Archive of ‘parenting’ category

Guilt free baby lovin’

guilt free

In a perfect world I’d be a stay at home mom. I would also be a size 6, freckle free and have a rich husband. But this is not a perfect world. So here I am, in all my size 10 glory, a 9 to 5 working mom with a 9 to 5 working husband. Life’s pretty decent and I get that I am at my place of employment for a season and a reason, but I must admit that it sucks a lot when I have to leave my baby with a babysitter every morning, and only get to see her again when it’s dark outside. I guess I have a severe case of what I’ve dubbed ‘guilt free baby lovin’.

I felt this even more so yesterday, when I had a particularly hectic Saturday and only picked baby up at 4pm. We then went to visit friends, where an aunty took baby for a bit to say hi and for some play time. A couple of minutes later, I spot aunty and baby, and I see my baby’s head is down on auntys shoulder, as if she is tired. But she cant be tired. She’s just had a nap. I then realized that my poor baby probably thought that I had left again and had resigned to just laying there, on auntys shoulder, until I came back. KariOh my heart broke at the sight! I immediately went to get her from the kind aunty and when baby saw me, she was instantly full of joy and energy, so excited that mommy isn’t gone after all!

I know that millions of moms all around the world have 9 to 5 jobs as well and their babys have grown up to be mentally sane and emotionally balanced and all of that. But this doesn’t make it easier for me to be away from mine. With my first born I was ever thankful when someone took him off my hands, allowing me some free time to do whatever I needed to. But with this little one it’s so hard for me to be away from her. I prefer staying at home with her, rather than going out. I’ve said no to many an invitation and have even declined hubstophers request for a weekend (or even a night) away from the kids. I’m not ready yet. Fortunately my husband is understanding and he is okay with this. And I’ve decided to be okay with it too.

I have had people tell me not to “spoil” her by holding, kissing her playing with her too much. Uhm. No thank you lady, I’d prefer holding and kissing and playing with my kid. Her dad is crazy about her and she semi freaks out (good freak out) when she sees him. She gives him the best shrieks and belly laughs when he does silly antics for her. I will never ever deny her that. I don’t think it is “spoiling” her. I think that it is giving her a sense of belonging and security. Her parents love her and we want to always make her feel that she is loved.
KariWari

And you know what, she will only be a baby for so long and I plan to enjoy every single second that I have to spare, with her. I am okay with lavishing my love and attention on our little girl and I am okay with being selfish with my time. Our older kids have each other and yes, they also get the attention that they need, but obviously, since she is 9 and 12 years their junior, she requires a bit more. We all understand this. It makes sense in our world.

And hey, maybe one day Ill attend that party or go away for a weekend. Maybe one day I won’t rush home from work, just so that I can see her. One day. But not right now. No guilt here. No shame here. No unresolved issues here. Just pure guilt free baby lovin and I’m going to savor it for as long as I can.

Life with sons: starting a band, baby…

Starting a band baby

Our kids are weird.
I say this with all the love in the world.
These boys (aged 10 and 13) literally sit and sing together, while playing XBox. And I’m not saying this because they have amazing, Luciano Pavarotti voices. Nope, they just enjoy singing, randomly. They don’t even sing popular, trending, songs… their choice of chorus are theme songs – Movie theme songs, ad jingles, series theme songs.

Them, 6 years ago

Sometimes it’s funny. Sometimes it’s “shhh the baby is sleeping!” Sometimes we all join in. (How Highschool Musical of us) And sometimes, I’d be in the kitchen, humming a little tune (and by “humming” I mean “belting out” and by “little tune” I mean “Mariah Carey”) and one of them would join in! As if I invited them! I mean, hello, can you not see the spatula (aka mic) in MY hand?! Is nothing sacred anymore?!

Seth (the youngest) also has a habit of memorising tv ads. He knows all the words, all the songs and sometimes even mimics the actions! Kyle is a movie quoter. He is so NOT good at doing the accents but insists on telling you exactly what the lead actor said, in accent, even though you were sitting right next to him, watching the exact same movie a few minutes ago! He also quotes stand up comedians (thanks alot Trevor Noah) and sometimes says things and just leaves it in the air… no point. No reason behind the story.
Example: “Mommy, so today my friend picked up his pencil from the floor and then I was like, haha your pencil fell…” Okay. And then?

Our first date was a quadruple date – kids entow

With all of that said, I remember something a dad of 3 once told us about his boys.
He said “The best thing I could ever have done for my son is to give him brothers.” (Thanks Manny) I was reminded of it this weekend, while watching these 2 together.

Flashback – few years ago: It was a couple of years after Kyles dad and I had split up and I remember feeling a bit disheartened thinking that my boy would not experience the joy (and torture) of having a sibling that is close in age to him. I mean, I love my sister – we are 3 years apart, and I remember many days of playing Barbie dolls together (me cutting her dolls hair in my “salon”… her crying about it) and hey those were some of the best days of my life. So I was really sad that my boy would not experience that. I mean, at best, his next biological sibling would be 10 years his junior. So no playmate for him.

Enter: Hubstopher and his boy. I think that the pair came at just the right time, age and height! I found the man of my dreams, and our boys found each other. The 4 of us fit together like a puzzle. (I said something along these lines at our wedding too. And I wrote a song about it. So original.)

So yes, our kids are weird. But they are also extremely awsome! Both sets of moms and dads (on either side) are married with a baby and these 2 have taken to it very well! In fact, they are stellar big brothers to their half sisters and brother and they are amazing step brothers to each other. They have their disagreements but I am so pleased at how well they get along. They stand up for each other, like brothers. They sometimes tell on each other, like brothers. And hey, now they sing together too. So yes, we are starting a band baby, starting a band.

Boys

Dreaming with your children

Recently I was asked to write something for J-Star Magazine about encouraging your kids to be a destiny walker. It really made me think! And reminded me of a great book I read by Bruce and Darlene Marie Wilkinson called “The Dream Giver for Parents.”
Living in a world that pressurises us to make the most money, wear the fanciest clothes and drive the snazziest cars, it’s safe to say that our children can be influenced by the superficial which in turn could motivate how they choose their future ambitions. With suggestions that it’s actually money that brings happiness and not walking in your destiny, it’s easy to understand why there are so many unhappy people sitting in offices around the world, not living life to its fullest potential and not daring to dive into the big destiny that has been designed for them. This raises the question: 
“Are we encouraging our children to dream with God?”

 
As destiny walking mothers we honour God in our lives by allowing Him to reign in the lives of our children. In the book of Samuel, Hannah dedicated her son back to the Lord. This was a bold and public act of showing that she trusted God’s Big Dream for him and was willing to sacrifice her plans for His. Don’t ever give up on the Dream Makers Big Dream for you and your family – it comes from God’!

Authors Bruce and Darlene Marie Wilkinson’s book, The Dream Giver for Parents, explores the concept of allowing your children to nurture their unique God-given dreams. The Wilkinson’s shared seven principles which enable parents to assist their children in discovering their dreams. They also aim to help parents find out how these dreams fit into “God’s Big Dream” for the world.

Dare
Dare to allow your children to dream of changing the world! By teaching your children that it is possible for impossible things to change, you are allowing them to develop a thinking pattern that could very well result in them bringing about change. Dare yourself to surrender to God’s will. It is not up to you to create a dream for your child but for your child to discover God’s dream for him or her.

Raise
Raise your children with dreams that will bring meaning into their lives! God does things big, and if the dream feels like it’s too big for you, it’s usually the one God’s dreamt for you. When you dream with your children, always keep the Dream Giver’s Big Dream in mind, talking to them about how their dream fits in with God’s.

Explore
Explore all the life-areas that your children are good at or that excite them! Psalm 37:4 says to delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. God puts desires in your children’s hearts and as they draw closer to Him, so He will begin to uncover and reveal those desires to them more and more.

Affirm
Affirm your own belief in your children’s dreams by exposing them to all the available information and experiences that will help them define their dreams! Teaching your child the beauty of humility and self-worth and the thin line in-between, holds a value like no other. Passion.

Make Use
Make use of every opportunity to help your children learn from role models – both positive and negative! A simple but important truth is that children learn from what they experience. As a parent you are the first role model for your child and as much as we want them to bear witness to our good experiences and character traits, sometimes life happens and they see the difficult times and negative traits as well.

Encourage
Encourage your child to rely on the Dream Giver as the only guide who will show them how to shape their dreams to fit with God’s Big Dream for the world! As a parent, it is so easy to fall into the unintentional trap of playing God in our children’s lives. It is so important to remember that we are not the architect of our children’s dreams and cannot be everything to them. 

Remind
Remind your children that following a Big Dream requires perseverance, tenacity and creative problem solving! No dream comes true by itself. In John 16:33 the Bible says “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world.” We need to allow our children to dream but also remind them that faith, hard work and determination are the waters that allow their seed to grow!

Originally written for and published in JStar Magazine

Professional tips on how to keep your baby entertained

Amidst my supper-cooking and dishes-washing I threw some random kitchen items into a bowl to keep my curlysue busy. I thought I was being extremely clever and one of those cool, hip, blog moms who finds alternate ways to keep their baby entertained.

Well, that was until my dollface emptied the contents of the bowl onto the bed and rather played with said bowl. I still take that as a win though, because the bowl kept her occupied for a precious 15 minutes.

Other things she did with the bowl:
– Banged it against whatever object was closest
– Stared at it as if she was figuring out how to take over the world
– Vomited into it

All in all a good time :)
I should write a book about this.

xxxL

Our mamas&babas social&share 1st meet

This Saturday saw the start of our baby group social club, as 5 mommy’s (including me) got together to talk about mommy stuff and basically just chill it out (as best as you can with a 6 month old hanging on you).

My Curly Sue and I thoroughly enjoyed the standing play station, that belongs to host mom Lyda and her baby, Kayla. My girl spent a solid amount of time, amused and entertained by the sights, feels and sounds on the station and I totally enjoyed not having to carry all of her 9 kilograms of cuteness around. :)
Hot topics for the day included breast pumps, starting baby on solids and co-sleeping. As you know, we co-sleep and are not yet ready to have her in her own bed yet. But I can feel the time drawing nigh, since she has recently started with solids and I am predicting that she will be sleeping right through the night really soon! 
Another hot topic was whether we are broody yet and if we would contemplate having another baby soon, since, we have all the gadgets and growing expertise now anyways. I mean, if you think about it, it makes sense to get all of the “growing a family” stuff out of the way, and just have all your babies in a row, since you’re used to the irregular sleeping patterns and spit up on your shirt. Not that I am interested in having another right now… or ever, for that matter. I mean, since hubstopher and I technically have a family of 3 already, I feel like I am done, thank you. He, on the other hand, is so keen for another and has already picked out names! I’ve given him an answer of “maybe… on condition that….” and am really just leaving it up the Lord! 
But with that said, we both realize that we have enough to handle with, with our dazed teenager, needy primary schooler and giggly baby girl. We’re good for now. 
(left to right) Janine and Zach, Us, Karin and Rissa,
Tess and Josh and host, Lyda and baby Kayla
Lyda ended the meet off beautifully with a prayer and short message taken out of Stormy Omartin’s book “The power of a praying parent”. I love this book and find the prayers and devotionals to be short but powerful, inspiring and real soul food. 
From the book: 
“Parenting! The word itself can bring contradictory emotions to the surface. We try to do the best we can raising our children. Then, just when we think we’ve got the parenting terrain all figured out, we suddenly find ourselves in new territory again as each new age and stage presents another set of challenges. Sometimes we sail through smoothly. Sometimes we encounter tempests and tidal waves. Sometimes we get so tired that we just want to give up – let the storm take us where it will. But I have good news. We don’t have to be tossed and turned by these winds of change. Our children’s lives don’t ever have to be left to chance… Nor do we have to be perfect parents. WE can start right now – this very minute, in fact – making  a positive difference in our child’s future. It doesn’t matter if the child is three days old and perfect, or thirty years old and going through a third divorce because of an alcohol problem. At every stage of their lives our children need and will greatly benefit from our prayers. The key is not trying to do it all by ourselves all at once, but rather turning to the expert parent of all time – our Father God – for help.”
It goes on to explain the power of prayer and submitting to God, whilst dedicating our children’s lives to Him. I really recommend this book! 
Future plans for the Mama&Baba group is to invite more new moms along and to include stimulating and learning activities for our babes, as they grow. I saw a few interesting ideas online and am quite eager to try them out! 
Yep, I am definitely enjoying this season! 
xxxL

1 7 8 9 10