Dear new mom,

Right now, everything seems so overwhelming. You may think you have no idea what you are doing. You might even be questioning every move you make. You know what is best for your family. For your new baby. 

I promise you, that none of us have it together. We might look like we do on the outside. We might look like we do in all of our social media outlets, but what you don’t see in the picture is the toys that are scattered all over the floor that we have already picked up a thousand times. What you don’t see is a few seconds before that picture one of our kids just ate cheerios off the floor. Some of us might look like we have it all together, but on the inside, we are losing it. 

I promise you, that all that worrying is normal. No matter what age your children are. We are always worrying about them. If we are doing the right thing. If we are doing enough. Are they getting enough food? Are they learning enough in school? Worrying means that we care. We all want what is best for our children. 

I promise you, that we are all struggling. Struggling is a big part of parenting. It is a learning experience every step of the way. Babies bring new changes that we didn’t even know were possible. As kids grow up, they are new challenges every day. Family and friends and strangers will judge your parenting choices, but they are YOUR choices. What works for their family might not work for yours and that’s okay. They all mean well then they give you parenting advice, they really do. Sometimes it comes off as pushy, or judgment. Follow your gut. 

Being a mom for 11 years I have gone through a fair share of struggles myself. I have learned a lot of lessons, I have made some mistakes, but my kids are doing great. I have learned that I can still do this even on the little sleep that I get. 

Motherhood is intense, it can be really hard sometimes, but it makes you stronger. It makes you realize that you are capable of so much more than you ever thought was possible. There will be times where you have reached your limits. There will be times that your heart explodes with so much love and happiness. 

Just know that you are not alone. That we have all been there. Cry if you need to, ask for help if you need it. 

Motherhood is not easy, but you’ve got this!

Milestones

As I sit here on my back deck, soaking in the nice weather before this huge thunderstorm jumps in and wrecks the nice weather we have been having. 

Although we do need some rain. We just planted some grass seed in the back. Our yard seems to have a water draining issue, we fixed it, but now we need the grass to grow back! 

Anyways, I was scrolling through some mom facebook groups. I noticed A LOT of moms comparing their kids to other kids or asking when will my baby walk, or talk or sit up. 

I will say this. I am no expert but I have been a mom for 11 years and I have 4 kids. Let me tell you. NONE of them hit their milestones at the same time. NONE. They were all different, but they hit them. 

We need to stop comparing our kids with other kids. Everyone is different. It does not make you a crappy mom because little Stevie started walking later. It does not make your child better than other kids because they hit their milestones faster than others. 

Some babies are fast talkers before they walk and vice versa. Kids develop at their own pace. 

Do your best to stay off of Web MD because all of a sudden everyone in the house has a disease and it will just freak yourself out. 

If you honestly have concerns about your child, then call your doctor. Going on social media for your answers will more than likely just cause yourself to have a mini heart attack because Janets daughter is already playing the clarinet at 2 years old. 

Let your kids develop at their own pace. Do not try and rush them. Show them encouragement. Don’t show them you are upset because they aren’t hitting those milestones.  Keep telling them they can do it but support them when they cannot. 

We are their number one fans and that’s all they need.

‘unwanted’ parenting advice

Here you are holding your new bundle of joy. You feel happy, scared and excited and who knows what other emotions are brewing inside you because this is intense. You and your partner just made a tiny little human!

Your new adventure has just began. Wondering what you are going to do, how are you going to raise them. All these new never done before moments.

Let’s be honest you have no idea what you are doing and of course you will get the ‘unwanted’ parenting advice from all different walks of life parents out there.

I wanted to talk about the ones that I received when I had my first baby, heck I still get it after having 4 kids.

Don’t get me wrong some of the advice I received was great, I could use it and other ones were just went completely against what I felt was necessary to have a connection with my child.

So grab your coffee and let’s get started

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1. Don’t hold your baby too much

Your baby was inside your belly for 9 months, then comes out into this huge world, it has no idea what is happening. It’s nice warm comfort zone is gone. You holding your baby, is giving your child that comfort zone. You cannot spoil your baby. The attention you give your baby is the foundation for thriving, emotionally, physically and intellectually!

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2. Treat your child the way they treat you

In other words, they give you attitude, you give it right back. They speak to you in a rude tone you speak back to them in a rude tone. Monkey see Monkey do. You want your child to know what they are doing is wrong. If you come back at them with the same tone or attitude, they will just continue with it. “Well mommy does it so I can” It is a better idea to be a good role model. You want to show them better ways to react to situations that you don’t like. Instead of getting mad when they are frustrating you, say “wow, I really loved that you did what I asked of you even though you were upset”. Get them to talk about why it upset them in the first place, children are just learning how to express themselves in the right manner and we need to teach them the right way.

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3. Spank them when they misbehave

This is one of them that bothered me the most. Your child looks up to you. You are their safe place. You start spanking your child, you are no longer their safe place. At the same time, you are telling your child “we do not hit each other when we disagree with what they are doing” yet you are doing it to them when you don’t like what they are doing. Words. Words are more powerful then a punishment that will scar their self-esteem. If your child refuses to do their school work because they want to play games, then tell them if you refuse to do what I ask then you don’t get to play your games. The one thing that I found worked best for tantrums was just walking away, not only does it help you calm down, it helps them. Giving them some space, when they realize that you are no longer giving them that attention they will calm down and stop what they are doing.

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4. Be a helicopter mom if you want to keep your child safe

This one lately I have been struggling with, because I feel like their is a fine line with over parenting and letting your child figure out life. If you never let your child figure out their own mistakes. You are constantly there hovering over them so they make 0 mistakes, when something comes along and you are not there they will have no idea how to deal with that situation. Tell your child about your experiences as a child, “when I did this, this is what happened, this is how I dealt with it” We are not always going to be around our kids, we need to teach them how to live in the big wide world. So that means, they will fall and get hurt. They will make a mistake. Being a good mom, doesn’t mean you have to be a perfect one. Since that doesn’t exist.

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5. Don’t ever give your child junk food

This means no pizza, no cake, no cupcakes. Not even french fries or burgers.
While eating healthy is very important, but all the time with no cheat days isn’t really practical. What if your child get’s invited over to a friends house for a sleepovers or birthday parties? I personally feel like it would have more of a negative effect on your child’s social and emotion development. You are telling your child that they can’t have these things at birthday parties or gatherings but all the other kids can. They will potentially feel like an outcast. Obviously if your child is allergic to something yes, of course they shouldn’t.
Yes, having your child have healthy food more than junk food is important, but teach your child the difference between junk food and healthy food. Allow your child to eat junk food in moderation. Show your child that healthy foods can be just as fun and inviting.

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6. ‘Cry it out method’ is best

“This will help them learn to be more independent”

“This will help mold their lungs”

There has been studies that have proven that this can have a negative impact on your child. One study shown that your child would become more dependent on you. Your child just cried himself / herself to sleep, which means they tired themselves out from crying and gave up hope thinking that you will be coming back in. Hearing this one goes against everything that I believed in. Knowing that my baby just gave up on their comfort zone.
What we did for this one was, we waited till they were at least 6 months old and could sleep through the night to change them over to the crib in their own rooms. As for transferring your child to a toddler bed and they keep getting out. What we did was sat outside the bedroom door. Every time they would get out. I would put them back in reassuring that I was there but it is bedtime this is where you sleep now. Showing your child that no matter what you will always be there is key. Letting them know that it is bedtime but you promise to me there when they wake up.

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Note:
These are just my opinions on how I feel about the advice I was given. Get your own opinion on each one. Take the advice with a grain of salt. Some things may work for one family but they may not work for all.

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Most important love you baby with all your heart. Show them all the love you can give them. Enjoy this new adventure. Days will be harder then others but you have got this!

Make time, because time doesn’t wait for us.

The past few weeks, it has really hit me that time does not wait for anyone. That it just creeps up on you realizing that it goes by so fast, you blink and its 30 years later. It clearly doesn’t work that way but that’s how it feels.

Growing up it feels like you have all this time. Time to think of what you want to do when you’re older, all the time with your parents. But flash forward you are 30 and married with 4 kids of your own to raise.

You’re parents raise you to the best of their abilities. As a parent myself I have realized that is no easy task. One of the things I have learned is that the moments of reassureness, relief and pride are far in between. When you think you have everything under control something comes creeping in out of no where. It is hard to feel like you are really ‘Succeeding’ at this whole parenting thing.

As I said time doesn’t stand still as we get older so do our parents and I feel like many of us forget this. Many of us say “I am too busy to visit I will soon” Sometimes that soon never comes.

Life should come full circle. Your parents take care of you when you’re young, you should take care of them when they are older. Even if its just by visiting, bringing them tea/coffee. Just by showing them that you appreciated everything that they have done for you and continue to do for you.

You are never too old to want to make your mom proud and I am so happy that mine is proud of me. I am so happy that my mom raised me the way she did because that is helping me truck through being a mom myself. Being a strong woman.

Every day, that we doubt ourselves, they doubted themselves.

But hey we survived, we are here. Repeating everything they have taught us. I got so much by being their daughter. Learning from them, watching them is now a rippling effect with my children.

They taught me not only by teaching and telling but by just being themselves. They showed me how to be happy, how to live a productive and meaningful life. Giving us the ability to survive and thrive.

They taught me before you leave this world to make it a better place for our kids, and to teach our kids to do the same. My parents live every day doing things without wanted gratitude or praise just by doing the right thing giving to others, being their for others. Treating people the way you want to be treated.

Our elders have been through it all and we are just starting. No its not the same world and we may have to tweak it a bit but they gave us the building blocks and we need to build from it.

So much of who we are is because of them. The good, the bad, the ugly. But that all has made us stronger.

The past few weeks I have realized that time is not always there. That with a blink of an eye they could be gone. That we will wish that we did more things. That we had more time.

So make that time now. Go for that coffee. Go for that chat about god knows what. see your parents more. They went from seeing us every day, making our meals, coming to our events. To barely seeing us at all. To be honest thinking about my kids growing up and doing the same would kill me. I want them to visit me as often as they can.

So make the time. Time doesn’t wait for us.

Elf on the shelf

It is almost that time… that time of the year…the time I am super excited for and probably more excited then my kids!

ELF ON THE SHELF!

I probably kick myself in the butt but I try to do something crazy and different each time I change his spot. Our Elf on the shelf is called ‘Steve’ Don’t ask I have no idea why they came up with that name, but it stuck. Honestly I like it better then Sparkle or some sort of Elf name lol It’s just super random.

Here are some idea’s that I used for Steve, you are welcome to use some of these ideas!! I know that coming up with ideas are hard!

Drawing on the Bananas
Zip lining
X’s and O’s
Spider man
Reindeer poop!
Santa Hat’s on the pictures
Steve in space!
Camping
The Floor is Lava!

What ever you do have fun with it! Channel your inner child and go wild!!

Motherhood & Anxiety

I am a mom with anxiety.
No, I can’t just shut it off, No I can’t just wake up one day and it just go away.

Anxiety isn’t something that we can pick and choose what days we have it and what days we don’t.

It is not a choice.

Some days we can have the best day, we are free from it and everything is great. Some days it just creeps up on us unexpectedly and we are just left to deal with it.

We can’t just choose to be happy, or chill out when it is happening, its just not that easy, not that simple.

You will never know how it truly feels to be someone with anxiety unless you full on walk in our shoes. You will never know how it feels to be hit with darkness in the middle of something that should bring happiness, but you remembered something and it just hits you like a tons of bricks.

So before you come at us and tell us “to just chill out” please remember that anxiety is a mental illness. It is not a cold that we can just get rid of in a few days or weeks. It is not a cry for attention.

If we had a choice to not have this cloud over our heads we would. If we had a choice and could stop it from happening we would. Trust me, we would “chill out” if it were that easy.

There are so many things that I get triggered with, that just send me in a down word spiral. Which I tend to just hold in and let it unload on my husband.

Am I doing this right?
Most the time I have no idea what I am doing, I have been a mother for 10 years now and I am constantly learning new things. How do I know if the decisions that I am making are the right ones? Which bottle do I use? Crib? Co-sleeping? What foods?
what doesn’t help is everyone else shoving opinions at you like its confetti and you have no idea who is right or wrong?

  • When you think this way, remember… There is no right or wrong when it comes to parenting. Everyone has different opinions they are going to be coming at you left right and center. It is your life. Keep being you!

Is my baby / Child okay?
How do I know that everything is okay? there is a new bump? or they are not walking yet? Why are they talking yet? They are not hitting all their milestones when they should be?

  • When you become a mother you get this thing call mothers intuition, trust that because its rarely wrong. If you are having concerns about something contact your doctor to make sure nothing is wrong.

Mom guilt at its finest
Am I spending enough time with them? I spent a little to much time on my phone will that effect them? I am not buying all the cool toys that are in right now is that bad? Am I handling it right when they have tantrums?

  • I promise you, you are enough! All they want is you. Anytime that you spend with them is enough. They know that you love them. They know that you will always be there.

Comparing myself to others
Well Nancy feeds all her kids organic foods should I?
Those kids are dressed better with all name brand clothes and some of my kids are hand me downs is that bad?
They go on fancy trips and have all the neat outdoor climbers am I not giving them their best life?

  • Social media can be the devil… most of the time everyone is posting just the fun parts of their life and never the negatives. Focus on you and your family and nothing else.

There is just not enough time, they grow up so fast
I feel so guilty when I have those days that have just been so long that I am counting down till it is bed time… but they grow up so fast. Does that make me a bad mom?

  • Counting down the time till bedtime doesn’t make you a bad mom, it makes you human. Motherhood is intense and some days we just need a minute and that’s okay!

So before you come at someone with anxiety and tell them to “chill out” Maybe sit down with them and ask them what is going on. Be a listening ear and let them know “Hey I have those fears too” Let them know that you are there no matter what. Don’t make them sound like they are crazy for something that they cannot help.

Let’s do our best and leave the guilt behind and let’s do our bed to make sure to let someone know that you are there no matter what.

Our Tribe… Our Village

I am going to be complete honest here, which I am in all my blog post. I will be the first one to let your child know they are being an ass. Well not in those words but I would tell your child the way he or she is being is not cool.

If I see your child bullying another child or my child I will let them know what is what, and that their behavior is not okay.

If your child went outside without a coat on, I would tell them to put on a coat and make smart choices.

If your child is struggling with something and I notice I will ask them what is wrong and I will be a shoulder to lean on.

If you and your child are fighting, even if its a silly fight but they feel strongly about, I will tell them to come over and be here to give you and them some space.

Why? Because it takes a village to raise the kids.

Once upon a time it was OKAY for other people to correct your kids behavior.

Once upon a time it was OKAY for other people to give a lending hand when you are not around in that moment and they are.

Once upon a time it was OKAY for other people to be there for your kids when your kids are having a tough time with you.

If my kids are being jackasses and I am not around, I want you to be able to let them know whats what and that behavior is not okay!

This isn’t about parenting other peoples kids. I am not here to take your place. Trust me 4 kids is enough for me over here. It is about us raising our future together, its about us making sure that there is a future. It’s about us raising our kids to be one day well behaved adults. This is not me bulling your child when they are doing something wrong, this is me helping.

Yes, everyone helping each other raise the kids, is a little odd to some, but that never was the case back then. Some how it got lost in translation as we grew up. I personally think that we should go back to those ways. Because yes we cant be around our kids 24 7 but other people are. Other moms are. So why can’t we all stick together and raise our kids together.

In the end we are all doing our best to raise these kids, in this time frame, which that alone is hard enough. Yes, sometimes we just need a little help from our friends, and family and neighbors.

Let’s make a tribe… Our village.

Being a mom of a bullied child

I want to tell you about how hard it is to be a mom of a child that is being bullied…

How hard it is to listen to your child ask you “Mom what is wrong with me” “Why do they make fun of me”

How hard it is to explain to them and come up with all these excuses as to why they are doing it, when you honestly don’t understand yourself.

How hard it is for your child to come home and you tell them to tell their teacher and they said they did but all the teacher says it stay away from them.

How hard it is to watch your child cry and hate themselves because other people tell them they aren’t good enough.

How hard it is to invite all these kids to a birthday party and no one shows up, so you do your best to find something else to do without letting him know its because no one RSVPd.

How hard it is to pick your kids up from school holding your breath because you are so scared of how the day went, and the minute to see his face you know that it wasn’t a good day.

How hard it is to watch your child change who they are just because other people tell them that they don’t like the way they dress, or how they act.

How you their mother cry while driving away from the school and them demanding they stay home with you, demanding to be homeschooled, or pretending they are sick just to get out of getting an education.

How you have to listen to other people tell you that “kids will be kids” “they will grow out of it” “your kid should fight back” but that’s not my child hes not a fighter hes a lover.

How my kid just wants to be liked by everyone, how its killing him on the inside that he isn’t how my kid doesn’t understand why.

How hard it is to email the teacher and the principle telling them that your child is being bullied and then don’t get a call or email back, like they just ignored it.

How hard it is that you are not at the school 247 protecting them from all the bullying. You do your best to try and stop it by contacting the right people. but is it ever enough.

How hard it is when you tell your child you will do something about it he bags and bags you not to get involved because it will make it worse.

How hard it is that your child tells you another child told him to run into traffic because hes wasting air.

Please PLEASE I am bagging you as a mother of a child that is being bullied, teach your child to be kind, teach them to not judge others by the way they are, or look. Teach them that everyone it equal. Teach them that you don’t need to be friends with everyone, but you still need to be civil. Teach them. We can all end bullying by teach our children to not be like that. We can end bullying with OUR children. The future. We are the ones that teach them how to be in life. PLEASE teach your child not to be a bully.

Accepting the loss of a loved one…

Today is a hard one for me…
4 years ago today my papa passed away.
He was and will forever be the strongest man I know.
He always called me his Krystal Chandelier.

Having a loved one pass is like being a part of a group that you don’t want to join.
Accepting the passing of someone is possible, but it will change you forever.
You can be strong, and look like you are holding everything together but that one thing will remind you of them and its like that feeling just comes flooding back at you all over again.

Accepting that they have passed doesn’t mean that you don’t care, or that their life wasn’t meaningful to you. Just means that you are preparing your heart to live your life to the fullest just like they would want you too. We know it is an unenviable part of life. Talking about death isn’t ever easy because the subject is painful.

On kid’s it can be really hard for them to accept it, or even understand that is happening, but they know and they see. As a parent it is even harder to tell your children what is going on, because you yourself are trying to accept it and understand it.

We think it’s best to hold off and not tell them right away but I feel like it is best to tell them the truth right away. The truth will get them to understand why you are crying and hurting, instead of them trying to figure it out themselves “why is mommy so sad was it me?” Being open about why you are so upset, will help your child mourn with you and understand how to.

Always be prepared to answer questions that might hurt you to answer. Children are still learning how to respond to emotion, how to deal with it, how to accept it, understand it. Sometimes their emotions are different then ours. Sometimes they will try and change the subject because they just don’t understand the emotion they are suppose to respond with. Don’t get mad at them for not talking about it, they are trying.

Don’t throw it at them all at once. Children take information in just a little at a time and coming at them with everything at once will just overwhelm their little minds and hearts. You’ll know how much to tell them by the questions they are asking.

Don’t worry about not knowing all the answers to everything they ask, it is okay to just say “Mommy, doesn’t know the answer to that one” Trying to come up with answers to some hard questions, while you are having trouble keeping it together yourself will be hard. It’s okay to not know all the answers.

Don’t be scared to cry, cry with them. Show them you are crying. It will help them understand that this is a very upsetting time. Let it out, crying is healthy and helps you release the pain.

Let your children grieve in their own way, let them talk about it when they want to, and listen. If they want to be silent about it let them. It is normal for a child to seem unaffected by it. Grieving is different for everyone.

Let them be apart of it the best you can, let them pick out pictures, and talk about fun memories of them. If they are going to the funeral, or celebration of life prepare them for what they will see, lots of upset people, pictures, memories. Even the casket. Explain to them about everything that they will see and hear. Try to get them to understand before they see it.

Most importantly take care of yourself. As parents we tend to keep things bottled up so that our children don’t feel the pain or sadness that we have. Children learn by example, if we show them how to take care of ourselves when all we want to do it crawl into a hole and cry, then they will understand just a little better how to take care of themselves during a critical time.

Every Child Matters

On this day September 30th, we all wear orange!
This day was set for “Every child Matters” because this is the day that thousands of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit children who were removed from their homes and forced to attend residential schools. More than 3,000 died there.

Kids were forced to attend school, and isolated and were told they were not allowed to practice their religion. They were forbidden to speak their language. They made the boys cut their hair, and they made them take off their clothes and put on uniforms and in some cases they even made them change their names. Like seriously?

They did half day system, where the first half of the day was learning in the school the other half of the day they were put to work. The woman were to cook, clean, do laundry… and the boys were to do carpentry and labour, maintenance.

They were made to go to school early and start the chores before breakfast and even when it was time to eat they had to eat fast and the food was far and in between that some were so fatigued.

They suffered a lot of abuse during these times, even some teachers were sexual predators!

In the 1940s, students started to rebel… steal food, set the schools on fire and refused to do the chores that were set for them. By 1986 most of the schools were closed.

So today we wear orange… to honour those that lost their lives and to those that survived and had to live through this all.

I like to think that we have come a long way from this… but bullying and racism still happens. I choose to raise my children to treat everyone equal we may have different regions, believe in different things, love different, parent differently, we all have a heart beat, we all have bones, and blood.. we are all the same on the inside so why do we treat people differently.