Have you ever lost your sh*t on another person's child?
We have an open door policy at our house. My boys can have friends over whenever they want. This means we have kids over after school, for lunches on the weekend, there are sometimes extra mouths to feed at dinner, and in the summer, I’ve considered investing in a revolving door. Most times my kids will ask permission if a friend can come over but if they don’t, it’s not a problem because I love the chaos, I love knowing my boys’ friends, and I love that these kids know they are always welcome here.
Parenting Dilemma: How Do You Enforce Rules For Your Child's Friends
The rules for our home are “house rules.” That means I enforce our rules for my boys’ friends. My boys can’t have tech Monday to Friday so when their friends are over, guess what? They don’t get to use tech either. If I hear a kid using bad language, I’ll call them on it. The only area where I’m lax is when it comes to eating. I won’t force a kid to eat something he or she doesn’t like.
This works for the most part but, I’m going to be completely honest here, with so many kids running around, it can be hard not to lose your sh*t.
One day I came very close to losing it when I saw my son and his friend chasing our terrified cat around the back yard, causing the cat to run up a steep set of steps, leap onto a railing, and almost fall one story to the ground. I ran outside and yelled so hard my face turned red – both boys looked at me with their mouths agape.
Suffice it to say, they never chased the cat again but it also made me realize how quickly your temper can get the best of you.
Right now you’re in one of two camps. You're either nodding your head because you would have done the same thing or you're judging me.
Which brings me to this intriguing show called The Slap starting on February 12th on NBC. Our Senior Web Editor at YMC Jeni Marinucci brought it to my attention and boy, did it EVER get my attention - like "gut punch" kind of attention.
It’s eight episodes and revolves around how a man slapping another person’s child has a huge ripple effect.
The trailer grabbed me from the get-go and I'm interested in seeing how it all plays out. So far the comments fall into two categories:
(1) The brat deserved it and
(2) The guy had no right to hit the boy.
I know which category I'm in. Now watch this trailer and let me know whose side you think you'll be on.
When my sons were born I recorded everything – first smiles, first foods, first words, first steps. Everything was photographed and written down so I’d never forget.
We do that, us parents. We want to remember everything and to this day I still look back and it makes me smile to see those images and words. It’s the one piece of advice all new parents are given: record everything and take more pictures than you think are necessary because the time flies by faster than you’ll ever realize.
Dear New Parents: Why You Need To Stop Stressing About Sleep
Heed it because it’s true. Those baby toes you nibbled while doing endless diaper changes will grow into smelly feet you no longer recognize, and it will happen in the blink of an eye.
But there’s advice nobody ever gave me so I’m going to give it to you now:
Always be on the lookout for the “lasts.” The lasts are devious. A last will sneak up on you and you have no idea it is gone until weeks or months have passed and by then it’s too late. It's gone forever and you didn’t even realize it happened.
The last time he holds your hand.
The last time she quietly, or not so quietly, slips into your bed.
The last time you cuddle with her on the couch when she’s home sick.
The last time you walk your kids to school.
The last time you get to pick out their clothes.
There are the swing pushes and trips to the park that will disappear.
The field trips your child once begged you to come on? A distant memory.
The play dates you organized based on which moms you liked best will be replaced by school kids you may or may not know.
Bathtime play is swapped for showers behind closed, locked doors.
Oh, it's not all doom and gloom. These lasts get replaced with other things like late night conversations, watching your young kids grow into amazing human beings, and learning what makes them tick. Self-sufficiency makes family vacations more about bonding than simply surviving. He may shower on his own but when he has a problem, he'll still come to you. And your little girl will become a teen who needs your advice.
But always, always hold those hugs a little bit longer than you should because there will come a day when you go to wrap your arms around your kids and they will deftly duck out of the way.
The lasts are devious like that.
Every January thousands of people make the resolution to get fit but by the end of the month, enthusiasm has diminished, newly purchased treadmills start to gather dust and dreams of running a marathon are replaced with Netflix marathons.
From someone who has been there, done it, and struggled along the way, these are quick and easy tips to help make being healthy more manageable.
One of the biggest truths I’ve learned is that it’s easy to skip workouts. You can always work out tomorrow, right? But then tomorrow turns into the next day, and then the next day, until you realize you’ve gone a week without doing anything.
Print out a simple monthly calendar and put it somewhere you will see it. Each time you work out, put an X through that day.
As you can see, I thoroughly enjoyed my Christmas holidays but am now back on track for January.
My bootcamp friend let me in on her little secret. Each time she goes for a run she pays herself $5.00 then at the end of the month she buys herself something fitness related. This year I’m paying myself a Toonie for every 30 minutes of exercise I do and at the end of the year I’m going to surprise my family with something. However you decide to ante up, pay to play is a good incentive.
Don’t use not having a large chuck of time as an excuse. Not every workout has to be 30 minutes or more. Fitting in short workouts throughout your day makes it more manageable and I know you have time for a quick ten-minute workout because you're sitting here reading this, aren't you. #Busted
So go for a brisk walk on your lunch hour or even fit in exercise during commercial breaks while watching your favourite television show.
Being active doesn’t necessarily mean going to a gym, taking a fitness class or jogging on a treadmill. If you find something you love, you’ll be more likely to do it. I do a family bootcamp with my kids once a week where they consistently kick my ass. So think outside the box and join a boxing class, take up dance, or get your friends and family together for a weekly walking group. Create a fitness program that works for you.
I used to have the mindset that if I couldn’t do 30 minutes or more….HARD….I wouldn’t do it at all. Basically I set myself up for failure. Whether you’re tired, stressed, or simply not feeling motivated, some days will be better than others. Even if you get active for only 15 minutes, that’s 15 minutes more than if you stayed sitting.
Every workout is unique. Some days you’ll knock it out of the ballpark, other days your workout will knock you on your ass. Never fret about what happened yesterday, don’t think about tomorrow, simply take each workout as it comes.