Maternity Stores Are Gimmicks!

Pregnancy clothes are a gimmick. They are expensive and you only wear them for 9 months. What do you do with them afterwards? Nothing. You put them in a box and store them under your bed because you don’t have the heart to throw out items that you’ve spent your hard-earned money on. So why bother buying them? If you have a petite frame like myself, you can purchase cheap clothes in Large or Extra Large sizes from cheap department stores and donate them afterwards. It’s a win-win situation!

At least that is what I thought until yesterday.

I am only 3 months pregnant, and have already popped. I grew so quickly that my body hasn’t had a chance to catch up, and yesterday I had excoriating lower back pain. I went to Sherway Gardens, a mall nearby hoping to find some relief. As I walked through the mall, I couldn’t find a single maternity store. Yes you read that correctly, I was looking for a maternity store. I was desperate to find some relief from my back pain. I gave up and walked into a Baby Gap and my worst fear was confirmed. They didn’t have any maternity stores in the mall. Not a single one! So naturally my eyes welled up with tears! Because, being hormonal, the world was coming to an end! Fighting back tears I told a sales associate and a new mother about my back problem and was directed to another mall to buy a maternity support belt.

Apparently, as a pregnant lady I have the energy to mall hop! Now I have to walk back to my car empty handed, drive to another mall, find a parking spot, park the car, walk to the store and then pray that they have what I’m looking for.

After driving with tears streaming down my face, because my natural thought is “the world hates me”, I made it to the mall. Yes you read that correctly, I was bawling because I had to drive to another mall to buy something that I needed because apparently it’s not normal to drive to multiple locations to buy what you need! Being hormonal is embarrassing! You would think that my cat just died!

I made it into the maternity store and I was in heaven! I normally purchase my tights (the only pants that seem to fit lately) from Walmart. But those tights are nothing compared to the tights you can buy at maternity stores. They have built in support in the pants. I tried on the tights and I instantly felt better. Why had I been so naïve? This place was my savior! I was like a mad woman picking up everything in sight. Yes I put most of it back, because money doesn’t grow on trees but that’s besides the point! The maternity belt was amazing! Once I put it on, it was though my back pain disappeared. The person who invented it deserves a noble peace prize!

I left the store with 4 pairs of tights, and a maternity belt! I was so happy! Never again will I question the need for maternity stores!

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I’m Pregnant!

Sorry I have been so MIA from posting, but I’M PREGNANT!

Yes that may sound all fine and dandy but one thing I can tell you for certain, the movies and television lie! Being pregnant isn’t fun at all. I just finished my first trimester, and I feel like a deflated soccer ball! Let me tell you what being pregnant is really like!

  1. Morning Sickness! HA! Try all day sickness. Dicletin is supposed to be the hero drug to help with the Nausea, so naturally it doesn’t work for me. I need something stronger. God forbid I forget to take a dose on time, because, that’s right, you guessed it, the toilet becomes my best friend! None of my actual friends had morning sickness. In fact, they felt perfectly normal. So naturally I hate them all! And that leads me to point number two.
  2. Uncontrollable Hormones. I have no control over my emotions, I can be laughing one minute and crying a river the next.
  3. The insane sense of smell. I hate the smell of my car and have to fight the urge to put my head outside the car window while driving. I don’t car if I look like a dog! The smell of anything sweet makes me want to throw up!
  4. Everything freaking hurts! Muscles you didn’t know existed hurt. Your entire body feels tense. Forget sitting comfortably! You know that space above your belly? You probably don’t, but it pains for no reason! So you find yourself stretching in weird directions, hoping the people around you don’t look at you like you’re a freak!
  5. Sleep? What is sleep? I’m lucky if I can find a comfortable position to fall asleep and pray I don’t wake up with bedsores!
  6. Working a full-time job? The jokes on you, you feel awful but you have to act like a sane person around people. God forbid they find out how crazy you really are! And going back to point number two, I have to work extra hard not to have an emotional breakdown. (Yes I’ve already had two)
  7. Your clothes don’t fit! Maybe this is because I popped early, but my pants don’t fit, so its tights and leggings 24/7. But let’s be honest, most of the time I can’t even be bothered to get dressed. I feel so awful that I’m lucky if my outfit even makes sense!

Yes I know what you’re going to say…getting pregnant is a blessing, not everyone is fortunate enough and you are right! It is a blessing but what I didn’t mentally prepare for were all of the changes that my body would go through. The naive part of me thought this would be a walk in the park. After all, women have had babies for hundreds of years. These are my realities of being pregnant! I just have to remind myself this is only for 9 months. 3 done…6 more to go!

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The Little Train That Could….Maybe.

Six months ago, I started a new role at work and to say the role is challenging is an understatement. Every day feels like an uphill battle and up until last week, I felt that I was up for the challenge.

Last week, I was thrust outside my comfort zone as I attended a week of intense training at our company’s headquarters. And boy was the training tough. I felt both mentally exhausted from the amount of information being dumped on me and physically exhausted from the time difference. Having health issues, traveling is very tough for me. But the information overload was tougher. As a flew home at the end of what can only be described as one of the most exhausting week of my life, I made a conscious decision to do my best and become the ‘little train that could’.

That thought quickly evaporated on Monday morning as I sat at my desk. Conquered, yes I mean conquered and not consumed, with fears and insecurities, I did my best to try and tackle the obstacles put in front of me. I was close to the end of the day, when a colleague called me and shouted at me. “What do you want from me?” he shouted down the other end of the receiver. I was shocked. This is my colleague, not a customer. He is someone who is meant to be on my team. I was trying to work on a request for his customer, and needed more information to help fight for his ask. Keep in mind I am new to role, so my ask may have been ‘stupid’, but my mind and effort was in the right place. I was extremely hurt by his reaction, and asked him to adjust his tone, which he did not. Needless to say, I got off that call as quickly as possible.

After collecting my thoughts, I sent him an IM that read:

“I apologize if you feel that my work is inadequate, but I am 6 months in role
and am doing my best. It is not okay for you to shout at me. I am trying my
best to find a resolution for an ask that came through you.
Going forward, it may be best for you to please send all of your asks through the account managers. Thank you.”

I hope I handled the issue correctly. I will be the first person to admit that I am having a hard time in the role, but I also continue to try and push through my insecurities and do my best. I don’t pretend to know more than I do, and am constantly reaching out for help. I want to get better in this role, but it is very hard to when you have colleague shouting at you. It is extremely demotivating and it makes me very sad.

Maybe this role isn’t for me….

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Home Sick Already!

I am currently sitting on an airplane, mentally preparing myself for another adventure. I love the idea of spreading my wings and exploring new lands, but the minute I take my seat on an airplane, I am instantly homesick. I would consider myself an adventurous person, however as I grow older, I am slowly becoming intimidated by thing that are unfamiliar. As you can imagine, I’m finding this new-found personality trait frustrating. I don’t want to become someone who enjoys the comfort of being home and misses out on new experiences.

Ironically, as I sit here typing, ‘A Whole New World’ from Aladdin has started playing on my playlist. For those of you who know me well, I live for the magic of Disney, and as I hear Aladdin and Jasmine sing their verses, I can feel the feeling of excitement creeping up on me again. It’s as if the universe is helping me suppress this nervous, cautious feeling and replace it with excitement.

Disney has a way of making everything better. I started off this blog post feeling nervous, and vulnerable. After two minutes and thirty seconds of listening to ‘A Whole New World’, I feel ready to take on the world again! I am ready to see unbelievable sights and experience indescribable feelings!

 

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The Rat Race

It’s Monday morning and I grudgingly make my way through the office doors and into the lobby. I press the elevator button and wait for the elevator doors to open. We only have 4 floors in our building, yet for some reason, I find myself standing impatiently for what seems like eternity. When the elevator doors final open, I press the button for my floor. As the doors close, its official, the countdown to the weekend begins.

Am I the only person who starts their countdown to the weekend on Mondays?

Some may say that my countdown starts prematurely. I would disagree. Our work weeks are far too long, and our weekends are too short. It makes me question our society. Do we work to live or live to work?  My workplace is great. I can choose to work from home or go into the office whenever I please. So long as my work is complete and deadlines are met, I have great flexibility. However, I am still using the bulk of my day working. I am not enjoying my friends or family and creating memories. Instead, I am spending most of my day inflating a bank account. Don’t misunderstand me, I love my job and I am grateful for the opportunities that I have been blessed with. But I question if there is more to life that I am missing out on.

Recently I watched a viral video that highlighted the value of our time, and it made me question whether I am making the most of it. Five days a week, I leave for the office around 9:00am in the morning, and return home around 7:00pm. In time to make dinner, watch a few television shows and head to bed.  The weekends are usually filled with errands, chores and family functions. And within a blink of an eye the weekend is over and its back to the rat race.

I find it frustrating that so much emphasis is being placed on mental health awareness and mental health issues, but the government refuses to recognize the root cause of these issues. The root cause is that our population is overworked. In Canada, we are legally entitled to two weeks of vacation. God forbid you get sick, because you’ll need to use a week of vacation to recoup. Leaving you with one week of vacation for the rest of the year.

In most places in Europe, I think they receive a minimum of four weeks of vacation. That seems much more reasonable to me. If I had more vacation time to look forward to, perhaps I wouldn’t start the countdown to the weekend on Monday mornings.

Just a thought.

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What #InternationalWomensDay Means to Me

Yesterday was International Women’s Day, and at the risk of sounding like a nerd, I have a confession. International Women’s Day is my favorite day of the year. I am a feminist, and believe in #girllove , but as I sit and reflect on all of the strong female influences in my life, I also feel enormous amounts of gratitude towards the men in my life.

I have been very fortunate in my life. I grew up in a household where my father treated all of his children the same, irrespective of their gender. He instilled a ‘why not me’ mind set in each of his children, and that led us each to achieve great success in our lives. He worked very hard for us to have the lives we have today. Even when he became severely ill, he pushed himself to provide for our family. It was a difficult time, but my mother was a great source of strength. She stepped in and ensured that we didn’t miss our after-school activities. That there was a meal on the table every single evening. I think I get my work ethic from her. She is a machine. To this day, I am convinced that she’s attached to a rechargeable battery pack. Even at the age of sixty, she can run laps around me. To this day, I have not met anyone with the same stamina as her.

My parents are a great team, and the person I am today is a result of their hard work.

I also have an exceptional partner, who is constantly pushing me to achieve more. He doesn’t believe in glass ceiling, and has a lot of confidence in me. He also doesn’t believe in gender specific roles, which I find annoying, especially when it comes to me having to cut the grass!  I love the smell of freshly cut grass, and apparently that is reason enough for me to have to cut it. But I have no problem with sitting outside and reading a book while he cuts it. We often joke that he is more of a feminist than I am, and deep down, I think we both know it’s true. He is often disappointed in the media because he doesn’t like the way women are portrayed. He has concerns about  the impact the media will have our younger cousins, nieces and nephews, and how they perceive themselves and females. He is definitely vocal about these concerns.

Lastly, I work for an exceptional multi-national corporation that doesn’t believe in glass ceilings. In our company the VP, General Manager and two regional sales managers are females. To see women occupy these roles is very motivating. These are women who have had to manage the work life balance and have made great strides in a male dominated industry.  I also have an exceptional team lead, who I would consider a feminist. He motivates me and has helped me immensely with my career. Even when I feel that I won’t excel, he reminds me to have confidence and do my best. He’s taught me that my best is good enough, but I need to learn to walk before I can run. He’s also taught me that learning is a process, it’s not an end state. These are very valuable lessons that I can apply in both my professional and personal life.

Reflecting on international women’s day, I am reminded that this day is not only about the exceptional women in our lives, but the exceptional men who propel women’s rights forward. I am the person I am today because of the lessons I have learned from both genders.

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