March 07, 2014

Unconditional Love

When I asked them what was the best part about having a sibling, it amazed me how similar their answers were. 

She said "effortless company and companionship"
He said "having a friend within reach" 

Later themselves both amazed of their similar heartfelt answers.  

And Mel makes 3

Great to know as a parent your own children have a special bond that will carry them through their journey of life when you are gone. My parents instilled in us the same. 

I think that's what siblings are for. While we need to recognize the differences in each other, there needs to be something there that gives you that security, safety and confidence that you have others in "your court" that love you regardless of the mistakes you make along the way. 

My favourite early memories myself with my siblings, would be riding in the estate station wagon on the way to the cottage.  All 6 of us packed into Woody the wagon with two cocker spaniels and a weekends worth of food. My brother once wrote a poem about the experience from his lens that still brings laughter as it reflects our personalities perfectly at that time!  Including my parents' second hand smoke billowing from the front seat! 

Recently with the loss of my Dad last year,  it was almost like an awakening itself. My siblings all came together to support each other and my Mom, but it was the observation of how each of our children presented themselves as siblings and cousins and coming together as a sincere genuine close family. Guess all those family dinners and traditions reinforced such along the way. 

In fact it was just the four of us siblings who stood by my Dad's bed reminiscing, sharing and laughing as we said good bye to him together. He too would be proud.  He taught us to stick together and express the love we have for one another (and those in your court) such that you would never regret what was never said. 

I think parenting is about following your heart, showing respect and to not over analyze.  Carefully sift through the materials presented. Teach respect in your children so they will grow up respecting themselves, others and their siblings. 

February 06, 2014

Date Night, What's Date Night?!

It's throwback Thursday as I write this and time to reflect way back on those early Valentine's Days spent at the Kelly's and the lack of date nights!

I am trying hard to remember those dates with my husband of 25 years but for some reason I remember two little ones with us most of the time!  (In fact I think we had a rotating bed as well as the kids would pop in and out nightly). You see, my Mom and Dad (and in laws) were not living in the same city which made it really difficult to trust the care of our kids to someone else. Date night suffered....

I am confident if you ask my husband, he would definitely agree that we both loved hanging around as a family and supportive of attachment parenting. I definitely felt it important for children (our two kids) to emotionally attach in the early years to people and caregivers they trusted with whom they would develop strong emotional bonds and find safety in those relationships. So, the reality was we rarely went out and left them with others. That was until they were older and we discovered how fun it could be! 

Thankfully through preschool, we did find other like minded families to expand our support network and I was able to trade off childcare during the day and the odd date night. 

In the long run, we have no regrets because our children grew up with a strong sense of self and still find solace and support as young adults in our strong and trusted relationship with them. 

Moral of the story is if you get the chance to expand your caregiving network early through preschool or daycare,  then do!!  Take advantage of those date nights because it is fine balance of finding that time in a relationship for each other while caring for children. Many will tell couples, date night should never stop. I would agree.