From the Archives: My Mama Aha Moment

me and my mom

My eyes drink in the last sentence as I close Motherless Daughters by Hope Edelman. I click the nightlight off to make the room dark so my darling husband can keep sleeping. I stare at the ceiling that is illuminated by the clock radio at the foot of the bed.

My heart is racing with a newfound warp speed. Feeling like I could float out of this bed, what I just read clears the dark fog that has enveloped me since my mom died. For the first time since she died I feel like someone truly knows what I went, and am going, through.

Throughout the pages I absorbed other woman’s’ stories of how they learned to live with the pain. What struck me was the message to give myself-the power to accept her passing and allow myself permission to grieve.

After her passing (I was ten), I was not allowed to talk about her because it would upset my dad, sister or grandma. To bury the empty void she left plagued me until now. It is how I have been parenting my young girls; hide the grief until it boils over into my present life. It harmed my soul.

I watch the car lights flicker through the blinds realizing the stories I started writing about missing my mom was opening the floodgates. Every piece I pen allows me to voice the immense grief. It may be the reason why I am so motivated to write. I started to write my mom stories in fear that I will have the same fate as my mom. Now, it fills a lost void that she leaves to this day.

Today marks the twenty-sixth anniversary that I stood in her hospital room and said good-bye.

Tonight is the first time I am grieving unabashedly. I let go to grieve, to wash away the pain so I can be more present for my daughters. They deserve it. I close my eyes but I am not tired. Tears of relief slide down my cheeks. I am feeling like I am a hot air balloon that has been lost and now grounded.

I cry myself into my dreams.

Before the alarm goes off, I am pounced by my three-year-old wanting breakfast. I hug her tight. I hug her tight feeling young and free.

In many ways I am.

Last Happy Picture of Me and My mom

How I Survive Mother’s Day

cropped-me-and-my-mom.jpgThe bright morning light awakens a new day. I am standing in the kitchen, heavy hearted, facing the calendar. With a long deep cleansing breath, I flip the calendar from April to May. The date stares out at me as if it had a spotlight on it. 26 years ago I celebrated my last Mother’s Day with my mom.

Since then, I have spent years blurring out the day by taking extra shifts at work, or by many other self-made distractions. It was just another painful reminder that my mom was not here.
Mother’s Day became a new mixed bag of emotions when I became a mom. One half of me craved the joy of celebrating with my girls, and the other half still wanted my mommy. How can I miss someone I barely knew?
I posed the question to my social media circle whose community embraced me. The virtual loving support I received from cyberspace broke the isolating wall that surrounded my heart since I was ten years old. Many other motherless moms made themselves known. We continually keep in contact, especially when anniversaries and Mother’s Day approaches.
The feeling of belonging made me more empowered to do more things positive to celebrate my mother, instead of grieving all the time. She loved purses. I remember playing with her boxes of purses while she napped post-chemotherapy. My girls now play with mine. Every weekday afternoon I watch The Young and The Restless (her favourite show). It makes me feel connected to her.
I see my oldest daughter looking at my childhood album. I sit beside her and tell her stories of when I was younger. She asks questions about my mom. I find myself smiling when I share reflections of her grandma. My mom was a school teacher. Subsequently, I had to do homework right away and never leave it to the last minute. My daughter closes the book and goes to play with her dolls.
Feeling lighter, I move on with the morning activities. I realize that I need to share with both my daughters their grandma. Just the past five minutes remind me that there were good times to cherish. I spent years in anger that she died. I still get emotional at the injustice. It never changes anything. She is still gone.
I owe it to my children to cherish my time with them, because life is too fragile. The passion to repair my story by writing new chapters motivates me to be the mom I don’t have anymore. That is the best gift I can give myself this Mother’s Day.

Wishing you the best wishes and dreams this Mother’s Day and every day.

I Am So The Boss Of You: An 8-Step Guide to Giving Your Family the “Business”

I am so the boss of youI Am So The Boss Of You

An 8-Step Guide to Giving Your Family the “Business”

By Kathy Buckworth

Helicopter Parenting? Ferber Kids? Free-Range Parenting? Tiger Mom? Are you tired of all the parenting options and just want to be the boss? When you want to learn how to play tennis you go to a pro, when you want to learn how to run a fine-tuned-household you ask a mom of many. CEO of her family, Kathy Buckworth, has laid it all out in 8-step business plan.

“ You are not the boss of me.” Do those seven words sound familiar? While Kathy was in the middle of a business meeting, it dawned on her how to intergrate the business structure into her own household. Why do parents work so hard to find that perfect way to parent when the perfect model is right in front of us? It operates efficiently, effectively and yes, financially.

She asks the question, “ So why are some of us willing to hand over the reins of power to an Infant? A Toddler? A Preschooler? Public schooler, Tween or Teen?”

This is especially true as now the products of the original Democratic and Helicopter parents are entering the workforce. They can do no wrong. They get trophies and medals for simply ‘showing up.’

“It’s instructive to contrast the idea of Democratic Parenting with what I like to call, with some authority I might add, Autocratic Parenting. The kids still have some rights”

Kathy writes out the advantages of Autocratic Parenting, which includes: expectations are clearly laid out and consequences need to be followed through.  The book goes into depth about this way of parenting.

She takes you through an 8-step guide for being the boss of your family. From figuring out your family brand to structure charts to keep you organized, think of this as a management textbook for your family.

Kathy walks you through the Social Media world by breaking some of the popular platforms down and shows you how to make it work for you. It is simple.

With all the Parenting books out there, it can seem overwhelming on what to do for you and your kids. This approach is very easily attainable. There is something for everyone in the book to learn about. In particular, my sore neglect is putting ‘ME’ into the goal plan. Now off to do just that, with a glass of Chardonnay and a locked bathroom door.

Buy her book for you and any mom who needs help. This would also make a great Mother’s Day gift.

Kinder is Hopping this Easter. #KinderMom

My six-year-old’ s eyes are open as wide as can be and her jaw drops to the floor in awe, as my four-year-old makes a b-line toward me. My daughters just heard me open a huge box in the next room. In the package is a basket filled with Kinder chocolate Easter goodies. Their hands smothered it so fast before I could even unwrap the cellophane.

That is the magic of Kinder chocolates in our house. They arrive for special occasions and the just-because-days. This Easter we do not have any plans, no gatherings to attend. We sometimes travel to a friends or close families. Lately, we just go with the flow of where our spirits take us.
One tradition that we have carried on with our children is a household egg hunt. My husband’s memories at Easter were filled with searching for eggs loaded with clues written by the Easter Bunny. He and his sibs would race around the house and backyard looking for the next clue. Even though our kids our young, the ‘Easter Bunny’ always puts on a great hunt. And yes, we have chocolate for breakfast.
If you like chocolate as much as we do, be sure to like Kinder Canada on Facebook. For the month of March, for every Like they are donating one dollar to the Children’s Miracle Network.
Here are the details:

Support to Children’s Miracle Network: Sharing is caring. This is what the celebration is all about for KINDER® Canada, who will be donating $1 to Children’s Miracle Network of Canada for every new friend of their Facebook Page from March 1st to 31st, up to $25,000. Yet another reason to root for a great cause by bringing joy to children across Canada!

Easter Bunny is coming near you!
Keep your eyes tuned to the Kinder Facebook page for Harry Bunny Tour dates near you. The Bunny will be giving FREE samples of Kinder Mini Eggs.

New Kinder® Easter Gallery: You’ll be delighted to discover Kinder goodness you’ve never seen before such as the Kinder® Surprise® Egg Painting Kit or the Kinder® Mini Eggs in 35g format with their brand-new ‘Easter’ Gallery on Facebook. So many treats to discover! Our Toy Gallery will also show off our (10 BIGGER!) ‘Easter’ toys found in their Kinder Surprise Maxi 150g and Kinder Surprise 100g!).

Please note: Unlike Kinder Surprises, the Kinder Mini Eggs are not nut-free as they contain a milky hazelnut centre.

Disclosure: I’m part of the Kinder Mom program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.





Home alone and being domestic.

I run through house and take the stairs two by two. Dropping my purse on the kitchen table, I turn to the the kitchen sink.
I load the sink to wash the lunch dishes. As it fills, I run back down the stairs to the laundry room to switch a load from washer to dryer.
I wash and rinse the dishes in a flurry and place to dry. My thoughts run everywhere as I stare out the window. I see a mom crossing the street with her child in a stroller.
I am flooded with memories of the past few years. I recall back then when I wondered how I would I feel when both of my girls would be in school. It is been two years since my youngest was in the stroller. I remember that ‘burden’ of trying to get everything done with the kids in tow. It is at that moment I realize how the silence of the house engulfed me.
I laugh. It is the moment that both kids are in school, I dreamt of this moment back in the stroller days, and what do I do? Housework. I swore in the past I would spend the first few quiet hours doing something for me. I put on the kettle to make tea. Once it’s brewed, I head through the kitchen and walk into the living room. I grab the remote and sit down. Putting my feet up, I turn on the TV to watch something for me.


What would you do with a free morning?

Wanted: Parenthood #ivf4bc

IVF4BC In August 2005, I walked out of the third specialist I saw to help with my endometriosis. I have had the disease since I was fifteen years old. All three doctors had told me the same thing: I would not get pregnant naturally. I sat on the bus on the way home overwhelmed with emotions that surprised me. While I did not try to get pregnant, but nonetheless I wanted to own that choice, not doctors or ultimately, the disease. I mourned the results and trusted the multiple doctors’ opinions. I would not be a mom.

The next day I traveled through a lot of websites that confirmed that infertility is commonly linked with endometriosis. Many people go through in vitro fertilization treatments, naturopaths and surrogate options to become parents. I decided to accept it and let it go from my mind. I needed to figure out just what I wanted to explore.

Three months later, our beautiful child was conceived. Imagine my surprise at my shocked doctor who delivered me the news. Two years later, our baby girl became a big sister. Both of our children are gifts. I cannot imagine my life without my daughters. What was supposed to be a medical impossible became a medical possible, twice.

Many couples cannot conceive without help. The cost of one round of IVF can be as high as $15,000 with fertility medications included.As a result many couples desperate to conceive, remortgage houses just to pay for the procedure. Many couples will risk maternal health by transferring multiple embryos in an effort to make the most of their investment. This is a risky practice that results often in extremely high health care costs and risky multiple births. While twins and triplets are adorable, they carry greater lifetime health costs and are often born premature. Many groups throughout Canada are strenuously advocating for public health care to cover the cost of IVF where it is the recommended course of treatment. IAAC – the Infertility Awareness Association of Canada recommends that three rounds of IVF be covered through provincial health care funding with single embryo transfer (SET) as the standard.
An IAAC survey recently indicated as many as 73% of British Columbians believe the province should adopt public funding for in vitro fertilization (IVF), similar to the policy in Quebec. In 2010, Quebec became the first province in Canada to provide universal access to IVF through a policy that covers the cost of treatment and mandates single embryo transfer. This policy has led to a reduction in multiple pregnancies from approximately 30 per cent to well under 10 per cent, resulting in better health outcomes for mother and baby, and an estimated cost savings to the health system of $30-$60 million per year since the program’s inception.”
Personally, I believe the parents who want to be parents by any and every means are the best kind. With some provinces and countries world-wide providing public funding for IVF is this the year for BC couples to get public funding for IVF?
Follow them on Twitter: @ivf4bc
Like them on Facebook to get the latest information.
Disclosure: I am a valued member of the #IVF4BC blog team. As such, I received compensation, but my opinion is my own.

A Motherless Mom’s Christmas

I am sitting still on the phone listening to my friend complain about going from her mother-in-law’s house to her own mother’s for Christmas dinner. I inwardly shake my head. I love my friend, and at the same time I want to yell at her on how lucky she and her kids are to have family fighting over where to go for Christmas.

It has been 26 years since I shared my last Christmas with my mom. I can still hear the wrapping paper crinkle, ice in her rum and coke tinkle and the squeal from my younger sister over what Santa brought. I can still feel the warmth of her hugs. It was the last year of my childhood. I was ten years old.

The years that followed without her, I could not get into the Christmas spirit. It was not the same. The void always darkened the room despite other family members trying to make it a good day for us. I still missed her and didn’t understand why she was gone. The grief engulfed me when I became a mom. My girls did not have their grandmother.

Then something changed for the better. I began to talk about my mother to my young daughters by showing them pictures of my childhood and sharing memories. I relived the singing carols, watching her favorite holiday movies and the fun she made just being with her. By opening my heart’s door it made her the grandma she is which made me feel better and lighter. I had buried many of the happy parts of my childhood until now. Though I know she will never be back, I can not ignore the fact in talking about how amazing she was, and still is, in my heart.

After many discussions with my husband, we decided to have a quiet house over the festive holidays. We had nowhere else to go as other family had passed away or moved out of town. After gifts were opened and played with, we stayed in our pjs for as long as possible. Games are a plentiful and movies are replayed over and over. Big Christmas dinners are replaced with snacking all day long on favorite foods. The car remains in the garage all day long.

When we let go of the sorrow and what we can’t control, we build our children’s memories of this time. We enjoy the magic of the season with each other.

As my friend wraps up the call, I take a sip of my wine. I smile as I say good-bye. I am relieved that what I thought I wanted for my daughters is not the reality of traditions that we have built. The legacy that we give them any day of the year is unconditional love. We need to stop the coulda, shoulda and woulda in our lives. Our life is what it is. Our family may be small. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Random Acts of Kindness – How We Share and Give Back

The holiday season approaches and may encourage some households to make their annual donations to their respective charities. It may include cash, food or items they no longer need. We used to just think about giving back and sharing before becoming parents. Then, it became more about teaching our children to give year round. We have giving and sharing traditions all through the year with Random Acts of Kindness.

Purging the House

In April, August and November of every year we purge our house of what we do not use. The kids love going through toys to share with another child. The reason why we pick those dates are because April is post winter, August is before our kids’ fall birthdays and November as it is before Christmas.

Mom’s Job Perks

One of the gifts of being a freelance blogger is the products that are sent to me from clients. From books, to Kinder Eggs to gift cards we discuss as a family who to share the perks with at the time. Our sweet youngest girl, who has autism, loved sharing a box of Kinder Eggs with her class in pre-school on her birthday. Weeks later, her classmates have included her in playtime.

Daily Kindness

Frequently, my kids delight me in how they share and give to others. My oldest needs no reminder from me to open a door for a senior citizen or mom with a stroller. She is known to offer a kind word if she sees another kid sad on the playground. My youngest gives her headlight bright smile to anyone who needs it. She may not have a verbal word to give but has a gentle spirit.

Through our parenting our children, my husband and I show our gratitude of our life. Collectively as a family we have had our challenges as have those kids in the support of the Children’s Miracle Network.

I am very excited to tell you all about KINDER®’s ‘A Joy To Share’ program. KINDER® Canada is very proud to support the Children’s Miracle Network, who has been helping to save and improve the lives of children by raising funds for children’s hospitals since 1983.

To kick off the sharing, our friends at KINDER® Canada will be giving away 7,500 coupons to enjoy their delicious Kinder® Mini Eggs, for free on Facebook! This giveaway will begin today,November 26th, and will last for 10 weekdays, giving out 750 coupons each day at 12pm ET. Like them on Facebook now as it is exclusive to their community.

Have you watched the Martin Family story on our Facebook page? Please “share” it with your friends and family to help encourage donations to the Children’s Miracle Network. For every share of the video, Kinder will donate $1 to the Children’s Miracle Network, up to $5,000. Tell us if you know of other inspiring CMN stories like Leah’s.

Disclosure: I’m part of the Kinder® Mom program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.



The Tale of Two Featherswords

We are sitting where we will be having a picture with The Wiggles. Just as they arrive our youngest beauty goes over to join the group ahead of us. She starts to touch their costumes then hijacks Captain Feathersword’s feathersword!

He says it is okay and chats with her a bit. The other Wiggles join in with the talk as they come over to have a picture with us. The newest girl Wiggle, Emma,  takes our picture for us.

I cannot stop smiling, nor can the rest of us. As they are about to move on to the next group our girl does not want to give up the feathersword. The Captain says it is ok; just give it back when she is done. After mingling a bit we realize that we should go back to our seats. Time to give him back his feathersword.

We got Captain over for a quick picture then the hand off. Her tears and cries can be heard from all over, I am sure! We find our seats and drink in the wonderful stage setup. We give out snacks which calms her down.

As we relax and get excited for the show we spy the gentleman that escorted us to the Meet and Greet. It is Lachy, one of the new Wiggles. In his hand is a feathersword. My hubby and I watch him as he is clearly looking for someone. So, my husband approaches him.

They come over and Lachy hands over the feathersowrd to our girl. She takes it and starts to play with it. Lachy said that Captain knew how upset she was to give it back so he wanted her to have her own. Tears invade my eyes again as we thank him for this special gift.

Check out the pictures from the show. We hope you have had a chance to see them live.

Thank you Wiggles for making our family know that there is compassion and love in the world. Your kindness throughout your organization is so inspiring and appreciated. You made a special tale for our family. We will miss Greg, Murray and Jeff. We look forward to what is to come.

You remind us that we all need to take time to wiggle. xo


So this one time we met The Wiggles…


The weather is crisp and clear, perfect for a secret road journey into Vancouver. It is a secret because we are surprising our girls with a trip to see The Wiggles. The suspense has been killing me. With experience, we know not to tell our girls too early about something, otherwise they would ask every day if it is time. We do not get to surprise them often, because of The Wiggles we can do it.

We race around the stadium to find where we are to be. Then we drop the bomb. Our six-year-old is so excited that we are minutes away from meeting the talented performers that have been part of our household for years. We are escorted into the bowels of the stadium to reveal a small area set up with chairs and a back drop. Like magic, the men come out. Our sweet youngest walks right over to them to hang with the troupe. Her look of pure delight made my year. She keeps wanting to touch their costumes. Our oldest cannot stop calling out their names.

My heart and tears began to overflow. To see our girls’ excitement is the sweetest thing ever. When it is our turn to pose with them Captain Feathersword lets our bonus babe play with his feathersword. The look of childlike wonder to see her heroes live makes my heart swoon. The gentlemen could not be more accommodating. Looking around at the other parents I realize that these Auzzies have a special heart as many of the kids have special needs or disabilities, or many other afflictions. To say I am touched is an understatement.

We walk out of the room to our seats and cannot stop saying WOW! We look forward to the show.