motherhood

What Motherhood Means to Us

My niece and fellow blogger on Common Cents Mom have spent a lot of time speaking this week about what Mother’s Day means and more importantly what motherhood means to us. We are both moms at different stages in the journey of motherhood.  For me the days of late night feedings, diapers and trips to the playground are behind and these days I am more about being an advocate and friend for my young adult daughter. That the thing with this motherhood journey, it changes and grows every day just as your child does.

So we both wrote about what motherhood means to us.

Jaslyn’s take on Motherhood

Being a mom means more than having given birth to a child. It’s loving and knowing a soul before you even see it. It’s carrying and caring for a life completely dependant on you for survival. It’s giving air to the lungs that grew within you, and sight to the eyes that will never see you as anything but mommy A mother is a selfless, loving human who must sacrifice many of their wants and needs for the wants and needs of their children. A mother works hard to make sure their child is equipped with the knowledge, skills and abilities to make it as a competent human being. Being a mother means being completely and totally overwhelmed (in the best possible way) by love, joy, responsibility, and selflessness. Motherhood means sleepless nights, big belly laughs, caterpillars on the coffee table, finger-painting in the kitchen, stubbed toes, and gapped toothed grins. Being a mother means being an emotional blankie for your children. They snuggle with you at night, run to you when they’re hurt, and stand behind you in scary situations. Getting into the car, starting to buckle up, then getting out of the car and dashing back into the house for something you forgot. Usually multiple times. Every time you go anywhere. It has become a natural part of our culture to be sarcastic, to put things down, to be a complainer. It’s a blessing, a gift, a relationship that never ends and a love that never dies. It’s the best thing I have ever become, the greatest love I have ever felt and the best part about being me.

Hollie’s take on Motherhood

 

Motherhood is more than giving life, it is the raising of a child, it is the joys in the journey and all that entails. As a young mother, it meant late nights, co-sleeping, walks in the park, reading together and ensuring my child was healthy no matter what life threw at us. I learnt in time that I would become a teacher, a coach, a nurse, a finder of things, a friend and most of all an advocate for my child. Now, mostly as my child reaches for her dreams I find I am the advice giver, the advocate still, the nutritionist, and mostly I get to be her friend. Mother is a wild ride and I am blessed every day to be her momma.

Every mom’s journey is different but we are all moms. Hope you all have a wonderful time on this rollercoaster ride called motherhood.

 

How to Celebrate Easter with a Preschooler

My niece Jaslyn is joining me here at Common Cents Mom. This first blog post is all about how to celebrate Easter with a little one.  

My name is Jaslyn I’m a mother of one boy that is almost 4, with Easter around the corner, we love Easter Colours we are creative in the kitchen with tasty treats and we have plenty of fun with creative recipes for little hands. 

Time in the Kitchen

 

Having fun in the kitchen with little ones can be very easy. I put the recipe together and Xavier mixes and enjoys licking off the beaters while I get the cookies prepped to go in the oven when they are done and cooled I prep the icing and the sprinkles I get Xavier to do everything thing else. We often use a box mix. Yes, mixes are great to use when we are busy! We often use Betty Crocker mixes and well if you are industrious you may just want to check out this Peep recipe that is perfect for Easter. 

Craft Time 

 


We love arts and crafts. My preschooler, he loves decorating, I wanted to have the option to decorate eggs without having huge mess I purchased silicone eggs had we painted 12 eggs ( only $2 at the dollar store) he used his own imagination on the colours and design, I put 4 colours on a sheet of newspaper so he could mix the colours together or do whatever he wanted with them. This was so simple and no egg dying kits and no purchased art kit so it was great on the budget. 

 

Easter Morning Traditions 

 

Our tradition on Easter morning, include empty baskets on the table the night before so when we wake up the Easter bunny had filled them with presents and left a trail of eggs through the house. Xavier will try to make sure he has all the eggs, while my husband and I prep for breakfast. Xavier is either eating a couple of the Easter eggs or playing with his gifts. Later in the day, we will go to my husbands’ aunts. They have an outdoor egg hunt for all the kids and equal everything out at the end, while the kids are out playing or hunting for eggs the adults are prepping delicious Easter Dinner. 

 

 How do you celebrate Easter at your house?  

 

 

The Standard for Success: How to Look for a Great Tutor in Canada

In today’s hyper-connected world, digital distractions abound and your child may find themselves distracted. Perhaps they have trouble concentrating within a large classroom setting, or they simply don’t find the curriculum interesting. Whatever the case, if your child is disinterested or falling behind at school, they’re not likely to get much out of the process.  

 Private tutoring can prove a useful resource to help your child reach his or her full potential. However, just as you would research schools or any program for your child, it’s equally important to ensure you take the time to research and choose the right tutor for your child. While there are many qualified individuals working as tutors who certainly know a lot, not all purport the ability to teach 

 This article will aim to provide you with a list of four key characteristics you should look for in a tutor if you’re considering this as an option for your child. 

 Subject Matter Mastery 

This one is probably a given, as you would reasonably expect the tutor you hire to be an expert on the subject for which you’re hiring them. If you decide to hire a tutor independently, without the aid of a tutoring company, you may consider administering brief math and reading comprehension test as part of the interview process, which can be found online.  

 Feel free to also ask your potential tutor a few questions on the subject matter. Delving deeper, your tutor shouldn’t only know Newton’s Three Laws or the definition of a hanging participle; they should be able to provide real-world applications to anything they teach, engaging their students. They should be able to provide training that is rigorous enough to keep their students interested and challenged, but not so difficult that it becomes discouraging.  

 Often, mainstream school curriculums fall to the clutches of tradition and old, dusty textbooks. A good tutor will revitalize this curriculum, and a benefit of small group tutoring is that tutors can tailor their lesson plans to your child and engage them based upon their level of knowledge and their interests.  

 Sweating the Small Stuff 

Not every child learns the same way and comes from the same background with the same experiences. A good tutor will assess their student, their needs, and their learning styles in order to formulate a suitable lesson plan and learning approach. They will also adapt as they move through the learning process with your child to meet changing needs. Sweating the small stuff, or keen attention to detail can prove valuable in your child’s tutoring experience. Not only as they first get to know your child and develop a lesson plan, but throughout the tutoring process and in their reporting to you on your child’s progress. Large class sizes in schools don’t leave much room for nuanced, personalized conversations with students to track their progress and deal with concerns should they arise, so a tutor can fill this gap. 

Experience & Empathy 

 Like any skill or talent, the more you teach the better you get. With all of this experience, it’s likely a good tutor will also have picked up some humility and empathy for their students.  

 Striving to ensure your child reaches his or her potential will require an experienced tutor who has taught the subject matter extensively and who has catered to a variety of learning styles and needs. The importance of being able to understand their students and how to best tailor their teaching methods cannot be exaggerated and often comes with experience. When assessing a potential tutor’s proficiency, it’s important to consider the number of hours they’ve spent teaching rather than the number of years. 

Communication 

Good communication should permeate every aspect of the tutoring experience. From the student to their parents and teachers, a good tutor will ensure open lines of communication with all stakeholders. Initial goals and benchmarks should be established and communicated upfront, while frequent status updates on your child’s progress should be shared with both you and your child’s teacher. These updates should include positive accomplishments as well as any concerns or areas for improvement. Working in tandem with you and your child’s teachers will often result in a more effective teaching model that feeds off the key adult figures in your child’s life and sets a course for lifelong learning and accountability. Of course, effective communication between tutor and student is invaluable as it fosters a fruitful professional dynamic, trust and rapport.  

 There is no shortage of individuals offering their tutoring services, which can make it difficult to decide on one. If you find yourself struggling, choosing to go with a tutoring company, such as Scholars Canada can help make your decision easier. Such companies will vet all of their tutors to ensure they have the best. This includes rigorous testing on subject matter knowledge, as well as imparting the best teaching practices and tutoring techniques.  

 Ultimately, your decision needs to benefit your child, so whether you choose to independently hire a tutor or go through a tutoring company, ensure to keep the aforementioned points in mind. Just as you expect your child to complete their homework thoroughly and to the best of their abilities, so too should you when searching for a suitable tutor for them.  

 

 

 

 

Goodbye 2018, Hello 2019

It’s early on January and I am thankful for a new year and new opportunities. I love the crispness of a new dawn, the hope it brings. Last night it felt good to say goodbye to 2018 and hello to 2019! I have to admit 2018 challenged me. It was a hard year.  Personally, I struggled in many ways as I came to terms with job loss. No one tells you that job hunting is different in your fifties. It is hard! I also struggled with depression and I battled to find my way. I am looking forward to 2019 and going forward in faith.

Goodbye 2018

In some ways, I struggled as I looked for a full-time gig. I sent out resume after resume with meager results. Since I am no longer the parent of a teen blog campaigns were also harder to come by. I was very thankful for one part-time social media client.  It humbled me.  I said goodbye to partnerships with Flipp, Church and Dwight and Netflix. All of these had been multiple year partnerships so it was hard to see them go.

I was thankful for partnerships with Turbo Tax, Quber, Tangerine, State Farm, Oral-B, and Desjardins and my work with them. I was glad that these partnerships provided ways for me to share with my readers and followers some great tips, a new app, talk about money and talk about insurance. I look forward to working with brands that allow me to share with you my readers about things that matter.

One of the best things that happened was getting to see so much music live! From seeing Pink up close to enjoying Shania Twain, Keith Urban and saying goodbye to Massey Hall here in Toronto, I had some amazing nights out. Music inspired me and moved me forward all year long.

I learned much from listening to small business leaders and speakers as I attended several events. I asked Gary Vee a question about reinventing myself, I learned how to pitch a business idea at the Fireside Conference, and learned more about essential oils and network marketing in a room filled with women who wanted to learn and grow. I then attended Blissdom Canada, a social media conference, and was able to reconnect with friends and learn from some of the new leaders in the social space.

It definitely was a year with ups and downs! As I talked to friends, many like me had hard years. That is ok, life is not always easy. By mid-December, I was ready for the year to be done.

Hello 2019

As I look forward, I am excited as I am moving forward in faith. Faith is the word that will guide my 2019. What do I have planned?

Going forward I really want to help you my community. I want to be a resource for you. As I rebuild Common Cents Mom, I will be sharing money tips each Monday. I will share what I am learning, what I am reading and hopefully bringing you some great money conversations.

I finally found a working gig in the summer of 2018 but I want to find something better in 2019.

I am also working on my health once again. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. I so need to work on my emotional and physical health. With this in mind, I am with also be sharing what I am doing to take care of me.

If you know me or follow me on social media, you know I love essential oils. I first started using them a few years ago. As I learn more, I will be sharing more about essential oils and how I am earning money selling them.

As for my work with brands, as I open this year I will be selective and I am learning it is okay to say no and even cut brands out of your life when it a relationship you have outgrown or one that isn’t the best for your or your audience.  I will share in real ways. I may share more affiliate links instead of going after brand relationships. These links will be to items and brands that can help you, my readers.  I want to share my life in ways that are real and authentic.

So tell me as you move into 2019, what are you saying goodbye too and what are your goals for 2019? What leaps are you wanting to take?

 

 

 

 

 

How to keep your new years resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions – How to Keep Them

Yet another year is coming to an end, signifying a fresh start to a hopefully wonderful new year. The coming new year inspires many to start setting new year’s resolutions. The truth is though, while many set resolutions each year, not many stick to them. In fact, many new years resolutions end up broken within hours, days or weeks. The average resolution lasts less than the 21 days it takes to form a habit.

If you are one of those people that can’t seem to stick to their resolutions each year, it’s not as hard as you may think. There are many ways you can set yourself on the path of new years resolution success.

How to keep your new years resolutions
new years resolutions

Take Small Steps

You will be more likely to achieve your new years’ resolutions if you start small. Making big changes all at once will only lead to failure. The truth of the matter is, setting small resolutions with outlined steps are far more likely to be achieved.

One Thing at a Time

Just as it takes time to develop unhealthy habits, it will take time to break them. Don’t overwhelm yourself thinking that you must change all your bad habits at once. Instead, work toward changing one thing at a time.

Talk it Out

Consider joining a support group that will help you to achieve your goals. From workout classes to group therapy, having likeminded individuals to share your successes and setbacks with, will make achieving your new years’ resolutions less intimidating and more achievable.

Don’t be Hard on Yourself

Minor mishaps and mistakes when reaching your goals are incredibly normal. Don’t give up on your new year’s resolutions because of one bad choice or set back. Everyone has their ups and downs and achieving perfection is unattainable. Instead of reacting and giving up because of your mistakes, get back on track and recover.

Help Yourself Stay Focused

Helping yourself to stay focused on your new years’ resolutions is important to achieving them. Have something that reminds you of your goals daily right in front of you. Whether that means hanging a photo on your bathroom mirror or putting a sticker on your debit or credit card, if you remind yourself to stay on track daily, you are more likely to achieve your resolutions this year.

When setting your new years resolutions this year, make sure to start small. Focus on taking small steps and achieving one goal at a time. Having support is also a fantastic way to empower yourself to work towards your resolutions so talking about them to someone can provide you guidance and help to achieve them. Just remember, don’t be so hard on yourself when you make a mistake, no one is perfect. Just stay focused and in no time, you will have achieved all your new years’ resolutions.

Back to School Tips from Canadian Bloggers

It is that time of the year again. You know the day before the school year begins. Parents and kids are excited because it is time for back to school. This year I wanted to bring you some common sense tips, some great back to school tips so I turned to my peer’s fellow Canadian bloggers. 

Whether, this September means someone in your house is starting school, how I miss those early years, to starting college or even going back to school as an adult these tips will have you covered. You will also want to check out year blogger for their great content.

From Casey Palmer, Canadian Dad

I adore Casey and agree with his advice-

Label everything. EVERYTHING. If you ever want to see it again, in the name of everything that’s holy, LABEL IT!!!

caseypalmer.com

From Kimberly McLeod, The Best Ideas for Kids

Take a picture on the first day of school. ( Who actually remembers too, some years I was on day three before this got done!) 

There are some great printables for the first day on her site here: https://www.thebestideasforkids.com/first-day-school-chalkboard-printable/

From Victoria Donovan, Cool Beans 4

Victoria, has a great tip for all those headed to college and university, use a calendar/agenda.  I know this one first hand and find the more you track the more successful you can be as a student.

For more of Victoria’s tips check out the rest of this post: https://coolbeans4.wordpress.com/2015/04/24/20-tips-to-survive-your-first-year-of-university/

From Sarah Wall, Raising Royalty

Have multiples or duplicates of everything. Mittens, pencils, that specially chosen lunch box … Having more than one means easy replacement when one inevitably gets lost or damaged. And that means less last-minute scrambling for essential items.

You can read more great stuff from her blog here: https://raisingroyalty.ca

From Puneeta Chhitwal-Varma, Maple and Marigold

Get into a healthy destressing and unwinding routine for after school. Kids will need it as will parents. Listening to music, reading, dance, yoga stretches even just colouring have helped us in the past.

You can find more stress busting tips from Puneeta here: https://www.mapleandmarigold.com/15-stress-busting-activities-for-kids/

From Anna Anderson, Abrazo and Coze

Get into a good morning routine, starting well before the first day of school. That way everyone is accustomed to getting up at the right time, eating breakfast earlier than they might have been in the summer, and it won’t be as much of a struggle to adjust once school starts. For my family, our routine includes getting backpacks ready the night before (emptying garbage, ensuring homework is in the bag, any permission slips are signed and in the bag, and the bag put by the front door. In the morning as part of heading out the door lunch boxes are added to the backpacks. That way nothing important is forgotten.

You can read more about Anna’s early morning routine here: https://abrazoandcoze.com/easy-morning-routine/

From Casey Leanna, Casey Wolfgang

Don’t rush to buy back to school clothes. Your kids wanna see what their friends are wearing or what’s on trend before filling their closets. 

You can read more from Casey here: http://caseywolfgang.com/http://caseywolfgang.com/

From Hannah Spray, The Big To Do List

Starting Kindy? Make sure your little one knows important health and safety information, like how to properly wipe and wash their hands, not to share personal items like lip chap, body awareness and appropriate touch, and ensure your child knows to come to you and your other safe adults (teacher, dad, etc) if they aren’t feeling good about something. 

You can read more from Hannah here: https://thebigtodolist.com/

From Erin Rolfson, Quillable

 If you find your child is anxious about school starting, try finding some good back-to-school books to read together before their first day. There are loads of awesome stories that can help them start to process their emotions before they get overwhelmed.

If you love book reviews and great stuff you can read more from Erin here: http://quillable.ca

Laura Baptie Myles, Chaos and Quiet

If you have a little one starting kindergarten, focus on the life skills – how to get dressed and undressed for outside, how to go to the washroom independently, how to manage their own lunch, responsibility for their own belongings, etc. 

You can check out her post on kindergarten here:  https://chaosandquiet.com/starting-kindergarten/

From Paige McEachern, Piece of Pie

Routine is key: Having well established routines when children start school will help get them ready in the morning, do homework and get settled at night. Summer is for having fun and sometimes that means routines get pushed aside. The weeks leading up to the start of school review your routines and start implementing them.

You can read more back to school tips from her here: http://www.pieceofpie.ca/5-tips-to-make-back-to-school-easier-for-your-child-with-a-learning-disability/

Amanda Blain, Amanda Blain

If you don’t have kids, take this “new start” as a time to have a look at your own life and do some fall cleaning. Clean out the closet, sign up for a new course, even just read a new book. Life is happening around you.

You can read more from Amanda here: http://www.amandablain.com

If you want to read more tips from some of Canada’s leading mom bloggers check out this post here. Hope your back to school experience is easy and fun for you and your family. 

Are Moms Doing Too Much?

Ever sit down at the end of the day and wonder how the day got away? Ever wonder if you will have the time to curl up with that book that is sitting on your end table? I was on Twitter recently and a I saw a scary stat while scrolling my feed. It said the average mom was basically putting in the hours of 2 full time jobs getting everything done. Are you one of those moms? For me as a blogger (small business owner), social media manager and as a fulltime employee to boot things do add up.

So what do we do? 

We are the dream chasers. We are the ones who get up at the crack of dawn to have a few moments to breathe. We are the ones who crawl into bed about midnight after trying to squeeze every moment into the day. I know for me as a mom with a full-time job and 2 side gigs things get lost in the shuffle. I get everything done for my 9-5 job (it’s not 9-5 but you know what I mean, its the one I work at for 40 hrs every week). I also manage the social media accounts of a start-up and offer freelance support to two agencies as well as try and write here. We dream big! We work hard. 

So what should we always remember?

There are some things we as moms, as women, as those who are working hard to provide need to remember:

  1. It is okay to stop and take time for you. This year I was off work for a bit and it was during this downtime that I took time to breathe and even had some fun.  Even if you have to calendar it downtime is a must. 
  2. Find the shortcuts. We can’t do everything. I tried. It simply doesn’t work but when I found the shortcuts I get more done. For some, it might mean getting a box of preplanned meals dropped at your door, for others it might be hiring a cleaning lady and if you are a blogger you may open your blog to guest writers or you may want to hire our a few chores.  There are ways to steal back time. 
  3.  Be Present. Sometimes when you have several different roles it is easy to try and multi-task your day away. Ever done that? I know I have especially on those busy days. I have learned by blocking time for tasks and focusing on that one item, more gets done faster. Here is an example: I started today with a list a mile long from running errands to creating content to cleaning the house to time with family. By creating a plan and focusing I was able to get things done and be present for each part of my day. The best part is yet to come. Movie time with my girl.
  4. Ask for help. Sometimes when we are in the act of doing we think we have to do it all ourselves. We don’t. It is okay to ask for and get a helping hand. 

As I sit at my desk this afternoon I thought of all the moms I know who wear multiple hats, those who run business, those who have side hustles and those who are caregivers and we all manage to get it done. Are we tired at the end of the day? Yes. But the more important question is it worth it at the end of the day?  Yes. 

How to Solve the Home Care Needs of Canadian Seniors: uCarenet and the Caremap app

The numbers are staggering and growing. The home care needs of our Canadian seniors are not being met.  My mom is one of these seniors. For the last ten years, she has needed both nursing care and personal home care. So how do we solve some of the issues for Canadian families and especially seniors who are grappling with this issue? Back in December, I came across uCarenet, a cool new matching platform that is matching Canadian seniors with caregivers,  in the Greater Toronto and Ottawa areas currently. If you have followed me for years, you know I love working with small Canadian companies doing cool things like Flipp and Caddle.

In December, I pitched the company and became their social media manager starting in January. So this post is not sponsored but I do work for the company. One of the reasons I wanted to be apart of this was I saw my mom struggle with your homecare aides. One of the things I loved about a matching platform, it gave families and caregivers alike more control. Now, this week to add to the platform, there is the new Caremap app, think of it is as Uber for Canadian seniors trying to find home care help. When I first learned about it, I was excited. We have been working on this for months. So why am I excited?

The Back Story of uCarenet

Look at the stats. A 2012 Statistics Canada study found that 5.4 million Canadians provided care to a senior family member or friend, and nine out of 10 who received care in the home relied on a family member. More than three million Ontarians are family caregivers, and 48% are caring for a parent or in-law. Some 850,000 provide more than 10 hours of care per week, including transportation, domestic tasks, scheduling appointments, managing finances and providing personal care. Publicly funded services are not enough to fill the needs of Canada’s ageing population, families are tasked with navigating the limited services available. uCarenet and the new Caremap app help fill a void in home care.

The Numbers Matter

Right now uCarenet has partnered with William Osler Health System and Baycrest. A  study is underway. We are looking at the efficacy of a technology-enhanced service to access affordable home care, and for the continuation of care from hospital to home. This should lead to less emergency room visits and a better quality of care.  Once the results are in, we will be publishing these numbers.

How does it work?

uCarenet is affordable home care made simple. You know I like tools that help Canadians save money. uCarenet sets out to do just that. This online platform bridges the gap between health providers and in-home caregiving families easier access to reliable, affordable, home care while supporting independence and quality of life for seniors.  Sounds great right? So we help Canadian families find top quality care.

On the other side of the coin, uCarenet was designed with the help of Canadian healthcare professionals to improve the home care experience for seniors and families. Healthcare professionals and caregivers can operate their own small business, they no longer need to go through a typical agency. They can earn more or supplement what they are already earning. It’s great for those who are looking for work as senior caregivers.

Now alongside the matching platform, the app will be able to be used to monitor a senior’s basic health and acts as a communication tool for caregivers and families. Things like mood, hydration and mobility all can be reported upon in the app. This information allows for clear communication between family members and caregiver.

Know a senior looking for care, have them download the new Caremap,  Know are caregiver looking for work have them download the app as well.

You can join this important conversation as well the first Tuesday of every month at 7 pm EST on Twitter, as we talk about different senior issues, our next chat on July 3rd we will discuss senior nutrition.  Follow uCarenet and Commoncentsmom and the #ucarenet hashtag to be part of the conversation.

 

Ten Years of Common Sense Blogging

It’s hard to believe Common Cents Mom is ten!

I started this blog ten years ago. I wanted it to be an inspiration and a way for me to share the knowledge I was gaining.  It has been quite a rollercoaster ride and my community has shared it all with me!

 

So what are some of the highlights:

  • Over 1000 posts written ( that averages to 2 posts a week)
  • Started the first Personal Finance Chat in Canada even before the banks were talking about money online!
  • Wrote a tweet to Oprah that ended up in New York Times
  • Having this blog and one post featured on every news site in Toronto leading to the raising of thousands of dollars for fire victims.
  • Having Common Cents Mom featured on multiple lists as a blog to follow and read. I have been on the top lists more than 20 times.
  • Speaking at multiple Blogging Conferences and the University of Toronto as a Guest Speaker twice.
  • Being one of 4 bloggers invited by VIA Rail to take the Ocean train as part of its 110 birthday.
  • Having met many of my current friends via this blog.
  • Helping  2 apps that were created here in Ontario launch. One now has millions of downloads and the other was wanted by 4 Dragons on Dragons Den.
  • Over 5 billion social media impressions for brands that have partnered with Common Cents Mom
  • Over 200 Twitter Parties or Chats hosted or moderated for brands.

What surprises me every month is that new people visit and become followers and for each and every one of them I am grateful and blessed. I am floored that so many are now friends. I am thankful for conversations and how this community has grown together. I am thankful for the mentors who stepped in and taught me so much about personal finance and blogging. In the area of personal finance, I am thankful for Preet Banerjee who gave me my first paid writing gig. I wrote about my bankruptcy for his blog. I am thankful for Gail Vaz Oxlade who is the original Common Sense personal finance writer. These two I learned much from. In the area of authentic connection, I am thankful for names we who work in the world of Social Media know well.  I am grateful or Liz Strauss and Chris Brogan who along with Scott Stratten taught me much that I use every day. It is all about connecting in ways that matter, ways that help and make you think.

Eight years ago, my life changed when I became unemployed and ended up six days later being employed by Connected Multi-Media. Little did I know, all my paid work since has been in the world of social media. From blogging to a freelancer working alongside some great brands and agencies I have had so many great experiences. Dove Chocolates was my very first partner some 8 years ago and I have worked alongside over 100 brands and companies since.

As I look to the next 10 years, I look forward to Common Cents Mom being a resource for those that want to learn about money in ways that make sense, ways that save you time and money. I promise I will always be looking for ways and tools that will help my readers.

Here is living frugally so we can live well!

THANK YOU all for reading and visiting my blog. I appreciate every click and every moment you spend here.

 

Let’s Not Forget About Our Kids and Their Mental Health #BellLetsTalk #KidsCantWait

Dear Kathleen Wynne and Those Running for Office,

This post is an open letter from a concerned mom.

I am not sure you are aware of the crisis facing our kids. If you are you, you have done too little. Kids especially our youth wait far too long for help when they are in crisis. When a child is in crisis they wait for help when it comes to their mental health.

My own daughter languished on a high priority wait list for months waiting for a program that would assess her needs and get her a proper diagnosis. While she waited we had daily phone calls from a triage nurse and during this time period her school put her on a do not admit. She would not attend school for 5 months. No education was offered during this time.  Can you imagine that happening to a child you know? a child you care about? Children are languishing because the people that could change things do nothing.

My daughter waited over 2 years for help. Would you wait two years for treatment of an illness that is having a serious impact on your life? one that would almost take your life? The average child waits over 18 months in the province of Ontario for help. Most in the GTA wait longer.

Here is a scary honest stat. Four in 10 children do not get the help they need. We are failing our children. My own daughter was referred to community help after a hospital stay. The programs and treatment recommended for her NEVER came.  As a parent, I could not wait for my community. I was forced to take action on my own. I had to navigate a broken system. I had to pay out of pocket for therapy. It was a daily nightmare for about two years.

Here is the reality most adults who suffer from mental illness showed signs in childhood. By age 40 almost half of all of those who live in Ontario will have struggled with a mental health issue. What if we helped people sooner? Think of the long-term cost savings? Children’s Mental Health Ontario is calling on the Government of Ontario to make child and youth mental health a priority in its next budget. Will you answer their request with real action?

Let this mom know, I will be voting on this one issue.

Thank you,

Regards,

Hollie Pollard

Mom of One

My dear friends the stats are scary and I would encourage you to reach out to our premier and let her know your concerns.

Here are some stats that scare the heck out of me. They are fact, not fiction.

 

  • Mental illness impacts us all. We know that 70% of adult mental illnesses begin in childhood and by the age of 40, half of all Ontarians will have struggled with a mental health problem.
  • In Ontario, an alarming 36% of parents report seeking mental health services for their children.
  • Half of the parents who sought help said they faced challenges in getting the services they needed. The primary reason cited was long wait times (65% of those who sought help).
  • Four in 10 youth have sought help for mental health issues but nearly half of them were not able to get the help they needed.
  • $120M additional funds annually are needed to meet the increasing demand and shortage of mental health and addiction services for both children and youth. Children’s Mental Health Ontario is calling on the Government of Ontario to make child and youth mental health a priority in its next budget. Join us and urge the Ontario government to act now at kidsmentalhealthcantwait.ca
  • When children receive treatment in hospitals, they are stabilized, kept for a few days, and are discharged only to wait in long lines for treatment at child and youth mental health centres.
  • Nearly half of all youth in Ontario (46%) report having missed school as a result of their anxiety, and one-quarter of all kids with mental health issues experience substantially lower achievement at school.
  • With nowhere to turn because of long wait lists or a shortage of services near where they live, many children and youth are forced in desperation and crisis to seek mental health treatment at hospital emergency rooms. Since 2006-07, there has been a 63% increase in emergency department visits and a 67% increase in hospitalizations for Ontario children and youth with mental health issues. ( my daughter had to be one of these).

Here is what should be happening. Can you help advocate for it?

Children’s Mental Health Ontario urges the government to make crucial investments to:

  • Ensure that no child or youth wait more than 30 days for mental health and addictions treatment
  • Expand specialized youth mental health and addictions centres to ensure that children and youth get the treatment they need
  • Hire and retain the highest skilled staff caring for our most vulnerable children
  • Develop quality standards to deliver the best mental health and addictions services

Today you can make a difference with one simple action.

That is why for Bell Let’s Talk Day we are asking you to raise your voice for children’s mental health. Click here to send Premier Kathleen Wynne a message and let her know that our #kidscantwait for mental healthcare. http://kidsmentalhealthcantwait.ca/

**This is not a sponsored post I am simply a mom who has had to navigate a very broken system.