Friday, 27 March 2015

Guest Post - First Time Mom - The battle of the Momzilla

Amanda is a childhood friend of mine and a first time mother. She juggles motherhood, a home-based business with Arbonne and expresses a passion for art. She resides in Toronto with her husband, Mike and their 4 month old son, Murray. 

The battle of the Momzilla

There were few things that scared me about becoming a parent. I wasn’t fussed about pregnancy, or even giving birth. After all, we have been doing it for millions of years, I was sure I could handle it. Right up there, however, in the top 5 things that scared me about being a mom, was the battles that ensue between other moms – bullying, judgment, infliction of guilt over the cruelty of exposing your newborn to non organic cotton, soothers, rock music, you name it.
My husband and I had countless discussions over the course of our pregnancy on how we were going to do this parenting thing – Breastfeeding, disposable diapers, feeding on demand, and perhaps most important, no co-sleeping. Under no circumstances. In his own bed, that is what is best. After all, co-sleepers end up being co-sleeping, sooky 8 year olds., and before you know it, you don’t even know what the other adult looks like naked, it has been so long since you have actually slept together without another wee human in between you.

We had our little boy in November, and I prepared myself for battle. The battle of the Momzilla. I was skeptical to even enter the world of “mommy meet ups”, but being a social animal, knew it would be a long winter if I didn’t at least give it a go.

So, I entered the ring. I listened with “sympathy” and secretive pride at the stories of sleepless co-sleeping nights, the other parent in a totally different room; latching problems, feeding positions. I waited for the looks of disdain and judgment as I pulled out my earth filling disposable diapers.  Held my breath for “tsks” as I tentatively shared that I left my son alone in his crib while showering, and left him upstairs at bedtime, had never laid down while feeding. But those “tsks”, those judgmental looks, never came. 

And then it hit me. I was the Momzilla. I had an idea in my head, as much as I said I didn’t, that my parenting was the right way. That somehow, I had the correct manual on how to raise a human being. My opinions melted away, and for the first time, really listened to the experiences of others. 

Cloth diapers are environmentally great, and not that inconvenient. Did you know that some daycares don’t allow kids to use them while in their care? And it is the best way.

Sometimes breastfeeding doesn’t work. And then the baby drinks formula, and it is the best way. Moms go back to work, leave their kids with a nanny, breast pump every two hours in their power suit in the office bathroom stall, and see their kids on weekends. And this is the best way.

And some parents co-sleep. They wake up everyday with that little person snuggled so close, feeling safe and warm until they are ready to go to their own bed on their own, and their family is all there, in the bed, together. And this is the best way. 

I am now so grateful to be a part of a group of strong, courageous, fun, loving new moms. There are late night/ early morning texts of panic or celebration, tears, belly shaking laughter, strolls in the park. We talk about our babies, about other things besides our babies. We drink beer. We watch 50 Shades of Grey. We leave our judgments at the door. 

And we know that we are the best mom. Each and every one of us. We are the best mom.

Monday, 16 March 2015

How to survive a Staycation

It's March Break for my kids this week and sadly we aren't going anywhere. I've explained to the kids we're having a "stay-cation". It's like a vacation, but where we stay at home.
After the screaming and swearing died down, I presented my suggestions for a super, awesome staycation. These ideas are easy, creative and cheap!

Theme days 
Kids love to dress up! Create a theme day from a movie or book.
We had a Toy Story theme day where the kids dressed up as characters from the movie and we watched all 3 movies throughout the day.

Cupcake decorating
This activity is not only delicious, but creative and keeps kids busy for at least a good hour.

Movie Day
Pop some popcorn, snuggle up in some comfy pjs and put on your favourite movies. If you need some inspiration, check out my Top 5 Family Movie Review

Scavenger hunt
In our case, the weather outside is frightfulso our hunt would take place inside.
You can hide certain items yourself around the house, or send the kids to hunt for things you know are already in sight. Create a list of items and draw pictures for the little ones who can't read yet.
Make it challenging (it'll take up more time) like finding a blue and white polka dot sock or something you know would be difficult to find.
Group the kids into teams and send them on their way! Make sure to have a little treat or surprise at the end for them to enjoy:)

Beach Party
My kids are huge fans of beach parties! They put on bathing suits and turn our bathroom into a sunny destination!
They lay out towels to "sunbathe" on, make fancy drinks and play some beach themed music. It's a perfect way to forget about all the snow outside the bathroom window! This is also a perfect time to paint some nails or rub on some temporary tattoos.

Tip: Make it extra fun by throwing some Barbie dolls into the party too! The bathtub is perfect for a Barbie pool party. Use facecloths for Barbie towels, plastic tupperware for boats, and the faucet serves as a perfect Barbie diving board.

Get outside
I've expressed before that we aren't a Winter season family, so this suggestion is for everyone but us.
Try out a new activity like snow-shoeing or a sleigh ride. Pack some hot chocolate in a thermos to take along and enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer!

I'd love to hear some of your ideas for a fabulous Staycation!

Friday, 13 March 2015

Confessions of a Super-Mom

 Behind the scenes!
Baggy clothes, messy hair and the beginning of what will be a long history of back problems

Occasionally, I've been referred to as a "supermom". This makes me laugh because I have a vision of a super-mom and it's not me. I wear no cape, have no super powers, or fly.

Wikipedia states that the word supermom is a term used to describe a woman who, either out of choice or out of necessity, tries to simultaneously excel in several occupations, one of which is being a mother.

It's of course a flattering title. To think that someone believes I have the ability to do something that other women can't. Taking all my kids to the grocery store, organizing a birthday party or re-decorating a room while running a house-full of kids. These activities are more of a necessity and I don't ever expect to excel in them, haha!

Mothers who feed their kids only organic food.
Mothers who are on time.
Mothers who use cloth diapers.
Those are my inspirations, my trying tasks.

I envy mothers who have their hair brushed, makeup on, and a stylish outfit to match. Correction, I'm fascinated by those mothers. Hell, if you've taken a shower, I'm intrigued.
Where did they find the time and energy to do their hair, and put on makeup?
Did they pick out that outfit from their collection of laundry baskets in their bedroom corner?
You're wearing heels to gymnastics class? How are you able to chase your kids across the parking lot in those?
My normal wardrobe consists of yoga pants and a hoodie. There's no style there.

The truth is, every mom is a super-mom. Every mom faces parenting obstacles everyday, no matter how big or small. Whether you have 1 kid or 10, it's never easy. They often try my patience, can annoy me to the fullest, and exhaust the F@#$ out of me. But, I thrive off my children, live vicariously through them and absolutely adore them.
Parenting is one of the hardest endeavors I've ever taken on. I chose it, and for me it's a necessity.

I love it.

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