Jessica Peterson via Getty Images
Being British is an integral part of my identity. From Monty Python to EastEnders, baked beans on toast to a nice cup of tea solving all of life's woes, I am quintessentially English. And as much as I love Canadians, and moved here solely based on falling hard for one, in particular, I have no desire to become a Canadian.
So it was with some trepidation that I realized shortly after the birth of my son, that this precious little man of mine, was a Canadian. At least, until he started talking.
Hero Images via Getty Images
All it takes is one trip to a dollar store.
Choreograph via Getty Images
Parents, grandparents, caregivers take heed. As you are stowing the markers, pens and paper in your child's backpack for the start of a new school year be sure to throw in a hefty supply of resilience. It is the most important school supply any child needs in today's world.
After your last family vacation, you may have realized that travelling with the whole gang can pose some unique challenges. From packing stress to long car rides, bringing the entire family can be hectic. Thankfully, we know a thing or two about how to have the family vacation of a lifetime.
cyano66 via Getty Images
I knew it was something parents said to their kids, a thing friends said to each other, and I wanted someone to say it to me.
Jupiterimages via Getty Images
As our lives became more hectic and lifestyles more busy, the traditional model of family also shifted. No longer were women staying at home, living out their lives as "domestic goddesses," and increasing numbers of men were shown to be not particularly handy when it came to making and fixing things, and that was okay. But now, our kids don't have those skills at all. What happened?
KristinaJovanovic via Getty Images
One step to starting the new school year off right is making sure that our kids are getting the sleep they need to succeed at school. A well-rested child will display better cognitive abilities, a more pleasant mood and temperament, and a stronger immune system so it's important that your child start off their new school year well rested and prepared.
PhotoAlto/Ale Ventura via Getty Images
When you truly connect and are present with another human being you create a powerful emotional vulnerability in yourself and others. Disconnection is a self-protective mechanism that is activated when we feel highly vulnerable. This self-protection then leads us to pull back and withdraw.
Caiaimage/Paul Bradbury via Getty Images
Here's a secret nobody tells you about having a baby: There's a lot of downtime. During the early days, weeks or even months of your maternity leave, you'll be confined to your bed or couch -- unable to move while you're baby sleeps upwards of 18 hours a day or while you nurse him every two hours for 30-40 minutes at a time. A lot of time is spent staring at your baby. Trust me, I've been there -- twice. It's nice to break up the monotony of those long, lonely days with some great TV shows.
Tetra Images via Getty Images
This new benefit is meant to "lift some 315,000 Canadian children out of poverty" by adding to household income, tax-free, for those most in need. It is based on Adjusted Family Net Income, a line item on our tax returns (which doesn't allow for a lot of nuance, I'll concede, but still seems more fair than not).
White Packert via Getty Images
When does a wife become an Alpha Parent? When they become the person who hovers over her husband when he changes the baby's diaper or prepares a meal, just waiting for him to do something wrong -- or rather, something different than she does -- so that she can correct him, criticize him or just take over with an exasperated, "Oh, I'll do it."
Peter Cade via Getty Images
Ditch the scrubbing, and try this DIY stain hack.
WANDER WOMEN COLLECTIVE via Getty Images
It's peak Alberta summer right now; everything is green, the days are long and the sun is finally shining. Which feels like the worst time to utter those three dreaded words: back-to-school. But it really is true; the early bird gets the worm. This is an especially apt metaphor for all of the extracurricular activities that start up when September rolls around.
Jordan Siemens via Getty Images
As I sit here writing this post, coated in the slick, stench of black licorice fennel oil (for breast milk production), I can honestly say I'm more stressed now than before parenthood. And I know I'm not alone in this.
Ralf Nau via Getty Images
I want my kids to get a taste for travel. I want them to experience life. To not be afraid to try something new. I want to have memories with them. I want to have done things. Why should I allow my personal situation (being on my own with two boys) scare me into not taking a risk?
JGI/Jamie Grill via Getty Images
One of a child's basic emotional needs is to be treated with respect. It sits at the heart of a strong parent-child connection, which is fundamental to healthy emotional development. We're capable of giving this to our children, but first, we need to recognize disrespectful behaviour and stamp it out before it jeopardizes our most precious relationships.
Hero Images via Getty Images
Everyone struggles. Some struggle more than others, but that doesn't mean we can't support other parents. If someone tells you about their problem, no matter how silly or trivial you think it is compared to your own, or what other people deal with, support them. Lift them up. Say you understand how hard it must be for them, and acknowledge their feelings.
Inti St. Clair via Getty Images
You're processing the world around you, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day. And as your mom, I'm doing my best to show you (and remind myself each day) how to bring light into this world each of those days. In the grocery store, at the park, in the classroom. We're in this together. We'll learn together. We'll fall together. We'll get up together.
Copyright Anek via Getty Images
I feel that parenting is my responsibility, but I do not feel that my role of mother or wife or daughter is my purpose. I do not feel my role of counsellor or teacher, author or business woman is my purpose. My purpose does not feel as though it can be defined by a role, any role, in my life.
MIXA via Getty Images
Our son used to have a really hard time with summer. It was so bad many years ago that I was scared that I would begin to hate summer, my most favorite time of the year. The solution for our family was gradually introducing my son to all the wonderful things summer could hold, but on his terms. This way he had control, and slowly our family started enjoying this time of year.
"Children need to be occupied, they need structure, they need predictability," the experts tell us. Heaven help you if you don't make sure to keep those sticky little hands busy between late June and Labour Day every year. After all, children need structure right? No they don't.
Gone Wild via Getty Images
lust because I am vegan doesn't mean I like cooking. I want to spend as little time in the kitchen as possible. In fact, if I was super rich I would hire a vegan chef to cook all the meals I make for myself and my son Noah, age 10. Therefore my dinners require very little ingredients and not a lot of preparation or cook time.
NADOFOTOS via Getty Images
"A hug is like a boomerang. You get it back right away." This is true 90 per cent of the time. But 10 per cent of the time, it's not true -- especially when you're trying to hug a reluctant teen as you drop them off at their friend's house or at school, and even sometimes when you're alone in the house with them.
I thought we'd go to a cottage in the summer, take our own trip to celebrate our 10th anniversary. I'd wanted to go to Japan. Now it feels like I'm counting backwards. I'm in the negative numbers, counting how many years I've been divorced. How many years we could have been married if only...
Jamie Grill via Getty Images
We accept life is irreversibly transformed and some parts of our pre-children lives are forever lost. It's hard to do -- life was simple and straightforward before kids and it's healthy to admit we miss it. It doesn't make us ungrateful parents, it makes us human. It means we're honest.
PhotoAlto/Anne-Sophie Bost via Getty Images
I know there are going to be many, many more hard moments when I ask myself how much longer a certain behaviour of my children's is going to last. But with each of those hard moments that I want to end, there are a dozen precious moments that I want to hold onto for a lifetime.
Volodymyr Kyrylyuk via Getty Images
None of us are at our best when we're tired or stressed out, especially kids. In fact, much of what we see as "misbehaviour" in kids is actually "stress behaviour" -- the result of being over-stressed, unaware of it and unaware of what to do about it.
DmitriMaruta via Getty Images
If you haven’t completed the 2016 Census, there’s still time to do so before enumerators make their way to your neighbourhood and come knocking on your door.
I was just a little girl, but you had a barbed tongue. Oh, you always couched your cruelty in humour. As if comedy was a disinfectant that redeems meanness. Time and again, I asked Mommy, "Please, tell Daddy to stop teasing me. It hurts my feelings." But you wouldn't or couldn't stop.
What makes us hate has been theorized since the beginning of time. Shakespeare wrote about hate and violence. But what is rarely discussed is what we need to do beyond the wailing and the gnashing of teeth. It all starts with how we run our business, our schools and our governments.
lolostock via Getty Images
We all have dirty little secrets. You know, the kind that you would be mortified if anyone were ever to find out. Most people's deepest secrets are well kept. My parenting secrets are not. I have an autistic son with no filter and he ensures that no secret is safe in our house.
I resented the man you became, Dad. I truly resent you, even to this day. But I will use your failures as a way of guiding myself through fatherhood. Consider it your contribution to my life, years after you had given up on me, that I will never end up alone and away from the people I love.