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Ask Rachael Monthly Parenting Q & A



Rachel, Pennsylvania

Q: I have been dealing with anxiety and depression my entire life but since the pandemic and then seasonal


 depression, it has become tougher to parent through these illnesses. Do you have any tips on how to talk about these things with my kids without them thinking “mommy is broken”?

  • Be honest. If you are feeling sad or overwhelmed tell them that. You would be surprised at the response you get from even a 3 year old if you are honest about your feelings. 
  • I tell my boys, mommy needs a quiet minute because I am feeling overwhelmed. I used to yell (a lot) and that of course just made things worse.


Marc, West Virginia 

Q: Our schools are opening back up to in-person learning this month and my daughter has a lot of anxiety about going back to school. She gets visibly nervous when the topic is brought up. I feel this last year of isolation has hurt her social development.

  • I am dealing with the same feeling in my 6-year-old. I have started taking him out to more public places where he has to wear his mask longer and interact with people. You are right, isolation has definitely set our kids back with their socialization. 
  • In some places I know they offer hybrids in person so they are only in school 2-3 days a week then virtual the rest of the week. If you are able to do this, it might be a good way to ease her back into school. 
  • Have her talk with a friend who has been in school and share their experience with the new normal in the classroom. 


Shaylynn, Ontario 

Q: My teenage son seems very withdrawn lately. He has exhibited symptoms of depression in the past but I fear it has gotten worse. I attempt to talk to him but he just shuts me out. Any advice on how to help him or even just comfort him?

  • Teen years can be so tough as we all know. But when dealing with raging hormones and mental illnesses, it can make it all so overwhelming for them. Find things that make him feel comfortable and offer them. Cook his favorite meal or snack. Put his blanket in the dryer and hand it back warm in the evenings or early mornings. 
  • Continue letting him know you are there. And when he does start talking, don’t go into fix it mode. Just listen. 
  • If he does show worse signs of depression, I would consult with a medical professional as soon as possible. 


Karen 33, Boston

Q:What do you tell your kids when they find out about ‘making love’?

I start off with saying that it is what adults do to show their love for each other. Depending on the age of the kid asking depends on how much further I go. With my five year old I have just said mom and dad are playing a game that’s just for moms and dads. I did get pretty uncomfortable when my 10 year old asked me what his dad and I were doing the night before. This is where my husband and I act as a team and he took over having the conversation with our son. 


Katie 29,  Toronto

Q:What are ways to explain different kinds of love to your kids? 

I reinforced that people can love whoever they want. It’s okay for boys to like girls but it’s also okay for boys to like boys. It’s okay for moms and dads to love kids without being together. There are so many unique situations and just because it isn’t how you feel doesn’t mean it’s wrong. 


Brian 45, Ottawa

Q:How do you and your spouse keep things romantic during quarantine? 

Great Question!  If you asked him, maybe it would be a different story but it does take two to tango.  We both have to keep the love alive and that means as a woman, I make sure to keep up on the grooming, pampering and making myself someone that hasn’t crawled out of lockdown sweats 24-7.   He still does the sweet things like bringing me “Anytime” flowers or paying me a compliment once the kids have gone to bed or when I’m arms deep in a household chore. (the times when i least expect it)    Leaving a playful note in their lunch or sending a sex midday selfie keeps the love alive.   


Mary Anne 29,  New York

Q:Do you treat yourself on valentine’s day…Im single!

This is a great day to order in!  Indulge in your favourite entree and spring for a sweet decadent dessert.  If you enjoy bath & beauty,  we have a ton of fun infused CBD products through Cannabinoid Club that I would highly recommend for a relaxing soak and a pampering treat for your hair and skin!   Watch a rom-com or turn up a playlist of pop love songs to dance like no one is watching to.   Whatever you choose, make sure you remind yourself you are loved and face a mirror with those affirmations – because you, i – we ALL are!



Q:Is it safe to infuse my family’s meals with CBD like the Kids in the Kitchen videos do? How do I know what to buy and where do I get it?

Anonymous, 45, Ottawa 

A:  Great question!  When in doubt, ask the Cannabis experts.   You can get your answers right here by requesting a consult with the physicians at Hello Cannabis. 

As CBD is non-pyscho-active, I would say yes you can.  Being absolutely sure that the product you are using to infuse is 100% THC free is the most important factor as hemp is fine for the whole family and completely tasteless when reduced into cooking oil.   We use the Magical Butter machine at home for making our own butter and oils which is worth every penny and the additives infused with CBD work to prevent and heal over each meal. 

Q:What are some creative ways you practice goal setting with your children? 

Joleen, 35, Boston

A:  Collages are a wonderful visual for goal setting for kids and adults. We get some old magazines from the local library and a poster board and just go at it

Q:I want to declutter my girl’s playroom, what is a good way to tackle this overwhelming task? 

Maggie,  32,  Toronto

A:  Start small. Start with just dolls. Have a keep bin, donate bin, and a trash bin. Some toys are just too worn to share and other toys they touched once when they opened them. Don’t think about each item for very long. [/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Q & A with a huge focus on “Holidays”

Ashley, 23, Texas

Q – What is the best way to not go overboard with buying gifts for my kids for Christmas? I always see so much and then impulse buy, then they really only play with 2 things on Christmas day. 

A – I found a list of “rules” to go by a few years back on social media, probably Pinterest. Each kid gets 5 gifts. And it truly changed the way I shopped for Christmas. I feel accomplished each year because I am fulfilling each of those rules. 

  1. Something they want
  2. Something they need 
  3. Something they wear 
  4. Something they read
  5. Something special from Santa 

Julie, 30, Toronto 

Q – I always struggle with buying decorations for the house other than the tree. They are so expensive and with littles running around, anything delicate runs the risk of getting broken. What is a good way to acquire decoration that won’t break the bank or break on the floor? 

A – My answer is simple – SECOND HAND! If you buy decor second-hand chances are it’s durable because it has already made it through a holiday season and it’s typically budget-friendly. There may even be room for negotiation or trade! Whether you go into a thrift store or use an app like Letgo, you will find second-hand decor you will love and not be totally crushed if it is a casualty of a clumsy toddler. 

 Tiarra, 41, New Jersey 

Q – I am pretty sure my oldest son doesn’t believe in Santa anymore. He is 10 and has asked a lot of thought-provoking questions on how Santa does all of it. I don’t want to come right out and say that he’s not real. I feel like he’s too young to lose the Christmas spirit. What advice would you have on talking to him without tainting his childhood? 

A – I am in the same boat! I have a son who is very closet just blurting it out but I know holds his tongue for his 6-year-old brother’s sake. I read a very helpful post recently that said to approach it two ways that I am going to try. One, ask if they really want to know the truth and explain the power of knowing the truth – you can’t unknow it. If they really want to know they must understand the responsibility that comes with knowing the truth. Secondly, explain that Santa is real but not in the physical way you have known him. That Santa is the Christmas spirit that lives in all people. He is the reason we give more than we receive. He is the reason we smile when we hear the bells ring. He is the warm feeling of a hot cup of cocoa and freshly baked cookies. And it is our duty to keep Santa alive in all of us. I cannot say whether any of this will stick with our kids but I am going to give it a try. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″ css=”.vc_custom_1601909635989{padding-top: 10px !important;padding-right: 10px !important;padding-bottom: 10px !important;padding-left: 10px !important;background-color: #ffffff !important;}”][vc_column_text]

Ask Rachael

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]ask rachaelHi HIP Fam!  My name is Rachael Cyr and I live in Northern Virginia with my husband, Robert, and our 3 boys Jayden, Brantley, and Jaxson. Robert and I have been married for 6 years and together for almost 11 years. Jayden is the oldest and was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2017. Brantley is our angel baby that passed away in 2012 and Jaxson is the youngest of the three and is starting school this year. I work a full-time corporate job as well as manage my blog, Not Your Average Momma, where I enjoy sharing my stories and journey through motherhood.

Ask Rachael questions using the form below! [/vc_column_text]

    [vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]To listen to more of Rachael’s story, check out her recent podcast featured Here![/vc_column_text][vc_raw_html]JTNDaWZyYW1lJTIwd2lkdGglM0QlMjI3MTMlMjIlMjBoZWlnaHQlM0QlMjI0MDElMjIlMjBzcmMlM0QlMjJodHRwcyUzQSUyRiUyRnd3dy55b3V0dWJlLmNvbSUyRmVtYmVkJTJGZGxueDg5WmlBT0UlMjIlMjBmcmFtZWJvcmRlciUzRCUyMjAlMjIlMjBhbGxvdyUzRCUyMmFjY2VsZXJvbWV0ZXIlM0IlMjBhdXRvcGxheSUzQiUyMGNsaXBib2FyZC13cml0ZSUzQiUyMGVuY3J5cHRlZC1tZWRpYSUzQiUyMGd5cm9zY29wZSUzQiUyMHBpY3R1cmUtaW4tcGljdHVyZSUyMiUyMGFsbG93ZnVsbHNjcmVlbiUzRSUzQyUyRmlmcmFtZSUzRQ==[/vc_raw_html][/vc_column][/vc_row]