Last Night…


My daughter and I were solo last night so we tucked into bed and got cozy to watch one of our favourite girl-shows, Being Erica’. It seems every time we decide to watch it, it completely parallels my life…the Universe has a way of reminding me that I am not alone. Last nights episode was about finding the perfect man! (funny…right?) Lesson learned, next weeks post will be a reflection of that show!

Last night I had soft little girl feet touching mine, an arm wrapped around me, lights were off and all I could see my was daughters beautiful face illuminated by her iPod while she read me little quotes, we giggled together for hours! It may have just been one of those “I guess ya had to be there” moments in time but I wasn’t ready to post about my s-i-t-u-a-t-i-o-n right now so here goes! My daughter has such a quirky great sense of haha! Part of the fun was hearing her dialog and 2 cents after each quote.

Here are a few quote from Teen-Posts

“The awkward moment when your internets down and you realize your life sucks”

“The awkward moment when you want to scare someone but they take too long to come out”

“When I text someone in the same room as me and I stare at them until they get it”

“I consider myself as a crayon, I may not be your favourite colour…but one day you will need me to complete your picture”

“My teacher pointed to me with his ruler and said “at the other end of this ruler there is an idiot” I got detention after asking “which end”

“Sitting in class wondering who would die if one of the fans fell down”

“Changing your entire message because you don’t know how to spell one word”

“If I had a British agent I’d never shut up”

Stay connected to your kids, it’s important to see what they’re into, and fun to be a kid again along side of them!

Enjoy your Monday everyone!

 

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My Kids Survived Another Summer…barely!


Have you ever thought of putting your kids on Craigslist? This summer I actually sat down and wrote an ad…just for fun *wink.

“Two kids free to ANY family. Both need constant stimulation. A horse and NLL lacrosse star within arms reach would be a huge plus. Neither can quite finish any task for some unknown reason…but close. Constant supervision is mandatory. Attitude adjustments are required regularly. Money tree in back yard would eliminate the tedious whining. One sleeps till noon, the other is at your side the second your eyes open. Can only be in the same room together for 3 min max until the little one says “Jessssseeee donnnnn’t” and the big one says “wooooooow” and then all hell breaks loose. Taxi and maid service would be handy. They come with a dog they don’t walk that’s out of control…but really cute and loves to dig” (and then I realized I was dating! ) “I thought you had kids?” “Ya (insert long pause here) I did…” Not sure how that might play out!

My girlfriend Carri offered to have her daughter join the ad suggesting we give the two girls to the same family since blended families seem to be so popular (her daughter is 1/2 Filipino which = super cute)…then both my kids walked in my office and said “Mom, you’re the best Mom on the planet” and I loved them once again more than life itself. Their intuition is right on track! Moms just want love and affection and 10 minutes in the bathroom without hearing mom, mom, mom, mom through the door.

Anyone with kids the same age will totally relate. Parents of younger kids, all I can say is don’t judge, karma’s a bitch!

My daughter’s umbilical cord reattached to my womb over the summer. It happens when we spend lots of time together. I am NOT complaining. I remember getting the same feelings about my Mom as the summer came to an end. I couldn’t live without her throughout the year let alone after spending all day and night with her for 2 months. I got homesick at the thought of her being in another room. I can relate to my daughter very well.

I am taking every single hug and kiss I can get knowing that these moment are fleeting. My sons has a couple of years on his sister so he is at the age of loving his freedom…ahhh freedom remember that. He is awfully love-able for 13 so I can’t complain. I take every lingering boy hug I can get. I try not to make a big deal of it so it last longer. If I don’t move maybe he will forget I’m hanging on for dear life! He has his hormonal teenager moments like the rest of them that don’t go unnoticed but I have learned not to take them personally. He simply needs to flash that irresistible smile and I melt. Moms and their boys…sigh. 🙂

Being a Mom has been one of the best experiences I have ever had hands down. I’ve learned over the years to let go and allow my kids to grow. They have learned to be independent which has given them both confidence. My job now, it to just be there for moral support and teach them by example. (that is definitely questionable at times but hey, at least I’m honest!) I don’t mind telling you though it’s a bitter sweet time for me. I love spending time with my kids, they are incredible little human beings but I too have a life I need to reacquaint myself with in-order to be a great Mom!

Happy September Everyone! Enjoy each moment making memories with your little humans!

 

 

 

 

 

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I Want My Children to Know…

If you found out you were not going to be in your child’s future to talk to them about life and love, what would you want to say?

I remember seeing a Documentary years ago of a Mom who was dying of cancer. She recorded videos of herself where she gave her daughter encouragement or advice at specific milestones in life, like getting her period or her first date. It was heart breaking to watch. It must have been the most difficult thing she had ever done in life besides say good-bye. To have the courage and mind set to sit down and gather your thoughts let alone articulate advice you are not ready to give is overwhelming to even consider.

Her daughter would watch the videos when the time presented itself. Although it must have been difficult for her daughter to watch I am sure every word spoken was savoured. The strength of this woman was amazing and stayed with me for years. A Gift…

Things I want my Daughter & Son to know;

~ You’re perfect just the way you are.

~ Stay true to self.

~ Express your feelings no matter what they are; to whom ever they were meant to reach.

~ Never go to bed mad…

~ Always, always kiss your partner before they leave.

~ Never hold a grudge and never seek revenge no matter how hard it is.

~ Always forgive even if you can’t forget. In time you will.

~ Don’t spend too much time crying over the opposite sex, they are worth it but things always work out the way they should and only experience will show you that is true.

~ Never say never, because one day you will…

~ Love with your heart…reason with your head.

~ Touch is something that should never cease with your partner.

~ If you would rather be alone…make it happen.

~ Don’t let anyone take advantage of who you are.

~ Be open to everyone who walks through your door.

~ Don’t judge, it’s just not nice.

~ If you are going to say something about someone, be prepared to say it to their face.

~ If you are unsure of a situation and it involves making a choice…imagine me standing by your side and ask yourself…would I do this if my Mom were here? If not think about it a little longer.

~ Don’t gossip words hurt the most when used to make someone else feel bad.

~ Inspire one person everyday with something you do or say.

~ Your actions will speak much louder than your words.

~ Only marry for Love, not money, love will be there when money isn’t.

~ Never let anyone manipulate your heart. They shouldn’t want to.

~ Love deeply it is the only way.

~ It’s okay for a man to cry, it shows they will be a great Father.

~ Don’t fight unless you are truly passionate about what you are standing for.

~ Do unto others as you would have others do unto you…it’s a Golden Rule for a reason!

No one really knows how much time they have left on Earth. It’s so important to communicate and talk to those you love when the opportunity presents itself. I think what I would miss most was my kids sense of humor in the moment. The spontaneous sparing of funny things said…kind of like the old saying ‘I guess you had to be there.’

Be there because you can and are!

Svaha ~

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Artist ~ Kathy Kromer

I googled ‘soulmates’ trying to find a great photo to add to a post I was writing and came across the artwork of Kathy Kromer. Kathy’s artwork spoke to me! I don’t usually do posts on art, that’s Jacquie’s expertise, but Kathy paints hearts and you all know how I feel about hearts being born on Valentine’s Day. Kathy’s use of intense colour mixed with the individual message of each piece is the perfect combination to me! If you’ve ever been in my house you know that I love art that comes with a message, maybe too much! Each room has a sort of affirmation on the wall somewhere! Freedom, Laugh, No Skinny Dipping, Inspire, Love, Life Needs More Green Lights, No Welcome Beatniks, see what I mean!

Kathy never really considered herself a born artist, art was never the driving force in her life. Kathy describes herself as entering through the door of perseverance and practise to get to where she is at today! Thank goodness for perseverance and practise! I love that, it gives me hope that if I wanted to paint I could with just that! I’m inspired! I will let Kathy’s art speak to you, visit her website too this is just a sliver of what she creates!

kathykromer.com

Where there is no Path, follow your Heart ~

Key Ingredients ~ Cherish, Romance, Desire.

Soulmates III

The Daughter ~ She is fragile. Innocence bursting with infinite possibility.

The Mother ~ She delivers life. She teaches love.

The Angel ~ She is the guardian of your soul.

Heart of a Woman ~

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The Making of a Girlfriend ~

I have been watching the dynamics of my daughter and her girlfriends lately and it’s made me aware once again how difficult it can be finding the right group of girlfriends, as a young girl or as a grown woman. There are so many insecurities in girls and women. I think some girls never lose these insecurities even as they evolve into young woman. I believe if we are aware, we can change that.

Young girls don’t yet have the tools to navigate friendship, mostly because they haven’t experienced much as a girlfriend. Girls learn pretty quick what they don’t want when it comes to friendship. They gauge every situation on how it feel, which is a good start, trusting your instinct, but there is a lot to learn as a female in the world of friendship dynamics.

Some girls are confident by nature, but there are those who aren’t who bring down their friends in order to feel better about themselves. As a young girl we don’t understand that but realize as we grow and evolve its life. Jealousy is a big part of why girls knock their friends down as apposed to lifting them up. Jealousy is a horrible emotion that is a sign of insecurity not one of love. We need to build up the confidence of our precious little girls so that they have a chance at being a best friend one day. I learned that if you surround yourself with confident positive friends you will always leave their presence feeling just that, confident and positive. I love my girlfriends, each and every one of them for giving me that unique gift of friendship.

One of my daughters teachers told me that there is already a lot of ‘girl gossip’ going on which doesn’t surprise me. I am a Mom who stands outside my daughters class twice a day and I see what’s going on with attitude and simple facial expressions they trade back and forth. Girl gossip or drama what ever you want to call it, can be hard for some girls to navigate away from, my daughter seems able to so far. I worry more about her than my son because girls just generally seem to be programmed to gossip. Girl gossip lead me to more friendships with our male counterpart growing up, now I have a healthy combination of both! Life is too short to spend a single moment with those who uninspired you.

As a young girl I had lots of different friends from different groups. I attended different schools and played sports which added to my circle. I loved the variety, no judging, just accepting everyone for who they were. It was comforting to know you had friends everywhere.

Girls navigate through their friendships with fear, they are naive and need to learn what it is to be a good friend. My daughters come home with hurt feelings because of others and it’s hard to just stand by and watch, but necessary for her to learn what she wants in a friend so she can be a good friend too. I am confident one day she will surround herself with great friends that will stand the test of time. She will learn that those who put her down or bring negative attention to her efforts will not be standing at her side in years to come, but she will learn from them what she didn’t want in a friendship.

Friends come and go and if your lucky you find a Best friend who will stand by your side throughout your life like I have with Bonnie. I think you need to earn the status ‘Best friend’ though and it comes with time and experience of being a good friend, eventually evolving into a Best friend.

So my advice to young girls is be kind to your girlfriends and they will give you unconditional love forever. With real friendship you feel safe, supported and completely yourself and with that you can do anything!! 

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Apparently I lived in the ‘Olden Days’

On our way to school one morning my 8 year old daughter asked “back in the olden days did you have a mole-lot”. “Phftt, back in the olden days” I laughed! l almost went directly into the olden day rant, we’ve all heard it, “when I was a kid, I had to walk to school up hill both ways with no shoes in the snow” yadda yadda yadda, I didn’t, I showed restraint. She would have look at me like I was from the olden days because that is an ‘olden days’ thing to say as far as I’m concerned! lol

It made me laugh that she actually thought I lived back in the olden days, never mind the mole-lot! She then proceeded with her childish attitude “Well ya lived in the day of the mole-lot”. I snapped back, it’s actually called a Mullet, not Mole-lot. I laugh when she says certain words because she is still little and doesn’t know how to pronounce everything yet. Sometimes she puts the wrong empha-sis on the wrong sylla-ble! I hate correcting her but I guess now that she’s approaching 9 I should. Another funny example was when she read the hot chocolate box aloud ~”It’s gormet!” (Gourmet) like Jimmy Buffet not buffet. We all talked like rednecks for hours after that one! (perfect example if you read my postYou Know What about diving in at any opportunity to tease a member of the family)

I tried desperately to convince my daughter that I was actually in style wayyyy back in the ’80’s with my mullet, and that her kids would look back at her pictures and ask why she wore a pony tale with a hair band holding every single stand of hair back like she was going to wash her face? She laughed. I decided to do this post to prove to her how stylin the olden days were!

Join me now for a brief look back at ‘The Olden Days’ ~

Yes, that I believe is a ‘Mullet’!

This might actually have come back around, darn should have kept it!

Why doesn’t anyone get perms anymore? The human poodle!

Wayne Cox (Global News) at the Miss Summer Madness ’85, laugh if you must, I won $7,000.00 in prizes! (it made me who I am, it made me who I am… sigh)

And last but not least, the 80’s are not complete for me without MacGyver, Richard Dean Anderson! Now that’s an 80’s picture!

So maybe to Jordan I did live in the ‘Olden Days.’ But for me they were just the days in which I lived that helped me become who I am today. I wouldn’t change a thing! I can’t wait to hear my daughters conversation with her daughter or son about ‘in the day’ she lived! It’s so fun looking back at your past, connecting the dots. Bonnie, Jake, care to take a peak back yourself and share a little of what made you who you are today? I triple dog dare ya!

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Is Santa Claus Real?

Tracy“Is Santa Real?” Here’s a question all parents are hearing as we count down from weeks to days before the most exciting day of the year for a lot of children around the world.  I have an 11 year old son and a 8 year old daughter who have obviously been talking about Santa as the excitement builds with Christmas morning arriving soon.

I still remember the the Christmas Eve my cousin Sherene was in my room looking out my window in hopes of seeing Santa Claus.  She was much older and I had a hard time sleeping, as most kids do on Christmas Eve.  Santa was en route so how could anyone sleep.  All kids wish deep down that they might actually get a glimpse of Santa each year coming down the chimney and so we try our hardest to keep our little peepers open as long as we can.  Sherene was looking out my window when all of a sudden she exclaimed “DO YOU SEE HIM, DO YOU SEE HIM!!” her eyes bulge open like saucers as she pointed into the sky way off into the horizon.  I squinted with all my might and there he was Santa Claus being pulled in his sleigh by his 8 reindeer!  I still remember the excitement that filled my entire being.  Ahhh to be 7 again…pure magic!

SantaSleigh

My son asked me years ago if I believed in Santa and I told him my story once again.  He smiles each time and I can tell by the look in his eyes he is swept up in the magic and spirit of Christmas.  This year he asked me again, knowing what I was going to say ” If you don’t believe you don’t receive”.  That wasn’t quite enough for him this year, he took it one step further as I thought he might at 11.  He tried to put it back on me.  He said okay Mom but when I have kids and they wake up really excited Christmas morning and you didn’t tell me it was you and there is nothing left for them under the tree it will be your fault!!  I  assured him there would be gifts under his tree for his little ones.  He told me then that he too believed in the “Spirit of Christmas”. My 8 year old daughter on the other hand put it like this,  she looked me straight in the eyes and said ” Are you Santa, not waiting for a response she carried on, cause if you are that would be really really disappointing” and she walked away.

If you have kids who are questioning the spirit of Christmas you need to watch “The Polar Express” , it will set everyone straight!  When either of my kids ask me if I believe and I expect it to happen each year I take a moment and remember back the night I saw Santa in his sleigh with his reindeer in the horizon and I tell them that I believe because I saw him with my own two eyes.  I was one of the lucky ones, and I know I am not alone.  Christmas is about giving so this year make sure you do your share of giving to others in the Spirit of Christmas!

If you would like to track Santa this Christmas visit “Norad Track Santa” there are lots of fun things for kids to explore on this site!  Another great site for kids is NorthPole.com.  And if you want to find out if your on Santa’s Naughty or Nice list check out Santa’s Nice-o-Meter.

Happy Holiday’s Everyone !!

Tracy signiture

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What Do You Call A…

Bonnie Johnson's PostThere should be another word for “step-mother”.  Step-mothers are usually portrayed as evil in fairy tales and movies and the word “mother” is too sacred on its own.  When you throw the word “step” in front of it the whole meaning changes.  Damn whoever wrote Cinderella!evil step mother

I’m a step-mother to three adults, one of whom is only ten years my junior.  So uttering the word “mother” as part of my title is not only uncomfortable but really just sounds wrong too. The oldest is married to a wonderful woman whom I’ve become very close to.  It gets awkward when I try to introduce her to others though. “This is my step-daughter-in-law” is a mouthful.  Sometimes I leave off the word step for fun but then I get those funny sideway glances of confusion.  My step-daughter-in-law, by the way, is also a step-mother to one of my step-grandchildren.  Confused? Welcome to the modern family.

I came on the scene after my husband;s children were all grown up and living away from home.  They’d had a few years to get used to their parents divorce and had seen their dad “dating” before.  I wasn’t a home wrecker and I’m grateful for the timing.  It allowed my relationship with his children to start on solid ground.  I remember being pleasantly surprised by the natural affection I had for his three kids right from the start.  I realize it was mostly because they are all such kind and accepting people but a part of the reason came from being in love with their dad. They are, after all, a very big part of him.

Most important to me was that my own son would be accepted as part of the family.  I didn’t need to worry.  Over the years my husband’s kids have developed their own strong relationship with James and there is no doubt that we are all family now.

I feel so blessed to be a part of a large diverse family like ours and excited that it is growing 😉 as I write this.  Yes, there is a new baby on the way!

It’s just the titles I struggle with.  My step-grand kids call me “Bonnie” and I guess that’s ok, but I wish there was a more intimate title to describe what I am to them.  I just don’t know about being called “Bonnie” to this new baby. “Grandma Bon?” But is it ok to change it up with one child when the others are used to another name? If you have any suggestions I’d love to hear them.

I guess the relationship we share matters more than what we call it.  As the years go by I feel more and more “related” to these special people and I’m so grateful to have them all in my life.

Bonnie

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Oops! I Took The Wrong Baby Home!

The scenario:

You discover that your wonderful one-year-old child is, because of a mix-up at the hospital, not yours.  Would you want to exchange the child to correct the mistake?

babies switched at birth

Bonnie Johnson's PostBonnie ~

After doting on and loving a baby, any baby, but especially one you believe is a part of you, for a whole year to then be told it doesn’t really belong to you?  Ouch!  That would be a major shock, wouldn’t it?!  The bond between a mother and child after a year is iron clad, and not something easily broken.  This would be a heartbreaking situation to find yourself in.

I researched “babies switched at birth” and discovered that it does happen occasionally but not often.  Hospitals take fingerprints, foot prints, or palm prints of newborns in order to prevent babies being mixed up. Nurses also double check with the mother, checking the identity of that person as well, in order to prevent errors.  Hospitals also have policies in which a medical record number is assigned to an infant at birth, and bands with this number as well as the last name of the mother of the infant, the gender of the infant, and the date and time of birth are placed on the infant and the mother immediately after parturition before the mother and child are separated.  And yet I still found a few cases of this happening despite the policies.  Mistakes were made and when they were discovered the hospitals were sued.

What struck me most when I read about these cases was for some reason the majority of these mix-ups were not discovered until years later.  In most cases the mothers all had a feeling early on that something wasn’t right but were convinced by hospital staff that they were mistaken and everything was as it should be.  Listen to your inner voice, believe in your intuition!

So, would I exchange the child after a year to correct the mistake?  Yes, I would.  It would probably be the hardest thing I would ever have to do but for the sake of both children I would.  Again, after reading about stories where this really did happen, the saddest part, once the truth was discovered, was how the children themselves often felt.  Some discuss having the feeling that something wasn’t quite right and the feeling that they didn’t quite fit in.  One woman, when she found out the truth at 43 years old,  felt like her whole life up until then had been a lie and now she felt torn between two families.

I would have a very hard time giving up a baby I had loved so deeply for a year but I would also want to be the one to raise my own child.  If faced with this scenario I think I would ask that I still be allowed to continue a relationship with the other child too.

Post Insert JacquieJacquie ~

My daughter Emilie was one of 50 babies born at North York General Hospital in Toronto on June 12, 19……… not tellin’.  I’m a very trusting person and it never occurred to me to worry that she might accidentally get switched with another half Asian/half Caucasian baby girl.  The security on the maternity ward was unlike anything I could have imagined, and I remember having to go through at least two check points where our hospital bracelets were scrutinized before the staff would allow us to leave the floor.

I know an awful lot of bonding takes place in the first few years of life but I have to say, if this terrible situation happened to me, I’d want to get my biological child back.  It definitely would be heart-wrenching to give up a child I’d cared for and loved for a year, but I believe it would be the right thing to do.  Truthfully, I’d want to keep both babies, but I guess that wouldn’t be fair.  I wouldn’t be able to handle someone else raising my child due to hospital error.  I would hope that the other family would feel the same way and really, in a perfect world, we could all be part of an extended family group.

PS.  I have a teenager I’d be willing to trade for …let’s say… a 21 year old right now, if anyone’s interested? : )

TracyTracy gives back ~

I remember being concerned about this with my first child.  I wanted to be awake during my C-section because I had heard of this happening.  Lets call it first child paranoia.  I remember my Mom telling me in the operating room when the ID band was secure on my son’s wrist.  I think she may have double checked to make sure it couldn’t slip off.  My son was the spitting image of his Dad so no one could have made a switch with us not be aware of it.  He was also 10 lbs 3 oz and the other babies in the nursery were triplets, with the largest one weighing in at a whopping 5 lbs.  The nurses nicknamed my son baby sumo because he looked 3 months old at birth.  Any other Mom would have felt ripped off had my son been sent home with them by mistake,  kind of like getting a puppy at 6 months old.

mine!!!

I can’t imagine having to actually go through this in real life.  Unfortunately it has happened, more than once.  This topic made me reflect back on the first year with both my son and daughter.  Time goes by so quickly, and the first year is monumental for bonding with your baby.  I would have to take the perspective that I was a surrogate to this child for the year we spent together.  I am certain the mother of the child I was given would absolutely want their child back, as would I.  I would have complete confidence that she gave my child unconditional love.  When you have natural motherly instincts you love all children.  I can’t imagine not loving ‘a’ child no matter whose they were if I were responsible for it’s welfare.

Bonding in hospitalAll children are special and unique.  I would want to make the change gradually so that both children were able to adjust as naturally as possible.  I think that the babies would sense a mistake with how they are known to recognizes a mothers smell and and how they react to the sound of their mothers voice from having heard it from inside the womb.  A mother’s love is pure and unconditional so I know that after spending time with my child everything would be just fine in no time.  I would hope that after an experience such as this you would form a friendship with the other mother that I would last a life time.  Everything happens for a reason and I would just embrace it for what it was.

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Mother’s Advice

Mom I always loved my Mom’s advice on a variety of different issues.  She was always so brutally honest and even shocked the likes of me on occasion.  She was and still is a very strong, open minded, independent woman.  I quite often took her advice and was glad I had the sense to do so.  ‘Quite often’ being the prominent words in that sentence. She just always seemed to know, as most Mom’s do.

I can admit now that on more than one occasion I didn’t take her advice and had to learn the hard way through my own experience and mistakes.  I don’t believe there is a single soul out there who has not ignored the advice offered to them on at least one occasion.  You have to keep in mind as a parent that life is about experience and we learn by mistakes.

I hear my mothers advice resonating through my voice at times, which is not a bad thing.  We forget that our Mom’s have had far more life experience than most of us put together and have had similar experiences we are having.  The only difference being is that their generation kept things to themselves unlike ours which likes to talk in such graphic detail.  But regardless of the generation gap we all think we have, if you do sit down and have those heart to hearts with your Mom you soon realize that life today is very much like it was for them years ago. You just need to keep communicating and eventually Mom’s let out a secret or two.  Or as my Mom would say some ‘history’. Scotch usually speeds up the process.

As I watch my daughter grow up, I ask myself if I could give her just one piece of advice that, cross my fingers, she would take, what would it be?  My Nana’s advice to me was ‘treat em rough and tell em nothing’, now there’s a very strong independent woman of her time.  I know she is looking up at me with a smile, I say up because after my Nana passed away of natural causes my daughter at the age of 5 asked me if Nana was looking up at us.  You gotta love that!  They say kids have a sixth sense so we will go with Nana in Hellvin ( this is a place somewhere in between heaven and hell) My Mom’s advice was ’start out the way you mean to end’.  Pretty basic really, just be yourself.

I had a great job in the film and television industry but always knew I wanted a family and I wasn’t going to rely on anyone else to raise my kids.  My choice to be a stay at home Mom was one I never regretted but now looking back I wish I had kept something that was just for me.  As much as I enjoyed every moment, well honestly not every moment, there were days I would have sold both kids real cheap but I wish I had not lost myself in the process of motherhood as many of us do.

So my advice to my growing, strong, quirky, independent daughter is this.  To never lose sight of your dreams no matter how big or small they are, nurture your friendships as you do your family because without them we loose our inspiration, and always maintain  your financial independence so that you feel strong, independent and capable to walk alone if you so choose.

Tracy

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