Browsing Tag:

Mom

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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Beyond The Books – 5 Ways To Utilize Your Library

I LOVE the library.

Give me a room full of thrillers, adventures, self-betterment, romance – you can go anywhere in a library! A while back I found out there is a lot more to my little library card than paper books, magazines, movies and cds to take home. I just had to share.

ME Libraries

With my FREE EPL card I have access to 9 Libraries across Alberta via the ME Libraries website. Why would that come in handy? Well, for example, I reside in Edmonton BUT have joined the St. Albert library. They have Pre-Loaded Audiobooks – my EPL doesn’t. These come in handy on flights, long drives etc. You just plug in your headphones and voila! Great for kids too. This access can also come in handy if you’re on vacation somewhere in Alberta! You can visit the library, take out a few things and return them before you head home. I’m sure there is a plethora of other ways this comes in handy!

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In Parenting, Random Thoughts on
April 8, 2019

The Helicopter Vortex

A few weeks ago my husband asked if I was going to arrange for our six year old daughter to play with her friend, Ava. It had been awhile since their last playdate. I sighed and responded that it was on my list of things to do, but I was kind of hesitating. When he asked why, I had a hard time putting it in to words. It wasn’t that I don’t love Ava, she is a great kid, and it isn’t that I don’t enjoy her mother, because she is actually a really good friend of mine. It came down to the fact that her mother is a helicopter parent and the sheer act of having a playdate with her meant that I was going to have to enter the Helicopter Vortex. I was going to have to over-parent my daughter.

Have you ever felt this before? Or ever been in a situation where you find yourself altering your parenting style to match more closely to whomever you are with? I call this the Helicopter Vortex and it is exhausting and confusing and guilt-inducing all at once. To be fair,  I have found that it doesn’t just swing one way either. I have also fallen into a few interesting Free-range Fiascos too.

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In Health, Lifestyle, Parenting, Random Thoughts on
March 29, 2019

Parenting in a Panic

I’m going to be straight up honest with you.

I had a panic attack this morning waking up to my children. My youngest miracle is three and hates sleep. I often say he will grow up into a fine entrepreneur since he has no concept of time. I can count on him being in my room between 2 and 5 a.m. every day. When he comes in, so does his older brother, who has a radar go off every time he senses his brother is getting iPad time he isn’t.

When this happens they are like two beta fish in a tank fighting over a kernel of food. These are the days I hold a deep disdain for the high and mighty “we don’t do a lot of iPad time” horse I seem to ride on.

This morning at 4 a.m. I woke up to my youngest and the first thing I felt was a stabbing pain in my chest. I could feel the attack starting. I set him up with an iPad and tried to settle myself down. Convincing myself it was only because I was disturbed in the middle of a sleep that my body had panicked.

An hour later both children are screaming and fighting. One wants oatmeal, one wants pancakes, no wait cereal, no wait toast. But it won’t be done fast enough so can I make them a snack before I make them breakfast? Also:

HE…HAS…MY….TOOOOOYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!

My one son runs upstairs with the other toy, the chase begins.

I haven’t gone to the washroom yet and the list begins in my head. It’s the list I know I’ll forget, the list of everything important that needs to get done today. It’s not the list that gets me, it’s the fact that I know after 32 years of life, that this is the “didn’t do” list, not the “to do list.”

E-mail dings. I have a bride interested in my wedding packages but how much would it be to travel to B.C and would that be something I am up for?

OMG what an amazing opportunity, I’ll just message her back rea….

MOMMMMYYYYYYYYYYYYYY.

My kid lets out the 911 scream.

Did he fall from the bunk? Is he bleeding from the head? Did he find one of our animals deceased? I’m terrified, my chest stabs in pain. He can’t find his tiger, not just any tiger, his favorite one.

5 deep breathes.

I get a message “Did you register Maverick in Kindergarten?” My heart pangs again.

Oh right. My baby is going to Kindergarten in two weeks and every time I try to think about it, tears well up in my eyes. I message my best friend as I cry, looking for some solace.

My 3-year-old escapes out the front door. I had a chain lock on it but they busted it last week. The three-year-old lets all the animals out just as the neighbours are having cement poured.

Thinking a walk and some fresh air will cure this anxiety and chest pain, I manage to get everyone dressed and out the door.

The coffee shop is packed and my claustrophobia kicks in. I start taking deep breaths but each breath is more painful than the last.

Am I having a heart attack? Maybe this isn’t anxiety. Maybe this is the real deal.

People with anxiety are known not only for having their medical issues dismissed to anxiety, but also dismiss it themselves. Often times I will delay going into the doctor for weeks. There was a time in my life I almost died from a virus thinking I had the flu and anxiety. Another time a nurse didn’t believe me that I was in active labour and said she just thought it was my “anxiety” and didn’t request the epidural.

I purchase some drinks and a coffee, a medicinal coffee in my mind, and leave as quickly as I can.

As I anxiously watch my kids play balancing act and “how high can I jump?” in the park, I start wondering whether I’m honestly having a heart attack and contemplate calling an ambulance. I’ll just google this symp….

My son gets stung by a wasp on his hand, for the second time in as many days.

He is screaming, and I’m worried. I breathe in and it hurts. I pick him up and the weight of him exasperates the pain. I have to put him down, it hurts too much. We abandon our drinks, including my freshly purchased coffee.

I carry him all the way home, all 42 pounds of him as I worry and struggle to breathe. We get home and my chest hurts badly.

I pull out the iPad, maybe I can kick this panic attack with a quick 10-minute meditation.

The kids are fighting, and they’re hungry, and they want to play outside, and can my oldest make his own cereal, can my youngest *insert jibber jabber request*. Also, MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY.

My chest aches.

Five things I’m grateful for

Five deep breaths

Pain

Tears

Mommy…

Mommy…

Mommy.

Is the day over yet?

It’s 11 a.m.

This is the life of a Mom with generalized anxiety disorder. What does this mean? It means I am worried about everything, and I always have been. I remember being a child and constantly being told I needed to calm down, not worry, learn to soothe. I had no idea why everyone else wasn’t in a constant state of panic and I was. I remember looking at my Mother after another failed doctors appointment. She was telling me “It’s your anxiety. You need to calm down and stop worrying” and with every bit of sincerity asked “How? How do I do this? Please teach me.”

I have two children now who I love more than anything and a business I have foraged from making my own path to my wildest dreams. I need my own business because my anxiety can make working a 9-5 job detrimental to my health. I carry the weight of mistakes so harshly that I have been known to lose my hair, suffer from chronic vomiting, and panic attacks. Most days, my over thinking will have me at the top of my class in thoughts per minute and common sense. I can analyze situations like nobody’s business and I’m usually two steps ahead of the game.

However, some days I can not see the positives in this diagnoses, and it hits me how real it actually is. The actual physical pain is very similar to when I had pneumonia. It feels like I’ve pulled all the muscles in my chest. I am exhausted. It is now dinner time as I write this, but it might as well be the middle of the night. I have been in flight and fight mode so long I can no longer judge whether situations are safe or unsafe and I am saturated with fear and panic after 12 hours of this. Thoughts are unfiltered and emotionless. I’m just so tired.

As a Mom with anxiety, I could write several books on what life is like for me that is different from others. I remember asking a good friend “How do you plan a birthday party? Aren’t you scared you’re going to forget someone and hurt their feelings?” “No,” was all she replied. Life for any parent is anxious and overwhelming but for someone who has any sort of anxiety disorder, some days can actually feel like parenting is killing you.

If you are a Mom dealing with anxiety I want you to know you are not alone. It can seem like everyone around you is not seeing the same flaming to the ground world you are, and I understand this feeling.

If your today was exactly like mine, just know that the best thing is, tomorrow is a new day and this feeling will pass.

Tomorrow your anxiety may do great things for you!

1. Keep you from getting scammed. Someone with anxiety can see the loopholes in a scammer almost instantly.

2. Be great conversationalists. We are quick thinkers!

3. Be an amazing detective! Whether on the hunt for the perfect car or sleuthing for your bestie, someone with anxiety can deduce several facts as quick as a computer as well as find creative ways to research what they need.

4. Make you grateful. Someone with anxiety knows the worst outcome of every situation, and often times it is us you will find breathing out the most sighs of relief. Every day is a good day when the fear of doom doesn’t actuate, am I right?

5. Make you an amazing risk taker! When your brain has somehow fear mongered you into thinking the outside is a death trap, even walking outside can feel like climbing a mountain. Someone with anxiety is always overcoming a fear one way or another. Especially parents! Every single time we “allow” our kids out of our sight, we are overcoming our greatest fears, so bravo and encore!

6. Make you quick on your feet. Maybe you do something for work that requires you to be a quick decision maker, or maybe you have two active preschoolers as I do. Either way, anxiety is going to give you heightened reaction time! I can not tell you how many times I’ve heard “Wow, great catch!” or “Whoa, save of the day!”

Try to remember while you’re swirling in the tornado that the storm is temporary.

If you can’t see the light than your only job is to hold on. Hold on to whatever you can and breathe as much as you can. The kids will sleep eventually. If it doesn’t get better, talk to someone. Ask for help. Maybe someone who knows what you’re going through, or a professional. Don’t be afraid to sacrifice things in your budget for your time. You are just as important and can not pour from an empty cup. Also, call a spade a spade. If you are having a panic attack, say it out loud. You wouldn’t believe the freedom of just saying it. And remember, it isn’t all bad.

You’re going to be great. Maybe not today but you will be, and remember, you are not alone.

Kayleigh is a professional photographer, writer, boy mom, and entrepreneur. You can see more of Kayleigh’s work at www.16seasons.ca on Facebook  or on Instagram

Twirling Red Dress Photo: www.everlastphotography.ca

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In Parenting, Random Thoughts on
March 25, 2019

#MomCrushMonday – Contributor Natalie

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

I am a part time Grade 5 Teacher and a part time stay at home mom: the best of both worlds… most days!

# of Kids? Ages?

I have three energetic girls, ages 6, 4 and 19 months

What movie makes you cry?

A movie that makes me cry is The Lion King. I can’t even make it past the intro without crying and belting out “Circle of Life” at top volume.

Tell us about a mom/dad who inspires you?

I have so many friends who are role models for parenting! One of my best friends is an incredible, gentle and talented mother of 3 who owns her own Barre Studio and has been inspiring me since junior high. Thanks Jeanette!  Another is a co-worker and amazing photographer who always seems to have exactly the right answer for any question, and makes me strive to be a better mother- I couldn’t have done it without you, Tessa!

What’s the fondest memory you have of your life as a mom/dad so far? The biggest challenge?

My fondest memory of parenthood so far is each and every trip we have taken with our kids. Getting out of our day to day routine and fully focusing on the children while introducing them to all of the amazingly rich cultures and places in this world is truly rewarding.

My biggest challenge is parenting without our parents around. Some days I just want my mom to be here to offer support and a hug. She’s only a phone call away, but the challenges of last minute childcare and sick kids can be a lot on a working mom with no backup!

Would you rather be able to see 10 minutes into your own future or 10 minutes into the future of anyone but yourself? Why?

I’d rather see 10 minutes in to anyone else’s future, but not my own. The future is not ours to see… que sera, sera.

You and your oldest child switch bodies for an hour. What do they do? What do you do?

If I could switch bodies with my 6 year old daughter for an hour, I would fly down the street as fast as my legs could take me, until I felt like I could take off into the air, and not worry what anyone thought, or about pulling a muscle. I would promptly eat hundreds of calories of cookies and cakes without a second thought about nutritional value or calories or weight gain. Then I would throw a temper tantrum and slam a door or two. It would feel so nice to get it all out in an extremely immature way, without any regard for the door jamb or fixtures in my house.

If my daughter were in my body for an hour, I suspect she would raid the top shelf of the pantry and eat whatever she likes before trying to drive the car. She’d also send her little sister to her room for a power-trip.

In Parenting on
March 22, 2019

DON’T BE A MEAN MOM

If you are a mom, you’ve been in a situation before where you saw the behaviour of a child or mom and wanted to say something out loud to them. Regardless of whether or not you said something, if it wasn’t a safety concern, I am urging you not to say anything the next time the situation arises.

It took me years to build up an immunity and not to care about what others say or think about me. It wasn’t easy and I have my friend’s mom to thank for this immunity. She once said to me: People that don’t like you will always have something negative to say about you. Since they already don’t like you, why would you waste any time on them and care about what they have to say?

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In Uncategorized on
March 18, 2019

#MomCrushMonday – Contributor Rachelle

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

Both a Stay at Home mom and an entrepreneur mom running my business called Momentum Health & Wellness.

# of Kids? Ages?

I have 3 daughters: 6 year old and 4 year old twins! I’m not sure who’s going to need a holiday when they are teenagers … my husband or myself!

What movie makes you cry?

The Notebook makes me cry every time!

Tell us about a mom/dad who inspires you?

My mom inspired me.

She passed away from a brain tumour when I was 7 years old. I don’t have a lot of memories of her, but what I do remember is that she was a strong, kind and loving lady who fought till the bitter end for her life and still made time for her 5 children despite having cancer.  So on the days where I feel like I’m failing or struggling, I think of her strength and realize life is too short to worry about the small things and to live each day to its fullest.

What’s the fondest memory you have of your life as a mom/dad so far? The biggest challenge?

My fondest memory of being a mom so far is watching my daughters grow. Watching them learn new skills, observing how they solve a problem on their own and listening to their giggles when they play a new game they made up!

My greatest challenge being a mom so far is parenting 3 children differently. No one warns you about this when you decide to have more than 1 child!!

Would you rather be able to see 10 minutes into your own future or 10 minutes into the future of anyone but yourself? Why?

I wouldn’t see 10 minutes into the future of myself or anyone else.  I am trying to be more present with my life and live for right now, in this moment, and appreciate all the little things around me.

You and your oldest child switch bodies for an hour. What do they do? What do you do?

If my oldest daughter (6 year old) and I would switch bodies for an hour, she would make herself a hot chocolate with all the marshmallows she could fit in the cup, drive my vehicle to the nearest 7-11 and buy herself a slurpee, then she would would pick her own show to watch in my bedroom. (She was pretty happy to answer that question!

I would colour a picture, ask for a snack and take a nap!

 

Rachelle Howse is a mom to 3 young girls and owner of Momentum Health and Wellness in Edmonton, Alberta. She has a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and over 12 years of experience in the fitness industry working as a Certified Exercise Physiologist and Pre & Post Natal Fitness Specialist. She started her company to inspire and educate others about fitness and wellness. Her goal is to create a community of prenatal and postnatal women who support one another through their health and wellness journey as well as educating families on the importance of creating a healthy environment at home and being a positive role model for their children. 

Visit Rachelle atwww.momentumhealthandwellness.ca, reach out to her at rachelle@momentumhealthandwellness.ca, and follow her on Facebook or Instagram for motivation and inspiration!

In Lifestyle, Style on
March 6, 2019

How to Host a Clothing Swap!

We all know that once you become a mom the priority so often shifts from numero uno to the kids. It can be really difficult to find time AND money to upkeep your wardrobe when your kids are growing out of their pants at a rapid rate. One of the greatest things we’ve been introduced to in recent years is clothing swaps! This is a budget friendly, eco friendly and all around awesome way to clean your closest and re-fill it ‘with new to you’ items, perfect for the upcoming change in season.

What is a Clothing Swap?

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In Lifestyle, Parenting, Working Mama on
March 4, 2019

#MomCrushMonday – Contributor Suzanne Pescod

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

Work out of home – Marketing & Communications Director for all of Alberta’s Ronald McDonald Houses

# of Kids? Ages?

1 Beautiful 16 Month Old Daughter 

What movie makes you cry?

Life As a House, Homeward Bound, Toy Story 3 (all three — like tsunami of tear)

 

Tell us about a mom/dad who inspires you?

My mom – I cannot imagine how much energy she exerted when she was raising myself and my brothers. She was (and is) endlessly creative, allowed us to RUN FREE (she didn’t even bother putting furniture in our living room for five years – we just played in there instead.) But she also has strong morals – and a very strong sense of helping others. 

What’s the fondest memory you have of your life as a mom/dad so far? The biggest challenge?

I’m going to cry typing this but – holding my daughter as soon as the c-section was over. I cried, I whimpered, I couldn’t believe that she was in my arms after a very long pregnancy journey. It was completely overwhelming and even now the pure emotion of it can stop me in my tracks. 

The other memories always involve how much I love to hear her laugh and chatter. And the way she can give hugs – I can picture a few of those very special moments an done of my greatest wishes is that I will be able to picture them for many, many years. Coming to get her when she wakes up in the morning or at nap time – her cheesy grin plastered across that precious face – and thinking to myself “I cannot believe she is mine”. 

The biggest challenge has been coming to terms with the vulnerability it takes to be a parent. Your heart and soul is now out in the world and you cannot protect them (nor do you want to all the time) but the pressure that puts on my own heart and my own anxieties can be really challenging. 

Would you rather be able to see 10 minutes into your own future or 10 minutes into the future of anyone but yourself? Why?

10 minutes into my own future — I own my own future, not anyone else’s and I don’t think that I would want to take that from anyone – getting to see before they do. I would almost be nervous to looking into my own future. Now – ten minutes into my own past – I would love that to be able to reflect on some situations where I could have handled things differently. (What a boring answer — but it’s truthful!)

You and your oldest child switch bodies for an hour. What do they do? What do you do?

This would be fun – since our daughter is only 16 months. I would do bathtime to try and figure out why she all of a sudden hates it. I would cuddle with ‘dada’ just to get a glimpse into the adoring way she looks at her father. Or maybe I would just take a nap! 

My dear daughter would probably spend the whole time reading grown up books. She might also want to try driving – I’m pretty sure she would try driving. 

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