Hello December, I’m filled with both excitement and a bit of sadness as we start this festive month. This morning I was excited to shower treats upon my baby and my fur baby! Jacob loved the things Elfonzo brought and Jasmine was very intrigued by these boxes of treats first thing in the morning that we were all very excited to show her!! Treats before breakfast and gingerbread are currently her favourite parts of Christmas!! Jacob was excited when he noticed a Purdys Santa beside his lunch. The Purdys Santa is 100% something Mom did for me as a child on December First! December lost most of it’s magic last year when Grandma got sick and left us and I want to honor her memory and my memories of how hard she always tried to make Christmas special by doing my best to bring back the fun and magic of this special month. 🎄🎄🎄⛄️⛄️⛄️🤶🏻🎅
With Mother’s Day fast approaching and all the love and fun that comes with it there is also sadness. Sadness for those who have lost their Mom, for those who never knew their Mom, for those who long to be a Mom, for those who long to feel the way they did before they were a Mom. Sadness for those who experienced pain at the hands of the one they call(ed) Mom. For those Dad’s who also have to act as Mom. For those Mom’s that suffered loss and long to hold their babies one more time.
Motherhood changes a person. It made me both stronger and softer. It made me both ferocious and timid. It made me feel love in a way I didn’t know existed and it made me feel anger in ways I wish I didn’t know existed. Motherhood has made me feel both full of love and full of terror. It’s made me marvel at my ability and long for a taste of the freedom I once knew. Losing my own Momma recently has made face my own mortality. It’s made me see things I missed my entire life. It’s made me wish for 5 more minutes to tell her things I should of said years ago. It’s made me understand the demons she was fighting and see the fears she faced. I spent my whole life near her and only truly saw some things for what they were once she was gone.
Being a Mom is hard. Being a Mom is exhausting. Being a Mom means giving up part of who you are so you can help your kids be who they are. Being a Mom is an amazing journey. Losing your Mom is a journey of a different sort.
To all the Mom’s out there…. I see you. I walk beside you! I’m here to help hold you up. I’m here to tell you those feelings and frustrations are ok. To all those who lost their Mom…. I am you, I hold a membership card to that club we didn’t ask to join and I cry with you.
To all the Aunts, Grandmas, friends, sisters, Dads that help stand in for us Mommas when we are sick, tired, drained, broken, or when we just need a minute…. Thank you.
Look… parenting is hard and I’m the first one to stand up and admit all too frequently I get it wrong. This morning tho, I got it right!
I’m a huge advocate for mental health and treating ourselves with grace. So this morning when Jacob woke up and called me into his room to make a case for missing school today I didn’t skip a beat. As soon as this usually excited for school seven year old told me he was tired and a bit sad I said ok. He continued to plead his case that he’s not sick he’s just tired/sad and I sat down on his bed and said “J you don’t need to convince me you need a mental health day” .
Let’s be real here…we could all benefit from the odd mental health day here and there and because I’ve realized the importance of this in my own life I 100% support it in my child’s life! I was so thankful this morning when even J’s teacher was enthusiastic and supportive of him having a mental health day!
I grew up with parents from a generation that all too frequently ignored mental health. A generation that championed pushing themselves to physical and mental exhaustion. Don’t get me wrong I have the utmost respect for work ethic but I also have mad respect for anyone willing to set boundaries to respect/protect their health, both physical and mental! The past two years have been hard but I’ve learned so much and I know what’s important to me. Nurturing my child’s mental health is just as important as vaccinating him, feeding him well, and keeping his body healthy!
Feeling safe, loved, and heard is so important. Today I got it right and J definitely felt all those things.
We called it a mental health day…Now he’s in great spirits. We just got home! We walked, talked, had breakfast, played at the skate park, watched the ducks, practiced our dance moves on the stage at the amphitheater, laughed, and his favourite part was when I gave him a $5 bill to hide at the skate park for someone else to find and help brighten their day! Side note…it’s actually international Random act of kindness day!
During our morning adventure we talked about the importance of filling our cup and the importance of doing little things to help others fill theirs when we can! We talked about how it’s important to feel our feelings, how it’s ok to be sad sometimes. We talked about making sure we rest, play, work hard, and honor our feelings!
Now we’re cuddling on the couch and he just paused his screen time to tell me this was the best morning he’s ever had! And with that he made my cup overflow. I got it right this morning friends 💙💙💙
Everything went wrong today that could of went wrong!
Our day was rough. My Dad’s memory/dementia was giving us all hell. Kevin is still really under the weather, I’m still coughing so much I’m physically sore. Important paperwork went missing (thanks dementia). I realized I’m dangerously close to missing a very important deadline. Amazon lost Jacob’s birthday gift. My lunch order was full of chicken not the tofu I ordered. Purdys is having a peanut butter daisy shortage. I could go on.
But I’m not going to dwell on it. Im going to look on the bright side! Today I managed to get out and find Jacob an amazing birthday gift, bought him a huge Pokémon balloon bouquet, then the best thing happened… Jacob came to me excited to spend tomorrow together for his birthday. I reminded him he has school tomorrow and he adamantly informed me his birthday would be a family day just as it has been every year since he was born! And in that moment I realized how right he is and how much we both need the day together. It made me happy that this sweet child realizes that I’ve made sure to take the day off work for his birthday every year. It makes my heart full to know that he wants that tradition to continue.
I’m thankful this sweet child is mine!
This morning I crawled out of my warm bed to take Muffin out to pee. I was hit with cold air upon opening the door! Cold air I haven’t felt since early last spring! I rushed Muff along and upon returning inside took a moment to crawl into bed beside Jacob. His barely awake warm self instantly embraced me and we cuddled for a solid 10 minutes before going about our regular before school routine. Now as I sit here reflecting on the morning I realize how much those ten minutes changed my day. They made me feel loved and relaxed and that put me in a great mood. I had more patience with my parents this morning and generally find myself less stressed!!
I hope our cuddle had the same effect on his day and I hope he never outgrows Momma cuddles! ❤️
But I can see all the moments etched in my mind.
The passing of time is a cruel reminder that life is only so many seasons long. I’m sitting here this morning trying to figure out where the Summer went.
I’m thankful we got to spend time as a family making memories. As I look towards the approaching Fall I have an extremely strong grasp on what’s important to me while everything else seems to be spiralling out of control around me.
With that being said, honestly im exhausted. We are about to start down a brand new path of a child in school learning, a husband with a permanent injury attempting to go back to work, and continuing to weather the storm of aging parents.
Every time I think I’ve caught my breath something seems to push be back under the wave I’m trying not to drown in. I think I’m tired of trying to fill that void.
Let’s be real here…. Clearly this year I haven’t stuck to the Thankful Thursday posts this year. It’s one more thing that has fallen to the wayside due in major part to the massive changes in my life. Why when I type that does it sound like such a cop-out? I think because I’m still trying to learn to cope with the changes. Learning to navigate.
Obviously the project didn’t go according to plan! I haven’t done one of the Thankful Thursday posts in a couple months. Those of you who know me in real life probably already know the reason for that! It’s not because I’m not finding things to be thankful for but because my life has been absolutely full of change. Massive changes that required my full attention and presence. In early January I learned my parents sold their home. It blindsided all of us because the house wasn’t listed for sale. They never told us they planned to do this. They just did it. Now I’m not going to go into a lot of personal detail here but know my parents are both heading towards 80 and we knew right away the best case scenario was for them was to move in with us. It would make things “easier” for us to be able to provide them care as required with them in our home. Things have been tough since covid hit. We found ourselves trying to maintain helping them as needed but also trying to maintain the required distance as required by local laws a d for safety sake of all involved. It was a lot and often didn’t work as well as we needed to.
It was a few months of organizing, purging, cleaning, packing, but mostly reassuring, talking, explaining, and trying to process my own feelings while trying to support my parents as their entire world changed.
It’s been 3 months now and it’s safe to say the honeymoon is over and real life slapped me in the face like a barn door in a wind storm. I’m doing my best to try to achieve that balance of keeping my little core families needs met by prioritizing time with just the three of us. Sometimes it’s easier than others but we did get in a trip up to Hundred mile for a week on the lake! We also got to escape to the island for a week to visit with Kevin’s family. Both were much needed. I’m also trying to maintain my own small space for my needs while being hugely responsible for the needs of my parents.
I find myself waffling between wanting to use this as my space to write about the trials and tribulations of caring for my aging parents, a place to scream about the horrors and hurt caused by dementia and memory loss. A place to word vomit it all out! At the same time I find myself a bit fearful and confused. I guess I’m torn between knowing what I need for my brain to process all this and also knowing that some family members read this and being very aware that reading about some of this on a public internet blog might not sit well. Well… I guess this is my official content warning…. I might blog about things you don’t agree with. You don’t have to be here. I hope you stay and can be supportive but nothing is forcing you to continue reading.
It’s interesting to me that I find myself posting any sort of warning to someone who really only follows along for information. To a person(s) who doesn’t actually offer any support or advice or even any genuine care. So before you pass your unwelcome, unneeded, unrequested judgement on my posts, my life, or how I choose to process this part of my journey please ask yourself this, are you actually part of my life? Like really part of my life or just a “Facebook friend” ? Please know my heart is not closed to any of you but also know I won’t wait by the front gate for any of you to maybe drop by. I will however always answer my phone and my door to respectful relationships with all of you!
Ten weeks of 2021 have come and gone. As I age I really realize how quickly time moves and somedays it’s really hard to swallow.
Speaking of time, Yesterday was a busy day!! The first half was all about hurry up and wait! I had to wait for the sourdough bread to do its thing so I could get it baked and out the door to 2 friends! It’s kinda neat to know something I create is being used to create a meal for another family to have dinner tonight! Covid may mean we can’t be together but we can stay connected!
The rest of the day was errands and groceries! I really enjoyed getting out of the house, even if was just for groceries. Kevin took me to my favourite local market (Ralph’s) and to Homesense! We went to Costco and he stopped and got me some Apple AirPods because the noise canceling function was recommended to me to help my mental health! I desperately need quiet to function and feel whole.
I’m very thankful I’ve got a husband who makes me take advice that may help me despite the cost.
Muffin would like you to know she’s extremely thankful for guacamole 🤣 This pup begged for guacamole and chips for an hour last night! She made me laugh!
Did everyone have a nice Valentine’s Day?!? Ours was snowy and quiet!! We decorated cookies and traded handmade valentines! Wouldn’t change a thing.
Sometimes it’s hard to find something to fill this space with every Thursday! Not because I’m lacking in things to be thankful for but because sometimes the days feel heavy and I’m not into toxic positivity! I realize sharing something I’m thankful for isn’t “toxic positivity” but still!
I guess today I’ll share a very simple thing I’m Thankful for! I’m thankful I listened a year ago when hubby told me to buy a Cricut! I’m thankful I gave myself the time and freedom to learn how to use it.
I truly enjoy creating things and honestly think it’s at the top of my list for healthy mental health habits I’ve embraced!
I took this photo this morning and was ready to sit down and take part in the Bell let’s talk initiative and discuss the need to normalize asking for help when it comes to mental health but the longer I sat there the further away my words got from me. All I could find myself thinking about was Performative ally-ship and how awful employees of both companies big and small are often treated when it comes to mental health! Maybe it’s because after being assaulted at work I was pretty much told if I wanted anything done about it I could hire an employment lawyer out of pocket. Maybe it’s because I’m at a point in my life where I expect people to walk the walk if they are going to talk the talk!
I’m wholeheartedly supportive of normalizing conversations about mental health, but let’s not make it once a year to help some corporate giant line their pockets with tax breaks! Let’s check in on friends and family regularly. Let’s teach our kids about feelings, gratitude and that it’s okay to take a mental health day! Let’s think before we type those snarky remarks on social media and remember there is a real person behind the comments. Let’s be supportive of each other and be aware it’s ok to take our own needs into account!
Let’s acknowledge that we are all human and we all have a story! Some of us live our lives as open books but we all have chapters most don’t get to read. Let’s just try to be kind and supportive everyday.
I’m lucky to have an amazing husband and a handful of friends that I know truly care about me and my wellbeing! For that I’m thankful!