Welcome to a new feature here at This Mom Loves: The Momterview! I will be profiling different Canadian moms who are well known…and for the right reasons.

Joining me for this inaugural post is the beautiful Marci Ien from CTV’s Canada AM. I’m a longtime fan of this talented news anchor, and Marci graciously agreed to chat with me for a question and answer session to launch this feature.

This Mom: Thanks for speaking with me, Marci. It’s after 8 p.m. Am I keeping you up?

Marci Ien: No, actually we were running late tonight. I got home and thought ‘what are we having for dinner?’ so we just went on a grocery run. Blaize is occupied with her meal right now!

TM: So, your daughter is five. Help me prepare: what was it like for you when your baby started school?

MI: She’s actually going to be six soon, and she graduates from kindergarten this week! She’s been in preschool for a couple of years, and in kindergarten in the afternoons in the same facility. I cried the first day we dropped her off. My husband and I were stressed about it, but she ran in and started playing and I thought ‘she’s a big girl now!’ I think it’s more about parents letting go than the kids.

TM: Is she involved in many extracurricular activities?

MI: Well, she takes piano, jazz and tap with a bit of ballet…she does gymnastics, swims, she’s on a break from skating right now. She says she wants to play hockey, and I used to as a kid, so once her skating skills improve we’ll think about that too.

Blaize at Circus School

TM: What’s she in to now, in terms of toys, books…?

MI: She loves Spiderman. Right now she is eating off a Spiderman plate and cup -{Blaize calls out in the background} oh yes, and she says a Spiderman placemat too. She loves all the Superheroes. For her birthday we’re having a movie party at a local theatre, and I asked her what kind of cake she wants, and she’d like to fit 10 or 15 superheroes on one cake! She’s a bit of a tomboy, just like I was. There’s some girly in her too, she likes to dress up, but although I hate to categorize things as boy, girl, if you were to use the word tomboy, she would be it. She loves to wear jeans and a cap and climb trees.

She’s still in to Thomas and Caillou. She used to love Dora, but now she’s out of the picture. Oh, and she loves Robert Munsch! She’s starting to read now, so at bedtime we let her read a page, then we read a page. We go through a lot of Robert Munsch. And also the Olivia books.

TM: So I have to ask: what time do you get up in the morning?

MI: Are you ready? 3:30!

TM: {Gasps} But lately you’ve been sending Tweets out at 10 or 11 at night!

MI: Here’s the thing: I’m a sports fan. It’ll be 13 years next month that I’ve been with CTV, and it’s mostly all been early mornings. I’ve always said “I won’t give up my life.” My family and friends don’t operate on these hours, so I’ll take a nap if I have to, but hey, I’ve got the best of both worlds. I’m not going to give up watching the basketball game. I just won’t! So I walk around half the time sleep deprived.

TM: {Now distracted by the thought of that little sleep} How do you manage the work/family balance?

MI: I think we put a lot of pressure on ourselves as women to get it all right and perfect, but it’s a high standard that most of us can’t attain. If the house doesn’t get vacuumed, so be it. {I didn’t want to interrupt her to tell her that my house must be vacuumed}. If you have to buy a meal one night then so be it {Now I’m back on board!}, in order to spend time with your family and be good to yourself. Women put everyone else first and don’t give ourselves enough time to just breathe. That will make you a better mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend.

Michael Landsberg {host of TSN’s ‘Off The Record’}  was on our show talking about how he has been battling depression for 10 years, and I thought he was so brave to tell his story. He said “you have to fight for your joy, you have to fight for your happiness”. My family, my friends and my job make me happy, and I want all of it. I’m not going to be as hard on myself as I have been in the past; I don’t believe in balance. Everyone always asks me about this, and I really don’t. I’m not perfect, maybe I’ll get two out of five things right one day, because we can’t do it all. It’s not fair. I’m allergic to balance!

TM: Do you think you’d be doing anything differently in your career right now if you hadn’t become a mom?

MI: Not at this point, but now looking forward, I think I want to travel, so is it Canada still? Is it the States? Obviously I have to think about Blaize, as that would mean pulling her out of school and moving. My husband is really supportive, he says that she’s still young, and we can make it work no matter what. When I first started in Nova Scotia with CTV it wasn’t a problem. Now the first question is always ‘how does it affect Blaize?’

Blaize and Daddy in Vancouver during the Olympics

TM: What do you like to do when you get some me-time?

MI: I love movies. I love theatre. My husband and I recently took a quick trip to New York and saw Denzel Washington in Fences, for which he just won a Tony by the way, and it was fabulous! I just adore theatre. For Father’s Day my sister and I are taking my Dad to see Jersey Boys. He has always been in to the Arts. We grew up going to Stratford and Shaw at a young age, and the theatre has always been really special to me. I love trying new restaurants. Also, I’ve recently brought a couple of girls together, my sister and some friends, to form a book club. We’re going to start with “The Help” {by Kathryn Stockett} and go from there. Things are so busy for us that reading has been thrown completely off the rails. We read for work, but you have to read for the joy of it, and discuss books and make it social. I’m really looking forward to it.

TM: What about couple time?

MI: My husband Lloyd and I have date-night on Fridays, and we try to stick with it. Sometimes Blaize crashes it, but we try to keep it up. Sometimes it’s a weekend away; my sisters and parents are great to keep Blaize. Our anniversary is in September and we usually take a trip then.

TM: How long have you been married?

MI: Nine years. We were married right after 9/11, and we got married as part of a cruise in St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, and it was crazy. Some ships weren’t sailing, they were patrolling the seas and the air, and we had guests flying in. It was a ton of fun but we weren’t sure who was coming and if people would be able to get there!

TM: You’re a strong supporter of several charities. Can you share a bit about them?

MI: Well, as part of the balance thing, I realized years ago that we can lend our name to a lot of different things, and I felt badly about saying no, but you can’t do everything. It has to come down to what’s important to me, and I’m passionate about kids and youth issues so I narrowed it down. I’ve been working with the Children’s Miracle Network for probably a decade now, and do things with their ‘Celebration’ which brings together kids from Canada and the US who are suffering from cancer and diseases I can’t even pronounce. The kids come together and the families get to connect and meet others going through the same thing.

The next one is a combination of journalism and mentoring: ‘Journalists for Human Rights’. I got involved a couple of years ago and basically their whole mandate is to promote human rights journalism in countries where democracy isn’t a given. They asked me to go to Sierra Leone to meet with journalists there and hear their stories and give them tools to report. This is a country making its way back from civil war and it’s not easy to be a woman there. Women are meant to be in the home, raising kids, not having a career.

World Vision is another charity I love. I went to Sri Lanka for them when Blaize was six months old, right after the tsunami and it was a rude awakening. They had protected areas there where, after the disaster, kids could go to be kids, and forget they lost their parents. They had psychologists on hand, it was amazing.

TM: My blog is called “This Mom Loves”. What are some of your favourite things that you love?

MI: Well, I love my lip gloss. I really love trying different moisturizers, night creams, day creams. Anything to keep me looking good! {This is where I compliment her – have you seen this woman? – she acts modest, and continues.} I can’t live without my family, they keep me sane. I love long walks. If I could, I would do it first thing in the morning, get up at 6 a.m. and do it first thing, but I tend to do it in the afternoon or evening. And I love to travel. There are a lot of places still to see.

TM: Thank you so much for your time, and for sending me photos to share with my readers as well! Go get a good night’s sleep!

Blaize and Mommy: Olympic Torchbearer

Now, a question for my readers: Who would you like to see as a future This Mom Loves Momterview? Which well-known Canadian moms are worthy of some extra attention? Who would you like to know more about? Please, leave me a comment…and for now, I’ll keep you in suspense about who’s next!

You can catch Marci very early each morning on Canada AM, and follow her on Twitter @MarciIen.

13 comments on “Marci Ien: My Exclusive Momterview”

  1. Wow, just came across your blog via FMIC and am glad to have found it! Great articles (love the new interview feature) and general info … new follower!

  2. Great interview with Marci! Wow, it's so great to hear how we all strive to achieve balance in our lives, but as Marci said, "We're not perfect!" It's so true! Sometimes, we just need to step back and hear those words from someone else before we realize we are working ourselves too hard. Let's focus on what means the most to us in life.
    I found your inside jokes very humourous! Thanks for the laughs!

  3. I don't have any suggestions at the moment that I can think of – but wanted to tell you that I think this feature is a great addition to your blog. I really enjoyed it!

  4. Wow Kate,
    Great post. I too love Marci and often wonder how she does it. She seems fairly down to earth. That's great to see.
    Look forward to your other interviews.

  5. Hey Kate!
    Love your new addition to your blog! What a fantastic idea! What about an interview with Wendy Mesley from CBC? My mother-in-law is a survivor of breast cancer and has followed Wendy's story and thinks she is a very fascinating person!
    Can't wait to see who your next "Canadian Mom" will be!
    Krista S.

  6. Hi Kate,
    I really enjoyed reading this. You asked Marci some pertinent and indepth questions. She answered them very truthfully…I know this because she's my sister. She sent me this link weeks ago, but I was too busy to read it until now 🙂 Take care and best of luck with your blog.

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