Sunday, August 20, 2006

Balance not Boredom

I was recently asked by Rebecca Eckler about my thoughts on "this wave of mothers - mostly from Britain and America - that are coming out and writing about how difficult it is to be a mother, and how they rather go out with friends for drinks, to the gym, etc."

These mothers are writing about how difficult it is to be a mother. Is motherhood at times difficult? Of course, it is! Clean & straighten the house continually, get the groceries, cook dinner that appeals to all, read all the parenting books there are, keep in touch with prebaby friends, attend this mommy class and that one, fill out new child tax forms, make time for the gym, count your new grey hairs (grr!)...and then be a sexy mama at the same time? Something will inevitably go! We are under a lot of pressure. These writers have taken it to the extreme though and that's what gets the press...and the book deal.

Rebecca called these parents "uninvolved" but I would call it "unattached". "Attachment is the strong bond of affection and connection that develops between children and their parents or primary caretakers. The quality of this bond influences the child's physical, emotional, and intellectual development." You need to spend time with your children to be attached to them and for them to be attached to you.

Parenting is about balance. Parents bored of their children? Come on! What was my grandmother's best quote of all: "If you are bored, you are boring." Find a way to get involved with your children and spend time with them. Finds ways to make yourself happy as well.

As parents we need to spend time with our children, our spouses and as corny as it sounds...ourselves. But it's got to be a balance...some of each...not one over the other.

Do you find Barney boring...well, don't watch him! In Canada, there are so many great ways to go spend time with your babies. You can go to Movies for Mommies in Vancouver, Toronto, Waterloo, Ottawa and Montreal. Moms in the City organizes amazing events for parents in Toronto. Wee Welcome is holding "Mama Mingles" across the country. Babyvibe in Vancouver, and soon Calgary, has listings of wonderful events for families. Spas are creating baby days. The MommyClub in Calgary organizes events monthly for parents. There are Mom Meetups across the country. Some very smart spas are even offering stroller days, when mamas can get manicures in a baby welcoming settings - how cool is that! As well there are baby sign language classes, music classes, fitness classes, mom and baby yoga classes- there are so many fun things so much to do with your child.

Add to these some well deserved time with girlfriends (AKA, girls night out, nit and nag, etc). Go out have fun! Through in the regular "dates" with your partner and you've got balance, not boredom.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

I like to potty, potty...

Okay, my family is approximately 1 year, 5 days and 7 hours past the potty training stage (but who's counting!) but this website that I just found has a very cute product:

I was able to find the personalized version of their potty song for my son (J. went potty, J. went potty...), but couldn't find one for my daughter, but they would record one for her. Each personalized song would cost $9.95 (I'm assuming this is US) . I I would have bought these for my kids, considering what we've paid for diapers.

Another site that I did use when my daughter was toilet training was this Sign Language Potty Training Activity Book:

It was great to personalize the storybook (hmmm, there's a theme here) and read it to her a few times a day. The vocabulary/story really helped all adults in her life follow the same steps and use the same words as well.

We did think of "starting" to toilet train S. when she got close to 2 years, but I thought I could toilet train her for a year and she'll be using the potty by age 3 OR I could not work at it for a year and she'll be using the potty by age 3! :) I choose not to "train" her for a year and she was using the potty on her own about 3-4 weeks past her 3rd birthday. Yeah!

Actually, she didn't really care about it one way or another (her brother was sooo much easier!), when she had an accident she'd just say "it's okay, mommy, you can clean it up" a kind of "whatever" kind a tone...sigh! This is so much her laid back personality! What I ended up doing is just telling her we ran out of diapers and we only had a few to use a night time. She thought about it for a bit and came up with, "Hmmm, I better use the potty all the time now." Aaaahh!

Lord, help me when she's a teenager! I wonder if there will be a personalized "S. will be home by 10:00 pm, S. will be home by 10:00 pm" song by then? Anyone?? Please...