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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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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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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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Simple Ways to Curate Lasting Memories

Simple Ways to Curate Lasting Memories

At the centre of my childhood were simple experiences rich with texture and wrought with meaning.  It wasn’t until I was an adult that I was able to appreciate the beauty in the simple togetherness my mom wove into the fabric of our family.  Our family didn’t have a lot of money so my mom got creative.  I find myself using many of her ideas with my own children and I enjoy coming up with my own.  Time is the precious gift our children want above all.  Here are some of my favorite memory makers!  I would love to hear about yours.

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In Lifestyle, Parenting on
July 9, 2018

7 Simple Ways to Refresh and Rejuvenate This Summer

By Amanda Cook, C.H.N.

Taking time to focus on your needs is neither selfish nor selfless, it’s simply necessary for your mental, emotional and physical health. When mother’s take the time to care for themselves, they’re better able to meet the needs of their family. Have you ever had a bad day and just watch your intimate world fall apart? I have! A mother is typically the centre of the home and when her needs are met, life just flows easier.  

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In Lifestyle, Parenting, Random Thoughts on
June 11, 2018

The Best Father’s Day Gift I Ever Got

By Rob Burtt

I will never forget the birth of my first child. It’s not that the latter two births were less significant, it’s just that the first was such a surreal and sobering experience. I remember this  6 lb. 3 oz. little girl meeting the world for the first time. I recall having her bundled up little body placed into my arms and thinking “Wow, I’m a Dad.”

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9 Things I’m Looking Forward to This Summer in Alberta

I’ll be working full time so I’ll be squeezing every last drop out of my Alberta summer weekends. Here’s what I’m most excited to experience this summer in Alberta.

The Road Trip

Is there anything better than packing up your wheels, stopping for snacks and hitting the open road? Yes, yes there is. It’s called re-living your childhood. One of my earliest memories is playing cards in my grandparents motor home, road trekking through Alberta, to the States into Mexico. Hanging out, while you watch the landscape race by. Snacking, gaming, talking – the journey more important than the destination. The in-laws bought a small motor home and they’re letting us borrow it – squeee!

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Alberta Mamas – One Year Later

Alberta Mamas is ONE! One year ago we had this crazy idea to work with parents around the province to create a resource for families, a place to find hidden gems in Alberta, and a place where people could share their thoughts in a safe place.  But it has become so much more because of all of you.

Alberta Mamas is a community.

We have learned so much from all of YOU! Every contributor post and conversation on social media has shown us that not only do we have way more places to discover in our beautiful province, but also thatAlberta is full of amazing, smart, and funny parents. You have made us giggle with your comments about your kids’ antics, made us feel like we aren’t the only ones dealing with difficult topics, and have offered sage advice when we have needed it.

“At first I loved seeing our passions come together. Passions for community, business and social media. And it’s grown so much more then that. We are all still passionate but it’s been beautiful to know my friends (and community around us) even better. It’s amazing to see the vision we created for community coming together. In a collaborative and inclusive way.” – Jen

We have also learned a lot from each other throughout the past year. It has not been all sunshine and rainbows. The six of us all have strong opinions and personalities which are bound to clash at some point. We can disagree, fight, and push each others buttons like siblings. But in the end we have got each others back 100% no matter what. We hold each other accountable and push each other to be better. We are each others biggest cheerleaders.

“The first thing I thought of when we started this was – yes I get to write stuff! Secondly though, it occurred to me that I would get to WORK with 5 totally different, totally strong inspiring ladies. Like, I have a legit reason to learn, bend the ears of and hang with 5 women I admire on the daily. And then on top of that, we get to read amazing pieces by moms (and sometimes dads) all over Alberta and share them in our “little” community. Makes a gal feel very blessed!” – Chris

When we first started this one of our goals was to give a voice to parents whether they had a blog or not. We have gotten to work with some amazing people and we love hearing their thoughts and opinions.

“I love that we’re creating a community where writers across the province can share their ideas, opinions and writing- whether they have their own established blog or not.” – Kim

We want to thank you all for commenting, liking, writing for us, sharing posts, offering your opinions and more throughout the past twelve months. Each action means so much to us.

We are excited to officially celebrate our first year (details announced soon) because to quote Kim – “Our parties are pretty fun too!”

 

Who are Alberta Mamas?

 

In Parenting, Random Thoughts on
March 17, 2018

5 Mom Friends That Are Good To Have

What I’ve learned over the years as a mom, is that your circle of friends gets smaller. It’s not a bad thing, it’s quality over quantity. I sat back the other night, thinking about my very small circle, realizing they each have their own elements of awesome. I seem to have been drawn to moms that each has qualities I want to grow within myself.

I’ve needed to learn a lot as I go with this parenting thing, much like most people but because of how I grew up, even the smallest things – showing affection or correction, for example, have been a struggle for me. You change and grow when you surround yourself with people who have the qualities you want to grow in yourself.

Here are 5 moms in my circle that I’m glad to have “showing me the ropes”

 

  1. The Health Conscious Mom. You know the ones. They somehow manage to get their kids to not just eat their vegetables but CHOOSE vegetables. They make exercise a priority in their day, for them and their kids. They take care of themselves too, showing you that self-care is essential. You go to them fortips and watch their good choices, trying to see if any of these healthy options can fit your family too.
  2. The Super Smart Mom. These ones are all in on the new technology, they know what their kids are into and seem to outsmart them at every turn. The ideas they share with you sometimes just make you sit back and think, I’d love a day with that brain of yours! And they are raising super smart, independent kids who know exactly who they are. You’re always bending her ear for what’s new with her kids or what she’s currently working on. And some times you get her to explain how the heck that math question works that your kids brought home too.
  3. The Mellow But Deadly Mom. She seems like the most chill person you’ve ever met. Then you meet her kids and they are so well behaved, you think, how is this possible? You never see her raise her voice to her kids at any time and yet, they still listen. Then you hear the odd story about how her kids didn’t want to eat supper one night, she fed them it for breakfast once and didn’t hear a complaint ever again. She calmly sticks to her guns and respectfully gains the cooperation of her kids. I feel like it’ll take me a lifetime of watching her work to be able to use such deadly ninja mom skills.
  4. The Always Put Together Mom. Some of you may secretly mutter under your breath when you see her but I myself will admit, I always want to be her. The best part is, more often than not, these moms are also some of the sweetest you will find. Sweet and gorgeous, they come to your rescue when you need a little soul lightening and their smile lights up a room. What I learn from her is that it’s ok to take a few minutes in the morning to put myself together, and make sure I’m spreading some love when I go out into the world too.
  5. The Juggle & Fun Mom. She works, often many jobs, raises usually 2, 3 or 4 kids and somehow manages to do the most fun things with them too. I always think to myself, where do you find the time? But if she can do it, surely I can too? You can go to her for ideas and sit back in awe of her while she juggles, seemingly a crazy amount of “balls” and wears her numerous hats. You see her pictures of the fun she has with her kids and just get inspired.

There are obviously many more great qualities within the women you surround yourself with, and you might not have even stopped to think about it. There are women who are a hybrid of these! We really do gravitate towards people who we enjoy and for me, part of that enjoyment is learning through their experiences and strengths.

Do you fall in any of these “types”? Do you have friends who do? Tell us about your favourite “mom friends'” qualities! We’d love to hear all about the women in your circle who inspire you and help you grow.

Edmonton's Child

Instagram Mom’s You May Not Have Heard Of – But We Think You Should Be Following

We wanted to take the time to give a shout out to some Instagram Mom’s we’ve been loving lately. These accounts are all ran by Moms in Alberta! They may not have thousands of followers (yet) but we think they are must follows.

  1. Momifer – Warning: This account will make you want to hibernate and bake all day. If Instagram had smellavison capabilities this account would smell like Grandma’s house. Follow her if you like beautiful photos and want to get some baking inspiration.

Momifer

2. The Globe Diary – If you are itching to get on a plane and escape the long Alberta winter this account is for you. Exotic locations, cute coffee shops, and so many beautiful sunsets. We dare you to get through this feed without booking a flight somewhere.

theglobediary

3. My Modern Hijab – This Boss Babe is conquering parenting, running a business and blogging all while wearing the perfect shade of lipstick. Seriously. This woman can rock a bold lip! From fashion tips to parenting you will love reading her perspective on life.

My Modern Hijab

4. Moony_1 – From cute lunch inspiration that ranges from Pinterest worthy to cute ideas you can actually do to talks about struggling with weight loss and mental health; this account is real #momlife. Moony_1 let’s us all know that we’re all in this together and although being a mom is not always glamorous, it is fun and our days are full of love for our kids. And really what is better than that?

Moony_1

5. Organized With Kids – Whether you are looking for great tips to keep the chaos in your house under control or you just want to look at a beautifully organized home during your kids’ naptime and dream of the day when the kids move out and you can have a clean floor for more than 5 seconds, you need to give Organized with Kids a follow.

Organized with Kids

These are just a few of our faves right now that you may not have heard of. We would love to hear some of your favourite accounts!