May Fun in Ottawa

Spring is in full swing here in Ottawa, and it's time to start putting away the rain gear and enjoy a little sun. We know you’ve been restless and waiting for warmer weather to get the kids out and about and now is your chance. Ottawa has so many fun activities for your family to do this month! We hope to see you at some of them!


Meet The Doulas | May 6, 2017

Come join us at the Ottawa Birth and Wellness Centre from 10-3. Meet our doulas, check out our packages, and get some great deals while you are there! We can't wait to meet you in person.

Ottawa Children’s Festival | May 10-14, 2017

The list of fun activities to do with your children at Ottawa’s annual Children’s Festival at LeBreton Flats is too long for one little blog post! Facepainting, the Long and McQuade Instrument Petting Zoo where children can explore musical instruments with professional guidance, and the Africa Land Circus are just a few of the activities you can take in with your kids. We’re looking forward to the Puppets Up! Workshop where little ones can make their very own finger puppets!

Canadian Tulip Festival | May 12-22, 2017

You know what they say, April showers bring May flowers. In Ottawa, that means it's time for the Canadian Tulip Festival! What better way is there to welcome spring than painting wooden tulips with the children or eating tulip cookies at the Tulip Julip Tulip Café at Aberdeen Pavillion in Landsdowne Park? With a variety of children's entertainers, millions of tulips, and special events like Yoga in the Tulips, there's something for all ages at the Tulip Festival.

65th Annual Tulipmania Fireworks | May 21, 2017

Celebrate Victoria Day long weekend with a big bang at the Tulipmania Fireworks show!2017 marks the 65th years of the Tulipmania Fireworks in celebration of Queen Victoria. Don’t miss the show at TD Place at Lansdowne (1015 Bank Street, Ottawa, ON). The music and fireworks show promise to be some of the best you'll see! Bring your lawn chair or a blanket and enjoy the pre-fireworks show entertainment CTV’s Sarah Freemark. Admission starts at 7:30 PM.

Ottawa Welcomes the World | Ongoing in 2017

Since March, our city has been celebrating Canada’s diversity with Ottawa Celebrates the World. Embassies and high commissions from around the globe have been marking their country’s national celebrations at Aberdeen Pavilion and the Horticulture Building. Each unique event encourages attendees to enjoy a variety of cultural food, music, art, performances and more! May 2017 brings celebrations from Poland, Mexico, Haiti, Cuba, Guyana, Serbia and Ethiopia. 

We know that checking things out when you are pregnant or have a brand new baby can seem overwhelming. When getting your shoes requires help, heading out for festivals and activities can see as challenging as getting to Mars. But getting out, especially with your new baby, can help you to reconnect with your community, meet other new parents, and even find some playdate friends. And remember, there is no rule that says you can't spend most of the time sipping a latte on a patio!

Baby Names

You're having a baby! Have you chosen a name?!

There are thousands of names to choose from. Many rows of books to buy in stores, lists on the Internet, great websites with tools that show popularity and possible sibling matches, not to mention forums and debates about names online.

You are choosing a name for your baby and you know once he or she has a moniker you will love it. Whether they will... well you just can't predict that! I have always loved my name, it was chosen for a reason and was a little different. My middle name is in honor of my Grandfather, who was an amazing man, and I have always cherished it (enough to give it to my own daughter too!).

When choosing names we often want to decide on how our child will be portrayed - will they be professional or cute? Formal name with a nick name? Something laid back, simple. Trendy. Not trendy at all (and then... on the top 100.) I know enough Jennifer's and Dave's who lament their name being so popular. I know others who liked having friends with names that matched theirs.

There is no right answer to choosing that baby name, just like there is no right way to parent. Finding a name you love is all that matters, even if your family thinks it's not for them. Once little Olivia or Nathan or Emilie or Jayden arrives you know everyone will love him or her no matter what they are called.

Trust your instinct when choosing your baby's name. Like figuring out how you'll get out the door with a baby for the first time alone, you will make it work! Choosing a name for your baby is one of the first big parenting decisions you will make.

Be sure to yell it as loud as you can as though someone has just left a package of crayons to melt all over the car seat on a hot summer day. It's a good test to see if you really like it. Your partner can join in!

And just for fun, here is the most popular baby names in Ontario for 2015. Is your baby name on the list? I have one of the most popular names for my son, and I love it!


  1. Olivia
  2. Emma
  3. Ava
  4. Sophia
  5. Charlotte
  6. Emily
  7. Abigail
  8. Chloe
  9. Isabella
  10. Avery


  1. Liam
  2. Ethan
  3. Noah
  4. Benjamin
  5. William
  6. Jacob
  7. Lucas
  8. Mason
  9. Logan
  10. Alexander

*Source for this list is the Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, Dec. 2015.

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Lately, there has been a lot of parenting judges on the Internet, ruling that parents all over are doing a shitty job.

Some judges are harsh and direct and deliberate, telling parents that they are the worst because they let their child out of their eyesight for one split second and a disaster occurred. Other judges are sneaky, in the form of news articles informing parents that they're not giving their kids the optimum sleep for well-being or are likely over-feeding them sugar thanks to all those nut-free dairy-free sandwiches they offer for school lunch.

My job as a doula is to be supportive. To nurture parents into parenthood with confidence that they find in themselves.  As a parent myself, it is hard to sometimes look past the judging that is going on in my Facebook news feed and the nightly news.  I don't subscribe to perfect parenting. I think we are all doing our best for our children and it's not an easy job that is made harder by feeling judged for whatever choice we make.

You do what you can with love in your heart for those little people you created.

You do your job to keep them safe and healthy and happy. And sometimes life throws you into a situation that sucks. Fortunately most of us don't have to have parenting judgement thrown all over the Internet.

I am tired of the judges.  I hope to see more stories of hope and helping and caring.  In your Facebook fill up other parents with the good. Share your happy parenting moments. Talk about what brings you joy. I think we all need to read more stories that are judgement free and full of the fun that comes along with raising children. Be kind to yourself, and to others. It is kindness that can bring kindness back to our lives.

Ottawa Family Doula is a birth and postpartum doula supporting families in Ottawa. Exceptional and confident care for your pregnancy to have your birth and your baby, your way. Specializing in all types of birth at all hospitals and birth centres in Ottawa.