February 12, 2013
I can clearly remember getting a horrible, sinking feeling of dread as a child if my parents ever showed weakness. It was such a terrible feeling for me that I try to spare my kids from feeling it whenever possible.
My parents have always been healthy and capable of anything or nearly anything. Or so it seemed to their children. There was nothing that they couldn’t make or fix or do. I had a healthy, outdoorsy, homemade childhood that I’m forever grateful for. “Yes we can!” might as well have been the family motto.
However, I was also born into the home of a very sick child. My older brother Robby was terminally ill, and in and out of hospital from the time he was a toddler until he died at age seven. Six years later, my mother had her sixth child, my sister Grace, who was diagnosed with Leukemia as a toddler, was in and out of the hospital, and died at age seven. With all four of my grandparents also passing away by the time I was a teen, death was familiar to me.
My mother once fainted, hit her face on the dresser, and suffered a black eye. She then spent the day in bed and I was kept home from school to take care of her. This was totally unlike her. I appreciated being allowed to take care of her that day: To be permitted to do something about it all was important to me. What was difficult for me was thinking of her as anything but strong and healthy.
The feeling of dread would again rise up anytime my father might say that he was “getting too old for this”. I would feel so disappointed, so let down by these rare glimpses of his mortality. He rarely shows any weakness to this day, as he turns seventy-two, but I regularly make him swear he’ll aim to live to one hundred and twenty.
He and my mother continue to be pillars of strength and can-do-itness. Through her own battle with Cancer, my mother never once wavered. She even called us from the recovery room after having a donut-shaped tumor removed from around her spine to let us know that she was fine, and fighting.
You can imagine that growing up in this way, with the parents that I have, and with the knowledge that life is so very short, has really shaped the way that I parent.
I feel I know what is important, what counts, and I try to keep these things at the top of my list. I work only when my kids are at school or asleep. We turn off the computers and television on Saturdays, all day. We eat together. We do things together after school and on weekends.
On top of this, I consciously try to keep the flashes of my mortality to a minimum. I never say I’m too old for something. I try new things with enthusiasm. I don’t make a big deal about it if I’m ever sick or injured. I push myself physically in front of my kids on a regular basis. I say “yes” rather than “I can’t” or “I don’t feel like it”. I don’t stand at the foot of the tobogganing hill, shivering with a latte in my hand- I run up and down sliding with them like I think I’m fifteen rather than thirty-five. I’m the mother doing judo with her children three times a week, learning new things, and falling down and getting back up again over and over and generally saying “let’s go for it!” with wild abandon.
Why? Because I’m a healthy, able-bodied woman for which I am thankful, and because there really is no reason to make them think about my death right now. I know that will come soon enough- maybe even sooner than I realize. Death is an old familiar foe of mine, true, but he’s also my diligent parenting and life coach, tapping me on the shoulder from time to time to remind me to live like I’m immortal precisely because I am so very mortal. Death has taught me to live: I hope the lesson can be transmitted by example.
November 20, 2012
It has recently come to my attention that I’m doing it all wrong. Weekday parenting, I mean.
My custom was always to race downtown from work to pick up my kids from school, drag them home on the subway as quickly as possible, and then ignore them/get frustrated with them as I tried to put the mess of the morning away and make a nice dinner, frequently simultaneously answering calls, emails, and texts. They would come up with reasons to interrupt me, including squabbles and out-and-out fights that I had to mediate.
I owe the revelation to the fact that I missed the registration deadline for the evening music classes that they attend, meaning that the desirable after-school-but-before-dinner time slots were taken, leaving only the less in demand right-at-dinnertime sessions.
Music lessons are not optional for my brood of two- they would mutiny if I took away their classes, and I of course feel that the music lessons are enriching and vital to their education. So, full of misgivings, I took a 6pm and a 6:30 time slot on two different evenings for his violin and her piano.
I developed a plan to eat dinner together at any of the little restaurants near their school, kill time at the library, and then go to my daughter’s lesson that evening.
The resulting level of contentment among the three of us was amazing. The kids weren’t fighting for my attention. I wasn’t on a frantic, self-imposed deadline to get home and feed everyone, so I was a much calmer, sweeter mama. The relief my kids were feeling was palpable. We enjoyed an easy little dinner of sushi, then crossed the street to the library, where I read at least eight picture books to them.
In good time, we made our way to the music studio. My daughter hugged her music teacher as she always does, and skipped into the lesson with her books, seeming even bouncier than usual.
While we waited I enjoyed some more time with my son, who seemed less demanding now that his attention cup was full.
The short trip home was relaxed and peaceful, and they fell into quiet playing until bedtime.
I had discovered something amazing: I needed to do less through the week! Even if that meant that we were eating in restaurants rather than having “proper” homemade meals.
It’s now mid-November, and we’ve added Judo practice three times a week, for all three of us. The new evening schedule is brilliant, and I only make dinner on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday nights. It’s much more manageable, and I am much less stressed and tired, which has to be a good thing. Just call me Slacker Mom.
August 14, 2012
You may have met my better half already?
My “work spouse”, my retail partner-in-crime, my friend, my store manager: Heidi McDonald.
I have yet to speak to anyone who does not like Heidi. She is the most intelligent, affable, thoughtful, efficient, and naturally helpful woman I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.
I have been fortunate enough to work with her daily (and nightly- we talk endlessly on the phone) these last five years, and I’m certain that I’ve personally been improved by mere proximity to her.
I am confident enough in her rock-solid character to say with full certainty that if you’ve ever met her at one of my shops, you’ve seen us at our very, very best.
Her birthday is today, August 14th, and I love her (yes, I love my colleague) enough to be thanking my lucky stars for throwing us together. (Thank you stars!)
In honour of Heidi I am today donating $1000.00 to La Leche League Canada, a not-for-profit, volunteer-run breastfeeding support organization that embodies Heidi’s love for her fellow mother, her belief in breastfeeding, and her spirit of helpfulness.
Thank you Heidi, for all that you do for Evymama and the community of mothers that we serve. What would we do without you?
President, Evymama Nursing & Maternity
July 26, 2012
Evymama is the solution for the woman who loves lingerie,and is brestfeeding, no matter her bra size! Yes, we have pretty bras for women who wear a DD+ cup. We also have enough bra-fitting expertise to know that DD is NOT the biggest size available!
Many mothers are surprised to hear their actual bra size when they visit Evymama for a fitting. For many women, their first trip to Evymama is the first time they've ever been properly fitted for a bra, nursing bra or otherwise.
Being an F cup or a G cup or even a K cup does not imply that you are "a plus size". It basically works in this way: the greater the difference between your ribcage and the fullest part of your bust, the higher the letter will be.
Another important thing to note about our sizing is that we do not use double letters in our calculations. As many breastfeeding bra manufacturers use double letters, while others do not, it can become a confusing mess to size patrons. We have developed a standard sizing system, with the manufacturer's size in brackets, and our own assigned size beside that. It works!
We have in-stock nursing bras up to M cup size. We can also order certain bras in higher than M cup sizes. Please inquire.
And if you ARE a mother with a full cup size, you will probably like one of these options:
Sarah & The Evymama Team
February 07, 2012
Shopping for a new maternity wear wardrobe can be daunting and confusing. To demystify the maternity wear shopping process for pregnant women, here are my suggestions as a mother of two, and as a maternity boutique retailer, to make the process more enjoyable, more beautiful, and more efficient.
August 09, 2010
We frequently get asked this question at Evymama! We have all loved having nursing tops and breastfeeding- friendly dresses to wear out and around the house with our nursing kids. Here are some of our favourite reasons for wearing nursing clothing.