I had the absolute pleasure of attending the first ever Leading Moms event this past Wednesday. What I was looking forward to most about this event (and I am certain I was not alone) was hearing from other moms who are raising families, juggling work and living their dreams. I was not let down.
The day began with Keynote Speaker, Premier Christy Clark. An recent piece on CBC highlighted how the Premier is showing to be quite unpopular with females, who actually prefer the NDP. I know that politicians are opportunists and that Clark is making some efforts to connect with the mommy demographic. Nevertheless, I have to admit that I really enjoyed her talk. She was down to earth and spoke to the audience as a fellow mom. At the end of her talk, she was asked a few questions that were pre-selected from a tweet-up that happened the evening before the event. Some of her responses (paraphrased – not direct quotes).
On the cost of childcare in B.C.:
“We don’t have the budget to have the same billion dollar childcare system they do in Quebec.”
“Child care is something that people care about for a finite period of time…when they need it – it matters, when they don’t – it doesn’t”
“Families are diverse…they are the group of people around you who love you and sustain you and who are there during times of crisis.”
On mommy guilt:
“You just have to believe you are doing the right thing.”
On her son:
“I want Hamish to be the kind of person who does the right thing.”
“I want my son to grow up to be a kind and compassionate person, son and friend. He wants a hot girlfriend.”
Throughout the rest of the day we were treated to talks from more amazing ladies. Shannon Ward and Diana Stirling from Pretirement Living, told us, “work life balance is a myth. Live your life NOW!”….and reminded us that while many of us would die for our children that few of us are really and truly LIVING for them. Ratana Stephens, CEO of Nature’s Path Organics spoke of the importance of being respectful of and true to yourself, your family and the earth. Fashion designer, Nicole Bridger wowed us with a display of her fall collection and proclaimed, “death to things that no longer serve a higher purpose.” An absolute highlight for me was singer Tara Mclean’s video of her song, “Where am I,” which describes what many of us as mothers feel: we so love our children and being mothers to them, but in that we sometimes lose ourselves:
There were many more inspirational women and their advice, jokes, songs and laughter will serve as inspiration for me for a long time. Thank you to VancouverMom.ca, ModernMama.com and EntrepreneurMomNow for putting on this amazing event! I am looking forward to 2013!