I Will Miss You Mom

This sucks so much to write, but I feel like I have to get it out. If I don’t then I may just hang on to it for too long.

Taken during the flood of 1993 cleanup.

My mom died a few days ago. It was one of the most heart breaking things I have ever had to endure so far in my life. First it was knowing that it was going to happen weeks before. Just living with that information changes you. Is the next phone call or text gonna be the one? When I was younger my dad passed away suddenly you didn’t get a text, you got a phone call on your landline. I was just a kid and I really didn’t have much support after it happened. There were no warnings, no updates, no getting to sit by his side listening to his breath weaken while you give your tearful goodbyes. Just a phone call.

This time around I am much older, a husband, a father, and so much more responsible, but I still feel as helpless now as I did then. Even with the support of my wife and family. Coming to terms with the idea that this is actually going to happen to it actually happening is still cracking my mental foundation.

It’s hard for me to talk about my feelings and express them properly, but I guess that’s what I am doing here. Blogging therapy…. Well, she didn’t die from the coronavirus thankfully, but she did suffer from some liver and kidney issues that slowly progressed from bad to worse over these last few months. I lied to myself and thought that she would miraculously recover but deep inside I kinda figured this would not be a road to a happy and healthy recovery. The doctors and nurses did all they could. My sister and my aunts did an amazing job taking care of her this past year. I cannot thank them enough for all that they have done…. and my step-father, I know he is hurting, losing his friend, finding and using his faith in God to find his own peace and reflection during this chapter in our lives.

I thought maybe I could push through it all and be as strong as I have been. It’s pretty hard to maintain a charade of happiness when inside all you want to do is break down. But I’m managing it pretty well. When I answer the phone I just push my feelings deep down. When my kids run up to show me something that they think is exciting, I need to turn it up and match their excitement. It’s best that they not see me falling apart. So I’ll do what I’m suppose to do. It’s what we men are known for right? Hiding our feelings.

My mom and dad. The younger years.

It’s crazy to think that because of the coronavirus my mom won’t have a “regular” funeral. Only a select few get to attend a memorial service while the rest can view a live stream of the event. It’s sad to think that many of those that were a part of my mom’s life will not even get a chance to say goodbye in the way that many people are so accustomed to. This can’t be a new normal.

I will miss my mom, but what I think I will miss more is being able to see her interact with my children. I already miss what could have been with my dad and my kids, but knowing what was there with my mom and these two wonderful kids, that hurts a lot. They will never get to see their Nanners again, never get to giver her another hug and ask for a snack like they were notorious for doing. It’s sad to think about and…. yeah… it. sucks.

There’s so much that I am gonna miss. I remember when my daughter was just a little baby and we would go over to my mom’s and “grocery shop” from what she had stocked up. Her over buying helped us so much during that time, not to mention all of the other times she had helped us in some degree or another. I could fill this blog with posts about her kindness and doing anything she could to help her kids as well as her grandkids.

Mom and me at a family reunion!

I know my wife Destiny will really miss you too. You were always so caring and sympathetic, and would always just be there to lend an ear if needed. A shoulder to cry on if wanted. A truly compassionate person that never judged. The times you have helped her get through her struggles can’t even be counted on both hands. She wrote a very heartfelt post on Facebook about you that summarizes the type of person you were and how that wonderful personality affected those that you connected with.

I will miss helping you with your computer questions. Things I took for granted like you asking about backing up data, or needing my help installing a web cam. As easy as they were I now wish they took ten times as long to do just so I could have spent a little more time with my mom. I’ll never forget how excited you were when I showed you a “hack” so you didn’t need to use your Sims CD when playing the game anymore… or the time when you found yourself in the rabbit’s hole called Kazaa and you would download anything you could.

I’ll miss your tacos, your gardening advice, and how the accent of your voice would change after hanging out with your sisters. I will miss learning from you. Even when I grew up and became an adult I still learned from you even though I thought there wasn’t anything left to learn. There is so much that I will miss, so much that I could list various things for days. For now I will just hold onto the memories. I won’t ever forget you, I will miss you Mom.

You can share a memory and view her obituary here.

Giving Yourself a Break: Top Ways to Spend Your Me-Time

This has been a difficult year for many of us. Alongside the usual stresses of day to day life, almost all of us have had to deal with the consequences of a worldwide pandemic. Back in January, who could have anticipated that we’d spend the majority of this year battling against the effects of a potentially deadly virus. Coronavirus and Covid-19 have posed a huge health threat, have caused the implementation of social isolation and social distancing (posing a threat to our mental health and emotional wellbeing) and have also ravaged the economy, causing countless companies to collapse and countless consequent job losses around the world. We’ve all had a lot on our plate. On top of this, many of us have faced around the clock childcare alongside trying to take care of everything else, as many schools have been closed for months on end. It’s not all too surprising that your stress levels may be pretty high right now. If this is the case, it really is important to take some me-time and schedule it into your calendar. Sure, you want to put everyone else’s needs foremost and you can. But also make sure to schedule some time in for yourself where you can kick back and relax for a while. Here are some good ways to spend your me-time.

Go For a Walk

You’d be amazed what going for a simple walk can do for your wellbeing. This activity goes above and beyond the physical benefits of getting out, stretching your legs and getting some mild aerobic exercise in. It gives you time to think and reflect. Plus, being out in nature can be pretty calming in and of itself too. While the majority of us don’t live next to sprawling and stunning scenery and landscapes, think of a local nature spot you can visit to just see something nice in the quiet and calm.

Game

So many of us enjoy gaming. It gives you an outlet where you can escape from the real world and live a fantasy for a while. Plus, you can game safely from the comfort of your own home without having to come into contact with others to communicate with them. Whatever games you’re into, whether that’s Animal Crossing, casino games with an Online Casino Guide or anything else, make sure to play responsibly and don’t get too immersed. You still need to keep up with your other commitments. This should just be an occasional release.

Bake

Lots of people have really got into baking over the past few months. There’s probably been a point where local stores have experienced a lack of baking essentials like flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and more. But this is because baking is relaxing, fun, engaging and you get some sort of (hopefully) delicious treat at the end! Try a few recipes to see how you get along.

These are just a few different activities you might want to try out when you take a little break and incorporate some me-time into your schedule! Hopefully, you’ll find some fun!

How Healthy Is Your Relationship With Your Phone?

Your smartphone is a miracle. It allows you to answer any question and settle any heated barroom debate in seconds. It allows you to turn a tedious commute into productive working time. It is your gateway to hundreds of hours of awesome online content (much of it free) so that you need never be bored or lonely again. You can even make phone calls on it (as alien a notion as that may seem to many these days, especially our kids). Yet, while we’re constantly told that we should be vigilant when keeping tabs on our kids’ use of technology, we so often neglect our own relationships with our phones. And that can be a problem. Developing young minds aren’t the only ones that can be warped by spending too much time on their phones. In fact, even the oldest and wisest of us can find ourselves getting into bad habits where our phones are concerned. 

Here are some questions all Dads should ask themselves to ensure that they have a healthy relationship with their phones. 

Are you guilty of phubbing?

Phone snubbing or “phubbing” is something that we’re very keen to clamp down on when we catch our kids doing it. But when we catch ourselves falling into the same bad habit, we need to shut it down even faster. If our kids catch us engrossed in our phones at the dinner table or in another inappropriate context, they’ll see it as a tacit sign that it’s okay, no matter what you say out loud. And this can increase their dependence on their devices and impede social development. 

How long are you spending on your phone?

Be honest now. How much time do you spend on your phone every day? Less than 5 hours? 10 hours? 15 hours? Believe it or not, the amount of time we spend on our phones isn’t that dissimilar between baby boomers, gen x, millennials and gen z with each spending around 4-6 hours a day on their phones. Still, there are many who would say that more than one or two is too many. It’s certainly worth tracking how much time you spend on your phone from one week to the next.

Do your amusements become addictions?

Our smartphones are our gateway to a treasure trove of fun games. Whether you’re playing games just for the fun of it, reconnecting with childhood classics ported over from your mobile device or even trying to make a little money through online games and casinos- take a look at this LeoVegas casino review for an example, there are all kinds of ways in which we can wile away the hours with games. But we need to be vigilant. These amusements and distractions can become addictions if we’re not careful. We need to exercise restraint and self-discipline so that they don’t impact our productivity at home and at work. 

How are you sleeping?

Finally… like tablets, laptops and TVs, smartphones emit blue light which can disrupt the brain’s production of the sleep hormone melatonin which in turn can lead to insomnia. If you’re having trouble drifting off at night, it may be a sign that you’re spending too much time with your face in a screen!

Dads, Here’s a Christmas Tip

If your wife is anything like my wife, she spends an awful lot of time looking at cute photos on social media. And deep down, she wants to take cute photos just like the ones she sees. So this year, even though you may not want to, here’s a little Christmas tip. Buy some matching pj’s.

Looking through Lazy One’s website you will actually find some pretty cool pajamas. They all look comfy, and after the year we have had, I think you and your family deserves some comfort. Picking up some family matching Christmas pajamas is as easy as selecting a set and making the purchase. Kids love pj’s already, so that’s an easy win for you there, and Mom will be thrilled to finally get the cutest holiday greeting card this year, plus you will win lots of points since you had the idea. You don’t have to tell her you got it from me.

Placing your order now also gives you plenty of time to beat the holiday rush. The rush to get the right sizes, styles, and more. You’ll even have plenty of time to get the perfect photo for your holiday card! Before we know it, Christmas will be here and we will be wrapping presents under the tree, and it is pretty cute to see your family all cozy in their family pajamas. Plus your wife will love the Instagram moments she’ll be able to capture!

So use this Christmas tip wisely and don’t delay in picking up some cute family matching pajamas from Lazy One. They have some awesome styles, patterns, not only for Christmas but almost every holiday! Check them out and give the gift the will keep on giving with warmth, love, and a fashionable family!