CANADA: Childcare Troubles

IMG_1574Childcare.  No word conjures such stress and anxiety in the mind of a working mom as “childcare.”  There are countless little things that can cause enormous problems.  Your child is too sick to attend.  Your child care provider is too sick to care for your child.  Your child care provider is late.  You are running late to pick up your child.  Never mind possible personality or caregiving style conflicts.

Stress.  Anxiety.  Too many problems to solve while juggling too many plates.  Eventually one of those plates will drop, and who picks up the pieces?

For me, just the experience of searching for a childcare provider for my oldest child was the single most stressful experience of my life.  I spent hours on the phone, calling centres, trying to be put onto their waitlists in hopes of getting a childcare spot.  I visited centres and caregivers, asking about programs, schedules, and meals.  It was harder to plan than my wedding, and as it turned out, more expensive.

In the Greater Toronto Area parents who hope to have licensed childcare for their child are told to put their child on waitlists – when they are about 3 months PREGNANT with that child.  You might have a chance at a spot by the time your twelve month maternity leave is over – that means your wait is at least 18 months. (more…)

specialneedmom2

Angela is a Special Education teacher who blogs about her super-powered special needs family. She has a 3 year old with Prader-Willi Syndrome and a 5 year old with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and Sensory Processing Disorder. The odds of these random genetic events occurring at the same time are astronomical. "When you add our typically developing one year old baby boy to the mix, you have a very busy household!", she explains. Angela admits to having too many appointments, too many school problems, and being generally too busy as she tries to live life to the fullest. Please visit her family at Half Past Normal for more of their adventures! If you want to connect to chat, you can find her on Twitter @specialneedmom2 If you are interested in Special Education policies and procedures in Ontario – or just some excellent strategies and accommodations – please check out Angela's other site at Special Ed on the Bell Curve.

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CANADA: Interview with Angela at halfpastnormal

CANADA: Interview with Angela at halfpastnormal

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

I live in Toronto, Ontario in Canada.  I love living here because it is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world.  There are countless shops and restaurants that reflect the many different people who live here.  I can find food from Ethiopia, Korea, and Peru by just walking down the street or hopping on a streetcar.  It is like traveling the globe without leaving your hometown.

 

What language(s) do you speak?

Embarrassingly, I only speak English.  I’ve always wanted to learn new languages and have a smattering of French.  I can ask for the washroom and count to ten, and that’s about it.

 

When did you first become a mother?

I first became a mother at the age of 32.  My oldest son (now five years old) was born and my world changed completely.  He was a jaundiced, colicky baby and I was head over heels in love with him.

I now have a three year old daughter and a one year old baby boy as well.  Our home is very busy, but it’s wonderful to have the children playing together.  Although it is challenging to have young children so close in age, I love (almost) every minute of it.

I was unprepared for how intense motherhood is, and I have made many changes in my life to spend more time with my children.  Before children I was very career focused, and it took a couple years of trying to juggle my children’s and work schedules for me to realize it is not working for me. I now choose positions that compliment my family life. (more…)

specialneedmom2

Angela is a Special Education teacher who blogs about her super-powered special needs family. She has a 3 year old with Prader-Willi Syndrome and a 5 year old with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and Sensory Processing Disorder. The odds of these random genetic events occurring at the same time are astronomical. "When you add our typically developing one year old baby boy to the mix, you have a very busy household!", she explains. Angela admits to having too many appointments, too many school problems, and being generally too busy as she tries to live life to the fullest. Please visit her family at Half Past Normal for more of their adventures! If you want to connect to chat, you can find her on Twitter @specialneedmom2 If you are interested in Special Education policies and procedures in Ontario – or just some excellent strategies and accommodations – please check out Angela's other site at Special Ed on the Bell Curve.

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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…)