Everyone, meet Hollie Taylor! Hollie is a successful, confident female thriving in a male driven world. She works in radio broadcasting (hear her on 105.9 Shine FM in Edmonton) and is also the founder of WIMM Canada, (Women in Music and Media), which unites and empowers Canadian Christian women (like me!) in media. Hollie is also the founder of Ten16 Entertainment, an independent entertainment promotions company. It doesn’t stop there – she is plays the role of wife and mommy to two adorable young girls. Hollie clearly is articulate, driven…and very busy! HOW does she do it all!? How does she make it work? What is her secret? There must be a cape and lasso hiding in her closet somewhere. Once you’re through reading, make sure you scroll down to see Hollie’s gorgeous family and a delicious, healthy recipe she’s contributed!…
Wonder Woman Who?
(Philippians 4:13 – I can do all this through him who gives me strength.)
“What’s one more kid? Right?” That’s the question I threw out there when my husband and I decided we should have a little brother or sister for my then, 1 year old. Boy, I was not ready for the reality of that! *Insert laughter here*
Now, for those of you who did not know Hollie 1.0, this in and of itself was a shocking thing for me to say to my husband of now 9 years. I was the girl who was going to grow up to live in a Penthouse with Ikea furniture, marry a professional athlete (I chose something seemingly unattainable because I didn’t really want to get married anyway), and have fish, not kids. That’s what my grade 12 final thoughts were in the yearbook and I did really well following that motto.
I threw myself into my career of radio broadcasting and then decided to explore the music business world, specifically in radio promotions. I was happy. I had ‘control’ of my life. I was on the trajectory I wanted with my career and was ambitiously starting various ventures as best I could where I saw needs within the Christian music industry. Then I got married.
Things were going well career-wise, but I already had a full plate. Adding a marriage relationship was literally adding an extra plate, not simply squeezing something extra on to the one I already had. I don’t think I need to explain how many extra plates were added with the first baby…but suddenly I’m craving buffet. So yeah, why not throw another couple plates on with a second baby! Now here we are, one marriage and two children later and the plates are not only stacking up, but spinning as I try to manage those relationships on top of my career.
Over my maternity leave I really battled with… well everything. The feeling of not being as productive as I wanted to be. Not being as present with my children as I wanted to be. Feeling alone, overwhelmed, and forgotten. Things I knew better than to feel, but hormones are a funny thing. I knew what I’d tell my friends in the same situation, but I couldn’t find it in myself to believe them for me. In the midst of all this I just ended up doubting my capabilities and feeling tired.
But I’d always told myself I was Wonder Woman – surely I could handle my overwhelming to-do list. Wait a second. Let’s look at the facts here! Wonder Woman only had one job. Her job was to save the world one battle at a time AND she had an invisible plane, superhero strength, and the lasso of truth in her arsenal. As a working mom, you may have the lasso of truth for your kids, but no invisible plane or known superhuman strength. Without superpowers, you are saving dinner, that meeting your co-worker didn’t come prepared for, homework assignments, that favourite shirt from being stained, and possibly your sanity, seemingly on your own. The way I see it, you are beyond Wonder Woman! You are a modern day machine. But like any well-oiled machine, you have needs too.
Our weak moments are when we can embrace the superhero strength of God and tap into His endless resources to help us get through the chaos and recharge. Relying on Him will not take away the craziness,(He won’t just make your toddler suddenly understand the concept of personal space), but your feelings of self-doubt and inadequacy will be taken away with His lasso of truth. He promises to carry our burdens when we cast our cares on Him and that He will give us the strength to make it through those rough patches.
When you look at the reality of life as a working mom, whether you are single or married, the main question seems to be the same. How do we achieve some sort of balance? Yes, pause of laughter, because we all know perfect balance isn’t realistic. It will never be a 50/50 split. It’s about prioritizing what needs me now and what can wait, but without time to recharge, prioritizing becomes difficult to do. So push aside that mom guilt and leave the never-ending pile of dishes for 15 minutes. Let’s see what we can plug into to recharge.
Do something for you. I recently read a book called “The Fringe Hours” and it was an amazing help when looking at my life to see where I could find time to squirrel away for me. Sometimes I’ll pick the longest line in the grocery store just to read a page or two from a book (cough or People Magazine). I also invite people over to my house. I used to think that the house had to be perfect and snacks made, but now I crave adult conversation more than perfection, so I push past those feeling that were engrained in me from when I was a child about being the perfect hostess and just do it. I also now double recipes and look for meals you can make in 30 minutes. Now that maternity leave is over, I’m looking for ways to connect with other women who love being in the work trenches as much as their family and finding the ‘balance’ in their own lives. It’s not about doing something that works for your friends; it’s about taking the ideas and creating something that will work for you. Trading babysitting so you can sleep, or work, or do the laundry, have clean up parties or freezer meal days to prepare food in advance. These are all ideas for use to work together as we share our passion for our family and work. Community is so key to thriving as a working mom.
You are not Wonder Woman, but you are wonderfully made. You are someone very unique. You are you. That is something special. Now go forth and destroy your week and create a thing of beauty.
I recently discovered this recipe on Pinterest (how did we live without Pinterest!) and it is super easy to make and tasty too. A lifesaver in a pinch!
Sausage, Kale, and Spaghetti Squash Boats
1 medium spaghetti squash or 2 small spaghetti squash
1 1/2 lbs. Italian chicken sausage, casings removed
1 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch kale
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp pine nuts, roasted
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 . Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place squash in the microwave for 3-4 minutes to soften. Using a sharp knife cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Place the halves, with the cut side up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 45-50 minutes, until you can poke the squash easily with a fork. Let cool until you can handle it safely.
2. Meanwhile, prepare the kale by removing the center stems and either tearing or cutting up the leaves. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 4-5 minutes. Add the chicken sausage and break apart with a spatula to crumble. Cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring regularly, until the sausage is browned and cooked through. Add the kale and stir. Cook for a few minutes more to wilt the kale. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. Once cooled, scrape the insides of the spaghetti squash with a fork to shred the squash into strands. Transfer the strands into the skillet with the sausage and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide the mixture among the squash shells, and then top with pine nuts and parsley to serve.
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