CANADA: September and the Start of Something

For several weeks now, I’ve been reading tweets and blog posts from American moms whose kids are back in school already. “I keep getting emails about back-to-school-sales,” said one tweet this morning. “We’re already on the 4th week of school!”

Four weeks already?! It’s only just September!

This is something I’ve always found surprising. In Canada, teacher friends are back to work in mid-August, which I understand. (more…)

CANADA: The Long and the Short of Maternity Leave

“You get a year of maternity leave?!”

Her tone, and rightly so, was incredulous. I – a Canadian – was in Washington, DC, speaking at a conference. I was six months pregnant and the topic of maternity leave, for some reason I no longer recall, came up during the Q&A.

In the hall afterwards I ran into one of the women who had attended my session, and, as she was a new mom, we got on to the topic of babies and maternity leave in Canada versus the US.

I didn’t know anything then about what having a newborn was like. I dreaded sleep deprivation (oh, how little I knew how much I should dread it) and was in awe that this new mom, her baby only six weeks old, was already back at work. After she described her new routine – sleepless nights, pumping at work, and all that fun stuff – I had to ask.

“How do you cope?!” (more…)

CANADA: Interview with MamaRobinJ (Farewell, Stranger)

CANADA: Interview with MamaRobinJ (Farewell, Stranger)

Where in the world do you live? And, are you from there?

I live in Canada – in Victoria, BC. I’ve lived in Victoria most of my life but was born in Calgary, Alberta, home of the 1988 Winter Olympics and the Calgary Stampede. If you ask me where I’m from, I still say Calgary even though we moved to Victoria when I was 5.

What language(s) do you speak?

English is my first language and I’m fairly fluent in toddlerese. I studied French and German in school, and studied in Germany for a few months as well. (more…)