Archive for August, 2014

We are the mom’s.

August 30, 2014

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I read an incredible post about mom’s of suck kids recently.  It explained that often we don’t know how we do what we do,  etc.
Though the post was directed at physical illness,  so much rang true for me,  a parent of a mentally ill child.  It could easily have crossed over to any special needs parent.
It got me thinking.  Thinking of the guilt we carry,  the quiet fears we hold, 

and the long days and nights we push through.

Any of us with children battling illness hold so many of the same hopes and fears. Though the illness may not be the same,  the journey is similar.

I think it is crucial for people to know just how similar dealing with a physically ill child (not cold or flu ill), and a mentally ill (not a typical sad day)  child is.
Though I am very honestly grateful my children haven’t (since toddlerhood anyway),  been physically ill enough to send me into the fear of loosing them.
And I in no way shape or form think these illnesses are less than the bipolar, etc my son suffers from.
I often look at these fellow “illness” parents in awe.
As they take their children for treatments, hospital stays, tests,  I often think to myself,  I don’t know how they handle it,  how they carry on day to day.  I would be a disaster.
Then I think,  I’m literally doing virtually the same. Just different doctors, different tests,  and different hospitals.
As they fight with feeding tubes and monitors,  I fight with med accuracy and self harm.
In the world of physically ill children, you meet fellow parents, with similar stories.  You bond,  form friendships and draw strength from one another.
In the world of mentally ill children,  you don’t.  At least in my case the only fellow parents of bipolar children are across the globe.  Though I am thankful for this, because it’s not as common as certain disorders or diseases, it means that the fellow parents aren’t there.  There’s no support groups, there’s no meeting those few fellow parents, because you never meet in the halls of the ward, with a simple smile and nod that soon forms into a solidarity of mom’s.
I am grateful for my fellow “illness”  mom’s who though their illness is not similar to ours,  are there.
Truth be known any illness changes a parent.  We know how hard,  painful and isolating it is.
So no matter what your child is going through,  you are the first to offer help,  an ear a hug.
And I am so incredibly grateful for those mom’s,  I am so incredibly grateful for the adults that have come out of the wood work with their own stories to let me know we’re not alone.
No matter what battle our angels are fighting, we are a group of our own.
We’re the mom’s that know medical terms better than some doctors,  we’re the mom’s that celebrate and cherish the littlest of moments,  we’re the mom’s with no social life aside from trips to the Doctor,  we’re the mom’s going no sleep for months on end,  we’re the mom’s that at times feel useless, completely alone and terrified.
We are the mom’s that don’t know how many days, months, years we have.
We are truly the mom’s of the greatest lessons life has to offer.
And from them we learn.
Strength.
Courage.
Determination.
Hope.
Love.
Gratefulness.
Compassion.

Looking back

August 24, 2014

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Yesterday we held our third annual be brave against bullying golf tournament.
A little back story on why and where it all started.
Dude has never really had it “easy”.  His first four years of school were hell.  And at the age of 9, it came full circle with my 9 year old attempting suicide.
Now I am aware the nay sayers will say what they will,  I am sure some will say his illness was the problem not bullying.
They’d be wrong. Yes his illness (not bipolar at the time, but anxiety) didn’t help in how he dealt with it, it didn’t help in the sense that he couldn’t let it go.  But they were at the time two very separate things.
You see entering kindergarten I had a fairly typical little boy,  but as his sensory and anxiety increased so did the torture he was dealt.  And not just by children. By June of grade 4, he was done, could see no way out.
He was admitted to hospital with ptsd (yes separate from all that ailed him).  For four weeks (his longest stay if you’re wondering because this was not related to meds or his diagnosis)  my little boy was alone being treated for something no little boy should have to be treated for.  It was hell! Anyone who has ever had their child hospitalized knows the pain and fear.  Imagine not being able to stay with them though.
It sucked!
But our little boy needed help our love couldn’t give him.
After going through this, I realized just how much bullying was swept under the rug,  just how isolating it was as a victims parent.
And I decided to do what I could. So no other parent felt so alone, so no other child felt they couldn’t get out.
Now fast forward 3 years. 
Albeit his very scary bipolar,  I can’t help but every year at this time see how far he’s come.
Many of our golfers enter each year.  Many only see dude this one time a year.
The first year his head hung low.  The second a bit higher, and this year he stood proud, allowing his humour and kindness to show.
So many comments were made on how good he was doing,  on how far he’s come.
It’s something as parents you don’t think about much because you’re in the daily grind.  But as he chatted and joked with fellow golfers it was obvious even to me,  that the timid, beat down boy who first played, is now a stronger, bit more confident young man.
There’s days the past creeps in and roars in his mind,  and only then when he feels threatened. The difference now is that he raises his own voice, adult or child, he will finally stand up!
He’s no longer a scared little boy,  he’s now a well rounded, caring, compassionate, empathetic teenager.
Looking back every year at this time, does in fact show me how far we’ve come.

Looking back

August 24, 2014

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Yesterday we held our third annual be brave against bullying golf tournament.
A little back story on why and where it all started.
Dude has never really had it “easy”.  His first four years of school were hell.  And at the age of 9, it came full circle with my 9 year old attempting suicide.
Now I am aware the nay sayers will say what they will,  I am sure some will say his illness was the problem not bullying.
They’d be wrong. Yes his illness (not bipolar at the time, but anxiety) didn’t help in how he dealt with it, it didn’t help in the sense that he couldn’t let it go.  But they were at the time two very separate things.
You see entering kindergarten I had a fairly typical little boy,  but as his sensory and anxiety increased so did the torture he was dealt.  And not just by children. By June of grade 4, he was done, could see no way out.
He was admitted to hospital with ptsd (yes separate from all that ailed him).  For four weeks (his longest stay if you’re wondering because this was not related to meds or his diagnosis)  my little boy was alone being treated for something no little boy should have to be treated for.  It was hell! Anyone who has ever had their child hospitalized knows the pain and fear.  Imagine not being able to stay with them though.
It sucked!
But our little boy needed help our love couldn’t give him.
After going through this, I realized just how much bullying was swept under the rug,  just how isolating it was as a victims parent.
And I decided to do what I could. So no other parent felt so alone, so no other child felt they couldn’t get out.
Now fast forward 3 years. 
Albeit his very scary bipolar,  I can’t help but every year at this time see how far he’s come.
Many of our golfers enter each year.  Many only see dude this one time a year.
The first year his head hung low.  The second a bit higher, and this year he stood proud, allowing his humour and kindness to show.
So many comments were made on how good he was doing,  on how far he’s come.
It’s something as parents you don’t think about much because you’re in the daily grind.  But as he chatted and joked with fellow golfers it was obvious even to me,  that the timid, beat down boy who first played, is now a stronger, bit more confident young man.
There’s days the past creeps in and roars in his mind,  and only then when he feels threatened. The difference now is that he raises his own voice, adult or child, he will finally stand up!
He’s no longer a scared little boy,  he’s now a well rounded, caring, compassionate, empathetic teenager.
Looking back every year at this time, does in fact show me how far we’ve come.

Don’t tell my kids…

August 18, 2014

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Don’t tell my kids  but I hate school more as a parent than as a kid.
I don’t care how frilly and froo frooed they make the damn commercials. I hate it.
Ya ya I know education is important, hence why my kids can’t know how I feel. For 10 months out of 12 I lie.

I fight with my high needs kid every morning. The stress almost every morning leaves me exhausted and close to if not in tears. 
For 4 years I was up against daily bs, and it quite frankly made me hate school even more.
Though those years are gone,  getting him there and managing cycles in a stressful, pressure situation still sucks. I find myself holding my breath for 7 hours Mon to Fri. It’s not cool.
Good thing his sister is easier to get to go,  though I never know what she’s wearing or eaten because Lord knows it’s not what I’ve laid out!

I hate lunches, no matter how fancy pants they make the lunch kits and snacks. Blah. Trying to feed my kids through a lunch kit is painful.

The routine is nice,  but even then there’s the bed time fights.  Brush your teeth, have your shower, read your book. No wonder I drive them crazy, mommy broken record is my new name.

And home work, worst thing ever! Not only can I not do the current grade 6 math, I am quite often exhausted and any and all homework is almost guaranteed to result in tears, theirs or mine.

I admit I am a bit of a slacker mom in the studying department. I put in a heroic effort to remind them and help, but by December either they forget or I forget to ask. Come January you’re lucky if I checked the agenda once a week.
Thank God my girl likes to achieve honours and takes pride in her work, or I think we’d be expelled. The whole family would be booted if they went by this mom.

I also quite enjoy having my kids home, the slower pace, the no time lines. And the happier kids.

I am p’oed in 2 weeks I have to suck it up.
And I will, as most mom’s do because I know how important school is. I will go to  a zillion meetings, and fight every morning, make the stupid lunches, and battle the homework battle because I know that I want my kids to succeed.
But I’m not gonna be happy about it!
But don’t tell my kids.

Tomorrow, you just never know

August 12, 2014

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I typically don’t join the hype when a celebrity passes.  But the loss of a legend is a bit different. And the reason for his passing more so.
A sad day for everyone when a life is lost that created so much joy.
But a reminder that you truly never know.
His family knew. And as any family in the trenches of mental illnesses knows, it’s a life threatening condition. One battled hard every day.
So today my heart hurts for his family.
If you are in the trenches, either yourself or a loved one,  you know the battle. You know the pain,  the struggle, the heartache to just keep going.
Help doesn’t always help. To just tell someone to suck it up makes it worse.
Sometimes there’s not a damn thing you can do,  but hope it passes and they’re with us tomorrow.
My hope is loosing such a visible, loved person won’t be in vain.
That next week the support and outpouring of understanding for those battling won’t stop when the shock wears off.
I love and appreciate the tweets and posts flying around today supporting mental health, but will they continue?
Probably not, but I hope the thoughts remain.
For those in the trenches will still be in the mud.
And the family of the beloved actor will still be remembering.
Life will go on,  as it always does, but the pain of the loss of loved ones all over the world to suicide will always remain.
It sucks. Period.
But let’s remember the laughter. The joy. And the good.
Because tomorrow, you just never know.

*if you or someone you know is at a point of loss, please contact someone. There is no shame. Saving a life is never a waste,*

Determination

August 8, 2014

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So today my little spitfire is riding her first dressage horse show.
Don’t ask me to explain, I have no idea. All I know is in the last 2 months with the help of mama m and Nana my girl has gone from an unsure, never ever gonna ride English rider to a confident, impressive one! As she was full of nerves while polishing her boots this morning I told her, it’s not about how well you do, it’s about doing it!
Those words got me reflecting.  I’m the opposite of a risk taker! And often I watch my young 10 year old in a world of unknowns, step in and raise hell doing it.
She amazes me! She is extremely inpatient and hard on herself.  Her temper flares when she’s not perfect right now! But she doesn’t quit (I always did of it didn’t come easy; )) she is a force to be reckoned with, a young girls with a mind of her own. Determination and grit like no one I know.  She drives me crazy a lot. But I know these qualities will serve her well.
She is utterly and completely her. And she could care less what other’s think.
It took me 33 years to accept what she has in 10!
I had someone say to me, she has a good role model.  I laughed it off, made a joke and carried on.  Because i don’t think of myself as that. I’m just mom, and I definitely don’t show horses! And again I do not take risks!
Then I sat this morning and thought.  I guess I have passed on the determination, stubborn general.  When I want to do something I’m gonna do it.  I guess without determination I wouldn’t have a full fledged business.  I wouldn’t have taught myself from scratch to be a florist.  I wouldn’t have gotten results for dude. I would probably still be taking orders from someone else, have not the best treatments for my son. And pretty miserable children.
So Yes I suppose she gets it from me. Though I wish at 10, I knew what she does!
Determination has brought me to a place o never thought I would be. It has made me the mother I am. The businesswoman I am. And the wife I am.
Giving up is ever an option. And if you ask anyone that knows us, Yes around here it’s maybe just a little bit of like mother like daughter!