This blog is about life with a baby. It's not always what you expect and there is definitely no job description. Every baby is different and unique which is why motherhood can be so scary, fun, terrifying, exciting, and rewarding all at the same time.

Be sure to also check out our Travel Blog where you can share and read stories about travelling with the family.

We encourage you to share your experiences - by sharing your experiences and commenting on other posts, you may be helping other moms.

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  • Monday, November 28, 2022 10:10 AM | Claire (Administrator)

    In 2010, following the birth of my firstborn son, I decided to attend a Life With A Baby preparing new parents program that I had read about at my local earlyOn centre. At the time, the founder and Director, Claire Zlobin was the facilitator from Life With A Baby. I remember how much I enjoyed the program connecting with other moms and meeting some new friends. The information was valuable, but the connections I made and the normalization of the postpartum period Were really what I needed.

    Following that program, I started my own playgroup called the Newmarket Goober gang. It was a co-op style playgroup where moms and babies took turns hosting play dates in their community or at their homes. The concept of the playgroup blew up very quickly, and I was featured in the local paper. We very quickly outgrew our at-home play date model.

    Claire later approached me at Life With A Baby about assisting with the launch of the Life With A Baby York Region north chapter in my community. As a professional event planner by trade, this was totally up my alley and in alignment with my goal of continuing to service my community and connect with other moms.

    Now 12 years later and the mother of a preteen I have been with Life With A Baby for my entire journey through parenthood. I have met some of my best friends to date as a result of the work I have done through this organization and grew in my business as a result of the connections made. I was proud to take on the community development manager role a few years ago when we launched all of our Simcoe region chapters, and I continue to volunteer regularly. Most importantly, I have been able to create that village in my community with other fellow moms.

    Recently with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, I decided to take the leap and go back to school to complete my master's degree and do something near and dear to me. I am proud to say that I am now a licensed psychotherapist (qualifying) in the province of Ontario.

    I look forward to continuing to service the Life With A Baby community through therapy programs, including helping keep our HOPE Group for parents diagnosed with mild to moderate PPD going and offering affordable mental health services for families in need.

    A special thank you to Claire and Life With A Baby for this amazing opportunity.

  • Tuesday, October 04, 2022 5:28 PM | Mercedes (Administrator)

    One of the everyday experiences an expectant mother may experience during pregnancy is the dreaded "morning sickness." 

    Morning sickness typically shows up between the sixth week and the second month of pregnancy. Despite the name, morning sickness doesn't just happen in the morning. For some women, it's all day long.  

    But don't fret! Rest assured, we've gathered the best tips for combatting morning, noon and night sickness during the first few weeks of pregnancy.

    Tip #1: Know what you're dealing with!

    So what is morning sickness anyway? According to, morning sickness is nausea and vomiting that occurs when a woman is pregnant. 3 in 4 pregnant women will experience morning sickness, so expect to deal with this. Morning sickness typically shows up between the sixth week and the second month of pregnancy. Some women don't experience it all, while it can be severe and debilitating for others.

    Tip #2: Don't be afraid to ask for help

    If it's your first pregnancy, chances are you are still trying to figure it all out. But you don't need to do it alone. Ask your doctor or midwife all the questions you have. Remember, they are here to help you and make your pregnancy as smooth and manageable as possible.

    Tip #3: Make use of remedies you have at home

    Treat your morning sickness with things you can find in your kitchen cabinet. According to the book Back to Eden by Jethro Kloss, Spearmint and Red Raspberry teas are excellent for relieving nausea and vomiting associated with morning sickness. You can actually drink Red Raspberry Tea throughout your pregnancy as it's an aid for labour. In addition to some household remedies, don't forget to eat a balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables such as grapes, beets, lettuce, figs, apples, and spinach. Choose your favourites!   

    Tip #4: Take a bath….a sitz bath, that is!

    A sitz bath, also known as a half bath, is one of the most practical self-care activities to incorporate while pregnant, especially during morning sickness. Sitz baths are known to relieve many pregnancy symptoms and ailments and keep your blood flow in good circulation. All you have to do is fill up your bathtub, washtub or basin up to your abdomen (or fill it up with 3-4 inches of water) with warm water and then soak for 15-30 mins. Although unnecessary, you can also add some Epsom salt for added benefits. You can use a washtub, a large basin or even a sitz bath seat you can put on top of your toilet seat. But your bathtub will do just fine if you don't have any of these things! Do this at least 2-3 times a week. Plus–sitz baths are an excellent way to manage lower-body soreness (hint, hint) after your baby arrives! 

    Tip #5: Take it easy and get some rest

    Pregnancy is one of the most life-changing experiences because it also taxes the human body. So make sure you take it easy and get some rest while your body adjusts to the neverending changes during this exciting time in your life. Reduce or slow down your schedule where you can, and ask family and friends for help with physical tasks. Try to get to bed early and create spaces that encourage calm, relaxation and peace–whatever that looks like for you.  

  • Thursday, September 29, 2022 9:03 PM | Allison (Administrator)

    PsychCentral has a great resource from Annabella Hagen, about “What’s on your plate? Stress Management Strategies” from 2016.

    It is no longer available on their website, but they have lots of other great resources. I am summarizing some here as a mom who experienced anxiety, who went through Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) as a patient, and a LWAB HOPE Peer.

    Our jobs, home life and other activities of managing your life with a baby (or child, or teen) can get overwhelming. How can you take stuff off of your plate to make it more manageable?

    Pay attention to your body

    A first suggestion is to recognize your body signals. Our bodies get to a point where our brain cannot process any more, and we develop psychosomatic symptoms. These can include tummy aches, headaches, and problems with sleep.

    All-Or-Nothing Thinking 

    Using the metaphor of a full plate, individuals with perfectionism tend to have overcrowded plates. This can include a set of negative beliefs, which can distort the expectations they have of themselves and others. This can sometimes look like a person saying yes to doing something they may not have the capacity to do, in order to not upset someone. This is an all-or-nothing type of thinking.

    Don’t Should On Yourself 

    When you get down time, do you also feel like you “should” be doing something else? My therapist would often say to “Not Should On Yourself”. Becoming aware of your thinking patterns is a way you can work to combat your negative thoughts.

    A great way to help yourself is to give something up. This can be difficult to do for multiple reasons, but ultimately it is about finding a balance of tasks that work for you and your family, so you can be there fully for them.


    No. It is a complete sentence and answer to a request. You can also say not right now. With my work in mental health, I have started to try to ask people if they have the capacity or time to do something. If I ask that way, I would be ok with getting a no (even if I don’t ask that way). You can choose what you take on. It is impossible to please everyone, and sometimes even if you say yes, and you fail to be able to do the task, it would be worse than if you had said no at the start. You can also say “yes, but…” and put restrictions on your time, or your skills – that is, you can ask for help with parts of the task, and allow you to focus on the component that is best in your skills and abilities.

    Self-Care is whatever works for you. 

    You need to prioritize your time, focusing on what it is that you care about the most. This is related to your values and standards. Finding the right balance for you is a priority part of this mental health journey. Within this time, find a balance between your work, love, and play activities. Make sure you find activities for you, not only your children. I am loving doing online Zumba! It gets me physical activity, online, with colleagues. Often, my daughter will join me in dancing but it is an activity for me, and just a bonus that she loves it too. Other times, my self-care is watching TV and playing games on my phone. 

    Taking the time to love yourself, to focus on YOUR emotional, physical, and mental well-being is so vital. When your plate is feeling full, take time to play with your children, friends, and family. Only keep on what is really needed, and it will help to allow you to focus on the other things you need to do. 


    If you are feeling concerned about your mental health, please reach out to someone. It can be a therapist who specializes in maternal mental health, or various online resources such as MomsOverMatter

  • Monday, September 26, 2022 10:59 AM | Claire (Administrator)

    The cheapest birthday gift idea that your kid and their friends will love.

    I learned about the Owlkids magazines at the Library, and Ethan has been hooked ever since. He loves getting mail with his name on it, and anything that encourages him to read more is a big win. It was $29 for a whole year of magazines which is $2.17 per month!

    After seeing his reaction, I've decided to start giving out the OWLkids magazines as a birthday gift for his friends because it's so much better than another gift card that they'll end up losing anyway.

    If you are getting it for your kids, then all you have to do is choose the magazine that is right for their age range. 

    Chirp is for kids ages 3-6, ChickaDEE for ages 6-9, and OWL for ages 9-12

    If you are getting it for your child's friend,

    First, check with your child's friend's parent to find out if they already have a magazine subscription.

    Second, make sure you put the child's name as the recipient, so it's their name on the package (they absolutely love receiving mail with their name on it). The novelty has worn off for me since mine are just usually bills ;)

    Third, get their mailing address. I accidentally put my address on the one I sent to my nephew by accident. It was an easy fix through their customer service.

    Finally, relax in the comfort that your $29 gift continues to give ALL year long instead of another gift card. If you are thinking ahead, this also makes a great holiday gift. 

  • Saturday, August 06, 2022 10:05 AM | Krista (Administrator)

    We recently travelled to Vermont to the Jay Peak Resort – what an amazing summer trip!!

    Our trip started out in Cambridge, Ontario and we decided that with an 8+ hour drive ahead of us we would spilt the drive over two days, so we left right after work on a Wednesday and drove as far as Brockville that evening. The resort is very close to the Quebec/Vermont border, however we opted to cross at Cornwall, ON so we had more opportunity for shopping on the way. This was by far the smallest and fastest border crossing I’ve ever been to! What a nice change from the busy ones we would normally cross around Niagara! The drive from the border to the resort was mostly along secondary highways with very little traffic. As we crossed from New York State into Vermont you could start to see the mountains, it was beautiful!

    We had a reservation in one of the Timberline Condos. Check-in at the main hotel was a breeze and the front desk staff was very friendly and helpful. We received our room keys, resort map, attraction/restaurant schedules and waterpark passes (plastic wristbands). We found our condo easily with the map provided - they are in row style houses with some units on the main floor, some on the second level and some in the basement (walkout units). The accommodations were amazing!! Our condo included

    ·       Two bedrooms, each with a King bed that could be converted to 2 twins on request.
    ·       Lots of drawers and closet space for our stuff.
    ·       A large ensuite bathroom plus a second full bath in the hall gave everyone lots of room (and no waiting for the shower!)
    ·       A large family room with seating for 6 around the fireplace and tv – a perfect place to relax at the end of each day!
    ·       A huge kitchen with a breakfast bar and a dining table with 6 chairs. Tons of cupboard space. Dishes, cutlery, cups, pots and pans. Plus a fridge/freezer, toaster, coffee maker, microwave and stove/oven. And yes, there was a dishwasher, because who wants to do dishes when they are on vacation?!
    ·       A private deck off the dining room, with 2 chairs and a little table, perfect for your morning coffee.
    ·       The in-suite laundry was a nice bonus.
    ·       There was also a mudroom at the entry with tons of hooks for hats, jackets etc. With the door I imagine this would be ideal for the winter vacations where you don’t want to let too much cold air inside.
    ·       Plus great views from all the windows!

    When we checked in they gave us a schedule that included the hours of operations for all their food and beverage locations. The schedule was nicely laid out with each location and the hours by day, as some change depending on the day of the week.

    We checked the resort schedule for dining options and found the Clubhouse Grille was our only option the first evening. We took the quick drive over to the restaurant and were helped right away. Thursday night at the Clubhouse Grille had a beanbag toss game and wings on special, we has missed the tournament but the boards were still out so the kids played with that while we waited for our food.

    The food was great - we opted for some wings, a salad, and Lobster roll (so good and worth the market price!!) and the kids had chicken fingers.

    We noticed Friday nights they had Wood-Fired Pizza so we made sure to go back the following evening for that, however we opted to do takeout this time and eat in the room. The pizza was delicious!

    I ate at the Foundry one night as well, along with the other moms in our group, it was quite a busy place, but the service was good and food was tasty, and company was great!

    We did have a full kitchen in the condo so we had stopped for a few groceries before we arrived, but we definitely missed some things (butter, salt and pepper, foil/parchment paper) luckily the Provisions General Store had these things (and more) available for purchase. The store was fully stocked with fresh and frozen food, sundries, snacks, drinks and prepared foods. Our condo seemed to be missing cereal bowls, so we improvised with a small mixing bowl, and there were not any ‘dish cloth and towels’ so we just face cloths, but otherwise we had what we needed.

    We rode the Tram up the mountain a couple times to enjoy the views from the top of Jay Peak – what a view!

    The tram leaves every 30 minutes and takes just under 10 minutes. The kid’s favourite part was when we passed by the towers and the tram got a bit of a swing LOL.

    Once at the top you can just enjoy the view from the windowed area outside the loading area, do little climbing to see the views from the very top, or even hike back down (or up and catch the tram down). We didn’t brave the hike, but some friends did, said it took them around 2 hours with their kids in tow. We took the tram a second time at the end of the day with the other families we came with and the driver even gave us a peek into the Ski Patrol’s room!

    We spent most of our time at the Pumphouse Water Park. Wow! There was so much to do here, the kids were in heaven!

    Our group has use of a cabana so we were able to keep our bags and things in there while we played. It had a stock of towels, with more available at the surf shop if needed. It also had a small fridge that included several bottles of water. There were 6 or 7 cabanas around the waterpark, ours was a bit of a walk from “action” but was just beside the bottom of the tube slides so perfect viewing of the kids going up and down the slides. Our cabana was just down from the snack bar so we did grab lunch there one day, standards like burgers, hot dogs, fries, nachos and salads were available, plus ice cream.

    There were 4 slides – 2 tube slides (blue and green) with single and double tubes, and 2 body slides (orange and red – the red had a weight requirement, and went straight down, so the kids didn’t get on that one, but dad thought it was fun – and fast!). The waterpark was big and even though there were lots of people there it didn’t feel crowded and there were virtually no lines for the slides (which meant lots and lots of trips up and down). The kids raced on the blue and green so many times! When I asked them which was their favourite, they just couldn’t decide, they said they were all so fun!

    The slides end in a 3ish foot deep pool that connects to a lazy river. The river wasn’t open when we were there as summer is their ‘off season’ and they don’t have the staff for it, but it would be great to just come off the slides and then float around the river before going back up.

    While we did spend most of our time on the slides there was another pool with a climbing wall on one side and basketball net on the other (we spent a lot of time here as well), plus a little kids area (think splash pad with a tipping bucket), hot tubs and a wave rider (I couldn’t work up the courage to try it, but everyone who tried it looked like they were having a blast!).

    When we came back the next day we also checked out the outdoor pool and outdoor hot tub. There is definitely enough pool space for everyone!

    There are mountain bike trails at the resort as well, with bikes available for rental through The Mountain Shop. My hubby brought his bike from home and took a ride one morning while we went to the waterpark.  He was given a map with a number of mountain bike trails marked out.  Unfortunately early in the season much of the trails are too wet to ride.  Around the base of the resort there are a number of kilometers of gravel based double track, and the service road up the mountain offers a challenging climb with great views and a fun ride down.  Overall he was able to get in a good 10km ride.

    One morning we all went on a short hike, there were 3 different trails to pick from, but we just went on the shortest loop as we didn’t come prepared with water. It wasn’t too long and we passed through some trees, saw a little creek, the snow making pond, as well as a wedding ceremony set up – what a beautiful place to get married!


    The resort has many other attractions like that unfortunately were not open during our stay, but would be open during their peak winter season – indoor rock climbing for kids, movie theatre, as well as some that were available but we didn’t make use of this time – golf, disc golf, a spa, indoor ice rink. I am not a skier, but I would definitely come back to Jay Peak in the winter just for all the other activities they offer!


  • Tuesday, July 19, 2022 12:12 AM | Allison (Administrator)

    After a long travel hiatus, I finally got to travel again with my kids and my mom! We have done a few other great #LWAB trips to Fern Resort and Sudbury, and they have always been amazing way for the Community Managers to meet and connect, but also to enjoy time with our families.

    This time we were invited to Jay Peak resort in Vermont, and it was amazing. I traveled with my mom, and kids aged 9 & 7. We had not traveled since before COVID as a family and there was a lot of learning curve to traveling post-pandemic.

    My mom and I had our passports, but my kids had their long form birth certificates, and we had no problem at the Queenston- Lewiston border, either entering the USA or Canada, for not having passports.

    A few things that made Jay Peak a great place to travel with kids in the summer:

    Endless Activities

    Jay Peak had so many things to do! They have an enclosed tram that takes you to the top of Jay Peak. I am not afraid of heights, but I am afraid of falling from heights, but I felt safe on the trip up and down and exploring the top of the mountain. The views were amazing, and there were some fun rock areas for the kids to climb! Both kids found sparkly stones and were convinced they found precious crystals. I’m glad that we were driving so I didn’t have to pay extra to carry the stones on an airplane! We went on the tram twice – the first time we saw our friends as they returned from a trip at the Tram Station, and the second time we went with the friends! The tram driver let the kids and us into the Ski Patrol office so we could see where they wait and monitor the ski hill conditions. We didn’t do this, but some friends took the tram up and hiked down the mountain.

    View from Ski Patrol office down to resort

    The next activity for the kids was the Pumphouse Indoor Water Park. We were able to use Cabanas, and it was great to have a place to put our stuff, eat, and connect with the other LWAB families. There were numerous waterslides – some body slides and some tube slides. They had both single tubes and double tubes for going down with kids! They had a kid’s climbing area with mini water slides and activities, and an indoor hot tub.

    View of Pumphouse Waterpark

    We had the chance to try the Double Barrel Flow Rider! This just required completing a waiver at the Wave Surf Shop and get an extra bracelet to show you could ride it (the water park required a bracelet for our stay also). The lazy river was not open during our trip, which was disappointing. 

    Cabinet in cabana with towels and water, and space to store our things

    Where we spent most of our time though was the swimming pool! The pool had a shallow and deep area, but they were well separated by a wall, so when kids were in the pool alone (and I was sitting in one of the many chairs around the pool) I felt safe that they could touch bottom. There were also lifeguards on duty, and they switched positions often, and did a great check of the pool with a visual scan of the pool as they switched shifts, which as an anxious mom made me feel like my kids were safe. The shallow area had a basketball net, and there were lots of balls floating for the kids to play with. The deep end had a rock-climbing wall – it was great to climb the wall and not need to worry about falling – other than holding your breath! The kids (and adults) loved it!

    Two of the other LWAB families had kids who were around the same ages as mine, and it was so fun to watch them play! With the number of adults we had, we could spell each other off and rest in the cabana or in the lounge chairs!

    We also went to the outdoor pool one day, where the kids played and laughed together! The next day we went to the outdoor hot tub, which the kids enjoyed.

    There was also disc golf, hiking, bike rentals and lots of other things to do! The kids also had a blast running and playing tag around the condos and we were far enough away from the road and our condo was down a private road, so they could play and explore!

    Kids playing disc golf in the distance

    Quiet Place to Crash

    After all the activities, it was great to have a full condo to rest and recuperate in. It was also important for me after the 8.5 hour drive from Niagara and trying to keep up with the kids!

    The condo was great – we had two bedrooms, one with an en suite bathroom. The kids and I used that room. My kids loved the dressers and bedside tables and unpacked their clothing and toys into the bedside tables! There were big windows all over, so we could open windows on both side of the condo and get a nice breeze. There was also a great patio – a great place to sit and eat breakfast.

    The kitchen was great – with a full-sized fridge and freezer, oven, microwave, and coffee maker. I forgot to buy coffee grinds, but it worked well for my mom to make tea. Our kitchen was stocked with mugs and glasses, but only 2 bowls. For my snack, I used a gravy boat. 

    Snack in a gravy boat

    The kitchen also had a dishwasher, and dishwasher pods, so we were able to run the dishwasher at bedtime and wake up to clean dishes.

    The condo also came with a full washer and dryer. I bought some laundry soap at the General Provisions store on site and did laundry before we came home. It was so great to come home with clean clothes, instead of having to spend a day after travel doing laundry.

    Fill their Bellies (plus coffee for mom)

    Having the full kitchen in the condo was great as we could pack groceries, and not need to eat each meal out. After a day of driving, I was ready for lots of vegetables. We brought food for breakfasts, and dinners such as frozen meals and salads.

    We started each day with going to the General Provisions Store and getting iced coffee for me. It was great to be able to charge it to the room. The first day that didn’t work, and I had to pay with my credit card, but they were able to get it working by day 2.

    Coffee and iced coffee station at Provisions

    For lunch, we ate at the main resort most days. The first day, we had subs from the General Provisions shop, and the kids’ favourite part was the slushy machine where they could make their own mix! The next day, the kids had grilled cheese from the Warming Shelter Snack Bar in the Pumphouse Waterpark. I got ramen noodles from Miso Hungry, and although I was hungry, there was enough left over for my mom to have as dinner the next day (and the cabana had a fridge, so I put it in there to keep it cold!) The Snack Bar became a favourite place for my kids, as they could have unlimited refills on the pop, and they could do the fountain pop on their own! They also enjoyed Dipping Dots ice cream as a snack one day. The cabana was stocked with bottles of water, and lots of towels, and was a great place to enjoy our lunch.

    Fresh fruit and vegetable selection at Provisions.

    The Moms of LWAB enjoyed a dinner out at the Foundry Pub & Grille, where we were able to catch up without having to attend to our kids. My mom had also heard about the lobster roll from the Clubhouse Grill, so we picked one up, and brought it back to the condo. She was very happy with it.

    Lobster roll in take out container

    We did go off resort for dinner the final night, with kids and spouses going to The Belfry which was about a 10-minute drive from the resort. The food was great, and they accommodated our 11 people easily.

    Great Memories

    Are the last thing you need for a vacation. On the first morning, I happened to wake up very early, and my son who is typically an early riser, woke with me, and we watched the sunrise over the Vermont mountains. It was gorgeous, and a great memory that we were able to sit on the balcony and watch the start of our day together! (I then went back to bed for about an hour, but he stayed up and played video games – the Wi-Fi was very reliable!)

    There were lots of great places in the condo to play games. We brought a few of our family’s favourites – Spot It, Dominoes, and Uno. Most of our meals we ate at the breakfast counter at the condo, but the dining table was great for the games. The living room was also great for watching movies, and the fireflies exploring in the wooded areas around the condo! There were also some animals we saw around the condo – lots of birds and a few small mammals.

    We will cherish the memory of travelling again after a long hiatus due to COVID, and making memories with our LWAB colleagues, and watching our kids become friends!

  • Tuesday, June 14, 2022 8:30 AM | Allison (Administrator)

    This blog is about attending university, specifically a Masters level program, while being a full time mom. 

    I did my undergrad when I was 25 years old. I then worked for many years at Brock University studying human brain activity. After I had my children, I wanted a different challenge, so when my daughter was 2 years, and my son was 4, I took the plunge. I went back to school to do my MA in Applied Health Science. A few things that helped me are outlined below.

    1.      Manage expectations
    a.      This includes your supervisors, your colleagues, your families, and your own. I knew my supervisor from my previous work and we had volunteered together with a breastfeeding promotion organization. I knew I wanted to work with her to do research on the transition to parenting and I arranged a phone call with her to discuss thesis options. We decided it would be a good fit, but I was also clear from the start that as important as the thesis was, my family was my main priority. She had done some of her education when her children were young, so she was understanding of this.  I also learned during my time, to ask for what I need. Originally we had recurring meetings, then they fell off, unfortunately it was around the time that I was “losing momentum” so it was easy to procrastinate writing my thesis. I should have asked to reinstate the meetings to keep me on track.
    b.      I had to manage my colleagues expectations on the dreaded group projects. I explained that I would work hard and get the work done, but it would likely be at odd hours. What I found worked for me was doing school work during the day while they were in daycare then coming home and parenting for a while, then working after they went to bed. If I had a big project, there were a few times that I would go out to work at a coffee shop.
    c.       I had to manage my families expectations when I had to work through long deadlines, and would spend weeknights and weekends away from them or working while they played. My husband spent many hours driving kids around for their naps and parenting them while I worked.
    d.      I also had to manage my expectations. While I was still a Type A student, I chose to spend less time on individual class projects than I did in my undergrad. I also connected with my professors to ask for extensions on projects if there were too many due at the same time. With the MA, it was mostly assignments, so it allowed me to be able to space out the work on them more than studying for exams would have. My daughter would also wake through the night, and I would comfort her back to sleep. I would then have a hard time falling back asleep, so I would get up and work. I would try not to send emails at 3 am, but did lots of great writing!
    2.      Build your dream team
    a.      This can include babysitters, family, partner, friends, other students and resources available from your school.
    b.      Being a student is a great time to get access to free education opportunities outside of the classroom. I tell the story of when I took an essay writing workshop in my undergrad, and the essay I wrote after the workshop garnered an A+ average which was a large difference from my previous grades (B to B+). That 2 hour work shop helped me to understand how to better write essays, but many people don’t seek out resources like that. My grades were fine before, but the workshop made it much easier to write all (ok most) future essays.
    c.       When I started my MA, I was so lucky to be starting with another student, who was also a mom to young children. We became lab BFFs and could then have someone who fully understood what our days looked like – from having to get kids up and dressed each morning then attending a day of classes. 
    d.      Outside of the school, I had a few friends who had done their continued education while they had kids. We would have regular dinner meet ups to discuss and allow me to vent while getting mentorship from them on strategies they used.
    e.      My husband, my parents and my husband’s parents were great at stepping up and supervising children while I worked. Sometimes this meant going away for the weekend, or us travelling to their places and allowing me to work. I finished writing my thesis while on a cottage trip with my in-laws -  it was great to have minimal wifi while writing, and knowing my kids were making amazing memories, then I was able to connect with them during my writing breaks.
    3.      Push beyond the classroom
    a.      I chose to take an extra year to complete my data collection and write my thesis. I also took an additional course that was outside of my comfort zone. At the start of each class, the professor would ask the 20 students in the class if we had done the reading – however – it was asked without any judgement. If we didn’t, she just modified the way she taught the content. It was brilliant, (as was she) and made us feel like “actual” adults. This was amazing as it was part of my managing my expectations – that undergrad me would have done all the readings. MA me couldn’t fit it all in while prioritizing my family and my thesis.
    b.      As above, there are programs available within your university or outside of the university to help you learn more. These can include specific workshops on skills (including reference management, a prof once quoted “Friends don’t let friends do their references manually, they teach them Mendeley”). It also includes networking and netweaving opportunities that will allow you to connect with likeminded people. Attend conferences using the discounted fees, even better, present at the conference! Find as many opportunities to discuss your research, and you, to help in your future career path.

    Expand your technology horizons. When I did my undergrad, I printed the slides the professors provided and handwrote my notes. While some students still do that, it was not ideal. Use free software like Mendeley or Zotero to create your in text citations and reference section. Use text to speech software. Reading is not my preferred method of learning, and where I did find a better method for me was videos created by other students as projects, and available on the public domain! While I still had to do some text book reading, these videos really helped to corroborate the knowledge.#@#_WA_-_CURSOR_-_POINT_#@#Overall, if you are thinking about going back to school, it is manageable with children! You just need to work to find the resources and tricks that work for you!  

    For full disclosure, that I work at Brock University in the Faculty of Graduate Studies. I also work part time as the Foundation Manage for with Life With A Baby.

  • Tuesday, September 14, 2021 10:34 AM | Claire (Administrator)

    Perinatal mood & anxiety resources across Canada



    British Columbia


    Nova Scotia




    New Brunswick

    Northwest Territories




  • Thursday, April 08, 2021 2:25 PM | Claire (Administrator)

    Life is all about intersections. Each of us wears a few hats per day, and sometimes per hour! I think of it as a stack. Each time we put on a hat, the others don’t go anywhere. The pile gets taller and taller as caps are added, switched and even replaced, but they continue to affect each other. For instance, if you’re both an employee and a woman, your gender may influence your experience as an employee, such as learning less for the same work. That’s what it’s like being a BIPOC person and parent. The BIPOC part permeates each of those hats. Some of it comes from the inside. Things like culture, language and music influence how we see and move in the world. Much comes from the outside; things like stereotypes, bias and racism. Dealing with those things doesn’t mean you don’t deal with what every other parent is dealing with; those hats remain.

    Instead, it means tackling those things concurrently. It gets tiring sometimes. It’s easier when others get it, because that’s when a slight shift makes significant differences happen. We are fundamentally the same. We all want to be safe, healthy and loved; that doesn’t change just because you don’t look like someone, or they don’t look like you. It’s about not letting anything less than what’s right stand–even when you’re not personally affected. This month, we’re sharing resources to help everyone understand themselves and others better because seeing your reflection in another is the only path to harmony.


    "Right now, among the Asian-Canadian community, many are really living in fear." — Avvy Go.

    TVO's The Agenda talk to Avvy Go and Dr. Gina Wong about anti-Asian racism - and what you can do to help.


    "Not only does racism impact you as a parent, it can also impact how you interact with your children." A comprehensive guide on taking care of yourself from the American Phycological Association:

    Racial Stress and Self-care: Parent Tip Tool

    "Children of colour need to grow up experiencing the world as a place where they feel included, not invisible." Raising Kids of Colour


    Many times, dealing with discrimination, racism, and violence transcends generations. Read about how that's happening right now in the Asian community from The New York Times.In a Role Reversal, Asian-Americans Aim to Protect Their Parents From Hate

    I thought a loving home would be enough for my biracial child

    🎥  I Am Not Your Asian Stereotype | Canwen Xu

    🎥  No, You Cannot Touch My Hair! | Mena Fombo


    Knowing is half the battle. Get to know the terms from this simple definitions list from Holland Bloorview:

    Racism can be defined as: race prejudice that is supported by social and institutional power; a system of advantage based on race; a system of oppression based on race.

    Anti-Racism refers to actions and practices that challenge and counter racism, inequalities, prejudices, and discrimination based on race.

    Anti-oppression challenges the systems and systemic biases that devalue and marginalize differences.

    Diversity & Inclusion have to do with the acknowledgment, valuing, and celebration of difference.

    • From Today's Parent:  "This may be uncomfortable to hear, but racism is ingrained in all of us. It’s no longer enough to teach kids not to “see colour”—in fact, it’s harmful. Here's how to take action." This is what it means to raise an anti-racist kid.

  • Wednesday, January 27, 2021 10:04 PM | Claire (Administrator)

    Thursday, January 28th is Bell Let's Talk day and every single social media post that includes both the #BellLetsTalk and #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth hashtags matters!  

    Why does this matter? 1 in 5 moms will experience a perinatal mood and anxiety disorder, including postpartum depression and anxiety, and maternal suicide is a leading cause of death in postpartum women. The more we talk, the more women know they are not alone. Please lend your voice to bringing awareness to the need for a national strategy for mothers in Canada. Read my story on the Bell Let’s Talk page here.

    Not sure what to say? Below we’ve put together some sample tweets and social media messages, as well as some key messages and facts for you to use:

    @lifewithababy has joined forces with #BellLetsTalk to highlight the fight to support maternal mental health. Use #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth to show you care!

    Today on #BellLetsTalk Day, we embrace those navigating Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders. We’re in this together.  

    Check in on a new or expecting mom today. Just hearing your voice can make a difference to someone dealing with Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders including depression, insolation, or anxiety.  
    #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    1 in 5 women will experience Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders. Some won’t even know it. Let’s change that. @lifewithababy offers resources, events and activities near you. 
    #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    Know a new parent? They might be dealing with more than sleepless nights. A call, a meal, an invite for coffee or a walk, or to watch the baby for an hour can go a long way to help. 

    It takes a village to raise great kids - and it starts with supporting parents. Check in, follow-up, offer help. We’re in this together. 

    What does maternal mental health mean to you? Have a story or advice to share? 

    1 in 5 women will experience Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders but may be too afraid to ask for help. Let’s change that.  

    Research shows peer support reduces social isolation. New parents often struggle with Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders in silence. Let’s change that. Check in, follow-up, offer help. 

    Key Messages

    Today is #BellLetsTalkDay and we need to talk but we also need to do more for new moms. Maternal Mental Health is linked to positive child health outcomes. #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    Postpartum depression doesn't discriminate. It can happen to anyone but there is help. Thank you @serenawilliams for sharing your #PPD story @voguemagazine #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    Research by @CindyLee_Dennis shows peer support can PREVENT #PostpartumDepression by 50%! Peer support works #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    Find online resources for #PMADs here: #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    We compiled a list of resources for Manitoba if you know of others please add it in the comments #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources available in Ontario. If you know of more please add in the comments #BellLetstalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in British Columbia. Please share and add more to the list #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in Saskatchewan. Please share and add more to the list #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in Nova Scotia. Please share & add more to the list #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in Yukon. Please share and add more to the list #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in Newfoundland. Please share & add more to the list #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in PEI. Please share & add more to the list #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in New Brunswick. Please share & add more to the list #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in the Northwest Territories. Please share & add more #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in Nunavut. Please share & add more #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in Alberta. Please share & add more to list #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in Quebec. Please share and add more to the list #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PostpartumDepression can happen to anyone @Adele experienced it too #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    When we share we break down the stigma and help another mom. Thank you @chrissyteigen for sharing your story @glamourmag #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    Life With A Baby (LWAB) is a peer support system whose goal is to provide ongoing practical & emotional peer-based support for parents of children up to the age of six. For more information click here: #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    Thank you for joining in the conversation your voice will make a difference

    Claire & the LWAB Team 

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