Arieanna Schweber is a mom to 2 boys, age 4.5 and 2, who are always on the go – hence the name of her blog, ActiveMama, and her high consumption of coffee. Arieanna Schweber began professional blogging back in 2005, becoming Canada’s first female professional blogger, all just just 6 months after graduating from Simon Fraser University with a Business degree. For many years, Arieanna balanced her Vancouver-based corporate clients as well as a high profile career in entertainment, writing many websites and managing a team of 30 other writers across 70 entertainment-focused websites. Since having kids, Arieanna scaled back to be a stay-at-home mom, retaining only her corporate clients. Arieanna launched ActiveMama to chronicle the life of her boys. Several years later, ActiveMama continues to share the lives, travels and adventures of her family, with a particular focus on community events and reviews that Vancouver-based families could benefit from. Arieanna can be found @arieanna, on Facebook or on Instagram.
What characteristics define the Vancouver Housewife?
I don’t think “housewife” is a term any Vancouverite would use for herself, at least not the ones I know about. Most of the Vancouver women I know who could be called a “housewife” have found ways to empower themselves through home businesses or through engaging online via their blogs. Perhaps a Vancouver housewife could be called a woman, regardless of whether she has kids or not, who is willing to fulfill her personal goals.
Are you a good representation of a Vancouver Housewife? Why?
I feel like I’m everything but a traditional housewife, but I think I could call myself a “Vancouver housewife.” One of the assumptions of a “stay at home mom” is that we, well, stay at home. Which is exactly what I do not do. My boys and I are on the go all the time, going to playgroups or to parks or adventures to many of the family-oriented spaces in Vancouver. While my daytime focus is on my kids, engaging with them and feeding them what feels like 50 times a day, I still have enough “me” time to focus on my clients, my own blog, and hopefully also my friends and my fitness. I think this desire to “do it all” is very common in Vancouver, but it’s also quite fulfilling.
Do you feel that living in Vancouver in some way defines who you are? Please explain.
Yes, without a doubt. I grew up in Deep Cove, and I can’t really imagine living anywhere else. Even though my work is technically quite portable, I never feel “home” without the mountains and the ocean around me. Living in Vancouver has defined what I value most in life. For example, living so close to nature has prioritized that area of our life, from local hikes to our explorations when we travel. As well, I think the local culture, from community events to gourmet dining, has become a really integral part of our lives.
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, though I did have a chronic pain specialist who wanted to inject me with Botox to help with my neck pain. I declined and I’m glad I did. I’m not completely against cosmetic surgery, but at this point in my life it’s not a priority.
Other than your children (if applicable), what is the accomplishment of which you are most proud?
I’m proud to have been self-employed for nearly 10 years, doing what I love and balancing that with my life now as a mother. Though I’m proud of the career I was establishing before I had kids, I am just as happy now to say that I have had clients for many years who I have helped support and grow, while also doing the same for my family. I feel lucky to have that balance in my life.
Has the desire for affluence/power/money been a motivator in the choices you’ve made for your life?
I don’t think I would be a stay-at-home-mom if that were true! Although the cost of daycare is ridiculous in Vancouver, I still put my family before my career in choosing to step down from a full-time and very demanding career.
Tell us about your stuff. What do you like to buy, collect, etc.?
I would rather have less stuff, actually. I’ve been on a major purge during the last year. Helping minimize clutter helps me feel more centred. When it comes to buying things, though, I do admit to clothes shopping (which thankfully I rarely have time for) and shopping for my boys – I love finding them cute clothes and our book collection is quite extensive.
Do you have “staff”in your home? (E.g. nanny, driver, chef, etc.)
I wish! I have tried many times to find a part-time Nanny, but it’s harder than you’d think. We do have someone who comes to clean our house every 2 weeks, which takes some of the heavy duty cleaning off my to-do list and saves my injured back and neck unnecessary strain!
Do you belong to any clubs, teams, groups or social organizations?
I’m a part of a fantastic book club! Unofficially though, I participate in what feels like a billion playgroups with the kids, but not a whole lot for myself. Unless Facebook groups count? 😉
Finish this sentence: “My life’s motto is ….”
When the days get tough, head outside or go for coffee.