The Hats We Hang Up

We’ve all heard the expression of “wearing many hats”.

As a parent, our “hats” grow exponentially – teacher, disciplinarian, many meal maker, friend, therapist, taxi driver, launderer, the OMG It’s Lost Forever Finder Hat 😉 etc.

In order to take on all these new “hats” we often have to hang up some old ones. Sometimes it’s our Career hat. Sometimes it’s hobbies. Like, did you know I have my motorcycle licence? Probably not because I hung up my helmet once the babies came. Sometimes parents manage to juggle all the “hats” they had before – I’m not sure how they magically do that but that’s pretty amazing.

My kids are getting old enough now that a few of the “Mom Hats” don’t come out as often. It has me eyeing a few of the ones I hung up and thinking to myself that perhaps, I could take them off the hangers soon. I could maybe even try on some new ones and see what fits. It’s both freeing and daunting. Like, they won’t need me as much soon. And eventually not at all. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not in mom mode ALL the time, but I always know if I’m not there someone else is taking care of them. There will be a point where they will be their own people completely, and in turn, well, so will I.

I might need to start looking at Kijiji and get myself some wheels. 😉

Did you hang up any of your “hats” when you became a parent?

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10 Questions with Sarah Wallace

Each month, we play 10 questions with one of  Alberta’s most interesting mamas. This month we hear from maternal support practitioner Sarah Wallace. Sarah is a mama to four kids between the ages of three and eight, and since battling postpartum depression, has become passionate about helping other moms navigate the fourth trimester. Currently, she serves the areas of Edmonton, Leduc, and surrounding communities. Connect with Sarah on instagram @sarahwallacedoula, or by visiting her website sarahwallacedoula.com

1. You’ve been very open about your own struggles with postpartum depression. What made you decide to share this experience with others?

When I was first going through postpartum depression, I felt so much shame about it. I didn’t actually realize that I had postpartum depression and just thought I was failing at being a mom. Hearing other’s stories led me to make an appointment where I got diagnosed and that was a game changer for me. I wasn’t failing as a mom – I just needed some help! I share my story in hopes that another parent who is suffering will see that they are not alone and will reach out for help. I also share it because I want to take some of that stigma away so that those struggling don’t feel so much shame for needing some help.

2. Why were you inspired to offer both birth doula support and postpartum doula support?

I have been supporting families for a long time now. Through my work with Momstown as well as my own personal experience, I saw how a positive postpartum experience can really set a family up to succeed. After I had my 2nd and 3rd sons, I found myself floundering and struggling through because I didn’t know how to ask for help and my support network wasn’t always able to help when I did. I knew that I wanted to help families get through the hard bits in the postpartum so that they could feel more confident. I love birth work and seeing folks birth their babies into this world, but there is something special about the relief a new parent feels when you come in and ease some of their burdens for a few hours.

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Celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day in Alberta

June 21st is National Indigenous Peoples Day in Canada. It’s a time to celebrate, honour and learn more about our history and culture! Events take place throughout the month of June, but here’s what’s happening around Alberta in the next week or so…

National Indigenous Peoples Day Events in Alberta:

  • Edmonton & Area

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In Lifestyle, Parenting on
June 16, 2019

Should Schoolyard Games Be Banned?

I still remember the feeling of being thrown flat on my back after getting blocked in a game of Red Rover. The wind would completely be knocked out of you and you would lie there for a while looking up at the sky, getting your bearings before hopping up and joining the other team. BUT nothing beat that rare occasion you found the weak link in the other team and you went flying through winning the chance to bring someone back to your side.

I didn’t go to school THAT long ago (I am not that old…) but it seems like a lot of games we used to play are considered dangerous and are not allowed in schools anymore. So this got us thinking:

I get that the school boards are trying to prevent injuries but are we bubble wrapping our children too much when we say they can’t play games like Dodgeball? It’s a tough question and we would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.

 

In Lifestyle, Parenting, Random Thoughts on
June 14, 2019

Three Bees Series – Part 1 – Bee BIFF

PART 1 – BEE BIFF

Is it not funny to think that there was once a time you would sit by the phone and wonder if he would call or text you; and when his name appeared on caller ID, you would smile and get butterflies? And now that you are separating from him, you know he will call or text and wish he wouldn’t; and when he does call or text, it gives you an uneasy feeling.

Hostile emails, texts and other forms of communication from a former spouse with a high conflict personality may be routine.  Bill Eddy’s BIFF Response method is one way you can effectively handle hostile communication. This method encourages you to be Brief, Informative, Friendly and Firm in your responses. It also encourages you to respond rather than react, which will leave you feeling more empowered.

Brief

It is best to be brief in your responses to those nasty messages and communication. The more material you provide to your former spouse, the more ammunition they will have to attack you; and the higher the chance of an argument ensuing. It is best to keep your responses simple and to the point.

Informative

When confronted with nasty and hurtful comments, it can be instinctive to try and lash out, to face these issues and correct them. However, this response is what sets you down the path to confrontation. Simply stick to providing an accurate set of facts, and nothing more.

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The Alberta Mamas go Camping with Arrkann Trailer & RV!

Plenty of room for the essentials and more in this fridge!

The Alberta Mamas are always up for an adventure, so when Arrkann Trailer & RV asked if we would be interested in taking some of their trailers camping for the weekend we immediately jumped on the opportunity! Out of the 5 of us, 3 of us camp on the regular, 1 loves to camp when she can and the other is not into camping at all (or so she thought). The trip was an opportunity for us to connect face to face because even though we live in the same city it can be a challenge to get us all together in the same room for a meeting sometimes.

We arrived at the campsite on a Friday to meet the folks from Arrkann Trailer & RV who gave us a rundown of the trailers and their basic features. Immediately we were taken with the automation and ease of use with both models. For the record, we camped in serious luxury. Both trailers (Passport Ultra-Lite 2920 BH and Sprinter 26 RB Campfire Edition) were about 28 feet long with slide outs, full bathrooms with showers, air conditioning, couches, automated awnings and levelling systems as well as sound systems! This was no “roughing it” type of trip, and that suited us just fine.

Image may contain: tree and outdoor

Image may contain: outdoor and nature

This levelling system on the Sprinter made set up SO easy. One push of the button on Auto Level and the trailer did the work in under 5 minutes.

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In Lifestyle, Parenting on
June 9, 2019

The Phrase No Parent Wants to Hear – “Mom I’m in the Talent Show!”

It’s the words no parent wants to hear.

“Mom I am in the talent show!”

I mean I guess if you have a child prodigy that can sing and dance like Michael Jackson or play the piano like Beethoven or crush through wood planks like Chuck Norris – awesome. The talent show is for your child. But these words scared me. My kid isn’t talented.

And before you get all Sesame Street on me telling me every child has their own talents blah blah blah -hear me out. I know my kid is talented just not in a “I will be the next America’s Got Talent star” kind of way. And I remember how mean kids can be.

And then he drops this bomb on us…

It’s an original song. About Bulbasaur the least appreciated Pokemon.

See the source image

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When Pets Aren’t Just Pets, They’re Family

In the summer of 2000, my boyfriend at the time, now my husband and I were living together and I convinced him (begrudgingly) to get a puppy. I had been on the Humane Societies website and saw that they had four American Eskimo puppies. I fell absolutely in love with a photo of one, then named Indy. I went to meet him all by myself. He was the runt of the litter. All ears and we named him Buddy.

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5 Strategies to Reduce the Stress of Motherhood

By Victoria Smith

Stress is on the rise, particularly with women. But, I don’t need to tell you that, do I? Intuitively, we feel overwhelmed. From acting as a perpetual chauffeur to coordinating play dates, or from healthy meal planning to juggling sick days and attempting to work from home, motherhood is stressful. Here’s the deal, though, it can be less stressful when you have the right tools, strategies and mindset in place.

Before we get into five strategies that you can implement immediately, we need to start with mindset. If you think your day is going to be stressful, it will, because that’s how you’ve primed your brain. You’ve given it the signal to find evidence of stress wherever you look. To counter this, what I want you to do is start every day by setting an intention. Believe me, I know that if you wake with the kids, it can be hard to find a moment for that, so a fall back can be to write out your intention and set it next to your alarm clock. What should that intention be? I put it back to you – how would you like your day to go? For example, my daily intention is to show up as an engaged parent, wife and friend, and a Rockstar entrepreneur. Yours could be to a search for gratitude. Or to be mindful. The intention is personal to your needs and desires, but set one and start each day reminding yourself of it. Only then will the following strategies take real effect.

1. Stop comparing yourself to other moms

It is so easy to get into a shame-spiral of how you are performing as a mother when your friends or Insta-community are throwing Pinterest-perfect parties for a two year-old. Or maybe you pick
up your child from daycare only to find out that they’ve bitten another child – of course it would be the most well-behaved child of the seemingly put together momma. We are all on our own  motherhood journeys. We all have our own past, our own challenges, and our own beliefs to grapple with. Just because you do things differently doesn’t mean you’re doing them worse. First step if you find yourself in this comparison black hole? Take a social media break. If the comparison is coming from in-person interactions, before each encounter remind yourself that you are doing the best with what you have, and your kids are well-loved. Because at the end of the day, your child won’t care about the perfect party or baked goods or that they were potty trained a year before all the other kids. They’ll remember time spent one-on-one with you, the cuddles and bedtime stories. Presence and love matter most.

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In Explore, Uncategorized on
June 4, 2019

Spray Park, Zip Line, Ice Cream + More At Kinosoo Beach In Cold Lake, AB

Kinosoo Beach

If you’re travelling to Cold Lake this summer, Kinosoo Beach is definitely one place that you’ve got to check out!

Named as one of Canada’s top 25 beaches by Canadian Geographic Magazine Kinosoo beach is the perfect place to spend your summer days! With a roped off area to swim, zip line, spray park nearby and plenty of sand to hang out, it will soon become your favourite too!

Emma’s On The Beach is also open during peak hours and offers snacks, refreshments, as well as ice cream. You can also rent water recreation equipment from Wicked Watersport Rentals which include paddle boards, kayaks, and flyboards.

We have celebrated Canada Day in Cold Lake a couple of times and the celebration that is on Kinosoo Beach is amazing. From a flyover of fighter jets to fun family activities, there is fun to be had by all.

If you are also looking for a great campground that is nearby, Cold Lake Provincial Park has around 200 campsites with walk-in tenting, power, as well as power sites. Right in Cold Lake and about a 5-minute walk from the beach is also Cold Lake Municipal District Campground.

For more reviews on campgrounds and beaches across Alberta make sure you follow the Alberta Mamas Explore section on our blog!