Mom life is wonderful, but it can be easy to get lost in the everyday chaos of parenting. What is new math? Do those shoes still fit? Have you eaten a vegetable today? When is that dentist appointment? Do we REALLY have another PA Day coming up?? It’s no surprise why we start to wonder about the reasons to be thankful for our kids. While I love my kids more than anything in the world, that love comes with extra feelings like guilt, worry, and exhaustion. There are times when you stare at your kids’ beautiful faces and are overwhelmed with joy, and times you stare at the clock and count the minutes until bedtime. (For what it’s worth, the latter doesn’t make you a bad person.) When things get crazy and I’m beating myself up for forgetting to sign my kid’s reading log because I was busy doing ONE…
Many parents have mixed feelings about the start of school. There’s a lot of information to process and some hard choices to make. Luckily, the Mabelhood is a judgement-free zone. (And hey, in case no one has told you lately: you’re doing a great job, Moms and Dads.)
Like any parent, there are things I do well and things I’m less awesome at. Sure, I’m giving motherhood my all, but I definitely have my fair share of failures. Fortunately, I make up for some of these blunders with my passion for creating awesome, healthy school lunches.
If there’s one bullet I’ve dodged as a parent, it’s picky eating. Somehow, by some miracle, both of my kids have eaten really well since day one. They like fresh fruit and vegetables, seafood, spicy dishes, sushi, you name it. They’re easy to feed at restaurants and other people’s houses (remember going to other people’s houses?? Haha, sob). Basically, I make food and they consume it, with very few exceptions. I am incredibly lucky; this I know.
We did it, everyone. We made it to October. Fall has truly arrived and despite the ever-evolving state of chaos that is the year 2020, we’re still moving forward and we’re okay, more or less. At least, that’s the answer that rolls off most of our tongues when asked. We’re fine, we tell each other, shrugging. You know, we’re managing. But how are we really doing?
When the then-emerging threat of COVID-19 resulted in schools being closed for an additional “two weeks” after March Break, I remember wondering how I was going to balance full-time motherhood with my full-time job during the unexpected shutdown. Three weeks without school, I marveled. How are we going to keep the kids busy at home for three entire weeks?
You may be finding yourself with extra time on your hands these days – or, if you’re like many parents, you’re actually swamped with remote work, attempting to homeschool and/or exhausted from parenting your stir-crazy offspring 24 hours away with no break to speak of (can you guess which camp I’m in?). The year 2020 has been magical, yes? What a time to be alive!
Once upon a time, there was a little boy who loved dinosaurs. He’d play with dino figurines for hours, draw pictures of them and roar around the house in full character. It started before his first birthday, continued on through toddlerhood and kindergarten and now, at age seven, remains his key interest. Sure, he likes other things – Beyblades and Pokemon and snowboarding, to offer a few examples – but dinos are his one true love. This is a kid who would choose a vacation to the badlands over a trip to Disney World any day of the week. He has already decided which paleontology program he’ll be attending in university ten years from now. BBC documentaries are his bible and the ROM is his church.
They say if you love something, let it go…so it’s been swell, summer, but I’m ready to say goodbye.
Reading is magical. It may be cheesy to say so but it’s true, and it’s wonderful. What’s better than curling up with a book? Actually, we have an answer to that – it’s curling up with a book and your kids at the end of a busy day.
Not only is it a great way to unwind before bed, studies have shown that reading aloud to kids helps them develop stronger language skills, improves their social and emotional development, and even decreases hyperactivity and aggression in young kids. Essentially, reading helps give us the words we need to sort out our feelings – an incredible tool at every age!