Tag Archives: Mother

I love my helper….

21 May

One of the choice scenes from Sex and the City Two takes place between Charlotte and Miranda, the two moms from the fabulous female foursome. Miranda gets Charlotte drunk because she senses Little Miss Perfect needs to open up about how frustrating motherhood and marriage can be. “When I started thinking my nanny and my husband might be having an affair,” Charlotte confesses to Miranda a few drinks later in an Abu Dhabi bar, “My first thought was: I can’t lose the nanny!” The scene ends with Charlotte and Miranda making a tipsy toast to less-economically-well-endowed mothers who have to take care of their kids and their marriages without “help.”

Back to sunny South Africa and I’m not afraid to say how much I really do appreciate my helper. If she didn’t stick it out with me in the first two months, I KNOW I would have come off second best for not having her around to take care of my Sunny-bunny.

Now don’t misunderstand me either, I LOVE MY MAN and I am certainly not the sharing type! That said, she does such an awesome job at taking care of my son on top of all the housework that she has to do – I know I’d never be as efficient as her, and I said that quite plainly in being made and mother sucks! I have come to terms with the fact that I am not the housewife-type unless I’m not doing any of it but i digress.

My first three helpers weren’t bad, we just had very different personalities but I overlooked that because I didn’t want my son to bear the brunt of any frustration. Then along came Nosi – a young Zimbabwean and a mother herself who’s kid lives with her gran back in Zim. It breaks my heart to think that she never gets to watch her little girl grow up; be there to kiss her boo-boo’s;  tell her everything will be ok when she gets scared or that her mommy loves her more than she will ever know.  How do I know that she would do all of this for her own child, it’s because I see the care she takes with my Sunny-bunny. She’s patient, nurturing and so on the ball especially when he’s not well. The only way I know something is wrong with him, like a rash or a snotty nose, is because she tells me about it.

When it comes feeding Sunny, I take pride in whipping up fabulous home-cooked meals so that he can get all the nourishment he needs. Just in case you haven’t seen his dad, they both are on the lighter side of the scale (I tip it in the complete opposite direction, of course) so i need to make sure he eats a lot so people can stop asking me if I feed this child!!! Anyway, there’s always a stash in the bottom freezer drawer and on the odd occasions, she’s taken the liberty of cooking him something simple, whereas his dad has let him go hungry because I didn’t leave food out to defrost, have you ever heard of such hog-wash?

Recently she moved into a new place and because she had bought herself a bed, she didn’t have any transport money left over. I was so sad to realise that she was sleeping on blankets on the floor ever since she had started working for me that I went out to Mr Price Home to buy her linen, pillows and a duvet inner. On occasion, I’ll add some groceries in for her, when we go shopping. For mother’s day, she got a pair of warm fleece pj’s and a few bath products from Sunny-bunny because I figured she’d never get a gift from her daughter.

Even having her stay with us when we move out, has become a non-negotiable! I cannot imagine functioning without a helper – much less without her. Someone who’s easy to get along with, always in a good mood, on time and always willing to stay a little longer (on the rare occasion)…

Thank you so much Nosi, you make my life so much easier and pleasant. I know that Samuel loves being around you (especially because he cries for you as you leave at the end of the day) and because he gets away with murder around you. I hope that in return, you have enjoyed working for us too. While stuff is just stuff, I hope that the benefits are more than just financial – because you’ve come to be more than someone we just pay to clean our house and watch our child….


Monday MeMe

6 Mar

Robyn over at Memoirs 4 My Munchkins tagged me in her Monday MeMe. Of course, I am delayed as usual! But here goes:

The rules

  • Post 11 things about yourself
  • Answer the questions given
  • Set 11 new questions
  • Tag people

About me:

  1. I am currently juggling being a student and mother and wife at this blessed age in my life
  2. I’m so looking forward to turning the big 3-0 soon
  3. I have a Master’s degree but couldn’t find a job for an entire year (hence the studies)
  4. I miss living on the coast but I love this big city
  5. I would really love to have another child, it’s a longing in my heart that might never go away but I don’t know if that will happen after my studies are done in another five years!!!
  6. I am definitely a chocoholic! The richer and darker – the better!!!!
  7. I’m shy and take a while with strangers. That’s weird because running a practice required me to meet new people on a daily basis.
  8. I like my space and if I could, I would spend my time curled up with a book because I miss reading.
  9. Giving birth naturally (with the help of a pethidine injection) was one of the most awesome experiences of my life. I found it to be very empowering as well. If I can do all 8 hours of THAT – surely I can do anything! (I think)
  10. I loathe unpacking, especially when you’ve moved!!!
  11. Sam sleeps in our room and once we’re in bed, he crawls in. We’ve co-slept since he was two weeks old, sleep training never worked and I have  no inclination to change a thing about our arrangement!

These were the questions given:

  1. If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, who would it be and why? Nelson Mandela, he is iconic, need i say more?
  2. What is your greatest achievement? Raising my son and getting my first degree (in no particular order)
  3. What is your greatest fear? Failing!
  4. Which “normal” person do you most admire? (no celebs!) My dad, he works so hard to provide for his family and so many other people out there, he has the biggest heart I know.
  5. What do you like most about yourself? I’m relatively easy-going.
  6. …And least? I borderline OCD…
  7. What is your favorite holiday destination and why? Franshoek – cheese and wine! Who could resist?
  8. What is the worst Christmas or birthday present you have received and who gave it to you? I can’t think of any…
  9. What is your happiest childhood memory? Playing in our massive yard at my childhood home for hours on end and never getting bored.
  10. What did you want to be when you were a kid… as in what profession? A doctor
  11. What is your motto in life? Treat people the way you want to be treated

Here are my 11 new questions:

  1. you can pick one chocolate from the box. What do you hope is inside?
  2. What creeps you out?
  3. Are you an early bird or night owl?
  4. If you were going to redecorate your home, what would you change?
  5. What books do you enjoy reading?
  6. What’s your favorite season?
  7. Would you have another child if money wasn’t an option?
  8. What would you do if you didn’t have to work?
  9. Savory or sour?
  10. Are you addicted to any form of social media?
  11. Does your partner think that you’re addicted to any form of social media?

I hope you got to know a little more about me…. now I’m looking forward to hearing about

LET’S GO!!!!

The Heavy Burden of a Mother’s Guilt

23 Jan

“Maybe there’s more we all could have done, but we just have to let the guilt remind us to do better next time.”  ― Veronica RothDivergent

Why is it that a mother feels so pressured, compelled, obligated and stressed to be everything to our kids, partners and bosses; lose our minds, hearts and sometimes for the most part we lose sight of who we are in the bigger scheme of things??? It’s not okay but neither is it easy.

I feel guilty when I wake up in the morning and my husband has left without me making his lunch (I used to when we were a childless married couple but can’t/don’t because I’m so tired)
I feel guilty when my son wakes up next to me and after a few cuddles I reach over to my phone and check out the range of social media networking (bbm’s, whatsapp, FB & tweets) I need to catch up on or reply.
I feel bad that when I go downstairs to greet my helper that she’s the one who feeds, cleans, dresses and entertains my son (most of the time).
I feel guilty that I don’t stay at home with my son because I’m selfish, suffer from cabin-fever and need a break from the hum-drum of where my life is at right now.
I feel guilty because I’ve spent the first year of Sam’s life with him everyday and yet I don’t want to be a stay-at-home mom.
I feel guilty because I’m typing this from M&B when I should be home with my baby boy.
I feel guilty that I don’t physically discipline him when I should because I’ve said no for the 20th time in 2 hours.
I feel guilty that I’ve given him medication to make him drowsy just so that I could sleep for more than a 4 hour stretch.
I feel guilty that he’ll read this one day and somehow hate my seeming distaste for being home with him (and it doesn’t help that his separation anxiety has worsened, IMMENSELY over the last few days).

The sad truth is that I feel guilty for having a failed practice because that was the one thing I had planned everything in my entire towards so that I can be home with him in the afternoons to do homework and extra-murals when the time came; and that makes me feel like a total loser at the core of who I am!

I don’t want to feel guilty. I don’t want to feel depressed. I don’t want the heaviness that it brings. I don’t want my guilt to affect the time that I do get to spend with him.

When I’m with him, I make sure that I’m focused on him (for half and hour at least) and make sure everyday that he gets lots of hugs and kisses because I love him with all of me and not because I’m feeling guilty.

I plan his meals a week in advance to that he has home-cooked meals that are nutritious and made with love, even if they are epic fails, and yet he’ll still eat what I give him.

Samuel is such a good child and I honestly have nothing that I should be complaining about.

I love that he climbs into bed with us in the middle of the night and we snuggle close for me to secretly make up for the time I don’t spend with him in the day – and I make no apologies for it but a king-size bed would be better.

And I insist on and I’m pedantic about using natural remedies when he’s ill so that he’ll have as no harmful side-effects while recovering.

How can guilt not lead to depression? Yes motherhood is intense and I do not by any means have it all figured out by now but I want to leave the burden and heaviness that my guilt brings and focus on the smile I get when I open my eyes because he’s in my face; tickling that little body to hear him laugh; watching the pleasure on his face when I read his one-word-a-page books to him for the umpteenth time; holding him in my arms as he falls asleep at the end of his day; wanting me to comfort him and kiss his boo boo’s or watching him run into my arms when they’re open wide. It’s so important for me to stay in that happy place so that I don’t get robbed of the now-moments that happen right in front of me.

Time is one of the most precious and scarcest resources of the twenty-first century mom. We can’t be in a million places, doing a million things all at once. I may never get to all the practices or games, or tuck him in every night but I can promise to make a conscious effort to be present in the moments that we do get to share.

Samuel, know that I love you more than life itself and that no sacrifice would ever be too big for your dad and I to make for you and provide for your future. You may never always understand the decisions we make but know that they will always be for your greater good. Life is hard, things may not turn out the way we plan and we might not always get our way but your dad and I will always be there for you and we’ll always have your back, you can count on that – I promise. Know that there is nothing you can ever do to make us love you any less or think any different of you EVER!!!

“Chronic remorse, as all the moralists are agreed, is a most undesirable sentiment. If you have behaved badly, repent, make what amends you can and address yourself to the task of behaving better next time. On no account brood over your wrongdoing. Rolling in the muck is not the best way of getting clean.”  ― Aldous HuxleyBrave New World

Dads Discipline

14 Dec
Deutsch: Historische Federzeichnung einer schu...

Image via Wikipedia

Words that are forever etched in my psyche are: “just wait until your father gets home” and that was enough to get me to do absolutely ANYTHING my mother asked just so that I could avoid what I knew was coming. Just thinking about those few words instantly takes me back to my childhood home in Eshowe, it’s about 5 o’clock in the afternoon and the smell of dinner cooking on the stove is wafting through the house while my brother and I are running around the lounge. There are probably many people in my generation that got a hiding/smack/thrashing depending on the nature and severity of the offense or amount of patience your parents lost with you. I wasn’t a naughty child that got a hiding all the time but when I had crossed the proverbial line, I knew that my father would be there. Within my family, he was known as a strict uncle who didn’t waste time talking more than twice and even our pets knew the hairy eyeball.

The discipline began with the torment of waiting in my parents bedroom! That on its own was enough to get the water-works flowing real good. Then came the choosing of the Tool-of-torture (a thick leather belt at night or a stick from the guava tree during the day), the hiding (where I TRIED to run around while catching it to E.A.C.H syllable of the said “lecture”) and then being sent to bed. One thing I do remember, was that my mother at those times would come to my brother’s defense, rescuing him from the rest of the said torture.

I’ve heard friends and other moms say that they feel justified in smacking their kids (for the right reasons) but that they find  it difficult to allow their spouses to discipline all the same. They’ve felt like the fathers were harsher, smacked harder or spoke too sternly. It just so happened that we were travelling back home, enduring another SIX HOUR long road trip with a toddler who had had enough of his car seat. My husband was understandably reprimanding our son for something but a part of me cringed and felt like he could have been gentler yet I knew in the back of my mind, if Sam was with me, that poor child would have got a lot more decibels out of me and I would have felt completely justified – what a hypocrite?!

When we hear the terms “discipline” and “father,” there appears to be a natural connection, but often with negative overtones. The idea of a father as one who punishes or is an authoritarian figure runs deep in our culture. Yet, fathers have much more to offer than only helping their children learn self-control and social rules, and their role involves much more than punishment. You have to admit that children definitely benefit from having both parents in the home because the styles of parenting in itself is so unique. Yes, both parents aren’t always together but having a father figure present is important nonetheless.

There’s an interesting article I came across called: Gender Wars which points out how men and women parent differently.

Lester and I threaten to smack but never do. We try distraction A LOT and it works mostly but could it be, since most of the responsibility of rearing a child falls on a mother’s shoulders that we condone how we discipline as opposed to our partners methods? I don’t know for sure but all I do know is that I would welcome a spank from my mother any day because spanking is for monkeys.

Being Maid AND Mother SUCKS!!!

21 Sep

Let’s just say that I’ve had a little trouble in the “Helper” department this month – she’s gone AWOL on THREE separate occasions (funny how it always happened to be on a Monday) and not bothered to inform me so I showed her to the proverbial door! All this means is that I’ve been relegated to being the maid and the mother and I have not been a happy smurf to say the least!

I take my hat off to women out there who choose to stay at home and do their own housework! Don’t get me wrong, I did it when I was a childless married woman and I hated it back then – nothing’s changed, except that my poor husband gets a very long face and an even longer story about how exhausting my day has been spent cleaning, cooking, feeding and the lot. It’s the same story every day and  I sound like a stuck record, even irritating myself sometimes.

Last week was my breaking-point. I had been on the verge of tears for an entire day and by the evening, as I lay cuddled in my husbands’ arms, my body trembled as I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. Frustration and exhaustion were all pent-up waiting to be released in a stream of hot tears. I was being so hard on myself for feeling like I wasn’t coping. My day usually starts around 6am and consists of keeping Sam in his routine (feeding, playing and very little sleep), making the bed, washing the dishes from the night before, tidying the house, doing the washing if needed, watching tv (in bits and pieces), starting dinner, bathing Sam (Lester does it mostly), putting him to bed and seeing to him when he wakes at night. EVERYDAY, ALL DAY is too much for anyone!!!! My mum offered to watch Sam one day for a few hours while I caught up on some me-time, it was a HUGE toss-up between sleep and trawling the mall so I dolled myself up and headed off to catch a movie – I just needed some space.

This week though I feel like I’m getting used to being permanently tired and cranky! There’s nothing like knowing exactly what your day is going to be like (everyday) to make a girl feel a tad bit depressed! Guess that probably explains why I’ve eaten a ton of chocolate lately. On a serious note though, I can’t think of anyone who loves doing this ( ’cause they need a psychiatric evaluation pronto) – I mean taking care of your family is one thing, but to pick up after them non-stop is another ball game all together. Single mothers get serious respect from me, especially if you’ve got to come home after a long day at work and still take care of the rest. And to top it all off, my son’s gotten way too clingy for my liking (he had a fever over the weekend and his tummy has been running so I suspect he’s teething AGAIN), to the point where he won’t take a nap in his cot during the day anymore, so clingy that I have to pee with him on my lap!

The silver lining has been that I get to wake up next with my beautiful baby boy every morning and spend an inordinate amount of time with him. I get to make him laugh and watch his confidence develop as he attempts to stand on his own. I get to kiss his boo-boo’s when he has a few falls and push his pram for our morning strolls. And I’ll be damned if I don’t get the Helper’s salary for all  my efforts, wining and dining does not come cheap!!!!

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