Meet a Mom: Meet Kleine

Mommy Connections Mississauga celebrates and recognizes all the moms in our community, the ones who are tirelessly raising the next gen of Canadians to be compassionate, smart, and fearless individuals.

Our “Meet a Mom” series continues, and this month we meet Kleine.

MEET A MOM: MEET KLEINE

Hi Kleine! Thanks for taking the time to speak with us. Can you tell us how many children you have, and their ages?
I have an 11-month-old baby girl named Ariel.

Before becoming a mom, what did you do for life/work?
My full time job is Manager of Governance for the YMCA, working with the Board of Directors and the CEO on ensuring the organization sets high standards, and continually complies with laws and relevant regulations as we work towards fulfilling our mission and vision.

I’ve also used my maternity leave as an opportunity to build my coaching practice. I help women go from feeling anxious and held back by their financial situation, to feeling confident and clear making big life-changing decisions that come with a big financial investment and feeling excited about their future. My website is currently under construction, but the best way to connect with me and learn more is through my Instagram: www.instagram.com/kleineachiles

What do you like best about what you do?
As a coach, I love seeing the women I work with transform, and become open to all the possibilities and opportunities that they thought they didn’t have. My last client was terrified of asking for a raise, and experiencing a lot of anxiety around her ability to make life-changing decisions because she had a lot of student loan debt. Going through three months of coaching with me, she gained the confidence to ask for adequate compensation and got a promotion, she and her husband were able to get pre-approved for a mortgage, she opened up an investment portfolio, and was finally able to see the light at the end of the tunnel to her student loans. Debt no longer had control over her life. Her future opened up and became more exciting. But the best part was that she finally realized she could create a future and the life she wants.

What is your favourite part about being a mom?
Watching my baby girl grow, learn new things, and see her personality blossom. I love discovering what she likes and doesn’t like.

What have you found to be the biggest challenge since becoming a mom?
One of the biggest challenges I found was when my baby came down with her first cold. And she just recently experienced her first fever, too. It was so hard to see her stuffed up, having a hard time breathing and eating. Using the nasal aspirator was so hard too and of course she hated it. I wasn’t able to give her any medication because there’s not much you can do for a viral infection except wait it out. What got me through it was just reminding myself that this cold, this fever, etc. was her body’s way of building up her immune system.

What’s the one thing you can’t live without as a mom?
A gratitude and meditation practice. I had a gratitude practice before I got pregnant (I used a journal called “The 5 minute journal”) where I’d write down three things every morning and evening that I was grateful for.

Once I had Ariel, I fell off my gratitude practice, but recently picked it up again, along with meditation. I find this has helped me stay grounded, calm and less overwhelmed, especially as my mat leave is nearing its end and there are some final things to prep before I got back to work and Ariel starts child care.

Favourite thing to do in your downtime?
I love listening to podcasts. I like to listen to a mix of business-related and spiritual-related ones. Currently listening to: The Get Paid podcast, Biddy Tarot podcast, and starting to listen to the Intuitive Entrepreneur podcast as well.

Current fav show on Netflix?
Lucifer

You joined Mommy Connections in spring 2019: What did you enjoy most about the program?
I really loved getting to know other moms and their birth stories, listening to the different experts/professionals that came in, and how all of us moms could relate to each other and how these experts/professionals could help us. I also loved the activities we did with the babies—it really sent the message that you can still do things and have fun with your baby, you just may need to adjust your expectations (like a baby yoga class…you won’t be able to do yoga during the whole time, but you will get some in, and that’s still winning).

Anything else you’d like to share with other moms in our community?
It is so important to get out with your baby, make connections with other parents and get support/help with any issues you’re having. If you’re experiencing an issue, there is a good chance another mom is experiencing it too, and so the more we openly talk about the struggles of being a mom (motherhood isn’t all sunshine and roses), the more moms will realize what is and isn’t normal (for example, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed every now and then; it’s not normal to feel overwhelmed and sad every single day) and hopefully get the help/support needed.

The City of Mississauga’s Creative Fall Classes Are Here!

Unleash your full creative potential by developing a new skill and participating in the arts! The City of Mississauga offers a variety of entry-level to advanced classes in Visual, Digital, Literary and Performing Arts that are professionally-instructed and adhere to industry-best practices. Creative programs consist of a wide range of unique workshops and classes that inspire innovation, promote community spirit and are designed for all ages. From single day workshops to full sessions, classes are conveniently offered at a variety of locations throughout Mississauga.

Fall Creative Classes begin September 21, 2019.

Register early! Programs fill up fast; sign up today at http://mississaugaculture.ca/register.

Meet a Mom: Meet Giulia

Mommy Connections Mississauga celebrates and recognizes all the moms in our community, the ones who are tirelessly raising the next gen of Canadians to be compassionate, smart, and fearless individuals.

Our “Meet a Mom” series continues, and this month we meet Giulia.

MEET A MOM: MEET GIULIA

Good morning, Giulia! Thanks for speaking with us. Can you tell us how many children you have, and their ages?
One baby, Alessio, and he will be nine months soon! 

Before becoming a mom, what did you do for life/work?
Prior to becoming a mom to my sweet boy, I have been working in the Retail Industry for 20 years. Most of this time has been spent in women’s fashion apparel, however I’ve  moved onto the luxury jewellery sector. For the longest time, it was only my husband and I (together for over 20 years!) so having this little boy be part of our lives has been a lot of fun! 

What do you like best about what you do?
Meeting wonderful people along the way. Some have even become great friends. Building relationships and in the end seeing people happy is the most satisfying aspect of my job! 

What is your favourite part about being a mom?
Alessio has grown up so quickly these last few months. I guess you can say that’s the sad part, however watching him grow into this little personality has been so much fun. Laughing with him and seeing him smile every single day is my absolute favourite!

What have you found to be the biggest challenge since becoming a mom?
The most challenging is not knowing what the day will be like. It’s unpredictable and can’t be planned at times. Your schedule is all about the baby which can be an adjustment, but once you have some part of it figured out it gets much better.

Favourite thing to do in your downtime?
Sit outside on a nice day enjoying a glass of wine!

Current fav show on Netflix?
Life in Pieces.

You joined Mommy Connections in spring 2019: What did you enjoy most about the program?
Each week it was nice to have different presenters to share their expertise. It was also nice to get to know other new mom’s going through exactly what you are going through and seeing their babies change and grow. Since the program, we have been keeping in touch via a group chat and also have had play dates!

Anything else you’d like to share with other moms in our community?
Sign Up! Don’t be discouraged. I know it can feel overwhelming at times trying to get yourself and the baby ready to go to activities, but it’s definitely worth it!

Meet a Mom: Meet Allana

Mommy Connections Mississauga celebrates and recognizes all the moms in our community, the ones who are tirelessly raising the next gen of Canadians to be compassionate, smart, and fearless individuals.

Our “Meet a Mom” series continues, and this month we meet Allana.

MEET A MOM: MEET ALLANA

Hi, Allana! So nice to chat with you today. Can you tell us how many children you have, and their ages?
One, her name is Sloan and she’s 8 1/2 months.

Before becoming a mom, what did you do for life/work?
I worked for a food company as a customer service rep for the past five years. But I also enjoy spending time outdoors doing anything, really.

What do you like best about what you do?
I enjoyed getting to know the business—but really it was the work environment that we had and the people that I worked with that I enjoyed the most.

What is your favourite part about being a mom?
I’ve always wanted to have a baby of my own, but I really love watching her grow, getting excited and giggling at what she enjoys, and of course, the cuddles.

What have you found to be the biggest challenge since becoming a mom?
I think the hardest part so far was the feedings in the newborn stage. I’m breastfeeding so that was a challenge at the beginning, but now it’s much easier. And of course the lack of sleep is sometimes difficult.

Favourite thing to do in your downtime?
I enjoy reading, which doesn’t happen much anymore. I also really enjoy live music and spending time outdoors when the weather allows.

Current fav show on Netflix?
I actually don’t have a Netflix account, but I am addicted to Big Brother.

You joined Mommy Connections in spring 2019: What did you enjoy most about the Mom & Baby and Mini Movers programs?
I really enjoyed all the activities we did together in the group and the open talks we had. It’s been great finding a group of other moms at the same stage and keeping in touch with them and their littles.

Anything else you’d like to share with other moms in our community?
Some days babies are hard and some days babies are easy… but every day babies are beautiful. Being a new mom can be difficult at times, but it’s the best job I’ve ever had and I wouldn’t change any part of my new life. I can’t imagine my life with out my sweet little girl. If you’re on the fence about joining Mommy Connections I would say you should do it—it’s a wonderful experience for both mom and baby, and you’ll probably make some new life long friends for both of you.

Encourage Your Camper’s Sense of Wonder at STEM Camp!

This Summer, STEM Camp provides learning experiences through fun and engaging programming that encourages campers to explore their sense of wonder. They have been running camps in our community for seven years, and have impacted the lives of over 20,000 youth across Ontario.

Children aged 5 to 13 are introduced to hands-on STEM activities that promote discovery, reward curiosity, and leave children amazed at what they can do!

STEM is based on four areas: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, but it is more than that. STEM is a way to inspire and encourage critical thinking skills. It is the process of figuring out solutions to problems. It can be a simple (or complex) paper plane!

Minecraft, Star Wars, Transformers & Superheroes are all coming back by popular demand this Summer.  It will be an amazing journey with loads of fun and learning.

Save 10% off all STEM Camps with the promo code: STEMmom

Register online at www.stemcamp.ca or call them at 519-475-6600.

Meet a Mom: Meet Simone

Mommy Connections Mississauga celebrates and recognizes all the moms in our community, the ones who are tirelessly raising the next gen of Canadians to be compassionate, smart, and fearless individuals.

Our new “Meet a Mom” series continues, and this month we meet Simone.

MEET A MOM: MEET SIMONE

Hello, Simone! Thanks for taking the time to speak with us today. Can you tell us how many children you have, and their ages?
One son, and he is five months old.

Before becoming a mom, what did you do for life/work?
I have a bachelor degree in business but I’ve always worked in sales in the industrial sector. I’ve been working with the welding industry for quite a while now, which is a sector dominated by males. Currently I’m the Manager of Marketing, Products and Sales Operations for the aluminum division of a worldwide welding company.

What do you like best about what you do?
I love fixing processes and delivering a perfect customer experience. I also enjoy developing new products.

What is your favourite part about being a mom?
So far it’s having this little human being looking at me with that smiling “I love you face”.

What have you found to be the biggest challenge since becoming a mom?
The lack of sleep is tough in the beginning but I found the unpredictability of my day the worst. I like planning my days/weeks but this has caused some frustrations because I’m not able to do what I’ve planned, therefore, I had to let it go and play by ear.

Favourite thing to do in your downtime?
Running and watching TV.

Current fav show on Netflix?
Black Mirror.

You joined Mommy Connections in spring 2019: What did you enjoy most about the program?
I enjoyed the entire thing. It was very helpful to learn more about the subjects presented. The bonus was to make new friends that are going through the same situation.

Anything else you’d like to share with other moms in our community?
Be active! Participate in events in your community. You are still a woman, not only a mom, and need to socialize to feel like you’re part of the world again.

Kids love Creative Summer Camps!

Get creative this summer! Try something new and register your little one for a Creative Summer Camp with The City of Mississauga – there are even camps for youth and teens, too!

The City of Mississauga offers a variety of fantastic creative programming within Digital Arts, Performing Arts, Visual and Literary Arts, and promotes a safe environment to create, build new skills, meet new friends and most importantly, have fun! With affordable camps taking place at your local Community Centres, Libraries, Meadowvale Theatre and Museums across the city, it’s super easy to pick the camp that’s convenient for you.

Children can learn to express themselves through the arts in half day and full day camps. Extended hours are available.

Hurry, spots are filling up quickly and Creative Camps start July 2nd.

Visit ActiveMississauga.ca to enroll your child in a Creative Camp today.

Meet a Mom: Meet Hughene

In the lead up to Mother’s Day, Mommy Connections Mississauga celebrates all the moms in our community, the ones who are tirelessly raising the next gen of Canadians to be compassionate, smart, and fearless individuals.

Over the past few days we have been sharing the stories of five amazing moms who recently participated in our Mom & Baby programs—Binny, Derrilynn, Amy, Asha and Hughene—as part of our new ongoing series, “Meet a Mom.”

Today is the final post in our Mother’s Day series.

MEET A MOM: MEET HUGHENE

Morning, Hughene. Thanks for chatting with us! Can you tell us how many children do you have, and their ages?
Georgia, age seven-months.

Before becoming a mom, what did you do for life/work?
I have always had my own art appraisal business. For life my husband and I loved travelling, hosting dinner parties and enjoying time with friends and family.

What do you like best about what you do?
The freedom and flexibility and the constant challenge to make it all happen.

What is your favourite part about being a mom?
I love seeing my daughter grow and develop, and in particular laugh! She is really into swinging at the playground these days, which is super fun.

What have you found to be the biggest challenge since becoming a mom?
Hmmm… that is tough! Everything. Your whole world is thrown upside down. I would say motherhood is like two steps forward and five back. Just when you “think” you have figured it out your baby changes. For me I would say having my own business and trying to maintain that while trying to be there for Georgia has been very difficult. Throw in extreme sleep deprivation and never getting a real break (especially if you are nursing) and there you have the whole struggle of balance!

Favourite thing to do in your downtime? (i.e. hobby, activity, etc.)
I am often working when I am not looking after Georgia, or trying to sleep, but my husband and I love playing Scrabble. I also love to read in the bath!

Current fav show on Netflix?
Chef’s Table, always. I love it!

You joined Mommy Connections in winter 2018: What did you enjoy most about the program?
I enjoyed listening to the different experts and learning from them, and also learning from the other moms. Motherhood is like a whole new career so you have to talk to as many moms as possible as you really can do a lot of “information gathering”!

Anything else you’d like to share with other moms in our community?
Everyone finds motherhood really hard, probably the hardest thing I have ever done by a mile. It helps to keep it real and be honest with other women!

Meet a Mom: Meet Asha

In the lead up to Mother’s Day, Mommy Connections Mississauga celebrates all the moms in our community, the ones who are tirelessly raising the next gen of Canadians to be compassionate, smart, and fearless individuals.

Over the next few days we’ll be sharing the stories of five amazing moms who recently participated in our Mom & Baby programs—Binny, Derrilynn, Amy, Asha and Hughene—as part of our new ongoing series, “Meet a Mom.”

MEET A MOM: MEET ASHA

Hi Asha! We’d love to hear your thoughts about life after baby. How many kids do you have, and their ages?

I have one son. His name is Theo! He is five-months old.



Before becoming a mom, what did you do for life/work?

Before becoming a mom, my full-time job was working with children with Autism. I am a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst, and work as a Senior Autism Consultant at ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment and Development.



I absolutely LOVE my job, and am so honoured to be able to work with these amazing children and families! In my role, we help to support children gain various different skills using Applied Behavioural Analysis based on their individual needs. These skills can include communication skills, social skills, daily-living skills or behaviour management. We work closely with families to determine what skills will be most beneficial for their child and their family, and work as a team to help achieve those goals. The outcomes are remarkable, and watching these children and families flourish is extremely rewarding! 



What do you like best about what you do?

For me, the best part about my job is seeing the incredible gains and achievements each child and family makes. It’s the little things, but those little things can make such a huge impact on the functioning of a family!



For example with one family, the child was completely non-verbal and had no communication system/method in place when he began with us. We were able to progress him to a communication system using an iPad, which allowed him to type out sentences and have the iPad read it out for him. 

One day at drop off, his dad pulled me aside to share a story. With tears in his eyes, he said that the night before his son had grabbed the iPad, came up to him, typed out a phrase and played it for him. The phrase said “Daddy I want a hug, I love you.” His dad said he had never been able to say anything like that before. But by teaching him and providing him with those communication tools, this little guy was able to express some pretty great things with his family! I definitely shed a tear when his dad shared this story.

It’s successes like these that make each and every day so rewarding, and keep me going back for more!

What is your favourite part about being a mom?
How do I pick just one thing!! I’d have to say right now, one of my favourite parts is watching Theo learn and develop. His curiosity is so intriguing to me, and seeing him change day-to-day is so incredible! I love that I am able to help foster that growth and development. I also absolutely LOVE the adoring looks he gives me and my husband – they melt my heart!



What have you found to be the biggest challenge since becoming a mom?

The thing that I have found the most challenging since becoming a mom is the lack of “me time.” I love spending every minute that I can with Theo, but I know I also need time to recharge so I can be the best mom possible for him! Knowing that I sometimes need to take a little step back, even if it’s just for 15 mins to go and have a shower, pop out to the grocery store, or even just scroll through Instagram (!) is really important, and I feel so much better when I take those quick little breaks. My husband and I work so well as a team, and really work hard at making sure neither of us are feeling burnt out or overwhelmed. You can’t pour from an empty cup! So really taking the time to identify that, and allowing myself to have those breaks has been huge.

Favourite thing to do in your downtime?
My favourite thing to do in my downtime is to bake or cook! Now that I have Theo, it can be a little more challenging to make those more elaborate meals or treats. When I do have the downtime, I find myself really enjoying diving back into that world and creating some really delicious meals! I even find myself trying out new recipes that I wouldn’t necessarily have tried out before; it’s some fun “me time” as well!

Current fav show on Netflix?
This is a tricky one! I have a few favourites on the go right now. I just finished binge watching Queer Eye! I love this show – literally cried during every episode! I love how they really help each individual during the episode become their true self. I am also really loving Our Planet. I’ve always been a fan of Planet Earth, Blue Planet, really anything narrated by David Attenborough! It’s such a beautifully shot documentary, and really puts into perspective the impact of climate change and what we can do to help preserve our planet.

You joined Mommy Connections in winter 2019: What did you enjoy most about the program?
What I enjoyed most was the opportunity to meet a group of really amazing moms that are all at roughly the same stage in motherhood that I was in. It can sometimes feel pretty isolating, and it definitely doesn’t help seeing only positive posts on social media (which can cause you to go down a rabbit hole of “why doesn’t my baby do that?” or “how is it possible that they have their life together so well?!”). Having this wonderful group of ladies was really grounding for me, and it was amazing being able to come to the classes each week and chat with the other moms about what was going on in our lives. 



Theo went through a pretty rough stage where he was waking up 8-10 times a night, and I felt like a zombie! I also found it easy to get down on myself, as I would see other people posting about how wonderfully their babies were sleeping. Being able to come to the Mommy Connections class and talk to the other moms about his sleep, know that Theo wasn’t the only one going through that phase, and getting some really amazing tips and advice was so incredible helpful. I wish the classes were longer than the eight-week block! That being said, we all still keep in touch, and meet up for lunches and play dates!

Anything else you’d like to share with other moms in our community?
One thing that has been absolutely invaluable throughout my motherhood journey so far, is having that “mom tribe.” Finding other women that are going through what you are, and who understand where you are coming from is so helpful and validating. It can definitely become easy to spiral or let your thoughts run wild, but having that group of moms can keep you grounded. They are a great sounding board for ideas, thoughts, or just for venting! And the amazing thing is that they get it. By joining Mommy Connections, I was able to expand my “mom tribe” and now have more people that I can lean on and reach out to for support. Definitely, definitely, definitely find your tribe!

Meet a Mom: Meet Amy

In the lead up to Mother’s Day, Mommy Connections Mississauga celebrates all the moms in our community, the ones who are tirelessly raising the next gen of Canadians to be compassionate, smart, and fearless individuals.

Over the next few days we’ll be sharing the stories of five amazing moms who recently participated in our Mom & Baby programs—Binny, Derrilynn, Amy, Asha and Hughene—as part of our new ongoing series, “Meet a Mom.”

MEET A MOM: MEET AMY

Thanks for speaking with us today, Amy! Can you tell us how many kids you have, and their ages?
I have two children, the oldest is 4.5-years-old and the youngest is 5-months.

Before becoming a mom, what did you do for life/work? 
It’s hard to think about life before being a mom. I was a workaholic, spent a few summers travelling for work and spent any free time with friends.

I’ve been working for MLSE for the better part of the last nine years (save for time on mat leave). I started as an associate producer for live broadcast and worked on content for Leafs and TFC games. Part of my work with TFC was being on the road for a few seasons and helping broadcast road games. I’ve been to parts of the USA I never would have gone to otherwise and worked with some great people, so it was fun while it lasted.

I moved into the creative services department three years later as creative producer which transitioned to working on commercial and promotional content that could be seen in-arena, online and some TV commercial spots. Now, our broadcast and creative teams have joined forces and I help to oversee scheduling, timelines and budgets for the video production group.

What do you like best about what you do?  
We have marketing days and they’re notoriously my favourite days of the year. It’s a day where all players for a team are made available to us and it’s our best opportunity to get video and photo content ahead of a season starting. The content is used company-wide for multiple purposes. In some instances, it’s months of planning, working with various people to settle all of the details and a pretty big undertaking. I lose sleep the night before, but when it all comes together and runs smoothly it’s such a great day and environment to be in.

What is your favourite part about being a mom?  
My favourite part is really just watching them grow up, become people and learn so many new things. Something as simple as the baby learning to sit on her own makes me cheer for her, or when my four-year-old finally reads a new word without our help. I’m their biggest cheerleader and it makes me so proud of them every day they become more independent.

What have you found to be the biggest challenge since becoming a mom?
Finding balance with work was a big challenge at first. That whole workaholic thing was difficult to acknowledge and let go of, but over time things levelled out and I let go of more work and held onto more family time.

Favourite thing to do in your downtime?
Play baseball in summer and catch up on some TV shows when baby naps.

Current fav show on Netflix?  
I’m a Riverdale fan.

You joined Mommy Connections in winter 2019: What did you enjoy most about the program? 
I loved meeting other moms. We still meet up or go to some programs together. I also found it really helpful talking to some of the guests about feeding, sleeping and health in general.

Anything else you’d like to share with other moms in our community?
Ask for, and take, help when you need it. Parenting is HARD at every stage. If you have family or friends who are offering you a break, take it. Even if it’s just for an hour, kid free. It’s so easy to believe that you can do this without an army to help you, but the sense of relief, of being re-energized, of feeling supported, is something we all need and may not even realize. The best thing I did for myself was join Mommy Connections because I needed an army, and I needed support, and I didn’t know how to ask for it.