{Guest Post} Parenting through depression

parenting through depression

This week, instead of our normal “Meet the Blogger”, we’re reading a bit more about SA mom blogger Lucia’s struggles to parent through depression

The intent of this article has got to do with how I mother through my depression and in some instances using it to be a better parent than I think I could be without it…a bit of a weird statement I know – how can a disease make me a better parent right? Well, maybe it’s part of accepting the disease as a part of who I am. I’ve always tried to distance myself from the disease, as I believe that I’ve been cured…but I understand that it’s not really something you get cured of – you learn to live with it and recognize your symptoms so you can start preempting your emotions and reactions and warn those around you, if they care enough to stick around through your ups and downs.

I was diagnosed with clinical depression by some Dr when I was 19…I was put on Antidepressants and anxiety meds. I was told that I’m bi-polar….when I’m up, I’m UP and when I’m down, I’m DOWN. No in between, which isn’t necessarily true, because most of the time when I’m neither up nor down, I’m neutral – which is by the way the worst state to be in.

I used the antidepressants for about 6 months and then took myself off it. Whether I was on it long enough to actually do what it was supposed to, I don’t know, but it made all my emotions feel ‘fake’. Like I knew not whether I was happy because I was really happy or because I was on pills. I stayed on my anxiety meds for a bit longer and always had a back-up stash for those emergency situations. During an argument with my boyfriend I got so worked up that I just couldn’t handle it anymore and ran to get some meds. I could feel an anxiety attack coming on. 15 minutes later I couldn’t care less what we were arguing about. He still cared though and wanted some kind of closure to the argument. He asked me to stop taking my anxiety meds every time we had an argument and just work through it together. I told him I don’t know if I could handle it. He didn’t back off…he assured me that whatever I do or say we’ll work through it together. I’ve never let anyone see my full self until then. He saw me, he handled me throwing grocery bags at him in a parking lot in front of a mall, he knows the darkest me and he stuck around. We’ve been married for 12 years and are still going strong. We have 4 beautiful kids together. And because he’s seen all my ugly and stuck around I believe it gives me the guts to teach my kids to love all of themselves – and all of others.

Until the age of 16 I believed my parents to just be that. My parents. I didn’t see them as emotional human beings – especially my father. I knew he was a recovering alcoholic but I didn’t really comprehend the addiction or the emotions of this man. I guess I saw my mom a little more as an emotional being because I saw her cry once or twice by the age of 16…The turning point came when I wanted to go to a party and my dad said no. I asked him why and he said the standard “Because I said so.”  It wasn’t a good enough reason for me. I said that I’m going unless he can give me valid reason to stay. He looked at me and told me because he needs me at home. I asked him what for? My chores were done and he was just watching TV so how could he possibly need me. He explained to me that he’s depressed and just needed his family to be around him…not necessarily doing anything with him, but just be around. I gaped at him…what? I sat down on the couch and asked him why he’s depressed and we had a conversation around depression etc. I suddenly understood some of my own feelings but didn’t say anything to him about it. I then asked him to please let me know whenever he just needs his family and be honest with me about what he’s going through. We watched movies together for the whole day and since then had a more honest relationship. I still often feel that he was the only person in my family that truly knew and understood me. He passed away almost 9 years ago. Lucky for me I have a husband that are fully invested in knowing and understanding me, otherwise I don’t know how I would’ve coped with his death and absence in my life.

I’ve been a very emotional mother. Having 4 kids is no joke. I decided to be me to my kids and not some made-up version of a mother that society crams down their throats. They know I’m not perfect and they love me anyway. They’ve  seen me cry, shout, laugh and uncontrollably giggle. We’re mostly doing it together…my husband have chosen to call me passionate instead of bi-polar…which helps to de-stigmatize the disease. I explain my emotions to my kids. If I can. Sometimes I just tell them I don’t know why I feel the way I do. I especially try to explain anger to them as it’s a symptom of depression. I try to back off them a bit more when I can feel anger building up, but sometimes the wall breaks and a shouting match ensues – for which I always apologize after. I know shouting is one of the worst things that can happen to a little kid, and believe me it’s not the best thing for a mother either, but it happens. Not that much that it’s damaging our relationships, but enough for me to want to do it less…because ideally I wouldn’t want to shout at my kids at all…at least I’m not throwing grocery bags at them. They know my limits…they stretch my limits, which is good. We go for longer and longer periods without incident. I don’t use traditional depression or anxiety meds, but what I use works for me. It makes me calmer and increases my patience. I don’t see myself cured, but I’ve learned how to live with my depression and anxiety without the use of antidepressants. I get judged either way by people – depressed and on antidepressants have a stigma as much as depressed and using cannabis does. The only difference is that only one of them actually works in helping me live with depression and the other only have the pretense of helping…It’s different for each person and I know that there are people who get helped by antidepressants, it just didn’t work for me.

I go through periods of using a lot of cannabis and some periods of using none at all. I can go months or years without using and then I can have periods of using daily and periods of only using once a week. You can’t self-regulate antidepressants as you need. The last psychiatrist I saw luckily never suggested medication, probably because I was clear upfront about not wanting to be on medication. He helped me however with finding constructive ways to deal with my symptoms when I could feel them coming on. Practical ways, and one of them was to let my kids know when I feel sad, or happy, or scared…and it has helped me build stronger relationships with my kids. And I hope that it’ll help them to always know that they can talk to me about their emotions and with what they are going through. Too many times people bottle up their emotions, especially from their parents, and it all goes wrong…

Too often we hear of stories of teens that commit suicide and their parents thought they were happy and healthy. Too often we hear of mothers who struggle alone with their depression and feelings of guilt. I know my children are still very young, 8, 6, 5 and a 4 month old. But hopefully by being open and honest from a young age to them about my struggles, they’ll always see me as human being with emotions an won’t one day be caught by surprise when they are teens and I react in an emotional way towards them. Hopefully they will always know that they can be open and honest to me about their emotions and struggles, even when they are hormonal teenagers. They are all girls so that comes with it’s own set of emotional and hormonal struggles. I hope that it teaches them to turn to God for help and not to humans, because they’ll know that even their mother is a fallible, weak human without God’s help and grace.

It might seem strange to mention God now, but once again, the judgement that happens when you admit to relying on God rather than medication is sometimes overwhelming in today’s world. A lot of people also can’t reconcile the idea of using cannabis whilst professing to love God, yet have no problem with the use of alcohol. The overwhelming evidence of alcohol being more addictive and detrimental to your health completely escapes them and they solely make up their minds based on propaganda and the one or two articles claiming the negative effects of marijuana. They ignore the research articles done on the positive effects of THC or cannibinoids found in marijuana. Multiple sclerosis, arthritis, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV, chronic pain, Alzheimer’s, cancer and others have been reported to show improvement with the use of marijuana. CNN report, list of 700 diseases and articles related to the use of marijuana to improve conditions 700 diseasesCommon illnesses

I pray my most fervent prayers and do my most revealing Bible studies when I’m struggling with depression. And when its going well I am thankful to God for guiding me through it once again I praise and worship Him for it all. I can see Gods’ hand in my life long before I was a born again follower of Christ. I can see it in my life everyday. I believe He knows all and guides us to follow the path He lays out for us, and He gives us tools to help us along the way.

I pray that one day I will live in a world where I neither get judged for suffering from Depression, or for the use of marijuana to help me through it. I pray that my children will know that it doesn’t have to be a disabling disease and that you don’t have to suffer in silence or feel like you shouldn’t talk about it for fear of being judged wrongly by others. I pray that the stigma of the disease and of the cure will be gone.

And I pray that I can always give the best of me to my kids, but that they will love me even when I am at my worst. Because I am not perfect, and I don’t want them to expect me to be…

 

Lucia blogs at Fairies and Rock . You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two Facebook Hacks To Boost Your Blog

There are a lot of ways to boost your blog and publicise your posts. Because many of our target audience (moms) hang out on Facebook, it’s an appropriate social media to use. I’ll show you a way to continually advertise your Facebook page every time you post your blog posts, and get the photo you want to go with it.

 

 

  1. Put your Facebook Page out there every time you post your link on Facebook.

This is a brilliant, yet very simple thing you can do. Often when I’m finished posting in some Facebook groups I notice some new Facebook likes and I believe it’s purely because our page is right there, linked in blue, for people to click on.  

So how do you do it?

  1. Go to the top right corner of your WordPress dashboard. (Mine says: Howdy, heathers). Scroll over that and click on where it says “Edit My Profile”.
  2. Scroll down to where it says “Contact Info”. Fill in your Facebook page where it says Facebook profile url. 
  3. Update profile at the bottom and you’re done!

 

2. Get the photo you want on Facebook.

OK I will have to confess that I don’t always do this. Sometimes I don’t select a photo and I just let a random one come up. But there are times when you really don’t want a crumby one to come up. The trick is to make sure you do this BEFORE you publish. Once your post is up on Facebook it is VERY difficult to change it. (Bloggers – input here??)

There is this thing called a Facebook debugger which is supposed to work but honestly it has never worked for me. That same awful pic just keeps showing up. You’re supposed to enter the url of your post and then it will be like starting from scratch. I always try this anyway.

Save yourself the stress by doing this: install the Yoast SEO plugin. Yes, I know it is for SEO but there is anther thing that comes with it that will help you get the photo you want. 

  1. Underneath your post you’ll see the social media icon. Click on that.
  2.  On the tab marked “f” for Facebook you will see there is a place you can put a different title and description if you want. Go ahead. But the most valuable thing for me is the bottom. That’s where you can click upload, select your photo from your media library, save the post, and then you’re done.
  3. Remember, do this BEFORE you publish.

There’s another thing you can do as well to get the photo you want when posting directly to Facebook but it won’t work for where you post under dates.

On your Facebook page, copy and paste the url of your post with a chatty description before it. Then click on the photo icon and choose the photo you want. That photo will display.

Then use this post and share it to all your Facebook groups. You’ll have the photo you want.  Not for the ones where you post under the date, but for the groups where you can post straight to them.

 

I hope you find this helpful.

Now! I am also wanting to do a post about the Facebook groups you can post to. If you have any input on that please email me heather@samomblogs.co.za so we can make a list together.

Anyone else got some tips and tricks for Facebook?

 

Blogger Inspiration for the New Year

South African mom bloggers have put it out there. Their goals and words for 2017. Have a read and see if you identify with any of these, or perhaps can form some of your own.

Modern Zulu Mom wants to Play More.

This year, I really want to try a more relaxed approach to parenting. It’s tough, especially when you’re a working mom, because you just want to come home after a long day and get things done – but I’m pretty sure it will be more fun to sit on the carpet with them for 20 minutes and just relax, before I rush into dinner, homework and bath time.

This year Super Shazzer will Be Bold.

Don’t hide behind my insecurities, my past, my son or my husband. Stand up, ask for help, be proud, be brave, appreciate my uniqueness and be bold.

I loved the pictures in Hayley’s post to sum up her year. Especially the one with the Tshirt with the words “blogging” > “jogging” – since I don’t jog I guess it appeals to me!

MomAgain@40 will be Kind.

Kind to myself, but kind to everybody else as well!
Kind to the earth, animals and everything I touch!

Zayaan is going to try her hand at scrapbooking online.  Check out the page from her first week on her post. She’s also going to get herself in the picture – see quote.

Working Mom in SA has a practical list from buying in bulk to scheduling couple time. 

Born Geek is working on emigrating back to the States, being herself again, reconnecting and glowing. 

It’s really important to me that I focus on myself again as well, that I remember what it’s like to think my own thoughts and just be in my own head.

Jonelle encourages us to be the same person but better, to stick to our goals. She also has a post on setting goals that are smart and specific.

Sharon is going to Claim her future. 

Sometimes we have to take a long hard look at who and what we are and where we’re going and what we want and in the words of the Australian comedian, Chopper Read: 

Harden the f*$# UP!

No more excuses! Victory is mine because I CLAIM it! 

Belinda has a beautiful post Look Inward and I encourage you to read the whole thing because perhaps a different part will talk to you.  I liked:

Focus on “realness”. Real food. Real people. Real experiences. Give up the posturing. The pursuit of perfection. Set your goals with a steely determination but make sure they are YOUR goals, things you truly care about, not things you’re chasing because society seems to tell you to.

Spirited Mama says:

2017 will see me taking some people with a pinch of salt, in small doses and limited quantities. I refuse to let others’ negativity consume me. I WILL be living MY life. Possibly my best life. Time to live intentionally but for ME.

Chevonne has a beautiful post about her walk on the beach observing a seagull and how people often go with the flow instead of finding themselves.

What I do know for certain is that I felt serenity,  gliding on the highs of nature’s beauty. I felt content because I know who I am. 

For me I’m trying to  be more gentle with myself, although I do want to be a bit more organised. 

So… I know that 2017 is going to be busy again. I know that I can do my best to sort things out, clean up, label, organise and find a way to make life as manageable as possible.

But there will be times when I don’t get it all done, and other times when I will. And it’s okay. I will get there, eventually.

The word “gentle” entered my mind and stayed there. That I need to be more gentle with myself.

And particularly with the little children in my care. And with Nicky. Not to lose it, but to take a breath and just be gentle. They need it too.

 

And one more from Cindy:  she tells us what she is ditching in 2017: perfectionism, comparison,  restrictions, over-committing and stress! 

What are your goals for 2017 or is there any intention you’d like to share? If I’ve missed your post please add it in the comments. 

 

All your baby skin care questions answered.

It can be so tempting to want to bath your baby in all the gorgeous smelling baby products you received and use all the creams and powders, but does your baby really need it all? Probably not because a baby actually needs very little in terms of a skin care routine. We answer some of the questions mom may have about their babies skin care.Skin Care|SA Mom Blogs

My newborn has pimples? 

Many newborns are born with what looks like little pimples all over their face, it can also develop in the first month. These little red bumps are caused by the mothers hormones that are working their way out of the babies body. These bumps are not pimples and should not be squeezed, in fact you can just leave them, they will eventually clear up.

Can my newborn have a bubble bath?

Your little one’s skin is sensitive so try to use more organic, natural products and don’t over do it. Bathing your newborn is a great way to calm them and is also a good way to expose your little one to new textures but be careful not to use too many products on your babies skin. In those early days, you can just wipe them down with a warm facecloth. If you do use soaps and washes, chose ones that are unscented.

Try to avoid using a range of products, stick to one brand, so that if your baby does have a reaction you know which one it is and can stop using it.

Should I use creams to moisturise my babies skin?

Once again, be careful what creams you apply to your babies skin. While they may make your baby smell absolutely divine, they may not be necessary. Use a little bit of cream after your babies bath to massage them before bedtime but don’t over do it. We used unscented aqueous cream which worked really well.

Do not apply a bum cream if your baby does not have a nappy rash. If they do have a rash, make sure their bum is completely dry before you apply the cream.

Sunscreen – yes or no?

Sunscreen in South Africa is always a yes except on your newborn. It is not recommended that you put sunscreen on your baby until they are 6 months old, so try to avoid taking your newborn out into the harsh mid day sun and if you have to, dress them in protective clothing and keep them in the shade. 

What detergents must I use to wash my babies clothes in?

You do get detergents specifically for babies but you can use normal washing powders. If your baby does seem to have a reaction, then you can look at changing the soap you are using.  I used normal washing powders for all four of my kids and they were fine. 

Overall when it comes to skin care for babies “less is better” because if they do have a reaction then it is easy to eliminate products to figure out which one is causing the reaction. 

Disclaimer – this post was sponsored by Pampers.

If you found this post interesting please share it with your friends and remember to follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram and join our awesome group called Mommy’s Me Time.

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Have you got your Portable North Pole video yet?

I have been doing Portable North Pole videos for over 5 years now. I love them and the look on the kids faces when he says “HELLO JACK!” is priceless. I think I managed to get an extra year with Cameron still believing because of these videos. The Santa looks so incredibly real that you want to believe in the magic.Portable North Pole|SA Mom Blogs

You can personalise the videos, add photos in and chose from a selection of messages. There are some free options which are cute but the Magic Passs videos are actually really worth it AND as a Christmas bonus we have 20% off the Magic Pass for you 🙂

Go to www.portablenorthpole.com and register for an account, then to redeem their 20% go to: http://bit.ly/2g1F2RT.

Your  20% will automatically be deducted and you will see the price difference right away!

Make Christmas magic for your little ones with #PortableNorthPole‘s FREE personalized videos from @PNPSanta! http://bit.ly/pnp1617

Have you done these videos before? How did your kids respond?

If you found this post interesting please share it with your friends and remember to follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram and join our awesome group called Mommy’s Me Time..

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What’s On This Festive Season (Cape Town, Gauteng and Durban)

Happy Christmas everyone! I hope you enjoy a relaxing and peaceful time with your loved ones this season. 

If you’re looking for something to do we have some ideas. In Cape Town has a lovely festive market, activities at the mall and a place where you can post a letter to Santa. Yes, I know there is probably a lot more, please leave your suggestions in the comments!

In Gauteng I’ve listed some activities at various malls and there are also productions going on (puppet shows and pantomime) as well as a circus. 

In Durban I have two New Year’s events go to go and festive fun at UShaka World.

 

Cape Town:

  1. Gabrielskloof’s favourite things market (16-18 December)

decor-gfood-gThis is a shop and social event featuring all things hand made, homemade, delicious, fresh and beautiful in the Overberg .

Shop for luxurious items made of alpaca wool; fine local designer jewelry; and, bespoke local and imported clothing. Exquisite quilts will be on display as well as intricate ceramics and decorative fynbos. There will be handmade toys and knits too; and, so much more.

Now, set this all to music and the magic happens! On Friday night, the Gypsy Jazz trio will play, followed by the dulcet strains of a French accordion on Saturday and Sunday.

mirror-pondThe popularity of the event, especially on opening night, has required that table seating alongside the magnificent mirror ponds be pre-booked. Entrance to all visitors on all three nights remains free of charge, except for those desiring guaranteed seating on the Friday night.

For Friday night table bookings, send an email to Nicolene@gabrielskloof.co.za. Bookings should be for a minimum of six people with each ticket priced at R100 per person. In addition to a table for you and your friends, the ticket includes a glass of Gabriëlskloof wine upon arrival.

Visitors attending the Gabriëlskloof Favourite Things Market are encouraged to do so responsibly. A shuttle service is available at a special rate from Hermanus costing R50pp, per trip. For transport bookings, contact Andre at info@whalecoasttours.com or Shirley atsjcraies@gmail.com.

2. Post a Letter to Santa

santaThere will be a special child size post box for letters to Santa at the new Post Office on the second floor of The Point Mall in Regent Road.

Children can either use the letter template provided or their own paper to write to Santa Claus. 

Parents should put their name, email address and contact number on the letter.

3. Festive Fun at the V&A Waterfront

pumptrack

Pumptrack

Petting Zoo

Petting Zoo

 

V&A WATERFRONT

CHILDREN’S HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES: DECEMBER TO JANUARY 2016

EVENT DATE TIME and Cost VENUE
Pumptrack 8–29 December

2–10 January

10h30–17h00

R30

Clock Tower Square A pumptrack is a continuous track where the rider uses an up and down ‘pumping’ motion to propel the bicycle/scooter forward instead of pedalling, providing the perfect tool to improve balance, learn skills and improve confidence on a bike. Open from 10.30am to 5pm daily, helmets, bikes and scooters will be provided free of charge. Not entirely restricted to children, adults are also encouraged to explore the Pumptrack.
Christmas Light Show 9–17 December 20h30, repeated again at 21h30

Free

Upper Level, Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre
Stargazing at the Waterfront 10 December 13h00–21h00

Free

Old Pierhead  Square

Sun, moon, stars and planets.

Petting Zoo 10–29 December

3–10 January

10h00 – 17h00

Note: Closes at 2pm on Christmas Eve R25

Clock Tower Square
Zip Zap Circus 12–20 December 16h00–17h00

Free

V&A Amphitheatre
Santa’s Workshop 10–24 December 10h00 – 16h00

Free

Victoria Wharf Centre Court
Apostle Choristers Christmas Special 21 December 19h00–20h00

Free

V&A Amphitheatre

4. Wine Pairing with Nougat and Fudge at Perdeberg Wines

perdeberg-winesFrom Wed 16 Nov until Sunday 18 Dec in the tasting room at Perdeberg:

This pairing cost R50 and includes:  
Grenache Blanc 2015 paired with Ginger Fudge

Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc 2015 paired with Citrus Nougat with White Chocolate

Vineyard Collection Cinsault 2014 paired with Rose Water Turkish Delight

Dryland Pinotage 2014 paired with Roasted Almond Nougat

For bookings, 021-869 8244 or info@perdeberg.co.za

We also have two other posts from Cape Town bloggers that will be helpful:

Holiday Surivival Guide from Maz – family friendly venues in the Cape Winelands

Things to do in Cape Town during the summer holidays from Namreen

 

Gauteng:

  1. Nickelodeon in the City (Sandton City)Check out Dora, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Paw Patrol in the City!nickelodeon9-13 December: Paw Patrol14-18 December: Dora the Explorer19-24 December: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Nickelodeon in the City singalongs take place daily at Sandton City Checkers Court at 10 am, 1pm, 4pm and 6pm.  Visitors can also join in three daily meet-and–greet sessions, where youngsters can take a picture with their favourite TV character and entrance is free.  For more information please to www.nickelodeon.com, join us on Twitter @NickAfrica and on Instagram @Nickelodeon_Africa, or like us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/NickelodeonAfrica. To join the conversation about Nickelodeon in the City, please use the hashtag #NickMas

Check out last week’s post for when we actually went there and took pictures. 

2. Fantasy of Light

fantasy-of-lightStill going until Christmas Eve at the Mall of Africa, Midrand. Check out the lights, take photos, have snacks and watch a Pantomime. Doors open at 6 and the show starts at 8.

For more info check out my previous post when I went there and took pictures. 

3. The Big Bad Musical

This is a fable with a twist: the Big Bad Wolf is in court, being sued by the villagers of Storybook Land. The audience decides if he is guilty or not! All your favourite characters and songs take place at the Roodepoort Theatre 15-23 December. 

Roodepoort Theatre
100 Christiaan De Wet Road, Florida Park, Roodepoort

Performance Dates:
Thursday 15 December at 2:30pm
Friday 16 December at 2:30pm and 7:30pm
Saturday 17 December at 2:30pm and 7:30pm
Sunday 18 December at 2:30pm and 7:30pm
Friday 23 December at 2:30pm and 7:30pm

Ticket Prices:
R100 – R150

For more info see their website.

4. Clamber Club at Cradlestone Mall

Children between 1-9 years old will be able to move, climb and tumble at the food court level at Cradlestone Mall in Muldersdrift from 10am-1pm on 15 December and 10 January. There will be an obstacle course, games station, toddler equipment and entertainers. 

5. Mrs Claus’ Kitchen

From 15-24 December children can prepare Christmas themed treats with Mrs Clause and her elves at the Bedford Centre. Cost is R30 per 45 minute session which take place at 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1pm and 2pm. 

From 2-24 December they can also have their picture taken with Santa Claus during the centre’s trading hours. 

Check out their website for more details. Looks like a lot of other characters are hanging around there as well!

6. Cookie decorating and Santa at Rosebank mall

From 15-24 December children can decorate Christmas themed cookies from 10am -5pm daily in the Sheet Street Court on the upper level. Cost is R20 per person. 

From 19-24 December they can have photos with Santa between 10am-1pm and 2pm-5pm. Photo costs vary. 

7. Holiday Puppet Shows

Two shows, “Here Comes the Circus” and “Mess Monsters” will be at the following two venues:

  • ATKV Resort in Buffelspoort at 11am-11:40am on 20, 21, 27, 28 December
  • Bambanani in Melville at 2:30pm – 3pm on 28 December. 

8. The Great Moscow Circus at Montecasino

Combining all the thrills and fun of yesteryear with the skill and daring of today’s heroes, this circus runs from 22 December until 14 January at Montecasino’s Outdoor Events Area.

It features more than 18 acts, including clowns, acrobats, aerial artists, balancers, showgirls and more. Tickets are available through Computicket.  Check out their website. 

6. Beautiful People – show at Emperor’s Palace

We mentioned it last time and Sharon has written a post on it here. They also have a garden of lights (similar to Fantasy of Light above).

 

Durban

  1. New Year’s Day Sundowner Picnic

The naturally protected garden is simply out of this world with views that will take your breath away. They will supply luxurious picnic food offerings,and entertainment..All guests are allowed to bring their own beverage selections. In the event of inclement weather the picnic will be moved 48 hours prior to the event, to the following Sunday.

The Enchanted Garden Ballito @ The Galloping Winds Equestrian Estate, 1 January 3pm till 8pm.

Check out their Facebook page here and purchase tickets here.

 

2. And for the Durban party goers out there we have….Southbroom New Year’s Beach Party!

Date: Saturday, 31st December 2016

Time: Gates open at 6pm

Venue: Southbroom Main Beach, KZN South Coast

Cost: General: R220 presold & R250 on the day and VIP: R350 presold & R400 on the day

With a spectacular beach view as the backdrop, the Southbroom New Year’s Eve Beach Party on the South Coast of Durban, is the place to be this New Year’s Eve (31 December). 

Join thousands of party-goers as they celebrate into 2017 with some of SA’s top local DJ’s including headliner, Chunda Munki, supported by Vimo and many more.

Gates open at 6pm, so kit up in your bikini’s and board shorts and bring your mates along for a fun beach party experience that will leave 2016 in the dust! 

3. Festive Fun at UShaka World

This festive season, uShaka Marine World is celebrating all things fun, so be sure to have a holiday filled with adventure, tons of excitement, where you can live in the moment and make memories of a lifetime.

The uShaka Village Walk is the perfect spot to shop for those slightly unusual gifts, with something for all ages and special deals to add to the festive cheer. Plus, kids can meet our Traditional Father Christmas who will be collecting gift wish lists from 10h00 till 12h00 daily in Arena 3 food court from December 16th until December 24th. A free gift wrapping station will also be set up for gifts purchased at the Village Walk – so our guests can focus on having fun.  Opening & closing times at our uShaka Village Walk will be from 09h00 to 19h00 until December 30th.

This December, visitors and their families can also view our 12.5m high custom-made Christmas tree, at the entrance to uShaka Marine World.  

Besides the hot weather, you will also get a glimpse of some “hotties” with uShaka’s very own Sexy Santa and his cute little helpers, Miss Tinsel and Miss Mistletoe who will be seen in the Village Walk from 12h30 and 17h00 daily from December 15th until December 24th! Talk a selfie with Santa using   #uShakaSantaSelfie and you can win some fantastic prizes.

The favourite on the uShaka calendar is our annual “Dolphins by Starlight” family production which runs from the 8th until the 13thDecember from 6:30pm with the show starting promptly at 7pm nightly at a cost of only R170 for adults and R130 for children. 

 

Musical entertainment lives at uShaka with the following artists who will be performing at Wahooz over through December and January

 

  • The Meditators on 3, 16 and 31 December and 21 January
  • Afro Divas on 4 and 26 December and 7 and 29 January
  • Solomon Willy on 10 December and 1 and 14 January
  • Kickstands on 11 December and 22 January
  • Warren Brothers on 17 December and 2 January
  • Red Light Stereo on 18 December and 8 January
  • No Fly Zone on 24 December and 15 January
  • Heather Grooves on 27 and 28 January
  • Christmas Day will feature the uShaka resident DJ in action

 

Also for this season of fun in the sun, uShaka Marine World has formulated four special combo options which will be available from December 16th until January 10th. Plus, remember you can purchase your combo ticket options through uShaka’s online ticketing which means no more queuing for tickets. A quick debit or credit card booking via a smart phone, tablet or laptop enables you to head straight to your day of fun.

 

For more information call uShaka Marine World on 031-3288000.

For more Durban events see Family Outings.

 

 

 

 

The most accurate pregnancy test and WIN a Diapers.com voucher

Jack was the first baby that we actively tried for, so every month we were monitoring cycles and doing pregnancy test after pregnancy test if I was even an hour late. I would buy whichever one the closest pharmacy had. With Emma, we were trying but it happened so quickly that we were both so shocked, David went out to buy a few more tests so we could be SURE that we were indeed having a fourth child. To be honest we weren’t really worried about whether or not the tests we were using were the most accurate, we were kind of working with the “the more different one’s we do, the more accurate the result” thinking. But what is the most accurate pregnancy test out there?Accurate Pregnancy Test|SA Mom Blogs

Some may say the most accurate one is the one that gives you the result you want. Did you know that some tests can pick up if you are pregnant 7 days after conception? I never knew that? How early did you find out you were pregnant?

The team over at Diapers.com have give us a $50 Voucher to giveaway to one lucky reader to shop to their hears content! There site is so great, it features a wide range of baby related products. I was browsing earlier this week and really loved their swimming costume selection!

In order to win this voucher all you need to do is leave a comment telling me your favourite item on Diapers.Com site. 

T&C’s

  1. Competition is open to everyone living in these countries.
  2. Competition ends 19 December 2016.
  3. Please note customs may charge depending on the country you live in.
  4. If you have won on SA Mom Blogs in the last 3 months, you will not be eligible to win.

This giveaway is a partnership with Nakturnal, with a prize of a gift certificate.

If you found this post interesting please share it with your friends and remember to follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram and join our awesome group called Mommy’s Me Time.

South African Mom Blogs

Win a portable air conditioner worth R4 499!

competition-bannerAsk any mom of little kids what she craves most of all and I’ll bet that somewhere near the top of that list is sleep. Often the reason why children do not sleep so soundly is because they are uncomfortable for some reason. And with the summer weather heating up, we could all do with a bit of assistance in the form of some cool air.

air-con-boxI remember the first time this season when I dragged the air con out and placed it next to Nicky’s bed: I finally had a good, uninterrupted night’s sleep. (Of course there are times when he has kicked the blankets off and gets a snotty nose, but that is another story…) A cool head means a peaceful sleep and we all need that, including children.

Fortunately GMC Aircon and SA Mom blogs have come to your rescue with a competition: we are giving away a portable GMCP10 to one lucky reader!

One thing is for sure, the seasons are getting warmer, with record temperatures to be set as we enter the peak of the season. It’s becoming more commonplace for us to have air conditioners in our homes and if you don’t have one in yours, then this is the chance you have been waiting for!

The product features

air-conThe GMCP10 portable air-con comes complete with a free window bracket kit and is backed by a two-year manufacturer’s warranty and a five-year warranty on the compressor. With a powerful double condenser technology, It’s the ideal cooling solution that provides high-powered rapid operation while remaining energy efficient, reducing your household carbon footprint.

The GMCP10 portable aircon is easy to move between rooms in the house, allowing you to stay cool wherever you are. The built-in ioniser removes harmful bacteria from the air, keeping your home clean and germ free for your family. This coupled with a powerful cooling action of 10,000 BTU Portable Aircon (BTU =British Thermal Unit) and programmable memory, this is a true set-and-forget unit that will go to work in providing cool, clean air for your home and with the remote control, changing the climate is easily done all from your armchair!

 

Who are GMC Aircon?

air-con-dialGMC Aircon have been supplying South Africa with air-cooling solutions for the last 21 years. Their industry experience shows in their range of portable and fixed unit air-cons that offer high-quality air-conditioning at affordable prices. With dealers and service agents based across South Africa, GMC Aircon is there to help you with any of your air-cooling enquiries, simply send them an email, or drop them a line on social media and they will get right back to you to see how they can help!

Your chance to win!

Relax at home with the family in cool, comfortable conditions without dripping in sweat from the summer sun.

Find GMC Airon on their website, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and YouTube.

 

Enter to win! Follow the Rafflecopter prompts. You must tweet the message and the other options are extra entries. Feel free to share and tag your friends on social media.

Terms and conditions

  1. You must be a resident of South Africa
  2. You must consent to receive information on air conditioners from GMC Aircon.
  3. The competition will run for a week and the winner will be announced on our Facebook page and emailed. 

 

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

What’s On for Families This Weekend Gauteng, Cape Town and Durban (10-11 December)

Malls around the country are bringing out their Santa’s and once again it’s that time of year to take lots of pictures. Sandton is having #NickMas with Dora, Turtles and Paw Patrol. The Mall of Africa is having Hasbro toys activities. There is theatre to watch and races to run.

Meanwhile in Cape Town it is all very chilled with wine and pleasant views, while in Durban check out the entertaining dolphins.

 

Gauteng:

  1. Beautiful Creatures: Emperor’s Palace

beautiful-creatures-online-posterThis fun, interactive, educational and hour long show is back by popular demand and will run from the 8 till the 18 of December.

The musical tells the story of the shy and quiet Imvubu the Happiest Hippo and how he got to be so happy.  We join him on his journey of self-discovery as he befriends Mafutha the Elephant, learns dance steps from Tallulah the Tortoise and finds his “inner roar” with the help of Lucas the Lazy Lion.

 beuatiful-creaturesBeautiful Creatures is not just a show but has also spawned seven albums, four children’s books and a series of educational toys. They have also received two SAMA nominations and received the Naledi Award for Best Children’s Production in 2010.

Tickets cost R85 and are available through Computicket online and various Computicket outlets.

Emperors Palace is located at 64 Jones Road, Kempton Park, Johannesburg.

For more information, visit www.blublood.com and www.beautifulcreatures.co.za or the BluBloodSA and Beautiful Creatures Facebook pages.

2. The Fun Zone by Hasbro Toys at the Mall of Africa


hasbro-mall-of-africaFREE
fun at The Fun Zone, brought to you by Hasbro, is back and giving kids the chance to play with some of the latest and greatest My Little Pony , Nerf , Play-Doh and Transformers toys this holiday period.

ALSO at the Mall of Africa is an interactive experience with snakes and reptiles from 10am-11am 10 December. This is at Cape Union Mart. 

 

9 December – 15 December at the Mall of Africa from 10:00 am

3. Nickelodeon in the City (Sandton City)

We just went there yesterday and met our fave characters and it was awesome. They also have this huge lego area where the kids legocan go nuts and build. Everyone had fun getting their pictures taken with their favourite super heroes. Unfortunately I was a bit late (had to work and all of that) so when we got there Dora was over but we still got to meet the Turtles and Paw Patrol. 

Check out Dora, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Paw Patrol in the City!

nickelodeonpaw-patrol-and-n-big9-13 December: Paw Patrol

14-18 December: Dora the Explorer

19-24 December: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

santaNickelodeon in the City singalongs take place daily at Sandton City Checkers Court at 10 am, 1pm, 4pm and 6pm.  Visitors can also join in three daily meet-and–greet sessions, where youngsters can take a picture with their favourite TV character and entrance is free.  

Just around the corner you can also take pics with Santa.

laura-turtlesFor more information please to www.nickelodeon.com, join us on Twitter @NickAfrica and on Instagram @Nickelodeon_Africa, or like us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/NickelodeonAfrica. To join the conversation about Nickelodeon in the City, please use the hashtag #NickMas

Here’s Laura taking the perfect pic of her kids!

4. Christmas with Richard Cock

The Symphony choir of Johannesburg and the Johannesburg Festival Orchestra, conducted by Richard Cock, will perform a choral Christmas concert for the whole family. The concert is on 10 December 4:30pm at the Linder Auditorium in Parktown, and also at 3pm, on Sunday 11 December. Book through Computicket.

5. The Gajiga Run

gajiga“Gajiga” means “the bright side of things”. If you’re feeling athletic this weekend go ahead and take part in this 5km run with seven massive inflatables. The venue is Huddle Park Golf and Recreation in Linksfield from 8am -1pm and is suitable for adults and children 5 years and older (12 and under must be accompanied by an adult). Tickets are R250-350. Children under 12 are R100. 

 

Cape Town:

  1. #FestiveFriday at La Petite Ferme

festive-fridayLooking to sit back with handcrafted cocktails and spectacular views? From 9 December until 13 January, from 4pm – 6pm, you can celebrate the end of the week in style to the background of live musicians.

Ffestive-friday2or more information, visit www.lapetiteferme.co.za. For restaurant reservations, send e-mail to reception@lapetiteferme.co.za or phone +27 (0)21 876 3016

2. Wine Pairing with Nougat and Fudge at Perdeberg Wines

perdeberg-winesFrom Wed 16 Nov until Sunday 18 Dec in the tasting room at Perdeberg:

This pairing cost R50 and includes:  
Grenache Blanc 2015 paired with Ginger Fudge

Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc 2015 paired with Citrus Nougat with White Chocolate

Vineyard Collection Cinsault 2014 paired with Rose Water Turkish Delight

Dryland Pinotage 2014 paired with Roasted Almond Nougat

For bookings, 021-869 8244 or info@perdeberg.co.za

3.  V & A Waterfront

The V & A Waterfront is having a host of activities, but take note of those available this weekend:

  • Christmas light shows at 8:30 and 9:30pm. (from Friday 9 December)
  • Meet Santa (from Sat 10 December)10am to 1pm, and again later from 1.30 to 4pm. No professional photographer will be there: bring your own camera.  Centre Court. 
  • FPI Kaleidscope  Christmas Concert: Sunday, 11 December, time: Show 1: 2–2.45pm, Show 2: 7–7.45pm. Venue:    V&A Amphitheatre

4. Print special memories at The Point Mall

Extend your favourite Instagram memory by printing it out free of charge.

Simply visit the Brandrocket Instagram photo printing booth on the second floor of The Point Mall in Sea Point by Sunday, 8 January 2017. Take a pic at the booth, post it on Instagram and tag it with #ThePointMallSeaPoint, or edit an existing photo with this tag. When it appears on the screen, tap it, select print and hey presto, you have a tangible memory you can frame for a lifetime! To upload photos to the booth, ensure privacy settings are turned off by opening the Instagram profile icon, select ‘Settings’, ‘Edit Profile’ and turn off privacy settings.

The Point Mall is located at 76 Regent Road, Sea Point.

For more information visit www.thepointmall.co.za or www.instagram.com/thepointmall

 

Durban:

Dolphins by Starlight:

dolphins-by-starlightUnder the creative direction and production of uShaka events Manager, Brendon Meiring-Pollock, the cast will lead the audience in festive sing-alongs as well as perform musical hits such as I Will Follow Him, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Rocking Around the Christmas Tree, Do You Want to Build a Snow Man, We Three Kings, Carols by Candelight, Away in a Manager, Noel Noel and Silent Night. The real stars, of course are the dolphins. 

 The one and a half hour production takes everyone on a journey of everything that is Christmas and celebratory. Children can enjoy their popular Disney festive songs with a spectacular Bungee act and “snow” falling in the middle of summer, over the dolphin stadium.

To make sure you don’t miss out, book now. Tickets are available at Computicket or via uShaka’s online ticketing on http://tickets.ushakamarineworld.co.za/ at a cost of R170 for adults and R140 for children.

Dates: 8 – 14 December.

Time: 6.30pm for 7pm

Adults: R170

Children: R140

For more information: www.ushakamarineworld.co.za

For more events in Durban check out Family Outings Calendar here. 

 

 

Meet the Blogger: Meet Super Shazzer: “Create a Niche for Yourself”

healthy-living-5Today we meet South African mom blogger Sharon Atkins (aka Super Shazzer) who advises us to build up our social media with an excellent profile and content. She says we should create our own “niche” – something that sets you apart from other bloggers. 

What do you normally get up to on an average day? (Give us a brief description about yourself)

Mornings are spent dropping Matthew at school then a group cross fit training session, home for quick shower and breakfast.

I am a freelance writer and social media manager so spend the morning working on my clients’ accounts researching, writing and posting content.

I fit in my own writing in the evening or some early mornings.

Afternoons are spent on the school run and activities and squeezing in work if I have a deadline.

2) How do you feel about motherhood – what are your struggles and joys?

Parenting is not easy! You have to manage the worry and stress and balance it with the rewards and blessings.

Time just flies by with kids and it is such a joy to see them grow up and develop their own special characters.

Struggles- the everyday routine, lunches, homework and bedtime. Not enough time for myself and also time spent with my husband. The discipline and boundary challenges.

Joys- the hugs and cuddles. The rewards when they surprise you with their good manners, behaviour and generosity. Watching a unique special being evolve and guiding them along the way.

3) Tell us about your kid(s)

super-shazzer-kidsMy step-daughter is Sydney and she is 16. She is smart, gorgeous and funny and loves clothes, animals and her friends.

My son is Matthew and he is 9. He is a very busy and is always coming up with a business scheme. He loves cooking, cats and travel (especially on Emirates).

4). How did you start blogging?

I started writing content for clients for their social media platforms and blogs and then thought why not write my own stories and share these.

I use it to share what inspires me and what I love. I use it as a diary of events for myself and for my family.

I use it to inspire, inform and motivate others.

5) Share with us a valuable blogging tip you’ve learnt. (or more)

Stay true to yourself, tell your story in your own way. Create a niche for yourself, a point of difference, something that makes you unique compared to other bloggers.

Create a strategy and a plan. If you are going to share, post or publish pictures make sure they are well shot and have visual appeal.

If you don’t have already create a professional profile for yourself on LinkedIn and a business Page for your Blog. LinkedIn is a place where you can share content, build up great connections and network.

6) If you make money from your blog, give us a breakdown on how you do it. Give us some of your methods on how to get started on this, or any tips or advice.

Grow your social media platforms and followers. Write great content. Build relationships with PR companies and align yourself with brands that you admire.

Set your rates from the beginning and do not be nervous to stick to them. Know and understand your worth and value.

My links-

Website http://www.supershazzer.com

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Supershazzerblog

Twitter https://twitter.com/Supershazzer

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/supershazzer/

Pinterest https://za.pinterest.com/supershazzer/

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/sharonatkins