Holidays · Parenting

Happy Thanksgiving!

thanksgivingThis past Monday was Thanksgiving Day here in Canada.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
Belated.

Yep, I’m late.

Anyways…

I had all my kids at home for the Thanksgiving weekend.
It was great.
Yes, I fed them turkey and pumpkin pie.
And yes, they got to see their grandparents.

But, you know what?
My kids are all young adults now.

And young adults are loud.
And they like to tease each other.
And they like to tease their parents.
And they like to stay up really, REALLY late.
And they are really messy.
And I mean really, really, REALLY messy.

So, my weekend?
It was loud, messy, tiring, tease-filled and uh, fattening.

Yep, it was perfect.
And I loved every minute of it.

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving too.

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Family · Parenting

Be nice…to you.

20160926_205659844_ios-2I took this picture when I was away last week with a group of girlfriends.

Do you talk to yourself like you love yourself?

I don’t.

But, I do think I need to do this more often and I know many of my friends do too.

Which got me wondering – why are women, especially moms, so hard on themselves?

Oh, right. I think I actually know the answer to this.

It’s because if anything goes wrong with our kids it always seems to be the Mama who gets blamed.

This blaming of Moms starts the day our children are born and we are bombarded with information on how to put them down to sleep the right way – back, front side…pick one! Just know that in two years science will have discovered something new about it and you’ll have done the wrong thing.

And the criticism continues through our children’s youngest years as we try and sort out how long to nurse (or not nurse) them. And don’t even think about nursing them in public….

As our kids get older all Mamas will be accused of ruining our kids by either being helicopter parents or we’ll be told we are not engaged enough with them and that’s causing mental health issues.

When our kids are teens, we’ll be told we’re babying them if we pack them wholesome lunches,but if we let them sort it out for themselves then we are told we’re bad Mamas because they aren’t getting the proper nutrients they need to grow healthy brains and learn properly at school.

Don’t even get me started on how horrible Moms are about setting bedtime hours and trying to set guidelines around computers and video games. Whatever we try and do there is wrong too. Mamas are always too lenient or too strict.

Seriously, Moms cannot win in our society. Okay, PARENTS can’t win.

So, we do the best we can and you know what?

The kids seem to be turning out all right.

Which brings me back to the sign.

Speak nicely to yourselves, Mamas and non-Mamas too.

Because you deserve it!

And God knows, you’re never going to hear it from anyone else.

But honestly? You’re doing great.

And you’re beautiful too.

Worry lines and all.
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Family · Home · Parenting · School

I have a revolving door…

revolving-doorMy BFF sent me a card that said, Welcome to the revolving door years.

First of all, who knew such a card existed?

Secondly, at the time, I had no idea what she was talking about.

And then I set the dinner table for five, and I got it.

Yes, we are a family of five at my house again.

All of my chicks are back in the nest as my two young adult children are living here again so they can work for the next four months and save money for school.

And it’s wonderful.

But there is also some adjusting to be done.

My older kids are relearning that they have to tell me when they are leaving the house. Yep, you can’t just walk out my door. I don’t necessarily need to know what you’re doing, but I DO need to know that you’re not here. If there’s a fire, I want to be 100% sure who I have to save.

My youngest is adjusting to sharing a bathroom again.

I’m adjusting to cooking for more people, doing more laundry and trying to come to terms with the fact that there are big, noisy people banging around in my kitchen at 1 am making Kraft Dinner.

But, all that aside, I love having my children home again. I’ve missed them.

And I know I have to cherish these days because in four short months my older two will leave me once again to return to their own apartments and studies.

And I will miss them again.

A lot.

Yep, this fall I will be setting the dinner table for only three again.

But I also know that eight months after THAT,  everyone will be back here living together again.

Everyone is coming and going.

So, this time, next year?

I’ll be the one sending out the card, welcoming my other BFF to her revolving door years.

Here’s hoping she clues in faster to what it’s all about then I did.

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Daughters · Home · Parenting · School

She did it!

ArtMy oldest daughter just found out yesterday that she's been accepted into a studio/thesis course at her University for next year.

To get accepted into this course required a lot of hard work, great grades, challenging prerequisite courses and the creation of a portfolio showing talent and dedication to her art.

I always knew, deep down in my heart, that she would get into this program as she was working really, really hard.

Still, it was wonderful to get the text from her yesterday that read – I got in.

My eldest is all grown up now. She's a young woman who has her own apartment, makes her own meals, pays her own bills, buys her own clothes and fends for herself. 

I know the world sees her as a capable and talented young adult.

I see her that way too.

But, every once in a while, especially when we're talking about her art, I still see the little girl I was constantly buying new crayons and reams of paper for not too long ago.

Because, when my daughter was young, nothing made her happier than those two things.

So, eldest daughter?

I'm very proud of you.

But next year, if your program ever gets overwhelming, come home for a break.

I'll make sure there's a new box of crayons and lots of paper waiting for you on your desk when you get here.

Congratulations.

I love you,
Mom

Family · Home · Parenting

Communication Issues…

Blank SmileI've discovered something interesting.

For the past twenty-one years, I thought I was teaching my children to speak English, the only language that my husband and I are (sadly) fluent in.

Unless of course you count sarcasm. But, I digress. 

I've recently discovered however that I didn't teach my teens English. I know this because my kids don't seem to understand a word I say.

For example, if I ask my children to put their dirty dishes in the dishwasher, my children seem to think that I'm asking them to put them on the counter above the dishwasher or leave them on the floor of their rooms. 

When I ask my offspring to make their beds what they seem to hear is, please leave all your blankets and pillows in a squished up heap on the floor today.

And when I ask my kids to pick up their stuff from the back hall floor, they don't seem to hear a thing, because everything stays dumped there – right in the middle of the entrance. 

It's frustrating but true. My children just don't understand anything I say.

But I have a plan to help them learn my language.

Kids? In the future if you ask me for the car keys?

I'm going to give you an empty smile and a vacant look. Yep, I'll give you the type of blank look that means I don't understand YOU.

If you're asking for money for a movie or to pay for a school trip?

Same thing.

Ditto for a drive to the mall.

Ask me for anything you want and I'll respond the same.

With a blank smile and vacant look.

Want to know how to get Tired Mama to understand you again?

PUT YOUR DIRTY DISHES IN THE DAMN DISHWASHER, PICK UP YOUR CRAP AND MAKE YOUR BEDS.

Easy, right?

Right.

Oh, and thanks for listening, everyone.

Because you know my kids won't.

Sigh.
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Daughters · Family · Me · Parenting

Flying Away…

Empty NestMy youngest daughter has been away from home for the past two weeks.

She was away on a music trip for five days and then came home for twenty-four hours before leaving on a six-day school camping trip.

I miss her.

Yes, I miss her smile and her chatter and her sunshiny personality, but I also realized something else since she's been away.

I'm getting close to my empty nest years, and I'm not going to like them.

My eldest daughter came home from University for a few days while my youngest has been away and we made plans to go into the city to visit the art gallery and then have dinner together. For a minute as we talked about our plans, I found myself thinking about what I would have to do to make sure my youngest got dinner and to her dance class while I was out and then I realized – she's not here.  

SHE'S. NOT. HERE.

It didn't matter what I did.

The realization was freeing.

It was also awful.

I have two more years before my youngest goes off to University, and I am trying to make sure I have a full life of my own, so I'm not uh, lost when she, the last of my chicks, leaves my nest.

But honestly, I think I've discovered, over the past two weeks, that no matter how busy I plan on being when all my children have moved out, I'm still going to be lost.

And, sad.

Really, REALLY, sad.

Sigh.

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