The Conscious Family Team is a team of professionals in York Region who support, guide and aid those who want to do their best each day to love, cherish and respect their children, and who want to learn and grow from their roles.

Giving birth and raising a family consciously used to be a matter of instinct. We trusted our bodies and our feelings to do the right thing. We learned from our families, and our communities how to care for and raise our children, and we just knew it would be okay. We had the support of those close to us - the village helped us to raise our children. There was no internet, no 24 - hour medical centres or helplines, and no bookshelf stocked with 50 or so of the latest advice books from "the experts", usually celebrities. Mom was at home during the day to lend a hand with the washing, or your neighbour would pop by with a casserole when times were tough.

These days, we're lucky to know our neighbour's first name. And if we need advice, we're more likely to consult Google than our brother, sister or mother. The village is truly gone.

Here with the Conscious Family Team, we want to bring the good days back by being your village and helping your family and village grow.

We believe that in order to accomplish these tasks, parenting must be a conscious endeavour, meaning that we are willing to examine ourselves, our background, beliefs, motivations, behaviours, and how these aspects affect the way we parent. Let's find the positives in the way we were parented, recognize the lessons we learned and empower ourselves to trust our own intuition and emerge as the parents we want to be.

Decisions made prior to conception, during pregnancy and in baby's first year and beyond provide the foundation for the creation of a conscious family. By consulting with one or more of the Conscious Family Team members, you will be inspired to take initiative to choose the style of caring for yourself and your infant/child that resonates with you and you'll be connected to the tangible tools and resources to support you on your journey.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Averting Nursing Strikes during the Holiday Season

What is holiday weaning?
Holiday weaning is when a baby weans due to the distraction and celebration of a holiday or other special event. There may be visitors from out of town or maybe you and your family are on vacation. Either way, there’s plenty of people, attention, and distraction to keep mother and baby apart. Next thing you know, baby/child hasn’t breastfed all day or maybe even all weekend.

Does holiday weaning have to happen during a holiday?
No. Holiday weaning can happen on vacation, around birthdays or other special events, and even when you’re moving. If a mother travels for business or grandma visits, baby’s/child’s routine may get disturbed, and weaning may happen. Any time baby and mother are busy and distracted, holiday weaning may occur. Holiday weaning is a chameleon that can be very sneaky. Many mothers have never even heard of holiday weaning and don’t know that it can happen in the blink of an eye. Mothers are surprised that their breastfeeding relationship could be so fragile that a few days of extra activity could cause weaning. They also might be skeptical that visiting family and friends may interfere with their breastfeeding.

How do you approach the holidays with your breastfeeding baby/child?
Remember that holidays for many first-time mothers will be very different with a little one. You often still want to do all of the same activities that you did the previous year. You want to spend a day baking with your friends and family, yet they haven’t planned how to accomplish this with a little one who still needs to nurse every couple of hours and needs your attention and presence. You want to attend parties, ceremonies, and feasts, some of which seem to last a whole month. But then haven’t given thought yet as to the difference in your lives since giving birth.

• Let friends and family members know that you cherish your breastfeeding relationship. Don’t present it as a problem. For example, when aunts or grandmothers want to help, give them a task—not the baby or child.
• When family members ask to feed the baby/child, tell them, “Thank you, but I’m breastfeeding,” and smile.
• Use a sling or other carrier to keep baby/child close.
• Work around nap times and other times when baby/child is sleeping.
• Avoid long car and plane trips if possible. If it’s unavoidable, make sure to take plenty of time for nursing breaks.
• Choose clothing that provides easy access to the breast for your little one.
• Shop for gifts online or from catalogues. Keep “real life” shopping trips short or take plenty of breaks to breastfeed and meet the needs of your child.

Peaceful Holidays

Hello Everyone!

Thank you for taking time to visit our blog. I am sure you are very busy at this time of year, as the holidays approach and schedules fill up with social functions, family get togethers and trips to the mall.

While this time of the year can be very exciting, it can also be a time when people feel overwhelmed by what needs to get done. But does it all NEED to get done? As human beings, we are blessed with the ability to make choices that fit our lives or detract from a sense of overall well being. If you begin to feel overwhelmed and you no longer find joy in what you're doing, it's time to evaluate how you're spending your time. I suggest pondering the following:

1. Prioritize spending quality time with your family. Play board games, play outside, sing holiday carols, or go sledding. Choose an activity that brings the family joy. Your children will not remember all the gifts under the tree as much as they will remember the traditions you begin and continue and the fun activities you did as a family.

2. As much as possible, continue with your usual routines. It's easy for bedtimes to get pushed back and meal times to change (as well as what the meals actually are). It's also tempting to schedule lots of visiting and socializing. While this is a wonderful way to reconnect with family and friends, it can also be taxing on young children (especially if they're visiting homes that are not used to having small children in them!). Be sensitive to your child's needs and remember that nap times are still important as well as all the other rituals that your little one has come to count on.

3. Keep yourself healthy. If you usually go to the gym, keep going! If you walk every day, keep your feet moving. If you've routinely included meditation in your day, protect that time like a mama bear protects her young. When mom and dad are happy, relaxed and feeling joy, so will the children.

4. Feel okay about saying "no". It's okay to set healthy boundaries around visiting (whether in your home or someone else's), outings, or any activity that takes your away from what you would really rather be doing. Saying "yes" when you really want to say "no" inevitably results in a depletion of energy and joy.

5. And above all, live in each moment. Savour this time together with the intention of spreading love, light and joy!

I wish you all a peaceful, restful, and healthy holiday season!

Christine Marrin

Since the year 2000, Christine Marrin has relished being at home with her two children, Genevieve and Virginia. She has learned far more about life and what is important in those nine years than she ever thought possible. She believes in the power of spiritual parenting and endeavours to live consciously each and every day. For more information on Spiritual Parenting, she can be reached at: 905-868-7010

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


We are extremely excited to offer our newest seminar series devoted to parents of children aged 1-6 years old (Level 2). We have a new naturopath on our team, named Tara Annesley who will be sharing what to do if your child becomes sick with any of the common ailments.

The Level 2 seminar will take place on January 23rd so be sure to sign up if you are interested as there won't be a lot of time once we all get back from Christmas vacation and space is limited!

Over the next few weeks, each of the members of our group will be writing to you - something personal about themselves, their families or maybe even, some bits of advice that you might enjoy so stay tuned......