November NewsletterDec 1, 2018
Welcome – I Am So Glad You’re Here!
As I approach the deadline to publish my book, I am aware of so many habits of mine that are detrimental to my success. I don’t think it’s just me, I see it in other moms as well. We tend to work on our stuff when everyone else has been taken care of. If pursuing our goal gets in the way of our family, we postpone it or work around our other commitments. In her book, Playing Big, Tara Mohr points out the tactics we use to stay small. I am reading the chapter on Leaping, taking concrete action to reach my goal. Writing this book has taken so much time. I am invested in this project. It’s not just about me, So many moms have trusted me with their stories and I am determined to see it through to the end. I have given myself a date, November 14th (my grandpa’s birthday), to finalize the infrastructure of the book and submit it to Book Launchers for editing, packaging and publishing. Self-publishing is a costly undertaking so I am saving up as well. I can’t wait to get it out into the world.
Every month, I start my newsletter with a Families Connect Challenge. This month is all about honouring our personal heroes but, my theme overlaps a bit with Christmas in that this creative activity can become a Christmas present. As we celebrate Remembrance Day, we are reminded of the sacrifices that so many men and women made for our freedom and safety. If you have a veteran in your family, they would be the perfect recipient for this month’s activity. However, we all have special people in our lives who are there for us and bring so much joy.
1-Encourage your child to think about someone special in his or her life that s/he would like to honour.
2-If you have photographs of your child with this person (like a grandparent), start looking through photos of them and have your child choose thirteen photos of them (one for each month as well as an extra for the cover).
3-If you don’t have photos of them, have your child create drawings to describe different experiences they enjoyed together. You can even have them write a text on one side of the paper and draw on the opposite side, like a storybook.
4-If you want to make this a special gift for Christmas, you can load your photos on the vistaprint.ca website into their personalized calendars section.
5-You can also just create your own calendar by using a ledger-sized paper and folding in half. You can print and paste calendar pages on the bottom half and glue photos or have your child draw on the upper half. Then you’ll need a stapler to bind all the pages together.
As I stated earlier, this is a great activity for Remembrance Day but it can also serve as a special Christmas present for loved ones. I created one of these calendars for my grandparents years ago. There were photos of them as teenagers followed by photos of their first home, the children, family celebrations and their latest wedding anniversary. They loved it and showed it to anyone who visited their home. Have fun creating this special project with your little ones.
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.
In honour of Remembrance Day, I decided to focus my vlog and podcast on an artist and a professional who are doing their part in supporting individuals diagnosed with ptsd.
I thoroughly enjoy interviewing a different artist each month for Awesome Artsy Moms. This month’s artist is Nadia Bonello. I met her at the WOW Conference in Ottawa. I saw her beautiful collection of travel wear and had to meet her. Nadia is a photographer who started creating fashion with her digital photography printed onto each piece. She focuses on travel wear because her art work is mostly photographs of landscapes and the materials she uses are wrinkle-resistant, perfect for packing. Nadia is super positive. She is selling gorgeous Poppy Scarves to raise money for charities that support veterans with ptsd. Check out our interview here and visit her website to support her work.
This month, on my blog, Anne’s Mommy Moments, I describe my reality check when I came home with our second daughter. I had all these fantasies about what our life would be like as a family of four. I had no idea how difficult this transition would be. I wish I could have known then that it was all going to turn out ok. That is why I wrote about it in my blog, to give hope to other moms who are going through a similar transition. You can read my blog here.
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 couldn’t find a mother from Ethiopia so I read as much as I could. I would love to speak to a real person but I will share what I’ve learned thus far. What I learned about motherhood in Ethiopia was disturbing. The first issue is that girls are being married off to older men when they are as young as 10 years old. These young girls’ bodies haven’t fully developed, putting them at risk for maternal death or complications. They don’t finish their education and are at risk of domestic violence. There is a difference between urban and rural moms but most of the articles I read were about attempts to lower the rate of maternal mortality in Ethiopia. It is the highest percentage in the world. Once a woman is in labour, most have their child at home with the help of other women (relatives or neighbours). A second issue is the lack of resources for rural mothers. If they experience complications, they must head out to the nearest Health Post. The workers at these posts are not trained to handle complications so mothers are sent to the nearest hospital (in the city) for help. The third issue is the lack of transportation. They have to walk or take a bus to the hospital. In some cases, moms are transported on a stretcher, while in labour, by a group of men, on foot. Many babies and mothers could be saved if they were able to reach the hospital in time. A fourth issue is the lack of staff at these hospitals. Educated Ethiopians often take their skill set elsewhere instead of staying in Ethiopia where they will not have access to the equipment and conditions they need to do their work. Without the skilled medical staff, a mother who finally reaches the hospital may still lose her child. A fifth issue is fistulas and ruptured uteri which are common due to prolonged labour without the option of performing a c-section. When the baby is wedged in the birth canal for too long, it cuts off the circulation and results in necrotic tissue. If a hole is formed in the bladder or rectum, the mother leaks urine and/or feces. The husband divorces her and her community abandons her. If she is muslim and her uterus is ruptured, her husband will divorce her and marry a woman who is able to bear children. A sixth issue is the fact that women are not cared for after they have experienced a death or complication. They are met with judgement and exclusion instead of being comforted with compassion. This month’s research was eye-opening to say the least. Information for this overview came from multiple sources: mombloggersforsocialgood.com, huffingtonpost.com, ncbi.nim.nih.gov and unfpa.org.
Finally, on Mama’s Toolbox, I interview professionals every month to ask them questions that I think moms would want to ask. This month, I am sharing my interview with Shulamit Ber Levtov, owner of Compassionate Support for Stressful Times. Shula shared some tips on handling stress as a parent and helping our children cope with stress as well. Shula specializes in trauma-informed support for individuals diagnosed with ptsd. She also helps overwhelmed business women manage their stressful lives through self-compassion. Scoop up Shula’s wisdom here. You can also check out Shula’s website here.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look forward to seeing you in my groups or reading your comments.
Motherhood Doesn’t Have to Be a One-Woman Show,
**If you are participating in my Families Connect Challenge, please follow the links below to see previous newsletters.
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