A few years ago I messed up completely – it was me who ruined the Santa Claus story for my oldest child.
I began Christmas shopping early so I’d be ahead of the schedule and hid $250 worth of gift cards in a book that was also a Christmas present so I wouldn’t lose them. By the time it came to wrap the gifts I had completely forgotten they were in the book. For two weeks I tore the house apart looking for those damn gift cards, everyone in the family knew they were gone – including the kids.
One of my favourite childhood memories is watching the "Carol Burnett Show" with my family. It was the ultimate variety show/sketch comedy and I looked forward to it every week. Now, as an adult, I realize many of the jokes went over my head but the best part for me was the anticipation – waiting to see if this would be the week where Carol, Tim, Harvey, or Vicki couldn’t contain the laughter.
Dads get a bad rap. And I’m not talking about that sandwich-thing I once bought from a street vendor during a heat wave.
Proper food temperature is important, people.
On television and in movies, dads are often portrayed as buffoons incapable of taking care of their kids. The response to families where the dad is the main caregiver who stays home is often one of surprise.
I was going through some bins the other day and came across this letter I wrote to my husband when my boys were ages 6 and 3. And as I read it, it came back to me how hard it was to manage everything - working, taking care of the kids, keeping the house clean.
My boys are now older, but moms of young kids? I haven't forgotten.
Listen, I get it. I'm the parent of two boys. It was much easier to ensure they were active when they were younger because they had no choice. But as we all know, kids get older and aren't always into doing what we want them to do because there are computer games, Cookie Clicker, text messages and WILL YOU GET OFF THE SOFA BEFORE YOU BECOME A PART OF IT?
So before you get to the screaming stage, here are some easy ideas to make getting active fun so your kids - who are currently connected to the couch and technology - become connected with activities.
When I participate in a race, I don’t ever have any expectations except to cross the finish line, preferably in one piece with no injuries. Everything else is just icing on my sweaty-red-I-feel-like-I-may-have-a-heart-attack face.
But what happened at this race was so much more than icing. It was one of those moments you never forget, and I never will.
It’s June 21st - Father’s Day - and I’m Team Member No. 3 in a triathlon relay at the Toronto Triathlon Festival.
One of the comments I hear most from my close friends is how I’ve managed to achieve balance in my life, which makes me roll my eyes and laugh because, and I'm going to let you in on a little secret here...
Sunday morning. It’s early and I’m out running errands. I’m in my happy place because my kids are old enough that I can now do errands alone which every mother knows is the equivalent to a day at the spa.
I get in line to pay for my items, see this magazine cover, and just like that my serenity is gone.
If your kids are anything like mine...about three days after starting the school year, they are already done with it. They've caught up with their friends, opened all the new school supplies and reality has hit them like a tonne of bricks - they've got ten more months of this.
To combat this a couple of times a week I break out of our routine and greet my kids in a special way they aren’t expecting. It’s done great things for all our moods and sets the tone for the rest of the afternoon and evening.
From a young age, my older son was afraid of the water. At a beach or pool he would tentatively walk in, stopping as soon as the water reached his waist, not going any further for fear of getting his face wet. Splash pads were a torturous medieval gauntlet he avoided by running around the outside edges of the pad while trying to figure out where the water would come from next to avoid being splashed.
14 years ago my mom passed away less than a month before Mother’s Day, making that Mother's Day the second worst day of my life. That first year with my mom gone was like a punch to the stomach on every holiday and celebration she missed.
There’s a Tumblr account called Asshole Parents and it’s simply photos upon photos submitted by parents of their kid in meltdown mode because the parent wouldn’t let them do something. Google #AssholeParent and you’ll be inundated with these photos. Kids crying, screaming, flailing, freaking out, tear-stained faces, faces contorted in anger…
New parents are excited about milestones - the first smile, first tooth, first birthday, first steps - but the parents who have been there and done it know some milestones are insidious and once that milestone has been achieved you can't undo it. Like the homemade tattoo you got when you were 19.
Learn from us new parents; these are the milestones you want to put off for as long as humanly possible.