Panel of older moms discuss their experiences on national television show

Canada AM Panel

Between The New Family, Toronto Life and Canada AM, there’s been a lot of discussion in my world about being an “older mom.”

The reality is, however, that becoming a parent later in life is an increasingly more common occurrence. As women struggle with financial responsibilities, career goals and the inherent challenges of biology and fertility that age brings, the definition of “older mom” will continue to shift. While my personal situation is atypical (having raised a child to adulthood and also raising young children), my experience in being an older mom to elementary-aged children is not.

As a result of the Toronto Life and The New Family articles and podcast, the conversation on this topic continued on Canada AM (You can read the full Toronto Life article here:The Mid-Life Moms Club).

The segment made me reflect upon some of the both positive and negative aspects of parenting at an advanced age. Here’s some of the pros and cons of having children when you’re over 40 (or in your late 30’s).


  • I’m more calm and confident in my abilities
  • I’m more self-assured and less anxious
  • More financially stable/more money available
  • I’ve had the experience of already raising a child so know what to expect and am able to provide advice to first-time parents who are uncertain
  • Life experience has made me wiser and I don’t feel like I have something to prove
  • Career is more established when you’re older with kids
  • People judge me and think I’m crazy
  • Less energy than I had when parenting at a younger age – I get tired more easily
  • Going through menopause and middle-age while dealing with young kids or teen angst can be challenging
  • Generally speaking, older parents will have less time to spend with your kids and may not be able to be an actively-engaged grandparent due to age-related illness
  • Kids may not get to know their grandparents (my younger kids never met their paternal grandparents)

Did I miss any? :)

Watch the full segment here and let me know your thoughts:

Canada AM: Becoming a Mom at 40+

What are your thoughts about becoming a mom later in life? Has this been your experience or do you know someone who has taken this untraditional route? Tell me all about it in the comments section below.


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Faking It: When Your Kid Pretends to be Sick

by Samantha on November 7, 2015

So you suspect your child isn't really sick? Here are 5 tips for what to do

All of a sudden, your kid is nursing a cold. Then it’s a horrible tummy ache. Then their head hurts.

Trouble is, they were fine just a few minutes ago.

Coincidentally, you find out that one (or more) of the following things is occurring:

  1. Your child has a newfound bully
  2. Your child is struggling with a new subject: math/spelling/reading
  3. Your child dislikes his new teacher or there’s been a change in the curriculum
  4. Your child just wants some extra attention from you, alone
  5. Your child needs a “mental health day” away from school
  6. Your child is officially addicted to video games and would much rather stay home in bed all day playing Minecraft than be at school slugging through  the Three R’s

There are many reasons behind why your child may say that they’re sick when they’re not.

They could be trying to avoid a difficult situation at school. They may be feeling lazy and, like all of us, just need a day off to relax and reboot. Or, sadly an more alarmingly, their feigning illness may be a subtle cry for attention regarding something that’s very wrong at school, or an effort to avoid an uncomfortable or troubling situation that may await.

We’ve all tried this trick as kids – I know I did; my parents still laugh so many years later about the time I faked illness when I heard that they had both taken the day off work to have a movie date, only to be sidetracked by my “mystery illness.”

Indeed, most instances of “faking it” are caused by the usual reasons, most of which are innocuous; it’s the more insidious ones that we, as parents, need to be aware of so that we can address the causes at the basis of why our children are avoiding school.

If you believe your child is faking being sick, here’s what to do:

  1. Get to the root of the problem. Your child’s feigned illness may be caused by a number of things. The desire to stay home may be linked to something minor, like just wanting to have the freedom to play all day or take it easy. Conversely, not wanting to go to school could be the result of something major, like being the victim of bullying. Consider any recent changes to your child’s life – both at school and at home. Remember – even what an adult may consider a minor change or shift in how things are done can have a major effect on kids.
  2. Make sure they really aren’t sick – Look for measurable, physiological symptoms. Take their temperature, gauge their behaviour (sick one moment, happy and laughing the next) and look for other tell-tale signs of real illness (lethargy, no appetite, bathroom frequency, etc.).  Following all of these steps will help you figure out what’s really going on with your child and whether or not you have real cause for concern.
  3. Open the doors of communication – Talk to your child, consistently. Don’t wait until a claim of being sick before asking questions an finding out what’s going on in your son or daughter’s’s life. Discuss their daily activities, specifically what they’re doing in school (academically an socially), as part of your regular conversations. Sometimes it’s hard to do, but by making it easy and safe to talk about difficult topics with your child, the real reasons behind their hesitance to go to school will become apparent.
  4. Line Up Resources – You may have an inkling that your child’s problem is more involved that you originally thought. For this reason alone, it may be time to call in the experts. Start with your in-school resources, including the school counsellor, nurse and of course your child’s teacher(s) and principal. Most educators are happy to help parents and kids resolve any issues that may be occurring.
  5. Bite your tongue – Your first instinct may be to say “You’re fine!” or “No, you’re not sick! You’re going to school.” Often, if a child is indeed faking being sick, there are larger issues at play (see point #1). A gentle touch and gentle prodding will likely garner you much more information than following your first instincts that may stop your child from revealing what’s really going on.

Does your child fake illnesses in order to avoid going to school? What are the reasons for your kids’ behaviour? Are they trivial or more serious? How do you handle these situations? Tell me about it in the comments section below.


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Article outlines the personal stories of moms who became parents over the age of 40

On family, over the ages.

The November, 2015 edition of Toronto Life magazine peers into the lives of women who have bucked convention and have gone on to become moms at the ripe old age of 40+.

Who are these women and what were they thinking, really?

We may feel that attitudes towards the raising of children have changed drastically over the years, but you’d be surprised at how far we still have to go. Society’s preconceptions about what is an “acceptable” age for becoming a mother hasn’t changed as much as many of us would like. And while medical technology has advanced the cause for those who may have had difficulty conceiving in previous times, attitudes towards older women having children still has a long way to go.

Read the stories of women who have become mothers past the age of 40, along with my own journey to parenting children over four decades in this edition of Toronto Life.

If you’re able, pick up a copy and read the full feature or if you’re not able to, stay tuned to this blog where I’ll update this post with a link to the digital version of the story (which is not online yet, but will be).

**UPDATE** Here’s a link to the full article: “The Mid-Life Mom’s Club



Do you have a unique or unusual journey to parenthood? Tell me about it in the comments section below!


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PODCAST: Parenting in Four Decades!

by Samantha on October 29, 2015

What's it like to raise kids in very different times? Listen to The New Family podcast and find out


What’s it like to parent kids in four decades?

Sounds like a strange question, but it’s one that I can answer.

You see, I’ve done it – and continue to do it with my four children, who range in age from adulthood to elementary school age.

Confused? Surprised? Intrigued?

Read The New Family article where I provide details and listen to The New Family Podcast where I’m interviewed on the topic by The New Family website founder, Brandie Weikle.

the new family

On the podcast, I had a great discussion with Brandie, who provided me with the opportunity to discuss a variety of topics related to my unique parenting journey. Some items that we spoke about include:

  • Parenting in the digital age – how technology has change how we parent in today’s world
  • Becoming a mom in your 40’s – and society’s acceptance or lack of acceptance for this choice
  • Inappropriate and rude comments related to being pregnant at an older age, including discussions on body image and questions regarding fertility and IVF
To download and listen to the episode in iTunes, click here:
To download and listen to the episode via Stitcher radio, click here:
It’s definitely a unique story and has certainly been a trip! Lots of ups an downs and many learnings along the way.

If you haven’t already, please subscribe to this great podcast series on iTunes and give it a rating, if you’re so inclined.

Can’t wait to hear what you think of the episode! Leave me your thoughts in the comments section below.


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Can you be shamed for being sweaty? Apparently so, according to some

sweating woman

We’ve heard of “body-shaming,” “slut-shaming,” “fat-shaming.”

Now there’s apparently a new type of humiliation that’s making the rounds, likely at a Starbucks near you.

“Sweat-shaming,” as it’s called, is the experience of being shamed for being, well, sweaty, because we all know that that’s a bad thing.

And because this blog is all about kids and parenting, let me tie this in within a familial context:

Do we now have to worry about not only our dear children being bullied at school for a number of reasons, but be aware that they may be “sweat-shamed” as well? More importantly, are we going to let our kids grow up to be adults who jump on the latest bandwagon in order to capitalize on trends, to the detriment of those who have actually experienced real shaming? In my humble opinion, “fat-shaming,” “slut-shaming” and “body-shaming” are real things; “sweat-shaming is not.”

It all started with this article:

“Sweat-Shaming” – A Woman’s Workout Humiliation

According to this piece in the Washington Post, this woman ventured into a coffee shop while sweating profusely, after finishing a gruelling workout. She was called out (apparently) about her dripping-with-sweat presence in line by a not-so-nice woman in line behind her. This hurt her feelings. Accordingly, she conveyed her pain in an article for the Washington Post.

“Her intentions were to disapprove how I looked. This was sweat shaming.” -Amy Roe, whose profuse sweating was commented on by a fellow Starbucks customer

Following her admission of the humiliation and shame that she felt, there were a number of other, similar incidents that came to light, with more people admitting to being the victims of “sweat-shaming.” I listened to this podcast, from Canada’s public broadcaster, CBC, that interviewed  yet another woman who too, had been “sweat-shamed.” You can listen to the full interview here:

CBC The Current – Sweat-Shaming Episode

While the unsolicited comment from the person in line at Starbucks represented bad form, equating it with behaviour that is very real and very damaging is, in itself, damaging. People who have been the brunt of being teased and shamed for not falling into the prescribed boxes are facing very real battles, daily. To add “sweat-shaming” as a struggle that is on par with being shamed for not having the perceived “right” body type, or being judged for behaviour of a sexual nature detracts from the awareness that needs to occur for these real shaming incidents to stop.

Anyway, if it’s not already clear, I don’t think that “sweat-shaming” is a thing. Not now, not ever.

Listen to my discussion with the fabulous women on Broadscast about this topic, here, and let me know what you think of this trend:

Broadscast – Sweat-Shaming and Other Things

And if you’re not already a subscriber to this great radio program, subscribe now!



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Keeping Up With the Kids – Top 5 Tips For Tired or Older Parents

October 11, 2015

How to have fun and stay active with the kids in spite of your exhaustion Whew! Just looking at this picture tires me out! How about you? If you’re like me – or so many other parents out there – the ability to keep up with your kids is a challenge to say the least! […]

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SIRIUS XM Radio Interview: Dishing With Demontis on Parenting

September 25, 2015

Coddling our kids, the effect of technology on parenting and the “good old days” are discussed in this radio segment Parenting. It’s a tall order but someone’s got to do it. Figuring out just how to do it, successfully, however is the question that most parents find themselves wondering about more often than not. I […]

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VIDEO: How to Save Money on Baby Items With Kijiji

September 11, 2015

Advice on how to bring home baby while staying within your budget DISCLAIMER: This post is written in partnership with Kijiji in support of raising awareness about how the Second-Hand Economy can support new parents who are looking for the best value for their family dollar. As with all content on this blog, opinions are completely […]

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ROUNDUP: Top Back-to-School Tips For Parents

August 31, 2015

A selection of the best strategies for anxious parents about how to manage back-to-school season Anxious about your child’s return to school? You’re not alone. This time of the year, parents everywhere are stressed! Is it any wonder? There are so many things to consider: What new clothes does my child need? What about shoes? […]

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IN THE NEWS: Picky Eater? Don’t Sweat It!

August 28, 2015

Follow these simple tips when packing your child’s lunchbox School lunches can be a headache for parents who have the good fortune [*sarcasm*] of having a picky eater on their hands. Worrying about whether your child has eaten during school hours, or envisioning them hungry and miserable is the fear of many parents. As we […]

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