{Guest Post} The Fine Print of Parenting

Image by Nathalie Jomard

This post is written by Haneefa Motani , who blogs at Stylishi Mama

10 truthful tips on surviving pregnancy and first 6 months of your infants’ life:

 

People tend to sugar coat the parenting journey as the most fulfilling, enjoyable and exciting time of your life, which it is BUT… Something I learned very quickly was that it is also the most overwhelming, frustrating and confusing time of your life. For first time parents, it is a process of trial and error which is fun when you’re doing a school experiment but when there is a child’s life involved, it can become quite daunting to say the very least. Since this is my first parenting blog post, I felt quite a bit of pressure to impart the right knowledge but then I though hey why not highlight the humour aspect since you’ll need to have the ability to laugh at yourself to survive the ‘madness that is motherhood’. *Disclaimer 😉 In case you’re a sensitive reader perhaps you should give this blog post a miss. While I mostly try not to offend anyone this is a story based on my journey and laughter is what’s kept me semi-sane so here goes…

Parenting Preparation Tips:

  • While pregnancy can be the most beautiful time to some that’s not usually the case…

 

For the majority of us it is a time where we have to blindly put a blade to our most precious parts, deal with flatulence that knows no etiquette, throw up to a point where our sweat is mistaken for a pregnancy ‘glow’, aren’t able to fit in or walk in our favourite heels or jeans and may never again, emotions that you know are irrational but which consume you like a diseased hormone infested demon and by far much more. The good news is that all of these bullshit symptoms somehow prepare you for the insanity that you are about to face… because you learn to survive what you think is the worst card you’ve been dealt right? Wrong, but you’re gaining an understanding of the madness that is motherhood!!

 

  • You will get an influx of advice from pretty much everyone!

 

 Including random strangers (who sometimes pet your bump), whether you’ve asked for it or not. Take it all with a pinch of salt. Like the saying goes, different strokes for different folks and babies are no different. Smile and nod to what each person has to say because they generally mean well even if they have no freaking clue what they’re talking about, but do what you feel works for you and your family whether it’s conventional or frowned upon. . One of the best pieces of advice that I got was when my sister told me that I would have moments where I would want to bang my child against a wall and that’s okay as long as I didn’t actually do it .

 

  • Ignore the emphasis placed on this magical maternal instinct theory

 

We come to expect it to kick in immediately however that’s not necessarily the case. It takes time to learn your babies routine, to identify which type of cry goes with which emotion and to learn what their likes and dislikes are (which can change on an hourly basis). Try not to resort to alcohol or substance addiction during this learning curve and give yourself a pat on the back for every day that you and your child have survived. That’s all that matters for now.

 

 

  • Your life as you know it is going to change… drastically!

 

And I mean every aspect of it- from your friends, your relationship with your spouse, the way that you spend your time and money, the way you view the world and your sudden interest in politics, pollution, germs, SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) paedophiles and other crap that you never took an interest in. The good news is that once you pass the initial FOMO stages, you will start to look forward to Saturday nights spent in PJ’s and passing out in front of the TV with a bite of Mr Delivery or Uber Eats finest in your hands.

 

  • The first couple of months are like completing an obstacle course but blindfolded and drunk!

 

image from Shutterstock

This will likely be the most infuriating time of your life. Aside from their intoxicating baby smell, and wind confused with smiles, there is not much else that they have to offer. There is a good chance that you will be battling extreme exhaustion, often mistaken for post-natal depression, and have to brave the daily hurdles, pretending to be sane in this befuddled state. You will most likely have to deal with almost losing a fingertip during nail cutting despite using the ‘safe’ clipper, your child being confused for the opposite sex or worse your grandchild, poo or vomit explosions that make you question the very existence of God- and they will happen when you’re in a rush… Then there are the eye bags which have swallowed your cheeks, leaky nipples, stretchmarks, the inability to sneeze, cough or jump without peeing yourself a smidge and a butt that is the graphic depiction of gravity at its best… So essentially you are left with a body that you no longer recognise.

 

  • The anti-climax that is sex

 

Even if you’re one of the lucky ones who has a sleeper of a baby, chances are that you won’t have much time or energy to have sex. Which means that you will have to put your arm that’s been rocking a 5+ kilo weight and your hand that’s been patting away most of the day to even more work for some much needed pleasure. Thank God for dildos as blasphemous as that may sound.

 

  • Time is… Hell where is it?

 Embed from Getty Images

You may have this misconception that because a new born sleeps for most of the day, you will have some time on your hands… Wrong! Sometimes the burping process alone can take up to two hours and then bang your child is hungry again after vomiting all of their food out. On the plus side, you become increasingly aware of how you spend your time and chose to spend it with people and hobbies that really matter.

 

  • Sometimes ‘selfishness’ is your sanity

 

It is perfectly fine to want some ‘me time’. This DOES NOT make you a selfish mother but rather a mother with a revitalized spirit, ready to undertake the challenges ahead. Also remember that a romantic date night with your partner is a must. Whether it’s once a month or whenever you manage to squeeze it in, you need some alone time to reconnect since your priorities have changed. I think the notion that men are not sensitive or needy by nature is a big hoax. They need constant reassurance that you appreciate them even if it feels like they do fuckol for the baby in comparison.

 

  • You can never ‘win’ so don’t bother trying

 

There are certain aspects of motherhood that are so sensitive and yet people, particularly fellow mothers, are dead set in their opinions. Breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding… sleep training vs. not or dare I say co-sleeping… homemade organic veg and fruit purees vs. store-bought ‘crap’ apparently… Homeopathic meds vs. traditional pharmaceutical products. I advise that you pick 4-5 values which you want to impart on your child, that are important to you and your partner and forget the rest. Judgement is for assholes… Don’t be one!

 

  • Your tolerance levels go waaay down

 

It could be the hormones, it could be you discovering yourself, it could be your change in priorities but the bottom line is that you no longer have the patience to deal with shit. By shit I mean there may be certain people who you used to love but now you are seeing a different side to them, it could be the person who barges in front of you when you’re in a queue, it could be the hungover waiter who gets your order all wrong, it may be the idiot next to you smoking a cigarette while you’re quitting, perhaps it’s our idiot president who laughs in our faces when confronted with his corruption allegations. It could be anything really… Annoying people and situations will most likely piss you off more than usual but it’s okay because you learn to let go and let God in situations that you can’t control and to get rid of people who don’t deserve you time and energy!

 

 

I hope this brutally honest depiction of pregnancy and childbirth don’t deter you from embarking on the most exciting chapter of your life but at the same time, be forewarned  because the fine print of parenting is endless but know that you are not alone!

 

Haneefa Motani is the lady behind StyLishi Mama, an exclusive ladies fashion brand that creates affordable, breastfeeding-friendly clothing designed to flatter a woman’s figure, during and after pregnancy.

After a very successful first year of trading, StyLishi Mama has big plans for women’s fashion, creativity and entrepreneurship.

Haneefa has partnered with some amazing woman and  will soon be launching the ultimate shopping experience for families, which will provide fellow entrepreneurs with a platform to gain exposure, network and to learn some valuable marketing and branding insights.

Additionally, they are planning a training programme to teach each woman in need of surplus income how to make and market fashion accessories, such as jewelry, scarves and bags.

Her desire to help woman is a passion that she believes has the potential to change our future based on the tremendous value that we contribute, particularly as mothers, despite still being an undervalued and underestimated segment in society. 

Six Things I like About the LG NeoChef Microwave

LG NeoChef Smart Inverter MicrowaveThe LG NeoChef Microwave not only looks very classy with its minimalist design, it also has a lot of features busy moms will appreciate. I’ll be honest, I mainly use my microwave to defrost and reheat. I only use the grill/ combi function when it has packed up on our normal oven (which tends to happen a lot, our oven is on the old side) so I was interested to try out this oven which not only cooks, but bakes and roasts as well. 

 

I recently went away for a week and left my husband to fend for himself with this new microwave. Even he was able to operate it (although the extra strength takes a bit of getting used to. He actually melted some plastic when he was trying to steam some potatoes!)

So here’s what I like about this microwave oven, as opposed to my older model, which also happens to be an LG model. 

 

  1. Quieter

The microwave hums very softly. My previous one was quite loud and tended to wake up Nicky some mornings.

2. LG NeoChef Anti Bacterial Easy CleanEasy to Clean

I really like the inside surface of the microwave. It is some grey substance (Anti Bacterial Easy Clean) that is very easy to wipe. Although I am really making an effort this time to cover the food when I cook. I must say the inside of my previous microwave was a bit icky, especially at the top. 

3. Hexagonal turntable

hexagonal turntable LG NeoChefNot sure if it’s because my old LG is just old, but the turntable has seen better days. This one is way more stable and will prevent objects which aren’t quite in the middle from tipping over. 

4. Brighter light

The LED lamp is three times lighter and more energy efficient. You will find it much easier to see what’s going on inside.

5. Quicker / hotter

Because this oven can go up to 1200 W everything you cook cooks faster. If you want to you can even cook pottery in this microwave.

I left my husband alone for a week with a new microwave and he actually burnt a plastic container. He was trying to steam potatoes. So you have to keep an eye you don’t overdo it!

6. More functions

LG NeoChef microwaveAlong with the normal cook, grill, combi, defrost etc there is something called “Popular Menu” where they provide the recipes. All you have to do is put the ingredients together, and press “Popular Menu” and then the relevant number. (There’s a more detailed menu inside the microwave).

The image on the left shows how I cooked some lamb chops on the Combi function, using the rack which comes with the product (and a plate underneath to catch the drips). They did actually taste pretty good!

On “Inverter Cook” you can Roast, Soften and Melt (things like chocolate), Defrost and Cook, do Yoghurt and Keep Warm your food. 

Something else really fancy is that the microwave has a “Smart Diagnosis” where you dial a helpline and then hold the mouthpiece of your phone up to the icon.

My verdict? A very smart (and stylish) microwave that will keep clean longer and make your life easier. 

Here is a video where I compare my old model and do a bit of a demonstration. Check out Nicky munching cookies and giggling in the background. 

 

 

For more info on the microwave see their website.

This post is sponsored by LG and we were also provided with the NeoChef microwave. 

 

 

{Product Review} Slime Time!

Nicky and I had a lot of fun at NickFest but were a bit disappointed that we couldn’t participate in the slime area which was sold out. Now you can buy your own slime and enjoy it at home!  Zimpli Kids has both slime and red goo (Slime Baff and Gelli Baff) you can use both in the bath or in a bowl as a sensory experience and of course, lots of fun!

The boxes come with a set of instructions and it’s important to try and follow them in order to obtain best results. I’m not sure I did all the right things but we had fun anyway! We first had to put in 4cm of water before we added the slime. I found it wasn’t really necessary to add much more water and we had fun with the slimy consistency.

I couldn’t help lifting it up all the time just to see the goo!

Nicky had fun too, and of course his favourite bath toys – Zebra, Parrot, Lion and Horsy – were part of the exploration of the fun. As you can see in these videos, he was up to his normal playing where Lion was naughty for making too many waves (so he went to “jail” behind the shampoo bottles) and zebra was pooping (our current obsession as a five year old).

 

 

 

 

The Gelli Baff turned out a lot thicker (not sure if I did things right) and this was a lot of fun too. With this one there is an extra packet that you add to dissolve the mixture. 

It reminded me a lot of jelly and Nicky said that Lion couldn’t swim because it was so thick.  So I suggested that Zebra could push him!

 

I also tried some slime at school (quite thick and without much water) so you can see the kids stretching it like Prestik! 

There are loads of videos of Zimpli Kids on YouTube and in fact some of them have 2.5 billion views.  All products are safe, non toxic and environmentally friendly so they can be drained away and disposed of easily. I do recommend, however, that you clean that bath very thoroughly afterwards. I didn’t clean the slime away properly and the next time I lay down in the bath I was really itchy that night!

Some other bloggers have also tried it out. I really like what Rebecca did as a Halloween sensory box, combining creepy crawlies with slime. 

Tracey tried out the blue version and noticed it was fine for her son Liam’s sensitive skin. 

Carly was also concerned about her child’s sensitive eczema and it was fine. She also commented about reading instructions first. Thanks Cindy! Here’s a photo of the leaflet!

 

 

 

Charlene’s Zee tried out the “Princess Pink Gelli Baff” and enjoyed it very much. “I really, really like it, and I had a lot of fun, so I give it 6001 smiley faces!” she said. 

Jonelle also tried it out and had great fun here. 

What do you think of Zimpli Kids Slime and Gelli Baff? Would your kids go for it?

These products will be available soon at Toys R Us. 

We were provided with the products for review. 

 

 

{Guest Post} How Kids Lose Their Creativity

how kids lose their creativity, how you can stop kids losing their creativityToday’s post about how to foster creativity in a child is written by Annabelle Short. 

 

Do you remember just being completely open-minded as a child? You could compose an entire army of invisible friends, you could draw just about anything you could think of and you could find a way to play a game with just about any object in your site.

 

But, somewhere along the line, that all changes.

 

For the longest time, I feel like I have struggled with creativity…

 

I always thought it was just me until I had my own kids. Then, I realized, it wasn’t that I was never creative, but rather, I grew out of it. I lost my creativity.

 

Does that not just give you an overwhelming sense of sadness? We simply grow up and lose our creativity.

 

But, why do we as parents just accept that our child losing their creativity is part of life? It gets placed in a box with losing teeth or something of that nature.

 

Instead, we should be doing everything we can to foster more and more creativity in our child’s life…

 

Why is creativity important?

 

What if you knew the answer to all the world’s problems?

 

Well, let me let you in on a little secret on how to find it…

 

The answers always lie within creativity. Because you lack the creativity of a child, you are unable to see the possibilities and the answers that lie within such a basic object…

 

But, creativity defines our ability to succeed in the workplace, it defines us as humans, it defines our ability to effectively communicate in a relationship. If we are letting our children lose their creativity, we are setting them up to fail.

 

So, it only seems natural that everyone would be fighting for their child’s creativity…

 

Yet, somehow our kids are still losing it:

 

How do kids lose their creativity?

 

We live in a fast-paced world, full of ruthless competition. The models that were being used in schools in the past have since been forgotten.

 

Instead of teaching creativity, other areas of education have taken privilege over creativity.

 

And, as a result, the educational systems are robbing the next generation of their creativity, which is actually their competitive edge.

 

But, something can be done about it:

 

How do you prevent a child from losing their creativity?

 

A few ways you can continue to foster creativity in your child include:

 

  1. Teach them to challenge assumptions.Oftentimes, children are taught to just accept things the way they are.I will never forget being a child and asking my parents “why.” There was nothing more frustrating than when their answer was “because I said so” or “that is just how it is.”But, teach your children to question that instead of just accepting it. Teach them to think outside the box and not only wonder but try to determine why something is the way it is.They should always be curious. They should always be imagining the different outcomes and reasoning behind things.

 

2. Teach them mistakes are okay.

Nobody likes to make a mistake – it is embarrassing. But, mistakes are a part of life and it is okay to make them. Mistakes are not evil.Teach your child that as a result of creativity, they will make mistakes. But, this is also how they learn. So, it is okay to make mistakes, but, use them as a teaching opportunity.Oftentimes, the fear of making a mistake can greatly hinder creativity.

 

3. Foster curiosity and use of their imagination.There is no better way to foster creativity than to foster curiosity…As long as they are curious about something, they will continue being creative.

Teach them to ask questions, teach them to dig deeper than just the surface of everything.

Try various creative projects, such as artwork, crafts, sewing projects that forces them to create something new and to think outside the box. Crafts such as coloring, drawing, cutting help boost self-confidence and increase creativity. Sticker art projects, paper crafts, simple sewing projects are just few examples.

 

Just like with anything else in life, practice makes perfect. And, continuous practice of creativity will help foster the continuance of it in their daily lives.

 

As parents, we have the opportunity to ensure our child never loses.

 

how to foster creativityAnnabelle Carter Short is a writer and a seamstress of more than 5 years. She loves making crafts with her two children, Leo (age 9) and Michelle (age 11). Annabelle likes to write about crafting, sewing, and parenting. She splits her time between London and Los Angeles and writes for Wunderlabel. You can visit her blog to learn more about her and her handmade creations. 

{Guest Post} Mom O’Clock

Today’s post is written by South African Mom Blogger Ellen Pather, who blogs at Musings By Ellen

 

Ever notice how a woman’s life is governed by cycles and calendars, an intrinsic sense of time?

Once those dreaded monthlies start, it is a veritable anticipation to the next one around the same time the next month if you are lucky. From the moment you discover you are pregnant, it enters a different phase. At first, you count the weeks, and then somewhere it morphs into months.

Your life is now governed by these –your 6-week check-up, then its baby’s’ a vaccine schedule, not to mention those hourly intervals for feeds and on it goes tick-tock, tick-tock…

 

Before I became a mum, I was never later for anything; in fact, I was always early. I would finish tasks ahead of schedule, my calendar and diary a neat, tidy box ticked off perfunctorily with each accomplishment.

 

Well, hasn’t that all changed. 11 years and three children later, the clock has truly turned. I have changed, it seems. Marching to a different rhythm that only mothers would understand.  Keeping time in seasons and tasks, a verity of multiple mental-tabs open in her ever-active mind, like world-clocks in a busy train station. Her movement and even her language going against the clock of mainstream life.

 While others sleep, she is awake.  Warming midnight feeds or shushing slowly to sleep this marvellous creation which itself does not conform to any clock. If you are anything like me, you are the one in the aisles as soon as the store opens, while others are stuck in morning traffic tapping into the daily grind.

Living in summer, but shopping for winter, planning your purchases to those 65% sales.

 

“What time is breakfast?” is now no longer answered by a clipped o’clock but rather shouted down the hallway, “After you brush your teeth!”

 

Aah, the mysteries of motherhood – I will try my best to delve into a few choice off-the-clock settings:

 

JUST NOW

Which mother has not resorted to this when pushed for a time…?”Moooommmmm, what time is……”

As all mums know this response could mean anything from in-the-next-few-seconds to as-soon-as-I’m –ready. So far, so good, this one works for me.

 

JUST WAIT TILL YOUR FATHER GETS HOME

This is serious stuff. Usually pulled out in critical moments of severe mishaps that require more stringent discipline than the trusty wooden spoon.  Usually, renders the offender to a point of penitence and subdued behaviour until dad can deal with it. Very handy.

 

AFTER LUNCH/DINNER 

Being a mum, life becomes a revolution of one meal to the next, and so we can govern some things by that same clock. This retort is used frequently in my home, especially during weekends and school holidays to ward off relentless requests for sugar and snacks. This injunction is non-negotiable.

 

FOR CHRISTMAS

This I love.  It seems to make its appearance when the rug-rats traipse through the toy-section on an unavoidable excursion to the stores, which I usually try to do alone. Hope springs eternal in their precious hearts, as each, “Mom, did you see that…” is responded with a “Sure, we can look at that for Christmas.” Although bless their souls, this mom does store the offerings in the old memory bank to be hauled out later when looking for stocking-fillers and the like.

 

And lastly, my personal favourite….

 

WE’LL SEE

An easy and simple way that fobs off any chance requests of ludicrous pleas into the vast abyss of not-anytime soon.  It works.

 

Although, the rug-rats seem to have cottoned onto some of these, so I shall have to get a bit more creative, soon…..later…

 

Yes, I’ve definitely changed my use of time. While I have never been one for designer brands, now I no longer muse at expensive timepieces. My mom’s-clock is the best I’ve ever had – priceless and timeless.

 

 

Ellen is a soon-to-be 40 year old mum to 3 girl-kids.
She works full-time and since becoming a mum 11 years ago,  relishs her role as a mum more than anything. She recently decided to nurture passion for writing – perhaps the impending 40th birthday had something to do with it …. and has jumped in head-long as a blogger and finding her feet as she goes along.
 
“I love writing as a mom-blogger, and my other interests are Inspiration & Encouragement, as well as Family and Relationships. I am Durban-born and proudly South African. I am also keen to get into writing content and reviews and hope to present local content to a national and international audience.”
 
Find Ellen on her blog or on Facebook. 
 
 

A visit to Children’s Hair Salon Maddy Magoo Fourways

If your kid is anything like my kid, it’s probably a struggle to do anything to do with their hair. The weekly ritual of washing hair is a bit of a struggle. And as for going to the hairdresser…. not the favourite thing to do. Nicky has tagged along with me to various hairdressers over the years, but never to one that specifically catered for kids. So it was an interesting experience to visit Maddy Magoo, which is a hair salon set in Kid’s Emporium at The Gantry, in Fourways, across from Papachinos. 

Maddy Magoo is set right upstairs within the Kid’s Emporium shop. It even has an outside balcony. The salon has a lot of fun decor, toys and hair equipment. 

The man who cut Nicky’s hair’s name is Vusi. This guy is a real character. He has a lot of enthusiasm for what he does, and I think he is really fun with kids. I think he should have had a  funky hat or something to complete the fun way he dashes around to take care of the little ones in his charge. 

We started off the hair cutting process in a high chair  with a fun bib of an orange super hero and Nicky was also entertained by a movie on the screen (Ice Age, hey who doesn’t love that squirrel chasing the nut?) as well as video games on a tablet. One of the games was a soccer game where he had to score goals and Nicky loved this. The manager Jacqui playing with him kept teasing him that he was 15 instead of 5 because Nicky kept scoring and she kept losing!

 

 

 

After the cut Nicky had a shampoo. This is to get rid of all the stray hairs. He enjoyed the head massage. 

I was interested to see them using the Tangle Teezer (which we included in our #JoziMeetup goody bag back in May) as part of the shampoo process. Vusi also pointed out to me Nicky’s dry, flaky scalp and asked what shampoo I was using. So, I tend to continue to use the baby shampoos but actually it is time for Nicky to move on from that and we purchased some special Shampooheads  treatment that will help with this problem. 

 

Lastly it was time for a blow dry and then we were finished.

All smart and ready for photo day at school.

If you are wanting to make the hairdressing experience more fun and less of an ordeal, then pop over to The Gantry and go upstairs from Kid’s Emporium to find Maddy Magoo Fourways. 

They are also running a special this October with Papachino’s where if you spend R200 or more you get a cappuccino at the restaurant and if you spend R300 or more at Papachino’s you’ll receive a 10% discount on any treatment. A fab restaurant where you can let the kids go mad playing and even make pizza, I’ve been there a few times.

Maddy Magoo also does themed parties. They will come to your house and bring the party packs and food or you can have it there. This isn’t just “glamour parties” for girls they do boys ones too (Spiderman, Paw patrol etc)

So now, no more excuses, next time your kid needs a haircut head on over to Maddy Magoo!

Check out their price list here. Maddy Fourways Price List 2017

Disclosure: I was provided with a voucher for a haircut for Nicky. 

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.

 

From D to A with SkillUp Tutors

When Kris started high school, after moving from Johannesburg to Cape Town, she was dismayed to obtain two D’s in Geography and EMS. Her mom, Debbie, went online to find a tutor on SkillUp Tutors and the rest is history.  She achieved an A in Geography and now has confidence in all her subjects after her tutor also helped her in Accounting. She now only uses them for extra Maths assistance. 

In today’s schools, where large classes often mean overworked teachers just don’t get to each child, tutoring is an excellent option, especially where your child is struggling in a particular subject. Even in small classes, there are gaps of misunderstanding, and places where students fall short, purely because they haven’t been able to have someone sit down with them and explain things properly, because teachers have a full class to teach and time ran out.  This is where the Tutor system comes in. Individual attention where your child needs it the most.

However, there’s a problem.  It’s pretty expensive to hire a tutor. 

This is where SkillUp Tutors differs from other agencies. They let their tutors set their own rates (from R50 to R500 per hour) and only take as little as 10% commission. 

You can look for tutors all over the country, tutors who have been screened for quality and safety. What’s more, if you find one that you really like that isn’t in your location, there is an online learning space complete with camera and whiteboard to explain concepts further. 

Skill Up Tutors has more than 5000 tutors on their database and they operate from Junior school right up to University. 

Mathew runs a slick operation; he is extremely professional and I love how he uses technology as a platform to match his tutors with learners’ requirements, to keep parents updated with lessons used and to communicate progress reports. Kristin’s tutor Johnathan has not missed a lesson, he is reliable, prepares well and is so enthusiastic.”

“Johnathan is not only an intelligent student himself, but he has bridged the gaps for Kristin in Geography, EMS, Accounting and Maths. He is also a great role model for someone like Kristin as he has shown her what it takes to be a successful second year student studying at UCT”

“We plan to use SkillUp going forward especially as Kristin enters grade 10 with her subject choice. I believe this will benefit her as she plans to study at university.”

“Carmen will also use their services when she needs extra practice to achieve those distinctions” says Debbie. 

 

Here are some other recent tutor reviews:

 

SA Mom Blogs recently ran a competition to win a voucher for SkillUp Tutors and Louise, from Myang, was the winner. She had this to say:

My son Jono has just finished writing his last Grade 11 exam. He lives in Cape town with his dad and step-mom.

He booked two sessions with a lovely lady, who gave him such useful information. The site was easy to use, and it was so nice to pick JUST the right person to help, reading through the tutor portfolios and strong points. Also so lovely to have someone come to the house for us.

He said she spoke to him on the phone first about where he was battling with his physics and chemistry, and then arrived with prepared notes and summaries, as well as some past papers and tests she had put together for him.

He said she was SO patient, and explained in a way that he immediately understood. I think she just GOT him, because he’s very visual and she seemed to pick that up immediately and help him in a way he could understand.

She then left him with loads of work to do between sessions, and warned him that she wanted it all done before she came back for the next lesson. And he did it all! Do you KNOW how hard it is to get a 17 year old boy to co-operate with anything in any way where school work is concerned?!  Or with anything, for that matter. 

We will definitely make use of these services again, and I’ve already decided to set aside budget for him to spend time with her regularly next year. It will be money well spent.

 

 

For more information check out their website at  SkillUp Tutors.

There’s no reason why your child should be suffering to understand concepts when the right , affordable tutor can be matched to them and make a difference. 

 

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

Today’s post is written by Hayden Myers.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Reasons your child needs serious amounts of sleep

 

Les Miserable

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

Grow Grow Grow

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

 

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

 

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

 

Who’s got a big tummy?

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

 

This is not wise.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

I’m so sick!

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

 

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

 

Rest!

 

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

Are you focusing?

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

Such a Smart Alec

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

 

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

 

 

Curb the eating

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

 

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

 

Let’s calm down to a panic

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

Consistency is key

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

Cool and comfy

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

And, what do I have for you here?

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

 

Be creative with this. Kids love getting stuff.

 

 

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

 

Do it for the adult they will become one day.

 

 

 

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HaydenMWriter

Instagram: @haydenmwriter

 

Six Lessons in Friendship at My Little Pony: The Movie and Win Tickets

 

The My Little Pony movie releases on 6 October. It is a super cute annimated story the kids will love (my 5 year old son enjoys the ponies too) but it’s also open to a deeper meaning about the values of friendship that adults will appreciate. Take your kids to see the movie and enjoy it yourself too. SA Mom Blogs is giving away two sets of four tickets each to the new My LIttle Pony movie. 

So what is friendship all about? Here are some values I picked up from the movie.

  1. Fun and laughter.  The ponies are sheer fun with lots of games and appreciation of the joy to be found in life. You only have to watch Pinkie Pie getting really excited (“Best Day Ever!”) and Rainbow Dash doing super sonic rainbows around a pirate boat to see how full of fun they are. We need to have more fun in our lives. And not take things so seriously. 

2. Love your enemies.   I’m not just talking about the bible verse Matt 5:44.  I think the mark of a mature person is to be able to think about why a person you can’t stand releases certain emotions within you, and  what it says about you. But perhaps one should also consider what that person has been through to make them that way, and love them anyway.

In this case, the enemy is Tempest Shadow, sent by the Storm King, who overthrows the city of Cantelot and drive out the six ponies. 

Tempest has a broken horn. There’s a sad story of her past involved here, but the point is she is willing to do the Storm King’s bidding to get it back. She has faced rejection in her past and doesn’t easily trust people, but in the end, it is the true spirit of friendship that saves her. 

3. Use the resources you have and be content with who you are.  There’s a scene at the beginning of the movie where Twilight Sparkle asks her fellow princesses to use their magic to make the sun and the moon to be placed at the right angle for the perfect lighting for the festival she is organising. They say no. She must use what she has. How often do we expect things to line up just right? But the real task ahead is to channel what we have?

Tempest Shadow also must learn that her broken horn has powers too. Something we consider broken can actually be our biggest strength. 

4. Be open. The entire city of Seaquestria is underwater. The ponies have changed their appearance into fish. Sure,it’s fun to watch them swim around, but you have to think: how far have they gone to hide from the Storm King? It was a survival tactic, but Twilight Sparkle knows this route is not for her. She has to deal with things face to face. 

5. Forgive mistakes. Twilight isn’t without her wrong moves and a mistake that gets her and her friends kicked out of Seaquestria. But the key here is that her pony buddies can (eventually) look past it and come to her rescue. 

6. Empowering others. The ponies convince the pirates to stop working for the Storm King and come into their own. They realise this amongst a whole lot of song and dance and aforementioned supersonic rainbow. 

True friendship is about lifting others up and supporting your friends. And the ponies do that really well.

Each pony has a different “element of harmony”. Pinkie Pie represents laughter, Fluttershy represents kindness, Applejack represents honesty, Rainbow Dash represents loyalty, Rarity represents generosity and Twilight Sparkle represents the magic of friendship.

Nicky kept asking me which pony I liked best. I liked Twilight Sparkle (so did he) for the way she  worked hard to save her friends. But I also really liked Applejack for being really down to earth and that rich earthy Southern accent.  Honesty is a good leveler and it is often appreciated. I also liked the practical way she was distributing drinks for the festival. 

 

This is a star studded movies with lots of singing too. We have a pony that looks just like Sia, is Sia, and sings like Sia. Played by Sia but called Songbird Serenade.  

Here’s the trailer. 

 

 

And here are some other cool things about My Little Pony:

 

  • My LIttle Pony  is also having a  friendship tour. They will be in Sandton City, Jhb, 2-14 October. 
  • They also have a range of toys to celebrate the movie. 

 

The My Little Pony movie inspired range will be available from Toys R Us, ToyZone, Toy Kingdom, Hamleys and other major retailers. You can also shop online for My little Pony products at Takealot.com

 

  • You can also make your own pony here: (mine is Lilac Blossom):

 

But the most coolest thing?

You can watch the movie for yourself and see the ponies in action. And take along your family.

Win!

SA Mom Blogs is giving away two sets of four tickets each to the movie.

All you have to do is follow the Rafflecopter prompts. 

 

Terms and Conditions

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

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

 

 

 a Rafflecopter giveaway