My New Normal

Before Cillian I worked in roles that were highly demanding – not life or death situations but definitely involved overtime, juggling multiple projects and organizational goals. Like most people in the workforce it seemed that the companies were always understaffed, which meant you were doing the job of three people. I tend to work well under-pressure, I think I am motivated by tight deadlines and being busy, when there is a lull that seems to be when my laziness likes to shine. My family and friends, even I wondered how I would handle being a parent and taking a step away from my crazy work life to a calmer, less stressful day to day.

My new boss is loud and opinionated, he is determined and doesn’t always take my advice – so not all that different from certain managers in the workforce. There are days where I feel like his number one star employee and I am hilarious too, other days I can’t seem to do anything the way he had envisioned. My tight deadlines now consist of making sure his food is ready within that five second range of him deciding he is hungry and him thinking he might never get fed again. Targets are still important to hit, but now it has to do on when he reaches those big milestones and am I doing enough in my laid-back approach to give him the tools he needs. My creativity is making sure each character in the story I am reading has a personalized voice, as well as making up songs when I feel like Dr. Dre or Snoop are not appropriate – such as being in public and other people can hear my West Coast Rap to a six months old. Instead of important client meetings we now “change stations” because my new boss bores easily, which means my new work from home job is mostly out of home. The multiple projects I currently juggle are doing my hair so it does not become a weapon against me, cutting his daggers without waking him, making sure there is nothing he can put in his mouth while I am gone for the two minutes to go pee. PD is learning baby sign language, and much like PD I did in the workforce I keep on forgetting to use it. The organizational strategies I now put together involve how many days of the week we should go out and explore, compared to how many we should stay in so he actually takes a nap; stimulation vs. relaxation. I once had boss who loved powerpoint presentations and how they could be used to not only explain a point but also in end get what you want, a tactic I could now use when I am torturing, I mean dressing him… yes I understand you prefer being naked, but no that is not appropriate outside attire in a Canadian winter.

As I write he is currently sitting beside me deciding whether or not he wants the carrot, to hide the carrot, or if he should throw the carrot; similar to when yearly reviews happen, you are always a bit nervous on the meeting even though you normally have a sense on what the outcome will be… he threw the carrot.

Do I miss my old corporate ways? My ego does. I am not a fan of attention but I love recognition, it is something I am trying hard within myself to no longer strive after (I am aware that writing a blog is an avenue of recognition). A good teacher is my son, the “work” I do for him is purely out of love and the enjoyment of it. Do I feel less mentally challenged? No not really, it’s just a different kind of thinking, one where you get to tap into your inner kid, come up with fun activities and a new way of discovering the world. To summarize, I don’t miss my job. I love spending the day with this funny little human who makes me check my ego each morning, each day is unique, priorities change from one minute to the next and there is no overtime, there is only more time with him, which I will miss when I go back to my career.

Side note: If you are in the Calgary area, looking for low-cost and interesting places to explore with your little human that are not The Zoo or Telus World of Science, below are a few places I have discovered:

  • Glenmore museum has a monthly baby & parent tour of a new exhibition (cost of admission)
  • Esker Foundation has a monthly baby & parent tour of a new exhibition (free)
    • They also have options for older kids
  • Fish Creek Public Library has a indoor play area for babies and kids (free)
    • The Calgary Public Library also has weekly mom & baby and dad & baby class which is free, but you need to register and it is hunger games style to get in (it books up fast, within the first 5 minutes of registration opening)
  • Tumble Time at Lake Bonavista Community Association is an indoor playground/gymnastic set up – think jumpy castles ($4 cash, free for babies under 6 months)
    • The hours are Monday – Friday 930-1130
  • Calgary Farmers Market has a really cool indoor playground for older kids (free)
  • Oak Tree Tavern allow little humans in with no time restriction and on Sundays they have an afternoon Ceilidh – bonus they have great food too
    • They also have live music in the evenings throughout the week if your kid has a later bedtime than I do
    • There are other pubs in the city that also allow children until a certain time and have music, such as the Ship and Anchor

I am sure there are plenty more that I haven’t yet found.

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