Sandy Hook Promise

A mother who lost her child to a school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary is on a mission to stop this kind of violence from happening to other children. She founded a campaign called Sandy Hook Promise, which just produced a PSA to let other parents know of the warning signs of gun violence.  As the video shows these warning signs are easy to miss.

When I first watched the video I didn’t notice all the warning signs, because they were very subtle. I didn’t notice the student in the background studying a weapons magazine, the student getting bullied, or the student watching a video of other shooters until it was pointed out to me at the end.

This is a cause that is close to my heart. I worked in a newsroom for many years and I happened to be in the control room the day the Sandy Hook shooting happened. While we were providing Canada the news, I saw images that were heartbreaking and had to make the call of what to show on T.V. I have been involved in many breaking news stories, but I came out of the control room crying when my shift was done. This storying was the most heartbreaking story I have ever worked on.

The website says “before there is an act of gun violence, in most cases, the attacker tells someone about their plan” and encourages parents to look at these warning signs and say something about it. I encourage you to get the facts about gun violence and if you see something speak up.  There are too many lives lost because of gun violence and it could be prevented.

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Don’t Judge

Every parent is trying to raise their kids the best way they know how. You want them to grow up and be considerate happy adults. I am a working mother and I decided to go back to work when my child was six months old.  I was judged a lot by other moms telling me I made the wrong decision and it would affect my bond with my child. While it may be the wrong decision for you, it was the right decision for me. I can tell you that my bond with my child is fine, they are both happy and healthy. All those comments did was make me feel guilty for doing something I felt I needed to do. I went back early because of circumstances beyond my control and it was the best thing I could do for my family, so there was no need for me to feel guilty. I love my kids and I am doing the best I can. Yes, I make decisions that another parent may not agree with, but those decisions are right for my family. If you see another mom doing something you don’t agree with, unless the child is abused I encourage you not to say something. It will only make the other parent feel guilty about

Don't judge other moms poster
Don’t judge other moms poster

making a decision that is right for their family.

So moms, let’s support each other and not judge each other. No matter how you feed your child, if you give them organic food or not, if they are dirty or clean, if you stay at home or are going to work…try not to judge your fellow moms. #endmommywars

Screen Time

My child loves the tablet. She asks for it first thing in the morning, again when she comes home from school, and again before bed.  She is mesmerized by the tablet. Glued to it and it is getting to the point when I take it away she has a tantrum. It is getting to the point where as soon as I take out the tablet to pay a bill she screams for it. I’ll admit it, sometimes it is just easier to give her a tablet if she gets restless. It’s probably not the best option, but most parents do it.  It got me wondering…how much screen time is too much screen time?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics  kids between the ages of 2 to 5 years old should be limited to one hour of screen time a day and infants 18 months and younger should not be exposed to any

Toddler on a phone
Toddler on a phone

digital media.

My child watches more than one hour of screen time a day and the baby has some screen time because of her sister. It is hard to avoid with screens all around us 24/7. We read with both kids everyday and I’ll admit, maybe I should read with her more. We play with dolls in her playroom and maybe I should do that more.  It is hard to find the time sometimes and believe me I understand.  I think I might have to hide the tablet and both of us go on a tablet free diet.

 

 

 

Enjoy Every Moment

My youngest daughter fell asleep on me this morning. It took me back to the time when my eldest was a baby and she used to fall asleep on me. Until one day my eldest didn’t want to sleep on me. She wants to sleep in her comfy bed in her own room. Enjoy those moments with your child, because they really do grow up so fast. You never know when it’s going to be the last time.  The last time you feed them a bottle; the last time they sleep on you; the last time you pick them up.

 

Mother At Home With Sleeping Newborn Baby Daughter
Mother At Home With Sleeping Newborn Baby Daughter

I know life gets busy and with two kids I am often really tired. Waking up every three hours is one of the hardest things you will ever do. You will never be as tired as you were in the first 8 months of the baby’s life. But try to spend time with your kids and enjoy every moment.  Make memories with your kids and enjoy everything because you never know when it’s going to be the last time.

My Kid Is SOOO Mad at Me Right Now

My eldest is very mad at me right now. Why do you ask? Because I took away the tablet. She has been on the tablet for 45 mins and I felt that was enough. Once I took the tablet away she naturally started to cry.  My mother then tells me to just give it to her. NO! Yes I took away the tablet and yes she doesn’t like it, but I just don’t care.  She cannot get whatever she wants, when she wants them.  The world doesn’t work that way and she has to learn that. child-playing-with-ipad

I am not her friend; I am her parent. Part of my  job as a mother is to set boundaries; her job is to push my buttons and see what she can get away with. I love my child and one way I am showing her that I love her is by setting limits and raising her to become a nice and respectful person. As mommy blogger Kristina Kuzmic says, I am always going to have her best interest at heart and her well being is more important than her opinion of me. There are some things she has no choice. Yes she has to go to bed at a certain time; no she cant have chocolate for breakfast; no she can’t sit on the tablet all day. I am parenting her and I know she is not going to like me all time. I am the one setting the rules. For those that have kids who are mad at them…go pour yourself a glass of wine and remember this: While they are not always going to like you, they are  always going to love you.

 

 

Time For Me!

joy-sadness
Newborn baby and Mother

Where did the time go? My day starts at  6 a.m. when the youngest baby wakes up from her sleep. I wake up to her cries, change her diaper, make her a bottle and we try to rest for a little while longer before I make warm milk in the microwave for my eldest. She is awake by 7 a.m. drinks her milk (she specifically ask for it warm), and watches Paw Patrol on the tablet while  I watch the news. This take us to 7:30 a.m. I start making breakfast for the two girls as both are eating solids. One gets cereal and the other baby oatmeal. They start eating. Our nanny come upstairs by 8 a.m. and she helps take over the the kids. I now have to prep dinner while she is looking after the girls. Get the eldest dressed for her day while our nanny helps get the baby dressed.

This take me to 8:30 a.m. everyone is out the door. The nanny takes the girls to their classes and I am off to work until about 6 p.m. I get home at 6:30 p.m. eat dinner with my husband and kids and then it is time for bedtime routine. Bath, PJ’s, playtime, book, bed. The youngest is in bed by 7:30 p.m. and the eldest by 8:30 p.m. But that 8:30 p.m. bedtime is never on time because of all the coming out of bed and putting her back. She has every excuse in the book why she doesn’t want to be there…I need water, I have to go to the washroom, I want another book….you name it she has an excuse for that. By the time she is asleep it is 9 p.m.

Now put school into the mix and I found I had no time for myself. My birthday was this weekend and my husband asked what I wanted. I thought about it for a second and said “a night off without the kids!” He listened to me and booked us a hotel in Niagara Falls while the kids slept over at my parents . It was so nice to have adult conversation and sleep in past 6 a.m. I came back relaxed and re-energized for my week ahead.

I have to carve out some more time for myself so I can be the best mother I can be for my children. It seems odd to say that time away from the kids are the best thing for them, but it’s true. I came back and enjoyed playing with them and wanted to spend time with my kids. I just needed a short break. What do you do to get a much needed break?

 

 

Fed is Best

An article came out this week about Similac adding a new ingredient to the formula to help boost immune systems in babies. You can be assured the mom’s in the parenting Facebook and Twitter groups were up in arms over this article. The wrote things like “don’t think fed is best…breast is best,” “women need to breastfeed their child to give them the best possible start to life.”  It was open season on the people who formula feed their kids.

bottle
Bottle Of Formula

Giving your child formula or breast milk is a debate that will not go away. Yes I understand that “Breast Is Best,” but breastfeeding mothers need to understand that it is not always possible. I tried to breastfeed both kids, but it wasn’t possible for me. I tried really hard: I took the pills, I pumped, but I just didn’t make enough milk and my kids were screaming for food.  Breastfeeding mothers told me to pump every 3-4 hours and give my baby breast milk from a bottle. I bought an expensive hospital grade pump, but I found that I just didn’t get enough milk in the bottle and I didn’t have the time to pump every 3 hours (sometimes I needed to sleep to function). After a month, my husband saw me in tears and said “stop making yourself cry, enjoy your baby and give her a bottle.” I decided to formula feed and my baby was happier because she wasn’t starving anymore and as a result I was happier. While my doctor was not worried about my baby and said she was healthy, other mothers seemed to be very worried. When I pulled out a bottle lots of mothers stopped to question me about what was in there. I was warned constantly that formula feeding my child would affect her future: she would be fat, her immune system about be lacking, she won’t receive bonding time.  Their comments made me feel bad and made me feel like I failed.  But there was nothing I could do, my body didn’t produce enough. Maybe I chose the ‘second best’ option for my kids, but the formula kept them fed and nourished during their first year when I couldn’t do it.

Fast forward to the present: my 2-year-old is fit, a social butterfly,  healthy (I wish I had her immune system), and we have a bond like every other mother and daughter. You look at her and her friends now and you can’t tell the difference between a formula fed and breastfed baby. My youngest is also formula fed and she is a very healthy 6 month old and I am not concerned for her health. My kids are happy with the bottle and I am happy that they are fed. I don’t know who said it, but “a happy mom means a happy baby and family life.”

So for those of you who cannot breastfeed or choose not to rest assured your kids will grow up healthy and after the first year no one will be able to tell the difference.  Try not to get depressed when other people comment about your decision. Like Taylor Swift says “Shake It Off!”