Where to start … My day began by leaping out of bed in a hurried craze to feed my kids, get them dressed and ready for school, and out the door in time for me to make it downtown from the burbs. As prepared as I thought I was, yes, I was late. For someone who likes to be too early for appointments, motherhood has challenged this ability and seems to win most of the timely battles. At least I was headed to an event with an understanding crowd! I secretly hoped I wasn’t the only one sneaking in the back. High-five to the other late moms! I already felt better!
As most other working moms, I’m always in awe of these “Power Moms” that seem to have it all together without an ounce of stress or “wear and tear”. How easy it is to make these judgement from the outside.
One of the biggest reasons Leading Moms was so intriguing to me was so I could learn how to roll like these Power Momma’s and perhaps not feel like I am constantly trying to keep up with my days, instead leading them in a more orderly fashion. Maybe fashion is the wrong word as that doesn’t seem to even make the top 10 list in my home these days. If it’s clean and it doesn’t look like I’ve slept in it, score!
As the morning started and we listened to Comfort Ero's storytelling, my earlier stress and worry began to fade and I sat back and began to take in the beginnings of a morning full of wisdom from my fellow mommas.
What an outstanding group of women who shared their lives, their hopes, their fears and their stories with us. Hearing some of the “behind the scenes” happenings truly opened up the door to the connection moms have. Sort of like a non-physical “high five/knuckle punch”, YA!
From Tamara Taggart, Award-Winning Broadcaster, sharing her near death experience and the impact it had on her view of life, family, and career to Marnie Goldenberg, Sex Educator and Speaker enlightening us on how to protect our kids by kicking the “Birds and the Bees” talk up a few hundred notches, we learned. We felt. We understood.
Taryn Brumfitt, a Global Body Image Activist was definitely a big tear-jerker. You might recognize her from her before and after photo that went viral on social media. I admired her for sharing what a realistic and common image is for a post baby body online, but was so moved by her passion and love for wanting each and every woman to just love and accept themselves. Her Body Image Movement is powerful and vital in these days of over-photoshopped bodies plastered all over. Taryn, thank you for reminding each and every one of us in that room that day that we are whole and that we are a gift to those around us, just for being us.
Andrea Thomas Hill, Philanthropist, Founder of Cause We Care warmed my heart. Her passion to help empower single mothers and their children so they can lead independent lives was moving. Some of the stories she shared and the clips of women who have benefited from Cause We Care, was extremely moving. Being a single mom myself and knowing how much of a struggle it is to keep your head above water at best of times, she has given such a gift to many. Andrea, you rock!
NetworkinginVan.com’s very own Jen Schaeffers, who is also the Executive Director of CKNW Orphans' Fund and unofficially a true “Rock Star Mom”, shared some of her motherhood experiences. It’s not hard to see why this marvelous marketing maven mom has recently been included in Business in Vancouver ‘Forty Under 40′ 2015!
Both Keri-Anne Livingstone, Certified Professional Coach and Speaker and Louise Green, Athlete, Founder of Body Exchange, brought to light the need for us to continue to look and live outside our own comfort zone. Hearing their personal experiences of how challenging themselves to step into areas of total discomfort was a great reminder of how often we miss out on some incredible growth in our own lives by letting fear of change or the unknown rule.
Corporate Communications Manager, Adria Mackenzie, of General Motors of Canada shared some nuggets of how to achieve some work/life balance while Michele Kambolis, Family Therapist, Mental Health Expert and Author helped us blow our fears and negative self talk away with some creative balloon therapy.
Madeleine Shaw, Co-Founder of Lunapads, Pads4Girls and GDay for Girls is brilliant in what she has done for girls around the world. If you are a parent of a girl, more specifically girls within the 10-12 age group, you need to look into G Day. G Day exists to help girls feel celebrated and supported as they begin the early stages of their journey to adulthood. What a gift.
What a gift this morning was for me. From starting off feeling like a mom who can’t even get it together to make it somewhere on time, to feeling renewed, refreshed and encouraged, I am thankful I was a part of this audience. Thank you ladies for sharing your stories and your hearts.