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15 Ways for Mamas to Stay Sane During Covid

Good morning, or afternoon or evening to you.
You are the glue keeping everything together right now. You set the tone for the ebb and flow of your family routines. You are constantly taking the emotional temperature of your child, children and spouse. Now you are not only Mama, but Mme.Mama, teacher as well as cook, nurse, maid, and your own person. And it is to this last point that I would like to touch on at this time. You. You must also rescue yourself right now, you must look after yourself, stimulate and nurture your spirit and mind in this moment that feels like we are trying to stay afloat swimming in a toxic soup of uncertainty.
Below are 15 suggestions of ways to attempt to rise above the heaviness, to love yourself, to create your silver linings.

1. Gratitude.

We still have so much to be grateful for. A gratitude journal may sound corny, but the act of reflecting and writing down daily at least 5 things you are grateful for may help reset some of the negativity of our current challenges. Don’t feel like a gratitude journal? Then journal down all your fears, frustrations, resentments and brainstorm what can be done to minimize those.

2. Hygge.

It means coziness. Hugs, cuddles, lighting candles, enjoying just being with each other with no agenda. It’s calm and loving.

3. Good news.

There are still good news stories out there. Search for them, subscribe. One most recent one is by The Office alum John Krasinski

4. Dance.

Oh my goodness, you need to dance. Everyone has there jam, their boogie tunes. I guarantee if you boogie to some tunes, you will smile. If you sing along, this may be amplified. Have a silly dance off with the family or just on your own.

5. Work out, sweat.

There are many sites that offer access to their workout videos. One example is Sam Heughan, who plays Jamie Fraser on Outlander, has created a free 30-day challenge of workouts that do not require a gym.

6. Start a flower or vegetable garden.

It’s too cold too plant outside right now Spring blizzard, do these words belong together? Here they do. You can get some cups or pots and make a little corner to start growing herbs or flowers. If you don’t wanna grow a garden, buy some potted flowers or plants.

7. Go outside.

Just do it. Everyday. Even when it’s cold. Bundle up. Whenever I feel overwhelmed, after I have spent an hour outside I never feel overwhelmed afterwards. If the sun is out, I am like a meerkat sunbathing with my face to the sun.

8. Hot water.

Hot bath, hot tea, hot coffee. Little escapes. Can go all out if you want with a bubble bath, candles and a nice drink, learn how to perform a tea ceremony or make tea time like the British.

9. Get organized.

This one pays off at the end, but is so worth it. You may turn into Marie Kondo and come to enjoy it. So many things that can be organized; family pictures, rearranging furniture and purging objects, simplifying, cleaning your closets. Each area that has been organized and cleaned will make you feel lighter.

10. Get your art on.

Doodle, do finger paint with your kids and all the crafts you get them to do. Order an adult paint by numbers. Decorate a room the way you want, not by what is trendy.

11. Laugh.

Watch funny movies. Follow funny people online. I like to read Andy Ritcher tweets, watch comedy specials on Netflix and Sketch comedy troupes on CBC Gem like Baroness VonSketch, Portlandia. Whatever tickles your funny bone, find it.

12. Reach out to friends and family.

Everyone is in their own bubble almost literally at the moment. Reach out to those you love, even if you just send a funny gif or a cool article you read. Share good news, make good news. Do nice things for others.

13. Do something “selfish”.

If it is financially possible, get something you want, have wanted. My favorite perfume Heaven is discontinued. I ordered a small bottle off eBay for $18. I was excited to get it, then excited to wear it. Perhaps you love scarves? Get yourself one if you can. Love purple? Paint one of the walls in your house purple.

14. Wear nice clothes.

PJs are comfy, but you don’t have to wear PJs and active wear everyday. Put on some of your “going out” clothes, do your hair, or do your hair in a funky way.

15. Be gentle with yourself.

Keep up the good work Mamas. Be gentle with yourself.
Anna Marie Chemi is a stay at home mom who never wants to grow up, with 2 sweet boys.
In Business, Edmonton, Events, Random Thoughts, Style on
February 2, 2020

So Much to See and Do at SkirtsAfire 2020

Old Strathcona, Downtown and Alberta Ave

by Annette Loiselle, Artistic Director

As Edmonton’s only theatre and multidisciplinary arts festival featuring women, we are excited to announce that SkirtsAfire is expanding this year with more venues, new experimental shows and artistic growth. We will be in Old Strathcona with our MainStage play The Blue Hour by Michele Vance Hehir (a must-see), Downtown with music and cabaret at Station on Jasper and The Nook Cafe, and we are back on Alberta Avenue, the community where we started, with brand new shows in drumming, dance and so much more. There’s a lot going on at SkirtsAfire over our 10-day festival, so here is a simplified overview – venue by venue, community by community.

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Running for Mamas

Running.

It seems like a simple activity that we should all be able to do right?  It is cheap, can be done at any time, and doesn’t take any equipment other than shoes.  

Most women that I work with feel really frustrated when it comes to running because just doesn’t feel good.  They leak, they have back, hip, pelvic and/or leg pain, or it just feels awful on their bodies.  

Lots of Mamas I meet love running and want to return to running races or plan a getaway for a destination race.  Some just want to get out for a run a couple of times a week for fitness and for the mental break. Many want to run with their kids and not be stuck on the sidelines watching as their kids grow.  

The most common strategy that I see women take with running is to take it slow.  They start with a slow 20-30 minute jog around the block with plans to work their way up to longer or faster runs.  

And I totally understand why!  I made the same mistake myself nearly 9 years ago when I returned to running after my first baby Avery was born.  

This approach misses a few KEY strategies though, which is why many women find it hard to get past this distance or they quit all together.   

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Hustle is Stupid

I’ve been working as an entrepreneur/mompreneur/freelancer/contractor/business owner whatever you want to call it, for over ten years. I’ve had big clients, tiny clients, and big projects and projects from hell and everything in between. I can say, unequivocally, from my 10 years of trying to make money while raising a family and trying to be a regular human that the “hustle” … is stupid.

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Family Values and Work

Up until 2 weeks ago, my work was full time. 730 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday, both kids in Daycare. No flexibility, no leaving early, or even really being able to stay home with the kids if they were sick.

PS – this is not a political opinion post. 

This was a change after having an incredibly flexible, work from home or partial work from home job since my daughter was 1. I started this full time gig just before she turned 9.

I loved my work.

I loved the customers, I loved my co-workers and I loved the daily challenges. I respected and grew to care for the people I worked with. BUT there was certainly “culture shock”.

The kids being in daycare, coming home spouting opinions and “Well, Dayhome Lady says…” 9 hours of my day not seeing them. By the time I got home and made supper, it was pretty much shower and to bed. There was one time my son was a bystander of a fight on the bus, a kids head hit into his mouth knocking one tooth out, and he was bleeding. I wasn’t there at the stop for him. Dayhome was. It broke my heart.

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#MomCrushMonday – Chanelle Walsh

WAHM/D, SAHM/D, Work out of the home or other?

I’m a work from home mama, running my small business, Nora’s Closet – Baby Boutique from home. I make and sell birthday outfits as well as bows for little girls.

 # of Kids? Ages?

One little girl, Nora, who is 17 months.  

What movie makes you cry?

Toy Story 3 – every single time!

Tell us about a mom/dad who inspires you?

My sister, she is such an amazing mama to my two little nephews and I always go to her for advice!

What’s the fondest memory you have of your life as a mom/dad so far? The biggest challenge? 

The fondest memory I have was holding my daughter for the first time. It was just completely life changing!
The biggest challenge hands down has been lack of sleep and adjusting to sleeping way less than before having kids.

Would you rather be able to see 10 minutes into your own future or 10 minutes into the future of anyone but yourself? Why?

Most definitely my own future! I’m always curious what the results of my actions are long term!

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10 QUESTIONS WITH . . . Tracey McGonigal

Each month, we play 10 questions with one of Alberta’s most interesting mamas. This month we hear from Tracey McGonigal, the owner and creative force behind Tracey Bakes YEG. She’s also a busy wife and mama with a full-time day job. You can find her on Facebook and Instagram, sharing photos of her breathtaking cakes and cupcakes.

1. How did you begin this journey into the world of cake decorating?

When my daughter Olivia was born, being a first-time mom some days felt so isolating and lonely. While I was over the moon about having a beautiful, healthy baby I wasn’t used to staying home after being part of the workforce for so long. I’ve always liked to bake but this time gave me the chance to really fall in love with it and it was something I got to do for myself.

2. Can you describe your creative process?

I generally like to sketch out most of my cakes beforehand to plan on how I want to tackle it. I like to keep up with what’s trendy while staying true to a particular style on how I like my cakes to look and meeting up with what my client needs. I also love to work with both buttercream and fondant, I like to be versatile so I’m never bored doing the same thing.

3. What is the most rewarding aspect of owning and operating your own business?

Hands down the awe in my clients and how grateful they are when they see their cakes for the first time. Just knowing I had created something to do that makes all the long hours super rewarding.

4. It’s Sunday morning. How is your family spending the day?

My week is always so hectic (I also work as a full time medical office assistant) and Sunday is a chance to catch up on things like laundry or other “fun” house work. Some days we say the hell with it and do none of the above to do something fun out of the house with our daughter.

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In Business, Explore, Lifestyle, Parenting, Random Thoughts on
August 30, 2019

10 Questions with Amber Ozero

Each month, we play 10 questions with one of Alberta’s most interesting mamas. This week we hear from Parkland County’s Amber Ozero, who owns and operates Good Morning Honey, along with her husband Richard. You can find Good Morning Honey on Facebook and Instagram, or connect in person at Callingwood Farmers Market, 124 St. Grand Market, and Millwoods Farmers Market in Edmonton. 

1. How did your career path evolve from working as an editor/videographer/reporter for major media companies in Western Canada, to owning and operating Good Morning Honey along with your husband? 

After having two kids under two, I decided to put my television career on hold and be a stay at home mom. We moved to a farm and I really enjoyed being with my kids and living the country life. It was my husband Richard’s idea to get into beekeeping. He was very passionate about it and before I knew it, so was I! It was a natural progression. I take care of marketing, promotions, farmers markets, event planning, website and social media along with any other jobs that need doing like pouring, labelling and delivering honey!

Photos from a Good Morning Honey hive in Parkland County as part of the Photo Collection Legacy Project Parkland County, AB, Canada.

2. What is the most rewarding aspect of running a family owned and operated business?  

Seeing what you can accomplish when you work together.

3. How does a typical day unfold in the Ozero household? 

Richard heads down to the shop (a short one minute walk!) to get things going for the day. I usually answer emails and plan out social media posts while having morning coffee. It all depends on the weather and the time of year as to what happens next! Some days are busier than others but there never seems to be a lack of things to do. Richard takes care of the beekeeping. I’m often filling orders, delivering orders, cleaning, doing paperwork, organizing, promoting, loading up for farmers markets, organizing events on our farm like long table dinners and Open Farm Days. 

4. Can you describe your parenting philosophy?

Now that we have teenagers, I’m a big believer in honesty and straight talk. I think that having an open dialogue about what is going on in their lives is important. Being a teenager is tough and I want my kids to know that they can come to me with any problem they might have.  

5. You can recommend one book to Alberta Mamas readers. Which title do you choose? 

Taking time to read a novel is something I struggle with! I read a lot of news and articles online. The only time I seem to squeeze novels in, is on vacation. I just started The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. My Mom recommended it to me. 

6. It’s Sunday morning. How are you spending the day? 

I like to make crepes or maybe bacon and eggs. Most likely two coffees on a Sunday! Last week, we hopped in the 57 Chev and went antiquing and out for lunch and a movie. That was a pretty good Sunday. 

7. What do you like most about living in Parkland County? 

The people! We love our neighbours and all the farmers that we work with. It’s a great place to live and operate a business. 

8.  Who do you find most interesting to follow on social media? 

@Thediymommy and @Brickbubble

9. What’s one thing about you that might surprise others?

I beat Gord Bamford (country recording artist) in a singing competition in grade two! (He obviously did more with his singing that I did!!!) 

10. What would you tell people who want to know more about Good Morning Honey? 

We are very passionate about bees and honey! We take great pride in our beekeeping practices and in our family business. Richard and I are big believers in working with local businesses and other entrepreneurs and feel fortunate to have the support from our amazing customers!

Kirsten Clark is a high school English teacher, a reader, a writer, a runner, a podcast junkie, a lover of good food, and, most importantly, a mom. She lives in Beaverlodge with her husband and son, a curious and energetic toddler, who keeps his parents on their toes!  Connect with her on Instagram @kirstenlanae , and at thefaucet.net, where she blogs every Monday, no matter what.