Getting Under

I was very much looking forward to going for a workout this morning, then, upon waking up, I was met with a crying, clingy Rina, eyes full of dried secretions, stuffy nose and a harsh cough. I cuddled with her a little, then it was Béa’s turn to start to cry, so I cuddled her as well and finally rushed to get ready for the Box. I was pooped and the day hadn’t even started yet! 😦

Skill: Power Clean 8×2 E90s

Coach Caleb said we should work up to a heavy double. I knew that if I started at 55#, I would finish at 95# and I honestly don’t think I had it in me this morning. Here’s what I did instead:


Whenever I repeated the weight was because I didn’t feel confident in my reps, so I repeated in order to get it just right. I then tried 85#, managed my 1st rep and could not for the life of me repeat it for a second one. I rested longer, and managed my second rep. Coach Caleb came by and, just like for my snatch, I have a mental blockage about getting under the bar. I stayed at 85# and repeated my 2 reps with much better ease and confidence. I need to stop over- analyzing the movement and just do it!

WOD: 21-7

I knew I would have to do FG1 because of my pull-ups but I wanted to challenge myself and I did by starting with the red band only (I normally use the red and purple). I managed 3 rounds without the help of the extra band, but I ended up using both bands for the rest of the workout. I did all my push ups from my toes and I was amazed at how easy they felt once I remember to keep my feet together. Air squats was when I would try to recover. I managed 6 full rounds and completed 4 pull-ups into the next round, which gave me a score of 214.

I came back home and kept Rina home with me while Ben took Béa to gymnastics class. I cleaned up the upstairs, finished 3 loads of laundry and then took the girls for a quick errand to the grocery store. Rina was so lethargic, she asked that I pick her up. Good thing I work out! Carrying a 4 year-old, a grocery bag and managing a 2 year-old through a parking lot is no small feat!

I came home and took the car seats out of my car as I’m bringing my car to get fixed in the morning and they will give me a loaner in the meantime. I was rear-ended 2 weeks ago and my rear bumper was dented, hence bringing my car to get fixed.

Once I was done fiddling with the car seats, I came back inside and here’s what was awaiting on the couch:

She looks so rough!

She looks so rough!

Now if you excuse me, I need to go fold 3 loads of laundry and take care of a sick child before heading in to work for my night shift! Phew!

The Dualities Of The Working Mom

I am a mom. I also work full-time as a nurse. This week, I’m struggling in dealing with both of these realities of my life.

I need to be re-certified for a test at work. A test I have been taking every 2 years for the past 9 years. I cannot pass this test to save my life right now. I have a hard time focusing on the studying part and an even harder time answering the questions properly. I don’t think I’m an idiot, but failing this test over and over again sure makes me feel like one and it’s making me doubt my qualifications as a nurse. I have some tremendous co-workers helping me deal with it and it is nice to feel like I am part of a team that wants to see me succeed. I am lucky to be able to get help and encouragements from these co-workers. I don’t need to name you, you know who you are and I am thankful you were there to show your support.

This week, both my daughters are sick. They both have a terrible cold and Rina was coughing so much she vomited today. The Nanny called me at work just to give me a quick update. I don’t have my cell phone on at work while I’m on “the floor” and I usually call the Nanny on my breaks, but she wanted to keep me in the loop and she called me at work. Well, I got some negative feedback from a co-worker about receiving this short personal phone call while I was on duty. At first, I was furious, then I felt sad. Obviously, this person doesn’t know about the struggles of the working mother. She doesn’t know about the guilt one can feel for not seeing their babies for a full 48hrs. She doesn’t know about the constant worry in the back of your head while you are trying to give your 100% at work. She doesn’t know about how wrong it feels to not be the one cuddling your babies when they are sick. She doesn’t know that your day is much longer than the 12-hrs you put in at work. She doesn’t know about the mountains of snot you had to wipe before you left home in the morning and she sure as heck doesn’t know about the pang you feel when you walk in the door after your hard and busy day at work only to hear your baby cry through the front door. She doesn’t know about how you barely take time to put your bags down before picking up the crying baby and cuddling her in the dark to try to put her to sleep. She doesn’t know that, even though these moments are stolen moments (because your child should be sound asleep already), you are tremendously grateful to get to be the one to calm her down and help her back to a peaceful sleep.

I understand that she doesn’t get a “free pass” because she doesn’t have kids and I am not asking for one because I DO have kids. Having children is a choice I made and fully assume. I am not angry at that co-worker. I understand that she wants me to be focused and “in the moment” at work. I work in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and you need to be on your A-Game and I get it. She doesn’t know that I got tremendous positive feedback for my work with my patients’ family today and how it helped me not feel like such a big failure for not being able to pass that silly test. I also know that she gets to go home to a quiet childless house at night and I wouldn’t trade places with her for anything in the world. 

I don’t quite know where I’m going with this post. Being a stay-at-home mom is hard, I know, I’ve done it twice for over 13 months both times. Being a working mother is hard. No matter what you do, you are always pulled in a million directions at once and I don’t think you ever feel like you’ve given your 100% at anything you do, but I am doing the best I can and that’s all I can ask of myself. I consider myself lucky to be able to work AND come home to cuddle and smell my babies’ hair while I kiss them in their sleep. Most of my co-workers are living a similar reality and are supportive. I just wish that working moms wouldn’t be made to feel guilty about being working moms. We are, after all, in the 21st century…

To Rina

My Sweet Rina,

Today I won’t get to see you like I normally have for the past 14 months. You see, today, I have to go back to work full-time. The past 14 months have been some of the most challenging months of my life, but they also have been the most rewarding and fulfilling because I got to spend them with you and your sister.

You have changed tremendously over the past year and it has been pure bliss to watch you grow into the person you are now today. You keep growing and evolving everyday and it never ceases to amaze me to see you become your own individual.

You are strong spirited, with unwavering determination, and will stand your grounds no matter what. Must be the French temper you get from me. As much as it drives me insane when we butt heads, I admire you for knowing what you want and sticking to your guns. I can only hope that you will come to recognize when you are wrong and apologize for your mistakes when you get older.

You have such a big heart, always sharing with Béatrice and ready to offer a helping hand. I may not always appreciate it, but know that it doesn’t go unnoticed by me. Your love of animals remind me of my own at your age: dogs, cats, horses, ducks, dolphins, killer whale. Nobody gets left behind, not even Kayla, your imaginary friend, that has become a part of our lives over the past 2 weeks.

You put out a very strong and unwavering front, and show your more tender, softer side only to the people closer to you, all the while always reaching out to make new friends. You are my little social butterfly. You will begin a new pre-school in February and although I feel bad that you will have to re-adjust to a new environment, I know you will settle in just fine. You will probably be quiet at the beginning, studying your new surroundings and people, but I know you will fit in anywhere you go.

You are very independent and I cherish the moments you let me curl up next to you and cuddle you. Those moments are rare, but oh so precious. I love that you thrive whenever we go for a walk or a hike and that your favourite place is “the beach” (aka the beach and/or hiking). Always keep that love of the outdoors, it’s one of the most rewarding place to be and it doesn’t cost anything!

You are set in your ways, but easily adapt to new ones as well. Be nice to Daddy today, he may not do things the same way I do them, but the end result will be the same.

My one and only Rina-Bina!

My one and only Rina-Bina!

You will always be my 1st-born daughter and that is a special bond that will never break. You have transformed your Dad and I from adults to becoming parents, turned us from being a married couple to becoming a family. You taught me about unconditional love, about patience and about the importance of keeping everything balanced in life. You have also taught me that I am stronger than I ever thought I was and I thank you for that. You are my blue-eyed, curly-haired little angel and I know you will break some hearts later in life, just don’t be ruthless and don’t take people for granted. Then again, knowing how loving and caring you are, I feel those words of advice are useless. Just see them as a gentle reminder. You are my little clown and nothing warms my heart like hearing you burst into laughter and seeing that dimple appear on your right cheek (mine is on the left!) Keep your sense of humour, it is the best ice-breaker.

I will miss you dearly today and, hopefully, we’ll be able to talk on the phone. Rest assured that I will come kiss your soft curls tonight when you’re fast asleep, like I have done every night since you were born.

I love you with all my heart, now and forever.

Maman Xxo