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Team Profile: Karen Bannister

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Meet Karen, our Editor.

 

Describe your career and life in a few words.

Ever changing (recently left a career in arts management), busy (mom to two kids: Jack is 3 and Eleanor [Ellie] is 14 months, working for Wee Welcome, running an organization that collects used baby clothing for families in need), following my dream (going to grad school in September), finding my rhythm (as a mom).

 

Website/Twitter name/Facebook 

@kabannister

 

Finish this sentence: Its 5 o'clock and I am ...  

...praying my husband will get home soon. My sweet daughter is screaming her face off and my son is asking me repeatedly when we are going to eat!

 

What's the parent-motto you live by?

This too shall pass...

 

Who's your favourite model parent? Why?

My mom - in spite of the challenges she faced having my brothers and I so close in age (my oldest brother is three years older than me and I am the youngest - crazy I know) - she never let us see her struggle. She was also a talented teacher and went back to school when I was in elementary school. We are very close, now that I am a mother too, and I love her advice (ok, I call her like every hour with something)!

 

Name your favourite kid-welcoming hangout? 

Ontario Early Years Centre. I love that we have this free place that you can go and the staff are so welcoming and helpful. There are resources you can borrow and workshops you can enroll your kids in. There is something for my kids to do, though they are in different age groups, and the staff and parents there not only embrace but encourage my daughter's vocal talents (something I can't say about a lot of places!). I also love the YMCA.

 

Think back to your baby and diaper bag days, what was the one piece of gear that was always good to go?

Still kinda living those days (although I am more in the big purse phase!). And I think you can never have too many diapers...

 

If CSI poured over your diaper bag what profile would they build? 

Paranoid! Why does this woman need so many diapers!!

 

What is your biggest on-the-go pet peeve?

Anyone or anything that makes another person feel unwelcome. Whether it is my daughter and her killer Steven Tyler impression or a man with outburts because of Tourette's; whether its my big double stroller or a person in a wheelchair. At grad school, I study illness and disability as represented in art. It, and being on the go with a stroller and a loud child, has made me extra aware of how our society and environment can exclude people. 

 

Whats your number one piece of advice for new parents?

You are never alone - no matter what your challenge chances are there is a family out there that has gone through the exact same thing! So reach out to people, build networks, form relatiomships. One of my best friends today is a mom I met through my Postpartum Depression Support Group. I think we get along so well because we can really understand one another (and we have been through a lot together). Plus our kids are boyfriend and girlfriend ... super cute!

And ask for help, accept help, tell people HOW they can help. I had my kids a little younger than a lot of my friends so now there are a lot of first borns coming into our circle. As someone who is now offering help, I can tell you, there are people dying to do something to make life that much easier for you - and let's face it usually everyone wants to hold your baby (and would very gladly do so while you took a nap).

 

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