The 5Ws of Dana

I’ve been a professional writer and editor for more than 20 years and writing my own About Me page is undoubtedly my toughest assignment yet. When I am struggling to start a story and I don’t know what to write, I head back to journalism school and focus on the 5Ws. So here goes…


My name is Dana Reinke. I am a writer, editor, mother of three great kids (OK, sometimes great—sometimes total goobers) and wife to a total dreamboat. My best friend is a furry black wondermutt named Bruno.

I am a recovering depressionista with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) which means I fall into a funk every winter. At the age of 43, I was diagnosed with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) which explains SOOOOO much, including why I can never finish the laundry and why I’m so flakey, even though I’m pretty smart.

I love all things Lilly Pulitzer because it’s hard to be sad when you look like a tropical cocktail. My favourite food is icing and my favourite drinks are fizzy (Diet Coke, champagne and ice-cold beer). My favourite gifts come in tiny blue boxes. If I’m reading a good book, don’t bother calling me because there’s no way I’m going to answer the phone. In fact, I rarely answer the phone at all.


I live in Oakville, a pretty little suburb of Toronto, otherwise known as The Bubble. Summer in Oakville is beautiful but the winters make me cry. The mother part of me loves this land of minivans, quality sports programs and mom friends. But the creative/writer part of me wishes it was more artsy, more walkable and less competitive — I can’t keep up with the Jonses here, the Jonses are away at their home in Naples, FL this week and I’m not invited.


Before I embraced the glitz and glamour of stay-at-home motherhood I worked as an editor at Canada’s number one parenting magazine (Today’s Parent) and Canada’s number one bridal magazine (Weddingbells). I am a freelance writer and my work has appeared in Canadian Family, Parents Canada, Glow, and Sadly, many of those publications are no longer with us but trust me, I’m pretty fantastic!


I was first diagnosed with depression in university. And in 2006, I experienced the wrath of post-partum depression; I was 29-years-old and newly-minted mother of two. I was a big old mess and I stayed that way for a very long time. I once tried to kick the anti-depressants but I quickly realized that this mood disorder thing is forever. I take my antidepressants the way other people take their heart medication: there is no shame in it, no weakness. There is only a body that needs medicine to function.


Sometimes the ups and downs of my beautiful suburban life are too much to for me to bear. I started The Suburban Escapist because I hope reading about my battles with depression will help other women realize they’re not alone. Life is hard. Motherhood is hard. The demands we mothers put on ourselves and each other are grueling and bad for our mental health.Fight my beautiful friends and when you need to, don’t be afraid to escape.