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When the “Bully” Tables Turn

My daughter has seen her share of bullies and she’s only in Grade 2. From preschool on there’s always been that one child. She has been the child who runs to the teacher immediately so has been a “bully” target because of it. My initial reaction is Mama Bear but almost always secondary I wonder about the child. We know that kids who bully are sometimes modelling behavior they’ve seen or as the Have You Filled a Bucket book says, they have an empty bucket and don’t understand that hurting others won’t fill theirs.

Honestly, I’ve thrown my Judgy Jessie hat on more times than I care to admit when watching said children’s interaction with their parents. Saying to myself, “Ah, now it makes sense”.  Does it though? Do I know the back ground of what’s going on with that family? No, I don’t and I hate judgment. I feel guilty every time I think back to any time I decided to do that to another human being.

Let me tell you why this has suddenly become so clear to me that it’s the wrong thing to do. Because recently, it was MY daughter that was the bully.

And I am sort of ashamed it came to that. I’m not going to get in to great detail but she made some bad choices, along with some other kids that were making bad choices. The only reason I know is because her little bro ended up being involved.

When she finally opened up and let me know what was going on I was in shock. It was like the first time you realize your parents aren’t perfect. MY DAUGHTER? The “tattle tale”, help everyone who’s in trouble, compassionate, smart, funny little girl had made the CHOICE to treat others badly. Needless to say it was a very long conversation. Followed by further conversations with her AMAZING teacher, and at least one apology letter being written.

In the end, I feel like the whole situation was one of the best things that could have happened to our family. They say kids teach you more than you teach them. Truth. I had to hold in my reactions and think a lot about how to make this a teachable time. I also took this as an opportunity to remind her that I’m here to help her get through mistakes like these. She learned from this, showed remorse and even now, weeks later, we discuss it as a cautionary tale.

Cause kids make mistakes. Our kids make them, other kids make them and we make them too. Our job as adults is to help them through, learn as we go and withhold the judgment against other adults who are maybe just doing the best they can.

I know that’s what I am hoping for the next time either of my kids decide to dabble in bad choices. I’d love to say they’ll never do anything like this again, but if I thought that, then this situation would have taught me nothing.

Edmonton's Child

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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Splitting Duties 50/50 as New Parents

We all have grand illusions on what it is like after a baby comes home. Your baby is content and on a schedule like you read in the books (depending on what book you read), your home is maintained the same way with the addition of a couple of baby related items, and all the extra baby tasks are split evenly between your spouse and yourself. If you already had your baby, you will realize this was all a dream that did not come true. Reality is not at all like this.

Often when talking to friends, the topic of splitting duties come up. Friends usually start to complain about how their spouse is not pulling their weight around the house and they wished their spouse would do more. The last thing I would hear from this conversation was how “unfair” it was.

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Silence Is Golden

By Natalie

Photo: Tessa MW

When my sister and I were young it was always a pleasure to drive with my dad. He worked shift work, and wasn’t able to be with us 24/7- so when we were together it was always enjoyable. He was silly and kind, but most importantly, he played the AM radio loudly. Whatever song was playing, he was always game to “crank it up.” We sang along to Fleetwood Mac and Blondie. We wore our sunglasses at night and walked like an Egyptian. The three of us would ride squished together in “Beulah,” his beige Ford Ranger belting out Broken Wings and wondering what Bette Davies Eyes’ really looked like. It wasn’t just in the truck that the music flowed.  When we accompanied him to his building he’d use our portable Fisher Price radio and microphone to play the crackling local station. Anytime I hear any 80’s song on the radio, pieces of my childhood come flowing back.

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The Best Father’s Day Gift I Ever Got

By Rob Burtt

I will never forget the birth of my first child. It’s not that the latter two births were less significant, it’s just that the first was such a surreal and sobering experience. I remember this  6 lb. 3 oz. little girl meeting the world for the first time. I recall having her bundled up little body placed into my arms and thinking “Wow, I’m a Dad.”

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The Power of One on One

You don’t realize that your littles are watching your every move.

Today was date day. My husband took my middle man to the Oilers Skills Competition, and I had my girl, and the baby. After I put my baby down for a nap, my little lady and I got ready for our at-home-date.

You don’t realize that your littles are watching your every move. Even the little things, every second. They want to be just like you. We were having a tea date, “like parents do”. She picked our tea, we used my tea pot (not the one she made with her mama), and she really wanted to use my favourite mug. As she said, “the mug you use all the time for coffee”. She was so excited. I bought a special banana chocolate chip coffee cake, which she got to cut her own piece.

When we were all set, the date began. She used my mug, she used a glass plate, and a metal fork. Her eyes sparkled. I watched her every move. I listened to her every word. I fell in love, all over again, with my little girl. I could not believe how she had grown up. The language she used (I wasn’t aware how vast her vocabulary was) was beyond her years. But as we drank our tea, and ate our cake, I saw her. I really saw her.

This is what she wanted. This is what she craved.

She is the oldest of 3 kids, all under 5, and my life got a little crazy. It got busy. Her baby brother takes up a lot of my time, unwilling to take a bottle, struggling to nap or sleep at night. I could see she felt dismissed.

All she wanted was to be with me.

I make sure she gets attention every day. I make sure I ask her how school was, or what her favorite things are. I ask her what she wants to be when she grows up. But today she wanted me, and only me. And I made sure she got me. She confided in me. She was open with me. I was amazed.

My 4 year little girl is turning into a bright, thoughtful, caring human being. Her favourite people are her little brothers. She wants to have her own business so she can work from home, and she wants to be a mom more than anything. We make an effort to have monthly dates with our littles, but this just affirmed these are essential. I don’t want to miss my babies growing up.

By Kelly Eves 

I’m Kelly! I’m a new SAHM, working part time. My husband and I have 3 beautiful children (almost1-3-almost5), a fur baby, Archie, and a budding business. I love wine, sleep (ha!), and binge watching shows on Netflix- which one day I may have time to again! I find peace in new recipes, and running/working out. Find Kelly on twitter @MrsEves5 & Instagram: Chaotic Cooking

Inquiring Minds Want To Know

They say the average 4 year old asks 437 questions a day. Whether this is true or not, it feels like it. And as they get older the questions don’t stop, they just change shape. It’s a beautiful thing their inquisitive minds and I often wonder how my parents did it without a handy smart phone equipt with Google, Wikipedia or Google Home to ask. I imagine I just got a lot of “I don’t know” ‘s or “Ask your teacher”.

Aren’t we lucky in this day and age that we have the ability to satisfy their curiosity so easily?

In my case, my 8 year old recently discovered the Guinness Book of World Records and she can’t seem to get enough of reading them. The other day though, she referred to the book as the Genius Book of World Records, and I corrected her, saying I understood why she might have read it like that. This then prompted the question “What’s Guinness”. To which I replied “Well, it’s beer but I’m not entirely sure what that has to do with World Records”. I myself had never questioned it. One of the things you gotta love about having kids is the constant learning, even if it falls into the category of basically useless information. At that point, I needed to know the answer too.

This question reminded me of other questions she’d asked me about and I thought it would be fun to check with a few friends to find out what kind of random, curious questions their kids had asked. Which I then of course had to google and find out the answer to 🙂

Krista ~ When my son was about 3-4 years old he asked me if an ant has an esophagus.

Jennifer ~ Liam wanted to know why his hands got wrinkly in water so we googled to get the exact reason! 

Nadia ~ Where does the sky start?

 Allison ~ Oh my goodness; what do people do in Church, how many moons does each planet have, why do some religions have more than one god, do we believe in god, what is a solar system, can you stand in a closet during a tornado, what’s a ditch, can you blow up balloons if your pregnant and these are just some lately. My kid makes me feel dumb all the time. She finally just reads my face and says oh is this one of the questions I should wait to ask later in life?
And some google can’t help with, or helps in a round about way….

Kristi ~ This was recent: why are girls so much meaner than boys? Not thinking Google will have an answer. But mom is working her way through. 

Rosanna ~ I defer to Google whenever I’m not ready to have a conversation. I say, “let’s look that up when we get home” and hope they forget. Like the time {my son} asked how babies are made.

In case you’re interested, here’s what Google had to say about my daughters question.

The idea for a book of records begins in the early 1950s when Sir Hugh Beaver (1890—1967), Managing Director of the Guinness Brewery, attends a shooting party in County Wexford. There, he and his hosts argue about the fastest game bird in Europe, and fail to find an answer in any reference book.

Now, it’s your turn.

What crazy, fantastical, wonderful questions have your little ones asked that led you to learn something you didn’t know before?

Edmonton's Child

The First “I Love You”

It was a normal Saturday morning, kids were just getting up and I went for the morning pee. I was on the toilet (door open of course, because with a 6 year old and a 3.5 year old I forfeited peeing privacy a long time ago) and two little arms snaked around my waist and the cutest little voice said “I love you mommy”. Tears sprang to my eyes. Three and a half years. It took my sweet little girl three and a half years to say those words to me and I often wondered if I would ever hear them.

My three-and-a-half-year-old daughter Madeleine has a severe speech and language delay. She has always found ways of communicating with me and telling me what she wants…lots of jibber jabber, half words only I could understand, pointing and physically showing me and her dad. I always spoke to her as if she could understand what I was saying, even though I wasn’t always sure she could. There was just always a wall between us. So, we had her assessed by a speech pathologist. She said it perfectly: ”Madeleine has lots to say, but only she knows what she’s saying”. She recommended we enroll Maddie in an early entrance program that specializes in children with delays, so we did. They began working with her 3 mornings a week.

It’s a long process…her learning words and forming sentences. Her understanding what you’re saying to her or asking her. One that some days can be very frustrating and simple processes turn into full on meltdowns- sometimes for her, sometimes for me. It’s hard seeing friends with kids her age or younger saying and doing things she’s nowhere near. It’s hard when strangers ask her questions and she looks at them blankly and then they look at me like “what’s wrong with her”. On good days I tell myself, “all kids develop differently” and “she will get there”. On bad days I have to fight the mom guilt. The “I did something wrong” and “this is somehow my fault” and “I should have done ____ differently”.

But on that Saturday morning, even though it wasn’t an ideal location, when she looked at me with her big blue eyes and said “I love you mommy” it all became worth it. “I love you too baby girl” I whispered back. And in that moment I knew that we got this and it’s all gonna be ok.

My name is Mara Needham. I am 32 year old stay at home mom to Grayson (6) and Madeleine (3.5) in Peace River, AB. I have been married to my husband Sean for almost 8 years. I have never written a blog of any kind before, but up until I became a mom I wrote commercials for the local radio station. Find me on FacebookTwitter , & Instagram