Jan 2, 2020 | Community and Partnerships
Have you ever thought about what you would go back and change if you had the chance? I have - many times.
I guess my musings about this began when I was still pretty young - not really making too many decisions that I would later regret. I've always been fascinated by the idea of time travel; a fascination that began when I watched an old show called The Time Tunnel.
In the show, two scientists travel through time and go from adventure to adventure fixing issues that were awry. Imagine that idea for a moment - being able to go back in time and fix something you look back on with some regret. What would you go back and fix? For me, there is a long and somewhat embarrassing list of regrets; from fashion choices, to jobs and everything in between but one thing I would do for sure is go back and talk to my younger self and say "ask for help" - more specifically, ask for help in how to be a better mom.
I've talked to you before about this subject, and I've talked with my kids in more detail about how I wish I had been a better mom. I wish I had been more patient, not so sad and angry at times, and had made different decisions about work and finances. I wish I had asked for help when I was overwhelmed or flustered. I didn't though, and despite this, my kids are wonderful human beings whom I adore unequivocally. But maybe it could have been easier if I had reached out?
For some background, when my kids were little my hubby and I moved out of the Toronto area into a farming community. We purchased an old, ramshackle farm house on 50 acres of land; a hobby farm it was called. It was all we could afford at the time. After the excitement wore off from the "Green Acres" analogy we realized that this life was going to be hard. We had no family nearby. We had no friends. My hubby still worked in Toronto (a 90-minute commute one-way) and was often required to work extra hours. This meant that I was alone a lot. Money was tight or absent. Life wasn't easy.
Essentially, I had to figure “stuff” out on my own and I didn't always do a good job of it. I was young and there weren’t any manuals for how to be a great mom - no internet - no google - no smart phones. Being alone with my questions and my problems was tough and I really struggled to find my way. However, I worked hard to make friends - moms of other kids of the same age and with them I began volunteering at the school. I became the “hot dog mom” and “the head lice mom” and I can't tell you how many school trips I went on. It helped. A lot.
There was a local library with a librarian who ran a program for pre-school kids called Story Hour so I took little Kate and Matt to that before they began kindergarten. I became a Scout/Beaver leader, made more friends and met more and more people. We gradually became part of the community and with that, I found support in my parenting. It was good but there was a big gap - no professional help. I wish there had been.
If I could go back in time I would tell my younger me to find that help and sign up! And if it didn't exist I would tell younger me to work with the other moms to bring it to the community because in hindsight I now know so many of the other moms were struggling just like me. But - time travel doesn't exist - and maybe that's a good thing. Thankfully Triple P Parenting classes do.
Triple P – Positive Parenting Program is a collaborative community initiative made up of more than 20 organizations – HDGH Regional Children’s Centre being one. It is a parenting program for ALL parents. It doesn’t tell you how to parent but provides a toolbox of ideas and practical answers to everyday parenting concerns, similar to mine, which would have been a lifeline in those years when I needed it most.
The program prides itself on helping with whatever you need, no matter how simple or complex. It also is age specific and addresses concerns or common issues that come up among certain stages of our children’s lives.
These classes are free folks. Yes, FREE! They can be a light for parents trying to figure it all out. They can be the difference between looking back and focusing on your fashion choices and not your parenting choices. They can help when things seem insurmountable. These classes can make tough times easier and hard situations a little lighter. For more information and on how to register, visit https://www.hdgh.org/triplep.
These classes are for you; whether you are a new mom, (or dad), or you have five kids or one. Maybe you have adopted or are thinking of starting a family. Whether you’re a Beaver/Scout mom, soccer mom, Head lice mom, work a full time job, or you’re in school, it doesn’t matter. These classes will help you as they would have helped me. I think that- in an age and time of intense confusion, pressure and an abundance of information on being the “perfect parent” there are common goals which all parents can agree on. I personally believe that we aspire to raise productive, moral, healthy and happy children that become kind and compassionate adults. Despite my own struggles as a mom I am delighted that I achieved this goal and am now helping my daughter raise her own three kids.
We all want to be the best parents we can be. In our world today, we almost have the dilemma of too much (sometimes conflicting) information on how to raise a confident, kind and happy child. Thankfully this program, the Triple P, is one that will help. Check it out – you won’t be sorry you did. So friends, here’s to 2020! I hope for us all that the time ahead; the decade, the year, the month, the day and even the minute is one in which we are kind to ourselves; where we celebrate our successes and learn from our failures, and find balance in our lives! Take care all and if you find that time machine, remember to give me a call. Those sweaters from the 80’s could use a do-over :)
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