Christmas is here, lights are bright, trees are festive, fires are burning and the smells of chestnuts are everywhere! December is my happiest month and my saddest month.
I love seeing a fresh new snow fall…. it is so beautiful to watch from the bay window and it’s flakes fall onto the tips of the evergreen trees. You hear the birds chirping in the early mornings and you feel the crisp air on your swollen cheeks. The tip of your nose slightly red… just like rudolf! The homes have beautiful decorations, flowers, and props. It just makes you smile as everywhere you go looks so festive. The streets of downtown Toronto are full of people, tourists and seasonal activities! The distillery has the Christmas market and the decorations are stunning. There are such unique shops with artisans creative work that make such great gifts. The smell of hot chocolate is everywhere you walk. You see parents, children, couples and friends stopping to enjoy a drink and some food. You hear chatter and laughter and all is so bright!
“It is a gift to see so many families wrapped up in each other during this holiday season!”
I sit with my eyes close and absorb all the sounds, smells, and conversations. Everyone around gives away free smiles, small conversations and helpful gestures. It is such a beautiful time of the year!
It’s a time many connect with their faith, celebrate and give to their communities! It’s a time of gathering with friends and families. You share food, drinks and memories with all those you love. You take a moment to stop and actually enjoy/share time with those you love. It’s a time we stop work, distractions and actually listen! Children/ youth are playing, sharing and so excited to be around their family & friends. They notice the adults are attentive and not stressed! Music is playing Christmas classics and it’s such a beautiful ring tone to my ears! Christmas movies are on the TV and the Nutcracker is in the theatres again! Christmas has always been a time for families to get together and make new memories.
Though in saying all of the above… December/January is some of the saddest months! As I know there are many people suffering and during these moments becomes a reminder of what they are missing. I have mentioned to you all, I have worked as a Child and Youth Practitioner… so throughout these 27 years I have seen the sadness that is hidden in Ontario.
This article is to provide tools and suggestions to help cope through any difficult moments this holiday season can bring up… and a reminder for those who are much more fortunate to help others.
During these months of December/January is when many children are feeling abandoned as they witness others with families and enjoying dinners at different homes. There are youth in the system that have families that they spend time with but this leaves the homes empty for the others left behind. There are elders that do not have families around anymore, lost loved ones, significant others have passed. We have individuals living on the streets that witness the festivities which reminds them of their situations/loses/loneliness. This is also a time that many services give out meals, clothing, sleeping bags, gifts, groceries, toys and the list just grows! This allows so many individuals to get through the winter months. Please take the time to read these strategies if you are in need, if you are not… please be kind to those in great moods or not… as we do not actually know their struggle! So your smile could actually be saving a life!
Complete a family activity called Worry Dolls. Create a decorated box that will fit wooden popsicle sticks. Now you will need 5 popsicles, some yarn, and a black pen/marker. Some pieces of felt. Create each doll to relate to all of your worries and on the back of your popsicles name your worries. You then place this box under your pillow during the night to help take away your worries. Every night you tell your worry dolls all that has bothered you throughout the day.
If you are struggling please call the suicide hotline at 1-833-456-4566 or TEXT: 45645 Also here is the website which has other numbers that you can access:
Hi everyone I am actually going to share a personal story with you all… a bit melancholy, heavy hearted but with a peaceful ending!
Since I was a child I dreamed of getting married and having 4 children, YES, 4 children! Well I conceived NONE!
At the beginning of my 20’s: I entered into the field of Child and Youth Practitioner. I have always wanted to be a positive influence on our youth of the world. I feel grateful in having been able to make an impact on so many youth throughout my 27 years in this Field of work. I have no regrets… ever… I have always gone beyond my job and helped in many different ways. I did this work from love and came from the mind frame that you should think of these youth as your own. Of course always keeping boundaries still in place. I decided to wait to have children of my own, as I wanted to give all my time into helping our communities, such as; volunteering my time, going the extra mile with youth I worked with and being reachable off work times. It is how I see the work and still believe when you decide to work with children and youth it has to go beyond the job itself. I have too often met people in my line work that I believe should have never entered into this field. You have to love the work and at times it comes with a sacrifice. That is my opinion and always will be.
So then the day came that I decided I am ready to have my own family so I begun teaching my philosophy to other Child and Youth Practitioners to dedicate their time through love! So I could slowly let go but not completely!
Well, life does not always go as you plan! I will say this… I had a true love in my teens that lasted for almost 10 years but things got messy and I got my heart broken. Unfortunately, the things that young man did, were not forgivable…. we all have these stories! It is a part of our journey! This is the time I decided to be on my own and dedicate my time to community!
Then I arrive at my early 30’s… I begun a new relationship that lasted for 5 years. Now…. this relationship after the first year… in my heart I already knew… it will not work but I went against all my spiritual energies. I tried to make it work…. why…. you say? Well I got caught in the need to have a family, I wanted a family and how am I going to have a family if I do not make this relationship work!!!!! My biological clock was ticking loudly… I started to panic… I want to have children! Well I had to leave that relationship and in the end I won’t stay with someone just because…. so now what do I do? I am now 35 years old and my heartbreak begins.
I did meet someone that I love and am still with today. I had made a decision I am not going to rush into this relationship because I want kids, as relationships are a process and sometimes it just clicks and other times it takes time. So when we begin to try to have children I was now 40, my thoughts were I should start by connecting with a fertility clinic. Only because it was not that common in the generation before me to have kids so late. For me… this is where I went wrong!!
Well the process of doing fertility was not something I ever imagined and I had no idea how this works. I did ask friends about it but it was not something that was really spoken about.
Well, I learned on my own… and my community of supports became very small.
Here is how it begins: I would be scheduled an appointment for 7am but only would be seen by 9am, IMAGINE that, they packed as many women as they could within that time frame. How do you get to work on time? You have to come to these appointments once a month and you become anxious all the time.Well I did not do well at all in this entire process. I felt like a cattle waiting to be poked by so many strangers and during the process these nurses do not explain anything. When I would ask questions it is explained so quickly and you feel uncomfortable to state that you are not understanding the information given. I was so overwhelmed and felt so alone. Also these environments were so cold, robotic and had a lack of compassion. I am aware today things are better and there is a lot more support being offered to women who have trouble conceiving.
Well as the time passes and no baby, I was now turning 43. I was emotionally drained, depressed and angry… so I stopped everything. I decided if it happens on its own it will happen. I ponder about that decision….. I am not sure if it was the right one but for my mental health it had to be.
On a s quick side note, our world is dedicated to families and parents. Everywhere you look it is about the ideal family unit: in commercials, holidays, statutory holidays, news, movies, radios, within your circle…. if you have no children, WELL, you start to feel like an outcast. Think about this for a moment… imagine walking in those shoes and now pay attention to the world around you…
It would not be a very kind world for those who were not able to conceive and wanted a family. The reminders are everywhere as you try to come to terms with this information or choice.
The topic of adoption, WELL, my partner is not open to that option and that choice you can not force unto others. I also am not going to end my relationship because of that!
Also your intimacy completely changes, you only want to engage in sex when it is time to ovulate. Oh boy, if you miss having sex during ovulation….. you are so angry and hatred builds! As now this is being forced and being timed. This has a huge impact on your relationship and you start to blame each other. Within your own relationship you begin to feel isolated. This is when I started to build anxiety, depression and isolation.
I would mention my feelings to friends and family but everyone goes quiet or do not have much to say. The older generation kept saying…. “ Ah, do not worry, you will get pregnant. You are young.” That would be the end of that conversation.
I also discovered that some friends had gone through this but this was a taboo topic, so you were pretty much left on your own to figure it all out.
The women who initially struggled but fertility becomes a success, WELL, their intentions are good but their sympathy is the hardest. As they feel they have a right to share all of their experiences with you and let you know they understand and can relate.
What those individuals do not understand is that those feelings become different as joy, love and peace now kicks in and that changes everything. FACT they were able to conceive a baby…. I am not! No one can understand unless they are walking the same shoes as I am! It is no ones fault but a tough walk!
I was left to wonder why would this happen to me… I did become bitter, envious and full of anger for some time. I never really knew what these feelings felt like and boy are they ugly. I did not like the person I was becoming at all.
Well I don’t have an answer for that and nobody ever will. It will always just be unknown and for me my body failed me. I have come to accept this and have learned to love life without a biological family.
What stays in my head are what people did say: HERE is the LIST of things said from too many people; both to myself and my partner!
Statements were:Well, what fertility drugs did you do? Well maybe you didn’t try hard enough. Well you guys have been fighting a lot. Well why don’t you guys just adopt. Well I know how you feel as I went through the same feelings. If you really want kids then you shouldn’t be selfish and think of adopting.
Lucy you gotta try everything to conceive or you will regret it. There is no other feeling like it. HELLO, of course I would have no idea I didn’t conceive and I was trying. Famous statement: this is a miracle baby, and GOD has blessed me with this child. They never took a moment to acknowledge who they are saying these statements in front of… I have come to realize when people become parents, they truly became wrapped in a dome bubble! The rest of us must watch what we say about their children… I am sure I would have been the same in some ways.
ORstatements as these:you just do not get it as you don’t have kids….. no shit sherlocks! I even came to know that my partner was told; well get a younger girl, if you leave her you can still get a child…. I told him I didn’t want to know who said that to him, as I’d HATE these people who I most likely have fed at some point. IMAGINE it’s assumed that the women is the issue when in fact you just actually do not know that. This part really hurt my feelings and I just thought, wow humanity can be cruel…. well look at all the suffering all over the world and what people have done in war… truly it should be no shock.
See what I mean by,you are left to mourn your loss on your own! Unfortunately, this experience has isolated me and I tend to spend more time alone. This actually made me realize that we live in a superficial world, most people do not care and you gotta be your own best-friend, always!
My heartbreak became about humanity as I have always gone out of my way to be there for others but that is just who I am. I am glad to be that person and have accepted that not everyone will be that way. I am not going to change that about me as I like that about ME. I also know kindness in the end wins and sometimes for the most part… really people do not know how their friends/family are really doing. Hence the rise of suicide, we do not pay attention or listen enough.
Lastly, why you feel like an outcast, well you are no longer invited to parties that include kids or any birthday parties unless it’s your immediate family…. it would have been nice to have had the option to attend or not attend as some years were easier then others. This all created some detachment and distance. Today, I am nor here or there with attending these events.
In sharing all this does not mean I do not adore my friends and family, as I do and always will. It just opened up my eyes and made me tougher to battle disappointments! I have also forgiven all these hurts and let it all go. I never confronted anyone as it was not intentional and I concentrated on me.
On the positive, my sister and sister-in-law all have kids. So I did get nieces and nephews that I adore to the moon and back!!! I have 1 niece and 3 nephews. I spend as much time as I can and attend all of their events! My sister-in-law is a wonderful soul as I get to tuck the kids into bed, help them with their homework, watch movies with them, attend their shows, when they were little change them, help educate them, and it has been a gift to be so involved! My sister, well that goes without saying, she is my little sister and would have no choice but to have me involved!!! She had her own struggles so I do not invade any special moments! This is her first child so it’s a little different but he is the most precious little munchkin! So I have been fortunate and you have to find every moment as a grateful moment! There are a few others in my life with kids that have me involved with no expectations! I look forward to guiding them, loving them and seeing them grow into their characters! I will always be here for them and involved in their lives!
So the good stuff… How I recovered….
To all the support systems please remember this…
Offer to accompany your friend to the clinic
Pop by randomly to see how they are doing
Listen to their story and make more time to be around.
Have them involved in your children’s lives but also respect if this is difficult for them.
Send your friend a card, give them encouragement.
Make them not feel they are alone. Let them know you care.
Be kind with your words and acknowledge their struggles.
Coping skills I created to get through this heart break so I could live a happy life:
I learned to depend on myself and I met new people with similarities. I embraced those who reached out to me. My longest friend Joe, who is my best friend, spent the most time with me. My friend Steve always remembers to take me for car rides and my friend Jen well she is a great listener! They were a part of my recovery, they just do not know it!
I joined a yoga studio and embraced stillness! I found that movements help heal energy and fill your soul.
I implemented mindfulness and gratitude everyday. I wake up, go outside, plant my feet and state three things I am grateful for. This triggers positivity throughout your day.
I meditate daily and listen to meditation music every night.
I eat healthy and try to put all good things into my machine!
Seeing a natural-path doctor who introduced me to homeopathy remedies called rubimeds (This therapy helps to connect the mind (psycho) and body (soma) allowing our unconscious emotions to be brought up to our conscious awareness and processed and moved out of our bodies.)
Involved in journey therapy where you unleash your emotions and move forward.
Essential oils, teas and vitamins. That I have shared throughout my blogs!
I did a lot of self discovery through retreats and trips by myself.
I built a stronger foundation with my partner and we now communicate our feelings and we are friends first. I am thankful for that growth. We were able to get through so many obstacles by standing by each other at the end of it all.
Dedication to self improvements and self love!
I have always struggled with moments of depression throughout my life and more recently with anxiety. I made a treatment plan for myself as healing and happiness has to come from you. You have to be invested in yourself! I still use lots of my coping strategies and have moments that I get sad about not having children but I have recovered and accepted this reality.
I am learning to live a different life by meeting new friends, older friends, and being open to new things. I enjoy me through writing, sharing, painting, scrapbooking, travelling, reading, making cards, volunteering, working and so much more. I learned I am important with or without children. I learned I need to live my best life and want all my friends to be involved in my life, as well as my family. Allow yourself to cry when you need too, accept your emotions and then move forward. I hope this story reaches those who need it!! Please read this entry of mine with kindness!
Well, I vividly remember being a teen and it feels like this was yesterday. The teen years are so complicated, confusing and frustrating! Teens are discovering their identity, creativity, political views, moral stands, exploring their character and so much more! And then… they have a full time job, which is school, where they now meet new adults in charge of them.
Teens now have academics to discover, explore interests, embrace what they are good at, challenge the topics they find difficult… OH and to BOOT get high marks… OH and think of a career! Wow at 14 years old that is actually a lot.
Today, they also have social media to upkeep with and self brand themselves appropriately! THINK for a moment… as a TEEN did we act appropriately, at all times, or better YET what would the public say? In many of the earlier generations it was the community judging us, at such a critical, vulnerable age! Today it is the world.
When teens tell me today, “ Ah adults just do not understand!” I always get a AHAH moment… WHY?… well cause I never believed that adults tried to understand!
This did not happen because parents want to be difficult, or make life HARD for their youth but it is definitely a generation CLASH! At this moment I imagine the waves crashing against the rocks, as it is that dramatic, the impact this has on teens.
Today, teens have so many different issues from when I was growing up. I have often caught myself saying, “ We didn’t do this when we were teens, this generation is a mess.” Well, UNTRUE! All generations have had their ups and downs but what is actually happening is we do not understand the issues going on with this current generation.
So I ask us all to be a positive part of our teens community, to help them ease into this complicated stage in their life.
Learn their world, that means the music, their interest, struggles, LINGO, understand social media and so much more. Be aware of what they are into, teach them about their bodies, managing emotions, help build their confidence, teach them self love, and most important be patient. TOUGH job… but it is very rewarding as well.
My greatest advice, is provide structure to your child since birth, expectations with flexibility, understand their characters, be reasonable and be involved. Do not avoid conversations about sex, teach them about their bodies, relationships, drugs, attending parties, and mental health.
THIS is where it gets TOUGH… BRACE yourself!!
Also, YES, this is something we should be discussing, what is PORN…. I will inform you most of our teens are watching PORN from a young age and getting the wrong messages about sexuality. Our young men, their first exposure to their sexuality is through PORN videos. Our young girls feel pressured to perform, as the women in the PORN industry! I have had many young women speak to me about these concerns. I know these are tough topics, but they must be spoken about. YOU the parents need to become aware! DO NOT SWEAT it I will be recommending two books you should read!
Your child needs all the tools to be successful! If YOU do not teach them, the internet will, or friends and not always getting the correct INFO! Well my dear friends, GUESS what… the uncomfortable topic has come to an end!
Two books I recommend: Girls and Sex (21st century struggles) by Peggy Orenstein, Boys & Sex: Young Men on Hookups, Love, Porn, Consent, and Navigating the New Masculinity by Peggy Orenstein. Direct link to purchase this amazing book!
“That’s the nature of being a parent, Sabine has discovered. You’ll love your children far more than you ever loved your parents, and – in the recognition that your own children cannot fathom the depth of your love – you come to understand the tragic, unrequited love of your own parents. “