Reality bites

Sunday. The last day of the weekend. Back to work tomorrow.

I had a really great time galavanting about town with my family this past week, and now the fun has come to am end, it’s reality check time. I must admit to feeling a deep sadness. My feelings aren’t simply because my vacation time is over, though. No, it goes deeper than that.

I was once a stay at home mom, for about 10 years. I’d worked before but having my second and third child back to back rendered the choice between going back to work and staying home a fairly obvious one. Returning to work meant daycare for our 3 children. Daycare is expensive, especially in the Infant room. One of our two paycheques would go straight to the daycare centre and that made no financial sense to us. We weighed the pros and cons and it was decided that I would stay with the kids.

It was not an easy road to take, just in case someone out there is saying, “Oh how nice for you!” Being a SAHM is no walk in the park, I assure you, especially with 3 children aged 4 and under. As well, to help make ends meet my husband periodically had to take a second job, so I was alone quite often from morning til night. Yes, you love your babies but being alone with them for hours, with little to no adult interaction  can get to you. On top of that I suffered from post-partum depression as many women do. It was a very difficult time.

But I got through it, with help from family, hubby’s and mine. As the kids got older it got a little easier, though each stage of childhood has it’s ups and downs. Crying and babbling becomes talking…non stop chatter. Crawling becomes walking and hyper-vigilance on your part, to ensure no one gets into anything dangerous or falls down the stairs (both have happened). And then one day, before I was truly prepared, I had to make my way back into the work force.

To be honest, I had no real reason to stay home anymore: the kids were all in school full time, my son was old enough to stay with the girls / before and after school.  There were no babies at home who needed constant care, and living on one income was becoming difficult.  No one tells you that the bigger your kids get, the more they need and want. I thought infants required a lot,  HA! It’s nothing compared to the list of things tweens and teens need.

So here I am, two and half years out in the world. My kids are bigger, and to some extent more responsible. They are relatively self sufficient, and that makes me proud. Before heading out to look for work I prepped them: taught them how to do laundry, make breakfast, run the dishwasher. I told them that Mamma going out to work means everyone needs to pitch in at home. I feel confident in the knowledge that if hubby and I had to leave them for a few days they would be OK.

But in my heart, deep down within me, there are times when I feel bad that I’m not home in the mornings or after school. I work in a daycare centre, and it often hits me hard  that while I’m spending 8 hours a day feeding, changing, teaching other people’s children, mine are at home fending for themselves. But it is what it is, I guess.

Still, after a week of sun and fun and laughter with my ‘babies’, going in to work will be very hard in the morning.

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The Finish Line

As I sip my tea, resting on a pile of pillows, I’m rethinking the events of this week. It’s been great having time to be with the kids without the stress of work or bills or chores interfering. The demands of our jobs make it hard sometimes for hubby and I to get time of when we want and need it; it’s been about 3 or 4 years since we’be had a full week off at the same time, and it’s been a real treat.

Yesterday was wrap up day, so to speak. We’d done all the big ticket activities earlier this week, and wanted to keep things simple but not stop cold. So swimming was just the ticket! 👙
Fortunately we have a very nice recreation centre just minutes away, which features a library, youth drop in rooms, skate park, and a pool. We chose an open swim time (certain hours when the pool isn’t being used for lessons) and headed out.

I don’t swim. I can sort of doggy paddle and I can kinda float. The furthest I’ve ever been when it  came to lessons, was in grade 3, when the Board of Ed provides children with a 3 day crash course in water safety. And…I’m a bit of a chicken TBH. I love the water, I could stay in it all day whether it’s pool or beach. I just stay close to the edge…

Luckily my children didn’t inherit my hesitancy, they jump right in. They’ve had the grade 3 lessons, plus whatever my husband and their grandfather have added to that. It’s pure joy to watch them move smoothly and fearlessly through the water. Not so much my son tho, he’s not into the swim thing, doesn’t see the point. “Does there need to be a point to getting into a pool and splashing around?” I asked myself the question, just thankful for the fact he came without complaint. He’ll be 16 in a month and this age is tricky! This is one of the reasons why it’s so important to us to do this kind of thing. Anyone who’s a parent of tweens and teens realizes that there is a thing line between when the kids want to be with you and when they don’t. For me, I stopped wanting to be around my mom when I hit 14 or so. Thankfully hubby and I have not yet haven’t had to deal with this yet, but one never knows when that hammer will fall!

We splashed, we laughed, we got out and came home. Hubby threw some meat on the grill, had a nap then later went to soccer with my son. 🍔⚽There was a feeling of finality in the air. Yes, there’s still today and the weekend, but there’s also the reality. Money can’t be spent indefinitely, clothes are piling up, fast food all week makes you sluggish, and it’s back to work on Monday. Every good vacation must come to an end. But it was a good run and I’m so very happy about it, hopefully it won’t be too long before we get to do it again!:D

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Winding down

Wow! This week had been a whirlwind of activity! It’s actually turned out to be much more like a “go away” vacation than we expected. As some of you may know, it’s can cost quite a bit of money for families to travel, especially a family of 5. So a “stay-cation” had become a much more viable option, and even that has made our pockets ever so slightly lighter. But it’s been worth it, just to spend some quality time as a family.

Yesterday was day 3 and just as busy as the first two days. I was born and raised in Toronto, and I  often went downtown for events or shopping or just getting away. Our children, however are very much suburbanites, who onlu tasted downtown life in teeny tiny bites. Thr plan for this week had to include heading into the city!

So off we drove, downtown to see the Ripley’s Aquarium. My husband loves fish! He used to raise fish as a child and we have some now, so it’s fair to say that fish are his thing.

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To be honest, it was a little much for me…I’m not the kind of person who likes touring through museums and the like. I get bored easily and just want to leave. However there were areas of interest throughout the exhibit such as the starfish, and the jellyfish tanks:

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The big draw, however was the tunnel. You go through a tank that has been built around and overhead. It’s filled with all sorts of fish, stingrays and sharks!

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After the aquarium we were starving, and I suggested fish and chips. Yeh… Maybe not! :oops: Instead a more field based meal, then a stroll along back to our car.

I truly love Toronto, there is just so much to see and you, it’s never boring!

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Today will be a much quieter day..
not getting up earlier, no huge plans. We’re taking our time, going swimming in the afternoon. Hubby and I go back to work on Monday so we don’t want to need a vacation to recover from the staycation :D

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Halfway there

Good morning! Day 3 of days off, halfway through. Bit cloudy today ☁ with a chance of showers, nevertheless we shall carry on with our adventures :D
Yesterday was a very nice day, starting off with a family dental appointment. I know! How do you contain the excitement, right?! Well, into each vacation a little practicality must fall. And so we pressed on, to lunch.

Our plan was to take them to Chinese buffet, since we so rarely do it, but they said. We want East Side Mario’s, they said, and proceeded to list of reasons why this had to be  the lunch destination. I must admit give me a choice between Chinese food and pasta, the noodles win everytime.

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Mario’s is outside the mall, so we did a post meal stroll to work it off. As always happens when I go shopping after a meal, I’m much more susceptible to the siren song of the goods and services available. That is to say, by the time we left  my stomach was still  full but wallet was empty.

The day was neatly wrapped up by a session of kite flying, my husband’s joy.

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Today’s plan takes us further afield: train ride downtown to the new Ripley’s aquarium!  Gonna be great! 🐟🐠🐬

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Sinking in

Morning! 🌄
It’s Day 2 of my week off and the relaxation is fine! I so rarely take this much time off at once, so this feels like heaven…
The main reason Hubby and I took a week is so we could spend some time the kids, going out and about town. Yesterday we went to a very nice public park with a huge picnic area, and a beach. We had more idea this place was here!

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We grabbed some food on the way and settled in with our blanket and chairs. Funny thing is we spent more time walking around exploring, which is one of my fav things to do in a new spot.

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Lots to see and do, and a chance encounter of a friend we hadn’t seen in years!

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Lovely long pier to stroll along and the weather was perfect! Great vacay so far 💛❤

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Morning blooms

Hello all! This is day of a week of from work and I’m lovin’ it!
My usual “day off” place to be is on my porch, and here I sit. The sun is bold and bright

From here I can watch neighbours go by, listen to the birds in the trees and observe nature doing it’s thing in the garden.

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Tears

Something is on my mind and I CANNOT rest until I say my piece.
I spend a fair amount of time on various social sites, including Twitter. It’s a fun place where I enjoy participating or just observing. But there are moments when I come across something that makes me want to shut myself off from the public domain, out of sheer despair.
There’s something trending now called TwitterPurge named for the awful movie that’s in theatres now. What’s going on is a group of young men are spreading half/fully naked pictures of young women through Twitter. These pictures were taken for the most part, by the girls themselves and sent to a boy they THOUGHT they could trust.

Parents!  Please tell you daughters this is never a good idea, No matter how much the boy begs or threatens her, do not send compromising pictures to any guy.
Parents! Please tell you sons that gaining a girls trust to have her send pictures of herself and then passing them around is never a good idea and is a crime.
And to the lowlifes who are smearing it around Twitter….Oh man I can’t say what I really want to say.

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