Every so often, I crave mom-to-mom time. I seemed to have an abundance of “mom talk” opportunities when the boys were younger; between play dates, online forums and yes, even Twitter, there was always a chance to ask questions, vent about setbacks or share parenting wins. However, as the boys grow, I’ve found myself less inclined to reach out to other moms. Perhaps it’s because I’ve become more confident in my decisions or I’ve simply “been there, done that” – nevertheless, I’m aware that I’m reaching out less and less as the years go by.
Therefore, I make it a point to connect with my “mom friends” at least once every few weeks. Whether it’s over coffee, for a shopping date, or better yet, both – I think it’s important to continue the parent-focused conversations, especially with those who have children at different ages/stages from my own. It allows me to be both the pupil and the teacher; I can seek advice and “what to expect” from my girlfriends who have tweens and teens, and I can offer comfort and perspective to those raising toddlers and primary-aged children.
What dominated our conversations this month? I recently got together with my friend Georgia from Extra Sparkles Please, who also has two boys (ages 2 and 4). Here’s what we chatted about this time around!
1. Being Prepared. I always use back to school time as reminder to update our medicine chest and first aid kit. With the boys once again in close proximity with other kids in a shared environment, infections, bumps and bruises are sure to happen. And, cold and flu season is officially here, so it’s important to ensure we’re stocked up with the staples.
I shared my routine with Georgia: Every fall, I replace all expired and soon-to-expire medications, make sure I have several formulations of our most frequently used over-the-counter meds, replace the battery in my digital thermometer and finally, update my phone list, including my local pharmacy, personal doctors or therapists, and home and office phone numbers for family members, friends or neighbours who can help in case of an emergency.
2. What’s Trending. Georgia’s boys are almost a full generation younger than my own, so even though they’re only two- and four-years old, she actually has more experience raising kids in a trendy, social media-dominant environment. I continually learn from her when it comes to discovering the latest health and wellness apps and websites, the newest (and most reviewed) products on the market, the best in kid’s fashion, how to throw the coolest birthday party and of course, the hottest spots for moms to get together.
Having a girlfriend who has vast knowledge of all things “cool mom” is absolutely priceless!
3. Tackling Tough Conversations. It’s hard to imagine our little ones becoming critically ill – much less have an open conversation about it – but often, it’s better to be aware, so we can adequately prepare.
Many Canadians know little about meningitis B, a rare yet potentially life-threatening bacterial infection, that can rapidly progress within 24-48 hours with devastating consequences. Truthfully, before Georgia and I broached the subject, neither of us had talked about it with our children’s doctors. (Likely because in Canada, vaccination against meningitis B is not part of the routine childhood vaccination schedule, unlike vaccines for some other strains of meningitis.)
Meningococcal B infection is caused by bacteria called meningococcal type B. It can cause serious and potentially life-threatening infections including meningitis, an infection of the lining that covers the brain, and septicemia, an infection of the blood. Permanent complications of infection include brain damage and deafness, and about 1 in 10 people who get sick may die.
Meningitis spreads through close contact, like a cold or flu. Coughing or sneezing, sharing eating utensils, kissing and close physical contact can spread the germs from person to person. Alarmingly, kids younger than five years old and adolescents are at the greatest risk, with meningitis B responsible for 63% of Invasive Meningococcal Disease in Canada .
So, what can we do to help protect our children? We can speak with our child’s doctor about the vaccination options available, and continue the “mom talk” conversations to ensure we both catch up and stay ahead of relevant issues in parenting today.
I’m happy to continually carve out time with fellow moms, to connect, converse and compare notes. It’s such a wonderful club, isn’t it?
Although this post has been sponsored by a research-based pharmaceutical company, the opinions and language are my own. If your child suffers from a side effect following immunization, please contact your healthcare provider or contact the Vaccine Safety Section at the Public Health Agency of Canada at 1-866-844-0018.
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