Bittersweet Milestones
motherhood, Parenting

Bittersweet Milestones

As a mother, our job is to prepare our children for life without us, and although we know that this is our job, every milestone is bittersweet! As I sit and type this, I find myself reeling with the emotions I am forcing myself to feel and deal with.

For the past week or so I have not had any inspiration to actually write. Then I read a post by a fellow South African blogger, Venean from In the Meantime where she was both celebrating and sad about the fact that her son is self-weaning and it got me all emotional and inspired at the same time. It definitely touched something in my soul that made me rush home and start typing. Continue reading “Bittersweet Milestones”

Holiday, Parenting, Travel

What's your car worth?

Friday evening we left for Jo’burg, it was raining, it was the last weekend of the month which typically means ‘pay weekend’ and the roads were crazy! A journey that normally takes us around three hours, took us almost four.

Even when finances are stretched or low, one of the things we do not compromise on is our vehicles. We always make sure that our cars are well maintained, looked after, fully insured and serviced regularly. So although the traffic and the journey on Friday night was hectic, we knew that the vehicle we were in would get us there without any hassles, and of course the girls were both safely strapped in their car seats! #carseatfullstop!

It’s also coming to the end of the year, which for us means re-evaluating our finances, and it’s coming up time for car-insurance renewals and life insurance policy renewals etc. I know a lot of people think insurance is a luxury, but for us it’s really important.

The car I drive is around 4 & 1/2 years old, and has done a higher than average mileage. It was my husband’s car that he used for work until he got his new one about six months ago. As well as being his work car, it’s also the family vehicle that we use when we go on our road trips all round South Africa, and it’s even been to Zimbabwe and back about 6 or 7 times. We love it! It’s the perfect car for our lifestyle! Even with all that wear and tear, it is still in excellent condition because we take such good care of it: regular dealership servicing, new tyres when needed, etc.

When I was asked to review a website where you can sell your car or find out the value of it, I was interested to find out what the car would be worth when you compare it to the insured replacement value that we pay a premium for!

So I went onto the website www.carzar.co.za . The process was so quick and easy. All I had to do was enter the year, make, model, transmission type, engine capacity and number of kilometers my car has done. (Yes, I do know all that, even though I’m a woman!) I was impressed that it even flagged to me that the mileage is higher than average, because I know that it is. Their estimated value immediately came up on the screen, and an email arrived in my mailbox instantly.

They give you two prices based on estimate prior to vehicle inspection. The first is a cash offer, and the second is the offer if you agree to advertise it on their website for 48 hours. There is quite a substantial difference between the two prices.

I was a bit upset to realise that it’s value was far lower than I thought it would be, but I’m guessing this is more for quick sales, and it’s clearly an estimate based on the details I’d provided and is a pre-inspection value. The next step in the process would be to book a free inspection, and they offer a number of inspection centres where you can choose to take your car.

As I am doing a review, I wanted to compare the process with one of their competitors. I went on to another site and filled in the details (far more details were required). Instead of giving me an estimated value for my car it asked me to put in an amount that I thought my car was worth, so I did even though I’m a bit confused by this. On clicking ‘next’ it then sent me to the next page where I was hoping to see an estimated value there and then but instead it just told me that they will be in touch via email. At the time of posting this, I have received a text message with a reference number on it, but no email yet.

Whilst I realise that the two companies have different ways of operating, I think that in this day and age, people expect an answer almost instantly, even if it’s just an estimate initially. If I did want to sell my car, or if you want to sell your car, you want to know its value there and then so that you can work with your budget towards your next vehicle.

Would I recommend CarZar for a quote if you were looking to sell your car? Yes.

Would I still shop around to get the best price? Yes.

Am I selling my car? No way! I love my car (it’s a 2013 Toyota Fortuner by the way). It’s worth far more to us as it is, than what the selling price I was quoted is.

Am I calling my insurance company to review the amount they claim my car is worth!? Hell yes!


 

Just For Laughs, motherhood, Parenting

How Being A PA Prepared Me For Motherhood!

I realised yesterday that my former life as a PA was the universe’s way of trying to prepare me for my current life of motherhood.  Believe it or not, I used to be a Personal Assistant to Directors and Heads of Department in various financial institutions in London and York in the UK.

Being a PA requires certain skills as any Job Advertisement will tell you: Diary management; Travel coordination; Planning; Organising refreshments; Flexibility.

Here’s why my former life as a PA prepared me for my current life of motherhood.

Diary Management

As a mother, you are required to coordinate your children’s school activities, sporting activities, play-dates and social schedules, and this requires vast experience, patience and organisational excellence. This experience was only gained during my time as a PA, and thank goodness I have been able to dust the cobwebs of my mom brain off and call on my previous skills and successfully transfer them into my new life of servitude / motherhood!

Travel Coordination

Motherhood requires you to be on top of complicated travel itineraries. Whilst the landscape may have changed, and I no longer need to consider flight schedules and train timetables, I do need to plan ahead so that I know how I am going to get them from school, then to this one’s dance lesson, and back in time to take that one to swimming lessons, whilst also remembering to pick this up and drop that off. Motherhood it turns out, is extremely hectic and far more complicated than life as a PA and having to organising the travel requirements for four adults with different schedules that require I take into consideration network rail delays and changes to flight schedules!

Refreshments

Children expect you to ‘jump’ whenever they need refreshments, and in fact, “Mom, I need juice!” is actually far less respectful than “Would you mind getting us some coffees for the meeting at 10.00 please?” One of the duties I hated the most as a PA was getting coffees. Thank goodness the Directors I supported were really lovely, and they understood this, and on the rare occasion when they were extremely desperate for a coffee, they would all but beg me to get them a coffee. (I never said I was a ‘good’ PA!) Little did I know that motherhood would require me to ‘jump’ every two minutes to provide some kind of refreshment or sustenance to the two Directors I actually gave birth to!

Flexibility

Being a PA requires you to be flexible, not just in the hours you work but in being able to make changes to schedules and provide ad hoc support when required. Being a mother, requires that you are so flexible that you may as well be an olympic gymnast. In this one instance, I don’t think being a PA adequately prepared me for motherhood quite as well as the other examples I have given, but it did give me some basic training. Cancelling a train ticket and processing a refund is far easier than having to cancel your entire meticulously planned schedule at a moment’s notice because one of your Directors threw up all over the kitchen floor and you actually attempted to catch it with your bare hands.

What are the benefits I miss about being a PA?

  • Having a reason to get dressed in uncomfortable clothes that look nice.
  • Going to work, working, and then going home and not working!
  • Money – I had some.
  • Respect – I had some.
  • Talking to adults who you can actually reason with.
  • Annual Leave
  • Flexi-time
  • Hot Coffee
  • Did I mention talking to adults?
  • Sleeping at night

Given the choice, what would I change about being a mother?

  • Nothing – except the vomit catching! I could do without that.

Thanks for reading. If anyone has any other examples you think I should add to this list, please let me know in the comments below.


Life Love and Dirty Dishes
Monday Stumble Linky

 

motherhood, Parenting

My InstaRoundUp – 22 November

I feel like it’s been ages since I did an Instagram Round-up Post, but I guess not. Maybe it’s the time of year, everything seems to be going so fast! We are almost done with our school commitments for the year, which is pretty scary. Just one more function which is this coming Friday where the ‘man in the big red suit’ will be making a surprise visit to school, and then one more week of school and we are done. I can’t wait for the holidays. The girls are tired, I’m tired. We all just need a break!

On to the round-up …  Continue reading “My InstaRoundUp – 22 November”

Online Shopping With Superbalist
motherhood, Parenting

Online Shopping with Superbalist!

Online Shopping with Superbalist might just be my new favourite thing! I am completely sold on this. When I lived in the UK I used to do a huge amount of shopping online but since living in South Africa I haven’t really done that much online shopping. I think part of the reason is my concern with actually receiving my orders in a timely manner – I’m very impatient!

After my experience with Superbalist, my concerns about clothing shopping online are gone and I am definitely converted! As soon as my kids clothing order was despatched I received a text message confirming the order number and providing me with the option  to track the parcel. I was pleasantly surprised when it arrived the very next day! Continue reading “Online Shopping with Superbalist!”

Blogging, Just For Laughs, motherhood, Parenting

I Am More Than "Just A Mommy Blogger" ft. Tonic & Tiaras!

Well we have reached the final episode in my ‘I Am More Than “Just A Mommy Blogger”‘ series. I have to say I have really enjoyed finding out more about the ladies I have featured up till now, but it’s not over yet! If you want to catch up on last week’s feature of the series where I featured Spirited Mama  please do.

The final episode features a lady who I have definitely grown to consider as one of my blogging besties! She is an awesome human being so I really hope you enjoy learning more about her!

Welcome MsChanaynay, please tell us a bit more about you?

Continue reading “I Am More Than "Just A Mommy Blogger" ft. Tonic & Tiaras!”

family, Just For Laughs, motherhood, Parenting

Why I Laugh At My Kids!

One of the best reasons to have children is so that you always have someone to laugh at! Yes, I really said that! At the moment, the funniest of my two little girls is the Fournado!

She had me crying with laughter the other day … there were even real tears! You are going to have to stick with me with this story about why I laugh at my kids, and you will see the way it ties in at the end!

My girls are obsessed with snakes! One of their favourite things to do is to lie on top of their daddy on the sofa and watch various snake catching programmes available on the nature channels on TV. It’s their thing, the three of them, sitting there, watching snakes. In fact their career aspirations have changed recently from being an astronaut, to a pizza maker, and now they want to be snake catchers – all in the space of a week. Continue reading “Why I Laugh At My Kids!”

Blogging, marriage, motherhood, Parenting

I Am More Than Just A Mommy Blogger ft. Spirited Mama

This week’s episode of my five-part mini-series – “I Am More Than ‘Just A Mommy Blogger'”! This series came about by the need to tell everyone more about the person behind the Mommy Blog and to show that we are more than’ just’ moms and definitely more than ‘just mommy bloggers’. This series is focusing specifically on South African Mommy Bloggers. You can read more about the theory behind it and future series opportunities by reading the introductory post I did before the features started. This week I am so excited to feature Spirited Mama, a part-time working mom of two boys who also blogs. I am a little jealous of this fabulous lady so please read on to find out more!  Continue reading “I Am More Than Just A Mommy Blogger ft. Spirited Mama”

family, Just For Laughs, motherhood, Parenting

Anything But A Fight With My Four Year Old!

I have been a mother now for six years and four months and I am now a mom of a six year old and a four year old. In that time I have learnt many, many hard lessons. One of those lessons is to pick your battles and to just give in sometimes. We are at the stage of ‘whatever you want sweetheart’, because really … anything but a fight with the four year old.

This approach of appearing to give in and back down drives my husband, an authoritarian, absolutely insane, It also physically hurts the control freak in me.

So Why Do It?

Quite simply, it is the last weapon I have left in my fight to retain some semblance of sanity, and I make no excuses for that. In fact, I’m waiting for my medal!

This is especially true on days like today, when my four year old decides she wants to challenge me, all day! She has clearly decided this from the moment she opens her eyes in the morning and this will continue until the moment they close tonight. Continue reading “Anything But A Fight With My Four Year Old!”

Blogging, motherhood, Parenting

The ‘Children In A Bikinis’ Debate!

The Bikinis Issue Background

My six-year-old daughter wanted a bikini as her swimwear. I was not ready for this. She wanted one so badly she threw an hour-long tantrum in the department store until I caved and bought her one. “Bad Mom! How dare I give in to my child, right?” Probably! Then because I bought her one, my four-year-old also wanted one too. Typical.

To be fair to me, the children’s bikini top is long enough to meet the bottoms. It has a modesty skirt over the bottoms so it is basically a three-piece. It is definitely more modest than some one pieces – you know the ones I mean, where the sides are cut out. Seriously, unless you’re being paid to model that, do real people even wear those? I’m genuinely asking? What is it’s purpose?

Moving on …  Continue reading “The ‘Children In A Bikinis’ Debate!”