TIME magazine has taken the âLook Ma, thereâs another Ma whoâs better than you!â media trope to a whole new level by disingenuously asking âAre You Mom Enough?â Meanwhile, a previous issue had writer Bonnie Rochon, herself a mother who claims to be a breastfeeding advocate and who breastfed her own child just two months shy of her third birthday, had the balls to say, âNursing even a hungry infant on the subway strikes me as fairly gross.â Thatâs right, she said âgross.â How old are we here? And is this the voice of female empowerment?
These are the stories that give me pause, but only because itâs not strictly men who police the bodies of women and try to legislate the ways in which women choose to interact with the children they care for; increasingly, and most vocally, itâs women. More
Children donât come with a rule book, however, if we look closely enough and pay attention more clearly, weâll see that the rules are embedded in the child. It certainly doesnât take a parenting expert to tell us that our busy lives are busy or that sometimes our own needs overshadow the needs of our children. And most of us donât require an expert to remind us that we may occasionally miss these emotional cues because they happen at inopportune and wholly inconvenient times. Youâve been there, right? I know I have. The test of course is what we do in the moment despite how lofty our expectations regarding the outcome of what an ill-timed parent-child exchange âshouldâ look like.
For example, last month, one March Break day began like any other day. Except my 7-year-old decided that she didnât want to take a bath before spring Adventure Camp and felt that the most effective way to communicate that to me was via a hysterical meltdown. More
The last few years of parenting my girls, aged 4 and 7, has been nothing short of eye-opening. Like you, Iâve been immersed in the minutiae of other parentsâ day-to-day lives through the lens of moms and dads on the internet. Iâve also heeded much of what the wide variety of child experts and child advocates have suggested, but nothing has taught me more about myself and my âparenting styleâ than those crazy moments in which my parenting bubble has burst and I have found myself faced with a situation in which Iâve had to apologize to my children. More
As the mother of two daughters, I have not suddenly become paralyzed with indecision when it comes to choosing pink and girly LEGO over non-pink LEGO for fear of raising marginalized or gender-conforming human beings. Nor have I lost sleep over the fact that Princess Mulan now wears a ball gown instead of traditional Chinese garb. Why? Because Iâm not entirely convinced that policing Lego colors or banning princesses is the way to go. More
The art of having a conversation while children are present is my biggest pet peeve. And believe me, itâs not for lack of trying. It’s supremely frustrating trying to talk above and through the chattering haze of children with equal parts grace and respect. And if youâve been the person with children attempting this, or the person who doesnât have children trying to talk to your friend whose child has taken center stage in your conversation scenario, you too can relate.
Surely I canât be the only one who feels ridiculously short-changed and slightly embittered by the real-life consequence of these perennial interruptions? More
There are certain things that my mother does that I have had to make a concerted effort not to do with my children. She was a big proponent of the âDo as I say, not as I doâ school of parenting. Which means my two sisters and I were not ever âallowedâ to question her. You read that correctly. If my single parent mother decided something was âbestâ for us, there was to be no argument or discussion as to why it was best for us. It just was. And that was the end of the discussion.
Now that Iâm a parent, I often wonder if this was some sort of self-protection device she used to lessen the amount of talking and explanation that was necessary to âcorralâ her three children into doing what she wanted us to do at any given moment. If that was the case, I can totes relate.
Some days, all I want to do is not talk. Period. Which I explain to my family by actually saying, âI donât want to talk anymore.â This non-too subtle way of saying, âI do not have the patience or energy required to explain anything, and I neither do I have the energy, nor the patience, to break down each initiative as if it were a science project.” It simply means that my parenting reserves are empty. Depleted. Dry. More
Last week one of my husbandâs very good childhood friends had a beautiful baby boy. He and his wife and are in their mid 30s and this is their first child. The first photos of the babe reached my husband through a private messenger chat page quite early. Thereâs a shot of him being cleaned up, an adorable shot of him stretching and crying, plus pictures of a relaxed, smiling mommy and a joyful daddy. And then there was a shot of the babe with a soother in his mouth.
âAlready?!â I gasped, hovering over the photo with hawk-like precision. âHeâs like a minute old, why would they put that thing in his mouth so soon?â More
Iâm not going to lie. Iâm tired. Exhausted. Irritable. Stressed out. And the short fuse that was already considered too short, well, it just got shorter. What is it, you ask? Chronic Fatigue? PMS? SAD? Some incurable ailment? No, itâs called parenting. More specifically itâs the parenting jog that begins in September and ends rather blissfully a few short days before Christmas. In fact, at the time of writing, the break will be a few short weeks away. Did you hear that? Itâs the sound of imaginary champagne bottles popping! WOOT!
But hereâs the thing: Rather than indulging in a self-absorbed mommy-rant â and, believe me, I fully support the occasional outburst â I want to talk about the myriad ways in which parents are supposed to suck it up and keep it moving right along without so much as a crack in the veneer to suggest otherwise. More
I have asthma and both of my children have asthma. No, we are not âcursedâ with bad luck, as my Asian in-laws believe. I swear our genes are AWESOME, and we are blessed in other ways!
Iâve had asthma since I was 11 months old, which means that asthma is something Iâve lived with my entire life. They used to promise that Iâd grow out of it, but I never did. Now they tell sufferers that you manage it. For me itâs really not a âbig dealâ in the sense that I donât know of any other lifestyle. More
Recently a mom wrote a post on this very site with the title, âYour Unvaccinated Kid Is Not Welcome Play With Mine.â When I read this headline I couldnât decide if I was more troubled with the headline, the article itself or with the ensuing commentary. Shortly after, Time tweeted a link that suggested â1 in 10 parents donât vaccinate their children,â to which I RTâd, âThatâs because 1 in 10 of parents are assholes.â More
The morning of the day my mother arrived from Winnipeg to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving was the day that my father-in-law apologized for telling me to f*ck off. Or did he say actually say f*ck you? I still canât recall. More
After high school I travelled to Lille, France to become a jeune fille au pair. Much like my older sister who paved the way, this was to be my year off towards self-discovery. While in France, I received a devastating letter from my mother that would inevitably change the way I viewed religion, God and humanity for the rest of my life.
I recall my motherâs letter being very brief. It also contained a yellowed newspaper clipping. If memory serves, there was a shrouded image in the foreground â much like the darkened images they use on TV to protect witnesses â of the young boy who had accused Father Charles Griggs, my childhood priest, of sexual abuse. More
This summer, after my family and I spent a delightful week at the cottage with our very good friends and their son, plus another longtime friend and fellow cottage-goer, I came to the foregone conclusion that I am a bully in the kitchen. The good part is that I was able to reach this conclusion on my own. The awkward part is that while I recognize that the bully/control freak in me could be a direct result of the life-threatening allergies my daughtersâ have, my fear of contamination could be interpreted as slightly overwrought. More
When Beyonce first broadcasted her pregnancy to the world last month during the Video Music Awards, I was unable to muster up the usual excitement I have when a woman near or far â celebrity or otherwise â is pregnant. In fact, my response to the âgood newsâ was not G-rated. More