Tag Archives: parenting

Sunday Reads

Recipes

Sunday Reads

Recipes:

Sunday Reads

Recipes

Sunday Reads

Guest Post: Things to do Before Baby Arrives

I read this article citing a few things that the author (a mom-to-be) wanted to do before the baby came and convinced a dear friend to write her own list. So with no further ado, please welcome Simple Girl blogging over at (Simple Girl Writes).

Three months ago I walked into the hospital and about 12 hours later was announced as a mother to a precious little girl. Yes, I said I was ‘announced as the mother’ as I only really felt like her mother two months later (but that’s a story for another day…). A friend asked me to compile a list of the things new mums should do before their bundle of joy arrives as you will most likely spend the first six/seven weeks in a haze where you won’t even remember your own name! Be warned, this is not the typical list outlining the very practical things to do (book the hospital bed, go to antenatal classes, take your vitamins etc.) – this list is for the mama that is worried about how much life will change post-baby. And trust me, life will change!

  1. Buy that dress that shows off your new curves and go dancing (or shuffle depending on how swollen the legs are)

I was lucky enough to have a fairly small bump for most of my pregnancy and up to 30 weeks pregnant, I could get away with saying I’ve just gained “a bit of weight” around the tummy. So imagine my horror when I had to go shopping for a dress to go to a wedding with a massive bump at 31 weeks.

Let me tell you, there’s nothing that makes you realise that you are pregnant (yes forget the previous 30 weeks of pregnancy symptoms!) like going shopping for a dress in a mall. Apart from the pity stares you get whenever you walk into a MANGO or ZARA and lovingly touch a dress that you used to fit into a couple of weeks ago. The real horror comes when you are shown the ‘maternity wear’ – long, flowy, pitiful looking dresses that are supposedly supposed to make you feel good about being a baby mama. I took one look at those dresses and almost burst into tears (let’s blame the hormones!).

To cut a long story short, I ended up finding something to wear in a store catering for the ‘plus-size’ lady Ya…I will reserve my comments but the dress was beautiful and I felt good enough in it to go out the next day and dance away.

Trust me, you need to do this – you will forget about the pitiful stares, swollen ankles, achy back and the closet full of clothes you can no longer wear. Most importantly, you will look back at the photos from the day and said dress with a massive grin.

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  1. Take photos of the growing bump!

I didn’t manage to get the professional maternity photo shoot (even though a good friend had offered to do it for me) but I did force the husband to take a lot of photos.  I won’t lie, I struggled with the body changes associated with pregnancy. Unlike other women, I didn’t marvel at the growing bump or liked my bump that much 😦 but take the pictures anyway! It’s worth remembering where the bundle was home for months and even funnier to look at post-baby to remind yourself how big you really were!

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  1. Go on a fun holiday with your closest girlfriends

This one I strongly recommend you do.

I am the first one to have a baby amongst my friends (the last one to get married though – judgment galore!) and they were more excited than I was about having a preggy belly in the circle. So when the chance came to have a last hooray as friends before life dramatically changed – we went on holiday to probably the most random place I’ve been to (Cinsta in the Eastern Cape). It literally was one of the best weekends I’ve had in a while. We stayed at a backpackers, ate way too much, overindulged on chocolate and biscuits (you know, all in the name of helping the pregnant lady with her cravings), went to a beautiful spa for overly-priced pedis and massages and just generally had a blast.

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  1. Babymoon!

Similar to the girlfriend hooray above, I strongly recommend going on a babymoon. The time to enjoy ‘the two of you’ for the last time. If you have the budget for it, planning a trip far away from home would be ideal.

We did a ‘Sho’t left’ to Umhlanga and spent almost every day at the beach with me stuffing myself with frozen yoghurt (I had a sweet tooth while pregnant!). But even without the vacation, just doing more stuff as a couple is important before baby arrives. I didn’t believe it when people told me but the relationship really changes after birth. In a good way overall but I do miss being able to plan a night out without calling every single relative we have living in close proximity to us, to check who is able to babysit for a while. Also, believe the mantra – happy parents make for a happy family so the time spent on the parents is never a waste.

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  1. Read those books/ go to gym/take the long showers/play Adele at the loudest volume setting – enjoy ME time!!

This is something that I’m struggling with every day post-baby. I miss having time to myself without any restraints.

A simple thing like going to spinning in the morning relies on either my husband being home or the nanny coming in to work on time so that I can leave my baby and go torture myself in the spinning studio. Playing music while cooking – hahaha – that is something I used to do but no longer can because really after putting baby down a couple of times, no one wants to wake her up when she is finally sleeping. And Lord, the day I can have a shower when I want to shower for as long as I want to shower will be the happiest days of my life. Right now, I either shower late at night when her dad gets home from work or put baby in the bouncer, move the bouncer into the bathroom and shower with the door partially open to make sure baby can hear/see me at all times so she doesn’t start screaming again. Sigh. The life of a new mum.

There’s no doubt that life changes a lot after baby arrives. I’m still dealing with the changes and clearly have no pearls of wisdom on how to survive them. What I can say is that the day your baby looks up at you and you get a toothless smile (filled with a lot of spit bubbles) is the day when you realise that it was all worth it – the changing body, constant worry, dealing with the never-ending mummy guilt and family judgment was all worth it as you will realise that you are the best mother that this baby has.

And so what if you get this smile while you haven’t brushed your teeth or had a shower? 🙂

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Thanks Simple Girl for sharing your journey frankly, I see so many guest posts that you hinted at in this post and will try and hold you to that!

Sunday Reads

  1. Cooking with pears
  2. I love apple cider vinegar, here are 16 reasons its good for you.
  3. Fun places and spaces to visit around downtown Johannesburg.
  4. When you look pregnant but you aren’t (NY Times).
  5. On how we short-change girls.
  6. On the insane pressure on moms relative to dads.

Sunday Reads

  1. These are my best friend goals for when we are 70-plus.
  2. All night after care facilities for busy parents. Very sad!!
  3. Vanilla coconut ice cream.
  4. Another pasta recipe.
  5. You don’t need a sandwich maker to make these cheese sandwiches.
  6. Such memories we all have about meeting our MILs for the first time.
  7. This is a whole post on the pressure of being a young adult now.
  8. So scary but very fascinating.
  9. A to-do list if you are looking to change your name post marriage.
  10. I am voting for jumpsuits as the official bridesmaid wear!
 

Sunday Reads

  1. These tips on how to give a good toast should be mandatory read. The number of wedding toasts I have heard and cringed.
  2. Free versus structured play. I am all for free play.
  3. Interesting study on why women share photos of their kids on social media.
  4. Apparently more people are using video to inform family and friends alike that they are having a baba! (NYT article).
  5. 10 ways to reduce your wedding budget.
  6. Yes kids get sick at daycare, but they also get sick less often later. This study proves and my mom always said. (NYT article)
  7. Such a sad story but so beautifully and heart-warmingly portrayed.
  8. So much cuteness in these pictures.
  9. On the messaging that we s(sub) consciously send to our daughters.
  10. Spicy carrot cumin and coconut soup.

Men have been denied so many safe spaces where they can be men and vulnerable
Guys like us, it turns out, are hungry for a place to talk with other men, particularly about how fatherhood is changing us, and changing writ large. Just as literature has long helped people see that our seemingly personal struggles are universal, being able to talk in this group offers a similar revelation. In an age of near-constant superficial virtual connection, there’s an enormous benefit in having a real life community to confide in more deeply and provide a genuine social network — especially for men and young fathers so often without it.

(Please also read the comments)

 

Sunday Reads

  1. Very similar education issues (SA) (USA)
  2. Teaching parents to become better parents for better outcomes.
  3. Dealing with your partners’ anger.
  4. So grateful for my upbringing.
  5. Recently finished God Bless the Child – Toni Morrison
  6. This first chapter of this book looks very interesting.
  7. Nothing says winter like wanting to bake bread.
  8. Falling in love and staying with your (long-term) partner.
  9. All things meatballs.
  10. There are two kinds of people – those who take restaurant menus as a given, and those that think its a suggestion.
  11. Read this article on the relationship between graduation rates and socio-economic backgrounds and I must say I have very mixed feelings because I know of so many local rick kids that do not finish school and seem to be able to do that because they have a safety net.

Belated Sunday Reads

  1. On yearning for love in your 20s, in a positive and factual way.
  2. My dad gave us little sips of alcohol when my sisters and I were little and we turned out fine.
  3. Yummy!! Vegetarian Lo Mein.
  4. On how to arrive at your calling or passion.
  5. How revolutionary, women in Saudi Arabia now get copies of their marriage certificate 😮
  6. The effects of intra-uterine shocks on the cognitive development of children.

Did my parents know the answers to all of life’s lessons at my age?

Adulting never gets any easier the longer you keep at it. I recently got thinking on three things in my life where I certainly needed my parents to come through and tell me what to do or how to do it.

  1. Finishing high school and having to decide what career I wanted to pursue thereafter. Then having to visit the different Universities and make my application and everything else. Coming on the back of completing high school and being told everything I needed to do, this freedom was quite sudden and frankly overwhelming. However, I oddly always knew what I wanted to do and so all I had to work on was finding a school to study Economics.
  2. Dealing with my first job. So many different things. One,  I put in an application for a Work permit and this took over seven months to finalise and eventually I had to decide whether to stop working while I await my permit or go back home and either look for a job or start the application all over again to come back and coninue with my old job. Two, dealing with a difficult boss and having to decipher honest feedback against being bullied. The hardest lesson ever that I had to go through. Three, deciding to quit and wishing I could ask my folks to take care of me again.
  3. Moving house across cities. Urgggh!! I thought of my mom for months in the build up to it and for weeks after and secretly begged that she would offer to come help me.

And this is only up until now. I cannot imagine having a first baby, bringing up kids, losing loved ones, sickness, marriage stuff. Oh dear me, please can I just go back to being twelve!

Guest post: Keeping up with Scarcity

Please join me in welcoming Scarcity to this here blog. She blogs over at Scarcity’s Notebook  where she is trying to reinvent her blog by writing about herself, life and her creative side. See her brief bio below:

Hi people thanks for stopping by. I’m fun-loving, creative and love being artsy I desire to design on a dime because that’s where I draw my design challenge from. I strive to be clean neat and tidy but most of the time its work in progress. My family and close friends are very dear and important to me and most of all I draw my strength, faith and hope from God.

I’m a working mum and happily married. In my spare time I spend it with my family, reading blogs, cleaning and tidying up.

Imagery speaks volumes and Pinterest just does it for me, most for new projects I want to work on. I gather my inspiration and findings from there.

Currently I’m more interested in DIY projects as I’m accumulating a lot of clutter in my house so I’m reading about what to do with what I have.

The holidays are coming up as well and I have a preschooler at home, so craft ideas are welcome to keep us busy during the festive season. My biggest resource is what I have, for example toys like Legos, disposable birthday cups, tissue paper rolls and the like.

Here are some of the resources I’m going to use for these craft tutorials.

 

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When it comes to design I like the minimalist approach to clean lines and less is more.

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I combine that style with personal finds that I like to have around the house. Example the picture above is a good example of a minimalist home with a personal touch.

I don’t vow by one interior design style but I have preferences here and there. In any interior space cleanliness and order is key. Being clean, neat and tidy comes naturally for me and I can’t function or operate in a messy space.

Cheers!

Sunday Reads

6 words that will demystify debt crises | TED

  1. Discipline, nature or nurture?
  2. In case you love Longreads and want to catch up on some of the year’s best readings.
  3. As if I did not already want to go to Turkey,this beautiful post here for you!!
  4. Oh dear me, I can comfortably say I will never be an insta-mom!!
  5. On the prevalence of C-sections in the US. Interesting to note that it varies with Mothers ethnicity, age, day of the week and that something like having more on cal obstetricians would keep it within the WHOs 10% target.
  6. The low rewards to thinking short-term!
  7. On using simple household items to tell the story of global inequality!
  8. For all the word ninjas out there – the 58 most mistaken words in the English dictionary.
  9. Maths and Colouring Books if ever you wanted to combine the two!

Enjoy!!

 

Sunday Reads

  1. Must make this recipe – Lentil and Basmati salad 
  2. This recipe too! Pumpkin Risotto with prosciutto
  3. I definitely want to start a Cookbook Club – would be so awesome!! Anyone keen in the Cape Town area?
  4. If only I had money to assist to bring this service to scale.
  5. Sir David Attenborough narrates the intro to Adele’s Hello. Interesting!
  6. I enjoyed watching these two sisters on Masterchef SA and I am equally happy for them on this venture. If you can check out their launch, go ahead.
  7. THIS all sounds good but I am not sure that this is the best way to educate children or spend these large sums of funds.
  8. Manufacturing and the state of industrialisation in Africa.

Enjoy!!

Choosing, choice, freedom, boundaries and all that jazz

Please read this, kind of long-ish post about choice and how cultures around the worl make decisions and then watch the talks below.

In response, this made me think of how I grew up with a very small sphere within which I could choose things because a lot of the boundaries were determined for me and all that was left for me was to choose within those limits. As an example, I had to study for two hours during the holidy afternoons between 2 and 4 rather than play with my friends outside, what I could choose though is whether to study Maths or English. My sisters and I had to pick one evening of the week to cook because my mom would not be cooking for us all anymore (she had the weekend to do that) so whatever day I selected, it had to be done.

I think about this particularly around parenting and how children today get involved in so many decisions and how it would be so much easier if the bigger-ish decisions were made for them and they were given a small sphere to operate within and as they grew up, reduce the bounds of decision and allow them the freedom to make their own decisions and serve more as an advisor or a sounding board. Too idealist, maybe so I shall see once I am a mom.

Aside

Work has been a bit slow this past week so I have had a chance to look through my email and catch up on interesting reading too. Developing positive body image in your children. This article on mentorship. Where this … Continue reading

(Different) Little Things Wednesday

I caught this video this past Monday (FINALLY) and decided to just summarise my feelings here.

  • I obviously don’t have a kid, least of all, a famous one so take this with a pinch of salt.
  • I remember being 19 years old and coming into my own and never once did I want to act out (like Miley does).
  • The video is painful to watch, vulgar, sad and very crass.
  • Forgetting the above, it seems to lack any artistic direction. It’s like they got a camera and taped themselves doing whatever they wanted to.
  • I did wonder whether her tongue felt any pain as she stuck it out throughout the song.
  • So addressing the twerking, she is actually Ok. It doesn’t mean I wanna see it a lot, at all actually but she is fine.
  • Miley just needs her parents to be her parents and reign her in before it becomes too late.
  • Please read this lady’s summary. She nails it in one!