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Working Mama

In Parenting, Random Thoughts, Working Mama on
October 24, 2019

When the “Bully” Tables Turn

My daughter has seen her share of bullies and she’s only in Grade 2. From preschool on there’s always been that one child. She has been the child who runs to the teacher immediately so has been a “bully” target because of it. My initial reaction is Mama Bear but almost always secondary I wonder about the child. We know that kids who bully are sometimes modelling behavior they’ve seen or as the Have You Filled a Bucket book says, they have an empty bucket and don’t understand that hurting others won’t fill theirs.

Honestly, I’ve thrown my Judgy Jessie hat on more times than I care to admit when watching said children’s interaction with their parents. Saying to myself, “Ah, now it makes sense”.  Does it though? Do I know the back ground of what’s going on with that family? No, I don’t and I hate judgment. I feel guilty every time I think back to any time I decided to do that to another human being.

Let me tell you why this has suddenly become so clear to me that it’s the wrong thing to do. Because recently, it was MY daughter that was the bully.

And I am sort of ashamed it came to that. I’m not going to get in to great detail but she made some bad choices, along with some other kids that were making bad choices. The only reason I know is because her little bro ended up being involved.

When she finally opened up and let me know what was going on I was in shock. It was like the first time you realize your parents aren’t perfect. MY DAUGHTER? The “tattle tale”, help everyone who’s in trouble, compassionate, smart, funny little girl had made the CHOICE to treat others badly. Needless to say it was a very long conversation. Followed by further conversations with her AMAZING teacher, and at least one apology letter being written.

In the end, I feel like the whole situation was one of the best things that could have happened to our family. They say kids teach you more than you teach them. Truth. I had to hold in my reactions and think a lot about how to make this a teachable time. I also took this as an opportunity to remind her that I’m here to help her get through mistakes like these. She learned from this, showed remorse and even now, weeks later, we discuss it as a cautionary tale.

Cause kids make mistakes. Our kids make them, other kids make them and we make them too. Our job as adults is to help them through, learn as we go and withhold the judgment against other adults who are maybe just doing the best they can.

I know that’s what I am hoping for the next time either of my kids decide to dabble in bad choices. I’d love to say they’ll never do anything like this again, but if I thought that, then this situation would have taught me nothing.

Edmonton's Child

In Health, Parenting, Random Thoughts, Working Mama on
October 18, 2019

The Pressure To Do

The pressure on a mom is unlike anything I believe. There is the old motivational quotes about diamonds being coal that did well under pressure. They turn out to be these beautiful things because so much pressure has been put on them.

I don’t know about you guys, but I think I would settle for a pretty rock found on the beach instead of a diamond. Worn smooth by the ever changing flow.

As women we have come so far. Even from just a hundred years ago. A Beyonce says in the song We Run The World, “we smart enough to make the millions, strong enough to bear the children, then get back to business.” Now I’m not one to argue with the Queen B herself of course, but this is the exact problem.

So much pressure to do it all.

  • We should be great mothers.
  • We should be awesome kick ass business runners.
  • We should be gorgeous.
  • We should have clean homes.
  • We should be patient, kind, loving, understanding and strong.
  • We should be amazing cooks and bakers.
  • We should be top notch crafters.
  • We should be able to mend worn clothing, sibling rivalry and broken hearts

As my teachers say “Stop shoulding on yourself”.

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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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In Random Thoughts, Working Mama on
August 23, 2019

I’m Not Ready For Fall

I know, I know, Pumpkin Spice lattes and the colours on the trees – that’s all well and good.

BUT….

I’m sorry, I’m just going to say it – I’m not ready for Fall. Mostly because it doesn’t feel like my family has had a summer. At work 730-5 pm every weekday so we try to squeeze in keeping the house clean, laundry, dishes and some small adventure on the weekends. The weather has been odd but sure, we’ve had a few glorious days.

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In Lifestyle, Parenting, Working Mama on
July 8, 2019

#MomCrushMonday – Mona Ismaeil

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

# of Kids? Ages? 2 Kids:  I have two kids; Manessa (6 years) and Malik (3 years)

What movie makes you cry? My Sister’s Keeper. It just hit close to home. When it came out, I was struggling with some health issues.  Most often, I tear up in movies that have to do with Parents and their children.

Tell us about a mom/dad who inspires you? 

My own parents for sure! My parents made a very tough decision to leave home; Egypt; to seek a better future for themselves and their children. They learned the language, worked 7 days a week, built their life together one brick at a time.  They were typical immigrants working for the dream.  They raised my sister and I here in this amazing country trying to balance an Eastern culture and Faith in the Western world. They taught us to be proud of who we are, and to remain rooted.  They taught us to work hard, be honest and to do what you can in life then leave the rest up to God.

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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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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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10 Questions with Dr. Stephanie Liu

Each month, we play 10 questions with one of the Alberta’s most interesting mamas. This month we hear from Dr. Stephanie Liu who completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Calgary and subsequently completed a Masters of Science in Clinical Nutrition at Columbia University in New York City. Her medical school and residency in Family Medicine were completed at the University of Alberta. Currently, she practices community family medicine and acute care at the University of Alberta Hospital.

Five months ago, she started Lifeofdrmom.com, a website providing families with medically credible parenting and health advice. Dr. Liu is wife to Graeme, an ENT surgeon and mommy to Madi, her sweet and spunky toddler.

1. What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job at the University of Alberta Hospital?

I practice inpatient family medicine at the University of Alberta Hospital and have a community family medicine practice in south west Edmonton. I love both inpatient and community medicine and find them both very rewarding for different reasons. In my  community family practice, I am fortunate to develop a long term relationship with my patients over months and years. The physician-patient relationship is so important to ensure that patients can meet their long term health related goals. In inpatient family medicine, it is extremely rewarding to help a patient return home to their friends and family after a critical illness.  In both settings, I work with an amazing interdisciplinary team of healthcare professionals

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In Health, Parenting, Random Thoughts, Working Mama on
April 27, 2019

Get Outside and Walk

Walk anyone?

We recently shared a blog about Edmonton’s River Valley being the best running spot in Canada.

Now, maybe you don’t run but what about a walk?

I’ve been making a habit of going for a walk with a friend every weekend I can. Alberta is an hiking, walking, running playground. We’ve even got some suggestions for you here.

Here’s why I head outside – with a friend!

  • Ummm nature is beautiful.
  • Sunshine and fresh air are good for you!
  • Exercise! Walking will lower your risk of heart disease and stroke – Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada  
  • I sleep better – probably both the fresh air and the exercise!
  • It’s FREE….well, we do usually buy a cup of joe to take with us.
  • It is good for my emotional well being. We spend the whole time talking, venting, catching up – it feels like a form of therapy.

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