CategoryAbout Me

Strong Mother’s – Strong Daughters

As Mother’s Day approaches I have to ask myself: When you follow your spouse, can you be a good mentor and role model for your own daughter?
Photo copyright 2009, Caroline Philips, The Ottawa Citizen

Photo copyright 2009, Caroline Philips, The Ottawa Citizen

Last year I was lucky enough to attend an event where Maureen McTeer and her daughter Catherine Clark were speaking about Gender Equity in Canada. (Maureen McTeer is a highly esteemed women’s advocacy Lawyer, author of several books, and the wife of former Prime Minister Joe Clark. Catherine Clark is a speaker and television journalist.) The conversation was exceptional. How far we’ve come, the fight for equal rights and how far we have left to go. As women. As people.

As I sat in the audience I watched the interaction between these two fascinating women. Maureen McTeer exudes strength.  She is strong, exceptionally intelligent, well spoken and fearless.  Her daughter Catherine is not only strikingly beautiful, but also exceptionally intelligent, eloquent, and confident.  What struck me was the tenderness between the two them. Catherine clearly looked up to her mother, and Ms. McTeer often looked out at the audience to her daughter for affirmation about the ‘youth’ perspective.  She looked out at her with great respect.

This blog isn’t about Gender Equality in Canada. This blog is about mentorship and what we teach our girls by how we live our lives. Catherine Clark is a likely a strong woman because of, in part, her exceptional Mother. Ms. McTeer has shown by example that leadership, advocacy, and strength are qualities that make a woman beautiful.

I follow my husband around the country in a 1950’s construct.  I have long ago given up my own career.  Moves every two years to follow the army have made that virtually impossible. I am ok with this. I think I am ok with this. We have a strong nuclear family.  I am involved in my community, I volunteer, I advocate for my kids, and I support, but I also wonder…  Am I showing my daughter that she can be all that she can be since I am ‘just a housewife’?

Since that day I have done a lot of self-reflection. I had a very strong Mother. She was a strong and exceptional career woman, I was proud to be around her and admired the choices she made. I do think that being a mentor to your daughter means different things to different people.  I do not have a big career (or any for that matter) but I do try to show my daughter what it means to be a strong, confident woman, as my mother showed me.Mom and I

Leadership, advocacy, support are all exceptional qualities that Military spouses adopt in their daily lives. I think we can be good mentors even without that career that we have given up. I can only hope that one day, my daughter will look up to me as I did to my Mother and it appears that Catherine Clark looks up to hers.

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Social Media and My Military Family

My husband is a soldier. Our married life has consisted of 20 years, 10 moves, 2 kids, 6 school jurisdictions, multiple Individual Education Plans,and MANY long absences.  Our family is resilient, strong and unbroken.  My children did not ask to be a part of this life that my husband and I have chosen, but I believe in some ways we are stronger as a family because of it.

The Canadian Military has been busy.  Since 1991 Canadian soldiers, sailors and airmen/women have been involved in ever present conflicts across the globe. These deployments are coming at increasing frequency, intensity and duration. This also means increasing pressures on Military Families as they deal with an ever changing family situation. Recurring relocations, spousal unemployment, separations and deployments continue to be top stressors for military families*. (*2009 – Quality of Life Among Military Families)

Social Media has completely changed the military family landscape. My husband’s first deployment yielded one 5-minute phone call every week if you were lucky.  (We once went six weeks without speaking during a time when the Serbian General emphatically stated on CNN that he was going to send the boys home in body bags.)   The call would come at any time of the day or night and if you missed it… you missed it.  Life in the military most often means that you are far from your family and the support that you are used to.  When I joined Facebook in 2007 my world changed. People that live far from traditional family and friend support are turning to their local Facebook group sites for that support and assistance.  Personal Facebook pages are connecting families and children back home so they still feel connected in spite of the vast distances. Facebook means community and within the military context this eases the strings of a stressful lifestyle.

Welcome to my blog. I intend to share and showcase resources that are available to military families as well as inviting discussion about our unique lifestyle.

A much safer Kandahar (this one in Saskatchewan). On the move from Edmonton to Toronto.

A much safer Kandahar (this one in Saskatchewan). On the move from Edmonton to Toronto.

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No Life Like It! – Resources for the Canadian Military Family

Home for now

Home for Now.

Enjoying the Military Family life in spite of all the ups and downs. This Blog is part of my Social Media Program through Algonquin College. I have been around the block a few times and there is so much that needs to be shared.  Resources, Information and Friendship.   I feel that there is strength in numbers – Military Sisterhood and advocacy are my themes.  Please view it for what it was intended.  A journey of sharing and learning.

It’s no fun to feel alone.

Cheers!

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Algonquin College Social Media Certificate Program

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