Category Archives: Summer Blog Challenge

Bullying … A Revisit

Well I’m almost 2 weeks into the Summer Blogging Challenge, and I’m about to be a cheater. I’ve been in celebratory mode all day, and haven’t had a spare moment to do anything but nap and relax in the peace and quiet. ūüėȬ† In other words, I didn’t write anything new today.

But, I’ve got a plan. Instead, I’m going to share one of my favourite blog posts from the past. One that I think it’s incredibly appropriate for this time of the year. One that will hopefully make a difference in the lives of the little’s around you.

Forgive me for my laziness but please read these words that I had to say …..

Bullying. Sucks. A lot. Having been the fat kid growing up, I suffered¬†through my share of it. Not from my peers¬†so much, but from older kids and people in the world around me. Society as a whole can be really hard on¬† people who¬†are different. Different in any way, shape or form. Body shape, skin color, height, weight, age, sex, glasses, crooked teeth, freckles, etc, etc. It’s a never-ending¬†list of stupid being¬†perpetuated by people who have ZERO confidence in themselves. I survived it, but it hurt. A lot.

Having said all that, I’ve also been the parent of bullies, on a few¬†different occasions. (Remember ~¬†I’m a foster parent). I’ve seen the world through their eyes and their outlook is just as grim as the persons being tormented. These kids believe that they’re worthless and stupid and ugly and horrible and that no one likes them. They feel abandoned by their parents, their friends and the world as a whole. They are lonely in a way that not many of us can understand. They feel powerless in their personal lives and bullying gives them POWER. They are controlling the situation instead of the situation controlling them. Bullying is almost NEVER about the victim, it’s about the Instigator. Almost Always.

It’s sad and maddening, but bullying is never going away. No matter how many posters we hang up, or how many commercials get shown on TV, bullying is here to stay. Think about how many “bullies” you know right now in your own group of friends. We all know someone who¬†will push and push until they get their way. We’ve all got a friend that thinks it’s funny to pick on you or your other friends, and then justifies it with a “just kidding”, or “you know I love you”. I can guarantee we’ve all had bosses that took their position of power to an unreasonable level while we just had to stand there and take it. Are those not all instances of bullying? Adults do it ALL the time … we just use bigger, fancier¬†words.

I think that it is worth educating kids on how to handle a bully. How to safely tell on them, how to avoid certain situations, and how to walk away. Kids need to feel safe at school and in their community. But there’s other ways to educate our kids and teach them to be better, in spite of the bullying going on around them.

Number One. Teach children their worth. If you’re a parent, make sure your children know how fabulous they are. Teach them about strength and confidence and grace. If you’re a teacher, pay attention to the kids that come from bad situations. Be their positive influence. Build your kids up so they find value inside of themselves as opposed to searching for it in the world around them. In my experience, my little “bullies” have had almost no self-esteem and were just desperate to have someone, anyone pay attention to them. No one made them feel good about themselves, so they set out to make other people look worse than they felt. Empower your children. They need your strength, until they feel it themselves.

Number Two. Teach children to not be followers. This seems like a pretty obvious statement, but how many of us really teach it? We teach our kids that there is strength in numbers and that they’re safer in groups. We should be teaching them how to be leaders … good, strong, positive leaders. Bully’s are not all that scary when they’re standing there on their own. Teach children to leave jerks and morons standing there by themselves and walk away. Teach them that it’s not rude to walk away when their friends are being mean or fighting. They don’t need to always have their buddy’s “back”. We spend so much time teaching kids to be polite and not enough time teaching them to be their own person. Give your children excuses for getting out of uncomfortable situations … “my Mom will take away my phone if I stay here”, “If I say that, my Dad will take away hockey”. Something, anything, but give them your words, until they have their own.

Number Three. Teach children that they have a voice.¬†Kids need to understand the power that their words carry, especially positive ones. Teach them that it’s okay to tell people what they’re doing is wrong. That it’s okay to say No, and to stand up for someone else. Teach them how to tell someone when they see bullying occur. Teach them that a smile and a Hello can make a difference in someone’s life. Encourage them to speak up and not be quiet.

Number Four. Teach children that they don’t have to be friends with everyone.¬†A lot¬†of times bullying starts because kids are different from¬†the majority of their peers. Everyone is NOT going to be friends, and that’s okay. The world is a big place and there is a match out there for everyone. Kids need to know that. A lot of times,¬†they think we want them to¬†hang out with the “weirdos”, so they fight against doing the “right” thing.¬†¬†I always tell my kids that they don’t have to be friends with everyone, but that doesn’t mean they get to be mean to anyone. Ever.

Number Five. Be an example. Do not laugh at the fat person that walks by. Don’t point out someones dirty, awful clothes. Don’t call people ugly, stupid, crazy. Don’t laugh when your children tell you an inappropriate story. They are watching you. They are copying you. Show them the proper way to behave. If you aren’t guarding your words and actions, why in the world will your children?

Finally as parents and adults, OPEN YOUR EYES.

Do not assume that your little “angel” is behaving appropriately at school. If someone tells you that your child has been misbehaving, don’t brush it off, look into it. Talk openly about bullying and the different forms it takes. Be present in their lives.

Watch for changes in your children. Are they pulling away from you, are talkers suddenly quiet, are social butterfly’s now¬†hiding in their bedrooms? Have they stopped eating or are they grossly overeating all of a sudden? Something is wrong. Get them help.

Bullying is about Power. I’m giving my kids the power, so bullying has NO POWER over them.¬†How about you?

 

This post is part of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge. Click on the links below to check out some of the other awesome bloggers involved in the challenge. So much awesome.

Liam ~ Natasha ~ Zita ~ MagzD ~ Peter ~ Christine ~ Cliff ~ Hethr ~ Tracy

Looks like we made it.

Twas’ the night before school and all through the house, not a child was stirring –¬†because I’ve sent them all to bed. HALLELUJAH … my routine is back in full swing.

Tomorrow the Wiener 5 head on back to their happy place. Grades One, Four, Eight, Nine and Twelve are calling their names and beckoning them with promises of friends, hot lunches and homework.

Only two get recess which really upsets the 3, but when I point out that they no longer need to change into indoor shoes, they cheer right up. 2 kids will have “graduations” this year, one of whom will have to wear a dress. The last time she wore one, she was 2.5 and very angry about it.¬†2 are having to ride the school bus this year which is something that they have never done before. 3 have lunch kits and 2 refuse to take anything but paper bags. 3 will wake up with time to spare, 1 will have the morning planned out by the minute and 1 will have to be forced awake and out of the house. 5 will complain when I make them take the annual back to school photo, and then make me promise to not post it on Facebook.

Tomorrow, I will get to work in my office without being summoned to stop a fight. I won’t hear my name screamed an average of 89 times/day. I will be able to get my errands done without being begged to stop at 7-11 for slurpees. If I feel like going out for a coffee with friends, BY MYSELF, I can. I could also have a nap. Hhhmmm .. maybe I’ll¬†just have a nap. An all day, my house is quiet, no one is bothering me kind of nap. Tomorrow,¬†freedom will reign.

Have an awesome year kids. Hope you get the teachers you want, and have at least 2 of your best friends in your class. I hope you don’t have to bring home homework on your first day. I hope everyone loves the $100 jeans that you HAD to have. I hope that you don’t miss the bus as the walk is long. I hope that this is your best year yet and that your successes far outweigh your failures. I pray that no ignorant words spoken over you will stick. I hope that you will hear my voice when you’re presented with opportunities that you know are wrong. I hope that you will guard your heart and mind and focus on what’s truly important. I hope you know just how amazing you truly are.

Always remember that Mommy loves you. But please, get out of my house.

asylum

This post is part of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge. Click on the links below to check out some of the other awesome bloggers involved in the challenge. So much awesome.

Liam ~ Natasha ~ Zita ~ MagzD ~ Peter ~ Christine ~ Cliff ~ Hethr ~ Tracy

Mom First. Writer Last.

That pretty much sums up my day.

Matching outfits for school, reading up on my new “job”, doing laundry again, and again and again. Separating the minions from the screaming fighting match that is Minecraft when played with a sibling that cannot read and doesn’t know any colours. Planning what to put in the 25 lunches per week that I’m about to start making again. (The ONLY bad part of back to school time). Planning our escape in 2 weeks. Counting inventory for one store, and cleaning up my massive mess that the other store creates. Popcorn and movie night with the Wiener 5 and yet another load of laundry still to fold.

In other words, today was a stupid busy, but awesome Mom day.¬† Not sure if I was too busy, too lazy or too tired to write today. Let’s go with busy. No writing, just surviving.

Super Mom. Out.

awesomeness

This post is part of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge. Click on the links below to check out some of the other awesome bloggers involved in the challenge. So much awesome.

Liam ~ Natasha ~ Zita ~ MagzD ~ Peter ~ Christine ~ Cliff ~ Hethr ~ Tracy

Who’s Guiding Who?

I know that everyone is really sick of the whole Miley Cyrus uproar and frankly, so am I. There are way more important things going on in the world, and our focus SHOULD be on those things. Instead, we focus on a celebrity and her supposed downfall. AND we try to blame her for corrupting our children.

Oh, Please.

I didn’t enjoy her performance at the VMA’s, and yes, I thought it was inappropriate. I think it took away from the real talent that she truly is. She has a great voice and she’s a great performer. What “that” was, I’ve got no idea, but I don’t believe that it truly reflected “her”.

Would I have chosen to behave that way on stage? Absolutely not. Would I be proud of my children for acting that way, nope. Did I tell my children that her performance was inappropriate for a young lady? I most certainly did. What I didn’t do was call her a slut, whore, pig, skank, dirty cow, etc.

Those are names that I’ve seen and heard her being called on Twitter, Facebook and while out on the town.¬† Good upstanding adults that I have always respected and admired.¬†Friends that I would consider to be examples and pillars in our community. People that should know better.

From what I saw, she danced provocatively and did some fairly suggestive “moves”. What I didn’t see was her having sex with anyone or anything. I didn’t see her make-out with multiple partners. I saw nothing that would earn her those titles.

I am in no way justifying her “behaviour”, as I don’t agree with it. What I am saying is that if we were all judged by what we do at any given moment, we’d all have some seriously scary titles hanging around our neck. Yes, we can be judged for our actions.¬† And in¬†Miley’s case, she could be called a bad example, a terrible dancer and inappropriate for a younger audience. All of those things I think we can agree on as that is exactly what we saw. But did that make her a slut, No.

Her performance was actually an¬†awesome learning experience at my house. My children all watched it and the first thing they said was “why would she do that, that’s so dumb, why can’t she just dance normal, etc.” In fact, they basically sat there with their mouth’s wide open and just stared in shock. They watched it, shook their heads and then went away.

Her performance and every other one that night did not change them or their character. They saw it for exactly what it was, a performance and nothing else. Thankfully they also saw my reaction and heard the words that I said, and not one of them was derogatory or ignorant.

Reality is, Miley Cyrus and all of her peers are not my children’s examples, I am.

We need to be more concerned about being the person that we want our children to be. Society, movie stars, singers and performers are not guiding my children, I am. I am their voice of reason. Their example. It is my words and actions that they copy. It is me that they look to for advice. I am responsible for developing their character and building them up. It is my morals that I hope they will hold true to their heart. It is my job to help them recognize truth from fiction and right from wrong.

If I’ve done my job well, the things they see and the words they hear will come second to mine. Don’t ever take your position as a parent AND a role model for granted. Your face is the one they see EVERY DAY.

So before you announce that a certain performer is a whore, maybe ask your kids what they would’ve done differently, had that been them on the stage. Or just say, “that’s too bad that she chose to act like that because she’s got a great voice”.¬† Choose your words carefully as your kids are listening, and watching and learning.

I want them to remember YOU, and not the person dancing around a stage.

This post is part of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge. If you want to follow along with all of us “challengers”, click on their links below.¬†

Liam ~ Natasha ~ Zita ~ MagzD ~ Peter ~ Christine ~ Cliff ~ Hethr ~ Tracy

Teachers, Tuesdays and Thankfulness

I’m fairly confident that we’re not all going to make to Tuesday based solely on this day alone.

I’ve been called names, spit at, kicked at and shoved out of the way. I’ve been hugged, cuddled, praised and given beautiful drawings. It is just one massive mess of boredom, excitement and loose ends around here.

We are officially “a¬†mess” and WE are all very much ready for school to start.

I may tease about wanting to get rid of my kids and getting them out of my hair, but in all honesty, they’re more excited about going back to class than I am. (Barely, but they are).

They’re ready to see their friends, show off their new clothes and their pretty pink hair. There are girls to be chased and a final year of high school to be tackled. A new bus route and new friends. Volleyball, Basketball and¬†Phys. Ed.¬†It is time.

I’ve prepared them¬†for the new year, and they are pretty much¬†ready to be handed over to their teachers. But before I do that, I’ve got a few things to say.

First I must apologize for not getting every single thing on their school supply lists.¬†I’m pretty sure some of those items are not even real, but anyways.¬†¬†The soles of their runners are white though, so hopefully that’ll give me some bonus points. We labelled everything including ALL of their markers, shoes, bags, lunch kits and the 300 duo tangs. I promise to send no peanut butter anything, but I make no guarantee’s that their lunches will be healthy, all the time. They will usually be clean, and may or may not have socks on. But they will be there every morning awake, fed and ready for the day.

Secondly, I want to thank you. Thank-you for being their guide when I’m not there. Thank-you for keeping them alive. Thank-you for teaching them the things that I have no patience to even attempt. Thank-you for recognizing their positives when sometimes it’s easier to focus on negatives. Thank-you for taking the time to change these little lives every day. Thank-you for giving me 8 hours of peace and quiet daily.

I truly couldn’t do what I do, without you. You are loved and appreciated more than you’ll ever know. Please, never forget that, especially when I forget to send in all of their permission slips and school fees on time.¬† ūüôā

Here’s to another awesome year. C’mon Tuesday.

hugteacher

This post is part of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge. If you want to follow along with all of us “challengers”, click on their links below.¬†

Liam ~ Natasha ~ Zita ~ MagzD ~ Peter ~ Christine ~ Cliff ~ Hethr ~ Tracy

Counting the Weight in the Days

15,058 days ago, I was born.

7,250 days ago, I got married.

6,252 days ago, I became a Mom.

12,136 days ago, I realized that I was overweight.

I have been thinking about,¬†working on¬†and surviving “my size” for almost as long as I’ve been alive. I’ve had a great and happy life, and my weight was just something that I carried. It didn’t make my life any less fabulous or more difficult. It has always just been a part of who I was.

I am now at a place where my weight is going down as opposed to up. I’m eating to sustain life,¬†and not¬†just because I’m¬†bored or have nothing better to do. I’m drinking more water and almost no Coke Zero. I’m eating more veggies in a week than I used to eat in a month. Food is no longer my enemy.

Problem is, the only thing I really “know” is how to be fat. I’ve been overweight almost as long as I’ve been breathing. I’ve never shopped in a store that isn’t plus-sized, and I’ve never worn a bikini. (That’s never going to happen … but it would be nice to have the option). I’ve never felt truly 100% comfortable in my own skin. Happy and content, yes but comfortable, no.

Maybe there’s always been a skinny girl trying to get out, and I’ve been shutting her up with cookies and Diet Coke. Maybe I was scared of not being who I’ve always been. Maybe I felt safer being fat. Maybe it was something else. I really don’t know but whatever it was, I’ve never felt “right”.

Now that I’m actually facing real change and a new body, it’s a little bit overwhelming. That may sound a bit crazy to some of you, but I’m literally becoming something that’s¬†totally foreign to me. I don’t have any “skinny memories” as a frame of reference. I’ve never been anything but bigger than everyone around me. It’s just the weirdest thing.

I am still “morbidly obese” (stupid weight charts) and have a long ways to go BUT I am only one size away from shopping in normal stores. I am now only 10lbs¬†heavier than the weight that’s listed on my driver’s license. My stomach no longer sticks out¬†farther than my boobs. I am becoming a new person.

Hopefully the face that’s staring back at me in the mirror recognizes the old me, and that they quicky become one in the same. My head, my heart and my eyes all need to start seeing the same thing, sooner than later. I’m¬†working too hard and feeling too good to let this little disconnect mess me up any longer.

So, watch out World … this “Fat Girl” is about to let her “Skinny Girl” out. Brace Yourselves, it’s gonna be awesome.

This post is part of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge. If you want to follow along with all of us “challengers”, click on their links below.¬† Please go and give them a read … writing every day for 30 days is TOUGH to do.

Liam ~ Natasha ~ Zita ~ MagzD ~ Peter ~ Christine ~ Cliff ~ Hethr ~ Tracy

Boom, here it is …. 100

When I wrote my very first blog post on October 10, 2011, it was in response to something that I had seen happening online. It was my way of hopefully helping people see the other side of that particular situation. It was me being “mom to many” but in a new forum. It was the beginning of something amazing.

Today, I am writing Blog Post #100. Who knew that I actually had that much to say? (I’m sure if you ask my husband or my closest friends, they’d probably laugh at that comment but whatever …..)

Over the past 2 years, I’ve been so blessed to be able to share myself and my life with all of you. It’s been an incredibly powerful,¬†liberating and humbling experience.

When I write, I try and write with purpose and hopefully, my words have made a difference in someone’s life. Whether it be to make you smile, or make you feel more “normal“, or just inspired. I want you to leave my blog feeling like you’ve been changed, someway, somehow.¬†Every new day is a another chance to do better and I hope that my words have helped you find just that. A better day.

Thankfully, I’ve also learned a lot about myself while writing. I am stronger, healthier and happier than I’ve ever been. I live a very blessed and fabulous life. I have an amazing husband and incredible friends and writing about them, has really helped me “see” them better. I never would’ve dreamed that by finding my voice that I’d fall more madly in love with all the things that I already have.

Writing truly is a powerful thing.

So I need to thank you. Thanks to ALL of you¬†for following me and listening to what I’ve got to say. It has truly been¬†an honour and a¬†privilege to speak into your lives. Please stick around for the next 100 posts, they’re going to be awesome.

100

This post is part of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge. If you want to follow along with all of us “challengers”, click on their links below. They’ve also got lots to say. Please go read … writing everyday for 30 days is TOUGH.

Liam ~ Natasha ~ Zita ~ MagzD ~ Peter ~ Christine ~ Cliff ~ Hethr ~ Tracy