What No One Tells you about “Free Time” before Motherhood

Coming to motherhood this late in the game has been very eye-opening (newsflash: I’m not a young new mom).

Before having my daughter, I used to be somewhat busy.  I worked as a Marketing Communications manager and it required a lot of networking events and committee meetings for me to go to.  Even at my busiest times, I remember having to be able to look forward to an afternoon, or a day, or a weekend afterwards for down time.  Tell me, what the hell did I do with all that free time back then?

Because now, my daughter goes to my mother -in-law’s every Tuesdays and Thursdays for a few hours in the morning until she comes home at lunch time. And I have grand dreams of getting all my shit done.  I have even set alarms to finish the current task at hand (pick-up never-disappearing clutter, do laundry, fold laundry, etc) so I can move on to the next which I’d hope to spend on myself (for my run/work-out or taking a shower) and maybe sneak in a blog post for the week. And you know what? There’s never enough time to finish the must-do list.  I look at the clock and it dawns on me that I haven’t eaten breakfast and I’m staaarving and it’s now almost time to make lunch that is more palatable than a peanut butter sandwich.

Pre-motherhood, I used to judge wonder how some women go out of the house with their month-old mani’s or pedi’s hanging on the the edge of their nails for dear life (you know what I’m talking about) without spending a couple of minutes to just take it off.  It’s not that hard, is it? Yeah right, Judge Judy…
You want to know why they do that, you young, childless beauty with your perfect mani and pedi traipsing out in the world? Because when she was about to take it off, her kid probably started asking her for more goldfish crackers, and after that, have her read Red is Best for the fifth time that morning, and then she sniffed something awful wafting from the kid’s cute little bum. And what usually took her only 2-3 minutes tops to get out the door to the car as a childless woman before, has now become a ridiculous 20-minute shenanigan of tomfoolery, with the sherpa-ing of stuff and getting the little one ready with socks and shoes, or worse in the winter with parkas and mitts and boots…  Let me paint you a picture: getting out of the house with a toddler is as fast and relaxing as herding a couple of cats to go take a bath.

Getting out of the house with a Toddler

So enjoy your free time, childless wonders. Because with little kids, “free” time comes few and far between, and it’s seems like it’s never enough and it goes by in an instant.

Getting toddler out of the house is as good as cardio for the day!

Getting toddler out of the house is as good as doing your cardio for the day: you’re drenched in sweat after!

Friday Femmes – Mothers Day Edition

This Friday’s featured Femme is a very close confidant of mine.  We had met through her then-boyfriend (now husband), Jason, who has been a friend of mine since university.  We hit it off and have been friends now for a number of years… with girls’ trips, music festivals, food and shopping excursions as our playground.

With this weekend being Mother’s Day, I thought it would be appropriate to feature her since she is a newly (six months) minted mama.

Kelly is quite literally a ray of sunshine in my life. Warm, lithe, ethereal and always beautifully positive – she embodies the intrinsic nature that yoga is intended for. She actually practices what she teaches!
She’s so friendly and inclusive to everyone, it’s almost unreal. Her kindness is inherent and contagious. Her confidence is paralleled with her openness to her own and other people’s vulnerability.

We had a girls’ trip to New York a few years ago where we just talked and listened to each other openly and deeply – little did we realize that it was already 3:30 in the morning! I can count on her as the calming voice in my anxiety-ridden head. She lets me see the other side of situations, without any voice of condescension.  She is my personal Gandhi, with fantastic fashion sense, killer humour, and insatiable appetite for food, learning, and life.
One can’t help but be in a great mood after spending time with her.

Love you Kells Bells, Happy First Mother’s Day!

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Name: Kelly Patton

Profession/Vocation: Yoga Teacher

Online Presence: Uptown Moksha Yoga

1. Where are you from/where do you live?

Midtown, Toronto. (Canada)

2. How long have you been doing your profession/vocation?

Six fun years!

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3. What are your challenges in your line of work?

Trying to do it all! In the world of yoga, there are so many new and exciting workshops, retreats and trainings that go on that are all so inspiring. It’s sometimes difficult to prioritize which ones will benefit my teaching and fuel my soul!

4. What do you love most about what you do?

I love meeting new people and connecting with them on a deeper level. So many people start yoga because of an injury or to decompress from busy schedules but what happens after someone commits to the practice is so powerful. Not only does the body start to soften and de-stress, but you can see such a beautiful shift in people where they become more mindful, softer and a lot of times, even kinder outside of the yoga room. This kindness starts in the yoga practice. Allowing your body to move in a way that feels good and right, rather than pushing yourself to the edge. Being okay and accepting where you’re at in the practice. Taking the time to pause and simply breathe. Inevitably, this mindset and practice becomes a way of life. It’s magic!

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5. Can you tell me about your ideal student?

An ideal student would be someone who has always thought about doing yoga but never made it a priority. I just know that everyone can benefit from this practice and what is so great about yoga is that is so accessible. Yoga studios are all over the place now and if that isn’t convenient, there are also so many online teachings such as yogaglo.com and youtube. Also, new moms who have never done yoga. Hello! Do you hear me? I promise that if you take a few minutes out of your day to stretch, strengthen or simply breathe, you will be a better mama. This is a fact!

6. What surprised you most about being a { MOM }?

Even as a child, I knew I wanted to be a mom. I’ve always felt like I had so much love to give. When Charley came into this world, my heart felt like it was going to explode. The love I thought was inside of me was even greater once I laid eyes on her which grows everyday.

Also, prior to having a baby, I was squeamish talking about anything related to bodily functions. I knew that was a distant memory when, one day, I was too slow to put Charley’s diaper on and, yup, I actually caught it all in my one hand. The funny thing is that I was more impressed with my catching skills rather than being grossed out. That is pure love, I tell you.

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7. Where/Whom do you find your inspiration from?

I have kept a consistent yoga practice since becoming a teacher and I’ve always found so much inspiration from teachers at the studios that I teach from. One in particular is Hayley Walkden. She is also a new mom as well as a yoga teacher and chiropractor. She is such a strong yet soft woman who has taught me to be patient with my body post pregnancy. We (women) can be so eager to have the same bodies and strength after having a baby and Hayley has taught me that what our bodies did in just nine months is an absolute miracle. That is power and strength right now, not handstands and numerous chatarungas!

8. How do you foster your inspiration and creativity/productivity/talent?

I always get great ideas from reading books, listening to music and taking time for myself to be inspired. Also, admitting to yourself that you need some downtime is essential for that inspiration/creativity to come.  Listen to your body and the cues it gives you.

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9. Who/what helps you fuel the fire during your least inspired days?

Yoga is what inspires me. I’ve come up with my best ideas and made some major decisions after a yoga class. It’s my religion!

Charley inspires me every day. I have always been a very curious person who wants to see so much of the world in every way, shape and form. Now that I have Charley, I’m obviously more grounded at home right now. Seeing the world through her eyes makes me realize that beauty is all around us. She makes me so mindful.


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10. What would you tell your 21 year old self today?

Oh boy, this is a good question. I would tell myself to chill out! To not stress the small things in life and to travel more! I will preach the importance of travelling to Charley. To me, there is no greater and fulfilling education!

Bonus – last thoughts, anecdotes, tips you are willing to share:

Do what feels good in life but also get outside of your comfort zone and you will see so much more of yourself. And of course, do yoga! It will change your life!

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