Look at a blended family like baking a cake. You can't just carelessly toss some eggs, water, milk and butter in pan, throw it into the oven and expect something amazing to come out. Like any relationship, yours will endure some heat, but how it turns out afterwards depends on the level of preparation beforehand.
Ask any parent and they will say making lunches is one of the most dreaded parts of the day. Being creative and offering healthy options their kids will actually eat is a challenge we all face during the school year. I've learned to avoid the dread by keeping my fridge and pantry well stocked and following these easy tips for creating healthy lunches kids will actually eat.
In our effort to gain rights for individuals, one significant collective was left out of the equation: family. But change is afoot. Something new and exciting is happening in feminism and it's about children and their care. In academia, the need to address childcare has been called "the unfinished business of feminism" and "the unfinished revolution."
You've heard of the recent attacks on women's healthcare in the States, but in Canada, we're feeling the impact too. For 50 years, Planned Parenthood Ottawa has been there for our community, providing unbiased counselling, education, advice and support. But it's become increasingly hard to do our work. Planned Parenthood is under attack, by people who oppose healthcare for women and the trans community, who don't want youth to get the education they need, and who dedicate themselves to cutting our funding every way they can.
For parents with children away at university, it can be a giant leap of faith to step back and let their young adult children be independent, and know that they will be okay. Most young adults transition to university without difficulty and take charge of this new independent phase of their lives with motivation to do well and the skills to navigate their academic and social lives. But for some young adults, the stress of being on their own to manage the academic and social demands of university life may be a breaking point that heralds or worsens mental health issues, such as anxiety or depression.
There may not have been the stress of wondering about first kisses at the end, but I found I had to carefully navigate other potentially sensitive obstacles, like joking about Calliou being sent up to Netflix from the seventh circle of hell. In other words, I learned first play dates didn't differ all that much from first dates.
Single mom accurately depicts how I feel a lot of the time because I am alone during the times I actually have to parent. For the times I need to discipline, do homework, have tough conversations, navigate hurt feelings, get to the bottom of behavior, I am the one and only parent in my son's presence.
Canadians are feeling the penny pinch. According to a whopping 43 per cent of Canadian parents view back-to-school as a financial burden on their families. To help ease the pain class is in session and with a little savvy spending from my top five tips, your dollar will be stretching further this season!
I am hoping that these two losses prepare the boys enough that they know there is no shame in crying, in openly grieving. Nor is there shame in laughing at the goofy, silly and funny memories. That grief comes in waves. That part of loving is sometimes letting go but that you get up, dust yourself off and continue on with your life.
Every now and then, I hear someone say, "Oh, I just love it when kids dress themselves. It's so adorable!" When they say this, I know exactly what they are picturing -- a little girl wearing a fun combination of fashionable clothing, full of delightfully mismatched colours and unconventional pattern combinations.
There are truckloads of information about how to prep your children on how to cope when they go to sleepaway camp (or when they are away from you for a stretch of time). Where are the helpful hints and tips for the parents who are left behind? How do parents cope when they are faced with a very sudden (albeit temporary) empty nest?
Parenting is, of course, the most consuming, challenging and exhausting task that I have ever involved myself in. Some days I ask: "What were we thinking???" And on the other days, I just don't ask. Speaking of "we," I readily admit that marriage is a very close second in this listing of difficult things known to humankind.
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.