An unfortunate defriending

I worked with Wendy at the Ottawa Business Journal, a small weekly that turned into a huge weekly that has recently gotten kind of small again but will surely expand once again. We didn’t really know each other that well – I was editor of the paper and she worked on the Internet side of things.

So, although we were Facebook friends it’s not like we were ever super-close pals. In one of my random acts of defriending, I knocked her off. I admit it – my criteria was to cut down anyone who I wasn’t likely to have a drink with inside of the next year.

Long story short, a mutual friend scolded me and I added her back. And, the ensuing conversation made us pretty good friends. So, really, it all worked out for the best and she should thank me.

She’s since stopped working in the news industry, taking time off to move to Florida and have twins. So, I asked her about that. But, she also invented her own question about the defriending. I’m sure there’s room for both.

When did you find out you’d be having twins?
I found out in September 2008. We did in vitro fertilisation (IVF) after trying to get pregnant for two and a half years. After I had a positive blood test, they gave me an ultrasound a few weeks later and I found out that I was carrying twins during that ultrasound. I think I was six and a half weeks pregnant at the time. Even though we knew there was a chance we could have multiples with IVF, I was still shocked. In a great way.

You live in Montreal now, but when you gave birth you were in Florida right? Did you have any family support?
Yes, the twins were born in Boca Raton, Florida. We didn’t have support as in family living near us. But we have a lot of friends in South Florida and both my parents and Pierre’s parents came out to help us after the twins were born. It was a crazy time. The twins were born in March 2009 and my husband was unexpectedly fired in May. Not great timing. He was a goalie coach for the Florida Panthers at the time. After he was fired, he would leave me home with the twins while he travelled for interviews with different teams. In the end, we chose to go to Montreal. After he was hired by the Canadiens, he left again to go to the team’s development camp and then to go on previously scheduled trip to Russia to teach at a hockey school there. So, I was left in Florida to care for the twins, make moving arrangements and figure out what to do with our house (rent or sell). We left South Florida in August 2009 and have been in Montreal since then. It is great to be closer to our families. The twins are Americans but we are going to get their Canadian citizenship as well.

Has it been easier or harder than you expected?
I think it has been both. When I was pregnant, the idea of my husband being gone (he travels a lot with his job) and me being home with the boys seemed daunting. In the early days, when they were not sleeping their nights, it was really tough – tougher than I expected. I would get up multiple times a night with each baby and then get up in the morning and start my day all over again with no one to provide any extra support. But those early days seemed to fly by and now we are in such a great routine that it seems easier than I expected to be taking care of twins, by myself for the most part.

You are staying home full time for now. In a blog post you talked about how hard it can be to keep it all together – what are some of the challenges of being at home with two two year olds?
They are not quite two yet. They are almost 21 months old. I was having a terrible day when I wrote that blog post. It was one of those days where everything seemed difficult. One son was teething and trying to bite the other one. They both seemed to have caught a new cold, even though they had just gotten over a cold a few days before, and there was an abundance of snot in the house. It was being wiped on me by both minis and I just felt like I was losing my mind and my patience that day. I feel like Moms often talk about how great it is to be a Mom and what a wonderful experience it is. I do feel that way most days, but I definitely have difficult days too. Days where you manage to take a two minute shower and an hour later you catch your reflection in the mirror and see that you look worse than you did before you showered. Those days happen more than I care to admit. People don’t seem to talk about those types of days.

How do you overcome those challenges?
The days that are hardest are when I have been up several times the night before and I am on little sleep and I know my husband won’t be home for a few days. It is hard to pull myself out of that funk sometimes but I just find a way to make it through the day. It usually involves a quick call to a friend – sometimes just knowing that someone else is having some of the same difficulties helps. No matter how challenging my day seems to be going, my girlfriend Selena can always make me laugh. The boys are at a really cool stage and they are so much more mobile and independent than they were six months ago. That makes things much easier for me. Both boys also make me laugh all the time. I find it is hard to stay in a bad mood when you can find the humour in things. I also talk to my husband a lot when he is on the road. He is really supportive and constantly telling me I am doing a good job. We Skype a lot – the boys are getting pretty good at it and are excited to “talk” to their Daddy on the computer. And my Mom totally helps me. Not only by making the nine hour drive to come hang out with me and twins several times a year, but also by always being just a phone call away and giving me awesome advice.

Do you plan on returning to journalism?
I am not sure. At least not like what I did before. When I worked with you at the Ottawa Business Journal I was so scared that someone was going to figure out that I knew nothing about business! Ha! Although I feel like I did a decent job, I didn’t really like it. Nor did I like working for the weekly newspapers. I left to go into government communications. Before I moved to Florida, I freelanced a few articles and I enjoyed those because they were different ideas that I pitched and it doesn’t feel like work when I write about things I want to write about. I just wrote a story for the Montreal Gazette’s Life section and am waiting to hear from my editor. It has been a while (six years) since I sold an article so I feel like a kid in journalism school waiting for feedback. It is a good first step for me to get back into writing. I am working on a novel whenever I am in the right frame of mind (and can find the time) to write. I am in a unique position where I get to stay home with my boys right now and try to take some time to figure out what I want to do.

Bonus question invented by Wendy: How did you feel when I (Steve Ladurantaye) defriended you on Facebook?
I am not totally sure why it bothered me so much when I realized you defriended me. Was that more than a year ago? Actually, I think I know what it was. I was (and am) always amused by your posts. I dig your status updates – I appreciate funny updates as opposed to other friends whose updates are more like “Blank Blank is at work.” Yawn. And I generally find the links you post interesting. And because you, at least at the time of the defriending, were a pretty active Facebooker, I realized quickly that you defriended me when you stopped showing up in my News Feed.  And what sucked the most was to find out that the amusement that I have for your updates and posts was not mutual. Ha! Anyway…because we have mutual friends, I guess you heard I was put out by the defriending. I am still surprised that I accepted your pity refriending request.

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