I’m back, it’s me, and I’m really back

You guys! Guess what?! I’m back. I’m back to work and have resumed my position as the editor of the Mile Zero News and The Banner Post with Mackenzie Report Inc.

When I went on maternity leave in April, 2016, I honestly believed I was packing up my life as a journalist into one little banker’s box forever.

But, life had other plans. And, I am back.

To answer a couple of questions everyone is curious about – yes, I am happy and managing just fine, and yes – the boys are liking being in full-time childcare.

Finding Childcare

When I got the offer to come back to newspaper, I had approximately two weeks to find childcare. Any parent who has tried to find childcare on a budget in a small town knows this is no easy feat. But, God provided and we found an awesome licensed day home provider in our hometown. After only two days of going to her house, my little Ezra sat on her front step waiting to have his shoes taken off, looked up at me, waved and said “Buh-Bye.” It was adorable, comforting, and heartbreaking all at once.

Previous to my return to the paper I had been working in a different day home setting. Despite the fact that I was there everyday, Ezra would scream to the point that he was sweating and shaking if he couldn’t be in my arms. So, it was a massive relief to see that not only was he not crying when I left him at his new day home, he seemed comfortable and happy.

Unfortunately, this wonderful day home provider had to stop providing child care at the beginning of October due to personal reasons. On the boy’s last day she said Ezra gave her several hugs and even a few kisses while she was playing on the floor with him. He is for sure my sweetheart, both boys are really if you can get Elijah to slow down for more than a second or two, but it was like he knew they had to say goodbye and that maybe she needed a few extra hugs that day.

Thankfully, God provided once again and we were able to get the boys into another licensed daycare facility immediately. The transition from day home to daycare has been a bit harder on the boys. They come home more tired, partly because they have to leave the house earlier and get home later. 

Elijah is in a room with three and four-year olds and this room does not have a nap time. He was skipping naps, or trying to, prior to starting day care. But, not having the option to nap at all is proving a bit hard on him. I am seeing a slight improvement in his ability to last all day without a nap, but it’s slow. So please pray for us, and his poor childcare providers. Elijah is just like any of us when we are over tired – a bear.

Counting my blessings and finding “me” again

I’ve been back to work full-time for just over a month and it honestly feels like I was never away. I am so appreciative of how my family has adjusted and made this transition as easy as possible. My job requires me to work two or three evenings a week and often a few hours every weekend. My husband has been so great in making sure he is home while I am out. I rarely have to worry about juggling work and life. A few people have asked me how I’m REALLY doing working full-time, caring for two busy boys, and looking after our home. And, I can honestly say, it’s all good. I’m comfortable, I’m happy, and I’m grateful for a job that allows me to be a mom and a professional.

In the months after my maternity leave I had begun to realize just how much I loved being a professional. This realization was a strange one for me. In university I can remember hearing a presentation from a professional journalist who told us to throw out any idea of having a family. She flat our said families and journalism don’t mix. And, I believed her. That presentation even caused a small crisis of identity where I reconsidered becoming a journalist at all.

After a little more than seven  years in Grimshaw, I am happy to report that families and journalism can mix. I recognize that that’s not always true for some people and certainly with some companies. But, not for me and not in the company I work for. I am constantly reminded of how fortunate I am to be employed by an individual who does put families first. I don’t have to sweat about taking Ezra for immunizations during the day. Nor do I have to worry about staying home for an afternoon if Elijah is sick.

I’ve even been able to take my kids to work with me. This has resulted in a few of the most adorable photos.

I’ll still be posting about the projects we complete around the house (I have a coat rack/shelf and sofa table completed and ready to tell you all about), but I also anticipate that I’ll be back to sharing more about our lives in Grimshaw now that I’m back, I’m really, really back.

 

 

This reporter has kids

Well one kid, and another on the way. But “This reporter has kid,” didn’t quite have the same ring to it.

This past month has been hard. I went back to work when Elijah was 11 months old. At that time I had arranged with my boss to only be in the office three days a week. This was certainly a blessing because this way I could have the best of both worlds. I could put my professional hat on for three days a week and then continue to wear only my mommy hat for the remainder of the week. Continue reading “This reporter has kids”

Understanding the horror of the dentists’ chair

Today I experience a first. Some might say I was fairly fortunate to not have experienced this until the wonderful age of 24, but after today I would rather have not experienced it at all.

Today I learned of my first ever cavity and then had my first ever cavity filled.

The dentist has never been an event I particularly enjoy taking part in, unlike my wonderful and strange fiance, but it also has never been something I’ve dreaded. Today has changed all of that.

Almost five hours later, my cheek is still a little numb from the freezing. The extended pins and needles feeling is more than a little uncomfortable and persistent, which is bothersome.

The strangest part about the whole thing was that while the dentist and her assistant were leaning over my face and doing their thing inside my very frozen mouth covered in something they referred to a raincoat, they were talking about me.

It was very weird. They were having a conversation about the cardio boot camp program that is run at the multiplex. They were asking all kinds of questions of each other about the facility and the program that I knew the answer to but was unable to answer because of the rain coat in my mouth. The rain coat that, I might add, did very little to prevent “rain” from getting on my face. The assistant was constantly splashing water and whatever else onto my cheek.

Then the dentist starts talking about the fitness instructor who was being interviewed by “one of the multiplex employees” on Saturday morning. While that statement wasn’t totally untrue, because I am a multiplex employee (at least until the end of April), the fitness instructor was actually being interviewed by the newspaper reporter. Listing to a conversation that was going on so close to me and yet didn’t really include me was a strange experience. It was like culturally acceptable eavesdropping.

It’s now just about 5:30 p.m. and I almost have complete feeling in my face (the awful appointment was at 11:30 a.m.). The best part about all of this is that I can look forward to going through all of it again on Monday. I guess when it rains it pours…good thing the dentist uses that “rain coat.”

The makings of a newspaper article

It’s come to my attention that there is a large misconception surrounding how news items get into a newspaper.

In speaking with members of the public, I have learned many people think news staff create news, or make things up. This simply is not true. Sure, on slow news weeks we have to dig a bit deeper, ask a few more questions, and even take a few more photos, but the fact remains news is not made by reporters, it’s only reported by reporters.

Often times, the news the public is convinced was created by reporters is the news certain members of the public do not want to see in the public, such as a guilty plea in court. This is the type of news that often contains a sensitive topic, or may be offensive to some, but is news nonetheless.

“Potential for offence lurks in every news story. Age, race, sex, disabilities, religion – all are often pertinent to the news but must be handled thoughtfully,” reads page 19 of the Canadian Press Stylebook – or (to risk blasphemy) a Canadian newsperson’s Bible.

With that being said, our job is to report what people tell us. Sure we paraphrase, but when it comes to facts and quotes, we only write what comes out of the mouths of the people we talk to or off the pages of reputable research notes, books and websites. A good reporter will research their topic, verify facts, and strive to only publish the truth. Unfortunately, good reporters are also human, and sometimes they make mistakes. In that case, it is our ethical duty to correct those mistakes as soon as possible.

Furthermore, a good reporter will never include their own thoughts or opinions in a news article. Yes, what you are reading now are my thoughts and opinions, but this is not a news article, this is a blog.

I am the first to admit avoiding bias can be difficult. When a person has a strong emotional connection, or bias, to a particular topic it is often best to hand off the article to a colleague who doesn’t have that same bias. At a small town newspaper, fellow reporters are a luxury. Many weeklies employ just one reporter, which is the case at two of our company’s newspapers as well as this paper while we are short staffed. While avoiding bias is difficult, it’s not impossible. I know for myself, when I am faced with a possible bias, I tend to use language that is friendly to the general public. For example, when speaking about a church-based gathering or group, I will use the word “club,” which is by definition a group of people united by a common interest, instead of the more commonly used church word “ministry.” I will also use the word “band” to describe a group of people who play music on Sunday mornings, instead of the more commonly used church term “worship team.”

I do this because I can remember having to explain to a professor in university what a worship team was. The term was something I had grown up with, and I’ll admit, I struggled to explain to him what a worship team was. I wouldn’t say “band” is the most appropriate term because “worship team” is, but as my professor pointed out, “worship team” is only an appropriate term, after it has been explained.

I know a lot of the how news is made is a mystery to most, because most don’t study how the news is made. However, next time you read an article that you don’t agree with, please remember a reporter didn’t make up the story you’re reading. He or she simply recorded in print what another member of the public relayed to him or her. And if you find a mistake, we appreciate being told what the mistake was. A simple phone call will do and we will publish a correction at the earliest opportunity.