Surviving a move with teens and tweens

Have you noticed the for sale signs going up in your neighborhood? It’s spring, and that means moving season.

In fact, it was exactly three years ago this week that we packed up and moved from Canada to The Woodlands, Texas. All of us, especially the kids, had mixed emotions about our big move. But, I really had no idea how difficult the transition was going to be.

FullSizeRender

It all hit home the day my middle daughter had a complete meltdown walking home from school. We’d been here just a few weeks and the weather was already a sweltering 95 degrees (35 C). She dropped her backpack on the sidewalk, tore at the neck of her sweat-soaked shirt and shouted through tears, “I want to move back to Canada…where the weather is perfect!” Hahahaha…tell that to most Canadians!!

I hadn’t realized just how lonely she was feeling at school. She was missing her friends back home and didn’t feel like part of her new class. When all the kids were exchanging yearbooks, she didn’t have one. And, she wasn’t pictured in any of the year end slideshows. To a kid, that stuff matters.

It was a long, hot summer. Where was everybody?? No bikes, no soccer balls, no laughing children in the cul-de-sac. I finally figured out they were all seeking refuge in their air-conditioned homes!!

As my youngest happily cooled off in our backyard pool, my oldest started having mysterious stomach pains. Initially, I thought she’d come down with a stomach bug from the water park, but when it persisted for weeks, I finally took her to the doctor. There was no “official” diagnosis, but the doctor suggested she might be having anxiety related to the move, the loss of her social network and fear of starting a new school in the fall. Everything that was familiar to her…was gone.

She spent hours texting, Facetiming and Skyping friends back home, and I worried that maybe it was too much. Wasn’t it time to move on? For a while, it seemed like she was focusing on her old friends at the expense of making new ones. Was it a good idea for her to go back and visit, or bring her friends here? We tried everything, but only with time…and patience, did she find her new normal. I’m happy to say she still has close connections with her old friends thanks to social media.

It took a full year for The Woodlands to begin to feel like home and now we love it here. But seeing the for sale signs reminds me of all the change – good and bad – a family must go through when relocating. I’ve compiled a list of what I hope are helpful tips to ease the transition:

  • Talk to your children, stressing the positives of the move and the new location. It’s important to be honest with them, and acknowledge their fears, but always try to remain upbeat about the new experience. Your kids will feed off of your emotions.
  • Pre-move visit – it helps for kids to see where they are moving. Let them check out the neighborhood, local parks, etc. so they can visualize themselves in their new surroundings. Involve them in the house-hunting process, just be careful they don’t get their heart set on a house in case the real estate deal falls through.
  • Phone a friend – if possible, try to connect with other moms who are already living there. For me, the advice I received from the wife of my husband’s co-worker was invaluable. I find you will always get the “real deal” from other moms.
  • The internet is your friend – use it to research schools, doctors, dentists, dance studios, swim clubs, or hockey teams. It can sometimes be hard to find a doctor or pediatrician accepting new patients, so get on those lists early. Same goes for pre-schools and private schools. Once there, go for a visit and talk to the staff to make sure what you read on the internet is true.
  • Get documents in order – most schools require birth certificates (now you need the long-form version), vaccination records, transcripts and report cards. You may also need your marriage certificate and marriage license. It’s so much easier to gather this stuff ahead of time, rather than trying to track it down during the middle of packing and un-packing.
  • Be prepared for tutoring – moving to a different province, state or even school district may come with different standards and curriculum expectations. And that’s ok. Be open to any extra support or tutoring the school may recommend. It doesn’t mean your child is “behind”, it just means they are behind where this particular school district wants them to be.
  • Talk to your kids’ teachers ahead of time. Let them know a little about your child’s personality, and what he/she may need during those first few weeks. Also, ask if there is a “buddy” who could be paired with your child to show them around the school. My daughter is still good friends with the class ambassador who be-friended her on the first day.
  • Sign up for kids’ activities sooner, rather than later – getting kids involved early on can minimize their feelings of loss and loneliness. It’s a great place for them to meet new friends and gets them back to doing what they love
  • Be the host – it’s likely that for the first few months, you may have to be the host of play dates, outings and eventually sleepovers. You might even offer to host a neighbourhood or class party. No one knows your child, so what better way to break the ice?
  • Join something fun – give yourself permission to join a gym, book club, take dance lessons or volunteer. Try to get out and mingle. Not everyone handles change well and moving can be a trigger for depression; it’s important to stay active and engaged with others. After all, you need friends too!
  • Don’t feel guilty — expect that your kids will complain, but don’t let them make you feel guilty for “ruining their life.” They are kids, they will adjust, and it will be harder for teens than young ones. I honestly believe that moving teaches kids some great life skills – how to make friends, be easy-going and adapt to all of the curve balls life is going to throw at them.
  • Relationship TLC – moving is busy and stressful. The extent of conversation with your spouse may be limited to “Did the cable guy come yet?” and the ever so innocent…”Wow, those boxes aren’t unpacked yet??” Make time to just set all the moving stuff aside, pour yourselves a glass of wine and talk. If you can sneak a night out, then go for it, especially once you find a great babysitter.

IMG_8255
What a huge learning curve we all went through during that first year. Of course, there were so many great memories too – seeing my first magnolia tree, having our first Blue Bell ice cream (before the listeria outbreak, of course!) and meeting great neighbours who’ve become dear friends.

IMG_7837
Getting used to “y’all” took a little time. I’m still having trouble with “all y’all’s” as a plural possessive?! We drank a lot of “sweet tea” that summer and I quickly got up to speed on Tex Mex lingo. Now if I go to a potluck, I know what pico and queso are!

When moving, it’s so easy to focus on what you don’t have anymore, but in the end, you have all you need ~ each other!

Please comment below if you’d like to share your moving experience, or if you have any other advice for moms who are getting ready for this big transition.

I’d like to thank my friend and real estate agent Wendy Kelman for contributing to this post.

All The {GOOD} Moms Are Doing It

I am a product of the seventies. In fact, I’m so proud of the fact that I was born in the seventies when the devil-may-care attitude of parenting was triumphed above all others. Why? Because we were free. Freedom reigned in the seventies. Freedom to be, to live, to dwell, to drink, to eat, to act in whatever way we wanted. Without judgment or shame.

Scan_Pic0264

Mommy shaming is so 2013, don’t ya think?  Social media has brought all of our mothering faults screaming to the forefront–to the point where we could all say we are *THE* worst mother ever. Don’t you feel that way?

When I grew up a birthday party consisted of the four food groups: Kool Aid(usually purple so that our face was stained for days), hot dogs(of no known meat origin), angel food cake(out of a box) with pink fluffy frosting and pop rocks. THAT was the epitome of birthday party success! No party bags for guests, no carefully crafted decorations or reserved party spaces. No, we ran and giggled and maybe played PintheTailontheDONKEY with REAL tacks!

*sigh*……the seventies were awesome.

No car seats. No seat belts. No helicopter parenting. No rules. Just a lot of love and joy.

I’ve done a lot of things in my parenting career that would likely have me jailed and my kids taken away. I’m not using hyperbole here. I’m dead serious. And I love my kids. I actually think I’m a GOOD mother. I have four kids who range from 14 to 20 and they’re all healthy and happy(well, as happy as teenagers can be at any given moment). But I did some stuff that, at the time, was what I felt was right in the moment but it would have been held to scrutiny and judgment. And I didn’t feel reckless or careless with my kids’ lives.

Scan_Pic0148

But here we are in an age when it seems quite appropriate and expected to shame other parents into being as awesome as we are. Because clearly, *WE* are perfect and *THEY* are not so therefore *WE* must enlighten them to the error of their ways……or something like that.

Recently in our news there was a story of a mom in Winnipeg who was being charged with child abandonment for leaving her 6 year old home alone for 90 minutes. We can debate the appropriate age where children can be left alone for days but in every single case, the ONLY person who will be the best judge is the mom. Yes, there are moms who use poor judgment. Yes, there are bad moms. But you know what? The bad moms of the world likely measure up to less than 1% of all of the mothers who are just trying their best. They’re good moms.

I was babysitting at the age of 11. According to new laws that would be illegal. I was IN THE CARE OF SMALL CHILDREN at eleven years of age. Let that sink in.

My mom was a single mom. She would get someone to stay with us if she was going to be out for several hours the first year we moved into the city. She really didn’t need to. We were all quite capable and self sufficient. But in 1980, in **SCARY** Regina, SK she felt it necessary. We were 7, 9 and 10 years old. And for an hour or two we would have been fine. And we were.

My mom had to retrain herself and went to school in 1982.  She would take the bus everyday and we would walk to school. We would walk home at lunch and after school. ALONE. We cooked, cleaned, did our homework. ALONE. And we lived. Imagine that?! We lived. And we’re fine.

My mom would have been put in jail now.

The car seats we had when my babies were born were pretty basic. Two positions- up and down. Not much for adjusting the seat belts and no 3 point installation system. You didn’t need a book. Or a degree. Or a stop off at the local car seat inspection clinic. You put your baby in, and drove away.  If you post a pic on FB or Twitter now, of your baby in a car seat, there is more than a 78% chance that at least one  of your *mommy friends* will comment on how the harness is secured. It will be too tight, too loose, incorrect all together or they will be inboxing you suggesting you remove the photo in case social services is called. You know I’m right – remember the cute baby singing in her car seat and HALF THE COMMENTS were about her car seat being incorrectly installed???!!!

Scan_Pic0269

I’m thankful for raising my babies in the FB free world where I actually nursed my babies IN A MOVING VEHICLE! *GASP*!

Don’t worry moms, your secrets are safe with me.

I know you leave your sleeping baby in the car while you go to the ATM.  I know you lock the doors and are well aware of the temperature inside and out.

I know you’re walking down the street to collect your wayward dog while your toddler plays in the living room. Unsupervised. I know.

I know you just spent 45 minutes weeding the garden while your preschoolers played with playdough, inside, in the kitchen, where there are knives and scary things. I know.

I know you’re having a bath while you’re reading this. And the door is closed. While your 3 preschoolers are watching a movie. I know.

I know that you’ve left a 3 year old unattended in the bath while you ran to make sure supper wasn’t burning. I know.

I know you’re considering leaving your 10 year old home with the 6 and 4 year old so you can run to the store. I know.

I know you’ve let too many kids jump on the trampoline while you watched one more episode of Downton Abbey before supper. I know.

I know that you’ve fed your kids Cheese Whiz and Cheetos and COKE all in the same day.  I know.

I know you’ve put ginger ale in your baby’s bottle because the puking all night is more than you can take and you just needed a break. I know.

I know you gave your baby Motrin last night even though she didn’t have a fever because you don’t know what else to do. I know.

I know you’re a good mom and you cry every day because you’re trying to do the right thing but someone always seems to be showing you up.

Stop.  Look at your kids. Do you love them? Do they love you? Do you make their favourite meal whenever you can just to see them smile? Do you sacrifice sleep and health and cleanliness just to keep the family ball rolling? You’re a good mom. And you’re in good company. Because *ALL* the good moms are doing it too.

Are your teens suffering from the FOMO Syndrome, the quest for “likes” and other social media pitfalls?

Wow, it has been a long time since I last blogged. My apologies, but I felt compelled to write after attending an informative and enlightening book group discussion sponsored by my daughter’s school.

I think it’s great that our school takes the time to organize Parent Coffees and Book Group Discussions at Barnes and Noble (with a Starbucks, of course!) I love that our school cares about its students AND its parents.

Featured image

The book up for discussion was It’s Complicated…the social lives of networked teens by Danah Boyd. I’ve got to be honest…I didn’t read the book (bow head in shame) so I really can’t critique it. I heard it is research-based, and not really written by or for parents. I was expecting to learn from the book, but instead learned from the other women in the room.

About 25 moms showed up – all of us worried that our kids are addicted to social media, that they are missing out on life experiences and relationships because they’re always on their phones. And mostly, as parents of freshman through to seniors, we’re worried they are going to royally screw up on social media, and that it could hurt their chances for success in the future. (We’ll get to the beer and bikini pictures later).

The general consensus among moms was that girls are more involved in social media than boys but, don’t be fooled, those boys are still “on-line” just as much. Instead, they are spending their time gaming on X-box and Minecraft with opponents across the country  or even around the world.

Our teens are using social media to socialize…the same way we used to hang out at the local convenience store, mall or roller rink (am I dating myself?) Their phones ARE their playgrounds. And, whose fault is that? As parents, we may be contributing to the problem. With our teens so busy and over-scheduled, who has time to go to the park and just hang out anymore? One mom suggested that if a group of 10-15 teens did try to hang out at the mall on a Friday night, they’d probably be questioned by security!! Perhaps, in our quest to raise great children, all the tutoring and private lessons are taking away from time to socialize in person.

We also agreed our teens don’t seem to understand the permanence of what they do on-line. Once you say something mean or nasty, it doesn’t go away…even if you’ve deleted it. It can always be found. The picture of you at the party, with the bottle of beer in the background, has now hurt your reputation. Sure, maybe you weren’t drinking it, and no you didn’t post the picture, but your friend tagged you in it, so now everybody can see it’s you! It may be wrong, but your kid may very well be judged or miss out on an opportunity, because of how they’ve appeared in a photo. Ditto for bikini shots – some moms just thought it was totally inappropriate for their daughters to be posting pictures of themselves in bikinis on their profiles.

As part of the College admissions process, one mom said her teen was asked for passwords to his Facebook and Instagram accounts. Really? But I don’t believe they really even need passwords. If your teen’s privacy settings are not secure, then complete strangers can still see some of their photos, posts, groups they like, etc. We also heard that some admissions personnel are trying to “friend” potential college students to get a look at their profiles. Right or wrong, its seems your teen’s Facebook or Instagram account may now be considered part of their resume!

Another theme that emerged is the FOMO syndrome – The Fear Of Missing Out . Why do our kids seem to think that what everybody else is doing is so much better, so much more exciting and somehow more valuable than what they are doing? Why do they think their lives are so boring? My daughter sees Instagram pictures of her friend’s trip to Paris, and now suddenly we must go to Paris too? Puh-lease!!

Like Instagram, apps such as Snap Chat are based on pictures and limited text. The idea that they disappear after 24 hours is false, because anyone can screen shot your Snap Chat and off it goes by text, email or another social media site onto the internet. Case in point: the 24-year-old Texas high school teacher and cheerleading coach who got fired and is now charged after snap chatting a nude picture of herself to a male student, which he then distributed to his friends.

Everyone in attendance agreed the anonymous types of sites, like Yik Yak and ASK FM, are bad news. If you can’t attach your name to it, then is it really worth the question or comment in the first place?

I’m personally annoyed by the obsession with “Likes”. Apparently, a picture isn’t worth posting unless it gets a certain amount of “likes”. Seeing your daughter’s self-confidence plummet because her picture didn’t get as many likes as she expected, is really heart-breaking. I worry that living their lives for “selfies” and “likes” often means they aren’t present in the moment, and may be missing out on real human connection or the beauty of where they are at that moment. It’s also just really silly to always be seeking the approval of others.

The good news about the book group discussion is that I wasn’t surprised or shocked by another new social media tool that I hadn’t heard of. I try hard to stay current with my kids (I still haven’t mastered Snap Chat). But I did learn about the Tinder match-making app the other day… which uses your Facebook profile and GPS technology to allow you to “hook up” with someone in your geographic radius. Thankfully, I believe we are still far away from tinkering with Tinder.

It was also just really good to hear from other people with the same concerns. No one has the right answer; but at least we’re talking. It takes a village, right?

I hope all of this doesn’t sound too negative…there are some really good things about they way our kids use social media. One mom, worried about her son who is new to our school, finds solace in the fact that he is still able to carry on a year-long 3-continent Minecraft game with his best friends. She is puzzled that since re-locating from another country, he is not mourning the loss of the friendships as you’d expect, but is instead using social media to keep the friendships going. Others thought that social media allowed teens to build stronger, more intimate friendships. Saying things over text removes the “awkward” factor for some teens.

Our kids are going to mess up…we know that. It’s all part of growing up. But our kids are doing it so publicly these days. Just think about all of the things you did when you were young. Now imagine, if someone had taken pictures of you and blasted it all over the internet. Scary, huh?  It really all comes down to common sense and communication. We need to sit down with our teens AND tweens and talk about it, because it isn’t going away. With one daughter in high school and another just about to get her first phone, there is no time like the present.

 

What Every Mother Needs to Know and Hear~I Struggle Too.

I didn’t live in the land of Facebook or e-mail when my kids were little. We didn’t even have a computer or internet for many of those early years. Motherhood was a solitary journey and I lived for the days a friend would call me up to ask how I was doing.

I also thrived on Mom’s Morning out at church or when one of us had an energetic boost and could invite the others over for playtime and coffee. These were the sanity breaks that my mind and soul craved. Not because I was so lonely(maybe I was a little) but more so for the comradeship of knowing that I was not alone in my struggles.   I loved walking into my friend’s house and seeing the crumbs on her floor , the laundry piled high, bedroom doors closed so the mess behind them wasn’t initially visible.  I wanted to see that her fridge was a mess and her beds weren’t made. I needed to know that I wasn’t the only one.  It gave me a chance to catch my breath and say, “Hey, it’s okay~you’re not the only one.”

For many years having people over was a painful process. I felt like everything needed to be in it’s place and perfectly clean. I would wash mirrors, toilets, windows, floors, clean out the fridge, rearrange the furniture, hide away mounds of laundry under blankets and in closets and pretend to look pulled together. It was exhausting. And rarely did that happen without some yelling and crying. Mostly from me. The pressure to have it all together is immense. Especially from the generation before us.  Let’s face it, our mothers and fathers came from a time when “cleanliness is next to Godliness”( which incidentally is NOT in the Bible).  Any sign that you are a messy person was the equivalent of being spiritually undisciplined and unacceptable.  I succumbed to this pressure for many years and tortured my family in the process.

That was then.

I have learned after 21 years of marriage that the people with the perfectly clean houses fall into a couple of categories:

– either both parents work all week and the kids are at school/daycare all week so no one is there to LIVE IN the house.

-At least one parent is completely anal about cleanliness and is a perfectionist beyond my realm of knowledge

or – they don’t have half the junk we do and they live in a house where everything has a home so it’s very easy to keep clean.

 

I am none of these. We have moved a lot, we have rented in places where closets and cupboards were minimal at best.  I am not a disciplined housekeeper and perhaps that’s due to my overall physical strength and well-being most of the time.  And we tend to have the cheaper variety of department store furniture, shelving, storage which is barely sufficient to corral and organize everyone’s stuff.

It doesn’t really matter why, it just matters that it is.  I’m not the crazy, clean housewife. I would rather sit down with my husband after supper than do dishes.  I would rather sleep in on Saturday occasionally than jump on the laundry.  I would rather go visit a friend than wash floors.  There’s always something else I’d rather be doing.

But it is still a struggle and I do wish that I was THAT woman over there who always has the perfectly clean house,  with the perfectly organized kitchen and the perfectly perfect kids.   Scratch that.  I don’t want that.  I don’t want to be squeaky clean. I want to be real.

We’re not all cut out to be perfectly perfect housewives with high heels on , a pressed apron on our hips and dinner on the table at 5:35 pm exactly.  Some of us are the ones with no apron on, flour on our hips, splatters on our shirt, and cookies in the oven at 5:45 pm just starting to think about what we can scrounge together for supper.

Yesterday I tackled a mountain of laundry. Laundry is the bane of my existence. It always has been. When the kids were little my mom would come to visit and do laundry for 4 days straight. She rocks the laundry room. I just can’t. I get overwhelmed on load 3.  Yes my kids do their own laundry but there’s always seasonal, household and SOCKS that fall through the cracks and accumulate. Yesterday’s pile had a ridiculous amount of mismatched socks of every size and colour. There was also mitts and scarves in abundance from our all-too-long winter. And then blankets and sheets from sleepovers and towels from 3 bathrooms and 6 people. We just suck at getting it done all the time.  And so, here I was , faced with a room where the floor had not been seen in several months. It was brutal.   But I did it. I started in the morning, sorted, folded, moved out, sorted, washed, dried, folded, sorted….it’s a lot of work when kids are growing out of stuff faster than you can wash a load.

I’m terrible at laundry. And if I lied to you and told you that my kids are all well trained and have this craft down to a science you might think I’m a great teacher. But I’m not.  Half of them are really good and half of them are like me. 🙂  It’s okay, you know.  It’s okay that we’re not perfect.  Because I suspect that someone reading this right now struggles with laundry too. Or maybe dishes. Or maybe your floors get washed once a season or once a year. Or maybe you only vacuum when company comes.  It’s totally okay. I’m kind of over the shame and guilt that some throw on us because we’re not all Susie-Homemaker baking bread, cleaning out dust bunnies and polishing floors on a daily basis.  Shame and guilt have no place in conversations with other moms.  I only have solidarity and support.  If I can tackle 15 loads of laundry in one day, anyone can.  But if you can only do one load, sister, I am SO there with you.

The more we admit that we struggle, the more comfortable we make it for someone else to admit they’re not perfect either.  The lady who gets all her laundry done every day might be terrible at baking. Her poor , poor children never get a home made cookie~ Ever.  See?  No one is perfect at it all.

 

This is after I cleaned out the 10 loads that needed to be folded~not even kidding.
This is after I cleaned out the 10 loads that needed to be folded~not even kidding.
A portion of the pile before me to fold. *sigh*
A portion of the pile before me to fold. *sigh*

 

 

936515_10151579298481620_1075453059_n
Progress!

 

Oh and one more tip: if your mother, or mother-in-law or friend, or aunt, or nosy neighbour, or stranger on the sidewalk offers to come and do your laundry for you…..TAKE THE DEAL!!! 🙂

For the Frustrated Mother~from Darlene

Do you have a mother mentor?  I did, and she taught me a simple lesson about how valuable and precious my children were, and how you can never love them too much.

Ione was the pastor’s wife.  She came from California and was the most “out there” kind of pastor’s wife I’d ever met.  She had a big laugh, a big voice, big hair, big shoulder pads, sparkly dresses, bold and outrageous jewellery, and a pair of dressy shoes with high, Lucite heels that my 3 year old daughter coveted for her dress up box.  You could hear her the second you walked into the church foyer on Sunday morning.  She was the one with the enthusiastic, “Well hello there!  I’m so glad you could be here today!”  She knew all the moms by name and remembered our children’s names.  She would gather you in for a hug and say, “I’m so happy you’re here!”  She sat close to the front of the church when her husband preached, and announced her hearty “Amen” when he got to a point she agreed with.  She would regularly invite about 10 families over at a time and feed them spaghetti.  You sat in the kitchen, in the dining room, at a card table set up in the living room…she just set places anywhere, and was the most hospitable woman I’d ever met.  She understood that people needed to feel connected and valued.  She was an absolute fascination for our calm little Mennonite church.   No one could get away from her, but truthfully, you really didn’t want to.

I remember telling her one day how frustrated and tired I was with my children.  She flashed her award winning smile and said, “But did you tell them, ‘I’m so glad God sent you to our house?’  You should tell them that all the time, because they were chosen just for you.”  Well.  Wow.  It’s hard to remain frustrated when you look at it that way.

Ione reminded me that my children were little vessels that needed to be kept topped up every day with love and acceptance.  She was a true believer that you can’t love someone too much.  When my children misbehaved, she taught me that sometimes you have to stop what you’re doing and just say, “Do you need a cuddle?” or “Do you need to just be held a bit?”  It’s harder to scold someone when they’re safe in your arms, and it’s easier for a child who is being held to tell you what’s going on in their busy little minds.

I’m glad God sent my children to our house.  I hope I told them that as many times as they needed to hear it.

~from Darlene, our resident grandma on duty. (she’s still trying to figure out how to log in and post her own blogs. ;))

SUPER{sick}MOM

I was diagnosed with MS a few days after my oldest son turned 1. It was completely devastating. I was 23 and I thought my life was over. Over the next 3 years, I was told that I shouldn’t have more children, and that I needed to begin a treatment plan – which included giving myself a needle every day. Okay, let’s rabbit trail for just a minute here. A NEEDLE? Every day?! I was the kid in elementary school who threw a FIT on needle day. In Grade 6 I scared just about everyone in the class because I had to be held down by 2 people in order to get one teeny tiny needle in my arm. I HATE needles. Continue reading

Instinct, Expectations and Picking Your Battles

I was reading a thread on Facebook today from a well-known author/blogger/speaker.  She had simply stated last night some tough love for her son who wasted time playing a video game even though she asked if he had homework and then “suddenly remembered” at bedtime.  She sent him to bed and told him the consequences were a zero, staying in at recess and reaping the rewards of his forgetfulness.  I did a little cyber *high-five* because that’s pretty much how I parent.  But what followed was nearly 300+ comments from her followers about how she handled it wrong, her son was going to be a delinquent, he was learning to be rewarded for bad behaviour, he was likely to fail in life and a whole host of *advice* about how she could have dealt with it differently.

I am mortified.

First of all, she has 5 kids and this is nothing new to her. It was a small insight into her life which she didn’t need to share but she does regularly because she’s a regular mom like the rest of us, with kids who challenge and she chooses not to enter the battle field sometimes.  A lot of the comments were offensive and most of them were out of line. Continue reading