The 4th trimester: 10 things that saved me as a mom of three

While I was pregnant last year, I spent all of my time preparing for the labour.  Admittedly, even after experiencing two births - one at home and one at the hospital – I was still super nervous about her arrival. . The length of the labour. The contractions. The ring of fire (they call it that for a good reason)! The risk that something could happen. . Especially when people continued to tell me that 3rd babies were “wild cards”.   . Grrreat.  . Needless to say, in the final months of my pregnancy I did lots of work to get ready for the birth.  Then on November 8th, Mackenzie, our sweet little girl arrived.  We were now a family of five (whoa!).  . The birth was an amazing experience - it was speedy, she was healthy, and her freaked-out mama survived! (here are my 3 birth stories)  .  . Sure, labour is physically and emotionally challenging. However, it is only a blimp in time. . It’s the s#$% that comes AFTER the birth that is reeeeeeally hard.    . That “ring of fire” I was dreading for months only lasts minutes in most cases. The transition of an unpredictable newborn in the 4th trimester lasts for months. . Even though I had been through the ‘new mom’ phase before (twice), I forgot how draining the 4th trimester can be!  . I felt like a sleep-walking zombie. I had to redefine productivity (showering 3x a week = success). I felt terrible not being able to give as much attention to my older girls. I cried (a lot).  I had no motivation to cook.  . But...
3 Small Healthy Changes That Have BIG Impacts

3 Small Healthy Changes That Have BIG Impacts

Anyone else feeling a little overwhelmed with all their typical parenting duties? …Taking the kids to dance, karate, or school (and getting there on time!) …Prepping meals and packing school lunches (especially ones that are balanced!) …Cleaning up after the little ones…multiple times a day. …Oh, and my personal favourite…trying to rationalize with a tantruming 2 year old. And on top of all this, trying to function at work/home and find time for self-care. Ha!  I struggled with low energy and anxiety too.  But I didn’t want to be a mom who dragged her feet through the day.  I put myself and my health on the back burner, yet my family took the brunt of it.  I was irritable, had little patience, and no motivation to cook or get off my butt. Until I dove into my books and studied what it takes to thrive as a busy and exhausted parent.  What I learned was life-changing.   I consolidated these changes into a step-by-step protocol for busy parents - to boost their health, energy and sanity.  I share 5 of these eye-opening yet simple solutions in the Free Mommy Survival Kit starting soon.  Click below to get on the wait list for 2 minute tips that you can actually stick with! Small healthy changes that have a BIG impact   Thankfully, I’ve been able to strike a balance with healthy habits and feel sane as a busy parent.  It took time to figure out how to make simple changes that had lasting impacts. The key was starting with the basics - small actions that are doable, but still create that ripple...
One mom. Three birth stories.

One mom. Three birth stories.

Labour. Without a doubt, it is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Our first year of parenting was a doozy.  You’d think, if I could survive the daily vomiting, growth restrictions, nonexistent sleep, mealtime stresses, picky eating, a month at Sick Kids and two heart surgeries - I could handle a few hours (maybe days) of labour. …Nope! You’d think that after having a natural birth with my second daughter, I would be totally ready and confident about having another. …Wrong! From the moment I found out we were pregnant with a third baby, I went on an emotional rollercoaster for the next 9 months. I was elated...I loved big families and being pregnant.  And we were about to have a family of 3 littles! I was in shock…I didn’t think it would happen so quickly, or at all being someone who had PCOS years ago. And I was freaking right out...another baby meant another labour, which meant another contraction - yikes! What was I afraid of?  Good question. Everything that could or would not happen.  I was full of fear - fear of something happening to the baby, something happening to me, etc.  Plus I continually heard from other parents and specialists that third babies were “wild cards”.  So no matter my history, nor despite being active and taking care of myself throughout the pregnancy (and most of my life)…this birth was going to be unpredictable. I had 3 very different birth experiences - from hospital, to home, to birth centre. It’s through these experiences that I learned the 3 things that make me a better...
Your Guide to Surviving Holiday Treats with Kids

Your Guide to Surviving Holiday Treats with Kids

With the kids jingle belling And everyone telling you be of good cheer It’s the most wonderful stressful time of the year.   Isn’t that such a bummer?  I used to love everything about Christmas.  Yet, since becoming a parent they seem to have become more of a headache. Our to-do lists get longer, our wallets get leaner, our kids get over-tired and poorly-fed.  Naturally, parents are stressed out about all the holiday treats with kids.   You’re probably worried about heading to that party this week…wondering what to do when your little one goes to town on the cookies.  But since becoming a mom of three little ones, I realize I can’t waste my energy on this stuff.  Speaking of 3 little ones…   [Let me interrupt this blog post with an important message!]   Meet our brand spanking new Mackenzie, who is the ripe age of 6 weeks today!  You’ll see more of her and our shenanigans in the coming months.  She’s a gem if I might say so myself.  Her older sisters on the other hand, they are the hard work!  Good thing they are cute.     [Back to our regular programming]   The holidays are one of those times I know I just need to chill out.  Especially when it comes to how to handle holiday treats with kids.   When I’m fixated on keeping my girls away from the goodies and filling them up on greens, it gets ugly.   I put pressure on them –> they resist eating –> I want to withhold ‘treats’ –> they want to indulge even more –> I get...
Why being a “bad mom” can be good

Why being a “bad mom” can be good

I’m not a bad mom. Although, sometimes I feel like one based on how I parent. Maybe it’s because I saw the darker side of motherhood after Sienna was born – and I was a mess.  I witnessed my first child go through heart surgery (twice), struggle with nursing to eating solids, and being labelled “failure to thrive”. Everything I had went to finding solutions for my daughter.  So much that I had nothing left for myself. My anxiety was high. My energy was depleted. My patience was paper thin. Working out and getting out didn’t happen much, and my health had seen better days   I was not the “me” I hoped to be.  And wish I had simple tools like this…   I wanted to be an energetic, healthy, and happy mom.  Not tired, irritable, and stressed out. The only way I was going to turn things around was by putting myself FIRST.  Putting myself BEFORE my kids and my husband? Ewww.  Ick.  It felt SO WRONG.  But it was the best thing for all of us. The choices Keith and I make for our family often have our girls top of mind.  However, as much as possible we ask, “is this the best thing for us — their parents — and the foundation of our family?”  If the answer is yes, we proceed.  Often with guilt but knowing deep down it’s the best thing to do for the family. Here’s why feeling like a “bad mom” can actually be good:   I go away WITHOUT my kids multiple times a year (and look forward to it). A few of my nutrition friends and I went to Vancouver for a full week this fall.  No kids,...
Why parents should ‘fix’ picky eating early

Why parents should ‘fix’ picky eating early

So my techy husband set up our television at home to function as a digital photo album when the screen is idle (i.e. when my girls aren’t watching Calliou or Frozen for the 20th time).   He’s also a photographer so I have the luxury of seeing beautiful family photos cycle through – photos that bring back mostly pleasant early parenthood memories. Although, the other day I caught a photo that didn’t spark those fond memories in the slightest.  It was a picture of Sienna looking unhappy at the table.  What you can’t see is her anxious mother (me) sitting nearby and wanting so desperately for her to eat more. Those were not my happier days. That photo sucked me in and brought me back to ‘those times’…when I shed tears at the table and truthfully was fearful of mealtimes.  I was a foodie and loved to cook/eat but living with a picky eater took the joy out of eating. It saddens me to think that I spent the better part of time together consumed with getting Sienna to eat better and worried about her nutrition (being a Nutritionist, I knew what she needed).  I worked so darn hard trying to expand her appetite and food favourites, but with no real plan…and no real results. While our wonderful pediatricians were telling us everything was “fine”, my mommy instinct was telling it was not ‘fine’. Sienna was far from fine (she was so unhappy at meals and not interested in food). I was far from fine (I was worried and emotionally exhausted from the constant food battles). I see and speak with so many parents who are in ‘my old shoes’ and I so...