I’ve decided to embrace Spring. The huge pile of snow is gone and we need to live in hope.

Last night the snowsuits and winter boots got packed into the depths of the basement. Good riddance. Last weekend was chock-a-block full of trips to the park, kite flying, roller blading, skateboarding, bike riding and all that other good stuff that usually puts my kids in plaster. Daddy-O dismantled the backyard ice-rink and although we flooded a few neighbourhood gardens, it allowed us to look longingly at the pool with a glimmer of hope that it will one day be in use once again.

It has been a long hard winter for us all. For me, the icing on the cake was when I looked back at the month of March and realized that between March Break, Easter holidays, and the several snow days, my kids went to school eight times in the entire month.

Now that spring is here (fingers firmly crossed) I can reflect on some of the funny winter happenings that took place in our happy home during the frosty season. On the most recent snow day I was getting the kids suited up to play in the snow. I got the three biggie kiddos geared up and sent them out to start shovelling the driveway. When I finished dressing the two little ones, we went outside to find the older siblings tobogganing……from the top of my mini-van. Yep, they were climbing on the roof and sliding right on down. They even managed to knock the licence plate off the front of the vehicle.

I contained my rage. I calmly explained about good choices and bad choices and how both have consequences. They seemed to think that the response “but it was SOOO much fun” was a suitable excuse.

With no licence plate, we were all pulled over by the police the next day. I got flustered and ended up explaining how it happened. Now the cop was looking at me like I was a law breaking citizen AND a crappy Momma!

After the officer left, I explained that the next time they toboggan off the mini-van roof, they’d all be going to jail. Winter had finally won. I had transformed into one grumpy and humourless Momma.

Bring on Spring!

Overwhelming fit of Motherhood!

I used to think they were guilt pangs. I used to think it was stress. But yesterday I decided what happens is I am occasionally overcome with a fit of motherhood! It’s the deluxe combo including: hives, stress ulcer, hugging, crying, over-planning and strange looks from husband.

I’m talking about what happens to me when I get too buy and feel I’m starting to compromise my life-balance I claim to have. For the past 2 weekends, I’ve had Mabel related activities to attend to. My CMG (cuddly/crazy monkey girl) has spent more time in daycare than usual. Yesterday, I found out I need to pick up and head out of town again this weekend! CMG is going to spend anther Friday in daycare. I turned into a crazy person! Overcome with guilt, I broke out in hives. My mind raced with FUN things we could do to make up for this. I tried to convince my husband to take Friday off from work so she could have funday with her pops. I made plans to yank her out of daycare this afternoon for a FUN date of lunch, shopping and manicures (she’s 3, so I need to readjust this plan). I think my head was actually spinning around (my neck is killing me today!).

A friend needed to remind me that millions of kids go to daycare five days a week. My husband needed to remind me that she actually LOVES daycare. I need to remind myself that I am more present than a lot of Moms, when I can be. UGH.. It was an out-of-body experience. I have girlfriend plans next weekend, which isn’t helping. I can’t bail, so I think CMG might be coming cross-border shopping with the ‘girls from da ‘hood’ if I am still feeling this way.

ah.. working mothers. I’m sure my husband is wondering when the overwhelming fit of wifedome will hit.. or housework, or cooking.. . I can only freak out about one thing at a time!

Corporate Culture?

I’m just back from an energizing, exciting, and exhausting retreat with my business partners. Sound glamorous? Not exactly. Picture the four top Mabel Mommas locked in a hotel conference room together, hanging out for 16 hours a day, putting heads and hearts together and discussing everything Mabel.

One of the topics we always discuss is our corporate culture. Like many of you, we have the daily battle of striking the work/life balance. Heck, we’ve got 11 kids between us, some kind of balance is a necessity. Because this is a priority, we have created a workplace that provides some flexibility. We have a handful of Mabel Momma employees whose work hours are based around school hours – they rock up to the Mabel digs after school drop-off, and say ‘adios’ just before school pick up. It’s not unusual to walk into the production area and see a kid hanging out, face buried in a Harry Potter book as Momma finishes sending off that last package of the day.

One thing that became abundantly clear on our retreat is that our husbands (fondly referred to as ‘the Mabel Widowers’) may have TOO clear an understanding of our corporate culture.

Get this: one of my business partners calls the office yesterday to check in. To her shock and disbelief, she discovers that her nine-year-old son is at the office. Why? How? She asked those same questions!

It goes like this:
- son complained of a tummy ache at school.
- School knows mom is away, so calls husband at work.
- Husband picks son up from school and needing to return to work, tries to problem solve his dilemma.
- Husband shocks himself with his brilliant solution.
- Husband drops sick son to Mabel’s Labels office where one of his wife’s senior employees can take care of him.

Yes, you read that correctly. Sick son is at Mom’s office (while Mom is out of town at retreat) and senior employee takes care of sick son.

It gets weirder: neither husband nor senior employee found this to be a strange solution.

Safe to say, our corporate culture message is coming across loud and clear!

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