As if 2020 wasn't hard enough already...
We're making it a little bit easier for you!
We've gone through our favourite products and gifts, and have put together a guide that not only would we both love, but we know our husbands and sons would love too!
Most of these gifts are also things that we loved having during both of our stays at the Hospital and at the Ronald McDonald House!
Things like comfy slippers, cozy socks, and a blanket scarf will make you feel cozy anywhere! The scarf especially makes an amazing makeshift blanket in a pinch!
Air pod cases so Dad doesn't lose them is a total must! Also, how about that cute keychain to take Daddy's best friend with him wherever he goes.
We also have made an assortment of gifts appropriate for kids of all ages and abilities - something that is super important to us as educators and special needs advocates!
Happy gift giving!
*this post is in no way shape or form sponsored, though we are definitely open to them ;)
Slippers UGG Scuffette II // Socks Roots Pop Cabin Sock //
Face Masks Gap3-pack Sephora Collection Face Mask
// Candle Yankee Candle // Favourite Mug Chapters Indigo //
Scarf Aritzia, Wilfred Diamond Mosaic Blanket Scarf //
Blow Dryer Brush Amazon, Revlon One Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer Hot Air Brush
// Bath Bomb Lush, Butterball // Diffuser Saje, Aroma Breeze Peppermint Halo Roller //
Family Photoshoot Three Little Birds Photo Co.
Reusable tumbler Yeti, Rambler Stackable Pint // Air Pods Case Apple // Slippers UGG, Ascot Matte
// Bluetooth Shower Speaker Chapters Indigo // Winter Hat Amazon, Carhartt Mens Acrylic Watch Hat
// Sunglasses Ray-Ban, Aviator Classic (Polarized) // Smart Plugs Home Depot, Philips Wiz Wifi Smart Plug
// Custom Handprint Keychain Michaels, Shrinky Dinks Clear + rings for keychain //
Sweater Lululemon, City Sweat Full Zip // Traeger BBQ Sauce + Spice - Cabelas, Sweet & Spicy, Beef Rub
Cuddle + Kind Hand knit Dolls // Polaroid Camera Chapters Indigo, Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 - Ice //
Books Chapters Indigo, The Hockey Song by Stompin’ Tom Conors //
Board Games Mastermind Toys, Pictionary Air //
DIY Kits Amazon, National Geographic Dinosaur Dig Kit / National Geographic Crystal Growing Garden Kit
// Anywhere Chair Pottery Barn // Melissa and Doug Activity Boards and Puzzles Mastermind Toys
// HatLittle Buck, (Local to Ontario!) // Feeding Backpack Tubie2Go (GTA Local!) //
Sensory Balls Toys R Us, Playgro - textured sensory balls
The advice I was given is “There are parents of sick children, and then there’s everyone else…” This may sound melodramatic, but let me explain why this statement is so important to me.
I have struggled, and still do, when others don’t understand what my family has gone through. Frequent comments like “your kids are fine now” puts me in whirlwind of emotions. I wish that people could understand the feeling I get when my kids complain of a stomach pain or even get a cold. To some these may seem like ordinary things your child has to go through, but to me these ‘ordinary’ aliments are incredibly distressing. I can’t help but imagine the worst and my mind goes right back to our darkest moments at the hospital.
Last year I decided to return to work after an extended leave. It was jarring to be thrown back into teaching at a new school while ensuring my boys were okay. There were still a number of emergency hospital visits, sleepless nights and anxiety around what the future would hold. I found myself losing friends as they couldn’t understand why I was so scared and stressed around my boys’ health. Things were becoming very stressful and I found myself in a constant state of panic.
One day, I was confiding with a new co-worker when he shared his story about his family’s struggles. His son has Autism and had spent some time in the hospital. After explaining my current situation, my co-worker looked at me and said, “Jessica, there are two types of parents in this world. Parents of sick children and everyone else.” This quote shook me. It perfectly depicted the loneliness I was feeling. I still wondered why my friends and family couldn't get me and why I felt like that crazy mom all the time. He went on to explain that my experience was so unique. No one else can have the same understanding unless they went through my exact circumstance. It doesn’t mean it’s us vs them, but it's about accepting that some people won’t get you and this doesn’t mean the world is against you.
Since this conversation I've come to learn that not everyone will understand my circumstance and I might not understand theirs. The only thing we can all do is approach these conversations with empathy and take control of our responses. Surrounding myself with positive people who try their best to "get it" also has made a world of a difference in my mental health. Rather than getting frustrated when people ask me why I'm so stressed when my boys don't eat or when they get sick. I try to explain that I'm still healing from our experience at the hospital. And for some people its not even worth the explanation...and that's okay - move on and stick with your people. For me, it's been helpful to remember that healing isn't linear and experiences aren't black and white. Yes, my boys are better but this doesn't erase what we've been through. You can hold onto your past while taking control of your future.
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