Thursday, October 6, 2011

"Is that the tax man?"

So it's election night in Ontario, and the evidence is everywhere in my household, with newspapers and magazines strewn about (I'll get to picking them up very soon). As always, I'll soon head out to spend the night helping out in the newsroom, but this morning, as I look over the Citizen and the Globe, a funny anecdote comes to mind.

It was the night of the leaders' debate, which had just begun playing on the living room TV while I chased my 10-month old around (it took about three hours for me to finish watching that hour and a half-long debate!), and my 13-year-old son relaxed on the loveseat, playing his Nintendo DS.

As Dalton McGuinty began to speak, without even looking up from his video game, my son blurted out, "Is that the tax man?" I began to roar with laughter.

Whether it speaks to the stickiness of the NDP/PC's anti-McGuinty messages, or simply the effectiveness of attack ads, it really was hilarious, and it helped open up a good chat about where the "tax man" moniker came from.

Parents, do you talk about politics with your kids? Are you engaged in this Ontario election? I'd love to hear from you:

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Supermom? Not really

My apologies, dear readers--if you're still around.

I would understand completely if you've lost patience and given up on this blog. This has been a tremendously hectic fall season, with my newsroom job, teaching two college courses, putting the finishing touches on the winter issue of Ottawa Parenting Times (out in early December!) and continuing to freelance for various publications.

As per the cliche, I truly feel the weight of the world on my shoulders. I am well aware that I tend to, as do so many women and mothers, take on more and more work, even when it becomes increasingly (and evidently) impossible, hesitating to say "no" to any project, for fear no more offers will come.

It's a constant fight for working moms, struggling not to lose your professional identity and the constant dread of only being seen, and valued, as "mom." Eventually, you push yourself to the point I'm at now--feeling that I'm doing too much and doing none of it well.

It's been well documented that women strive to "have it all." But can you have it all, and be all things to everyone in your life, and keep your sanity? Right now, I'm inclined to give an emphatic "no."

Further to this, I came across two interesting pieces in the Globe & Mail today; one on how chronic stress can make mothers hostile and insensitive, and another on alcohol as Mom's stress relieving secret, evoking  a bit of guilt about those occasional and treasured glasses of wine.

What do you think, working parents? How do you maintain balance in your life? And how do you cope with the constant stresses of juggling parenting and work?