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.
This sh*t seriously has to stop.
On my very best parenting days I still sometimes worry that I’m completely screwing up my kids. And there have been plenty of times – PLENTY - where I’ve had a terrible-horrible-no-good-very- bad-parenting-day. You know, the drag your screaming toddler out of the grocery store by his arm while people stare at you in judgement days. Those are the days when I would give myself a failing grade and more often than not shed a tear because those days can really wear a mom down.
Now multiply that by a million and I would imagine that’s how it would feel to get a “failing grade” on the front cover of a magazine.
We mothers are hard on ourselves as it is and I imagine that these celebrity mothers can be hard on themselves too… BECAUSE THEY ARE HUMAN BEINGS.
Human beings who deserve to not be plastered all over a magazine with a grade beside their parenting skills. A grade based on miniscule moments shot through the long range lens by paprazzi who have been following these women around just waiting for the shit to hit the fan so they can get that photograph.
No matter what we do for a living or our lifestyle, where we live, or the money we make - we are all mothers – you, me, Kim Kardashian – all of us. We might not parent the same way, hell...we may even disagree.
Please, do not ever buy this crap magazine that would exploit you the same way if you were to suddenly become famous. Give them the failing grade they deserve by not giving them one more cent of your hard-earned money.
Pass this on to every woman and mother you know.
We do not have to buy into this – LITERALLY.
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.
I stick a note to the front door with a clue, which leads them to another clue, which leads them to another clue, and so on until they finally get their treasure. Usually just a small outdoor toy like a ball or skipping rope so they can work off their sillies.
Our Editor-in-Chief, Jeni, takes the treasure hunt up a notch by tying a long piece of string to the front door and then looping it throughout the house – up stairs, around furniture, in and out of bedrooms – and the kids have to follow it until they find the treasure.
Every once in a while I like to give them a special after school treat. Again I leave a note on the front door so they know to expect something. Some of the notes I have left:
I donut know how you got such an awesome mom. (donut)
This is a new twist on one of your favourite treats. I’ll be you’ll want s’more (S’more treats)
Come inside and take a lookie. I just baked some chocolate chip cookies.
If Monday kicked you in the butt this little treat is sure to score a smile. (cookies that were decorated as soccer balls)
I literally google “Kid friendly jokes” write one of the jokes on a sticky note and put it on the door. Simple as that.
Dudes, not everything in life has to be Pinterest friendly.
Really, the picture says it all.
Want to get inside the minds of your kids? Don’t ask them about their school day, ask them a question that really makes them think.
I have a box of questions and they get to choose one. The best thing about these questions is that there are no wrong answers. Your kids can be serious or silly in their responses – the important thing is that you are talking.
Here are ten questions to get you started.
What is the most comfortable place in your home?
If you could change one habit what would it be?
People who _________ have the most courage in the world.
What is one thing that always cheers you up when you are sad?
Complete this sentence. We are on this world to _________.
What nice things do people seem to tell you about yourself?
What makes you know you can trust someone?
What’s your favourite animal and why?
Do you think animals understand us when we talk to them?
What is your favourite thing to do as a family?
Last but not least when your kids first get home after school you should put everything else aside to sit down and really listen to what they are saying. Direct eye contact and showing you’re listening about what went on in their day really helps you connect.
Sometimes if I get up early enough and have had enough coffee, I’ll write a chalk note on the street in front of our house.
But this doesn’t happen very often because, you know, I’ve still got lunches to make.