Mother’s Day…

It’s been a week since it was mother’s day.  It’s taken me a week to sort through my thoughts and feelings on MY experience on the day…

For seven years Mother’s day was a day that brought me much angst, heartache and a sense of failure that threatened to cripple me.  While I loved being able to celebrate my own mother and mother in law, it was a day I dreaded more and more with each passing year of infertility.  It represented something that at the time excluded me.  For not being able to do something that *should* have been the most natural thing in the world.

In 2010 by God’s grace we finally conceived.  I was so excited to know that once my son was born I would no longer have to look to mother’s day with trepidation in my heart.  That seeing all the mom’s being honored in church would not pierce my heart any longer because I too would be standing proud.  In 2011 I missed mother’s day as Kade was only born in June but my baby shower was hosted on Mother’s day so in a way I had the best party ever given to a mother on mother’s day.  That has been my best mother’s day so far.

Come 2012 I was literally bursting with excitement at finally, finally being in the place in my life where mother’s day would be about me as well instead of being about me doing something special for my mom and mother in law.  It did not go well.  I had expected that my man would remember the tears and desperation of previous mother’s day and that he would do something amazing for me.  I was wrong.  I was highly upset and hugely disappointed.  In 2013 things were slightly improved.  Mostly because I arranged a family get together for the day and basically sorted out my own mother’s day.  I was again disappointed.

Cue this past mother’s day.  I had stupidly agreed that my husband could go cycling with his brother on Sunday morning.  In my defense I agreed before I realised it was mother’s day.  As a result of this, my day started at 05h30 with both children needing my attention.  I cared for my babies on my own on mother’s day for several hours, making breakfasts, feeding bottles, wiping noses, getting baby to have a nap, cleaning the kitchen, washing & sterilising bottles all the while entertaining a demanding nearly 3 year old.

By the time hubby got home I had just managed to squeak a shower in and was ready for a little bit of a break and a pampering.  Maybe expecting a gift of some sort.  I got neither as he jumped into the shower after his ride and the baby woke up from her nap.  My mom and sister came to visit after serving at kids church and we had coffee and I gave my mom  her gift from us.  Through the day Cliff kept on saying your gift is on its way, it just needs to be delivered and I found myself getting more and more annoyed.  Long story short he had ordered a gift online and had set delivery for the 12th May.  The day after Mothers day.  He said it was a mistake and on the actual day I was so angry and hurt that I didn’t want to believe him.  (In fact I kind of still don’t, I have my reasons for this but don’t want to stir up another can of worms)  I couldn’t believe he had messed up a third mothers day in a row.  After all the fighting and shouting of the last two years, it was STILL a stuff up.

We ended up having a massive barney about it all. A really unpleasant, shouty, angrily tearful fight.

I asked how he would feel if I had stuffed up his Father’s day and he honestly said it would not mater to him at all.  I was so prepared to just stuff up his father’s day this year and test him on it.  I was really angry and totally fed up.  I then decided that considering I had got both children to sleep at the same time that I would give myself an afternoon nap.  Well.  THAT didn’t happen either.  Kade woke up just as I was drifting off and he wanted me and was crying snot en trane for me so all I could hear was Cliff was shouting at him that I was sleeping and… I got up and took care of my child.

I’ve been thinking a LOT about why this is such a sore point for me.  It’s just a day right?  It’s not like he messed up my anniversary (to the contrary I was SUPER spoilt) or my birthday or God forbid Christmas.  But I keep coming back to the fact that it is important to me.  I would like to be made a fuss of.  I would like to be shown that on this day I am appreciated as a mother.  I want a little bit of effort put in.  I want a badly made breakfast in bed after I’ve been allowed to sleep in.  I want a small gift that is in line with my interests (it doesn’t have to cost a lot, a kindle book will suffice!) I want to get my gift ON MOTHERS DAY not the day after.  I want to feel like I was not an after thought.

Logically I know I sound like a complete spoilt BRAT.  I know what matters most is that I finally have TWO wonderful, gorgeous children and that they are the real gift.  I know that it shouldn’t matter so much because Cliff is the best father ever.  He helps DAILY with the children, he is a very present father and partner and we share the load evenly.

But my heart wants that special day.  That all elusive mother’s day where even if I don’t get to stop caring for my kids, I get to feel like I did because a small measure of effort was made.

Do you think I’m over reacting?  What are your thoughts on mother’s day?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder…

… or something like that.   Laura did an interesting post on her blog about her daughter and her beauty.  Please go and read it.

I have thought about this a lot since we chatted about this topic a short while back and I have found that I actually have quite a bit to say on this subject.  Most of the mom’s felt the same as Laura did and were trying to focus their pretty daughters on their other good traits.  Trying to downplay their natural beauty because they didn’t want their children to measure their worth by their looks alone.  I do also prescribe to that, I wouldn’t want to be measured by others by my physical beauty alone – Lord knows I would not live up to what is accepted as beautiful in this day and age… But if I am honest society puts a great deal of emphasis on physical beauty and we all feel immense pressure to live up to what it is that society buys into.  And if you think I’m wrong there just look at the multi billion dollar weight loss industry, all the “Banters” out there, the anti aging creams and so on and so forth…

Now that I am a mother to a what is shaping up to be beautiful girl child, I too need to figure out how to teach her the balance of being joyful and proud of both her physical and mental traits.  But this is more than just about Gemma as a girl, why do I feel that we are more concerned about teaching balance to our daughters than we are to our sons?  My son is also really good looking, everyone comments on how handsome/good looking he is so essentially I need to teach both my children to find the value inside themselves that is more than just what is to be found on the outside.

But is allowing them to be proud of how they look that wrong?  It has been scientifically proven that people that are good looking get better reception from others and are at an advantage.  This is not something new, it is an inherently human trait that we gravitate towards those who are more beauteous/good looking.  As a child my parents focused a lot on my non physical traits.  I was told I was beautiful but my mind and my wit were much more appreciated growing up.  I lot of emphasis was (and still is) placed on my weight and control thereof.  As a result I believe that I am more of a “plain jane” and don’t have any natural physical beauty.  If someone tells me I am beautiful or highlights a physicality that attracts them to me, I get uncomfortable and don’t know how to accept that compliment.  I want my kids to to take pride in their appearance.  I want them to believe that they are fearfully and wonderfully made.  That they are gorgeous.  Inside and OUTSIDE.

I don’t want them to take advantage of the fact that they are good looking though.  But I do want them to celebrate it.  In a healthy balanced manner.  I don’t want them to be like I am as an adult incapable of accepting a compliment about their outer beauty because I tried so hard to focus them on their inner goodness only.

I don’t have the answers, but I do know that I am going to try and teach my kids balance in all things as much as I can.

Blog, Tweet…. Meet! #JoziMeetUp

If you hang around on social media as I do, you would have noticed that in recent months both Cape Town and Durbs had some amazing blog/tweet meet ups.  I watched and thought “damn I wish I lived in CT/Dbn” and then wondered why there wasn’t an event like this in Jozi.  That said I also didn’t have the time and the energy to try to set one up myself while stewing in some serious FOMO.

Enter Laura!  I really don’t know how she does it.  She has 4 kids one of whom is a baby a tad younger than Gems and she decided to make this happen.  Enter stage left Sharon and Wenchy who helped her make this meet up a reality… Thank you again ladies for making this first #JoziMeetUp the awesome event that it was.

IMG_20140510_175604

I am SO glad that I rsvp’d pretty much as soon as the invites were sent out via Twitter and Facebook.  For the longest time there have been people who I’ve been super keen to meet face to face as I’ve made connections with them via social media.  If we connected so well via an online forum, surely we would connect as “real life” friends too?

IMG_20140510_180345

I was so excited to head to the gorgeous Sunnyside Park Hotel in Parktown on Saturday morning.  I didn’t know this hotel even existed but honestly it is such a hidden gem of Jozi.  They took such good care of us and put up with 50 very loud, very talkative women and their kids and babies.

I was delighted to re-connect with old friends and to make some really awesome new ones too!  Even if @Bron_stew kept on trying to steal my delicious baby 😉

IMG_20140510_180515 IMG_20140510_182113 IMG_20140510_182002 IMG_20140510_180744

THE SWAG BAG.  Oh, be still my beating heart!  THE SWAG BAG!!!

PhotoGrid_1399892862337

We were so spoilt, gifts from Le Crueset, Naartjie, Rain, Swani Day Spa, Killarney Mall, L’OrealBio-Oil and Wakaberry…all beautifully presented in a personalized tote bag from Macaroon.  It really doesn’t get better than this.

I would have been so happy to attend the event even without the Swag bags because I got to chat, laugh and connect FACE TO FACE with so many wonderful ladies who have touched me online on twitter or via their blogs.  I think all too often we can forget how important it is to be with people whilst tapping out messages of love, support, commiseration etc from behind our various technological screens (PC, tablet, smartphone!)

I cannot wait for the next one!

Back to Work part duex…

So I started back at work yesterday.

Honestly I was in serious denial about having to return to work and as the day drew closer and closer it just never quite seemed real.  Still as I sit at my desk quietly tapping this post out I cannot understand how on EARTH has four months passed in a blink of an eye.

In one way I am glad to be heading back to work.  I miss the mental stimulation and the stress (yes the stress) of hitting my budgets.  BUT I am also really going to miss being with my little princess  so, so much.  She is at such a cute stage right now, my heart skips a beat when I think about all that I am going to miss out on with her.  I was chatting to a friend on skype yesterday about returning to work and what made me the saddest was the fact that Thembi will probably be the first one to see Gemma roll over (she is SO close to doing this).  Thembi will most likely be the one to see her sit properly unaided by cushions.  And that stings my heart.

I know she will be more than fine.  Thembi is just amazing and an integral part of our family who did a wonderful job of caring for our little dude when the time came for me to return to work nearly 2 years ago.  I know I will be fine.  That we will find our new normal and that soon this sting my heart feels everyday when I have to leave her will settle and we will be a groove of sharing our parental duties as we did with Kade.

I will be honest the traffic was worse for me than actually being back at work.  It took me an hour and three-quarters to get to work yesterday morning and took me over an hour to get home.  THAT is going to take some serious getting used to again.

So ching ching to finding our new normal as I get myself back into being a working mom.

The three of us on the morning of going back to work day.

The three of us on the morning of going back to work day.

 

Mommy and her little precious Gem

Mommy and her little precious Gem

And the winner is…

Thanks to everyone who entered the Kellogg’s competition and helped spread the word about their awesome Breakfast for Better Days campaign.

We had many entries:

20140505_141456

That were put into an empty box of Kade’s favourite Kellogg’s cereal:

20140505_141522

One of which was drawn by a very excited Kade (and his assistant Gemma)!

Shaking up all the entries

Shaking up all the entries

Digging in to get the winning name

Digging in to get the winning name

"This is the winner Mom!"

“This is the winner Mom!”

 

YOU are the winner :)

YOU are the winner 🙂

AND THE WINNER IS:

 ANITA STEENKAMP!!

Congratulations!  Please email me on se-ri-ous_sam@hotmail.com to collect your prize 🙂