16 Dec

I AM a FEMINIST but that doesn’t make me a "Man Hater"!

We started this blog almost 2 years ago to the day. In those 2 years I have been asked on numerous occasions if I am a feminist. When approached about this topic and asked this question people are asking in a very judgemental way as if being a feminist is a horrible thing. The reason our group and organization is focus on single MOTHERS is because that is who we, as single mothers relate to and those single mothers in need of support can relate more to us on a personal level thus making it easier to assist with their needs. A single mother and a single father are very very different and both require different support. Although we have and we can assist a single father with certain needs we tend to focus more on single mothers for those reasons.So back to being a feminist, while being asked on numerous occasions if I am a feminist I always feel the need to defend myself because of the way I am constantly approached about it. I feel the need to explain why we focus on single mothers and in reality I should be supporting feminism because I am a female and you know what? I believe in equality for women and women’s rights, I believe that each women should be heard as well as seen, I believe women have the right to an equal pay cheque and education as men do, I believe that women are strong, beautiful and independent. By believing in this do I hate men? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! By being a feminist do I degrade the male population?? NO!!!! By standing up and believing that women should have equal rights I am simply being on the side of my gender and support women who do not have equality in this world. So for those of you who are wondering I AM A FEMINIST!!!!! My question today is why should we label such as feminists? All women everywhere should stand up for one another and support each other. There should not be a label on that, that is our right and our nature. We care, we love, we nurture, we grow, we work, we educate and we support each other. You don’t have to be a feminist to understand that women are still not treated with the same respect as men and although the world has become a much more acceptable place when it comes to gender roles and rights we still have a lot of work to do. Next time I am approached about this topic I will no longer feel the need to defend myself because I am a strong, hard working independent woman and I am lucky enough to be in the position I am today and ALL women deserve to be treated the same!!!! BE A FEMINIST WITHOUT THE LABEL!!! Be proud of who you are!-Staci SMFS

12 Feb

Her Beloved Choochy

to pacify (verb) : placateappeasecalm (down)conciliatepropitiateassuagemollifysoothe.

a pacifier (noun) : a means to child dependency and oral fixation

Do you see the distinction?

Ahhh yes… a mother’s peaceful -momental- answer to a fussy crybaby. But is this taken too far? How many times have you seen a walking talking toddler with a “binky” in his/her mouth hindering its speech as it tries to communicate with mommy or daddy? It drives me bonkers and all I can think is what are you doing?!?! It’s one thing to have a crying baby on your hands, when food or being held isn’t the question. And hey, if it works to calm them down, why not?! But after a while you have to wonder the long-term effect of it all. The dependency of it, the risks. A little rubber and plastic should not be a go-to for your child’s discomfort and a substitute for real attention. I believe there should be a one-year limit on pacifiers or you’re headed into dangerous territory. I know this now only because I’ve actually been there.

Aliyah was probably around 2 and a half when I finally put my foot down. For a good while, it even became an expense, one lost, one to replace, one at grandmas, 4 at home, one clipped onto her clothes (you get the picture). I remember being all too impressed with the ones that snapped shut when they fell to the ground. Now, am I buying this for her or am I buying it because it’s cool? When your toddler can outright ask for their choochy (our take on the italian ciuciotto -pronounced choo-chetto) is it time to move on? If you have to reason with your child to get rid of it, it’s most likely past it’s prime and you’re now overdue. 

I started to notice on some of her choochys that the nipple was starting to tear at the base. Everyone knows a toddler likes the feeling of accomplishment, so I knew where this would go. I took a pair of scissors and snipped all the nipples at the base so they were one pull away from retirement. Who did the pulling? Aliyah. And who got to throw them in the garbage? Aliyah. Instead of the suffering and confusion of “where did they go?”, I let her be an active part of her own transition. She grew up a little the day she threw them in the garbage. She asked for them maybe once or twice after that. All I had to do was remind her of what a big girl she was.


19 Jan

Okay.. I think I’m ready!

Well, the blog topic of discipline really put me in a spin. It’s always such a difficult thing to discuss because there are so many opinions and so many people ready to judge. There are certain taboos about disciplining children. It’s hard to know whether you are making the right choices because there is always so much outside input. I think being single parents makes it even more difficult because outsiders feel more that the need to give there opinions and “help out” about the right ways to raise children. I appreciate and thank everyone who thinks they have great advice, but please, STOP! Too much information makes me over think all the decisions I am making as a mother which has caused me to flip flop between discipline styles leading to a lack of controlled and routine discipline. I’ve only recently figured out what really works with us and what Layton responds to. I’m not going to sit here and pretend I’m mom of the year and do everything exactly as I should… things were a MESS. I had an uncontrollable menace of a child, and it’s definitely taken time to figure out what works with him. He is an extremely strong willed boy and very sensitive to negativity. If I am calm and react to situations in a very mellow way, he listens to me contently. The moment I raise my voice, he fights back. The most important thing that I have learned is that love will solve most issues we face. Almost every time Layton acts out and wants to battle, a hug will calm him right down. So, in short, I guess my discipline style revolves around the expression of peace and love.

SMFS Kimmy

16 Jan

Talking it out

Oh the D word. Yes. Discipline. As kids, we all dreaded it… be it a time out, a toy taken away, no dessert or a simple N-O. I always thought the terrible twos and threes and fours would be the biggest test of patience before the teens. What I didn’t quite anticipate was an expanded vocabulary, a cunning mind and a sassy personality. I was brought up being physically disciplined with a spanking for misbehaving (and I’m not complaining or judging… I did turn out amazing-ish). As a parent myself, I don’t really see the point. I attempted time outs and just never felt it helped either.

If Aliyah is out of line, I’d rather explain what went wrong and how to fix it. What’s even more important is that she’s able to explain it back to me, too. In her own words, of course. We can all learn to read, but what’s important is comprehension or else it’s just words on a page. It’s much more of a learning experience if she understands not just what she did wrong, but why it’s wrong and how she can behave better next time. We value talking about our emotions and expressing if something makes us feel bad (as parents or even as the child). It’s important that she feels comfortable and willing to talk to us. It means there is always an open line for communication and that’s the kind of family relationship I want to build. She understands the concept of trust and honesty and these are very integral traits to teach your child. 
Soooo, I never said this all didn’t end up in tears. She is only six. Fake or genuine, the hardest part is ignoring the tears and waiting for them to subside. Kids can be persistent, especially with crying, testing every ounce of your willpower to not acknowledge them or every last effort will have been lost. I’m still working on this part! It’s not easy to ignore, but when I do it actually results in a bona fide apology on her part and pinky promise it won’t happen again. This part is majorly important! She comes to me on her own will to do it (and sometimes this can be 1-2 days after the fact). I think I’ve done something right! 
I know every parent struggles with all kinds of child behaviour and discipline. We’d like to know which ways work for you and your family?

Valerie SMFS

07 Jan

middle of the night wake-ups

On a similar topic to Kimmy’s, sometimes kids lack the proper perception of time. It happens! As a tired mom, sometimes my choice on how to deal with the problem just enables it. In the past, if Aliyah woke up my first solution was for her to sleep with me. Bad idea. Second solution was to sleep with her. Also bad idea. To get her used to sleeping on her own it should stay that way and I just had to push myself not to give in (or become lazy).

Aliyah is a wonderful sleeper. In fact, I’ve never been one to hush down whenever she’d go to bed or have a nap. There wouldn’t be screaming or loud music or anything, but I wouldn’t put everything I was doing on mute and become a mime for the time being. Aliyah sleeps soundly regardless of what’s going on around her and I’m actually proud of that! The problem is when she wakes up in the middle of the night when it IS quiet and Adam and myself are in bed. Our wake-up emergency reasons consist of 2 things: nightmares or not feeling well. Otherwise, it’s no reason to wake us up and she is perfectly capable of going to the bathroom on her own. (I’ve even witnessed this when I AM awake, and she’s half asleep… and does her business complete with washing her hands and stumbling back to bed all on her own.) 
Lately, she wakes up for silly things. “I can’t find my doll.” “My glow stickers aren’t glowing anymore.” “I can’t find my pants.” <- because she removed them in the middle of the night when she was asleep LOL. This sounds like it’s not that big of a deal and YES, as parents, it involves sleepless nights. This is not about how it affects my sleep, but I’m concerned with her not getting enough shut-eye. Her bedtime is strictly 730. On holidays, weekends it’s a more lenient 8ish. She functions best, mentally and emotionally, with a solid 12 hour night. If she’s waking up, she’s not getting that and her day is now affected. She’s either grumpy, sensitive or a bit clumsy. All this is avoided with that 12 hour night.
We’ve talked about it together numerous times, but then it just happens again. Independence is highly encouraged with her and she’s great all day… to the point she’s just plain stubborn about doing everything herself. In the middle of the night, it’s a complete 180 and she’s all about dependency for minor minor things. 
Is there a reason?  How can I fix it? We all just want our sleeps back!!