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15 Ways for Mamas to Stay Sane During Covid

Good morning, or afternoon or evening to you.
You are the glue keeping everything together right now. You set the tone for the ebb and flow of your family routines. You are constantly taking the emotional temperature of your child, children and spouse. Now you are not only Mama, but Mme.Mama, teacher as well as cook, nurse, maid, and your own person. And it is to this last point that I would like to touch on at this time. You. You must also rescue yourself right now, you must look after yourself, stimulate and nurture your spirit and mind in this moment that feels like we are trying to stay afloat swimming in a toxic soup of uncertainty.
Below are 15 suggestions of ways to attempt to rise above the heaviness, to love yourself, to create your silver linings.

1. Gratitude.

We still have so much to be grateful for. A gratitude journal may sound corny, but the act of reflecting and writing down daily at least 5 things you are grateful for may help reset some of the negativity of our current challenges. Don’t feel like a gratitude journal? Then journal down all your fears, frustrations, resentments and brainstorm what can be done to minimize those.

2. Hygge.

It means coziness. Hugs, cuddles, lighting candles, enjoying just being with each other with no agenda. It’s calm and loving.

3. Good news.

There are still good news stories out there. Search for them, subscribe. One most recent one is by The Office alum John Krasinski

4. Dance.

Oh my goodness, you need to dance. Everyone has there jam, their boogie tunes. I guarantee if you boogie to some tunes, you will smile. If you sing along, this may be amplified. Have a silly dance off with the family or just on your own.

5. Work out, sweat.

There are many sites that offer access to their workout videos. One example is Sam Heughan, who plays Jamie Fraser on Outlander, has created a free 30-day challenge of workouts that do not require a gym.

6. Start a flower or vegetable garden.

It’s too cold too plant outside right now Spring blizzard, do these words belong together? Here they do. You can get some cups or pots and make a little corner to start growing herbs or flowers. If you don’t wanna grow a garden, buy some potted flowers or plants.

7. Go outside.

Just do it. Everyday. Even when it’s cold. Bundle up. Whenever I feel overwhelmed, after I have spent an hour outside I never feel overwhelmed afterwards. If the sun is out, I am like a meerkat sunbathing with my face to the sun.

8. Hot water.

Hot bath, hot tea, hot coffee. Little escapes. Can go all out if you want with a bubble bath, candles and a nice drink, learn how to perform a tea ceremony or make tea time like the British.

9. Get organized.

This one pays off at the end, but is so worth it. You may turn into Marie Kondo and come to enjoy it. So many things that can be organized; family pictures, rearranging furniture and purging objects, simplifying, cleaning your closets. Each area that has been organized and cleaned will make you feel lighter.

10. Get your art on.

Doodle, do finger paint with your kids and all the crafts you get them to do. Order an adult paint by numbers. Decorate a room the way you want, not by what is trendy.

11. Laugh.

Watch funny movies. Follow funny people online. I like to read Andy Ritcher tweets, watch comedy specials on Netflix and Sketch comedy troupes on CBC Gem like Baroness VonSketch, Portlandia. Whatever tickles your funny bone, find it.

12. Reach out to friends and family.

Everyone is in their own bubble almost literally at the moment. Reach out to those you love, even if you just send a funny gif or a cool article you read. Share good news, make good news. Do nice things for others.

13. Do something “selfish”.

If it is financially possible, get something you want, have wanted. My favorite perfume Heaven is discontinued. I ordered a small bottle off eBay for $18. I was excited to get it, then excited to wear it. Perhaps you love scarves? Get yourself one if you can. Love purple? Paint one of the walls in your house purple.

14. Wear nice clothes.

PJs are comfy, but you don’t have to wear PJs and active wear everyday. Put on some of your “going out” clothes, do your hair, or do your hair in a funky way.

15. Be gentle with yourself.

Keep up the good work Mamas. Be gentle with yourself.
Anna Marie Chemi is a stay at home mom who never wants to grow up, with 2 sweet boys.

COVID-19 : 7 GUIDELINES FOR PARENTS SHARING CUSTODY

Author: Lorraine Mlambo is an Edmonton based Family Lawyer.

Like a thief in the night, we never saw this coming. The Covid 19 pandemic is the unseen common enemy that has wreaked unprecedented havoc around the world, leaving a trail of disaster, deaths, uncertainty and confusion. This pandemic will undoubtably pose a challenge for parents who are already separated or going through separation.  To help parents through these trying times, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) and Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) have issued the following helpful guidelines:

  1. BE HEALTHY.

Comply with all CDC and local and state guidelines and model good behavior for your children with intensive hand washing, wiping down surfaces and other objects that are frequently touched, and maintaining social distancing. This also means BE INFORMED. Stay in touch with the most reliable media sources and avoid the rumor mill on social media.

 

  1. BE MINDFUL.

Be honest about the seriousness of the pandemic but maintain a calm attitude and convey to your children your belief that everything will return to normal in time. Avoid making careless comments in front of the children and exposing them to endless media coverage intended for adults. Don’t leave the news on 24/7, for instance. But, at the same time, encourage your children to ask questions and express their concerns and answer them truthfully at a level that is age appropriate.

  1. BE COMPLIANT WITH COURT ORDERS AND CUSTODY AGREEMENTS.

As much as possible, try to avoid reinventing the wheel despite the unusual circumstances. The custody agreement or court order exists to prevent endless haggling over the details of timesharing. In some jurisdictions there are even standing orders mandating that, if schools are closed, custody agreements should remain in force as though school were still in session.

  1. BE CREATIVE.

At the same time, it would be foolish to expect that nothing will change when people are being advised not to fly and vacation attractions such as amusement parks, museums and entertainment venues are closing all over the US and the world. In addition, some parents will have to work extra hours to help deal with the crisis and other parents may be out of work or working reduced hours for a time. Plans will inevitably have to change. Encourage closeness with the parent who is not going to see the child through shared books, movies, games and FaceTime or Skype.

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Saving My Sanity During Social Distancing

Normally, I work outside of the house and due to class cancellations I’m home with the kids. I honestly thought the Social Distancing (as per the awesome Dr. Henshaw’s suggestion) wouldn’t get to me.

Well, I was wrong.

It was 10am on the second day when I finally broke down. I cried, a lot. I cried for the people who are sick, I cried for the people who’ve died, I cried and cried and cried. And then, I heard my kids playing and I told myself I had to stop.

There are people out there on the front line – grocery workers, nurses, doctors, police, fire, 911 operators, the list goes on and on. Like all the memes say – We can stay home – for them and for everyone.

So I made myself a list of 5 things that I can do to save my sanity.

Live Yoga/Meditation

There are so many people offering free live, or affordable online memberships. I’ve been watching two in particular myself – Fitcityguide and Metta Yoga but I would LOVE to hear if you’ve found awesome resources!

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Family Values and Work

Up until 2 weeks ago, my work was full time. 730 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday, both kids in Daycare. No flexibility, no leaving early, or even really being able to stay home with the kids if they were sick.

PS – this is not a political opinion post. 

This was a change after having an incredibly flexible, work from home or partial work from home job since my daughter was 1. I started this full time gig just before she turned 9.

I loved my work.

I loved the customers, I loved my co-workers and I loved the daily challenges. I respected and grew to care for the people I worked with. BUT there was certainly “culture shock”.

The kids being in daycare, coming home spouting opinions and “Well, Dayhome Lady says…” 9 hours of my day not seeing them. By the time I got home and made supper, it was pretty much shower and to bed. There was one time my son was a bystander of a fight on the bus, a kids head hit into his mouth knocking one tooth out, and he was bleeding. I wasn’t there at the stop for him. Dayhome was. It broke my heart.

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Where You Can See The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train Around Alberta 2019

As the holiday season approaches a favourite activity for many families across Alberta is to check out the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train.

This year live entertainment from Dec 5th – 7th will be from Scott Helman and Madeline Merlo and then for the rest of the way it will be Terri Clark! Warm-up around the bonfires while sipping some hot chocolate, and of course seeing all of the beautiful lights that decorate the train cars.

Here is where you can see the Holiday Train for 2019:

Provost Field adjacent to railway tracks at 50th Avenue and 46th Street 2019-12-5 5:55 PM 6:00 PM – 6:30 PM Scott Helman and Madeline Merlo
Hardisty East end of CP railway yard, west of Highway 881 overpass 2019-12-5 9:00 PM 9:15 PM – 9:45 PM Scott Helman and Madeline Merlo
Camrose 52 Avenue and 50 Street, next to Moose Family Centre 2019-12-6 1:05 PM 1:15 PM – 1:45 PM Scott Helman and Madeline Merlo
Wetaskawin CP ES Building, 4009 50 Street 2019-12-6 3:25 PM 3:30 PM – 4:00 PM Scott Helman and Madeline Merlo
Ponoka 50th Street and 47 Avenue 2019-12-6 5:00 PM 5:15 PM – 5:45 PM Scott Helman and Madeline Merlo
Lacombe Len Thompson Fish Pond 2019-12-6 6:50 PM 7:00 PM – 7:30 PM Scott Helman and Madeline Merlo
BlackFalds CP tracks at Greg Street between Broadway Avenue and East Avenue 2019-12-6 8:05 PM 8:15 PM – 8:45 PM Scott Helman and Madeline Merlo
Innisfail 52 Avenue and 50 Street crossing 2019-12-7 1:15 PM 1:25 PM – 1:55 PM Scott Helman and Madeline Merlo
Olds 50th Street Level Crossing 2019-12-7 2:45 PM 3:00 PM – 3:30 PM Scott Helman and Madeline Merlo
Didsbury CP Mainline, 20th Street and 18th Avenue 2019-12-7 4:05 PM 4:15 PM – 4:45 PM Scott Helman and Madeline Merlo
Airdrie Nose Creek Park, Main Street, East side of CP tracks 2019-12-7 5:45 PM 6:00 PM – 6:30 PM Scott Helman and Madeline Merlo
Calgary Anderson C-Train Station – South C-train parking lot 2019-12-8 5:45 PM 6:00 PM – 6:45 PM Terri Clark
Okotoks Along Dagget Street between Northridge Drive and Veterans 2019-12-10 12:00 PM 12:15 PM – 12:45 PM Terri Clark
Blackie Across from Post Office at 1201 Railway Avenue 2019-12-10 1:35 PM 1:45 PM – 2:15 PM Terri Clark
Vulcan CP crossing at 1st Avenue and 2nd Street 2019-12-10 3:15 PM 3:30 PM – 4:00 PM Terri Clark
Lethbridge 2nd Avenue North and 12th Street, behind Save On Foods 2019-12-10 7:00 PM 7:15 PM – 7:45 PM Terri Clark
Fort McLeod Level Railway Crossing on 5th Avenue 2019-12-11 9:15 AM 9:15 AM – 9:45 AM Terri Clark
Pincher Creek Mile 61.12 – Railway Crossing Range Road 302 off Highway 3 2019-12-11 10:35 AM 10:45 AM – 11:15 AM Terri Clark
Coleman South of 17th Avenue between 69th and 70th Street 2019-12-11 12:40 PM 12:45 PM – 1:15 PM Terri Clark

Also, don’t forget to bring healthy non-perishable food donations (or cash to donate instead) which will go towards local food banks in your community to help those in need.

For more information or to get live updates you can check out www.cpr.ca 

Thank You 811

Sometimes I look back on when my kids were really little and think to myself; What would I have done without the nurses at 811?

Of course as Canadians we are lucky in a lot of ways, but I’m specifically talking about our access to health advice.

Back then, I had 811 on speed dial. I don’t know how I would have got through those years without it. Even now I’ll call ahead of taking them directly to the hospital. Obviously if it was something really serious I would take them straight there but, thankfully I’ve almost always been able to use the advice I receive to help.

How long is too long for a fever to last?

How many times is too many times for my kid to have puked in 1 hr?

At what point is a cough not just a cough anymore?

What the heck is this bump on their toe?

What is 811?

811 is Health Link. By dialing 811 you gain access to quick and easy advice from a registered nurse 24/7.

There is also really great information at your fingertips on myhealth.alberta.ca

So, thank you. Thank you to all the medical staff that work tirelessly in our hospitals and on the phones.

We are grateful for you!

Remember, in a medical emergency, always call 911 or visit the nearest emergency department.

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