Tuesday, 24 March 2015

About gender

We all know the disturbing sight of the Walmart toy isle, one side is fulled with action figures and cars and ninja turtles and the other is bright pink and purple with dolls and my little ponies. The separation is obvious, sad and very outdated. I find here in Canada the conversation about this is much more in the background than in Sweden. The awareness of breaking down stereotypical gender roles is huge there and it's inspiring. 

It seems that children are boxed in and categorized before they're even born, boys t-shirts have angry birds and powerful action figures and girls clothes have frilly arms and soft colours and messages about being "daddy's cupcake" or "mommy's princess". I never used to pay a lot of attention to it until I took Minea out in public wearing any other colour than pink or purple and every singe person assumed she was a boy. What we wear determines how people see us, and how people see us determines how we feel. I don't believe men are born unable to do laundry and women are born multitaskers, we are taught and conditioned for different things. When you take away the roles society creates for us about being a boy or a girl or a man or a woman, it opens up the range to be you, to give your children 100 choices instead of 2. 

My hope is to raise Minea in a household that is open minded, creative and encouraging of however she wants to express herself. Whether she's into cars or princesses (to narrow it down) but I will definitely expose her equally to both. I hope to be intentional about what she's exposed to on TV and to show her that being a boy doesn't mean you have to be tough and loud and being a girl doesn't mean you have to be cute and never get your hands dirty. I never want her to feel bound by restrictions if some of her interests don't fall into the stereotypical "Boy" or "Girl" columns. I want her to feel that she can be either one or anything in between. There is a lot of room for all of us to be exactly who we want to be. 

Thursday, 5 March 2015

BBQ coffee, horse kisses and snowfalls.

A few short weeks ago we had a massive, record-breaking snowfall. Got sent home from work, most of downtown shut down and then got I snowed in for a couple of days. 

Venessa was stuck in Vancouver and Minea was stuck with her grandparents the whole time so it was a solo mission for me at ye olde homestead. I had to dig my car out so I could charge my phone and luckily we had brought the bbq up on the deck a few days before because we thought spring was coming (ha!) so I could cook and make coffee. I felt like a true survivor, give me propane and a cellphone and I can survive at least 4-6 hours without power, it's impressive.

After the storm...and the 4th time I had to dig the cars out.

Did I mention it snowed?

Kinda done with snow.

What's the fastest and easiest way to get rice all over your house? I've got the answer!

Our daily routine includes visiting the horses down the road. Minea has to kiss each one and give them carrots before she's satisfied. 

She really, really loves horses. 

Monday, 2 March 2015


I think it’s ingrained in my very being that time is something that you need to...spend. Spend it doing something, spend it working, spend it being busy. Mostly I think people believe they need to spend most of their time working. It’s what we are trained to do, it’s why we go to school, to get a job so we can spend our time there. I love my job more than anything, I think I’ve said before that I don’t think I could be more happy about where I work unless we were breeding baby unicorns, or maybe it was baby goats (either one will do, really) but each day I’m at work is a day I’m not spending with Minea. She will never grow or change as much at any other time in her life as she will in her first three years.
And though I love the balance I have right now with working part time, that scale can never tip any further for me. And it very easily could...we made a conscious decision when I was returning to work that our time, our priority with our time and the way we spend our time was going to be with Minea, with each other.  I feel even as I’m writing this that I’m being decadent or that I’m selfish. I almost feel that I should be embarrassed by it, like saying that my #1 priority is time with my daughter is somehow  a strange and old way of living. Saying I spent so much time with Minea last week doesn't even come close to saying I have so much going on at work or I worked 55 hours last week. I got to make my daughter pancakes from scratch in the morning, without stressing to get out the door. Now that’s something to brag about! Too many of us boast about being too busy, it probably makes a person feel important and productive. But in my opinion there’s a huge difference between living a busy life and living a full life. Living a life with intention or being a victim to the choices you make that keep you so busy you’re just along for the ride. I want to have intention behind my priorities, making it ok to say no to things, to have unscheduled time. Not to say that you can’t be busy and live a full, intentional life at the same time. I think that’s great, it’s just not for me.

I’ve started using time as a currency, the only currency that matters to me. It’s so easy to get swept into the tornado of working to buy bigger and better things to keep up with everyone. It almost doesn't seem like a choice anymore, you have a kid, when they are 1 they start daycare then kindergarten then off to school and somehow we are supposed to be ok with someone else spending more time with our own children every day than we are? So that they eventually can get a good job and do the same thing. So many people work hard all year just to spend two weeks in the Bahamas as a family. I don’t remember all our family trips but I remember my mom being there when I got home from school every day. I feel so trapped in this track going around and around and you can’t get out of it you can just follow, like a horse on a carousel you’re along for the ride. I want to find ways to cut down costs so that we can truly live our lives with experiences and nurturing relationships instead of trying to fit them in. I’m hoping in the future that we can simplify even more, strive to be a one car family again. Back to what really matters to us.

"We are very good at preparing to live, but not very good at living. We know how to sacrifice ten years for a diploma, and we are willing to work very hard to get a job, a car, a house, and so on. But we have difficulty remembering that we are alive in the present moment, the only moment there is for us to be alive."
Thich Nhat Hanh