11 Questions with… Cynthia Kinnunen. @cynthiakmusic8 #bdk11Qs
02 Jul 2018
Welcome to “11 Questions with…”. This edition’s guest is Cynthia Kinnunen.
11 Questions with… Cynthia Kinnunen
1. Elevator pitch… tell us about yourself.
My name is Cynthia Kinnunen. During the day, I work in strategic planning at the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph. I’m a music educator on the side (piano and ukulele) and also run a non-profit ukulele festival called Royal City Uke Fest. Best of all, I’m a mum of three wonderful kiddos.
2. Your spouse… tell us about him.
Ben and I have been married for 17 crazy years. We met jamming (we had a passion for Neil Finn’s music in common) and have been making happy music together ever since. Ben’s an engineer by day and bass player/hockey coach/soccer coach in the off-hours. So grateful for him as my life partner.
3. Your kids… tell us about them.
My eldest, Suvi, is 15 and has a passion for the arts, particularly painting, sketching, writing, photography and singing (she’s in a fabulous youth choir). She’s got a great natural artistic and musical ability and is one of the most caring people I know.
Maxwell is 12 and is a pretty awesome drummer, in addition to his athletic skills as a hockey goalie and soccer player. Possibly the best sense of humour in the family and definitely the most reliable of all of us!
Finnegan is the youngest at 10 years old. He, too, is a hockey and soccer player, and his musical instruments of choice are guitar and ukulele. (You have to make music in this family, whether you like it or not). Finn’s also got weirdly exceptional rock climbing skills.
4. Do you have any pets? Tell us about them.
We have two cats and a dog. Indiana Jones (Indy) is our old black cat, Toulouse (Lautrec) is our newest addition, our 1 year old Siamese mix. Martha is our middle-aged border collie/lab mix. Herding cats is her life’s work, poor thing.
5. What have been your biggest challenges as a parent?
Every stage has its unique challenges. I think an ongoing challenge is finding balance and making time for us all to do things as a family. It’s really important to us that we do things together but it’s not always easy to coordinate. Thankfully, random family jams and board game challenges don’t need to take too much planning!
6. If you could pick any career in the world for yourself, what would it be, and why?
Music educator, which I have the good fortune of getting to do, albeit just part-time these days. I absolutely love sharing the joy of learning music.
7. Growing up, who inspired you the most?
A number of people have inspired me over the years. My family inspired me in different ways, and I would say most especially my Finnish grandmother, who showed me every day that you work hard, be friendly, laugh always, and never stop being grateful. These days, my kids also inspire me a lot.
8. How do you balance work life and family life?
Not sure! There’s definitely an ebb and flow throughout the year, and it’s a bit of a madhouse come fall, but as long as we always find time for each other and our own individual moments of replenishment, we are just rolling with it!
9. What advice would your “current self” give to your “just about to have my first child” self?
Be easier on yourself. Worry less about what others think. Be present in the moments and don’t wish the time away. Also, that Death Cab for Cutie onesie was a really good call.
10. Has there been a piece of advice you were given about parenting that really stuck with you?
You are raising kids to let them become good world citizens. Let them learn to make mistakes and fail, then get up and try again. Give them the tools to be caring, productive, and above all, happy people! Also, don’t forget about your partner. Your relationship is just as important!
11. What advice would you give to new parents?
Trust your instincts. Never be afraid to ask for/accept help. Get sleep when you can!
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“11 Questions with…” is an on-going feature. I will be interviewing parents with the same 11 questions, who like me, live in the digital world. The goal is to examine different perspectives, advice, challenges, and experiences from how people parent their children, and live a successful work / life / online balance.
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