Stay Humble; Be Thankful.

Okay, let’s set the scene. You’re a single mom with a 7 year old child. You work as a receptionist full time for $14. You bring home roughly $800 per paycheck. Your bills: $1000 rent, $150 hydro, $250 car payment, $150 car insurance. So let’s do the math. You bring home about $1600 a month and your bills average about $1550, give or take. You’re making it, but barely. (This doesn’t even include groceries, internet, cable, cell phone, etc; nor does it include child tax credit or child support)

Now, it’s a really cold December and you get a power bill for $600. How do you pay that? To put it simply, you don’t. Because you can’t. So your power gets shut off. But you know what your lease says? It says you get evicted if your utilities are terminated. So now you’re in court, crying to a judge who doesn’t care, and you have 10 days to get out.

Well, you’re in luck! Because you found somewhere with 3 days to spare and it’s only $650 a month! But to get in, you have to pass a background & credit check. Which you can’t, because you just got evicted. You’ve never been a criminal, but even if you could pass it, you’re looking at $1300 to move in, after paying the deposit and first month’s rent.

Time’s up! Landlord shows up at 7am with the police and changed your locks. So now you’re living in your car with your 7 year old daughter and everything you need to get by. You tried to get a storage unit, but you don’t have a billing address so they won’t sell one to you, so you could only take what would fit in your backseat. You pay to shower at local truck stops and eat whatever can be cooked in a gas station microwave. Someone sees you and your daughter living like this and calls CAS; guess what happens next. They remove your child from your care. As if this isn’t devastating enough, you lose your job too, because “an employee losing their child reflects poorly on this company.”

So now, you apply for an apartment with the region, where the waiting list is 3-7 years. Then you go into WalMart to put in an application. When you get back to your car, you see that your back window has been smashed and someone helped themselves to your belongings. Remember that it is December, and really cold, and now you have damage to your only shelter. You call your car insurance, who says your deductible is $1,000 AND they’re going to increase your monthly rate since you’re now “high risk.” You call the homeless shelter as a last resort…..and all their beds are full.

I’ll stop here, because I think you get the point. The people we work with everyday are these people. WE ARE THESE PEOPLE. We are all so close to homelessness and don’t even realize it. All it takes is one unexpected bill, one fender bender, one lay-off, one house fire, etc.

Instead of talking trash about people who are poor or homeless or need assistance, why don’t you try being thankful that you’re not in their shoes… yet.

Halloween: The Teen Treat Dilemma

With Halloween fast approaching (it’s tomorrow!), I keep seeing posts on both sides of the fence about who people hand candy out to.

I’ll set the scene. It’s 7 pm, Trick-or-treating is halfway done, roughly. The doorbell goes off. You rush to the door with your big bowl of tiny snickers and suckers. You open the door. You see 3 teenagers all dressed up, the complete works. Gorey make up, amazing costumes. What do you do? Do you hand them candy or do you close the door in their face?

Well, let me tell you what I would do – GIVE THEM CANDY!

Anyone who shows up at my door during trick-or-treating hours gets candy. No exceptions. Brand new baby who doesn’t eat candy… here is some for mom and dad. Teenager? Here ya go. I’m like Oprah with candy! YOU GET SOME! YOU GET SOME!

I cannot begin to understand why someone would deny ANYONE candy on Halloween. Maybe someone can explain it to me? Do we call these people Karen’s? I think we should.

Children are only children for so long. We keep rushing kids to grow up.

Our kids are learning that Santa isn’t real much earlier than when I was a kid. Same with the Easter bunny and Tooth Fairy. It’s sad.

Some kids just want to hold onto their innocence just a little bit longer, and I don’t see an issue with that at all.

I have been trick-or-treating every single year since I was just 30 days old. Even if it was only to one or two of my moms friends houses.. at 17, 18, and 19 I was still trick-or-treating. I was never turned away because I was polite, dressed up, and mindful of the young kids. I was never a bother, I just wanted to hold onto my innocence. At age 20, I became pregnant with my oldest daughter. K started trick-or-treating at 3.5 months old. She is 9 now and still very much into dressing up and going out. I also have C who is only 3.5 and LOVES dressing up.

All I want for my kiddos is to be able to stay kids for as long as they want. That means if K wants to trick-or-treat at 16 years old, you bet your ass I’m helping her with her make up!

Please consider these teenagers when you make the decision – and how much YOU miss trick-or-treating. Let them be kids just a little while longer!

What do you do when teenagers show up at your door?

An Open Letter to my Daughter

Dear daughter,

Since the day you were born, my life was changed in such a drastic way, but it was for the better.

You brought a whole new meaning to life. I finally had purpose. I never understood unconditional love, until the day I first heard your heartbeat. I truly never thought you could love someone without meeting them. Oh boy, was I wrong.

Darling daughter, I truly don’t know what I would do or where I would be without you in my life. When I said my life changed drastically, I meant it. I went from hanging out with my friends, making stupid decisions, and not knowing my life plan to raising a whole other human being. I had to worry about diapers, doctors appointments, boo-boo’s, and so much more. I also got to witness your first smile, first steps, and so many other firsts. Those moments were the happiest in my life and make all the sad/scary moments completely worth it.

Kissing away your tears, snuggling you when you are sick, patching up your scraped knee, braiding your hair, sitting by your side at the hospital, watching your sports/dance/karate classes, and changing your diapers. The worrying. I couldn’t even imagine my life without all these things. Yes, even the diapers.

I want nothing but good things for you, daughter. I wish you all the success and happiness in the world. I will always be your biggest supporter, and will always be in your corner. Always know that I am proud of you and your accomplishments. I’m proud of who you are becoming. My darling, all I want for you out of life is to have all the things I didn’t. I want you to feel unconditional love, overwhelming happiness, and never have to recover from your childhood.

Mommy might get mad sometimes, and I will definitely feel disappointment at some point – as no child is perfect, but I hope you know that regardless of those anger emotions, I still love you with all my heart. No matter what you do in your life, I will never stop loving you.

I hope you know that through all the years so far and going forward, that I’ve tried my best. I’ve always put you first, but I’ve struggled with giving us everything at times. Sometimes we had to get the cheap cereal, and sometimes we couldn’t go see the latest movie. However, you always had clean clothes, a roof over your head, food in your belly, toys, books, and all the love in the world.

I promise to never be someone you don’t want around. I promise to never be someone you consider toxic. I promise to always be your friend, but always be your parent first. I promise to always be there for you when you need someone. I promise to provide you with a judgment free zone. I promise to always love you. I promise to help you succeed in any way possible.

My baby girl, you are truly a blessing. I love you.

Summer Situations: Leaving Children in a Vehicle

Now that the summer weather is almost officially over, I wanted to write up a post about something very important. Something that gets bought up and gets dragged around like tin cans on a wedding limo.

I want to discuss the matter of leaving children in a vehicle in the heat.

There have been scientific/medical studies done to determine causes for this type of behaviour.

The two major causes of this happening are Post Partum Depression in new moms and changes in routine for both parents.

I’m going to say this part as nicely as possible – you’re not perfect. No one is. You say it won’t happen to you until it does. Do you think anyone who “forgets” their baby in a vehicle did it with intent? Do you think the man in the states who drove to work with his sleeping twins in the car, left them in there for 8 hours because he wanted them to die? No. He didn’t.

They say to leave a cell phone or a shoe because let’s face it – no one is walking into a store or work without a shoe. Also most people, specifically our age, have had a cellphone in their hand for over a decade. Our cellphones are our generations life lines. It’s been apart of the routine for YEARS. A brand new baby is not part of the routine for everyone involved in raising them, the second they get home. In the case of the one year old twins, that’s about the age that Momma goes back to work. So they were not in the vehicle at 8 am EVER for 365 DAYS! That is a HUGE change in routine for a parent. HUGE!

As a mom who suffered PPD not once, but twice – one of which was severe.. you have no idea what that battle is until you’ve fought it. Completely disconnecting from your child is a major symptom. We don’t ask for PPD, it just happens – but to say someone shouldn’t have reproduced over a mental illness that they cannot control, is infuriating! Especially because I had it!

A person leaving their child in a car is not even anyone’s business and it doesn’t actually affect you, or your life so WHY must you find the need to judge, and judge SO harshly? It won’t matter to you in a month, so why bother making a to-do about it? You don’t think these people feel guilty? That they don’t judge themselves enough? They don’t need your help. The suicide rate of the parents who have done this is extremely high.

Have you ever driven somewhere and then thought “how did I get here?” Or “I don’t remember passing _____ today.”? Common things. Ever forgotten to give your kid lunch? Or forgotten to send money for pizza day? No one is immune to being forgetful. Some forgetfulness is just more fatal than others. (Again, mental illness plays a HUGE part in this)

I’m in a moms group where some woman forgot to put sunscreen on her baby and the kid ended up blistered all over her face and body – EVERY SINGLE COMMENT WAS SUPPORTIVE! “We all forget”; “it’s okay! Don’t beat yourself up!” There are even moms in that group who have deceased children from pool accidents (getting into it without supervision resulting in death) – should those women not have reproduced? Should they be ridiculed and publically shamed? Clearly not, because they were supported 100%.

What is the difference between accidentally leaving a child in a vehicle and accidentally letting your child drown?

Accidents happen. If they weren’t accidents, they would be called purposes. That being said, if you purposely leave your baby in a hot car to run into a grocery store – well, I have an entirely different opinion.

Personally, I’d rather see a shoe in the backseat of a car than a dead baby – wouldn’t you?

Politics: What You Need To Know Before Election Day

First and foremost, I’m not going to make this a campaign to vote for who I am voting for. This will be a very general blog post.

So, let’s start with the basics.

How do Federal elections and the government work?

There are 338 seats in the Canadian House of Commons, called the MP’s (Members of Parliament).

There needs to be a minimum of 170 seats won by one party to form a majority government. In a majority government, that party can essentially pass any bill they want, with over 50% of the votes.

For a minority government happens when a party has more seats than any other party, but less than 50% of the seats.

In this case, a minority government would require support from another party, to be able to pass laws or they will be out voted.

Anytime a major bill gets rejected, it is called a Vote of No Confidence. It legally requires the current government to fold and a re-election takes place OR a coalition must form between two parties to form a new government.

You cannot decline your ballot in a federal election, since the 2000 federal elections when the Edible Ballot Society ate their ballots in protest for unfair elections. Since then, they made it that you cannot decline your ballot in a federal election, whereas in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, you can decline your vote in a provincial election.

You may be also be hearing about something called “strategic voting” which is basically where people vote to overthrow the current Federal Government by voting for their strongest opposition instead. This is essentially what people have been doing for years, which is why the Conservatives and the Liberals remain in office – once the people are fed up with one, they bring in the other.

That is everything you need to know about how a federal election works.

The Parties

So we hear a lot about two major parties. The Liberals and the Conservatives. These are the two parties that have played tug of war with the Prime Minister position for decades. Now, there are definitely other parties including The New Democratic Party (NDP), The Green Party, and the People’s Party.

Let’s dive right into each party and some history about them, as well as their 2019 platform.

Liberal Party of Canada

The Liberals are the oldest and long-serving political party in Canada. They held power for almost 69 years in the 20th century (1901-2000) which is more than any other party.

Their current leader is Justin Trudeau. He has been serving since 2015, and is the 23rd Prime Minister of Canada. You may recognize his last name – his father was Pierre Elliot Trudeau, the 15th Prime Minister of Canada.

The Liberal’s signature policies and legislative decisions include:

  • universal health care
  • the Canada Pension Plan
  • legalizing same sex marriage, euthanasia, and cannabis
  • Canada Student Loans

The following image is their 2019 Platform:

Conservative Party of Canada

The Conservatives, also known as “The Tories”, was only founded in 2003, however they are made up of two very similar minded parties from which include: Canadian Alliance, Progressive Conservative Party of Canada Essentially, dubbed the “Red Tories” and the “Blue Tories”, they aligned to form the current Conservative Party of Canada.

The Tories leader is Andrew Scheer. His predecessor Stephen Harper was the 22nd Prime Minister of Canada for nearly a decade.

The Conservatives tend to favor lower taxes, small government, and a tougher stand on “law and order” issues. They also tend to support school prayer but oppose abortion and same sex marriages.

The Conservatives are essentially opposites to the Liberals.

Here is a look at their 2019 platform:

The New Democratic Party

NDP was formed in 1961 due to a merger of the Co-Operative Commonwealth Federation and the Canadian Labour Congress.

The current leader of the NDP is Jagmeet Singh. He was born in Scarborough, ON and is a Sikh (the 5th largest religion; that believes in equality and service to others). His predecessor Tom Mulcair served as leader from 2012 to 2017. Jack Layton was Mulcair’s predecessor from 2004 until 2011, when he passed away from cancer, before the end of his term.

During Jack Layton’s leadership, the support for the NDP grew steadily. In 2011, under his leadership, they earned 108 seats in the House of Commons – becoming Canada’s Official Opposition.

The NDP’s advocate issues of the LGBTQ+ community, international peace, and the responsible use and protection of the natural environment.

Here is their 2019 platform:

The Green Party

The Green Party was founded in 1983 at a university during a conference. They have never been Official Opposition or had a leader become Prime Minister.

The current leader of the Green Party is Elizabeth May, and she has been leader since 2006. May is the longest serving leader (and also the longest serving female) in Canadian politics.

The Green Party supports green economics, non violence, social justice, and respect for diversity.

Here is their 2019 platform:

The People’s Party of Canada

The People’s Party was formed in September 2018 – making it the newest political party.

The current leader Maxime Bernier founded the party after he left the Conservative party. During his resignation speech, he stated “I’ve come to realize this party is too intellectually and morally corrupt to be reformed”.

Bernier’s principles are freedom, responsibility, fairness, and respect. He states the platform will be “based on facts”. He wants to speak for all Canadians and not just special interest groups. Their most infamous platform policy thus far is to end the Multiculturalism Act. He states “immigrants have the right to cherish and maintain their cultural heritage. However, that doesn’t mean we have any obligation to help them preserve it, with government programs and taxpayers’ money.”

Here is their 2019 platform:

2019 Federal Election Information

The 2019 Federal Election takes place on Monday, October 21st.

Final Comments and Thoughts

I hope this answers any questions you might have about the federal election coming up. Please feel free to comment with any additional information or questions.

Also, please make sure you are voting for the party that aligns with your own beliefs and not just to over throw the current federal government. As the old saying goes: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Thank you for voting!

Life Lesson: Loyalty and Friendship

This week I had a very unfortunate series of events transpire that turned out to be the perfect opportunity for personal growth and a chance to teach my oldest daughter a very important life lesson.

While the details are unimportant for this post, I will state that there was a giant misunderstanding. That’s it. That is all I will say about specifics. I am not looking for another outlet to state my side – I am at peace with the situation. The other person specifically involved in the situation has accepted my apology for my side of the misunderstanding, and even though no apology was made on their end, I still feel a sense of serenity.

The reason why it became a life lesson to my daughter is because an irrelevant third party decided to involve my 9 year old in adult matters (well, at that point, I’d say high school matters..)

Now.. let’s dive right into this post.

The conversation with K was pretty simple. I explained to her that friendships are very important for people of any age, and that it doesn’t need to be complicated to have a friend. I explained to her about loyalty to your friends, and how to actually be a friend.

I explained that when it comes to your friends, especially close or best friends, you have to stick up for them, or at least stick with them. I explained that you don’t always have to agree with your friends, or like what they are doing in their life.  I explained that sometimes it is a hard road to stick with your friends, but doing so proves loyalty. Being loyal to another human being and having them loyal to you is such an amazing feeling.

Sometimes a friend does something you don’t like and that is okay. It should also be okay to talk to them about it and let them know your feelings and concerns. It is okay to disagree. However, it is not okay to walk away from a friend and trash their name to the ground. If you want/need to walk away from someone in your life then do so, but just walk away. Did you know that you don’t need to shame someone just because you aren’t friends anymore? I know, crazy. It’s called being an adult.

My best friend in the entire universe (rest in peace) had to walk away from me for several months. I was self destructive, continuously returning to an abusive relationship, and had an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. She walked away from me for the sake of her sanity and health. I was angry, hurt, upset – of course, but I understood. She didn’t have horrible things to say about me, and vice versa. I missed her like crazy but that was motivation to get my shit together. We then had the most amazing 6 months before she passed away. I was ever so thankful. She was a good friend to provide that space for herself, motivation for me, and keeping it all private.

Some girls (and guys, of course) feed off drama, unfortunately. They are incapable of actually having real girl friends because they crave too much attention as a whole. Attention from one person isn’t good enough, so they sacrifice a single friend to get many people looking their way. These types of people do not know what loyalty is. These are not the type of people you want in your life.

So I told K that no matter what she needs to cherish her friendships no matter what status they might be. I explained that every person that comes into your life provides a lesson of some kind.

I also told her that having an adult message her and tell her the things they did was completely unacceptable. So lesson for all you adults reading this – don’t involve children. I personally had every intention to allow our children to still communicate, and not involve them in this situation, however, the other “adult” involved decided to go a different route. I may have flew off the handle about that one. Oops. It was called for though.

When it comes to having friends there are two routes to take. The road of loyalty that requires you to stand by your friend, even when you may not agree with them. This is usually the harder road. This is the road that really bonds people. The second road – the road of cowardice – is the easy road. This is the road you take when you are too lazy to actually be a friend. On this road, you decide to go with the crowd. This is a cowardly thing to do, and completely unacceptable. This road makes you a fake and a phony.

I have had many experiences with friends from both roads, but nothing compared to what transpired over this last week. Unfortunately, I tried to make friends with someone who chooses the road of cowardice. I have learned my lesson though. So has my daughter. That is all that matters.

Take a look at who you hold close to you, and make sure they take the right road, but more importantly, make sure you take the right road yourself.

 

Dating Diary – Chapter Three: Opie.

So, I started talking to this guy on Plenty of Fish and I’ve decided to name him Opie. Ever see Sons of Anarchy? I swear this guy looked EXACTLY like him. He even rode motorcycles.

It started out the same way all do. It felt like there was a connection, we seemed to have some common interests…

But the bad was BAD!

This guy couldn’t English for shit. No, seriously. He got “you’re” and “your” wrong all the time. He couldn’t spell half the things he was trying to say. It was extremely annoying.

So, I tried to get over it. I gave him the benefit of the doubt – maybe he was literate in person.

And then…

The guy wasn’t working (but for some stupid reason, I can’t even remember anymore)… lived at home with his parents… just a bunch of “not having his life together” type stuff.

It gets worse..

He started posting all kinds of videos on his Facebook of him doing whiskey funnels and partying all the time.

That was a no for me. I am sober now, and I cannot be around that. Especially when he said he hardly drinks. Hmmm…

So, needless to say, Opie is gone LOL

But, I have been talking to someone else! Check out my next post about Nerd Boy.

Dating Diary – Chapter 4: Nerd Boy.

This one is beyond confusing, even to me. But here we go..

I started talking to Nerd Boy on Bumble and within a week, we were getting pretty comfortable with each other, at least, I was.

We seemed to have enough in common to find things to talk about but not enough that we would only do the same thing as the other. It was a seemingly well thought out match. It was definitely a good balance. I particularly enjoyed the fact “he didn talk lyk dis”. Hehe.

We quickly made plans to meet in a group setting, as I hardly ever have time away from my kids.

Luckily for us, there was a community day coming up, for a new game – Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. A bunch of us were going to get together to play at a local park, so I invited Nerd Boy to join us. It was a potluck, so I made a lot of food to bring.

He didn’t offer to help carry any of it, even though we were walking a few blocks to the park. He did bring the girls kindereggs though. So I mean… let’s give him half of a point here. I thought it weird that he didn’t even offer, even if I probably would have said no.

He didn’t play the game too much. Instead he came and played with my kids, while I had to entertain them, instead of hang with the group. It was really nice. He definitely kept them busy with me. We played in the splash pad and ran around like crazy people. Okay, they ran around, I watched.

After the event ended, we packed up and headed back to my apartment. Again, he didn’t offer to carry anything. So this time, I asked him to grab the case of pop and carry it. His response was “I guess”. Hmm, okay then?

So we got back to the house, and just hung out briefly.

When it was time for him to go, you could tell we were both equally awkward. It ended in a hug.

That was the one and only time I would see Nerd Boy.

We continued talking but it became less and less. He would go away for full weekends at a time – which was totally fine, but he wouldn’t even bother to check in when he got back, yet would read and respond in group chats we shared for our game. I never really said anything to him about it, there was no point, in my opinion.

Once, he went 3 days after his weekend away without talking, so when I received that text, I ignored it and went about my day. I responded at a later time when I could sit down to converse – it just so happened to be the next day.

I never ever got a response from him. I was totally ghosted lol.

Ah well, it obviously wasn’t meant to be. Which is totally fine by me.

Dating Diary – Chapter Two: I hate online dating.

I have been using this POF for a little over two months now, and I suppose it’s time for a little check in.

Today, I received my first dick picture via POF. Ew. Why?! Why did you think that was okay?! We will call him “MMF” (for Mental Mother Fucker) because that is literally what his bio said. His profile pictures were of some blonde getting caressed and licked by two men. Stop right there. So he messaged me, complimenting me in a disgusting manner. I literally told him right then and there that I wasn’t what he was looking for. I then ignored him. Then this morning he asks me what’s up… I still ignore him. He responds with a dick pic. BLOCK! I only kept him unblocked before that for entertainment purposes. The screenshots were gold to send to my friend.

Then this other guy asks me if I ever get away from the kids and I say not unless I get a sitter. He says “well, I could always come over while they are there. Watch a movie or something. I have a kid and I do it all the time!” BLOCK!

THEN this other guy seemed like a decent prospect. Pleasant to speak with. Not horrible on the eyes. Then he made a joke about me cleaning his house next because I was cleaning mine. That was fine. I said no and laughed. His response, “oh, nevermind, you’re babysitting right?” . Uhm what? He goes “well, you’ve got kids there all the time right?” I told him yes but it’s not babysitting if it’s your own kids. He apparently didn’t agree. BLOCKED!

My block list is already a mile long and it’s only been a couple of months. This isn’t working out at all.

But, you gotta kiss a lot of frogs to find the prince, I suppose.