On stage with the band Walk of the Earth, Sarah Blackwood is the epitome of Canadian alt-rock cool. She's got the look, the talent, and the attitude.
Off stage, Sarah Blackwood seamlessly transitions to devoted mother of two little ones, her baby and toddler waiting for her on the bands' tour bus post-show.
It's a fascinating life choice, and an admirable one. Sarah is figuring out how to have it all. It's not an easy choice, but the alternative was to give up her career in the music business.
Sarah is on tour of a different kind these days: she is representing a new Loblaws initiative called Babylicious, a dining experience for parents with little kids in partnership with local Toronto restaurants.
Understanding Sarah's time is at a premium, I asked her to jump into my minivan for a short chat so I could get to know her a little better. We talked about how she how she broke into the business, how she manages life on the road with her babies, and she shares some smart parenting tips she's picked up travelling with kids. Plus, we discuss a great new business idea for families!
After spending 10 minutes with Sarah Blackwood in my minivan, I would describe her as charming, focused, curious, delightful, and self aware.
Have a look and tell me what you think!
When I was struggling with post-partum depression and feeling like the worst mom on the planet, I longed for a community of women who would make me feel less alone. Fast forward 10 years and YMC continues to be that (and more) for me, and hopefully for many other moms looking for validation, information, and a creative outlet. For the past decade, YMC has been written by and for moms. The breadth and depth of storytelling gets richer every year. So why not celebrate these strong written voices of moms?
This marks our fourth year running the Voices of Motherhood writing contest, and dare I say 2016 was the best yet. We received the most entries this year (over 190!) with surprisingly eclectic story lines. Writers were given the direction of connecting to the theme Truth or Lies: What I've Never Said Before. We read submissions that were funny, heartbreaking, weird, confessional, angry, and extremely personal. Needless to say, the judges had a very difficult job picking the 10 winners.
Before celebrating the winning authors, I want to thank the other judges who graciously spent hours reading and grading the submissions. Lori Lansens (award-winning author), Julie Cole (Mabels Labels), Scott Stratten & Alison Kramer (UnMarketing), Gabrielle Johnson (WDish) and Jeni Marinucci (YMC Editor in Chief).
Also, a huge thanks to the sponsors who helped fund this project. Each of these companies believe in the importance of women having a strong voice.
And now, drum roll please. Presenting the finalists who blew the judges minds with their creativity, unique voice and emotional punch! I highly recommend you set aside an hour to go through all of these stories. You will laugh, cry and see yourself in many of these stories.
Grand Prize Winner:
A Partial Accounting of Lies I Have Told My Children by Christina Myers
Second Place Winners:
There is So Much Fear in This Big Love by Kim MacGillivray
The Mother Lode by Claudette Manzanares
Third Place Winners:
Reflections by Taslim Jaffer
A Baby at My Ankles by Kate Hathaway
Letters to June by Jenn Ashton
Just the One? by Lori Ross
A Letter to My Son about the Lies I Told by Ashley Perna
The Pruning Process Of Motherhood by Andrea Marlene
Sneaking Is a Career-Killer by Maia Gibb
To celebrate and commemorate all of these writers' hard work and beautiful words, we put together a free downloadable PDF of all the winners' stories. You can download it here.
Happy Mothers Day to you, from all of us at YMC.