You Can’t Prepare for Everything – Mommy Blogger

Hi, My name is Brittany and I’m a first time mom to a beautiful baby girl! I live with my (common law) husband of 5 years, our 4 year old rescue dog, Luna, and of course our daughter, Claire. I have a full time job with the City of Saskatoon that I will be returning to in September. In my (very little) free time I enjoy video games, board games, and Netflix. I live for coffee and craft beer. I enjoy cooking and baking but don’t have nearly as much time for meal prep as I’d like. Being a parent is both the most exhausting thing I’ve ever done in my entire life and also the most fulfilling. I can’t wait to share my experiences – good or bad.

For as long as I can remember I’ve been anxious. My feelings go way back to my teen years so I prepared as much as possible for my daughter coming into the world. My husband and I talked over every minor insignificant detail, I spent all my therapy sessions during pregnancy discussing coping strategies and how to be a good mother. After she was born I continued practicing mindfulness and things were good. I finally got myself to a point where I genuinely believe that I am an excellent wife, friend, and mother.

When my daughter had her last huge developmental leap, and I started to struggle with my anxiety again, I felt like a failure. I’ve been doing the steps! I’ve spent hours and hours talking through my insecurities and doubts, and now suddenly I can’t hold myself together? Why am I having anxiety attacks in the middle of the day? Why am I yelling at my dog or screaming into a pillow? Why can’t I keep it all together and be a better mom? I know objectively that my fears and insecurities are baseless but somehow I’d convince myself of the very worst. If my daughter was crying and I couldn’t calm her down it was because I was a terrible mother and she deserved better. I’d hold her as I cried, repeating over and over, “I’m sorry I’m not a better mom. Please forgive me.” It took a major toll on me.

I think the main problem is that many of the signs and symptoms of postpartum depression are also signs and symptoms of just being a new parent. Irritableness, short temper, anger, sadness, and crying can all be signs of sleep deprivation. I was, at first, very hesitant to look into any sort of medication. I believed like many do that I should be able to just do it. I should be able to push through and be a parent. It wasn’t until I had a breakdown that I finally convinced myself there was nothing wrong with seeking an additional form of help. There is no shame in me having a prescription for my eyesight because my eyes don’t work, so why should there be shame in having a prescription for my mental health because my brain doesn’t work?

It’s been a few months now since my therapist, doctor, and I collectively made the decision to start me on anti-depressants. Already it is like the fog has lifted. I am more calm and patient, I don’t feel pressure in my chest when days are hard, and I’m a more attentive mother. My husband has noticed a considerable difference in my moods and how I interact with the people around me. This was a hard choice for me to make but I am already so glad that I made it. I have hope again.

However, it is very important to stress that my experience is my own. Do not take my story as medical advice. If you are experiencing depression or anxiety symptoms please seek professional help.

Balancing Intention and Control – Mommy Blogger

Hi! My name is Tess. I’m the mom of one (soon to be two!). Since returning to work from my 12
month maternity leave I have been trying to find the balance in my life.
Balancing work, social, parenting, being a wife and home responsibilities while maintaining a
sense of individuality and self has proved to be challenging.
I love to write and talk to others about how they find balance in their lives. I’d love to connect
with you – you can contact me or read my latest thoughts on my blog at www.yxemama.com .

I am not a fly by the seat of my pants type person. I like to plan. I like to have a plan. I like to live on somewhat of a schedule. Being a stay at home mom for almost the whole of the past 18 months and for the next 12 months with certainty causes my life to be less planned on a day to day basis. However, my family still tries to maintain a sense of schedule and order. I like to think that I have something of a long-term plan for our lives as well.

I live my life intentionally. I feel it is important to do this to get anywhere or accomplish anything. I recognize that there are many people that don’t share this mindset – and they still manage to live successful and accomplished lives. Living intentionally, to me, means having goals and maintaining track of them, having a reason for doing everything that you do.

In the world of motherhood, living with intention takes another level. Intentionally parenting. For me, this means researching parenting methods – I love audiobooks. I like listening to or reading different people’s opinions, research and methods and then taking what I find makes sense and leaving the rest. I wouldn’t say that I follow any specific parenting style, but I take what makes sense to me from different things I have researched and I use that information to back up my parenting decisions.

Living with intention is important to me and to my mental health. Having a schedule allows me time for self care, to have adequate sleep (for myself and my little one), and keeps my mind calm and organized. However, perhaps a piece of living with intention is intentionally living without an agenda for periods of time. Taking a break, relaxing, having a holiday. I have a very hard time doing this with little ones. Especially over the summer it seems so easy to let the schedule go awry, snacking becomes constant and meals are less structured… bedtimes get out of whack and any type of daily or weekly schedule is constantly kiboshed by a beach day, camping trip or late night BBQ party. It is so important for me to be able to let go of my intention and control for a period of time to allow myself and my family to enjoy these affairs.

I look forward to the structure and consistency of autumn life.

It is not an easy feat to maintain a life of intention while not being a crazy control freak – sometimes it feels like a very fine line. Ah! I am working on it. I would love to hear how you manage, your tips and tricks and how you find balance as a mother. Check me out at www.yxemama.com or shoot me an email at yxemama@gmail.com. I would love to connect!

From One to Two – Mommy Blogger

My name is Teri and I’m the proud mama of a beautiful, busy, hilarious, brilliant toddler and am expecting my second son later this year. Being a mom is a challenging and beautiful adventure that nothing else in my life prepared me for. Luckily, I have an amazing husband who is there through all the ups and downs, awesome friends who are happy to share their parenting knowledge (or at least laugh with me through the chaos!), and an extended family who is always ready to help. I work as a marketing and communications professional, and love sharing my experiences as a mom.

We’re getting ready for our second son, and we’re at the point in the pregnancy where it’s starting to feel really real—in case the big tummy, fatigue, nausea and swollen feet weren’t clues enough! We’re less than three weeks away from my due date, which, incidentally, is right around the time when my first son decided he was ready to go and showed up early. There’s something about knowing that he could literally be born at any time—and be healthy—that really makes it hit home.

Since I’m a planner, we’re ready to go, at least in the most superficial sense of the word. Our hospital bags are packed, the bassinet is set up, the nursery is very nearly ready, the car seat is installed. If we had to, we could bring him home today and he’d have more than what he needs.

However, there are still moments when I’m not sure I’m ready emotionally or mentally for this big change. We’ve already been through the massive transition of going from no kids to one kid, and I know we will handle going from one to two as well. But there are times when I look at my first son and can’t imagine how we will possibly love a second as much. How we can be as thrilled with each little milestone as we were the first time around. How I can give up time with him so that I can feed and rock and cuddle a newborn, giving our new little man the level of attention that newborns require, and that our first was lucky enough to have, uninterrupted.

I’m hoping it’s a How the Grinch Stole Christmas type situation, and my heart, that already feels so full, will grow three sizes so it can accommodate even more love as our family grows. We know how blessed we are. It’s a problem that we’re lucky to have, but it’s a big thing that I’m still trying to wrap my head around.

I’m so excited to meet our newest addition, and I know his big brother will love him too—eventually! But for now, as the days and weeks speed up, I am trying to cherish those special moments with my first, the boy who made me a mama, and soak up his cuddles and giggles as much as possible, while he’s the only one vying for my attention.

 

 

Trip with My Tot – Mommy Blogger

My name is Erin. I’m a toddler mom and a pup mom. I had my son in May of 2016. Becoming a mom was the scariest thing I’ve ever done, and I have loved every moment of it. I am a stay at home writing mom. I write everyday after my son goes to bed. My partner occasionally works away from home. When he’s home, we spend as much family time together as possible, and when he’s gone, I practice my Solo Mom Life. Life isn’t always easy, but I try to be as grateful as I can. My son helps with that. You can find my blog at thewritingmomma.ca or follow me on Instagram and Facebook at thewritingmommalife

I am writing this while sick. I went away for a week to Ontario, and came back sick. It was just my son and I for this one.

I was stressed out about it the days before we left. I was worried about his energy in the airport, I was worried about the plane ride, I was worried about the rented vehicle. 

My kiddo has been extra active in the last few weeks. He runs away, and he is having a lot of trouble listening to me. He’s three. He knows what I’m saying, but chooses to ignore me. He’s also extra loud at times. Basically, he’s a toddler. I worry too much that we are going to bother everybody who we pass. Especially in an airport. I also had visions of him running off through the airport while I tried to juggle the carry-ons. 

My anxiety was hitting full force. My partner had to work so it would just be the tot and I. I would have been a lot calmer with some help. I was going for a reunion, and I knew once I got there everything would be okay. It was the trip there I was worried about. 

The day of our trip arrived, and luckily my partner was able to drop us off at the airport. He helped us bring in the bags. I was going to bring an umbrella stroller for Anthony in the airports, but at the last minute, I changed my mind. It seemed like one more thing to lug around, and I didn’t want to do it. There were a few times I regretted this decision. Anthony and I are wagon people, and he wasn’t used to the stroller. I should have brought the wagon. Instead, I borrowed a backpack from a friend that had a ‘leash’ on it. The backpack was full of diggers. I’ll get into that later. I didn’t need to use it before getting on the plane.

Once we were past security, we found a little play area to hang out in while waiting for boarding. Getting there went really smoothly. Anthony played before boarding, and then we got on the plane as quickly as we could. The plane was flying straight to Ottawa, and it was a smaller plane with just two seats on either side. I had Anthony’s tablet with some downloaded Netflix shows. (He loves the dreaded Max and Ruby), and also had his seat TV on a Cars movie so between that and toys and books, he was very distracted. I watched the movie A Star is Born. Which means I was ugly crying as we landed. There were times when Anthony wouldn’t sit down, and wanted to move around, but for the most part, my boy did okay. There were times when I was frustrated, and just wanted him to sit down, but I did okay. The family in front of me lent us a car book that he loved. We had books as well, but he liked this one the best.

As we exited the plane,and headed for the luggage, I realised it was time to let him run. I was having trouble holding him and the backpacks. We have the leash backpack a test. It worked out really well while waiting for the luggage.  I’m always watching for ‘the looks’ when my kid is crazy, and I knew we’d get them because of the leash. At that point, I didn’t care. It helped me stop him from running, and helped me grab our luggage (although not very easily.)

This was the only time we used it. From there, we picked up our pre-rented car (including a car seat), and hit the road after fighting to get the car seat in. It was a two hour drive, and Anthony slept the entire time. This was a LATE nap from 5:30 to 6:30 – Ontario time. I knew it would be a late night..

I was relieved to arrive, and get out of the car. I was relieved to see my friends. I haven’t seen some of them for 20 years. There were a lot of other kids running around, but Anthony was the youngest.

I was stressed out about the travel there, but for some reason I thought the actual stay at the cottages would be easy and relaxing. It makes me laugh writing that. I was a solo parenting a toddler hoping to relax. We had a lovely time, but at times, I wasn’t able to talk to as many people as I wanted to because my son wanted my attention or needed my help. I was stressed out at moments during the week, and had one quick cry because I wish I had more of a break. I wish I could have let him loose more, but I wasn’t comfortable with it, and he likes to be around me. It will be easier as he gets older. We had an amazing time, and even with the stress of a toddler, I was so grateful to be there, and enjoy the scenery and people. I was able to have breaks as well because my friend’s kids played with him.

The trip home was a lot harder. Anthony and I were sick. We were up at 5:30 in the morning to drive two hours to Ottawa. This time, we would have one layover in Toronto. Anthony stayed awake until the last ten minutes of the drive, and did not appreciate being back in the car. It was a long drive. He woke up as I got him out of the rental. He wanted to be in my arms the entire time. We had a few hold ups through security. I had to drink all the water in our bottles because I forgot to dump them out (I probably needed it), they also had to security check both us and the bag. Anthony was as patient as he could be. I had done something to my back the day before so it hurt anytime I moved, including picking up Anthony, and moving around with him in my arms. We had time to grab some breakfast and a coffee before boarding the plane. 

After arriving in Toronto, we had just enough time to find the washrooms and wait to board. At this point, I was getting frustrated at my son. He was climbing all over me, he wouldn’t be put down. At times he was licking me to be funny. My back was aching, and I was hot because of how sick I was. I just wanted to put him down. There was a woman in front of me that kept looking back at us, and I was so worried we were annoying her. It turns out she is just an amazing person. She turned around and talked to Anthony. She asked him questions, and she showed him things. She helped me. As they called all people with kids to board, I thanked her. She had no kids with her, but took the time to talk to Anthony and calm a solo Momma. She made the trip so much better and so much easier. She understood that it’s not easy.

And after three long hours on the next flight, we were home. 

I’ve travelled with Anthony many times. We do road trips all the time by ourselves. Flights are different. They stress me out. They make me anxious. However, here’s a little secret about travelling solo with kids: it usually all works out. It’s easy to get worked up about little things, but the truth is, things will happen. Your kid might annoy people. Your kid might stress you out. Your kid might also make a random baby smile. He might tell a stranger all about his diggers. It’s an experience, and I’m sure this won’t be our last solo travel. We’ll continue to get better. I’ll probably always get anxiety before the trip, but I know I can handle it. 

dav

Talk Positive To Me – Mommy Blogger

I am Amanda Grace. I am a full time working mama of 2 beautiful sassy girlies and 1 handsome husband. I started blogging a few years ago and have recently published a blog the Blue Bird Journals. My goal for blogging is to inspire and support other parents. I want others to know that they are not alone in tough times and that they have someone to celebrate the good times with too! I truly believe the corny saying ‘sharing is caring’. ❤️

​I invite you to browse my site at www.bluebirdjournals.com or catch me on instagram (@bluebirdjournals) or facebook (@bluebirdjournalsblog).

Let’s chat about body image. Not the most fun topic, but such an important one if you ask me.

Post baby/babies body image is a tough one. There is so much pressure to “bounce back” after having a baby. And our bodies have been through so much that it’s not an easy thing to do.

Since I was 6 weeks post partum it was my focus to get my pre baby body back but was a huge struggle. I was trying all sorts of diets and yo-yoing with my weight. I ended up just feeling pretty crappy about myself and about the way I looked.  Then the kicker… my oldest daughter asked if I was working out because I was fat and told me she had to work out because her belly was too big. SHE’S FIVE! So enough was enough. Changes had to be made.

At home, we decided we weren’t just focusing on our weight and body. We were going to start focusing on how we look at ourselves and to use positive talk. It is the toughest thing to stay positive about something that you want to change. But I think it’s crucial in making positive change and more then anything I want to set a good example for my daughters.

One huge change this summer was to wear the bathing suit and rock it! Be comfortable, confident and happy in my own skin. Wearing the bathing suit was and still is hella scary EVERYTIME but it is also so freeing and after each time I feel like a champ. I know one day it will be less scary and I won’t even think about it.

SO, how do you work on your self image you ask? Well, the one thing I have done that has made this goal more attainable is positive self talk. Instead of focusing on the scale or focusing on what I want to change, I have been celebrating the things I’m happy with and the little things I have been doing. It has made a huge difference in my overall confidence and self image.

Now this all is much easier said then done! There are still days I look in the mirror and think “you aren’t good enough” but working towards talking about the positive helps to turn that around.

I think about how amazing my body is and all the incredible things it has done for me.

Think about it mamas…. your body carried a baby for 9 whole months and gave birth to that baby. That is some serious strength!!!!

Now think about all the amazing things your body does now. I think about how I carried around a 26lbs baby on my hip for just about 6 months straight. There was some definite muscle building there. (Back story: My youngest wanted to be carried all the time for the first year of her life and by 6 months she weighed 26 lbs, oh dear is right!). I think about how I’m able to run and play with my girls, how I’m able to bench press 50lbs, or how I can go up and down stairs holding two baskets of laundry with usually very little spilling.

I challenge you to wear the bathing suit and rock it! To be positive and admire your body. Think about all those amazing and wonderful things that your body does for you.

Remember, YOU are strength, YOU are incredible, YOU are beautiful!

29 Candles – Mommy Blogger

I’m Liv from Saskatoon, I am Momma to 2 kiddos- Holden, my very energetic 5 year old and Lexi my spunky 1.5 year old. I am also Stepmomma to a beautiful 12 year old, Breanna. I am married to truck driver Brandon, who spends a lot of days away from home. When I’m not momming (is that ever?) I am a Recreation Director at a seniors home in Saskatoon. I am passionate about health and wellness and coffee. Coffee is my jam. I’m new to the whole blogging thing but I find putting my thoughts to paper is a wonderous form of self care

In less than a week I enter the final year of my twenties; or as I like to put it, my first 29th birthday. Am I anxious about it? No, not necessarily, after all 29 by today’s standards is quite young. Not to mention I’ve (basically) got my life together. I’m happily married, 2 kids, good job in a career I love, and I’ve recently taken on a 2nd career as a fitness trainer. Could my finances be better? Sure- but I’ve got little kids, have you seen the prices of daycare?? Does this go to say that someone approaching 30 who doesn’t have all these ducks in a row is doing worse than I? Hell no.

I think the biggest milestone for me, as I approach this ‘wiser’ age, is how I’ve come to accept myself, and my body. There’s no surprise that my body has changed over the years (2 kids tend to do that), I’ve found my diet has had to change. I used to be able to crush some pizza and NOT have to worry about my pants not fitting for a week…I’ve suddenly started enjoying coffee with just milk (whoa), and I used to love running but suddenly my body is saying “no no no, no longer a good idea!”. I’ve grown to love my body how it is, what I can do, my activity level, and mostly for the way it carries me through the day. I no longer measure my worth by what size my pants are, or the size I am compared to others; but how I can run around with my children until bedtime, bike until I’m sweating and red in the face, and the feeling of accomplishment and endorphins with each new goal I meet. None of those include a scale.

Previously each birthday was a reminder, almost like a “new year” resolution, to lose the weight, etc etc, blah blah blah. Not this year. It’s still a new year, a reset, but it’s a mindshift now. I still have goals I am working towards, but…I’m having a good time! Life is too short!

So here goes the last year of my twenties- I’m pumped, I’m having a ball, and I don’t want to stop at all. (Queen reference there 😉 )

 

 

To Preschool or Not? – Mommy Blogger

Nicole Betker is a mother, wife, rabid Toronto Blue Jays fan and a pop culture junkie. Always having an opinion or something to say, it’s time this journalism grad found a place to share her musings on the acts of “adulting”.

Is it just me, or is preschool nearly impossible to send a child to when parents work?

Could the times be more awkward and the pickup rules be any more strict?

As a working mom (and has a husband who works), time to drive my son to-and-from preschool in the middle of the day just isn’t an option. The mom guilt on this topic couldn’t be any harder. Not only does my son want to go to school, thanks to two friends from daycare starting kindergarten in the fall, but everyone we meet asks if he will be going to preschool. Maybe it is just one of those questions that gets asked, but am I really setting my child back if he doesn’t attend or am I just a lazy parent?

For now, I’ve convinced myself that Carson has a strong daycare provider that continues to foster learning through field trips, crafts, outdoor time and free play, as well as great social and listening skills after attending daycare since he turned one.

But I can’t help but wonder why can’t this option be more accessible to full-time working parents? Why are there not more centres or offerings from early childhood education experts? And if it is an important piece to a child’s education, why is it not part of the early childhood education guidelines set out by the government?

As I researched whether or not, I was making the right choice the evidence I found actually made me secure in my decision. Since Carson is flourishing at daycare and a pretty social kid, many of the arguments for pro-preschool fit him already:

A foundation for learning socially and academically – CHECK
Carson returns from daycare with elaborate crafts, can count to 30, knows his ABCs and continually asks questions.

A structured daily setting – CHECK
Being in daycare has given Carson a routine of getting up in the morning, eating breakfast and getting out the door. Also, daycare has strong rules that he follows. He is also used to eating lunch not at home, sleeping not at home and gets along with others.

Child will develop emotionally and socially – CHECK
Carson is a social kid. He can make a friend anywhere. Not only has he participated in daycare, but we’ve also included him in activities including birthday parties and swimming lessons to further his listening and social skills.

Am I saying that no preschool is best – not at all! Am I saying I shouldn’t feel guilty for not having the logistical ability to put him in? Yes.

Each family knows what is best for them. There is no one size fits all for everyone. This is what works for us and I am comfortable with it.

Untimely Smoothies – Mommy Blogger

I’m a teacher, wife and mom of a very proud soon-to-be big sister. My blogs highlight the happy and humorous moments of parenting. I love music, writing, the outdoors and mommy-ing and I enjoy sharing how kids have a magical way of making favourite past-times like these even better.

“That’s funny,” I thought. “That sounds like the freezer door.” I frantically buckled Baby G, our one month old, into her car seat, hoping Little G, our two year old hadn’t wiggled out of the dress shoes I had coaxed her into with the promise of fruit snacks after the ceremony.  “No, he’s not…” as I heard the undisputable sound of the blender start up.  We were five minutes past our real ETA, which was a half hour past the ETA I had communicated to the rest of our clan, and my hubby had decided it was a good time to dig out the supplies and make a batch of smoothies.

I was sweating at the realization that it was likely that our whole extended family was already at the church for our daughter’s baptism, sitting in the pews, with no sign of us.  My hubby’s mind was somewhere else.  And it was bugging me.

Meanwhile in the kitchen, he was fully aware of the stress I was under, and placed a pretty good bet that I hadn’t eaten breakfast.  He was right.  While I was having anxiety about getting to church within a socially acceptable timeframe before the baptism, he was concerned about me, and the fact that I needed some calories in my body to feed our milk-obsessed munchkin, and for general survival.

In situations where our hubbies are aboard different trains of thought, it’s easy to assume they’re not getting the picture and they don’t fully understand what’s going on.  But the truth is, although there are certainly situations where, as moms, we, um, are quicker to become conscious of things that need attending to, our guys are probably a lot more in tune than what they get credit for.  We just have different ways of looking at things sometimes.  IE: I prioritized punctuality and he prioritized food.

Maybe my hubby could have started making us smoothies 15 minutes earlier, yes.  And maybe I could have set my alarm even earlier so it wouldn’t have come to the aggravating, untimely smoothie incident.  But we’re far from perfect parents and our kids are lucky they have both of us to make up for each others’ shortcomings.  I pay attention to certain things and he gives more attention to other things and together we are half decent at keeping our household rolling.

Of course, the smoothie story is an example among thousands of when I’ve thought one thing and my hubby’s thought another.  We learn from it, get over it, and become better parents for it.  Now I get a smile every time I hear the blender start up, reminding me that we make a pretty good team.  For the record my smoothies are usually gross because I get too creative with the ingredients.

Oh and we made it to the baptism on time, although yes, every single family member had already arrived by the time we walked in the doors.  But, Baby G hadn’t spit up on her baptism gown yet and Little G still had her dress shoes on.  I took the last sip of my smoothie and smiled…or at least that’s how I’ll end the story.

Parenting in a Courageous Act – Mommy Blogger

Hey, all! My name is Kristin Smysniuk and I am over the moon to be part of the Mommy Blogger community. I am a mom to three beautiful boys who work to teach me lessons and keep me humble each and every day. Bennett is 9, Sawyer is 6 and Elliot is 4! I have been married to my husband, Tynan, for 11 years and am a fifth grade teacher with Saskatoon Public Schools.

As my son’s tenth birthday approaches (10??!! What??!!), I find myself reflective.  In some ways it seems like just yesterday that I was preparing to welcome this beautiful boy into our lives, and in other ways it seems like I have always been a mother.

I find it hard to remember the person I was before someone called me “Mom”. She seems to be a bit of a stranger – like someone I used to know but somehow lost touch with over the years.  Sometimes, that makes me sad but almost always, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Becoming a mother changed me in the best of ways.

The person I was before I had children, morphed into a whole new woman after they arrived.  I have become wiser, stronger and more engaged.  I have learned to lead with selflessness, to apologize when I have been wrong, and to revel in a level love that is unparalleled.

I practice patience, engage with empathy and lead with kindness. I seek connection, exercise forgiveness, and cultivate creativity.  I’ve learned to carve time for myself, maintain a dynamic relationship with my spouse, and insist upon integrity, calm and flexibility. I see the world with a depth unmatched by my younger self.

These are just some of the amazing skills that parenting has helped me either develop or strengthen. But, to this day, when asked what I believe the most required skill is to be a parent I always answer “COURAGE”.

According to Merriam-Webster, courage is defined as “the ability to do that which frightens one” or “strength in the face of grief or pain”.  And if that doesn’t describe parenting, I don’t know what does.

From the very moment I found out I was pregnant, the practice of courage began.  The idea of becoming a mother was terrifying to me.  It was a summation of things I could not predict, analyze, or make sense of.  It was a culmination of things that I couldn’t control or regulate.  It was out of my hands … and I was simply along for the crazy, amazing ride trusting the process and pushing on through my fear.

Parenting is hard. There is no doubt about it.  I dare anyone to find someone who says otherwise.  It tests you, it challenges you and it catches you off guard.  It is a place where beauty and fear exist together and it is up to you to navigate the terrain.

Parenting is a courageous act.

It requires you to be pushed to your limits and continue on anyway.

It requires you to sit in the midst of fear, disappointment and pain and continue on anyway.

It requires you to evolve – ready or not – and continue on anyway.

It requires you to face challenges, tribulations, and set backs and continue on anyway.

Parenting requires you to break down in order to breakthrough. And if that doesn’t sound like courage, I’m not sure what does.

There is not a day that goes by that I don’t believe, completely, that I am learning far more from this parenting journey than my children are.

Am I teaching them? Absolutely! Are they learning and growing? Absolutely!

But far more often than I am teaching them, they are teaching me.

They are teaching me love.
They are teaching me the meaning of life.

They are teaching me how to evolve into the best version of myself with each passing day.

But most importantly, they are living, breathing testimonies to the power found in the practice of courage.

So, I’ll keep pressing on.  I’ll keep learning the lessons laid out in front of me.  I’ll keep doing the best I can with each situation I am presented.  And, most importantly, I will continue to “do that which frightens me”, understanding whole-heartedly, that I will be better for it in the long run.

And with that … Keep on courageous ones, keep on.

The Kindness of a Stranger – Mommy Blogger

Hi, My name is Brittany and I’m a first time mom to a beautiful baby girl! I live with my (common law) husband of 5 years, our 4 year old rescue dog, Luna, and of course our daughter, Claire. I have a full time job with the City of Saskatoon that I will be returning to in September. In my (very little) free time I enjoy video games, board games, and Netflix. I live for coffee and craft beer. I enjoy cooking and baking but don’t have nearly as much time for meal prep as I’d like. Being a parent is both the most exhausting thing I’ve ever done in my entire life and also the most fulfilling. I can’t wait to share my experiences – good or bad.

It happened today. I ugly cried in front of a total stranger in the McDonald’s drive-thru.

It all started with a bad night. Claire is either teething or going through a growth spurt or both. She’s miserable. Up to now I’ve been SO lucky with her sleep habits – she’s been sleeping through the night since she was three months old. But last night she was up every hour, crying inconsolably.

I had to go out this morning and pick up some groceries. I was a mess but I was so tired I didn’t even care. Claire fell asleep in the car and I foolishly thought to myself, ‘let’s go get some coffee!’ and headed to McDonald’s. The line was long but I figured we’d be okay.

We were not okay.

See, Claire is perfectly fine in the car – as long as it’s moving. By the time I got up to the speaker she was awake and howling. I managed to half shout my order over the sounds of her screams and make it to the window. The woman working the till opened the window and looked me up and down, taking in the unshowered hair, yesterday’s makeup remnants on my face, the look of both worry and defeat in my eyes… and then she said the seven most beautiful words in the English language, “You know what? This one’s on me.”

I argued, insisting I pay the measly $2 for my coffee, but the Saint of a woman just shook her head and told me I seemed like I could use a break and to have a wonderful day. (Still over the sounds of my daughters screaming!) There were still two cars in front of me waiting for their food so in this woman’s line of sight I completely broke down. I honestly could not tell you the last time I’ve cried so hard. Panicked, the woman opened the window and asked if I was alright to which I was only able to tearfully nod and thank her again for her kindness.

When we finally made it home, I somehow managed to get Claire to sleep in her crib almost immediately. I’ll tell you something – when I sat down and took my first sip, listening to the sound of silence in my house, no coffee I ever have for the rest of my life will ever taste so good.

A simple coffee turned my whole day around. Thank you, kind stranger.