One of my biggest complaints and daily challenges with our blended family is dealing with the ex's. Yes, I realise that these are people too and were once intimately involved with our spouses HOWEVER when do you draw the line of endless communication and obligation? Seriously, move on! I realize that my husband said his vows with his ex (almost a decade ago) and then they parted ways just like thousands of other couples. How long do those vows carry any weight or merit?
My husbands ex stomps all over that fine line of overstepping her boundaries on a very regular basis. Sure, you need to be civil as they are the mother/father of your step children BUT come on! There has got to be a limit. Just because you share children does not mean endless support (and I mean support in every way imaginable!) For instance, calling my husband to bring her chocolate and gingerale when she is sick (insert tear drops here), boo hoo! You do not get to do that anymore because guess what?! You divorced him and he is no longer obligated to put up with your shit! He gets regular texts such as, "Oh, can you drop off a jug of milk for the kids on your way home. they need it for their cereal in the morning. Thanks babe!" Are you kidding me?! No, go get your own friggin milk!
This happened very regularily until we got engaged. Did he feel guilty and obligated to obey her little tasks? Yes because she pulled the old, "this is for your kids" card. But enough is enough already! I am sure I was labelled a "bitch" when I put a stop to it but there comes a time when an ex needs to get their shit together and move on! Just because two people share children together does not give them the right to treat someone like their endless property.
After years of working as a corporate guru, I decided that it was time for a change. So, I tried my hand at a home daycare. There were some positives but mainly a shit load of negatives (see the below two posts). That lasted for just over a year before I decided to close. The home daycare was day in and day out of constant road blocks by the government and parents rewarding their children for terrible, unbelievable, tortuous behaviour! The worst part of the home daycare? I still could not be there for my kids. Taking a day off...ever was impossible. My home was being destroyed and I was miserable. I threw in the towel and closed.
So...that leaves me to introduce you to my new career. A dog groomer! Yes, it is quite a jump from office work and a home daycare but I absolutely love it! Dogs are amazing creatures and getting to work with them every day is...AWESOME!
I do have to say that becoming a groomer is A LOT more difficult than I had ever imagined but extremely rewarding. I often wondered why it took so long for my small 10 lbs dog to be groomed or why it cost more for my dogs haircut than my own. Let me just say that I completely understand now. Don't get me wrong, I am enjoying myself and I am having a blast. Getting to pamper dogs at your own pace when your favorite animal is a dog...what else could possibly be better?! But seriously, I have a whole new appreciation and respect for all groomers.
Wanna know one of the best things about opening my own dog grooming shop other than working with adorable pups each day? Making my own hours so that I CAN be there for my kids each day when they need me. No more missing afternoon concerts, early dismissals or bake sales. Yes, be jealous! LOL
We often hear about the lack of child care spaces and qualified trained child care staff throughout Canada. Recently there were two articles published; the Winnipeg Sun on January 15th as well as CJOB on January 12th indicating there were over 12,000 child care spaces required for children in Manitoba. This fact is astounding to me as I have now experienced both spectrums, being one of those parents on a wait list and being an aspiring licensed home daycare provider. Frustrated with the waiting and little hope of getting my youngest daughter into a before and after school program I decided to make a drastic career change. I left my corporate health care job of 8 years to open a licensed home daycare in June of 2015. At the time I had no idea how challenging opening a home daycare would be. It seemed like a viable solution as I would not only be able to spend more time with my children, I would also supplement my income.
It has now been close to 7 months and I can honestly say that working with the children has been fantastic and the time I get with my kids is invaluable. My frustration and reason for writing this article stems from the red tape and lack of support for opening licenced home daycares. Again, it is now been almost 7 months and I am no where near being licensed. I have spent countless hours and money on postage, orientations, education, etc. only to have them returned with direction to resubmit as their policies have changed. I understand the necessity of having the proper background checks, home requirements, etc. however I do not understand why the process is so tedious and non-user friendly. You would think that with over 12,000 spaces required that the government would be bending over backwards to assist legitimate individuals who are trying to open a licensed home daycare.
At a mandatory licensing orientation I had attended, I discovered that there is under twenty licensed home daycares within the River East Transcona Area which is where I am trying to open. If you view this on a map, this area is significantly large as it also includes the rural regions. This was unbelievably astonishing to me. Why is this number so low? Well, now I know why. The regulations are so ridiculous that most people get frustrated and give up before achieving their license. There has got to be a more practical solution to become licensed.
The complicated regulations and red tape involved with home daycares is frustrating. Why does one need to be have diploma in early childhood education to convert a double car detached garage to utilize as additional home daycare space if it meets all the regulations? However, if the double car garage is attached to the house, this is completely acceptable? This is yet another road block with ludicrous policies. I am growing increasingly frustrated and at my wits end with having hopes of becoming a licensed home daycare provider. Although the parents within my program are delighted with the services I provide, this doesn’t seem to be enough to the granters of licenses.
After experiencing the grueling licensing process, I continue to be both a frustrated parent and aspiring licensed home daycare provider. The parties involved in the child care licencing need to take a long hard look at these unrealistic hurdles involved in order to improve the daycare situation. I believe that the parents on these lengthy wait lists have no insight as to what the actual underlying issue is.
So I haven't written for a while simply because I haven't had time, not that I haven't wanted to. Back in June I made the decision to trade in my corporate office gig for...well...Boogers n' Beers. LOL But seriously, what does this mean? I now run a home daycare out of my home with my newly retired mom as my co-worker. Boogers during the day and one modest beer to finish my day off in the evening. I loved my career as a Pharmacy Contract Analyst however I love my kids more. I spent an average of 3 hours a day just driving. Between multiple drop offs at daycares...(yes plural daycares) to then fight my way downtown to the office and repeat the morning routine at precisely 4:30. Most days not getting home until after 8 pm as we would skip going home and head straight to that nights activity...girl guides, swimming, soccer, etc. I loved working with kids and this seemed to be the most logical solution. So here I am, 6 months into my home daycare adventure and so far so good. Don't get me wrong, there has been many bumps and hiccups along the way as we adjust to our new home gig. Not everything has been peaches n' cream but the added time I get to spend with my kids makes any new challenges worth it!
Looking for something fun for the kids to do this summer that won't break the bank?! Check out Louis' Family Fun Days at the Manitoba Electrical Museum. The kids had a blast trying to solve the word scramble using the Louis Lightening Bug clues which would result in a little take home prize pack. They also enjoyed the various games and activities throughout the museum. Kids enjoy pushing buttons and there were plenty of these to push throughout as well! I would recommend checking it out!
Manitoba Electrical Museum
680 Harrow Street, Winnipeg, MB
Open Monday to Thursday 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Louis Family Days run through July and August. Check link or contact the museum for exact dates.
So I haven’t posted for a couple weeks because I just haven’t had time. NOT that I have not wanted to. Believe me, writing is one of the only things that keeps me sane some days. As working parents we all know what it’s like to be exhausted and have no time for anything except the bare necessities. Sometimes we are on repeat, going through the same routine day in and day out like zombies. These particular last couple of weeks have been extremely grueling for me. Why? Honestly, I have no friggin clue. It’s not as though anything has changed. The kids still have their same activities each evening, work is still insane, the house still needs to be cleaned, lunches still need to be packed, suppers still need to be made, homework still needs to be done, yard still needs to be mowed, and so on and so on. It never ends. I laugh when I hear experts say, “Ladies, you need to make time for yourselves, go to the gym for a work out or to the spa and pamper yourself.” Seriously? WTF? Please tell me when I can schedule this in! Unless the days have miraculously became 36 hours long instead of 24 hours…this isn’t happening in my life any time soon!
So, let me tell you, I gave a whole new meaning to multi-tasking! As women, we are generally pretty good at this. This morning, I was running late but I had to be at work on time for a meeting at 8:00 a.m. The kids were being particularly pokey and challenging. There was exactly 20 minutes remaining before I needed to be out the door. Well, I was still in my house coat, hair looked as though I had just been standing in a wind storm, no makeup and the kids nowhere near ready! Right then, my stomach started to turn and yup…I had to use the facilities. You got it, moms need time to poop too ya know! Seriously. But this morning I just did not even have a minute to spare. I barked out some orders to the kids and closed the bathroom door. There I was on the toilet doing my business while putting on my makeup and blow drying my hair! I had a feeling of accomplishment sweep over me. Hell ya! I can do this! I finished up, threw on my clothes and loaded the children and off we went…with 2 minutes extra need I add!
If you are reading this and can relate…well, keep going! You are doing awesome.
If you are reading this and are completely disgusted…well, either you are not a parent yet OR you are much more organized than I! Congrats!
LOL…keep going moms!