Tag Archives: Parenting

The Pervasive Paranoia

6 Dec

Pervasive: extensive, all over the place, can’t get away from, common, general, inescapable, omnipresent, permeating, prevalent, rife, universal, wall-to-wall, widespread.”

 It’s so sad that we live in a world where you cannot take your eyes off your child for a minute whether in public or with friends and family. We live in a world where family members are known to prey on young children and take their innocence. We live in a sick cruel world where your child could get snatched and only God-knows where they end up that unspeakable things happen. It’s a place where even the elderly are taken advantage of by young sex-crazed men. We live in a violent world with sexist pigs.

Not so long ago, a friend of mine on Twitter, tweeted that her little girl was complaining of pain when she went to pee. My friend wasn’t sure if her daughter had contracted a bladder infection and to make it worse, she had just put her helper off a few days earlier because of  the very same thing. Immediately, I Googled “pediatric uti’s” just to see what the medics said if anything sinister was going on.  To be honest, if it was bad news in terms of transmission, I really don’t know how I would have told her but thank the good Lord it was innocuous. A UTI can occur just by a bit of fecal matter being present near the urethra and then the bugs get in. As an adult, bladder infections are no joke so my heart really went out to this toddler and her mom.

A little later, my friend thanked me for passing on the information and admitted that her mind went to a very dark place. I replied by saying that her reaction was normal, warranted and she would be turning a blind eye if she didn’t think that way at all. How can you not in this day and age where we are not around our kids twenty-four hours a day.

I recall an incident at a play center that I go to often with Sam. He was playing in the little plastic house alone when one of the child-minders approached him. She was around the back of the play house so I couldn’t see her or what she was doing to him. I could see out of the corner of my eye that he was trying to get to the door and  trying to open it from the outside. My heart was racing as I tried to figure out what was happening until I calmed myself down and tried not to jump to conclusions so hastily – we were there so that I could have a break while he plays, watched over by the child-minders, HELLO!!!

A very good teacher that I know has told me how young girls have cringed at his proximity in the classroom and he’s sensed she was abused, this while teaching at a public primary school. He mentioned that even at a private school, one of their good pupils had to be removed because she came forward and told a friend that her step-father was raping her. Its’ making my skin crawl and is utterly gut-wrenching.

The stats out there on kid-napping and child abuse or human trafficking are the kind of stuff that real gruesome nightmares are made of. Unfortunately, they are cold hard facts. I don’t know how soon to start having these kinds of conversations with Samuel because little boys are not immune from the wiles of predators. Nothing would enrage me more or break my heart than to know my child’s innocence was taken from him, it’s just not something I can live with.

Most nights I pray over Samuel, that he would be hidden from preying eyes, that the would have the courage to tell me if something untoward happened or if he was touched inappropriately, even slightly; or just if an adult makes him uncomfortable in any way.

We owe it to our kids and the kids on our worlds to more vigilant, more aware, more active in even reporting cases or going with our gut when a child we see just doesn’t seem right. Let’s not just have 16 days of activism…

I can’t begin to tell you how much I love you

7 Aug

Baby boy, you don’t know how much I love you…

I love you from the depths of my soul. I loved you before you were conceived. I am fascinated by you and love watching you grow and develop into a little drama king  which only seems to happen when grandpa’s around – you father says you get that from my side of the family but I beg to differ. You surprise me sometimes with little kisses and I can’t wait for the day when you tell me that you love me – between you and me, I know without a doubt you do!

When I look at you, I can’t begin to imagine how someone would want to intentionally hurt little people like you! How adults would even consider abusing or harming you! It makes me pray that any prying eyes look past you, that you become invisible in their sights because I couldn’t bear the thought of you somewhere foreign and being abused.

My love for you is so fierce that I wouldn’t give a second thought to give my life for you! Your life is that important to me. I always knew that one day I would be someone’s mother and I’m so blessed that I get to be your mom.

As you grow, you will definitely disagree with decisions your dad and I will make regarding your welfare and I accept that but one thing that I cannot stress ever enough, is that you don’t just understand with you head, but that you KNOW in your heart – everything, but everything that I will ever do in my life and yours will be because I love you to death and that I will always want the best for you!!! As a child, you don’t see things the way they always seem but when you’re an adult and more so a parent, you will certainly understand where I’m coming from (very wise words from you granny). There will never be a sacrifice that I have made or will ever make that will be too great for you – you, my dear child, are worth every ounce of blood, sweat and tear I will ever shed. I’m back at varsity at 30 because I want a better life for you and your dad, thoughts of you spur me on when sometimes it gets too overwhelming.

One of your aunts said that as a mother, you can’t begin to imagine your life with children before you have them; and then you can’t imagine your life without them once they are here. You will understand the depths of that statement in time – I never want my life to be without your little charming self in it.

You are such a good child, you give me nothing to complain about. To my one and only son, you are the apple of my eye, the beat of my heart and a big reason for why I live…. I will love you until the day I stop breathing and beyond….

Love you always and forever, mom, xxx

 

 

 

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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