Sh*t, Reality Set In Yesterday


I go back to work in a week. I’m totally cool with that…I’ve had a fantastic year on maternity leave with Hilary. We’ve had our ups and downs but kept going and now here we sit…well, actually, she’s sleeping and I’m standing at the computer right now. But that’s not the point. I dropped into work today to sign some papers, find out about next week’s meetings, get my keys and to try to remember my work passwords etc.

stressed out at work

I left the office and came home and just felt like crap…I may have shed a tear or two. Not because I don’t like my work. Not because I’m not ready to leave Hilary at day care with BIG sister Lilly. But because I had a moment of “What am I getting myself into” AND “Can I really do this job again”?


I feel under-qualified for the job.

I feel like the job is way beyond me.

I feel like I have no idea what I was getting into.

In reality, I’ve held the job for 5 years (minus 2 mat. leaves) and feel that I’ve done a good job in the past. I’ve never been told I’m doing something terribly wrong or that I’m not up to speed on current physical activity data.

After being off work for the last year, I’m not up to speed on current data and who know’s, I’ll probably make a few mistakes when I return. Just checking my email is a task in itself. I couldn’t even remember my username or password today. Thank God the tech support I talked to was super awesome and loved to talk about his 15 month old grandson….he made me happy.

I am slightly sad that I won’t get to spend ALL my time with my girl(s).

I am nervous about trying to get out the door, drop the girls off and to work on time.

I’m not looking forward to getting my girls on a new routine and the meltdowns that lie ahead of us.


My head space right now is what are we eating this week, when did Hilary nap, is the laundry clean in the washing machine, when is Lilly’s next play date, walk Maclean, is the fire still going and when did I workout last?

It’s not in work mode.

I know I’ll get there in the end. I know I’ll start absorbing the current data. I know I have a lot to learn (again). And I know it will all come back to me eventually.

But man, Shi*t hit really the fan yesterday.

Bye Bye Mat. Leave….You’ve been good to us.



How to Workout When You Have No $Money$

We are now well into February and I’m confident that those New Year Resolutions are still going strong with everyone who made them! Right? You haven’t given up yet, have you?

I feel like I’ve had a slow start but am working towards my resolutions, not easy with a 2 month old and toddler these days. Being on maternity leave has its perks: napping when baby naps, family dinners (I’m slightly failing at this one), time to work out. Time to work out ?!?!?! Not so much around here – I’ve got laundry to do, dishes to clean, a wood stove to keep going, not to mention nurse Hilary and pick Lilly up at the end of the day (plus a few other things).

For me, working out is about running outside (or walking with a stroller) and DVD workouts at home (when I get a free moment). For people who don’t have a lot of money (like me on maternity leave) it can be hard to find money for a gym membership or to wear the latest workout clothing. So here are few ways you can work out without any money or for very little.

1 – Walking: It’s one of the best activities you can do for your body. Walking – simply get moving a little more. Walk to the grocery store, walk for 10 minutes 3 times a day around your store if you work in retail. You can walk inside the mall or indoor track and outside when the weather is good. Heart & Stroke has a great program called Walkabout with great tips and tools to help you get moving.

2 – DVD’s from your Library. Get online or go to your local library and see what DVD workouts they have on hand. This is a good way to see what type of workout you want to try and then invest in the DVD later on if you really liked it.

Piper's Run - collection of DVD workouts!!!

Piper’s Run – collection of DVD workouts!!!

Plus it’s FREE!

A few at our local library: The Biggest Loser, Jillian Michael’s (various), Yoga, Dancing with the Stars!

3 – Magazine’s. Okay, so you need to spend a little money here – maybe $5. There are numerous magazine’s out there that provide workouts such as Fitness Magazine , Prevention and Self. You may need weights (cans of soup work too) or sometimes your own body to work against you.

4 – Body Rock TV. If your reading this then you have access to the internet therefore you have access to numerous workouts online. I came across Body Rock TV on Facebook one day and was rather impressed (I really suck at their workouts but they are really good).

5 – Pinterest. This has become my go to place not only for workouts but for new recipes, stuff to do with kids, holidays etc. You can check out my “Workout” Board on Pinterest for a variety of workouts you can print and keep on hand to do on those days when you need a new workout.

Get Started Workout

Get Started Workout

6 – You Tube. I feel like you can find everything on You Tube. Just type in “workouts” or get more specific (for women, yoga, prenatal, HITT workouts). One of my favourites is Tone It Up.

Did I mention walking? Seriously, get moving a little more. And not just a stroll around the grocery store. Get outside or to a walking track/mall and pound the pavement.

7. Running. As I’ve said before, running is one of my favourite workouts. You don’t need fancy or expensive sneakers but you do need a good pair of sneakers that won’t give you any problems (knee, back) or get injured. You don’t need fancy clothing but you do need to wear appropriate clothing; layers in the winter and preferably not cotton. If you only have a cotton shirt, wear it but make sure to change out of it ASAP as it will stay wet and you’ll get cold.

There are many ways to workout if you don’t have a lot of money. The important thing is that you just get off the couch and get moving.

how to work out when you have NO money

Piper’s Run

How do you workout when you can’t afford a Gym membership?

What’s your “free” way to workout?

Have you ever gone to the library for a DVD workout?

What’s your GO-To workout?

More importantly – how are your New Year Resolutions going?

Indoor Walking Isn’t Just For Mall Crawlers

Ever go to a mall on a weekday and see people walking before the stores open? I sure have…and GOOD for them. Walking indoors is a great way to be active, especially when the weather is too cold….or to hot! I never walked at the mall before the stores opened as I like being outside in any weather. Well, maybe not on an extremely hot summer day.

When I was on maternity leave with Lilly two years ago, our little baby group would go walking at an indoor track not far from where we all lived. It was great. Our strollers fit side by side, it was warm, we had a place to sit and nurse the babies if needed and washroom’s available. It was free, unless you wanted to give a donation in their drop box – it took me almost 2 months of walking to notice their donation box – whoops! This indoor walking track is actually at a hockey arena and located at the top so you can look down and watch people skating or playing hockey.

On Tuesday, before I knew I was going to be violently ill, Hilary and I went to the track. I was planning on walking for an hour but only managed 40 minutes. 40 minutes was enough as I was about to lose my marbles (stomach content) later in the afternoon. We arrived just before lunch time and had the place to ourselves. When 12 o’clock hit, skaters came out of nowhere, there was about 20 people of all ages skating. Note to self – buy skates/helmet for Lilly ASAP.

Hilary strolling at the indoor walking track

Hilary strolling at the indoor walking track

It was a perfect day to be inside walking as it was -13 C outside with a windchill of -23 C. Brrrrrrrrrr. This is one of my plans to get moving a little more this winter until the weather get’s better and we can be outside more.

Such a beautiful sight for me to stare at while walking

Such a beautiful sight for me to stare at while walking

Do you use indoor walking tracks in the winter?

Ever mall crawl before the stores open?

Big winter storm hitting Nova Scotia tonight and tomorrow – I can’t wait! Woohoo! We are expecting 40+ cm of snow….wish us luck!

Picture Source from Atlantic Canada Weather

Maternity Leave – What’s your story ?

A few weeks ago I came across this“Mapping Paid Maternity Leave” picture and had a look. It was published by The Women in Public Service Project: Think Progress – in the US. After reading other blogs over the last year and seeing that mom’s are heading back to work 6, 8, 10 weeks after their baby arrives kinda made me sad and wondering how do they do it?

Sounds like they just have to do it and that’s life!

I live in Canada where we get paid maternity leave and can take up to one year off work. With 50 weeks being paid at 55% of your wages and some companies provide a “top up” of your salary. The “top up” means that you get paid 55% of your wages from the Government and another amount on top of that from your employer say 25% –  35% for a certain amount of weeks (15 – 17 weeks). It all depends on your employer’s work benefits if you receive any “top up”, what percentage or nothing at all from your employer. Not everyone receive’s a top up.

A few facts about Canadian Maternity Leave:

  • Maternity benefits can be paid up to a maximum of 15 weeks.
  • Parental (Mom or Dad/Partner) benefits can be paid up to a maximum of 35 weeks.
  • Sickness benefits can be paid up to a maximum of 15 weeks.
  • A combination of maternity, parental and sickness benefits can be received up to a combined maximum of 50 weeks.
  • Between you and your partner you have 35 weeks of parental benefits and you can divide those weeks any way you like.
  • For most people, the basic rate for calculating EI benefits is 55% of your average insurable weekly earnings, up to a maximum amount.
  • As of January 1, 2012, the maximum yearly insurable earnings amount is $45,900. This means that you can receive a maximum amount of $485 per week.

*Information from Service Canada. If you want to learn more about Canadian maternity leave, you can check out Service Canada Website for more facts.

Photo Source – From The Women in Public Service Project website.

Think Progress says “Out of 178 nations, the U.S. is one of three that does not offer paid maternity leave benefits, let alone paid leave for fathers, which more than 50 of these nations offer. In comparison, Canada and Norway offer generous benefits that can be shared between the father and mother, France offers about four months, and even Mexico and Pakistan are among the nations offer 12 weeks paid leave for mothers”.

They also say “Women are forced to put their careers and financial future at risk simply because they want to have children. During their pregnancy, they face being fired unfairly or not being able to properly care for themselves. They should not have to worry about making ends meet without paid maternity leave on top of that.”

Now, I am not a US citizen … but I still care about their rights, their life and that’s why I am writing this post today. I don’t normally post about topics like this, but it may just spark a good conversation among bloggers/readers.I’d love to hear your comments on “Mapping Paid Maternity Leave”.

With our daughter, I went off work 4 weeks early due to health challenges – fully expecting to make it to 40 weeks. I went off work on a Friday and ended up having Lilly on Monday, so my maternity leave started then. I took a whole year off. We plan with our second due in December (though may come early also – late November) to take a full year off.

Where do you live and what is/was your maternity leave like?

How long of a maternity leave does your employer allow ?

Did your husband/partner take time off ?

What do you feel is a reasonable time for maternity leave?