Your Momoir | Candyce Morris
Full Disclosure: I am in love with Candyce Morris. Candyce is a mother to two of the most adorable boys you will ever meet. She is one of the creative minds behind NEAT Rentals and NEAT Photobooth, which she co-owns with her husband, sister, and sister-in-law. Never one to run out of ideas, she is also in the beginning stages of launching a company called Little Folk; Modern Bibs for Modern Kids. Little Folk will feature locally made bibs from ethically sourced materials that are designed to last. It will be the only bib you will ever need for your little one. I'm so excited for my little one to sport these beauties!
I met with her in July, the day after I returned home from a camping trip with my family. As I was driving to meet with Candyce, I noticed how I felt much more nervous than I had with previous interviews. Maybe this was due to the fact that Candyce has become a very important person in my life, or maybe it was because I still smelled of campfire and was running on 4 hours of sleep. Either way, I felt a little off my game as we wandered down into the Millcreek Ravine to have our interview.
Sara (from Sara Brown Photography) set us up near the water which I immediately felt thankful for, as water is my love language. Nothing brings me back to myself as quickly as water. Whether it is the ocean, a bath or even just the sound; it completely settles my soul. I looked at the beauty we were surrounded by and realized how perfect this location for our chat. If you spend any time with her at all, one of the first things you will notice is her impeccable posture. Candyce always has a tall, confident stance and a presence that speaks "I'm with you"; it is one of the things I love about her the most. I felt amused by the fact that Candyce is as steady and naturally beautiful as all the stunning trees that surrounded us; and here I was, fidgeting and moving just like the creek beside me. It was meant to be.
I flicked on my recorder and asked what changed in her the most when she became a mom. "I've always been a Type A personality, really OCD. Growing up I had my closet perfectly organized with my hangers colour coded. Being spontaneous was hard for me, I was anxious. Well, I'm still an anxious person but becoming a parent relaxed me. I am able to go with the flow now, to let go. I am also way more motivated." Hearing her say that she would have described herself as a Type A personality really shocked me. I know her as a relaxed, easy-going person in every situation that presents itself.
What do you feel you've had to sacrifice the most for your children? I questioned. Candyce fiddled with the sleeve on her coffee cup. "Well, I can be really selfish. I think it's a good and bad thing. I'm very social and I love getting out and doing things with my community. After we had my first child, that didn't change too much; we just took him with us wherever we went. I was able to keep my lifestyle. After our second child, our lives became very different. Having two children is a lot harder and my youngest was never totally content outside of the house. It was probably a year where I didn't really do much. It was hard for me to give up the ability to make plans on a whim. We realized that getting into a routine was really important for our children. I had originally resisted that scheduled parenting life, but I slowly realized that I needed to do it for my kids. It's just a different rhythm."
How do you want your boys to describe you when they are adults? I asked. "I hope they say I am a little bit crazy" she laughs, "I hope they think I'm a nutball, just from all the different things in life I've tried so far. I also want them to think I am incredibly loving and supportive. That they see how I showed them through the way I live, that it is important to be open and curious." As I heard her say those words I recalled an earlier conversation I had with my husband. We were talking about certain qualities we hope to instill in our children and we had this epiphany that if we want them to have, say, gratitude; then we must be living a life of thankfulness. I tell Candyce how I think motherhood is like walking your character through the fire. "Definitely" she agrees, "Motherhood shines a light on all the parts of you that you hope will never be seen. Kids are so raw and honest and question everything."
Candyce started talking about the dreams she has for her family, "I hope that I look back and see that we are a very strong family unit. That sort of strength carries on; no matter how far we might be from each other, we will stay connected. I hope that I instilled confidence, or the ability to sell yourself, to our kids. I want them to learn to think creatively and know that I will fully support them. I aspire to be the kind of parent that encourages an open mind. I know in parenting, it is so hard to not project our hopes and dreams onto our children. I really want to let them explore and find it out themselves. I've often admired how thoughtful Candyce is when it comes to raising her boys. I've had numerous conversations with her about parenting and I know, beyond a doubt, that her boys will someday recognize the beautiful gift she has given them; the freedom to be themselves.
Motherhood truly seems so natural to Candyce; she's a nurturer through and through. There's something about her unassuming confidence and content demeanour - and don't even get me started on her hustle. This girl knows how to work! But, what attracts me to Candyce the most is her realism. I knew when I asked her this next question, she wouldn't shy away from the hard stuff.
What about parenting do you struggle with the most?
"Being given the incredibly difficult task of making all of these personal, hard decisions for them while they are young. For instance, with having two boys it was; do we circumcise or not? These are big life decisions and the responsibility of it can feel huge." I nodded, I totally get this. Sometimes the choice seems huge and other times it can be small, but ultimately we are making decisions for their life. "You just try your best for them, to give them the best life you can" she adds.
We started talking about success and how she feels about where she is in life right now. "I feel happy with the person I've become. In my twenties, I often felt like I was jumping from one thing to the next. Now, I look back and see that I'm willing to take chances; that might be what I'm most proud of. I'm at a place now where I can take action. I've always had lots of ideas and I've always been creative but I never really did anything with it. Ideas are nothing if you don't take action. I still struggle with the 'it's not fast enough' and that's the hard thing with having kids and trying to work while still being home with them. I'm constantly juggling my work around nap times and staying up late when I have the quiet. I found that once the ball gets rolling you gain momentum and it gets easier. I joke about this a lot but Tim Ferriss has actually changed my life. I devour so much information from his podcasts; hearing other people's stories - just realizing that nobody knows what they are doing. It's about reaching out to others or just trying. Everybody, for the most part, is faking it till they make it. He [Tim] talks about making a point to put yourself in situations where you know the least in the room, or where you feel totally out of your element; that's an opportunity for growth to happen.
This isn't the first time that I've heard her mention Tim Ferriss. Knowing Candyce and what she is capable of, I wouldn't be surprised at all if she finds herself being interviewed by him someday.
Finally, I asked her one of my favourite questions; What words do you live by?
"Less but better. That's my mantra. In physical things for our home, in parenting, in relationships; even though we do a lot, we are trying to simplify as much as possible. Breaking everything down to the purest, simplest form."