For the past couple months, I’ve been a guest editor for The Drake Blog. From lunching with Greta Hodgkinson to talking shop with the Broadbent Sisters, the role has afforded me a ton of cool opportunities, but my latest project is definitely the one that has evoked the most feelings: how beautiful are these Drake Moms?
These women represent almost every department at Drake, be it the fast-paced life behind the bar to managing corporate finance. While their backgrounds, talents, and skill sets widely differ, they share the common experience of motherhood and the challenge of balancing professional life while caring for children. (A difficult feat, no matter what the situation may be!)
Each day this week, we will profile a different Drake Mom. From how they enrich their kids’ lives with culture, to lessons learned from their own mothers, each Drake Mom will share her wisdom and insight into the wild and beautiful ride that is motherhood.
First up: meet Ana Yuristy, Director of Corporate Services, pictured on the Sky Yard with four-year-old Sabine and two-year-old Roscoe.
Best Advice For New Moms:
Don’t feel like you have to have it all figured out in advance. So much depends on the dynamic between baby and parent(s) and you’re both biologically wired with the essentials for the early years. You’ll sort out your own rhythm in time. What works for one mama + baby does not necessarily work for all.
What is one of the greatest lessons your mom taught you?
Love of travel and independence. When I was 15, my boyfriend’s family moved to Australia and I was heartbroken. My mom offered to match me dollar for dollar if I could save up enough through babysitting and after-school jobs to take a trip there to visit. I made it happen and booked a flight that had a 24-hour layover in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia). This was pre-cellphones and I’m sure it was nerve-wracking for both my parents, but it was a game-changer for me.
What have your children recently taught you?
My daughter Sabine regularly gives me quality advice. After tucking her in at night and telling me about her day, she’ll ask me about my own day. It’s a fascinating exercise re-interpreting your day at work in a way that is meaningful and makes sense to a pre-schooler. When I share the things that didn’t go so well or that I am having difficulty sorting out, she’ll offer really honest and pure insight. Stripping a story down to the bare essentials often gives me the perspective I need to find a solution.
What’s a family activity that you really cherish?
Our morning snuggles routine. My son Roscoe gets up pre-dawn and immediately requests his favourite breakfast—a huge bowl of frozen blueberries and yogurt. He refuses to let us serve them thawed and by the time he’s finished his teeth are chattering and all he wants to do is “crawl back into mama + far’s (Norwegian for ‘father’) bed” to get cozy.
What do your children think you do at Drake?
I’m fascinated with their interpretation of the work I do, and I never get a straight answer but it’s often hilarious! In the final weeks before we opened the Drake Devonshire, Christian (my partner), the kids (then 2 ½ and 8 months old) and I moved in to the almost-complete hotel for a week to help the front desk and housekeeping team pull things together in that final stretch pre-opening. It’s an experience they still talk about regularly and I’m so grateful that they got to be a part of it.
What is a recent accomplishment that you’re proud of?
My daughter built an architectural model of a modern home in foamcore that I’m sure would inspire Jeff Stober [Drake’s owner]. She’s a little maker and regularly comes home with incredible sculptures and art projects she’s painstakingly assembled from found objects. I see a future for her as part of Jeff’s design and development team!
Which children’s books are favourites in your home?
A recent favourite is Ella by Mallory Kasdan, a cheeky re-interpretation of the classic Eloise at the Plaza (of course).
How do you introduce your kids to cool culture?
Toronto makes this easy! There is so much to do, eat, see and experience that we are spoiled for choice. We try to have an outing every weekend, for a walk in High Park, a swim at the incredible Regent Park Aquatic Centre, a visit to the AGO or the ROM, or to check out a festival. We’re all pretty excited for the WeeFestival, a theatre festival for early years, coming up in May.
What is your recommendation for families looking to enjoy life at The Drake?
Brunch + Caesars, beanbag toss + summer watermelon eating contests by the lake at the Drake Devonshire, and the Monkey Bunch in the Drake Underground.
The “rock ‘n’ roll band with a social conscience” plays at The Drake regularly. Bring your little monkeys and dance up a storm.