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A tribute to our foremothers: Stories of postpartums past

Posted by Mom Friends on

It’s been a month since we launched Mom Friends, and we have so many people to thank for their support over the past several weeks. In particular, our mothers. None of this would’ve been made possible without our moms launching the three of us 31 years ago (separately, of course).

They have been there for us in so many ways since 1985. Whether baking Minnie Mouse/alien cakes, teaching us signature dance moves, or sewing slightly embarrassing clothing to wear to school, they’ve shown us that strong women take risks and aren’t afraid to put themselves out there.

Since launching Mom Friends, they have let us know all about 80s postpartum life...like, a lot.  So, we thought we would give them a platform to share with the world (that’s right Moms, the world!). Here it is! 

Aviva's Mom: Melanie, 62

1st birth: 1985, Montreal, QC
Special talents: Baking, dancing, American Idol karaoke
What was happening in the world: Strawberry Fields memorial to John Lennon dedicated in Central Park 

Image of Aviva and her mom's text
Aviva: Here we are at Amelia's first birthday. My Mom is the best baker around and she's making sure Amelia knows it! (P.S. Check out Sweet Dreams for delicious Ottawa treats!) 
Image of Aviva, her mom and her baby
Lisa's Mom: Jan, 62

1st birth: 1984, London, ON
Special talents: Quilting, painting, introducing/subjecting her children to KD Lang in her smelly K-Car
What was happening in the world: Indiana Jones: Temple of Doom was owning the box office (some things are timeless)

Image of Lisa and her mom's text

Lisa: Remi is just a couple hours old here, and his Grandma was there to welcome him to the world. 
Image of Lisa's mom and baby
Elizabeth's Mom: Suzanne, 67

1st birth: 1982, Ottawa, ON
Special talents: Singing, gardening, Yoda impressions
What was happening in the world: Arnold Schwarzenegger became a US citizen (as a musician, if you tell my Mom in Arnie voice, “I’ll be back,” she’ll respond with “Ok. I’ll be Beethoven!” #lovingeyeroll)

Image of Liz and her mom's text

Liz: Like many Ottawans, we have a tradition of going to the annual Tulip Festival on Mother's Day. Lucky for us, we're both fair weather festival goers and only make it about once every 5 years. Here we are on Mother's Day in 2016, in front of my Mom's own tulip fest. 
Image of Liz and her Mom
Imagine relying only on family and friends who were willing to share their experiences at a time when postpartum care generally wasn’t discussed. A time before mommy blogs and Facebook groups, before WebMD could terrify us into thinking there was no hope for us! Baby showers were a staple, but the only diapers you received were for the baby, not you. Pads may have even still had a belt! Ok, maybe not in the 80s, but just something that’s wild to think about...pad belts!

Despite all that, our moms made it through and raised some really incredible, talented and humble daughters. For that, we want to say thank you and Happy Mother's Day! xoxo

With love, 
Liz, Lisa and Aviva 

BONUS MATERIAL: Lisa's Grandmother June, 89

First birth experience: 1948, Sarnia, ON
What was happening in the world: Turns out, A LOT: Joe DiMaggio was playing for the Yankees, Apartheid was taking hold in South Africa, Arab-Israeli war, Winston Churchill was still PM of the UK.

Lisa’s Grandmother June shared her thoughts about postpartum, via email like a class-act does.

I had an easy labour - was a couple hours. 7lb. 10oz. We were living with your great-grandparents on Stuart Street in Sarnia. They helped as much as they could despite struggling with arthritis. My mom was in a wheelchair by then. I was kind of taking care of more than just the baby at the time.”  

Lisa: Here is Grandma June taking care of baby Remi shortly after his birth. 

Image of Lisa's Grandma June

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