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Parenting

In Lifestyle, Parenting, Working Mama on
July 8, 2019

#MomCrushMonday – Mona Ismaeil

WAHM/D, SAHM/D, Work out of the home or other?  WAHM

# of Kids? Ages? 2 Kids:  I have two kids; Manessa (6 years) and Malik (3 years)

What movie makes you cry? My Sister’s Keeper. It just hit close to home. When it came out, I was struggling with some health issues.  Most often, I tear up in movies that have to do with Parents and their children.

Tell us about a mom/dad who inspires you? 

My own parents for sure! My parents made a very tough decision to leave home; Egypt; to seek a better future for themselves and their children. They learned the language, worked 7 days a week, built their life together one brick at a time.  They were typical immigrants working for the dream.  They raised my sister and I here in this amazing country trying to balance an Eastern culture and Faith in the Western world. They taught us to be proud of who we are, and to remain rooted.  They taught us to work hard, be honest and to do what you can in life then leave the rest up to God.

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In Lifestyle, Parenting on
July 5, 2019

My Kids Like Video Games, Should I Get Them Into Code?

By Leah Elzinga

“My kid spends all their time in their room playing video games. I’m worried they’re not making friends. At least they like technology?! Maybe you can teach them to code!”

Every six weeks or so I receive an email or request similar to this one, with frazzled parents begging me to teach their kid to code to get them out of the basement but… that doesn’t work. Here’s the thing: I love technology. I love the thing itself, I love the process of building it, and I love the people involved. In and of itself, though, technology isn’t the solution to all of our problems: people are

So let’s unpack this problem. Kid spends all their time playing videogames online. Ok, so this isn’t really a problem in and of itself. Is the kid still active? Gets their homework done? Let’s assume the answers there are a “yes”.Kid is anti-social. Ok, so this we can work with, but maybe not in the way you’d expect.

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The Hats We Hang Up

We’ve all heard the expression of “wearing many hats”.

As a parent, our “hats” grow exponentially – teacher, disciplinarian, many meal maker, friend, therapist, taxi driver, launderer, the OMG It’s Lost Forever Finder Hat 😉 etc.

In order to take on all these new “hats” we often have to hang up some old ones. Sometimes it’s our Career hat. Sometimes it’s hobbies. Like, did you know I have my motorcycle licence? Probably not because I hung up my helmet once the babies came. Sometimes parents manage to juggle all the “hats” they had before – I’m not sure how they magically do that but that’s pretty amazing.

My kids are getting old enough now that a few of the “Mom Hats” don’t come out as often. It has me eyeing a few of the ones I hung up and thinking to myself that perhaps, I could take them off the hangers soon. I could maybe even try on some new ones and see what fits. It’s both freeing and daunting. Like, they won’t need me as much soon. And eventually not at all. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not in mom mode ALL the time, but I always know if I’m not there someone else is taking care of them. There will be a point where they will be their own people completely, and in turn, well, so will I.

I might need to start looking at Kijiji and get myself some wheels. 😉

Did you hang up any of your “hats” when you became a parent?

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In Lifestyle, Parenting on
June 16, 2019

Should Schoolyard Games Be Banned?

I still remember the feeling of being thrown flat on my back after getting blocked in a game of Red Rover. The wind would completely be knocked out of you and you would lie there for a while looking up at the sky, getting your bearings before hopping up and joining the other team. BUT nothing beat that rare occasion you found the weak link in the other team and you went flying through winning the chance to bring someone back to your side.

I didn’t go to school THAT long ago (I am not that old…) but it seems like a lot of games we used to play are considered dangerous and are not allowed in schools anymore. So this got us thinking:

I get that the school boards are trying to prevent injuries but are we bubble wrapping our children too much when we say they can’t play games like Dodgeball? It’s a tough question and we would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.

 

In Lifestyle, Parenting, Random Thoughts on
June 14, 2019

Three Bees Series – Part 1 – Bee BIFF

PART 1 – BEE BIFF

Is it not funny to think that there was once a time you would sit by the phone and wonder if he would call or text you; and when his name appeared on caller ID, you would smile and get butterflies? And now that you are separating from him, you know he will call or text and wish he wouldn’t; and when he does call or text, it gives you an uneasy feeling.

Hostile emails, texts and other forms of communication from a former spouse with a high conflict personality may be routine.  Bill Eddy’s BIFF Response method is one way you can effectively handle hostile communication. This method encourages you to be Brief, Informative, Friendly and Firm in your responses. It also encourages you to respond rather than react, which will leave you feeling more empowered.

Brief

It is best to be brief in your responses to those nasty messages and communication. The more material you provide to your former spouse, the more ammunition they will have to attack you; and the higher the chance of an argument ensuing. It is best to keep your responses simple and to the point.

Informative

When confronted with nasty and hurtful comments, it can be instinctive to try and lash out, to face these issues and correct them. However, this response is what sets you down the path to confrontation. Simply stick to providing an accurate set of facts, and nothing more.

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In Lifestyle, Parenting on
June 9, 2019

The Phrase No Parent Wants to Hear – “Mom I’m in the Talent Show!”

It’s the words no parent wants to hear.

“Mom I am in the talent show!”

I mean I guess if you have a child prodigy that can sing and dance like Michael Jackson or play the piano like Beethoven or crush through wood planks like Chuck Norris – awesome. The talent show is for your child. But these words scared me. My kid isn’t talented.

And before you get all Sesame Street on me telling me every child has their own talents blah blah blah -hear me out. I know my kid is talented just not in a “I will be the next America’s Got Talent star” kind of way. And I remember how mean kids can be.

And then he drops this bomb on us…

It’s an original song. About Bulbasaur the least appreciated Pokemon.

See the source image

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When Pets Aren’t Just Pets, They’re Family

In the summer of 2000, my boyfriend at the time, now my husband and I were living together and I convinced him (begrudgingly) to get a puppy. I had been on the Humane Societies website and saw that they had four American Eskimo puppies. I fell absolutely in love with a photo of one, then named Indy. I went to meet him all by myself. He was the runt of the litter. All ears and we named him Buddy.

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5 Strategies to Reduce the Stress of Motherhood

By Victoria Smith

Stress is on the rise, particularly with women. But, I don’t need to tell you that, do I? Intuitively, we feel overwhelmed. From acting as a perpetual chauffeur to coordinating play dates, or from healthy meal planning to juggling sick days and attempting to work from home, motherhood is stressful. Here’s the deal, though, it can be less stressful when you have the right tools, strategies and mindset in place.

Before we get into five strategies that you can implement immediately, we need to start with mindset. If you think your day is going to be stressful, it will, because that’s how you’ve primed your brain. You’ve given it the signal to find evidence of stress wherever you look. To counter this, what I want you to do is start every day by setting an intention. Believe me, I know that if you wake with the kids, it can be hard to find a moment for that, so a fall back can be to write out your intention and set it next to your alarm clock. What should that intention be? I put it back to you – how would you like your day to go? For example, my daily intention is to show up as an engaged parent, wife and friend, and a Rockstar entrepreneur. Yours could be to a search for gratitude. Or to be mindful. The intention is personal to your needs and desires, but set one and start each day reminding yourself of it. Only then will the following strategies take real effect.

1. Stop comparing yourself to other moms

It is so easy to get into a shame-spiral of how you are performing as a mother when your friends or Insta-community are throwing Pinterest-perfect parties for a two year-old. Or maybe you pick
up your child from daycare only to find out that they’ve bitten another child – of course it would be the most well-behaved child of the seemingly put together momma. We are all on our own  motherhood journeys. We all have our own past, our own challenges, and our own beliefs to grapple with. Just because you do things differently doesn’t mean you’re doing them worse. First step if you find yourself in this comparison black hole? Take a social media break. If the comparison is coming from in-person interactions, before each encounter remind yourself that you are doing the best with what you have, and your kids are well-loved. Because at the end of the day, your child won’t care about the perfect party or baked goods or that they were potty trained a year before all the other kids. They’ll remember time spent one-on-one with you, the cuddles and bedtime stories. Presence and love matter most.

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In Parenting, Random Thoughts on
May 27, 2019

To Trash or Not To Trash?

One of the things that I struggle with on a daily/weekly/monthly basis is how much evidence of my kid’s childhood really needs to be saved? You only get one shot to collect memorabilia to immortalize your child’s early years… and the pressure is on. I don’t want to screw it up, but…will I still care about their very first scribble when I am 60? If I do, how many pieces of scribble paper do I keep? What about their first onesie, or their first soccer jersey? And what about the first time they wrote their name in all capitals? Or the first time they wrote their name with just the initial capital? Or the first time they wrote their name using cursive? It is a very slippery road I tread here, and I don’t wish to be a future guest on Hoarders. Does anyone else deal with this insane mental battle each time it comes to children’s items?

It feels like a nearly daily debate over whether to chuck or save the latest sub-par colouring page or sneaky little activity that has found its way home in the school envelope (Teachers- I am on to you! You don’t have the heart to throw these things out so you send them ALL home for me to deal with). As soon as I try figuring out whether it deserves saving or not, I begin to think thoughts like;  it is definitely not their best work but they wrote “To Mom” in the cutest printing. Or,  they made if for me. How much longer will they be making me art? However, they also gave me a rather wrinkled copy of Rubble’s head yesterday… Maybe they won’t notice if I recycle this one? But what if my child’s love language is gifting, and I am just throwing away her love…

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In Parenting, Random Thoughts on
May 8, 2019

The Butterfly Effect

This is not an easy post for me to write, but in light of recent events, I feel compelled to share a part of my story and some of my coping mechanisms…. So here goes. I’ve been described by some people, as a person who has a lot on her plate. They’re not wrong, it is a lot to juggle.Taking care of two young boys, caring for a mother who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and early onset dementia,managing the household and having 2 bigger dogs to contend with, holding down a job ( or sometimes 2 jobs) and having a husband that works in and out of town does have me mentally and physically exhausted at times. My emotions get the best of me. 

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