This past weekend we decided to take advantage of the sunshine – it’s few and far between lately! My daughter has become interested in taking photos – especially of flowers – and we had never been to the St. Albert Botanic Garden so that’s where we went!
1. It’s FREE
You park in the lot and it’s right there. There is a gift shop you can peruse if you like but entrance is free.
2. It’s bigger than you expect!
I hadn’t looked up anything more than where it was so when we got there, the entrance gardens were already impressive. But then we kept walking. It’s LONG. There is an entrance park, an East park, a West park and more additional gardens. We stopped along the way so much to take photos we spent almost 2 hrs there.
From age 9-16 I was a competitive swimmer for a small summer swim team in Jasper National Park ; the Jasper Red Fins. We were small but mighty and we called ourselves “RED HOT!” WE were very proud. I didn’t actually learn to swim until age 9 but my parents focused on it so much that within months, I had completed all the levels and joined the swim team. Swimming became my life. I wasn’t the fastest swimmer but my technique was good and I loved it! I enjoyed early morning practices and I would even go to the pool to “swim laps” on my own regularly. Our pool had a Kilometer Club and where the goal was to swim 100km in the specified time frame and we got prizes at different milestones. When I say swimming was my life, I’m not exaggerating!
After age 16, I started coaching the swim team. First I was an assistant coach then a year or so later, I was the head coach. The team was mine! I was a “take no crap” kind of coach. I was a 6am practice kind of coach. I was a “no junk food or unhealthy food the week before a competition” kind of coach. Like I said, swimming was my life. I did this until about age 21 when I stopped spending the summers in Jasper.
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.
By Leah Elzinga
“My kid spends all their time in their room playing video games. I’m worried they’re not making friends. At least they like technology?! Maybe you can teach them to code!”
Every six weeks or so I receive an email or request similar to this one, with frazzled parents begging me to teach their kid to code to get them out of the basement but… that doesn’t work. Here’s the thing: I love technology. I love the thing itself, I love the process of building it, and I love the people involved. In and of itself, though, technology isn’t the solution to all of our problems: people are.
So let’s unpack this problem. Kid spends all their time playing videogames online. Ok, so this isn’t really a problem in and of itself. Is the kid still active? Gets their homework done? Let’s assume the answers there are a “yes”.Kid is anti-social. Ok, so this we can work with, but maybe not in the way you’d expect.
How did I not know this little piece of camping paradise existed right in our own backyard?
Rainbow Valley Campground boasts 39 15 amp powered sites + 29 natural sites;
And a massive green space WITH a playground.
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?
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.
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