Reasons why we love mom…according to my kids

I know – I haven’t posted in a VERY long time but honestly I haven’t had a lot to say…until now.  My girls (Dopey and Weezie) gave me a gift for Mother’s Day that needs to be shared and immortalized. Not because it was shiny or expensive or planned weeks in advance, but because it was honest and sweet and absolutely perfect.

I came home from my Sunday morning run and they handed me a little gift bag with handmade soaps and lip balms and a mini pad of paper with the following notes written in it.

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I braced myself; what would they come up with?

 

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True. I have satisfied my legal requirements as a parent to feed my children.

 

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I do. And they hold mine when I’m scared. I almost broke Weezie’s hand on a stupid ride at a stupid theme park. First and last time.

 

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I don’t always like what they do, but I always love them.

 

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There are only a few things that I like more than gardening (and running); that’s shopping, eating and drinking wine.

 

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They squabble like a couple of old biddies over the last cup of tea in the pot. Sometimes I wish they’d just have a good old fashioned fist fight and get it over with once and for all.

 

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Hoarder alert.

 

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They will sneak it anyway. Lushes.

 

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Humour is the cure for everything.

 

They are tough little nuts but sometimes even the toughest nuts need hugs.

 

No. I pretend not to notice when you steal my clothes.

 

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True. I only buy their “needs”. They have to buy their own “wants”.

 

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My little carnivores.

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If you’re not a little bit weird, then you might be at risk for being a little bit boring.

 

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When they were younger I would threaten to force them into beauty pageants if they misbehaved. That would shut them up pretty quickly.

 

I think I’ve done an OK job as a mom if these are the reasons why they love me.  If nothing else, this proves that they have heard and learned my most important lesson – not to take life too seriously.

Fourteen years of hindsight…some advice on marriage

ann2Today is our fourteenth wedding anniversary.  Some days it feels like it has zipped by and some days it feels like four hundred years.

We met, married and started a family way too quickly, but given that I was in my late twenties and he in his early thirties, I think we were mature enough to handle it.  Would I do it again that way?  Absolutely not.  And given how hard it is to juggle work/kids/house/life I probably wouldn’t do it again – period.  The early years with kids were tough.  We had not yet established good boundaries in our relationship, nor had we grown yet into the adults we are today.  Throw in the responsibilities of house, money and careers and I’m surprised that we never had our own War of the Roses.

For any of you who are contemplating taking the plunge into Marriage-dom or are in throes of difficult times, keep reading.  You may not think my advice is good, but I’m still married so it must have some merit.

  1. Do not let the excitement of a wedding cloud your judgement when deciding who to marry.  Remember, the wedding lasts a day – the marriage lasts a lot longer than that…unless you’re Britney Spears.
  2. Don’t spend as much on your wedding as most people spend on a car.  It’s silly.  Why does anyone need a $5000 dress or $1000 for an ice sculpture?  Why?  We had a very small wedding – it was beautiful, intimate and cost less than many people spend on their wedding flowers.  If I were to get married again (which I wouldn’t) I’d go somewhere warm and get married in a sundress with my bare feet in the sand…with Matthew McConaughey…
  3. momDon’t have kids until you can look after yourself.  If you can’t feed yourself, do a load of laundry without consulting your mommy or operate basic power tools, then you probably shouldn’t have children yet…unless you’re stinking filthy rich and never plan on doing anything for yourself anyway.
  4. Kids are messy.  Everything about them is messy. Do not EVER think that a baby will save your marriage.  Wine saves marriages.
  5. When kids are little, sleep in shifts.  I know husbands want to feign sympathy and get up in the wee hours with their sleep-deprived and bitchy wives when it’s time for baby to eat.  Why?  What the hell can you possibly do when the only thing the kid wants is the boob?  Even when mommy is no longer breast-feeding, why should both of you be awake and equally sleep-deprived and bitchy?  Get your sleep so that when the little grub wakes up at 6am, you can be a hero and get up with it while your lovely wife gets another hour of rest.  Trust me on this one.
  6. It’s OK to put your kids second and partner/marriage first sometimes.  Don’t feel guilty for telling them to get lost and let mom and dad eat dinner in peace once in a while.
  7. My husband always says “It’s better to happy than to be right”.  Bullshit – he’s a bureaucrat.  I say it’s more a case of pickingann1 your battles.  I have learned to let most battles go, but sometimes you do need to stand your ground and fight for what you know/need/want.  Case and point, the toilet paper must hang on the outside of the roll – the other way is simply wrong.
  8. “Me time” is critical for mental and emotional well-being.  Sometimes that means getting liquored with my girlfriends and hitting on the 20-something bartender at the pub but usually I can satisfy that need by going for a run.  Hubby does a yearly guy’s ski trip.  Every year a group of them go somewhere cold and snowy and hurtle their old bones down a mountainside, drink some beers with their all-meat meals and fall asleep by the fire by 9pm.  I don’t bother him when he’s away.  That’s his week to hang with his mates and not worry about dirty dishes or where the dog barfed.
  9. Little things go a long way to make your partner happy.  It’s not about gifts or extravagant displays of love.  It’s about simple things that let your partner know that you know who he or she is as a person.  Every single morning, hubby asks me how I slept; while my answer may be monosyllabic if pre-coffee…I appreciate that he cares.
  10. Housekeeping and laundry can wait.  No one will die if there is dust on the bookshelf.  The world won’t end if the dishes aren’t done.  We have a house cleaner and I love her.  She (along with my wine) has saved my marriage and the life of both my kids many times over.
  11. Laugh.  When all else fails – just laugh.

That’s about it.    Hubby and I are going away for the night – to the hotel that we got married in.  I have to go now and get packed – need something pretty to wear to dinner, my flannels and my box of wine.  Cheers.

Dear Other Mom…your kid is a bully

I need one of these.

I need one of these.

This year has been tough on my kids – both have them have been the target of schoolyard  cowardly little shits bullies.  I have then had to deal with school administration, teachers and completely un-self-aware parents.  It’s been trying and exhausting for everyone and I’m done.  Done like dinner.  My husband doesn’t even say hello to me when he comes home now – he just pours me a glass of wine and sits down to hear the latest drama.

Let me be clear here – my kids aren’t angels.  They have said and done some pretty stupid things and they have worn the consequences.   But they are not mean and they do not lie, but unfortunately not everyone lives by those rules.

Anyway I decided to write a letter to the moms of those bullies.  If I could speak freely without fear of repercussion for my kids, this is what I’d say.

Dear Other Mom,

Your kid is a bully.

Your kid has a problem with telling the truth and everyone knows it and she doesn’t care who she hurts.  But she is sweet as pie when she needs to be and manages to fool the people that she knows can protect her from the reality of her actions.

I’m sure this isn’t the first time you’ve heard from an exasperated parent.  Your kid has a terrible reputation with other kids and yet you continue to believe that everyone else is the problem.  When so many parents/teachers/kids are pointing fingers in your kid’s direction…it’s time to take a reality pill.  Your spawn IS the problem.  When the drama and arguments are a regular occurrence in your kid’s life, it’s time to think that just maybe she is the cause.  And I know this to be true because when she is away from school, it’s a happy day for everyone.

Your kid has serious control issues; she needs to be in charge of everything and when she isn’t, she lashes out.  And she continues to try to control other kids…pitting them against each other with blatant lies.  Why is that?  Is her home life out of control?   Are you going through tough times in your house and she’s acting out?  If so, I empathize, but all I ask is that you deal with it.   But she needs to know that lying destroys reputations and friendships.  That’s what she wants.  She doesn’t want her friends to have other  friendships that don’t involve her.  If all the other kids hate each other because of her lies, then they have nowhere to turn but to her.  But I guess she probably knows that no one would be her friend if given the choice.  I just wonder how she sleeps at night knowing that she causes mistrust and discord between friends simply by telling a lie?  Does she know what kind of damage she does?  Maybe you should tell her.

And what lesson do you think you’re teaching your kid when you believe everything she says…regardless of how ridiculous and implausible the story?  And when the lie starts to fall apart, you still believe her.  Why? Are you that scared of damaging your little princess’s self-esteem that you validate every stupid story she tells you?    Because when you validate her lies, they are reinforced.  She thinks if mommy believes this shit, then it must be true and if it’s true, I’m going to tell anyone who will listen and they’ll believe it too.   Do you not realize how this damages other kids – their relationships with each other, parents and teachers?  I suppose the only solace here is knowing the other kids will eventually compare stories and expose the lies.   So when this happens (and it will) and she comes running to you to tell you how mean everyone is being to her, do the rest of us a favour and tell her about karma.

Do you know that other kids are afraid to stand up to her?  I can’t count the number of times that my girls have said “It’s easier to just be nice and try to get along with her.  If she’s mad at me, it’s awful.”  Yup.  That’s the definition of a bully.  It’s my way or you’ll pay.  Other kids have all been her target at one point or another and now know to just stay under the radar.  My kid has made the mistake of standing up to your kid, but she learned her lesson.  Now I’m sad to say that she is scared to stand up for herself or for whomever the latest target is because she doesn’t want your daughter to set her sights back on her.  Are you scared of her too?  Are you scared of her emotional blackmail if you call bullshit?   I would deal with that now.

And I’ve seen your kid at work in my house – bossy, lazy, manipulative, and then sickly sweet to my face.  I’ve heard her working my kids over when she thinks I can’t hear.  For the most part I leave the kids alone to deal with it but at times it’s really difficult.  I want to toss her out on her ass…but I know that will only cause problems for my kid at school the next day, so I put up with her.  I guess that means she has bullied me too.  But I can say that your kid is no longer welcome in our house…unless she shows up at my door to apologize.

Do I sound harsh and bitter?  I am.  And I’m not sorry for anything I have said.  Your kid has been the cause of so many tears in my house that I don’t care if I have hurt your feelings – you need to hear this.  It’s time you wear some of the pain your kid has caused.     I know this may all come as a surprise to you because your kid tells you that other kids are being mean when in reality it’s bullshit…and I know this because I have been on the receiving end of your accusations.  Next time, get your facts straight before trying to lay blame.  One thing I have learned about bullies is that they can dish it but they can’t take it; at the first sign of their victims fighting back, they run crying to their mommies.  Good luck with that.

Sincerely,

One tired mom

The magic of Christmas…on a plane

Every now and then I see a story on-line that really gets me.  This one did just that.  A friend shared this video and during my morning coffee/Facebook break, I stopped to watch it.  Take five minutes out of your day and watch the video; I dare you not to get the warm and fuzzies.

I am not religious, nor do I believe in the crazy commercialism that has taken over the holidays, but I do believe in the magic of Christmas and I bet these people do too.  Way to go WestJet; you guys are awesome and there’s a reason why so many Canadians choose to fly with you.

10 Things I Want My Daughter to Know About Working Out

I don’t usually reblog just because I like to write about my own thoughts…but these words really resonated with me. I get grief from some about being a workout junkie or caring too much about my physique…but this post explains why. THIS is why I do it.

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Mid-way through a recent group exercise class, the teacher lost me.  She didn’t lose me because of some complicated step sequence or insanely long set of burpees; I mentally checked out because of a few words she kept saying over and over.  “Come on!  Get that body ready for your winter beach vacation!  Think about how you want to look at those holiday parties!  PICTURE HOW YOU’LL LOOK IN THAT DRESS!

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