’s world?
I think that there are too many ways to parent. Everyone raises their kids by different rules and then bickers with other parents who raise their kids differently.
Also, it makes me sad that parenting is no longer considered integral to daily life. Parenting is something we are expected to do on weekends and evenings, but I’m supposed to go find a job and work during the day like everyone else, while someone else cares for my child.
I have loved staying home with my baby so much, and sometimes I wish I lived in a less industrialized culture where children just go everywhere with their mothers, and parenting is a matter of tradition instead of theory.
How did you find World Moms Blog?
I found it through Karyn at Kloppenmum, who writes a fantastic blog about child rearing, as well as, contributing to World Moms Blog.
Do you have any questions for Carol?
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Carol from If By Yes of Vancouver, Canada. She can be found writing at her blog, If By Yes.
Photo credit to the author.