Thursday, May 28, 2015

6 Tell-Tail Signs That You are in a Parenting Fail

The following may be signs that you are in the midst of a parenting fail:

1. You have no idea where your child is. You fear she has been stolen by an unsavoury individual with even more unsavoury intentions. She is hiding in the closet just to piss you off. This all happens about 2 minutes before the school bell is set to ring

2. Your child attempts to bite, scratch and kick you.

3. In your attempt to physically drag your child into the school building where you plan to abandon all knowledge of this child and her emotional distress, your other child clings to your legs until she falls over and starts to cry.

4. Your morning ends with an irate email to the recycling authority explaining to them to stop being such assholes by expecting recycling to be at the curb by an ungodly hour -  before any human being should reasonably be expected to accomplish anything people!!

5. You plan to do better tomorrow.

6. You crave a donut. Badly. Or better yet, a cronut.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Everybody Wants to Rule the World

Today, I must pause from regaling you all with nightmarish tales of the worst of parenting to let off some steam on an issue that has been bothering me.

It has become apparent to me in the past year or so that because of my status as a single-mom, the world views me differently than I view myself. While I see myself as an intelligent, skilled and resourceful person who is well-educated and possessing some solid and impressive accomplishments in the workplace, someone who does important work in the world and is head to doing even greater things - other people do not see this.

Instead, assumptions are made, based solely on my gender, that I am not on a career-track. That I would rather be in my home than in the workplace. That I would rather be spending every moment of every day with my children rather than out in the world, following my passions to make a difference. And I understand that for many women, this might be true and there is truly nothing to be faulted if someone sees their place in the world in those terms. But this is not me and I am starting to feel angry at the need for other people to place me in this category, based on many gendered assumptions about my career-potential, my desire to do important work and my dedication to my career. Because I know that if I was a man and a single-dad, these assumptions would never be made and I would never find myself fin the awkward position of convincing other people that I do, in fact, have a career.

Believe it or not, this woman wants to rule the world (or some small part of it). And maybe she will not always be doing it in stain-free professional attire and maybe she will occasionally be doing it with a pancake batter set hair-style or with heavy bags under her eyes due to the impact of the latest-flu bug sweeping through the school system, but make no mistake that this woman is going places. So do not limit her with your assumptions or you will be left behind.

That is all.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

SWF in search of...Chaos.

It is impossible to control all variables when it comes to parenting. For women who have achieved previous success by planning ahead and pushing themselves hard, this chaos can be difficult to accept.*


I read this and I am relieved as I realize IT ISN'T ME.

I wonder, though, in those chaotic moments when I hear the words, "Mama, I peed on the floor" when I find myself chasing my 6 year-old-down in the front yard, my pyjama choices on display for all the neighbours and passing randos to witness, when the local auto-service station comes to my home to deal with the latest vehicle crisis for the second time in as many months, (key locked in the car anyone? dead battery because your child turn in the interior light on when you weren't looking? these mean different things when you're single AND have kids) when every week seems to bring another physical ailment (take your pick from an assortment of infections, flus, muscle and nerve pain). No wonder my physiotherapist explained that my nervous system needs to calm the fuck down.

I love my girls and I love my life, but Chaos lives here too and sometimes he can be pretty rude. And a little hard to take for this incessant perfectionist.

I started writing this while my girls were eating pizza off the same unwashed plates they ate their breakfast toast off because a busy week preparing for a job interview (that I bombed big time) meant no clean dishes by week's end. But next time I am woken up by the sound of my children committing sororicide** over the last yogurt cup, I will just accept that Chaos will always be part of this package.

*From Sheryl Sandberg's book "Lean in: Women, Work and the Will to Lead". Essential reading for all women and anyone who knows one.
**The act of killing one's sister.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

What to Expect When You Live With the Unexpectables

One of the "joys" (tribulations? frustrations? angst-ridden nightmarish truths?) of parenting is the randomness of it. You never know what to expect next or when to expect it, especially the really ugly, messy bits (its all very similar to the birthing process, really).

One moment your children are getting along perfectly, entertaining each other well and the next moment...they are are hurling toys and random insults (a snobit-poof-face?). One day your four-year-old is perfectly willing to dress herself and the next is yelling at the top of her little lungs at the mere suggestion. Perfectly able to take an escalator without incident one day but not the next. Willing to allow tired-momma a short nap one day but! The very. next. day.  It involves discovering a colourful mess of epic proportions.

I should have known something was up. After 15 minutes of trying to sleep, I got out of my bed and walked into the living room. There was orange and purple paint everywhere. A huge puddle of paint occupied a sizeable portion of the rug and little orange footprints radiated out from it. Apparently, it had become a hilarious game of how-daringly-do-we-play-with-the-naughty-naughty-spilled-paint.

I know what you're thinking at this point. Where's the picture? Alas, I am not one of those parents with amazing foresight and always with a phone at the ready. I am also not very cool or collected in these situations. I totally Freaked Out. I cannot even remember what came out of my mouth, I only hope it was G rated and not overly childhood-PTSD inducing. But I do remember the hours spent scrubbing the rug.

Chaos happens. Expect it.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Confessions of a Mother of Mayhem

A great blogger I know used to regularly post these confessional statements. I loved the feeling of reading someone's secrets, especially when it is the stuff we usually like to hide from others.

Here are a few of mine:

1. I got approved for a credit card after being without one for awhile (because blah, blah alcoholism, separation, bankruptcy) but it took over a month for the card to arrive at my home. It felt like forever because I could not wait to buy things to get that happy feeling that comes from, well, buying stuff.

2. I told my children about an upcoming plan to send them to my parents for a few nights to give me a break and they cried. I felt awful. I caved to bribery. I promised them new toys. And chocolate cake. And fun times. And maybe some other things that I do not recall.

3. I kept putting off getting my car serviced because of financial reasons and then one sleepless night it hit me: I had not changed the motor oil in FOREVER! The next chance I got I checked oil on the stick at all!! That sucker needed two bottles of oil. Also, I had to check the manual to figure out how to a) pop open the engine compartment thingy (edit: turns out its called a hood) and b) find where the oil goes in.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Truth....

is so hard to come by sometimes.We all put a positive spin on ourselves and our lives and why not? Appreciating ourselves and dwelling on the beautiful brings enjoyment to our lives. But sometimes, its nice to acknowledge the chaos and swallow a healthy dose of realism. Especially when it comes to parenting which is often only considered through rose-coloured glasses.

When I came across this article, I instantly loved the honesty in these photos. Your usual family photos are beautiful of course, but there's something to be said for revealing the far more common moments when life is anything but perfect.

I feel I can relate to the above photo best but if I were to get one of these done, I would definitely be in a grocery store with the shopping cart toppled over onto my children...sigh. Here is the link to the article on Danielle Guenther's amazingly original work.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Escalator Nightmare

Weeks have passed and the bruise on my knee has yet to heal. At the end of what I thought was a successful escape from a store (meaning no shopping carts toppled over, no scenes or even a mini-meltdown), we had a run in with an escalator that would constitute any mother's nightmare. Well, maybe not exactly, neither of my children were trapped or eaten by the escalator but I can confess that these images did fuel my panic in that moment.

At the time, I was not expecting any problems as my capable six year-old has often taken an escalator without incident. I even remembered to remove the child sitting in the shopping cart before I shoved it onto its own escalator thingy, so I thought I was doing pretty good. Then, with my 4-year-old on my hip and my hand out to grab the handrail, I stepped onto the escalator and expected my 6-year-old coming behind me to do the same. But she balked. She stared at the moving stairs, immobilized by the apprehension of stepping onto a moving stairway. 

"MOMMMA!" she yelled.

Fueled by the thought that my child needed my protection from the scary child-trapping escalator, I turned and tried to run back up the escalator. Now, if perhaps you have never been so dumb as to try running up an escalator that is moving down, I can enlighten you: it is the most futile task known to humankind and will only make you feel like the dumbest human alive. How successful do you think I was while carrying a 30-pound child? And given my usual level of clumsiness? Not very: I fell. My child ended upon her side but thankfully did not get hurt. All the impact was absorbed. By my knee. Against the hard metal grating. Ouch.

Can I never go to a store again please? Maybe I can find a personal shopper who I could pay in kind. With children's artwork.