23 Ridiculous Questions To Ask Your Teenager

When my daughter started school, I became a master of coaxing conversation out of her. I wouldn’t settle for the typical one-word answers:

“How was your day?” (Good?) “Anything exciting happen?” (No.)

Uhhh, No thank you.

So instead I would rapid fire specific questions at her, things that required thought and actual, real answers:

“What was the coolest thing you saw today? Who was the first person you talked to at school? What was your favourite thing in your lunch?”

-an annoying mom, aka ME

and on and on until I ran out of ideas.

And most of the time, she was fairly receptive to it. Even now, at almost 15, she still indulges my questions and tries her best to give me thoughtful, genuine answers. With minimal eye-rolling.

Over time this has evolved into somewhat of a game where I go out of my way to think of absolutely ridiculous questions to ask her. Partially because it’s fun. Sometimes her responses catch me off-guard. Sometimes I expect an equally ridiculous answer and instead get something deeply insightful that stops me in my tracks. Sometimes it’s just so interesting to see how she views the world and interprets things.

I also think it’s a valuable tool to encourage positive communication. Sometimes teens can be a little difficult to talk to and the more personal or embarrassing the topic, the more likely they are to clam up. Asking them questions that are just meant to be fun and not so serious can be a great way to open up those lines of communication without crossing their mysterious teenage boundaries.

So I put together a short list of slightly ridiculous questions you can try asking your teenagers, to see what kind of responses you might get. All of these questions have been tested on my own teenage daughter, many of them leading to more in-depth conversations, and some of them making us both laugh so hard we had tears in our eyes. I have to admit one of my favourite parts of the whole experience was watching her put her phone aside, and recline on the couch as she requested the next questions, followed closely by the look of contemplation as she actually thought and considered her response to each query.

I highly recommend you give it a try.

(Disclosure statement: links contained in this blog post may be affiliate links. This means that if you use these links to make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. You are in no way obligated to use these links, and your support is very much appreciated either way.)

23 Ridiculous Questions To Ask Your Teenager

  1. What language would you learn if you could choose any language – even fictional languages count! (this is probably the least ridiculous one on the list, but we’re getting there.)
  2. If you could travel to any planet and be able to survive there no matter what, which one would you choose?
  3. What fruit or vegetable do you find most relatable and why? (disregard the fact that this may be technically 2 questions.)
  4. If you were a pet, what type of pet would you be?
  5. If you were a dragon and could hoard any one item, what would you pick?
  6. What planet do you find the most relatable? (a word of warning: I asked my daughter this and it spiraled into a half-hour long conversation about planets and their perceived personalities and culminated in us taking Buzzfeed quizzes about what planet we were, so if you are low on time or patience, proceed with caution but if you welcome going off on a weird tangent with your teenage child then this might be a great choice!)
  7. What do you think clouds would taste like?
  8. If a donut and a cookie had a baby, what type of baked good would their offspring be?
  9. If you could re-colour any one thing in nature, what would it be?
  10. If we were burying a time capsule (set to be opened at any random length of time you choose) what would you put in it?
  11. What is the weirdest dinner combination you can think of?
  12. If you had to fill your house with only one type of furniture, what would you pick?
  13. If you had to create a new animal, what would that animal be? (as many details as desired.)
  14. If I had let you rename yourself when you were (any age) what do you think you would have picked?
  15. One mythological creature is coming to stay at your house for the weekend, which one is it?
  16. Which 3-5 people are on your zombie apocalypse survival team, and why? (word of caution, try to not feel offended if you aren’t on their list. It’s just supposed to be fun.)
  17. Would you rather explore the ocean or space?
  18. A new planet has been discovered and you have the privilege of naming it, what do you call it?
  19. You’ve been recruited to join the circus, what is your act? (Could be either a skill they actually have or one they’d like to learn or one they wish they had!)
  20. What slightly useless superpower would you pick if you were given the chance to choose one?
  21. You can only watch one movie for the rest of your life. What is it?
  22. You have an abandoned building to turn into a house, what was the building used for before this? (ie, old church, store, school, etc.)
  23. You find a buried treasure filled only with items that start with the same letter as your first name. What’s inside?

Parenting teens is tough, these are a couple books I’ve been reading lately that I’ve found very interesting (click to purchase)

Now I want to hear from you! What are your best tips for effective, positive communication with your teenage children? Do you find your kids easy to talk to or do you struggle to coax full sentences out of them? I’d love to know!

My Current Favourite Things as a Mom of Twins

Below is a list of the various products I’m currently loving as a mom with twin babies. A lot of it is fairly generic things (helloooo diapers!) but it’s the stuff I find I just can’t do without lately.

If you’re interested in purchasing any of the items I recommend below, you can click the picture to do so. Please note if you do, that these are affiliate links and I may get a small percentage of the cost of your purchase.


Diapers are obviously one of the most essential things when you have a baby, and when you have 2 babies you go through a lot of diapers. I find Pampers Baby Dry gives us the most bang for our buck, and I prefer the style and fit much more than other brands that I’ve tried.


We combo feed, and when the girls get bottles, these are the ones we’re loving. I like the shape of them much more than a lot of other bottles and they’re very easy to clean.


I mentioned wearing earplugs around my babies in a mom group on Facebook and got roasted for “ignoring my babies!” but here’s the thing: kids are noisy. And earplugs don’t make you deaf, they simply take the edge off sharp or loud noises so you can preserve your sanity (and protect your hearing of course) which makes it easier to be a good mom when suffering from sensory overload.

Silicone Breast Pump

I have an electric pump that was a gift from an incredible family member and I love it so much. But I can’t always strap myself in for a good pumping session…especially lately as the babies have decided they are jealous of the damn thing! These silicone pumps are a great alternative when you need to pump breastmilk, can’t be bothered with a traditional manual pump and don’t have the time to use the electric version.

Aussie 3 Min Miracle

This isn’t really a baby thing but it’s a MOM thing, at least for this mom. I’m desperate to keep my long hair and not need to resort to a cropped Mom Cut, and without this stuff I wouldn’t even be able to get a comb through my hair most days. It’s so knotted almost all the time, tossed up in a messy bun and neglected or tangled up in grabby baby hands, but this stuff seriously is a miracle and makes my hair somewhat manageable when I’m finally able to try to tame it.

Prenatal Vitamins

I’m a huge brat and can’t handle vitamins unless they’re gummies. But it gets worse! I’m also an even bigger brat and am extremely picky about the specific texture of said gummies. These ones are perfect and the only ones I’ve found that I will consistently take because I like them. And yes, I am taking prenatals still, because of breastfeeding.

VTech Magic Star Learning Table

This toy is perfect for our girls right now because they’re learning to stand by pulling up on furniture, so it gives them something fun to do while they’re standing. I’m already sick of the songs, but it’s worth it.

Banana Teether

I swear our babies have been teething since day one, they’re constantly chewing and drooling all over everything and their cheeks are super red more often than not. Of all the things they grab to chew, these seem to be the favourite, so much so that they will fight over them and steal them from each other.

(Motherhood in Progress is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.ca)

Breastfeeding Woes

Breastfeeding is hard.

I wrote an article HERE on Medium about how much breastfeeding sucks. Because at the time…it sucked.

Since writing that, I also started working on a piece about how amazing breastfeeding is. Because it is, even when it sometimes sucks. There are also beautiful, incredibly precious moments. And sometimes those moments are never so clear as they are when you think they’re going to be taken away from you.

Let me explain:

From day one, my twins were mostly breastfed. I say “mostly” because they were born 6 weeks early and spent the first 2 weeks of their life in the NICU where they were fed a combination of donor milk, my pumped milk, formula, and of course I also breastfed when I was there with them. For the first bit, they were fed via tube when not nursing, then eventually went on to bottle feeds during the end of their NICU stay. 

We were really lucky, I have to admit, because the girls both breastfed amazingly straight away. Twin B latched within 30 minutes of being delivered and remained that way for nearly an hour, while her sister had to get whisked off to the NICU straight away and didn’t get a chance to try until a few hours later after I got some rest. But once she got her chance, we had almost no problems at all.

I did struggle a bit with learning how to position both babies on my own to tandem feed,  especially while they were so new and small and fragile, but we eventually figured it out. At home, before they were able to join us, I was pumping as much as possible and was actually getting a decent amount each session. I brought most of it to the NICU for immediate use and began building a freezer stash for when they got home. I was optimistic that I’d be able to exclusively breastfeed both babies once they came home.

And for a while, I did.

As time went on, I battled a couple rounds of mastitis and developed an aversion to tandem feeding. I grew to hate the sensation of having 2 people attached to my body at once. The fact that I was struggling with some PPD/PPA at the time didn’t exactly help, and I felt smothered and uncomfortable. I wanted to quit breastfeeding.

We burned through my pumped milk stash in the freezer in a matter of days. I was never adding to it because pumping when you’re constantly holding babies (in the early days they would only contact nap, but that’s another story) is basically impossible. 

I bought product after product, in hopes that it would help in some way. Some did. Others were a waste of money. Scratch that, most were a waste of money. 

I started giving the twins formula, which I had given my first daughter and which I have nothing against AT ALL, yet I felt like a failure anyways.

Then the boob strikes started.

The babies decided they hated being nursed at the same time. They would scream and cry any time I tried to position them in the traditional “football hold” position for tandem feeding.

If one baby was already in position and contentedly nursing, her sister’s crying would inevitably disturb her and make her stop eating and join in the crying as well. I switched to nursing one at a time while trying to keep the other content long enough so her sister could finish. It was draining in more ways than one.

Part of the problem was that I “stupidly” decided to forgo a twin nursing pillow and just purchased a regular one. For me, this was a huge mistake. Other twin moms I’ve spoken to said they didn’t use a nursing pillow at all and to them, I say: “HOW you magical, glorious woman?! Teach me your ways!”

Sometimes my milk would come out too forcefully, causing them to choke and gag (and then cry of course,) sometimes they’d be so fussy I’d be convinced they weren’t getting anything, so I’d hand express to check and multiple streams would shoot across the room. Poor babies.

Later, they became too easily distracted to breastfeed efficiently. Even when being fed one at a time, the twin I was trying to nurse would latch on, suck for 15 seconds, then unlatch and look around, then require help relatching, another 15-second snack, look around. Repeat. Or she’d latch, then try to turn her head the entire other direction to stare at something else. My poor, sad, abused nipples.

Sometimes they wouldn’t even breastfeed at all, and would instead immediately scream with horror at the mere sight of my boob. That does wonders for your self-esteem, as you might imagine.

The more breastfeeding frustrated me, the more I turned to bottles. I decided I’d exclusively pump and just bottle feed them. That way they were still getting my milk but without the hassle of breastfeeding when they clearly didn’t want to.

The problem with that is, as I mentioned, we depleted the freezer stash. So in order to feed both babies, I was stuck in a constant stressful loop of trying to stay on top of pumping enough for their needs. At any given time there was no more than 4 ounces of pumped milk in the fridge. Around this time the babies also decided they hated the formula I had. They would literally gag if I tried to give it to them. So it was expressed milk or nothing.

(I should add, that through all of this they would still breastfeed overnight so I don’t understand their daytime aversion to breastfeeding.) 

I felt like I was drowning. I’d be struggling to entertain and feed 2 babies during every wake window, then after getting them down for their naps I’d rush to set up to pump so I’d have something to feed them when they woke up. I never had a single moment to just catch my breath. My mental health was suffering, big time.

For most pumping sessions I’d get anywhere from 3-5 ounces. Not terrible but also not ideal for feeding two hungry babies.

Then one day I sat down to pump and could only get an ounce. I panicked. My supply seemed to be dropping and I knew my days of being able to feed my babies breastmilk were numbered.

I tried power pumping (more information on that can be found here) to try to boost my supply and it helped a little bit. But I still knew I had to do something to save our breastfeeding experience.

How I changed everything

Something had to change or I was going to lose my mind. 

First of all, I had to make some decisions.

I decided the girls would be exclusively formula-fed, that I would continue to pump to build a freezer stash, and that I’d continue to offer to breastfeed if they showed signs they wanted to. I was hoping that the frequent pumping plus infrequent breastfeeding would maintain my supply at least somewhat and that if I knew they had the formula to eat it might take some of the pressure off me to pump more than I was able to.

I bought new formula. The girls clearly hated the formula we had, so I tossed it and bought something new. Well, actually I rebought a formula they had tried previously and had consumed with no problems. They accepted it again with no issues, and so that’s what I fed them.

Gradually my supply did increase. I was able to start building my freezer stash and added a couple dozen ounces in a few days. That was a huge weight off my mind. And a funny thing happened, both twins started wanting to breastfeed more. Often they’d shove their bottle away and reach for me instead, even if the bottle contained breastmilk, which made me feel pretty amazing.

The biggest change I made however was my own attitude. I had to make myself let go of the idea that I was failing if I stopped breastfeeding, in order to continue breastfeeding. I know that might not make sense to anyone but me but when I shifted my mindset and stopped letting myself feel defeated by my struggles I was able to see the process in a new light and that helped me discover new ways to make it more successful for us.

It’s not perfect and it will change

The twins will be 6 months old soon, so we’re currently half a year into our breastfeeding journey. When I was feeling extremely frustrated with the whole thing I told myself to try to just make it to 6 months and then I would/could quit. But now that it’s approaching I don’t want to stop.

We’re still figuring it out. Some days one baby will refuse to breastfeed while her sister refuses a specific bottle.

It’s frustrating sometimes, it’s beautiful sometimes.

Why I Don’t Dress My Twins In Matching Outfits

People ask me a lot why I don’t dress my babies in matching outfits and the simple answer is: Because I don’t want to.

Ok, Ok, perhaps the simple version is a bit too snarky so allow me to explain.

It seems pretty common to dress twins, or even just siblings, in matching outfits. My Instagram feed is full of them and I’ll admit it’s super cute. But, it’s not my absolute favourite sibling clothing aesthetic. I’m actually a huge fan of the look that’s more like, “this kind of could go together, but not quite.” One twin in stripes and the other in florals, with a similar colour palette? Yes, please. 😍

Personally I use my twins clothing as one of the ways I tell them apart. Since they were born, I’ve discovered a lot of little ways to tell who is who, but it doesn’t always work so well when looking back at photos. Different outfits helps jog my memory, and helps me easily tell other people which twin is in each picture.

I’m trying to foster a sense of individuality in any tiny way I can right from the beginning. Right now they share everything, it’s simply not practical to do otherwise, and I know throughout life they’ll get mistaken for each other and lumped together constantly because their faces and birthdays match. So in any small way that I’m able to say, “These are 2 separate, individual people.” I’m going to express that.

And the final, perhaps the biggest reason is that it gets expensive buying two matching copies of everything and honestly, for me that’s kind of a waste of money. I’d rather buy coordinated sets that come in bundles, look cute together but don’t exactly match, and end up with more unique pieces than a closet full of duplicate outfits.

I’m not against matching outfits by any stretch of the imagination. The girls have some duplicate outfits I’ve bought that I’m excited to dress them in (though my instincts are already thinking of ways to make each unique instead of exactly the same.) And we’ve had some gifted to us that I’m just dying to see them wear. I Ooh and Aah over twins dressed alike as much as the next person.

I’m just not going out of my way to buy my twins an entirely matching wardrobe.

The First Month With Twins

One month down.

I don’t believe I ever officially announced that the babies were born here on this blog. New mom-brain. And epic fail to not even announce your babies on a mom blog.

A little over a month ago, my twin baby girls were born. They came early, at 34 weeks+2 days, and spent 2 weeks in the NICU after the fact. I’m working on writing their birth story at the moment…kind of.

Now they’re home, and I’m learning to adjust to having 2 tiny, demanding, helpless humans. To say my hands are full would be an understatement. Working on much of anything has taken a backward but hopefully that will improve over time.

Over the last month I’ve really struggled with how much harder having 2 at a time is compared to just 1. Everything has been a struggle as I learn to feed, carry, and change 2 at once. It’s definitely been a juggling act, and much harder than I expected.

Oh but they are so cute though and the calm moments when we cuddle happily are the moments I live for.

It’s so amazing learning their personalities and getting to know them. I was so worried about getting them mixed up – I even left their hospital bracelets on for weeks as a way to tell them apart – but I’ve discovered enough subtle differences to tell them apart now which helps a lot.

Find More Of My Content:

I also write on Medium, I recently posted about how much I am hating breastfeeding lately. I also posted about how much I struggled while my babies were in the NICU, as well as a story about how much more difficult I found it being pregnant in my late 30s vs my early 20s.

I’m going to just end this post here, as I’m pretty sure I have diapers to change and babies to feed. Drop me a comment with your best piece of advice for raising twins!

Personal Updates (+ Pictures!)

This blog has been a little quiet lately as I’ve been focusing on other projects as well as growing these babies. So I thought rather than posting about any specific topic, I’d just post a quick update here as well as maybe link to some of the things I’ve been working on lately.

How Are The Babies Doing?

The twins are doing pretty good. They’re definitely coming earlier than expected, which has been a weird emotional rollercoaster for me.

I’m excited to meet them but obviously worried that being born too early could be bad for them.

Currently I’m exactly 34 weeks pregnant and while I won’t say precisely when they will be joining us I’ll say it is soon. (The main reason for early delivery has to do with blood flow issues that indicate that the placenta isn’t doing the work that it needs to be doing to keep them both healthy inside my body much longer.)

So at the moment I’m just staying positive, getting prepared, and trusting in the doctors who are tasked with helping us welcome these little ones into the world.

Physically, I’m incredibly uncomfortable and in that weird limbo state of feeling “done” while also feeling “not ready yet.”

My Favourite Baby Products

We’ve been so absolutely spoiled by friends and family members lately, and it’s been so appreciated. These are some of my favourite things we’ve either received or purchased ourselves over the last few months that I’m really excited about (click the picture to view on purchase on Amazon – these are affiliate links which means I will possibly earn a small commission if you purchase through them, but you are in no way obligated to)

Maternity Pictures

My daughter took some maternity pictures for me recently. I wanted some nice ones before this pregnancy was done, and she was sweet enough to offer to help. I love how they turned out, even though I picked a bad time of day to get them done and the sun kind of made things difficult, but I’m happy with them.

Youtube Videos

I started uploading videos on Youtube about a year or so ago, for no real reason other than I wanted to learn how the platform works and I thought it would be an interesting challenge to learn how to edit videos.

In recent months I’ve been uploading videos specifically about my pregnancy, you can find the most recent one below. I’ve also posted a few general pregnancy updates you can see if you go visit my channel (if you have a Youtube channel as well, please leave me the link and I’ll come subscribe to you!)

Social Media Links

Follow me around on various other platforms if you’d like!

I hope if you’re reading this you’re doing well, if you’re expecting a baby any time over the next 9 months or so let me know how far along you are and how you’re feeling.

Stay safe and I’ll be back with another new post soon hopefully!

How Do You Make Friends When You’re A Mom?

(Featured Photo by Elina Fairytale from Pexels)

I met a woman at the grocery store recently and we struck up a conversation. She was enjoying a rare solo shopping trip since she has twins at home, I was shopping with my teenager while rather pregnant with twins of my own and we got to chatting a little. She was friendly, funny, gave me some tips on a few things twin related, then we parted ways. My daughter commented that she seemed nice but, “You didn’t ask for her phone number though!”

Do people…do that?

And a follow up question, if not by exchanging numbers with random nice ladies you meet, how the heck do people make new friends as a mom? Or like…at all?

I genuinely do not understand how grown ups make friends.

When I first got pregnant with my daughter, 14 long years ago, I had very few friends who were also at that stage just yet. As a result I definitely drifted away from a lot of the friends I did have, as our lives were just too different. I couldn’t go out every night or make plans at the last minute, and they stopped inviting me along eventually (understandably) as it became clear that it was pointless because I’d just say no or have to cancel at the last minute anyways. Or go home early. Or we just had very little to talk about anymore as my days revolved around diaper changes and the Backyardigans and theirs, well…didn’t.

Some friendships became stronger, and I had the privilege of experiencing first hand how amazing it is when your friends love your kids, like truly love your kids. My daughter acquired a few Bonus Aunts and Uncles along the way. But many friendships faded away until the people were nothing more than acquaintances.

Eventually many of my friends “caught up” (for lack of a better way to put it) and had kids of their own. In some cases this brought us closer again due to the shared understanding of being parents, but at the same time it often didn’t work out that way since our children were so far apart in age, the idea of getting together so the kids can play didn’t always make a lot of sense. More times than I can count we were invited to a “Bring the kids! They can all play!” gathering only to arrive and be surrounded by toddlers while mine was in grade school. Not that I’m complaining about being included of course, my point is just that the age discrepancy was glaringly obvious and often left me with that feeling like, “We still don’t really belong here.”

Most of the friends I’ve made over the years have absolutely nothing to do with motherhood. Most of them I met through work, some I met through mutual friends. Often when I meet women who are also mothers I quickly find we have nothing in common when it actually comes to the parenting part of life and that itself is enough of a reason for us not to become friends. Sometimes I meet the mother’s of my daughter’s friends and they seem nice enough. We can communicate civilly and make arrangements when our kids want to hang out, but it’s not like we’re meeting up for dinner or drinks or texting on a regular basis. (Despite the fact that every single time, my daughter insists we are going to be best friends.)

Most Of Us Are Just Too Tired Or Busy To Be Good Friends

Part of the problem with making friends as an adult, especially when you’re a parent, is that there is no time to cultivate new friendships. I’m sorry but all I can offer you is a “We should get together soon!” text every once in awhile, followed by nothing because we don’t actually have time to get together. I’m lucky that the existing friends I do have are all basically on the same page at this point and never seem to get offended but it definitely means that a lot of time passes before I actually see many of the people I genuinely consider friends.

I know I’m not the only one in this boat because many of my very dear friends do the same. Life is just busy and carving out precious hours to meet up with a friend is difficult, even if we know we’ll end up having a great time and being thankful that we did it.

For me, especially now, it’s a little difficult because a few years ago I moved to a different province and I not only left all my friends behind, but I also haven’t made any kind of effort to make new friends since I’ve lived here. I have maybe 2 people in the general area who I consider friends (neither of them moms by the way) and one I haven’t seen in a couple years since we both left the job where we met, and the other I’ve never met up with even once the entire time I’ve lived here. It just never seems to happen, despite those “Oh we should…” talks that go nowhere.

Covid hasn’t helped things either of course, and for the last 2 years I could count on one hand the number of people I actually interacted with in person, for good reason obviously. But now I’m at the point where I don’t think I even know how to go about being social anymore. Carrying on normal conversations…what’s that like?

So all this is to say that making friends as an adult – especially if you have kids – is difficult. And I don’t know the secret, so if you figure it out, let me know.

I will probably be too busy or lazy to try it, but that’s ok. At least our conversation will count as social interaction for each of us.

Jokes aside, leave me a comment and let me know the best, most interesting, or most unconventional way you’ve made friends as an adult. I’m curious to know!

Why You Should Solo Road Trip With Your Kids

Photo by Dominika Roseclay from Pexels

I took my first solo road trip with my daughter when she was only a year old. We drove from where we were living at the time – in the Okanagan Valley, B.C. – to visit a friend in Calgary, Alberta. Roughly a 10 hour drive in total depending on how frequently you need to stop – which is obviously often when travelling with a little one in diapers.

That first road trip on my own was such an empowering experience for me, especially as an at-the-time single mom who was fortunate enough to have very supportive, very involved parents who were an endless source of support for me but who occasionally – through no fault of their own – left me feeling like less of a mom because I needed help (but that’s another story for another blog post, although I would like to make it clear they never made me feel that way, it was other people’s comments that got under my skin. But again, another blog, another day.)

But that trip. I had no one to rely on. No back up. No safety net. It was just me, the kiddo, and the road. Ok and the car. And the diaper bag. And about a million other things packed into the car, you get my point though. It was an adventure for just the two of us, and by the end I felt more confident in my skills as a mother than ever before.

My mom and I used to road trip together a lot. My entire family has always been really into road trips actually. We drove nearly all the way across Canada – twice – first when we moved from B.C. to Ontario, and then back to B.C. a handful of years later. But again, another blog post for another day because this post is about those solo trips. Small 2 hour day trips here and there. To Vancouver and back for a weekend more times than I can count. When my daughter was born, she joined our little road tripping crew and the 3 of us continued our journey all over B.C. and occasionally over to Alberta. Sometimes we had reasons for our trips, such as the time I tracked down where my grandmother’s mother had been buried in Alberta so we drove there to visit my great grandmother’s grave. Or when we wanted to take a Girls Weekend drive to Victoria to visit Buchardt Gardens and the Butterfly Gardens for May long weekend, so we rented a van and drove out that way, falling in love with “Sidney by the Sea” along the way. Sometimes our road trips were just because we felt like going for a drive. On a few occasions we’d just pick a random direction and just head out, just because we wanted to explore.

We’d get snacks. We’d pack CDs (yes, CDs) and whether my mother liked it or not I’d sing to her the whole damn time. (She swears she likes it but I’ve heard myself so I think maybe she was just hearing me through the “I love it because I’m your mom” filter.) When I wasn’t singing, we were talking about every single topic under the sun. When I got old enough to drive we started sharing driving duty, something I’m looking forward to in a few short years when my own daughter learns to drive.

Some of the Reasons Why Taking Solo Road Trips With Your Kids Is Awesome

  • Lot’s of quality time for lot’s of quality conversation. Conversation seems to flow better on a road trip for some reason. Maybe it’s the lack of having much else to do (although these days being glued to their phones is still an option, but you can hopefully still get some good chats out of them.)
  • New surroundings have a magical way of pushing you into a new place.
  • Road trip snacks are awesome and nothing feels cooler than when your mom let’s you pick out whatever snack you want…except maybe growing up to be the cool mom who let’s your kids pick out any snack they want!
  • It can be a really education experience, both because of what you’ll learn as you talk along the way, and what you might see and discover on your journey.
  • It’s a great bonding experience, and a way to make new memories. Years after you’ll still be laughing sometimes about a funny thing you saw as you drove through an unfamiliar town, or recounting tales of getting lost or any number of things. When my mom and I were frequently road tripping her car would sometimes overheat and we’d be stuck on the side of the road for hours. We hated it at the time but we laugh about it now.
  • There are so many different options and no two road trips are exactly the same. Weather, the direction you head, even the time of day you hit the road can all drastically alter the experience (in good and bad ways of course, certain times of the year are not the greatest for long drives.)

Leave me a comment and let me know either the best road trip you’ve ever taken, or the longest one. Or if you’d like, tell me your worst road trip experience ever! Mine is tied between when I got sunburnt in Vegas and had to endure a looooong drive back to BC in a car with a window that wouldn’t roll up, or the time I injured my neck on a rollercoaster in Edmonton and had to suffer through the 10+ hour drive back to the Okanagan, unable to get comfortable the entire time.

Fun stuff.

Self Care For Moms

I follow a fair amount of mom groups and blogs and a common theme I see repeated a lot is that moms don’t get their needs met as often as they should. This is obviously a problem a lot of moms can relate to, if the frequency of which it’s brought up is any indication. So why are so many moms lacking the self care department? How can we fix that?

I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that at least part of the problem is that we’ve made it a habit to put ourselves last, take on too much, and be the go-to person to solve everyone’s problems. We’ve convinced ourselves that if we don’t do it, no one else will and as a result we’ve put ourselves and our needs on the very bottom of the pile. What’s worse, this has gone on for so long that breaking these habits seems impossible and some mothers (obviously not all) are almost comfortable in this “put myself last” dynamic. We’ve certainly normalized it, and that’s unfortunate.

So now let’s normalize undoing it.

Self Care Is Important

It’s great for your mental and overall health, prevents burn out and is a great way to safeguard against developing feelings of resentment towards your spouse or your family in general. Plus it’s healthy for your kids to see you putting yourself first. The importance of self care should be fairly obvious when you look at the consequences of not getting enough, or any.

Some Ways To Help Ensure You Get More Self Care In Your Life

Figure out what self care means to you. It doesn’t have to be bubble baths, massages and getting your nails done. I mean, it can be if that’s your thing, but it’s not the only option. Self care can be going for a solo walk, or having uninterrupted reading time or time to watch your favourite show. It can be a night out or taking a class. Whatever the thing is that makes you feel recharged and reconnected to who you are as a person outside of being a mom, that’s something you should be trying to incorporate into your life on a regular basis.

Steal little pockets of time where available, get creative if you must. It can be tough to just find the time to indulge in any type of self care when life gets so busy, so sometimes you need to think outside the box to make it happen. If your kid plays a sport for example, that likely takes up a large chunk of your time. But what if you coordinate with one of the other moms to alternate taking each other’s kids to practice? It doesn’t really add anything to your plate to bring along an extra kid on your days to drive, and it gives you a chunk of time that’s now free on the days when the other mom is taking the kids. Now go do something just for you with that time.

Put other things on the backburner, and prioritize yourself. What is the worst that is going to happen if you sit and read for 20 minutes instead of sweeping? Can you let the kids put the laundry away so you can get a quick work out in? Sure they may not do it exactly the way you would, but does it matter? Really?

Let go and let others take some stuff off your plate. Trust that they can handle it. Resist the urge to micromanage.

Communicate your needs and be firm about them. It would be so nice if your family could read your mind and anticipate your needs, but they can’t. So be realistic and tell them what you need and how you’re going to ensure that need is met. Then hold firm on that. If 7-7:30 is your time to relax in the bath and the kids come knocking on the door asking for a snack: Nope. This is Mom Time. Go ask your dad or figure it out yourself.

Will it always work? No. But if it works even 5% of the time that’s still more than usual so that sounds like a win to me. Plus, it will very likely get easier over time. Think of it this way, it’s like building any other type of habit or skill. It takes practice and repetition.

It can also help if you try to make the self care activities you choose take place outside of the home so they don’t even have the option to disturb you. Call it hiding from your family if you must but sometimes it’s necessary to remove the temptation (that’s you) so they don’t just fall back on the easy solution for all their problems (again, that’s you.)

Find cheap or free alternatives. Sometimes we stop doing the things we enjoy because the expenses of family obligations take priority and anything for ourselves starts to look like an unnecessary indulgence. It’s why so many mom’s will update their kids’ wardrobes every season while they’re still wearing the same yoga pants they’ve had for 6 years.

Ideally, just breaking that way of thinking and learning to treat yourself sometimes would be nice. But until you get to that point, try exploring cheaper or even free options. If buying the newest hardcover novel you’ve been eyeing makes you cringe at the price tag, check your local library or see if there is a used book store or some type of book swap nearby. If getting massages, or getting your nails done is your thing but out of your price range, look for local training schools where you can often get fantastic service by someone learning their trade (guided by a professional in that field.)

Something is better than nothing, so start small if you have to. Making self care a priority is likely a difficult thing to do because you’re not used to it. So any small thing you can do can add up over time. The more you do it, the easier it will become. Your family may even start learning to anticipate some of your needs because you’ve made a point of showing them that they are a priority.  

This one may prickle a few feathers but I’m saying it anyways because some of you need to hear it: Don’t make excuses and don’t be a martyr. You know what I mean.

“But I have to–“ No you don’t.

“Well I can’t–“ Yes you can.

Stop neglecting yourself on purpose just so you can complain about being neglected.

Obviously Sometimes Things Are A Lot More Complicated

Now, I completely acknowledge that a lot of this can be trickier when you’re dealing with circumstances outside of some of the examples I’ve given. If you’re a single mom, that makes it difficult because you can’t exactly hand the kids off to a partner so you can sneak away. Depending on the age of your children, this is still a great opportunity to model that self care behavior. There’s no reason why you can’t have a conversation with your kids and explain to them how every person needs a little time to themselves to do something they enjoy so they can recharge and feel good, modifying the language as needed based on their age. You could ask your kids what activities they think are their own self care activities, and explain to them some of yours. Maybe discuss ways you can help each other practice self care. Start the conversation now so they’ll have a healthy attitude towards self care as they get older.

If you have very young children and a partner that absolutely refuses to help out or accommodate your needs in any way, well…I’m not at all qualified to tell you how to handle that but that might be a bigger issue that needs to be addressed in a more substantial way before it get’s even worse. I’m not saying end your relationship, but having a good serious talk about these things could be beneficial, as well as looking into counselling or other outside sources of support if it seems necessary.

What are your preferred forms of self care? Do you feel like you get enough of it in your life or are you usually putting your needs last to take care of everyone else? Leave me a comment and let me know.

Motherhood Is Not A Competitive Sport

(Photo by cottonbro from Pexels)

Yeah, I said it. Motherhood is not a competitive sport.

Some mom’s seem to have not gotten that memo though. Myself included sometimes. I’m not immune to getting stuck in the trap of at the very least mentally competing with other mothers. Even though I’m aware it happens, it still seems to sneak up on me more than I’m comfortable with, and it’s a habit I’m actively trying to break.

So why are we like this? What makes us feel the need to compete with and try to outdo other moms? I’m sure there are very scientific reasons behind why this happens. Sociologists have probably written papers on this specific phenomenon and all the reasons it occurs. Are dads competitive like this? Are all people?

The thing with competition is, I don’t see anything wrong with it if it just drives you to do better and achieve more. Competition can be a great motivator. But when you’re constantly disrupting everyone else’s moment to shine so you can steal their thunder, it becomes a problem. A really annoying problem.

I have certain mothers in my life who for some reason can’t stand to listen to me say anything about my daughter without trying to one up it. My daughter gets all B’s and 2 A’s on her report card? Oh Lauren got all A’s! My daughter learns a new skill? Yeah Ella learned that 6 months ago. My daughter gets a new device or toy she had been asking for? Ava got that for Christmas and she doesn’t even play with it anymore!

Great. Good for little Laurellava, I’m genuinely happy for the kid but was it really necessary to mention that at this specific moment? I see what you’re doing.

Now, I get that sometimes people just do these things as a way to relate. They want to show that they understand or that they too are familiar with whatever the current topic is, and that’s perfectly understandable. But there’s also a lot of times when you can just tell, either because it happens all the time from this particular person, or because of the way they chime in, you can tell they’re really just trying to say, “My daughter/son did that first/better!”

Why? What is the point of this? Can’t you just say “congratulations” or “good job” or “how exciting!” and move on?

The other thing I always see is the “I’m more tired/my life is busier than yours!” game. You see this a lot from moms with more than one kid, mostly towards mothers of one, or heaven forbid no kids at all. Mother of One Amy might groan about how busy she is and Sally-Three-Kids can’t help but pipe up, “Oh girl! You have no idea! Try having THREE!”

With all due respect, shut up Sally.

Does anyone remember that meme that went around a few years ago with the woman with the letterboard sign saying that moms should get to cut to the front of the line at coffee shops because they were more tired than those who were child free?

Yeah, that kind of thing.

That woman got mostly ripped apart from what I recall, with responses ranging from offended (“Uhhh actually pretty sure DOCTORS and NURSES and FIREFIGHTERS, etc, understand tired more than you ever will!”) to straight up crass (“Yeah you’re not special just because you let someone c*m in you.”) a lot of people seemed really annoyed by her “I deserve special treatment because I’m a MOM!” sentiment, as harmless and tongue-in-cheek as she might have intended it at the time. I’m sure plenty of mom’s also found her post funny and relatable, and from time to time I do still see if get reposted by moms in various places but for the most part I just remember the irritated reactions.

Here’s the thing, motherhood is exhausting. Absolutely. There’s no denying that. Is it more exhausting than anyone else’s life? Not necessarily. So let’s not pretend that any of us deserve X amount of sympathy because of Y contributing factors, and just quit the competing. We’re all freaking tired.

So mothers (yes including myself, as I said I am guilty of this as well!) I’m issuing us all a challenge. If another mom brings up something she’s excited about, let’s try to refrain from responding in a way that tries to beat or one up her story. Let’s just respond positively and with encouragement. If someone says they’re tired, don’t scoff that they have no idea because blah blah blah. If someone brags about something they’ve accomplished that you did before, try to fight the urge to bring up your own accomplishment and just simply congratulate them instead.

You can brag later.