The local MomBabes — Christina Walsh and Carolyn Turkington — have released a second anthology of essays called The MomBabes: A Motherhood Anthology. The first such anthology was released last year in May while the latest version was released just a few days ago. This collection of non-fiction essays is penned by 15 Lower Mainland moms, of which six are from Squamish.
Ashley Oakes, Ruby Bir, Lynsdey Zigar, Lisa McIntosh, Nikki Johnston Beaudoin and Lisa McIntosh representing the Brackendale Babes are the women whose essays appear in this anthology. Walsh and Turkington say they compiled the book because they wanted to share stories and create community so women know they are not alone.
“Through this collection of 20 stories from real women, readers come to learn the raw truth about the shared experience of mothers — we all have secrets, we all have sadness, and we all have a determined spirit that perseveres, knowing we are meant for something more,” Walsh says.
It’s a chicken-soup-for-the-soul-style anthology that shows that moms are more than just moms, she says. The local executive director of Howe Sound Women’s Centre, Ashley Oakes, wrote about receiving a life-threatening diagnosis of bone marrow failure while she was 34-week pregnant while being separated from her newborn child.
“I felt compelled to share this part of my motherhood journey so that another mom facing a terrifying diagnosis would not feel as alone and isolated as I did,” she says.
Local Ruby Bir’s story is called ‘Longing for Belonging’ and it’s about her struggle over the years with her own identity as she navigated two different cultures. “I have wanted to share this story of mine for as long as I can remember but just never really knew how to. Then one day while scrolling through Instagram I came across The Mom Babes and knew right away it would be the perfect opportunity,” she says.
Local personal trainer Nikki Johnston Beaudoin wrote about her fertility journey as it took her three years to conceive her first son. “After he was born I wanted to share my experience — not just about what I learned about lifestyle, fitness and fertility, but about how it felt. I had lots of feelings of shame and inadequacy during our fertility journey, lots of ups and downs, it was a rollercoaster ride,” she says. “I think it’s important to talk about it so others in the same boat can know they are not alone. I hope others will find something to relate to and some comfort in my story.”
Lyndsey Zigar shares the story of her darkest days following the fire that destroyed her Pemberton Naturopathic business while she was 5.5-month pregnant. Her story is about her journey of deep healing.
Lisa McIntosh, who wrote on behalf of a group of women called Brackendale Babes, called the story ‘Birds of a Feather’. She tells the story of 10 women who came together 13 years ago to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society and the journey of friendship, heartache, support and unwavering love for each other that has developed over time. “I talk about some of the funny moments that we have shared as well as the tough stuff like divorce, pet loss, medical emergencies and losing a parent,” she says.
For Walsh and Turkington, The MomBabes Book is a permission slip to all moms — an invitation to rediscover their dreams, dust them off, edit them up, wrap them in a beautiful cover and move them to the front of the bookshelf.
Meredith Luksha, Shiloh Koide, Vanessa Doak, Emily Tomlinson, Ashley Hallinan, Meg Maclure, Chrissy McIntyre, and Riece were the local women whose essays featured in the first anthology, and more such anthologies will keep coming in the future.
“The goal will be to keep writing books, because we aren’t going to run out of stories. Hopefully, we can fill bookshelves with thousands of stories,” Walsh says. The book can be bought from the website, www.themombabes.com.