Erin is a writer and blogger working on a book. Visit her at erinsilver.ca
Erin Silver is a freelance writer and blogger with more than 15 years experience writing for major magazines and newspapers in Canada and the United States. A single mom to two rambunctious young boys, she is inspired to share her experiences on everything from divorce and single parenting to dating and blending families. Erin is currently pursing her MFA and writing a memoir, Burnt: Cooking My Way Through Divorce, featuring recipes for every stage of the healing process. Visit her at erinsilver.ca.
I was at a family BBQ last weekend when two of my siblings got into an argument. It was loud and reminded me of my house circa 1995 (the peak of our teenage years). I couldn't help but wonder whether...
While I'm happy he'll get to spread his wings, experience independence and have fun with his friends, this is a big deal for me. I'll miss him and I'm afraid I won't know how to let go. I will worry about him constantly. Is he eating well? Is he wearing sunscreen? Is he homesick? Is he crying?
Did they finally realize what I've been telling them all along: that they are brothers and brothers have to get along? Did they just want to make me happy and realize getting along would be the only way to accomplish this all-important task? Do they see my siblings, friends, parents and our family doing kind things for one another? Have they seen their dad and I do kind things for each other despite our divorce? Despite being a single mom, they are seeing a lot of love from a lot of sources and it makes me so grateful and proud.
He plays catch whenever he can, dresses in a Blue Jays T-shirt every day of the year, and this year he made a triple-A baseball team. But the season opener is next week, and suddenly he is plagued with doubt.
Dozens of daycares in Quebec are being encouraged to allow children to roughhouse, rather than break it up. I was alarmed. Don't get me wrong: I'm all for roughhousing. I know that roughhousing is teaching my sons important life lessons. But those are places where kids should learn to resolve their conflicts with words, not fists.
We don't go to synagogue, we observe the major two holidays, but then only barely. They've worn a kippa a handful of times. Perhaps a very small baby handful. In a few years they'll have a bar mitzvah and won't know what it is. They'll grow up, get married and won't care whether they stand under a chuppah. They'll have kids who will grow up to know even less about their heritage. And that would be a shame.
(Photo: Matt Barnes) Photo credit: Matt Barnes I never get starstruck. If I met Ben Affleck, George Clooney or Brad Pitt, I probably still wouldn't swoon. Who cares, I'd think. But I recently met my h...
Where is my group of friends from childhood? Or the couple friends my ex and I had been cultivating when we were married? The family trips with our friends and their kids? When you're divorced, it's hard to maintain those friendships. Some people fall off the map, or couple friends remain friends with one of us or the other or find new couple friends altogether.
Having to guide my boys on my own, take care of them and make plans for us has made me brave. They rely on me for their basic survival, not to mention emotional support, and I will not let my own fears or insecurities get in the way of that responsibility.
I've heard a lot of buzz lately about fermented foods. I know fermented foods are good for our gut health and that we should eat more fermented foods like kefir, kimchi and sauerkraut. But I'd never once given any thought to how fermented foods could benefit my kids. I never even thought to have them try it.
This year I wanted to do something different for my son's eighth birthday. I'd always thrown big birthday parties for them in the past, but this year, I didn't want to have a birthday party at all. It's always a big production. I end up entertaining 40 kids, working so hard to organize the venue, food, invitations, loot bags. It all costs a fortune, takes more creativity than it should and becomes overwhelming and stressful. Never again, I promised.
I want my kids to be healthy and I try my best to feed them thoughtfully and healthfully whenever I can. But at the same time, why should I apologize for limiting junk or even calling unhealthy food junk for that matter? Why is a birthday party, play date or hockey tournament an automatic excuse to stuff a child's face with crap?
I had such an overwhelming response to my last blog post, in which I described my recent trip to Arizona and how having some "family time" with my kids and ex eventually resulted in tears. I want to t...
I don't want to dwell on the past or on my divorce. I only want to look ahead. I'm grateful that things worked out as they did, even though it's been hard. I hope my kids will be resilient because of this. I hope they will realize how strong they are. How lucky they still are to have two parents who love them very much, even if their parents no longer love one another.
This place, this home, is especially special. It's where my oldest son first crawled. It's where my youngest first hiked a mountain. It's where they learned to swim and catch fly balls. We cry every time we have to leave. Then the countdown to next year's trip begins, first with months, then weeks, days, and now hours.
Studies show that children who are grateful sleep better, are happier, measurably healthier, have better relationships, live longer and are less stressed out. Grateful teens are even 10 times less likely to start smoking, their grades tend to be 20 percent higher and they have 13 percent fewer fights.
I suppose it takes some kids a while to acknowledge they are afraid of change. They will lash out, be more challenging, while living in the unknown. And then they will learn in time that change can be new and scary but it doesn't mean it's always bad.
One thing I'm realizing about divorce is that it can follow you around like a stray dog. I'm four years post divorce, and there it is, always trailing behind me. If kids weren't involved, I'd get to m...
I'm not making excuses, but between two active kids and their play dates, field trips, and activities I often feel like I'm struggling to keep it all straight. On top of that, I've got my own schedule: I'm in school, writing a book and trying to freelance. My activities come with deadlines of their own. My head is spinning all the time. I'm lucky to know the day of the week.
I didn't cry for myself or for how little hockey knowledge I currently have. I'd rather use these experiences as valuable life lessons. I won't make the same mistake twice. I won't make them with my younger son, because now I know better. And I won't hesitate to help other newbie hockey moms avoid my mistakes.