Motherhood has its moments

The most magical moment of my life was holding my first child right after he was born. The only other moment that can match that happened three years later when I was blessed with my second child, a beautiful baby girl.

Would I want to repeat that experience and have a third? No thanks, I’m happy with two, and my husband is as well. Our children, on the other hand, want more.

“I don’t see why we can’t have another baby,” our eight-year-old daughter pleaded recently.

“Yeah,” her 11-year-old brother agreed. “We’ll do all the work, we promise!”

Right. I’m pretty sure I heard them singing that tune a couple of years back when they were begging for dogs. That time, I caved. This time, I won’t.

I loved the baby stage and every time I see a baby, precious memories come flooding back. Yet I never have that longing desire to have more because my family already feels complete. I also don’t want to be outnumbered.

“Why don’t you babysit instead?” I suggested to the kids. “I have friends who have babies. While I visit with the mommies you two could play with their little ones.”

Thinking that was a grand idea, Daisy handed me the phone so I could make instant arrangements. If only I could have been this clever when they were asking for puppies.

One of my best friends has a BBB rating for her current mood in motherhood and I’ll never forget when she first told me about it.

“I find myself feeling either blessed, burdened or buzzed,” she said sipping her glass of wine after dinner. Slurping back a Baileys and coffee at the time, I completely agreed.

Being a mom is the most glorious, rewarding and joyful gift imaginable. Yet it can also be the most challenging, frustrating and overwhelming job ever. Alternating between these mindsets is just part of the gig. If you’re a mom and this never happens to you, you must be a saint. I am not.

I’m just a typical busy mom trying to strike a balance that works well for me and my family while doing my best to feel blessed way more often than burdened or buzzed. Some days are easier than others, but Mother’s Day should be a breeze.

On that day I’m likely to receive wonderful homemade gifts and be showered with love and affection. If I’m really lucky, the kids will pick up their stuff lying all over the house, figure out where it goes, and put it away.

In honour of my inspiring grandmothers, my loving mother-in-law and my beautiful mother who brought me into this world when she was still just a child herself, I thank all the mothers out there who are also doing their best. Whether we’re rich or poor, working or not, married or single, all good moms want the same thing: to raise healthy, happy people who feel loved and love life.

Isn’t that what we wished for them the first time we held them in our arms?

To watch my son interviewing kids for Mother’s Day, please visit KidTalkWithSam.com or CLICK HERE to watch on YouTube.

The superhero without a cape

Eleven years ago, when I was running my own family daycare and supervising seven children aged three and under, music was my saviour.

No, I didn’t put my headphones on and crank my iPod to drown out the sound of the kids. I’d put a CD in the ghetto blaster, announce to the crew it was party time, and play some of their favourite tunes from musicians like Raffi, Fred Penner and Norman Foote.

Watching the little ones prance around in their own unique ways was an instant delight and a welcome reprieve, even in my most frazzled moments. Their CDs weren’t background music in my home, they were special, and reserved for carved-out blocks of time in our day when we all needed a break. Most of all me.

So when I recently had the opportunity to meet one of my musical saviours who unknowingly helped me keep my sanity all those years, I had two words for him: Thank you.

Norman Foote was on the receiving end of those words and was about to put on a show to entertain a lot more than just seven youngsters and me. He’d be playing for hundreds of folks, ranging from babies to seniors, and delighting them all. On top of that, he would be managing about 100 elementary-aged children up on stage with him who would be serving as his backup singers for their very first time.

I felt like I was meeting a superhero. A superhero with no cape.

“The most important thing to me is that these kids have a blast,” he said pointing to the excited students who were standing on stage ready to entertain the audience. “And,” he added, “to put on a great show for everyone out there.”

He succeeded on both counts.

As I watched from my seat in the theatre I couldn’t help but notice what a fabulous time we were all having, particularly my eight year old daughter, Daisy, who I could barely keep my eyes off of.

She wasn’t sitting beside me, she was one of those students on the stage. Singing, laughing and gesturing dramatically, she was clearly having the time of her life. For months she and the other back up singers had been learning Norman Foote songs and the movements to go along with his lyrics. They’d obviously been paying attention.

After the fun, funny show was over, the energy in the place was high and I wanted to bottle it and sell it for millions. Not knowing how to do that, I waited until the beloved musician finished signing autographs and swooped in with my video camera to capture Daisy conduct her very first surprise interview him.

As he graciously answered her questions it dawned on me that his writing style is similar to mine. His songs, like my columns, are about the everyday. He writes about grandfather clocks and family pets and things like the crazy colourful shirt he fell in love with at a consignment store.

Of course, the comparisons end there. Light years ahead of me, he’s a Juno Award-winning musician while I can barely carry a tune. He’s also a brilliant family performer who makes entertaining for all ages look easy when I know the opposite is true.

Norman Foote is a superhero alright. He might not have a cape, but he’s got one heck of a nice, new second-hand shirt.

To watch Daisy’s interview with him please visit KidTalkwithDaisy.com