ALI DE BOLD
I co-founded ChickAdvisor.com, a reviews site for women with my husband. It’s for women to share advice and review their favourite products and places. Because of my company I have also done on camera work and served as a spokesperson for major brands including L’Oreal, P&G, Breyers and American Express. I am originally from Winnipeg but have been living in Toronto for over 10 years. I have a toddler (Jake) and a 7 week old (Lina).
Secrets of a WOWMOM
I have an amazing Nanny. We don’t have family close by so I quickly realized that I needed a reliable extra pair of hands. It’s really tough to juggle kids and a company and I certainly haven’t done it perfectly. But without her help, there is no way I could manage. I also get my husband to do the 5am feeding so I can get those precious last few moments of sleep!
What inspires me
I am deeply humbled every time I read the blog of Nora McInerny Purmort (http://myhusbandstumor.com/). First of all, she is hysterically funny. Second, her husband has brain cancer and they are navigating through it with such dignity, humour and strength it is truly inspiring. It really brings petty annoyances into perspective.
My sanity saviour (tips & time savers)
For my newborn, my baby carrier is a life-saver. She wants to be held all the time, which means I can’t get much else done, so I “wear” her in the baby carrier while I bustle about the house tidying up, answering emails and making phone calls. For my son, when I need to get something done such as cook dinner, I’ll get him to help me. He loves to cook and bake with me. It’s messy, but it’s so sweet and we have made some great meals together! Then when Daddy comes home he’s so proud and excited to show him what we made.
My best WOWMOM advice
Lower your standards. Society is always going on about “having it all”, being a supermom and a high-powered career woman. It’s impossible to give 100% to both. I can’t expect to be as good at my job or have my house as clean as it was before they were born. My priority right now is raising my little humans into the best people they can be. When I’m at work, I put 100% into it, but when I’m with my kids they come first. I know not everyone has the flexibility to set their own work schedules, but I made the decision to only be in the office 3 days a week while my kids are this small. I’m really grateful for the extra time with them.
My WOW moment
Going to the grocery store by myself, both kids in tow, where none of us had a melt down (myself included). And I was wearing makeup.
My not-so WOW moment
The three of us crying on the floor of my son’s bedroom. Him naked from the waist down refusing to put on his pants after going potty. Her crying because he was crying. Me crying because they were crying and I was out of wine.
Keeping it WOW (how not to lose yourself)
It’s so important to do the stuff you loved doing before you had kids. Working out, going to restaurants, making time for friends, etc. I even find wearing makeup helps me feel more like myself. It can be a bit of a downer to catch a glimpse of yourself in your fat pants with hair in a top knot with major under eye bags.
Favourite MOMent of the day
I love story time at night with my son. He cuddles up to me while I read him countless stories and sing him “gongs” (songs). My daughter has started smiling and cooing and any time that happens it totally makes my day, regardless of whatever else is going on.
Does balance exist?
No. But I’m ok with that right now.
My guardian angel
I have so many. I have amazing friends who have been so thoughtful throughout my pregnancies and offering to help with the kids, a neighbour with two kids of her own who knows just when to pop over with a lasagne or invite me over for 3pm “happy hour” on her porch, and my sister who drove an hour and a half from Kitchener to fill my freezer with ready made meals. My husband is also a really hands-on Dad. Thank God for him!
The last time I laughed out loud
Every day. My son loves making me laugh and he’s a real ham.
Words Of Wisdom (Mom’s message to My Kids)
Don’t let anyone else define you. You decide who you are, what kind of person you want to be and make it happen. Also, be generous to those in need.
MY WOWMOM MUST-HAVES
Fave things, places and sanity savers for WOWMOMS!
1. SkinCeuticals. I have a bunch of products from their lineup and they all make my skin look amazing. Without it, I would always look as tired as I feel. They are pricey but worth it!
2. Beco Gemini Baby Carrier. Without this I would accomplish nothing in my day.
3. Avanti Blow Dryer. This dries my hair much faster than the cheapie dryers I used to buy. It’s a professional one and worth every penny since I have so little me time in the bathroom.
4. Milestones Restaurants – Seriously. They are family friendly but you can dine like an adult. You will never catch me at McDonalds buying happy meals.
5. Baby Sign App. This was amazing for communicating with my son before he could talk. He was able to tell me if he was still hungry, wanted something to drink or had to go to the bathroom. We potty trained him early (15 months) and this was one of the things that made it possible.
6. IPad. This is a no-brainer but I find it very hard to stay awake during the 3 a.m feedings without this. I’ve watched a lot of Netflix, read countless online publications (my faves are the New York Times, Vanity Fair and Architectural Digest), and sent many a two-fingered email. Loads of typos not withstanding.
7. Personal Trainer. This item may sound pretentious, but I’ve done the math. A gym membership that you never use is far more expensive than having someone show up at your door and force you to work out. It is the best investment I make in my health and well-being.
8. J. Lohr Chardonnay. I do like a nice glass of wine at the end of the day.