Let’s take a peek inside the life of Christina Warrener. Stay at home mother to three young boys (yup, three), and wife to retired National Hockey League player, Rhett Warrener, Christina is showing up in all the right ways. She has taken an extraordinary path in life, one of which few spouses could navigate, but let me be clear, she’s the star here. We all know managing a household is hard enough, but add in the challenge of living in a city that is hockey obsessed with a husband who retired on the hometown team, and you have a mix that would send a lot of people into hiding. That’s why Christina Warrener is perfect for spotlight number two in our series of incredible women. Humble, kind, full of grace, and raising exceptional human beings. Let’s dive in.
Start from the start; who are you, what do you/your spouse do, do you have kids?
My name is Christina Warrener. I am 36 years old with 3 beautiful but crazy little boys. Luke is 9, Will is 6.5, and James is turning 5 in a month!? (Not sure how that all happened so fast?) I moved to Canada about 13 years ago, from a town outside of Buffalo, New York.
My husbands name is Rhett Warrener. He grew up in Saskatoon, SK and played in the NHL for 14 years. We met while he was playing for the Buffalo Sabres, and I was in University.
Right now, I am a stay at home mom, which some days seems like all I can handle! But I know when everyone is in school full time I will head back to work. Rhett is currently on a morning sports radio show here in Calgary.
Can you explain a bit about your family dynamics? (ex. Who works, who is involved with the kids parents/family/friends/outside help)
With my family in NY, and his in SK its rough at times. We don’t have help with the kids, we don’t even have a babysitter right now…..thank goodness for my neighbours kids! I do have some pretty kick ass neighbours.
Family is beyond important to us, and my parents made the decision that once they retired they would move here half of the year. We always look forward to the times when grandma and grandpa are here. They are a godsend. My brother was in the US Army, and passed away in 2005. My boys are the only grand kids my parents will have so they wanted to be a big part of their lives. When my brother and I were growing up, both my parents worked full time so we spent a lot of time with grandparents or after school care until we were old enough to look after ourselves. I’m so happy that my children are forming bonds and making memories with their grandparents they will never forget.
Rhett is home a lot as well. He only works mornings right now, so we have been incredibly lucky to give our kids the attention that other families can’t because of their careers.
What did you dream of being as a child?
I wanted to be on TV as a child. I did some commercials and print work as a young adult, and found it really fun and exciting. I was also extremely athletic and into most sports. When I was in high school, my volleyball coach inspired me, and I thought I wanted to do what she did…. teach and coach. Having all boys now, I don’t think I will get the chance to coach, but I support whatever they want to do, and try to help them be their best. I am extremely competitive, ask my husband, so I love seeing these boys excel in sports.
Did you feel called to your current position (working or staying home)? Would you change it in the future?
At first I didn’t think I would stay home. I was in real estate for 2 years while pregnant and having small babies, it was so hard. I felt like I was missing out on teaching my kids, and spending time with them. I am in awe of the moms who can do that. I chose to put that aside and be a mom, and I wouldn’t change that for anything. I want my kids to remember mom being around, and picking them up from school, going to play outside, etc.
I know that 2 years from now, when they are all in school full-time, I want to go back and do something, maybe part-time. I’m not sure. I still want to be around to volunteer for home reading and go on field trips. But I also want to contribute financially to our household again. I know these 3 will be eating us out of house and home in no time! My job will probably only cover groceries!
How do you keep yourself motivated on personal goals? How do you stay fulfilled?
Personal goals get set aside often. One thing I must do is exercise. Its the only way to stay positive and maintain my sanity. I love 9round kick boxing, and Orange Theory. I also work out at home, and occasionally World Health gym. Its nice to get out and sweat no matter what you’re doing. It clears my head, gets rid of stress, and makes me happy! Those things also happen by spending time with family and friends, venting to girlfriends, and just catching up with people over coffee.
Do you talk to your children about “normal” jobs vs exceptionally rare careers?
My kids all know daddy played in the NHL, but I think only my oldest grasps what that actually means. The other two think they can just choose to be in it or not (I’m always shaking my head in disbelief at those two). I try to explain to them that not many guys make it to the NHL, or any Pro sport for that matter. You have to be training when other kids are playing video games if you’re serious about something like that.
Luke wants to be a hockey player, at least he thinks he does.
I always ask them what they want to be when they grow up and its different every single day. From a hockey player, to a police man, to an army man like Uncle Bobby, to a fisherman. They are living and loving life. Inspired by all the things they see around them which is why its so important to monitor what they are seeing!
Has being in the public eye influenced your personal goals?
I don’t think I am in the public eye. I’m just me. Rhett still is a bit, but he has never been a flashy guy. I’d imagine it would affect the really big name players more.
Has being in the public eye influenced the way you parent (are you more guarded with potential friends? Do you try to connect with others from the same industry)?
I think the way we parent comes from our values and the way we were raised. We are pretty old-school and hard on our boys. No video games in this house! haha. Get your butt outside!
They are still young, so its easier but I’m sure we will have fights in the upcoming years. I don’t think we have had any issues with worrying about peoples intentions or potential friendships. I have made some amazing friends in this community in the last 4 years. We still have some great friends from the hockey community also, and see them when we can. People move and its harder to keep in touch, but we would all laugh and pick up where we left off when we run into each other. There’s lots of support there.
Do you feel like you are able to connect with other mothers on a personal level or that you need some level of separation for privacy?
I think I am pretty easy to get along with. Everyone enjoys a bit of privacy, but I don’t have to keep people at arms length or anything. Im not that cool! Haha. I think its easy to connect with other moms when we are all going through the same thing. Kids keeping you up at night, always running 5 minutes late to preschool drop-off, still in my jammies.
What would you want someone to know about your life?
I don’t know if there is anything I want people to know about my life per se. Maybe people think the ‘hockey wives’ or any pro sports wives are snobs, but that’s not true. I can’t speak for everyone, only myself. I live my life day by day just like everybody else. My house is always a mess, my kids are always running around like little mad-men, and I am always late. Our husbands worked hard to make it to the NHL, we were there supporting them and helping them from behind the scenes.
Connecting to others
This series follows women of all walks of life that have one very special thing in common. They are all leading extraordinary lives. Christina’s journey of extraordinary may seem like it ended when her husband retired from professional hockey, but in truth, it’s only just begun. Raising boys within the sport legacy of their father is going to be a difficult road to navigate, and I have no doubt that she will do it beautifully. This thing called motherhood comes in all shapes and sizes and I am so very honored to have had the opportunity to bring you a look inside of another life. The more lives we can see, the more common threads appear. Making our life feel connected and normal, even on the hard days.
Be on the lookout for more stories of incredible women.