"Your baby is on morphine and the helicopter will be here in 9 minutes."
I didn't choose to be a mother of re-invention, it chose me.
Seventeen years ago I was an executive assistant for an engineering firm. Nine months pregnant with my first child, the plan was to take my maternity leave then return to my flourishing career. Twenty-two hours after Emily was born, doctors informed my husband I myself that our baby had serious heart ailments. Although we were in Mississauga's Credit Valley Hospital, a mere 35 km away from Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children, doctors thought the urgency of a helicopter was in order. Life stopped.
Three heart operations in 3 years, dozens of tests and procedures, litres of medication and uncountable sleepless hospital nights took us to January 1997 when Emily's cardiologist said, "Go home and live life. Emily is stable." Nine months later Emily would start kindergarten. I spent those nine months losing 90 pounds of stress weight. September 1997, Emily started school, October 1997 I started teaching aerobics in my new fit body. Life might have stopped four years earlier, but re-invention was born and I was thriving.
Re-inventing myself was natural evolution. Emily's health was manageable, yet I was not in a place to work full-time outside my home. I spent years teaching fitness classes during Em's school hours and in the evenings when my husband was home. Fitness classes introduced me to yoga training and becoming a popular yoga instructor in Mississauga. I also began teaching children's art and gym classes where Emily could attend.
When Emily was six years old, we had our second child, Evan. I continued teaching fitness, yoga and art classes with more enthuses on children's classes so my kids could attend. My new career didn't bring me the income that being an executive assistant brought, but trading money for time with my children, husband and activities that I love was definitely worth it.
Emily was seven and Evan one when we took our first trip to Disney World as a foursome. It was my fifth trip to the Happiest Place on Earth. Soon to be followed by my sixth the year later. I was hooked. I became a Disney-Planoholic spending hours on the computer researching Disney deals, flights, car rentals, crowd patterns and tips. During my 2002 trip I sat on a bench at the Magic Kingdom and started chatting with another Disney guest. Our conversation revealed that this was the last night of her $5000 seven-day Disney trip and she wondered if she could enter the castle? My insides screamed, 'ARE YOU KIDDING! Not only can you go IN the castle, there are beautiful tiled mosaics telling the story on Cinderella! One of the most beautiful shops at Disney World AND dining with Cinderella and other royal Disney characters!'
Upon returning home, I called my boss at The City of Mississauga Rec and Parks department and said, "We should start a workshop called HOW TO PLAN YOUR WALT DISNEY WORLD VACATION" It was done. I was the facilitator helping people plan magical Disney Vacations.
Re-invention arrived again. This time presenting me with travel opportunities, writing jobs and my successful home-based travel agency business.
I met Sandra Pappas Halket of Click The Mouse. We share a love for Disney, travel and family. Sandra is my mentor and I own her a great deal of thanks. She too is a re-invented Yummy Mummy with two extraordinary daughters and a fabulous supportive husband. Sandra and I come from professional backgrounds and bring our aptitude for business to Click The Mouse. Balancing business with magic is our career and we love it.
Working from home is a natural and necessary product of my life. Through my contacts at my children's schools, I've met several re-invented Yummy Mummies. A writer, an artist, a chef, a communication specialist and travel agent. Some re-invented themselves through losing their jobs in this economy, others made the brave move to be home with their children.
Life didn't stop seventeen years ago, it started! I'm a Disney Travel Specialist! How dreamy it that!
Emily's health has been up and down for five years adding 20 pounds per year to my physique, but that's okay. I'm really great at re-invention and know Robert Frost was right, "The best way out is through."