Where in the world do you live? And, are you from there?
I live in Toronto, Ontario in Canada. I love living here because it is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world. There are countless shops and restaurants that reflect the many different people who live here. I can find food from Ethiopia, Korea, and Peru by just walking down the street or hopping on a streetcar. It is like traveling the globe without leaving your hometown.
What language(s) do you speak?
Embarrassingly, I only speak English. I’ve always wanted to learn new languages and have a smattering of French. I can ask for the washroom and count to ten, and that’s about it.
When did you first become a mother?
I first became a mother at the age of 32. My oldest son (now five years old) was born and my world changed completely. He was a jaundiced, colicky baby and I was head over heels in love with him.
I now have a three year old daughter and a one year old baby boy as well. Our home is very busy, but it’s wonderful to have the children playing together. Although it is challenging to have young children so close in age, I love (almost) every minute of it.
I was unprepared for how intense motherhood is, and I have made many changes in my life to spend more time with my children. Before children I was very career focused, and it took a couple years of trying to juggle my children’s and work schedules for me to realize it is not working for me. I now choose positions that compliment my family life.
Are you a stay-at-home mom or do you work outside the home?
Right now I am a ‘work outside the home’ mom. I have recently returned from a ten month maternity leave following the birth of my baby boy. My husband is now staying home with the children. This is the best solution for us. Over the years we had tried childcare outside of the home while we both worked and we found the stress and expense was not worth it. As a family we feel it is important to have a parent at home with our children; they are so young and time is passing so quickly, we want to be there for them.
As parents my husband and I are committed to being with our children and we are very fortunate we are able to do this.
Why do you blog/write?
Because it keeps me sane, and it’s cheaper than therapy or wine;-) Seriously, I write and blog because I have to, it’s like I have some weird compulsion to write and share stories.
I love blogging and connecting to people from all over the world, I love being able to walk through the mind of someone else and finding different ways of living. I love finding similarities between other people and myself, when on the surface we might seem worlds apart. People open their hearts and minds and I really appreciate that about them.
How would you say that you are different from other mothers?
There is a good reason my blog is halfpastnormal. I say I am a super-powered, special needs mama. I have two children with serious special needs, and my Hubby and I try to deal with this and all of life’s challenges as best we can. Often, this is in an unconventional way. (I mentioned we currently have Stay at Home Dad as the household head.)
My five year old has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and my three year old has Prader-Willi Syndrome. These are two completely unrelated genetic mutations, and the odds of this happening are astronomical. Our baby boy is completely healthy.
We are fortunate to live in a city with excellent health care and child development services, so we are very busy going to different appointments. We try to maintain a balanced life between work, school, medical ‘stuff’ and the really important things in life, like going to the beach or having meals as a family.
What do you view as the challenges of raising a child in today’s world?
Being too busy. Work-life balance. Multitasking. These are things we all struggle with, whether you work outside the home or not.
I find it hard to drop everything and just play with my children. I try to find time to just be in the moment with my children, follow their lead and interact with them (and not worry about what else I need to do). I think this is so important for everyone – as a parent you can be awed at how wonderful your child is, and as a child you thrive under the attention of your parent.
I am acutely aware of how time flies and how short childhood really is. Some afternoons feel like forever, but weeks and months fly by in a blink of an eye. I want to be there with my children.
The other night I left dirty dishes piled up, my work bag unopened and spent the evening drawing and doing crafts with my three year old and five year old. We created fantastic worlds and imaginary creatures, and told stories about them. My five year old took the drawing we made together to bed with him, and grabbed it first thing the next morning.
I am now behind in work, but I know my time was better spent doing something meaningful with my children, because that’s what is really important.
How did you find World Moms Blog?
Twitter of course! You can find me too, @specialneedmom2
This is an original post to World Moms Blog from our new writer in Canada and mother of three children, two with special needs, Angela.
The image used in this post was taken from the author’s personal blog, halfpastnormal. It is credited to the author.