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