Category - family

1
Pandemic Parenting When You Have A Child With Special Needs
2
Yes I Swear In Front Of My Kids
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When Your Child’s First Pet Dies
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Advice From A Special Needs Mom In The Middle
5
How To Choose A Baby Name

Pandemic Parenting When You Have A Child With Special Needs

I just had a full blown pandemic panic attack. I haven’t had one in years. A general panic attack I mean—pandemic specific panic attacks are a new thing.  If you’ve never experienced a panic attack, they’re pretty awful. It’s a slow build that can also feel like an out of the blue gut punch. It’s hard to breathe. Picture a floundering fish, gasping for air. There’s sweating, a racing heart, and a tightening in the chest significant enough to question whether or not to call 911. There’s also a sense of doom. Big time foreboding. There can also be tears. A lot of them. It’s nothing I would personally recommend.  During the SARS outbreak in 2003 I was busy giving birth to my first child and fairly oblivious to the hysteria. I was, from what I can remember, pretty chill for its entirety.  But pandemics are clearly panic proliferating. I mean, have you been to a grocery store in the past three days? The frozen food FOMO is enough to set anyone enough off. But I think what I experienced earlier today is rooted in something above and beyond the regular “I don’t have enough toilet paper and sandwich bread” panic. […]

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Yes I Swear In Front Of My Kids

*Warning: Adult Language Alert (If you’re eff word adverse, stop reading here).  As a writer, I love words. All kinds of words. Even the sweary kind. Especially the sweary kind. I try not to curse too much in front of my children, but I’m only human—a very passionate and expressive human I might add. So sometimes an “Oh for fuck’s sake” might escape my lips. I don’t think that makes me a bad parent. Words are just words unless they’re used to inflict hurt or disrespect. That’s when they’re truly offensive. Don’t even get me started on the R-Word. That’s one loaded word I never use. There’s never a positive reason to use it.  Coarse language isn’t necessarily rude or offensive. It’s about the way words are wielded.  Until recently my daughter has been oblivious to my salty language. My husband and I could talk about any subject in front of her without her taking much notice.  Now she inquires with great curiosity, “Who are you talking about? Who said that? Why did they DO that?” All the questions. I love that she’s noticing, but it does pose challenges. For example, the other day my son and I were watching a[…]

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When Your Child’s First Pet Dies

There are many life changing things about including a pet in your family. When you have a child with disabilities, pets can make a marked difference to their quality of life. Pets are more work in a “get off the couch and walk these ding dongs and change that litter and fill that food bowl…” sort of way, but I can’t imagine life without an animal by my side or under the covers. (Even though they should be in their crate. I know, I know…) The only true downside to pets, aside from mild annoyances like the occasional whining to go out for a pee at 5am, or fur on your favourite black yoga pants, is the ultimate downside which is of course the death of your best fur friend.  That’s the part that almost makes me never want to love an animal again. We become attached and they become family. Watching them go is hard. If you’re a pet person, you understand this completely.  Some losses are harder than others. When our guinea pig Ernie died from a seizure we were sad, but we’d had him less than a year and our connection wasn’t as deep as it was with other[…]

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Advice From A Special Needs Mom In The Middle

If you were to divide your special needs parenting life into stages, they might be arranged from the day your child is diagnosed with differences, to the period when they reach adulthood and possibly independence, or the equivalent based on their abilities. Some parenting timelines might end before that. I can’t bear to think about that. I know parents who had a child leave this earth too soon, and though it’s painful to imagine, I have learned so much from them. Their stories about grief, and strength, and compassion, and courage have encouraged me to find gratitude through the difficult days.  I’m a mom currently somewhere in the middle.   I read this quote recently. I don’t know who wrote it originally, but I thank them for these words.  One day you will tell your story of what you’re going through now, and it will become part of someone else’s survival guide.    Sharing our unique family’s story helps me to process, celebrate, and make peace with what whatever we’re going through. And if it happens to help or comfort or even guide others who are following behind us, that’s even better. Here a few things that we’ve learned along the way;[…]

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How To Choose A Baby Name

One of my daughter’s favourite Education Assistants at school is expecting a baby. This has resulted in great excitement at home and a lot of questions from my daughter. Like, “When are you having another baby, mum?” (Um, when pigs fly.) And, “When can I have a baby?” This one always breaks my heart a little. And, “Is Mrs. R’s baby going to be a boy or a girl?” (We now know the baby is a boy!!) And, “What will we name him?” Notice how she’s inserted herself into the process?  We won’t know the baby’s name until he’s born because they’re keeping it a surprise. Smart move.  When my husband and I were expecting our first baby we had a name reveal party—just for a few close family members including the grandparents and godparents. It was mostly an excuse for a festive get-together. Pregnant women will go to great lengths to have food made for them. We did this later into the pregnancy when we were confident this one was “for real.” Those who have miscarried know what I’m talking about. Somewhere around dessert we shared the boy and girl name options for our soon to be first born. We kept it[…]

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