The soul-crushing job that is parenting

As many of you certainly know, parenting is this messy, ugly, soul-crushing, doubt-filled experience that…we wouldn’t change for the world.

This week, I’ve taken the kids on vacation to Montreal. I saved for the trip for months and months. They saved for spending money for themselves. I booked this great little apartment on AirBnB that’s super close to all kinds of fun attractions for the kids and was way less expensive than a hotel. And we took the train because it was the most stress-free and inexpensive way for us to get here.

And, by and large, the trip has been…absolutely bloody awful.

The kids have fought and complained and cried for most of the trip. I’ve never – in their lives – seen this kind of consistently bad behaviour from them for such an extended period of time (we’re on day five of an eight-day trip).

Today, they reduced me to tears and trying to find a train that could get us home right now. I even had a rockstar friend offer to make the drive from Niagara to Montreal to get us out of here early (and I still may take her up on it).


I get it.

They’re super excited. They’re super tired. They miss their dad.

The excitement’s not going anywhere. The tiredness could be helped by more sleep, but the excitement isn’t helping my efforts in that department. And they’ve only been able to FaceTime their dad for a few minutes at a time on a couple of days.

And, in between the horrific behaviour and meltdowns, there have been glimpses of the funny, bright, loving children who are on vacation with me.

Do I wish there was another adult here to help me; to provide me with some respite; to help me referee? Of course I do.

But I don’t have one of those.

So, here I am. Hanging on by a thread. Not willing to trade in this parenting gig for anything.


The intimidation factor

I was talking to one of my girlfriends the other day about she and her girlfriends circus bombing public places (they pull out their hoops, silks, and other apparatuses, and do flips and climbs and other super creative stuff that I’d never be able to do in public spaces). At one point during the conversation, she told me that people tell her it’s intimidating when she and her friends do that. Continue reading

The language of grief

There is a woman I know who – over the last two and a half years – has had a way of showing up and saying exactly the right thing at exactly the right time. I’ve known her for a few years, but it wasn’t until a few months after I lost Erica that I became aware of her understanding. And she first made her experience with grief known through a comment on a blog entry.

She did this again the other night when I was at the Katey Campbell Memorial Fundraiser.

Now, to be fair, I had made clear on social media that I was heading into a very difficult evening, but that doesn’t mean everyone’s going to show up to offer their support. In fact, only a very few people did. Several people actively avoided offering support. But I’ll get back to that in a minute. Continue reading

The truth is out

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The kids chose this image because my name is on the “naughty” side of the list.

“Hey, Mommy, the next time you hide Easter eggs, you should hide them in harder spots. I have an idea.”

Whooooo should hide the Easter eggs in harder spots?”


Well, there you have it.

The truth is officially out. Continue reading

My heart caved in on Thursday night, but…

…I think I needed it.CfeicL5XEAARP90.jpg-large

On Thursday evening, I joined almost 400 other people in the community for the Katey Campbell Memorial Foundation fundraiser “Journey of Song Through the Decades.”

I knew it was going to be a difficult night. Continue reading

Violence against women – it’s a men’s issue

“We need more men who have the courage and the strength to start standing up and saying some of this stuff, and standing with women, not against them, pretending that somehow this is a battle between the sexes.”

Continue reading

An open letter to (some) men

Dear (some) men,

In the wake of the Ghomeshi verdict, there are some things you need to know. I’m going to do my best to articulate them here, but it’s been a rough few days as I’ve spent an incredible amount of time and energy defending and speaking on behalf of victims/survivors. Continue reading