feel good friday

Ever have one of those weeks where, whether it is true or not, you feel like the world is against you and nothing is good and life is shit?

That's me this week. And I've been trying not to have a giant pity party for myself, but it has been a struggle and all came to a head on Wednesday. 

Earlier that morning, while out walking Willow, I fell. And by fall, I mean, I stepped into an overgrown grassy hole in the ground, rolled by ankle all the way over and then did what in my mind was a graceful tuck and roll down a small hill, but in reality, was probably something more like this: 

I sat on the ground cradling my ankle, making whimpering noises for a good fifteen minutes, while my dog ran off to do her business as far away from me as possible (which might be the only silver lining here - I didn't fall IN any dog poop).

When I was able to finally get up, I went on the search for the poop ('cause I am not THAT person) and on my way back to my car, realized my keys had flown out of whatever pocket I had put them in while I was rolling down the hill. By this point, I'd like it known (ie - give me a damn cookie here!) I had not yet succumbed to the flood of tears building up inside me and threatening a giant headache to put the icing on my shit cake of a week.

After what seemed like a very long time, and some serious breathing exercises to shake off the impending panic attack, like a beacon on a foggy night, I finally saw the tell-tale sparkle of my keys in the grass, and Willow and I headed back home. Where I promptly got the ice pack from the freezer, put it on my ankle, made a nest of pillows and blankets on the couch, and settled in for some serious self-pity time, a few tears, a giant bowl of Boom Chicka popcorn, and 5 hours of Unité 9 (my new favourite prison drama on Netflix). 

Today is a better day. The swelling is down on my poor ankle. My back is feeling better after a couple of trips to the chiropractor (did I mention that I threw my back out WALKING a few weeks ago?), and I have done the laundry - which is kind of like a "how awful is Natasha feeling" gauge in my house. This week we were all almost out of clean underwear, and precariously close to the red DANGER zone!

This weekend is going to be one of self-care, and surrounding myself with the people I love, and who love me back. I will also be staring at these two great photos of my kids that the lovely and talented Julia Gabriel shot a few weeks ago. I can't wait to get them on canvas and onto a wall somewhere!

Sometimes all it takes to turn things around is a good hard look at what is good and beautiful in your life, and sometimes you may also have to up your dose of antidepressant again. Either way, life is not shit, the world is not against me, and it will all be OK.... eventually.

(repeat, repeat, repeat)



Repeat after me: NO MORE "mompreneur"!

I know, I know, there is a theme going on with my last couple of posts.  I won't apologize for this, because using these unnecessary and condescending portmanteaus is something I feel very strongly about.  

A few weeks ago, I attended a conference for my industry, something many professionals do to stay up to date with the latest trends in their fields of expertise and to share their wisdom and successes with peers from far and wide. When I was a sales rep for pharmaceutical companies, I attended quarterly business meetings and large medical conferences. When I was in retail sales, I attended trade and buying shows/exhibitions. Now that I am an online writer and blogger, I attend Social Media and Blogging conferences.

My favorite for the past three years is called Mom 2.0 Summit , and yes, it is a conference primarily targeted to the parent blogging and social media community. Like it or not, this is an industry, with an estimated 4.4 million mothers blogging at least once a month (2014 data).

It is hard to ignore the power and reach this kind of online presence has in our world.

And yet, there is a part of me that still feels as if, even though many women have carved out a space as well as an industry for themselves online – and are doing incredible things within that space and beyond – we are still not viewed as capital P – professionals in our own rights. Part of that reason lies directly on us and, in my opinion, on the words and “industry jargon” we use to describe and label ourselves. You know the ones; MOMpreneurMOMMY-blogger,MOM-bossGIRL-bossLADY-blogger...


Bonbon Break

**comma not hypen**


This is what I am often called. 

I am a mom. I have a blog. 

Ergo, if the shoe fits and all, right?

But what if the shoe fits, but it's a shoe that is really not your style? Do you still wear it? Go around telling everyone about your well-fitting, but ugly as all get out SHOES? 


EXhibit one. **NOT UGLY** shoes. 

EXhibit one. **NOT UGLY** shoes. 

I mean, even the homeless guy I walked past today noticed and complimented me on my shoes. HE GETS ME!

So one might ask, if you are not a mommy blogger, then why oh why are you heading out shortly to a conference called the Mom 2.0 Summit, with the theme of "Redefining Motherhood"? 


I am just going for the swag. 

OK, just kidding.

I am really going to get away from being a mom for five whole days and focus solely on myself and doing/being/creating ALL FOR ME!

I mean, I love my family to bits and pieces, but I kiss them goodbye the morning of my flight and then I am gone. In all senses of that word. 

I drive to the airport and I have only one person's bags to worry about. One passport to keep track of, once nice big coffee to buy and fully enjoy while I read my book or scroll through my Twitter feed, with no one clamouring to play Minion Rush on my phone, as I leisurely wait for my boarding announcement. I have snacks I don't have to share with anyone. No one I need to talk to. I board the plane, plug in my headphones and watch or listen to anything I want. 

I don't have to actively MOM or WIFE anyone or anything the minute that plane takes off, and there is something absolutely freeing and almost taboo about actually admitting that I love that feeling. 

Of leaving.

* * * * * 

Motherhood is a forever double edged sword. Your body, your brain, your heart, your mind, none of you is ever simply all yours anymore. There is a saying about having kids is like having your heart walking out in the open, and it is not wrong. What they forget to put in all those sappy Hallmark cards though is those parts of you walking around being actual complete human beings themselves, can also suck the life out of you and leave you feeling drained, exhausted, raw, taken for granted, and at times, rather unloved. 

Until bedtime that is, and then all they want is for you to cuddle them as they tell you that you are "the "Bestest Mom Ever" and can you please rub my back and do "moon is round" on my face." And they fall asleep in your arms and are finally not talking back to you and glaring at you like The Dark Side has taken over when you simply pointed out that they should not ride their bikes in the middle of a busy road, and all is forgiven and the weight of their beautiful little head on your arm is enormous and starting to ache a bit, as is, coincidentally, your love for them.

And that is it really, isn't it? Motherhood is a huge weight. One we carry around far longer than those few months in/on our bodies as we grow these tiny humans. It's a weight we can't ever shed, no matter how much we run, workout or go to hot yoga classes. It's those "last 10 pounds" that won't ever go away, and the longer you hold them the heavier they start to feel. It is a feeling that is virtual and real, and wonderful and awful, and so, very heavy and then so completely light as air. It's a never-ending rollercoaster of highs and lows. Sometimes you throw your hands up in the air and revel in the pure exhilaration if it all, and other times it takes all you have to hold back the bile that is creeping up the back of your throat and you close your eyes and pray for a break. Just a tiny little break to put your head between your legs and catch your breath. 

And that my friends, is why in one week I will be boarding a plane and heading to the shores of California. To catch my breath. To enjoy a week with dear friends I see once a year, and to regroup and focus on myself - my goals and my dreams and my life -  in a way that I am not able to do when I am home and have to be the manager of all the things for everyone and carry around SO. MUCH. WEIGHT. 

* * * * * 

Like I mentioned earlier, this years theme at the Mom 2.0 Summit is "Redefining Motherhood". It's about parenting in the digital age, and how motherhood has changed and continues to change. When I read the announcement about the theme a few months ago, my first thought wasn't about how we are redefining motherhood, but more so on how motherhood redefines women and how we are constantly adjusting our lives, our thoughts, our goals, and our dreams accordingly. 

I am at a point in my own life where I realize that motherhood can not be the main or only thing that defines me. I will always be mommy to two incredible human beings and for that I am eternally grateful, but I am so much more. I am a whole human being, with complexities that go beyond meal planning, soccer game scheduling, household duties, the school PTA, the never-ending piles of laundry, and all other duties I fulfil as a mother and at home parent. 

And this is why I cringe at the term 'mommy-blogger' or any other mom-ified words that get thrown around. It is not that I feel that the word Mommy is a derogatory one; on the contrary, it is one that I cherish, has deep meaning to me through my children, far beyond anything I could have imagined, and one that will always be the tug on my heart I can never ignore. And though I share the moniker with millions of other women on this planet, it is one so incredibly personal and intimate as well. 

All of this to say that I would really like everyone to stop making "mommy" (and by extension, motherhood itself) seem cutesy and inferior and disposable by hyphenating it to all the activities/jobs/endeavers/accomplishments that women who are mothers do or are involved in, thereby rendering all important roles in a person's life feeling trite and plebian. Something that I guarantee you, they are NOT!

I am a human being, a woman, a feminist, a writer, a partner, a mother, a blogger...

and so much more. 

***comma not hyphen*** 

Thank you,