One of the most important skills that I’m still learning as a mom is how to be my own friend and ally, in other words how to practice self compassion. I spin my wheels all day in a sisyphean effort to keep my house from being mistaken for a hoarder’s lair, yet every time I slay one chore ten new ones pop up, courtesy of my children (two boys, ages 4 and 7, active, like to SPILL STUFF, move furniture and treat everything as a trampoline surface). Some days I fight to be heard as I ask, plead and finally roar the same request over and over again. I stress over injuries, fume over being ignored and chase fires that need to be put out. All of this has taught me that I’d better allocate some time to nurture myself and recharge, because we all know that if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. I still remember that to a new mom ages 4 and 7 seem like self-sufficient entities (shouldn’t they be living in a dorm somewhere?) and this may seem like a premature conversation, but it’s never too early to start practicing self compassion. Here’s why attending Toronto’s original baby show can prove to be a great investment, not only in them but also in you.
- Learning opportunity – yes, you’ll be collecting free samples of stuff, but more valuable even is the information you can collect. BabyTime will run not one but two stages: The Expert Seminar Stage and the Live and Learn Stage. The sessions offered by the expert stage include lectures from sleep doulas, breastfeeding experts and everyone’s favourite nanny, Nanny Robina. The topics span: breastfeeding; how to get your baby to sleep through the night (spoiler alert: still relevant for mothers of older children too); pregnancy, birth and postpartum uncensored: all the things you need to know and nobody tells you; car seat safety and installation clinic by Uppababy and Graco and safe sleep for babies. FYI: if there’s a particular session you’re interested in, visit the schedule posted on the website.
- Meeting other moms – I’m an introvert and I find certain situations, like meeting a group of people that I don’t know, very challenging. Immigrating to Canada I had to create a whole new circle of friends and I started by joining a meetup group. Certain aspects of that were nothing short of torturous for me. A couple of years later I found myself at home with a baby and once again I needed to create a somewhat new circle of friends as I was facing a different set of challenges and circumstances. I remember finding myself craving conversation with the random passer by on the street and even trying to manufacture one and I’ve heard a different version of the same story (one includes chasing another mom down the street) from at least two other moms, that I became friends with at different stages of my journey. I remember the early years as some of the most magical times that I’d spent bonding and falling in love with my kids, but I also know that if you’re anything like me and my friends you’ll also desperately seek the company of grownups, preferably moms who can relate to your new circumstances. Guess where you’ll be able to find them?
- A day out – so far we’ve been extremely lucky with the weather here in the GTA, but November could get cold and rainy or it might even snow. And even if it doesn’t, who is NOT looking for an activity to do with their baby?
- OMG the samples and freebies – Carter’s OshKosh is offering a limited edition Toronto Maple Leafs bodysuit for 6 month olds and 20% coupon for next in-store purchase. And how about this one? My personal favourite: Bayview Sheppard RMT is offering a complimentary pregnancy massage therapy clinic at the show!
- Fun activities for the kids – choose between the Diaper Derby, Mabel’s Labels favourite characters from Paw Patrol, Angelina Ballerina, Diego and Dora and others and the Dyson toddler time stage hosting Bob the Builder, Barney and other friends!
Here’s where the fun part starts. If you’re in Toronto, or the GTA you can get a free Ticket. I’ve got 20 pairs to give away, which means a total of 40. The show is happening next month between November 11-13 at the Metro Toronto Convention Center, North Building.
And even if you DIDN’T win a ticket or don’t feel like participating in the giveaway, you can still get $4 off admission ($17) by simply entering the code IAMTHEMILK as you purchase your tickets online.
To participate in the giveaway, please follow this easy two-step process:
- Sign up by filling out your details on Rafflecopter.
- Follow the pinned thread on my Facebook page, where I’ll be announcing the winners. You can do so by liking the thread and leaving a short comment or tagging a friend and making sure you keep the notifications on.