The Importance of Having a Daily Routine with Toddlers and Preschoolers

The Importance of Having a Daily Routine with Toddlers and Preschoolers

Purposefully made with calming colors to prevent distraction and provide a focused space for learning through play with a parent or teacher,

The Love of Learning Binder can be used in a homeschool setting, preschool, or as a daily part of a momma life with little ones at home.

The importance of establishing a routine with little ones at home, toddlers and preschoolers thrive from routine and it makes life a lot easier for a momma working from home #SAHM #momboss #workingfromhome

Little Bee and I are adjusting to a new routine. Our day looked a lot different a few months ago while I was running a daycare in my home – the most wonderful way to spend each day – but after a whirlwind of change we’ve decided to enjoy our time together just the two of us while hubby is at work. Change can be really hard when having to adjust to a new “normal” and more so when it comes on unexpectedly. I was already having a hard time fitting in time for myself, focusing time on consulting work and what was then daycare administrative work, and accomplishing anything around the house. I felt I had to use every moment of the day and justify what I had done, give 100% attention to my daughter, tick a million things off my to-do list, leaving nothing for myself. With all of this we were handed a shock of family illness and drastic changes to business regulations, which would force closure. I was exhausted. I had to make a change.

To do this, Little Bee and I have to make great use of our hours in the day. This doesn’t mean I’m “doing it all” but rather I have a loosely made plan for what I want my day to look like. I knew if I was going to work from home, spend quality time with my daughter and get the most of this big change we’ve made in our family, financially and logistically, I would have to become incredibly productive with the small crumbs of time I had here and there throughout the day.

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I also wanted to prioritize my health and show my daughter that this is a valuable aspect of my life, worthy of time investment. My father had recently gone through cancer treatment, which was a huge eye opener for me. I think it’s a great message for Little Bee that I not only value my health, but I am prioritizing care for myself, to be around for her longer, to have the energy to play with her and keep up with her as I want to, and most importantly teach her that our health is worth investing time and effort.

To focus on my new priorities, my work from home job, maintain the house, and educate my little love, I create a little list the night before, which gives me one less thing to stress about and focus on the next morning – when Little Bee wakes up it’s time to get moving and coming up with a list at that point gets quickly forgotten.The importance of establishing a routine with little ones at home, toddlers and preschoolers thrive from routine and it makes life a lot easier for a momma working from home #SAHM #momboss #workingfromhome

Finding my list on the counter after Little Bee jump starts my day provides relief knowing:

  • I’ll start my day off right while still giving myself the flexibility to make choices if I choose to do so.
  • That feeling of success as I tick things off my list. It’s oh so satisfying to see the list of “things” diminish.

Turns out, I’m not the first to have figured this out as the research to support the value in routines is incredible.


The importance of establishing a routine with little ones at home, toddlers and preschoolers thrive from routine and it makes life a lot easier for a momma working from home #SAHM #momboss #workingfromhome13 Benefits of Establishing a Routine for Your Toddler and Preschooler

  1. Children feel reassured and less anxious when they know what to expect from their day. Of course there are benefits to mixing it up a little bit to have them experience change, but having a flexible schedule allows little ones to feel the most safety and reassurance – so when big changes occur, they are more prepared to take them on and have the confidence to handle it.
  2. Routine helps deal with those power struggles that we all face with little ones. When children know the routine, they are less likely to put up a fuss about: brushing hair, teeth, getting ready for bed, because this is just how it is. Every day.
  3. Routine helps encourage independence at an earlier age. When children come to understand the routine, they are eager to take part in brushing teeth, dressing themselves, getting out items to be placed on the table for supper, pack their snacks for play group the next day, etc.
  4. When children know what to expect in their day, research shows that they are better behaved and perform better in school.
  5. Children are always keeping us on our toes. New teeth, flu and colds, growth spurts, trouble at school – it’s constant readjustment and getting to know these growing beings. Having a flexible routine allows us to deal with those changes more readily, be less stressed when changes arise and work these new aspects of normal into the day.
  6. Real life happens without a doubt, causing a big change in everyone’s routine and day, but having the foundational skills to deal with that change and how to bounce back into your routine allows the whole family to have a sense of security.
  7. Developing Skills and Habits in Toddler and Preschoolers that take them into adulthood and prepare them for life can be established through daily routine #routine #planning #toddler #WAHM #SAHM #preschooler #prepare BooksBeesAndABCs.comFlexible structure allows children to learn those ever important skills and habits that will take them into adulthood and set them up for life long success:
    • Self Care (bathroom routines, washing, dressing)
    • Organization and Responsibility (tidying up, having tasks and responsibilities expected the child)
    • Time Management and Self Directed Productivity (understanding that chunks of time end and it will be time to move onto the next activity, no matter how engaged the child may be in the previous one, making the most of play time as there are other times in the day where there are “jobs” to do)
    • Focus and Self-Control (waiting until a less desirable task is over until the most desirable task begins, knowing it will come eventually).
    • Communication (supper time, getting ready for bed, playtime with family members is focused time when children are aware they have your attention)
    • Dealing with Conflict and Challenge (having the confidence to deal with the unexpected when it does occur).
  8. Allows you slow down and prioritize family time and moments of connection without feeling distraction from all the other areas of your life as there is now an established and devoted time for each. When Little Bee and I are working on her Love of Learning Binder together she knows she has my full attention. When we read together we can talk about the pictures on the pages without my feeling that I have a million other things to do. I do. But they can wait until their time.
  9. Children who know what to expect in their day, tend to have better sleep patterns, which you know the value of – I know I do!
  10. Allows you to be more productive with the time you have when you know what to expect of the rest of the day – If you have 3 things that NEED to get done you have a better idea of how much time you can spend on each.
  11. Feeling of accomplishment and success. You can’t underestimate the power of your mindset. We already have the voices in our head from mom guilt, decision exhaustion and being overwhelmed, the least we could do is lift ourselves up with our successes and accomplishments!
  12. More likely to be consistent if everyone knows what to expect. They aren’t asking for ice cream for supper when they know supper is a healthy meal that we all sit down to enjoy together at this particular time. They won’t be asking for treats at the grocery store if the routine is to bring a list of items and buy only the items on the list. They won’t be shouting at you while you are on the phone making an important call when they know that when you are done you aren’t rushing off to the next thing, but rather taking a moment to appreciate them.
  13. Routine allows you to find ways that your child can help. For them and you. It makes the job easier for you (after they get a handle of it… Little Bee loves to sweep but let’s face it, I still have to sweep afterward), and your child feels involved and appreciated and as a valued member of the family.

14 Ways to Set Up a Daily Routine for Your Family

  1. Create your list the night before. For me, I know that I can only have between 5 and 7 things on my list without feeling overwhelmed. And I know it’s better for me to have a main list of things to do that day, finish the list and then add to it if I have time, rather than have a giant list and never see the end of it. Be realistic. Set yourself up for success.
  2. Have an important activity to do with your child like the Love of Learning Binder – which can be established as a quiet time activity for those older children who can play independently while you do the tasks you need more focus for.
  3. Build your routine around what already happens naturally if you can. You know what time everyone wakes up (give or take), what time everyone likes to eat, what time everyone needs to crash for a break and refresher in the day – work with that and build a routine around what works for your family.
  4. Give yourself enough time for those things that take a little longer. Little Bee is really excited to take part in dressing and undressing herself right now, which, let’s face it – takes a little longer so I put fewer things on my daily list while we work through this together.
  5. I pick up and tidy up through the day in real time, but I always start my day with a “chore” which helps me feel accomplished, and I end my day by cleaning the kitchen counter, putting dishes away and living room tidied at a minimum as these are the first few things I see each morning and it prevents me from feeling overwhelmed before the day even starts.
  6. I set aside time to spend one on one time with my daughter without distraction. I usually let her choose what we do if we don’t have something planned but my phone is away, my computer is closed, the iPad is off; it’s just us. This is such valuable time for the both of us and let’s her know I appreciated her understanding when I needed time to work on something else.
  7. I set aside time at the end of the day to prepare for the next day. On my list it is written as “plan tomorrow’s amazing day” to set myself up for success with a positive mindset. I pack any bags I need, clothes laid out or at least thought through, to-do list for the next day, snacks packed, confirmations with plans made, last minute tidy.
  8. Involve your little ones – they love to help. My daughter loves to help me clean/prep for next day/help with dishes/clear the table, etc. It takes way longer but it’s building her independence and will eventually become a job she can do on her own.
  9. Be consistent where you can but allow for flexibility – how backward does this sound? But it’s true. I know that there are particular things in the day that I’m going to do, that I really NEED to do but that there are also those parts of the day that I can just go with the flow or completely let go of if the day requires it.
  10. Streamline processes that you do often, make checklists once you establish a method of doing something that works for you so you can do that part of your day faster and more efficiently – even with distractions. Think of it as a recipe for your best chocolate chip cookies. You may know it off by heart but what about the days where tiny hands are pulling at your shirt or you are feeling a little off, or you are mid potty training and someone shouts that they have to pee – having a quick checklist to make sure you haven’t missed a step is a huge time saver in the long run.
  11. Not all tasks are daily, weekly, monthly. I don’t clean my windows everyday… or week… or month. I really don’t get around to cleaning my windows as often as I probably should but it isn’t a priority item and doesn’t NEED to be done as regularly. I’m going to start making monthly lists for goals, and then quarterly goals. Windows would be on one of those… I’ll put it on tomorrow’s to-do list to jot it down 😉
  12. Find a good system for YOU! Bullet journaling is beautiful and such a hot topic right now and with good reason. It works wonders for some people, but I don’t find it super helpful for me because I get caught up in the aesthetic of the page rather than the task and that’s not very useful. I use a simple coiled notebook and my favourite pens. That way, if something needs to be put on another list, I can pop it on another page and it all stays together, but when I finish a list I get the satisfaction of ripping it out and throwing it away. Love that feeling. And the sound. This is just what works for me – I also have notebooks for everything… I have a lot of notebooks and lists and I probably get a little carried away but that’s my system and it works.The importance of establishing a routine with little ones at home, toddlers and preschoolers thrive from routine and it makes life a lot easier for a momma working from home #SAHM #momboss #workingfromhome
  13. Get an understanding of your day and plan accordingly:
    • The importance of establishing a routine with little ones at home, toddlers and preschoolers thrive from routine and it makes life a lot easier for a momma working from home #SAHM #momboss #workingfromhomeWhen are you most efficient? Make this the time to get those core goals done for the day. I know that I have lots of energy in the morning so that’s when I try and accomplish one “chore” that I don’t really look forward to and would love to have off the list. I also know that I don’t need brain power for this and that I’m much more friendly after a cup of coffee (come to think of it, my family understands this too because everyone gives me lots of space until they see a cup in my hand).
    • I know that if I eat a heavy lunch, my work time/quiet time is loggy and not impactful, so I’ve changed my mindset on fueling my work with a healthier lunch.
    • I know that coming on the end of the day, I’m trying to put together a supper that suits everyone so I can’t sit and read with Little Bee. I use this time to offer her a hands-on STEAM type activity so we can still chat and the time is still meaningful.
  14. Your time is just as important and valuable as anyone else’s:
    • I love getting together with my friend Lee for coffee. It’s probably one of my favourite things to do because she is a breath of fresh air and I always leave our chats feeling like a new person. Where she gets her inspiration and energy I have no idea, but with her amazing personality, she is also incredibly understanding that my schedule is busy and takes no offence to my having to decline one of our meets. She knows that when I’m sitting across a table from her that I’m disconnected from anything and not distracted by all the other things in my life, but sometimes I’m not able to do that. Sometimes I have to work because I’ve been offered an unexpected quiet time that I could get a big project done for work. Having amazing friends that I never want to cancel on (and try never to cancel on) means they also understand why it takes so long to get together each time.
    • Just as I don’t answer my phone when I’m with my daughter in “our time” or when hubby and I get our time at the end of the day, I don’t answer my phone when I’m with a good friend. I prioritize the relationship and ensure they know this. It’s an easy message to send, and one to receive.
    • Ever carve out time that you almost couldn’t get to, move around a million things in your schedule, frantically find babysitters, scrounge for the “frivolous spending money” for the event you’re attending, only to hang out with friends who are lost on their phones, in their email, thinking of something else and leaving you feeling less than important? Well, just as you feel that, you can send (or not send) that vibe as well.
    • Just as it is important for you to be cognizant of the message you send, you need to remember that you don’t have to take on all the responsibilities and let everyone else have the fun. If everyone is playing outside and you are scrubbing a floor, drop the mop and join them, then, when the game is over have everyone help you with the chore. You are valuable and deserve to have the fun moments as well.

Sometimes Having a Routine Doesn’t Apply

I’m not saying your entire life has to be written down in an agenda and stuck to as if it were written in stone. Of course this isn’t possible and it wouldn’t be recommended. Knowing what to expect and having some sense of organization to your day benefits everyone and allows you to get an understanding of what you can accomplish in a day, no matter what your day looks like. We are all incredibly busy and cannot compare with the Jones’. The idea is to look at YOUR day with YOUR family and think about how you can make the most of it, enjoy everyone the most, while leaving time for those goals you would like to see come to fruition. Time is something we all have little of, so making the most of it means a better life for everyone.

There are those life moments that are so special and so worth tossing the to-do list to the side. While supporting my father in his cancer treatment, Little Bee and I were away for a while only to come home to the warmest of welcomes from my hubby. Little Bee’s dad took a day off work and we simply spent it together. We went for lunch, played in the yard, went out for ice cream, the three of us together and it was wonderful. Our routine wasn’t thought about once that day and that was more than okay. It didn’t need to be. Now, we can’t have days like that all the time and expect things to get accomplished, but how much more enjoyable is that day when it was out of the blue? Because we stay on top of things (most things…) most of the time it’s easy to take a day now and then to just ENJOY each other and think of nothing else. And, we can easily jump back into our routine the next day as the foundation. Again, it’s like the recipe. Tossing in a little something extra, or cutting back on an ingredient because it’s what you have in the house is more than fine. It still works out and makes it a little more special, but we all find comfort in the original recipe, which is why we continue to go back to it.

If you have babies at home, this isn’t always possible. My daughter was a colicky Little Bee and that meant that I was flying by the seat of my pants most of the time, and that was okay, but I still had 3 (fewer then, because I understood my limitations) things that I aimed to get done those days. Sometimes I wrote down: 1. Eat 2. Change clothes 3. Sleep when Hubby gets home. It’s whatever works for you.

How it works for us:

The importance of establishing a routine with little ones at home, toddlers and preschoolers thrive from routine and it makes life a lot easier for a momma working from home #SAHM #momboss #workingfromhomeLittle Bee knows that during “Quiet Time” Mommy does her work and she must play independently. This is the reason I can be home with her in the first place and she knows and understands this. She also knows that when I am done, I put everything away and focus on her completely, so she feels appreciated in letting me have that time. This also teaches her to be patient – some days more successfully than others. This is my time to get my work done and it’s time that I have decided to be on my computer or phone, whatever needs to happen. So, while I’m sending the message to my daughter that this is my work time, I also want her to understand that I’m making the most of it. I’m not wasting it on Facebook or other social media, I’m working efficiently and effectively so that when my time is up, I’m entirely back on with her. I owe her that much. I offer her quiet activities to do at this time so she feels she has “work” to do too – because napping seems to be non-negotiable.

I don’t plan for perfection. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out and I don’t mind (anymore). If I can get 3 of the items on my list done, that’s great. Some days it’s 1. Other days the items all get scratched off. It’s more of a guide to help me make the most of the day when I can but at the end of the day I have my priorities in order. Family and self first. Everything else second – even work. I love what I do. So so so much. But caring for myself is also caring for my family and my business so ensuring that every choice is for the best of our all over health and wellness is primary focus.

4 Lessons Learned in Building a Routine for a Toddler and a Work from Home Mom:

  1. I used to make the mistake of putting too many things on my list and then daily felt the awful overwhelm and guilt of not getting it all done. I was setting myself up for failure. This wasn’t a good vibe for me and I needed to change my mindset on the whole idea, making it more positive. Even what I write I put in positive wording “Plan tomorrow’s awesome day”. It helps more than you would think.

2. I used to be a clean freak. Everything had to be spotless at all times and I would get anxious over the idea of anyone “popping by” to see the minimal mess I had in the kitchen. Now, I’ve refocused what is important to me. Sure, I would love it to be cleaner, more organized, and to get around to scrubbing that marker off the wall I can see out of the corner of my eye right now but I also know my time is just as valuable as anyone else’s in the house so I don’t want to be the only one worried about dishes in the sink (because that ends up with me being the only one doing them). Instead, I’ve recruited help. I’ve stopped thinking that I have to DO IT ALL, and now I reach out to my hubby and daughter with jobs that they can do to be supportive. Everyone deserves downtime, including me, so when everyone is putting together a giant puzzle in the living room, the old me would take the minutes to wash a few dishes, the new me jumps in with the corner piece of the puzzle and enjoys my time with my family. When we are all done, everyone can work together to get the dishes done. I don’t need to miss out. And I also don’t need to expect perfection because asking them for help means that it’s not done to a “Jessica Standard of Cleanliness” but that has become okay.

3. I still have a hard time taking care of myself first, so I have to write two things that appear on my list every day – if not, I would forget to do them:

  • Drink water
  • Go to bed at a reasonable time.

My evenings are my only actual “Quiet Time” so I can easily work into the wee hours because I love what I do and you can quickly lose yourself when you are passionate about your work – it’s awesome but exhausting. I know I have to take care of myself to take care of everyone else and doing that means getting to bed and drinking water. And I know myself well enough to know I need the reminder.


4. I’ve mentioned a few times that we recently had a big shake up in our life when we had to close the daycare and decided to go to Prince Edward Island to support a family member with cancer. Having our routine, although greatly changed in location, looked very similar which was a big help to Little Bee and I while we adjusted to our temporary version of normal, and again now that we have returned home to a different life, without the daycare. Those foundational parts of our day that have always remained consistent were the anchor for us when thrown a loop. We kept bedtime routine the same (although we missed Daddy and his part), and morning routines the same (which now included Nanny and Grampie), and had projects through the day that mimicked what we were doing at daycare, such as the Love of Learning Binder. Having something reliable and consistent made this much less stressful for Little Bee which in turn was much less stressful for me. It was a great reminder that routine works.

What do you do at home to make routine work? Do you find having structure provides foundation or does it cause restriction in your home?

Amazing Messy Play Ideas and the Benefits of Sensory Play

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The Benefits of Outdoor Play for Children

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How to Declutter Toys That Have Taken Over Your Home

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Baby Steps for Both of Us

Baby Steps for Both of Us

baby steps outdoor play learning outside toddler play quality time sunshine springWith this beautiful spring air, my Busy Bee and I have been spending a lot of time outside, walking trails that are filled with new growth and lots of opportunity for she and I to have conversation – just the two of us. It’s perfection.

The beauty of the day also illustrates her growth (heartbreaking isn’t it? Why can’t they stay small forever?) as her independence becomes evident. She doesn’t rely on hand holding to make it through paths, climbing over winter’s fallen trees. Her communication is clear in her preferences and the direction she chooses to take on each path becomes her own.

These are my opportunities to empower her: to remind her of her strength and ability, to remind her that risks are all around her and that she can safely take them on if she chooses to do so, and that although I am a few steps behind or beside her, I am here if she takes a tumble. This age also allows me to teach her about responsibility. That although she is welcome to take on all that she wishes, that I am willing to explore her interests and activities, she does have a part to play as well and one that is very important.

As we make our way back inside, the coat and boots come off and find their way to the floor. Here I could easily sweep them up with my own and the job is done, we can move on without changing the vibe of the wonderful adventure we just had. But when I do it once, I do it twice, and so on – then I have created the habit for the two of us. I already have so much on my plate and she is happy to help when she can – I know this. I just need to give her the chance (Read more here on how age appropriate responsibilities that build confidence).

montessori quote for empowerment toddler youth girlsAs an educator, I am forever reading about theories of learning that come from everyday life and the long-term impact on our children. One of those theories comes from Maria Montessori, founder of the widely known Montessori Education, who was known for her views of childhood independence. Montessori believed that by giving children opportunities to do things on their own, these little bees increase the belief they have and hold in themselves, build self-confidence in their abilities and contributions and self-esteem which take them into adulthood.

And this is the goal isn’t it? To share with society our own young adults who are inspiring others, changing the world around them? My dreams for my daughter are huge, overwhelming for my heart.

lacey 24strong girl power empowerment

While I watch my 2 year old manage the fallen trees in the woods, I think of incredible young leaders like Lacey Koughan, founder of 24STRONG (find out more about her here), who follows her passion to empower girls to know themselves and the difference they can make through conversation and friendship building. Visions like hers take away the fear I have about the world my daughter will grow up in for a moment (as noted in recent post) and allow me to believe that my busy bee will be in good company of those willing to take on the messages supported by millions of dollars and instead shout the message of authenticity, passion, and positivity.

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15 Important Things to Teach My Daughter

15 Important Things to Teach My Daughter

My daughter is going through an intense sleep regression. In all fairness, we’ve got a lot going on and I don’t really blame her for feeling a little out of sorts… I feel it too. But as I lay on the floor beside her, reminding her that I’m here, that I love her and that it is indeed time to go to sleep, I have moments in between to think about all those mom thoughts that come to us in the wee hours.

I’m just a regular mom. I’ve had my share of issues with my weight, perception of beauty and worth, my place in a crowd, figuring out what I was going to do with my life, dealing with heartbreak, just like many others I know. I’ve battled my own insecurities with my success or what I felt to be lack there of, abusing my body and more dangerously, my mind. But it’s not about me anymore. Well… that’s not true. It’s very much about me. And my relationships with everything mentioned and so much more. Making it about me from time to time puts me in the right frame of mind to parent well, to be the best partner and friend I can be, to stop living in fear of how people view me and to enjoy the moments with those I know and adore.

I don’t think the intention of living our best life is to spend it all obsessing about how we look, where we stand in comparison to someone else, and how far we have yet to climb in some undetermined measure of success. I think if we ask those who have had the opportunity to truly reflect on their life, these amazing people would remind us to enjoy our moments with the ones we love and not worry about how we looked in the picture before pressing delete.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading about body positivity and let me tell you, it’s been an emotional ride as I try and create an environment of pure self acceptance for my daughter, surrounded by one where I learned to always strive for someone else’s definition of perfection.

It’s a great deal to consider; a lot to feel in the question my 2 year old asks on repeat while I am stretched out on the floor beside her bed, coaxing her to sleep:

Are you here, Mommy?

Yes, I am. Always.

Positive Body Image Booksbeesandabcs.comWhat I want her to hear, in the unsaid, eventually said, always said:

  1. Never let someone shake you of what you’re passionate about. Your passions are what will guide you to happiness. Follow them without regret. Follow your heart.
  2. Feel fresh air often. Warm air and cold. Sunshine and Rain. Dress for it and run like you do today.
  3. Never compare yourself to someone else. You are perfect just as you are.
  4. Take risks, using your mind to keep you safe. Using what you’ve learned to see you through. Falling and failing is always okay, but getting up again provides the lesson and reminds you how strong you are.
  5. Your body allows you to do so much with your life, to see and experience so much joy. Be thankful for it and appreciate it as it is.
  6. Choose good friends rather than many friends. Surround yourself with people who enrich your life, and lift you up. There will be tough days. But those days will feel lightweight in comparison if you have the right people around you.
  7. Be kind, always. You never know who is on the receiving end of your kindness and how much they may need it. Be kind to others, but be kind to yourself first. Stand up for yourself and what you believe in.
  8. Love with your whole heart. It’s terrifying and completely worth it.
  9. important things to teach my daughterForgive. Forgive others. Forgive yourself. Forgiving does not mean forgetting your value, or letting others take advantage of you. Forgiving does not mean pushing aside feelings of anger and upset. Forgiving means feeling it fully, then letting go and moving on from it.
  10. Be willing to listen. Be critical and thoughtful of it. Be willing to be heard. Know when to speak loudly and when to speak softly. There are times for both.
  11. Read. Everything. Never stop learning.
  12. Set goals. Reach high. Tippy toes high. Anything you want is within your reach. You’ve got the tools to get you there.
  13. See the world. There is so much of it to see. It’s not all pretty but it’s all worth seeing.
  14. Beauty is a state of mind, not a state of body.
  15. I love you always. No matter what. There will always be a place for you. I am right here.

A wonderful book we have recently found and I’ll share with this affiliate link is called Dear Girl, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. Talking about the connection between mother and daughter, this beautiful book shines a light on the importance of being yourself, of letting those feelings come through, of standing up for yourself and loving yourself just as you are. It’s a new favourite and is filled with the messages I want my daughter to hear ♥




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International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day

March 8th is International Women’s Day and never has it been more important to me, to stop and take notice of the incredible women around me as I introduce the world to my daughter.

I was lucky to grow up in a home where my parents worked hard to ensure my sister and I believed and understood that we could be anything we wanted to be, and that we had the skills to get us there.

Learning to drive a car also meant learning to change it’s tires, and knowing what the manual said in regard to when a sound signalled something wrong.

I recall with picture perfect memory, going to buy my first car with my father. Of course having researched it meticulously ahead of time, I was armed with the knowledge to allow me to lead the conversation with the salesperson. On the first lot of cars, my father encouraged the young and introverted girl I was deep down, to control the conversation with the salesman walking toward me, as I was the one making the decision.  Here, with every question I asked, the answer was directed to my father who time and again reiterated that he was just keeping me company and that the sale was entirely up to me. He was indeed there to serve another purpose, which I didn’t fully understand until later. He wanted to make sure I wasn’t taken advantage of, being naive and unsure of what I wanted in a car, knowing that at the time women, especially young women were viewed as separate clients than their male counterparts and were dealt with differently. Feeling unheard and overwhelmed we left the lot without making the purchase of what I felt was my perfect first car. Since we were already out and about, and what I now believe was a decision by my father to boost my confidence, we took another shot at another dealership. I had no information on these cars and had no intention of buying one, my heart being set of the first car at which we looked. Walking on the lot we were met by a gentleman named Terry. Terry understood in an instant that I was buying the car, it was for me, and I was making the decision. He also understood sales. He was kind, spoke directly to me with information that was not “dumbed down to my female status” as I had previously experienced. I felt heard and understood and my father was able to walk steps behind with a sense of pride for watching his daughter take on this leap of adulthood. I ended up buying a car from Terry. Two actually. Years later when it came time to upgrade my first set of wheels there was no doubt who I was going to support and where I would purchase my car.

A lot came out of this lesson for me, and the many my parents would teach me over the years.

Growing up in the Canadian Maritimes in the early 1980’s and 90’s was a definite plus. People were friendly, caring and neighbours felt like family. I was safe to run in the street, play in the park just out of sight of my house and to enjoy all the rights and freedoms others had worked so hard for me to have. But I did grow up with an awareness of being a girl, of learning that being pretty, dainty, and feminine was more valuable in society than smarts. These lessons were those I understood by being told I was “cute in that dress” rather than clever in how I spoke. Although I know my father adored my sister and I and took opportunity to dote upon us in his way, he worked hard to teach us lessons about independence, about having to be smart in more ways than test scores, about taking care of ourselves financially.

I can’t say it enough that I grew up lucky. I had the world opened up for me in so many ways. But an awareness was always there that I was a girl and that it was not the same as the image of success I had in my mind. Success was a salt-and-pepper haired gentleman in a three piece suit – no matter the job, this is what I thought the boss would look like. Jokes were told in subtle ways but the message was there. My time was meant to be spent investing in my aesthetic presence rather than my mind. I fell into this lure, like most girls growing up my age and it continues to be a battle as I struggle with the psychology of my worth.

I have a lot to teach my daughter.

I feel the pressure of being a mother who inspires, and ignites a flame of knowing her value among her peers and is driven for greatness. The history of women and their journey to equality is a long one far from over, but we learn of great company to share the badge of honour with (more about this here). I now know that boss looks like just about anything and I hope to come to a place where my daughter’s picture perfect memory is of my explaining this to her.

I am my own boss. I run a company with pride and passion. I am a mother. A daughter. A sister. A significant soul to someone I love. I determine my own worth.


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Adventure Awaits!

We are about two weeks away from taking our little family to the beautiful shores of Prince Edward Island. This is the incredible place I call home (away from home) and where F and I will spend a few months to gather inspiration, meet incredible women with much to teach us, and most importantly, spend quality time with F’s grandparents! If you haven’t been, this island is like no other and welcomes everyone with open arms.

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Now, to figure out how to pack light for a toddler and her momma for 2 months, every type of weather and possibilities galore! This will be a true test of our ability to be creative with play and learning for we won’t be taking traditional “toys” with us, but will be making use of nature and what can be found at my parent’s home, for play (check out post about that here)! We hope to distance ourselves from technology (which won’t be too difficult as we aren’t a big technology house to begin with), except for regular video calls home to Daddy, who we will miss very much!


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Turning Challenge into Creative Adventure

Just two weeks ago, life handed us a few challenges to keep us on our toes! We are in the beginning stages of learning to deal with illness in the family as well as changes within my small business. The incredible part of running my own small business means that I am fortunate enough to have the flexibility to take a pause from one area to focus on another; family! This also gives me more time to dive into the creative and investigate more ways to keep a toddler and preschooler busy while real life impacts our everyday. So, although Profound Play and Learning is having to go on hold for a little while, Lady F and I are welcoming a new adventure for a couple of months and invite you to join us for a regular peek into how we plan to take it on! Adventure awaits!

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