Hometown: Port Perry, ON
Education: Queen’s University – BPHE (Bachelor of Physical & Health Education), BSc. (Biology)
Current/previous Career: I’m currently a Director, Team Mentor & Independent Stylist with Stella & Dot while being home with my 2 boys! I love the company and what we stand for – we are truly confidence builders and every woman needs some of that! After moving to Guelph when my 2nd son was born, I was too far away from downtown Toronto to commute to my corporate career (Sport and Event Management and Sponsorship, managing title sponsorships in the golf industry for PGA TOUR and LPGA TOUR Events, as well as the the Suites Department at the Air Canada Centre as an Account Executive) I’d had for the last 10 years, so I’ve decided to do this full time and stay home with the boys.
I had the BEST jobs and had so much fun, but family life and geography are such that I’ve had to change my focus! S&D was always just my side gig – something I did for fun on the side for a bit of extra income but now I’ve been able to work at it more consistently.
What’s the most challenging part of being a parent?
Oh boy, both of mine were not great sleepers (I have two boys who are 4 and 19 months) so when they were little I’d have to say operating on 3-4 hours of sleep a night for the first year of their lives! I’m still not sure how I survived but somehow we all do! Now, I think I’d have to say picking my battles?! Knowing when to let something go and when to discipline, and with what tactic to approach each issue with that will most effectively solve the problem. As my oldest has started school this year I am finding this more and more!
I am also a step-parent to two great kids – my stepson is 11 and my stepdaughter is 9. That has come with its own set of challenges but never between me and the kids. We have a fabulous blended family and my kids love their siblings to death. We never talk about being half-siblings. They don’t even know that’s a thing!
What do you love the most?
I love that I’m here with them, teaching them to be kind, honest and compassionate human beings. They say little boys are so sweet to their mamas and it’s true! I love that I’m able to influence them that way and show them how to love and treat others!
Why did you choose to be a stay-at-home mom?
Admittedly for me, it was a matter of circumstance. We moved to Guelph which made commuting into downtown Toronto too difficult. But I was so glad to make that choice as I was back to work after my first and it was stressful. I didn’t have a job that I could leave at my desk – I was leaving earlier than everyone else to race to the Go Train to make sure I was home in time to pick up my son from daycare. I was always back online after my son was in bed, dealing with client issues. I was happy to take that stress away and have my kids be my biggest focus.
What are the benefits to you personally?
I’ve now had the time to grow my own business with Stella & Dot – last year I went from 12 women on my team to now over 50, just because I was able to share my love for the company more! So it’s great that I can be with the kids when they need me, but also have this amazing business that fuels me and fills my cup! I have “me” time and time with other women which I think is really important.
Your children and family?
I don’t think there’s any right way to do it but I know for us, it’s definitely beneficial that I’m home now. My husband works a very demanding corporate executive job and I’m able to keep things fairly stress free at home (well, most of the time). Though I’m not the best at maintaining a perfect, clean and organized home, at least the laundry is done and dinner is made 🙂 I also love being able to pick my son up from school, take him to skating, swimming etc which I wouldn’t be able to do otherwise.
What is the downside for you, your child and your family?
Hmmm … that’s a tough one. I guess the downside is that my husband wants to relax on the weekends and I want to plan outings and get-togethers because I’ve been home all week! Also financially we’ve definitely had to make some sacrifices but I always just think that it’s a short window of time before both are in school and it’s great that I can be with my boys now.
What hobbies do you enjoy?
I love playing sports and have played many for most of my life, though things seem to be slowing down after having kids! I love playing soccer and golf now – my husband and I love playing both together but I’d love to join a women’s soccer league here in Guelph! I’d also call Stella & Dot one of my hobbies because I just love working at it so much – helping women style themselves for a particular event or season is the best part of my job!
What was the last good book you read?
Right now I’m reading Lewis Howes, The School of Greatness and I highly recommend! Next book on my list?
The Art of Imperfection by Brene Brown. She is the keynote speaker at our annual Stella & Dot conference this summer and I want to make sure I’ve done my reading!
What are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of designing a life I love, on my own terms. I always pictured myself being able to do this – stay home with my kids while still feeling fulfilled and happy, and I truly have that right now. I’m proud of the balance I’ve been able to create in my life between work, family and fun. I’m proud of being a great stepmom too – that I have two more kids by love, not blood, who love me the same way. I’ve known them since they were very young, so they’ve never really known any different, but I am proud that they respect me as an equal parent and of how loving they are to their little brothers.
What is something about you we would find surprising?
Well I already alluded to it earlier but I’m not overly organized! I have a lot going on – 4 kids, running a small business, over-scheduled husband – life is busy and I’m not the greatest at keeping it all together! I don’t have a house cleaner and wish I did as I feel I can’t keep up with the chaos and clutter! Although it may not look like it, I usually know where most everything is! ha! I’ve always flown by the seat of my pants and it’s what’s worked for me!
What makes you a modern mommy?
I suppose I’m a modern mommy because I’m not doing things the traditional way – I’m not fully just “in the home” as I’m running a business but I’m not working the traditional 9-5 either. There’s definitely pros and cons to each and things I miss about working in the corporate world (like drinking hot coffee by myself at my desk). I’m also ok with not having it all together all the time and I’m very honest about it! I try my best to look presentable most days (throwing on a piece of jewelry usually helps with that) but there’s definitely days I barely get out of my pj’s!