Hiatus

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Life is a little insane right now. Okay, a lot insane.  Lots of uncertainty and I feel like I am living in limbo. There is a lot of ‘hurry up and wait’ going on.  I really hate that. With so much going on, it is a great time to take stock of all the balls I’m currently attempting to juggle and decide which, if any, I can let fall to the floor.  At present, this blog is one of them.

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Maybe I’ll be back. Maybe I won’t. I’m not sure yet. I am not going to stop writing. It is my catharsis.  I am just not sure I am cut out to blog. And during a time when I have so little free time to begin with, I am not going to spend it doing something that I’m not 100% behind.

So, until further notice, I’m on hiatus. I’m taking a break from this whole blog scene. ❤

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One & Done?

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Lately, the second baby bug has been biting me extra hard.  It never actually ever really goes away, gnawing at the corners of my heart every-so-slightly at all times, regardless of how happy and at peace I am in the moment.  I’ve written before about how I put on a bit of a facade at times, fooling everyone around me, even myself at times, acting convincingly nonchalant about the idea of a second child.  The truth is: I want one. I want one. I want one. I want one, and that want isn’t going away. However, I have made the decision that in the interest of preserving my sanity, emotional stability and potentially my marriage, I am not going to spend my days agonizing over the fact that we likely won’t be having any more babies.  Or, at least, not naturally.

Further, I refuse to let the love and happiness I do have in my life pass me by.  My son is sweet, funny, kind and amazingly intuitive. He surprises and amazes me daily, and most importantly, he brings so much joy into our lives. I can’t risk ruining our blissful family existence by climbing back onto the infertility roller coaster we rode previously for far too long. He is growing up quickly, right before my eyes, and I don’t want to miss a second of it.  So, no matter how loud the voice screaming inside me is, I am choosing to ignore it and focus on being grateful for what I do have, instead of longing for what I do not.

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So, I got to thinking about what some of the positives are for essentially being “one and done” (whether I want to be or not) and here is what I came up with:

  1. More time to focus on my son.  Without a sibling, my son does not have to fight for my attention and I do not have to try and juggle sharing my affection equally amongst multiple children and can continue to grow the deep bond we have. 
  2. Goodbye Diapers. I never have to change diapers again! My son is potty trained and my diaper days are over. No more blowout disasters or diaper rash nightmares.No more pumping or mixing formula. No more swollen breasts, heating formula or sanitizing bottles.
  3. Labour. 14 hours of agony, followed by an emergency caesarean. As lovely as that sounds (and was to endure…NOT), I do not need to re-live it, thanks.
  4. Stability aka more money $$$. More money for my son when my husband and I pass away because he has no siblings to split it with. More money for us for retirement (in theory, anyways) because we only have to feed, clothe and finance the education of one child.
  5. Life’s a B*tch sometimes. A perfect example to teach our son about how life isn’t always easy or fair and it doesn’t always work out as planned…AND THAT’S OK.

Now, before the hate mail starts rolling in, obviously a lot of this is written in jest. Of course I would endure all of the not-so-great pregnancy moments again in a heartbeat, if I could. And this post isn’t meant to offend anyone who has more than one child, wants more than one child, or is still battling to have their first child. It simply is a way for me to get outside of my head for a minute and make light of a situation that is sensitive and painful, and that nobody truly understands until they lived it themselves.

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My deeply-rooted longing to have another child will never go away; this I know. However, on days when I find myself in tears at my desk after reading another ‘2nd child’ pregnancy announcement on Facebook, after yet another unsuccessful month of trying, I will hopefully look back at this list, attempt to smile and remember how hard some of the baby moments were.  Then, as usual, I will pick myself up, dust myself off and keep on “mom-ing”, the best (and only) way I know how. ❤

Guilty of Feeling Guilty?

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I struggle daily with guilt, usually in the form of “mom-guilt” but really, find me one mother who doesn’t. However, I also have always felt a strong sense of guilt over other things, everything really, even when I seemingly had no reason to.s a child, I was never a very good liar. I would always end up feeling so lousy and ridden with guilt that I would confess almost immediately, and then beg for mercy and forgiveness.  I blame this, at least in part, to my much older sisters who tauntingly insisted that if I was lying, even just a little bit, a “black spot” would appear on my tongue. The haunting black spot torment, I like to refer to it as.

I vividly can recall them teasing me relentlessly, insisting, “Someone is lying! I see a black spot!” This would cause me to screech indignantly, take off down the hallway and burst into the bathroom to check out my tongue in the vanity mirror.  Perhaps this seemingly innocent yet militant taunting is what caused my inability to lie convincingly.

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Jovial teasing from my older siblings’ aside, I often feel guilt for things that I am not even remotely connected to.  I could be sitting on a bus as it pulls away from the curb, failing to stop and wait for the frazzled college student racing along the sidewalk beside us, and I would still feel shameful.  Why should I feel guilty that I am going to make it to work on time, while the student will inevitably be late for his class?  I was not driving the bus. I did not tell the bus driver to ignore the young man’s frantic arms, waving for him to stop and wait. I did not cause him to sleep through his alarm and have to hustle even more than every other day. Yet, there I will sit, the whole rest of the ride to work, feeling disappointed and ashamed that the bus driver did not stop and wait for him.

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What is the point of guilt, really? I read a few different theories on this. One says guilt is necessary in order to motivate us to do the right thing, behave the kindest, truest way.  Another says, it It can shift the balance of power in a relationship and it’s one way of atoning for your sins. But the more convincing article I read was on www.psychcentral.com and it describes what I personally feel to be true: guilt is not good.

 

Guilt. Rarely has one small word been so widely misunderstood. Guilt is frequently viewed as a virtue, as a high sense of responsibility and morality. The truth, however, is that guilt is the greatest destroyer of emotional energy. It leaves you feeling immobilized in the present by something that has already occurred.”

As the author in the article states, of course we all need to have a conscious.  However, we also need to remember that we cannot change the past, no matter how much we wish we could.  I am guilty (see what I did there? ha-ha) of carrying around excessive guilt and obsessing about what I could have – should have said/done in a certain situations to change the results but doing so is counterproductive. It won’t help alter the past or suddenly make me a better person.  So, rather than allow myself to be bogged down by feeling guilty, I will make note of how I feel and make amends with myself and move on.  Life is too short to spend it full of regrets!

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New Year, New You? Plus my feature on Mom + Carrot

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Happy New Year, lovelies!

Christmas craziness is behind us and the holiday magic is long gone. Here comes the January Blues, right? Well…yeah, usually, especially if you are anything like me (or a large majority of North Americans) and have to face cold, wet, dark winter nights after Christmas is behind us, that is. However, this year, I am making a conscious effort to fight off the January Blues before they even start. january_blues_1I’m wearing my positivity pants and looking at the glass half-full, my 2017 planner tucked under my arm, and I’m ready to tackle 2017 head-on.

Depsite 2016 being a pretty pitiful year for the majority (and especially the USA political system), my 2016 wasn’t half bad. In fact, it kind of rocked. So here’s to making 2017 even better. Watch out world, I’m planning to kick ass and take names. Or at least, make it until February 1st before my resolutions expire!

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But anywho, I had an nice to end 2016 – I was featured in Mom + Carrot’s recent post  about New Year’s Resolutions. It is always such an honour to be featured and have my words reach more people. Check it out linked above or click here to have a read.

SO…Tell me….what are YOU hoping to acheive this year?

 

Coffee That Helps Beat Holiday Burnout & Boost Brain Power? Yes, Please!

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I love Christmas-time! I always have. I especially enjoy it now that I am a mother.  It is such a joy to watch the holidays unfold through my son’s eyes.  From the first snowfall of the season, to the excitement of the holiday lights and decorations, it is all pure delight for him (and me!).

What I don’t like about this time of year though, is that I always feel so run down and exhausted, that by the time Christmas Day actually rolls around it is hard to muster up the energy I want to have to fully enjoy it.  By the time I slow down enough to savor the holiday magic, I either get slammed with an epic cold or flu, or am too wiped out to do any of the fun things I had originally planned for us to do (like snow tubing at the local mountain, ice skating at the outdoor rink, etc.).bb29f990c23c7529dc0795a93a34cfaa

This year I vowed for it to be different. I have already scaled back on commitments and the usual holiday stressors.  I deliberately did not bake (or plan to bake) as much as I usually do. I opted for store bought appetizers for get-togethers, and instead of making an advent calendar from scratch this year, I gifted my son a store-bought one.  And you know what? Nobody cared. And life felt a lot more doable and a lot less chaotic.

dog-in-robeSo, although all the little things I have tweaked or ignored have assisted with this holiday season feeling a lot more doable already, I have also consumed way more coffee than usual, as well.  I really try to stick to one cup a day because I find that I ended up having trouble sleeping if I have too much caffeine during the day.  It seems to wreak havoc on my anxiety.

However, I never end up having only one cup. Or if I do, it’s one GIANT cup which is equivalent to like three actual (250ml) cups coffee. On top of that, I hate the bitterness of coffee so much that, in order to drink it and reap the short-term caffeinated buzz, I have to add so much sickly-sweet, highly processed, non-dairy creamer (aka delicious tasting chemicals) that not only have I diluted my anticipated buzz, I have also just turned my cup of coffee into basically a candy-bar in a cup. Not healthy and a horrible habit I’ve fallen into.

As often is the case this time of year, I have been thinking about my New Year’s Resolution. I have resolved to reduce my sugar-ladden, chemically-laced coffee intake and have vowed to attempt to allow myself ONE cup or less of actual coffee (not tasty fillers) every morning.  Even when I initially announced my intended resolution, I had major doubts at my ability to succeed, although I genuinely do want to try.

I kept hearing about the “fat coffee” idea, which is essentially the idea of using healthy fats like grass-fed butter and/or coconut oil in your coffee instead of heaps of sugar, sweeteners and artificial creamers (basically the “cancer in a cup” that I had grown to crave).  I explored a bit further and read a few things here and there but wasn’t really sold on the idea of butter in coffee- weird right?

However, the more I read about Bulletproof, the more I was intrigued. The minute I discovered that all coffee is not created equal and the majority of coffee I had been drinking likely contained mold (yes, mold! Gross, right?), I was sold and convinced that since Bulletproof Coffee is low toxin, high performance & full of healthy fats to fuel me, it was a whole lot healthier for me than the artificial coffee creamer crap I had become a slave to.

img_0374So, not only does Bulletproof Coffee use the purest coffee, it is then blended with grass-fed unsalted butter & something called Brain Octane Oil.  Brain Octane Oil is distilled from 100% coconut but it is not like your typical off the shelf coconut oil. Not only does it not contain any palm oil, thereby helping ensure the protection of the Orangutan habitat, it is rapidly absorbed and changed into ketone bodies so it provides instant energy to the brain. Brain Octane Oil produces 4x the ketone energy of plain coconut oil! Cool, right!? It also has potent anti-microbial effects that help support healthy digestion and immune function.img_0363

I was lucky enough to get my hands on one of their Starter Kits (which, by the way, is a great way to test out Bulletproof Coffee & see if you like it) and now I am hooked! In fact, my husband begged me to let him try some, he is now obsessed too!

The biggest shock for me was how great the coffee tasted without any cream or sugar added.  It was smooth tasting, not bitter at all and frothy and creamy without any dairy added. I was so pleasantly surprised by this that I don’t foresee any trouble with me keeping my resolution.  As long as I keep opting for a Bulletproof cup of coffee or my former junky cup of java, I am confident that I will have at least one successful resolution under my belt this time next year.

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So, how do you make the perfect cup of delicious, healthy, good-for-you cup of coffee? I’ll tell you (and trust me, this is the real way. I admit I tried a copycat recipe ages ago and it was utter disappointment).

The Recipe for REAL Bulletproof Coffee

  1.     Brew 1 cup (8-12 oz.) of coffee using filtered water, just off the boil, with 2 1/2 heaping tablespoons freshly ground Bulletproof Coffee Beans. (French Press is easiest.)
  2.     Add in 1-2 tablespoons of Brain Octane™ to the hot coffee (It’s STRONG – start with 1 tsp. and work up over several days).
  3.      Add 1-2 tablespoons grass-fed, unsalted butter or grass-fed ghee
  4.     Mix it all in a blender for 20-30 seconds until it is frothy like a foamy latte.

Enjoy!

*Note: This post was sponsored but all opinions are my own

Sickness SUCKS

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Everyone can attest to the fact that being sick sucks. It just does. Yeah, okay, sometimes you can look at the bright side and say well, at least i get to stay in bed and binge watch Friends or catch up on the novel you haven’t been able to finish for the last 6 months, but when you are super under the weather, fighting illness tooth and nail and feeling like death-warmed-over, it is the worst.

Know what is even worse than being sick yourself? Having a sick kid. Oh man, does that suck. Like, REALLY sucks. I swear, I would take being sick myself over having a sick kid to look after, any day of the week. Why you ask? Because when you have a sick child, you inevitably fall sick yourself, and then that’s not one but two sickies in the house that you have to take care of.  Add your husband/boyfriend onto that (man cold and all) and now you’ve got 3 sick people who are reliant on you keeping your shit together while feeling like crap.

At least when you are the only one who is sick, you can take necessary steps to help prevent anyone else falling ill. You also have head start on the road to recovery if the sickness starts with you before knocking anyone else in your household on their ass.

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Having spent basically the last three months of my life taking care of my sick toddler, I have discovered a few things that are necessary in order to survive.

How To Survive Life With A Sick Kid

1.  Let Go Of Your ExpectationsImage result for lower your expectations meme

Laundry may not get done for a week. Dinner may consist of a can of soup and a box of crackers. Your dishwasher will likely be overflowing with plates. Let it go. You can’t do it all. A healthy family trumps a messy house. Spend your energy where it is needed: taking care of yourself and your family. If you really can’t handle the mess any longer, hire someone to come clean, or as a family member to lend a hand. Which leads me to my next point…

2. Ask For Help!

Despite what some may lead you to believe, you are not superhuman. You are not expected to do it all all the time. You likely judge yourself harder than anyone else, so let me assure you that you will not be judge if you as

k for help when you need it.  The faster you are recovered, the easier taking care of you sick child will be. Ask your mom/dad/sister/friend to come bring you dinner or drop off groceries. Call up your neighbour and ask them to shovel your driveway while they are shovelling theirs. You are allowed to ask for help, especially when you are sick.

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3.  Ignore The Guilt.

If you are like me and suffer from “mommy guilt” regularly, let me tell you right now, it is not your fault that your child is sick. Unless he/she has come down with scurvy or you have intentionally poisoned him/her, you are not to blame. Letting him/her eat macaroni and cheese for dinner 6 days straight, or counting the apple sauce pouches they live off of as their fruit intake for the day, is not what caused them to come down with a cold.  Kids are germ factories and cold/flu Image result for dont feel guilty mememagnets. Cut yourself some slack and vow to try and add some fruits and vegetables to their diet once they are feeling better. If that means throwing a handful of peas and carrots into their bowl of kraft dinner and then watching them pick every one of them out, well, that’s life – you are doing the best you can, mama!

4.  Time Does Heal…

It may not feel like it but things will get better. The sickness is not forever. Life will revert back to normal eventually.  It is okay to admit defeat and let things slide for a few weeks. Family illness can derail a lot of things.  You are allowed to take some time to get back into your regular routine. You are allowed to cancel plans, even if you think your kid is well enough to attend that birthday party but you really would rather spend that Saturday staying in and catching up on dishes and laundry and everything else that got shoved aside while you nursed your poorly wee one back to health.

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I would like to think that we are over our bout of illnesses but given that the cold and flu season has only just begun, I think that may be wishful thinking. But at least I am now armed with Lysol, gummy vitamins and all the elderberry syrup I can find. Stay strong, mamas and don’t let the season of sickness get you down.

Let’s Get Baking – A Holiday Recipe Round Up

I used to have a bit of a Pinterest obsession. I still kind of do, I just don’t have the time to dedicate to scrolling through it as much as I used to. It is an endless plethora of recipes, tips, tricks, and ideas. You name it, Pinterest has it.  I especially love it for baking ideas and cookie recipes.  I am a little late to the game this year, given that it is almost mid-December, but better late than never, right!?  I have taken the liberty of rounding up some of what (I think) are the best holiday baking recipes floating about Pinterest. This is not an exhaustive list because, lets face it, you can never have too many cookies…or cookie recipes…but here are 5 that you should definitely try and make asap!

FIVE Must-Try Holiday Baking Recipes

The BEST Ever Chewy White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies:

1. THE BEST CHEWY WHITE CHOCOLATE MACADAMIA NUT COOKIES by Stephanie Brubaker

Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 25 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cup macadamia nuts (I roughly chopped some and left some whole)

How To Raise Forward-Thinking Children — Scary Mommy

Parenting is political. This is a truth I firmly believe. As a mother, I spend all of my time being careful to model the exact kind of behavior I want to instill in my kids. Of course, being human means I screw up sometimes and do stupid things like anyone else, but overall, the consistent message…

Love this via How To Raise Forward-Thinking Children — Scary Mommy

Why I Won’t Appologize For Being Happy

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OK, I admit it, I am one of those kind of moms.

The kind that postway too many photos of their child on social media. The kind that always has a cute anecdote or funny story about their child, ready to share at any moment, when there is a lull in conversation. The kind of mother that has half a dozen of the same style drawings pinned to the bulletin board above their desk, and the kind that drinks tea out of a tiny handprint mug gifted to them on their very first Mother’s Day.  I am all of these, and you know what? I’m not going to apologize for it, not even a little bit.

Sure, to some, I may look like an overzealous, first-time mom, who is trying to shove the fact that I am a mother down the throat of all around me, but that is not my intention.  In fact, I was pretty oblivious of how obnoxious I may come across to others until just recently.  Nobody has said anything to me about; I just sort of woke up one day and realized, while making small talk with a co-worker (single and childless), that I might come across as your typical lame “Mom” type.

So, while I am not deliberately trying to aggressively advertised the fact that I am proud to have created a pretty awesome human being, I am also not about to feel bad about celebrating it either. I’m not going to apologize for being happy that I am a mom, and here’s why.

That mug I drink my tea out of every morning, its more valuable to me than the coveted designer purse my coworkers just brought back from Paris. Oh, and those two many photos of fun at the park or feeding the ducks, those are some of my favourite ways to spend a Sunday afternoon. Also, let’s not forget the ever-growing gallery of artwork hanging proudly above my desk; that’s my prized art collection. The one which I stare at when I’m on a never-ending conference call, or when I need to give my eyes a break from staring at a screen for hours on end, researching legislation.

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My journey to motherhood was not easy, carefree or fun. My pregnancy was long, hard and beyond stressful. I battled (and still struggle with) infertility from the minute we decided to have a baby, and finally reaching that finish line, with every possible obstacle smacking us down in the process, almost destroyed us.  I may not get another shot at this whole “mommy” thing.

This might be my one and only time to shine.  

So, I’ll be damned if I’m going to let it pass me by. I’m going to cling onto it as tightly as I can, for as long as possible, and never let it go.

And yes, of course, there’s plenty of other things about me besides being a mom. I love to read, write, bake and travel, just to name a few.  I do miss my time with my girlfriends shopping at mall, getting our nails done and going on date nights with my husband every weekend. These things have not changed, and they will always be there. I don’t like to think that they ever really go away; they are just put on hold for a while and I am perfectly happy with that.   

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For now, I am going to relish in the fact that I get to spend my days with a spunky, hilarious, kind, sweet, amazing tiny human (whom I created!) who worships me for no specific reason, other than the fact that I am his mother. I don’t know about you, but if you ask me, I think that is pretty effing cool. If that makes me lame, so be it. 

I know he likely won’t think I’m cool forever, nor want to spend every waking moment he can with me.  He will eventually no longer ask to cuddle in my bed, or run up and give me hugs and kisses for no reason.  He will eventually no longer wrap his soft, warm little arms around me and announce I am the “best momma ever”.  He will outgrow me far before I ever outgrow him, and that is sad and scary and maddening all at once.  

imagesHe truly is my biggest challenge, scariest feat and most gratifying accomplishment. I spent years dreaming about being a mother. I cried endless tears and endured countless heartbreaks and obstacles to get here. But it happened. I got my pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and I’m not going to let it go. Not now, not ever.

I’ve got my whole life to be “Kylie” so for right now, I’m just going to count my blessings, and enjoy being “Momma” while I still can.♥

The Aftermath

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It has been a week and a half (or probably even longer by the time I get around to posting this) since the A-bomb dropped, leaving the entire world standing frozen to the ground, mouths gaping open, disbelief filling our hearts, swirling our minds into a complete and utter state of shock. 

Obviously, I am not referring to an actual atomic bomb landing on America, although from the fallout, it certainly feels like the USA (and a large chunk of the rest of the world) is in mourning over the devastating turn of events. I’m talking, of course, about the recent US election, most notably, the puzzling election of Donald Trump as president. Regardless of whether you are a Republican or a Democrat, I think it is safe to say Trump winning the election came as a surprise.

I, like many, have been trying to process the fact that someone as unqualified, racist, sexist, misogynistic, and extreme as Donald Trump could have possibly been elected by a majority of voters. Along with that new, mind-boggling reality, I’ve been silently asking myself why, as a Canadian (and living in Canada) am I so upset, and feel so deeply affected about the US election results? On the surface, some might say well the US and Canada need to have like-minded officials in charge, given the historical close ties and trade agreements which exist.  Sure, that is a valid statement I guess but I think there is more to it than that.

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The uneasiness and anxiety that I personally feel reflecting upon the events of the past couple weeks has really nothing to do with my feelings towards international business relations and really much more with my feelings towards humanity as a whole.

I know I am not alone in my feelings about this, yet I still find myself wondering ‘Why am I so upset?’.Yes, OK, I am a female and I am Caucasian, and I live a middle-class life, so I am not Trump’s ultimate target of hate and verbal abuse. Although, he has done and said more than enough offensive things towards women (and society) in general for me to be concerned (and I am).

However, I don’t think that isn’t the reason that I, along with so many others, feared and mourned his victory. As plenty of others around the world did too I’m sure, I walked around in a cloud of sadness and bewilderment for a number of days after hearing and seeing the shocking election results.

Then, as I was walking down the street on my lunch break about a week ago, it hit me. I finally began to understand why the news of Trump’s .electoral victory, despite not affecting me, or my fellow Canadians directly, was so very unsettling; We all would like to believe that people are basically good human beings. No matter how exciting the drama is, or how entertaining it maybe to watch others suffer, at the end of the day, we like (need, want, wish) to believe that there is good inside everyone.

Learning and accepting that Trump and his hate-filled campaign had succeeded meant that there was a significant amount of people [well, at least Americans anyway] that agreed with his racist, demeaning, small minded, stance. More importantly, they did not just agree with him, they wanted to see, hear, spread more of it, and allowed (read: enabled) him to fill the most powerful role in the whole country to do so.

The majority of Americans were in favour of hate, racism, intolerant, closed-mindedness. How could this be? More than half the country voted to go back in time and hand power over to someone who not only had no practical experience whatsoever but also clearly loudly and proudly expressed such a strong hate towards basically anyone who is not white, mail and privileged; what had happened? Where did we as humanity fail so badly?

It is this concept, rather than the specifics of the person in charge, that I think is so upsetting and unsettling to most. In the year 2016, opinions and prejudices are reverting back to the small-minded, uninformed, uneducated,  intolerant voices of 50+ years past. How can this be viewed as moving forward and building not only a strong US, but a strong, cohesive world for humanity? I have no answer. I am, to this day, still completely baffled. 

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So, with no answer or logical reasoning for me to understand how something so crazy has transpired, there is nothing else to do but accept the new reality. While the general principle of believing that people were born good may be somewhat broken, I think the only way to move on from the devastation is to accept that the voters exercised their votes the way they did, and continue to fight for and believe that kindness and love are greater than fear mongering and hate.

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Hug your little ones extra tight and use the terrifying reality that Trump is going to be in charge of a country as big and powerful as America for the next four years as fuel and motivation to raise our children as forward-thinking, kind, tolerant and empathetic as possible. Now more than ever we need to believe and instill in our kids the concept that love us far greater than hate. ❤