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.
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.
Lately we’ve been talking about worrying in our house. About how it’s ok to feel worried and how everyone worries about different things but that doesn’t mean that it’s less important.
My one son just tried out for a sports team for the first time and was anxious.
My other son has weekly spelling tests at school that he wants to do well on. And by well he means he wants 100% EVERY time so he works hard at it but he worries.
In conversation with Dr. Ganz Ferrance.
My kids are getting older, they’re 7 & 9 now, and I’ve been contemplating a summer camp where they actually stay there for a week – the sleepaway camp. I recall being around 8 years old when I attended my first overnight camp and I have really fond memories of it! It was very strange at first, and I was a little homesick too.
We decided to have an expert weigh in on some of the questions I had around knowing if your child is ready for sleepover camp. Alberta Mamas reached out to Dr. Ganz Ferrance, a registered psychologist in Alberta to discuss.
Does My Spouse Have a High Conflict Personality?
- Is your spouse rigid and uncompromising?
- Does your spouse have difficulty accepting and healing from loss?
- Do negative emotions dominate their thinking?
- Does your spouse have an inability to reflect on their own behavior?
- Does your spouse have difficulty empathizing with others?
- Is your spouse preoccupied with blaming others (mostly you)?
- Does your spouse avoid any responsibility for the problem or the solution?
If you answered ‘yes’ to most of these questions, then your spouse may have a High Conflict Personality. According to the High Conflict Institute, these are some of the patterns you see in a person with a high conflict personality.
I used to go BIG for birthdays. That is actually one of the things Box Social Event Planning did when I started the business. We planned parties for parents that wanted that “Pinterest” party but didn’t have time. We would do such elaborate parties that one time we brought 8-foot trees into a play place to create a perfect Woodland Theme.
Simple Ways to Curate Lasting Memories
At the centre of my childhood were simple experiences rich with texture and wrought with meaning. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I was able to appreciate the beauty in the simple togetherness my mom wove into the fabric of our family. Our family didn’t have a lot of money so my mom got creative. I find myself using many of her ideas with my own children and I enjoy coming up with my own. Time is the precious gift our children want above all. Here are some of my favorite memory makers! I would love to hear about yours.
By Amanda Cook, C.H.N.
Taking time to focus on your needs is neither selfish nor selfless, it’s simply necessary for your mental, emotional and physical health. When mother’s take the time to care for themselves, they’re better able to meet the needs of their family. Have you ever had a bad day and just watch your intimate world fall apart? I have! A mother is typically the centre of the home and when her needs are met, life just flows easier.