Momma Feature- Maureen | Kelowna Mother's day photo session

Maureen and I met at our yoga studio, and quickly became allies. She is an incredibly down to earth, kind spirited, hilarious momma whom I look up to. Besides my own momma's words, it's Maureen's words that often ring in my ears when I'm at the breaking point. She's shared so many of her trials and tribulations as a mom, which have made me stop and consider my own version of motherhood. Capturing her and her kids as they're all about to take off into adulthood was a milestone I loved being part of. Enjoy her words of wisdom. 

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First off tell me about your munchkins (age, stats, awesomeness):
Clarice Catherine - 21 years.  My first true love.  She propelled me into this new version of me...mother. Fun loving, enthusiastic about life, strong willed, courageous, smart, loves and inspires the child in everyone
 Shannon Lee - 19 years - My gorgeous redhead so brave, free, adventurous, loving, has an incredible open heart, creative, intelligent.
 Alexander Charles - 16 years - aka Alex.  He is so charismatic!  His smile is so contagious and he loves fun and laughter, so incredibly smart, loving in a very unassuming open way.   It has been such a wonder for me watching him grow.

What's the most surprising thing you've discovered about motherhood?  I was so surprised at how innate it was within me.  It opened me up on so many levels and when I let it, the nurturing qualities of motherhood just naturally  arose in me.  I think this is true for every woman.

 What's your go to trick when all else fails and everything is falling apart?  Well the kids certainly helped with this one.  We would all just have a Kitchen Dance Party!!

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How do you relax at the end of the day?  It's different now that the kids are older.  I have to admit relaxing at the end of the day when the kids were young was a struggle and I think most days I carried my day into my restless sleep.  As we live, we learn and now I like to connect with the kids and see how their day has been.  I try to round them up a few nights a week so we can have dinner together.  This is changing though as they start to build their own lives.

What's the best advice you received as a new mom?  Take time for yourself.  You can't forget your goodness.  This needs nurturing too so your natural nurturing can flow to others.  It's also so important to take time with your husband or special someone especially if that person is in your kids life.  It's the one relationship that kids see up close and learn the most from.

How do you balance your life/work and life as a mom?  It is so much easier now that the kids are pretty much all grown up.  When I look back on it all, I wonder how I did it all especially since I have no family in Kelowna and the their Dad lives in Vancouver.  As they grew, the unending appointments, events, school activities (there was a few years when each of them were in a different school!) etc were unyielding but I think we all look back on it and realize it was great fun.

 Anything else you'd share about being a mom?  It is the most rewarding part of my life.  My kids know me like no one else does, they have made me see and feel so much that I know I would have never been open to had they not been part of my life.  There have been times when I have been near insanity but even in those times, I could not imagine a life without them.  They put the spring in my step and make me smile right to my core.  Everything I have done has been done with them in mind.  I would finally like to share a poem  that was sent to me by a friend when my oldest child graduated from high school.  It really hit home and made me realize the hardest part of motherhood is also the main goal of motherhood - to raise your kids with all the goodness you have within you so they know themselves and then to be able to stand back and let them create their own beautiful life.

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Maureen also shared this writing... which is one of my faves. 
 by Kahlil Gibran

 Your children are not your children.
 They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.

 They come through you but not from you,

 And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
 You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
 For they have their own thoughts.
 You may house their bodies but not their souls,
 For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
 For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
 You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
 Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
 For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Thank you Maureen!