My post Blissdom Bliss

I’m sitting here 2 days post-bliss with thoughts, ideas and inspiration running through my mind at warp speed. I’m exhausted. Suffering from a blissdom hangover. Both physically and mentally wiped. I have lists of notes that I want to pour over ignoring the outside world focusing only on this creative fire that’s burning within me. Unfortunately my family will not go for me locking myself away for any long periods of time and as wonderful as my experience was I missed them like crazy, so I’m trying to bask in my kids kisses for now.

I don’t think I could begin to tell you what the best part was for me. The info sessions were beyond anything I ever expected. I was a little iffy going in because I wondered just how much I could actually learn in such a short time. Can I just say that I think what I learned is life changing?

I walked in apprehensive and feeling like maybe I was in over my head. I walked out feeling confident that my dream is absolutely something tangible for me.

More importantly I was inspired. The speakers made me feel things I hadn’t felt in a while. They made me feel passion for what I do. They pushed me to take a risk and recognize that I am capable. While listening to them speak I wondered if I am always being the best person that I can be and I don’t think that I am.

There were moments in each talk that sat with me for many reasons.

One of the biggest eye openers for me was during the talk about social media etiquette and kindness. I realized there are many ways to bully people. They aren’t all obvious and I think without even realizing it I have allowed myself to be bullied. One of my big takeaways is that “Only those who are hurting hurt people”.  I have spent so much time and energy fighting meanness with anger. Let me make it clear that I will no longer do that. I’m putting down the tug of war rope.  I will try my best to fight negativity with kindness. If Glen Canning can do it then I sure as hell can. His story made me weep and opened up my heart. Those who don’t think much of me will longer be my inner voice. Not everyone has to like me or like what I do. What matters is that I’m happy with who I am and what I do.

It’s difficult to pinpoint one singular moment that impacted me in a life altering way because there were just so damned many of them. However, I will single one moment out right now. A line in @schmutzie’s power talk.

 “It is not a failure to be in the middle of your story”

The path I took has led me down many roads. Some were unexpected, some dead ends forcing me to turn around, some were long winding uphill treks, but they have all landed me right here where I am today. I have many more roads to take, many more forks to come to. Those who have made my journey more difficult by trying to dim my star know who they are just as those who have helped light my way do. I’m incredibly grateful for both because they each play their role in my travels and in giving me the motivation to continue on my path.

 I’m simply in the middle of my story and only I have the power to write the end.

The importance of mummy mentors

I think my generation is missing out.

In past generations women got married, had children and stayed connected with each other. They were pregnant together. Had children together and battled the toddler years together.  They had a social network of women going through the same life experiences at the same time.

Things have changed. We all have different lives, different paths to take. While some of us married and/or had children in our younger years, others chose to wait maybe to further their education, travel, focus on their career or hold out for the perfect partner. Some had our children in our early 20’s while many of us are well into our 30’s before it’s even an option. I’ve mentioned that I was the first person in my close social circle to have children. This meant I did not have anyone to pose my questions to. When I felt odd pains in my side I didn’t have anyone to ask if they had felt this before. When my mind raced with worry over the health of my unborn child, keeping me up at night, bringing tears to my eyes at a moments notice I turned to the internet. I had my mother, true and even my mother in law who had successfully survived pregnancy and giving birth. Who were well versed in the whole baby making business and gladly offered their thoughts and reassurances. The only downfall was that the last time they had gone through labour and delivery we were still using rotary phones, cell phones didn’t exist and the men folk waited in hospital waiting rooms smoking cigars, instead of cutting the cord. Time has a funny way of dulling your memory. While I know there are certain aspects of pregnancy that one never forgets, ie: throwing up in a plastic bag in the Go Train parking lot, there are certain memories that cloud over with time. They sit there, somewhere deep inside, and while you may feel them with every beat of your heart your mind doesn’t always remember them as clearly. Things change. Recommendations change. It’s just not the same as discussing with someone who is going through it at the same time or for whom the experience is so recent they can still hear the sound of the Doppler as the Doctor searches for baby’s heartbeat.

I realized early on that this was in fact an important part of motherhood that I didn’t want to miss out on. The need to have someone to relate to didn’t stop at pregnancy. I very quickly began to search out other mothers and I met some wonderful women. Women whom have become my mummy mentors. I am so very lucky to have formed relationships with women from all walks of life. We all have different parenting practices and beliefs, but we are in the same place. We are just a bunch of girls trying to keep our sanity while raising our families to the best of our abilities. We may not always agree and we have different parenting philosophies but I know when I turn to one of them with a question about some change in MR. T’s behavior or a suggestion on how to get Ms. J to sleep in her own bed, they will listen without judgment and give me their honest opinions and heartfelt suggestions. Sometimes the suggestions are life savers other times I need to go back to the drawing board . I must admit it feels wonderful to have people to turn to when I’m worried, frustrated or at the end of my rope. I don’t feel alone. On the flip side when my own mummy mentors come to me searching for advice, experiences or just for an ear to vent to, I love being able to be a mummy mentor to them.

Surrounding yourself with your own circle of mummy mentors is something that I think is an important part of the journey into motherhood. Can you do it on your own? Of course you can! Women have been raising children since the beginning of time. But trust me it’s much easier and even a lot more fun to do it surrounded by others who are in the same boat! If you enter into motherhood being closed-minded and isolating yourself you are doing yourself a disservice. Sharing stories, swapping tricks and just having others who can relate is such a fantastic part of the journey! A deep and heartfelt thank you to each and every one of my mummy mentors, I think you all know who you are. Know that you have made my adventure even better than I could have imagined.

Fatherhood and the new normal?

Our family recently spent a week battling the flu. All four of us came down with the virus at varying degrees. Ms. J probably had the worst of it so we decided a visit to the doctor was required. During our visit Ms. J was sitting on the exam table, a little nervous, and called out for her Daddy. The doctor looked at us both, her eyes reflecting the surprise she felt in hearing Ms. J ask for Daddy rather than Mummy, and with a confused tone exclaimed “oh we have a Daddy’s girl”. Explaining that she sees more Mummies girls than Daddies girls, she went on to examine our little princess while Ms.J sat quite content in her Daddy’s arms.

There are so many indications that hands on fatherhood isn’t a given in our society. Recently Mr. C. and I were watching a stand up comedy routine where the comedian stated he “hated babysitting his kids” Ummmm..if they are YOUR kids it’s not called babysitting, it’s called parenting!

I’ve also heard from other Mummies stories of having to take on the brunt of the parenting duties as their husbands seem to think it’s not their responsibility.

This is not even taking into account all of the absent father’s roaming around out there.

Let me first make it clear that I had a very hands on Dad, who was there every step of the way. To this day there are times when I turn to my Mum for advice/comfort and there are times when I turn to my Dad.

I, in turn, have chosen a husband who is a very hands on Dad. In the 4 1/2 years since we’ve been parents I don’t think I’ve seen him turn down a parenting duty. Sure there are times when he’s tired, times when he’s frustrated, times when out of sheer desperation he begs “you’ve got bedtime tonight because I’m done”. He’s no different from me, as the mother. I have just as many of these moments. Mr. C. has changed his fair share of dirty diapers, cleaned bottles, comforted a sick crying baby and has even been barfed/peed/pooped on. The only thing he never took part in was breastfeeding 😉

There have been times when others assume he isn’t as capable just because he’s the Dad. I’ve often seen people, specifically women, assume he’s unsure and unqualified to take care of his own children! In the beginning I think he wasn’t as confident in his abilities as he should have been but as the years have passed he’s become as self assured as any mother. Meaning, of course he questions himself at times. Every parent does. I think that at this point he is aware that he’s doing a pretty good job.

Both Mr. T. and Ms. J alternate who they turn to for comfort. There are times when they call out for me
and times they search for Daddy.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So why is equal parenting not the norm? This is the year 2013! I think maybe I would feel differently and not have the same expectations of Mr. C if I didn’t work full time and was instead a full time Mum. Fact of the matter is I do work full time and so does Mr. C. This means that we are a team. We share all responsibilities equally, that includes parenting.

More importantly, I don’t think Mr. C. would have it any other way. He loves being a part of the every day life of his kids. He takes on the parenting challenges with finesse. He’s also smart enough to know that by accepting the challenges he gets to reap the beautiful rewards. The dirty work is overshadowed by the cuddles, giggles, kisses and hugs. Without the hard stuff he wouldn’t get quite as much of the good stuff.

I am so thankful that I found someone, who like my own Dad, would choose a night at home with his family over a night out drinking it up with the boys. Maybe I’m crazy in thinking that it’s normal for a father to participate in the same way as a mother. Call it crazy but this is our normal and we wouldn’t have it any other way. And I love Mr. C even more because of it.

A letter to my 14 year old self

Dear 14 year old, teenage angst filled me,
I am writing to you from the learning years of our thirties. You think you know it all. Take my advice, you don’t. You’ll know you’ve matured when you finally figure out that you know nothing!

Life will kick your ass. You are going to fall. Many times. Know that you will also get back up every time. Each tumble you take is going to make you stronger. Some falls will be harder than others and you may take longer to get up but you will always get up. Falling does not make you a failure, getting up each time is what makes you a success.

Try not to focus so much of your energy attempting to be perfect. Perfection doesn’t exist. You can spend the rest of your life trying to get to something that is unreachable and you will just be disappointed. Your flaws are what make you perfect. Own them, accept yourself for who you are.

Boys. Boys are just boys. They will come and go. Do not lose yourself for a boy. Do not chase a boy. A boy who is worth anything will not allow you to chase him. A boy who is worth your time will do the chasing. Demand respect, demand to be treated well and if he doesn’t treat you well in the beginning he never will. *Spoiler Alert* Eventually a wonderful one will walk into your office and will spell your name wrong…pay attention to that one..he’s a keeper 🙂

You will meet people who will try to pull you down because it makes them feel better about themselves. Be better than that. Don’t be a mean girl and don’t allow someone to mean girl you.

Follow your own path. Do not try to live anyone else’s dreams, your dreams are what matters. Do not exhaust your energy trying to make everyone happy. You will never be able to please everyone so don’t try, it will drive you crazy. Focus on pleasing yourself even when that means you might be disappointing someone else. Being happy will make those who love you happy.

Try to be nicer to your mum, she’s not the crazy person you think she is right now. In fact you are more like her than you have yet come to realize…probably the reason for the constant butting of the heads. Believe it or not a time will come when you won’t fight with her and you will be so thankful to have her in your life. She pushes you out of love because she wants life to be easier for you than it was for her. Go easy on her.

You are beautiful. Stop caring about the size of your jeans and for God’s sake please stop trying to fight your hair!! Just leave it be what it is! You don’t have to look like everyone else to be beautiful.  Who you are is so much more important than what you look like. I know people say this to you all the time and you pretend to agree but you waste too much time feeling ugly. Don’t be so self obsessed. As you get older you will become comfortable in your own skin. Don’t ever let anyone make you feel like you are less than gorgeous.

You are not an imposter. You are smart, you are kind, you are special.

I will give you a heads up, life is going to throw you a major curve ball, the biggest hit we’ve taken so far in our thirty something years. You will feel as though your world is collapsing, coming to an end.I need you to know that you will survive it and you will come out the other end with the most beautiful gift you can imagine. Take it one day at a time and rely on those who love you, you won’t be able to get through it without them. Try your hardest to search for the sun through the fog and clouds cause it’s rays will be shining down on you, even though it might not feel like it in the moment.

The surprises that life has in store for you will blow your mind. Treat life as a journey not as a destination. Stop and smell the roses a bit. Life is beautiful, try to live in the moment and know that you wouldn’t feel the ups without the downs. And those ups are sooo worth it!

Finally, don’t take a single thing for granted. Love yourself. Be kind and enjoy the ride because the years are going to fly by!

Stay at home mom’s killing feminism…apparently according to some…

Did you know that feminism is dying?? I wasn’t aware of the fact that female equality was dying but apparently it is. In the mind of one very opinionated, condescending woman, feminism is being killed by, of all people stay at home mum’s.

To start perhaps you should read the article:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/06/1-wives-are-helping-kill-feminism-and-make-the-war-on-women-possible/258431/

Where do I start?

Should I start by pointing out how incredibly empowered I feel that one lone woman is telling me what should make my life significant and that anything other than working outside of the home is meaningless?

Should I mention that somehow her idea of feminism is that we, as women, have gone from not having any other choice but to stay at home and take care of house, husband and children to now having no choice other than to go to work. Because lord knows if I’m not out there in the working business world my brain isn’t being put to use. This in turn must mean that I am unimportant, uneducated and insignificant.

I will make a point of saying that I am a working mother, mostly due to financial necessity. I did however, make a career choice to work at a job that doesn’t require me to work 80 hours a week. This was because I would prefer to spend more time at home with my family than to spend all my time in the superficial business world listening to people who like to hear themselves spout nonsense trying to convince themselves that they are really very important. So important that they must be available 24 hours a day, they can’t leave their blackberry’s behind for a moment (even to go to the bathroom) and think by working into wee hours of the morning it somehow solidifies their place in this world.

Contrary to what she might think, being a stay at home mum is very much a full-time job. MOST stay at home mum’s are not Chanel-shopping women who spend their days getting facials and taking Yoga classes. They are amazing, hard-working, patient woman who have given their lives to ensure that their family is well taken care of.   Being a stay at home mum also involves a hell of a lot more than picking up GI Joe dolls and Lego’s.

Making sure house is clean, groceries are stocked, healthy meals are made is just a part of what needs to be done to run a household. Taking care of children doesn’t mean plopping some food in front of them and changing the odd diaper. Many stay at home mum’s are responsible for household budgets, paying the bills, ensuring their families are eating healthy foods to keep them physically and mentally fit. . You are responsible for an entire human being, probably more than one. To be honest, going through all of the tasks involved in maintaining a household is not only impossible but ridiculous as I would be entertaining this woman’s insulting idea of what it means to be a real woman.

Any mum, stay at home or working, knows what it takes to run a house. They don’t need it to be listed out for them so I won’t do that. I don’t feel the need to prove myself.

I did spend two years of maternity leave at home and I will tell you that I never had a harder day at work than my easiest day spent as a stay at home mum. I challenge her to a week of it, she wouldn’t last a day.

I also think it is actually idiotic of her to compare all stay at home mum’s to a small percentage of well to do women who may have chosen to have nannies and housekeepers and may not actually spend most of their days at home. Really?? To try to even suggest that all stay at home mum’s fit into that category is just ridiculous. In my opinion it makes her sound dumb. As dumb as she thinks the stay at home wives are.

Her patronizing notion that being a mother is something everyone could do is absurd. Many women can have a baby but not everyone can be a good mother. Guess what?? Everyone can pretty much go out there and do most jobs but not all of them will do it well. Difference is if you are bad at the job of motherhood you don’t necessarily get fired. Rather, you can completely mess up a person for their entire life, which in turn can lead to further generations of pain and suffering. So yes my dear, being a mother is an important and extremely difficult job.

Regardless, I am very happy that women generations before me fought so hard for me to have equality. They fought so that firstly I had the option to go out there and get an education and a career. I am grateful for the fact that they fought to give me rights over my mind and my body. I am thankful that they fought so that I have choices about the path that my life takes, be that stay at home mum or working woman. I had the choice to be a doctor or a lawyer. I had to choice to get married or not. I had the choice to have children or not.

I do not judge this woman for deciding not to get married or have children. I don’t judge her for the career she’s chosen. I don’t think she is more or less of a woman because of the choices she made. She, however, seems to feel like she has the right to judge me or any other woman out there who has chosen to have a family and to stay home with that family. She is trying to force on me her way of life and I think she believes that she is better than me based solely on the fact that she chose a career over family.

Who is really killing feminism here?

In Honour of Father’s Day

I will admit that I lived a fairly sheltered life. Growing up in my world there was no such thing as an absent father. I was fairly old before I realized that not all families had a Dad. I was even older before I realized that sometimes even a Dad who hasn’t left a family is an absent father.

Now that I’m an adult and have had a little bit more exposure to the world, I have become more aware of the impact that a Dad has on a child’s life. I see what not having a Dad can do and have learned the importance of a positive father figure.

I guess I am one of the lucky ones. I had a very present father, in all aspects of the word. He was not only there but he was a hands on father. So, I will take this opportunity, dear Dad, to say thank you. Thank you for so many things, where do I even start?

Thank you, Dad:

For working long shifts in a dirty factory, not only to put food on my table, but so that I could wear nice new clothes to school every year, and take vacations, and go to music lessons.

For coming home from those long shifts late at night and standing outside in the middle of winter to flood the backyard so that I could have my own private skating rink.

For teaching me to skate on said rink, and to ride a bike.

For cooking dinner before heading out to your afternoon shift at work, showing me that it takes teamwork to run a household and a family.

For fixing things.

For eating my Easy Bake Oven cakes. I mean c’mon..a cake that comes in an envelope and is baked by a lightbulb?? Yet you actually ate them!!

For attending every single baseball game, music performance and dance recital. Even when taking the time off work meant working even later into the night.

For giving me an appreciation of hockey.

For making me a Canadians fan.

For helping me with my multiplication tables when I struggled with them.

For taking me to the zoo, amusement parks and March Break skiing trips.

For defending me when you felt like I wasn’t given a fair chance and encouraging me to do my best when I wasn’t giving it my all.

For driving a van full of loud, giggling girls to school dances and being there at the end to pick us up.

For not letting me stay out all night and always questioning where I was going, who I was going with and when I was going to be home.

For breaking up fights between Mum and I and for making sure I knew when I had crossed the line into disrespect.

For loving my Mother, in turn teaching me that I deserve to be loved.

For working hard enough and being smart enough with your money to help me with my education.

For talking me through some of my political science papers in University.

For giving me enough freedom to let me move away from home to go to school and enough sense to know how far that freedom stretched.

For forcing me to get myself out of some of my own messes (ie:very large phone bills)

For standing front and centre, eyes filled with tears, heart filled with pride, video camera in hand as I walked across that stage to get my degree at my University graduation.

For wanting to beat up anyone that has hurt me but for not actually going through with it.

For giving me your honest opinions when we were car shopping and house hunting.

For helping me understand mortgages, lines of credits and RRSP’s.

For walking me down the aisle.

For loving my husband.

For guiding me through fixing my own furnace.

For not expecting me to pass that task along to my husband.

For always expecting me to be able to do anything and for never assuming I couldn’t do something because I was a girl.

For being a good Grandfather.

For spending so much time during Mr T’s NICU stay holding him close, letting him know he had a huge support system.

For planting flowers with my son.

For giving my daughter Grandad cuddles.

For still listening to me cry when I feel defeated and giving me the words I need to pick myself up.

Most importantly for giving me the tools to have picked a good husband. A husband that not only is good to me but is and will continue to be the kind of Dad to my children that you were to yours.

Thank you Dad, from the very bottom of my heart.

Sharing the talent…life with kids for those without

I just came across the most amazing blog post that I just had to share! It is hilarious, a little sad and just so true! Reading this post had me in tears of laughter but it also got me thinking, and questioning things in my own life, with my own relationships.

I love to share talent and this is a creative, funny and well written post…take a look, if you haven’t already read it.

http://tryingtobegood.com/2012/06/02/an-open-letter-to-all-parents-from-a-non-parent-10/

How true does this ring in your life?

THe fact of the matter is once you’ve had children your life changes. Regardless of how much you think you will stay the same after you have kids you don’t.  Those without kids tend to think they understand that and are prepared for it, but I truly believe there is no preparing you for this. It is a shock.

I feel terribly sad that my relationship with some of my childless friends has suffered since my family has grown. I know a huge part of that is me. Let’s be honest. I don’t have the time to call you as much as I used to. It’s not because I don’t care it’s mostly because my kids can be acting like angels yet as soon as I pick up the phone they go all “Lord of the Rings” on me and it becomes pointless. If I even hear you over the screaming, fighting, pushing and throwing of toys I will not be able to pay attention because I will be too busy trying to prevent my little angels from seriously injuring themselves or killing each other. By the time I’ve put them to bed I just need some quiet time by myself so that I don’t go completely insane and that only lasts as long as I can manage to keep my eyes open.

Nights out are difficult for so many reasons. Again, not because I don’t care or dont’ miss you. It’s because trying to get me to stay up past ten o’clock even on a weekend is difficult. I’m tired, drained and my idea of the perfect night is sitting on my couch in my jammies watching tv, writing or doing just about anything that is quiet and doesn’t require me to do anything for anyone else.  My entire days are spent catering to other people; my children, my husband, work, all I need is a few minutes, maybe even an hour to myself to regroup and get ready for the next day. I know it sounds awful but  mustering the energy to go out and socialize is a chore and I don’t need any additional chores. Not that I never want to do that again, just not as often as I used to and in a different way.

This brings me to the types of activities that I enjoy. This too has changed. Forget late nights filled with wild parties..it is just not going to happen…for a while! I know you want fun-loving, happily buzzing me to show up every once in a while, but that side of me was left behind in the delivery room. Does that sound selfish or just brutally honest? I am no longer 19 years old. I can not dance, drink and party into the wee hours of the morning and function the next day. This has nothing to do with children but more with age. The difference with me is that I can’t afford to not be functioning the next day because Mr. T. will not understand why I can’t wake up at 6:30 when he’s whispering in my ear that he peed the bed and he’s hungry. Ms. J. won’t care that my head is pounding and my stomach is churning when she delivers the poop of all poops and needs a diaper change while I’m in full hangover mode. I have two full days a week with my children and I’ll be damned if I spend a day of that lazing around the house unable to fully interact with my babies because of a hard night of partying, it’s just not worth it to me.

Long afternoons of shopping still interest me but it will be different. I have to plan them around nap times and feeding schedules. If it’s planned out properly then I can leave the kidlets with Mr. C. and we can have a few hours to ourselves. If plans fall through then expect our shopping trip to be spent pushing a stroller around the mall with a bored toddler who just wants out and will scream bloody murder until she gets her way. We then may spend our time in each store chasing said toddler through racks of clothes trying desperately to ensure that we don’t lose her and inevitably, panick mode will set in, when for a fraction of a section she disappears from your line of vision. The types of stores I may visit might also change. I may now be more interested in visiting children boutiques because they need new summer clothes and this is the only opportunity I have to be in a mall so I need to get it done. While I will still happily accompany you to the same designer stores I used to shop at and now love to dream in, it won’t be my only interest, and won’t be where my purchases are focused.

It just isnt’ the same. No one’s fault. It just isn’t the same.

I understand why you might feel like I am the one who changed, because I did, I had babies. My life did a complete 180. But deep down inside I am still the same person. Maybe if you could just meet me half way then our relationship wouldn’t have to change all that much.

When you get frustrated try to put yourself in my place for just a moment. Try and imagine what my life might be like and try to remember that it has nothing to do with you.

There may be some tension between us because there is some judgement flowing from both sides. You judging me for my parenting and life choices. Judging me because I don’t want to go out anymore or because I don’t call you. Judging me because I talk about my kids all the time, or because it’s difficult to even have a focused conversation with me through the million interruptions.

Me judging you because you don’t understand.  Judging you because you don’t seem willing to make any accommodations for me and my life with kids. Judging you because you expect me to be able to come to your party, put my kids to sleep in your bed for a couple of hours while I get my drink on and then wake them up in the middle of the night to bring them home. Judging you because even as you make the suggestion you don’t hear how ridiculous it sounds. Because I can’t help but take your judgments as a personal attack on my parenting.

I wish that our relationship didn’t have to change but it does.  To all my childless friends, know that I still love you. Know that I am fully aware of how I’ve changed. Know that it’s possible to maintain our friendship but the path we were on has been altered. Know that I’m doing my very best even when it may not seem like I am. Know that if and when you decide you want to join babyville I will be there for you every step of the way and I will try my best not to say I told you so!

Children and the strain on your marriage

Mr. C. and I fight. There it is, I said it. Ya we fight…and?? Tell me you don’t?? Ever? I would like someone to show me the couple that doesn’t argue

Some of our arguments are minor and are resolved almost the moment they occur. Others are momentous, last days and alter our relationship for good. Most times for the better.

What I underestimated was the impact having children was going to have on my relationship with my husband.

When we were in one child heaven life was a breeze. We enjoyed our time with our baby. Dinners were made, house was cleaned, laundry done during nap times. We had free time. We bathed in the warmth of our love for each other and our new family. After our rocky beginning we were just so thankful to have Mr. T. home with us and relatively healthy that the regular baby stresses didn’t phase us. Not sleeping through the night? Not a problem! Crying baby? Easy peasy! Nothing could knock us off our cloud nine.

Then along came Ms. J. and the experience was so much different. While our love for her was too much for words, we were on the go non stop, 24 hours a day. We didn’t have the same amount of free time anymore. When Ms. J was napping Mr. T. needed attention. I had to be sure that I had Mr. T. entertained so that he didn’t get into trouble. We were out a lot at playgroups and baby classes. There was double the laundry and no time to clean the house anymore. We were running on empty and were just trying to keep our heads above water.

Free time with Mr C? It was pretty much non existent. By the time we managed to get both kids in bed, we were both exhausted and could barely muster the energy to keep our eyes open for 15 minutes let alone talk to each other! We were wiped!

It got very overwhelming very quickly.

Now here we are almost two whole years later and we are dealing with a busy 3.5 year old and an independent toddler who wants to do everything herself and has a will that overpowers mine any day of the week. We are stressed. Do I even need to say that? Almost every single day that goes by I feel like a big failure. When I walk in the house and see toys scattered on the ground. When I look at my kids sitting on the couch watching T.V. while I’m desperately trying to put together dinner. When one of my kids knock over a pile of folded laundry because I haven’t had the chance to put them away yet…I feel like a bad wife and mother.

All of those overwhelming feelings of anxiety come out at some point and in some form, usually in anger and frustration. Which is usually directed towards Mr. C.  Is that really all that surprising? He’s the closest to me. So I argue with him.

I look around at all the chores that need to be done and I fight with Mr. C. to help me. I fight with him because he questioned my parenting when Mr. T. was disrespectful to me. I carry around resentment and it’s aimed at him because I’m tired, frustrated and defeated. It’s completely unfounded and not the right direction for my feelings but it’s the path they take nonetheless.

In discussing this with Mr. C. he opened up that he too feels overwhelmed. He feels inadequate when he sees that other dad’s in the neighborhood are always out working on their lawn, washing their cars, doing work on their houses. When he’s so tired after a long day at work that it’s tough for him to even manage walking the kids over to the park to play. He too feels overwhelmed when he feels like he’s going non stop and is still struggling to do all of the things that need to be done. He even feels bad when he sees me stressed because he can’t fix it.

One of the most important realizations for both Mr. C. and I is that what works for one family may not work for us and that’s ok. Yes, some dad’s are out there fixing their lawns every day but they don’t take their kids on bike rides every day the way Mr. C. does. Just like some mum’s may keep their house spotless at all times but maybe they don’t make fresh, homemade dinners every night. Point being, it doesn’t really matter what everyone else does, nor what everyone else thinks. We have to find our place and what works for us.

I’ve learned some even more important lessons from these fights with my husband. I’ve learned that life with two young children and two working parents is not as easy as it looks. It’s tough and mentally draining. The worst thing we can do is take that out on each other. It will get easier, as the kids get older and more independent. For now this is us and we need to work together as a team. One thing I always remember is that when Mr. T. was sick, Mr. C. and I banded together as a team and that was the only way we made it through. If we can face that we can face anything.

The most important thing that I learned is that sometimes fighting between couples is a necessary evil. It’s a requirement to work through some tough issues. The sign of a successful marriage is how you get through the tough times, how you resolve your issues. I am actually grateful for our arguments because we are at a point in our marriage where our arguments actually make us a stronger couple. Mr. C. may drive me crazy at times but I wouldn’t want to face this journey through life with any one else.