Converting back to a green life, one week (and nap time) at a time

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A Look Back in the Box

December 2015

Christmas will soon be upon us, and I’ve been thinking a lot about where I was last December and the December before that. What a difference a couple of years makes.

Christmas, for me, also brings anxiety. While the Christmases of the recent past have been joyous occasions for the most part, and I try to conjure that joy, I am also reminded of past Christmases which brought stress instead of happiness, disappointment instead of gratitude. Arguments over what gifts to buy family members, duplicate gifts, spending too much money or not enough. Frustration displayed as anger over outside decorations not working or being put up to early. Drama over Christmas dinner not getting cooked enough due to a power outage or a stove malfunction, or overdone due to the unexpected arrival of a neighbour or family member. Someone’s drink invariably gets spilled or plate of food dropped on the floor. Finding a last minute gift tucked away in a closet that needs a midnight wrap job. Be being too young to understand why my parents were annoyed I was off school. A lot of “normal” things that I think most families experience, except always with seriousness. National Lampoons, without the humor.

But as I said, I am trying to remember the happy times and not dwell on the not so happy times, move onwards and upwards. And again this Christmas I am struggling to buy local, simply for logistical reasons. I have been making a lot of charitable donations for family instead of material items, as per usual.

There is one gift I am proud of, and that is a shoebox. Not just any shoebox. A shoebox given from one woman to another. A shoebox filled with personal care items and yummy treats for a woman at a local women’s shelter. A woman whom I will never meet, but that I hope can benefit from the items inside. It’s all part of The Shoebox Project. So in lieu of a large gift for my mom, I’m giving another woman a shoebox. And I know they’ll both appreciate it.

I have also been thinking about where I’m going to go with this blog. Last year brought me to a fork in the road, and I kept going. As I mentioned then, there’s still so much I want to write about, so many challenges I want to try. But now I can see an end in sight. Let’s face it – with two children now, one of which will be starting school around the same time I go back to work, at this point I can’t see how I can possibly continue. This doesn’t mean I’m going to stop being an environmentalist overnight. I am going to keep trying to keep up with the green challenges. I just won’t have time to write about them. But I know I probably will. I know myself well enough to know I need a creative outlet, and for me writing is usually that outlet.

And this blog needs some work. I was new to blogging what I started this blog, as can be seen by the layout. A number of the posts are missing references, contain grammatical errors, and could use some general “sprucing up”. I would like to take a look back to see what challenges I stuck to, which I had to let go, and tie up any lose ends with “progress updates”. This process will bring me closure, and allow me to take pride in what I have accomplished over the last two and a half-ish years.

So that will be my focus over the next few months until I go back to work. I may have the odd post if something really gets me going, and I would like to have the odd “guest post” on topics I know little about and don’t have time to research or try myself.

For those of you following my blog (and I hope you’re still out there), follow me on Twitter @mommyonthegreen to see what I’m up to.  Tweet you later!


For local gift ideas check out The Local Wishlist 


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Loosing My Mat Leave Mojo

January 2016

I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately. I don’t know yet if I’m headed down the PPD path or if there is another entirely logical for the way I’m feeling.

I often find January depressing. Whether it’s the weather – cold, snowy winter has arrived in all its gloomy dampness, making it hard to get out and about (too cold for LM) – or the short days (lack of sunlight contributing to my sudden SADness), or Christmas being over for another year. We finally got our decorations packed up and all the leftover goodies put away. But looking at the houses up the street with their lights still on only serves as a reminder that the holidays have run their course.

I love Christmastime – the music, the movies, the decorations, the food, the act of giving to others and partying it up with friends and loved ones. Despite the anxiety (#ref Looking back) I can still centre on the joy. I enjoyed MD’s Christmas so much – but she was older, and things went at a little slower pace. She could open her own presents (with some help) and have some Christmas dinner. I was done breastfeeding so a bit of wine didn’t hurt either. This year, however, the whole season seemed to go by at light speed. With two, one of which was eating and napping at frequent and unpredictable intervals, and me being tired from middle of the night wakings, I didn’t stop long enough to soak it up.  I seem to have trouble letting go of all the things I didn’t get to do, rather than what I did.

Maybe its because I’ve been surrounded by people for the last two weeks and haven’t had time to myself – except for the four minutes I’m in the shower or on the shitter – to decompress and recharge.

Maybe its because I’ve been stuck inside with an almost five month old and almost five year old for the last three days. Even if the weather is nice, MD is too old for a stroller but can’t keep up with me walking.

I’m stressed about my lack of activity, and how I’m ever going to get the next thirty pounds off, and OMG I don’t want to go near a scale after everything I ate over the holidays, and how am I ever going to work up the energy to work out when I’m so tired.

Maybe I’m going through sugar withdrawal. I’ve been trying to eat better the last few days and my body is like why are you starving me! (even though its far from starving).

Maybe it’s the sleep deprivation finally catching up with me. Why is it that I seem to need more sleep than my children? Will I ever sleep again?

Whatever the reason for this funk, I feel like being a Mom has stopped being fun. For the moment. I keep telling myself it will get better, and every time MD walks into the room I am reminded and reassured of that truth. LM is at a wired age – not quite ready for solids, no longer content to lay on a blanket on the floor and look around but not yet crawling, still needing naps about every two hours. I’m the kind of person who craves structure to feel like I’m functioning normally, but with LM, while having a semblance of a routine, we still lack enough structure in my day for me to feel satisfied and productive. Just a few more months I tell myself, just a few more months, he’ll meet these developmental milestones and all will be well for another while.

Then the guilt kicks in. Guilt for wishing my life away. Guilt for not keeping our daughter home from day care at least part time. Guilt because I’m tired of breastfeeding (tired of him biting the boob that feeds him, but determined to meet my 6-month goal. What about the cost to my wellbeing . . .?). Guilt for just wanting our lives to go back to normal (even if it is a “new” normal). Guilt for being so selfish. Guilt for not appreciating my beautiful, funny, healthy children, when so many struggle to have children or have had to stay goodbye too soon. Guilt, and anxiety, because the closer he gets to that “fun”stage the closer I get to going back to work. And now I know that I can never get this time back. This time that I wish I could pull a Stephane Dion and “do over” with MD.  MD who in six weeks will be five years old. I well up as I think and type this, the thought of that number five on her cake, of registering her for grade primary in a few weeks. Sad that my little girl has grown up before my eyes. Sad that I feel as if I’ve wasted so much of her childhood wishing myself forward to the next stage, fighting the stages that were hard, trying to figure out how the heck to be a mom, forgetting to live in the moment, until we’re suddenly at now and time is going too fast and I wish I was in that episode of Stargate where Major Carter slows down time so the human-form replicators can’t get off that planet. I know someday they won’t need me any more. I don’t want them to wonder where I was when they did.

Maybe it is all of those things. Plus one more – maybe I’m going to get my period back next month. I remember feeling similar with MD just before that landmark, but that time I was angry. So angry I couldn’t stand to be in the same room with my family. I had no idea that the first post partum period was accompanied with this wave of emotion. It’s a little easier to deal with when you know what to expect.

Maybe I just need to write it all down. If only I could get the hour or so to put it all together in this post. I need to write. I need to cry. But I’m afraid if I start either or both I won’t be able to stop. But I have to be able to stop, to put a cap on it at least temporarily. Because my kids need their mom.


So this is life

Forgot How to be the Happy Mom

The Truth about Maternity Leave