The so-called Mommy Wars only exist if we let them

Every holiday, there are a myriad of complaints about how Pinterest is ruining everything. Craft crazed moms building monumental homages for their little chicklets to hand out to every kid in the class while supposedly lesser moms are crushed by the guilt of not being mom enough. Ugh.

My kids gave store bought valentines’ to a handful of friends at school. We took cupcakes made from a box with less than perfect icing mushed on top by 6 year olds and a cacophony of sprinkles. Eat them or don’t eat them I say. Enjoy the valentine or don’t. I had fun with my boys putting together our Valentine’s day items for their friends. On the flip side, I also enjoyed sorting through the homemade valentines with little bags of candy that the boys brought home. I admired the creativity and thought that went into them. I appreciate that for some people, putting together these wonderful little bundles is pure enjoyment and fun.

No one can make you feel guilty unless you allow it. Know your strengths and talents and appreciate those of others. I may not send my kids to school with perfectly crafted homemade cards or snacks made from scratch all the time but I am thankful for those that do, as long as they enjoy doing it.

What makes me sad and to be perfectly honest, a bit angry, is reading about women who stress themselves out and beat themselves up

…because they aren’t able to breastfeed their kids until they are preschoolers,

…because they aren’t a stay at home mom,

…because they are a stay at home mom,

…because their kids don’t have perfect Christmas gifts, valentines, Easter goodies, Halloween treats, and St. Patrick’s day whatevers to give out to their classmates.

Repeat after me: No one can make you feel guilty unless you allow it.

If you’re not sure if you’re doing something for the good of your child or to assuage your own guilt, ask yourself these questions:

1. Am I enjoying this?
2. Is my child enjoying this?
3. Is this a learning experience for my child?

If you can’t say yes to at least one of these questions, put down the glue gun and walk away. Sure, some people may judge you, but that’s their issue so don’t make it yours.

Oh, and the Mommy Wars? They don’t exist unless we let them. They start in your head…in imagining another mom has everything put together and somehow you are less. Banish the thoughts at the source. Because the Mommy Wars only exist if we let them.

Guelph Day Camps

Like many parents, we’re always on the lookout for child care options to cover off PD days and school breaks. For those of you in Guelph, here’s a compilation of day camps that I’ve been gathering that I thought might be useful to others. It’s probably not exhaustive – if you know of others, please comment and I’ll add it to the list!


Psssst…pro tip: You can use the little download icon (Download daycamp spreadsheet) to download your own copy of the spreadsheet or click on View full daycamp spreadsheet to view the full spreadsheet in your browser.

[UPDATED March 2, 2015] Added Creative Encounters, Puslinch Power camps, and Camp Conestogo.

[UPDATED June 13, 2015] Added Play with Clay camp info

A smashing Spiderman and Batman craft

Well the boys turned 5 and I don’t know who was more excited about their party – them or me! We had it at a local indoor play centre, Funmazing, that has a piñata pit, so the boys each wanted their own piñata. They cost $25+ each at the store so we decided to make our own – one Spiderman and one Batman. They turned out really well!

How to: Batman and Spiderman Piñatas

First we blew up 2 balloons and I recruited help from Nana and my friend, Barb, to work with the boys covering the balloons in newspaper wet with papier mache paste (2 parts water to 1 part flour).

making pinatasmaking pinatas

It’s helpful to put the balloon in one bowl to work on it and use another bowl for the paste. We did 3 layers, letting each layer dry before starting on the next layer.

We left a hole at the bottom where the balloon poked out. When all the layers were done, I popped the balloon, removed it and then papier mache’d over the hole.

Next, I painted the dried forms white.

painting the pinatas white

I penciled in the lines for the eyes on Spiderman and the eyes and mouth/chin area for Batman. I painted around the white areas and the boys helped fill in the rest with red and blue paint.

painting spiderman and batman pinatas

After 2 coats of red and blue paint, I painted Batman’s lower face with peachy-flesh colour, keeping the mouth white. I used a black sharpie to outline the eyes, draw Spidey’s web, and give shape to Batman’s mouth.

Spiderman looked great but Batman was missing something, so I cut out some ears for him and taped them to the top of his head.

Almost done the pinatas

Adding ears to Batman

Looking good, Batman!!

Batman is complete

You too, Spidey!Spidey!The back of Spiderman's head

Remember I told you I’d papier mache’d over the hole at the bottom where I popped and pulled the balloon from? Well, to get the candy in there, I used an exactor knife to cut a trapdoor in the top and then poked a hole on either site to attach a ribbon to hang it from.

trap door in the top of Spiderman's head

Ribbon attached

Dynamic duo

Next time I’d try to figure out a way to attach the ribbon better – in the end, although both held up to a lot of abuse, the tops where I had attached the ribbon gave away first.

Swinging at Spidey

Beating up Batman

Candy, candy, candy!


Never have I been so satisfied to see my art work destroyed. Smile

Dynamic duo...done.

A wide spectrum of mothering

On Mother’s Day we strive to honour our mothers and thank them for all that they do. However, there are many women for whom Mother’s Day is fraught with complex emotions because of life’s circumstances. So today, I want to acknowledge the wide spectrum of mothering, taken from this wonderful post on The Messy Middle blog:

To those who gave birth this year to their first child—we celebrate with you

To those who lost a child this year – we mourn with you

To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains – we appreciate you

To those who experienced loss through miscarriage, failed adoptions, or running away—we mourn with you

To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointment – we walk with you. Forgive us when we say foolish things. We don’t mean to make this harder than it is.

To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms – we need you

To those who have warm and close relationships with your children – we celebrate with you

To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children – we sit with you

To those who lost their mothers this year – we grieve with you

To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother – we acknowledge your experience

To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood – we are better for having you in our midst

To those who have aborted children – we remember them and you on this day

To those who are single and long to be married and mothering your own children – we mourn that life has not turned out the way you longed for it to be

To those who step-parent – we walk with you on these complex paths

To those who envisioned lavishing love on grandchildren -yet that dream is not to be, we grieve with you

To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year – we grieve and rejoice with you

And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising –we anticipate with you

This Mother’s Day, we walk with you. Mothering is not for the faint of heart and we have real warriors in our midst. We remember you.

Happy Mother’s Day to all. And a special thank you to my mom!

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