Why I Like Strike Days

It is Day 1 of the BC Teachers Strike. There have been many mixed emotions about it from parents, the union and government. I have made my own feelings be known about the matter to media and both sides of it. That is not why I am penning this post.

Initially when the strike was announced five days ago, I panicked. I wondered what I would do with my kindergartener for all that time. Day camps are an option, however, my youngest daughter’s home therapy schedule conflicts with many local camps.

Then my creative side in me went to work. I came up with a list of things we could do at home. Most on the list is free. The bonus for the strike days is that I do not have to try to get both kids out to make it to school.

My list:

  1. Offer play dates to friends. It helps another parent if we can trade houses to share playtimes.
  2. Have my 5 year-old work on her independent reading. Also, she will read to her sister which gives bonus bonding time.
  3. Fort Theatre. We love making a fort inside the house to have a snack or meal while watching a movie it’s a lot of fun.
  4. Make a storybook. It incorporates her independent writing and art time.
  5. Purge the house of unused toys. We do this every few months. I also get into the spirit to donate what I no longer use.

Treating this time to nurture the skills she is learning at school and having bonus play time will make the days go by fast. School will be there eventually, but our precious time together is priceless.

Things I learned when I Took a Break from Blogging


Over the Christmas holidays I retired my keyboard. The pressure to blog became a burden and not a fun thing to spend my time on. I enjoyed the time with my family and read over nine books. Over the month I learned many things:

  1. The best writers are readers. Stephen King said that. While I do not consider myself a great writer, I do respect that writers need to be readers. I love reading. It has been a passion of mine since I began a love of reading at the age of two. It is a great way to learn how to write.
  2. My daughters’ rock.  My oldest has begun to read a lot more. By taking my love of reading she has excelled at enjoying books. My youngest has begun her therapy to help her autistic behaviours. It has only been a week and she is rocking the play therapy.
  3. My husband got the household Apple TV. We have discovered a love via Netflix to catch up on series that we never caught the first time around. We are spending more time together hanging out. He is still handsome after all these years.
  4. I never left home without a journal. I wrote quick notes about ideas and what has been happening in my day.
  5. I no longer feel like writing is an obligation. I have been writing for over three years. A break can be very healthy for the soul. I took the time I didn’t blog to experience the above mentioned. Also, I stopped talking about writing a book and have actually started it. I am on the editing part of the first three chapters and am in love with the journey.

Have you taken a break for something? What was your experience?

Maternal Choices: why do I feel so guilty?

I hold my four-year-old’s hand and my other hand is pushing the stroller her younger sister is in. The new school
Barbie backpack is sitting on my proud girl’s back. We are off to see her kindergarten class. I am excited for her. All summer we talked about how much
fun it will be. She has two years of preschool under her belt so this will be a
cinch. Or will it?

Luckily we already found out that
she is in a class with two friends. She loves the idea of new toys and art projects. Her teacher seems nice. I have been with her most of her almost five
years of life. I have done what I know, which was very little, on what tools to give her for school. I am confident she will do well.

This time it is so different than the few mornings at preschool. She will be finished the gradual entry and be at
school all day starting next week. For the first time, we will not have lunch together. I will still prepare it but will not sit beside her. This is what
feels odd to me. I know not everyone chooses pre-school for their children and kindergarten isn’t mandatory in this province. Why am I so torn about saying
bye at the door? Moms are not allowed to even go in to help their kids. She
doesn’t even want me too.

We get to the door and she lets my
hand go to line-up with the other kids. My heart is in my throat. When the door
opens and her teacher is there to let them in, I want to cry. I say good-bye to
her in a quick hug. She says her byes, and without a look back she goes into
the classroom. Just like that she is off. I stroll away and the feeling of guilt-did
I do everything for her that I can? – dissipates. A whole new feeling of joy
sweeps across my once sad heart. I get to have time with my youngest, just the
two of us. Her sister had me alone for her first two years. Now it is her time.

Is it wrong that I am looking
forward to spending precious time with my two-year-old daughter? At the same
time I will be looking forward to hearing my oldest tell stories after school. I
guess my instincts are right. Guilt will never go away completely. A new set of
guilt soup will always be waiting.