This is something that I have been pondering for AGES as a parent.

In many of the households I know, both parents work and there is a schedule that gets divvied up between the two as to who does what for the kids daily in order for the household to function relatively smoothly.  Everything from work outs for said parents, to packing school lunches and bags to dressing kids gets allocated to a parent and time slot and in most cases one just goes with it.

In our household we also take the different “shifts” on week days. As in the morning shift and the afternoon shift.  The morning shift is handled by myself.  Hubs leaves early (6h20) so he can beat the traffic and I deal with the kids whilst I also try get myself ready and out the door on time (07h20 latest).  Most mornings run relatively smoothly but some mornings are just a disaster.  I find that playing referee whilst in the shower is quite a challenge as I often have to get out mid soap up and handle a spat between the two darlings.  Then getting myself dressed and clad in make up usually involves holding a grumpy, clingy baby toddler whilst the elder kid moans that something isn’t working on the IPAD I’ve given to entertain for 5 minutes so I just slick my mascara on.  There are normally toys strewn all over the floor of my bedroom and the toddler often goes quiet and when I think to find her, she’s unravelled the entire toilet roll all over the bathroom floor.  Or she’s playing with the toilet brush in the toilet with water going EVERYWHERE. (Must remember to close the darn loo lid) Then getting the eldest dressed for school is a circus all of its own.  Nine times out of ten the toddler will make poo half way thru the getting the eldest dressed which means that he runs around like a loon half nekkid, smacking his bum and wiggling his man parts around.  Just try get him to put his clothes on after this.. lets just say there is sometimes a time out and shouting involved. Then tears, mostly his.  Brushing teeth is the next challenge which often ends in tears (again his) because I finished brushing mine before he did or the toothpaste (which is the SAME EVERYDAY) tastes sour, off or like raspberries (WTF?).

Leaving the house is also a palaver.  Getting K to the car is an art of either racing or hop skip jumping or something of the like.  Once we get to school we race or hop skip jump (we aren’t allowed to “step on the lines” but this definition changes day-to-day in K’s rule book) into the class.  By the time I hit the car to head into work I feel like I’ve worked a full day already.  Then I sit for the better part of an hour to two hours in the most aweful traffic.  By the time I get to the office I am FINISHED.  If I’ve managed to eke out a run that morning I’m even MORE FINISHED.

Yesterday I got to do both shifts.

If you follow me on social media you know how *awesome* my morning was.  I was considering cracking open that Tangled Tree wine I got at the momblog meet up at 07h00, so you can understand…

The afternoon shift ROCKS in comparison!!

You fetch the kid from school, you relieve the nanny, you feed the kids and then you play on the lawn or in the toy lounge until “mommy” gets home.  Its AWESOME.  Yes there is still some refereeing to be done and if the toddler hasn’t slept particularly well she’s slightly grumps.  But you get to handle bath and bed time as a team and it’s really smooth sailing.  As the afternoon shift person you also get to make supper while the kids PLAY (quite nicely actually) at your feet in the kitchen on in the “adults” lounge around the corner.

Man alive, I think I pulled the short straw on the whole shift thing!

I suggested a shift swop last night.  Needless to say the man parent IS NOT KEEN on this idea AT ALL!  I wonder why?

Do you have “shifts” in your home too?  Which one do you prefer?

You are ONE today!

My sweet Gemma Grace,

I am still unable to process that it has been a whole year since you joined our little family and completed us.  A year since I was sitting calming awaiting your arrival, buggering around with your Dad in the pre-op area before we were wheeled into theatre to meet you face to face.

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You entered this world at 17h07 with loud cries and seriously pouty lips and you’ve been a delight to everyone in our family since then.  We have all fallen in love with your little face and as you have grown and developed in the past twelve months I find myself battling to remember how our family functioned before you became a part of it.

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You have the cutest little laugh, although you do seem to use it more sparingly than I would like.  You love to chatter and babble away and always have long stories to tell, especially at bed time when you snuggle your face into your spit towel and look at me with those greeny blue eyes (so like my own).  You love getting zerbits.  You love it when we tickle/grab your chubby thighs.  You ADORE the water – oh how different to your brother you are in this department.  Your face lights up when you realise it’s bath or pool time.


You know what you want and you are not afraid of SCREAMING to let us know it.  You have never been one to crawl in the traditional sense preferring to do your own version of a sideways bum shuffle and whilst you are cruising around quite comfortably I think you like being in our arms a bit too much and have absolutely NO interest in walking yet.


At last you are getting some hair – it was with much disdain that I realised I had birthed a practically bald baby!  Everyone keeps telling me that when your hair DOES eventually come in that I should expect mops of it but only time will tell if that is the case.  We wonder if you’re going to end up being a light blonde or a more blondish brown as your hair is currently different colours on top and in the back.


Baby girl, you have changed me.

I always thought of myself as a boy mom but you have made me a girl mom too.  You have made me, Daddy and Kade grow and stretch in the year you’ve been with us.  You’ve made us all short tempered at times, but definitely more loving too.  You are teaching us to be a family of four.  Teaching us to give more, to share more, to be more.


I cannot wait to see how you grow in the year to come.  Our gift from God.  Thank you for choosing us to be your family.


We love you Gemma Bean.  So very much.


Happy FIRST birthday my little jewel.


Out with the Old : In with the New

I always feel that I need to close off the year that was in order to move forward with the year that is, but this year I’ve just been feeling pretty “meh” about the task.  I’ve not really seen the point of closing 2014 off because honestly what is 2015 but yet another day I get to live my life?  Does it really matter if I’ve not done a mental or written round up of the past 365 + 6 days?

I guess in the greater scheme of things it doesn’t but I’ve been feeling a hankering for it the last two days.  Like a primal urge to get it done so I can formulate “proper” plans for the year that already is.


2014.  It was a year pretty much like any other.  It started off with fireworks (ended with them too actually) and plans to get Kade ready for school, to get myself ready to become a mother of two, to get the last of the work done and handed over before maternity leave.  All these plans and stuff that needed to be done.  That’s life thought isn’t it?  It goes on around you while you’re making plans… but I digress.

2014 was the year I became a girl mommy.  It has certainly been a learning curve for me, this girl mom thing as well as being a mom of two.  The balancing act has been hard at times and has often threatened to overwhelm me.  That said it was a good year for all of us as we found our little parts we play in the theatre of the Young household.

It was the year I discovered that taking some time for myself to do something JUST for me will not mean that my family will fall apart.  I learned to love running again in a very special way.  I had to find discipline and research programs etc pretty much on my own.  I trained for a half marathon and completed it.  I’ve found through other runners a sense of camaraderie, a running group, a madness and a love for the road that I had lost for a long, long time.

We lost my uncle to cancer.   It was hard to see my cousins deal with their loss which is still too fresh.

We saw my aunt in hospital way too often for my liking.  I have a feeling that we will lose another loved one in 2015 which breaks my heart.

I saw friends lose babies and husbands.  I saw friends have babies and husbands.  Bittersweet.  I mourned the losses and celebrated the gains.  Overall much like the past few years there have been highs and lows.  More highs than lows and in my mind that always counts as a victorious year.  Good outweighing the bad is always something to strive for.

So my hope for 2015 as I am already in the thick of party planning, preparation for the school year, organising for work to be done and sorted before we go away on a proper holiday is that I can count it as a victorious year as well.  That the good will outweigh the bad, that the highs will by far outnumber the lows and that I grow as a woman, mother and wife.

2015 – we’re here, in the now…

Lets do this!

2014 : A Year in Review… (a stolen meme)

1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?

Train on my own for a half marathon


2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I don’t make new years resolutions so no I didn’t

3. How will you be spending New Year’s Eve?

This is not decided yet but most likely will be at home with family and then I might go to church depending on how tired I am.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

My uncle passed away after a long battle with cancer.

5. What countries did you visit?

Um… None.  How boring is my life?

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?

A longer fuse.  My temper is always my downfall.

7. What date from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

15th January 2014, it is the day I welcomed my little girl into the world and she starting shining her little light.

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8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Transitioning relatively easily to being a mother of two.  Also training for a half marathon with a 7 month old teething baby.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I don’t really think I had a failure big enough to make a fuss about.  Which is really quite an achievement.  Many small failures but no biggies.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Thank God no.  Our family did go through what seemed like an endless cycle of lurgi for about 3 months but nothing more serious than that.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

My Asics Gel Nimbus running shoes


12. Where did most of your money go?

Bills, bills and more bills

13. What song will always remind you of 2014?

The Sam Smith One and Happy by Pharrrel

14. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Read books and sleep

15. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Shout at my kid

16. What were your favourite TV shows?

Vikings, Game of Thrones, Masters of Sex

17. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?


18. What was the best book you read?

Sadly I didn’t read nearly enough books.  I did love The Sisterhood by Helen Bryan though

19. What was your greatest musical discovery?

I’m just really not that into music.  I kinda listen to the radio and have music as my “white noise”

20. What was your favourite film of this year?

Planes Fire & Rescue… only because I think it was pretty much the only movie we saw on the big screen and it was Kade’s first “big screen” experience.  Seeing him get to experience it was a thrill.


21. What did you do on your birthday

I honestly cannot remember.  Clearly it was SUPER FUN ;-)

22. What kept you sane?

Running, Wine and my family.

23. Who did you miss?

I missed my Dad quite a bit at very odd times this year.

24. Who was the best new person you met?

Oh gosh, I met so many amazing people this year.


25. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014

Life is achingly short.  Never waste a SECOND because we are NEVER guaranteed another breath.

Baby vs Toddler Balancing Act


Being a mom of two takes some fine balancing at times.  I am the baby of my own family and growing up my sister would often wail “you’re showing favourites to Sam cos she’s the baby”.  Naturally I would always disagree with this notion most vehemently but now that I am a mom of two myself I can see where my poor sister was coming from.

As soon as that second child is placed in your arms you start trying to learn the fine art of balancing the protective mamma bear of baby vs toddler.   Or at least I did.  Kade was nearly 3 when Gemma was born – he is a boisterous boy child.  Always on the move, always jumping, running, pouncing… I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had to say “gently my boy, gently” when it comes to Gemma.  Or “watch your feet, you nearly kicked your sister in the head”  or “watch out you’ve nearly run over your sister with your bike”… I am a stuck record “be careful, be gentle, be careful, be careful, be careful” It’s never ending.


The fact is he is bigger than she is.  He knows how to use his body, she doesn’t so I am inclined to jump in to protect her from him because of it… the thing is this.  I don’t want him to feel like I am constantly on his case and “showing favourites” with her.  How do I balance this very real need to temper his boisterousness around her?  I don’t want to stop his natural want to show his love for her.   I don’t want him to feel like her can’t play with or interact with her because of this.

As she’s gotten older and has started grabbing and pinching I am making sure that I admonish her too when she grabs a fistful of his hair or when she pinches him.   But I still find myself saying things to him like “she’s just a baby my boy, she doesn’t understand why its wrong”.  Protecting her and “taking her side” over his.

This morning Kade and I were messing around in our bed while Cliff gave Gemma her morning bottle.  I was wrestling with him and was “holding him prisoner” with my legs and arms wrapped around his body.  When Gemma came to join us (was handed over by Cliff) he wanted to put Gemma in “brother prison” (I was calling what we were doing mommy prison) and he was pulling and tugging at her and she wasn’t liking it.  He was just playing with her (not too roughly but not too gently either) and I found myself jumping to her defense “cos she’s just a baby”…


Holy moly, how on earth do I find the balance in this situation?  I know it’s going to be a lifetime of playing referee between them, but I also really want to be fair to them both.  I do not want him thinking she’s my favourite because of this.  There is no favourite child – I love them both so much, so desperately, so differently…

What do you other moms of two or more do?  Do you just leave them to sort it out on their own (within reason)?  Have you found the balance with this?  Please share if you have!


Rediscovering my love for a Half…

Long before I started a journey with infertility I lived in a commune and had a friend who introduced me to a love of running.  At the time I was working shifts in the hotel industry and I remember coming off night shifts, pulling on my running togs and joining her and our running group for a quick 10km run before heading home to shower and sleep for the day before my night shift would start.

I trained for and ran a half marathon with this friend over 7 years ago and absolutely loved it!  I ran strong and did a great time.  I then got really bad ITB whilst training for a full marathon and had to take a break from running in order to heal.

I met Cliff and we got married and well I lost my zeal for running as my focus changed to making a baby and becoming a family.

Fast forward to a few months ago when I started doing small walks around the neighborhood with Gemma in her jogger.  Those walks became slow jogs. Those slow jobs became decent runs.


Then one night a whole bunch of ladies I know on Twitter started talking about completing the Soweto half marathon.  It had been too long since I had taken the time to do something for MYSELF.  I impulsively entered the race even though I felt that I was probably going to be really under prepared.  I was falling in love with running again and needed a goal to keep me focused.  So Soweto it was!

On Saturday night I was so NERVOUS.  I really needed to have a good sleep but who sleeps the night before a race anyway?  Also my kids both had wake ups during the night, first Kade who had a bad dream and then Gemma who is teething and wouldn’t settle down.  Eventually she fell asleep at around 02h00 and I woke up at just after 04h00… I was AMPED.

IMG_20141102_043602_resizedI had arranged to drive to the race with Jenty and Sharon and I collected them and I was happy to have the company to keep me relatively calm.  What a gorgeous day for a half!  The weather was perfect – slightly cloudy and slightly chilly.


After parking miles away, we found the Run/Walk for Life tent (thank goodness for Jenty who is a member) and met up with another twitter mom there – Sam.  We all chatted a bit, used the loo (nervous wee’s) and headed to the start line…



I ran the race with Sharon – it was her first ever half and I really didn’t want to leave her alone having remembered how I felt on my first half over 7 years ago and knowing that at some point we would both need someone else to help us finish the race.  I was very impressed with the organization of the race overall, the starts were handled smoothly and the water points were frequent and well stocked.  The vibe was amazing, the course challenging but doable.


Well we did it!


We ran when we felt strong, walked when we felt like we needed a rest and we crossed the finish line!  Champion chip had my official time at 3:00:12 but my Nike app had my time at 02:58:58 so that’s the one I’m claiming!



I loved doing a half again.  As much as I was slightly stiff I couldn’t wait to enter my next race.  I’ve signed up for the Dischem half in January and am looking forward to working on my times for that race.


I’m rediscovering my love for a Half marathon… and who knows where this love might lead me?  Perhaps to the full 42 next year at Soweto?  Time will tell!


So the other day I was having my usual morning chat while driving to work to one of my best friends.  My mom.  I was catching her up on what had happened in Chez Young over the weekend and we somehow got chatting about friends and friendship.  My mother is truly one of my best friends in the whole wide world.  I tell her everything and know that she will give me good, honest, ethical advise when needed, will whip my butt into shape when needed and will sometimes just listen and let me cry when needed.  My sister is another best friend.  One that drives me up the wall at times but a best friend.


I have always been the type of girl who has that one special girlfriend.  A friend who doesn’t HAVE to be your friend (like a mother and a sister have to be) I have always had a substantial circle of friends but have always had that one “extra special” friend.  You know the one I’m talking about right? The one who you can climb into bed with and talk non stop about life, boys, crap, laugh together, share jokes with and the like.  As I  morphed into being and adult then finding my partner in life, there has always been my close friend, my BFF if you will in my life.  As Cliff and I got together, we joined not just our lives but our friends as well.  So his mates became my mates and vice versa.  We had single friends (me with that one special one mixed in there) and our couple friends. As we started battling with infertility we found that we were being left behind by our couple friends.  They all had kids, we did not.  We didn’t get their lifestyles and they started leaving us out of things to spare our feelings. We started drawing away cos we were hurting and not nice to be around.  I lost many of my single friends too as my life was about obsessing about falling pregnant and theirs was about trying to find a husband and partying the nights away.

As life changed we made and found new couple friends through the fertility clinic. (To be fair Cliff made friends with the men cos I was friends with the women from the clinic)   Many of us have (thank God) crossed over into being parents of our own kids.  Life happened and it morphed again and somehow in all that has happened I find myself in a place where I have many good friends, one or two really close friends but no one I can say is that person that I can climb into that bed with.  If you watch Greys think Meredith and Christina.  I feel like Meredith who has lost her Christina.

I have a friend of 20+ years who I miss like crazy, I guess she will probably always be my soul friend… She and her family live in Dubai and when they visit SA it’s like no time at all has passed.  She is my one special friend that I don’t think I will ever lose but it’s not the same as having that friend close by.  The one who you go away for weekends with and put up with her dodgy husband cos you love her so much… Am I even making sense?

I miss having that person.  That friend who I know I can call at 03h30 in the morning when the shit is hitting the fan and who will come get me in her jaarmies… That person that I can bitch about my much longed for  family to.  The one who will be honest with me no matter what.  The one who will tell me when they disagree with my decisions, what I’ve said or whatever.

It is weird for me, because I like being that person to someone else as well.  And right now I’m not.  But maybe I will be again someday.

I hope so.