Tag - parenting

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Pandemic Parenting: Back to School or Not?
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Yes I Swear In Front Of My Kids
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How Early Intervention Helped Our Daughter Walk And Talk
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Letting Our Son Care For His Sibling With Special Needs
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Rage Weeding

Pandemic Parenting: Back to School or Not?

Last August we were deciding what school backpack to buy and whether or not to sign up for the school lunch program. This year we’re deciding whether or not to send our children back to school in the midst of a contagious virus. It feels surreal (word of the year right there). This isn’t a choice anybody imagined having to make. Though everyone is saying, “Whatever your decision, we support you, no judgment,” that’s not entirely true. People are judging. Though it’s not really about other people’s choices, but about justifying and feeling secure about our own. But here’s the thing. PANDEMIC. There is no security, and the uncertainty brings out the worst in some people. Imagine a single working mom who has no option for childcare and who would absolutely keep her kids home if she could. Then imagine she scrolls through her Facebook feed and sees the following comment: “If you’re sending your kids back to school, you better update your will.” What an awful thing to say. It’s dramatic and mean. An insensitive and ignorant comment like this compounds the guilt and distress she is already feeling. If you were sitting down with this mom over coffee masked[…]

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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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How Early Intervention Helped Our Daughter Walk And Talk

Raising a child with intellectual or physical challenges is well, challenging. That’s why getting the support you need early on is crucial. Despite doctors telling us there was nothing wrong, we knew otherwise. Parents always know. We feel it in our gut. Mother’s instinct—it’s real and it’s powerful. Though her birth was unremarkable, when she was a few months old we started having concerns. Our already tiny baby girl was losing weight and the milestones that mark healthy development weren’t being achieved. True fear kicked in when our daughter stopped feeding. We were losing her and we fought to make doctors listen. By the time they did, our baby was in full “failure to thrive.” It was at this time, when Avery was eight months old and living full-time in the hospital, that we got a diagnosis. We heard the words, “Chromosomal Translocation Disorder” and “Rare Syndrome” and “We are so sorry.” We fed her through a nasal gastric tube and she began to gain weight and the colour came back to her cheeks. With her health and growth on track, we turned our attention to her development. What would a disorder like this mean for our child? What would[…]

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Letting Our Son Care For His Sibling With Special Needs

Today was a Professional Development Day in our school district, so both my high schooler and middle schooler had the day off. Phew! The poor kids have been back at school for nine gruelling days. Time for a much-needed break.  I didn’t realize the kids would be home and I had a fitness class booked for that morning. A good friend was coming to try her first class and I didn’t want to miss it, so I decided to let my son look after his sister. He’s sixteen and more than mature enough to babysit for an hour. But I hesitated (understatement).  He’s fully capable. The cog in my helicopter parent propeller is the idea of putting so much responsibility on his shoulders, broad as they may be. If something serious should happen—a seizure, or choking, or a fall (all possible occurrences), it’s all on him. That’s a lot to put on a child. Okay, a man-child, but you know what I mean. I struggle with letting my son take control, letting them figure things out, and letting my daughter have a break from me breathing down her adorable neck.  Chances are high that absolutely nothing dramatic will happen. But it’s the[…]

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Rage Weeding

We all have opinions. We also have the right to share those opinions—respectfully and thoughtfully. But isn’t it interesting that some people who have no idea what they’re talking about… let’s say about special needs or epilepsy or PTSD (since they have zero experience in these areas), still feel obliged to offer their advice, judgement, and criticism anyway? And when I say it’s “interesting” I’m being nice. When we share online (and I won’t stop sharing stories about my life, our daughter, or my family because I believe it’s important and often helpful… the medical stuff and the struggles and triumphs I mean, not so much the cat pics and ridiculous puns) we open ourselves up to negativity. But, it doesn’t mean we have to respond to it, or believe it, or accept it. Unless you’re walking the walk (whatever unique walk it might be) maybe take a minute before you make assumptions according to your inexperienced experience. We all have the right to feel the way we feel. You declaring otherwise, isn’t going to change that. Sometimes our fears or parenting methods stem from experiences you can’t possibly understand unless you’ve been there. On a positive note—the anger I felt about this[…]

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