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Mummy meets ideal world 

A mummy in my ideal world would mean:

Alarm clocks would be banned – 

my babies would be able to sleep until they were not sleepy anymore and wake up ready for the day. My time would not be limited by the traffic flow or the corporate clock, my time would be a concept by which time was staggered throughout the day

No extra long school days:

I would be able to pick up my kids when that school bell rang, and not have their aftercare angels gather them for the second half of an already long day. I would be able to bring them home for a relaxing family lunch before we chat and enjoy the day

Bedtime would be relaxing:

I would not have to fit everything into the 2 hours before bedtime. Right now we get home at 6pm and bedtime is at 7:30pm. That leaves 1.5 hours for dinner, bathtime, bedtime stories, a cuddle and evening recap. Impossible to actually enjoy it!

Weekends would be action packed:

In my ideal world I would not be exhausted during the weekend. I woulf not have to catch up on work or clean the house and be able to spend quality time with my family. Weekends would be filled with games, outings and baking!

Hubby and I would have time to enjoy each other

Its been 6 years since we have had a date, 6 years since we have relaxed in bed until 9am, 6 years since we were able to really talk. Our lives would be balanced and we would be able to concentrate on each other while life is passing us by

School holidays would be holidays

Imagine being able to actually go on holiday, having the oportunity to take the kids to the sea and see new places! Holiday club would be an option, not the only choice and the whole family would be excited to leave and a little sad to return

The balance would be easy

I struggle with the balance, with the mummy guilt, the wife guilt and the employee guilt. Having a sick baby draws emotions and energy from each of these areas and often the stress really is caused by irrational guilt at not being perfect. I prioritise family and am proud my support system does too

I probably still would not think I was doing enough

Becoming a wife and a mummy is glorious and terrifying all at once. You are no longer one, suddenly your actions affect others and their reality. All I can do is try to always build up, to always be kind, to speak from love and to understand, I’m only human!

Sigh!

In an ideal would, what kind of mummy would you be?

Manic Mummy K

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When mummy threw a tantrum 

I couldn’t breathe! My head was pounding, I was hungry and thirsty and just needed a break. Both kids had been bathed and fed, the house has been tidied. I had had a full day at work, virtually no sleep since Tiger was born 7 months ago and huge deadlines to meet. I just needed a break. And then it happened. They called for me…..each in their own way – all at the same time. 

I felt my insides turn, my head spin and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to scream or cry. Why did everyone always need me? Can no one make a decision? I didn’t want to decide what to eat, or what to play with or what to watch. I wanted to sit in the dark and stare at my phone or read a book or shower without someone needing something.

I heard myself scream….but it was more like I was watching someone else scream. I told all of them to leave me alone, then I stormed around in a circle and moaned about how no one ever put anything where it was meant to be. I didn’t make eye contact, I didn’t “adult”, I tantrumed!

I felt little eyes and big eyes open wide. I saw first concern, then confusion and then irritation, but I didn’t care. I stormed off to the car and proceeded to start it. I drove out the gate, 2 streets down and then turned back and sat in the parking lot and cried. Honestly this is not the first time I have felt this way and I don’t know why I feel this way either. I don’t hate my responsibilities, I don’t want a break from my kids or my husband – I just don’t want to adult all the time. 

I walked back into a house filled with toys and things piled where they shouldn’t be. Back into a space where eyes watched me, while loving hands hastily make me a cup of hot tea and little hands played with my hair, all to the tunes of Frozen. I walked back to drooly kisses and absolute love. And I decided that I could adult for just a little bit more….maybe!

K

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10 lessons learnt from my in laws

So, my in laws recently arrived from halfway across the world and have been with us about a month now. They had not seen their me or their son (Hunky Hubby) for 6 years, and it was the first time seeing Pup (5 years) and Tiger (4 months). I must say I was a bit nervous not knowing what to expect. It has been a magnificent reunion and I have learnt certain lessons that I will carry with me for always.

1) Retain your innocence

My in laws are in their well into 70s, and I really am in awe of their ability to just “be”. They are truly honest in their interactions and they impart a certain aura of innocence. Nothing is ever said in malice and nothing is taken too seriously. Conversation is light, words are simple and the emphasis is always on what went right. It make me realise that somewhere along the way I had started taking life way to seriously and stopped enjoying it!

2) Marry for companionship 

I watch them together as they sit in comfortable silence, pray together or help each other prep a meal, and love the ease they interact with. Obviously this has been perfected over the years, but it is evident they truly enjoy each others company. Even little annoyances are handled with good humour and a good measure of respect. Its more than love, they genuinely care for each other. I have learnt that we should keep talking to each other, not at each other and that marriage is a wonderful journey that keeps getting more exciting – if you nurture it. What amazing role models for marriage!

3) Kids will be kids

I’m actually talking about Hunky Hubby and I here….his mum and dad treat me with such love and tenderness that it literally brings me to tears. When I am tired or hungry or a combination of both they go into parent mode immediately and without a sound food is brought, and full attention is on me. Feels good to be a kid at the tender age of 35. I am lapping it up. I will always be sure to love Pup and Tiger the same way……never intrusive, never invasive, always supportive.

4) Silence doesn’t mean anyone is upset

I’m not sure why but I have always associated sudden silence with someone being upset. I have learnt that it probably just means they are busy doing something else or just having a quiet moment. It’s been amazing to not have to think about the emotions everyone else might be feeling, and walking on egg shells, and to be able to just get on with being me! I never have to ask if they are ok, because they never make me feel like they wouldn’t tell me if they were not!

5) Laugh loudly and freely

Why do we often lose the ability to truly laugh? The overly joyous moments become fewer and fewer replaced by the need to seem in contril. Since my in laws have come to visit I find myself laughing with reckless, wild abandon again….head in the air, belly aching kind of laughs. Their joy is infectious I guess! I’m a big kid laughing at funny noises Pup makes or at the weird sound that came from the blender, instead of the usual “what was that sound?”. I like this me!

6) Don’t sweat the little stuff

I found that I have stopped asking why, and I have lost the need to always be right. I’m not sure when it happened but when it did I felt lighter and kinder and happier. No more random bickering, no more questioning of everyting, no needing to know every detail. My in laws never ask too many questions or try to give advice. They accept that some things are a certain way (like my routine with the kids, the Sat as-much-TV-as-you-like rule, etc) and go about their merry way enjoying these moments as if they approve 500%. One of the most powerful lessons to date as been this one.

7) Do the things you love

My mum in law loves gardening and my father in law loves reading. He naps in the morning, she naps in the afternoon. She’s a adventurous eater, he isn’t. They do not try to adapt these preferences. They each do what they enjoy doing and embrace their differences with ease. They have never raised their voices to anyone or used a harsh word. Everything they do….they do with love.

8) Enjoy life!

At their age they have such gusto and passion for life. They truly enjoy each day, savour every morsel of food and appreciate the little things. They have such patience with the kids (and us big kids too). In the month they have been here there has not been a single sideways glance passed between them or a single moody moment, it’s like living in a zero judgment zone – enlightening!

9) Love equally

Never once have I felt side lined or overlooked. I have had some quiet moments and even then what I got in return was a back rub and hot tea! When Tiger and Pup bring their chosen loves into my home I will treat them as I have been treated….with love, acceptance and not an ounce of judgment or superiority. I am a lucky lucky lucky girl!

10) It’s ok to be different 

I have yet to meet 2 people so different and yet so alike. Any difference of opinion is acknowledged and accepted as a point of view and that’s it – they move on. They have, through the years, determined who is good at what and an immediate balance is seen. They are not clones of each other and neither is trying to change the other. 

Sigh, I am going to miss them terribly when they leave but they leave me changed in ways that they probably will never realise. I guess this is my way of thanking them for making me a better wife, a better mom, a better me! It really is possible to love your in laws!

Love

Manic Me

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10 Steps that made me a better mummy – The 10 day mum challenge

Are you ready to bring fun, laughter and joy back? Let’s be honest, we tend to get lost sometimes in a sea of “no” and “don’t do that” and we forget to just let go!!!

This has made a world of difference for Pup and I. No tantrums to date since Day 1. Each day includes an activity that you need to do but keep the momentum of the day before by incorporating elements of that day too.

Day 1

No raised voices. If your surroundings are loud, lower your voice so that your little one has to look at you to understand. No screaming across the room or across the house either (we all do it!). Make sure you are looking at your little one when talking 

Day 2

Start a spontaneous tickle fight and end with a long hug. Add kisses and maybe a pillow or two for more fun!

Day 3

Say these 3 things a few times today. Make sure there is eye contact each time 

  • You are so kind and thoughtful
  • You make me smile
  • Mummy is so proud of you

Day 4

Eliminate the word no. You cannot say no at all. Find alternatives.

Day 5

Cover up in blankets and watch the stars for a few minutes before bedtime. Cuddles and/or conversation about aliens or the planets are welcome. Make a wish upon a star!

Day 6

Watch a movie together with tons of snacks. Pause it when someone needs to use the bathroom or when there is an interruption….this shows you are invested in this activity. No cellphones allowed!!!

Day 7

Prep some flour and water and let them mix it up and play either outside or in your bath tub. No, you may not say “Don’t make a mess”. You may say “let’s see how we can keep this inside the bath/container/basin”

Day 8

Have a silly face competition in front of a mirror

Day 9

Switch your cellphone off from the time your child comes home from school to bedtime or from the time you get home to your child’s bedtime. If you are home executive, switch your phone on vibrate when baby is awake and only answer urgent calls. No social media.

Day 10

Reward you and your little one by making a list of the changes you have seen over the past 10 days in you and the kids. 

Now repeat!

Let me know how it goes!

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What’s in the Dischem baby bag? – Dischem Baby Programme

Dear Rachy,

There are some some amazing loyalty programmes out there and you know mummy is a member of them all!

Some (that shall remain unnamed) have not sent me a proper card in 5 years leaving me with a paper version that barley holds together (despite lots of calls). Others, like Dischem offer great deals a dischem and rewards especially the Dischem Baby Programme.

So, I visited the customer service desk and activated my Dischem Baby benefit on my existing card. This took all of 10min and all you need is your estimated date of delivery. I was soooo late with this (only activated it at 32 weeks) so would advise mums to do it sooner. Basically you need to send a total of R350 to be eligible to receive the bag. 

Now Dischem is like Walmart (10 years in the US and mummy’s favourite “everything” shop). You go in there for lip gloss and come out with 10 bags!

That amount was spent in about 20 minutes and although you do not have to spend it on baby related items,  I chose to get Baby Bumps supplies for at least the next 2 months. While you are there check out their  Baby Things Baby Product Range and again, if you do not leave this to the last minute, small spends will have you reach the milestone in no time!

Then in no time at all you receive a call letting you know that your bag is ready and at which store. It took them all of 5 days to process mine which was lovely, but I had to drive to my work location instead of my preferred store close to home (not so lovely).

So, what’s inside? Let’s take a look!

Firstly, I love the bag itself. It’s gorgeous, waterproof, just the right size and has all the basic sections you need.

It also comes secured so that you know nothing has been removed. 

Very cute diaper changing mar

Pampers sample pack

And lots of other diaper bag sized goodies

There is a definite reference to their Baby Things brand and they seem to have read my mind ands I did forget to buy cotton balls and surgical spirits for Baby Bumps entry into the world in 10 days.

All in all, I love love loved it! 

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Discovery Vitality Baby Box 2016 – What’s Inside!!!

This mummy to be felt very spoilt when I opened this amazing treasure chest of delights. What’s even better is that it is free (if you are a Discovery Vitality member). All you need to do.is register on their website and take the email they send you to the nearest Toys R Us. Service upon pick up at Toys R Us Cresta was amazing with everyone making a big deal of Baby Bump (and by default, myself)!

Here’s a peek of what you can expect! 

Glorious selection of baby books!!! Love, love, love!!!!

Diaper bag ready samples (from Johnsons Baby and Bennetts) are always a welcome treat and the Nuk pacifier is a nice touch but Baby Bump (like Rachy aka Pup) will not use one.

Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature breast pads and Carriwell maternity pads and panties are sure to come in handy.

My absolute faves is the cute receiving blanket and even cuter soother blanky!!!

Adorable Disney baby rattle socks and a Discovery window shield competes the box. Can’t wait to try out both! Disney baby also has an amazing website for support and great to know tips during and after pregnancy. 

Thanks to Discovery Vitality, Discovery Health and all the sponsors! What an awesome gift! 

K

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5 Things You Should NEVER Say To A Pregnant Woman!- Preggo Vents

Isn’t it amazing how people suddenly feel they are an expert on your emotions and actions when you become pregnant? Suddenly everyone “knows” that your pregnancy has made you suddenly irrational or confused or emotional.

Here are 5 phrases that people should really steer clear of as per a panel of equally pregnant fairies:

1) “That baby just doesn’t like me” 

Just as pregnant woman are blessed with super smell to prevent poisoning and bringing  harm to their babies, they are also gifted with a certain ability to detect people who are less than ideal in their lives. This is why you always have that one person that “the baby doesn’t like”, who makes your hair stand on end and who always seems to want to cause more issues than necessary. As a fellow preggo pal said to a know-it-all meanie once, “Perhaps pregnancy doesn’t cause me not to like you , what if pregnancy simply highlights unsavoury elements that were always there to begin with? Perhaps pregnancy just makes me more able and perceptive to the arrogant smiles and snotty attitude?”

The jury is still out on this one, but remember that the body behaves a certain way to “protect” baby from perceived dangers. So, perhaps it’s not the hormones this time – maybe it’s them?

2) You seem a little different/upset/sad today, what’s wrong?

Um…well friend, I’m  7 months pregnant, experiencing hot flushes, nauseous and exhausted. So yes, I’m  a bit off my game and some days, everything is wrong! I love the innocence in this question (provided it did not come from above mentioned meanie), but seriously – any tiredness is amplified by 1000, every emotion is magnified by 100 and I’m actually just needing you to genuinely care that I’m going through this as opposed to judging me and expecting me to be “normal”. Gossiping and investigating my every move might unearth my moodiness and irritation but its not exactly “shocking”, is it? I would really appreciate the concern without the actual question. I know, I know – I’m complicated like that. Must be the baby, right?

3) “Maybe you can try just being a little calmer/more reasonable, we know it’s because you’re pregnant. In my pregnancy I was so calm and are you really still throwing up??….etc”

If you want to see a preggo woman really act like a hormone filled preggo woman, please do continue to be a condescending know-it-all only focused on their own pregnancy experiences. Trust me when I say I do want you to share your experiences,  but without you making me feel like I’ve imagined a symptom  or exaggerated an experience just because you did not experience what I’m going through. I’m being as calm as I can and, yes, I’m still throwing up. Trust me – this is actually me controlling the hormones!

4) Fakeness

No one likes fake friends, especially pregnant woman. I’m in a sharing phase, allowing you into my heart and mind more than usual. Remember, my behaviour will revert back to “normal” in a few months but your actions will be forever etched in my mind and those around you. Please be genuinely happy or steer clear, I have enough to deal with – trust me! 

5) “Don’t have that coffee/soda/sushi”

I would never do anything to hurt my baby and it annoys me that you think I would. Please do suggest fun alternatives like chocolate and milkshakes and rest assured that I know what I am doing. I do thank you for caring and will always choose chocolate over coffee…well, mostly!

There’s of course tons more, but these are the gems worth sharing!

Lots of crazy preggo love!

K