In our eyes, and in our kids' eyes, uncles truly rock. Thank you uncles everywhere, for being such important members of our family, for loving our kids, for helping to take care of them and for teaching our children so many things. Our kids look up to you and love having you around. We love you and we appreciate you more than you will ever know. You make our lives more fun, messy, silly and adventurous. And our kids are better for it. Thank you.
The last time I breastfed my first child, I bawled. Unbeknownst to my 13-month-old, I was about to disappear for several days, a last-resort measure to terminate a relationship that was marked by inadequate milk supply, sleepless nights, blocked ducts and metabolic chaos. She was frustrated, I was frustrated, I was losing more weight than was healthy and I had a job interview in a week. It was taking a huge toll on everyone. Heaving with sadness and guilt, I finally agreed to go cold-turkey.
You wonder if it will ever get better. Wonder, too, if there really is a light at the end of the tunnel. Wonder incessantly if you will ever have energy again. All while you also wonder if you ever will see a semblance of your former self again. I hear you, friend, and I truly feel for you. I remember those days.
After what feels like a lifetime of battling drug and alcohol addiction, and my own tenuous mental health issues, three years ago -- at the age of 47 -- I finally found the strength to tell my wife and adult son that I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. Like too many other survivors of childhood sexual violence who decide to go public with their disclosure, I have lost contact with my mother and my siblings as a result. If you really want to know how to destroy an already fragile soul, take away the one thing that a survivor of sexual violence needs most -- connection, which equates as validation and worthiness.
I have had a few daycare kids whose parents did not teach them how to climb stairs. Ever. The thinking was that stairs were dangerous. Of course they are dangerous. That's why, if my daycare kids have the use of their legs, they need to learn to climb them. As soon as a kid learns to walk, we head straight to the stairs.
Even though you don't want to compare -- comparing is for chumps -- you secretly can't help yourself. A litany of comparisons runs through your mind like a never-ending grocery list. Your child is amazing, but his needs limit his day-to-day life and that of your family. And even after all these years, it stings.
Last night, my husband spoke the three most terrifying words in the English language. "Take a break." I was horrified. My blood ran cold. "But, but..." "No buts about it. Take the day off. Why don't you have some fun?" he suggested, smiling. Fun? Fun!? I drew a blank. And that's when I knew I had a problem.
My 13-year-old son Jacob, who has a rare neurodegenerative disorder, was discharged last summer with 24-hour nursing care in our Toronto home. But aside from the fact that nurses can cancel at a moment's notice -- leaving parents like me to pull all-nighters so my son doesn't choke to death -- we're facing alarming incompetence when they do show up.