Thursday, May 27, 2010

Me Time - a.k.a. Having your cake and eating it too

About a year ago I started spinning. Exercise class, that is – not going around in circles. (Sometimes I DO feel like I’m just going around in circles, but that might be a discussion for another time.) I’d always been terrified of spinning. I’d see those people emerging from their spin classes – drenched and wilted – and I thought, “That is not for me.” Well, I got over myself and came to love it. I did a spin class this morning in fact – a one hour class – and I felt so happily selfish. I was so aware of the fact that I was in that hot and sweaty room and I the only person I was there for was me.

When the topic of “me time” arises among moms, there is no shortage of eye-rolling. Whether we work inside the home, outside the home, or are trying to juggle a little bit of both, “me time” is in ridiculously short supply.

A few weeks ago my husband was at work – on a Saturday. I was home alone with my brood and felt caught in a seemingly unending cycle that looked something like this: Make breakfast, feed kids, clean up, break up squabbles, feed kids a snack, take kids to swim lessons, make lunch, feed the kids, clean up... I could actually feel myself rearing these people. No coffee break for mom that day.

That’s all fine and good – but I also know how much and need and crave “me time.”

But a good thing happened to me recently: My baby turned two. Now, I know, I’ve still got a lot of heavy-lifting years in front of me. But I also, gratefully, feel like our little family is making progress too. The two big girls are getting much better at amusing each other. The baby is becoming better at doing things on her own.

And me – I’m loving the dawn of a little more “me time.” I loved spin class this morning about as much as my baby – pictured above – enjoyed her 2nd birthday cake.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Fighting the good fight

Be kinder than necessary,
for everyone that you meet is fighting some kind of battle.......

These were the words at the bottom of an e-mail I received recently. It was a mass e-mail from someone at school about an upcoming meeting – and at the end was a message as a part of the sender’s automatic signature. These were the two lines that jumped off the page at me.

While we all know that kindness and compassion are what makes the world go ‘round, it can be awfully hard to keep it front and centre all the time. I for one, can honestly say that I struggle at times to see beyond the end of my nose – and I suspect I’m not alone in this. After all, it’s pretty easy for us to get caught up in our own worlds – our own insults and injuries, our dysfunctional relationships with people, places and things. What’s a lot harder is to keep in mind that everyone we meet has their own emotional bag of tricks.

So for days I had these two lines of text in my mind, and then life provided the illustration to the story. Driving around the city on errands a few weeks ago I pulled up at a stoplight. I noticed the cute little sports car to my left. I also noticed the driver - a really attractive woman about my age. And then I noticed that she was weeping. She was in the middle of a phone call that was obviously breaking her heart – and she was sobbing with genuine grief. My heart sank. I wanted more than anything to get out of my car and see if I could help this woman. The fact that I was in busy traffic in the nation’s largest city, in addition to the fact that I’m sure the last thing this poor woman wanted was the minivan driver next door banging on her window kept me from doing so.

I’ve thought about that woman a lot of times over the past few weeks and am hoping that a little good karma has come her way. I’ve also tried to keep in mind the personal battles that others are fighting- big and small – as I go through my days. Keeping this firmly in mind will be a battle of my own, but I’ll try.

In the meantime, here’s wishing you a little kindness and a reprieve from your battles today.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

What Kind of Business is for You?

So you’re ready to take the plunge into entrepreneurial waters. What do you do next?

Mom entrepreneurs run all kinds of businesses – from boutiques to book stores. We’ve met mom entrepreneurs who invented products such as bibs, barrettes and baby food. Some mom entrepreneurs start online stores, online newsletters or online communities. The list goes on and on, so how do you decide what business is for you?

While the possibilities are endless, there are ways to determine what business is right for YOU and you alone. In order to figure this out, start by asking yourself the following three questions:

  1. Can I convert my existing career into a new business? Many mom entrepreneurs draw on their past professional experience to launch themselves into entrepreneurship. Mom entrepreneur Debbi Arnold is one example. Debbi worked in marketing at several companies before striking out on her own. Today she runs her own marketing consultancy and balances work with motherhood. You’ve been putting your skills to good use for somebody else. Perhaps there is a way to parlay your knowledge into your own business.

  2. Can I join an existing company? There are lots of ways to have your own “business within a business” and many of these are great options for moms. There are direct sales companies like Discovery Toys, companies that offer licensing programs like WeeHands, and franchising opportunities with a company like SupperWorks. Each of these choices involve different commitments, but joining an existing company can let you experience entrepreneurship without the legwork.

  3. Should I start from scratch? You might already have a great idea for a business. Maybe you want to invent the next Bumbo or Bugaboo. But what if you desperately want to work for yourself but you just don’t know what to do? Don’t worry, we know lots of women just like you, and in the coming months we’ll tackle this very issue: how to get to your big idea. You may not know it today, but don’t’ be surprised if your "aha!" moment is just around the corner.
Whether you’ve got a new business idea or not, start thinking about how you’re going to put your skills to use in your new venture. No matter what you’ll be doing, look at this like your favourite pair of shoes - it’s got to be a great fit.

A final word: The mom entrepreneur companies we’ve mentioned above all appear in our upcoming book (HarperCollins, February 2011). Watch out for their stories. We can’t wait to share them with you.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Spring Contest

It’s spring and we’re excited. To celebrate, we’re giving one lucky fan a free baby blanket!

All you have to do to enter is write a Haiku. That’s right, a Haiku – the Japanese lyric verse form with three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables.

Your poem needs to be somehow related to Admiral Road. It can be about blankets or warmth, kids or names, or maybe about one of the animals on our blankets. It can be funny, sweet, odd -- it’s up to you. If you can sell us on it, it counts.

Post your entry as a comment on our Facebook wall.

The contest will run from today until midnight on Sunday, May 9th.

Questions? Send us an email:

To get you started, we’ve compiled a few of our own:

Sheep leaps over fence
Child sleeping cosily now
Wrapped in his blanket

So tall and mighty

How I love that soft giraffe

On rust-coloured fleece


Oh, Admiral Road

Your blankets are very soft

And so cuddly too

Cozy, warm blanket

Does not shrink, fade, pill or fray

Throw it in the wash


I love the monkey

Sweet creature looks so happy

No nose or mouth though!