{Guest Post} Sleep: How to Get them to Sleep and Stay that Way, and Why Sleep is Important

Today’s post is written by Hayden Myers.

 

As you grow older you realize the benefit, as well as the pure privilege of sleep.  As a child, you couldn’t think of anything worse.  Why would you want to sleep when you could be playing?  All kids have a serious case of FOMO but we, as grown ups know that it’s vital that they get a good amount of snooze time.

 

So, let’s explore why your little monster needs to be sleeping at least 9-10 hours in a 24 hour period, and also how you can assist them. From kid’s furniture to food, from noise levels to activities, there are simple solutions to helping your kids lay and sleep.

 

Cause, it’s damn hard to sleep when you really don’t want to.

 

Reasons your child needs serious amounts of sleep

 

Les Miserable

There is no doubt when a child becomes tired they turn into the Tasmanian Devil reincarnated.  We hear it often, when watching a child fall apart at the seams and landing up in a major tantrum, “Oh, he must be tired.”  Well, more than likely he is. And, who is at fault, really?  He doesn’t know any better.   Ensuring your child gets his quota of sleep is vital for him to function normally.

Grow Grow Grow

The growth hormone is mostly dispensed during deep sleep.  And, we must highlight the two words ‘deep sleep’.  It is very important, not only that your child gets enough sleep, but also good sleep.  Think about how many hours small babies sleep.  It is because they are growing, and a baby that doesn’t sleep enough, will take longer to reach their growth milestones.

 

As the child grows older he requires less sleep, and in fact, as they reach adulthood, which is between 18 and 20 years of age, they can do with a vastly lesser amount of zzz’s than they ever did before.

 

The average adult can do with as little as 5-6 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period, however, it is best that they get at least 8, for many reasons, not dissimilar to why kids need sleep.

 

Who’s got a big tummy?

The lack of sleep can egg on excessive eating, from infancy to adulthood.  Babies can very soon become accustomed to accepting the breast or bottle when they wake, and in fact, many parents are quick to shove the soothsayer into their mouths, in the hopes they will go back to sleep.

 

This is not wise.

 

Babies, toddlers, young children, teenagers, and adults alike, can all learn to fall asleep without the help of food or drink.

 

Encouraging this feed and sleep behaviour can lead to obesity, and its been proven time and time again, especially in the good ole’ US of A.  Kids are found, more often than not, staying up late, eating all sorts of terrible foods, than sleeping soundly in their beds. Try implement a healthy diet like banting? How they function during the day is beyond me, and you will find they will resort to eating during the day again to just stay alert and awake.

 

A vicious cycle is then created and one that is hard to break.

 

I’m so sick!

Sleep is also responsible for healing our bodies, and as a growing child, this is so very vital.  Your body produces proteins that assist in warding off viruses and illnesses, and these are secreted at night when sleeping.  A survey showed that people, not just kids, who got less sleep than others, in the same age category, were more often ill.

 

Think about when you get a cold, or body flu.  Your body is achy and all you want to do is sleep.  It is your body’s way of telling you that it needs to rejuvenate itself, and sleep is the way. 

 

Rest!

 

That’s the key.  But prevention is so much better than trying to play catch up with the cure.

Are you focusing?

Your brain needs to be able to reboot every night, so that you can restart the next day, and especially so with kids.  Today, our young ones are exposed to so much more than we ever were, and ironically we probably got more sleep than they are now.  For them, to function on full tilt, with the load of homework and projects, the extra mural activities and sports, that we insist they take part in, they need to be able to focus.

Such a Smart Alec

Are our kids getting stupider?  Ok, is that even a word? Well, you get my drift.  No, they are not.  Their IQ levels are actually higher than ever before, but because they are able to tap into more of their brainpower, they need to let the brain cells revitalise themselves and of course produce more. And it is during sleep that this happens.

 

How you can help your kid fall asleep quicker, and stay asleep

 

 

Curb the eating

Eating is important, as the nutrients and vitamins we consume help us with body growth, brain growth, and just living a fuller and more vitalized life.  However, too much food, and food high in sugar or caffeine, right before bedtime, is a real no-no.

 

A small meal an hour before sleep time, such as milk and a sugar-free cookie, should appease their need. And, most times, they are not hungry, just looking for an excuse to stay up later.

 

Let’s calm down to a panic

Partaking in calm and gentle activities before bedtime will make all the difference, as opposed to crazy, wild games.  Make a rule that by a certain time, say 6pm, everyone has to calm down.  Reading a book, talking to each other, or even singing a song to two, is a great way to get the body and mind ready for bedtime.

Consistency is key

All these tips and tricks are fine and well, but if you don’t stick to it on a consistent basis, then it will all be a waste of time.  Make it a habit and, while your kids may moan, they will eventually accept it, and thrive.

Cool and comfy

No matter the season, ensure the mattress, bedding and general kids furniture is comfortable and cool.  Dress them in loose, cotton, and breathable clothing, making sure that they don’t get all tangled and hot in the bedding.

And, what do I have for you here?

If you are still struggling to get your buddy or buddess to sleep, then put a reward system in place. Don’t see it as bribery, but rather as an incentive.  It may be a treat at the end of the week for going to bed at the appropriate time, or maybe a little trip away once a month.

 

Be creative with this. Kids love getting stuff.

 

 

On a last note, good sleeping habits now will stand the test of time, and see your child eventually sleeping well in adulthood too.  And, we all know how welcoming a good night’s sleep is.

 

Do it for the adult they will become one day.

 

 

 

Hayden Myers is a new young mother, travel enthusiast and aspiring writer. She’s a South African whose world has been turned upside by the surprise of her daughter Cassidy. She is also a recent makeup artist graduate and looking for a creative outlet. She has always had a passion for diarising her life and now with more time at home than expected she’s started to write stories/articles of her travels, lifestyle and raising a child at 23. She finds joy in DIY, decorating, styling and ensuring Cassidy is the most stylish little lady everywhere they go. 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HaydenMWriter

Instagram: @haydenmwriter

 

{Guest Post} Why I choose to work when I don’t have to, and dealing with the guilt.

Today’s  post  was written by South African mom blogger Amelia Meyer, who blogs at Suddenly a Mom

 

I’m 36, and my mom still agonises over the fact that she had to go straight back to work when I was born. I’ve tried to convince her that I’m ok, but clearly the evidence isn’t very convincing! How rude.

 

Now, as a mom, I’ve faced the decision of whether or not to work. My mom’s wasn’t a choice. When you only have one option, there’s no choosing involved. I, on the other hand, choose to work. My car and house are paid for; I don’t have accounts or other debt. I’m free as a bird. So, why do I choose to work? There are a few reasons:

 

Fulfilment

My work feeds my soul. I love it, I’m inspired by it, and I’m motivated by it to keep moving forward. I’ve met many stay-at-home moms that feel that something is missing. They try different hobbies and pastimes; but they’re bored, even when they’re running on a hamster wheel of chores, play dates, appointments, and meetings. By keeping my brain active and inspired, I can really enjoy my off-time in the afternoon.

 

Finances

Not many families can choose not to work. I started off telling you about my debt-free situation, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have expenses. And, as prices go up, I’m finding myself being more and more proactive in finding new clients. It all helps ease the tension at the end of the month.

 

Using My Time

I work for myself, which means that my hours are flexible. So, while my daughter is at school until 2pm, I can spend that time doing my work. If I didn’t do this, I could keep busy, of course. I could gym (hahahahahaha), start a hobby, do more community work, see friends more regularly. But, I could also work. And that’s what I choose.  

 

Afternoons

So, by the time my daughter comes home, I’m not still trying to juggle ten things. I’ve done the most urgent things on my to-do list, and I can focus on her. We do fun things, thanks to living in a gorgeous part of South Africa (Knysna). And, while we’re enjoying afternoon tea or heading out onto the water, I’m not thinking about my work. Because it’s done.

 

Lessons

I want my daughter to see me take pride in my work, to know that she can and should be a contributor to the family, and to feel like we’re a team. I like to use the time she’s at school and dad’s at work to be contributing and helping, giving my bit to the family.

 

Having shared my motivation with you, I’m not for one moment saying that moms that choose not to work are doing anything wrong. Moms are the busiest people I know. I think many moms wish that they had a day in an air-conditioned office with a door that closes just to regroup. There’s so much guilt in parenting. Whether you’re working or staying at home, you probably feel guilt about your decision. At least to some degree. Here are some tips to dealing with “mom guilt”:

 

  • Get away from the negative people that feed your insecurities.
  • Re-evaluate your reasons for choosing to work or not work. Are they selfish? Damaging? Jeopardising your relationships? No? Then, is there really a problem?
  • When people question your decision or try to tell you that you’re wrong, try to see things from their perspective. It may open your mind to new possibilities without immediately feeling hurt or intimidated.
  • Take time out to spend real quality sessions with your child(ren). By doing this, you’ll stop feeling that terrible guilt for not giving them enough attention. But, it takes planning and patience amidst a hectic schedule.
  • Be reasonable. You’re never going to be there for every milestone or moment. So, be careful of expecting too much from yourself or your children.

 

This is a great article for moms trying to balance their working lives with being a present, capable, sane parent.

 

Amelia is a writer, editor and mom. She spends some of her (sometimes scarce) free time blogging about family life and volunteering in the community.

 

Blog – www.suddenlyamom.wordpress.com

Professional website – www.voxate.co.za

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

Pinterest: https://za.pinterest.com/ameliaduplessis/suddenly-a-mom-blog/

Instagram: @suddenlyamom

{Guest Post} Six Tips on How to be Green (and Cheap) with your Housecleaning

Today is Heritage Day but just for a change we are featuring a Canadian mom blogger. Her name is Margaret Latham and she blogs at New Horizon Mommy. 

Natural сlеаnеrѕ аnd green сlеаnіng products аrе a ѕmаrt wау tо clean уоur hоuѕе the ѕаfе, nоn-tоxіс way. Tаkе a look at thеѕе tірѕ fоr grееn сlеаnіng іn your home wіth ѕtоrе-bоught сlеаnіng ѕоlutіоnѕ, оr trу hоmеmаdе сlеаnеrѕ fоr уоur kіtсhеn, bathroom, toilet and wіndоwѕ.

  1. Emрlоу green сlеаnіng рrоduсtѕ

Aѕ the hеаlth аnd еnvіrоnmеntаl іmрасtѕ of соnvеntіоnаl сlеаnіng рrоduсtѕ bесоmе more thоrоughlу understood, more аnd mоrе brаndѕ оf healthy, grееn, and еffесtіvе cleaning рrоduсtѕ hаvе ѕtаrtеd hіttіng the market аnd соmреtіng fоr that coveted рlасе of hоnоr undеr уоur sink. Many оf thеѕе рrоduсtѕ are nоn-tоxіс, bіоdеgrаdаblе, аnd made from rеnеwаblе rеѕоurсеѕ (nоt petroleum). But іf designer labels аrеn’t for уоu, home-mixed сlеаnеrѕ саn gеt thе job dоnе аnd thеn ѕоmе. Vinegar and bаkіng ѕоdа can be uѕеd tо сlеаn аlmоѕt аnуthіng. Mix іn a little wаrm wаtеr with еіthеr оf thеѕе аnd уоu’vе gоt уоurѕеlf аn all-purpose сlеаnеr.

2. Avоіd poor indoor аіr ԛuаlіtу

It іѕ nоt unсоmmоn fоr the аіr inside a home or оffісе to bе more tоxіс than thе аіr outside. Thіѕ іѕ bесаuѕе оf the рrеѕеnсе of tоxіс materials and ѕubѕtаnсеѕ аnd thе fасt thаt hоmеѕ and buildings аrе bеttеr insulated thаn еvеr bеfоrе (whісh іѕ a gооd thіng from аn еnеrgу ѕtаndроіnt). Kееріng wіndоwѕ ореn аѕ оftеn аѕ роѕѕіblе аllоwѕ frеѕh air in аnd keeps toxins flоwіng out. Thіѕ іѕ especially іmроrtаnt when сlеаnіng your home.

3. Bе саrеful wіth аntіbасtеrіаl сlеаnеrѕ

Thе antibacterial and antimicrobial ‘сlеаnеrѕ’ thаt many реорlе think аrе nесеѕѕаrу, especially durіng cold ѕеаѕоn, dоn’t сlеаn hаndѕ bеttеr than ѕоар аnd wаtеr, and also аdd tо thе rіѕk оf brееdіng “super gеrmѕ,” bасtеrіа thаt ѕurvіvе thе сhеmісаl оnѕlаught аnd hаvе rеѕіѕtаnt offspring. The FDA has found that antibacterial soaps аnd hand сlеаnѕеrѕ do nоt work better than rеgulаr ѕоар and wаtеr, аnd should be аvоіdеd.

4. Hеlр уоur home smell baking ѕоdа-luѕсіоuѕ

Bаkіng ѕоdа not only rеmоvеѕ thоѕе ѕtrаngе smells соmіng frоm уоur frіdgе, it’s аlѕо a great odor-eliminator fоr уоur carpet. Juѕt sprinkle оn a lіttlе baking ѕоdа tо soak up some of those оdоrѕ аnd thеn vacuum іt up.

5. Clеаn уоur indoor air nаturаllу

Skір thе ѕtоrе-bоught аіr frеѕhеnеrѕ and instead trу boiling сіnnаmоn, cloves, оr аnу оthеr hеrbѕ уоu hаvе a fоndnеѕѕ fоr. Frеѕh сhосоlаtе chip сооkіеѕ also hаvе been knоwn tо сrеаtе a frіеndlу aroma. Alѕо, plants mау nоt mаkе уоur house ѕmеll dіffеrеnt but are gооd fоr fіltеrіng interior air–pretty muсh аnу broad green lеаf рlаnt will dо. Pеасе Lіlіеѕ аrе a fаvоrіtе сhоісе.

6. Wіndоwѕ оf Oрроrtunіtу

Clean уоur wіndоwѕ by аddіng 1/4 cup of vinegar tо 2 оr 3 сuрѕ оf water. Sоmе rесіреѕ саll for a fеw drорѕ оf lіԛuіd dеtеrgеnt, аnd ѕtіll others ѕuggеѕt уоu use оnlу lеmоn juісе аddеd tо wаtеr. Yоu саn uѕе a nеwѕрареr to wіре, іf nеwѕрареr іnkѕ dоn’t bother уоu, or uѕе a сlеаn оld соttоn rаg.

 

Margaret Latham has been blogging since 2013 about all subjects related to motherhood and raising a family. Read more on her personal blog at newhorizonmommy.com

 

{Guest Post} Daddy’s Home!

Today’s post was written by South African mom blogger Helene, who blogs at Prettybelle. 

I’m gonna let you in on a little secret…

Once a week my husband takes Minki to visit Granny. This usually happens at 17:30. And they return at 19:00. Which means I have a full hour AND a half to myself.

 Okay, here’s my dirty little secret (thanks to the All American Rejects), as soon as I hear the gate close behind my dear husband and perfect little angel, I start cleaning, do the dishes and iron his shirts… No!!! I’m lying! The only place I run to is the kitchen (to grab a cup of coffee or glass of wine), depending on my day and then run again – to the couch.

Where I just lie down and watch The Bachelorette.

Just like this, but without little Miss Minki…

You can judge me but that’s my guilty pleasure. My little bit of heaven. And it makes me happy, so damn happy.

In between sips of wine and Rachel whining to Peter about putting a ring on her finger, I think to myself: How on earth do single mothers do this? How do they cope non-stop? 24 hours a day without ever getting a break or help from hubby? I take my fave Cotton On cap off to all the single Mama’s out there! You’re doing a great job all by yourself!

But let’s talk about Dad…

A Recent study from Pampers revealed that 49% of Mama’s get up more than twice in the evening to care for baby. Unfortunately I’m one of those…But after 3 of those sleepless nights, its hubby’s turn and I get a full 9 hours sleep.

And don’t you dare feel guilty Super Mama! 

Because:

Dads Matter!

Numerous studies have reached the same conclusion:

Children with involved fathers have an advantage – socially and academically – over children with distant or no relationships with their dads.

Which basically mean: Dad must be (more) involved with raising kiddo.

Maybe you’re a stay at home Mom, maybe you’re working full-time and juggling all aspects of motherhood. Dad is probably working full-time, but whatever your situation the bottom line:

 Daddy’s all around the globe are stepping up and parenting is becoming a team effort.

Like my sister-in-law husband is demonstrating above!

Most Mama’s want to get Daddy more involved…

Here’s how:

Be Specific – Tell hubby exactly (word for word) what you need/want him to do!

Wrong way: “I need more help!”

Right way: “Please watch kiddo for an hour, while I take a bath.”

Stop hovering – when Daddy actually play with baby, you are worse than John Snow and the gatekeepers in Game of Thrones.

Daddies play rough! Chill Mama, rough play with dad is beneficial.

Give praise – Dad’s often feel overlooked. Let him know how much his involvement means to you!

(And he will probably do it again)!

Even hold baby while you quickly pop into Zara!

Moms and Dads parent in very different ways.

Parenting is a team effort and there’s no I in team! Experts agree:

Mothers need to allow dads to be dads and to have their own relationship with their children.

A study of 500 South African dads with daughters under the age of 18 has revealed the top 20 things fathers with a little girl will have mastered.

 Top 20 things that dads with daughters will know:

1. How to make her feel special

2. How to dance with her on your feet

3. How to make everything better

4. How to give the perfect cuddle

5. Girls like getting dirty too

6. How to play with dolls

7. Glitter can get everywhere

8. How to dance

9. Girls play football too

10. How important it is to colour co-ordinate

11. How to stop a nightmare

12. How to face paint

13. What objects in the house make a great popstar microphone

14. Girls want to learn how to build a den and climb trees

15. How to get chewing gum out of long hair

16. How to braid hair

17. How to ice skate

18. How to say ‘no’ gently when she asks to marry you

19. What a pirouette is

And last but not least…

20. How to make a pair of fairy wings!

As Dr. Linda Nielsen of Wake Forest University explains in her work, decades of research shows that girls who have loving, communicative, supportive relationships with their dads from early childhood on are less likely to suffer from a lack of self-confidence and self-reliance as she grows up.

Important stuff!

Involving Daddy in everyday chores is crucial!

Each household is different. Find a way that works for both of you, but remember that the greatest gift you can give your children is a loving home (trust me, my mom and dad will be married 37 years and they still kiss each other goodbye every day) and I’m a pretty happy human being.

Bob Murray, PhD, author of Raising an Optimistic Child: a Proven Plan for Depression-Proofing Young Children for Life says:

“The research clearly shows that happy, optimistic children are the product of happy, optimistic homes, regardless of genetic makeup.”

Did someone say date night? Don’t you dare feel guilty when you and hubby finally go on a date!

Bob says:

 “Nurture your relationship with your spouse. If parents have a really, good committed relationship the child’s happiness often naturally follows.”

You know the old saying happy mama happy baby? It’s so old because it’s true!

Take the steps necessary to be HAPPY, whether it is spending time with your favorite girlfriend, jogging, taking a long bath or just like me, watching The Bachelorette.

And then, when you are pretty happy make sure to love hubby that extra bit more. I know your tired, no scratch that exhausted, but know this, by nurturing your relationship, you will give kiddo

a lifetime of happiness.

Stay Stylish (and happy) and give your husband a kiss when he comes home tonight!

XOXO

Helene

About Helene:
 
I’m Just a Mama, married to the love of her life and completely besotted with her babygirl. I started Prettybelle with one hand, while breastfeeding. I believe life is all about the PrEtTy little moments in between. We must just embrace it – with style! 
 
Helene is a qualified journalist with a degree in B.A Journalism. She has a post graduate certificate in education (PGCE) and 9 years experience as kindergarten teacher. Currently Kids-editor at BELLA-magazine. She has a Diploma in Personal Styling at the acclaimed Wardrobe Academy, just because she’s a self confessed shopaholic.
 
Find her here: Blog Facebook Twitter Instagram
Read Helene’s other post on SA Mom blogs about Styling it like a Mama. 
 
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{Guest Post} My pregnancy journey with gestational diabetes

This week’s post about gestational diabetes is written by South African mom blogger Puveshree Moodie, who blogs at Life’s a Treat. 

 

I was somewhere between my 24th and 28th week of pregnancy when I got a call from my gynaecologist saying that I need to come in and discuss the results of my 3 hour glucose test. My gynaecologist sat Jason and myself down and discussed my results. She gave us as much information as she could as I had no idea what this meant for my baby’s and my health.

This diagnosis was a head-on challenge which I was up for the battle.I went into research mode to learn as much as I could about GD to ensure I overcome this without taking any medication. I learnt about the carbohydrate vs. protein balance to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.My gynae booked me into the hospital for 24 hours to monitor how my body coped with breaking down the sugar in difference types of food.Once this was established, a dietician compiled a personalised eating plan for me. I went home with a list of allowed foods and its portion size in each food group. I also received print outs to keep a food diary and blood sugar readings after 30 and 60 minutes of eating. I purchased a blood sugar test machine to get the readings. My goal was not to take any medication to manage the GD and to manage it through diet. Leading up to the diagnosis, I was eating healthier and limited sugars so it was not a huge task to adjust my eating habits.

gestational diabetes

I became obsessive about what I ate, how much I ate and about testing my sugar after each meal, my gynae and dietician had to make some adjustments to my diet as I was losing weight; so I was also put on a shake called Glucerna which I could have at any time I felt hungry. However with me following my eating plan so strictly; I never felt hungry or cravings as my blood sugar levels were balanced. I gained a total of 7kg and lost my weight and an additional 4kg postpartum by following a similar diet.

gestational diabetes

My baby tracked well with her weight gain, was born at 38 weeks to ensure my placenta did not calcify and she was not at risk of being still born. Mckenzie weighed 2.6kg at birth and we were told it’s a good weight for a baby whose mum had gestational diabetes (usually babies are big weighing over 4.5kg).I was tested 6 weeks postpartum and my sugar levels were back to normal.

I drank at least 2lts of liquid in the form of still spring water and herbal teas with no milk, sugar or sweetener. I would also have a cup of Glucerna anytime between breakfast and lunch.

WHAT I ATE IN A DAY

Breakfast: Green smoothie (Cooled rooibos tea, 1/4 avocado, 1 cup spinach/kale,4 almonds, 1/4 cup oats, 1 tsp chia seeds) and a clemongold mandarin.

 Snack: 1 small carrot and hummus 

Lunch: Oven baked turmeric & smoked paprika chicken thighs, avocado, tomato, lettuce/kale/spinach, cucumber topped on a slice of brown bread.Sometimes I would sprinkle some feta (I would not recommend the feta if you have high blood pressure)

Snack: Nimu skinny hot chocolate made with low fat milk 

Dinner: Curried chicken breasts and pickled carrot and onion salad.

 

*Disclaimer: Please don’t follow my typical day of eating as it was designed for my needs.If you are faced with this diagnosis, I encourage you to meet with a dietitian to develop an eating plan customised to your needs.

I would love to hear from you if you have had an experience with gestational diabetes or are going through it presently. You are welcome to contact me lifesatreatza@gmail.com if you want me to create recipes to support your personalised diet.

                                                          XOXO

                                                    Puveshree

A little bit about me

I am a LUCKY GAL married to my best friend and completely obsessed with my little princess. I started blogging because I am a lover of blogs and bloggers. 
Blogs have introduced me to ideas, insight into people’s experiences and keeps me sane by knowing that I am not alone in this journey called motherhood & life…
A banker with a post graduate degree in BSc. Statistics and Financial Mathematics by day and tapping into a creative and fun side by blogging at night.
 
 

Blog: www.lifesatreat.co.za

Instagram: www.instagram.com/puveshree_lifesatreat_za

Facebook: www.facebook.com/lifesatreatza

Twitter: @lifesatreatza

Win a hamper from Similac to celebrate World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

It’s World Breastfeeding Awareness Week from 1-7 August and SA Mom Blogs is giving away a hamper of some lovely goodies for a nursing mom.

So… I’ve had my share of ups and downs with breastfeeding. It’s hard. It’s a really hard thing to do. I struggled to latch. I had to pump for a month.I used both boob and formula till I got back on track a few months later.  I struggled through biting. I struggled to wean. 

breastfeedingI even wrote a poem about how frustrated I was feeding a two year old at night. 

And then I wrote this:

I’m not a lactivist. I’m just a mom who wants her kid to sleep. And the boob works. It has other benefits as well. (see below)

There are a lot of positive and negative things about breastfeeding but this remains: at the end of a long day of tantrums and peeing in pants Nicky and I can connect in this intimate way. In the middle of the night, when he sometimes wakes up, the magic boob gets him back to sleep. And it calms me down too. Yes, there are times when it drags out too long and I get irritated, but on the whole, I’m glad that we have this. Because I know it won’t be long when he will no longer be asking for his “boobie” and my little boy will really become a big boy.

Until then I’ll cherish these moments with my son.

Honestly I can’t tell you exactly when we stopped breastfeeding. I know he stopped the day feeds at two but after three it became less and less at night. He stopped when he was ready and told me distinctly that “booby is for babies”. (As I’d been telling him for some time). 

But the struggles were totally worth it. I know that Nicky got the best in nutrition at the temperature that he needed and there were benefits for me as a mother too. Most of all, that I just had to roll over and feed him. No bottles to sterilise, to heat. Just an initmate connection between mother and child. And a real bonus: he doesn’t get sick much. Yes, the snotty nose etc but we have never been to a hospital. 

 

Here’s a nice timeline of the benefits of breastfeeding. So however long you do it, you know you’ll give your baby some benefits.  (This is taken from Babycenter).

IF I NURSE FOR A DAY…

Breastfeeding your baby for even a day is the best baby gift you can give. Breastfeeding is almost always the best choice for your baby. If it doesn’t seem like the best choice for you right now, these guidelines may help.

IF YOU NURSE YOUR BABY FOR JUST A FEW DAYS, he will have received your colostrum, or early milk. By providing antibodies and the food his brand-new body expects, nursing gives your baby his first – and easiest – “immunization” and helps get his digestive system going smoothly. Breastfeeding is how your baby expects to start, and helps your own body recover from the birth. Why not use your time in the hospital to prepare your baby for life through the gift of nursing?

IF YOU NURSE YOUR BABY FOR FOUR TO SIX WEEKS, you will have eased him through the most critical part of his infancy. Newborns who are not breastfed are much more likely to get sick or be hospitalized, and have many more digestive problems than breastfed babies. After 4 to 6 weeks, you’ll probably have worked through any early nursing concerns, too. Make a serious goal of nursing for a month, call La Leche League or a Lactation Consultant if you have any questions, and you’ll be in a better position to decide whether continued breastfeeding is for you.

IF YOU NURSE YOUR BABY FOR 3 OR 4 MONTHS, her digestive system will have matured a great deal, and she will be much better able to tolerate the foreign substances in commercial formulas. If there is a family history of allergies, though, you will greatly reduce her risk by waiting a few more months before adding anything at all to her diet of breastmilk. And giving nothing but your milk for the first four months gives strong protection against ear infections for a whole year.

IF YOU NURSE YOUR BABY FOR 6 MONTHS, she will be much less likely to suffer an allergic reaction to formula or other foods. At this point, her body is probably ready to tackle some other foods, whether or not you wean. Nursing for at least 6 months helps ensure better health throughout your baby’s first year of life, and reduces your own risk of breast cancer. Nursing for 6 months or more may greatly reduce your little one’s risk of ear infections and childhood cancers. And exclusive, frequent breastfeeding during the first 6 months, if your periods have not returned, provides 98% effective contraception.

IF YOU NURSE YOUR BABY FOR 9 MONTHS, you will have seen him through the fastest and most important brain and body development of his life on the food that was designed for him – your milk. You may even notice that he is more alert and more active than babies who did not have the benefit of their mother’s milk. Weaning may be fairly easy at this age… but then, so is nursing! If you want to avoid weaning this early, be sure you’ve been available to nurse for comfort as well as just for food.

IF YOU NURSE YOUR BABY FOR A YEAR, you can avoid the expense and bother of formula. Her one-year-old body can probably handle most of the table foods your family enjoys. Many of the health benefits this year of nursing has given your child will last her whole life. She will have a stronger immune system, for instance, and will be much less likely to need orthodontia or speech therapy. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends nursing for at least a year, to help ensure normal nutrition and health for your baby.

IF YOU NURSE YOUR BABY FOR 18 MONTHS, you will have continued to provide your baby’s normal nutrition and protection against illness at a time when illness is common in other babies. Your baby is probably well started on table foods, too. He has had time to form a solid bond with you – a healthy starting point for his growing independence. And he is old enough that you and he can work together on the weaning process, at a pace that he can handle. A former U.S. Surgeon General said, “it is the lucky baby… that nurses to age two.”

IF YOUR CHILD WEANS WHEN SHE IS READY, you can feel confident that you have met your baby’s physical and emotional needs in a very normal, healthy way. In cultures where there is no pressure to wean, children tend to nurse for at least two years. The World Health Organization and UNICEF strongly encourage breastfeeding through toddlerhood: “Breastmilk is an important source of energy and protein, and helps to protect against disease during the child’s second year of life.”* Our biology seems geared to a weaning age of between 2 1/2 and 7 years**, and it just makes sense to build our children’s bones from the milk that was designed to build them. Your milk provides antibodies and other protective substances as long as you continue nursing, and families of nursing toddlers often find that their medical bills are lower than their neighbors’ for years to come. Mothers who have nursed longterm have a still lower risk of developing breast cancer. Children who were nursed longterm tend to be very secure, and are less likely to suck their thumbs or carry a blanket. Nursing can help ease both of you through the tears, tantrums, and tumbles that come with early childhood, and helps ensure that any illnesses are milder and easier to deal with. It’s an all-purpose mothering tool you won’t want to be without! Don’t worry that your child will nurse forever. All children stop eventually, no matter what you do, and there are more nursing toddlers around than you might guess.

WHETHER YOU NURSE FOR A DAY OR FOR SEVERAL YEARS, the decision to nurse your child is one you need never regret. And whenever weaning takes place, remember that it is a big step for both of you. If you choose to wean before your child is ready, be sure to do it gradually, and with love.

*Facts for Life: A Communication Challenge, published by UNICEF, WHO, and UNESCO, 1989
**K Dettwyler. A Time to Wean. Breastfeeding Abstracts vol 14 no 1 1994
©1997 Diane Wiessinger, MS, IBCLC 136 Ellis Hollow Creek Road Ithaca, NY 14850

 

Win!

Similac® Mom would like to give-away a  hamper to the value of R800  not only to create awareness but to also celebrate this week.

Similac® Mom is a shake. 

  • Low-fat, low calorie, helps manage weight during pregnancy and while breastfeeding
  • Helps build your immune defences
  • Supports healthy digestion
  • Helps reduce the risk of iron deficiency anaemia
  • Vitamin D and FOS, a prebiotic, have been shown to improve calcium absorption

 

 

similac hamper breastfeeding must havesThe hamper includes:

  • Breastfeeding Pillow
  • Nipple Cream
  • Breast Pads
  • Similac Mom tin
  • Wrapped in a lovely hamper box, cellophane and ribbon

By the way I have to say a word about the pillow. I think it is one of those nursing must have’s. It helps support the baby while you feed. And the cream sure helps the wear and tear of breastfeeding. The pads help those early days when you are literally leaking.

But the Similac mom can help YOU. I think we forget about ourselves in this process and how much we need the nutritional support just as much as baby does. 

Win this hamper by simply leaving a comment below. 

Terms and Conditions

  1. This competition will run for a week. The winner will be announced on the Facebook page, and emailed. 
  2. This competition is open to SA residents only. 
  3. The prize is not transferable.
  4. If you have won on SA Mom Blogs in the past 3 months you will not be eligible to win this competition. 

 

{Guest post} Should I hire a nanny?

Should I hire a nanny? muses South African mom blogger  Tracy Dawson, who blogs at Liam and Cole. 

The nanny conversation has been a hot topic in our home for a long time now. Hubby and I often discuss whether or not to keep our nanny or send Cole to creche and Liam to aftercare. Many have different views on the subject, as do I, and I’d like to share with you our experience. Use it, don’t use it. You will hopefully at least gain some perspective.

I returned to work with Liam when he almost 5 months old. He went to a day mother for the first 3 months. I wasn’t quite happy to take him out with me so early every morning, especially during winter, which was exactly the time that I had I returned to work. His day mother was good, and the only issue I had was having to take him out in the mornings.

 

 

Hubby’s dear grandmother recommended a lady who would be able to take care of Liam and stay with us. This sounded amazing to me. Having someone everyday and not having to take Liam out in the cold was all that mattered to me. She stayed with us during the week and went home on weekends. Coming home from work was a breeze as I came home to a clean, fed, and well looked after and happy baby, AND my house was clean – major bonus! What more could I ask for? To be honest though, when we hired her, we didn’t actually do a formal interview. I also didn’t sit with her and take her through everything that I needed her to do besides the basics on how to take care of Liam. I also didn’t ask any questions about who she is, where is she from and I didn’t get any references. I trusted this lady with my greatest asset, my son! The could have proven to be my biggest mistake. Fortunately, she was an honest hearted lady and took great care of our son. She was simply amazing!

 

should I hire a nanny

 

Sadly though, she was only with us for a year. Circumstances changed at home, and having had no experience with a creche going child,  I was pretty keen on sending Liam to a creche as I felt he needed to “socialize”. Being a first time mom, I just couldn’t wait for Liam to be doing all the big boy stuff, you know, learning, playing etc. It didn’t cross my mind that all of that would come in due time, in HIS time, when HE is ready. There was no reason to send him to creche at such a young age. He has the rest of his life to socialize and learn and play. Nonetheless we found what we believed was an amazing creche. But, after a couple of weeks of Liam being there, I really started to miss our nanny. Now having to drop Liam at school every morning, fetch him in the afternoons after work, and always being prepared for school everyday, just became a nightmare. Liam also started getting sick more often than usual and it mean’t me staying out of work more often, and spending alot more on doctor bills. So in addition to creche fees, we now had alot more medical bills and I still had to do all the chores of a stay at home mom when I arrived home from work everyday. It was tough, and it was tiring to say the least! I didn’t realize how good I had it, until I didn’t have it anymore.

 

 

Later, when Liam started “big school”, he didn’t quite enjoy aftercare at the school so we decided to hire a nanny once again, just to be home with him after school. I made contact with our ex nanny and she recommended someone. It worked out well. By the time I fell pregnant with Cole, our new nanny had been with us for a good few months and I was comfortable with her taking care of Cole. Cole came and regrettably there were many things that our nanny had to deal with back home. Which meant more staying out of work for me and hubby, which was one of the very things having a nanny was supposed to prevent. It left me frustrated and resentful. Any employer would be upset to pay someone to do a job but end up having to do the job themselves. At the end of the day, no matter the circumstances, I needed her there and she wasn’t there. That’s the thought that kept rolling through my mind. I then started reminding myself, that I trust this lady with my greatest assets, my kids! I started reminding myself of all the good she had done. And she too is a mother. Just like I and any other person, we all have “stuff” that we have to deal with from time to time, it was just a bummer that we had to suffer the consequences.

 

 

So in light of everything that’s happened along the way, my personal decision is To Nanny! Not everyone will have the same experience. In fact, many might have had a more positive experience and some not. But I constantly remind myself that my baby is warm and at home every morning, he is in his safe place and he is not exposed to other kids germs at a creche. Yes, no matter how much money you spend per month, to send your child to the best creche in town, everyday your child is exposed to other kids germs. Kids carry germs, it’s that simple. And if one kid is surrounded by many other kids daily, well, you can expect that your child will get sick from time to time, more often than not. Unless your child has an amazing immune system and he just doesn’t get sick very often (which most kids don’t).

So here’s a list of do’s and don’ts and pro’s and con’s when it comes to hiring a nanny:

Do’s:

~ Ask for a referral from a trusted source

~ Conduct a thorough interview, engage and ask many many questions

~ Be clear of your expectations upfront

~ Have a contract in place

~ Document EVERYTHING

~ Be good to your nanny – She is taking care of your greatest assets!

Don’t:

~ Take it for granted that your nanny will know what to do in any given situation at home

~ Hire someone who has not been recommended by a trusted source

~ Have a verbal contract

~ Let her work for longer than her working hours

Pro’s:

~ Less exposure to other kids germs therefore a less often sick child, hence less medical bills

~ Your child is at home and safe and well looked after

~ You can come home from a tiring day at the office and know that all you need to see to is dinner and homework

~ No need to pack in school bags and worry about sending milk and food and the stress of getting your little one ready in the mornings

~ You child’s carer is only focusing on your child, and not distracted by others

~ Your child may be taken care of the way you want, provided you make this very clear from the start

Cons:

~ Nannies get sick too, they have stuff to deal with too. So when your nanny does not pitch for work, you may find yourself very inconvenienced if you don’t have a support system

~ It can be expensive

~ Public transport issues can play a big role if your nanny is travelling from far. Be prepared for late coming. Speak about this upfront. Live-in nanny’s work out great to avoid this!

 

 

In my personal experience, the pro’s definitely outway the cons which inevitably makes it less expensive for me and so I will continue to keep my nanny employed. Cole hardly gets sick, in fact, off the top of my head, I can only think of one occasion when he was very sick and that was just a couple of weeks ago. I hope I was able to give you some perspective on the subject or at least given you an idea on what to keep in mind when hiring a nanny.

I would also love to hear your thoughts on this, To nanny, or Not to nanny! Please leave your comments below!

PS: For Cole’s outfit details, go to the Gallery page, or visit our Instagram page.

Tata for now

Tracy xx

 

Tracy has  been wanting to document her journey for such a long time and at the same time she’s fallen in love with the little local companies, especially the mommy owned ones. So what better way to incorporate both, other than a blog. In her blog she talks about her journey through motherhood with her kids, Liam and Cole while at the same showing you what our local momma owned companies have in store for you. 

Find her on her blog, Facebook and Instagram

{Guest Post}: Style it Like a Mother

This week’s post is from South African mom blogger Helene, who blogs at Prettybelle. 

 

motherhood is like survivorMotherhood is a little bit like Survivor. No, scratch that, Motherhood = Survival! It’s just like those poor people on some remote island – you have to outwit, outlast and outplay!

 

Adapt or DIE!

 

The only difference they lose weight and you… well let’s just blame it on baby!

 

When you have a baby everything changes. And if anyone, anyone tells you differently? They are… wait for it … lying to your face! (I told you motherhood is like Survivor)!

 

Your world shifts – you‘re constantly thinking about someone else’s needs; is she happy? Did she eat enough? Why isn’t she sleeping? Your body changes! And in the process you need to somehow still be a sexy, loving wife?

 

 

But the biggest change for me (except of course my clown feet) was What to Wear?

 

 

It may sound superficial, but by looking good, I feel great and in return I’m a better Mama.

 

But let’s face it, time is precious and pretty much non-existing!

 

 I learned a few tips and tricks along the way that I want to share with all you exhausted mamas out there.

 

Because somewhere hidden under a big pile of diapers countless wet wipes, and breastfeeding sessions there is still… a stylish YOU.

 

 

 

Survival Tip 1

Comfort is a style!

I can’t believe I’m typing this, but again motherhood changes everything. Yes, I strongly believe that comfort is NOT a style and if you ever see me walking in (comfortable) crocs, just know that I have completely lost my mind.

But it’s just not practical to wear the shortest skirt (flashing innocent strangers while strapping baby in the car seat).

My top 5 mama-is-comfy-and-have-style items:

  • Skinny jeans (research shows that you’re way thinner than you think you are, so get into those skinnies right now)!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sneakers (you can run in them, and that’s pretty much what Mamas do all day)!

 

 

 

 

 

 

T-shirts (they’re affordable and can be swooshed up in a jiffy)

 

 

 

 

 

Jumpsuits (you don’t have to plan an outfit, just jump in)!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cap or Beanie (for those bad hair days)!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Survival Tip 2

Do not dress like a Mum!

Mamas are ruling the world! The hottest accessory = a bump or cute kiddo walking next to an oh-so-stylish Mama beats a Forever New handbag any day.

 

Constant worrying and a lack of sleep (did I mention guilt)? May cause wrinkles and premature grey hair BUT NEWSFLASH, you’re not that old!

 

No time to put on make-up or even shower? Don’t worry!

 

 

Just do this:

 

  • Colour your hair

 

Make an appointment and make sure you attend. Baby will survive! Nice hair = instant facelift. Even if you don’t wash or style it, it will be a pretty colour, for at least 6 weeks!

 

 

 

 

  • Tint your eyebrows

 

If you don’t have the budget to micro blade (the new eyebrow technique that literally transform your eyebrows from the girl-next-door to Cara Delevingne), just tint it. It’s quick, affordable AND you can do it at any salon. I get my eyebrow-fix at Sorbet. Thanks Janet! It lasts up to 6 weeks.

 

  • Put on red lipstick

Sweep on that red lippie! Red lipstick, just like sunglasses, can change the world.

 

 

 

 

 Survival Tip 3

S = Style it!

  • Pair your favourite summer dress with tights – you don’t have to shave and it’s almost like wearing pants, meaning you won’t flash the car guards.
  • If it’s too hot for tights invest in hot pants. It’s like a mini ski-pant. Now you can be all flirty, without showing your bum.
  • Look out for jumpsuits – this is a mum’s staple! The only thing that takes time is going to the bathroom…
  • If you are a supermodel, stop reading. If not, scroll down. The rumour about that flabby part you get after a caesarean, well it’s true and no amount of sit-ups can fix that, but a high-wasted skinny jean = goodbye flab! No sit-ups required. Take that Britney!
  • Think outside the box! Match your T-shirt with a chiffon skirt, just for the hell of it! You’re going to look good and feel great and inspire a few other Mamas along the way.
  • Prints = mom’s best friend! Whether it’s plaid or floral this is a no-brainer. The busier the print – the less obvious the Purity

AND…

  • Match with kiddo!

The best accessory = baby!

 

Survival Tip 4

Don’t let your hair down!

 

Do this:

Milkmaid-braid

Look out for a vlog on how-to do my version of the milkmaid braid – coming up on Prettybelle – The Blog real soon. This is easy and the best part it’s out of reach for tiny, sticky, grabbing hands.

 

Top-knot

 

Every 2nd day is a top-knot day and that is fine!the higher the hair the closer you are to God.”  If you have an extra second, add a ribbon, for instant style alert.

 

 

 

 

Cover-up

When all else fails, just put on a beanie or a cap.

 

 

Motherhood is a life-changing experience, but with these tips you can Adapt, Outwit, Outplay and Outlast – in style!

 

 

Stay stylish

XOXO

 

Helene

 

 

 

 
About Helene:
 
I’m Just a Mama, married to the love of her life and completely besotted with her babygirl. I started Prettybelle with one hand, while breastfeeding. I believe life is all about the PrEtTy little moments in between. We must just embrace it – with style! 
 
Helene is a qualified journalist with a degree in B.A Journalism. She has a post graduate certificate in education (PGCE) and 9 years experience as kindergarten teacher. Currently Kids-editor at BELLA-magazine. She has a Diploma in Personal Styling at the acclaimed Wardrobe Academy, just because she’s a self confessed shopaholic.
 
 

{Guest Post} Helping a child through the death of a parent.

helping a child through the death of a parentToday’s reflective post on helping a child through a death of a parent was written by South African mom blogger Amelia Meyer, who blogs at Suddenly a Mom

 

My daughter was five when her biological mom (BM) died suddenly. Then, less than a year later, I came into her life as her new mom (a term she chose before we were even married). In the first few months of our marriage, there were tearful nights where she missed her BM, and we went through hours of gentle conversations about how she felt. Then, gradually, there were fewer tears and shorter conversations. She didn’t forget her BM. In fact, three years later, she still occasionally mentions her; usually in reference to a memory of visiting somewhere special or hearing a particular song. But, the real, raw sadness isn’t there anymore. And that was really our goal. Not to erase her BM with a replacement model. But, for our daughter to acknowledge the loss, work through the feelings, and move forward.

 

So, while neither my husband nor I are experts in this arena, I’d like to share what we’ve learnt from our experience and from a lot of the info that we read on it. There’s a handy breakdown of what to expect from bereaved children of different ages on this site.

 

  • death of a parent, stepmomThere are no rules. Everyone grieves differently and has their own way of wading through their emotions. So, while my daughter needed to cry and cuddle when she was sad, others may need to express themselves through play therapy, sport or writing their feelings down. As the parent, you may have to guide the process – in a time of such sadness, children and teens often don’t know how to express themselves. So, suggest different things until you both figure out what works for them.
  • Have a timeline in mind. Little ones are not able to harness their emotions or see context in the way that adults can. So, allow grief and mourning, but also encourage moving on. After a while, my daughter would only get teary and want to speak about her BM when it she was pushed to get to bed or being told to finish her salad. Although we could see the attempt at (very normal) manipulation, we had to be sensitive. I found that being empathetic and saying something like, “Shame, my love, it must be hard. Let’s talk about it when you’re finished your salad” worked best. Usually, she forgot all about it before the last leaf was gone.
  • Don’t suppress your own grief. As the biological parent, you’ve also lost someone that was once pivotal in your life. Take the time to work through your loss, not pushing it down to look strong for your children. This will only lead to an eruption somewhere down the line. Consider counselling if you’re feeling unable to work through the various stages and degrees of grief. Seeing your reasonable degree of grief may also help your kids to express their own, since you’re their example.
  • Recognise that feelings and behaviours that emerge may be related to the death of their parent, even when they seem totally random. So, problems with homework, tensions in their friendships, attitude changes, changes in sleep patterns, and so on may have more to do with the internal frustration of having feelings that seem too big to handle. Often, children struggle with unexpected emotions when a parent dies. They may feel guilty that they couldn’t save their parent. Or, they can feel angry at the parent for ‘leaving’. Your role is to acknowledge the feelings, reassure the child that there is nothing wrong with feeling this way, and recognise that this is their way of sifting through the many emotions swirling around inside. Don’t berate them or tell them not to feel a certain way.
  • As the new parent that fills the role of the parent that died, it is crucial to allow your son or daughter to retain some kind of relationship with their deceased parent. Don’t try to carbon-copy them and don’t pretend they didn’t exist. Never discourage the child to talk about them and never speak of the biological parent in a negative way. That’s not your place and it will only cause massive issues between you and your child in the future. One of the best gauges of how my daughter was feeling was a photo of her BM that I had framed and put in her room. At first, she loved it, even packing it with her when we went on holiday. Then, she took the initiative and put it in the top drawer of her desk. A few months later, she moved it down to a lower drawer. Eventually, she put it in the garage. Last week, I reminded her that she needed to sort her stuff in the garage out and donate what she wasn’t going to use to other kids. She said, “We can donate it all, I’ll just put that picture of {BM} aside so we don’t give it away”. She hasn’t forgotten; she’s just moved forward.
  • Take your child for counselling. Teens may be able to communicate with a formal counsellor, while little ones probably respond better to play therapy. You may be surprised at what comes out in these sessions, which give kids the opportunity and platform to express things that they may otherwise have bottled up.

 

Also, the advice I’ve found for children may be useful to the parents reading this. When grieving the death of a parent, children need to:

 

  • Get enough rest – sleep deprivation has been used as torture, it’s no joke. And, when the mind is racing and the tummy caught up in knots during a time of trauma, sleep can elude us all. It’s important that parents and children work hard at getting back to a place where they’re getting enough sleep.
  • Exercise – this is a tonic in venting pent-up frustrations, distracting the mind, and getting the endorphins surging. We live in Knysna, so we may head out onto the lagoon or go for a long walk on the beach (my favourite). It doesn’t have to be a formal sport.
  • Keep a journal – no-one ever has to see what you write, so you can be as angry, sad, scared or ‘crazy’ as you like. Getting those feelings out of your head and onto paper is half the battle. Write what you feel (e.g. “angry”) and then try to write why (e.g. “because I forgot to say goodbye to dad the morning that he died”).
  • Stick to routine – try to stay with what you (as an individual and a family) know. This decreases stress as there are fewer decisions to make (i.e. you don’t have to wonder how to keep busy and distracted tonight, because it’s Tuesday and you know that every Tuesday night is Rummy night).
  • Eat well – give your body something to work with. Don’t feed it on unhealthy comfort food, but nourish it with proper nutrition.
  • Make a memory box or photo album – celebrate the life of the parent that you lost and spend time making your memory very special.
  • Talk to someone you trust – this may be a teacher, family member, counsellor, or even God. It should be a mature person that can just listen, rather than trying to give you advice.
  • Remember that this wasn’t your fault – there was nothing you did wrong and nothing you could’ve done to change what happened. Even if there was something you could change (in a car accident, for example), their death was not your fault. Accidents happen, people get sick, the world isn’t always a great place. This was not your fault.

 

This is one of those things that we wish life didn’t hurl at us. It’s agonising, nothing short of devastating. But, it happens. And, when it does, we have ways of dealing with it that are better than others. This advice is just what worked for us and our family.

 

 

 

helping a child when their mom diesAmelia is a writer, editor and mom. She spends some of her (sometimes scarce) free time blogging about family life and volunteering in the community.

 

Blog – www.suddenlyamom.wordpress.com

Professional website – www.voxate.co.za

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

Pinterest: https://za.pinterest.com/ameliaduplessis/suddenly-a-mom-blog/

Instagram: @suddenlyamom

{Guest Post} Why I am OK with being a good enough parent

Today’s post is written by South African mom blogger Cherralle Alexander, from My Daily Cake who shares with us what it means to her to be a good enough parent. 

Being a good enough parent is about putting an end to pursuing perfection and comparative parenting. With constant inputs around what we ‘should’ be doing, and  even FOMO parenting (yes people, it is a thing), we need to draw the line. Good Enough Parenting to me is about letting go and being human. Don’t get me wrong, it is not being a negligent parent, it is about being a human parent.

good enough parentNot baking those cupcakes for class bakers day? That’s okay, you can buy them from the bakery, no one will notice and your kid will still be the hero in class. Don’t have wholesome home made snacks to for the school snack box?  That’s okay, throw in whatever you have, your kid will survive. Dinner is again toddler pasta from Woolworths, it’s good enough.  Let’s stop trying to be perfect, and be real people.

 

This is what being a good enough parent means to me

  1. Trust your intuition; you know your child.

There is a plethora of information out there on how to raise your child, however you need to use your own intuition to understand what will work for your family and not. Trust me, I can google the hell out of ANYTHING!! But at the end, I need to know if something makes sense for my kids or not.

2. Spending quality time together.

During the week things get manic, with work, school, and everything in between. However, carving out special family time is very important. Where you can enjoy and just have fun. I always try to not have too many things booked on weekends, so that we can just hang out as a family at home.

3. Don’t try to do it all.

The myth that we need to do it all, is only myth. You can do it all, but not all at the same time, at each point something has got to give.

As an example, if you are focused on your career ambitions, then let’s be honest, it will be incredibly difficult to do the cooking, cleaning, and all bed times with your kids ALL the time. Yes, you will do some of these things most times probably, but not all time. This is my trade off, and I accept these and work with them.

4. Letting go of perfect.

Lower the standards. Do not believe everything you see on Pinterest 🙂 The pursuit of perfect parenting will come at a cost of enjoying the journey of being a parent. For me this was a hard lesson with my second child, where I expected my life to remain like how it was with my first child. I had to accept that each of my kids are individuals, I cannot expect a copy and paste, and I needed to let go of my expectations to connect and enjoy my family.

In my journey as parent I learn new things each day about my kids, my family and guidance from other moms and I am truly loving the journey (cannot say I am not right :))

My pledge is to be a responsible parent, and to enjoy my kids…they will only be this young once. What is your pledge to yourself and your kids?

 

About Cherralle:

I am a wife and mom, living and working in Johannesburg. I work full time and I love the fulfilment that it brings to my life.  I have two daughters, and I consider it the ultimate privilege being their mom.

my daily cake is a personal blog, where I mainly speak about my life as a full time working mom.

https://www.instagram.com/cherralle/

https://twitter.com/Cherralle_/

https://mydailycake.blog