It’s nearly Christmas.

We’re reminded of it starting November 1st when we venture out anywhere.  And once again, many already harried women begin to ramp up into Christmas mode to do all.the.things,  and buy all.the.stuff,  and meet all.the.expectations.

But today, I invite you to be still for a minute or two.  Consider a different perspective for a moment.

I’m going to paint a few pictures for you and I want you ask yourself – “what would I do, and how would I feel if I were in this situation?”

  • You’re a mom of 4.  You had a good life but had to flee your home country to be safe.  You lost a child in the process and are grieving while trying to help your traumatized family.  Now you’re a newcomer to Canada and have settled in London. You’re unknown, stereotyped, living at the Salvation Army, and in need of the basics of life.  Plus you’re having a lot of difficulty with walking these days being 8 months pregnant.

What would you do? How would you feel?

  • You’re a 15 year old girl with endometriosis who has been kicked out of your home.  You’re not sure where to go, so you get by living on the streets for awhile.  Now it’s that time of the month and you don’t have tampons or pads or medication to handle all the pelvic pain you’re about to feel yet again…

What would you do? How would you feel?

  • You are a 54 year old woman who has endured an abusive relationship for decades – but have finally found the courage to leave.  Yet you never worked and he controlled all the money.  You have literally nothing.  And you’re incredibly embarrassed to even bring up your symptoms of prolapse to your social worker even though it’s impacting how long you can be on your feet to pull your life together.

What would you do? How would you feel?

Now you might be wondering why in the world I’m writing about all of this on a women’s pelvic health blog.

Well, it’s just a reminder (to myself and to us all) that women from all walks of life, and with all kinds of experiences, deal with all sorts of underlying women’s health issues – on TOP of what they’re dealing with in life.

No matter who you are, no matter what you have experienced, you are worthy of love and care.  You matter. 

At The Mama’s Physio, we come from different backgrounds and experiences ourselves.  We’ve travelled widely and seen the nitty gritty of life both in our community and overseas.  The stories I painted above – we’ve lived close to it and we’ve journeyed with women through it.  So we truly have a heart for women across the board.  Empathy is a huge strength of our team and for that, I am grateful.

Last year as a team, we partnered with the London Shoebox Project.  It was meaningful for us to be able to put shoeboxes together and write cards to women who would receive them.

This year we’re doing it again – but on a bigger scale.  From November 11th to December 11th,  We’re inviting you to join us in collecting items for women in our community who have been impacted by poverty and homelessness.  Bring one, two or more items to our office when you come for your appointment (or even if you don’t have an appointment!).  We’ll take care of putting it all together into a shoebox.  Some items you can include:

  • Something warm: socks, mitts, scarf, hat, hand warmers
  • Helpful items for warmer months: sunscreen, reusable water bottle
  • Something sweet: nut-free chocolate and candy (not alcohol-filled)
  • Cough drops, multivitamins
  • Body or hand lotion, soaps, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss
  • Brush, comb, shampoo, conditioner
  • Nail polish, mascara, eye shadow, lipstick, lip balm
  • Purse-sized Kleenex, small cosmetic bag
  • Gift cards (Tim Hortons, Shoppers, McDonalds, etc.) – Please write the amount on the card or include the receipt
  • Subway tokens and bus tickets
  • Shower shoes, soap & toothbrush holder
  • Journals, colouring books, pens, coloured pencils
  • Supportive message

See the London Shoebox website for more info on what to include and what not to include.

Shoeboxes will be given to women accessing the following agencies:

ATLOSHA
Connect for Mental Health
Domestic Abuse Services Oxford
INGAMO Homes Woodstock
Joseph’s House
Life Spin
London CARES
Mission Services
My Sisters Place
Safe Place
Salvation Army of Hope
St Leonard’s
St. Thomas-Elgin Second Stage Housing
Strathroy WRRC
Unity project
Violence Against Women Elgin County
Ways Mental Health
Women’s Community House
Youth Opportunities Unlimited 

As women from all walks of life, let’s come together and grow our heart for our sisters here in London who need a word of encouragement and some practical things.  Get your kids involved and let it shift your family’s focus to consider what really matters in this season.

Thanks for joining us in this!