Michelle Robindell is a Life Coach with Ripple Effect Coaching and a Learning Partner with BC Hydro. She loves to work with women who are returning to work or starting a business after they had kids and their lives were turned upside down. She has two energetic children – a 4-year-old son and a 2½-year-old daughter. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+!
What characteristics define the Vancouver Housewife?
When I think about a housewife, the first thing that comes to mind is someone who spends much of her time at home – she takes good care of her house, loves to cook, decorate, garden… makes sure her house is generally running efficiently. When I layer Vancouver on top of that, I think of yoga, hiking, skiing, biking, and shopping. And because of all of these activities (and the expensive housing market), a Vancouver housewife probably needs an income (or two) as well. So all that being said, a Vancouver Housewife does everything but sleep! J
Are you a good representation of a Vancouver Housewife? Why?
Well, I don’t get much sleep. With two jobs and lots of activities to keep me busy, I’m not home all that much. My husband does about 95% of the cooking… and dishes… and gardening. I only shop when I have to. But I do love yoga, hiking, skiing and biking. And I do have two jobs.
Do you feel that living in Vancouver in some way defines who you are? Please explain.
Definitely. I was born in Vancouver and raised in Burnaby, and I now live in North Vancouver, my husband’s hometown (and my dad’s too). My extended family is all in North Van as well. The mountains and ocean have always been my compass points (Vancouverites always know which way is North is, don’t we?) and also a huge part of my soul. My dad’s a sailor and I’ve spent a lot of time either on or simply near the ocean. I love it. To me, water symbolizes possibilities – adventure, vastness, cleanliness, fresh starts. I think that’s why I called my company Ripple Effect Coaching. I believe in possibility. Mountains also have great symbolism for me – accomplishment, solidity, pride, strength. I think the combination of strong, solid mountains and vast, unpredictable seas are the basis for my paradoxical life – where I appreciate adventure and spontaneity, but also stability and responsibility.
Have you ever had cosmetic surgery, Botox, Restalyne injections, etc.? If so, please provide details. If you haven’t had any of the above procedures performed, would you consider it?
No, I haven’t had any of those. I’m not that glamorous. I don’t even know what Restalyne is! I actually want to look older. I’m commonly assumed to be 10 years younger than I am, and I’ve only recently stopped feeling really sensitive about that. I felt a lot of people didn’t take me seriously – didn’t respect me or my ideas – because I was too young to “deserve” an opinion. I realized much of that was actually coming from me – I didn’t feel deserving and I didn’t respect my own ideas. After working with my own coach I’m over that. I do deserve my own opinions!
Other than your children (if applicable), what is the accomplishment of which you are most proud?
I don’t get to count my children? I’m pretty proud of them!
I’m also proud of myself for building my own coaching practice. For having a vision for how I wanted my life to look and going out and asking for it. Even though it wasn’t the most “practical” or “appropriate” thing to do, and even though a lot of people questioned my decisions, I knew it was right for me and I went for it. I looked long and hard at what I wanted, had some deep conversations with my husband, and we’ve made the choices that work for us. Some people might think I should be spending more time at home, cooking, or that I’m crazy for opting out of continuing to climb the corporate ladder. But I spent many years doing things I thought would make other people happy, and the biggest thing I learned was that I can never make everyone happy. The only person I could guarantee to make happy is myself, and when I dug deep (working with my own coach) into what would make me truly happy, I realized that what most lit me up was working with people to discover and accomplish their own dreams. I am fortunate to work with a wide variety of amazing clients, and I find it incredibly energizing and inspiring.
Has the desire for affluence/power/money been a motivator in the choices you’ve made for your life?
I don’t have any real desire for affluence. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t care about money but for me, it’s more about what money represents, or what it can enable: freedom, adventure, new experiences, travel, learning… and at the same time, stability and security. I love living in North Vancouver, and I’m grateful to have a big enough house that my mom can live in the suite downstairs. It means so much to me (and to her) that she has a great relationship with my kids. And the fact that she provides so much childcare has enabled me to go after my dreams without stressing about who is taking care of my children.
My 20’s were focused on achievement – promotions, awards, degrees, certificates. I was also (more than I am now) into shopping, brands, and how “cool” I was (not that I was ever all that cool). After I had kids, my values shifted completely, and I’m much less focused on getting ahead. Now, it’s more about richness of experience, connecting deeply with people who are important to me, and honouring differences. I guess that sounds a bit corny, but us life coaches can be that way sometimes.
Tell us about your stuff. What do you like to buy, collect, etc.?
Oh god, the stuff. We have a double garage and it is full to the brim! My husband spends much of his free time just trying to organize and reorganize all his tools, our sports equipment (skis, bikes, etc.) and all the baby stuff that we haven’t had a chance to post on craigslist yet (I’m trying to picture the glamorous housewives putting old baby stuff on craigslist, and I can’t quite see it).
I would actually like to buy (and collect) a lot less. I think all the “stuff” we own causes me more stress than enjoyment, and I would rather spend our time out experiencing the world than at home taking care of our stuff.
Do you have “staff” in your home? (E.g. nanny, driver, chef, etc.)
We get our house cleaned every two weeks and my mom is our live-in “nanny” (she has a suite downstairs). My husband is our “chef”. He’s very good.
We also have our groceries delivered weekly by SPUD. It’s a lifesaver! No dragging the kids through stores, no worrying about running out of the basics. And very high quality, organic, local selection.
Do you belong to any clubs, teams, groups or social organizations?
I’m a member of the International Coaches Federation (ICF) and the BC Human Resources Management Association (BC HRMA). I’m also part of the “BC Business Moms Network”.
Finish this sentence: “My life’s motto is ….”
I have so many mottos! I pick and choose depending on the moment:
- “Everything happens for a reason.”
- “There’s a silver lining in every cloud.”
- “There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” (Aristotle quote)
- “I’m willing to try anything once.”
But my favourite is…
“The grass is always greener… where you water it.”
As a special thank you to Michelle for participating, she will be receiving a special gift from Canadian Choice Wholesalers. Canadian Choice Wholesalers was established in 1999, out of a recognized need for an independent voice in the natural, organic, and specialty foods market. Our extensive catalogue, and customer-oriented service focus allow us to make these products available at all levels of retail, from the locally owned and operated markets to the most popular grocery chains across the country. Canadian Choice Wholesalers is BC family owned and operated. Offerings include products manufactured locally, throughout North America, to international specialty foods. Current product representation stretches from throughout Vancouver, Victoria, Whistler, and the interior of BC to Calgary, Edmonton, the prairies, Ontario and Quebec. For more information, please visit www.cdnchoice.com and on Twitterby