Tag Archives: Simple Girl Writes

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.

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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!

Guest Post: Why I run

Guest post from 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

Let me set the record clear. I am not one of those “born to run” types, or the “I run so I can feel amazing at the end of the race” types nor am I one of those “I run to feel the wind in my hair” types.

No, no, no.

I’m more of the “always picked last in the Physical Education class”; “avoid all sports where I have things flying at my face” types. In fact, I only began to run in my mid-twenties. Sounds like a quarter life crisis right??

And to make matters worse everyone knows how much I hate running.  I hate the sound of my steps on the pavement, I hate how it feels like my knees are about to collapse, and I especially hate the sound of my breath as I gasp for more air. Yet, every week for the past two months, I have (almost – this past Tuesday doesn’t count) religiously put on my sneakers and joined a group of real runners for a weekly 5k time trail.

So why do I do this to myself if no one forces me to do it? Why do I go through all that huffing and puffing just to go around in a big pointless circle ending back where I started? Why do I subject myself to this weekly ritual, especially as I don’t receive a prize at the end? And especially as I always get weird looks and funny comments as I run behind the pack – why do I run? Am I a sucker for pain? Am I crying out for love? Am I coping with abandonment issues?

No, no and a big NO.

So why do I run? I’ve been thinking about this for a while and have compiled a list of reasons explaining this new, weird and torturous activity I put my body through every week:

4. I run to fight the thunder thighs

I was lucky enough to spend a year abroad and not come back home three times larger. To my mother’s dismay and my friends’ surprise -I came home with a new physique and have received a constant flow of compliments because of it. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the new bod and I especially love the compliments. I love that I can now wear those cute little dresses which I was always too self-conscious to wear because of my monstrous thunder thighs. But now the problem is that I have to maintain this new physique.

And honestly, it was easy to lose the weight. It didn’t require that much sacrifice on my part as I lived in a country where I could walk everywhere. But now I’m back in wonderful Jo’burg where we drive everywhere. See my dilemma?

Hence I run. I run so that the compliments continue. I run to shut up all those “friends” who said I would gain the weight back after two months (hahaha, look at me now biatches J). And I run because I honestly don’t want to go back to wearing the size 38 pants.

3. and not forgetting the muffin top

  Muffin top

*Cringe moment*

I was fighting the onslaught of a legendary muffin top – so much so, I was even contemplating going back to wearing skirts and dresses only – so that I can hide the overspill that occurred every time I wore a pair of jeans. But here I am, in my favourite pair of skinnies – with no muffin top to worry about.

Sigh. Thank you 5k trail runs.

2. To enjoy my weekly pastry treat from Fournos

I unfortunately work in an office where cake is provided for every single occasion.  When we celebrate a team member’s birthday, we celebrate with cake. When we celebrate a non-team member’s birthday – we eat cake. When we celebrate promotions, we have cake. When we have the Monday morning seminars – we eat cake. When we submit tender proposals in time, when we are highly stressed, when the sun shines too brightly, when it rains too hard – you get it right? We eat cake ALL the time. ALL THE TIME.

 Fournos muffins

I don’t fight it. I don’t ask why we have an unexplainable supply of cake.  I just allow myself one (albeit very thin) slice of cake once a week and enjoy the 5mins of cake heaven in my mouth.

Guilt-free 5 minutes of cake time – thank you 5k trail runs.

1. The great pick –up

I am one of those girls lucky enough to have an incredibly tall boyf – ok, incredibly tall is an exaggeration but as I am only 1.58m, almost everyone is taller than me.  And apart from his charming ways, general incredibleness (is that even a word?) and intelligence to land himself such a great gal, one of the reasons why I’m so smitten with him is that he picks me up when he hugs me. Yes, he picks me up – feet in the air, arms around my waist just to say good night. He does this every time.

I know, I know – it swept me off my feet as well J

Now prior to my weight loss and running tactics, I used to cringe at the anticipation that he would end off the night with the great pick-up. And this was not because he complained about my body size (a tall strong Zulu man would never complain about extra junk in the trunk), this was just me hyperventilating about whether I would break his back or whether we would stumble and fall (and then I break his back!) etc. etc. Needless to say, we never fell. There was no back breaking or any other awkward moment. But I still worried about it every time he did it.

And what about now you ask – post weekly runs?

Well, without giving away too much about my shenanigans, let’s just say that the legendary pick-ups are a firm favourite again for both of us this time. I practically demand them now. J

So there you go. Those are my reasons for the weekly runs – to look fab in THAT dress, to look fab in my skinnies, to enjoy some cake and to make a tall Zulu pick me up. All guilt-free.

Here’s to more running!

Themba

Simple girl