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I got an email from Jill Savage from Hearts at Home, that I will include at the bottom. And I wanted to confirm and share what she says. When was the last time you celebrated your small victories at a mom or as a family?

My husband recently started his own company. He works at a contract and says all the things we will do if he gets it. Then he does,… and life just goes on. We are afraid something might still go wrong, so we feel foolish to celebrate.

I can relate in my world. The baby sleeps through the night. Do we celebrate? No. Too afraid that tonight will be different. I had time to wash 2 loads of washing today. Do we celebrate? No. Too busy and too tired. I did not yell at the kids once today. Do I celebrate? No. What if the burden of the expectation never to do it again becomes too heavy. Etc.

But what if we did celebrate every contract. Bottle of bubbly just for the 2 of us tonight, an ice cream for the whole family, something small something big. It is not really important how. What matters is that we stop to look back and experience the thankfulness of the moment. Stop to enjoy. Because tomorrow might be hard. Something might go wrong. But today was good. This moment is good. And no one knows as well as I do how great every success is for me.

Be blessed today. Helena xxx

 

 

JillShe finally did it.  She stayed dry all night!  Even though it happened over 26 years ago, I remember it like it was yesterday!  It was a triumph worth celebrating!

 

Motherhood is hard. It’s filled with all kinds of goals that we work towards with our kids like weaning from the breast or the bottle, potty-training, learning their letters, writing their name, or tying their shoes. As they get older we work toward them completing their homework without help, or writing their first paragraph.  As they move into the teen years, they get their learner’s permit and eventually acquire their license. They learn to do laundry or write their first research paper. 

 

Some of these triumphs are our kids’ accomplishments and some are a blended accomplishment of parent and child.  Many times the accomplishment is under-celebrated, particularly when it comes to acknowledging the effort the parent has contributed. 

 

When we work hard toward a goal and the goal is achieved, it deserves a celebration! 

As moms, we’re pretty 

good at celebrating our kids’ accomplishments, but not always so good at celebrating our own.  Sometimes we let one challenging season just blend into the next challenging season without stopping to celebrate the progress made.

 

When we love and celebrate our triumphs, we give ourselves a much needed reward or pat on the back for a job well done. It’s unlikely that your three year old will say “Gee mom, great job potty-training me!” so you and I have to find ways to mark those moments with a celebration of some sort. You might ask a friend to meet you for coffee, suggest your hubby bring home carry-out for dinner, take a candlelight bath, or go treat yourself to a pedicure.  If it’s something you and your spouse have trudged through together, then a celebration date or dinner out just might be in order.

 

In some way, pause and take notice of your accomplishment. It’s a love-your-life self-care strategy that will keep you plugging along the parenting journey for the long haul! 

 

Joining you in the journey,

 

 

Jill Savage

Wife to Mark

Mom of Anne, Evan, Erica, Kolya, and Austin

Nana to Rilyn, Landon, and Marie

 

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Time and Stress

As the market grows, there is more and more on my plate everyday. Ever since Sebastian arrived I have been a stay at home mom. My only focus and priority the children and the home. Even so, I remember when he was little, how good I felt if I could wash one load of clothes while taking care of the baby. I felt proud and very satisfied with my day’s accomplishments. Now I take care of 3 little ones, 3 dogs, a hamster, a nanny, a gardener, a husband, one big house and try to organise a monthly market, blog and still be extroverted me. I do not feel good after one load of washing because it does not come close to everything that must be done in a day.  There is always a growing shopping list. Always bags of things to exchange in my car. Always e-mails to read, home work to be done, dogs to go to the vet, husbands to support and birthday parties to plan. Friends to visit, bodies to bath feed and get to sleep. There is always something to do.

That is why I have recently discovered that it does not save me time to quickly get something done while I am in the neighbourhood, or multitask, or push in an extra errant just because I have 30min before school is out. It just creates stress.

Because there is always a list, quickly doing something does not create time later or tomorrow, it simply removes the time you had to rest today. Focussing on one thing calms you down and you get it done well. Your child feels valued because you did not email or cook while helping him with home work.

I try to stop myself from standing in a shopping centre and wonder while I am here, what else I can do to tick off the list. No, now I tell myself: you can come back tomorrow. Because you probably will be back tomorrow. You will be driving around again, you will have errants to run. Rather take this extra 30min, park the car in front of the school and listen to the radio, or read a book, or just sit and rest. Because once you load the little people into the car, you will need the rest you could have had.

Take time to enjoy your tea, the sunshine, your thoughts, a song, laughter and beauty. Do not miss it while trying to complete the list.

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Its not bravery, its pride.

I like being a mother. I am able to be the type of mother that I want to be. I have been able to adopt, have two healthy pregnancies, 2 wonderful home births, 2 long term breastfeedings, and stay at home. But because many things have come easy for me, I think most things should. And also, others do too. I look like I am coping and doing very well, so no need to help there or support there. I have struggled alot. I struggle daily. Its hard sometimes. But I have been brave and wanted to meet that expectation of myself and others.

I heard a lady speak on the radio a couple of weeks ago. She said that she stopped taking her depsression medicine because that’s not who she wanted to be. Then she saw what it did to her child and realised she will be a better mom if she took it again. It was her pride that wanted her to quit and be free from it. I decided to go see my dr about something te help me the next day. My biggest challange lately was to get all 3 ready and in the car without yelling and screaming. I have failed miserably. The homeopathic pills helped. I did not yell, I did not scream. I take it whenever I feel I cannot handle this situation without freaking out. I can feel it coming on, and now I have help. I do not need it everyday. And that’s great, but somedays I do. I scream less, I yell less. We joke more. I help more, encourage more, reason better and am able to assess the situation better. That was the first thing.

Today I decided to get a VitB shot and set a reminder on my phone to get one every month. I need help. I need to spend money on good vitamins. I am very tired with 3 kids, a household and planning and organising the markets. I love it all, but I am tired. My kids still wake at night, so my sleep is interupted and sometimes worse than interupted! Nudge nudge.

I wil not feel guilty about having a Rosie to help me everyday. I will just enjoy her and appreciate her and teach her how to help me even more!

I will ask my husband for help. I will learn to this well and with respect.

It might be brave to face challanges, but it is not brave when I struggle and am able to do less things well, just because I think I should be able to do them all well without help – its pride. Our society teaches women that they are successful when they juggle work, home, food, husband and kids without help. 100 years ago, men took pride in sharing how many maid servants their wives have – it made them feel that they provide well when theirs wives do nothing. Which means that the pressure we feel is just out culture and the time we are living in. Not truth. We need to take up our responsibilities, but we do not need to do the work all by ourselves.

I have not arrived, I am walking. And I am sharing the journey with you.  It is scary to do so. To feel weak and say so. I want to be brave and I am and I will be. But I do not want to be proud.  Never proud.

i am brave                             never proud

What I’ve learned – recently!

I’ve learned that some days work out and some day don’t.

Toningt I am cooking the children’s Favourite, but instead of the usual throwing everything together as quick as possible. I have added garlic, chopped onions, coriander seeds and am opening a bottle of Rhebokskloof Shiraz. Why? Because I can. The worked out. The moment allows for it. The 3 kids are happy in the bath – not fighting and screaming for me to come and fetch them. The homework got done, with smiles! (even the bit we have to catch up from last term still.) I also managed to fit in a drive to Stellenbosch this morning to have a meeting with a potential venue for the market , and drive with Nr1 all the way to his ballet class far far away, send out all the invitations to the upcoming market in 2 weeks time – and all this and still on time and peaceful.

chopped onions Garlic

Its almost, almost!, difficult to remember that is was just 3 days ago when I had my worst day as a mother. Not the day when I made the worst decisions or did the things I am most ashamed of. But the day when I almost quit. I had had enough, I wanted out! I was finished tired and nothing I tried had good results.

I remember today how many times when the kids were small babies this happened. You plan everything to the tee, the time, the details, everything. And then one thing jumps out of its hole. The baby that always naps at exacly the same time, fails to go down. The sleep you were planning on did not happen and boom! everything is horrible. Nothing you could have done, could have prevented it. You did your best, you tried it all and still, there it is.

freaking out

The only thing that helped then and helps now, is knowing tomorrow is a new day. And two days are never the same. Tomorrow will be different. And tomorrow, it might all work out again!

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Sibling friendships

I love to listen to the sound of my kids playing. I know I only hear them playing because I allow them to play. I do not try to entertain them all the time, organise endless playdates, add tv and ipads and all the rest. We have our fair share of all that, but I believe we must let our kids be bored. Let them get creative in imagining new games. Encourage them to play with each other – the older ones and yourger ones – all together. I believe its part of our roll as parents to teach them how to be friends. The only sad thing that sometimes gets me is that they will one day as adults be visiting each other and not always feel the need to include me!!!

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Why I started

I visited the Baba Indaba yesterday. I love going alone – I wonder around and look for interesting new products and services. But as I drove home, I was reminded again of exactly why I started my website www.myfavouritethings.co.za : I see all the mothers, with babies or bumps, looking around, hoping to find something that will help and work. They listen to all the exhibitors explaining why their colourful and usually expensive product is essential. But no one tells them what is FREE, that you can make your own baby wrap, trust you instincts! and you do not need everything in the beginning.  You can buy what you need When you need them. You will not use everything. Your baby will not like everything. And you will be okay without most things. But you will need encouragement and correct information (on a need to know basis) and support. You will sleep bad, but all mothers do. Your baby will cry and you will feel lost and like a failure. You will cry a lot, and feel guilty because you do not rejoyce all the time about this person that you have dreamed about for so long. You will make mistakes, but babies do not break easily or hold a grudge against you. You will feel alone. And sometimes you will find something or someone that just makes things easier. But you will not know these things in advance. But once you are in the middle of it, its good to know you are not alone and it will be okay.

I think it is time I blogged again. See you soon!

Baba Indaba 2010

Hi Mothers
Please accept my apologies for the silence lately. I am going through a really tough time with my little one and hopefully finding riches that I can offer again to other at a later stage. If I keep focussing on that, it usually feels worth something, at least.
 
I enjoyed this year’s Baba Indaba, but must admit it was mostly because I got to help out at the Le Leche stand. I so enjoy talking to people, giving information, support and encouragement. That’s why I am also very excited about the prospect of becoming a Le Leche leader!! This will give me a greater understanding about breastfeeding and enough information to back up the support that goes along with it. **
 
I did have time to walk around though and saw some interesting things.
@@I saw my friend Clea with her Baby Hands Sign Language stand. I recently had the privilege of attending one of her classes and have since started to sign with Bea my 14month old. We are still in the beginning, but she can already sign MILK. Which is good. Visit her at www.babyhands.co.za
@@One of my Favourites was the Breastfeeding Blanket. I have seen previous similar products, but this one is by far the best yet. It looks and feels like a scarf, wrap of soft cotton blanket, come in different colours and fabrics. Take a look on their website www.thebreastfeedingblanket.com You can also order this product through me if you like to.
@@Then there was Tots n Pots who do cooking workshops with little ones ages 2-3, 3-6 and 7-10 years. I love the concept. You can find them at www.totsnpots.com
@@Love the Bella Blue vintage inspired baby and toddler original clothing. Do yourself a favour and just go take a look at their designs. www.bellablue.co.za
@@Found an interesting website for anyone interested in home births www.homebirth.org.za Som enice information there, go take a look.
@@The product we all wish we had a some stage is the antz pantz. A Pair of light weight pants that you can just pull over your child’s clothing if you do not want his clothes to get dirty. Pity it is not completely waterproof! At the moment I just pull on an old pair of tracksuit pants,but your child might be wearing Bella Blue originals and then this could be very handy!! www.theantzpantz.co.za  
@@A new product for moms who love to monitor whether their babies are still breathing, especially premies is Snuza. It is cordless and attaches to baby’s diaper. It even has a vibrating stimulus to rouse baby in case breathing has stopped. www.snuza.com
@@I really enjoy Pilates exercises. I did it all the way through my pregnancy and afterwards as well and found it of great help. I did, however, often wish that I could take classes with someone specialising in pregnancy pilates. You now can with www.pregnancypilates.co.za They assured me that they will be branching to the northern subburbs of Cape Town soon.
@@Another one of my Favourite Things at the Indaba was the bedlinen by 3inthebed. It feels like t-shirt material, 100% cotton and so much nicer that other stiff baby linen. Comes in great designs, so you do not even need to purchase anything else to decorate baba’s bed. Contact jacquimattei@3inthebed.co.za or trudipryde@3inthebed.co.za
@@ Interesting new product is the Baby Throne that moves your baby from nappies to toilet in a much shorter time, I was assured. Designed by an engineer. Take look for yourself on their website. It is a brand new product that only launched last week, so I am interested to get some feedback from moms. Looks like a great design to me. We all buy potties and toilet seats, maybe just get all in one! www.babythrone.com
 
Well that’s all from me for today! Why don’t you send me some feedback of your Favourite Things from the Indaba.
Good night to you!!
 
**(For those of you that do not know Le Leche League, they are an international breastfeeding support organisation that have been going for over 57 years! They are leaders in research and information and have monthly meetings, even do telephone support and can come to your home or hospital bed to help you with any problems.)