Imagine spending a whole day with adults, chatting with other moms and actually learning about stuff you want to know. No talk about potty training, not a word about school pickup, and absolutely zero fretting over how to remove a crayon drawing from the living room wall. Really.
Not only is this possible, it’s happening right here in Ottawa. Odds are you won’t want to miss it. The Mom Conference is set for March 5 at the Holiday Inn in Kanata. Starting at 8 a.m. and ending at 5:30 p.m., it’s dedicated adults-only “you time.” Producer JoAnne Cooney is delighted to be hosting this special timeout for mothers. After all, as the parent of three little ones aged five and under, she, too, doesn’t get a lot of opportunities to focus on grownup issues and interests. Even chatting on the phone on a weekday morning, she’s momentarily distracted. “My dog took off. My husband came home and left the gate open.” Sound familiar?
She calls the Mom Conference “a parental professional development day” and an opportunity to get informed about issues that impact your everyday life.
As JoAnne explains it, the idea took hold because she was looking for a conference “about how to live my life.” There are plenty of events focusing on parenting, she points out. “There’s nothing out there about how to be an adult and run your life.”
Now there is. The Mom Conference covers everything from finances and career to empowerment and politics. “Up until three years ago, I had never voted,” this young mother admits. “I couldn’t tell you the difference between municipal, provincial or federal politicians and what they do.”
When you need help, it’s important to know who does what and where you can turn, she asserts. That’s why the day’s 10 speakers include politicians from all three levels of government. A financial planner, a certified master life coach and a recruiter are also in the day’s mix, along with a mother of seven whose blog has over 100,000 readers. Master of ceremonies is media personality Katherine Dines, the popular MAJIC 100 FM radio host.
Like the rest of the attendees, JoAnne Cooney is looking forward to a Saturday full of ideas, information, inspiration and networking. Especially since she lives in the countryside with a brood that includes two dogs, four cats, chickens and ducks. However, there will be no clucking or squawking at the Mom Conference. Guaranteed. Childcare has been offered off-site. Onsite? “No kids allowed.
“That’s the point,” JoAnne laughs. “You can have your coffee hot. And talk. And you get to use your brain.” Noting there’s no other event like this in Canada, she adds, “This conference is more for the woman behind the mom. I call it real-life continuing education.” For details and tickets, see themomconference.ca.