June Mom of the Month: Jana Girdauskas
We love sharing stories of amazing moms in our community and this mom is at the top of the list! We can’t wait for you to meet Jana Girdauskas, Founder of The Period Purse. Jana is a teacher by day and a menstrual equality advocate by night. Since launching The Period Purse in 2017, Jana has been recognized as a 2018 Women of Influence, awarded the YWCA Women of Distinction 2019 Award for Health and she has successfully advocated for the city to provide some funding for menstrual products in all city shelters.
Two kids aged 3.5 and 6.5 years old
Elevator Pitch About Your Charity:
The Period Purse strives towards menstrual equity and reducing the stigma of periods.
Why Did You Start Your Charity:
One day I was driving to work and a women was panhandling at my car window. It struck me right there, “what is she doing during her period each month?” I had never thought about what someone experiencing homelessness does on their period. I decided to make a “period purse” to have in my car for the next time I saw a person experiencing homelessness. It contained some tampons and pads and some other comforting items. My one idea has now spread to over 22,000 healthy periods helping people across Ontario and Saskatchewan.
Any Tips For Moms Wanted to Take a Big Chance or Leap Like You?
Be kind with yourself and your time. I don’t believe you can do it all. I have time for my kids, my work that pays me, and my volunteer job. Right now, I don’t have time for a workout or be in shape, or much time for my friends. I have to be kind to myself not to bet myself up over this. One day this will swing and my time and priorities will change. Until then, I’m doing what I can and doing what I love! (and say NO and own it to all the other things that don’t fit in your schedule!)
Anything You Wish You Could Go Back and Tell Your New Mom Self?
Don’t talk about baby sleep to others! Ha! We are attachment parents, our kids sleep in our beds, and I breastfed on demand. I didn’t need to hear other’s advice, I didn’t need to feel bad about our choices. I didn’t need to hear, “is your baby good and sleeping through the night?” I quickly learned (for our second child) that some of our parenting choices stayed in our house and our golden rule, “if everyone is sleeping, then it’s working for us!”
Was There a Service You Used in Your Pregnancy or First Year as a Mom that was so Important to You?
I’m so thankful for breastfeeding experts who came into my home early to help with latch issues for both kids. I’m glad we spent that money on it. Also, a good massage anytime- during pregnancy or as a mom. It’s always a good excuse to be kind to our body and not move or have anyone speak to us for one hour!
Your Go To Mom Hacks?
‘Snacky’ dinners are the best! My mom use to makes me the best snacky plates, and do this with my kids for dinner when I’m exhausted and have no energy to cook. A plate with a little of bit of everyone, who doesn’t like finger food appetizers for dinner!? Some ideas: nuts, crackers, cheese, sliced meat, fruit, veggie & humus, raisins, bread with PB; really whatever you can find in your kitchen quickly. Everyone loves a ‘snacky’ dinner sometimes!
Ways People Can Support The Period Purse?
Everyone can give back in a small way that fits for you. Can you give money? The Period Purse has a sponsor a menstruator program for $12/ month. That’s a cheap bottle of wine. Can you give time? We have packing parties where you can come give us 2 hours of work, or make one delivery. Can you give your talent? We run fully on volunteers, so love your time to do things like a graphic designer or help with our website.
Cover photo credit: Emily D Photography
League of Moms / 06/10/2019