She was a bad role model. Perfectly clean house. Perfectly behaved kids. Perfectly satisfied spouse. Perfectly balanced life. I had to kill her. SuperMom (and her myth) had to go into the diaper genie where they belonged. Because no mom can live up to "perfect" and I was trying so hard it was driving me insane.
1. Kid swap with a friend. You take their kids (+ your own) for the morning and they take the bunch for the afternoon. The kids will entertain each other and you get a half day of "me time".
2. Board game day. Dust off monopoly, operation and clue and get your game on.
3. Family friendly destination. If you trek out to a museum, indoor playground, science centre or zoo - keep in mind a lot of other families are doing the same on your day off. Plan for crowds, take snacks and breath deeply.
Don't you ever wish you could freeze a delicious family moment in time? Tuck that newborn smile in your pocket and save it for a rainy day? Upon the occasion of Valentine's Day I have some ideas to treasure the family luv forever...and do it for free.
It is a fantastic debate...withdraw from the paid workforce for family care giving or opt-out of the playground years to provide for the family. Katy Read's recent article, "Regrets of a Stay-at-Home Mom" (salon.com) re-sparked the debate of stay-at-home vs work-in-the-world. So what will it be?...play ground or pay cheque?
Family Literacy Day is on Jan. 27th and all over schools, libraries and families will be holding activities for reading (and pre-reading) kids. And when I first thought of activities to share with you to mark the day...well, I thought Robert Munsch (and some other Great Canadian Writers)...
Now, before you read any further - I'm all teary writing this...because when I think of Robert Munsch...I think of "I'll Love You Forever"...and that book makes me cry. Every. Time.
There is only so much one can do with a babe on the breast (or hooked up to a pump or busy with a bottle). Just when you get the baby latched (or machine attached or water boiling) the big kids have instant needs. "I'm hungry" "I'm bored" "I need to pee". Here are some "mom-hands-off activities" for big kids; keeping them occupied while you feed baby.
This is a great activity to re-purpose all those broken, unloved crayons every family has in their art closet. And having done it as a rainy-day activity myself with my kids - I have the dos and don'ts for...making recycled crayons.
So you might have wondered if I crawled under a rock since posting my Baby Blues confessional last week. Actually, I crawled into my social network. Once word spread that I was having some challenges with new baby, big kids and balancing life the tweeps, peeps and friends stepped up.
First off, thanks for all the supportive comments to that post. Also, the How are you doing today? tweets I am still getting. It takes a few minutes for you - but absolutely makes a new mom's day reading she is not alone in the world. Thank you guys!
Upon the birth of her new baby - a Facebook friend wrote her status as: "I knew there would be a lot of crying in the house with a new baby...I just didn't realize the tears would be my own". I, Activity Mummy, gave birth to our son 7 days ago, and the tears have been flowing ever since - however I wouldn't call them joyful. Is this the baby blues I've read about?...
4 days until my due date and we have yet to settle on a name (we are either very laid back or very lazy). I have friends who had baby names picked even before they were pregnant. Us? Well, it's #3. Which means all the good child names are like parking spots in December - TAKEN.
We, my prince and I, come from large families where you don't repeat names (unless they are grandparents - and those are for middle name use only). So there is a bunch of great names automatically off this list (gee thanks Sarah, Laura, Christophe and William!).
What do I give the teacher? I let go of the "teacher gift guilt" somewhere around 2nd grade stage when I was buying for 2 teachers, 2 teacher assistants, the secretary, the kids' BFFs and the school bus driver (though I still buy for the school bus driver - because that's a big job with little thanks). In my world, teacher gifts were costing a fortune and a ton of crazy.
Now, instead of thinking "What do I give the teacher?"...I ask the kids "What are YOU going to give the teacher?" - because it is their gift to a special person in their lives...not mine.
We have hit the stage in parenting where every child's birthday party invitation includes "It's a SLEEP OVER!" As an Activity Mummy I can appreciate the fun of a sleep over...however as a parent...well sleep overs aren't allowed. And this makes for a struggle.
Not that I fear my child will be molested. Or lost. Or any other bad thing. There are 3 plain reasons why my kids don't do sleep overs.
1) My prince (and the papa of my children) has strong opinions on sleep overs...and I respect his right to parent.
So I'm having this baby. Soon. Really soon. And I'll admit - my holiday shopping for the kids is pretty much done (I'm very good with deadlines). I shopped off the "Dear Santa" list this year...and went with the theme of presents that don't include parents.
Because this year, we're baby-busy (for which I do feel a bit guilty of) and we need gifts that will occupy the kids while we take care of a newborn. I thought it timely to share my shopping list with you...as you might also be in the market for presents which don't require parent-energy...
So what does one do when you have kids home with chicken pox and other sundry sicknesses? Activities of course! Thus, we recorded a Vlog (which got the kids away from Hannah Montanna and all I had to do was push record).
Voila! ActivityMummy Vlog: How to make a paper mailbox.
(that low-tired-voice in the background - yep, that's me - le tired)
Despite the fact that my dd (who we now call Spot) was vaccinated for Chicken Pox as an infant...this week...she has...THE POX! 53 spots at highest count - which I understand is a fairly mild case. What to do when your child is quarantined, contagious yet perfectly bored?...
Because, other than the odd itch and a bit tired...dear ol' Spot feels fine. I've been giving her Oatmeal baths every morning and night to help soothe the skin (and tho you can buy "Oatmeal bath" packages in the store - 1/2 cup of rolled oats from the pantry does the same job).
Bullying is an awful experience. It can create low-self esteem, isolation and nightmares. What are the signs to look for? What do you do if when your child is bullied?...
My Thing 2 was having a problem with another child in school. Nothing physical. My take was that she was just being bossed around (kids will be kids right?). "She's a bully!" Thing 2 would tell me. But I responded "ignore" "walk away" "talk to the teacher" .
Quite honestly, shopping is not a kid-activity. Because kids get bored. And have to pee. And want a snack. And have to pee again. This year, I'm holiday shopping without kids because I can't deal with the frustration, counter-productiveness and cocktail cravings that shopping with kids creates.
AND I'm doing most of my holiday shopping, right now*, online. Because:
1. I am really, very, pregnant...and crowds, cashiers & carrying?...so not up my alley.
Completely inspired by the Kindness Revolution (brainchild of the awesome Sharon and Candace) I want to share some tips about how to #BeKind to Muthas...which is ironic because I was just talking, with Erica last week, about how unkind people can be to expectant moms.