Typical milestones are not the ones I celebrate with excited texts to my husband and best friends, or give my kids gleeful celebratory hugs over. In my own experience -- and I think that four kids under the age of seven counts as experience -- these are the baby and childhood milestones that are really worth celebrating.
Care packages are little packages of goodies and gifts that parents, friends or family put together and mail off to their little campers as reminders of home and to let them know we're thinking of them. However as many camps will tell you, parents often do not understand what is appropriate to send.
To get to our destination, we had to drive for three hours from Vancouver to Seattle, take a flight with a layover, and then drive for another two hours to my in-laws' home. It was wonderful to be there, and my daughter was doted on by her grandparents and aunties and uncle, but the travel days were long. Here is my analysis of several "strategies" I considered using to make the travel easier ... or not.
Saying that education is changing is kind of an obvious statement. Our kids study subject matter that wasn't even on the menu 20 years ago, they do it in ways that have been previously untried, and they have a brave new world of tech to help them do it. However, the changing role of parents in supporting these new methods of teaching learning tends to get overlooked.
Have you heard this before? Are you a dedicated breast-feeder to a toddler or older child? If so, you are not alone. I see many women in my office each week who continue to breastfeed their toddlers, sometimes while also nursing younger babies. Women who breastfeed "older" children are often stigmatized and looked at as strange.
Before I had kids, I dreamed about being a stay-at-home mom. I loved the idea of having the whole household under control and making life easy for my husband by rocking the homemaker role. But as it turns out, I am happy in that role about one day per week and otherwise feel totally and utterly stifled.
I didn't know what to expect when I became a Dad. I didn't lack good fatherly figures -- I just had no clue of what the world expected of me. We hear plenty of stories blaming fathers in absentia for children's bad behaviour, society diagnosing a lack of the firm disciplinarian they so sorely needed to keep them in line -- but people rarely talk about what the value of a good father is.
I for one would schedule a C-section. Before all you mothers out there gasp and accuse me of being too posh to push, hear me out. My vagina has always been there for me, through thick and thin. Some of the best times of my life have involved my vagina. We have a very close bond. So don't I owe my vagina the decency of avoiding such brazen butchery?
Why is it always women who have to explain their choice not to have children? Are men prodded with the same line of questioning and expected to explain this choice like women are, or is it perfectly natural for men to feel unsure about fatherhood? As a newlywed (like, really newly wed) I find it odd that most people direct that question at me. As if to say it's solely up to me or my husband has no say in the matter? Going forward, I'm going to suggest that all inquiries involving the utility of my uterus go directly to my husband. I'm tired of crafting clever responses.
Jim Power, school principal of the elite all-male Upper Canada College (UCC), recently wrote that boys need to know they can't have it all either. The fathers Power meets talk about the pressure they're under -- how they badly want to find time to watch their child "master a new acrobatic trick," that they often experience a "tug at their hearts that they keep to themselves." What about the other 99.99 per cent of parenting responsibilities?