Sunday, 14 October 2012

Make Your Actions Count

I have had two ‘dreams’ on my to-do list before I turn 40. Going to New York was one of them and I cannot even begin to describe what an amazing experience it was.  I think I may write a book and I shall call it:

How To Do New York On a Budget

CHAPTER ONE: Write a Blog That Goes Viral.

The End.

By Jessica A. Stilwell

In all seriousness, I will be writing more in depth about my experiences and observation while in NYC when I can actually sit down and my phone stops ringing.

For now, I want to share something that has been on my heart all day.

Cleary this blog has gained a lot of media attention. I never in a million years thought this would happen, nor was it my goal. As expected in the media, this has stirred up a lot of controversy and as a result there has been some pretty nasty stuff flying around about my parenting, my husband, my children and me. First and foremost, it is clear that most Negative Nancy’s have not read my blog, yet feel the need to put their own two cents in without doing their research.... which actually blows my mind.


Whew...I totally feel better after yelling typing.

However, rest assured that we as a family have decided not to pay any attention to the negativity. This will be my only personal response to it. We sat as a family tonight and discussed all that as been going on and how the kids are feeling about it. They are fine…there is no need to call social services, put me in jail or send me the Worst Mother EVER award in the mail. I have also told the girls that at any point and time if they are feeling overwhelmed or have had enough, I will pull the plug and take the blog down with no more media.  They are and always have been my priority. I have never been so proud of my children, their sense of humour, their resiliency and outlook on life. My family is freaking AWESOME!!! Yeah me!

But here is my message.

In light of the tragic recent headlines of Amanda Todd; the Vancouver area teen that committed suicide after her countless desperate pleas for help after being bullied, I NEED to say something here. I have learned a lot about social media this week...but THIS is the important news…bullying, cyber bullying, anti bullying, bullying awareness, kids cutting and teen suicide when there appears to be no way out. These are real issues facing our young people today. Not just for Amanda Todd, but for all the young people facing this in real life each day.

So for all the adults that have had ever so nasty things to say on my blog or elsewhere online about my parenting…I encourage you to ask yourself what you are teaching your own children by posting terrible things about me and my family without even knowing me or reading something so readily available to answer your questions? Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but what about teaching our children to communicate respectfully with each other without mean or hurtful words? 

As you are judging me with toxic words…please ask yourself as you are calling me and my children names; what are your own children learning from YOU and how that will affect their actions and relationships around them. Are you part of the problem or part of the solution?

More is caught than is taught people…. perhaps taking the time to look inward and at your own actions and influence on your own children is more important than taking the time to insult me and bully me and others online. 

My heart breaks for Amanda Todd and her family and friends. I ache and pray for each and every young person that faces bullying and the feeling of un-acceptance every day.  Make your words count. Make your actions count even more. Make a difference.

Tell your kids how much you love them, how proud you are of them and how wonderful they are....just as they are.  I do each and every day…even with a messy kitchen and dirty socks on my floor. Then show them through your actions how to treat other people with respect and kindness.

So here are my blog rules:

If you have something nasty to say, please take it elsewhere. For the love of Pete, there are like a million articles online where you could state your opinion. If you simply Google my name you will get LOTS of options! It will not be here on my blog...this is my domain, my platform.  This is meant for a light look at what it means to be a real life crazy working mom. Laughter is good for the soul. Parenting is the hardest job you will EVER do…humour helps keep it in perspective.

If you post something unkind here on MY blog, I will not engage you or respond, after all, isn’t that what you are looking for? Well, not here. I will just delete the comment. I will do it politely, after all I am Canadian. I’m sorry, thank-you and excuse me for bothering you. You see...I have the blog power! Like superman. Or spider woman. Or maybe I will make up my own super hero…Blogger Wonder Mommy. I need a theme song...and a cape, for sure a cape.

Sticks and stones do break bones…and words really do hurt, no matter how prepared and strong you think you are. Rest gently Amanda Todd.

For each negative comment on my blog and online I have had a 1000x in positives!!! I wish I could respond to each and every one  of you and it is my goal to. But for now, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. For those of you that have gone to bat for me…you made me tear up.  Sniff sniff.

Ok…heavy stuff I know. But important stuff. My next blog will be much funnier, I promise. Really, how much material do you think I have from the mistake of the media calling my husband ‘Danny’ on live television??

For the gentleman that took the time to correct me in my blog regards to spelling ‘pay cheque’ incorrectly…. thank you ever so much. I’m sure we will both sleep better tonight.

For the poster that felt the need to ‘bet’ my “kids no doubt got to use all their gadgets for social media regarding the strike”… actually my children are not allowed a Facebook or Twitter account and are not allowed a cell phone until they can pay the bill themselves. I also have the computer in the kitchen so I can monitor their online time. GASP!! Maybe I really am the meanest worst mom in the world.

For all the moms that with young children that have commented on my blog and ALL over the internet.  I am so glad that your two year old can fold socks and towels while your four year old has a blast dusting with a damp cloth. Congratulations! I really mean it when I say you are doing a great job involving them early. I did it too!! Talk to me in ten years. Puberty does crazy things to emotions and your wonderfully helpful children. You may not even recognize them.

Awe crap, I could go on forever…I choose not too. Starting now.

We all have great intentions. Not one parent I have ever met wakes up and says. “Well this seems like a good day to be a shitty parent” We all try to do our best! Keep at it!! I applaud you all on this parenting marathon!! Let’s not judge each other, let’s support each other as women, men, mothers, fathers and families. Don’t we all have the same goal? For them to move out right? Kidding…sorta a little bit…not really, no.

Be kind!! Do it for your kids, for yourselves and for Amanda Todd.      

Xoxo J


  1. Amen! RIP Amanda.

    Great job Jessica!

  2. I think you are awesome, and I think your kids responded better than mine would have, and I said so on my blog. People hate because they are miserable in their own lives. Laugh at them and have a glass of wine. XOXO

  3. Jessica, I think you've done an amazing thing with your strike, your blog, your appearance on "Today" and all the things you've said and done to try to help not only your own children, but other families as well. And what you've said here regarding Amanda is not only true and moving, it's something that needs to be said repeatedly and loudly! Thank you for having the courage to do what you're doing.

  4. A friend of mine linked me up to your blog today, and I read it from beginning to end just now. It's so hilarious! Thank you thank you for having such a great sense of humour!

  5. Well said! I thoroughly love your blog and have enjoyed hearing of your adventures via Jen's Facebook, can't wait to read more!

  6. I think you're great! :) And very smart. Have enjoyed reading your blog! Regards Eli from Finland

  7. Jessica Stilwell I bow to you. Kudos for bing strong in the face of stink. I read this entire 6 day journey to my 14 year old, who said "Please mom don't do that, please?" Perhaps you have done via the internet (especially the photos!) what I couldn't do with a year's worth of nagging.

  8. Jessica, I can relate from beginning to end. Bravo for writing this blog! Besides being a Calgarian, I too have girls, 11 and 13 and know your pain. (I thought educators would have mastered puberty by now!) I too had them fold socks from an early age. Both wash dishes. Both do the laundry from balling the dirty stuff into the hamper to folding and putting them into the drawers. It's part of their expected chores. And we too do not give allowance for what I call 'daily life'. You have clearly done a fabulous job raising your kids. We all lead busy lives and the house periodically does fall apart. I too have gone on strike, but thankfully the family rallied before armageddon occured (read, hubby layed down the law and kids rallied), but I got to sip on a glass of wine rather than being up to my arms in cleaning products, as did hubby. And finally, like you I am saddened by the riticule that has come as a result of this blog. While I agree that people are entitled to an opinion, we collectively need to remember not to pass judgement without walking in another one's shoes. We seem to live in a society where criticism is considered a right. Especially online - take a look at some of the comments after a Calgary Herald article. There is no parent living who is perfect. We all just muddle along doing the best that we can do each day. I am taking this lesson in cleaning/cyber bullying to my dinner table. What an excellent opportunity to use this as a teaching moment so that our daughters will think twice before letting the house fall apart AND before passing judgement. Thank you for bringing this to the world!

  9. Hi Jessica! I learned about your strike last week from Mx, the free newspaper for public transport commuters here in Melbourne, Australia. Amazing how far the news has reached, eh? I thought it was amusing, so I Googled to find your blog and read all about the strike. I love your sense of humour and how you handled your "basement trolls" attitude. :-D I do not have kids yet, but I want to have children in the future. Your experience has made me think of how I'll raise my children to be responsible people, with sound homemaking skills. I'm with you. I believe training in the home is important. I don't want to tolerate lazy kids who behave like princesses with tons of servants doing everything for them. I want them to be sensible, to know how to help others and make home a better place, to be capable of surviving on their own later on. I want them to develop good habits, so that when they go out into the world later on, other people will love and appreciate them, not be disgusted by their habits. Thank you for sharing your experience. You are not a bad mother in doing what you did. Once in a while, parents need to do something crazy to bring the kids to their senses, especially when enough is enough.

  10. JECCA - you rock! I loved your message today. xo Jody

  11. YaaaaaAaaaaaaaay Jessica!! I thought your strike (and subsequent bloggings) were priceless, but your reaction to the trolls (not the basement kind) and your tie in to cyber bullying is just spot on. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and reminding people that just because we type it, we are still meant to speak to eachother kindly. After all, isn't this what we spend the first 5+ years our our kids' lives teaching them?

    I will be checking in regularly

  12. Very funny story. I came across your blog on yahoo. I'm a post-doc at the University of Quebec, and my husband and I are thinking of having kids in the next couple years. I expect messiness to only increase in the incoming years. Cheers, Katie.

  13. I have had your blog bookmarked for a week now but I haven't had a chance to read it (yes, crazy working mum here too!), except for this post. Based on just this one post, you ROCK! :)

    I look forward to reading the rest of you blog and your future posts! Very funny and insightful!

    Surrey BC

  14. Beautiful. I 'heart' you.....Nenny xoxo

  15. I have read your blog from start to finish, twice! What a crackup! Your humour, wonderful writing, and your persistance in the face of chaos is applauded. I think Australians and Canadians must share the same humour gene!

    Ignore any negativity; the vast majority of us can see your love shining through.

    P.S. I think "Mr Pay Cheque" missed the point!

  16. Don't pay too much attention to the haters, for them it's almost like a sport to see how much grief they can spread. Looking forward to reading more of your adventures!

  17. Yes YES YES the goal is for them to move out!!! Hmmm that might have come out a little stronger than I intended. I am in the throes of teenage parenting with some added challenges and it has gotten to a point that to soothe myself I have decided on a move out date. I've kept it to myself. It's just something for me to hold onto in the tough times. A girl can dream right? It is either fantasize or take up drinking and stay drunk until they actually do move out.

    I am always fascinated by those who take the time to spread negativity. In the age of deleting it really is a waste of their time. Life really is too short for crap and crappy people.

    Keep on keeping on is what I say!

  18. Thank you!!!
    I am a swedish mother of four. I used to have it all worked out but when my youngest got sick in leucemia (he is doing well now)my home, my rules, my routine has fallen apart. Its been tough years trying to go back to a "normal life", and I want you to know that your blog has given me both strenght and energy! So THANK YOU Jessica! I really needed that. I used to have a blog that had many readers. I wrote about my son, to tell our friends how he was doing and to help others i the same situation (he is also born with a very severe congenital heart disease, which is under control at the moment). My blog is now closed. My readers were very nice and only wrote kind words, but still I really appreciate you bringing up Amanda Todd, bullying and so on. Sometimes it's hard to believe how mean people can be! Awful!
    I am looking forward to read your next post, and I apologise for any spelling mistakes and if my language is not all together correct. Like I said I am from Sweden and usually dont write this long messages in English ;-)
    R.I.P Amamnda Todd


  19. I got a great laugh from your strike...I see the team spirit sliding in my house too. Thanks for a great laugh!

  20. A friend posted your link this morning on her Facebook. All I gotta say is I so hear you! I have 3 teenage girls ages 15, 15 & 16.. Things have been rather messy lately.. I dont know about going on strike.. but good to know that some one out there understands... And love your humor about it!

  21. A friend posted this on facebook this morning and I've been reading and laughing for the past half hour. I'm going to have to print this out and save it, for I know that in 6 or so years I will be fighting these battles. Do you have any suggestions for "wine to strike with?" :) Thanks for the laughs and the great ideas.

  22. Hahaha! You gave me a good laugh. I love your attitude toward raising children. As a mother of 7, I totally understand what you're going through (5 daughters and 2 sons). My oldest three are legally adults, though two are still technically teenagers, and my youngest two girls are just in the thick of teenageness. I have no idea what the boys will be like. I grew up with 5 sisters. My mom said that girls lose their brains at 12 and get them back somewhere around 16 or so. I think you've taught your kids a valuable lesson and wish more parents would expect accountability from their children. Everyone living in a house should have responsibilities. Moms can't do everything...well some seem to but I bet they don't have any fun. Our youngest is a foster child and even though my house is hardly ever spotless, the social workers have commented more than once at how comfortable they are in our home and how they actually like that it looks lived in by a family. That doesn't mean we're piled up to our eyeballs in stuff, but often there are shoes and backpacks by the front door and a few toys on the couch. So, you've learned a valuable lesson too! My sister used to have a sign by her door that said, "If you've come to see me, you're welcome any time. If you've come to see my house, make an appointment." We need to teach our children how to clean by allowing them to do it. It may not be perfect but as long as there is sincere effort, we should not be critical. My children all know how to vacuum, do dishes by hand, sort laundry (sort of) and yes, even clean a toilet because I'm not going to go clean theirs once they leave home. Okay, so I actually have, but just when they were moving out and it was pretty decent anyway. It sounds like you've got a great relationship with your girls and a great sense of humor. It was my daughter who actually posted your 'Mommy strike' on her facebook page. Keep up the good work!

  23. Love the blog. You rock! I have been tempted to go on strike at times here, too. Our 4 kids are 13 (boy), 10 (girl) and almost 7 (boy-girl twins). Our kids contribute to the chores, but they are not always perfect or on the ball (just like their parents). Way to go, J

  24. As a mother of a 17-year-old that, when we dared to enter his room to find something, we found a dried cat turd laying tenderly kept in the middle of his floor, I applaud your strike and your ability to keep a sense of humor. Thank you for reminding me that parenting is an adventure, not a test. Oh! and that they do eventually move out, lol. JK....sort of.

  25. Hi Jessica. I found your blog by accident and I must say after reading the entire thing I am impressed with you! And I applaud your strike and your values. Lost my mother 5 years ago but she would have loved you. We always believed what you do, that as a member of a family, you do your part for the family. No one gets paid for living in a space. Allowance came from good grades (we're talking A's), doing extra, volunteering and showing initiative. And please and thank you were the norm. No taking for granted allowed.

    Anyway, as a grandmother now, I believe that we are possessed of inalienable rights: to laughs, to smiles, and well behaved children (who pick up after themselves without pouting!). Salute!

  26. As a fellow Calgaryian. I am so proud of you this post almost made me cry (reading it at work shhh so had to hold back tears)

    Big hugs (((hugs)))!!!!!!
    Keep at 'er m'am!

  27. Love following your story over the past week:) I too have 3 kids and know all too well! I think it's great and all the power to you and your husband letting them find thier way. I'm not so sure I could let my kids do this given thier natural piggy~ness and my freakish need to clean.

    Just another Calgary Mom and fellow Blogger.

  28. Ok, so I read your blog the other day and laughed until tears were running down my face. I have seven children, 6 of them sons and we are farmers living in the country with an overabundance of mud, dirt,critters and so forth. My house looks as bad in one day as yours did in 6. I also know from experience that milk will stay in a turned upside down glass after a few days. And I have also learned that laughter is the best medicine and pretty much the only way through mothering. So then when I logged on to your site today to reread some of the more funny stuff again, I was surprised to read your comments from October 14th, it never even occurred to me that anyone would take your blog in a negative or far to serious way. Anyone with even half a brain, and that is what I'm down to after 7 kids, would know the intent of your blog. I also have tried to teach kids how to pick up after themselves and clean from a young age, multiple times X 10, and have found myself explaining over and over again the same things. But to no avail, as least that they will admit. Does the phrase "you never told me that before" ring any bells. But, your kids got it after only 6 days, mine would have gone a month or better before they even noticed. I had one that slept in his shoes because he loved them so much and I couldn't get him to stop until he got athletes foot. Obviously athletes foot speaks louder than mom. But cause and effect is a great learning tool don't you think. There are consequences for EVERYTHING and the sooner they figure that out the better off they will be. 5 of my children are raised and gone and are kind, loving, productive, independent, wonderful people who still love me. Even though they've been doing their own laundry since they were 10, oh the horror. So let me just say, HURRAY FOR YOU!!! and for the way you chose to handle all the "mean girls and boys" out there. Just cuz you can type mean stuff and no one will know it was you, doesn't mean you should.

    1. love your comment. kids will be kids no matter what we say or do. hopefully we repeat ourselves enough for it to sink in and for our kids to learn but they won't learn unless we teach them. and this was a great lesson. it was great that they cleaned up the mess as a family. i totally agree with you too, how could anybody turn this into something negative? this was written and documented perfectly. it was hilarious! frustrating for her i'm sure but funny. we've all been there before...she was just brave enough to go on strike and share her story.

  29. Thank you so much for your wonderful words. As a middle school counselor, and a parent, I am appalled at all the hate online, and the tragic results. I'm so grateful when adults are willing to speak out about ADULTS bullying, because so few people call it what it is (as if bullying were just a kid thing). I stumbled across your blog recently and really enjoy it! Thanks!

  30. You are a strong and beautiful writer. You are engaging and interesting and I feel priviledged to be able to read what you write. I agree, whole-heartedly, with what you speak about and I can only wish others feel the same. Thank you for sharing your mind with us all.

    Regards, Lindsay

  31. This totally made my day, I laughed so hard I cried, the dog being caught in the book bag while trying to eat lunches did me in completely!! Though I am not a mother, I have felt the pain when babysitting my nieces and nephew. Every week they have set chores to clean up before the Housekeeper arrives, one night to be expedient I was helping fold the laundry, my nephew at this point dared to whine about having to fold clothes... he was quickly quieted with my argument of "Why are you whining? This is all your clothes... if anyone should be whining, it should be me, I don't even live here, but I am helping." - Hard to argue with Auntie Logic!!

  32. People use the internet to just be mean and in truth BIG BULLY's. My thing is if you don't like something why are you reading it and why do you feel the need to say negative things.
    Loving your blog! It just reminds me of my son whose only 6 1/2, on our drive to kung fu he was talking to my husband about going somewhere after class, I told him we would need to go home because he didn't have a change of cloths, he whined and said Mom why didn't you pack my cloths, and I returned the question right back, why didn't you pack your own cloths I can't always remember everything your responsible, too. Kids!!! I purchased Cleaning House by Kay Wills Wyma about ridding kids of their feeling of entitlement and can't wait to start reading it.

  33. You ROCK!!!
    Like many others your humor had me laughing with tears. You have a very funny way of looking at things and you write about it so well.
    You've also inspired me to do some thinking. Although my boys are younger than your kids, I started thinking how I'd like them to help when they are at your kids age and how to get them to a point where they can handle a household by themselves. When they are old enough, of course.
    Just like my parents taught me.
    So... There are going to be some changes around here.

  34. I'm not a mum yet, but I consider you a good one :) just watching your story on german tv-news. R-E-S-P-E-C-T
    Best wishes,

  35. I just came across your blog today and I must say, I LOVE what you did!

  36. Good for you for taking the high road Jessica! You have a gift for writing and sharing in a meaningful way. Keep it up!
    Oh and kudos for raising your twins. I never understood the big deal about having/raising twins until we had two living next door. Ok, I still don't fully understand, but I do have utmost respect for any parent who raises twins and to put up with the internet trolls like you have makes me respect you even more.

  37. i came across your blog last night and i love it!! i commend you for what you did and respect everything you pointed out in this post. it's disturbing what is going on in the world around us. children killing themselves because of how others are making them feel. it's extremely sad and makes me fear the kind of world my daughters will grow up in. life is too short for the negativity, i wish people would realize that.

    i see the hate people spew on blogs and the internet and it's disgusting. we are all human. go ahead and have your opinion and say what you feel without hurting others and tearing them down. what happened to the "if you don't have something nice to say, don't say it at all" rule?

    i am a stay at home mommy. my girls are 6.5 and almost 4 and while they may not be old enough to have certain responsibilities in the home, they are old enough to help where they can but I'm the one always cleaning up after them and it gets frustrating.

    reading your blog is fun and entertaining and it helps other parents know, they aren't alone. we all go through the same struggles in life and with our kids and we are trying to do the best we can. no one is perfect.

    sometimes life gets crazy, ok in my house it's always crazy but things can get extra crazy from time to time and sometimes you just need to step back and reevaluate what's going on. and you did just that. you didn't hurt anyone and your girls seem to be strong, smart young ladies. you and your husband should be very proud.

    thanks for sharing your stories! i definitely need the laughs. we ALL do!! lighten up world!
    i wish you and your family all the best.

    oh and thank you for not exposing your children to social media and cellphones. seems like nowawdays it's ok for 9-10 year olds to have cellphones and tweet.

  38. Kudos to you for discussing the Amanda Todd tragedy; something needs to be done to reach out to kids who are suffering in silence. Although, Todd reached out but NO ONE seemed to listen. Your blog has garnered all sorts of attention but people need to focus on the real issues facing our society. You've inspired parents all over the world, but I wish people would read your blog AND read the news - all of it - with equal gusto.

    As for the unfair treatment you feel you've been receiving, I'd say some negative comments are a small price to pay considering the fame and inevitable fortune you're going to reap from this whole ugly mess. I mean think about it; you let your kids run wild for six days and now you're rubbing shoulders with Ellen, Katie, Jeff, etc. Most people behave like bad parents for YEARS and they never get to reap any benefits!

    I just hope your daughters are comfortable with the fact that every time someone "googles" their names they'll see a dozen stories about how they behaved like brats for six days and made their mom rich.

    Again, I'm sorry to be so hard on you, but I have a 13-year-old who means the world to me and I can't imagine risking scarring her for life just to get myself booked on a few tv shows.

    1. Are you serious?? For one thing she didn't let her kids run wild for six days, they just didn't do any chores or pick up after themselves, which is a far cry from running wild. And I'm sure the whole reason for trying her EVIL experiment in the first place was hoping to get on Ellen. She didn't behave like a bad parent, I've seen some bad parents, and this is not one of them. Now if there had been actual poo in the poo lunch bags along with their lunch you might have a valid point. But no... no pooh. And I doubt very much that people thought her kids were brats for not picking up after themselves IT'S CALLED BEING 10 & 12 YEAR OLDS. And I would bet the family farm that her kids "mean the world" to her as well. Try living in an actually abusive household and see how "scarred for life you are". This isn't going to scar anyone even for a short time much less for life.

    2. "Youvebeenhooked" Jessica has not been called to be on Ellen lets be clear. What kind of adult calls kids names ?? Jessica will be removing your post !

    3. Yeah what a petty, pointless post by "youhavebeenhooked"! Some people are just obsessed with negativity! I really don't see anything potentially "scarring" for the children in this blog. These are just ordinary family stories and there is really nothing embarassing about this. There isn't a family that doesn't go through the "do your chores" crisis in some form or other. There are no pictures of the children and when did it become terrible to say what the names of your children are online? I mean that is what Facebook is in essence - saying "this is me" to people online.
      This blog is hilarious. The Stilwell family clearly is permeated by a really well developed sense of humour. I think the children have nothing to be embarassed about, because this is what family does: Argue, make up & laugh about it TOGETHER. That's good stuff!

  39. Love the blog! Best parenting idea i've seen or heard of in ages...I'm keeping it in mind for my own in years to come :)
    I've even sent it to my mam for her to get a good read of...

  40. Haters gonna hate. Bullies gonna bully. Good on you for calling out grown adults on their childish behavior. Most of us tend to turn the other cheek and hope they mean people will just go away already, but they never do. Ignoring them just gives them fuel, as does engaging them. But standing your ground, facing them directly and not allowing their toxicity affect you? It's the only way. And it's what we have to teach our kids in this increasingly bully-infested world. You're absolutely correct - kids learn behavior from their parents. Your kids are more likely to be awesome given the fabulous example you're providing. :)

  41. I laughed so hard as I read your posts that after my three year old demanded to know WHAT IS SO FUNNY!!?? for the fifth time I had to make up a knock-knock joke on the fly.
    THANK YOU for sharing and I sincerely hope you keep writing!

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  43. Awesome! You made me smile and laugh - no mean feet today given my migrane and the fact that I have been cleaning up after my 3 year old (no shock there) and (gasp) am looking at the mess my 42 year old husband has left me - he seems unable to even put the butter back in the fridge after his breakfast which he had at his leisure while I took the three year old to preschool and came home to get ready for work myself (he does work, but he works from home which I now realise seems to make him think he can do nothing until 9am!) I love my family dearly by you have reminded me that back when I was a teenager (many years ago as I am 40) my mum went on strike! She only did it for 2 days and wow did my brother and I know what hit us!!!! She did NOTHING, not even any cooking! and good on her for doing it too - we are both very happy, healthy and successful adults with great families of our own and her strike did nothing except remind us of how important she was and that we needed to do our part.

    I think that I need to go on strike to teach my hubby a thing or two!!! tehe

    Congratulations on a great blog and on being a great mother.

    and now... I really do have to go to work! on a positive though - I read your blog instead of cleaning up the rest of my hubby's mess... wonder what he will think when he comes in for lunch!....

  44. What is I love about Jessica's strike concept:
    - How it really was not a general strike, but quite specifically targeted to forgotten chores. It seems a fair deal: Sure I will cook your dinner, but I will not put away your dishes.
    - How she recognized that a nagging dynamic had developed & that creative measures were required to reintroduce balance and well-being.
    - Her sense of humour and ability to satirize her trials.

    What I love about Dylan, Jessica's husband:
    - His committed loyalty to her cause and childlike ingenuity at breeding escalation in his offspring. (Ah the social stigma of the dog poo lunch bag! :)

    Personally think that this blog could spark a play or one hell of a movie script if it is done right!
    What makes it so special is Jessica's intelligence. Yes, she wants to be a perfect mom, but she is just is just too bright to buy into that myth. And it feels very much like she is watching a comedy of errors.

    I love it when people rebel in an intelligent and ingeneous fashion! There are so many civic lessons in this. It is priceless!

    1. What I love about your made a list!! Your words are so kind...thank you from my heart!!

  45. The way you approached and carried out your strike was amazing. Anyone can strike...not everyone can do it in a productive way that works as well as this one did.

    I will never forget the glass of milk upside down...what a visual! I used that one on my husband to explain WHY I have such a problem with my kids leaving milk sitting out over worked! Thank you!

    This was a great project and it went off perfectly! You even got some added bonuses...just ignore the people who can't take the time to read this all the way through and understand that you did it out of love (and frustration). It was meant to teach a lasting impression. I hope it worked.

  46. You are my hero!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope that I have your strength to go on strike when my loving children start their teen age years. I never thought that being a parent would be the hardest job in the world!!!

    You are amazing and I am grateful that you opened up your blog for all of us to see. It has taught me so much for the future!!!

  47. You're an awesome mother who took a stand and did something a lot of mom's only wish we could/would do. You rock! I only wish that when my kids are only that I never have to do this but if I have to that I actually follow up and do this and not just talk about it. Right now they're 5 & 3 and they're not bad if you scare them enough (no desert, going to bed early, etc.) or bribe them (desert, stay up late, etc.) but the real test is when they're older. As for Amanda Todd, my heart breaks for her family and I really hope those who bullied her get the help they clearly deserve b/c to push and push a beautiful young girl to the point that she takes her own life is disgusting. And to keep pushing and pushing is even more disgusting. Makes me scared raising a daughter b/c I know I can only protect her for so long and give her so many tools and tell her so many things and hope she is as strong as I believe/hope/pray she is. Again, thanks and keep blogging. You're a breathe of fresh air!

  48. I heard about your blog on the radio and had to ready the whole thing. I find your take on this sitiuation refeshing. I have to tell you my similar excaped I put my family through. About 4 years ago a very good friend of mine had an incedent and I ended up with her 2 kids moving in with me for a 4 months. So for 4 months I had 6 kids her 2 and my 4. Girls 17,15,13 and boys 14,8 and 6. I was very hectic and I can say I learned alot. Money was tight and they just keep asking for more So i came up with my own way to handle the money and to teach them it does not grow on trees in the back yard.
    I did this for the older 4 as the two young boys were just 2 young. On monday I gave them each 100.00 (play money) and this had to last them the week.
    The only things that were free was PB & J and the use of the toliet. I charge them for Breakfast, Lunch Dinner, Laundry Showers TV time one night they went to the movies and I maid them pay me what they spent.
    In the end 3 out of the 4 eadt BP&J on the last dau for meals and did not take showers but it was a lesson served well and there apperciation for how much money it take to run a household had a little bit of a better understanding.

    When reading your blog it brought back these memoried and A big smile to my face.

    I can tell you we still laugh about this to this day and it will be a story your kids will tell ther kids and when they are older. You gave your kids a lasting memory.

    Thank you for sharing your experiment.

  49. I read about your blog from Finnish news site with link to your blog. So this has crossed the big ocean to Europe too.

    I really did enjoy reading it. It's funny and true so thank you very much for the experience. I'm sorry to say my children seem to be content living in bit of a mess. Especially my 11 year girl who is now "almost grown up" and tells me I'm lame. But they do help me with clean up when needed.

    Hope you don't have to repeat strike again =)

  50. Again, I love to read your blog; to laugh and reflect and to not feel alone in my daily struggles in being the best parent for my kids. Greetings from a cold and wintery Sweden :-).

  51. As a reading tutor I have held the hands of more parents and listened to more children sob their hearts out because of bullying than I care to remember. I have literally made children promise me, swear to me, that they would call me any time of day or night, if they felt so overwhelmed they wanted to hurt themselves with the promise I would go to the mat for them and intercede. My town's local news recently did a special on bullying with specialists and kids of all ages. I called into the information line and asked why is bullying not called what it really is-borderline or sociopath behavior with the offenders being removed until they receive appropriate psychological help? These children are growing up and flooding the workplace making for, as quoting a physician, one in five of his patients made ill from being bullied at work by a borderline personality, usually the boss.

  52. Mom on Strike, you are my hero! My kids are 9 and 10. Puberty is already hitting them. Let me tell you I'm going on strike soon, very soon, as soon as I clear my schedule for some wine sipping :).
    Greetings from Zagreb, Croatia.

  53. sad to read you have had negative comments - i guess it is always the way; but ignorance is no excuse!
    i think you have done a good thing; with humour and love and hope to maybe steal some of the ideas when my family reach those ages where housework is deemed unneccesary!
    keep up the good work!

  54. Found this blog today and laughed hard! I atm have a 1 year old son that loves the vacuum cleaner and I enjoy his passion for as long it lasts. As you say, a toddler is not a teen. Toddlers do all you do because it's fun and they want to learn. A teen loves to annoy you and do nothing. I know I was one of those :-)

  55. You have great perspective and humor! As a fellow full time working mom of 3, I commend you for taking a stand for the greater good of your children's character and future.

    I've written more on your story here - Child Labor is Not Just for Third World Countries:

    I'm glad you had a great time in New York City!

    All work and no play makes mommy a dull chick.

  56. Beautifully said. Your blog, the idea, the follow through and your response to the good, the bad and the ugly is truly inspiring. Thank you!

  57. I live in Australia, and a friend in Belgium sent me the link to your blog - wow!!! Your fame is spreading - I just sent the link on to a mother of three pre teens in Canada - hope she takes it on board as she is already having these problems...yikes!! I do so agree with everything you have said here - and could not have put it better myself....I am a Grandma who has just had the awful experience of fostering a 13 year old, badly brought up (well dragged up would be the more correct description) girl for 20 I know exactly what you are talking about....thank you for the most entertaining and thought provoking blog......

  58. Well put! You seem both strong and wise. People that behave that way are not. They must be insecure deep down and angry at life. Some people seem to have a need to hurt ours because they have been hurt themselves. It's really sad! Good luck and keep up the good work :)

  59. I just have to say, your posts gave me laughter when I needed it the most. I am a stay-at-home Mom to four boys- 5, 2.5 and 6mo old twins. I don't sleep, I claim victory when matching socks are found, and let's just say I'm totally craving red wine right now! But you made me laugh, and in doing so remember that I need to go easier on myself.

    So thank you. There's way too much crap in this world for us moms to be bashing each other, or even just turning up our noses at each other. So consider this a huge hug from outside Nashville, TN- from one mom to another!

  60. You are great and so is your wonderful family. Thank you for the laughter. This message is from a "Granny"

  61. Laughs and tears abound. You speak to my heart. I applaud your courage and your strength, and your passion for red wine!! :)
    Working Mom in B.C. with husband and son, I got some really wonderful laughs out loud from your strike posts! Enough that hubby asks, who are you conversing with on Facebook!~!??? No one...just having a laugh at a few kids expense!! Am I a bad person for it? No. Just a Mom, who works and is away from home for 24+ hours, home every second day, dealing with my reality of life and work and family, enjoying another working Mom's perspective on life and truth and family...thank you for the laughs...

  62. As a fellow mom's blogger, can I be frank? I'd remove the parts at the end of this post where you are addressing a few of the negative posters (like the mom's with toddlers and babies who are already cleaning and doing chores, etc.) because you already told everyone earlier in the post to pound sand with their negative comments and that you were NOT going to address them...but then you did. I wouldn't even go there because negativity breeds more negativity and you'll have people leaving comments on "how crappy that was that someone said that" and off it goes. So don't even give those negative comments precious air space on your blog. Like you said this is YOUR blog! You're too good of a writer to "retell" a negative poster's comment because it just brings down the whole vibe. Just my humble opinion from a mom's blog of 15 followers (lol!) Congratulations on all of your success!

  63. You are amazing and awesome! Don't feed the trolls, well the basement trolls, yes feed them or that would be child abuse :) Some people are so incredibly unhappy in their life and don't have the gumption to face it so that have to be hateful to everyone else. What you did was a fabulous lesson in responsibility, you're amazing and awesome, anyone who says differently is jealous!

  64. I just found your blog as it was linked to a newspapers website here in Finland as well. Being a mom of one four year old, I can already relate to this blog and I can only imagine what it will be like in a few years and if there's ever more than just one. I've been laughing so hard and at least I can 100% relate to your wine drinking habits.. lol. Keep up the great stuff and I'll sure be reading in the future as well!

  65. I love your blog and I love it that I don't have to read negative comments here. I am sick and tired of reading negative, condescending, bullying, you-name-it columns/messages/comments/you name it on the internet.

    Onward! I realized I tried the strike with my ex back in the day -he was supposed to do the vacuuming for my doing the laundry. Did not work. My own brother commented on my filthy floors once, and I explained it to him. He did not get it. I wish his English was better so I could show him this blog. No use, I'm afraid (we're Finnish). I wonder how I could do this with my 15-year-old son, who doesn't do his chores and gets mad at me when I try to get ANY help. He doesn't really care about cleanliness so it will require some serious creativity. And he's another proof (if we needed any) of the fact that the adorable 4-year-old that did your weekly cleaning all by himself turns into an alien by the time he turns 14. At the latest.

    Again, love love LOVE the blog!