by Emma Childs
photos by Michael Irvine
Vancouver is the city of the cool mom. Since moving here six months ago, I’ve seen countless women for whom the baby slung on their hips completes their effortlessly chic West Coast persona. These women are a type that stops you in your tracks when you see them in the street; they’re tattooed, they do yoga, they feed their kids seaweed snacks and dress them in bomber jackets and high tops. They’re always doing. They’re living my feminist ideal of nurturing the lives of others while fulfilling their own life. When I see these women, I join the ranks of people who want something from them—I want to hear their stories. We interviewed and photographed four incredible women who welcomed us into their lives. Here, they speak of their struggles and their triumphs with equal openness. They, like each of us, are complex humans. They are getting through life the best way they know how.
[Please note that the interviews have been edited and condensed, with the intention of keeping each mom’s voice present.]
You know how some people are like “I don’t want to have children, I’m not meant to be a parent”? And then some people are like “Oh my god, I’m going to have six children, if not twelve,” and they love children and can relate to children … I like children, but I don’t love children. I can’t relate to them. I still struggle when playing with them and reading them books. I do it, but I struggle with it.
When I met Marc it was a very attractive quality to see a man as a single dad, there was something in me biologically that said mmhmm, yeah, I’ll marry you! Right away! We got married really fast, like two months into it. Before we had sex I had said, “I don’t want to do this unless I’m with someone I want to have kids with. I’m not at a place in my life that I just want to physically be having sex unless I know that if I got pregnant it would be for a good reason.” And he said the same to me.
I’ve been having this stress in my life recently, worrying about whether we can continue to live in Vancouver, because we want him to have a bedroom but we also want a bedroom!
You see [families] on the outside and think everything’s fun and great, and everyone’s happy and laughing and playing. The reality is that that’s all there, but there’s also a little bit of turmoil and chaos. I struggled with a lot of postpartum depression after [my first kid] Ocyrus: I didn’t really want to leave the house, I didn’t want to go see anyone, I just wanted to be with my son.
Emma Childs just moved to Vancouver, and is loving it.
Photos by Michael Irvine
“Moms of Vancouver” is from our MOMS Issue (spring 2015)