A letter to my mom on this motherless Mother’s Day

Dear mom,

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I miss you. It’s hard to believe that this is my 10th Mother’s Day without you; that the 11th anniversary of your death will be here soon. I’m also painfully aware of how quickly I’m approaching being without you more years than we had together.

So much has happened in that last decade. If there was ever an inopportune time for you to miss, I feel like these last 10 years would be it.

Continue reading

Real talk: What moms really want for Mother’s Day

I’m not going to go ahead here and speak for all moms with this list, but in candid convos with my mommy friends there seems to be some recurring themes concerning gifts we’d truly appreciate, Mother’s Day or otherwise.

Partners, take note.

Uninterrupted sexy times

Wouldn’t it be nice to have some intimate time with your partner (or even yourself) without worrying about being interrupted for a glass of water, snack or other such triviality? Mama just wants an unhurried orgasm!

No touching

Conversely, and especially for those with younger kidlets, having a 24-hour period where nobody touches you would be heaven. Imagine: no pinches, scratches, boogie wipes, face licks, mystery wipe stains on your clothes for ONE WHOLE DAY!

Sleeping in

We’re not just talking 15 minutes here, folks. Leave us alone (preferably after delivering that morning O) in the bedroom until lunch time. Mama just wants to sleeeep!

Use the bathroom with the door closed

I can’t even tell you how exciting it would be to go to the bathroom without having a little cheerleader with their face between my knees telling me “good job mama” for going pee on the potty. And to be able to shave our legs without rushing – would be dee-light-fuuul.

Eating a hot meal with two hands

I’m trying to remember the last meal I ate with my son where I got through the entire thing without it getting cold and I’m drawing a blank. Partners, for today only YOU can deal with the myriad meal requests of the baby while mama gets to enjoy her favourite food in all its unreheated glory.

Get shitfaced

While definitely not always feasible, sometimes mom just wants to let loose a little bit and not have to worry about her responsibilities. Give her this. Let her enjoy one or two (or three or four) of her favourite drinks without guilt and without worrying about the consequences.

Moms: Anything I missed? What real talk gift would you like to receive this Mother’s Day? Tell me in the comments below.

When are you done?

Can one really be enough?

I always dreamed I’d have a big family. A whole hockey team, I used to proclaim. Ahhh how little I knew about the world of pregnancy, childbirth and parenting.

Now a mom to one wonderfully spirited little guy, I’ve been thinking a lot about whether or not I’m still on board for expanding our family. And if I’m perfectly honest with myself, I just don’t know.

Can one really be enough?

How do you know when you’re done?

How big a gap is too big a gap?

Years from now, will I regret my decision either way?

Can one really be enough?

These are just some of the many questions bouncing around my head over the last few months.

I’ve haven’t come to this place lightly. With multiple miscarriages already in my history, including my last one which was at the end of the first trimester and gave me more, extended complications, I just don’t know if I can physically or mentally handle another loss if we were to try again.

As much as I’d love for D to have a sibling to play with, grow old with when hubs and I are no longer around… there’s something appealing about him being able to have all of our focus and attention. He’ll also likely benefit more from our help financially, as we won’t be splitting things with another person.

And don’t get me started on the sleep. D is finally sleeping through the night after 2 years of frequent night wakings. (HALLELUJAH!) He’s almost weaned. (HALLELUJAH!) He’s doing more and more for himself each and every day. (HALLELUJAH!) Newborns are helpless, completely dependent, nurse like crazy and are a whole lotta work – do I really want to start over again?

Buuuuut newborns are so sweet and precious and just ooooo. Sometimes I forget what D was like, especially since I didn’t get to enjoy him much with all my post-op complications. It would be nice to have another chance to experience that period. There’s also that whole amazing thing about having your child inside of you and the connection you have, and that feeling of them moving within you is like nothing else.

Can one really be enough?

I may not have the answers to my questions, but I’m OK waiting to find them a little bit longer.

How did you know when you were done growing your family? Or do you? Tell me in the comments below.

How becoming a mom finally allowed me to make peace with my body image issues

I’ve struggled with body image issues for years. Like a yo-yo, my weight would rise and fall at the flip of my emotions.

I also heard from a very early age that nothing I did was ever quite good enough — and I internalized that message that I was never quite good enough.

My stomach wasn’t flat, my calves were too big, my nose too crooked and my freckles something that needed to be covered.

It wasn’t until I became pregnant that I started making peace with my body’s supposed imperfections.

My legs were now strong enough that they could carry me (and the 80 pounds I gained) through the months-long task of growing another human. And finally, I wanted my stomach to be the biggest part of me — to show the world just what my body was capable of.

When I had my son is when I think I finally understood that it didn’t matter what I looked like. I could be sleep-deprived, unwashed and covered in spit up and he could care less. He simply wanted the comfort of being near me. And that was good enough. More than that, it was more than enough.

The features I’d once obsessed over changing in myself were now the most beautiful parts of him. They say that if we could only see ourselves the way that others see us that our whole perspective would change. I think that seeing yourself in another (who is wholly half of you) also has that power.

As he grows older, my body is still softer and larger than it once was — but I’m not upset by it the way I once was. I’ve finally come to a place where I can just be in the skin that I’m in for the moment.

If he accepts by body and sees the beauty in it, flaws and all, how can I feel anything but love towards it as well?

The way he nuzzles into my breasts for comfort, or kneads my stomach while laughing maniacally – or the happy screams when he shoves my ‘big’ bum around the house.

There’s nothing but love there — and love is all that matters.

10 ways being a runner prepares you for parenthood

Before I was a parent I was a runner, a while I haven’t hit the pavement much since becoming a mom, I’d like to think that running helped me prepare for this special journey.

The game plan

For some people, the road to procreation involves a lot of planning, much the way a proper training schedule does. But, even if you didn’t plan on becoming a parent, there’s a certain amount of preparation that goes into having a baby once you get the news.

Get a coach

No parent is perfect, and children don’t come with instruction manuals, so if there is someone who’s parenting style you admire then reach out to them and ask them your questions. Getting a little guidance from a trusted source can help you bring your A game.

The sprint

Everything from getting ready in the morning before work to getting ready for babe’s arrival can be considered a sprint. You give your all in the moment with the hopes of just making it across the finish line sometimes.

Hill training

Anyone who’s done hill training knows how grueling these progressively tougher runs can be. Sound like parenthood? From sleepless nights and teething in the early days to discipline and potty training later on, the hill is the perfect metaphor for keeping your head up and slugging on, even when you just don’t think you can do one more repeat. You’ll soon come out at the top. Find an inspiring song or mantra to carry you through the difficult times.

The marathon

Parenthood itself is the marathon of life, if you ask me. You’re really in it for the long haul when you have a kid. Slow and steady will see you complete the race. Just don’t be in such a hurry to get to the finish line that you miss all the great scenery along the way.

Race day

Nerves, excitement, anticipation. That feeling that you might just crap your pants while throwing up at the same time. It’s either race day or your in labour! Make it to the end and you’ll have bragging rights for a lifetime — plus a pretty sweet prize.

You can’t phone it in

Sure, sure. Some days you can just throw on the cartoons and take a breather, just like you can skip the occasional training run. But, skip too many and you’ll only end up sabotaging yourself.

Consistency is key

Successful running or parenting — they both benefit from being consistent. Children thrive on routine from the day they are born, and runners who keep progressively training are more successful and avoid injury moreso than a weekend warrior.

Sometimes it’s OK to take a sick day

You can’t be on 100% of the time and sometimes it’s OK to step away. There’s no shame in admitting you can do it all or asking for help. It’s admirable, and you’ll arguably come back to things in better shape than before you took time off. So go ahead and order take-out, call a babysitter or leave the baby in a safe place for a few minutes while you gather yourself. Parenthood is hard work!

You’re running your own race

There’s always going to be someone who has something to say about the way you parent, but it’s not about them — it’s about doing what’s right for you and your family. Try not to get swept up in the crowd.

Reading rocks, & cool contest alert

Author Ted Staunton at a recent event.

(Author Ted Staunton at a recent event.)

Sweet baby D and I recently had the chance to attend an event hosted by Smucker’s, a ‘bookworm brunch’ they called it. Since the little man LOVES reading like nobody’s business, I thought it’d be a fun opportunity to get us out and about.

We were treated to some tasty breakfast recipes using their products, as well as a lively story time session featuring a blast from my past, author Ted Staunton. Continue reading

Welcoming baby

In celebration of my birthday today, I’d like to share the story of our son’s birthday. It’s difficult for me to think back and reflect on those few days, but I think it’s also important from a healing perspective to talk about it.

While I may not like the circumstances of his arrival, this experience is mine and mine alone. I own it. I made what I believed to be the best possible decisions for the health of myself and him in each moment. So did the medical team providing our care. It wasn’t ideal, but everything happens for a reason and I just have to trust in that.

A lot of these details are taken from notes from our doula and my doctor’s file – as I clearly wasn’t writing things down when they were happening. 😉

Continue reading

Bath time

20130114-103734.jpgEven though I experienced complications post-delivery, one of the greatest resulting blessings was that the home care nurse I was assigned just so happened to be a pediatric nurse at Sick Kids as well. Her advice for all things babe has been an invaluable resource. One of her suggestions was for bathing babe, since I couldn’t get in the tub with him due to my wound. It’s been one of his most favourite parts of the day ever since.

Let me start by saying that the little guy absolutely will not go to sleep without having a bath first. Even the night he got his first set of vaccines and was screaming his face off, he would not sleep until first having a little splash. (He was out solid about 5 minutes after I pulled him out of the tub that night.) Continue reading

Hellllo baby!

It’s with great joy hubs and I welcome little Declan, a happy and healthy 9 pounds 3 ounces. He made his grand entrance with an emergency c-section at 5:36 this morning. We are so in love and looking forward to getting to know our new little friend.