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If you’re a SavvyMom in Calgary or Vancouver you’re probably already familiar with the great work Momcafé does in connecting like-minded moms and bringing them together at their high-quality breakfast events. Complete with interesting speakers, networking opportunities and childcare, not to mention all the lattes you can drink, they are definitely worth the time! Fortunately for us, Momcafé recently established a Toronto chapter and I was flattered to be asked to speak at their inaugural event last Friday. We’ve partnered with them in Calgary and Vancouver for some time and I have always heard how great the events were, but I had never attended an event myself so it was very exciting to be part of this.
I joined Caroline Connell, Editor in Chief of Today’s Parent, and together we shared our professional stories as part of the “Moms in the Know” event. The event was a great success—well attended and well organized—and my congrats to the Momcafé team for pulling off another event without a hitch!
It’s always an exciting time of year around the SavvyMom offices, preparing for the ‘Christmas of the mom industry, The BabyTime Show and this year’s no different. There are lists to make and boxes to pack and anticipation abounds for the big event. Denise has been immersed in booth design to best showcase a great contest we’ll be featuring at the show and the rest of the team is gearing up to spend the weekend at the show. We always look forward to meeting our current subscribers and prospective new readers, and to seeing all the latest and greatest products that will be on display at the show.
Personally I’ll be experiencing something new at the show this year, as I have been invited to join a panel discussion called Coffee, Tea and IUDs – A Smart Mom’s Guide to Birth Control After Baby. I’ll be joined by some other mom experts—new mom Billie Holiday, host of Virgin Radio’s The Breakfast Show with Mad Dog and Billie, and Dr. Sandy Andrighetti, OB/GYN at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital. The discussion starts at 11 am on both Saturday, October 31 and Sunday, November 1 on the Seminar Stage at the Baby Time Show. There will be lots to learn—apparently 4 in 10 new moms change their birth control method after having kids! Based on my experience, everything definitely changes after baby comes—schedules, sleep, priorities and more—and family planning is on that list too. I’m looking forward to the conversation.
This weekend we have the pleasure of participating in Toronto’s annual fall BabyTime Show at the Convention Centre. Our whole team is coming out to play in this three day event where moms and babies come from all over the city to learn, shop, be entertained and check out all the cool new products and offerings to be had during this exciting phase of their life. There is tons of stuff to do and see—check out the website here.
Another attraction to the show is that Sarah will be a guest speaker there on (of all topics) birth control. It’s a bit up front and personal but Sarah can handle it—especially as she will be joined by Virgin Radio’s new mom Billie Holiday (who is not shy).
But I’m leaving the best part to the end…it’s our Duet in the Laundry Room Contest. We have teamed up with Whirlpool and are giving away a Duet Steam Washer and Dryer Pair and we’ll have the grand prize on display at the show. I can tell you, they look gorgeous! I never thought I would be so attracted to an appliance (other than my coffee maker).
Come down to the show and check it out—there is lots to see and do while you are trying to distract everyone from the candy overhaul!
Have you been dying to know how the Coffee, Tea and IUDs chat went? I am still getting over the fact that I was actually sitting on a stage chatting about birth control choices on two separate occasions this past weekend at the BabyTime Show but it was actually a lot of fun and very informative. It was great to finally meet Billie Holiday from Virgin Radio and Dr. Sandy Andrighetti in person (we’d met over the phone in preparation for the event) and really good to see all our readers and other expecting and new parents at the event. I was there to represent moms everywhere and the questions they typically have about birth control choices after having a baby. Billie pointed out that just having a baby is a great form of birth control—but eventually we all get back to normal and it’s important to have a plan! There were lots of great questions from the audience about all the different choices out there, and Dr. Andrighetti recommended a very informative website called Sexuality and U, which is approved by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada, that I thought I would share with you. Thanks to Bayer Healthcare for inviting me to be part of the big event.
I’ll admit it made me feel a bit better when the results of our survey came in confirming that 58% of moms feel anxious around the holidays and basically wish Santa would provide them with more time and money. To me it’s no surprise, but it’s always fun to get some numbers to back up our intuition.
We conducted the survey with limelitePR and made a few interesting discoveries.
Apparently ‘togetherness’ holds the top spot in moms’ priority list over the holiday season, with 60% saying they love family traditions, 47% love visiting friends and attending parties and 46% love having the kids home and spending quality time with them.
But (as we can attest to) all of that comes with a price, leaving moms with their #1 concern of “how to pay for everything”, and more feelings of anxiety for “not being able to afford more”. Santa, where are you?
In terms of feeling overwhelmed, 50% of the moms surveyed do the majority of holiday preparations and an additional 33% report that they do it all, with no assistance from other family members. For those with significant others, their partner’s contribution is primarily limited to decorating the outside of the house (32%). Well, there’s a surprise!
If you’re feeling stressed, at least you know you’re not alone!
Last Friday, I had the honour of speaking to a group of working moms who were part of the Deloitte Career Moms Initiative network, the objective of which is to provide consistent, ongoing support for women through pregnancy, maternity leave and their return to work, and whose overarching goal is to retain women longer and increase the number of women in leadership positions. I am also an alumni of the firm, and they were interested in my career story—both as a management consultant and more recently as a mom entrepreneur—so they asked me to share some of my survival tips with them.
To be perfectly honest, the month of December is not a great time for any mom of school-age children—working or otherwise—to be feeling very much in balance and top of it all (the holiday concerts, the teachers’ gifts, the holiday travel plans…that list does go on) so I felt a little disingenuous talking on the topic. But I shared some strategies that I have used over the years and the group seemed to find them useful, and I thought I would share them here as well:
What strategies do you have to manage it all? We’d love to hear them.
We had a little media response to our recent survey on holiday stress experience by moms this weekend with a mention in the Vancouver Sun by columnist Shelley Fralic, who wrote a great piece on gift-giving and used some of the data from our survey in her story. Minnow was also interviewed on Victoria’s CFAX radio, sharing some of our holiday stress saving tips, which made me think we should share those tips here too (since you probably didn’t get a copy of our press release). So without further ado, some holiday stress-busting tips for you:
Personally, I’m not a big fan of resolutions, diets or reorganizing closets in early January. By this time of the month, I am a bit tired of the pressure, frankly. After the machine of Christmas/holidays and all the work that happens in December, I think it’s high time us moms take a bit of a break.
Besides, I’m too busy managing everyone else’s resolutions in my family! This year we sat the boys down and asked them what their goals were for the year 2010. They are 10 and 12 years old so at first they looked at us kind of funny. Since they love sports, they immediately thought of the teams they want to make and who they want to beat in skiing, track or whatever the sport of the season. Then we asked them about academic goals and personal goals. They were stuck when it came to personal goals, of course. That’s where I was a big help, suggesting that one goal might be to get along with each other, fight and bicker less. I suggested they start by pretending they are friends and every time they speak to each other they have to speak as if they are talking to one of their friends at school. We’ll make it a competition so it will be easier to translate into a measurable goal, with a point system.
We’re four days in so far and it’s been working, but we have a long car ride tomorrow night so we’ll see where it takes us.
Then again, I can just focus on vegetables. Eat some every day.
Closets and diet next month.
Maybe you were impressed with the glamour of the 2010 Academy Awards this year, or maybe you were impressed with the winners. Maybe not. But there was one winner’s that I’m sure all moms watching were impressed with and that was Sandra Bullock’s for Best Actresss. She thanked “all the moms who take care of the children and the babies no matter where they come from” and then went on to thank her own Mom. It brought a tear to my eye, that’s for sure. Actually, just watching it again now has brought a few more.
Here it is, in case you missed it.
Becoming a mom means you’ll never be the same person again—I think we moms can all agree about that. But exactly who that new person is really depends on you. Some of us feel more ‘whole’ with a baby by our side; others feel torn with our varied roles. Some of us are happy to put others needs first 24/7; others need more ‘me-time’ to recharge.
With Mother’s Day coming up, we want to learn how becoming a mother has changed you. Do you worry more? Shower less? Fight with your partner more? Fight with your mom less? Share some thoughts with us on your ‘mom milestones’ and be entered for your chance to win this gorgeous lifestyle bag from SoYoung Mother valued at $150. It’s got features you can’t even dream of and will take you through all the stages of parenthood.
And take it from us, every stage is as wonderful and rewarding as the previous one.
Enter here and good luck.
(View contest rules. Contest closes April 30, 2010)
One of the most basic instincts we have as mothers is to keep our kids alive. That’s why safety is always of paramount importance to us at SavvyMom. But let’s face it, while we’re busy keeping them alive, we’re also spending a lot of time in the car driving them around.
So, with that in mind, I wanted to share this video with you that a friend of mine sent to me. I think it’s beautifully done and it serves as a reminder to cherish what we have and to keep our kids and family safe.
I know I’m grateful for my family and that we now have the right tools to keep them as safe as we can. I am also grateful to my friend for sending it to me.
Car seat safety is always a concern of moms, we know. What is the biggest fear you have about your child’s safety?
Yes, yes, yes—the answer is yes, we are running the SavvyMom “Mom Entrepreneur of the Year Award” again this year, and thank you to all of those interested parties who have flooded us with inquiries. The 2010 program launches at the end of May and as always, we’ll be welcoming all Canadian mom entrepreneurs to nominate themselves and jump into the running. Watch www.momentrepreneuraward.ca for all the details.
We’ll have some exciting changes this year as well—I can’t share them quite just yet—but check this space for more soon. We salute Canada’s mom entrepreneurs and we look forward to celebrating their success with all of you.
I recently had the opportunity to see the feature film Babies at a press screening and found myself thinking about it long afterwards. This sweet documentary follows the milestones in the lives of four babies (Ponijao in Nambia, Mari in Japan, Bayar in Mongolia and Hattie in California) from birth to just past their first birthdays. Shot in a style similar to the stunning feature, Baraka, where music and visuals dominate over dialogue, it is currently in theatres across the country.
My ‘mom’ perspective allowed me to appreciate the concept of milestones. As a first-time mom of an ‘almost’ two-year old, milestones are things I find myself looking at as though through a magnifying glass: when should Ally be smiling, eating, crawling, walking, talking…is she behind? Ahead? On schedule? And while those milestones eventually came, they were always linked with a range of emotions.
Babies shows us four gorgeous little ones in completely different landscapes who all reach these same milestones. Whether it’s little Bayar climbing up on a barrel surrounded by cows, or Hattie crawling after the cat in their sunny home, they’re all the same. It made me truly appreciate the instincts and curiosity of babies, no matter where (or how) they are raised. The film allowed me to enjoy the milestones of these sweet kids and reflect on my daughter’s. It also made me relax a little and recognize that babies are more resilient than we realize, and sometimes it’s okay to sit back and just watch them grow.
You can find more information about the film on the official Babies site.
The prize for our winner this month is a $200 gift certificate from Just For Me, a Canadian mom-run company that specializes in educational personalized music CD’s. And remember, if your photo is selected as our winner, you will see your creative work of art featured on our SavvyBlog, too!
Bookmark this page and check back often to see if you are our monthly winner. If you are the monthly winner, be sure to share your glory with your friends and family! Remember to include your name, your city and province, and if applicable, your child(ren’s) name(s) and date(s) of birth so we can caption the photos accordingly.
P.S. Every person who enters the contest is eligible for a subscriber special courtesy of Just For Me of 20% off your next purchase by entering Savvy20 at check-out. You can also find the offer details here.
Please note the following with respect to your submissions: SavvyMom Media assumes all entries are photos of entrants who either own the photo or are authorized to distribute the photo, with all rights granted therein. SavvyMom Media is not liable for any copyright or privacy infringement on the part of the entrant. Submission of any entry acknowledges the right of SavvyMom Media to use it for exhibition, promotion and publication purposes in any medium. By submitting a photo via the email above, the user has accepted these terms and conditions. (For contest rules and regulations, click here.)
If you’ve ever developed a website, you’ll know that they are a lot like babies. You think working on them is a tough, never-ending task and you just can’t wait for the site to go live so the development stage is over (kind of like being pregnant). But as moms know, being pregnant is often a lot easier than being a mom of a newborn, with all the care and feeding requirements that you are suddenly solely responsible for. And the funny thing is the same thing happens with websites.
Once you ‘give birth’ to the site and unveil it to the world, suddenly you start getting users, people other than you, who are interacting with your site. And then they have questions or send in forms…all of which mean you get busy responding to all that. And just when you thought you couldn’t be busier than you were in the development (pregnancy) stage, you’re wrong!
And this class situation has been my lot this past week. For 10 straight days I was heads-down, iPod on in my office, up late and back up again early, as we cranked through the final stage of development of the site for the 2010 SavvyMom Mom Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Yesterday, we officially launched the program, and I thought I could take a bit of a break…but I was wrong. We’ve been so busy with inquiries and reviewing nominations and making final tweaks to the site, that I realize there won’t be a break for a little while longer.
But it’s all good news because it means lots of mom entrepreneurs out there are hearing about the contest and nominating themselves, and from the level of the new comments being submitted, it looks like there are lots and lots of voters out there, too.
So what are you waiting for? Head over to www.momentrepreneuraward.com and nominate yourself, or vote for a superstar mom entrepreneur.
As for me, I am hoping for a work-free weekend this weekend. But while you’re on the site, do let me know if you see anything that needs to be fixed.