Saturday, September 21, 2013

Mama Networking

Hi My pic of Corktown Commons

So I am back at work and Missy Miu is approaching 14 months. While this blog is a behind the scenes look at the Mamalicious Mamas and the Mamas behind it, I still want to write about what was important to me before and right after I had my little girl.

How to find stuff to do on a rainy day.  This applies to Mamas on mat leave and Mamas now.

It's my third weekend after being back at work and it's raining and gloomy outside. I just don't feel good about keeping Missy Miu in. The hubby is cool about being indoors, but today takes me back to my mat days where if I stayed in....

It was time to take charge. Hubby's like, "It's gloomy out... Where can we go?"

So what do you do?

Reach out to other Mamas.
- There are many Facebook Mom Groups with moms ready to share advice
- You can find many Mommy Groups like Mamalicious Mamas. They may have a weekend activity or you can post a what to do question in the discussion area
- Your smartphone. Made some Mama friends? Save their contact info so you can touch base while on the go

- Local newspaper sites. I refer to Snap Pickering. They always post what's happening in the area
- Community activity sites. I love Melanie OTG - a site on what to do with kids in the GTA.

As I write this, a Mama contact came in that she was at Pickering Town Centre. Another Mama owns Treehouse Play and Café and let me know that as of October they will be open every weekend.

We ended up a play centre that was (sigh) a bit too old for Missy Miu  - 2 years and up. But I would like to thank my Mama network for the great advice. I will definitely use my contacts in advance if I'm in a pinch.

So Mamas, how do you find activities for the little ones?  

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Back To Work After Baby

Photo from SheKnows

Decide on child care
We found one 3 months prior to my return to work. Two weeks before, I hung out with Missy Miu for two to three hours over a few days. The following week... it was project "cold turkey". I dropped her off for six hours. The first two days were tough. On day three, I was shown pictures of her playing. (insert angels singing here)

Have a back-up plan
With little one going to child care, there is no doubt they will get sick. Make arrangements between you and your partner about how vacation and sick days will be managed. We also made arrangements with my Mama to take over on occasion in case Missy Miu becomes ill.

Share responsibilities
While at home on maternity leave, it made sense that I take on most of the household responsibilities. Now it is an even playing field. Well sort of. Negotiate a chore list and discuss what you and your partner can handle. You'll be less stressed.

Prep! Prep! Prep!
Get as much ready the night before. This is one rule I live by. Baby's and my clothing is picked out the evening before. Diaper bag is packed and my lunch is made. I have created a meal plan since I have less time to stop for fast food and (sigh) less money to spend on it. I have to work on a housekeeping schedule as it is no fun doing all the chores on the weekend. Uhm... I even make two days of breakfast so I can pop it into the microwave oven at 4:30 am. (I am aware that you just rolled your eyes)

Get some sleep
It was in the news the other day that once our little ones sleep through the night, we don't sleep through the night. Momsomnia (look it up). Getting back into the work routine will be hard on the mind and body. Try to get into bed at a reasonable hour. Establish a routine where you can grab a shower, change into some comfy sleep wear and get into bed. You don't have to sleep at that point. Grab a book, watch your favourite program. You'll probably fall asleep in your relaxed state.

Keep your Mama friends
No doubt you probably made some Mama friends while you were off. Make a pact to keep those friendships when you return to work. We compared notes on baby during maternity leave... You still have things in common as your little one grows and /or as your return to your career.

Now that you're back
Embrace your new role- You are providing for your family and showing your little one that Mamas can wear many hats. You also benefit with fulfillment that comes with your job. I more empowered being back at work. Especially now that I am bring more money our household.

Use you lunch time for time to get some time yourself.

Don't feel guilty if you enjoy the work / life balance.

Focus on the positives. I really cherish the time I spend with Missy Miu and now we can easily save for our first vacation with her.

So Mamas... Do you have tips to add?

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Thankful Friday

Now that I am back at work I can honestly say I am thankful for my job and the money I make. Through heavy duty saving and planning we made it through my 1.2 years off of work. But we could have planned better.

Going forward I would like to demonstrate my gratitude by not being as frivolous as I once was with my money. It is important (especially now that we have a little one) that my husband and I provide more responsibly our family.

We have created a budget that will build our savings and all things emergency. And of course I would like to have fun with my family through vacations etc, but I look forward to it being paid in full.

What are you thankful for today? 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

September Happenings

I Maternity leave is now over for Lexi and myself. As we now juggle with our little ones, work, school and family life - - we are determined to maintain The Mamalicious Mamas Social Network. Currently we are 157 Mamas strong.

September is jam packed with Mamalicious events:

* Get Mamaliciously Fit with Heike
* PYO Tropical Vegetables
* Java / Tea Adventures
* The Zoo
* Anything FroYo
* Lots of Walks
* Indoor Playdates
* Bellydance Workshop ( Mama Only)
* Menu Planning Info Session

Are you a Mama or a Mama-to-be? Then The Scarborough Pickering Mamalicious Mamas is for you. Let's venture out of the house and enjoy the day.