Mommy, why are you sad?

My tears are flowing without censoring. I just read about the horror in Oslo, Norway. The death toll kept  rising.  I can’t fathom nor comprehend the tragedies. I was compelled to read about it online and should not have. I hold my laptop and know I should close it. My girls are near. I can’t help but let the tears flow. The horror for the parents who dropped off their children to a camp in paradis, and then to get the call no one should.

The pictures that are splashed across the news are sickening. I don’t know how the media can do it. If it was their kids would they change their tactics. For a city to not have any violence since World War 2 was incomprehensible. After reading and hearing the survivor stories, I could not let my children go from my sight.

My four-year-old sneaks up on me and gives me a big bear hug.

“Mommy, why are you sad?” she asks.

With my heart in my throat I tell my oldest the thread of results of the world news. All the while, I don’t understand it. I explain that a bad person got angry towards innocent children. Now they can’t go home to their parents. My girls know what grief is all too well.

Her face crumbles in thought. “Then he should go on a long time out.”

No truer words have been said. But really, will there ever be justice to those families?

For all my worry about leaving my girls, like my mother did in cancer, I never imagined the possibility of having my girls leave me through trauma or tragic circumstances.  

I strive to live through each day letting my girls know the truth on how much I love them. I might be grumpy through no fault of their own and at the end of the day, live life as there is no tomorrow.

Should Kids Be Banned in Restaurants?

previously posted on

Most days I let hot topics that I read go because I do not want to add fuel to the fire. It is interesting how some write opinions that they would never say in a face to face conversation. The hot topic this past week did ruffle me. The subject is banning kids under 6 in restaurants.

Social media lit up with the fire that this topic caused. The first time I read about it was on Dawn Chubai‘s (local BT Vancouver host) Facebook page with the simple status update “thoughts?” and the link. Many chimed in on how they would love it. One friend piped in when do we stop banning-go back in time? Is this really 2011?” I contributed in my personal thoughts (which I will share later here) and it got liked by many people.

Here in BC there are many places to go that are kid-fee. The bars and pubs have a strict “No Minors Allowed policy.”  When I get a rare time-out with my fellow parent friends we frequent establishments like that or lounges. Rarely will you find kids in a fine restaurant after 7pm, locally.

I posed to my peeps on Twitter.  Here is a sampling from parents including personal experiences.

@ALotOfLoves   Not all places are child friendly. I don’t think all restaurants need to be either. Obviously this place didn’t cater to kids. The age thing doesn’t actually bother me. I hear, “We are intolerant & don’t like families”. Result: I won’t go there. Ever.

@Bored Mommy I think banning kids from restaurants is just gross. Why don’t they just ban assholes instead.

@scatteredmom here’s a good story for you.

@phdinparenting My longer thoughts here:

It is sad to think that in this day and age we are resorting to ageism. My children look older than 6 but are much younger. Do I need to carry their birth certificates?  We know when to go out to eat and when not to. With the costs of eating out higher now due to HST, I value a meal that I do not have to cook and clean for. I bring a bag of tricks to entertain my girls when we go out. Many restaurant managers have stopped by our table to compliment us on how wonderful they are. In case you did not know, my daughters are 2 and 4. We might eat out 2-3 times a month.

We were at our go-to place for lunch when our youngest went into a teething crying fest. I scooped her up and walked outside faster than you could say “Check please.” After a few minutes in the parking lot, a staffer came out to check on us.  My husband had paid the bill with our oldest daughter. The restaurant had packed up my meal and included a coupon for next time. We still go there today.

My question to restaurants:  do you ban obnoxious, drunk and cursing adults? (I have personally seen that they don’t.) My children act better than some adults. It makes me mad they could be judged by other customers or places as trouble just by looking at them.

After reading the Facebook threads and Tweets, it seems that there is a consensus.

  1. To ban is wrong. To have a sweeping rule that if a customer (whatever the age) is bothering other customers they would be asked to leave. Special needs customers are excluded from that discrimination by law in most cities.
  2. It is a parent’s responsibility to teach their kids respect for others. This includes showing them appropriate behaviour in restaurants. It is a very important lesson for them as they grow into adults. If they are unruly then it’s time to leave. They will learn that the fun stops when they are misbehaving.
  3. If you want a guarantee to dine at a kid-free zone, try a lounge, bar, pub or of the like. Look around you might find a new place that kids do not frequent.

What sticks in my brain is that I have never heard of such an age ban in Canada. Yes, there are “minors not allowed” zones, but in a public place all is welcome. Since being a parent and on a tight budget, I treasure eating out with my family because it’s creating memories.

We would love to hear your thoughts. Do you go out with your kids?

WAHM Tells the Truth

 At school pick-up my polite conversation with another mom turns to what we each do. She is a nurse on swing shift. I tell her about my freelance work. She remarks on how lucky I am. I smile and wonder if she genuinely felt that way on my truth. My mind starts to tabulate just what my day entails, Monday to Friday when my husband is working outside the home and I am it for parenting.

We didn’t choose specifically to have me stay at home to raise our daughters.  With the realization of just what I would take home after paying daycare and other costs, it wasn’t worth it. To be brutally honest it would have been $337.67 bottom line. Spending the 45-50 hours a week away from my miracle babies didn’t seem worth it.

One look at our check book, with four people surviving on one income, I knew I had to do something.  Since I didn’t know how to cook or sew, or have an early childhood education certificate to do daycare, I didn’t know what I could do.

In the meantime of searching for revenue, I picked up a pen to fill the creative void that I felt in between midnight feedings and diaper changes. I wrote for the enjoyment and sanity of it. On a dare to myself, I started to tweet and answer calls for submissions for articles. With the shock and delight of acceptance I kept going. Making rookie mistakes along the way, I ploughed through with a passionate motivation.

I do not make JK Rowling money or even a drop in her royalties. I make enough to treat my family to the small luxuries that entertain us:  Starbucks, chapters and pizza money. Some months are famine and some I can splurge on a Grande. Also, I do not have a nannny nor family help. It is by circumstances.

My WAHM regular day:

5:30am: DD4 comes in our bed to curl up.

6:00am my husband’s alarm goes off. I hop into the shower out of necessity to guarantee a shower. DD4 either gets up or falls back to sleep.

6:40am kiss hubby good-bye. I either unload dishes, attempt to check emails, or prep snack bags for the day. I pour a half a cup of coffee into a travel mug, only I am not going anywhere for a while. It helps to keep it warm. I take one sip.

7:30 am DD2 wakes up and get her settled for breakfast. The attempts to ask DD4 to get dressed begin. If kids are extra squirrely I will put on PBS to watch Sesame Street or Curious George so I can get to work for a few blessed quiet minutes. I take second sip of coffee.

8:00-8:30 am get girls dressed and ready for the day. One last check at emails and answer any important ones. I print off drafts to take with us, in case I have time.

9:00-11:00am Pre-school drop-off or play dates or errands outside the house. Sometimes speech appointments or tests for DD2 developmental delays.

11:30-12:30pm Pick up DD4 from school then home for lunch. I eat lunch at sink in between getting girls settled and the kitchen caught up. Occasionally I get a casserole put together to place in fridge ready for dinner.

12:30-3:00pm attempt quiet time or play with the girls. Might try coffee again or a diet pop (no judgement please)

3:00-3:30pm snack time and attempts to write while kids are distracted.

3:30-5:00pm play with the girls either outside or parts of the house.

5:00-6:30pm Hubby gets home. It’s dinner, dishes, lunch prep and outlines drafts or catch up on reading.

6:30-8:30pm bath, book and bedtime.

9:00pm-?  After quick chat with hubby, I get back on computer to finish whatever my brain lets me finish. Wine will be present.

Bedtime is whenever I conk out or hubby wakes me up from my slumber on the couch where the computer blinks abandoned.

I collect my daughter after school and we walk back home for lunch. It’s a busy life with no coffee breaks let alone pee breaks. Dropping anything at the drop of a hat to be there for my daughters is priceless. My mom was there in the early years before she was sick. Our bond is still strong 27 years after her death. Having said that, I hope I am still here for my girls as they grow up.

Torn, Not Me


I drink in the smell of the freshly bathed and diapered newborn. The little girl’s hand is curled around my pinky finger.  Watching her sleep bundled in my arms makes me wonder if my daughters were ever that tiny. It seems like a lifetime ago.

The baby opens her eyes and lets out a huge wail that sounds like a mice squeak. I recall my girls wailing like fire engines. This cry is nothing. As her little fist starts to make its way to her tiny  rosebud mouth, I pass her over to her mama who is waiting in the rocking chair.

I wander over to where my young daughters are playing with others. It is no wonder why my biological clock is not thundering in my heart holding that bundle of baby. Considering I wasn’t supposed to be pregnant once let alone twice, I never had the maternal urge to be a mom. 

When I was a kid, my dolls never played house. The house was magically clean. Ken went to an office.  My Barbie won court cases or performed in plays. I never was good at the Easy Bake Ovens. In retrospect on my family history, it is no surprise I never felt the pull to be a mom.

I am okay with my two girls that allowed me to be their mom.  I don’t need any more. I feel greedy that I got to be a mom of two. As my oldest daughter at the tender age of four tells me that one arm is for her and the other arm for her younger sister. I only have two arms for my two beauties.

As the visit winds down, the baby is napping, signalling we should go. I can’t help but think ahead of when the next time a baby will be in my arms. Aside from kids of friends, I sense it will be when it’s my grandchild. Leading by my own experiences with my grandparents, I know that I will love being a grandma.

That feeling seems so right. I look forward to the future with my daughters. I am not torn on having more children. I am gifted with the ones I am meant to have.


My Goals and Wishes for 2011 Update

As posted earlier this year, here is my list of wishes with updates. Surprisingly, some have come close or a reasonable facsimile.

So here it goes:

1.Cure cancer or help someone do it. Enough hurting good people.

My dear sister has had the great news that she is clear once again.

2.Have Bryan Adams follow me on Twitter. If Ellen can get on an Oprah cover, maybe I can realize this dream.

I came close. He tweeted me and a friend. Year is not over .

3.Develop my dream book and get a publisher.

In October I will be having an essay published in a great book about Mothers and Daughters. More news to come soon.

4.Not cry when my oldest marches off to full-day kindergarten in September.

She is nervous. However with many friends in the neighborhood, she is bound to have a friend in class. It is the second week of summer break and she misses her friends.

5.To doubly, not cry when my youngest begins 3 year old pre-school in September.

With all the funding cuts, we are not sure if our youngest can go to preschool. With her social and language delays she would need a worker. As of now, she is not considered a high need. We are hoping for a chance. She loves school settings and would do well.

6.Actually enjoy my 38th birthday instead of wanting to skip the age my mom died.

More to come in October when my birthday arrives.

7.Make a Me time a priority every day even if it’s going to the bathroom alone.

Occasionally I have met that goal. Usually when I least expect it.

How are you on your wishes for this year? Any surprises?

Losing my pen. Losing MY voice

I stare at the blinking cursor on the computer. It lights up the fact that I have writer’s block. It is only a new feeling to me since December of last year. Before I could pen long essays or blogs fuelled by passion. My word fell through my pen and to the keyboard with ease until my sister had the diagnosis again before Christmas.

 With a halt, my passion turned to prayers and fear that our maternal history has found us .Our mom died at 38 years old. My sister was 34 in December. For months I struggled helping her, my kids and losing myself.  The pen I used to journal with went missing. It was a friend to me for years. Now when I needed the black and white heavy ballpoint pen it was gone. How could I put to words the pain and how scared I was? I was so stifled I couldn’t breathe. I lost my voice.

It was all I could do to go through the Christmas motions, New Years and being the strong one. While all the while my insides crumbled. I was lost. I ate poor hospital food or provided my family fast dinners. With the lack of ‘me time’ to heal, I didn’t like me anymore. I felt selfish even feeling that.

Time dissolved into positive test results. My sister started not needing me as much. Seeing her move forward and upward encouraged me to focus back to myself. Together we didn’t sweat the small stuff from the outside world. We let go toxic people and their circumstances. It was eye-opening for her and me.

Once again, my sister showed me the warrior she is. I know she is a great example for my girls. You take life’s circumstances, grief and take it to the mattresses. There is no other choice. When I was catching up on housekeeping finally, I looked under my bed and there it was. My precious favourite writing pen gleaming through the dust bunnies. Life became brighter, grammar issues and all.

As my sister grew healthier, so I began to feel ok to put my eye upon myself to write. It became natural again. By not forcing my pen or keyboard, my voice returned.

Thank you readers for your patience and understanding, especially with my grammar mistakes. Without you I may have not returned.

Why I love being Canadian!

July 1st marks the birthday of our country. For years I sang the anthem, wore red and celebrated.

When I became a mom, holding my newborn I sang the only song I knew by heart-Oh Canada.

Night after night while holding my baby, I would sing in my off-key tired voice. Slowly I began to learn new songs, it was the rhythmic words of “our home and..” that soothed her.

As my baby grew older, she would sing it to her baby sister in full toddler glory. It is a joy to watch and listen.

The song is so important part of our past, present and future history. I am proud to share it with my daughters.

I am proud to be Canadian for so many reasons. Most of all our extended family lives here. My grandparents touched their roots here many years ago.

With everything that goes on throughout the planet-I love Canada to raise my beautiful girls.this is our home.

I know in their Canada a woman will run this country! I believe!

Happy Birthday Canada!