I often feel like I’ve lost myself…

I used to be fun.  I used to be spontaneous and I used to laugh.  A lot.  I don’t know what it is but I often feel like I’ve lost the essence of who I am.  I was pretty popular in school despite being the president of the “nerd herd” and I was always confident in the fact that I was liked and respected by my peers.

That confidence stayed with me as a young adult who made plenty of friends while living in the bush and starting out with my career.  I have always been a bit of a clown who is loyal, ethical, hard working, kind and fun.  I met my delicious man, and I was fun.  We did a lot of really cool, fun stuff together.  Like a train trip through Mozamzbique, and jumping off the highest bungee in the world (ok I jumped he didn’t but hey semantics)

lost (1)

Then infertility hit and I became obsessed with having a baby.  I changed a lot in those seven years.  I was selfish, hell bent on our journey to parenthood and bitter and twisted.  I lost a lot of the fun, sassy side of me.  I like to think I stayed funny, but it was darker.  Shaded by despair and pain.  A humor born of desperation and grief.

Then finally we got what we always wanted – a wonderful baby.  A family.  Except no-one told me how hard being a mom was.  No-one told me just how all consuming it is to have small babies and how much of yourself gets lost in making sure that this little person who is SO VERY dependent on your for everything lives and grows and thrives.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my family.  I love my home and life and all that comes with it.  But I often find myself thinking “who am I now?” “what is the essence of me now?”  Am I just a compilation of who I was then vs what I am now?  A mom and wife?  I know that everyone changes as life goes on and one can’t expect to stay the same person forever, but surely the very essence of one’s self stays grounded and the same?  Or does that “core” of oneself shift with life?

lost (2)

I know as the kids get older life will become “easier”, that there will be more time for me to be me, and not “Kade’s mom or Gemma’s mom” as all the kids  at school call me.  In the last year I’ve tried to do more for me, the essence of Sam, so I’ve focused on my running more, I’ve tried to read more books.  Yet… I still wonder if I’m just a lost little soul drifting on the ocean of life, still yet to discover just who I am.

Please tell me I am not alone?  That everyone feels this at some stage of their life?

 

#DadsWhoPlayBarbie Campaign hits right in the heart {Win!}

When we found out that we were expecting a little girl, we were both blown away.  The Young family have very few girls in their family tree and we were, well, tickled pink to find out that we would be adding girl number 5 to the Young family.  Then we started to worry, I mean what did any of us know about raising girls?  Yes I am a girl and my niece is a girl but on the Young side of the family those who would be most involved with our kids only had boy experience.

That said I was so grateful that God had answered the desires of my heart and to see Cliff so happy about having a daughter to dote on really made my heart sing.

We have both had to learn things about being parents to a daughter but what I love most is how my man has stretched his daddy legs to being the best girl dad ever.  He lets Gemma paint his nails, do his make up, dresses her in her girliest outfits when I’m not around and loves to play girly games with her.

dadswhoplaybarbie

I love seeing them interact together in “traditionally’ girly ways.  I think that’s why Barbie has definitely hit the mark with me (and I’m sure many other girl parents) with their newest #DadsWhoPlayBarbie campaign.  I love it!  I mean who wouldn’t have their hearts melted watching this ad?

I think part of the reason I love this campaign so much is, I can see my own family echoed in the scenes playing out in front of me.

I know I am not the only woman out there who gets mushy heart eyes when they see their man playing Barbie with their daughter, and the folks at Mattel want to see your images (like mine above).

They are giving away a Barbie hamper valued at R1552.00 to one lucky #DadsWhoPlayBarbie entrant via my blog.

Want to win this amazing hamper valued at R1552.00?

Barbie hamper

 

This is how:

Head over to my pinned post of this article on my Facebook page (and give it a like as well pretty please), and post an image of YOUR #DadsWhoPlayBarbie moment in the comments section and tag 1 other mom who would love to win!

For an extra entry and chance to win follow me on Twitter and tweet about this competition  “I want to win a #DadsWhoPlayBarbie hamper valued at R1552.00 with @theclam”   https://theclam.wordpress.com/2017/03/08/dadswhoplaybarbie-campaign-hits-right-in-the-heart-win/

Winners will be announced via my FB page on the 17th March 2017 – good luck!

T&C’s apply:

SA Residents only

Winners will be selected by Random.org

Saying yes in a world full of No’s

I think I have said no more in the last five and a half years than I ever have in my life.  Why in the last five and a half years?  Because that is when I became a mom.  As a mother, I have become so good at saying no… pretty much ALL.THE.TIME.

Mom can I have chocolate for breakfast? NO.  Mom can I swim in the rain? NO.  Mom can I climb to the top of the cupboard and jump from it to your bed? NO.  Mom can I ride the dog like a horse? NO.  See Gemma with a pot of sudocrem in her hands (again) cue YELLED NOOOOOOOO!  Khoki’s being welded by same child hovering over her tummy (again) cue more YELLED NOOOOOOO’s!  No no no no no no no no no!

no-2

Good lord, I exhaust myself with the amount of times I say no.  However the time I’ve had at home recently has made me slightly less anal.  I am finding that the less stressed I am, the more I am allowing myself to actually say yes to the things my kids are asking of me.

I’ve allowed them to face paint me in the afternoons, I’ve allowed them to play in the rain, I’ve allowed them to jump on my bed like it’s a trampoline, I’ve allowed them to help me prep our evening meals with (gasp) knives… All things that I probably would have said no to previously, either because I was too stressed to take the time to just be with them or because it was easier for to me to just say no.

no-3

Now whilst I don’t say yes to EVERYTHING ( I am still not allowing chocolate for breakfast) I have found that saying yes to more has made for happier kids.  And happier kids makes me a happier mom.

no-1

 

Getting my Switch on

I don’t know if you know this but I used to work for a gaming company, and was quite into gaming consoles and playing the games that came along with them.  I LOVED my job.  I mean HELLO… I was paid to play games! (a lot of the time I also had to do like you know, actual *work*)

So when I got an invite to attend the Nintendo Switch pre launch event last week I think I might actually have squealed a little.

switch-1

I was excited to be part of a select few that got to play with a brand new gaming console before everyone else did.  I was also nervous though, it’s been a while since I’ve had to let loose with a gaming console.

Well!  I am totally switched on by the Nintendo Switch!

switch-2

It is a light , portable console that has detachable controllers (snazzily called joy-cons – joystick slash controller, geddit?) but it’s not strictly only a portable console… What do I mean by this?  It comes with a docking station that you slide the console into which gets hooked up to your big screen and hey presto – non portable console!  I loved that this console has the versatility to effortlessly interchange from a home device to being a portable one.

My favourite thing about the joy-con’s is the HD rumble feature : this allows you to actually feel what is going on in the game in the palm of your hand.  It is eerily accurate and I was astounded to actually be able to feel the amount of balls in the box when I was playing the 1-2-Switch mini game Ball Count.  If using the smaller (but powerful) joy-con’s are not to your fancy, you can always purchase a pro controller.  I foresee the hard core gamer being more comfortable using this accessory.    Other accessories will include steering wheels that can be used when playing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

switch-7

I love that the Switch is ALL about having fun with your friends and family.  When playing the 1-2-Switch games (which are the entry level mini games) it really focused on you looking at your opponent in the eye, bantering with them and then listening for the audio cue’s before out milking them or beating them with your quick draw skill.

switch-5

The interactive games were by far my best to play, I mean it’s all about looking like a complete dork in Just Dance, or smashing your opponent to the ground, and then picking them up and flinging them around in Arms.

Arms was awesome, I didn’t get any picks of myself playing it but needless to say I was super chuffed that I kicked Sharon’s figurative butt at it.

switch-3

switch-6

My absolute best game though was Splatoon 2 taking turf wars to new levels! It was set up in a way that two teams of four competed against each other in a showdown of “inking” the territory with your team colour to gain the most ground for your team.  Sounds simple right? Not!  But SO MUCH FUN.

switch-4

My kids are at the age where we are considering getting a gaming console for the home – am I considering a purchase of the new Nintendo Switch?  Absolutely!

WANT TO GET SWITCHED ON AS WELL?

You can pre order your Nintendo Switch and accompanying games and accessories on Takealot now before the official launch date of 3rd March 2017.

On Pixie Cuts and Growing Pains…

A little over a year ago I was so bored with my hair, it was driving me mad and I was desperate for something new and fresh.  My mom and sister had been nagging advising me about thinking about cutting it all off and the more I thought about it the more apealing the idea became.  So I took the plunge and went from having past shoulder length hair to rocking a cute little pixie cut.

New hair

It was light.  It was cool. It was funky.  I felt so free and sassy. It saved me a fortune in shampoo and conditioner.  I loved it… BUT… it also started costing me a fortune in haircuts to keep that cute and sassy style in shape.  What is it about hair that it grows like wild fire when short and like a tortoise traveling through molasses when you want it to?  I was having to have my hair cut every 3 weeks and it all started adding up.  Also… truth be told I like my face better when framed by a bit of long(ish) hair.

So I decided to grow it out in April of last year and its growing S L O W L Y.  I’m finally past that annoying tickle your ears stage but now I am seemingly stuck in the wispy around your neck slightly dated stage.

sam-hair

I’m getting frustrated with it cos it seems like it’s stuck in a time warp.  Do you think I should get it trimmed to get it in a bit more of a style or should I just vasbyt till it gets to my shoulders till I get the scissors out again?  Also how on earth do I get it to grow FASTER??  I’ve been told to use coconut oil but I HATE the feeling of oily hair – surely there must be another fast growing hair tip?

Hair guru’s help a frustrated girl out!

Lessons I learned while running a Marathon…

On this Saturday just passed I ran my first ever marathon!

I’ve been training for it over the past couple of months since I was mad enough to enter the Two Oceans Ultra Marathon after getting serious FOMO when my running buddies entered…

Weekends have been dominated by long run after long run and whilst most of you were chilling out and having the festive season of your life I was running, running and running.  I am loving it!

running-2

That said, running a full marathon is no joke!  It is an experience that will push your body and mind to places you never thought possible.  You will think you are prepared for it but the reality of running for 42.2 km is like nothing I have ever had to conquer before!

Here is what running a marathon has taught me:

  • You have to have discipline to set a goal like this and achieve it.  You cannot expect to finish a marathon if you have not put in the work before hand.
  • You WILL reach a few points along the way where you WILL want to give up.  This applies to life and running a marathon.  DON’T GIVE UP! You have to keep your mind strong, focused and set on the end goal.

marathon-2

  • It hurts.  I totally underestimated how sore my body would feel afterwards.  Mostly in places I didn’t expect to be sore like my lower back and in the bands behind my knees.
  • I got a really bad blister at around the 23km mark, and it was painful, but I just kept repeating the mantra – no pain in Jesus name!  Use mantra’s and your faith to keep you putting one foot in front of another.  I also kept saying to myself – you can do ALL things with Christ who strengthens you.  It really worked.
  • I am stronger than I give myself credit for.  A few months ago I would never imagine being strong enough mentally to get myself to the end of a race, sore and literally bleeding but I did it!

I am so proud of myself that I finished that race – even if it did take me 30 minutes to walk the last 3km.  I didn’t achieve my goal of qualifying for Two Oceans this year BUT I did complete a race that strengthened me mentally and physically.  I now know that I am capable of great things in my running.

marathon-1

I want to be an example to my children, that you can achieve anything you set your mind to.  That will hard work, fun and discipline the world is there for you to take and enjoy.  I want them to always know that being healthy is a choice and that living an active lifestyle will bring you joy and friendships that challenge and support you.

Here is to being a marathon FINISHER!

Sing us a song…You’re the tone deaf mom…

I am NO singer.

I mean I love to sing in my car and can bust a move while singing along to my favourite tune but Idols will never be on my bucket list of life.  If it were I would probably be a shoe in for the wooden mike.

That being said, I have found a really effective tool that I use with the kids when they are pushing back on doing something that I am asking them to do.  I make up funny little ditties and we sing them together to get the job done… tone deaf mom and all!

Gemma is not keen on brushing her teeth at the moment and I made up a song about brushing teeth when Kade was small so now we all dance and sing the song like loons and she now asks to brush her teeth.  This is the song we sing (or hum when the toothbrushes are in our mouths)

gemma-teeth

“Brush, Brush, Brush your teeth, Get them nice and clean…. Get them clean and sparkling… Brush, Brush, Brush your teeth”  (to the tune of Row your boat)  Some mornings we do it opera style, some mornings we are rock stars, sometimes even heavy metal goes down.  The main thing is my kids teeth are brushed and in good nick.

The other song I love to sing with them is the Mr Bum Bum song.  Kade hated having his butt washed while he was potty training but there was often just cause to give it an extra good clean (my worse part of motherhood is the poo undies/panties, it makes me GRIIILLL).  So I made up the Mr Bum bum song which we sing in the bath while we wash his and her butts.  It goes like this:

“Mr Bum Bum, let out a fart… make the room smell like pineapple tart… bum bum bum, Mr Bum Bum lets get you clean, cos this bum is a farting machine! Mr Bum Bum, you are so cute… cos this bum is a little poop chute”

Both the kids LOVE this silly little song and wiggle and waggle their butts to it in the bath.  I laugh and laugh.

kade-bath

There are many songs I’ve made up to get my kids to do the things they are giving me a hard time about doing…

What is your mommy hack for getting things done when your kids are defiant?