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09 Aug, Tuesday
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Montreal Families

Global anchor heads back to the newsroom

How are you feeling about returning to work?

My feelings vary depending on the day. I’m terrified when I think about trying to fit everything into the day, I’m sad when I think about spending eight hours away from Liam with no cuddles, but at the same time I’m excited about getting back to a job I love and doing something with my brain besides playing peek-a-boo. I’m not sure I can handle it all and still be a great Mom to my boys, but I felt the same way when I went back after having Luc. And I still have a wonderful, close, caring relationship with him despite my work schedule, so I know it can be done. Still, it’s scary.

What will you enjoy most about being back at work?

The people, the excitement and the vibe of the newsroom. It’s an insanely fun place to work. Newsrooms are very special places — a bunch of adrenaline junkies challenging each other to tell better stories and cover our local Montreal scene better than anyone else.

What will you enjoy the least?

Fitting everything into a 24-hour day. Every working mom always wants more time. I know how hard it will be to juggle everyone’s needs, but I also know it can be done.

We are always reading about women trying to find a work/life balance. Do you think this is possible to achieve with both parents working full time?

The honest answer is no. You can’t have a perfect work/life balance everyday — some days yes, but not every day. Life is too unpredictable to feel balanced all the time.

When I went back to work after having Luc, I was absolutely terrified because I knew I couldn’t do everything. Then my husband, Jean-Luc, reminded me that he was invested in this as well, so I started to count on him more. I realized I don’t have to do it all by myself.
The challenge is to do the best you can every day. My house is often a mess, my laundry piles up, but as long as my kids feel loved and supported and I’ve taken time to listen to them and hug them everyday, then I go to bed feeling balanced.

What is your definition of a great mom?

Wow — that’s tough. Someone who can love her children no matter what — express that love unconditionally — and still set limits and guidelines to help them grow into responsible, caring adults. I try to do that by holding them close, talking to them, listening to them, kissing them as much as possible and letting go when I have to.

What do you love most about being a mom?

The laughter; I giggle with my boys all the time and it just makes me so happy.

What do you like the least?

The lack of control. I worry all the time and wish I could make the world a safer place for them.

What do you notice is different about becoming a parent for the second time?

I’m a much more relaxed, confident mom. I’m pretty sure I won’t break the baby, (which I was terrified I would do the first time ‘round!) But it’s also harder to juggle everyone’s needs. Liam, being an infant, is very needy. Because I’m nursing, he’s always on me, which makes me feel sorry for Luc who needs time with his mommy too. So far, I’ve managed pretty well, but I know it will be a constant balancing act to make sure they both get their share of me and that I still save time for my husband… and work as well!
Name three things about being a parent you wish you knew before having kids?

  1. Babies cry a lot and it’s not the end of the world when they do.
  2. How totally exhausted I would be (people tell you, but the reality is so much worse).
  3. How hard it is for some women to breastfeed. I struggled with both my boys at the beginning, but it became easier after I got help from great lactation nurses at the Jewish General Hospital.

What do you want to instill in your children more than anything?

Kindness.

What are your hobbies?

I love to read and write when I have time, which I don’t have right now (you see – no work/life balance!!) I do love to cook, especially on Sundays in the fall when it’s football season and I can watch NFL games with my boys as I cook.

What are your three favourite restaurants in Montreal?

We had our “last supper” at the Monkland Tavern before both of my births. I LOVE the food there. The Oyster Shack downtown has terrific seafood at great prices with a nice casual vibe. And for a lunch date with my hubby, we head to L’Express on St. Denis. French food at its finest and great people-watching too!

What are your three favourite books or three you’ve enjoyed reading recently?

Recent reading? Not much — except The No-Cry Sleep Solution, which is not exactly what you are asking about! My top three favourites? That is very hard to pick. I’d go with The Diviners by Margaret Lawrence as my favourite of all time. I read and re-read all the Narnia books when I was younger and look forward to reading them again to my boys. For gripping suspense, anything by Ken Follett; Lie Down with Lions is a favourite.

Who are your role models and why?

My friends are my role models. One is raising three girls and balancing a successful political career; one stepped out of the work-force for a year to raise her daughter and learn French; one dropped a great career to run a cloth-diaper service from home; one left her life in the city to move her two boys to the country and establish a career directing documentaries. When I look at the terrific kids they’re raising and the incredible things they are doing for the world it gives me hope for the future and inspires me to do better.

Who is Jamie Orchard?

A graduate of Concordia University’s Journalism department, Jamie Orchard is the Senior Anchor/News Editor for Global Montreal’s Evening News. Twice in the past five years, the Evening News with Orchard as anchor has been named Eastern Canada`s best newscast by the Radio/Television News Director’s Association.

When she’s not working, Orchard devotes her time to a number of charitable causes including the Action Centre for physically and mentally challenged Montrealers. In 2004, she was named one of Montreal`s most remarkable women by the Board of Trade of Montreal and was a finalist in the YWCA Women of merit gala in 2007. In 2008, she won the Izzy Asper Community Service Award for her work with The Action Centre.

Orchard grew up in Brossard and now lives in Montreal with her husband Jean-Luc and their two children, Luc and Liam. She considers her children “a great blessing” in large part because she spent 10 years trying to conceive. After numerous miscarriages, she was diagnosed with a blood-clotting disorder and had to inject herself with blood thinners every day throughout both of her full-term pregnancies.

On May 16, she will return to the Evening News anchor desk on Global Montreal at 6 p.m. (Monday through Friday). Global Montreal celebrates her return with a special series on working moms.

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