Blog

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.


  • Tuesday, April 07, 2020 10:14 AM | Claire (Administrator)

    We've had access to the wisdom and advice of the fantastic practitioners who’ve joined us online this week. I recall a moment of clarity when one articulated what it is we're experiencing. Grief. We have suffered a collective loss on many levels, and the whole world is feeling the stages of grief. We each miss our usual way of life, and we miss each other. What we're feeling is ok. It's ok to be sad, afraid, nostalgic, angry, confused, and even happy. There's no blueprint for this. 


    By now, you may have reached the final stage of grief, which is acceptance. Understanding that this is the way of life for the next while, figuring out what works for you and your family, and even finding silver linings in unexpected places. Through the awkward homeschooling, endless cooking and cleaning (seriously, what is up with that?), and the hilarity of finding 'balance' right now, I have begun to find beauty in imperfection. So, I challenge you to try the same. We won't manage it every day, and you may not be there yet, but even the tiniest move in a positive direction is a big win. Celebrate those wins often and don't hold back, you deserve it. 


    Sincerely,

    Claire

    P.S. We’re sending a special ‘thank-you’ to all of our frontline healthcare workers and researchers, and to those making it possible for us to have the supplies and resources we need to take care of our families. The world is a better place because of you, and we are eternally grateful for your sacrifice. 



    Virtual events

    This week’s Webinar with Health Nexus: 

    Join us for an informative webinar and learn how to work with your children at home and/or find some time to get your own work done.

    Margaret Boersma, from Creative Education in Action, works as a teacher trainer, speaker and educational consultant in a number of countries. She will be a guest on Setting up a Positive Home Learning Environment to give you insights and practical ideas to support your children in their learning while at home. She will also announce some practical help coming soon to directly support you and your children on-line.


    WHEN: Wednesday 1:00 – 1:45 PM EDT

    REGISTER: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1425578804066433550


    WHY:

    Parents need support; children need to learn.

    • Destressing when work, parenting and teaching is all on you

    • How children learn

    • Setting up positive learning environments

    • Learning through the arts is fun

    • Social and emotional learning – taking care of self and contributing to others


    Weekly Parent Connection Online Thursday, April 9th 11AM EDT

    Calling all parents. Join Heather Boyd, for weekly online meetings to discuss parenting, discipline, child development and attachment in these novel times.  This is very kid-friendly! If you need to tune in with your children you can - we will love seeing them! Register here 


    Mobile Meetup Friday, April 3rd at 3:30AM EDT
    Are you feeling Isolated? Join us along with Emily Pollak and other parents for an online chat. Think of it as a coffee date, but from the comfort of your own home, or comfortable space. Grab a cup of tea or coffee, and log in to the video chat with other parents in a casual atmosphere. Register here 


    Mommy & Me Fitness Online ONGOING

    It doesn't matter if you are 6 weeks, 6 months or 6 years postpartum - this workout is for you! Register here


    Missed a virtual event? See last week’s videos below


    Why Focusing on Your Sleep During COVID-19 is Important with Alanna McGinn: Watch the video here


    Understanding the COVID-19 Stimulus package with Adrian Drew: Watch the video here


    Parenting Through the Storm with Ann Douglas: Watch the video here


    Managing Anxiety: Watch the video here

    Having a Baby during COVID-19 - What to expect: Watch the video here


    Parent S.O.S

    You’ve probably either settled into some kind of routine or decided to abandon all normalcy.  There is a third option which lands somewhere in between. Either way, we’re pretty sure finding ways to relax, unwind, or regain some semblance of me-time is a top need. This week, we searched for ways to help you do just that. 


    • If you maybe it feels like you’re not doing enough, we’re just gonna slide this NY Times article ‘Stop Trying to be Productive’ across the proverbial table. Worth the read. 



    • Meditation is a skill you can learn, and having help makes it much easier to avoid thinking about your grocery list instead. UCLA Health has a series of free mindfulness meditation exercises you can do on your own. Find links here, or download the UCLA Mindfulness App on itunes or Google Play. 


    • This is technically for the kids, but also totally for you. Audible has made all children’s books free to stream as long as schools are closed. Enjoy them together or let them enjoy while you enjoy something….else.


    This One’s For the Kids 



    • We gave you the wrong link last week , so let’s try this again! - Math, but make it fun! Cool Math Games disguises math learning for every age and stage with truly fun video games! 


    • Lunch Lady’s Jarrett J. Krosoczka hosts ‘Draw Everyday with JJK’, a basic illustration lesson every weekday at 2pm EST on YouTube. These are a bit more nitty gritty, as JJK, the kid who loved to draw and grew up to be an artist, shares practical tips on penciling, inking, and drawing faces. Bonus - JJK is the author and illustrator of the Star Wars Jedi Academy series, so get ready to perfect your Yoda. Find the full playlist of video lessons here


    • For children dependent on specialized routines, the complete change in our daily schedules is especially difficult to navigate. Autism Speaks! Canada has put together resources to help those caring for a child or adult with autism during this disruptive time. 


    Just for Fun 



  • Monday, March 30, 2020 9:20 AM | Claire (Administrator)

    I think we’re finally coming to terms. Across the country, we’re all trying to do our part because we get it - we can’t do this alone. We’re in it together for the next while, and we’re learning fast. 


    This upcoming week, you’re probably preparing to fully take on the teacher role for your own kids. Even if you’re a teacher by day, this is different. Remember, this is simply the next step in your journey to learning how strong and adaptable you and your family are. Even so, go easy on yourself. We’re all being asked to do a lot, at the same time, very suddenly. Practice speaking to yourself as positively as you would if a friend reached out for reassurance. Go easy on others too, some are having a harder time adjusting. You can help by sharing your own tips for making this work as best you can. 


    On our end, we’ll continue to pull out the stops, calling on experts and pooling resources to assemble a dream team of support. Check out our listing below of virtual events happening this week and new resources.   Last week we held a webinar on managing anxiety. You can see the video here 


    This is the village, and together, we’ll make it through. 


    Sincerely,

    Claire



    Virtual events

    Why Focusing on Your Sleep During COVID-19 is Important, Monday, August 30th at 1pm

    Sleep is such a critical element when it comes to good overall health. Unfortunately, disrupted sleep, lack of sleep and sleep disorders can put our safety at risk, affect our mental health, and can weaken our immune system at every age. Any doctor or professional will tell you the best way to stay healthy during this time is by getting the right amount of sleep and eating well. Alanna McGinn will discuss 5 ways to help your family sleep well during the COVID-19 Pandemic and answer your sleep questions. Register here https://www.lifewithababy.com/event-3802689  


    Understanding the COVID-19 Stimulus package Tuesday, March 31 at 1PM EDT

    Besides concerns about health and safety, COVID-19 has left us with questions about the economy, our personal finances, and what our government has in place to help. Join Adrian Drew, Senior Consultant, Investors Group Financial Services Inc., as he walks us through the COVID-19 Stimulus Package, including tax benefits and financial support for individuals and businesses. Register here


    This week’s Webinar with Health Nexus: Being Pregnant and Having a Baby during the COVID-19 Pandemic - Wednesday, April 1 at 1PM EDT
    A midwife and lactation consultant will discuss current information and tips on how to navigate pregnancy, birth, newborn care and breastfeeding during this time. Register here

    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

    Infant Massage Workshop, Thursday, April 2nd at 1pm
    Did you know Infant Massage helps to increase communication and bonding between caregiver and baby? It also helps to promote regular sleeping patterns and to relieve colic and gas. Join us as we walk you through Infant Massage techniques, learning your babies cues and having a great time relaxing together.  Register here 

     

    Coffee & Chat Friday, April 3rd at 3:30am PM
    Join us along with Emily Pollak and other parents for an online chat. Think of it as a coffee date, but from the comfort of your own home, or comfortable space. Grab a cup of tea or coffee, and log in to the video chat with other parents in a casual atmosphere. Register here

     

    HOPE: A Group For mothers experiencing a Postpartum Mood or Anxiety Disorder:

    Online PMAD Support Group -  Facilitated by a social worker and LWAB mom Friday, April 3 11-11:45 AM EDT 

    This group will give you the opportunity to connect with other women and get support and education regarding postpartum mood, strategies for coping, resources and referrals. 

    Register here

    Mommy & Me Fitness Online - ONGOING

    It doesn't matter if you are 6 weeks, 6 months or 6 years postpartum - this workout is for you! Register here


    Last week:
    Managing Anxiety Webinar with Health Nexus  Watch the video HERE
    We’ve teamed up with Best Start by Health Nexus to provide you with some resources, and information on managing anxiety while social distancing.  We’ll also have a session specifically for dads by Brian Russell from Dads Today on helping new moms at home as they navigate this period after giving birth.


    Parent S.O.S

    Finally we have a proper school curriculum! Of course, there are still a few leftover hours in the day no curriculum can cover. Here are this week’s tools and resources to help keep the kids off of your video conference call:


    • Our friends at Best Start create a number of resources to help manage emotional and mental health and in particular for expectant and new mothers. If you are expecting or a new parent, the Managing Depression: Self Help Skills Workbook is a great resource to help navigate this confusing and uncertain time. 


    • If your feelings of stress or anxiousness is becoming too much to manage, Bounce Back may be able to help. They provide virtual Cognitive Behavioural Therapy sessions, workshops and tools for youth 15-18 and adults 19+. 


    • Is it just us or are the kids eating All. The. Time? No time like the present to get them learning how to fix their own meals and snacks. Tasty has you covered with these 52 (!) kid-friendly options. These are also great with zero kid involvement (we won’t tell). 


    • You’ve probably gotten your share of work from home tips, from the sensible to the silly. Charity Village has been virtual since its start in 1995. Save to say they really know how to make work-from-home, well, work. Check out these best practice tips



    This One’s For the Kids 


    • The YMCA of Greater Toronto has put together a daily schedule of fun activities for the whole family! Visit their Facebook Page to catch the daily Live broadcast 

    • Math, but make it fun! Cool Math Games disguises math learning for every age and stage with truly fun video games! 


    • Beloved author and animator Mo Willems is hosting a daily doodle class! Follow his Instagram page for info and find the daily lunchtime lessons here


    • Finally, a podcast for kids, by kids answering the top question of all time - “Why”? Look for “But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids” on your platform of choice. The podcast and the accompanying site are full of great info and should hold them for at least long enough for you to make another sandwich. 



    Just for Fun 



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  • Tuesday, March 24, 2020 9:21 PM | Claire (Administrator)

    How many months in a week? 

    Top question of the year - or is it just me?! We are officially all with the new normal. This week, we had the pleasure of having author and speaker Ann Douglas lead a conversation on Facebook about parenting through difficult times. In her book Parenting Through the Storm, she outlines how her family made it through a tough period and made it out to the other side. She includes terrific tips on how to do so in your own life, and in an easy-to-understand way. If ever this was relevant, it’s now. Head over to our Facebook page to watch the video


    Let me say this, you’re doing a fantastic job. You’ve been thrown a whammy and kept moving, and for that, you ought to be proud. We’ve seen a growing swell of kindness and community that makes even the most stoic tear up. What a beautiful lesson for our children to learn in real-time. I appreciate this chance to spend higher-quality time with my kids and watch them discover new things about themselves, including how resilient they are in the process. 

    Let this be our common theme this week - be kind to yourself and to each other



    We know the importance of the village and while we cannot be with each other in person, yet. We have some great upcoming events and ways for us to connect online. 


    Coffee Chat & Selfcare Wednesday, March 25th at 10:30am
    Join us along with Emily Pollak and other parents for an online chat. Think of it as a coffee date, but from the comfort of your own home, or comfortable space. 

    Grab a cup of tea or coffee, and log in to the video chat with other parents in a casual atmosphere.  Register at https://www.lifewithababy.com/event-3793820



    Managing Anxiety Webinar with Health Nexus
    We’ve teamed up with Best Start by Health Nexus to provide you with some resources, and information on managing anxiety while social distancing.  We’ll also have a session specifically for dads by Brian Russell from Dad Central Ontario on helping new moms at home as they navigate this period after giving birth. Tomorrow  Mar 25, at 1:00 PM to 1:45PM EST.  We will record this webinar and share for those who cannot make it live.   Register here https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2897729215925164045

    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

     

    Online PMAD Support Group HOPE: A Group For mothers experiencing a Postpartum Mood or Anxiety Disorder  : Online Support Group Confidential group - register and then details on how to participate will be emailed out for privacy of everyone https://www.lifewithababy.com/event-3799569



    Understanding the COVID-19 Stimulus package

    Besides concerns about health and safety, COVID-19 has left us with questions about the economy, our personal finances, and what our government has in place to help. Join Adrian Drew, Senior Consultant, Investors Group Financial Services Inc., as he walks us through the COVID-19 Stimulus Package, including tax benefits and financial support for individuals and businesses. Register here https://www.lifewithababy.com/event-3799581



    Parent S.O.S

    A week in, you’re probably slowly getting better at knowing what you and your family need to manage every day. Give yourself a pat on the back because that’s no easy feat. Be kind and patient with yourself, your partner, your parents, your kids. You’ve got this. Check out this week’s tips you can put into practice today: 



    This One’s For the Kids 

    Avoid the “I’m bored” mantra and help kids work through their own feelings with these great resources:


    • Right now it’s tough for kids to navigate their feelings too. The #FromFeartoHope Workbook is a wonderful guide about how to help them work through the feelings a crisis can bring - and it’s free to download

    • ...and check out this resource from Kids Help Phone for help with pre/teens and mental health resources

    • The Toronto Songwriting School has generously created a listing of musicians and schools offering free online sing-alongs, livestream concerts, and impromptu performances to keep the joy of music flowing. Check back often! 

    • Check this GREAT video for kids about social distancing and hand-washing from TVO Kids

    • Stuck for arts and crafts ideas? Check out this free resource for easy step-by-step videos



    Just for Fun for all of us working from home while also homeschooling our kids and pretending this is all A-OK! 


    With SO much love from all of us at LWAB. This too shall pass. With lots of love from our families to yours. 



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  • Monday, March 16, 2020 3:59 PM | Claire (Administrator)

    We are officially in strange times. While we’re now required to be closer than ever to ourselves and our families, we are also more physically isolated than ever from each other. But that doesn’t mean we’re in this alone.



    We‘ve got our village, and we’re here to make sure we all make it through this as best we can. So every week, we’ll share this special newsletter full of tips, information, resources and fun. Stay tuned on our Facebook pages and Managing the Motherload group to stay connected to each other. Let’s make sure the kids (and everyone else) are all right. We’re in it together! 


    Sincerely, 

    Claire


    Parent S.O.S

    To say this is a stressful or anxiety-inducing time is an understatement. The good thing is there are great resources to help manage these genuine feelings. Check out the below for tips you can put into practice today: 



    This One’s For the Kids 

    March Break, Summer break and even family vacation never required this level of sustained togetherness! We are in unusual times. Extraordinary times call for exceptional measures. Check out these free resources to keep the kids busy (and out of your hair - for a bit anyway). 



    Just for Fun 


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  • Saturday, February 01, 2020 10:18 AM | Chelsea (Administrator)

    Looking for an inexpensive family trip that is close to home? Look no further!

    Last week, my husband and I decided to take the kids for a visit to Americana Waterpark in Niagara (on the Canadian side, so no passports needed). Each year they have a BOGO deal in January and February where you can stay 2 nights for the price of 1! The offer is valid Sunday - Thursday for a few weeks in the winter months and is definitely worth it. Altogether our stay for 2 nights and 3 days including all our water park passes was $215! For a family of 5!


    The waterpark has a great variety of activities geared at different age groups. There is a shallow wading pool equipped with baby swings, and small waterslides for the toddlers and babies. This is where we spent most of our time, and my oldest who is 4 would have been totally content to just hang out here the whole time. There is also a small wave pool for babes in arms or kids approximately 6+ to be able to touch the bottom on their own. Then of course there is a large wave pool with huge waves that get progressively deeper the farther you go, so even my 4-year-old was able to enjoy this pool with the assistance of a puddle jumper (and Dad close by of course). There is also a playground looking structure equipped with small tunnel water slides, and of course a huge bucket constantly filling with water ready to dump on unsuspecting guest as they walk by. Then, there are the giant water slides, some of which are totally enclosed (and pitch black inside) that even go outside! These ones were great for older kids/teens and of course my husband. Kids who are brave enough could also go on these with a parent if they are tall enough.

    Overall, this waterpark is great for families of all ages and stages, but I found it particularly enjoyable having small children because unlike some of the larger waterparks, it was easy to keep them contained and in view at all times (which is usually extremely difficult with 3 kids 4 and under).

    Now that I have outlined the perks of our stay, I just want to give some pro-tips that I learned during our first visit:

    1.      Bring flip flops: we walked to and from the waterpark with our bathing suits and winter boots on – not the best look. We could have just used the family change rooms there, but our room was so close to the waterpark that it just made sense to go already dressed. Next time, we will definitely be bringing sandals/flip flops.

    2.      Wristbands: you will receive a wrist band for the waterpark for each member of your family when you check-in. If your child does not want to wear the wrist band, you can wear it for them. If at any point your wrist band becomes damaged (or your kid is screaming because they want it off even though they told you repeatedly that they wanted to wear it – which is what happened to us) you can go to the front desk and get a replacement as long as you give them the old one.

    3.      Bring cash: there is an arcade that you have to walk through to get to the waterpark, and inevitably your children are going to want to play the games; and who are we kidding, you will too. I was mesmerized by the ski-ball machine – took me right back to the 90s.

    4.      Bedtime: we have 3 children, and our 18m old goes to bed at 6pm. What worked for us was that Mom or Dad brought the two bigger boys to the arcade to play while the other parent stayed in the room to get the little one to bed. We also brought a white noise machine, which I highly recommend. Since it is impossible to get excited children to be quiet as they run through the hallways, there was some extra noise, but with the noise machine it didn’t disturb us or the children at all.


    5.      Food: breakfast is not included in your package. They have a buffet breakfast that looks delicious, but it is quite expensive. What we did was bring all of our own food and store it in the fridge in the room. For breakfast, we made breakfast sandwiches using eggs already scrambled and in a carton – just pour some in a ramekin and microwave for 1 minute and voila! Egg bites! I ate them as is, and my husband put them on croissants with microwave bacon to make our own in-room breakfast sandwiches. We also brought instant oatmeal which was the perfect breakfast for the kids. The coffee in the room is not great, but there is a Tim Hortons super close to the hotel.  There is also a Fresh Co. literally right next door for if you need more groceries, or you forget cutlery and dishes like I did. There is also a Boston Pizza in the hotel.


    6.      Parking: you do have to pay for parking (I believe it’s $20 per night). If you get a room on the first floor, you can pull your car up to the sliding doors of your room for easy unloading and packing up of all of your stuff, since let’s face it – you’ve got a lot of stuff if you are travelling with kids.

    7.     The chlorine: one thing I wasn’t prepared for was the level of chlorine that is in the water. They state on their signage that they have higher than usual levels of chlorine in the water due to the volume of people coming in and out of the water park (and probably because of all of the kids). I have very sensitive skin, and so my skin was very irritated after we had been in the water for a while. Thankfully, my kids and husband were just fine and nobody else had any irritation. We had showers immediately after leaving the waterpark each time, I would just bring a body balm next time to use as a barrier before, and lotion to use after.

    So, there you have it - our first trip to Americana was a success, and I definitely feel more prepared with all of this knowledge that we acquired for the next time. Hopefully this information benefits you as well, and we see you there next year!


  • Tuesday, January 28, 2020 9:43 AM | Claire (Administrator)

    Wednesday, January 29th 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.  
    #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    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. 
    #BellLetsTalk 
    #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    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. 
    #BellLetsTalk 
    #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

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

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

    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. 
    #BellLetsTalk 
    #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth



    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 storyhttps://bit.ly/2tUU8RI @voguemagazine #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

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

    We compiled a list of resources for Manitoba. If you know of others please add it in the comments: https://bit.ly/2GrIQXJ 

    #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    Find online resources for #PMADs here: https://bit.ly/2RUNmn2 #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources are available in Ontario. If you know of more please add in the comments https://bit.ly/2O5fZNf 

    #BellLetstalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in British Columbia. Please share and add more to the list https://bit.ly/2GufAja #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in Saskatchewan. Please share and add more to the list https://bit.ly/2O5bJgz #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in Quebec. Please share and add more to the list https://bit.ly/36AxwmB #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in Nova Scotia. Please share & add more to the list https://bit.ly/36CxXgA #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in Yukon. Please share and add more to the list https://bit.ly/36zGvEK #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in Newfoundland. Please share & add more to the list https://bit.ly/38Usu6n #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in PEI. Please share & add more to the list https://bit.ly/38Bi4Z4 #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in New Brunswick. Please share & add more to the list https://bit.ly/38DdWro #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in the Northwest Territories. Please share & add more https://bit.ly/2tLWd2t #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in Nunavut. Please share & add more https://bit.ly/2Gq6fJ6 #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in Alberta. Please share & add more to list https://bit.ly/2RvHYaP #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PostpartumDepression can happen to anyone @Adele experienced it too https://bit.ly/2vrKoii #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    When we share we break down the stigma and help another mom. Thank you @chrissyteigen for sharing your story @glamourmag https://bit.ly/2t7yJ7y #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: http://bit.ly/2DS78eI #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth


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


    Claire & the LWAB Team 



  • Monday, January 20, 2020 1:43 PM | Claire (Administrator)

    Since my son started school he's had some difficulty adjusting but nothing significant. His kindergarten teacher said he was "still immature for his age and seems very chilled but should grow out of it"

    He had difficulty with things like tying his shoe laces, he walked into things sometimes and didn't always seem to pay attention to his surroundings.  But nothing that would signal an issue.

    In Grade 1 we took him to a clinic for ADHD testing because he was showing inattention in school, was having difficulty with recalling things he learned and wasn't at the same level academically as some of his peers but not too far off either, again not a significant issue.

    He managed well, had a great vocabulary, and is overall adaptable and social.  He was also in French immersion at the time so we thought that was the reason for the delay.  We switch him to the English program.

    Grade 2 happened and while he could memorize an entire book and you'd be convinced he as reading it, if the words appeared out of context or in another book that he hadn't seen before he wouldn't know what the word was. This was a concern.  We didn't understand why this was happening. Was it dyslexia, a learning disorder?   At this time we had done a ton of tests and assessments. Nothing ever came back as an issue.  

    And then just to rule it out. We did a Vision Therapy Assessment and what we found out changed everything.  While I'm not yet ready to share all aspects of it - It's quite emotional sometimes and I'll share as I go, after three months of therapy we are seeing HUGE improvements in all the various academic issues but most importantly in his brain eye connection.

    I've highlighted some of my Facebook posts about the journey below.

    October 1st.  We got the news about his neuro-vision challenges, which was a surprise because we have been going for regular eye checks for both kids since they were 3 years old. 

    October 15.  Oculomotor dysfunction and why it's near impossible to perform well in school if you have it.  It is recommended that ALL school age children get an in dept vision screening for this.

    November: His first A+ on a test EVER but most importantly after 5 weeks of therapy we see a huge difference

    January : After three months of therapy we can see the difference in his eyes. I share for the first time what the before was. I'm beyond thrilled that his eyes are communicating well with his brain and his follow up evaluation I'm laughing and bawling because I'm so happy we found the solution to his difficulties. 

    It's difficult to share something so personal but if there is anyone else out there who might have a child who is struggling in school, they might be in the 25% of kids in the classroom affected by a neuro-vision deficit. 

    AND even if your child is doing well in school it is still recommend to get their eyes tested because vision is so much more than sight and you want to make sure both eyes are healthy.   For kids in JK there is a program through the government where the test and accompanying glasses if needed would be at no cost to parents. It's called Eye See I Learn.

    If you are in the GTA and want to get a vision therapy assessment, check out Minds Eye Neuro-visual Optometry 


  • Monday, December 23, 2019 11:52 AM | Connie (Administrator)

    What to do with a new baby in York North (Newmarket, Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina)

    So you just brought home your new little bundle of joy.  Your world has been turned upside down and you’re probably still finding your bearings as a new parent.  You’re likely home on mat leave now for the better part of 6 months to 1 ½ years and wondering what the heck you’re going to do with yourself.  

    Note: If you’re not feeling quite ready to venture out with your little one, please know that this is very normal and that everyone has their own time and pace for when they feel like leaving their home with baby; however if that boredom has set in and you’re ready for making some new mommy friends and to tackle all that Life With A Baby & your local community has to offer, check out these suggestions!

    1.       Join a play group
    Well… of course we are going to recommend ours 😊 www.lifewithababy.com/join

    Ours is FREE and local.  No membership fees.  All events are either FREE or heavily subsidized.   You will also find some local FEE BASED play groups locally as well.


    2.       Check out the EarlyOn Centre

    These are FREE government provided facilities available in most communities.   They offer free workshops, programs and free play times for parent and baby.   Check out your local EarlyOn Centre for their upcoming program calendar.   Note: EarlyOn Centres can be extremely busy in many communities and sometimes have long wait lists for programs.  Be sure to stay on top of registration dates and times to get on those program lists!    When EarlyOn Centres are filled, Life With A Baby is a great alternative and offers many of the same programs.

    3.       Hit the mall!

    Malls are a great place to stroller walk and meet other mommy friends!   Upper Canada Mall has their weekly Stroller Mates program for parent and baby to walk the mall with a fitness instructor.  The moms generally meet for coffee afterwards.  Life With A Baby also has their own regular mall walk.  These are lead by local mom volunteers and are a great mix of social time and light fitness for mom and baby.

    4.       Hit the coffee shop

    Going out for lunch or coffee is a casual and great way to get out with baby.  Life With A Baby offers many FREE coffee meet ups, brunch and lunch dates in various communities.  Check out the upcoming ones in your region for a great way to connect more intimately with other moms.

    5.       Take A music class

    If you’re a first time parent you may need a little brush up on your nursery rhymes and baby songs 😊 These are going to come in handy for interacting with your baby and for some of those long soothing nights of restless sleep.    Check out Kindermusik, Little Moverz and other local Mom & Baby music classes in your community!   Life With A Baby offers these regularly as discounted rates for members!  They are a fun and interactive way to build your music roster of knowledge while connecting with other parents and your little one.   Your local library may other offer a “Mother Goose” program.

    6.       Take an infant massage class

    Hands-on infant massage classes are an excellent way to learn some techniques for soothing and bonding with baby.   Life With A Baby offers these classes regularly for members with licensed professionals on a regular basis and materials are provided.   

    7.       Sign up for some fitness classes

    Your post-baby bod will thank you for taking on some light to intense exercise!    Life with a baby offer a variety of fitness options for members which range in intensity from gentle yoga, to barre classes, stroller fitness, Pilates / pelvic floor, bootcamps and more!  Our programs are geared towards being affordable and are for parent and baby to participate in together.


    If you have any questions or other ideas to add, please share them!


    Looking forward to seeing you at a local event!


    Connie Butera

    LWAB York North Community Manager

    connie@lifewithababy.com

  • Monday, December 09, 2019 2:38 PM | Claire (Administrator)

    Before I had my kids, I was warned that the days are long but the years are short. It turns out that all those people were right. I have a daughter in grade 7! It doesn't feel like 9 years of school have already gone by.   


    Our first child started JK when our second was only 2 months old. When the first school pictures came home, I filed the form away, telling myself that I’d order online. Then the year went by and I didn’t order.  


    The second year, I forgot to do her hair on picture day and so I didn't get that one either because I didn’t like the picture at the time.  The third year, grade 1, I told myself, “this is the year I'm going to get the pictures”. I don't know WHY I didn’t get them but I didn't. Either there was something I didn't like about the picture or I simply forgot to send in the order.  After that, I just gave up on school pictures. Since I didn’t do the earlier ones I thought there’s no point in starting now. And so it went on.


    Then, earlier this year, I found the file with the pictures - the ones they sent home from school - and I couldn't believe how much my baby had changed over the years and how much I absolutely wanted all those school pictures. It's not because we don't have some great pictures of each kid but the school pictures, the funny ones, the perfect ones, the silly smiles - they’re different from the ones we take at home. When they are older I know it will mean something to them, too. I still have my school pictures and when I go home and see the ones of us in my parents’ house, it just brings back so many great memories of school days. 


    I thought why not check online and see if they are still there and YES!!!! they were. I was able to access 9 years of school for Katelyn and all of Ethan's as well. I was so happy! I ordered them all and can't wait to put them up! I also ordered some for their grandparents who pretty much said "it's about time"! I loved the fact that Edge Imaging has the capability and the willingness to securely archive these photos. I’m sure I’m not the only parent who has non-buyer’s regret when it comes to their kids’ school pictures! 

     

    Another thing I love about Edge Imaging was how vibrant and lifelike the colours in the photos were. I have often heard parents complain about either school or professional portrait pictures being a bit muted but that couldn’t be further from the truth with Edge Imaging! They have developed their own colour management system that results in colours as lifelike as anything I’ve seen in a print. 

     

    I did a little research and found out that Edge Imaging takes their data security very seriously. Their archived images are all stored on servers located in Canada instead of on the cloud. This gives parents like me the peace of mind that nobody else is able to get to their kids’ photos. 

    I'm sharing this with you because I know I'm not the only one who either procrastinated too long or just plain forgot to order school photos.  So whether you missed one year and thought you couldn't get them or you missed 9 years like I did, if your school uses Edge Imaging, you’re covered. 




  • Monday, December 02, 2019 9:14 AM | Jill

    I recently returned from an all-inclusive vacation at Paradisus Playa Del Carmen in Mexico. I have two young girls (3.5 years and 22 months old) and the thought of going anywhere with them (even to the grocery store) can seem daunting! But, as foreign as the concept may seem, Paradisus Playa Del Carmen made travelling with my girls not only enjoyable, but a vacation we will never forget (in a good way)!! Here are my top 7 tips for travelling with young kids and actually enjoy it!


    Tip #1: Kids Club!!!

    I am expecting this tip to stir up some mixed reviews, but for me and my husband finding a resort with a kids club is a must! Don’t get me wrong, I love building sand castles, splashing in the pool and exploring the resort with my kids, but I also like, and need, adult time in order to truly feel like I am on vacation.

    If your kids are under the age of 4 it can be difficult to find a place that offers childcare. Paradisus Playa Del Carmen offers daycare services in a separate room for children 12 months to 4 years old. I love that my girls were together during the times we dropped them off at the kids club. My younger one napped there every day for 2.5 – 3 hours too!!! The older one even asked to go to the kids club almost every day instead of the activity we ad planned for them.


    Tip #2: Staying Active

    Staying active while travelling is important to me. It’s not so much about my size or concern about losing my fitness, but more about the time for me. With 2 young kids, exercise allows me to put my headphones in and just zone out. Even when we are on vacation, travelling with young kids is not very relaxing so I make sure to sneak away, usually during nap time, to get a workout in and regroup. I loved the facility at Paradisus Playa Del Carmen as there was ample pieces of cardio machines and strength training equipment and they also offered group training classes such as spinning, bootcamp and yoga. Everything was kept very clean and inviting.


    Tip #3: Meal times

    Meal times at home are tough so one of the things I was really looking forward to on vacation was not having to cook different dishes at every meal time to try and please everyone. Well… meal times on vacation were just as chaotic, if not more so at times, than at home. BUT, again, one of the best things about this resort was that the kids club was open until 9:30 pm. About half of the time we would bring the kids to the buffet to eat, drop them off, then my husband and I had nice relaxing dinners at the various restaurants they had to offer. The food was incredible, but I think the Indian restaurant, Vento, was my favourite.


    Tip #4: Relaxation

    Finding time to relax is an absolute must. It’s really the only thing that allows me to come back from vacation feeling like it was an enjoyable experience rather than just parenting in a different location.

    There are different ways to relax like lying on the beach chairs while the kids play in the sand, taking turns with hubby to sit by the adult pool for 30 min to get some kid-free time, or like mentioned above – drop the kids off at the kids club!!

    But, my ultimate favourite was taking advantage of the Yhi Spa! Paradisus Playa Del Carmen offers exquisite spa services and the facility is top notch!


    Tip #5: Sleep

    Any time we travel sleep is always disrupted. Whether it be the kids going to bed later, nap routine is out of whack or someone’s snoring wakes everyone else up, it is almost to be expected that sleep will be a challenge.

    Some of the key points I like to share with other parents when they are planning to get away with their little ones is to expect poor sleep and do your best to plan accordingly.

    If you can, I always suggest booking a hotel with a separate bedroom. Paradisus Playa Del Carmen offers a variety of rooms where you can have one bedroom closed off from the living area to a two unit suite. We chose the one bedroom suite and it certainly made sleeping arrangements easier for everyone.

    By getting a room with a separate bedroom, not only will you have a little more privacy, but it allows for the parents to have a separate place to go once the kids go to bed. It also helps to keep a similar bedtime routine as home where the kids go to bed in one area and they parents kiss them good night and see them in the morning (in a perfect world maybe).

    We take this one step farther… Our youngest daughter is still in a crib so we find some area in the room where we can put the crib and hang sheets around it so it feels like she has her own room apart from the older one. Anything you can do to make it resemble sleeping at home will help!


    Tip #6: Size Matters

    It’s true ladies… when it comes to resort size that is. The Paradisus Playa Del Carmen was the perfect size (IMO). Everything on the resort was within a reasonable walking distance with our young kids. We did bring a stroller, but we only used it when we were walking around with the youngest one every morning at 6 am in order not to wake the older one. They even had stroller parking outside of the restaurants so there was never over crowding.

    If you have ever been to an all-inclusive resort before then you probably know the feeling of waking up a an ungodly hour just to reserve a spot by the pool. This was never the case at Paradisus Playa Del Carmen! The curvy shape of the pools allowed for ample chairs by the pool and whether we switch from beach to pool and back, there was never an issue with getting a prime spot no matter what time of day it was.

    Another factor that I would never have considered was that the resort building were only 4 floors high. This allowed for quick elevator rides, easy stair walking and it didn’t take away from the beauty within and surrounding the resort by super tall buildings.

    Whether you wanted to go to the fantastic beach, one of the many pools, the water park or any of the awesome restaurants, everything was just a short walk away!


    Tip #7: Family Concierge Upgrade 

    If you have some expendable funds then I would HIGHLY suggest opting in for the Family Concierge Upgrade!! This upgrade truly made our vacation wonderful! We were assigned our own personal butler who made reservations for us every night at one of the incredible al a carte restaurants (otherwise it is difficult to get a reservation), he set up a special surprise for the kids in our room every day (balloon animals, treasure hunt, bubble bath) and ensured that our stay was everything we could wish for and more. There is a whole separate area of the resort just for concierge clients which included an exclusive lobby, a separate pool and area on the beach and a restaurant for breakfast and lunch. We were absolutely spoiled and it’ll be hard to vacation any other way!!


    I can't say enough about how great Paradisus Playa Del Carmen was for my family and I am looking forward to returning next year!!!

    Jill Franks

    Life With a Baby Community Manager

    Wholesome Habits Health and Fitness Coach

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