Product Review Roundup: Four Moms Try Out Chela Preg

Deep within the womb of a pregnant woman, a little heart beats. A little baby is taking in everything that their mother eats. To protect herself and grow her baby, the pregnant lady takes a prenatal vitamin to ensure that the baby gets every vitamin and mineral it needs to build a healthy body, and to care for her body too. We’ve already looked at an overview of Chela Preg, as well as a more detailed look at what’s inside their supplements. Today we look at three South African mom bloggers who tested out these pills. What did they think? And was there any reaction in their bodies? Let’s take a look.

I thought I’d start off with quoting Catherine, who blogs at Boots in the Big City, and you can read her full post on Chela Preg here

I’ve always been a fairly healthy person and always try to eat a relatively healthy, balanced diet. Since falling pregnant though, I’ve become a lot more aware of what I’m putting in my body and making sure that my little bean is getting enough vital nutrients to help them grow and develop. I’m still all about moderation and wouldn’t be giving up my chocolate or rusks anytime soon, but when it comes to meals, I give more thought to the ingredients on my plate. The fact that everything I eat goes straight to my baby quite simply blows my mind! Despite all of this, pregnancy is the most nutritionally demanding time in a women’s life and it is difficult to ensure that you are getting the required amounts of iron, omega 3 and folic acid that are so crucial for your baby’s development. Being a vegetarian makes it even more of a challenge for me to get all the nutrients from the foods I’m eating and so including a good prenatal vitamin is a vital part of my daily routine. 

I think she really sums up the why of prenatal vitamins, how important it is to put the right stuff in your body while you are pregnant. 

She also took some stunning pictures of the beautiful bottles and vitamins. 

Belinda, from Tassles and Tigers, took the box along to her gynaecologist for a professional opinion.  Read her full post here. The thing that she was impressed with was the way the tablet split the iron and calcium between a morning and evening pill.

Although it may seem like a schlep to remember taking your prenatal vitamins in the morning and the evening, and two of them at that, there’s a very good reason for this and it’s not that they couldn’t fit all the vitamins and minerals into one tablet.

During pregnancy, your baby needs both calcium and iron. Calcium of course for healthy teeth, bone, muscle and heart development and iron for brain development. Most prenatal vitamins contain both of these. This is great, but not many people know that calcium actually interferes with the absorption of iron.  Which is not great at all as iron deficiencies have been linked to anaemia during pregnancy and even autism in babies (not my claim – just passing on speculative information that may or may not be accurate here).

To solve this issue, Chela-Preg splits the calcium and iron into morning and evening tablets.  This also allows them to include the Omega 3 in the evening tablet, where it is less likely to cause or worsen pregnancy nausea.

Kim, who blogs at Muller Kids, (read her post here) had this to say.

I love the packaging of the supplements, and that there is a morning and evening dose. It’s also quite reasonably priced and I think it’s great value for money.

Lastly, Sophie, who blogs at Mumming and Modeling,  shares with us in her post here how she felt better and how it is more cost effective:

I just liked the idea of the tablets being formulated specifically (I’m a nerd like that, sometimes) and I honestly didn’t know if I’d feel any different after changing them over. And, of course, we’ll probably (hopefully?) never know if any one brand of vitamin does any harm, or has any benefits, more than the other. However – I can say I’ve felt pretty good since using it (who knows if that’s a placebo effect?) AND it’s cheaper than the leading brands – and I mean, MUCH cheaper – the leading brand of prenatal supplements costs R208 per 30-day pack. Chela Preg Trimester 123 costs R600 for the entire 9 months or so of pregnancy. It’s a no-brainer, for cost effectiveness if nothing else.

 

So what was the physical effect on the SA mom bloggers?

 

 

  1.  Take morning supplements with your food and other tips

Kim, who had not been taking any prenatal supplement up until now, shared this:

 

I found that I had to take the morning dosage after I’d eaten something. The one time I didn’t, I was nauseated for most of that day. The evening dosage has a nice softer coating, making it easier to swallow. 

Catherine agrees about taking your morning tablet after food: 

My morning vitamins often make me feel quite queasy so I’d recommend you take it with food or after your breakfast and definitely not on an empty stomach! I do like these evening capsules as they are much smaller and coated which makes them a lot easier to swallow.

Sophie, who doesn’t like taking tablets, has this to suggest:

There are 4 tablets to take a day in trimester 3. This is, admittedly, a slight struggle for me – I had to have the copper loop inserted at 12 weeks pregnant, as I couldn’t handle taking the mini-pill at the same time every day – so these were a bit of a nightmare to get used to! I found placing them next to the glass cupboard helped, so that I’d see them getting my morning juice, and in the evenings getting my dinner drink. So far so good!

2. No constipation and reflux

Says Catherine: 

As with all supplements, there can be side effects and a well-known one for prenatal vitamins is constipation (this is often from the increased iron) but I luckily haven’t suffered from this at all despite having to take additional iron tablets. 

Belinda agrees:

I did, however, have one instant observation, which was the complete absence of pregnancy constipation.  (Let’s not beat around the bush and talk about keeping it regular etc.)  I can only assume this is due to the specifically low-constipating and low-nauseating chelated iron, Ferrochel (the trademark ingredient that lends the supplement its name).

Sophie says:

I am now 2 weeks into trimester 3 of Chela Preg. So far, I’m liking it. Now, I’m no scientist, so I can’t claim that slightly less reflux is down to the different medication, or if it’s just a moving baby. If you believe in coincidence, then maybe it’s just that… or maybe not.

3. Energy levels are better

Kim says:

I haven’t been using the Chela-Preg™ trimester pack for a month yet but so far so good. Baby is growing well and I haven’t felt this great in a while…

I didn’t experience any negative side effects and only really enjoyed a slight increase in my energy levels and the knowledge that my baby is getting the vitamins and minerals it needs during this specific stage of pregnancy.

Catherine says: 

Another benefit from taking a good prenatal vitamin is that your energy levels should increase because your body is getting all the nutrients it needs – and yes, I know pregnancy in general is rather tiring but can you imagine if you not getting enough of what your body needs??

Sophie says:

I can say I’ve felt pretty good since using it. 

4. Less “pregnancy brain”

Belinda had another benefit for us.

Finally, and this could be purely because I have gotten used to it or stopped trying altogether, but I do seem to have better use of my brain of late.  That’s a reduction in pregnancy brain, for anyone who doesn’t know. 

 

So there you have it, folks. Our bloggers have tested out Chela Preg and found it beneficial not only to their baby but also to themselves.

These packs are available at DisChem, Clicks and leading pharmacies. Their recommended sales price is R211,72 (for Trimester 1),  R230,68 (for Trimester 2) and  251,22 (for Trimester 3). 

This post was sponsored by Chela Preg.

 

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. 

 

South African Mom Blogs – November Roundup and Linky

There are some incredible posts this month from South African mom bloggers. We have the posts on timeous events such as adoption, premature babies, water restrictions and the Paris attacks.

I think though, the posts this month that really touched me are those dealing with loss and anxiety. I think something that Stacey said about how it is those moments in between that the anxiety creeps up that just makes so much sense to me. The loss of a baby is also something devastating and those posts brought tears to my eyes.

We also have some seasonal stuff at the end.

Please note that there will be no roundup for December. Instead we will just have a linky for the best posts for the year. So start thinking of your best post now!

A lot of these posts come from the Facebook page – please post there if you want to be featured!

Choices

motherhoodChastin has a heartfelt post about Giving Up My Dream Career about how she had to choose between her pregnancy and her studies.

I know there are many woman who face the same decision maybe not in the same way and I want to know you are not alone and that whatever decision you make, if you know in your heart that it was made with the best intention or hope for your family do not regret it and never let anyone make you feel bad for having to make it.

Some woman choose to give up a career completely and stay at home with their children, these woman are often made to feel lazy or that they are not as important because the do not work or would not be able to if they need to at some point and it is so incredibly wrong.

We as woman can only make the best decisions at heart for our family.

Personally I actually don’t see it as giving up my dream it’s more like I formulated a new one, a new journey and a new path, a path that is mine a path that I cherish.

Yelling

Zayaan has a post I think we all can relate to: Confessions of an angry Mommy.

I’m the adult, I should have more control over my reactions than a 2-year-old. I’m trying to be more mindful of my short temper and my reactions. I’m trying to speak calmly even though I may not feel it. To not be angry about the lotion on the sheets. To not lose it when I’ve asked him not to hit the blinds for the 500th time in a row and he’s purely being defiant.

It’s hard. I’m not going to succeed every day. But today showed me that it is possible to be a calmer mommy. And if I can be that at least 80% of the time then hopefully I won’t mess this kid up.

Baby Proofing

If you need tips on this topic go over to Mariette’s post. She has a cool infographic too.

Routines

Want to know How to get more than one kid to bed -STAT- with your sanity still intact? Read Tracey’s post. I liked her suggestion about the timer!

Proud Mama Moments

Laura had two heartfelt posts on her two eldest children and how they made her proud.

In I am raising a man but I am not ready she says:

My first born son is walking closer and closer to the edge of the nest, he is looking out, opening his wings, waiting and watching and calculating when he is going to spread his wings and fly. I am not ready for that moment. I thought I would be! I am the mom telling other moms “your job is to prepare them to leave one day”.  While he is not ready to leave just yet, that moment is closer than I am ready for!

In The time my girl child blew my mind (and her own) she says:

For so long she believed she couldn’t. I struggled to understand her. Her teachers couldn’t teach her. She was, in so many ways, walking against the oncoming current.

But here we are – dancing solo and 6th in the grade and she has done it on her own.

World Adoption Day

Sharon has some frightening statistics of orphans in #WorldAdoptionDay – South African Context – My Context.

Today, I remember our birth moms…. I remember our placement days, I remember the contradictions of it…. the joy and the grief, the pain and the awe, a life broken and a family created.

Melinda writes How adoption has changed my life

Against all odds I have two gorgeous, funny, smart, incredible children, who I fought for. I stood up against all the negative comments, I stood up against family and friends dissuading me from going that route. With sheer determination and gritted teeth I did it. And I would have moved heaven and earth if I needed to. 

I am a mother. Thanks to adoption. I am where I am, because of adoption. I was, and am, an incredibly strong and resilient woman who did, and can, move mountains to achieve what I want. 
I know all of this to be true. Because of the best thing I ever did. To believe that blood doesn’t make us family. Love does.

 

Relationships
Cassan writes: Assumption: The Marriage Killer in which she shares her own experience and tips.
 I remember one night, my husband and I were chatting and I started assuming the worst again. My husband ever so gently, yet firmly said to me; “This has got to stop, what you are saying is hurtful and not true!” I immediately broke into tears, because he was right! My words, my actions, the lies I was believing in my heart were hurting him, and they were hurting our marriage! What a wake-up call! I knew then and there enough was enough! I wanted a strong and healthy marriage based on truth, based on love, based on believing in the best of each other, and most importantly based on the promises of God. I knew that I had to get to the root of my unhealthy way of thinking, by addressing the issue! Ever since doing that, it has added so much strength to our marriage, and in turn has blessed us in so many ways!

 

World Prematurity Month
I don’t know what to extract from here – there are so many precious memories. Click over and go and read her post.
Chastin also shares her experience here: World Preemie Day
To all the moms who have had a preemie you will know what incredible fighters they are, they are truly amazing and the preemie journey is unlike any other, if you are expecting a Preemie or end up having a premmie please know that you and your precious baby will get through it, ask questions. touch your baby hold them let them know you are there and fill their hearts with your love until you walk out that door with them in your arms and get to take them home.

 

Loss 
Read Anastasiya’s post The Lost One.
I knew of my expectancy for five days. I was excited for a few hours. I will remember this for the rest of my life. I can’t say I’m over it completely. How can you forget a moment in life where you were experiencing the start & the end of a life – inside you?
Heather talks about the loss of her baby in Dear Jamie
We were just shy of 22 weeks together when this picture was taken and not long after is when everything fell apart. Our time together ended and I went through the darkest time in my life. It was something nobody could prepare me for and something that has still not healed completely. I tried this year to work through the latent grief. It has been 7 whole years and I feel like it is time that I start to let go and forgive myself. I still blame myself for so many things. Although I know that we did the right thing for you, it is still difficult to come to terms with. I can hope that I have started to move towards more positive thoughts. I no longer only want memories of you to be painful and I am certain you would not want me to be unhappy. It seems impossible not to feel the pain when looking back, but it was not all bad. You prepared me in a way to be a mother to your siblings.

Water Restrictions 

Lots of useful tips from Sharon on You don’t need to shower or bath in groups to be water wise.

A humourous post from Cassie on her daughter’s take on the situation: Water Restrictions to the Extreme

She decided that restricting her bath water to the actual bath was… well… so not going to cut it. Her logic of cause was that now she can clean the floor. So she diligently poured out her bath water…

Melissa also has some useful tips: Ten simple ways to save water I had to laugh at this one:

You don’t have a pool? (Lucky you. When that water goes below the weir, it’s over. No more pump. Hello green.)

Paris Attacks

Belinda writes To Be a Child Again

We have not learnt anything from history. We’re still killing each other. Hating. Hate in the way that horrific acts are committed but then also in how we respond to these tragedies. How we gang together on social media and judge and bully and try and prove that OUR opinions are the best or the most just. It’s all so pointless that it makes my head hurt.

War on terror doesn’t work – this has been proved after over a decade of trying to fight it. But being naive and thinking that a great circle of love will heal the world doesn’t seem to me like a decent plan either. I suppose I just want honesty. For politicians and religious leaders and the common man to engage in open discussions and come up with a new way of solving this problem and this conflict. Perhaps that’s too much to ask.

An post reminding us that each victim was a human and also an inspirational video from Cassey: Scattered thoughts

We need each other. We need to honour those who have been lost. And we need to remember that we are all humans, with quirks and foibles, with love, with passions, with people who we make the world a brighter place for. Choose love, choose hope, be love, be hope.

Anxiety

Cassan shares her experience: Anxiety – the black hole.

Often we tend to try and control everything that is thrown our way. Because we feel that it is our burden to carry alone, we soon feel overwhelmed, and anxious because we are trying so desperately to hold on for dear life without falling apart! When I put the focus on to God, and what he can do in and through my situation, it immediately takes the pressure off of myself. Because I know that he is concerned with the details of my life, and he wants the best for me and he most certainly wants the best for my situation. When I take a moment to sit quietly with God, I surrender every anxious thought, because frankly I am so tired of feeling anxious! I then force myself to focus on Him, to breathe slowly, and I ask Him to carry me through this chaos!

Stacey also shares her experience: Panic at the disco. At the library. And just anywhere really.

I don’t have panic attacks when the clock is ticking.

No, I have panic attacks in between deadlines. When my brain goes offline, and my body decides its safe to release all that pent-up adrenaline in a gush, like a dam bursting. So I’ll be sitting on a beach drinking a pina colada while my heart thumps so hard it feels like that chest-bursting scene in Alien.

Please go and give  Sharon some support: Sell crazy some place else.. we’re all stocked up here!

Even in the moments when I thought I was living, I was stressing and worrying about the next deadline, the next task, my to do list, the never ending list of requirements that are placed on me (often by myself) at any given time. I’ve become so obsessed with being a great adult that I lost myself as a person.

Blogging

Sharna has a bit to say about blogging on her blogging anniversary. Happy Ist Birthday , Legally B.

The truth is, blogging is not rubbish, it’s significant. Maybe not to everyone, but to someone. I don’t think any blogger sets out to please everyone. For most bloggers it’s a creative outlet. It’s a virtual memory box for many parenting bloggers. A way for parents to connect and realise that your trials and tribulations are my trials and tribulations as well. A place to go for comfort or a laugh. A place where you’re safe knowing that you’re not alone, another mother somewhere out there also has a screaming toddler attached to her leg.

A bit of humour from Maz: 3 of the best instagram filters to hide the nervous breakdown you deserve.

When you are unshowered, sitting in your pajamas in a pile of laundry, drinking your coffee that has been reheated for the 5th time and scrolling through Instagram and you see someone’s gorgeous filtered photo and feel crap about yourself – let common sense give you a smack on the side of the head, pull yourself together and move on.

Go and give Chevonne a high five for finishing 50 000 words in one month! Yay! I did it! #NaNoWriMo

Holidays

Great tips for travelling from Melissa: Flying with Children

 

Christmas

There are a few bloggers doing some series like Pregnant in Cape Town, Miss Cass Lee and Harassed Mom where you can pick up some useful tips and shopping suggestions. How cute is the sack and busy bag that Eleanor is making – check it out in PiCT’s post here. (I am buying one for Nicky!)

christmas-felt-treesA cute felt Christmas fine motor activity I found from Nadia: Fine Motor Sorting Christmas trees. She also has a cool Advent calender.

And while we are crafting: here’s a slime recipe from Tracey.

Anastasiya put together a list of what moms really want this Christmas. Bad Mama: Christmas Wishlist. She put together a survey. At the top of the list was “Me Time”.  But as it turns out, what she really wants is….

Was the question about what I wanted for Christmas? It seems this is what I want. This is all that I want.
I want my kids to be happy.
I want my kids to be proud of me.
I want my kids to look at me and say “You’re the best mommy.”
I want my kids to look at me and say “I know you’re doing your best, mommy.”
I want my kids to look at me and say “You’re okay and we’re okay, don’t worry so much.”

 

Link up yours (or your favourite) posts for the month:

SA Mom Blogs October Roundup and Linky

It’s been an eventful month for South African Mom Bloggers. We’ve had two new babies (Jonelle and Sian – congratulations!) and two moms battling with weaning (Mandy and Chastin). There have been some inspirational parenting posts. There have been comments on the student uprisings.

Most of these posts are drawn from the Facebook page.  I do feel like I’ve missed a lot this month, however, so please use the linkup below and link up your (or other’s) best posts for this past month.

Birth

Jonelle has had her son! And it has been a wild ride. The day I met my son… not your regular birth story.

Also good news for Sian: We got the call!

Parenting

Cassan has a touching story of how she handled her colicy baby: My Colic Story

Malakai was crying  one day for about 5 hours, and I was tired of rocking him, tired of his screaming . I sat down on a chair whilst holding him. I broke down. I started praying to God “God out of all the things I asked not to happen , you let it happen”  . I cried from the pit of my being, I felt disappointed in myself, in my situation, I felt weak, I felt like a failure! I let it all out!

In that moment I felt this sense of calm, comfort and peace like no other!

I clearly heard God whisper into my heart “ It shouldn’t always be easy Cas, especially when you-re raising a legend!” . I started crying even more.

I realized that I let the anxiety, the fear, the disappoint speak so loudly into my heart that it was crippling me emotionally and effecting my confidence as a mother.

Soon after that Malakai fell asleep on my chest. I felt my inner spirit rising up and saying “Bring it! Whatever it takes to raise a legend, I will do it!”

A few days later Malakai’s Colic cleared!

I let it go, faced it head on and then it ran!

find-goldMargot has such an interesting post on School Sports Day about how her son actually did not want help to finish the race.

I think Richie has figured that he is going to come stone last but already, at barely 5, he doesn’t care. He has also figured that it feels better for him, inside, to be allowed to do his thing, his way, without the rules being changed for him. He doesn’t want our tears or our too-loud applause – something his teacher has always understood instinctively about him. He is not a tragedy, he just can’t really run very well.

That’s why everybody emoting all over the place over that one picture of Oscar P as a kid being carried home from the swimming pool by his friends is so annoying. It’s not a testimony to the kindness of children, it’s not a message to adults worldwide, (plus the dude turned into a killer lest we forget), it’s just a couple kids dragging their friend home the most efficient way, because fokkol legs. The closer we are to the situation, the less we see only, overwhelmingly the disability and the more the elephant shrinks. I wish Richie may more elephant-shrinking years of school sports days. Pretty soon (if he isn’t already) he’ll just be that wonky kid, alongside the cross-dresser and the kid with autism and the kids who don’t match their parents’ skin colour, and so on, and so on. And that gives me calm.

A good one on appreciating the moments with our offspring comes from Nicky in Finding Sunlight.

Often when I reflect on parenting skills and finding more time to enjoy my son I find myself thinking about something my Dad’s mom told me before she died. She had three sons, Nookie (my dad), Peter and Marc. Tragically one Easter weekend Nookie and Peter were killed in a terrible accident and our family lived with the scars of this for the rest of their lives but no one as much as my gran and she often recalled their antics as kids but the one thing that she always said was that she wished she had done more, in broad terms I think she wished she had slowed down and spent more time with her boys as they got older and moved into adulthood and I think that that is a feeling that comes with hind sight and the trauma of losing your children, not just your child but two in one full swoop. I cant begin to image the pain of that loss, despair and emptiness that comes with losing your child, the thought along horrifies me and having grown up with that life is fragile in the back of my mind I really want to try harder to live every moment with my son and introduce him to the world but also to know my child and for him to know he is deeply loved.

Tertia shares her proud moments of her son Max’s achievements in All the feels.

That feeling there – that feeling of being so excited/hopeful/joyful/elated that it is almost scary, that is the feeling I get when I see Max do things that might seem completely normal / insignificant to outsiders. ..

Life is hard, we know that.  It is hard for everyone, no one is exempt from the knocks, bruises and challenges of life.  But at the end of the day, as a parent what you want is for your child to hopefully navigate life with as few bumps, bruises and challenges as possible.  Life is hard enough with having the deck stacked against you, no matter how good or bad that deck is. 

Bring out the tissues and read Loving a child after losing the first

I guess time will heal all things, I just need to be patient and kinder to myself – motherhood is tough enough without putting added pressure on myself. But I do wish that just for a moment I could go back to my 19 year old self and shake her, tell her not to be so afraid, tell her that her daughter would change her life and to just go with it, things turn out ok in the end. Most of all, I would tell her to sing the silly songs, play the funny games, dance the ridiculous dances – if it makes a child smile or giggle or coo, how could it ever possibly be lame?

Parenting Inspirational

Kim has such a feel good post about how we shouldn’t judge another mom: Judging the Springbok Mommy. Kim also had some super photo quotes which I’ve inserted in this blog post.

parenting-quoteWho are we to judge that person hastily ending a call while driving or texting at the red robot (don’t get me wrong I’m all for phone free cars) but hey don’t judge, we never know why and as for that tot that’s roaming the back of the car! Don’t judge ( once again I’m all for safety comes first and buckling up) but who am I to judge, the kiddies belt may have broken, mom may not be aware of the tot that escaped the red button, or a number of reasons that this may occur and hopefully not often in the future. Last but not least, who are we to judge that mommy whose tot is having a total tantrum, crying fit or what seems a spoilt brat moment. You never know if you will be in that situation, where others googley-eye  you out.

type-of-personTHAT child

This was an eye opening post for me. Try seeing a difficult child from the parent’s perspective.

Chastin writes: Encouraging Empathy and Understanding: Being the Parent of THAT child.

It is not easy being the THAT child or the parent of THAT child…. It is incredibly heart-breaking and I only wish that more parents would encourage their children to be more empathetic and to give a helping hand and support instead of teaching them to shun and ignore, how can one expect the world to be a better place if you do not encourage this behavior in children from the start!

South Africa/ Parenting/ #FeesMustFall

The student unrest are written about from a parenting perspective: My job: mommy/ curator of the world.

In a way, it was all muddled together for me yesterday and I was just feeling a bit overwhelmed and despondent about the state of South Africa and what it might mean for raising a child here. But today I remember an important fact – I’m going to be Harley’s mommy. I’m going to be the one to put these debates into a context for her. I’m going to be the one who puts her to sleep for her naps and for bedtime. I’m going to be the one who picks out her school, who ensures she gets a quality education. I will be the one who can curate the world for her, at least during her formative years.

Shaney has a post The Price Tag on Education in South Africa

In many countries education is a priority but here education is for sale. It has a hefty price tag on it and only those that are privileged can afford it while others are standing outside the window drooling for a piece of the cake.

Adoption

For those considering this path, a must read is Sharon’s The part of adoption nobody told me about.

I’m talking about the trauma caused by the severing of the emotional bonds between a birth mother and her child. I’m talking about the long term effects that trauma will have on the child. I’ve seen it now, first hand, in both my children. And I’ve seen it in varying degrees in all of my friends adopted children too.

Weaning

Two moms dealing with this right now: (go and give them support)

Chastin: Mixed feelings, starting the weaning process.

Mandy: How many times can the mommy heart break?

As my mommy heart breaks today and I cry as I try to prepare myself for the week ahead; I want so desperately to lean into arms of understanding, to hear that everything will be ok, to believe that my baby is not going to hate me or no longer need me, to hear that I am not the very worst mommy ever, to hear that one day she will look at me with the same love and trust again after I break this trust.

Homeschooling

Jolene answers some of the many questions that get thrown at her: Let’s Get Real: Homeschooling FAQ. As an example, I’ve extracted her answer to the question “What about Socialisation?”

This is, by far, the most asked (and hated) question. I have yet to have a conversation with a non homeschooler without this question being asked. What amuses me the most is that this question is always asked while we are at an extra mural. Fifi and Pixie dance 3 days a week (between the two of them), Fifi’s best friend does acro with her, so she sees her friend at least twice a week. Koko is a Cub Scout and avid soccer player, so sees his friends at least twice a week (this is not counting the friends he has at dancing and swimming). Their friends are not all their age, they have friends who are both younger and older than them.

Breast Cancer Awareness

October is breast cancer awareness month and Chastin shares her memories of her grandparents who passed away from cancer.  Cancer Awareness and a very sad month

Unhappy marriage

Wenchy has a powerful post on the devastating effect of alcohol in Friday.

The brown bottle would come on Fridays. It ate colours and stole hope.  It broke promises and told lies. It was not a magical brown bottle. It only did what it’s master instructed.  It showed no mercy to the mom and her children.

MomAgain@40 (Karen) has a useful and informative post How do you know that you are caught in a domestic violence situation? She has a list of questions you should ask yourself if you think you are in this position.

 

Hearing Loss

Chevone featured on Maz’s blog in What I wish you knew about hearing loss.

What I am sharing with you today is the unspoken truths. You won’t find this on the cover of your national papers, you won’t find mainstream schools going out of their way to accommodate a child with a hearing impairment, you won’t find our government making an effort to create awareness about hearing loss or the fact that some drugs are ototoxic – resulting in hearing loss. We won’t find all government departments working together to better facilitate best outcomes for a child or an adult diagnosed with a hearing loss. NO! What you find is people, diagnosed with a hearing loss, having to navigate this journey with very little guidance and support.

Humour

pregnanttshirt-300x295Amanda has a good take on a more realistic package for brand to give pregnant moms in Rethinking the Bounty Bag.  It was very funny and included this picture (left) which kind of sums up those intrusive questions at that time.

Also read Faziela’s post Things I never thought I’d do until I became a mom. I can totally relate to “throw a towel over peed sheets and continue sleeping”.

Poetry

This is a good one from Ursula that sums up how tense we can get…

BREAKING BAD

Every internal string
Wound
unbearably tight
Stretched and aching
Poised for flight
Would that a hand
could strum
tension from the fibre
release a note of music
from strained
to breaking
wire

Blogging

If you’re wondering how to best present those blog drops, Sharon has a useful post on how to build a light box.  How to Improve Your Blog Photography.

Some thoughts on getting the most out of Twitter from Cassey: Twitter is dead? Really?

September Roundup and Linky

September is the beginning of a new season, spring, and the inspirational writing from South African mom bloggers keeps coming! So sit back and have a good read of some of the cream of this month’s postings. (mostly taken from the Facebook page)

This month we look at the gender of the child, keeping a child back at school and mommy meltdowns. We look at a variety of moms from the working, to stay at home to the work from home.

Some bloggers have some supportive words on marriage for their other halves.

We have sad posts of death and disease. I have to admire a blogger who turns bad news (cancer) into a post about useful herbs and spices to help.

There is so much other stuff.. but you will just have to read it all.

Oh and congrats Shaney on your baby. 🙂

(Hey and if you haven’t yet joined Mommy’s Me Time – a Facebook group like a blog reader- what are you waiting for?)

 

Pregnancy

Shanay has a Bittersweet Goodbye to Pregnancy – about the things she liked and that which she didn’t. I love the photos in this post as well.

Birth

She has also written about That moment I met my son. Congratulations, Shaney, on your bundle of joy!

For pregnant moms there’s a useful post: Packing Your Hospital Bag from Sharna.

Leigh has an interesting post on Thoughts on supporting young or vulnerable mothers or mothers to be. She basically makes the point that a young, unmarried or unprepared pregnancy often results in the grandparents taking over and disempowering the mother.

NICU

Sharna has a useful post  Surviving the NICU.

Parenting

Robyn has this very useful post: What every parent needs to hear.There’s a lot of good meat in this post, you need to read the whole thing. I liked

You don’t have to be the perfect parent, as long as you strive to parent YOUR child as perfectly as you know how. It isn’t a competition or a race, it’s the delicate process of growing a human. Your garden. Your flower. How you make it bloom and  grow is up to you.

Love this post from Cassie: Job Description of  a Mom. She has some quotes which I’m sure you’ve read before, but an interesting conclusion.

And then just when I figured I had this whole Mom Job down to a semi sane, fine art, Ladybug decided to have a moment.  In my (infinite) wisdom I asked her what I needed to do to stop this moment – her moment included her sitting in the passage with her knees pulled up and her arms hugging her knees. Her response was simple… “Make me happy”

Such a simple wish, such a simple instruction, such a simple job description… Make me happy. And just like that Ladybug has summed up what being a Mom is actually about, its about making ME happy. How you choose to get there, how you choose to do it is completely up to you, only you have the manual on how to get there, what methods work for you or don’t work for you. But the outcome is the same… make me happy!  The me can be Ladybug, the me can be me, whoever, its about making me happy!

Some lessons from Tanya on Why Danish parents and kids are so happy

Well done Cassan on this publication on 1africa: The distracted mom

These distractions are stealing precious moments from my son, as well as from me. It burdens me because I know that time with your little ones are so precious, and you will never get them back. Therefore I intend to fight for them, to protect them, honour them and to savour them!

Gender

Leigh has an interesting reflection on having boys: Boys will be boys.

I may have longed for what I thought was going to make me “more” happy, but the reality is that I couldn’t be happier than with what I have now, right in front of me in the form of two gorgeous little boys. So often we think we know what we want, what we need and what we will be “better” at, but the reality is that God knows us better than we know ourselves. He knew I needed these boys and that if ever there was a moment of hind site it’s now, realizing these boys are the perfect fit for me.

School

Sharon has a post How to know if you should keep your child back a year. As an ex Grade One teacher who watched certain younger kids being pushed through, and not coping either academically or emotionally, I would say if you’re thinking about this, go and read her post, especially if your child is born towards the end of the year.

Mommy meltdown

I wrote a post on this (Which is worse: A Mommy Meltdown or a Toddler Tantrum?).

If you’re having a mommy meltdown, take heart: you are not the only one. Just remember to learn from it so that you can do better than a tantrum toddler next time!

Also a great post from Cassan: When your toddler brings out the toddler in you.

I  want him to understand it – the emotions he is feeling, and I want him to learn how to not completely break and fall apart in those overwhelming moments. This I know, will take time, it will take patience, and it will take a whole of grace, and Jesus!

Marriage

Wenchy has a touching tribute to her husband on If I should fall behind, wait for me.

I may not be your first love, but I suspect you kept the best for last.

I like this post from Alet on Marriage Defined in 3 Words – she has collected many from the humourous to the profound. Then she gives her own advice:

My three words: “Love Him Kindly”

Being humble, gentle and patient requires an act.  There is action in loving.  There is action in choosing to be true to the promised you made on your wedding day.  Giving advice is the easy part.  Living out the marriage advice is a whole different story.

Health

After some bad news, Amelia has this useful post Fighting Cancer from the kitchen. Really interesting info on the benefits of some herbs and spices.

Maz has some tips for burnout on Running On Empty: Burnout Warning Signs and Tips

On the days we are running on empty. On the days we just don’t think we have it in us to read one more story, play one more game or do one more load of washing. On the days when we think everyone else has it together. On the days we’re sure anyone else would do this job better. On the days where it is too hard to get out of bed… Just know that you are not alone.

Death

Our Dad blogger, Mark, writes about the death of his mother in Being Single, Thinking Double: Death in the Family.

I was sitting in the waiting rooms when the doctor called and said “I think you need to come in right now”. I walked into the room to find her in such distress, she was struggling to breath, I could see the pain and fear in her eyes, she could not speak. I took her hand and said “it’s ok mom, you can go, we will all be ok” her breathing slowed, she closed her eyes and she was gone…

She remains in my heart and I am certain in my psyche, her kind manner and unbelievable strength especially through her illness will always have a strong influence on me. I know her spirit is present in my own daughter who, though never having met her, carries her it with her in her heart and soul.

Inspirational

Paul has a good one on The Ebb and Flow of Life

I still believe that we write our own scripts, that no matter what curveballs life may throw at us we still have a choice as to how we will react. You know the old “when life gives you lemons” shpiel? And really, the most difficult part of getting out of a slump is simply tricking your own mind into doing so.

Sharon has a good post for  us stressed out moms: I fail … all the time and I’m trying to learn to #Let Go. She has a link to a good video in the post.

The overwhelming pressure to be everything to everyone and failing to achieve the impossible.

What the hell, it’s time to let it go!

Another one on this topic from Mandy: There is value in no, there is power in yes.

The message from me today is this, you absolutely have to know when to say no. It is a word with intrinsic value that will help you maintain control of your own life. If somebody is going to disappear from your life because suddenly you aren’t agreeing to do anything and everything for them anymore, that person can’t disappear fast enough, they are NOT somebody you need in your life. But trust your instincts, and when something with the potential to change your view of the world comes along – say yes.

Belinda has a post I love There is Beauty in the Breakdown. 

Because here’s the thing: I only found my true voice once I’d lost my Mom. For years I’d wanted to write, but there was a blockage there for some reason. And losing my mother opened it up. It picked a scab and all the words started to flow out. Losing my mother found me my voice. It introduced me to all of you. And there is both beauty and sadness in that. Beauty in that I finally started to realise my true potential. And immense sadness because she never got to see it.

This doesn’t only apply to losing people you love. It could be losing your job. Or being in an accident. Something profound. Something that pushes you deeply out of your comfort zone. You have no choice but to adapt and what I’ve seen is that this can transform people in the most exceptional way. And present them with the most amazing opportunities.

There’s beauty in being weak. In being bashed around by life. In letting go. Because it turns you into something stronger. Into a more powerful version of yourself. It cracks open your universe and presents you with infinite and rich possibilities.

Bianca’s bike ride afforded her some lessons in Life Lessons From My First Mountain Bike Ride With My Husband.

Sometimes, we have an expectation about something and when the plans change or obstacles get in our way, we react to it and have a strong resistance to the changed plan. We try push and push for things to happen the way we want them to, the way it was all planned out in our heads and the more we push, the more it feels like we’re going in the wrong direction and things are ‘riding’ against us. We’re so set on the destination that we forget about the journey. So sometimes, when plans change, we need to learn to go with the flow. If the plans change, change with them. Change the course, take a bit of time out, do something else before going back and trying again. This is a lesson I am constantly learning.

Stacey has a good one I needed: On learning to “just be” in an ocean of “do”.

I am learning how to “just be” in the moment, instead of letting that hamster run in my head, peddling away frantically at the wheel, blurting out a constant stream of action items: “Oooh, write a blog post on this!” and “Aah, here is a new way to manage this process at work” and “That’s clever, let me tweet that!”
You know, I used to think that this never-ending stream of ideas made me special. That it helps me do well as a blogger, as a journalist, as a business owner… Now I realise that it is a weakness, the sign of an over-stimulated mind, like a toddler who hasn’t got her nap in, just wondering about, spouting nonsense like a tiny drunk.
I am listening to my body. I am quieting my mind. 
Quality before quantity.

 

Cassan has some Life Lessons for us.
I liked: Just Go for It
Ever had an idea or a dream in your heart to try something or to just learn something new? Life is short and very unpredictable, and we don’t want the years to go by and look back and say “Why didn’t I give it go?” . Life with regrets is time wasted.

 

I also liked: Speak Courage Into Others
I love it when someone speaks courage into my little fearful heart at times! It gives us that little bit of confidence to keep on – keeping on. Therefore , it’s also important to speak courage into the hearts of others. Into the hearts of people we work with, people we meet along the way, old friends and most importantly speak courage into the hearts of our family members. The truth is sometimes we don’t know how that word of encouragement can change someones perspective or how it stirs a sense of hope and courage into their hearts!
 
Working Moms

Maz writes  In the Quiet Moments.

It’s early in the morning, the sun is just starting to rise. I’m the only one awake, I can hear my husband’s gentle snoring and my son’s deep breaths. I get up to check on my daughter and get ready for work… before I leave I memorize my children’s sleeping faces. They are so quiet, so peaceful, so beautiful. I get into the car on my way to work and the wave starts to sweep over me. I’m not home enough, this life is not enough, time is not enough. 

Celeste has a good one on 10 things that working moms need to know or do to stay sane.

Stay at home moms

Laura has a nice list on What no one tells you about being a stay at home mom.

You will start conversations with random strangers. The lady at gym will ask  “How are you?”, like she does with everyone and you will still be standing their 10 minutes later telling her just how you are. Cashiers aren’t safe, petrol attendants are safe and depending on your fragile state of mind, no one who makes eye contact with you is safe.

WAHM

The real WAHMs of SA – Lyndsay on Faith is a guest post on Eleanor’s blog.

This isn’t just about her story, but also a quote about how she had to take that leap of faith.

“You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand”
Hillsong United, Oceans (My theme song)

Loss/ Darkness

Sharon has an incredible post about remembering her pregnancy loss: Sometimes  Darkness Can Show You The Light: Reflections on My Greatest Life Struggle 13 Years On

Sometimes finding our light means looking deep within ourselves, perhaps changing direction or redefining what it is we think we want. I’ve learned that sometimes finding the light, doesn’t mean getting what we want, how we want it either. I’ve also learned that the answers I’m looking for start out as a whisper in my soul and get louder and louder the longer I tune into them.

Joy

Robyn has this powerrul post Finding Joy Where You Are.

However, joy springs from something deep inside of you. It starts off as a choice, and then burgeons into a belief. It is spurred on by faith and it is not moved by or dependent on circumstance. It is not dictated by your mood or your feelings or the number of snotty tears you cry. Joy remains unshakable in the wake of trials. Joy says I believe that even though this situation sucks right now, God is still the King of the world. He has overcome this. He is on the throne. Whether you like it or not, God’s Will, will be done. And God’s will is always good, is always favourable, is always blessing.

Another good one from Celeste: Last night I watched my daughter shine and had my own big revelation

She was living the moment, this one moment.  She was living in the now and it hit me like a ton of bricks that I am not ever-living in the now.  I am living in constant stress and worry, I do not enjoy anything anymore. I want to be more like my daughter.  I want to shine and live in the now! I want to live my life-like I am on the stage doing my part in the revue dance.  I want to be like that.  I learnt a very valuable lesson from not only my beautiful daughter last night but from the other nine hundred and ninety-nine kids too.  I realised that time is precious and is best left spent living each moment to its fullest.  It can be gone in an instant.

Heritage Day

Celeste shares what she is up to on this day in A rich heritage, a braai and a blog roundup.

I plan on spending the day at home just taking in my children and my husband.  It has been a very rushed and busy couple of weeks and there has been little time to just connect and find each other and touch base. Connecting with your children especially as a working parent is super important.  So often we are just so buys and active that we sail past each other like ships in the night just doing the absolute necessary to get by. So because Family is heritage I will be making sure that my family and I spend the time together listening, talking and connecting again.

Jolene also has the information on Why Heritage Day is Referred to as Braai Day.

Humour

Laverne has Baby Milestones mothers will not post on social media. I’d have to agree about the baby falling off the bed one.

Could so relate to Cindy’s How to get your kid to sleep in their own bed in 35 easy steps.

You have to watch Mike’s A Smooth Dad and a Blended Family videos, I don’t know how he comes up with these things!

Maz has Things My Four Year Old Kid Saiz. I guess because I am going through the potty training thing I could relate to

“Oh, I don’t need a poo anymore! I’m going to keep it for tomorrow! My bum doesn’t work in stinky places.”

Money Saving Tips

Great grocery tips from Charlotte in Living from Paycheck to Paycheck does not have to be a bad thing.

Legals

If you have an ex not paying maintenance, maybe you should red Maz’s post: New Law… Not paying your child maintenance.

Poetry

Ursula writes about how the past caught up with her while she was searching through old photos. Photos, Pain and Past – Poetry

I am surrounded
By shards of pasts
The crystal ball exploded without future
I cut myself on the glass of now
Leaving more scars
To trace tomorrow
with sad fingers.

Blogging

Such a nice post from Eleanor about SA Mom Blogs: You Should Be Starting Your Day With Us

And then we had Sharon’s unfortunate On dealing with Trolls.

This post reminded me why we blog: to support each other. In Mom Guilt and Thankfulness, Chastin says:

So I would like to say thank you to each and every one of those ladies, thank you for making my dark days a bit brighter and thank you for showing me the goodness in the world when often I just want to hide away from it with only my family , closed off from the world….Thank you for showing that as long as I give them everything I can my kids will know that I love them with all my heart and soul and that is what matters.

 

 

 

August Roudup and Linky

August was Woman’s Month, and our SA mom bloggers had a lot to write about.

If you are planning a C-section birth, there are some really informative posts about that as well as migraine headaches. Plus useful questions to ask your child’s school.

There are some good perspective posts on working and stay at home moms.

There are posts to treasure on marriage and friendship. These are areas in our lives we should cultivate.

August was not only Woman’s month, we had Breastfeeding week as well, and some posts on that from different angles. There was also the Stikeez phenomenon and Dummygate.

I ended off with some interesting blogging posts from bloggers reflecting on their journey. We also have our first Daddy Blogger – woo hoo!

Now pour yourself your favourite beverage and enjoy a good read! (Posts are mostly taken from the Facebook page)

 

Pregnancy

Zoe has had enough of all the advice people give her On Saying and Doing the Right thing – and after a meltdown and reassurance from her husband had this epiphany:

And suddenly I remembered that we had planned this together, that we are an unbeatable team and could get through anything. …but I felt so much better just knowing that I won’t have to do any of this alone, no matter how it feels some days. I have an incredible husband to help me, as well as wonderful friends and family who really are full of the best intentions and some really great advice, even if it doesn’t always seem that way.

She also ponders how being a mom will change her identity in This Above All: To Thine Own Self Be True.

Can I still be sexy when I’m serving as a fetus storage unit? Can I still be eccentric and unique when I’m doing something so typically normal as procreating? How will this process of carrying a child and giving birth change the way my husband, friends and family see me? I like to think that I’m still just me, but that me is changing and will take on a new identity when I become a mom.

Shaney has a touching one about How I’ve learnt to love my body with a stunning pregnancy picture too.

Becoming a woman comes with change, even though it’s changes we may hate at first, we have to accept that it’s part of life and the road we travel. Our bodies are made to nourish the life growing inside us. Embrace it and find the beauty in your new body. You are not ruined, your body isn’t ruined. It’s beautiful.

Birth

Sharna has a blow by blow description: Cesarean Birth: Exactly What to Expect Part 1

Cassan shares Why I chose a C-section birth.

Every mom, should be encouraged to do what is right for her, and what is right for her unique situation. She should feel at peace and confident in her decisions, especially when it comes to the well being of her child.

Before giving your opinion to that newly pregnant mom about what she should / shouldn’t do. Maybe ask her first what she is wanting to do. She already has an overload of overwhelming information, to thoughts and feelings on having a baby, to being a mom.

New moms, and moms to be need all the encouragement , love and support they can get!

Parenting

New moms: a great post from Cindy: Here’s 17 Things Nobody Told you about having a baby.

Chastin has a heartfelt post: Non Functioning Day (the image says it all).

I just want a day where I can stay in bed all day watch overrated horror movies and eat all the junk I can get my hands on, not have to drive around like a mad thing or worry about lunches and supper….

Then I realise, I love the chaos, I love the laughter and the craziness that comes with my family, I like getting up earlier to make sure my kids have that cooked breakfast and I like the look on their faces at night when they are enjoying the food I have made for them and the cuddles and hugs I get when I drop and fetch them before and after school…

Then after some time a day will roll around again and that feeling of nothingness starts to grow, but I am a mom and I love being a mom and I would rather do nothing with them, I would rather watch curious George and The Avengers for the hundredth time and get up to make that 3rd glass of juice or that 2nd bowl of popcorn, I would rather have them argue over who gets to sit next to mommy and how one of them is taking up to much space before we all settle into a calm and lots of cuddle time…. That is my best nothing because it really isn’t nothing at all…..

I can really relate to that because sometimes you do feel like you are doing “nothing” but actually spending time with your kids is not nothing, it’s important.

Celeste has one I could relate to: So when was your last Mommy Meltdown?

Life went on but I was ok, my kids were ok and my husband was happy that I was ok. I sat with them and we chatted and I apologised and my 3 year old in the middle of my sentence says “You know what mommy? and I said What my Darling? and she said “I love you…..I need to go wee” and she got up and ran to the loo.  It was then I knew everything was going to be alright and we would all make it though this terrible parenting glitch ok.

Sharon has an informative post on What to do when your child steals or lies or cheats. She also has some great resources on the issue she has gathered.

I read an interesting statistic during my research into this topic that stated that stealing of this nature is normal and common among children aged 5 – 6 and that lying would start at around the same age. But that while the stealing would, most likely, unless there were additional underlying issues, just be a phase and fizzle out, lying tends to escalate in children up till the age of 10 when they really start understanding the consequences of lying and the merits of honesty.

On that note, Karen wants to know: Would you tell the mom if your kid steals? She has a poll going on what course of action you should take.

 

Paula writes I Die a Little Inside about how her kids are growing up so fast.

And you have no idea how it bugs me that I can’t control this. I realise this makes me sound like a control freak, but every time I say goodbye to you I die a little inside. The goodbyes get easier for you because you’re growing up. But they get harder for me because I leave you in the hands of the universe.

Laura has a good one on Six steps to building your child’s self esteem

Raising well-adjusted, confident and happy children is simple but it is also complicated and does require a lot of effort and focus. Sometimes we mess up and make mistakes but that is ok because we learn and we teach our children the value of making mistakes!

Wenchy has a touching post for her son: How can I try to explain? There was so much in this post I struggled to select just a part of it – I think you need to read the whole thing.

They don’t know how quickly you needed to grow up because you were stronger in that moment,  and when you weren’t,  I was there. A tag team when you should have been a boy.

They don’t know your support in moments of heartbreaking pain,  when you yourself was hurting. You stood next to me when we said goodbye to those we loved. You never turned away.

 

Working Moms

Celeste wrties Behind every great kid is a mom who is pretty sure she is screwing it up.

This post is not a dig at Stay at home or Work from home moms. We all have different ways to parent. And I am sure there are plenty of moms on the opposite side of the spectrum that are saying us working moms make them feel guilty for various things. I am not naive, I know this is often the case.

All I am really trying to do is affirm to myself and other working moms that we do not need to feel guilty at all, and that we are doing our very best where we can with what we have.

Sharon has a run down of her day on: I have a dream… of a simpler life.

Do you ever feel like that? Just so overwhelmed with the everyday requirements of your life? I know my situation is not unique, I’m pretty sure almost every working mom can relate to my schedule. How do we do this, day in and day out, week in and week out, month after month, year after year?

I’ve been thinking a lot about ways to simplify my life recently. I feel like I have little to no time to just be in the moment. I feel like my life is a racehorse, galloping at full speed to the finishing line  and I’m the jockey who’s foot has slipped out the stirrup, I’ve fallen and being dragged along behind my racehorse life. Does that even make sense?

Stay at home moms

Laura has an informative post on 5 things you should consider before you become a stay at home mom.

If you are thinking about becoming a stay at home mom, do your research, not on Pinterest but talk to real moms who are staying at home. Find out the realities, challenges and rewards. Go into it with your eyes wide open because if you don’t the white picket fence can very quickly become jail bars!

For me, staying at home has been a journey, not always an easy one. Some months there is nothing more to sacrifice and most days I feel completely defined by my children. I never imagined I would find myself here when I imagined my life but here I am and it works for us, as a family. 

Adoption

Julie shares Gaia’s story: ‘I’m adopted’ {Gaia Giovannini}

Gaia is a qualified social worker working in child protection and adoption and today she chats to us about her own story of adoption and shares some advice for adoptive parents.

Sharon has an amazing post : “Just Adopt” They Said

Adoption is intensely personal. It’s not something you wake up one day and just decide to do. There are so many things that need to be considered. The screening is hugely intense, if you’ve never been through the process, you can never fully understand the depth of the intense personal struggle, over the issues you are forced to address before you’ve even become a parent, you’ll never appreciate the depth of the soul searching you have to go through.

So if someone you know is struggling with infertility, please, please don’t ask them why they don’t just adopt.

Thanks Sharon. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Health

Celeste has a really informative post on Migraine Headaches: I give you the lowdown and tips to treat it.

 

School

Mandy did quite a bit of research to come up with 65 Questions to ask your child’s new school

Of course, there was tons of other advice from the wise mommies of South Africa ~ trust your gut and your instincts when you visit a school; just because a school is well-known doesn’t mean they are doing things right; keep your eyes and ears open on a tour – what were the teachers doing, how do they interact with the kids, how do the children react to them; be conscious if a school won’t allow you to spontaneously drop in, viewing things in a controlled way may not give you a real sense of the school’s daily workings.

Friendship

I could also relate to Cassan’s post about Relating to your baby-less friends. Through many years of waiting for our child, we were the one without the kids.

I silently contemplated where I should settle myself for the rest of the afternoon. Spotting the new mums and some familiar faces in the corner, I headed that way. I took a seat and patiently listened while everyone compared stories of childbirth, colic and lack of sleep. I courageously brought up the one time my computer wouldn’t switch on but nobody got the joke. It was tedious. After hour two I switched the topic to weather in hope of a change of direction, but it soon reverted to the various sunblock “spf’s” available for 2 year olds. Turns out the best option is to paint your child in SPF 50 at least twice daily.

Cassan has an excellent post about Mom Bullies.

As moms, we need to listen to one another, encourage one another. It’s not easy being a mom, it’s hard work, and with this season of being a mom comes mom guilt. Therefore we need to have each other’s backs, and speak life, courage, and faith into the hearts of moms.

Marriage

if-you-want-something-to-last-forever-you-treat-it-differently-1Jozi has an insightful post: 10 Things My Parent’s Unhappy Marriage Taught Me

Never fight in front of the kids. And if you do, explain it properly. I can vouch for the insecurity and confusion that arises from seeing the parental units engaging in war with each other. Recently my husband and I raised our voices and yelled a few unmentionables at each other in front of our son. The look on his little face took me right back to being a confused 5 year old trying to comfort my mum and not knowing how. Lesson learnt.

Jonelle has her own reasons: I didn’t change my last name when I got married..

Sharon also has Marriage – My tips for staying together.

if you do/react how you always do, don’t expect a different result.

And I think this is part of growing together as a couple and not growing apart. It takes a lot of hard work, of leaning into the relationship instead of leaning out.

healthy-relat-not-on-facebookLaura has a truthful post: I don’t want to see your dirty underwear!

Next time you are angry, step away from your phone, make a cup of tea, scream into your pillow, take a long bath and the decide if the best course of action is to share your anger online. I certainly don’t want to see your dirty underwear or anything private that is happening in your personal relationships.

Breastfeeding Week

Dani gives us the advantages of breastfeeding: The Benefits of Breastfeeding.

The composition of breastmilk changes with every feed and varies according to the time of day you feed, the climate, and your baby’s age, all to suit them perfectly. A mother’s milk will also vary in its nutrient level and contain greater amounts of protein and growth hormone if a baby is born prematurely, is that not remarkable? The most significant changes in breastmilk can be seen as three changes: colostrum, transitional milk, and mature milk, which occur as breastfeeding progresses.

Belinda shares Admission: I didn’t Enjoy Breastfeeding

Being a parent is already difficult in this modern world. Why make it so much harder by setting up another parameter by which to judge ourselves? You choose how long you want to breastfeed your child and I’ll choose not to judge you. Deal?

I wrote about my struggles and precious moments with breastfeeding my three year old: World Breastfeeding Week: Breastfeeding an Older Child.

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.

Dummygate

The Beckhams have been taken to task for allowing their four year old to have a dummy. Celeste writes: Thoughts on a Friday: Let’s talk about Dummygate for a second.

So for what it’s worth to other parents who may or may not have been left with a sour taste in their mouths just like the Beckhams or who may have been feeling all the more a failure and had massive pang of Mommy guilt for letting their three or four-year old suck their dummies, don’t. It’s not worth it.

Stikeez

So, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you would by now have read Celeste’s post: Larry at Pick n Pay and my wishes around a venereal disease, which begins: Pick ‘n Pay sat around and thought to themselves, “what could make shopping with kids at our store more painful for parents?” and one bright spark put up his hand and said “yes, let’s make Stikeez!”

It’s a very humourous post.

For me, they serve another use: Why I love Stikeez: Because they take attention off the trains.

So thank you, Pick n Pay, we’re grateful for these toys, but proabably not for the reasons you designed them for.

Inspirational

For all those who didn’t make the academic A grade, you’ll feel a lot better reading Stacey’s Why the World Needs B students.

That’s because Bs are capable of coming up with inspired ideas. They’re just not always on the same grand scale as the A’s. We’re what you call ‘reliable’ and hard-working. We usually end up in middle management…

Rock solid performance — that is your superpower. Be yourself. B yourself

Jonelle has Ten Inspirational Quotes that Help Keep me Motivated and Inspired!

Some nice quotes in this post from Moipone: Powerful Quotes By Women. Lovely presentation. The one below is the one I liked.

powerful women quotes

 

the-more-you-love-your-decisionsI loved  Yasmin’s 10 Lessons I have learned from my children.

I like her lesson in forgiveness after she shouted at them:

When I eventually got back to the couch, they didn’t side-eye me because I shouted at them; they didn’t ignore me because they couldn’t bear to have to deal with me. They came and cuddled up next to me and told me that they love me. If anything, forgiveness is about lightening my own baggage and has nothing to do with whether or not someone or something deserves forgiveness. It just really makes me feel less burdened knowing that I can be at peace when I am able to genuinely let go of things that bug me.

She had another post again with some more(Motivational Quotes By Women) . I liked this one from Mother Theresa:

Not-all-of-us-can-do

Woman’s Day

Jolene has the historical background to Woman’s day in Happy Woman’s Day South Africa.

9 August 1956, 20,000 women made their way to the Union Building in Pretoria. Women came from all over the country to march to the Union Buildings to protest against the extension of government regulations to African women concerning the carrying of passes, led by Lillian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Sophia Williams and Rahima Moosa. Although an appointment had been made to hand the document over to then Prime Minister JG Strijdom, it was later announced that he would not see the women. Their anger was expressed in a song: “Strijdom, you have touched the women, you have struck a rock, you have dislodged a boulder, you will die.” To date, this is the biggest mass gathering of women ever held in South Africa.

Belinda has a nice post listing fantastic things about women: We are Women, hear us roar!

We are women. We soothe, we heal and we bring forth life. If anyone can make a difference in this world, it’s us.

Humour

life-hack-buzzfeedAmelia has some fabulous Humourous Hacks.

Blogging

Laverne reveals The Dark Side of Blogging.

There are the bullies. Sometimes its aggressive and sometimes its passive aggressive. Sometimes it’s from an anonymous trolls seeking to connect through abuse and sometimes it’s through other bloggers.

She also acknowledges the positive connections she has made.

Shell Shocked Mummy has opened my life in ways that goodie bags never could.

I suddenly found myself Erin Brockovich  territory trying to change laws which I didn’t intend. It has also become cathartic to tell my stories for ME. I become braver with each post. Brave enough to be me.

Honest to goodness friends. Friends I now have coffee dates with. Friends I can call when I feel like I am failing dismally at parenting and feel like a big fraud.

Chastin shares My Blogging Journey so far

 I have done things and voiced my opinions on matters I never thought I would, I have designed and put together codes on my own and even gotten in front of and learnt to navigate a proper camera (not a digital handheld one) camera and edit footage (albeit badly) which I never in my life thought I would be able to do; but I did and it’s all thanks to this blog and the inspiration I have found along the way.

Thank you to the bloggers who inspire me every day, you will probably never realise how many people you reach.

Laura has an uplifting post: Things I have learnt from blogging.

It is not always easy and there are days I wonder why I still keep doing it but those days are few and far between. Blogging is a part of my life, it is a part of who I am. It is the one thing I have done that hasn’t failed. It is the one thing, next to my children, that I am most proud of.

Also: a real milestone for SA Mom blogs: we have our first Daddy Blogger.  He has a great post on How to Get Great Service in a Restaurant (Always)! which basically boils down to being nice to the waiter. As a former waitress myself I can fully appreciate that.

Link up your fave posts for the month! And then get commenting on the others.

South African Mom Blogs July Roundup and Linky

There are some real interesting posts this month from South African mom bloggers.

A real mix of emotions on pregnancy – from humour, to grumpiness, to bitterness and information. Lots of useful birth info this month: from how to pack your hospital bag to whether you’re a good candidate for a VBAC. Plus two birth stories.

I loved Cindy’s description of parenting as having “no off button”. Also worth reading is a dad blogger’s analysis of the different strains of having five kids.

You’ll need the tissues when you read Stacey’s post about dealing with separation from her special needs child, Melinda’s touching story of her adopted child’s explanation of why it took so long for her to come along, and Celeste’s tale of the death of her furry companion.

Many other topics are tacked: divorce, having more (or no) kids, friendship, Nelson Mandela’s 67 minutes, Eid and an inspiring faith analogy.

There have also been a few noteworthy blogging posts, and I’ve included them at the end.

Happy reading!

(Please note that I’m basing this mostly on posts listed under each date on the Facebook page)

 

Pregnancy

Shaney has a very funny post: You Know You’re Pregnant When…

Jonnelle has some conclusions after seven months of pregnancy: The Pregnant Grump: Seven Months Later.

It’s a bit of a weird thing to love. Sure there are beautiful moments and it’s truly amazing to feel your baby growing and moving inside of you but on the whole, it’s a pretty traumatic time for your body. Some days I’m surprised that the baby doesn’t just fall straight out because the pressure is so intense. I can’t sleep, I’ve grown to astronomical sizes and no matter how many times my husband tells me that I’m not fat, I’m pregnant, I still feel like a large hippo rolling around the house.

 

Sharon grieves her miscarriages in Forgive me if I seem bitter.

I’d love to say I know. I’d love to tell you I know how it  feels. I’d love to share my own pregnancy related horror stories of tiredness, back pain, needing to pee, all day nausea, hemorrhoids and varicose veins. But I have no story to share. None you all want to hear anyway. None that anyone wants to be able to relate to.

A different kind of pregnancy: an informative post from Sharna: Surrogacy in South Africa, the do’s and don’ts. I found it quite a shocker that the surrogate can still claim the baby back within 60 days if the ovum donated to the process was hers.

Birth

A great post for recovery after childbirth from Elsabe: Pilates for Recovering after Childbirth.

Sharna has a post if you are considering a VBAC:  Are you a good candidate for a VBAC?

Hayley writes her birth story here: Their birth story.

Carla has a useful post: What you need to pack in your hospital bag when giving birth in a government hospital. I found this useful, even for private hospitals, because they won’t provide everything. I like the fact that she mentioned the breast pump and what you need to sterilise it – something I would remember next time. She also tells My Birth Story Almost 12 Months Later

Parenting

Laverne has a no holds barred post: Hey New Mother Get Ready to Suck at Motherhood!.

Suddenly you can’t appreciate the cuteness. Your adrenal glands are so burnt out from all the stress. You are literally shell shocked. You start to reminisce about your childless days like some long lost lover. The one that got away.

Another great post for new moms: The Google Research Experts ie Other Parents

You are not them and they are not you. Do what’s best for YOU at the time. Trust yourself. Trust your motherly instincts, that too is a very real thing.

Love this post from Cindy Being a Mom Was All I Ever Wanted to Be, But Having KIds Shocked Me. She wanted so badly to be a mom, ever since she was 17 but the overwhelm of being the one responsible for that life was jolting to her.

There is no off button.  There is no getting off this ride once you’re on it.

You are it.

Which is why you need to read Cassan’s post: There’s just NO time, because in order to cope with that kind of pressure you need to make time for yourself.

As women and moms we are constantly giving out and giving of ourselves. We need to remember to recharge and do things that we love, so that we aren’t trying to do it all out of an empty place.

Mandy is having an awesome series on her blog: Supermommies. These are all stories of moms who had unique challenges to overcome. An example is Cassey’s story.

She was diagnosed with PCOS and defied the odds by falling pregnant. She was diagnosed with a dying placenta and warned she could lose her baby. She had her hopes of natural birth shattered with an emergency c-section; which left her alone without her baby or her husband when he was rushed to NICU instead of the quiet bonding time she had imagined. Her brand new baby got a preventable potentially fatal bacteria. She had to watch that baby undergo two surgeries before he was 6 months old. She is a full time mom all day and a working mom after hours and she will be adding Post Grad student in the next few months.

Such an encouraging post from Sharon: For all the moms doubting themselves: You’re a Good Mom!

As long as you are looking out for your children and always have their best interests at heart… you are a good mom! No matter how you got to be a mom, no matter how your choices may differ from others, you are a good mom!

From a dad blogger this time… Taboo Topics: Parents of young children – Meet  Terran and Julie and their 5! Terran writes about the strain kids put on your life in all aspects. This is an excellent post, I really encourage you to read it.

My experience confirms that parenting infants and toddlers puts you under a kind of constant pressure that lttle else in life comes close to matching. To be fair, Julie and my situation of having five kids aged six and under only compounds this reality, but treat me as a magnification of what is still there for parents of fewer kids. (Besides, I know, I once had fewer kids.)

However, in this post I thought I would get real about the (dark) side we don’t talk about. It’s no good running a marathon, and you’re doing uphill and you’re trying to tell yourself this is wonderful. Facing the fact of the agonizing incline is necessary if you’re going to make it.

He ends off with:

Do I have any perspective to share for the fellow-traumatized? Other than ‘Keep calm and parent on’? For starters, one thing I can say: You Are Not The Only One. Parenting is hard for almost all of us. The other thing I can say is that You Are Not Alone. A small verse hidden in the massive book of Isaiah says ‘God carries us close to his heart, especially those who have young’. It has helped Julie and me when we’ve been at our lowest. It reminds us there’s a Parent in heaven who’s there for you as you parent another. Our vulnerability, as we rear the most vulnerable, catches the loving attention of One Above. We might feel alone, but in reality there’s a Heartbeat as close to you as your child is to yours.

Claire has some thought provoking words on Suicide: Are you adding to the noise?

Don’t miss the signs because you were too busy updating your social media status.

And in all this mess and fuss and confusion, our children are lonely.

Talk to them.

 

Christine has a post The Reality of Having Two Toddlers

I liked:

-The “hand on the window” scene from Titanic becomes a reality, except its tiny little sticky hand marks smeared on every and all surfaces of your house.

-You know the words of the movie Cars off by heart, yet you’ve barely ever sat down and watched it.

 

After that I think we need to read Belinda’s How to get your life back after kids

As mothers we carry a lot of guilt around with us, and we almost need someone else to give us permission to get our lives back, as we feel too guilty to take steps on our own.

Cool ideas from Nicole on 10 Outdoor Activities for Infants.

Getting out and about is important for mom after having a baby, fresh air and gentle activity not only boosts your mood but also contributes to faster healing.

 

Craft

How’s this super DIY calm down jar for distracting tantrum kids?

Special Needs

Stacey writes how different it feels to have her special needs child, Travis, in full time care.

Now I lie in bed blanketed in the promise of delicious, uninterrupted sleep and all I can think about is if you’ve had something to drink. I’m tortured by the idea that you’re dying of thirst and no one has noticed because they don’t know you like I know you.
Or did I ever know you, Travis? Have I just imagined everything that flitted unspoken between us these last few years? A delusional, desperate mom who would tell herself that she shared some kind of telepathy with her non-verbal, mentally challenged child, because it sounded better than the truth? That she was locked out from Day 1?
Adoption
Maz did a guest post of an adoptive mom (Laverne)  who highlights how adoptive parents do not automatically get maternity leave. My Issues with Maternity Leave in SA – From An Adoptive Parent’s Perspective. Celeste went further and wrote this post: Does it always have to hit close to home? where she recommends we sign an Adoption Leave Petition.
This post from Melinda Who Needs the birds and the bees anyway? brought tears to my eyes. Her daughter Emma is told a story of how she was found with fairies at the bottom of the garden.
“I had prayed and prayed for a long time for a baby girl.”
“Like five days long?” She asked. 
“More like five years long” I said. 
“You know why it took so long?” She asked me. “Because the angels and I looked and looked in all the gardens, through all the windows, to find the best mom and dad for me.”
Sleep
Some of us are having a difficult time with sleep (that’s me) Seven Reasons Why I’m Destined Never to Get Any Sleep (by the way it’s going a lot better…)
Fazila has some tips: How to get your baby to sleep through the night – a novice perspective.
And with these mighty weapons may you go forth and conquer the land of the sleep deprived and achieve at least 6 hours of uninterrupted slumber.
Having a Second Child/ Or no more kids?
Kate is feeling the pressure to procreate again in To Have a Second Child or Not.
It’ll be because we decided it was right for us and our family. So butt the hell out people.
Chastin has a very informative post about her decision to have a hysterectomy in No More Babies… How I feel, how I felt, tips and info.

I still have moments of sadness and longing I think its instinctual for most woman to feel the need to carry and have a child I think it is also a lot of what makes us feel like we are a woman even though the ability to procreate doesn’t make you a woman if you understand what I am saying…

I apologise for the long post but I hope this helped give a little more insight to woman who are facing this decision please not I am not saying do not have these procedures done or that what happened to me will happen to you as I was told that I was a less common case however I know that there are many woman out there with similar histories or in need of some information and assurance before making their decision, and I encourage everyone who is struggling or is unsure to wait until you are sure, our bodies are amazing complicated things and every bit of information helps lead to an informed positive choice.

 
Love
Read Laverne’s love story: How I Got My Man.
Divorce
Laura has a post Divorce: Nine Years on

Last week I encountered a mom who is a couple of months into her divorce journey. She looks sad, stressed and anxious all the time, her kids look the same. When she mentioned her ex-husband it was like she was spitting venom. I know the feeling. It can become all consuming. Watching her and her little family bought back a lot of memories of that time for me, not all of them happy ones. I had to move home which placed incredible strain on my parents and our relationship. I spent three years fighting with my ex-husband over everything! It was a draining time and it felt like it would never end!

It did though, our divorce was eventually granted, the fighting stopped and I was able to move forward.

Friendship

I love Namu’s tribute to her friend Fazila:

Fazila possesses an energy that is both inviting and contagious. Her beauty lies in her vibrant personality and her quirky sense of humour. It’s lies in the fact that she hasn’t allowed her circumstances to define her, but rather redefined her circumstances. It’s her strength and determination and as she so aptly puts it, her “ability to fly kick problems into the air”. She isn’t afraid to deviate from the status quo and in her own unique way, she is making her mark, finding her way, and chasing her dreams!

Body Image
Paula has a great post The Story of Me about how her stretch marks are like medals. She refers to an Instagram account Love Your Lines about how we should love and accept these things.
Age
Belinda writes an amazing piece on My Mother’s Hands.

When she got sick, eating became difficult. So did cleaning herself. So my Mom’s hands became dirty and they made her look unloved. So a number of times, in those last days, I used to give her a mini home manicure. I’d get a bowl of warm water and some body scrub and exfoliate those hands and wash off the dirt. I’d wipe them gently with a warm towel and smother them in beautiful smelling hand cream. I’d file her nails and buff them and do my best to make her feel special and she’d smile at me and then fall asleep. I loved those hands and that woman and I guess I was trying to show her that.

It can be a shock to age. To see your body change and wrinkle and become imperfect, as life throws things at you. Or we can relish it in a way and watch as we become more fully who we are, who our mothers were and our grandmothers too. So while I love looking groomed and feeling pampered, I’m not going to beat myself up if I don’t have permanently beautiful hands, brightly painted and Sandton perfect. My imperfections reflect more fully who I am. And the older I get, the prouder they make me.

Panic

Maz has a revealing post about What it feels like to have a panic attack and how to manage it.

I have a sense of unreality, of watching myself from a distance, and a growing fear of being unable to control myself. As things escalate, I desperately look for someplace — any place — to escape to. At its peak, I feel like I am going to faint and if things continue, I will surely die. I want to scream, but I can’t – I can’t breathe.

Death of a dog
Celeste writes This is not the blog I was hoping to write… about the loss of her dog.

Parker was there when Kennith told me we were getting a divorce.  Parker was there when Kennith told me he was moving out.  Parker was there when I realised that Kennith had moved on and was dating.  Like not casual dating but boyfriend and girlfriend dating.

Parker was there to cuddle against me, listen to me sob and rest his big head against my chest.  He didn’t ask me to explain, he was happy to lie against me and when I looked like I was sobbing a bit harder, then he just moved in closer – usually until he was lying on my head or my chest.

In his eyes he knew my pain, and he knew that all I needed was a cuddle, a love and a little bit of snot from his big nose to drip on my hand.  He just knew.

Photography

Stunning pictures in this post from Jeanette Verster: A Walk in the Knysna Forest and Millwood Mine.

Nelson Mandela’s 67 Minutes

Cassie is proud of her daughter’s giving nature in Our 67 minutes for Mandela Day.

Last night she picks up the PJs and tell me “Mommy they too small neh? They must go to the other children Mommy. The other children that don’t have Pajamas. You must take them to the other children and I will come with you”.  My heart beamed with pride (after I got over the neh cringe factor that has crept into our vocabulary). She got it. In her mind, she understands that there are children that don’t have things, she understands that she has things and she can help the other children.

Melanie writes: A Challenge to go beyond 67 minutes.

Here’s my challenge: don’t limit your acts of service to one hour on a specific day of the year. Look for ways to show God’s love to others every day.

Eid

Zayaan writes about her Eid-ul-Fitr. I’d say they had a lot of delicious food (check out all the pictures of the deserts and even her son had his full:

When all the guys got back the first thing The Munchkin did was attack the biscuits and sweets. He hadn’t even had breakfast! And it just pretty much went downhill from there. He grabbed at all the sweets on everyone’s low coffee tables. Just hands clutching chocolate covered toffees that I had to pry out of his vice grip. How is an almost 2-year-old so damn strong?! 

Firdaus says in Eid and other Random Bits

..the day is nicknamed ‘Eat’ by some as it consists largely of eating copious amounts of food.. We are still eating leftovers and I suspect that I will have to be rolled out of the house soon.

Christian analogy

Leigh has an in depth analysis of two parables: the hidden treasure and the pearl of great price. The Pearl of Great Price: What is it, or rather who is it?

It’s as if God takes suffering and coats it in layers and layers of glory until it is wholly unrecognisable and transformed into something utterly beautiful, something that mirrors his glory. I love how this is a picture of how God can take the worst situation and really truly work it for the good of those who loved him. He doesn’t just coat the grain of sand in one layer of himself, just to hide it, but keeps adding glory upon glory, layer upon layer, until the glory outweighs the suffering by many orders of magnitude – and it becomes a thing of great value and dignity.

Humour

What are little boys made of? asks Mrs Momsense.  A very funny list of the things she’d never thought she’d say..


Anastasiya has a funny post: Respect my PMS

You don’t understand the irritation we have with this thing that’s called menstruation. You don’t understand how much we hate it. {Off record: there are those moments when you do really want it, then you know you’re not going to be carried around a little bean that will grow into a human over a course of nine months}. So yes, we hate it. Periods are not a walk through wonderland, where pads grow on trees & tampons are received through picking a watermelon apart. We feel so much pain, we feel uncomfortable, awkward & even murderous. Murderous because people tend to piss off a little more than usual & we could easily react by throwing you with a book, or by accident cause you to trip while you’re standing at the top of a cliff. {Remember, no witnesses.}

 
Inspiration
Celeste wrote a tandem blog post “The List” about how we all have an idea of how life should pan out, and it doesn’t always go as planned.

It may not always go according to plan but you know what? It’s OK. I believe we’re all exactly where we’re meant to be. Every cloud does have a silver lining and we may not always know the Reason behind “Everything happens for a reason” right away but you know what? As cliche as it sounds, and I do feel bad for even typing it because I don’t always want to accept or understand it, EVERYTHING DOES HAPPEN FOR A REASON.

Here is to altered lists and not giving up on our dreams, hopes and expectations. Keep heart and remember that there is a lesson in every circumstance. Even if that circumstance was not on your list.

Jonelle has some printables on setting goals and finding your passion.

Lovely post from Belinda on Being Kind to Yourself.

So when that person is horrible to you on Twitter or a colleague insults you during a meeting, your brain responds in a certain way and produces certain chemicals. And when you beat yourself up about something, from not being a good enough parent to not fitting into your jeans to not allowing yourself a 30 minute rest, it is like SOMEONE ELSE is saying you’re fat or incompetent or lazy. Your brain produces exactly the same chemicals and they are just as damaging to your body and mind as if you were being insulted by another person. Crazy hey?

Great practical tips on de-cluttering from Jonelle: How to declutter your life in a few easy steps.

An inspirational post from Sharon on how some events dragged her down and how she pulled herself up into her running shoes and ran off her frustrations: Running… A Fresh Perspective.

I am slow, but that’s ok. I’m doing it! And I run because I love it. I run for pleasure. Not to be the fastest. But not all runners have the same priority as me. For some, it is about being better, being faster each time. And that’s ok. We all have different goals, different agendas. And I need to make peace with that. I need to embrace my goals, I need to embrace my little snail paced shuffle/run/walk and just bloody well enjoy it because it is still a privilege to be able to run. Because a year and a half ago, I was 118kg’s of obesity and I couldn’t even walk down the road without getting out of breath, never mind contemplate running my 4th half marathon.

So I’ll always finish last… or at the back of the pack… so what? The important thing is that I’m doing it!

An inspirational story about a tattoo from Chevonne: Let’s Pause and Listen.

semicolon-tatoo

“A Semicolon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life.”

Blogging

Nikki has some tips on How To Create and Populate an Editorial Calendar for Your Blog

Moipone has some questions about using data: what are the cheapest prepaid plans? If you can help her, head over to Struggles of a Blogger.

I’m sure by now you’ve all read Belinda’s post Blogging Schmogging. She raises some important questions that has generated many conversations. If you’re ever questioned why you blog, then you can identify with this post.

Sharna writes about her reasons behind starting a blog and her courageous step to become more public with a Facebook page: I closed my eyes and made the jump.

We often remember and hold onto memories of the big things that happen during our lives and those of our children, but it’s a little bit harder to hold on to the every day little things. I feel that their childhood is so short in the bigger scheme of things and that I don’t want to forget any of the little things that happen or the adorable things that they say. Being sentimental old me, I wanted to have something to look back on and read about. I also wanted them to have something to see when they’re older…

 

Link up your fave posts for the month and comment on at least three others.

South African Mom Blogs June Roundup and Linky

There’s a huge variety of topics and viewpoints in this month’s roundup of South African Mom Blogs. We have some great posts on not just parenting, but also on step parenting, single parenting and parenting after infertility and parenting adopted children.  We had interesting posts on health and body image. There were thoughful writings on depression and death.

June celebrated Father’s Day and we had some people writing in gratitude for the men in their lives. We had differing opinions on Caitlyn Jenner and the US ruling on homosexual marriages.

And, as always, I wrap up with some inspiration and humour, as well as how our Muslim community is celebrating Ramadaan.

Pregnancy

Victoria writes What I’ve learnt… (over the last nine months) in her final week of pregnancy.

I liked…

-I’ve learnt that life is sometimes terribly unfair and that things happen without rhyme or reason. I say this because I’ve had so many close friends have so many difficulties falling or staying pregnant. And then others, like me, thought falling naturally pregnant wouldn’t ever happen.

-I’ve learnt that everyone has an opinion and whilst it’s one thing listening to all you’re advised, it’s another being swayed or pressured. No one knows you better than you. I don’t think anything is more powerful that our own intuitions. Trust yourself to make the right choices for YOU!

Carla also has a nice one: Learning to Love My Body Before and After Pregnancy.

I have made my goal now more than ever to teach other women to learn to love their new bodies after pregnancy and increase their self esteems while they learn to enjoy the new journey of motherhood and self love and acceptance along the way. I love my new curves and every scar or stretch mark reminds me of how my body transformed to bring my angel into this world. Just like a cocoon gives birth to a butterfly.

Parenting

shame-and-trustMaz writes about the disturbing Parenting, you’re doing it wrong… the ridiculous trend of public shaming.

Behind every sign-carrying child there seems to be a smug parent who claims that their child’s behavior improved after employing their radical discipline method. It would be interesting to see, though, for how long the good behavior lasted. It will also be interesting to see what kind of person their child will grow up to be. As a parent, I know the frustration of feeling like you have run out of options and nothing will get through to your child. Parenting involves humility and patience by the truckloads, if you can’t handle it – don’t have kids.

Laura has an informative post on sensory issues.

It is only when you have a child with sensory issues that you realise just how real it is and how much of a struggle it is for the child. Their experience of the world is so much more than the way we deal with the world. They feel things deeper, louder and brighter.

Celeste has a reflective post on PJ Drills when she had an opportunity to look after her sister’s twins, it brought back the memories.

In comes overthinker… Did I have my kids too young? Was I a good enough baby mom? If I could go back and do things differently would I be able to cope better? These are some of the questions whirling through my mind today. The answer to all my questions is that nothing prepares you for motherhood at any age.

She also has a helpful post about how she dealt with the jealousy her daughter had towards the baby in The Green Eyed Monster.

I explained that our hearts grow bigger and can ‘make’ more love for many people and all we have to do is to make it happen. Typing this doesn’t look right but Little K understood what I meant and that’s what important. Just this evening my heart swelled with pride because she came to me saying“Mommy my heart made a lot of love for the twinsies. I can’t tell you how much but it’s a lot and I’m not jealous anymore.”

Belinda feels like she is Coming Out of the Woods with regard to parenting.

I suppose I write so much about how HARD parenting is that I also wanted to write about how joyful it is too. Right now I’m walking out of the tangled dark forest of parenting where you run wild eyed and bushy haired from day to day into a field of long yellow grass. I can’t see what’s ahead, sure, but the sun is warm on my back, my hands are holding each of my babies’ hands on either side and I just feel so damn lucky to be their Mom.

 

 

Melanie has an interesting one Let’s Talk About Sex (Wait, what?) when her kids chose a book on the topic from the library.

Great tips from Fidaus on No Rest for the Wicked – Surviving Sleep Deprivation. I love the way she ends off:

Learn to accept and embrace your sleep deprived state. When you are bitter about the fact that you are getting no sleep, it is far tougher to handle than when you make peace with it. Or maybe that’s the sleep deprivation talking.

Mandy writes How do you manage your fear for your children?

I do not want my child growing up afraid of everything, but at some point I am going to need her to be aware of how dangerous the world can be – how do you find that balance?

Di has a lovely post on Contemplating Communication where she compares two learning experiences her son had, one where he was rushed, too many instructions were given and in the end the task was done for him, and the other where the pace was slower and body language was used.  Read her post for the list of how she did it.

By making the simplest changes to my style of communication I am now empowering Nick to use that brain of his!

Sharon writes about a child left in a car in It’s not 1977 and we’re not in Kansas anymore!

Maz has a useful post 9 Things I’ve Learnt From My Working Mom.

Recently I was referred to as a ‘part-time’ mom… bitch please. You know all the cooking and cleaning, the organizing and the helping with homework, the washing and ironing, the bath-times, poo nappies and feeds… I do all of that too. In no way do I think that I am better than Stay At Home Moms – you guys have your own challenges and it is definitely not easy. Just understand that I am a full-time mom, I am a damn good mom – and so are you. My mom was and is the best mom, if I could be half the woman she is I know my kids will be just fine.

Great tips from Leigh: 8 Tips to Survive a Travelling Husband Without Losing Your Shit.

I’m a little over half way through this trip and right now my kids are flinging themselves off my bed like superheroes (See me picking my battles) I have my sister-in-law and nieces coming for a sleep over (Calling in the troops), I have planned a delicious and easy slow cooker for dinner which if my sister-in-law and I don’t finish, we will be eating again tomorrow (*smug smile) and I’m about to do some research for my first overseas holiday in 4 years! With no kids! I sure have lots to daydream about and a helluva lot to look forward to.

I’m not sure whether to put this under parenting, inspirational or poetry, but Chevonne’s Fairytale is a beautifully written piece about her love for her child.

Loveliest son, in that first moment, I held you in my embrace, I looked at you with no expectation. All I felt was an infinite and innate love, and with the softest touch I caressed your hand.

My lifelong Fairytale, a mother’s story in all its infinite glory…

Great tips from Lindsay on Please and Thank You: how to get your kids to have manners.

Christine could have read my mind with 10 Parenting Sins We’re Guilty Of.

Laura reflects that she is now officially a Mom to a Teenager. She also compares the different emotions involved in a one year old’s birthday versus a thirteen year old.

When your child turns 1 you cry because they are growing so fast but when they turn 13 you cry because they are growing away.

Step Parenting

stepmomAmelia has an awesome list of tips for step parents here: Helping a Stepmom.

Single Parenting

Chevonne writes The Single Parent Experience: School Concerts.

I can sit at a table of nine, filled with pride, for my dearest boy. I may not have those “intimate” chats while he walks on stage…  What I do have, is a gorgeous boy who seeks me out in the crowd while he steps onto that stage. First he smiles, then he waves and then he winks, I do the same.  And in that moment, we are, the perfect family.

Maz also brings this up in To All the Single Moms on Father’s Day. She also has a guest post My Goldfish Outlasted My Marriage – On Surviving as a Young, Single Mom.

Ulpha writes Single Mom in the City… Shit Gets Real about the well meaning people who keep asking when she will be settling down.

No offense boys, but no man is worth losing or alienating my child over. I come with a package. Take it or leave it. Why do independent women scare men off? My independence isn’t there for you to sponge off. I don’t know about other women, I refuse to support a man. I already have 1 kid to raise and maintain. Don’t need a man to raise and maintain a man too.

Parenting after infertility / Adoption

Sharon has a thoughtful How Women With Infertility are Similar to trauma Survivors: My Experience in which she opens up about how she considered suicide after her 6th miscarriage.

I’m here. I’m alive. I’m thriving. I am the mother of two beautiful children. I overcame. I am forever changed but I am still alive, so yes, I very much consider myself a survivor!

She also has a heartfelt The one about how we try and not to fudge up our children.

I have adopted children so I parent accordingly. I’m always aware that my children have deep seated abandonment issues, that they have trust issues and that it is essential that Walter and I help them feel as secure as possible at all times…

She recounts how on one awful day how she had an awful fight in front of her child.

One of the promises we made to ourselves that day was that we would NEVER EVER fight in front of our children ever again.

When she failed at this…

I took myself off upstairs to calm myself the fudge down and get a grip on myself and then had a chat with her about how sometimes mom’s and dad’s get cross with each other, just like she gets cross with her sister, or the dog or her best friend and she shouts at them. That sometimes mom’s and dad’s need to do the same but that doesn’t mean they love each other any less. It just means they’re cross and everything will be ok..

Regardless of how any of us parent our children, we all pretty much have a common goal…. to raise them to adulthood without fudging them up too much!

I think you handled it rather well, Sharon, and you’re an inspiration to me.

(Incidentally, I once did a post on a book that was called How Not To F them Up. I got a lot out of that book!)

Laverne writes her own story: 2 failed adoptions, 1 dimpled baby 0 regrets.

I was sitting in across from the adoption specialist, slightly hung over, a bit numb. Listening to her talking nodding appropriately (I hope). All I could see was the folder filled with information of the child that was to be mine. She was talking, asking me things, I was answering them. My eyes were fixed on the folder in front of me. Finally she turned the folder over and on it stood a picture of the most beautiful thing I would ever see. A baby girl with a dimple smiling at me. Right into my soul.

An amazing story that Eleanor writes about: A Love Stronger than Diagnosis… Tersia’s story.  This couple decided to adopt (despite family resistance) and then she got pregnant!

And now 19 months after adopting her, I’m almost 7 months pregnant. When I found out I was pregnant I went into total shock. I had so many questions – why now? How am I going to cope with 2 children under 2? What was the plan. And I still don’t know, but I know that God has a plan with both our daughters. He gave me Abby’s name before I knew I was pregnant. I was busy working and I heard a very clear voice – “Joy is such a beautiful name for a girl”. Here I must just point out that I have a very personal relationship with God and yes I do answer Him back and yes I do argue. So my answer: “No it’s not.” It happened twice and when I found out I was pregnant I knew her name needed to be Joy, but I really don’t like the name Joy. So I started doing research and Abigail means Joy. 

Health/ Body Image

Sharon had a very thought provoking post on Plus Size and Beauty versus Obesity and Unhealthy.

I’ve never been more aware of this than what I’ve been on my journey over the last year. The way I’m treated. The way I’m listened to. The way I’m respected. The relationships that I have. The attention I’m given. EVERYTHING has changed since I lost weight, so I get it, I know first hand how society views and judges obese people. I really do get it. And should not be this way. But the fact remains, obesity IS unhealthy.

Maz has been published on Scary Mommy! Well done Maz! Her post was I Love My Mommy Body.

I am not flawless in the eyes of society, or even close to what I once was physically – but you see me for who I am. For you I would give the moon and stars. You knew my heart, you knew it long before we met. You love me, and I cannot tell you how much self-worth and validation I get from that truth.

I was ruined by the world before I met you; you did not ruin my body.

Melanie has a heartfelt post in Daughter, the World Will Lie to You on body image. She writes about her own battle with her body and then she says, in response to her daughter remarking that if she doesn’t eat she won’t get fat:

“The world will lie to you. The world will try to make you feel that what you look like is more important than who you are. Your heart is more important than what you see in the mirror. God cares about what is in your heart, and what he thinks about you matters more than what anyone else thinks or says.”

Karien writes Ten Years; Five Lessons about what she has learnt over the past ten years as a runner.

Depression

Melinda writes When Living Feels too Hard but Dying Isn’t an Option.

Sadly I don’t think I’ve ever lived. I’ve existed. But not lived. My joy is in moments, shared with my children. Moments of love are enjoyed with Mark, but shiny, happy? I don’t think I’ve ever been that. …

Don’t judge me for my mistakes. I judge myself enough. All the time. Your dislike of me will never ever be anywhere near my dislike of myself. Whatever horrible things you think of me has already been imagined, processed and internalized. You being sick of me being tired! You rolling your eyes at me saying I’m flat for the hundredth time? Guess what? I’m sick and tired of myself too. 

Death

Melinda writes about her experience: I attended a funeral today. The person who died was young, with kids in primary school.

If I knew that my reckless behaviour would make my children motherless, would it make me behave more responsibly?

If I knew that my behaviour would probably nearly kill my mother if she had to stand at my funeral, would the jerk of that thought make me change?

We all have our demons.  Sometimes they hunt us relentlessly. Sometimes we run to them with reckless abandon and try to live with them.  But demons are fuckers and they generally win.  They are patient like that.

Knowing all of this will I change my behaviour?

The fact that I cannot answer this with a resounding “yes” makes me cry still more huge tears.

quote on deathJonelle writes What No One Tells You About Death.

It’s not a joke. It’s not something to wish on anyone. It’s not something I would wish on my worst enemy but that wouldn’t change anything anyway would it. No, death doesn’t care who I wish it on. Death just is.

The sooner we start to accept that, the sooner we can heal. The sooner we can start to feel capable again. Removed from the things you should have done or could have done. Acceptance creeps in and in that moment, we are finally free.

Cupcake Mummy writes about the effect of the death of a pet on her son in the death of a loved one.

Caitlyn Jenner

Jozi has written a piece Why I’m Behind Caitlyn Jenner All the Way. She shares another story about a transgender child and the courage the parents had to make the change.

The takeaway from all of this? Issues around LGBT, or mental disorders, or death, or race or religion, or whatever, can be unfamiliar and awkward and frightening and downright confusing for most of us. But it shouldn’t stop us from at least trying to have a conversation around them so that maybe we can be more tolerant and understanding and loving. And maybe we can teach our kids to be the same. 

Luchae has some questions in Call Him Bruce.

Today, I pray that through this whole transformation Bruce Jenner begins to open himself up to God.
And I pray that Bruce finds exactly what his soul has been yearning for this whole time!

Child Protection Week

Cindy writes The Non Negotiable Rules of Parenting, which are – put your kid in a car seat and love and protect them!

Father’s Day

Jolene has some freebie printouts on her Friday Freebies: Last minute gifts for father’s day.

Elsabe also has some inspired crafts in Great Father’s Day Gifts and Card Ideas for Toddlers.

A beautiful post from Lindsay on the men in her life before she met the one her son would call dad: The Father, and then about her husband:

He is present, and they know it and can feel it. What you put into a relationship is what you get out, right? That is why the bond between them is so strong. I have had the honour of sitting on the side line watching him grow as the boys have grown. Its been a such an amazing journey thus far. Being able to support him and encourage him along the way has been great. I have watched this man’s heart grow, grow in a way that I don’t even think he knew was possible.

A touching post comparing the past and the present reactions to an absent father from Chevonne:  The Day He Mourned for the Father He Never Had.

Being a single parent wasn’t in the plan…Then there is the challenge of finding the right words and tone. The words and tone that won’t create an unrealistic expectation, sharing a clear message, but also a message that is not filled with animosity for the other parent. A message that still translates into an I love you and it is not your fault, a message that clearly says “you are very special, don’t ever doubt that you are loved”.

#LoveWins

We have two posts from the opposite spectrum on this issue of homosexual marriage being legalised in the USA.

Melanie writes Love Wins (But Not The Way You Think).

Maz writes Love Wins But Hate Still Triumphs.

A different approach, although not from a mom blogger, from Brett: After the rain.

As a follower of Jesus I don’t know that we will know the absolute answer about whether or not we were right or wrong in the particular stance we took on this until one day when we are standing in front of God. But i’m pretty convinced that whether or not we responded in love will be quite obvious. And I’m fairly confident that God is less likely to be focusing on “You said it was okay to be gay” or “You said it was not okay to be gay” and more concerned with, “How well did you love those who thought differently to you?”

 

Inspiration

Jonelle has a lot to say about Baggage.

We all fail

It’s the very nature of being human. We are by nature destined to fail at some things and excel at others. It’s not a sign of weakness. Somehow, every failure ends up in that damn bag.

Forgiveness is the process of dropping off your emotional baggage. Tim Fargo

Maybe it’s finally time to forgive yourself! Maybe it’s time I do.

Belinda is busy doing a course on Mindfulness for Beginners. I like the way she made it applicable to parenting.

There are huge benefits to Mindful Parenting too. In fact, I kept saying that it was hard to be mindful when you had a little person tugging on your pants leg the whole time and Nan the course facilitator reminded me that perhaps that little person could teach me a whole bunch. Perhaps if I lent down and looked him in the eye and gave him the attention he wanted and was MINDFUL about it, he would toddle off on his next adventure and I’d be left in peace. Children can teach us so much about being mindful, if we are only open to learn.

Luchae has some inspirational thoughts on the words we say and write in But Did It Kill You? 

Fazila has some inspirational words for women in Girl Power, after reading Sheyl Sandberg’s book. Lean In.

I liked…

you-have-to-take-successWhat would you do if you weren’t afraid? This is a mantra Sheryl has used in situations to get herself ahead. It tricks you into believing that you can do or say something without consequences.That’s where your ultimate fear stems from: the consequence. And what’s the worst consequence: you could be fired. This one really made me think. What would I have done if I weren’t afraid? Alot of the time I am afraid of sounding stupid. But then it turns out that there’s no right or wrong, its just an opinion. And I was never confident enough to raise my own opinion. I’m raising my daughter now…’bout dang time I raise that opinion too!!! If we want to succeed – if we want to achieve the ideal work-life balance it begins there. In our approach and changing how we perceive ourselves in the work place.

Christine has a helpful post: To Be Happier. Some good points here, including:

I know that I cannot be happy at all times and that it’s also perfectly normal to have fluctuations in my levels of happiness, but I realise that I am also in charge of how I respond to these times of unhappiness.

Jonelle has a thought provoking post: There are two types of people in this world (people who pass the blame and those who take responsibility).

Everything that happens in our lives is something that we can take responsibility for. We are enablers of everything that happens to us and in our lives. We have the power to make the decisions, to change the way things are, to make sure that we are in control of our own destiny.

responsibility-quoteWhat I love about Jonelle’s blogging is these awesome illustrated quotes.

pinterestI had to laugh at Lindsay’s Stop Pinning and Start Doing. She makes the point that we spend too much time on the internet (in this case, on Pinterest) instead of actually putting the things you’re pinning into practice. It sounds like me and all those blogging Ebooks sitting on my computer!

Namreen has written an inspirational piece on My Truths – Playing with Fire.

Negativity is like lighting a match and playing with fire… It starts off as a small flame dancing on the tip of a miniature stick. It is almost intriguing, drawing you in like a moth. Leave the flame burning for too long, and you risk getting burnt. Let go of the burning match and you risk leaving a blazing trail, having the flame engulf everything in its path!  Life is like that…you need to know when to blow out that flame.

Also loved this quote she had in her post:

negativity 2

 

Religion (Ramadaan)

Fazila writes about how she doesn’t want to be The Surface Level Muslim, and she doesn’t want that for her daughter either.

Zayaan writes What Ramadaan Means To Me. Inspired by what Fazila wrote she says:

I struggle with two very big things which are frowned upon by the Muslim community and that I’m more than likely getting judged on: wearing hijab and making my prayers on time (sometimes one or two even slip by) and I’m riddled with guilt. But every Ramadaan without fail these two things are in full force in my life and I feel so much better about myself, I feel almost lighter if that makes sense. I don’t know why I can’t follow through once Ramadaan ends but please pray for me that this is the year it carries on because I’m going to try my hardest to make it happen.

Firdaus has both a spiritual and practical concern for Ramadaan Mubarak.

While the actual abstinence is obviously a huge deal, as critical is the spiritual side of Ramadaan, reflecting on ones own character, aspiring and making changes to be a better person and generally doing more good deeds and this applies universally….

One seemingly minor,  but tiring battle for me is just co-ordinating the evening routine. As we break fast early in winter, food must be on the table much earlier than our usual supper time (and a little extra effort goes into meal preparation). After we break our fast in the evening, hubby, A, like other Muslim men,  is usually at the mosque for extended prayers in the evening, leaving me alone with the bath and bed routine, which is usually a shared task. I have no idea how single mothers do it, but for me, bathing a four year old while trying to stop a one year old (who has just been bathed) from diving back in the bathtub or play in the toilet bowl is the ultimate exercise in patience and self-restraint. Getting both to sleep simultaneously at a reasonable hour, prayers and then doing all the usual evening chores- mission impossible. Character building- that is what this month is all about!

Humour

Leigh writes about the ordeal of having a date night out – she concludes it was just not worth it:  The 20 Step Execution Plan that is Getting Ready to Go Out.

By the time we got the kids in the car which involved packing dummies, bottles, Benjies, dummy clips, sleeping bags, nappies, wet wipes and half a pharmacy and then having to go back in the house three times to get a special toy, same warmer clothes and a new sense of humor, we got all the way to grannies house to discover we forgot the milk.

Jozi has a hilarious How to dress yourself: A guide for almost Threenagers

You thought being able to walk and talk were as cool as it gets? Nah ah. Being able to dress yourself means: deciding for yourself what you are going to wear, even if it means shunning PJs for the rest of your life because you want to wear “normo clothes” (normal clothes) at bedtime. It means changing 47 times a day, pulling everything out of your wardrobe and leaving it in a pile on the floor for mum to nag you to pick it up. It means making and breaking the rules, like deciding that you want to wear underpants, but OVER your diaper. And it means never ever having to put up with what the mommy person says you need to wear if you really don’t agree with her.

Eleanor has a funny Kids are non Refundable, Right?

This product is not at all what I expected, but if you try to take it from me I will chase you down with the speed developed from chasing him around and beat you down with the strong arms acquired from wresting him down 🙂 

Blogging

Good tips from Jonelle on How to Start a Blog.

A post from Melanie So Much More (Let Your Light Shine) about how she took a break for a week from blogging and how it has helped her work out what is important. A timely reminder for us all…

I don’t have a huge readership, and I am absolutely okay with that. I don’t particularly want to be famous, and if I never have a post that goes viral, well, so what? In two days, I had three friends pull me aside to tell me that they’ve enjoyed my recent posts, that they’ve been challenged and encouraged. That is why I write, for the three people whose hearts I’ve touched, not for stats or followers. 

 

Please link up the ones I have missed! And comment on at least three of them.

 

May Roundup and Linky

The month of May was another prolific month for South African mom bloggers.  While we had the normal parenting, pregnancy and inspirational posts, there were also ones on grief, drugs, relationships and religion.  Some wrote about news events such as the royal baby and the Panayiotou murder. There were quite a few political ones.

May is also a time for Mother’s day and the point was made that there are very many different kinds of mothers. It was also a time for reflection on the wise words our mothers have given us.

I hope you enjoy these posts of our talented writers.

 

Pregnancy

Jonnelle writes a beautiful post to her unborn child in What I want for You. You need to read the whole post – there was so much I wanted to pull out…

We will accept you for who you are. We will encourage you to believe in the things that make sense to you, we will let you love who you want to love, and accept you for who you are, regardless of who that may be.

Radhia is having her pregnancy documented through Mamas and Papas magazine. Read about her second trimester here: A journey to Motherhood: Second Trimester.

Lindsay wrote a great one on Birth Plans versus Birth Experience. 

We all have these wonderful plans on how the birth / delivery of our baby will go, and great if it actually turns out that way. But for some, the reality is, it doesn’t. Now you can either go with the changes that happen or you can sit with this regret.

 

Parenting

Radhia has 10 Tips for The First Three Weeks of Motherhood.

The main reason I struggled with my adjustment to motherhood was my inability to accept that I had lost control. I lost control of every aspect of my life during those first few weeks of becoming a mother and I am now certain that if I had done just a few of the things I mention below, my transition to motherhood would have been a lot easier!

She also writes about Losing Control

I am a control freak, and always have been. I need to have things in order. I need to do things a certain way. If that does not happen, I lose my mind! That is most definitely part of the reason why I struggled to adjust to motherhood – because I lost control. Those times I wished to be back at work as opposed to being with a crying baby, was only because I wanted control. I yearned for it. I wanted to be able to do something from start to finish without any disturbances. That cannot happen anymore unfortunately.
 
And that’s okay. I am trying to make peace with it. Before, I would have been doing a spring clean on a Saturday evening because the chaos bothered me too much to sleep. Now, it is bothering me, but not to the point where I need to do it at this moment.
Christine has a useful list on 5 things Moms of Boys Must Do.
Luchae writes Choosing Life For My Family – I found this really applicable and challenging.
the-wise-womanThe amazing thing about God is that He has given us freedom of choice.
We choose what we allow into our lives and into our thoughts.
We choose how we react to situations and how we speak to people and make them feel.
We choose what we release into the atmosphere.
She also had verses, one of which I’ve pictured here.
Laura also has a thought provoking post on Interfering and Involvement are Two Separate Things.
So next time you are tempted to interfere, stop. Think about it careful before you charge the teacher/coach/friend and ask yourself – am I really making it better for my child if I do this.
 
I knew I had to do the right thing, I knew that giving in to her would mean there would be no lessons in consequences for her. And I love her. Oh God, I love her with every fiber of my being, but sometimes loving someone means that doing the right thing and that could mean that it will hurt you more. Ava is hurting right now, but I have no doubt, I’m hurting more.
Fazila compares the past eight months with her baby to a One Republic song in One Republic – I lived.
The guilt of single mommyhood is something tormenting Ulpha. She has a list of five.
I always want her to know and remember, she is my #1 priority. She won’t realize it now and despite working two jobs and doing all that I have to do, she is and will always be my #1 responsibility. She is my heart, my soul and the best thing that has ever happened to me.  All that I do, is all for her.
Things I never knew (about motherhood)  have been a surprise to Melanie. You’ll have to read her whole list.
I never knew how precious the simple touch of a child’s hand on my cheek would be, or how arms wrapped around my waist would make me feel so special.
Laura had a meltdown when she felt The Tired – it is in my soul.
You know how you hold it together until you don’t? You keep the balls in the air, the wheels turning, the mouths fed and then you stop, have a look and the balls are bouncing next to your weary slipper clad feet, the wheels have stopped and the fish fingers are burning. You stand there, too tired to even care. Not the tired that a nap will fix, the tired that has weaved it’s way into your soul. The tired that sits behind your eyes, making them heavy but unable to close. The tired that makes you want to sit in the puddle of chaos and just be because dealing with it, facing it, its just too much.
Cindy has some good insight on How to Survive Having More Than One Child. She also has some really good ones on  27 Things I’ve learnt while parenting three small people.
I liked this one:
I can’t tell you how many times I looked at Mothers with screaming kids and thought, “Just make them stop”.  Oh sweet, ignorant self – you were an idiot.  Making a child just stop having a tantrum is like trying to stop me eating an entire packet of Nik Naks in one sitting – just not going to happen.  Tantrums are not a result of parenting per say – your kid is struggling to express themselves and it’s not fun or even “acceptable”, but you bet your baby bag, it will happen.
Chevonne has some inspiration in Parenting Joy is in the Moments.
The joys of parenting is in the small moments that we sometimes miss when we become consumed by the busyness of life.
Useful tips from Fazila on Passport Application for an Infant and tips for flying with a baby.
Of course, I do understand that there are well-researched arguments for more collaborative, less competitive child-rearing approaches. I just don’t think that sheltering children almost entirely from competition prepares them for the current mainstream reality. I would argue that a more realistic approach for building confidence is to a) try to avoid creating competition where it need not exist and b) to teach children how to cope with losing – a skill even the most gifted must certainly need at times.
 
Relationships 
Melanie shares: A Submissive Wife? Me? Whatever your feelings on this, the post is worth reading because of how she honours her relationship.
Coral Leigh shares a difficult situation: one of those tough times: what would you do if your child said “I wish my dad would die!”?
 

Social Media

Nicky shares The Truth Behind the Perfect Family Photo about how her toddler did not co-operate at a wedding.

We tend to portray the perfect half a second shot as if this is the idyllic life that we live with a well behaved always smiling toddler when in actual fact, nothing can be further from the truth.

The Royal Baby

Leigh writes an amusing post in – We’ll never be Royals. As much as she feels sorry for the Princess’ loss of privacy, she also coverts the army of helpers as well.

Leigh (our very own Durban Doula) has her own opinions on the birth in The Day Kate Called the Midwives.

So in case you can’t see what bugs me about this – it’s the whole issue of gatekeeping – how is it that the men who weren’t there and or didn’t do anything except ‘oversee’ get the praise, the press and lists of qualifications and full biographies, while the midwives who did the work, whom the Duchess chose, are, on the whole, invisible, nameless and voiceless, and are qualified by the opinions of the doctors above anything else.

Panayiotou murder

Wenchy has a raw post about her own decision to leave her marriage and about how the better choices were made. The food isn’t up to standard is actually a quote from the murder’s lawyer about the prison food.

I thought to myself that I cannot let my children believe destruction is what marriage is about. This is not how I grew up. This is not how my story ends.

My overwhelming desire was much more disturbing. “I could totally take you out.  I could kill you and feel nothing.” I would even phone the police.  I had no intention of running.

That is the game changer. I didn’t.

I stood in that doorway for a long time,  then I turned around and took my sleeping children out of their car seats. I carried them to their beds. I remember being so thankful that they remained asleep.

I sat in the lounge all night weighing up my options. My income was tiny,  my kids were so small,  I’m so young – how do I get out? Acknowledging all the difficulties to follow, I filed for divorce. I removed my children from an unhealthy environment and I left.

Christopher Panayiotou didn’t. I don’t know why he didn’t want to be in that marriage anymore. It doesn’t really matter.

Mother’s Day

Eleanor grieves the loss of Logan by sharing what to day if a friend’s baby dies in Grieving Moms and Mother’s Day: Don’t say Stupid Things.

It all feels so crazy like I entered a triathlon and when I got to the cycle part, my bike was stolen, I trained! I was ready! I wanted it! Its not my fault I couldn’t finish 🙁

Sharon writes a post I resonated with: Birth moms, bereaved moms, step moms, first moms, grieving moms, angel moms, angel baby moms …celebrating all the types of moms.

While those of us who get to bask in the joy and pleasure that is Mother’s day, let’s spare a thought for moms around the world who maybe aren’t being acknowledged and celebrated and for whom the day is extremely painful.

Belinda’s brief To the Unmothered on Mother’s Day has some words for those whose mothers have passed on.

Because we are not without our mothers completely, we are simply untethered, like a boat that has cast off from a harbour, or one that has lifted its anchor.

Melanie has a thoughtful Badge of Honour post about body image.

Sweet moms, I pray that you learn to see your scars, stretch marks and wobbly bits as badges of honour. Let this be your Mother’s Day gift to yourself.

Natalie writes 4 Mantras I learnt from my Mom.

The one that struck home for me was “You can’t put an old head on young shoulders”. She also quotes a writer, Mary Schmich, whose words were borrowed for the Baz Luhrmann song “Everybody’s Free (to Wear Sunscreen)”.

Enjoy the power & beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power & beauty of your youth until they’ve faded, but trust me, in twenty years’ time, you will look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now, how much possibility lay before and how fabulous you really looked…

Chevonne writes Is This Enough: Mother’s Day

Mother’s day, is in these moments, moments of just being and giving freely, without the expectation of receiving anything in return.

I love my son, and HE is enough.

Religious

Zayaan writes about her preparation in Ramadaan-is-coming. You have to click over to see her cute kid in prayer position on a mat.

But preparing for Ramadaan is more than just the days that need to be paid in and food that needs to be bought (ironically Muslims eat the most during Ramadaan – don’t even ask how), but it’s getting into a spiritual place. The one thing I love most about Ramadaan is the peace that comes with it. And with the world being so turbulent right now, my soul needs a little peace.

Melanie has an inspirational post on God’s call in Get Off the Boat [When God Calls]

I want to be like James and John on the boat that day, to drop everything and follow as soon as I hear God’s voice, not thinking about what could happen but trusting that his plan is bigger and better than mine.

She also has a good one one Teaching My Children to Pray.

Politics

Natalie writes South Africa Through the Eyes of a Joburg Cab Driver. This incident happened when she was new to Joburg, going around for interviews without a car. The taxi driver spoke to a neighbouring  vehicle and then asks her:

“Did you understand what we just said?” he asks me as we pull away.

I reply that I am embarrassed to say that I did not. Not a word.

And then he turns to me and says, “And we could have been planning to murder you and you wouldn’t even have known?”

I smile.

And he smiles back.

I feel exhilarated. In that one moment in my first week in Joburg, this taxi driver has laid bare our country’s issues of violence, equality, language, race, class, education and has challenged me to confront them.

I dream that one day, we will all live in that South Africa. A South Africa in which we speak to one another as equals, regardless of the colour of our skins or whether we are expats or refugees seeking a better life here. A South Africa in which everyone feels truly free.

I liked this post from Rina – Sometimes. She writes about how she copes with all the bad news.

Those little things – that mean the world. That makes you realize your happy place is right there in your home with your family, where the horrors of the world are nicely covered with a blanket of love.Where you belong.

Eleanor writes about her child’s experience with racism: I don’t usually talk about race but…

I was shocked because not only isn’t Aidan an Umlungu (he is at most a Bruin Ou) but I came face to face with such young prejudice. What has this child learnt, and from who,  this child who can’t be older than 5 (she says she is 5,6,7,8,9) thinks that colours should be separated (I don’t even remember to do that in the wash).

I admire her for dealing with it in such a positive way: she let the kids run a race and they ended up as friends.

A thought provoking piece on homelessness from Chevonne: Please Sir, Can I Have Some More?

Now, standing here, an emptiness strangling me. He’s gone. My only friend, my only family. Tonight, I go home to an empty pavement and an extra blanket…soon my time will come.

I’m 48 years old, I’m homeless and hungry. I’ve not been on my ARV’s since I lost my shack, for a third time in a township fire…a month after my only child took a stray bullet to the chest.

People walk past me every day, they don’t see me…

A post from Leigh with a lot of conversation on whether to stay or leave South Africa: South Africa, my hope is gone…

Drugs

Chevonne writes Fading about how drugs engulfed someone. This is a powerful post.

Our connection blurred as I watched you walk into the dark, connecting with the sinister and sadistic gloom…you faded, a son, a brother – afflicted by addiction – you faded into the shadows of your keepers gallows.

Grief

Jonelle writes about losing her dad in Coping with Grief and the Sh*t People Say. This is a really useful post on what to say and advice on how to deal with loss.

If you’ve ever lost someone and you wonder how you will get through it just try to remember that although the pain will never go away completely, and you will always miss that person, it will get easier. You will learn how to cope and you will learn how to remember them without feeling like you can’t live without them. In the meantime though, it’s okay to cry, it’s okay to be miserable and hysterical and burst into waves of tears with absolutely no notice. It’s okay to not have it together all the time. Being sad is normal. Grieving is what you do to get over losing someone. We don’t cry for them, we cry for ourselves. We cry because we will never see them again so be okay with your grief but remember that you’re still alive and you still need to carry on living.

Cindy also writes a touching post about her dad and her experience as she lost him, bit by bit, to Muscular Dystrophy: On the Passing of a Parent One Year On.

It’s fair to say that we were grieving as a family since he was diagnosed.  Slowly mourning the “death” of each of his abilities.  Being able to bend.  Being able to walk.  Being able to write. Being able to hold anything.  Being able to feed himself.  Even being able to turn himself over in bed.  Obviously no one grieved these losses of bodily functions quite as much as he did.  Obviously.  It was not only the loss of movement, but of independence as well.

People tell you to treasure the time you have with someone before it’s too late.  To cherish it.  Sounds pretty easy to do right?

In fact I found it one of the hardest things to do.

Inspiration

Celeste writes about Karma and Boomerangs.

What we put out there in the world is what we ultimately get back. There is a saying, and don’t quote me on this one it, but it’s one used in the Cape Flats quite often, “You live by the gun/knife and you die by the gun/knife”. People this has been proven over and over. Life is short and you may live by the gun but die when hit by a bus too. Anything can happen at any given time but in most cases “What goes around, comes around”.

Fazila writes a history of her Anti-Child origins. She had a difficult time when her mom died when she was 17 and she had to look after her siblings.

This entire experience plus a few others made me anti – kids for a while. I knew better than most the type of responsibility, sense of duty and sacrifice that came with having kids. And if at any point I make it look as if this parenting thing is easy, it’s because I do find it easy, in comparison to what I went through before.

Celeste writes about being ONLY a Housewife. This post was so well written, she makes the point that we never know the full person, we just make assumptions based on appearances.

What they would know if they were actually interested in knowing the woman, they’d find that in spite of herself and her circumstances chooses to have faith and believe in things not yet seen. She gets up every morning with a grateful heart because she’s been given the gift of life for another day. In moments of darkness she takes a deep breath and carries on. She sees the glass half full and not just for the heck of it. She’ll tell you that it’s half full because in any situation or aspect of our lives there’s always room for improvement. She started her own business and works hard at establishing her business at making a name for herself. Unless you ask, she won’t volunteer any of the information to you. She’s long past the point of seeking validation from people. She knows who she is and what she brings to the table. I’m proud to say that I know her and I know her well.

Luchae writes It’s Hard Work to Stay Offended.

I‘ve begun to realize that carrying an offence is a decision. 
Because, ultimately, I am not in control of another persons actions…. 
So with that said, what I am walking away with is this: When I feel the smallest hint of an offence, I use it as a wonderful reminder to pray for the person and the situation and MYSELF… Because, at the end of the day, only the Holy Spirit can change things. 
Ursula writes an important Please Don’t Choose Suicide – You Matter! in which she openly shares her own suicide attempts.
Nothing stays the same, EVER.  No situation is static, we really never know what is around the corner.  It sounds trite but it is true.  I can’t begin to list the wonderful, beautiful and important things which have transpired in my life, things which I may never have experienced.  I can’t tell you how peaceful and happy I am now.   I would never have guessed the paths which would lead to my present.  Oh yes!  More bad stuff will happen.  Bad stuff that we don’t see coming, but it WILL pass, and it WILL leave us stronger, and it WILL give us a deeper experience of our worlds.
Inspirational words from Belinda: How to Marry Well: Advice to My Daughter
My Rachel, you don’t have to marry a man of course. You can marry anyone. Or not get married at all. But seek happiness, in whatever you do. They say that love is complicated but it’s not really. It’s either there or it isn’t. Know if it’s there, before you act.
I somehow believed that it would be experienced as extreme sadness and emotional outbursts. But in my case, it was the complete opposite. It was my complete lack of emotion that led to my diagnosis. I just stopped feeling. I stopped living. I just became an apperition in my own life. I was no longer a participant. I lacked the oomph to do anything to help myself. I lived inside an insulated, sound proof bubble, where I was incapable of feeling or hearing anything and I just floated along, completely oblivious and absent in my own life.
Cindy sums it all up so well: We All Have That Thing.

We all have something that makes our lives a little harder to live sometimes.  It’s SO easy to assume that you are the only one suffering, but I can guarantee you that you are not.  Not even close.

So I guess the lesson I learnt from this is that, not only should we be easier on ourselves (especially when comparing our lives to those of our peers), we should try and be more understanding when dealing with others too.

Humour

Laura has a very good 7 Reasons I Know There are Boys In The House.

Communication is in grunts and nods. How was your day Jack? Meh. Cameron is there soccer today? Nod. So you have to make sure you are looking at them all the time.

She also has a good one on Fiery Fours: What Not to Do.

Do not give in. If you do you will find your four year old running around the lounge wielding a steak knife wearing only 3 day only underpants in freezing temperatures. Stand strong! Do not allow them to skip bath time every night or jump like a bunny rabbit on the back seat of the car or run Flash Gordon like across the parking lot. However tempting it is, do not do it. Drink if you must, inhale chocolate if need be but do not give in.

I love Melanie’s A User-Friendly Guide To Mall Shopping. She stats that the Woolies queue is not the place to strike up conversation with a frazzled mom.

Above all, do not comment that she looks tired, that she must enjoy this age, and that her children are such angels. Sure, they’re behaving now. But the reason she’s frazzled and looks about to snap is because not two minutes earlier the children were screaming for the most expensive and unhealthy cereal on the shelf, the queue is not moving fast enough, everyone needs to pee, and her period is due.

Fidaus recalls a normal day trying to leave the house; this should sound familiar: Why a Simple Car Ride with Kids is not so Simple.

Go give this blogger a virtual hug:

Cindy is starting Roaccutane again, a skin treatment. This blog post is such a well written tour of her emotional state.

Walking through the winding corridors felt a bit like willingly walking into quick sand.  Sign after sign, urging me to go further in, around more corners, down long passages, past door after door of people specialising in different things.  Oh there’s my plastic surgeon.   There’ s baby being cradled in his Moms arms in the Neurosurgeons office – how awful, don’t think about it, you can’t start crying already.  The deeper in I got, the more I realised that I probably won’t be able to find my way out of there.

Poetry

If you need some encouragement to take a decision, Paula has a poem on Maybe Yes by Dana Faulds.

Begin somewhere.

Take one deep breath and dive.

Plunge into the core of your most persistent fear, or your greatest joy.

Chevonne has written a poem, Being Mother.

Being Mother

… not defined by the birth I gave
nor the many books I read
…it is the countless nights I crept
into your bed and watched you as you slept

So what have I missed? Add your favourite posts from this month. Comment on at least three others.

April Roundup and Linky

April has been quite a month for South African Mom Bloggers! We’ve had Easter (new life) and  we’ve had a wave of violence (tragic death).  There have been a series of excellent parenting and inspirational quotes, plus others on a variety of topics.  We have even had some links between politics and parenting, between the sad reality of SA car guards and bad service. Bloggers are writing about what is happening today…

 

Parenting

Lots of useful tips from Maz Going Back to Work After Maternity Leave…. The Good, the Bad, and Tips on How to Survive.

Chevonne writes about perspective on her son’s deafness: I’m Deaf.

I savoured the moment. His assertiveness. For the first time he was giving me information about his hearing without any probing from me. Standing in front of me, my assertive 7 year old, advocating for himself and voicing his challenges!

A real mom life post from Leigh: Did Mama say there’d be WEEKS like this? when her family all got sick one after another when they were on holiday.

Brendon and I drove back in convoy(one kid each) and I had time to think. To really wonder what these things teach us. And it took me back to the conversation I had with Noah the previous day on the beach. He asked me “Why do we get sick mom?” and after explaining to him about our bodies defenses and giving him a pretty basic explanation about bugs and germs he asked me “So is that how we die? Do the bugs kill us?” and of course this opened up a whole new conversation. As I saw the panic hit his eyes, I assured him there were some parasites and diseases that are more dangerous than the little lurgees we had been faced with and that he had nothing to worry about. I told Noah that when we get sick it teaches us to be grateful for our health and to not take our strong bodies for granted. I told him that when we go through horrible times of sickness we are taught to rely on God and each other and when we finally get out strength back we are appreciate our health so much more. We realize the energy it takes to run on the beach (he could barely walk and I had to piggy back him half the walk), to swim, to ride bikes, to play with cousins. We realize how specially designed our bodies are to move and enjoy life. He looked at me and said “Yes mom, and it teaches us to really enjoy eating ice-cream when we are better. I’m so excited to eat ice cream. Maybe it teaches us to say thank you for the ice cream too. I promise I will say thank you ok mom?”

Radhia writes about the difficulties of early morning pumping in Can I just have a few more minutes of sleep?

Motherhood has taught me so many things. And this morning, my motherhood has shown me the true meaning of faith and belief, patience, perseverance and self motivation. Because at this very moment, those are the only things getting me through this session. Faith and belief that I need to continue because there must be a reason why I am able to produce enough for her (I have always been a slow producer), so I have to continue. Patience because each session takes at least twenty minutes. Perseverance because I have to constantly fight myself to complete just that one session and constantly remind myself of the reasons why I am doing this. And self motivation, because I each morning I have to motivate myself (especially as the mornings are becoming colder) to wake up earlier than usual so that I can complete my morning session of expressing.

Celeste writes about the angst of letting her son take public taxis for the first time in Unwrapping the Cotton Wool.

Just after 4pm yesterday I got a “please call me” from my son. That was a good sign. He was done with chess and about to get a taxi. His words: “Mommy I’m going to walk now and get a taxi… (slight pause) I know which taxis to take and I’ll be fine.” Tears threatened to spill and I was tempted to tell him to rather wait right there while I call my sister to pick him on her way home from work. Hearing my mom and aunt’s voice echo in my mind and realising that my son needs to do this some time or the other, I let go and wished him a safe journey.

A little over an hour later he was home sweet home with the broadest smile on his face. He was so proud of this achievement and besides my obvious relief, I was proud too. The past 24 hours I finally decided that the cotton wool has got to go. As much as I try to shelter my kids, especially 1st K, it’s just not realistic. They need to be able to fend for themselves one day and my fears need to be cast aside once and for all if I’m to prepare them for real life.

An insightful post from Natalie: Validation and the Stay at Home Mom.

“Guess what, honey? I fed the kids three times today, did the school run twice, soothed six tantrums, got a quote for the leaking pool, went food shopping, picked up the dry-cleaning, built a Lego house, took the kids to swimming and went for a run. Can I get a whoop whoop?” This is hardly what you are going to say to your partner after their long day at the office. And the energy required to assuage a meltdown or negotiate putting on shoes with a toddler is immeasurably great – you actually have to experience it to believe it.

Natalie also compares parenting to a business project: Project Parenting: Applying Project Management Principles to Child Rearing.

Find out the creative way Karien worked running into her schedule: Testing, Testing…

Radhia writes a touching Life Before Her was Meaningless and Incomplete about how her babe has changed her.

One day, without noticing, things changed. I realised that the more she smiled, the more I smiled. The more settled she became, the more settled I became. The longer she slept off the arm, the more I began to feel like myself again. It was clear, as things became easier for her, it undoubtedly became easier for me! I didn’t feel trapped anymore. My life didn’t feel out of control anymore. I thought about my old life less and less as each day passed. I slowly began to accept motherhood.

Diagnosis: The Motherhood Virus is Leigh’s conclusion to her exhaustion.

When I asked my doctor what on earth could be going on with me his reply was pretty straightforward. ‘I’m afraid you have a pretty strong case of what I call MOTHERHOOD!” And I giggled. I lay there on his doctors’ bed and giggled like a little girl and realized that he was right. We both knew that since I was perfectly healthy, the only thing causing this pure and utter exhaustion I’ve been feeling lately are the two little rug rats who drive me dilly. Every. Single. Day.

Radhia writes I wish someone had warned me…

Heaven alone knows why, when I was pregnant, I only and constantly prayed for a successful natural birth. It would be a ritual in my daily prayers to ask the Almighty for a successful pregnancy and a successful natural birth. I was so naive and ignorant. I did not think about after birth. I did not think about nursing. I did not think about my emotions.

Special Needs

Maz has written a post A glimpse at what it is like raising a child with cerebral palsy, severe intractable epilepsy, and cortical visual impairment. Maz has details of how to help at the end of the post.

 

Pregnancy & Birth

A comprehensive post on Meds & Maternity – what kind of medication can you take when you are pregnant.

Shan has written a moving post about how her Birth Plan did not go according to plan – but she has made peace with that.

Life is about beauty, enjoyment and surprises. It is more than just a destination – it’s a journey to be treasured, respected and enjoyed. Why live life thinking what if and regretting the past? Move on, say why not now, find out how and learn to roll with the punches. Our way may not be the perfect way but God knows best and that is all we need to know.

A baby arrives and that is all that matters….

A story of a bipolar pregnancy on The Mom Diaries: Candice’s Birth Story.

The sad reality of car guards

Melinda writes The One Where the Women Got Kicked in the Face Because of Me.

This was funny because

These particular “car guards” who frequent this particular McDonalds are more of the class of vagrants, who have nicked day-glo green bibs and stand around looking like they are in various degrees of enhibiration the later the day gets.  But hey, who am I to judge.  Leave me in a parking lot staring at cars with a bib, and odds are I will be drinking wine through a straw by 09h00.

And sad because

I was horrified, and realised that my telling the guys that I was not going to tip them whilst they acted like hooligans, was directly translated into “while that woman is making a scene you guys are not getting any money!”

Politics and Parenting

Cindy is starting a series on Behind the scenes of a Mixed Race Family. 

Xenophobia Violence

The latest wave of violence against foreigners brought on blog posts:

-from Belinda: The Elephant in the Room: She gives some useful ways to help and links to Gift of the Givers.

-from Maz: South Africa is Breaking My Heart, I Cry for my Beloved Country (Warning Graphic Pictures)

The only way to defeat a bad legacy is to leave your own, one that makes their legacy look bad and one to be proud of. We are very obviously not doing that.

-from Melanie: A Prayer for My Country – a touching prayer.

When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God. – Leviticus 19:33-34

-from Sharon: The Tipping Point: these events have brought on a decision to emigrate:

Last week, while flashing through the news channels to watch the news headlines, they showed footage of “the burning man” (I won’t post is here, but if you haven’t seen it, you can view it here – His name was Ernesto Nhamuave ) and Ava saw it. She saw about two seconds of the footage while I yelled at Walter to change the channel and held my hands over her eyes. My 5 year old saw what South African’s are capable of doing to others. It is deeply disturbing. Deeply upsetting. It is barbaric. It disgusts me. I am ashamed of my countrymen….

We are leaving.

There are no words to describe the devastation I feel. The anger. The depression. But I can’t anymore… I can’t.

-On SA Mom Blogs Portia gave us an excellent guest post: A Mother’s Musings About Safety and Security in South Africa. 

It seems this is how we all deal with feeling unsafe: by spreading more fear.

This way of living makes no sense to me and I feel it does not contribute to quality of life. 

-Laura writes in  Cry the Beloved Country:

What has happened in SA recently is terrible. People have behaved like savages. Disgusting things have been said and done. People have lost their lives (I heard that 340 people have been killed due to xenophobia attacks since 2008 – this is revolting), families have been forced to flee back to their poverty stricken countries because South Africans have behaved like barbarians. It is inexcusable.

But does it make South Africa a terrible place to live? No, because the actions of a small group of people do not reflect a nation. Our collective reaction does.

Freedom Day

Chev has written a lovely history of her parents: Mom, Dad… My Freedom Heroes

The reality is that there are racial inequalities in our country, it is a given when looking at our history, but this should not mean that we cannot raise our children to be accepting of diverse cultures.

Why should we hold our children prisoners of our mindsets based on historical injustices…where is the freedom in that?

 

Bad service

Chevonne writes Consistent Service and Racial Perceptions where she was told that she would not be served in the take away section, and yet this happened to other people.

This incident made me realise how easy it would be for me to use the race card, especially when confronted with a situation like this. But I prefer to reason and look at the actions of staff within the context of their morning. I arrived when things were very quiet, the others arrived when it got busier. The Manager, may not even have noticed that tables were being waited on in the take-away section, etc.  A lack of consistency could easily have resulted in me labeling this establishment as racist…

Inspiration

Kim writes in My Mommy Heart is Broken about a friend’s child in ICU.

Today readers , followers, friends , keep praying with me and never take a moment for granted. 
Love love love each other, 
Love your children, 
Love your spouse, 
Love your mom and dad 
Don’t worry about the immaterial “silly” things of life, honestly life is precious and dear.  keep your faith strong x 
Eleanor writes Open Letter on Your Second Birthday about how she had the worst day but how her son makes up for it.
It reminds me that you are my rainbow … The calm after the storm…not just because of your brother but because of who you are little man and the fact that you are wise beyond your years.
Another amazing piece of writing from another second birthday from Belinda: Ben is Two:

A guy friend (with no kids) asked me the other day why, with the complete mess the world (and our country) is in, did I choose to bring kids into the world.

I was lost for words for a bit. And I probably didn’t explain myself properly, but what I wanted to say is that having children is an act of hope. But it is even more than that. Spending time with your children shows you that salvation is possible. That we can fix this. That there is beauty everywhere. I’m sure people can find that beauty and that hope in different places but for me: you and your sister are a constant reminder of this.

In a raw and moving post, Chevonne describes her molestation and attempted suicide: Living A Life Worth Loving.

I felt a euphoric peacefulness where no thoughts could penetrate, no turmoil could reach me. I drifted into a place where feelings no longer existed….

The first thing I did when I arrived home from the hospital was to write this note to myself and paste it on my wall “To live is to love, to love is to give, to give is to care, and to care is to love”

Somehow it reminded me that loving myself IS enough, and that caring for others IS to live, and to truly live I HAD to love myself and not allow the world and, sometimes, its harsh realities, to shatter my spirit and self worth.

 Maz has some lessons she took away from a movie date with her daughter: Today I took my daughter on a Cinderella date…. and we learned some valuable lessons!
Cinderella’s mother says: “I want to tell you a secret that will see you through all the trials that life can offer. Have courage and be kind.”
Melanie writes Flowers and Forgiveness (The Weight of Mom Guilt) about how she repirmanded her child for picking flowers and how easily her child forgave her.
I may not be the worst mother in the world, but I am very aware that I am not perfect. I want to parent my children the way God parents us, and when I mess up like I did today, I am so conscious of His grace toward me. I am so humbled by His grace and I want to model that for my children.
Namreen has a post about Second Chances: how her sister is getting another chance at love.
Every once in a while, Life hands us a second chance, a gift, a curve ball that has the power to wipe away an ocean of grief, change our destiny and open up a whole new world of possibilities before us!  Sometimes we have to have faith that Fate and Destiny will lead us to where we need to be…and into the arms of the right person!
Leigh has an awesome post Two Cent Pearls: YOMO + FOMO = Heck No! about the power of saying now and creating boundaries.
When I say no to things that aren’t heading in the direction I’m going in, then it empowers me to say yes to things that will advance me personally and professionally. It opens up space for real yesses.
 
Crafts
Melanie had a series of Easter crafts and lessons on her blog.
Work from Home
Firdaus wrote a really informative post about the different kinds of companies you can set up in Getting Started With Your Startup.
Daphne writes an encouraging guest post: The Small Things Really Do Count on Entrepreneurmom.
You never know which of your small actions is going to be the one to make the huge shift.
 
Doing Something Uplifting about Depression
Cupcake Mommy is making cute Tshirts that say “It’s okay”. It’s okay, the T shirt.

Recently I hit a REALLY dark time, it was bad, it was “where’s the blade” bad but I thankfully I have a lot of support and am surrounded by people who really care. I got through it. What really got me though is a non profit organisation called SADAG (South African Depression and Anxiety Group) who got hold of me on twitter and sent me supporting messages and offered to stay up with me and talk if that’s what I needed.)

I did a drawing during this, it spurted after I wrote the words “it’s okay” for myself to stick on my wall. Nym was the result. She’s me. And she’s saying that it’s okay, it’s okay to be sad or upset, to be tall or skinny or large. It’s okay to be you.

Blogging

Claire Winson had a post published on Blogelina: 7 Opt-In ideas to Entice More Subscribers.

 

So, what have I missed? Please list your favourite blog posts for the month in the link up and comment on at least three.