Playing Give and Take

Yesterday the boys and I walked to the park - not an entirely out of the ordinary thing for us. They organized themselves into a make-shift game where one would climb the ladder while the other climbed the slide, then the ladder-climber would slide down the slide attempting to bring the slide-climber down with him. While I watched them play I couldn't stop smiling - and then thinking - of course.

We all hear about how good play is for kids - how it's necessary, helps with socialization, mental health, physical literacy - it's essential. But I often think about how good it is for me too. There is little better for my mood than a walk. It brightens my mood, calms me down, eases my mind. It helps me to be a better mom, a better wife, a better human in general. It's where I collect my thoughts and make sense of things. It's also the byproduct of taking my kids out to play.
The more I thought about this the more it made so much sense.

When we give our kids room to play …

An Exercise in Empathy

Being an empath is an incredible thing, understanding how someone feels without even having to talk to them is a gift I'll never take for granted. It means big feelings, exhaustion from crowds, and recharging in nature - who'd have guessed, haha!
It's also led me down an introspective thought path, in particular, during or after opinions that challenge my own are shared. It's not easy for anyone to engage, listen, or even entertain ideas that don't support their own worldviews. It's not natural to surround yourself with people that don't share your worldviews and it's not particularly enjoyable. Challenging someone's worldview can cause upset, anger, even - and in particular for an empath - feeling physically unwell.
But here's the thing, I think being empathetic and leaning into empathy means more than what might be assumed as "just feeling things" or "understanding the underdog". It means challenging yourself to see it from …

We Met at the Park

We met at the park one day when my son had to pee. He was potty-training and while we were playing at the park he started the infamous potty dance.
"You can go over there, in the long grass. That's where my sons always go."  I know, that seems like an odd line to bond over, but in that moment I knew I had a new friend.
I often write about going to the park, or for walks, and I come at it from all angles. Here is one of my favourite ones - the one that brings you new friends. You see, when we take our kids outside to play, when we venture away from our yards, onto the streets, pathways, and parks in our neighbourhoods, a fantastic thing happens - we meet our neighbours. This is how I met my neighbour - my friend. Yes, we bonded over peeing at the park. Any parent who has gone through potty-training has got to be able to relate to this. We met and we talked. We talked about kids at first - you know, the ones peeing in the long grass - the ones we have in common. Kids are …

Walking for More

This year our oldest little fella started Kindergarten. A massive milestone that, despite my firm belief that it wouldn't bother me, knocked me right on my butt. But I'll save that for another post when it's ready to come out. These last few months we've been biking and walking to school - something I wished I could do as a kid. Something that my boys love waking up and doing.

One morning we were late - strapped for time because (for the nine-millionth time) why does no one have their shoes on yet?! - I was scooping up all of our things to rush out to the car when I saw the boys half-way down the sidewalk. I was about to call after them to tell them we were going to drive and then I reconsidered.

As we made our way, haphazardly down the sidewalk towards the school I couldn't help but feel overjoyed. Things like physical literacy, play, and active living have been a huge consideration for us as parents since day one - thanks Dr. Mark Tremblay. Being mindful of these…

Getting Wello

Last Thursday morning didn't start all that different than most. My alarm woke me up deliberately before the boys, so that I could start my hair and make up before the chaos. I curled my hair while checking my calendar, mentally prepping for the day of meetings ahead of me. As I finished my makeup I heard the fellas rousing, the typical sounds of a four and five year old dressing themselves while simultaneously wrestling with eachother. I made my way to their room to remind them to hustle - feeding everyone breakfast and packing lunches before the walk to school is a small victory that we claim most mornings - most mornings. That's when I saw it, the red rash spreading across my youngest fella's body. The rash that changes plans, keeps you home from work, away from school, cuddled up, and constantly comforting.
Parents - you know the scene. Your little human is not well and sleep seems like a thing of the past. There's a fever, or a nasty cough, rash, insert other ailm…

You Deserve to Slow Down

Welp, I'm sick. Chills, fever, burning cheeks, nausea - no joke I am lying in bed as I type this. But if you read my posts, and know me, you know that when I feel compelled to write something, I do. It's like an itch, but a good one, that I just can't ignore. So here goes.

I've been home with sick fellas since Thursday. First Porter, then Stetson, with hand, foot, and mouth. Let's start with the shame and guilt there - despite it being a very common illness in young children. I feel like a bad parent and a bad housekeeper. We are essentially on quarantine - and I don't blame anyone - it's not a fun one to get. So there's that.
Then there's me. The idealist, the pleaser, the everything to everyone. At home. Away from work for two full days, and counting. Rescheduling and missing meetings. Trying my best to answer emails and still produce. I'd be lying if I said I haven't been planning in my head, repeating over and over my to-do list. Recount…

To My Friends Having Their First Baby

My sweet friend, I am so very happy for you. I truly am. You are experiencing one of the greatest gifts - a gift that not all women are able to receive. I have seen those women, and known them, even though I am not one. Accept your gift and feel that gratitude.

You are no doubt, going through one of the biggest changes ever. Your body is not your own, there's a tiny human growing in it! Your priorities have shifted and already you are thinking about that tiny human before yourself - you'll do that a lot. Soon you'll bring that tiny human into this world - however that happens I hope you know what a champion you are. None of us can plan how that goes, you could write all the birth plans in the world and that tiny human will not give a hoot about your birth plan. Remember how many women have come before you, and how many different ways 7+ billion humans have made their entrances - a teeny tiny percentage of whom maybe followed their birth plan. Maybe.
And then there you are.…