Tag Archives: Parents

How Parenting Changed Everything

Once upon a time, I was busy.  I worked full time, participated in not one, not two, but three team sports.  I walked the dog, I cooked, I cleaned, I did the laundry and grocery shopped, I prepped meals for days in advance, I did it all! I was Superwoman and conquering the world.  And then it happened, I had a kid.

Once my daughter came along, the entire world as I knew it changed.  At the beginning it’s all about the physical world around you.  You’re no longer working and are suddenly up two, three, four times a night to feed this screaming little “bundle of joy”.  You’re tired, you eat anything that’s easy to grab with one hand, and you watch horrible daytime TV without even realizing you’re doing it.  What you may not see immediately is that your emotional world has completely shifted as well.  You’ve put this new tiny person before yourself.  Baby always eats first, sometimes two and three feedings go by before you even have time to drink your cold decaffeinated coffee.  The fur-baby that was rapidly demoted to dog waits to go outside as patiently as she can, and when you stop long enough to notice what smells, you realize you haven’t had a shower in three days.  Myself, I’d stopped working out regularly, ate fast, prepackaged and processed foods, and didn’t sleep nearly enough to get as much cleaning, laundry, etc… done in a day as I could.

Of course it gets better, but the theme stays the same unless you acknowledge and change it.  The kid(s) is always going to be number one now, but part of making sure that you’re being the best parent you can be is to take care of yourself.  That looks different in each of our individual lives.  I chose to return to work on a part-time basis and I’m lucky that this was an option with my employer.  Of course there are days where I’d do anything to be in a quiet office with a Starbucks, but overall I feel like I have found my balance.

My balance looks like this: I’m a full time parent with a little bit of help.  We don’t have family living close by for assistance, so YMCA Child Minding sees my daughter twice a week.  This allows me to get in two solid gym workouts a week, all my other workouts happen at home – that’s my “me” time.  She participates in activities twice a week, and I try to schedule those on days where I’m already at the YMCA to give us some free time other days.  We camp, hike, and bike as a family so she sees an active family lifestyle every day.  Although she’s still pretty small (just two), I let her cook with me.  I feel like this teaches her that we cook healthy meals together at home.  I work three to four evenings when my husband gets home from work which allows me to still have time to be me instead of Mommy.  I’m able to utilize my education and to socialize with adults and not have the conversation turn into whatever the heck Curious George got himself into that morning.  I also let perfection go, I no longer live in a pristine house – it’s messy (not dirty!) and cluttered with toys.  Now my home is filled with love and laughter, so that’s a trade off I accept happily.

What do you miss? What is it that you slowly gave up but didn’t even realize until now?  What are you going to take time to do for you and only you?

Whatever your situation is, I’m here to tell you that you need, and I mean NEED to take that time for yourself.  Life is really busy if you let it be, and finding balance is an absolute essential to having your life be a happy one.

YMCA Saddletowne Family Fun

Come Together for FAMILY FUN!

At the YMCA, we believe that families that spend time together grow strong together.  Come join us for a themed afternoon of activities including, gym time, crafts and games!!  We will be delivering fun, healthy activities for children between the ages of 3 and 10, and parents and guardians of all ages.  Come out and meet some other families in your community.


Please e-mail Judy at jmartin@calgary.ymca.ca for more information.      



Pow Wow Drum and Dance has Connected My Family to Our Culture

drum and dance

Like many Metis people, my family only recently began to connect with who we are and where we come from.

My name is Stacey, and this is my Y story.

I have two children, they are 5 and 7 years old and they have a burning desire to connect with their culture. We found out about the Community YMCA’s Pow Wow Drum and Dance program and can’t get enough of it.My little girl loves learning hand drum songs and my son will sit around the big Pow Wow drum all evening. Earl, our Drum Keeper is his hero.

My kids talk about going to Drum and Dance all week long. Whenever it is cancelled due to a holiday break or bad weather, we are so sad. We love going to Pow Wow Drum and Dance. It brings us together as a family. It has changed our lives for the better, giving us the opportunity to connect with our culture and with each other. We get to explore our culture and do physical activity. It’s always full of laughter and makes us so happy when we can be there.

We are learning learn songs, dances, how to drum, and other aspects of our indigenous culture. With this new community of other indigenous people, we are learning the importance of oral tradition and storytelling, feasting, making offerings, and respecting things that are sacred (like drums).

My kids are bringing these lessons home, teaching the songs to other kids on their school bus, and showing the value of their culture to the people around them. They are often found singing songs or naming animals in Ojibwa, Cree and Blackfoot.

Drum and Dance has ignited the passion in our veins and love in our hearts to follow who we are. From the bottom of our hearts – miigwetch.

Saddletowne Preschool Classes 2014

Are you looking for a way to get your preschooler out of the house?

Look no further than the Saddletowne YMCA. Our Preschool Department is offering a number of exciting and fun classes to meet a variety of needs during this Winter term!

Head Chef Abigail keeps her friends, and sous-chefs close to her heart!

Check out Cookie Monsters (unparented): Your preschooler will learn some basic baking and cooking skills, while making new friends and trying new recipes! Wednesdays: 3:15-4:15pm

For the active preschooler we have: Tumble Time (unparented)! Give your child a head start on a healthy lifestyle, let them jump, run, roll, and play in Saddletowne’s great preschool gym. Tuesdays at 10:00-11:00am.

If your child enjoys a blend of active play and art: check out Arts and Gym( unparented)! Let your preschooler spend some quality time crafting, and then running and dancing burning off some of that wonderful energy! Fridays 2:15-3:15pm.

We also offer a number of Parented Programs for ages 1-3! Meet other parents and give your toddler a chance to interact with other children! Parented programs are great way to begin preparing your child for a programmed setting, such as: pre-kindergarten or preschool!

Parents and Guardians can also check out our fantastic Fitness classes! It can be a struggle to find time to hit them gym, especially when you have kids to look after. Work out while your preschooler is busy in one of our great classes!

Saddletowne’s great Member Services Team can answer any questions or register your child: Contact them at 403.237.2393

You can also contact: Shay O’Brien, Preschool Director, with any questions or concerns.

Phone: 403.537.2712 Email: shay.o’brien@calgary.ymca.ca




Amaranth Speaker Series – Taking Care of Aging Parents

Taking Care of Your Aging Parents, Dr. Melina Roberts Naturopathic Doctor

Crowfoot YMCA – Wednesday, March 13th, 7:30-9:00pm.  Course Code #79017

As our parents age, we, as a family unit, need to make significant decisions about our parent’s health.  Dr. Melina Roberts will be sharing stories of her personal experience with her parent’s and patient’s health challenges and how important it is to understand what all your options are before making decisions.  She will also discuss the naturopathic approach to chronic health issues as a true option with great effectiveness.

Sport: Doing it Right

Are you a parent or coach interested in learning more about your role in creating quality sport programs? Check out ‘Sport: Doing it Right’, a workshop hosted by Sport Calgary and presented by Canadian Sport for Life.

For more information and to register, click here.

Send Your Kids Back to School With Confidence

Check out this article on the Canadian Living website about how to tackle those back to school nerves:

”Are your kids nervous about going back to school? Ease their fears and doubts with our expert tips for helping your kids deal with back-to-school jitters. It’s just about that time again, when summer comes to a close and your kids have to start thinking about heading back to the classroom.”Father and child at school

Click here to read the rest of the article by Jen Kirsch.


No Nagging: Healthy Kids Habits

In an article on the Prevention website, writer Rachelle Vander Schaaf talks to some of the experts to find out how to get kids to eat well and exercise without any nagging! Sound impossible?

“Children are masters of ritual (ask any parent whose kids can recite Dora the Explorer from memory!). You can use their delight as a way to instill healthy habits you’d otherwise be inclined to preach about, such as eating veggies and going to bed on time. Take a cue from health experts whose family traditions have developed all kinds of good habits. The key, as these parents learned, is to disguise the lessons as fun.”

Click here to read the article in full on www.prevention.com.

Parents Trauma: Kids Changing Sports

In a humourous but realistic article on children & giving up a particular sport, writer Gretchen Rose takes a look at how parents can have their own reactions:

I am better now. I have been in mourning for 4 months. It’s not what you think: my family, friends and pets are all well and healthy, thank you. I am mourning something else. A sport. My son has retired from baseball at the ripe old age of 11. I realize I have been going through the 7 stages of the grieving process through these months, just like a recovery from a loss of a loved one. It takes time. It is still a fresh wound. I am getting better day by day.

Click here to read the full article on www.momsteam.com

Parents: What You Can Learn from YouTube videos

In this Daily Dose by Jillian Michaels and further discussed by Meghan K. Scott on EverydayHealth.com, the topic of new uses by teen and tween girls for YouTube is raising some concern amongst parents:

“Girls, who used to share their teen angst with their closest friends, are now turning to YouTube to ask “Why am I not popular? Am I pretty? Why don’t I have a boyfriend?…”

Click here to read the full article on www.everydayhealth.com.