Birthday Parties Mean Birthday Gifts, Right?

I'm A Good Mother, I Swear

Birthday Parties Mean Birthday Gifts, Right?

My daughter had her birthday this month and that means she had her birthday party this month. What THAT means is that she received birthday presents this month. And THAT has become the bane of my existence.

My daughter is one lucky girl and her life is full of amazing people who showered her with wonderful gifts. A lot of wonderful gifts. What sorts of gifts, do you ask? Umm, I wouldn’t know. I wouldn’t know because I haven’t let her open them yet. Sigh.

I know, I know. I’m the worst mother ever. Not to mention how embarrassing it is when guests ask me if she liked her Barbie laptop or Fisher Price dollhouse or whatever else it is that she got. Oh man, is it ever embarrassing! In my defense, I’m very thankful for everyone who went out of their way to buy her a gift and really do appreciate it. Honestly, I really do.

The thing is that this kid has everything. She has a playroom dedicated to just playing with toys. It is literally bursting at the seams. It is full of every single toy she could ever want and many more that she no longer even wants. I don’t know what to do with more toys.

Actually, that’s not really true. I do know. I know exactly what I am going to do. I am going to donate an old toy that she no longer plays with for every new toy she receives. That is the master plan. However, I need to find time to organize all this. And time is what I do not have right now. And that is the reason I won’t let her open her gifts. Ugh, I feel like I’ve just revealed a dirty secret. It’s not really so bad, is it?

I just need to figure out which toys to take away and I need to find room for the new toys so they don’t overtake my house. I know a good mother would allow her child to open her presents and would worry about the mess later. I know a good mother would have let her daughter play with all her toys right away. I know, I know. Shame on me.

I swear, I’ll have it all sorted out soon and then she can open all the presents she wants. Right now I console myself with the knowledge that I’m teaching her delayed gratification and patience. That’s important stuff, people. Did I mention I have a newborn in the house? Doesn’t that make a difference? I just had a bad case of mastitis. Does that count for something? It’s been really cold. What about that?

I'm not really that bad, I promise.

Now if only I could get rid of this guilty feeling.


Me-Time in the Morning Makes the Day a Little Brighter

Carving Some Much-Needed Quiet Time

Me-Time in the Morning Makes the Day a Little Brighter

I’m so not a morning person, but I do love my mornings.

Go ahead and ask me why.

It's simple, really. My mornings are my time; my time before my hellions wake up and cause the usual chaos that only they can cause.

I love my children. I really do, but as a mom to a toddler and a newborn, my day is always b-u-s-y. Not busy like, “Oh-my-God I have to make sure I schedule my manicure and pedicure early in the morning so I have enough time to go shopping for something cute before my romantic dinner out!”

Nope, not like that at all.

It's actually more like, “Oh man, this kid gets every outfit dirty with poop within five minutes of putting it on and I have run out of sleepers and will have to resort to diapers only if I don’t get laundry done. Hopefully I have time to get a few loads in after cleaning the baby vomit off the new sofa. If I can find the damn sofa under the mess these kids make. Speaking of which, where are these kids? OMG, they’re in my bedroom! Noooooo….” Whimper.

That’s pretty much a breakdown of my day, every day. Which is exactly why I try to start off with a relaxing breakfast before my kids get up. I’d probably go crazy if I didn’t have my precious alone time in the mornings and by alone time, I mean quiet time. Some time for me in a day that’s otherwise all about my children. Bless their hearts.

So as you can see, my mornings are important to me and that’s why I was so excited when Dorset Cereals asked me to write about how everyone can brighten their mornings. Because breakfast really is one of the brightest parts of my day and I was already a big fan of their product.

In a predominantly gluten-free household, I’m very particular about the grain products I bring into my home. Dorset Cereals has been one of the few exceptions. They have pure ingredients which are packed with fruits, nuts, and seeds. I know I’m eating something that’s not only delicious but is also good for me.

I think it’s important to take some time to relax before the start of a busy day. In fact, it should be mandatory that before children get up and have you running around all day, you get some time to just do what you want to do. Some time to watch the early morning talk shows, do some online window shopping, sip at your tea. Whatever you please while you enjoy your breakfast.

And it’s really not hard.

Too rushed in the morning? Set out your bowl and your box of Dorset cereal the night before. Preset your coffee machine and have a sit-down breakfast without cooking one single thing. Or maybe set a pot of flowers on the kitchen table. Studies have shown that flowers or plants help brighten your mood—and momentarily distract you from the mess that’s called your living room. Listen to some upbeat music instead of the Wiggles for once. Better yet, enjoy your breakfast outside on your patio now that the weather is finally cooperating (thank you, Mother Nature).

My own morning routine is simple. It involves a crossword puzzle, lemon water, a cup of hot tea, and often some cereal. Just some peaceful time alone without anyone needing something from me. Food that I don’t have to share with anyone else and more importantly, isn’t picked off my children’s plates. And I mean real food. Not a sugary, processed substitute. I wouldn’t say no to any of the seven varieties of Dorset cereals but my absolute favourite is the Simply Delicious Muesli with its blend of raisins and sultanas, sunflower seeds, dates, Brazil nuts and roasted hazelnuts with multi-grain flakes. It has no added sugar and no added preservatives but still satisfies my shameless sweet tooth. So much more filling and healthier than a sugar laden muffin. A win-win in my books.

It’s hard work being a mommy. But, not everything has to be difficult and that’s why I make breakfast the easy part. Because at the end of the day, it's the simple pleasures that are the most rewarding.

Here's your chance to brighten your breakfast with this delicious and nutritious treat!


We're giving away a year's supply of Dorset Cereals to one lucky YMC member.

Enter to win this Simple Pleasures prize pack, courtesy of Dorset Cereals. 


I May Be A Mother But I Still Need Mine

A Mother's love

I May Be A Mother But I Still Need Mine

After my daughter was born, my mother stayed with me for an entire two months. Two freaking months and it was ah-mazing.

I come from a culture where women traditionally went to their parents’ home to give birth and recuperate but because it wasn't feasible for me to go back home, my mom came to stay with me. It is absolutely and without a doubt, the best thing possible after having a baby.

Culturally, giving birth entitles a woman to six weeks of ‘time off’ from the everyday hassles of life. This time is used to focus solely on getting stronger and bonding with the newborn baby. With my oldest daughter, my mom stayed a month but because of some complications this time around, she stayed another month longer to help out.

I didn’t have to worry about my toddler feeling left out with the arrival of her baby sister. She had her grandmother around to remind her just how special and loved she was. I never had to worry about bathing a newborn without irritating my Caesarean section stitches. My mother bathed my baby until I could move around without pain.

She helped me get through those first few lonely nights when your baby never sleeps and you’re so unbelievably sleep-deprived. Better yet, she told me to go nap when I looked exhausted and needed a break from my two children. She changed more diapers in the first few weeks than both myself and my husband. She cooked, cleaned, and washed endless piles of laundry.

I don’t know what I would have done without my mom in the weeks after having both of my daughters and I commend all of you who do it without any help. I’m just grateful I never had to do it without her.

I don’t think we really realize just how much our parents care about us until we become parents ourselves. Even more importantly, we don’t realize just how much we need our parents until we have children of our own.

It makes me think that maybe I should have been….ahem, easier….during my younger years. Sorry, Mom. I totally owe you one.