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Thursday, February 9, 2017


She likes to pretend everything is in its place.
Drinking cappuccinos by Southside Park, While the olive oil collects dust, I find more things to hide. Careless burns from Grandma
And shelves full of pictures of myself.
Too obvious to speak.
Need to replace my identity.

I wrote that poem on a weekend trip to Toronto with my brother about 18 years ago. The first and last time I took a trip alone with my big brother. The first (and nearly the last) time I smoked a menthol cigarette. A coming of age trip of sorts, I suppose.

But, it wasn’t until a few years ago when I came across the poem scratched on a mini chalkboard that I realized the significance of the scribbles. That I truly understood its meaning. The girl who wrote that poem had a message for the woman I am today. And I believe she has a message to share with other women too.

Her message is raw. It hits home. It speaks to the insecurities I’ve spent too much of my life hiding behind. It speaks to the self-doubt and fears about the judgements of others. It speaks to the make-believe game we’ve all found ourselves playing as we sip on fancy beverages we really can’t stand, post polished photos of the life we try to portray to others or hold back truths we’re too frightened to share.

The girl who wrote that poem wants us to know that we don’t have to pretend anymore. No one has everything in its place. And there is NOTHING to hide.

She wants us to know that we can drop the fa├žade that we have all of our s*#t together. It’s time to embrace who we are. Because life is hard enough as it is. Adding make-believe to the mix just makes it harder.

If I pretend I’m not struggling, doesn’t that just make you feel more shame in your struggles? You start comparing yourself and wondering how someone else can keep it all together. How other moms keep their houses perfectly clean. How they only serve the healthiest home-cooked meals, bathe their kids with organic bath products and still manage to fit into their pre-pregnancy jeans.

You get the idea. The “curse of comparison” sets in and – before you know it – you’ve made yourself feel like the single worst mama on the planet. The girl who can’t do anything right. The woman who gave up her career for kids or who’s missing out on her kids’ childhood because she wouldn’t give up her career. Or who can’t decide what she wants. Pick your poison.

Isn’t it easier when we all just own the mess? Life can be a total disaster sometimes. The olive oil and the spice rack AND the fancy-ass vinegars are all collecting dust. And that’s totally okay. It’s more than okay. It’s a messy and imperfect pile of what life is supposed to be. Because we are all messy and imperfect.

And, let’s face it: these are challenging times, right?

We’ve spent several years working toward successful careers and have thrown ourselves into this thing called parenthood with very little preparation. We’ve taken on big mortgages, hefty car payments and busy schedules. Toss in some long commutes, stressed out partners, the expectations of others, the baby belly you just can’t lose, crazy hormones and several hundred sleepless nights, and you have yourself the makings of a worn-out mom.

The mom who doesn’t even know how to take time for herself anymore. Or who thinks she doesn’t deserve it. Or who won’t admit she needs it.

Sound familiar? Hi, nice to meet you. My name’s Janine and I’m right there with you.

We’ve all been there. And we could all use the reminder that there’s no shame in dropping the ball. Hell, throw the damn ball out the window. There’s no shame in feeling overwhelmed, taking a break or putting ourselves first.

When I decided to become a yoga teacher on a total whim three years ago, a little voice told me that I had a role to play in helping women. I didn’t know what that meant or what the future would look like, but I felt nudged toward something.

Today, I realize that I’ve inadvertently created THAT something that allows me to help women take care of themselves. To connect with themselves in a different way. And to connect with each other.

YogiWino brings us together for an evening of wine-tasting and yoga, accompanied by some pretty awesome tunes. Yes, YOGA and WINE. It’s a hell of a good time, if I may say so myself.

But, it’s more than that. It’s so much more than that.

Check out to learn more about this imperfect mama, my business and how you can join the growing tribe of beauties I lovingly call YogiWinos.

We’ll be sipping, stretching and socializing in our yoga pants on February 16 from 6:30-9:00 PM at Irish Hills Golf & Country Club in Ottawa’s west end. I’m so excited to feature the wines of Carp’s own KIN Vineyards and to connect with many of you, flaws and all. New yogis and winos warmly welcomed. ;)

Cheers, Janine xoxo

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