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A letter from a working parent.

A letter from a working parent.

It’s 10:15pm on December 5.  There are soon to be less than 20 days until Christmas and I am staring at my computer screen with dry, tired eyes just starting to work on our annual family photo book that we do as a Christmas present for my Dad and Step Mom. I’m honestly not even sure that I’ll get it done and ordered in time for Christmas this year but I’m just now finding the time to pull all of the pictures into an album so I certainly haven’t had the time to search out the date for ‘must ship by (blank) to receive in time for Christmas.’  At this point, our little family is operating full steam ahead on a ‘it will get done when it gets done’ philosophy.

Having recently returned to work from my second maternity leave, I am here to tell you that being a working parent is freaking hard.

When I returned to work after having my first-born, I was moderately excited about the idea of going back to work: more adult interaction, a different kind of mental stimulation, a work wardrobe, time with colleagues that have become friends, etc.  Of course, it was heart breaking to leave my wee boy in someone else’s care but we valued the experiences he would gain from being in a good childcare environment and I enjoyed my job in recreation.  More than anything, to be completely honest, it was bearable because I knew that it was only a matter of time before I would be going off on maternity leave with our second baby so there was a faint light at the end of the tunnel right from the get-go.  Almost exactly one year later, I was off again at the end of my second pregnancy and was giddy at the thought of having a full year ahead of me to be home with my boys.

Our transition to being a family of four was more challenging than I expected, but it didn’t take us long to find our stride.  The rest of the year was everything I had hoped it would be and, just as everyone said it would, it flew by.  Jude is a labour day baby, born September 5, so Super Dad and I agreed to take the summer off together with our three year old and soon-to-be one year old.  We spent our time playing at home, checking out local beaches and travelling throughout various parts of Eastern Canada.  The emphasis was low on structure or schedules and high on adventure and time with friends making it a memorable summer to say the least.  When September inevitably rolled around, we were ready to pack up our tents and join the ‘back to school’ brigade.

Having previously returned to work in July, going back in September felt like a breeze.  I packed backpacks for daycare, laid out my new ‘back to work’ outfit and looked forward to all the same things that I had previously enjoyed when returning to work.  Even day care drop off was easier knowing that the boys would go together and sure enough, there were no tears.

When I’m asked how it’s going being back to work, I always hear myself say that it’s been better than I expected and that we are all benefiting from the routine.  While this is true on so many levels, the weight of operating a household with two working parents eventually catches up to me and I find myself contemplating how to go about a drastic life change to find a better work-life balance.

If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you already know that our family loves and deeply values time spent adventuring together – from hiking, biking, beaching, and camping to playing in the yard, pulling vegetables and tending to our chickens.  I am three months back to work and have yet to figure out how we find the time for these things after an 8-hour workday and a two-hour commute.  This time of year being especially hard with the shortened daylight.

When I get home from work, Super Dad has already brought the boys home from daycare and started something for dinner.  We save any conversation about how our days went for later in the evening and do what we can to look at day care crafts and squeeze in a few minutes of play between dinner, bath, jammies and books.

Does a work-life balance even exist when your kids are this little?

I think one of the biggest differences for me this time around is that the light at the end of the tunnel is much more faint than when I had my sights set on baby number two…in fact, it’s retirement in 25 years.

I can imagine what some of you are thinking.  Quit your job!  Drop down to part-time work!  Take an extended leave!

These are all great suggestions and trust me when I tell you that I have weighed the pros and cons and pursued all the options but here’s the thing…

I have worked my butt off to get to where I am in my career, I like my job and for the first time in my professional life, I feel like I am absolutely in the right place at the right time.  I returned from my maternity leave to a new role in a new building and I am flourishing.  I’m building valuable relationships with my colleagues, I’m establishing a network of contacts throughout my department, I’m gaining confidence in my role as a manager and I’m in a place where I can see the difference that our work is doing in the community.

I think I’m less interested in finding a way to lessen my role as a working professional and more so in finding a way to have it all – or at least a better balance!

How do we working parents thrive in our careers, as parents, as spouses and as individuals?  It seems like a logical solution to ditch the housework, pick up take-out for dinner and postpone our workouts to next week in favour of working all day and playing with the kids in the evening but isn’t that why we’re becoming a generation with obesity and diabetes levels that are considered epidemics?  Not to mention that it’s an added challenge to get everyone out the door in the morning when bedtime snuggles replaced laundry on the ‘to-do list’ and there aren’t enough clean socks to go around.

If there was ever a time when life would allow you to have your cake and eat it too, this is when I would sign up for that option.

I would like to climb the corporate ladder, be home for all the major milestones, remain a best friend to my spouse and set aside some time for myself.  Does anyone have a cake recipe for this?

My greatest hope is that the modern day work environment will soon catch up to the reality that more and more households are operating with two working parents.  Families today need flexibility and the ability to modify their professional lives without having to commit to permanent change.  The option to do a gradual return to work after maternity leave, work one or more days from home or return for half days until the kids are in school.  Stepping out a little further, let’s let the 9-5 work week go the way of the dinosaurs and capitalize on true productivity, engaged employees and wellness in all areas of our lives.

 

Why I love to solo parent…sometimes.

Why I love to solo parent…sometimes.

This past weekend, Super Dad took off on a long weekend in Louisiana for a bachelor party leaving me to solo parent the boys for four nights.  I’ll admit, my initial reaction to the idea of being on my own for 12 meals, 4 daycare drop offs and pick ups, 4 bedtimes and countless tantrums was a little overwhelming.  I reassured myself that I could invite my Mom to come stay with us and it would just like any other day of having one adult per child.  As plans came together for Adam’s trip, I never did extend the invitation for another set of hands and I think it’s because deep down, I knew that I could handle it on my own and the closer we got to the weekend, the more inclined I was to spread my wings as a solo parent.

The weekend came and went in a flash and as it turns out, it was a welcomed change of pace.

I enjoyed running my own show.  Super Dad and I are on the same page about all of the big things – bedtime routines, disciplinary tactics etc. but when it comes to going about our day, we operate a little differently.  Adam is a task-oriented, productive, punctual person that feels at his best when he has checked off a long list of ‘to-do’s’ on a Saturday.  I, on the other hand, will poke away at tidying here and there throughout the day, usually take on one or two new recipes but a Saturday well spent to me is in the sandbox or on the swings at the park with the boys.  On the weekends that we are home as a family, Super Dad and I compliment each other well and our time ends up being a combination of work and play but it was refreshing to spend my time with the boys doing puzzles, playing hide-and-go seek and running around outside without feeling the need to balance our day with house work or yard work.

We invited whoever to come whenever for however long they could!  Adam and I are both socialites.  We are true believers in ‘the more the merrier’ and are often inviting friends or family to join us for whatever we have on the go.  A ‘Mom and tot’ playdate however is not exactly high of Super Dad’s social calendar.  I took this opportunity to invite people over throughout the weekend and we loved our time hosting and playing a la toddler.

I stepped up my housewife game.  If you know me, this won’t come as a surprise to you but I’ll go ahead and set the stage here in saying that I am not the tidy one in our family.  In fact, I have endearingly nicknamed my husband ‘Danny Tanner’ because he is forever working to keep our house clean and organized.  I, on the other hand, earned the nickname ‘trailer’ as a child because I leave a trail of things I have done or touched throughout the day and I’m afraid to say the nickname has followed me into my married life.  It’s not that I don’t value having a clean house but it’s not priority one for me.  Being on my own this weekend was like a challenge to keep things in order like Danny would and I found myself dealing with what we call ‘trouble spots’ that had been sitting there for months.  Danny and his young protégér were back to it when he got home but I’m hoping to keep my game face on for a while longer.

I took some time for myself.  This might have been my favourite part of solo parenting.  At the end of the day, after the boys were in bed and the house was in order, I got to sit back and truly enjoy some alone time.  Being a spouse and a parent can be emotionally draining because there is almost a constant need to engage physically or emotionally with someone else.  As two working parents, Adam and I use this time in the evenings to catch up on one another’s day and get through any banking or admin things that we’re working through.  It’s valuable time for our marriage but for a weekend, it felt really decadent to have that time to myself…and if you’re wondering, I made the most of it by eating my weight in ice cream and watching Girl Boss or re-runs of Heartland!

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.  When Adam left on Thursday morning, I wasn’t sure how often I would hear from him – if at all – over the weekend but we ended up talking more than we normally do.  It was fun to send him pictures and videos of what the boys were up to and to hear snippets of what New Orleans was like.  Super Dad even found ‘Little Blue Truck’ which Clyde didn’t actually think was all that impressive but Adam and I are considering it a parenting win!  Clyde went to bed on Sunday night so excited to wake up and come upstairs for a snuggle with Dad… I think it’s safe to say we were all ready for him to come home.

You may have noticed that I used the term ‘solo parent’ to describe my time alone with the boys this weekend.  While I enjoyed the experience for all of the reasons above, it crossed my mind a few times that it was a small insight into the world of a single parent and ladies and gents, my hat is off to you.  I was exhausted by the end of the day and so looking forward to Adam’s return on Monday.  There is no doubt that it takes a village!

One last thing that kept me going through the weekend was that my turn is coming in just a few weeks.  A friend and I are driving to Toronto for two nights shopping and the hotel life.  Is anyone else planning to visit the One of a Kind Show?!  Hopefully Super Dad enjoys solo parenting as much as I did!

The aftermath of Halloween

The aftermath of Halloween

Last week, I shared about our Halloween tradition with the Switch Witch and while I got mostly positive feedback, it invoked some questions and commentary that got me thinking a little deeper about moderation, self regulation and finding good uses for the ‘great candy haul.’

Towards the end of last week’s post I admitted that Adam and I would most likely throw away any and all of the Halloween candy that the boys collected.  I was hesitant to write it knowing that it wouldn’t be the popular opinion but I strive to present an honest reflection of our life on this blog and the honest truth was that we would do as we have done in past years and ‘can the candy.’  Within hours of publishing, I had people reaching out with suggestions of things we could do with our candy and it got me thinking about the options to donate it constructively – constructively meaning not putting it out at work for kids that have a haul of candy at home and colleagues that aspire to eat better and exercise more.  I did a Google search and came across some pretty neat opportunities across the country!

If you live on the West coast, you can drop off your candy with this Calgary dentist for it to be turned into biofuel feedstock!  Those of you in Halifax can bring your candy here and have it sent out to our troops!

Those of us in Ottawa with candy to spare can bring it to Citigate Dental this Saturday and they will be donating it to a shelter with children that didn’t get to go trick-or-treating.

Thank you to everyone that reached out to me with your suggestions.  We stuck with the ‘Switch Witch’ concept this year but when Clyde asked me where the Switch Witch takes all of his candy, I was left at a loss for words… Next year we will encourage the boys to choose a place they would like to donate their candy!

…and speaking of candy.  Can I just say that this was by far my favourite year of trick-or-treating?  Clyde, at nearly 3.5 years old, truly understood the concept for the first time and it was as if he had found his purpose in life.

We live in the country where kids trick-or-treat by driving from house to house so we asked the grandparents that live in town if we could meet at their house after work/daycare for a crockpot dinner and head out together to the densely populated neighborhood near them.  The streets seemed really quiet when we started so we walked down the street from their house, rounded the corner and found a trick-or-treaters haven.  The kids were literally running back and forth across the street and from house to house.   Without a moments hesitation, Clyde left my side in a full sprint to join the gaggle of kids in costume and made his way to the first door he could get to.  ‘Trick or treat!’  he said proudly.  Followed immediately by ‘Thank you!  Happy trick or treat…I mean, Happy Halloween!’ and he was off again to the next house.

Super Dad and Grandpa pushed Jude in the stroller while Grandma and I maintained a light jog to keep up with Clyde for the evening.  The small, foam bags from the dollar store were being filled up in record time and brought to the stroller to be dumped.  Note to self: next year, he will be ready for the pillow case.

My heart was bursting with pride to see him holding his own amongst the big kids and speaking confidently with the adults that answered the door when he knocked.

We were back to Grandma and Grandpa’s house by 7:30pm to dump and sort the candy then it was time for pajamas and home to bed.

I was grinning from ear to ear on the drive home thinking about how this year marks the first of the next 10+ years of trick-or-treating with that boys that will be so. much. fun.

On the topic of self regulation and treats in moderation, I want to clarify that we are not striving to raise ‘sugar free kids.’  Anyone that knows me or read my post about motivation knows that I have a bowl of ice cream every night and that I love treats.  The major difference being that I can choose to eat well throughout the day knowing that I will have a dessert in the evening.  Our kids are bombarded with opportunities to consume excessive amounts of sugar everyday via juice, cereal, flavoured yogurt, packaged snacks – the list goes on and on.  Our priority is to help them choose whole foods and opt for treats that are homemade or a recipe that we did together so we can use ingredients like whole wheat flours, oats and maple syrup instead of refined sugars, dye’s or ingredients we can’t pronounce.

Our desire to implement the ‘Switch Witch’ is not an attempt to eliminate the opportunity for our kids to eat candy but it is a way to emphasize the fun and joy of trick-or-treating instead of Halloween being all about the candy.  Trick-or-treating itself is a great concept, in my opinion.  It promotes creativity, stimulates conversations between neighbours and is a night spent with our kids walking outside with friends and family!  We all enjoyed sorting the candy at the end of the night and sharing a few treats together and then we reinforced our standard message that candies are yummy and fun for a treat but that they don’t help us to grow big and strong.  Clyde was happy to help package up all of the treats for the Switch Witch and the next day we all enjoyed sitting down to play with their new dump trucks and Hot Wheel cars!

I hope that you and your family had a fun and safe year of trick-or-treating!  We will be excited to run the streets of Kanata again next year!

Meet the [blogger]: 4 Financial tips from Erin!

Meet the [blogger]: 4 Financial tips from Erin!

Do you ever feel like you and your spouse are just waiting for your turn to talk?  Adam and I often get home from work with so much to say to each other that it’s as if we’re taking turns sharing information without ever truly ‘investing’ in what the other person is saying.  When it’s at its worst, we know that we’re overdue for a date night – a time to talk uninterrupted and without the looming timelines of dinner, bath, bedtime, clean up, sleep.

Amidst the chaos and patched together conversations, Adam works tirelessly to update me on our budget.  I am forever grateful for this quality in him because the other half of the patched together conversation is me taking my turn to tell him about the things I’m currently trying to purchase – anyone else in this boat?  Nevertheless, when we do finally sneak away for an evening of uninterrupted conversation, I am always so impressed by the time and energy that he puts into our financial plan and it’s reassuring to know that our family is moving ahead with clear goals.

One of the people that often acts as our soundboard for new financial ventures is a long time friend, fellow Mom and Certified Financial Planner, Erin Genderon.  Erin is currently off on maternity leave with her youngest but is working on some articles to post on their company blog when she returns to work.  In the meantime, she agreed to give us a sneak peek and I am so excited to be sharing some tips on ‘money mindfulness.’

Without further ado, 4 Financial tips for young families from Erin:

With the start of a new fall season and the end of care free summer days, the ‘responsible, let’s get organized’ side of me kicks into high gear.  Fall has always had a ‘fresh start’ feel about it for me – similar in a sense to New Year’s Eve; a time to reflect on what’s going well and what new opportunities lie ahead.

A constant source of review in our household is how we’re managing our money. How to plan, be smart and make the most of every dollar while juggling the multi-faceted financial priorities of an active household can be a daunting task.

As a financial planner by day and a wife and mom-to-two by night, the following are 4 of our essential tips that will help start you and your family down the path to money mindfulness.

1. Build your budget

Not unlike so many things in life, we need to know where we’re starting from in order to know where to go next. For this reason, I’m going to come right out and say it – the first unavoidable step is to prepare a budget.

A simple income vs. expenses (fixed & variable) = surplus or deficit as well as a basic idea of your family’s net worth (net worth = assets – liabilities).

This is the hardest, most time consuming part – and sometimes what stops us from even getting started. Let me assure you that it’s not so bad and well worth your time. Make use of great apps like mint.ca or get started with an Excel template. If all else fails, break out your trusty pen and paper; whatever you need to do.

2. Positive cash flow is key

Next up! Track your spending and understand where your money is going every month – in the financial world, this is called your cash flow.

Is your cash flow positive or negative every month?

Which direction are you trending?

An app, like mint.ca, links all of your bank accounts and credit cards into one spot and makes this process relatively painless.

3. Remember the bigger picture

The third step to rounding out a simple financial plan is to think about what your bigger, long term goals are – primarily, retirement and kids education. Other things to consider might include buying a recreation property or starting a business.

My husband and I had our kids in our mid-late 30’s – a reality for many Canadian families. This means that raising expensive kids, helping them pay for an education plus saving for our retirement become competing priorities over the next 20 years.

A big mistake is putting off retirement planning, simply because it’s the furthest away and the least in your face – waiting for a time when you can “afford it”.

The power of tax free compounding, dollar cost averaging, and good savings habits will have a bigger payoff the sooner you start.

Give some thought to what these goals look like and what time frame is involved. Allocate money in your family budget to these goals. Small steps you take now will have big impact later.

4. Insurance: What no one truly enjoys talking about it.

A last consideration that can’t be overlooked; insurance and wills.

Having put some hard work and thought into your family’s financial plan, it’s worth going the extra step to ensure it’s all protected.

Specifically when you have dependents, insurance and wills are non-negotiable as we don’t have the saving level to ‘self-fund’ in the event of a ‘worst case scenario.’ Some questions for you and your partner to consider…

  • Have we discussed and agreed on who would look after our child(ren) should something happen to both of us? How would this person cover the additional expenses?
  • If we were suddenly without one person’s income, would our family be able to maintain their standard of living? Most employees have life insurance which includes one or two times their salary but this is rarely enough.
  • Do we have a plan in place financially to carry on in the event of disability or critical illness?

The ability to earn an income is your biggest asset – especially during a time when kids are small, debts are high and savings are low. If this is taken away, even for a small amount of time, the financial impact to your family could be severe.   Although not a simple task, once the above items are analyzed thoughtfully, a real life plan can be put together. This will leave you with a feeling of confidence and peace of mind to meaningfully move forward with clear goals and purpose.  Remember to review your plan periodically. A financial plan is meant to evolve over time, to adapt with your families changing needs, wants and priorities as you grow.

 

Erin is a Certified Financial Planner CFP® in Ottawa and an active mother of 2; a curious, energetic 3 year old and an alert 4 month old. She is also a licensed Investment and Insurance Advisor. She loves working with young families to help them understand their unique situations and give them peace of mind to achieve their life goals.

 

Erin Gendron, CFP®, FMA®
Associate Investment Advisor & Financial Planner
HollisWealth®, a division of Industrial Alliance Securities Inc.
Vandermeer Wealth Management
www.vandermeerwealth.com | erin@vandermeerwealth.com 

To work or not to work?

To work or not to work?

In the days leading up to my return to work, I had a friend make a joke that really resonated with me.  We were messaging back and forth about how I would make it through my first day and how my family would adjust to the change and then she wrote: “When was it that women fought for the right to work?”

I laughed but the thought has really stuck with me and changed my perspective entirely about going back to work.

In an instant, I went from wallowing about not staying home with my boys to feeling empowered about having the opportunity to hold a challenging and satisfying career of my own.

This isn’t by any means a knock against stay-at-home parents.

It’s simply a reminder of how fortunate we are to have the choice – to work, to stay home or to balance a bit of both.

This past Friday marked my first “month-a-versary” of having been back to work full-time.  Just like with everything else these days, the weeks flew by and I’m not sure I can say with full confidence that we have our feet under us yet – but we’re getting there!

This being my second time back to work from maternity leave, a few things felt a little easier.  Namely dropping Jude at daycare knowing he would be with his big brother all day was a breeze.

Otherwise, I am referring back to my own “survival guide” if you will.  So many of these tips remain true for me today as a working parent…

1. Love your job.  Coming back to work this fall, I had the opportunity to start in a new role at a new Community Centre.  The learning curve has been pretty steep – on top of adjusting to a new routine at home – but in less than one month, I got to bring my kiddos along to a weekend event in the community where I work and we all loved it!

2. Love your childcare arrangements.  If I can’t be with my boys all day, everyday, it’s important to me that they be in an environment that adds value to their day.  Our boys spend their time with the sweetest family at a French home daycare.  They bring home crafts and Clyde tells me stories about playing with his friends.  They are practicing a second language and spend much of their time playing outside.  When I told Clyde in September that Jude would be joining him at daycare, he was so excited and to see them run into the house together warms my heart.

3.  Make plans to socialize after bedtime.  In the last year, we have established a monthly ‘guys night’ and ‘ladies night’ with our friends.  We meet up once a month after bedtime on a weekday for drinks or a late dinner and catch up!  It’s become something that I really look forward to and takes the pressure off of getting together without the kids during precious weekend time.

4.  Let brunch be your best friend.  I have written many times about my love for breakfast outings with kids.  Whether we’re at a restaurant or making pancakes at home, it is one of my favourite times to socialize with the kiddos.

5. Quality over quantity.  I am a firm believe in the value of playing with your kids and when I get home from work, everything waits until after bedtime so I can make the most of every minute with the boys.

Perhaps step number 6 should be to remind myself, on the hard days, that having the choice to work was worth fighting for.

Laundry with littles.

Laundry with littles.

Confession: I used to quietly judge people when they would tell me about their laundry situation.

IMG_9734.jpgI feel a little guilty even writing that but it’s the hard truth.  My mama friends would talk about their mountains of laundry to fold and the mystery piles that might be clean or dirty and I would think to myself… yikes, keep up!  Then I had my second child and I found myself drowning in laundry.  How can the addition of one tiny human multiply the laundry situation exponentially?  This will forever be one of life’s little mysteries for me.  Nevertheless I found myself thinking back to my mama friends and wishing I could go back in time to give them a big unconditional hug – or better yet, offer to bring wine and fold their laundry together.

This stage of life with two young kids has me asking all kinds of questions about laundry.  At what point does something truly need to be washed?  If I put on a clean shirt in the morning and it gets all kind of dirty at breakfast, can it be worn for the rest of the day?  Is it acceptable to notice that my toddler’s pants are dirty as I’m putting them on him and consider that everyone will assume it happened throughout the day?  I’ve never been careful about washing colours separately but if there ever was a doubt in my mind about this practice you can consider it out the window.  This is where I’m at guys.  These are the kinds of questions I’m asking myself and my spouse to avoid having to do another load of laundry.  It’s ok to think I’ve hit rock bottom…I’m also taking that into consideration.

The problem does not lie with the actual “doing” of the laundry.  I actually feel quite productive as I’m collecting dirty clothes from around the house and tossing them in the bin and in the machine.  Remembering to measure out some soap and press start on my way out the door with the kids feels like I’m on top of the world!  Even the next step is manageable – hanging to dry by the wood stove or moving to the dryer is a reasonable expectation.  It’s after this that things really fall apart for me…  I know this laundry is now clean and dry but the thought of hauling it out, sorting it, folding or hanging as necessary and getting it to everyone’s rightful room is too much to ask.  Even if I do manage to accomplish this task in a timely manner, heaven forbid I leave a folded pile anywhere within my toddlers reach or it’s destined to be thrown around on the floor.  The poor guy has had many a time-out that ends with the conversation “Mommy works so very hard to fold that laundry and it was so close to getting in your drawer!”

I recently had the bright idea to be proactive and recruit my toddler to help me.  We started with a mountain of clean laundry and it was his job to put things in the correct persons pile as I held them up.  It was quite fun in the beginning and we were making good progress.  Then the inevitable happened.  Said toddler decided that one big pile was so much more fun and before I could muster the words “No!  Please stop!” all of our small piles had been merged back into one right before my eyes.

I could have picked this battle.  I could have marched hit cute little bum to the time out mat and had another conversation about Mommy’s laundry woes but in the end, he’s right.  One giant pile of clothes is so much more fun so instead we piled it high and went on our way for the next activity.  The laundry can wait until bedtime.  It’s just going to get dirty again anyway.

 

Weekends are for breakfast dates.

Weekends are for breakfast dates.

For as long as I can remember, I have woken up in the morning wondering what I’m going to have for breakfast.  For my poor parents, this would happen anytime after 4:30am as a toddler (sorry guys)!  As you might expect, they find it quite entertaining now to hear that my toddler shares this trait with his Mom.  Clyde is up anytime after 5:00am (yes, we have a Gro clock…it’s a work in progress) and what started out as a way of getting him out of the house so the other could sleep until a normal hour has now become a weekend tradition.

One of our favourite things to do as a family on the weekend is to go out for breakfast.  We love to try new restaurants each time and bonus points if it’s old, small and offers a $4.99 breakfast special.  Not only is it enjoyable family time but it also gets us up and out of the house and has been a great opportunity to expose Clyde to restaurant etiquette in a more relaxed environment than going out for dinner.  Breakfast is inexpensive, the menu options are kid-friendly and it’s a great time of day for toddlers.

To add to the fun, Clyde likes to call his friend on occasion and invite him to come along.  There’s not much cuter than hearing a two year old ask another two year old over the phone “You want to come breakfast with me?” To which Henry replies “Sure.”  (Note: the missing “have” is not a grammatical error but an imitation of how he asks.)

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They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and for our family, it couldn’t be more true.

 

 

Welcome!

Welcome!

Hi!  I’m Kelly.  Welcome and thanks for joining me at reckiesraisingkids.com

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Writing a blog has been on my bucket list for a long time.  I have many entries written, lists and spreadsheets of topics to write about, products to review and goals to achieve and yet I’m struggling with writer’s block for my very first entry.  Isn’t that always the way when we have big dreams?  We know what we want the end result to look like but taking the first step feels big and scary and is equally fuelled and stalled by excitement and fear.

Join me and my family on our journey via Reckies Raising Kids.  What’s a “reckie” you ask?  It’s an unofficial slang term for the word “recreation.”  When I finally decided to take the leap and start a blog, Adam and I stewed over a name for days.  It felt almost like we were preparing for a third child.  We would toss out name and concept ideas at any given time only to have the other person say “I like it…but no, that’s not the one.”  I was reflecting on what was important to my family, to me and what sets us apart when it dawned on me that there was one commonality – recreation.  Our love for recreation started long before Adam and I knew each other.  It influenced our education choices, our career choices and ultimately ended up being how we met.  Today, recreation is still a huge part of us as individuals, as a married couple and now as parents.

On the blog, you will read about our adventures in travelling – with and without kids, our commitment to living a healthy lifetstyle, all of the products we love as an active, on the go family and a glimpse of our daily life raising two boys.

Have a look around and come back often.  I’m excited to be setting off on this journey with you!