Fabulous Female Friday – Alicia Lang

I’m happy to feature Alicia Lang today as Augusts’ first Fabulous Female.

Alicia seems to be a normal, everyday mom but when you dig a little deeper you learn that she has an amazing drive and unique appreciation for her community.  Her ability to find a good work/life balance as well as making time for her community is really admirable.

I really appreciate Alicia’s honest and candid responses on motherhood and the ups and downs a new mom experiences. I wish more women felt comfortable sharing the ‘unexpected’ thoughts and feelings that come along with our new roles in life.

Please join me in getting to know Alicia.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m 29 and originally from Huntsville, ON. I moved to London 5 years ago to be with my husband. We have an absolutely beautiful daughter, Emma, who is now 17 months old.

 I love being active, and keeping busy.  I have been married for 3 years to my husband Andrew. I work for Selectpath Benefits and Financial as a Marketing Assistant for the president.  My life is always full of surprises and I love to be kept on my toes.

You’re very active with volunteering in the community; can you tell us about your work with the Alzheimer’s Society?

I have been involved with this organization for a couple of years now.  I help with their annual Walk for Memories and their biggest fund-raiser Cabin Fever Relief.

Last year I was fortunate to be a guest at the Cabin Fever Relief and it was amazing to see how everything is put together and presented. I had so much fun and yes, I spent money on the silent auction items…it’s a weakness I have when I go to fundraisers.

You also work with the Special Olympics; why is this important to you?

I have been with Special Olympics London for 5 years now. I started off coaching swimming, then soccer and now I run the basketball program. I was also the athlete registrar for the past 2 years. I was in charge of almost 500 athletes and 60 for my basketball program.

My volunteer work is so important to me that even while on maternity leave I continued with my positions. After Emma was born she came to every practice with me in her Snuggy.

Since returning to work I had to step down from the athlete registrar position. I absolutely loved that job but I had to realize I was not a super-women. My basketball team had a very exciting year! We went to a qualifying tournament which means we could end up at Provincials held anywhere in Ontario. I find out later this fall.  After Provincials we could make it to Nationals and then Worlds! 

This organization is probably the most rewarding for me; every day I’m able to see the athletes I have worked with and have helped to either put a smile on their face or helped them with life skills.  There is nothing more amazing than being involved in sports that I’m so passionate about and seeing what you have helped to create. I am honoured to be involved.  Most important it keeps you in check to know how special life really is and you should never take it for granted.

How do you balance a full-time career, volunteer work and being a mom?

Hmm. Well I just do!  Unfortunately I am not privileged to be like some superstars who make it look easy and have nannies on call 24/7. I’m not anything more special than any other mom; I just work my butt off and never take no for an answer.

You have to be disciplined and have structure in your life and know that it’s okay to ask for help. Some days I’m totally whipped and others I just feel on top of the world.  I get up every day no matter how I feel and think today is going to be a great day! When I open the door to my daughter’s room and see her glowing smile, how can I not feel so blessed?

Why do you think it’s important to continue working in the community on a volunteer basis?

We are so lucky to live where we do. Especially when there is so much anger, hate and war around us.  I feel we should give back to our communities to give them a piece of us as a token of our appreciation for the gift to have this freedom we share.

 As a busy mom, how do you find time to stay physically fit? Is it true you’ve been training for a ½ marathon?

When I was pregnant I was able to stay fit by playing competitive soccer until I was 7 1/2  months and I also ran until I was 8 1/2 months. Even though I was told by numerous people how I was putting my baby’s life in danger and how selfish I was.

 I love being active and knowing how important it is to stay healthy. I am a doer; actions speak louder than words. When Emma was born I wanted to make sure I could start my outdoor season for soccer in time, so when she was only 4 weeks old I started training. By 6 1/2 weeks I was out practicing. I ran almost every day on a treadmill while she napped.  When she got older I would have her up stairs with me while I did some weight training.

Last fall, I ran the Terry Fox Run. I started to train for a 1/2 marathon last fall but it has been extremely hard with everything on my plate so I do what I can. At this point I don’t think I will be ready this fall since I will be expecting my 2nd child in December. So basically I run as much as I can and still play competitive soccer for Dorchester.

What advice would you give to other new moms on maintaining a work/life balance?

Next time marry for money…ha-ha, just kidding…deep breaths!

Stay positive even when you feel your world is upside down and you’re ready to lose your mind! Being a mom is the most rewarding and unthankful job put together.  We just do things without hesitation or thought.

Ask lots of questions and remember that none are dumb.  I’m pretty sure I am not the only mom whose baby didn’t come with an owner’s manual/return policy. I wrote everything down from the time I was pregnant until now so I can share my experiences with others.

 What did you find most surprising about motherhood?

How much I loved it! I know that sounds funny but I find that I’m not like most women; I’m not girly. I don’t watch chick flicks and I hang out with the guys.  When I was pregnant I never loved it. I felt bad, I mean every woman seems to love it but I never did and I still don’t.

The labour kills and even when Emma was placed in my arms for the first time, nothing. I never had that “love at first sight” feeling.  I know I sound very strange, but it’s the truth. I was freaking out to think I wasn’t feeling the way other moms felt. Then one night when Emma was about 2 months old, I was all alone and I was feeding her. I looked into her eyes and she gazed into mine with the most breathtaking look and at that moment I knew I wanted nothing more than to be with this little gift that was given to me.  I was shocked to learn that everything I thought I knew or wanted had in one split second changed forever.

What’s the last song you listened to on your iPod?

Eminem – Won’t Back Down

What’s the last book you read?

Couldn’t tell ya…I’m not a reader.

City Mom