Category Archives: Motherhood/ Parenting

3 Current Truths about God

woman reading book leaning near wall

Photo by Christina Morillo on Pexels.com

In this season of late nights and quiet early mornings, of little cries and fussy babies I am learning three truths about God and really reflecting on that.

  1. God the Creator. Throughout the pregnancy I have seen how God creates little beautiful people and the level of care and His great attention to detail. His ways make sense and when you read the Science behind it all, you cannot help but worship Him deeper and love Him even more.
  2. God the Provider. Isaiah 49:15 talks about how just as mother will never forget the child she is breastfeeding so also God will never forget us and will always show us compassion because He has engraved us on the palms of His hands. God knows all the details of our lives and He sees to all our needs from the small to the large. He is our Source and Sustainor.
  3. God is Love. I love my daughter and it sometimes overwhelms me just how much the little lady has captivated us and then I think that God loves me even more than that. That He loved me so much that He sent His only begotten Son to die for me. Oh how He loves us!!

What does God mean to you as we approach this Easter season?

 

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Happy Girls are the Best

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Sunday Reads

In light of the new phase I am in presently,I decided to share parenting-related articles

Sunday Reads

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TED’s winter reading list: 78 feel-good books — ideas.ted.com

Enthusiastic recommendations for reads that will provide you with abundant reasons to rejoice, reflect or recharge, as suggested by TED speakers and TED-Ed educators. If you’re searching for some calm The Peace of Wild Things: And Other Poems by Wendell Berry This little book of poetry is my current morning dose of calm, and I use…

via TED’s winter reading list: 78 feel-good books — ideas.ted.com

In case you are looking for some great reading recommendations and some great TED talks to listen to.

Kids say the cutest things ever

Please read this post on cute things that kids say and then look at the comments as well. Below are some stand-out gems:

  • Setting the scene: peaceful Saturday morning. Cup of coffee, book, couch, blanket, fireplace, spouse taking care of the baby, bliss.

Suddenly the 4-year-old pipes up: “Mama. When are you and daddy going to die?”

  • I got in a 30 minute heated argument with my 4 year old once over who took care of her when I was a baby. (I had shown her a newborn picture of myself and it blew her mind to pieces.) She shrieked… “BUT MOM!!!!!! When you were a baby, and I was a baby, who was taking care of me??!! You couldn’t take care of me if you were a baby. Gasp! Oh no, was I all alone?” No matter how much I explained, the more upset she became. We finally settled on… Grandma. Grandma took care of all of us. And with that, the argument was over haha.
  • “Listen earnestly to anything your children want to tell you, no matter what. If you don’t listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won’t tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them all of it has always been big stuff.“
  • Sometimes I overhear a kid say something funny at a store and start laughing. And then one of my kids screams, ‘why are you laughing? Tell me Tell me!’ And then it gets awkward.
  • My son was at about 2 years old when he saw me coming out of the shower and said “mumma, I love your bajina.” I could not have laughed harder.
  • The other day, my 5-year-old daughter looked at me sweetly and said, “Mama, when you get old and die, can I have your phone?”

All this reminds me of a conversation with my 2.75 year old niece at the time who in a public bathroom asked me rather loudly whether I have a vagina and how I wanted to eat her up whole because I was not sure what would follow my answer! Urrrghs kids 🙂

Values I admire in my Parents

old couple walking while holding hands

Photo by Noelle Otto on Pexels.com

Today, I want to focus on my parents and the values they have imparted in me that I admire and hope to replicate with my children.

  1. Their work ethic. My parents inspired my sisters and I to work hard, to be our best and not to be limited by gender, our circumstances or other life setbacks. They themselves came from such humble beginnings and accomplished so much that by their actions and choices, you were inspired to try your best.
  2. Their relationship with money. As far as I know, my parents never bought anything on credit. If they couldn’t save and get it, they did not get it. Also, to save all your money, save even if you have no immediate plans, just save.
  3. Family first. My sisters and I always knew (know) that we were important and that we mattered to them, that they gave us their best and withheld nothing from us. They loved and even, liked us, and we never doubted this. We are our parents best investment and choice and there is something comforting in that.
  4. I love that their parenting style did not require them to compare any of us. To them, we are unique, we are individuals and each success was celebrated on its own and each failure dealt with separately. As a result, all five of us are friends and continue to do the same thing with each other to date.
  5. Faith and the role of God. He is over and above all things, always has and always has been.
  6. Choice. Marry when you want, there is no pressure to marry or in fact conform because we are women. Study what you want at school – whether Physics or Home science. Learn how to slaughter a chicken or change a tyre, just because you are only girls, you still need to know.
  7. A love for books. Yes!!!

 

 

Sunday Reads

Sunday Reads

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Sunday Reads

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Friday Feels

Enjoy ….

Interviewing a 5 year old

tilt shift lens photography of woman wearing red sweater and white skirt while holding a boy wearing white and black crew neck shirt and blue denim short

Photo by Nicholas Githiri on Pexels.com

As I have done with my older nephew, (a, b, c) I recently had the opportunity to ask my 5-year old nephew a couple of questions. Please see his responses below.

What would you rather be, a kangaroo or horse?

Uhm, a cheetah. Then when firmly prodded, he opted to be a horse.

Would you rather have one huge eye or three small eyes?

3 tiny eyes

Would you rather have a pet dinosaur or a robot? 

A robot

What superpower would you love to have?

A time capsule that can activate (seems like a very specific answer, almost like he watched it somewhere) . When I said I want to know what people are thinking, he said, oh so you want to be God? Only God can do that 😦

If you could ask God a question, what would it be?

To give me the superpower I asked for.

What’s your favourite song?

Mary did you know?

What’s something you do not like about your little sister?

That she does not share.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

A plumber. So I can fix things.

What do grown ups do?

They take care of kids, wash them, feed them, play with them, bath with them …He then wistfully adds that he wishes he could be grown up so he could do his own thing.

From my previous experience with how my older nephews answers have developed over time, I am so excited to see how Neph II changes over time and then to do this with my niece as well.

 

 

 

 

Books on Letters between Friends

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About So Long a Letter

About Dear Ijeawele

In March and April I read these two letters between female friends. Both of them touch of womanhood and issues of feminism which although books are written almost four decades apart, are still so relevant and applicable to the plight of women. All in all, they are both great books so I will talk about the common themes that struck a note with me.

  1. Maintain your identity that is separate from your role as a mother, a wife, a sister-in-law. Maintain that single identity and I would even venture to say, keep pursuing those interests you have and love to do.
  2. Make your partner a full partner. From Dear Ijeawele, this is quite obvious and self-explanatory. From So Long …. it’s not quite obvious but I like Aissatou (the friend)’s response when her husband married a second wife, she held him immediately accountable and  left the marriage. Many called her names and wished something else of her but she held him accountable and did what she had to do.
  3. Both authors talk about centering marriage in the right place as a nice to have/do but not the penultimate accomplishment. Marriage is neither good nor bad, but how we aspire to it could be.
  4. Both writers caution each other against assigning certain roles to male or female children and the assumptions we make or impute. The future is not one where boys (girls) can do certain things that girls (boys) cannot. Also the language that we use when we explain the roles and responsibilities to kids also matters a lot.

The entire letter is an ode to female friendship which I totally loved and would therefore recommend both books. You can easily get through both in a single sitting or weekend.

Sunday Reads

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Gifts for New Moms

As friends of mine are in that phase of having babies, I enjoyed this post and felt inspired to copy a list of things I would take with me when I next go to visit as in that moment you are often at a loss of what is appropriate.

  1. Time – to listen, help out with her errands, carry baby, fold laundry or cook. Just time.
  2. Easy to warm and eat with one hand food. Also drinks.
  3. What food did she miss during pregnancy that she can now eat? Stock up on that!!
  4. A cozy gown as the new mom will be nursing or up in the cold of the day or night.
  5. Comfy chill at home shoes/ other clothes.
  6. Hand cream/ hand sanitiser because new baby = washing hands often.
  7. A beautiful mug or water bottle as she might be drinking a whole lot more if she is breastfeeding.

When you had a baby, what would you have loved OR what great gift do you get new moms?

Book Review: Always Another Country – Sisonke Msimang

Always Another Country: A Memoir of Exile and Home by [Msimang, Sisonke]
 Buy here

I read this book over the December holidays and was sooo excited, I am not sure what happened and it’s almost four months later that I am here gushing about it. Urgggh!! Please see below my thoughts under the different themes, page numbers are provided in brackets for you to follow.

General

  •  This is a book for us women, refugees, blacks (6) and I totally totally agree.
  • I love that our time in Nairobi overlap – when she returns from Canada. I know all the landmarks she mentions of Nairobi. It felt so good to read a book about a place that I knew and know of so intimately. Double yay!!
  • I thought it was odd that she kept referring to her folks as Mummy and Baba??? So odd coz those are two different languages in my head and I would have gone with either Mummy and Daddy or Mama and Baba.
  • I wondered also why she protects the names of her own kids but not Simon’s eldest two. Not sure what that’s about is it maybe that they are adults and the other two are minors?
  • The things said to them about a male child being preferred to daughters. And how this is often blamed on the mother in a way that gives the husband carte blanche to stray in the name of looking for a son (pp 7 – 27). I know this reality all too well and all I think is Biology lessons are important for all.
  • It’s so subtle but her talking about not participating in the street games and fights as much as the local kids do coz it could turn on you:

“I had to choose how I would distinguish myself and I knew that it had to be safe.”(9)

  • The plight of house girls and domestic workers – all too relatable ( 50).
  • Having read Pumla’s Rape, it resonated with me how she spoke about the incident of being sexually attacked: her response and that of the adults around her (52 -55). Also, in the light of #MeToo, I thought it quite bold that she opened up about this incident.
  • The urgency for them to receive their citizenship. Yeah, I get that (67 – 68).
  • I remember the following events but was probably too young to consider their true impact on history: Chris Hani, Mandelas release, the IFP-sponsored murders and the election.

Growing up Foreign

  • Being called an African monkey. While that did not happen to me, I know about being called a refugee almost as though it was a dirty swear word.
  • And the rules that their mom had them follow because growing up in another country with parents working full time, there is not a big social infrastructure to support the parents. So rules are key or in young people speak, rules are bae.

“… the immigrant child knows that outside is one thing but home is another country.” (83)

“The immigrant child knows that the key to survival is in the inflection points. … The key to survival is in blending in first, in learning how to be just like else as a first step to freedom. You have to know how the inside works before you can stand outside and make everybody laugh.” (90)

“The immigrant child doesn’t make any noise. … She is preparing for the day when she will have mastered the art of being normal so that she can stand out.” (90)

Sisterhood

  • How she always talks of her sisters, so beautiful and in some way the story is as much about them as it is her. Yay sisterhood.

Race

  •  I understand when she talks of her discovery of her race in the States. The same thing happened to me in RSA.
  • Being foreign in South Africa has shown me that White ones are still preferred to Black ones. Sad but fact!

Moms: 

  • On discovering that your mom is not just a role – mom, wife, friend, daughter – but actually a woman with dreams, feelings and thoughts quite apart from me even. GASP, SHOCKING.
  • How their mom almost became like an older fourth sister but their dad remained a dad. I find this to be the truth with us too.

“To know your mother as an adult is to finally see that she has lived many more years as a woman than you have been alive. To be a grown woman who loves her mother is to understand that it is no easy thing to raise children so beautifully that they don’t worry about you until they are grown up and ready to carry the complex burden of that anxiety.” (304)

  • Class: I enjoyed reading about her relationship with her nanny especially when they were both pregnant. I thought it was the most honest tale by a middle class Black woman that I could totally relate to.

So please go out, buy the book read, it, share it and enjoy it.

Now, to make friends with her in real life?

Belated Sunday Reads

Where are you going. You cannot leave with so many pieces of me still inside you. How will I ever put myself back together again.

Nikita Gill

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(Belated) Sunday Reads

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Sunday Reads

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Guest Post: Motherhood: the first 12 months

Show some love today for a regular guest poster here on the blog for Simple Girl blogging over at (Simple Girl Writes) who defines herself as Slightly Neurotic, Cheerful, Blessed, Wants to be a back-up singer in the next lifetime, Sh*t scared of pigeons and chickens, Econometric nerd extraordinaire, Just a simple girl

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Mummy and her Little Madam 🙂

Technically my little one is now just over one year  (13 months to be exact) and I honestly can’t believe that I’ve been a mother for a year. WOW – we made it 🙂  (albeit with a lot of bumps and bruises along the way and don’t forget the many, many tears)!

I’ve never really liked children. I know that may be a shocking way to start this blog post but I always thought that I was a better aunt especially to little ones over the age of three. But babies? Yoh, I was not present for the diaper changing, constant burping, bottle feeds and anything else associated with newborn babies. So when I found out that I was going to be a mother, my biggest worry was whether I would genuinely like my child. Of course I would love my child – that goes without saying but I was honestly worried about how I would cope given that I knew nothing about handling babies and whether I would genuinely like the experience.

I was pronounced a mother on 28 November 2016. When I finally got a chance to look at the little human that I had been baking for nine months, all the fears and trepidation I had did not miraculously disappear (contrary to all the lies you are told at the baby shower) – but rather completely enveloped me.

Yes, I was that woman.

I was scared and completely nervous about being a mum over the first four months. I was completely overwhelmed by the responsibility that comes with raising a child. The sleep deprivation and hormones did not help. And let me not start on the struggles faced with breastfeeding. It didn’t help that I also did not receive proper support regarding this and went into it completely blindsided. People take it for granted that every woman will have sufficient (milk )supply and the right technique for baby to latch. Needless to say, I struggled with breastfeeding. We had incorrect latch and minimal supply (a teaspoon worth of milk was produced after pumping for at least an hour). Breastfeeding completely humbled me. I remember hysterically crying after another (well-meaning, I’m sure) relative called to give me a lecture about the benefits of breastfeeding and that regardless of the pain and difficulty I faced that it’s just something I must do if I want to give my child a good first step to a healthy life (yes, those words were actually said). The judgement you face from other women when they hear or see that you aren’t breastfeeding is real 😦 I still haven’t gotten over the guilt over my failure with breastfeeding  – this despite having a happy and healthy little girl. Lol, I actually think I am quite scarred by the experience, especially people’s reaction to my attempts. Baby steps I suppose.

But the past year hasn’t been all gloom and doom. The first time she smiled at me, first time I saw her sitting up on her own, the first time I came home from work and received a massive toothless smile and of course the first time I got a wobbly hug after someone took her first steps were literally the best moments I’ve had in a while. Those were the days I honestly felt like a mother and realised that this little person knows that too.

What I have learnt over the past year is that it’s ok to not be in control of everything and to ask for (and accept) help. Once I learnt to let a few things go, motherhood was not as scary anymore and I was able to enjoy being a mother. I luckily went through this emotional roller coaster with probably the most understanding partner I could ever have asked for. This coupled with the support from the grannies and aunties also helped (especially when all the nanny drama started – that’s a story for another day).

But honestly, I think motherhood (especially with your first child) is made to appear all shiny and sparkly and perfect (like floating in a field full of candyfloss perfect). And in my experience, I was rather running through a field of thorn trees 😦 Yes – It does get easier and becomes quite enjoyable but it’s not always easy to start off with. I just wish someone had told me that so that maybe I could have prepared myself a little bit more for it.

When I think of motherhood now, I’ve learnt to be kind and patient (nothing like a few weeks with minimal sleep to test your patience). That Googling if the colour of baby poo is normal at odd hours of the morning is ok. I also know that I’m a lot stronger than I ever thought I was. Importantly, I’ve learnt to humble myself and to be willing to do just about anything  (including crawl on the floor if I have to)  to get that amazing laugh (now with eight whole teeth!) from the little madam.

I’m constantly amazed by my child at her sheer resilience to reach all of her developmental milestones (regardless of the many bumps, tears and falls on the way). I’ve also fallen completely in love with my husband again and again while watching him interact with his child – their bond is love in its purest form, it is beautiful to watch. So here’s to the first year of being a mother – it hasn’t been rosy and perfect but hey, aren’t those imperfections what makes for an interesting ride?

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The Little Madam Herself …

Thanks Mama, please check out her past posts here and here.

Thanks so much for this post, I already shared with you how much it means to me that I can guilt/bully/ ask this of you and know that I can depend on you to be honest and vulnerable with me. It is much appreciated. As someone that has witnessed you come into your own as a mother and wife, I am so delighted to witness this growth and wish you and your family many more joyful and blessed days ahead.