Category Archives: work-life

The best Mother’s Day gift ever….

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I am a mom. Mother’s Day is coming up, but this is also Mental Health Week, so I am getting lots of media and social media info focused on that. It’s been interesting reading what is said on these topics seemingly on different tracks, yet linked in so many ways.

It got me thinking (yes, I know – dangerous!). Let’s consider for a moment something that the organisers of Mental Health Week say about mental health, but from the perspective of a busy mom:

“We all have mental health, just as we all have physical health. Mental health is more than the absence of mental illness. It’s a state of well-being.”

As a mom, I wonder… I am not alone when I describe parenting not as a state, but rather as constant change. Raising children, how can I achieve that sense of well-being when everything is so topsy-turvy unpredictable and rapidly changing? Every parent has experienced at least a few days of being overwhelmed, out of balance, anxious and stressed, and those who say otherwise are just not owning up to the truth.

It has always been tough being a parent, but the pressures now seem ever higher, as both expectations on what parents do and kids need to achieve keep rising. As well, with all the easily available information, there are no excuses such as “I didn’t know”.

The sense of well-being dies through a thousand paper cuts caused by thoughts and moments of avoidable imperfection.

So, the best Mother’s day gift ever for me would not be chocolate, flowers or presents.

What I really want is a helping hand when I am carrying groceries out of store with a toddler on my hip, someone to hold the door as I push a stroller into a building, a supportive smile when my angelic child decides to throw a huge temper tantrum in the candy isle.

What I really want is people being really ok with me being late a few minutes to a meeting as the morning to school routine had some snag that led to a domino chain of delays. What I really want is a hug at the time I least expect it, a note from friends who still care about me even if we have not met in ages, a simple text to say “You are doing great job. It can’t always be easy, but keep at it – you ROCK!”

I am lucky, because many of these things happen to me and I am surrounded by people who are generous and kind and helping. None of what I do would be possible without the moral and tangible support of a huge number of people who have my back. Thank you.

And so, for Mother’s Day – which happens to be during Mental Health Week – let’s give each other some love – and some leeway. Life is not perfect and that is awesome. And moms need to be reminded of that.

The best gift possible to any and all Mothers that you know would be to give them some love and kindness, give them support and encouragement, give them a break and a hand if you can. On Mothers’ Day and any day.

Alexandra T. Greenhill, mom and CEO, myBestHelper

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Date Night for parents… what’s that? {Giveaway}

Loved the blog post Kelly Krol, Raincity Mama did on the importance of dating as a parent! Like if you agree it is core to keeping love going well past wedding vows…

Raincity Parent

Every parent needs a Date Night once in awhile.

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Unless…you have no child care options available.

Five ways date nights may strengthen couples.

(1) A date night is an opportunity to communicate.
(2) Date nights are valuable for their novelty.
(3) Date nights may strengthen or rekindle that romantic spark that can be helpful in sustaining the fires of love over the long haul.
(4) Date nights may strengthen a couple’s sense of commitment to one another.
(5) Date nights are a way to relieve stress.

The American Red Cross did a poll in 2012 that found that 55% of parents surveyed decided to stay home in the past 24 months, because they couldn’t find a babysitter.

I am totally guilty of this!
20140420-223505.jpg If you are lacking in the child care department, you should check out myBestHelper.
What they do? They make it easy and fast for families to…

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Being a Modern Woman: 5 Best TED Talks Ever

keep calm - change the world

I am a TED talks addict. Here, I have said it and – I know I am not the only one. But at least is for a good cause – I learn something every time!

It’s worse right now because TED talks are being held right now in Vancouver, for the first time away from their usual location in California. Our city has been vibrating welcoming so many interesting people who are interested in what others think – both attendees and presenters. And EVERYONE around me is into sharing what their favorite TED talks are – of all time, on a given topic, by a given presenter…

So – all this made me think to share the TED talks that I have found most interesting lately centered on the theme of being a modern woman and a parent. Here are the 5 most interesting talks, in the order I recommend you view them:

If you have not personally felt the need to consider this entire line of thought, just open any business magazine and count faces – any magazine still contains a ration of 5 to 6 times the smiling men to women, and the Canadian Medical Association just send me a “Future Practice” magazine without a single female physician profiled, referenced or even just photographed.

We need to notice this, gently alert ourselves and our male colleagues and guide society towards a better place where people can do what they are passionate about without gender (or race, age, religion etc) being an obstacle, a deterrent or a challenge.

The trend has been historically to under represent women leadership roles and it’s both pull and push. Many young women opt out when they consider the giant burden of doing it all and being Type E – Everything for Everybody. Only through our own awareness of this remaining a challenge and some firm and gentle action will this situation ever change, as all research shows that the imbalance of genders is created by omission (‘failure to think and/or act”) rather than “commission (“intending to cause”).

We need to notice omissions, consider them and call for action on these “missed opportunities”. Watching these five TED talks is a great way to get up to speed in less than half an hour, and not just for women – I really think change will happen when these TED talks on women become a #mustsee for all.

And yes, I have a line up like that on modern men too… you just need to wait for the blog post!

Alexandra T. Greenhill, mom of three, CEO founder of myBestHelper, woman, human