My kids are 8 & 11 and are in Grade 3 & 6. Just like us sometimes they need a break. So I let them stay home from school even when they’re not sick.
We don’t over schedule (as much as we can with two active kids) but sometimes life piles up. Big family changes, busy weekends, changes in school, and growth spurts sometimes all pile up in one messy ball of emotion and they get to a point where they just cannot function.
So they get to stay home. No questions asked.
I will say that this does not happen often. We trust them to make a judgement call when they need it and this power has yet to be abused. So far in this school year the youngest has taken one day and the oldest has taken two. They are rarely sick (knock on wood) and although we travel occasionally they don’t often have to miss a ton of school.
I can usually tell as soon as they wake up that they are going to use the “free pass” that day. Sometimes they will wake up, start playing into it and talking about staying home but 99% of the time they perk up, eat their breakfast and continue on with their day. But the other 1%? They tell me they just need a day.
A day to stay in bed. Read. Build Lego while listening to their podcasts. Watch their favourite cartoons. Cuddle.
I know the privilege I have to be able to work from home and adjust to their needs. I am grateful I have kids who do not take advantage of this. I get that this will not work for every family.
But for us this works. And as they grow up and become adults I hope that they learn that it’s OK to take a day to recharge.
Deanne Ferguson is the owner of Box Social Event Planning. When she is not planning fun, family, friendly events she is finding the yummiest food for the Edmonton Home and Garden Show Food Stage. She loves her #cocktailMonday dates with her husband and chasing around her two boys. You can find her at @DeanneFerguson on Instagram and @BoxSocialYEG on Twitter
I am not neurotypical. I have been diagnosed with ADHD, ED, LMNOP… Depression, anxiety and others I don’t know enough about to write about quite yet. Along with these letters, each one carries their own unique symptoms I deal with on a daily basis and while I try not to let diagnoses define who I am, it has been pretty clear that my diagnosis are something I can’t ignore. Also, LMNOP is not a real diagnoses, before we go any further.
When I was in my 20’s I played the game with myself where I decided I would not let my past effect my future. That I would not “dwell” in it and that anything I had gone through before was not going to shape who I was. This led me onto several unsavory paths that definitely shaped who I am if my diagnoses didn’t. Ignoring your symptoms is pretty impossible. While you think you are ignoring them, what you’re actually doing is pushing away anyone effected by your symptoms and bringing in people who have the same symptoms as you in the guise of “understanding” and “relating”. Let me tell you something, two unstable people does not a stable relationship make. In time, your life becomes chaos. The people in it are causing chaos by mirroring what you’re going through and dragging you down with them. The people you should have in your life that love you, you subconsciously push away in order to protect them. Or, you’re too afraid to hear the truth and be faced with the consequences of your own decisions. The decision that you were going to ignore your symptoms.
I’ll be honest with you, I have loved making goody bags for my kid’s birthdays. However, and that’s a BIG HOWEVER never once have I judged anyone for choosing not to make them and I’ve always taught my kids to be grateful that they’ve been invited to a birthday part and to not expect anything else.
My anxiety seemed to be managed and I was doing so well for a long time.
Well, you know how that goes. Life happens. Family issues pop up, especially around the holidays. I got busy and missed a few days of my medication and boom. The insecurities, the irrational thinking, the fear, all come on and it feels like I’m drowning again.
And you would THINK you would notice this in yourself but in my case I didn’t. I had to have a friend give a good swift kick and say – Ok, what’s up – you haven’t been like this in a long time. Then it dawns on me, and I remember missing days. And my Dr. has said that particularly stressful times will make my anxiety “flare up” but there is also the issue of time.
It seems like a simple activity that we should all be able to do right? It is cheap, can be done at any time, and doesn’t take any equipment other than shoes.
Most women that I work with feel really frustrated when it comes to running because just doesn’t feel good. They leak, they have back, hip, pelvic and/or leg pain, or it just feels awful on their bodies.
Lots of Mamas I meet love running and want to return to running races or plan a getaway for a destination race. Some just want to get out for a run a couple of times a week for fitness and for the mental break. Many want to run with their kids and not be stuck on the sidelines watching as their kids grow.
The most common strategy that I see women take with running is to take it slow. They start with a slow 20-30 minute jog around the block with plans to work their way up to longer or faster runs.
And I totally understand why! I made the same mistake myself nearly 9 years ago when I returned to running after my first baby Avery was born.
This approach misses a few KEY strategies though, which is why many women find it hard to get past this distance or they quit all together.
Choosing activities for your children can not only be overwhelming but frustrating as well. There are SO many options out there now. And when your child is young it is impossible to tell what they’re interested in besides listening to Baby Shark on repeat and asking to watch Paw Patrol for the 10000000000000th time.
I’ve been working as an entrepreneur/mompreneur/freelancer/contractor/business owner whatever you want to call it, for over ten years. I’ve had big clients, tiny clients, and big projects and projects from hell and everything in between. I can say, unequivocally, from my 10 years of trying to make money while raising a family and trying to be a regular human that the “hustle” … is stupid.
Whether we like it or not, winter is here for a few more months. Getting the kids to go outside and play seems like way more work in winter especially when they are little. We’ve come up with some tips and tricks to help you get outside and take advantage of the snowy weather. Who knows… Winter may even become your favourite season!
- Dress for the weather – this means lots of layers especially for little ones. It can also mean spending some extra money on things like really good socks (wool based ones are great for warmth and moisture), boots, and mitts. Yes even for yourself! If you are cold you will not want to be outside. We live in a place where it is winter for half the year – invest in some good winter boots. It is a game changer!
- Sign up for winter activities if your budget allows – If you have put money down on a class, chances are you will show up no matter the weather. Ski lessons, snowshoeing, winter hike tours, and skating are all things you can do as a family.
- Enjoy the darkness – With winter comes shorter days but that doesn’t mean you have to stay inside. If you live in the city go for a drive to the country and go star gazing. Elk Island National Park, Kananaskis, or really any country road are all great options for star sighting. Don’t want to leave your backyard? Give the kids flashlights and glow sticks to take outside. You’ll have to drag them back in.
- Bring treats – Summer adventures mean ice cream and picnics but you can reward yourself for getting outside in winter too! Get a fancy hot chocolate and go for a walk or instead of finding ice cream, find a new bakery to check out.
- Book a mountain trip – Jasper in January can bring some great hotel deals and if you have a flexible work schedule try booking Jasper or Banff midweek to save some money. Winter doesn’t seem so bad when you are surrounded by Rocky Mountain beauty.
- Make a playdate – Tell the other parent they will be outside so they are dressed appropriately and let the kids build a fort, have a snowball fight, or build a snowman. Playing is more fun with a friend.
- Plan a family toboggan date – Get friends and family together to go tobogganing. Everyone brings their sleds and a thermos of hot drinks and you’re ready. If tobogganing isn’t your thing, find an outdoor rink and have a skating party!
- Use summer toys in winter – Keep the sand toys out to let them build snow-castles and dig with shovels. Bring out bubbles and watch them freeze. Use hula hoops for a winter obstacle course. Just because they are toys marketed to summer activities doesn’t mean they can’t use them year round.
Winter is not going anywhere so you may as well join in. If the kids see you out having fun, they’ll follow suit. And soon enough they will stay outside longer than the time it takes to bundle everyone up. Hopefully.
I would not categorize myself as a giver of great advice, a life coach or motivational speaker but I will tell you that over my 39 years I’ve discovered a few great truths to live by.
I’ve not overcome any great challenges, but I have overcome many small ones. Breaking cycles, making choices based not on what I’ve learned early on but what I see makes other people whole, happy and admirable. I thought you might enjoy or maybe even be inspired by My Truths.
1. Hate and anger really are poison.
You don’t hurt anyone but yourself when you hang on to it. The person your anger is aimed at is more than likely not going to change just because you’re mad at them. You on the other hand have a choice not to allow whatever it is to rule your choices because 9 times out of 10 when you make choices based on anger, resentment and vengeance you make the wrong one.