True Story: If not for my kids, my travel writing career might never have happened. I owe it all to motherhood.
Motherhood | Flashback
In 2001, I was pregnant, very uncomfortable and bored at home. In a rare day off from my job as a litigator in Toronto, I hit the mall and picked up a copy of Fit Pregnancy magazine. (I’m pretty sure I never did any of the exercises but their may have been a glimmer of hope that just paying my $4.95 would mean I’d turn into one of those svelte pregnant ladies on the cover. No dice.)
Above: Actual video footage of me pregnant with my first child via GIPHY
In the back of the magazine, I noticed a tiny ad for a new spa in Texas that would be catering exclusively to pregnant women and new mothers. My mind immediately started racing. Today, pregnancy spas are a dime a dozen, but way back then, they were still cutting holes in tables so pregnant women could lay on massage tables. The idea of a spa dedicated to women who need a foot massage more than anyone else on the planet was pure genius and unheard of.
They had me at daily massage.
Motherhood | Following a Passion
I reached out to Marc Atchison,the editor of the Toronto Star Travel section, and pointed out that as a pregnant writer, I was the perfect person to try out this $10,000 a day spa first hand. He agreed (something for which I am eternally grateful) and after contacting the spa who was happy to have me indulge…errr investigate the spa in the name of journalism…I was off.
The entire experience was incredible. Massages were done in your room before bedtime, meals were calorie specific but cooked by a gourmet chef, fashion shows offered the latest in maternity and baby wear and days could be spent on facials and foot rubs, in water aerobic classes or lazing around waiting for more pampering.
When I returned a few days later, the story I wrote ran as a front page Travel piece. The editor was happy. I was happy. And my first travel column was born.
A few months later, so was Ethan.
Motherhood | Your New Beginning
I meet so many mothers who worry about how motherhood will thwart their dreams and career possibilities. I’m not a prophet and there are no sure things, but here’s what I’ve learned:
Sometimes life will hand you a path when you’re least expecting it. It may not come in the form you had anticipated or at the time that’s most convenient, but if you’re open to following it, it can lead to the dream you hadn’t dared to dream.
I’ll be forever grateful for the restless bun in my oven (and those extra pounds on my pregnant frame) that led me to that magazine and an entirely new career focus.
I’m similarly grateful to his brother Cameron and my husband, Ish, who round out the foursome that proved the perfect travel partners.
I’m even grateful for the years where the kids were in so many activities that we were on the brink of carpooling insanity. Why? Because it was in those moments that our dreams of a different life were cemented. Without them we might not have been pushed to hit the road in 2011 and to continue doing so ever since.
Not every day is a Mother’s Day filled with flowers or breakfasts in bed. There were days, and there will be more, where the grind of the everyday can wear you raw. In those moments, I wish you deep breaths,clear thoughts and just enough space to dream your happiest life into being.
Happy Mother’s Day,