When Everything and Nothing Changes

I read an article the other day on Scary Mommy and would be lying if I said I didn't feel a bit of angst and a slight tightness in my chest thinking about how my life is going to be completely altered as I welcomed my third baby into the world in just a few weeks.

It was about friendships (and relationships in general, really) and how they change so drastically when you have kids. I'll be the first to admit that I had a helluva time navigating life as a new Mom after my first was born and I know my friendships suffered because I tried to do it all on my own and really just ended up isolating myself. I consider myself very fortunate to have some really great friends that just "get me" and I had invested enough of my own heart and soul pre-kids that we made it through to the other side and found a new normal that works for us.

We might not go for coffee like we used to. And we'd all pretty much agree that we don't see eachother as much we'd like but we're all still on the same page and the solid foundation we have (from high school age) allows us to face the ebbs and flows of life with little issue.

Last night was the first time in a reallllly long time that ALL of us were actually available to get together. It had literally been months (if not close to a year) that some of them had even seen eachother. We met at a local restaurant for some drinks, laughed and caught up on life but generally just existed and enjoyed eachother's company as if it had only been days that passed by since our last meeting.

"Time is the largest asset that I am lacking to be able to devote to someone I can confide in outside of my marriage. Everybody needs a friend who just emphatically gets who they are. If you have yours, hang on to that relationship and don’t take it for granted."

It was last night that gently lifted the angst I felt and softened the tightness in my chest. It reminded me that while everything in life seems to be changing, somethings really don't change at all sometimes and that's perfectly awesome. It reminded me that I DO still have an amazing circle of women around me that I know I can call on in a heartbeat if I need them (and vice versa). Most importantly, however, it reminded me that while I have a major life event coming up that would seemingly take over the entire focus of my life, I cannot forget who I am and must make it a priority to continuously reconnect with myself and those who fill my soul in ways my children do not.

That's not being selfish....that's being true to myself. 

If you're not true to yourself and don't spend time filling your own cup first, how can you truly expect to be able to serve anyone else without a whole lot of resentment and exhaustion?

I feel very blessed to have been given this simple reminder on such a random evening of good times and laughs. The timing really could not have been more perfect. ❤️


When Did You Start Thinking You Weren't Good Enough?

I gotta rant on this crap for a minute here...because who seriously makes this stuff up? Using pictures of a beautiful baby for wrinkle creams? I mean, I get the cuteness and all but really?!

I grew up like many other typical teenage girls who didn't like the skin they were in. Probably starting around age 15 or 16, which is later than most girls I know, it seems that out of nowhere my world became an obsession with how much I weighed, what size my clothes were, whether my hair was just right, blah, blah, blah. I thought I was fat. I thought I needed a nose job because my nostrils weren't symmetrical. I thought my eyes were too squinty and that I just wasn't pretty enough.

Translation: wasn't good enough.

Looking back at old photos of myself as a teenager now makes me want to cry because I spent a hell of a long time hating on myself when I now know I was actually really beautiful. The beauty and purity of my heart shone out of my face like sunshine and if I only knew then what I know now, I wonder how many years I could've saved wasting time on things that truly don't matter....not to mention a lot of hurt.

If anything, all those years of self-hate really accomplished one thing and one thing only: they put me back a helluva long way now that I'm a mom in my 30's. I now deal with the most sorry excuse for a metabolism that anyone can imagine. I look at food and basically gain weight before even putting it in my mouth. My body is in a constant struggle with itself and I even lost my damn gallbladder at 17 years old!

I know that I will constantly have an uphill battle until I can get my body fully restored to health again and that's something I own and take responsibility for. BUT, my approach this last year or so has been completely life altering. Focusing from the inside-out, I've spent A LOT of time searching my soul and the dark recesses of my brain to figure out how I got to where I am and what I'm going to do to get to where I want to be without harming my body (or my mind).

But when I see pictures like the one above, I kinda just lose my proverbial shit and I know that's something I need to work on (so forgive me if it offends you).

In a matter of a few weeks, I'll have TWO daughters earthside. And I'll be damned if either one of them grows up thinking that there is ANYTHING wrong with themselves. I will never judge them on their appearance. I will never offer innocent "advice" on how they can improve their looks. And I will never, ever tell them that they could be better if they just: lost a little weight, threw on a little makeup, used this anti-whatever potion, dyed their hair a certain colour, wore this instead of that or any other piss poor excuse for "motherly encouragement".

I hope to raise fierce little girls who will grow up to be women who know their value and their worth and, pardon my language, will not give two sweet shits about wrinkles, stretch marks and uneven skin tone. I hope to raise girls who will stick up for themselves and play hard just like the boys and will know their strength and marvel in the abilities their bodies have...not worrying about how to fix them.

When did vanity become so cutthroat anyway? And it's coming at ya at all angles, too, these days! I get that a lot of people want and need to make money, but if your sole purpose of business is to tell people they're not good enough the way they are and that your product will save them, do NOT coming knocking at my door. I don't want your wraps or your creams or your vitamins. If you want to offer healthy solutions for learning how to love yourself and effect change in a natural, positive way, then I'm game.

I know I can't keep my kids in a bubble from the marketing and messages that are unfortunately being pummelled at them left, right and centre. But I can encourage them and love them and remind them over and over again of how perfect they truly are. And, more importantly, I can lead by example and show them that their mama believes that in herself, too.

That's where the real priority lies...


I Married My Father!

Ok, so that title may have caused a few heads to turn...but I don't mean literally of course! I often hear people say that a woman will often choose a life mate who very much resembles her father. I totally believe this to be true...for ME anyway.

My Dad and I have a very special kind of relationship. In the early years of my life when the Fort McMurray economy was...well...kind of like it is now, he had the chance to stay at home with me for the majority of our days while my Mom worked full time. He worked on various construction projects for a really long portion of his career and our family knew the same fear and turmoil that many families in Alberta are facing right now...a whole thirty years later. While I can't begin to imagine the stress and anxiety this caused my parents at the time, I'm kind of grateful it all happened the way it did because it allowed my Dad and I to develop a different kind of relationship that I feel very blessed to have.

I think Dad's get an unfair advantage for being typed as the only "big, strong, burly" figures in our lives. Don't get me wrong, my Dad is still all those things to me but I know he also has a soft, kind heart. He's the kind of man who would always have my back growing up (and I knew it). He would never, ever hold me back from doing what I wanted to do because I was a girl (except maybe mow the lawn). And I think I can count on one hand in total the amount of times he's raised his voice at me...although looking back the majority of those times were probably because I was interrupting the Habs game. Or there was that one time I was caught smoking...ha!

So what's your point, you say? Well, I write all of this as an opportunity to honour the man that has helped shape me into the woman I am today but also to highlight the very real fact that yes, I DID marry my father (and why that's so important to me).

That right there is MY hubby (well, his hands). Trying so very hard to put his little girl's hair in a ponytail before school. He did a pretty good job, too, considering his lack of experience.

It's moments like these (and so many others) that confirm everything I personally know about Daddy and Daughter relationships. It's moments like these that make me so very thankful (and proud) that this is the man I chose to marry and raise children with. It's moments like these, and knowing how much he and my Dad are alike, that give me hope that my daughters will also choose a life partner that will cherish and respect and love them more than they could ever imagine.

Because THAT's what it's all about...

Our daughters (and sons) need to know that they are loved. Simply and truly. Not only if they're following the rules. Not only if they're behaving the way YOU want them to behave. Not only if they're doing well in school or life. Always....and in all ways. It's up to us as parents, regardless of our personal experiences, to make damn sure that happens.

So many Dads work their asses off for their families and get very little time to spend with the ones they love. They carry such a huge weight on their shoulders and have to navigate a very different world when it comes to raising daughters. Moms don't often help either by naturally being critical (hey, I'm as guilty as the rest of you). BUT if we just took a moment every now and then to appreciate all of these little moments, I think it would do the men in our world a great service and give them a chance to shine their light in whichever way they know how. And when they do, let it happen. Let the moments unfold without trying to control them. Let them be the big kids they are...because that is exactly what we need more of in this world. Truly.

Peace & Health,


Finding Calm in the Chaos of Motherhood

I can feel when I’m becoming overwhelmed by motherhood. I begin to raise my voice a little sooner. I lose my cool over things I’d normally never bat an eye at. I sigh…a lot. Some days I wish that I had a “real job” that I could retreat to so that I could adult all day with other adults like it’s some kind of party. And other days I even resent my childless friends (and many times even my husband).

Sometimes it happens. I’m only human after all. I’m not proud of it but it is what it is. Show of hands, who can relate? And why?

Why do we do this to ourselves as moms? Why do we take the weight of the world and all of life’s responsibilities on our shoulders without asking for help? Are we trying to be superwomen on purpose? Are we looking for a medal? Because you know what? I don’t think that medal is ever coming…

So why the hell are we suffering? Well, for starters, I think it’s really hard to be a mom in today’s society. It seems everyone is fighting a battle that is never going to be won. I can be a stay at home mom who is constantly criticized by society for “giving up” my career (and don’t I dare complain about getting to stay home all day not having to “work”). Ha! I can also be a working mom who is constantly criticized by society, and other moms, for shortchanging my kids (and how dare I “let somebody else raise my kids”). MmmHmm…see where I’m going with this?

You can’t friggen win! Ever.

So here’s my solution: Stop Competing! Stop Comparing! Live and let live. And, if YOU are happy with YOUR life…guess what? You’re golden, pony boy!

 But how do we do that?

In my line of work as a yoga teacher and doula, I am beginning to notice an alarming trend of really, really stressed out moms with nowhere to turn and nobody to talk to. I know part of it is the standards we set for ourselves that, in most cases, are just too much. But another reason boils down to the cold hard truth that motherhood can be very, very lonely. And whether you leave the house to go to your place of employment or you spend your days at home, we’re all doing work. And at the end of the day, there’s only one person who is inside your head when the kids are finally in their own beds and you have hopefully done whatever tasks you need to do before you can fall into your own bed to seek solace before another day. When this happens day in and day out with no reprieve, we begin to get worn down. Being human, we get cranky. We have less patience and tolerance not only for our children, but also for human beings in general. Our sunny dispositions can quickly turn to an online catfight with the simple click of a ‘Like’ – and that’s where the competitions and criticisms and all-out wars come from. We know deep down that we’re all trying our best but when we personally feel defeated, we tend to lash out. Misery does love company as they say.

So when I’m feeling overwhelmed and can sense the temperature inside me is beginning to rise, what do I do?

I find an outlet.

Some days it’s a yoga class. Some days it's simply taking a few deep breaths. Other days I have a full out meltdown and cry like a baby. Whatever it is, it’s a way to release pent up energy and emotions and it works like a charm every single time. Then I vow to be more mindful of what’s happening in my world and each time it becomes easier and easier to notice that I’m letting myself get caught up in it all.

Finding balance as a mom is paramount. Why live a life of anxiety and stress and negativity? What purpose does that serve and do you really want your kids to grow up with a mom like that? I didn’t think so.

So show up for YOURSELVES mamas! Have a cold, hard look in the mirror and ask yourself: “Am I really happy?” If you’re not answering yourself back with a resounding YES then begin to peel back the layers of what’s going on in your world and find some small ways to change that so one day your answer will be different.

Reach out to a mama friend you trust. Tell your husband how you really feel. Sign up for that next yoga challenge and don’t ever feel guilty for taking care of yourself. Ever. Then let me know how you make out. Misery may love company but I believe the same to be true about happy people. It’s good to surround yourself with people who generally love life. Your energy feeds theirs and vice versa. Love it up and have fun!

We all have only one shot at this game of life so why not make it worth it? And then maybe, just maaaaaaaybe, we’ll become shining examples to our kids, too, so that they can grow up respecting themselves and knowing the true meaning of balance and happiness.

Think of the future they could have…

Peace & Health,

Me Time

I'm not sure what I did to make the pregnancy gods happy but whatever it was, I hope I keep it up!

It's just after 8:30. Both my kids are in their beds. I didn't have to stay in bed with either of them for nearly an hour in order to keep them there. I can now enjoy a hot cup of tea and it will actually stay HOT the whole time! #winning

Yes, there is a pile of laundry on that chair in the corner. No, I do not plan to fold it tonight. I'm doing me-time mamas! Have a glorious night! xo

Peace & Health,


Belly Doctors

These little nutcases are excited to soon meet the newest little member of the family. Carson, my youngest, asked me today if our town had belly doctors? I asked him what for? He replied with, "Well there is a baby in your belly so you need a belly doctor!"

He's three.

I can't wait to teach him about all the different kinds of "belly doctors" there are...being the son of a doula, he has no idea what he's in for when he's older!

Peace & Health,


Why Midwifery Care Matters

It was dark by the time I got home from my prenatal appointment yesterday. My car was covered in a slushy, messy, frozen coating of snow and ice from driving three hours in a not-so-lovely storm. I had spent the previous night at my Mom's house in Athabasca so that I wouldn't have to make a round-trip from Fort McMurray to Plamondon for my appointment. When you're in your third trimester, a six hour trip in a car makes for a looooong day - no matter how many breaks you take - so I like to split it up when I can.

My kids missed me terribly and squealed with delight when I walked in the door. It was my husband's last day off and he was cooking up a storm in the kitchen: preparing to serve up some slow-cooker meatballs. I really am so very lucky to have such an amazing partner in life.

I missed them, too. But I was home and all was well.

When I first made the decision to apply for midwifery care at the beginning of my third pregnancy, I did it with a very small amount of hope that I would actually be accepted and thought that if I should get so lucky, I would worry about the logistics then.

You see, there are no midwives in the town I live in. That's right! ZERO midwives...even though we have well over 100 babies born per month in our one tiny hospital.

Being lucky enough to be accepted into a midwifery practice for this baby also meant, for me, that I would not be birthing my baby in my home town. It meant that I would be travelling a total of six hours round trip for every.single.appointment. It meant that I would have to pack up my family and my life in the last couple weeks of my pregnancy. It meant all of that but I was still absolutely OK with it - and I wouldn't be the first mom to do it either!

So here I am now, in the homestretch of my pregnancy and with all the travelling I've been doing lately, it seems I've had a lot of time to think. My most recent trip had me thinking hard about why midwifery care was so important to me and why I was making all these sacrifices just to have the experience I've been longing for since the birth of my first child five years ago.

It was this trip that had me realize that it's not just the birth "experience" that matters. My midwife and I had a great conversation about birth plans and birth stories and she reminded me that the "experience" really lies within the four walls of my own mind. This is something I know well and often tell the moms I converse with work in my work as a doula. But to hear someone say it back to me was exactly what I needed.

I realized that having a midwife is not just about having a home birth. It's not just about having a "natural" birth (whatever that really means these days). The most beneficial part I'm realizing as a newbie mom to the midwifery model of care is that responsibility for whatever kind of birth you want, is in YOUR hands. Midwives encourage moms to research and make truly informed decisions. They encourage moms to THINK about their bodies, their births and their babies....something I'm noticing is becoming less of a thing these days and I don't know why.

Don't get me wrong: I trust and respect doctors just as much as the next guy but what I will never understand is the countless number of moms who just "go with the flow" naively throughout their entire pregnancies. Never asking questions. Never wondering WHY induction and cesarean rates are so high. Never allowing themselves to have a voice during a time in their life that is so incredibly transformational. Just accepting the status quo as is.

Midwives change that!

They ask YOU why...
They ask you how YOU feel...
They ask what YOU want to do...
Because they know it matters.

When a woman is tasked with having to make decisions for herself...she educates herself. I truly believe that no matter what kind of birth a mother has - natural, vaginal, med-free, epidural, induced, cesarean, whatever - a few appointments with a midwife will give them the confidence in themselves to know WHY they are experiencing what they are experiencing. They will then take ownership of those experiences and they will transform into motherhood with the kind of rock-solid confidence and take-no-shit attitude that so many mamas are lacking these days (my past-self included).

THIS is why midwifery care matters.

And without even discussing the cost-saving a midwife provides, THIS is why women (and men) around the world need to keep pressuring our goverments to keep midwifery care alive.

If you agree, please feel free to share!

Peace & Health,


My Baby...My Birth

#abmidwives matter and they need long term contracts! The birthing families of #ymm deserve to have options and, right now, they are very limited.

I'm currently travelling from Fort McMurray to Plamondon every few weeks (by choice) just so I can have a midwife for the birth of my third baby. It's a sacrifice my family and I are willing to make but we shouldn't have to... #mybabymybirth