Kate Sissons is a Toronto based birth and postpartum doula, childbirth educator, infant sleep educator, and yoga instructor. She is a mother to twins, a jet-setter, and someone who really understands that pregnancy and parenthood can be scary, enlightening and powerful. She knows the prenatal, birth and postnatal experience can be fun and joyful, but equally painful and just down right hard! Looking for some support or some reassurance and guidance? You are going to want to crush on Kate!
Your Name: Kate Sissons
Kids Names: Elliot and Josephine (27 month old twins)
Company Name: Kate Sissons – doula*yoga*educator
What is the Story behind your business / project?
I spent almost 7 years living in London, England. I initially went over to complete an MA in Education and intended to come back to Toronto after a year. But I loved the city too much and just couldn’t leave. I then trained to be a teacher and spent the rest of my time in London teaching in a state primary school. When I made the decision to move back to Toronto, the teaching climate here was (and still is) not great. I also encountered a few obstacles, being an internationally trained teacher.
In hindsight, this was a blessing in disguise, but at the time it was devastating. Amongst this turmoil, I met my partner, Jolan, shortly after moving back. We fell deeply in love and become pregnant with twins, which completely shifted my perspective on life and work! I spent the first year, as a mother, fully immersed in raising my babies – it took every ounce of energy! Just after the year mark, I knew I needed to start shifting my energy a bit, but in a way that would compliment my life as a parent. So I signed up to a doula training (which extended into other amazing trainings) and here I am!
How did the idea for the business / project come about?
I knew, even while pregnant, that I didn’t want to go back to work in a conventional way. I needed a job that allowed me flexibility, but also captured my passions. A friend actually suggested that I consider becoming a doula and I brushed it off, thinking thatI’d prefer a job that still allowed me to primarily teach young children. But then I kept bumping into pregnant women and realized that I was so enthusiastic about prenatal,birth, and postpartum talk and education. And I’ve found ways to incorporate my drive to teach children too, by offering child and caregiver support and classes, alongside my doula support. The real bonus is that I still have a lot of time to dedicate to my family.
What motivates you?
Cliché, I know, but it’s definitely my family, as well as an intrinsic desire to help other families thrive. As a teacher, working in an inner city London school, I saw the deep importance of building early attachments. I also know first hand, the challenges of life and parenthood, and how having early support makes an immense difference, in a family’s ability to form strong, healthy bonds and relationships.
What is the most challenging part about being an entrepreneur / working mom?
FINDING BALANCE! There is no end or beginning, no clear cut off times, to any of my work! It’s a constant act of finding the most effective time management strategies. And taking deep breaths when my work time gets thrown out the window because of missed naps, sickness, and other things that come up.
Another challenge, but something that is so important, is drawing boundaries, as best I can. When I’m with my family my aim is to BE with them – but this is hard. I need to make it a habit to turn off my phone during dedicated family time.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned about being an entrepreneur / working mom?
Slow and steady wins the race! And every step “backwards” is an opportunity to reflectand grow.
What is your super power?
A super power I’d love to have is traveling quickly between places. As my kids would say “abra-cadabra- poof” and I’m there! After living abroad, I have so many friends and family, scattered across the world, and I just cannot see them, or keep in touch regularly and I want to. I am also not a fan of Toronto commutes.
Until I achieve that, deep breathing, yoga, Barreworks, and playing with my children, are my super powers that get me through the day!
What is something that you think people should know about you?
I love green smoothies for breakfast, green tea in very large mugs and the colour purple. And I have a second degree black belt in karate.
Who is your supporting cast of characters? (who needs a shout out)
A definite huge shout out has to go to Natasha Marchand and Bianca Sprague of bebo mia and Brandie Hadfield of Dream With Me. The trainings and support they offer are out of this world!
Of course, I could not be here without my family. My kids inspire me to be a better person, every moment I am with them. And my partner is more than I could every have dreamed up.
And last but not least, I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the support of my amazing sister, Amanda, whose been by my side from day one (almost – we’re 1 year and 5 days apart).