Wednesday, 16 October 2013

One Crazy Thanksgiving!

So if you live in Canada like me, this past weekend was Thanksgiving. I have so many things to be thankful for especially my wonderful family, but this Thanksgiving will always be one I remember for all the wrong reasons. Its taken me a few days to get over it and being the writer I am I thought I would share it with you. What you are about to read is not fiction and please don't feel bad if you start laughing, I did... eventually.

It was a rainy, gloomy day when I woke up Sunday morning and I should have took that has a sign to stay in bed. Rainy days and I normally don't get along, but I knew I had a large number of people coming over and I had a turkey to prepare. My turkeys are slightly famous and I had a reputation to uphold. So I pulled myself out of my nice warm bed and started getting everything ready. I had already been through this once this weekend with my side of the family on the Friday night. It went great! The food was perfect, the company was amazing and I got to spend some time with my family. Today was my husbands side's turn which is considerably larger but I've handled it before. My husband and I did some last minute cleaning, set the table, made the apps, and finally prepared the turkey. I personally don't mind preparing a turkey, which can be attributed to my youth growing up with a poultry business, but my husband hates it and I think its hilarious watching him squirm!

So sparing the rest of the mundane details, in no time my house was filled with the delicious aromas that comes with thanksgiving dinners. It wasn't long before my family started to arrive and that's when my luck took a dramatic change. I love my sister in law and her husband but for some reason karma chose him to start off my roller-coaster of bad luck. As he bent in for a hug the rather large and full bottle of wine fell out of the bag he was carrying and landed on my big toe. I swear I had never wanted to kick a man so bad in my life! Thankfully he didn't break my toe, and my toe managed to save the bottle from breaking, but I couldn't stand on it for an hour.

Thinking that nothing else could happen I gingerly hobbled around my kitchen, trying to finish dinner. Everything was fine until I tried to flip the roast potatoes. I reached down, pulled out the rack, took my hand away for a second to grab the spatula, and in that second the baking sheet filled with hot oil and potatoes decided to slide out, hitting my one leg and splashing the scalding oil on the other. I was stunned, and it took me a second to realize what had happened and that I was in some serious pain. Someone got me up on to the counter and put my legs in the sink. Oh did I forget to mention that I was wearing a skirt so my legs were bare! After a few minutes of very cold water therapy I wanted nothing more than to crawl up to my room and disappear for the rest of the night, tending my burns. I felt so embarrassed and really I just wanted to hide before anything else bad happened.

You may think that nothing else could possibly go wrong but, surprise it did! I had told my husband to carry on with dinner with out me. My leg was in too much pain and I just wanted some time alone in my room to recover. Half an hour passed and my husband returned from downstairs. He had a horrible look on his face and my guts went south. I asked him."What's wrong and why wasn't everyone eating yet?" It was then that he informed me that the baked mashed potatoes I had made had been placed on the stove when I had my accident with the roast potatoes. They kind of got forgotten about. My husband carved the turkey ( which was perfect) and placed the plate beside the stove. Now this part is a mystery. I don't know why but the glass casserole dish that the mashed potatoes were in decided to shatter. It literally exploded showering my beautiful turkey with glass. This dish that I had used hundreds of times picked this special moment to almost destroy dinner.

At this point I really couldn't keep it together. All of my hard work ended up in the compost, but after awhile I calmed down enough to go downstairs and I was greeted with something I didn't expect. Everyone was happy and having a wonderful time! My bother in law had gone out and grabbed some pizza and they ate it with the stuffing, veggies and ham that didn't get ruined. It was not the perfect dinner that I had envisioned in my head, but it didn't matter. We were together and that was a beautiful lesson I learned that day. No matter what situation you find your self in, its your family that will always pull you through it.

So that's my Thanksgiving story for this year. I hope yours wasn't as eventful but I also hope that you got to spend it with your amazing families as well. After all that's what Thanksgiving is really about and I think we all need to be reminded of that sometimes.


Friday, 4 October 2013

Proud to be a Stay at Home Mom

For quite a while I questioned the fact of my worth to my family. I know that sounds horrible and you must think my self-confidence is sitting in a toilet somewhere, but hear me out and you may find some of you feel the same way.

I’m a stay at home mom and I found that this sacred and elusive job does not get the credit it deserves. I’ve been at home for over nine years now and it’s hard for most people to see the accomplishment in that. Being a parent is the best job in the whole world, but it is a job that doesn’t make you any money. I felt guilty about that for a long time (which drives my husband nuts). I was surrounded by family and friends that not intentionally made me feel like I was doing something wrong. I sat and had drinks or dinners, listening to their stories about work and how stressed they were, and tired. They worked all day, went home to take care of kids and do housework. They said that I wouldn’t understand, that I was lucky and could just stay home all day and…what? Do nothing? Is that what they wanted to say? Some probably, yes, but they are wrong. Just because I don’t bring home a paycheck doesn’t mean I don’t work. I work very hard for my family every day and to think that I haven’t sacrificed things is a gross understatement, one such thing is my identity.

I used to love going out and having drinks with friends. Believe it or not I was once quite a social butterfly, but over the course of the years of me staying home I lost that. Now whenever I think about being social my stomach ties up in knots and I have a panic attack. I’m not a therapist, but I do know some of the reasons I’m like this. One reason is the fact that I do spend so much time alone now. During the school months I spend the majority of my day by myself doing what needs to be done. Sure I have the computer and phone but it doesn’t take the place of interacting with real people. For a time a volunteered, and I even joined a gym, but for some reason I fell in a rut. I didn’t know how to talk to people anymore. I felt judged and I was so afraid I would say something stupid, so I isolated myself and it’s been hard to pull myself out of this pit I fell in. That’s one of the main reasons I wanted to write my book. I wanted people to know that I was still here even though I had felt like I had disappeared. Things are getting better though. I have friends at my daughter’s karate and I’ve met some pretty cool people by promoting my book.  My husband is my rock and without him I think I would have lost it a long time ago. He is the only person in my life who has never judged me and accepts, no, encourages the lifestyle we have chosen. I’m not back to the way I was but I’m working on it.

I feel like I’ve gotten off track with my mental breakdown, so let’s get back to the main topic here shall we? Through all this rambling my real point I wanted to make was that I’m proud to be a stay at home mom. I’m proud of the fact that I’ve helped raise a beautiful daughter on my values and not someone else’s. She learns things from me, not a babysitter or daycare and it’s her parent that she always knows will be there when she needs them. Please all you working parents don’t get angry with me because I am in no way criticizing how you raise your families. I just don’t want to be criticized anymore either. I want to be accepted for who I’ve chosen to be and not what everyone else thinks I should be doing.  Our jobs are all the same whether we get paid or not. Our job is to provide and take care of our families. We all have different ways of doing this and as long as we are doing right it shouldn’t matter how it gets done.

I am I working mom and I’ve learned that I don’t need to get paid to feel justified. My worth to my family is priceless and I wouldn’t change a thing.