Blogging, family, marriage, motherhood, Parenting, Stay-at-home-mom

Father's Day When Daddy's Away

Father’s Day four years ago was on June 16th. How do I remember that? Because, it was the day our youngest daughter was born.

To say that I peaked too soon at giving daddy the greatest Father’s Day gift ever is a huge understatement. How do you top that? A baby. The cutest, easiest, most charismatic little hellion you ever did meet … that’s her. The baby, the last child! How do you top giving daddy that ‘gift’?

Short answer … you can’t. Continue reading “Father's Day When Daddy's Away”

Birthday Party Politics
Blogging, family, motherhood, Parenting, Stay-at-home-mom

Birthday Party Politics

Birthday Party Politics. I’m not talking about adults, or teenagers, they can sort themselves out and live with the consequences. I’m talking about children. Little kids’ birthday parties.

When planning a party there are a number of things you have to take into consideration:

  • Date – is your child’s birthday in the middle of the school week, on a weekend, or even in the school holidays?
  • Budget – how much can you afford to spend? If it’s unlimited, good for you. Realistically it’s not though so know what you can afford and that will then help you decide on the venue, theme and type of party
  • Your Child’s Wishes – Does your child want a big party or just a trip to the movies, or a meal out with one or two close friends?
  • Venue – if it’s a party with lots of friends, you need to decide if it’s practical to host the party at your house, or use a venue (remember your budget), take into consideration the weather and season too (indoor, outdoor, summer, winter, rainy season, snow.)
  • Theme – once you’ve considered all of the above, then your child (and you)  can decide on a theme.

For me, I’d say those are the top things you need to consider when throwing a child’s birthday party.

With that said, please read this post I wrote a while ago about Birthday Party Etiquette. I’m not going to cover that again, but there are some valuable lessons and things to consider in there too. Manners people!! Manners costs nothing!

The point of this post is more about the adult politics that comes into play surrounding birthday parties for our precious children. Anette from 3 Little Buttons wrote this post about how her four-year old daughter was not invited to a friend’s birthday party and had to walk past the party to get home.

This really hit home for me, because my youngest daughter has also been excluded for the past two birthday’s in a row from a certain classmate’s birthday party. Let me try to be fair here before I start ranting and paint the whole picture for you.

My youngest’s birthday falls on a public holiday towards the end of the second school term, in winter. Two years ago her birthday fell on the day I was released from hospital after my first hip replacement (major surgery). I was determined to be home on her birthday regardless, but hosting a birthday party for her was just totally out of the question. Also at this point we were still new to the town and school only having been living here for about three months. And she was only turning two. We did celebrate at home with a cake and presents and my mom was here too, but as parties go, it wasn’t one.

Last year (the following year), I saw via the wonderful joy that is Facebook, that one of the little boys in her class had a birthday party and quite a few of their classmates were invited, but not my daughter. I was a bit hurt on her behalf. I tried to push it aside and make excuses to myself as to why this was; maybe it was only boys, maybe it was only family and a few friends, maybe there were budget or space challenges; but when there is photographic evidence to the contrary, your excuses run out and you just accept the obvious and forget about it whilst trying NOT to take it personally. Fortunately she didn’t know.

A few months later it was my daughter’s turn for her first proper party. She wanted a princess party at home so I invited five of her little girl friends, and if they had sisters the sisters could come too. Since my eldest would obviously be there she was allowed to invite one friend too. We decided not to spend money on a venue, so I set it up in our garage. We live in a townhouse so space was an issue and I couldn’t put the girls outside in the freezing cold weather. There were 10 little girls running around. They played dancing games, decorated cup cakes, everything was pink and sugary. The mommies were invited to stay (because I wouldn’t feel comfortable leaving my kids at someone’s house) and everyone had a lovely time. I put a few pictures on Facebook.

This year rolled round, and thanks again to the joys of Facebook, I see that the same little boy has just had a birthday party and all of their little class friend-clique were at the party, boys and girls, except for my daughter. Even my daughter’s BFF (whose parents are not friends with the family) was there. If I was ever in doubt of her being purposefully excluded, the doubt was now gone. There are two possible explanations here:

  1. Contrary to what I hear and understand, my child and this boy are NOT friends, and my daughter is a bully who beats this little boy up on a daily basis. Not that I have ever heard of any problems from the parents or the teachers over the last 2 & 1/2 years that these kids have been in the same class.
  2. The mother doesn’t actually like me and is upset that her son wasn’t invited to last year’s princess party. Therefore the only reason she hasn’t removed me from her Facebook friend list is because she is nosy. Which is fine. I can live with that.

Fortunately my daughter still is none-the-wiser about being the only one of her friends not invited to a party, again. I will keep it that way.

So what am I going to do about this? Firstly, I’m going to have a massive Facebook Friend cull! Secondly, nothing. What is there to be done?

This is just one personal example of Birthday Party Politics. I am quite sure this other mom has her own version, or hasn’t even given it a thought. I am equally sure that every mother/parent out there has their own story to tell about this topic. When did it get to this? Why has it got to this?

We can make a million excuses for our own behaviour and that of others but when we are trying to teach kindness, tolerance and inclusion to our children, shouldn’t we lead by example?

Maybe I’m the one taking this all far too personally. But I am a Lioness Mama! Hurt my children’s feelings and you will hear me roar. Not that they were hurt in this instance. 

Ah to be young and ignorant.

But I know … 

I Am A Lioness Mama, Hurt My Kids and You WIll Hear Me Roar!

This post is linked up to the following linkys: 
My Random Musings
3 Little Buttons
Blogging, motherhood, Parenting, Stay-at-home-mom

Parent's Evening

Wednesday evening was Parent’s evening at the girl’s school.

No, I don’t want a noddy badge for attending. Fortunately, or unfortunately as the case often is, I was brought up to do what I’m told. That means that no matter how much I might roll my eyes, tut, or whine about having to attend something that I don’t really want to, I will be there! I can’t live with the guilt if I don’t, also FOMO.

I’d spoken to a few of my fellow mom’s and the camp was pretty evenly split between attendees and non-attendees.

When I got there (first – even I’m rolling my eyes at myself) I met up with another mom who I wave at most days, and we walked to our daughter’s classrooms together. She was complaining about what a terrible day she’d had. As usual I felt I couldn’t complain about mine because she was a stressed out working mom who was juggling work and kids, while I’m a Stay-at-home-mom so have far more ‘free’ time than she does, even though if you’ve been reading my blog this week you’ll know I’ve had a shocker of a week with the girls.

When we got to the classroom the teachers were surprised to see us and jokingly remarked that we didn’t need to come if we were busy because they see us every day and the evening was mostly for parents who they never get to see. Nice.

Anyway, I’m still glad I went. My eldest got a fantastic report at the end of last term. I had my reservations at the beginning of the year which you can read about here if you want to, but it looks like she is doing brilliantly! She got all A+ and A grades on her report. I am a very proud mom. The only comment the teacher made was that she sometimes rushes through her work to finish first. I am definitely NOT surprised, she is ridiculously competitive – I hope it holds her in good stead for her future even if it is driving me crazy on a daily basis!

Here are a few of her masterpieces.

My youngest is also doing really well. She also got mostly As, a few Bs, and ONE fail! She can’t tell her left from her right. I was quite upset about this, almost taking it personally but after chatting with her teacher apparently most of her class still get confused (they are all 3 – 4yrs old). Surely they shouldn’t be grading a whole class on something they shouldn’t have to be achieving as a milestone just yet? My best comment was that she is very good at cutting. Yes, this I know. She is definitely scissor happy. So far she has cut her hair, her sister’s hair, the cat’s hair and most of her My Little Pony’s and Barbie’s hair. My child’s cutting skills should never be in doubt! Here is a selection of her artwork from school:

So at the end of a pretty rough week of parenting, and also battling a niggling persistent cough and cold which is making me miserable, I am happy to report that I am a very proud mom to two amazing little girls who will either go on to be CEO’s of their own companies one day, or the leader of their respective prison gangs … or maybe my youngest might be a hairdresser, you never know!

Have a good weekend all.

3 Countries In 3 Days Day 3
Blogging, family, Holiday, marriage, Parenting

3 Countries In 3 Days: Day 3

Day 3 dawned at Afriski Mountain Resort. We were all tired, but eager to get up and actually see the resort since we’d arrived at night and couldn’t make out much.

To say that it was cold is an understatement!

Temperature = -1.5°C (That’s MINUS 1.5 degrees celcius!)

Elevation = 3054m above sea level.

Location = Afrisk Mountain Resort, Lesotho.

Continue reading “3 Countries In 3 Days: Day 3”

CoSleeping Is A Myth Bed Hopping
Blogging, family, marriage, motherhood, Parenting, Stay-at-home-mom

Bed Hopping – Co-Sleeping Is A Myth

I am convinced that co-sleeping is a myth, because whilst they may sleep, I certainly do not.

We have a number of bed hopping configurations in our house. Technically my husband and I share a king size bed, while our two daughters share a room with a 3/4 bed each.

The reality is of course slightly different, and in fact ‘our room’ is their room. Continue reading “Bed Hopping – Co-Sleeping Is A Myth”

motherhood, Parenting

Flying with the girls 

We travel, a lot. My husband and I love going to new places, and rarely go somewhere twice. Hence my tag line – never backwards, always forwards.

This is true with the exception of going home to Zimbabwe. We go there whenever we can but that’s because it’s home for us. One day we will return home for good!

In July we were due to head up to Zimbabwe but due to political unrest and issues at the border posts we decided to postpone going for a bit. So as my husband had already booked off leave from work we decided on a road trip to Cape Town. It was awesome, but that’s material for another post.

When the girls were tiny, I flew with them often. My eldest and I flew to the UK when she was just 14 months old. And I flew regularly between Harare and Johannesburg. It was horrific!

I remember the first one after my youngest was born. She was 5 weeks old. My eldest was just 2. We flew from Harare to Joburg to settle in SA permanently. I was heartbroken to leave my parents, terrified about living in a new country, and extremely hormonal!

As for the ‘how’, I looked like a pack-horse! Tiny baby in a pouch in front. Ruck sack on my back, baby bag with nappies and all other necessary items that littlies need hanging off my shoulder, and my 2 year old was running riot in the departure lounge! As we got onto the plane, I realized my breasts were leaking so I tried to very discreetly breast feed my baby to relieve the pressure without drawing attention to myself as the other passengers were still boarding!Have you tried doing that on a plane in economy? Lets just say it’s not easy, certainly not with a 5 week old floppy baby with a soft head. We survived … Just!

For the next year I think I did another 6 return flights. There was always a drama of some sort. Have you ever tried changing a poo nappy in an aeroplane toilet cubicle with a toddler trying to ‘help’? Not fun. No wander my milk dried up from all the stress!

Another fact I learnt early on about this particular route, Zimbabwe International Airport is one of those airports that does NOT give you your push-chair upon disembarking from the plane. Nooooo! You have to carry two tired kids and hand luggage through customs & security and wait for your push chair to come off the carousel with all the bags! NOT FUN! I remember the last time we landed in Harare, just the kids and I. I finally strabbed the little one in the push chair, and stacked the suitcases on the trolley and somehow managed to push both of them  through the door where the families are all waiting on the other side, and one stranger saw the exhaustion and effort and stress and said “wow, you are very brave”. My reply: “No, I’m stupid. NEVER AGAIN”. I think I did it one more time.

Well it’s been almost exactly two years since I flew with the girls since then. We’ve done many many long road trips with them, but we haven’t flown for a while. We leave for ‘home’ on Saturday. My husband has to work so it will just be the girls and I. We are all super excited.

I plan to be as prepared as possible, which means as little hand luggage as possible so I can keep my hands free to hold on to the kids who will be over excited! In that luggage I still have to have a change of clothes for each of them, plus the 3 tablets, and ALL the documentation I am going to need – i.e. passports, birth certificates, letter of authority from my husband to travel internationally with OUR kids (thank you SA Home Affairs), and snacks of course.

Anyway, that’s just another good reason to only have two kids, I only have two hands! I honestly don’t know how parents of more than two kids get anything done!

motherhood, Parenting, Stay-at-home-mom

Today, I am tired … But that's okay.

It was an exhausting weekend with my eldest having a fever on and off. 

Last night went something like this: 

17.30 – feed family the roast if cooked all afternoon. 

18.00 – bath kids.

18.30 – go out to fetch meds for my husband at the late night pharmacy.

19.00 – husband must’ve read my blog I need space because he took the kids and the three of them lay in bed watching TV, giving me some space. I watched Big Bang Theory, had a glass of wine and caught up on Facebook. Eldest went to bed around 20.00 after another dose of ibuprofen as the fever was back. 

21.00 – I went to bed. I was so thankful for the couple of hours where I was alone and did not have to even utter a word. Bliss. Yes, I know I’m selfish. 

00.30 – youngest wet her bed. I had obviously not monitored her liquid intake and as she fell asleep watching tv she hadn’t been to the loo before bed. So I got up, changed her and put her in the bed with us. She is the kicker referred to in one of my previous posts! Today I Suck!

01.00 – the eldest comes through, hot, feverish, thirsty. I get her water. She insists I lie with her but as she’s already steaming hot I curl up at the bottom of her bed. She proceeds to fidget, kick, and generally not sleep until around 03.00 – thank you generic ibuprofen loaded with sugar! Why?! In this time the cats had to go out to pee separately, and the birds – I don’t actually know what happened but there was a lot of flapping and chirping, maybe one fell off its pitch – funny now, not at the time! 

03.00 – she is finally asleep, poor baby. I go back to my bed, to my snoring husband who, bless him, only snores when he is exhausted or unwell, and the kicker. 

04.00 – the kicker’s nose starts running, she needs a tissue.

05.00 – husband gets up to go to work. We discover the kicker has a fever too. 

05.30 – husband leaves, the kicker wakes up! 

That’s the end of my ‘night’. 

I hauled them ALL off to the Dr this morning. All will be well thanks to the wonders of medication! 

In all seriousness though … I hope that in years to come when they remember that mommy did get tired, I did shout, scream, and lose my temper over the little things sometimes. 

I hope that they also remember that I tried to be a good mom, and that the I loved them during those tired times, and forever. 

I don’t expect thanks, I just want them to know that.