I am the voter

As a tweetaholic I have seen the buzz surrounding #momthevote. I can appreciate the need to get moms to the polls. We need to vote for what is best for our families. It was not the same for our parents. Many households now have both parents working just to survive. Costs have sky rocketed. At least 30% of the families I polled have a RESPs but not RRSPs.

The government absolves the pay raises they give themselves by throwing drabs of money to families in under the cover of The Child Care Credit. $100 per child per month does not help even cover daycare. It stops when they are of school age (six years old.) So the message they send us that kids are cheaper and easier when they start school? Really? Right.

One issue that is propelling my vote is not one that is mom related at all but as a registered Canadian voter. This year I had the misfortune to watch my sister go through multiple surgeries to fight cancer; I saw the burden of her income falling to 55% of her salary. After only 16 weeks of fighting to get healthy her benefits ran out. She will be going back to work before getting a clean bill of health. An average Stage1 or 2 of cancer takes at least 10-12 months to heal. . It breaks my heart to see her go back to soon and it should a politician’s. If a candidate is making a promise to help the failing health care system in BC and in Canada, I would pay attention. There should be an allowance for doctors to extend patients leave if needed without forcing them to go back to work too soon.

For everyone running in this election please take away this: walk your neighborhood to find out what is important to voters. If you make a promise-keep it!!!

I really wish there was a performance review for candidates who get elected. If you fail you get a warning or fired by the public. If you are elected it should be in a written contract with repercussions should you fail.

I have taken my young girls to vote. My oldest knows why it is vital for her future that I vote. She makes a ballot at home and practices when she can at the age of majority.

Tips when talking to Pregnant Women

10 things not to say or do to a pregnant woman

1. It’s just a myth that you eat for two.

2. I never had to wear maternity clothes.

3. Is what you are eating good for the baby?

4. My sister’s/roommate/cousin/friend went through 72 hours of labor. No drugs helped.

5. Why are you so sick and tired? I went jogging for five miles every day till I was 9 months.

6. Its OK honey, I like big butts.

7. Better get your sleep now!

8. Oh, you are pregnant. I thought you were just gaining weight.

9. You are so huge!

10. I left the hospital in my pre-pregnancy clothes. (LIAR!!)

Seasonal: It must suck to be pregnant in this heat!

PS – Don’t touch the pregnant belly unless I can touch your belly!

10 things to say to a pregnant woman

1. You look beautiful!

2. You are glowing.

3. You don’t look pregnant.

4. Your baby is lucky to have you as a mom.

5. Think of all the shopping.

6. You have to eat a little more each day.

7. You get to be on the receiving end of good manners (at least temporarily).

8. Nine months to pamper yourself.

9. You get to be part of a whole new world.

10. You are so lucky!

Is Honesty The Best Policy for your Kids?

“Mommy, why can’t I have chocolate now?” as my four-year-olds scrunchy face is staring at me. I think she is trying to stare me down. My mind races for an answer she might actually hear. I tried simple ‘no’ and that backfired to here.

“You cannot have chocolate for breakfast because it would not taste good. Chocolate is only a snack food in the afternoons. That is when it tastes the best.” My lie sits out there like a whip cream cloud.

“Oh. Okay.” She races off to play.

I watch her and the guilt of lying to my girl weighs heavily on my brain. Every hour when my kids are awake I am faced with (as every parent) how much truth you tell your children.  When our loved ones passed away we told our kids what happened in toddler terms. We didn’t lie. We told them how they got sick and never got better. Now they are angels and feel better.  

When a friend doesn’t call for a play date I am faced with the question of ‘why?’  My heart knows I can’t shelter them for too long. Reality and other school children will infiltrate their world.  If it is a serious issue I will address what is needed. We have our family values and hope our children will uphold them as they grow up.

As I watch my two daughters run around squealing with happiness, I vow to keep them as innocent as I can. Knowing that is what I can do for now as their mom lightens my heart. I will always try to be as honest as I can with them, but in their terms they can understand.  When they are honest with me on who broke what, they are never punished. There are consequences for their actions, but they are never reprimanded for being honest.

Okay maybe the chocolate lie was off kilter from the truth. How do you handle the day-to-day honesty with your kids?

Friendships Redesigned

As appeared on Wonder MomsGrowing up I had many friends. There were friends from school and friends from ice skating. When my mom died those friends faded away. They didn’t know how to handle the motherless kid. Slowly I made friends in secondary school who didn’t know my mom. Nonetheless making friends was not my strong suit. A coping and survival tool is to be self-reliant.

Through my various jobs I made work friends. They were there for work rants and coffee breaks. At Christmas parties we were comrades. As they moved on to other jobs, or I did, those friendships faded to an occasional email or a Facebook post.

From party friends to work friends the glue was a common bond. When that bond became unglued the friendship faded into the past. I could count on one hand how many unconditional friends I do have.

When I became a mom it changed again. From mommy groups to park dates a whole new world opened up. Everywhere we went a familiar sense of belonging abounded. Once maternity leaves were over and I stayed home, some friends became weekend and birthday party mates. The isolation set in. I began to go online. Then I met Twitter.

Many times a day I would log in. In the wee hours rocking my baby I would hold my smartphone and tweet others. I connected with many moms who were doing the exact same thing. We conversed over many things. Some were local whom I never would have met otherwise. Across the world I have many online friends. There are friends that I never have met in real life yet they have earned my trust and respect. Some I now have met in person.

I tweet a lot with fellow motherless moms. That common bond has meant the world to me. For years I felt alone. Twitter connections have made my daily life a little brighter and a lot less lonely.

Is it possible to have hundreds of friends online? I say yes.

WAHM without child care

as originally posted at www.momnation.ca

Gasp! It is in this moment I ache for help for just one hour. An eye of the clock blasts the fact I have only one hour till deadline. My two-year-old bouncing on my lap, zooming her car. With every other second the question of ‘why?’ comes from my four-year-old who is watching Sesame Street. My tummy rumbles with the emptiness of missing breakfast and too much coffee.
I type with one hand, trying to keep focus on the task. Then, the doorbell chimes beckon their demand for my attention. I hoist my toddler in my arms, unlock the child safety gate and race down the stairs. As I open the door I realize that I am still in my pjs. I say a silent prayer that it isn’t a big deal.
The courier hands me a package and shows me where too sign. I close the door and run back up the stairs to face my computer. I place my tot on the floor and she races around the room squealing.
I resume my typing at a fast pace. My girls pick this moment to ask for more snacks. I fly to the kitchen 10 feet away and open all the snack packs I could grab.
The girls are settling with the second TV show of the morning. I reread the article I need to finish in order to remember where I left off. I am almost at the finish line when a certain odor drifts through the room, prompting another stop to my work. Toddler changed and happy as I go back to the computer for the fifth time to make the deadline.
I type the last sentence. The clock pompously tells me there is five more minutes to go. I ignore the cries from the kids of who did what, and who has what. I reread the final draft and hit the beloved ‘send’  button. The adrenaline rush that hits me is such a relief.
I wonder why I even try to work at home. Without family or vast financial resources, I have no day time help. Occasionally, I work at night when they are asleep. Colds and sleep deprivation override the need to read or watch TV to have some ‘me time’ or hang with my hubby. If I worked outside the home I would only make enough to pay for childcare.
All of a sudden I find the room quiet. I creep out of my chair and tip toe around the floor to see where the kids are located.
I turn near the bookshelf. I spy my oldest trying to read to her younger sister. My heart warms with the precious image. The answer to why I work-at-home in between diapers and tantrums is to be here for moments like the one in front of me. That is the best pay day.