Information for Moms

June Newsletter

Welcome – I Am So Glad You’re Here!
I had been looking forward to May since last October. This was going to be the month where I found out if my book, The Mommy Monologues, was selected to become a Hay House publication. As I write this, I get that this seemed like such a far fetched idea. There were 300 like-minded individuals at the Writer’s Workshop in Orlando. How can I expect my book to win first prize?

Except that this book had been magical from the start. I had an idea from a really powerful interaction with a friend. From the moment I mentioned the intention of this book, women came forth to share their stories. The book was writing itself. Then, a Hay House ad appeared on my Facebook feed. They were holding their Writer’s Workshop in Orlando. I had only ever seen it advertised in Hawaii. Orlando was a realistic destination for me. I could do this. When I spoke to my husband about this opportunity, he checked his calendar and he was actually off the entire time of the workshop. The workshop date was exactly one year after I started writing the book. Come on!!! This was meant to be, right? Nope. I didn’t get first, second or third prize. I felt really sad and disappointed, not only for me but for the 50 women who trusted me with their stories. I was bummed.

On a positive note, just before I found out I wasn’t going to be published by Hay House, I posted a video on Facebook explaining why I think this book is important. I asked women to like or share the post to show their support for the book. The video got over 1300 likes. I was so excited. I really felt my tribe standing by my side. If you were one of the women who liked or shared that post, thank you for your support. It softened the blow of rejection. I knew I needed to keep going with or without Hay House.

I have decided to spend the summer editing and finalizing the book. On September 1st, I will hire Book Launchers to publish and promote the book.

In early May, I visited St-Mary’s home for young mothers to lead an interactive workshop. Some of the moms jumped in and fully participated. Others were too anxious or triggered by our conversation and chose to leave. I had prepared an outline with all of the helpful information I wanted to communicate with them. This way, they could read the information on their own time, at their pace. I was able to officially talk about my book to a group of moms in Brockville at Mummy’s Voices Live. It was organized by Mummy Voices’ founder, Jackie Shoemaker Holmes. I was able to meet her in person. She is such an extraordinary human being. I loved the vibe of the group as moms were clearly there for mutual support and connections. Jackie took a photo of me speaking to the group. I wasn’t wearing any shoes. Haha!

As I write this, my boxes are packed for my workshop at Smiths Falls Collegiate. I have changed my mind so many times about what activities to include. I have four hours with this group and I want to be as impactful as possible.

Every month, I start my newsletter with a Families Connect Challenge. This month is all about stress management. Many parents contact me for a consultation with their children because they are expressing anxiety. Their worries seem to manifest at night just as it is time to go to bed. Tired parents who are eager to get to bed themselves are left to console their tired children, reassuring them that they are safe. I love using Virginia Ironside’s fantastic book, The Huge Bag of Worries, during my stress management workshops in elementary schools. Here is a link to a You Tube video of a young boy reading the book. He does a fabulous job with reading but the video is shot too close so it’s hard to see the illustrations. If you decide to order the book, the ISBN number is 0340903171. In the book, an elderly neighbour points out that some worries are not our own, others are universal and some require help from others. I have two activities to propose. The first one is creating a stress ball which is super easy, cheap and so much fun. The second one is an activity you can do physically or, by using your imagination. I have also included a text you can print and read to your children at bedtime to help them relax.

Stress Ball

1-Get a pear-shaped balloon, an empty water bottle, some flour or cornstarch and a funnel.
2-Fill the water bottle halfway with flour, rice, salt, orbeez or cornstarch (any texture your child likes that won’t rot in the balloon).
3-Blow the balloon and pinch the mouth of the balloon so the air does not escape.
4-Carefully latch the mouth of the balloon onto the neck of the water bottle.
5-Hold the mouth of the balloon in place while you invert the bottle so the flour pours into the balloon.
6-Slowly release some of the air out of the balloon while you jiggle it and push the flour down into the bottom of the balloon.
7-When all the air has been released, you can tie the neck of the balloon.
8-The Dollar Store sometimes sells decorative balloons with beautiful swirly paint patterns on them. Those make for some pretty stress balls.
9-If you wish, you can have children decorate their balloons with permanent marker or tempera paints.
10-When you or your child feel anxious, you can squeeze the stress ball to release anxiety and help the body relax. You may want to keep it next to the bed to help with bedtime stress.

Activity #2


1-Use a thin paper and write or draw stressors on each piece of paper with washable marker. You could cut papers into monster, cloud or heart shapes.
2-Clip each stressor onto a clothes line (or string) outdoors.
3-Having them written down makes them visible to you so you can brainstorm solutions together. Sometimes, their stress comes from a misunderstanding and can be cleared up quickly.
3-Once you have discussed every worry, fill spray bottles with water and soak the paper until it dissolves.
4-Your child can say, “No more stress” or “Goodbye…” to whatever was stressing them.


The imaginary version is exactly the same as the first one but done with their imagination before bed. You list the worries, imagine them hanging on the clothes line, brainstorm solutions and see yourself dissolving each and every worry with a spray bottle (or water pistol if your child prefers that). Then your child can say out loud, “Goodbye” to whatever worry was on their mind.

Bedtime Relaxation

Check with your children that they don’t need to pee and that they are feeling comfortable in their bed. I recommend not sitting on their bed because, if they fall asleep, there is a chance you will wake them as you get up from their bed.

Read the following text in a soothing voice at a slow pace. Some children like to have your hand on them for extra reassurance.

Get nice and cozy in your bed. Feel your body sink into your mattress. Your bed is supporting you. You are safe. As we breathe together, imagine a warm glow like a flashlight at your feet. It warms up your feet. Wiggle your toes and feel the warmth spread up to your ankles. Make tiny little circles with your ankles. Feel them getting looser and more relaxed. The warm glow moves up your legs, warming them up. Notice if your legs feel tight. Are your muscles sore from the day? Tighten your leg muscles and let them go. Breathe into your legs all the way down to your toes. The bottom half of your body is now relaxing and sinking deeper into the bed. Next, breathe deep into your belly. Feel your belly push out and fall flat with each breath. Every time you breathe out, let go of any tightness or worry. Just let it go. Feel waves of warmth coming up from your waist all the way up your back and into your shoulders with each calm breath you take. Your chest starts to pen up and relax as well. You feel the warmth of love spreading through your chest. You are so loved! The warm glow moves up into your throat and all the way to the top of your head. As the warmth spreads feel your body get warm, calm and peaceful. You are heavy, at peace and sleepy. Rest your face and forehead. Imagine that you can see yourself from above. Your body is surrounded by a warm glow. You smile. You are safe and you drift off to sleep.

I would love to hear from you or see your art. Don’t forget to tag me if you share photos on your FB page or Instagram for your chance to win the Movie Pass for four (two adults, two children). The winning family will be announced on my Facebook page on December 23rd, 2018.

Every Tuesday at 1pm (ET), moms can connect online for free, and explore whatever topic is being discussed that week. I would love to have you join us. Please sign up here, it’s free!

If you’d rather socialize in person, join me in my art studio on CR 18 in Kemptville for my monthly creative activity, Mama’s Time Out. This month, I am offering a Birth Art workshop. If you are pregnant and you want to prepare your body and mind for childbirth in a friendly, supportive environment, join me on June 21st at 11am ET for some creative expression, honest conversation and mommy bonding. There will be tea, coffee, sweets and lots of fun. The cost of this workshop is $50. E-mail me to register. You can pay through e-transfer at or on the day of the event.

I thoroughly enjoy interviewing a different artist each month for Awesome Artsy Moms. This month, Stittsville artist Karen Wynne Mackay came to my studio for our interview. Karen explores a variety of mediums and she has been a professional artist for 25 years. We met on the day of her interview and it felt like I’d known her forever. You can watch our interview here or have a look at her website,, for more information regarding her upcoming shows and workshops. In June, I will be speaking with glass mosaics artist Trish Rossiter. You can have a sneak peak by visiting her website,

This month, on my blog, Anne’s Mommy Moments, I explore my husband’s winding path into fatherhood and its impact on our family. You can read it here. Did you know that 1 out of 10 men suffer from postpartum depression? Yup. You’ll hear all about it in this month’s podcast interview about perinatal mental health (scroll down to find the link).

I decided to visit different groups of mothers to speak with them and learn about their experiences. Speaking in a group is different from talking one on one. We feed off of each other’s ideas and our conversations can take unexpected turns. I had an interview with a woman from Chile this month. She and her husband live in Ottawa and they decided not to have children because she was pre-menopausal by the time they met. She spoke to her mother and sister who live in Chile before our chat. What I learned from her was the importance of motherhood for families in Chile. There is a great deal of pressure to procreate. It doesn’t really matter if you are married or not at this point. I was told that some women who are uneducated might still be judged for being unwed but if they are educated, it is better to have a child without a partner than no child at all. You don’t see couples choosing not to have children in Chile. There is a huge celebration with lost of presents when a woman finds out she is pregnant. Women go to the clinic during their pregnancy to get checked by a midwife who works in conjunction with the physical. Midwives are university-certified. Most women have their babies at the hospital although, in rural settings some women can not make it to the hospital so they are helped by the eldest person in their neighbourhood. The husband is present for the birth of the child. Following childbirth, the woman stays in the hospital for one day. When she goes home, neighbours and family members visit with food. They want the mother to rest especially if she’s had a c-section. The mother is not alone. There is a positive vibe as family gathers to celebrate. The men drink and BBQ. There aren’t too many expectations on the fathers other than being there. The mother carries most of the responsibilities for the baby. Families can get free check-ups and vaccinations f they can’t afford the private sector. Every women leaves the hospital with a bag of goodies containing all the essentials to get started (diapers, milk for the baby). Most women stay home to care for their baby. If they do work, they get maternity leave. Grandparents are very involved with. the children and will step in to look after the baby if the mother needs to work. The lady I was interviewing confessed that not having a baby is really hard. She doesn’t get invited to many of the gatherings because it’s for families and she has no children. Her opinion is not welcomed as mothers tell her she doesn’t understand because she’s not a mom. People ask her why she doesn’t have a child. When she plays with her nieces and nephews, her relatives check on her often asking, “Is everything ok?” because they assume she won’t know how to handle them. It is hurtful and makes her feel excluded.

I have an interview on the weekend with a mother from Norway. Really looking forward to our chat. You can read all about it next month.

Now, for an update on my conversations with mothers whose children are on the spectrum… I designed a survey with just a few questions to assess the needs of families for the summer months. The results of the survey indicated that most families were staying at home over the summer holidays, that mothers would like to participate in specialized programs with their children as well as meet other families with children on the Spectrum. Mothers also expressed a need for respite.

My ideas were that we could offer autism training for local youth and pair them up with a family as Friendly Visitors or Mother’s Helpers. It turns out that there are local youth who already work with students on the Spectrum who would be interested in supporting local families. I will be posting an announcement to invite families to come forward if they wish to be included in this project and to find out how many hours of support they would like per week. I am meeting with students next week to check on their schedules and availability. If you would like some support/respite this summer, please e-mail me,

A mother also told me about a fun after-school program called Kids Gotta Move. This program does not run over the summer. I contacted Tumbling Together (the people who run Kids Gotta Move) to see if they would extend the program if I was able to raise sufficient funds. I also spoke to Brenda at Community Living to see if we could use their space.These two women will be chatting this week to see if there is adequate space at Community Living to offer the program. I am looking into other spaces just in case.

I had a meeting with two local women just this past weekend, they told me about Ausome Ottawa and Autism Ontario. They suggested I start a FB group and build a list of resources for families. I contacted the admin of a FB support page for local families who have children with special needs to see if the group is still active. While the members are not meeting, she will share my posts so families can respond to them if they are interested.

I have e-mailed Ausome Ottawa to ask if they would offer programs in Kemptville if I was able to pair them up with a local business for space (yoga studio, dance studio, pool etc). I am waiting to hear back from them. Also, I heard that Cineplex Theatres offer Sensory Friendly Screenings. Our municipal centre plays movies throughout the summer. I will ask them if they could keep the light on and reduce the volume so that families could come and enjoy this activity as well. There is lots more to come but this is a great start. Stay tuned!

Finally, on Mama’s Toolbox, I interview professionals every month to ask them questions that I think moms would want to ask. My May interview was with Dr Katayune Kaeni about perinatal mental health. I was so pleased to finally offer an interview on this important topic. You can listen to our interview here or check out her website,

This is my way to serve you. If you have any suggestions regarding topics you would like to have covered or questions you wish to ask, please do not hesitate to e-mail me at

I look forward to seeing you in my groups or reading your comments.
Motherhood Doesn’t Have to Be a One-Woman Show,
Anne Walsh

**If you are participating in my Families Connect Challenge, please follow the links below to see previous newsletters.

View May 2018 Edition

View April 2018 Edition

View March 2018 Edition

View February 2018 Edition

View January 2018 Edition

Copyright © 2018 Anne Walsh, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in via our website.

Our mailing address is:
Anne Walsh
441 Dennison Road
Kemptville, On K0G 1J0