Thursday, March 28, 2013

Realities of Parenthood

A recent article inspired me to write my own list of the realities of having babies.

1. It is the hardest thing...EVER.
2. Having more than one child is harder than 1)
3. Having more than two children is harder than 2)
For example, I was nursing baby when child 2 had a nosebleed and first child was 3 in the morning...with hubby on a business trip. Ugh.

4. Sleep is a luxury.
5. Free time is a luxury.

6. You learn to function on 2-3 hours of consolidated sleep at a time.
7. Cleaning poo in the middle of a meal becomes the norm.
8. A baby cries, sometimes for no reason.
9. A baby cries, sometimes for a reason you find out after. For example, sleep training baby and after 30 minutes of crying, you check to find a poopy diaper and feel like the most horrible parent.

10. Working from home is only possible if you have help at home.
11. Nursing is painful, especially if you have latch issues or thrush. Yes, I have had both. I am still in pain for the third one, but it has subsided some.
12. Uterine contractions while nursing are like early labour all over again, especially with the third baby. Ugh!

But having said all that, the huge smiles and hugs you receive and the "I love you, Mama" make it all worth it. Crazy, huh?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Day with Three Kids and Everything Else

Some people have asked,"How do you do it?"
The answer? "I have some help and I don't need much sleep."
Below is a sample timeline of a day with three kids and everything else.

6:30 Nurse baby, play
7:15 Get myself ready and greet older 2 kids
8:00 Baby naps while breakfast with family
8:30 Grade 3 child and Dad go to school/work
9:00 Read/play with kindergarten child, work from home
10:00 Nurse, Mama's helper arrives
11:30 Work meeting or lunch with kids
12:30 Kids back to school
1:00 Nurse then play with baby, prep dinner
2:00 Conference call
3:00 Pick up kids from school, Mama's helper leaves
4:00 Nurse and play
5:00 Dinner for kids and Mama, piano and song time with kids and baby
5:30 Dad comes home
6:00 Nurse and bathtime
7:00 Baby to bed
8:00 Older 2 kids to bed
8:30 - 10 Work
Emails and texts are also exchanged throughout the day, sometimes while picking up kids from school, sometimes while nursing.
10 Nurse (sometimes she skips this one)
1 Nurse
4 Nurse
7 Nurse
Day starts again :)

Whew! Life is full. Mama has to be efficient. There is not one moment when I am not multitasking. What a fun journey! 

Factors to Consider With the Job Offer

Here are some of the factors besides salary (summarized briefly) to consider with the job offer. Not all jobs will come with these options, but some will.

1. Career development with the job, within the organization
2. Office culture - did you "click" with the people?
3. QOL - how far is the job? Will you enjoy the commute?
4. Vacation (negotiable as well)
5. On-site daycare
6. Benefits - medical, dental, other health-related
7. Stock options
8. Do they promote "Fedex Days" or initiative and follow-through? "Fedex Days" are those days when employees can work on anything that they think need improvement. At the end of the day, everyone gets together over food and drinks to present their ideas. Some of the best ideas and product enhancements have resulted from these days.
9. Management
10. Do you agree with the organization's overall message? I hope you believe in them, or you should not have even applied.
11. Can you deliver more then expected with your own dose of initiative and creativity?
12. Family days available?
13. Last but not least, will you be happy with the actual work?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Job...after Baby #3

Wow - we are at Baby #3. More interrupted sleep, but it comes with the cuteness.

I taught classes while I was pregnant, finished the final grades and she was born 2 weeks after. Great timing! While taking a "break" from teaching, I am writing a book to go with the next class and organizing a biomedical career symposium for one day in the summer. I wrote a proposal for it a few months back which was awarded. I have a great student team helping me as I am unable to do most of the legwork with new baby. As you can see the common theme with all of my post-births, set up a plan to have enthusiastic interns or students help with the job. With the right leadership and guidance, it works!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Incorporating professional development into the graduate curriculum

Hi Everyone,

It has been a while. Great news! We introduced a graduate professional development course to my alma mater and it was a great success, according to the feedback which returned after the class. I hope more universities follow. The course outline is posted on here.

For any academics interested, please email me at for any feedback or discussions to start your own.

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