As a mother, I have struggled with being labelled at times. Even so recently as last week, I denounced myself in conversation with my husband as being a helicopter parent, feeling defensive about my level of involvement in our children's lives. As a mom, I find myself consistently teaching, mentoring, coaching and loving our four.
I just sat in the car and had a good cry. I was in the parking lot of my 11-year-old daughter's school on her first day of middle school, but I wasn't having the "oh my child is growing up" type of cry. Instead, I was unexpectedly engulfed in fear about her life threatening allergies to peanuts and shellfish.
I'm torn because my family always comes first, but I also have these ideas and opportunities and the iron is hot and I'm not getting any younger and this is my time, bitch. I'm riddled with guilt just typing that, because society and my upbringing and all that bullshit has programmed me to believe I'm a mother now, so I'm supposed to sacrifice my own dreams for everyone else's. But I'm determined to try my best to fuck that noise and do it all, even if I don't do any of it perfectly. I'd rather live with failure than regret.
The heavy academic pressures so common today raise back-to-school stress like never before -- and it's not just high school seniors or university students who are feeling it right now. Parents can do a lot to help ease their children's anxieties around school. The key is to really listen, and let your child open up about their fears.
Memories are tumbling through my head as my oldest daughter starts middle school this week. I'm trying not to let my past demons get the best of me, but I'm worried. I don't want her to lose herself, to lose her confidence, to dim her own light like I did. Here are my wishes for you, my daughter, as you enter this new phase of your life.
My daughter Journey will not live on a shelf. We may not be able to protect her from every seizure risk and she may incur some injuries now and then, but she will live life fully and share diverse experiences as a result of the collaborative efforts of her family, friends, educational team, and community.
Men, just remember that a vasectomy won't stop you from pitching a tent. It simply means that when the volcano erupts, the lava won't flow and the villagers won't have to run for their lives. Why not man up and undergo a routine procedure that you won't even feel or remember, one that's along the lines of your circumcision (if you had one, and if you didn't, then along the lines of your first routine infant vaccination)?
Every August, I write a blog directed at readers doing back-to-school shopping for their kids. I remind them that while the sales are great at this time of year, there's a story behind every price tag. I urge moms and dads to consider the global economy that keeps Western prices low by paying child garment workers in poor countries next to nothing.
For young people of all ages, school's an opportunity to form new relationships with peers and teachers, develop new skills through extracurricular activities, and discover new interests. But school can also be a source of stress, anxiety, and pressure for many young people, and it's a topic that kids and teens bring to Kids Help Phone's professional counsellors throughout the year, even during summer holidays.
Children are an incredible paradox. They bring so much joy, so many tender moments, so many blissful times when you're just enjoying them, and they're enjoying you, and you're laughing at something funny your toddler said, or something adorable your baby did. And then there's the other 23 hours and 30 minutes of the day you have to get through.
People, not parents, struggle to find the time and energy to do the things they know they should. Anyhow, it struck me that there are some things I can (and will!) blame my children for, cheerfully, and some things that I resolve I will not blame them for. I want them to know I can prioritise what's important for my own wellbeing, so that they can learn from me.
After the initial shock of Junior Child moving back home we started to realize that this situation was not so bad. Our individual lives, which had expanded to include activities and friends that were not possible during the child rearing years, were not curtailed. We started to enjoy the company of our adult daughter and were able to offer help with cover letters and resume writing.
If your child is bored they may want to pick up a book and read, or develop a new board game or even watch 17 episodes of Star Trek on Netflix. Some of these might be more creative than others, but all of them require self-reliance and will bring some new information to your child. Maybe they will daydream, and who knows what gifts those daydreams to our future.
I understand baby M's preference for her brothers' toys and enjoy watching her play with them. I was a tomboy as a child and I secretly like that she seems to be one as well. However, I think my expectations of seeing her playing quietly with what Toys "R" Us would deem "girl toys" is definitely changing