Behind The Scenes with Mom The Manager

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I recently had opportunity to interview the Michelle McVittie, Mom The Manager.  She's a child life specialist, a speaker, parenting expert, mental health professional, mother and wife. She's worked with children and families for over twenty years, in daycares, hospitals, with young offenders, in mental health and as a community educator.

I came across Michelle online and, it was clear to me that this Mom was someone I needed to get to know better!  She's got lots of tools and resources to help Moms stay organized and make sense of the motherhood journey.  Here's what Michelle had to say.

Q: Please tell me a little bit about yourself

A: My name is Michelle and I’m “Mom the Manager” because I’m the manager of my home, but it wasn’t always that way. I’m from Hamilton, Ontario.  I started teaching dancing at sixteen years old and I haven’t stopped working with children and teens since.  I am a child life specialist and I’ve worked for a paediatric hospital for over seventeen years.  Ten years ago, I started working in paediatric mental health. 

What I truly love is education. Speaking engagements are where I share my true self.  I enjoy empowering parents, professionals and corporate staff with the tools to succeed.  I took that knowledge and turned it into a book “I Quit! Oh, wait I’m the Mom” it’s filled with practical tips to find your joy again in motherhood. 

Q: You Wrote a Book! Can You Please Tell Me About It?

A: My book is a practical guide to help you feel in control again as a Mom.  “I Quit! Oh wait, I’m the Mom” is something most mothers say. I wanted to send the message that you don’t have to quit, there can be a better way.  I’ve lived in the trenches and I’ve crawled my way out.  These tips make a mom feel capable and empowered.  Motherhood is a wonderful gift, but it can take over.  I want mothers to take their power back and start living for themselves again. I want them to feel better and be more present with their family and themselves.  Being a Mom is part of your identity, it shouldn’t be all of it.  The book can be found on line on: Amazon, Chapters, Barnes and Noble, Kindle books and Google books. 

Q:  What Was Maternity Leave Like For You?

A:  I have two children and my maternity leaves were very different.  My first maternity leave was more stressful and disorganized.  I felt isolated, because my daughter was born in January and it was difficult to get out.  I did go out once a week to a locally run mothers’ group that was led by a public health nurse.  She had different professionals and services come in each week to educate us on things like sleep, nutrition, financial questions etc.  My son’s maternity leave was very relaxing.  I felt more in control.  I got out of the house more, I had my son on a schedule right away.   He was a great sleeper, not like my daughter. When you sleep more, it just makes everything easier! With my son there were three of us on my team at work that were pregnant, so it was great to be off with one of my closest friends. 

Q:  What Was It Like Returning To Work From Maternity Leave?

A:  Coming back from maternity leave was not a pleasant experience.  There had been many changes and new staff had been hired.  I was told the first day back that my hours had been cut, and I was already part time.  This difficult time of adjustment had been put into overdrive.  After a few days of a haze and panic, I was able to calm down and make some logical decisions.  I was fortunate to be able to pick up extra shifts and it forced me to really look at my budget and understand where the money was going and how I should spend it. 

As a professional woman you can feel conflicted with the transition into motherhood.  Leaving your job for a year and having someone else cover your job can be quite difficult.  Motherhood can be quite overwhelming.  It’s easy to forget that you were a person before you became a mother.  Depending on the job you have it can be difficult to step away, and there may be many people who feel as though they cannot.  I think it needs to be a balancing act and it’s really important to look at the big picture and adjust your priorities.  You can’t do it all.  Things change and so do priorities.  It’s how you handle this transition that will help you get through it in a helpful or unhelpful way. 

Q:  Why Did You Take The Leap Into Entrepreneurship?

A:  My life as an entrepreneur has been fairly recent, just over a year.  I had no idea what the next step was for me, and taking my passion into my own hands was never an option until I read “The Hundred Dollar Startup” By Chris Guillebeau.  At this point in my life focusing on my career and professional branding has become my self-care.  It fills with me joy and empowerment.  I’ve surrounded myself with like minded women and I’ve taken risks that have made me feel as though I can accomplish anything.  I take these moments and hold on to them.  I cherish every opportunity to learn and collaborate with other like-minded leaders.  I have committed myself to being a leader of change.  There are so many opportunities to find negativity in the world.  I’m choosing to show the world a different angle, and the response has been overwhelming. 

My professional branding has allowed me to use my creative side, an outlet I have always turned to in my life.  This outlet has created a platform for sharing my thoughts and intentions.  Just writing this right now fills me with empowerment and positive energy. I Can and I Will!

Q:  As an Experience Mom and 'Mom, The Manager', What Advice Would You Give To New Moms Struggling With Time Management?

A:  There is never enough time, you have to make the time. Create a schedule, set a dailly routine. Put self-care into your daily routine. Plan ahead and prepare. Life in chaos is very stressful. I've created a chart just for a daily routines for women and mothers that can be found at my website. Most of all, do what feels good and surround yourself with people who think the same and give you support and encouragement to reach for the stars. Because why not you? Why not now?

About I Quit! Oh Wait, I'm The Mom 

This book is a practical guide to finding your joy again.  If you’re constantly on the run, never seem to have enough time, and frequently feel overwhelmed, this little book could save you and your family. Today is the day you start taking care of yourself again. This is not a selfish act; it’s self-preservation. When you take care of yourself you will be a better mother and partner, and a happier version of yourself.  Being a mom doesn’t mean a loss of identity. Being a mom is part of your identity. It’s just not all of it. Stop just surviving and start living your life. If you are ready to make a change, this book will give you the practical tools to get there. Take it one step at a time. 

Grab Your Copy Here:

This post is part of the series, This Mom Makes It Happen

This series introduces you to some amazing Moms who make cool stuff happen. These are Moms who inspire us to keep going and persevere through.   These Moms offer inspiration and have really great stories.

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