I’m sucking at motherhood

Motherhood has been kicking my butt the last few months. I’m trying to keep it real here but it’s not always easy to post about the sucky bits of life. Most of us want people to think we have our shit together, that the house is always clean, the kids are always well behaved, that you have an amazing sex life. But in reality, this is not always the case.

The kids ignore me. Every, fucking minute of the day! I am so sick of my own voice. I mean I love my kids, don’t get me wrong. I’m just so tired of asking them to do a small thing 344 times. Being ignored and then losing my shit. Then I get the mom guilt for shouting at my kids and not being the “cool mom”. And if you lose your shit with 1 child, you inevitably carry that anger over to the other kids. Story of my life…

Photo captured by Shante Hutton Photography

I’m sucking at motherhood so that must mean I’m doing well in all other aspects of my life right? I mean, with all the balls we juggle, if we drop one we still manage to keep the others afloat? Nope, not in my case. Work is boring. I’m not being stimulated at all. I’ve asked numerous times for more responsibilities (I mean who even does that) but I get ignored at work too. Whoop whoop! So even though I get my work done, I’m done within 30 minutes of of being at work. So let me break this down for you. I get to work at 07:30. My hours are 08:00 to 17:00 with an hour lunch break. So essentially, I spend my ENTIRE day at work doing nothing because I finish what needs to be done before I even start. Go figure.

So being a mom is kicking me in the butt, work is killing my brain cells, that means I should be having the time of my life with my husband. Except I’m not. I love him and I love spending time with him. But because of the guilt (mom), the boredom (work), the complete suckability (not a real word, I know) of my life right now, I’m not giving my all to my husband. I’m questioning everything and being the worst wife. I don’t feel like cleaning, I don’t feel like disciplining the kids, I don’t feel like doing anything except laying in my bed and being left alone.

Photo captured by Shante Hutton Photography

I just want to be myself again! I want to be happy and find joy in my family. Or maybe it should somehow just all end.

When cries turns to screams – a parent’s nightmare

Dislcaimer – post contains images that may offend sensitive viewers. The images are of a burn injury. 

Have you ever experienced such terror that you couldn’t move for a few seconds? Terror at hearing your child scream in pain and not know what to do? That was me a few weeks ago when Ethan had a terrible accident.

We were away for the weekend. It was beautiful, the weather was perfect and the kids were well-behaved (mostly) and having the time of their lives. We were on the bank of the Breede River, glamping in the most perfect spot of Rivierzicht close to Robertson. Harper couldn’t contain her excitement of all the grass she was able to walk barefoot on and all the sand she could eat. We even took a few dips on the river. Heaven.

Just before she started eating the sand
Walking on the green, green grass
Contemplating life 🙂
Silly bums

On our last day there, we had made a fire in the pit to heat up our breakfast as there was no microwave for that purpose. Hours later, this gorgeous little barge came down the river. The barge offers trips down the river from a nearby campsite. There was so much excitement about this watercraft, especially from Ethan. It was his first time being this close to something so cool. He was jumping up and down in wonder and spotted a little dog on the barge. As the barge was casually drifting down the river, Ethan was following it, exclaiming at us to look, look, look! I was in the tent, packing up the last of our goodies as we were getting ready to leave.

Our accommodation
The barge on the river
The fire pit – taken right before the incident

My friend had come around to chat about something and we were standing on the deck, looking at the river but not really taking note of our surroundings as we were deep in conversation. And then, disaster! I hear Ethan start crying and another friend of mine run to pick him up. At this point, his crying changed to screams and I was just standing there watching as everything unfolded. Thinking he just fell and scraped his knee, not really seeing the panic in my friend’s face, I took my time to make my way down to them.

My eldest
My middle
My baby

At this time, they had him under the tap that was close by and I only then realised the seriousness of the situation. You see, Ethan was following the barge on the river and not realised where he was walking as he was looking at the dog and laughing when he fell into the fire pit. Even though we had made fire hours before, the coals were still hot. I rushed to him and just held him, trying to calm him while my sister applied Burnshield to his hand.

The Burnshield on his hand being replaced at the Wound Clinic
First look at his injury

Sad little one after his first dressing change

Mark had gone to the ablution block during this time and when he returned and heard what happened, he immediately grabbed Ethan and got him into the car. I barely had time to grab my purse and get in the car before he was racing to the hospital. That was the longest 25 minute drive of my life. Ethan alternated from screaming, to crying, to whimpering in pain this whole time. And there was absolutely nothing I could do beside murmur a bunch of nonsensical words of comfort into his ear.

At the hospital, they immediately attended to him. When they realised that we had used Burnshield on his injury, they seemed to relax a bit and complimented us on having it at hand and using it. Ethan had a second degree burn on his right hand, loads of blisters and not much more. Considering how much more severe it could have been, we are so lucky that it wasn’t worse.

He has had to attend a Wound Clinic a couple times a week and eventually ended up having surgery on his hand to remove the dead, burned skin. I thank the plastic surgeon for his knowledge and care and for how gently he treated Ethan. Every time we walked into the clinic, Ethan screamed knowing that they had to remove the bandage to assess his wound.

Surgery day
First look after surgery

Without the surgery, I honestly think his healing would’ve taken longer than it has. His hand is looking so great now and he has healed so well. This was such a freak accident and nothing anyone could’ve done would’ve prevented it from happening.

Almost healed up

The lesson we take from this is that accidents happen, suddenly and without any warning. Always have a fully stocked first aid kit with you wherever you go. Especially ensure that it’s stocked with Burnshield.

Burnshield – definitely a must have in the first aid kit

 

Baby shower gift guide

My cousin is pregnant with her first baby and I was asked to help plan her baby shower. If you’ve ever been invited to a baby shower, I’m sure you’ve wracked your brain to think of a meaningful and useful gift for the mom to be. Well, I’m here to save you. I’ve put together a great gift guide for you.

My top 5 picks

  • NoseFrida
    Number one on my list is the NoseFrida. I don’t why it took me so long to buy this little gadget but it’s been a lifesaver with Harper. Babies can’t blow their noses but get blocked up pretty quick. The NoseFrida is a nifty nasal aspirator where you suction baby’s nose safely and effectively. It sounds gross but there are filters that prevent the transfer of mucus and germs.

  • Baby Bullet (from Nutribullet)
    I handmade all the kids first foods using a stick blender. But I had my eye on the Baby Bullet from the second I saw it. Unfortunately, it was just a bit out of my price range so I had to make do with our stick blender. I can promise you, the mommy-to-be will love you forever if you get her this.

  • Snuza Baby Movement Monitor
    First time moms are going to stress about every little thing. Trust me. Help ease the new mom’s anxiety with this amazing little gadget. This guy clips onto baby’s nappy and monitors normal movement (like breathing). If no movement is detected after 20 seconds, the alarm will sound and mom will be alerted. It’s portable so it can come along when mom goes out for a quick break.

  • Toiletries
    Find out if the mom has any specific brands in mind that she would like to use on her newborn and get her 1 or 2 of all the products in the range. You can never have too much toiletries like wipes, body wash, lotions, etc. My personal favourite is the Baby Dove range as it’s soft on baby’s skin, is hypoallergenic, and smells amazing. They have a sensitive range as well which helps to minimise the risk of skin allergies.
  • Gift of time/help
    If all else fails, and the above isn’t something you’d like to gift the mom-to-be, perhaps a gift voucher would be best. Or print vouchers to help mom out at home. Maybe ones that say you’ll watch baby for 10 minutes while mom takes a shower, or a voucher for homemade meals, or even one that she can redeem to sleep for an hour.

Did this help you? Do you have any other must have items to add? Let me know in the comments section below.

Sometimes, it’s hard

Being a mom is hard. There I said it. It’s not the easiest job in the world. It’s not all sunshine and roses. It’s not having a jol and living your best life. Nope, sorry. If anyone tells you it is, they’re lying. Don’t get me wrong. Being a mom is the best thing that ever happened to me. There are the moments that make your heart poop chocolates and you exhale glitter, the moments that you love your kid so much you can’t breath, the moments where you’d lay your life down for your child.

But honestly, those moments exist to remind us during the rough times. When your baby won’t sleep, she’s been awake since 1:06 and it’s 3:47 am and you have to get up at 5am to get ready for work. When your almost 4 year old is up again for the nineteenth time just to tell you that he ate his porridge and food at creche. When your 7 year old loses his 4th jacket at school and the second term wasn’t even over yet.Those moments remind us not to drop kick our kids like they’re a rugby ball and we’re converting for the Springboks. Those moments remind us that we’re not animals and can’t eat our young.

Can we just stop with the sunshine and glitter bullshit and tell new moms how tough this shit is? Maybe then those moms will be better prepared for how kak it can be. The neverending tiredness. The constant touching. The ‘mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, moooommmmyyy!!’ that will make your ears bleed. The endless nappy changes, and bottle making, and bum wiping. The fact that even when you’re sick, probably half dying, and you still have to do all the things you do when you’re hearty and hale.

I’m not saying don’t talk about the wonderful things, I’m just  saying don’t gloss over the bad things.

I love my kids. Like with all my heart and I’d die for them type of love them. But sometimes, it’s hard….

Disclaimer – (can’t believe I feel like I need to write this but you know…) I love my children. I am grateful for them and for the fact that I could bring them into this world. I do not wish I didn’t have children. I do not wish that my children will just disappear. I will not eat them, seriously. 

 

My tired is tired

Hi everyone!!! (Or at least to the 1 person who actually reads my blog lol.) I won’t go into why I haven’t been here for a while (again) but I missed this little space of mine and I’m hoping things will get back to normal soon and you’ll continue to follow along.

A little update

The Car


We still don’t have our car back. The panelbeaters took forever to find parts and then the assessor took forever to approve the quote because the parts costs were way over their budget. But eventually everything was approved and the reparation commenced. However, it’s going to be another few weeks before we get the car back because one of the parts are only available in 3 weeks and then they must still spray the car. Ai,I just wish I could let an adultier adult deal with this mess.

The Kids
The children are mostly okay. They’re still alive and I still love them, so I guess we’re doing great!
Matthew is at holiday car for the first 2 weeks of the holidays (I’ll take the last week off from work and spend it at home with him.
Ethan is having trouble staying in his bed at night. We have to fight with him for an hour every damn night to get him to fall asleep. And then he wakes up during the night and migrates to our bed.
Harper is also having some trouble with sleep. She wakes and cries and thrashes like it’s no ones business at freaking 3am and nothing we do can console her. She decides when she’s done. No amount of holding, shushing, bottle offering or pacing will change her mind until she’s ready. So young and so headstrong already, heaven help me.

The Parents
Mark seems to have made peace with the fact that he’ll get his car when he gets it. Guess he realised that no matter how much he stresses about it, it’s not going to make the car come home sooner.
I am just so fucking tired. Gosh, I don’t remember being this tired when the boys were babies. I can’t seem to function mentally and my eating is all over the place. Guys, I have picked up all the weight I lost during my pregnancy and then some. I have 5 hours broken sleep every night, wake up tired (or rather I get screamed at till I wake), and then I sit at work the whole day and eat to stay awake. I just can’t do this to myself anymore. Goodness, I need to make a change and I need to make it soon!

Urgh, I hate that my blog posts are typically moan sessions lately but that’s my life at the moment. Any tips for this mom to combat the tiredness enough to make a concerted effort to tidy the house, nevermind any tips to combat the weight gain and starting a healthier lifestyle? 

Closer to Nature – the bottles and soothers we currently use

We’ve been using Tommee Tippee bottles since Ethan was born. He was combination fed breastmilk and formula with his Tommee Tippee bottles. We continued using TT when Ethan went off bottles by using their straw cups. Harper has also been on TT since birth and she has a sippy cup waiting for her when she’s ready. Tommee Tippee has now announced that their new  Closer To Nature Extra Slow Flow Bottle, ideal for newborn and preemie babies. I wish they had these when Ethan and Harper were tiny babies. The bottle’s super-sensitive Easi-Vent valve encourages your baby’s intuitive feeding action for comfortable, relaxed feeding. I think it’s an amazing innovative step for the brand that will help parents immensely in those first days with a newborn baby.

No need to worry if your baby is going to choke because the letdown of the bottle’s nipple is too fast. Or worry that because of the fast letdown, you now have to change baby after every feed because too much milk ran out of her mouth and into the folds of her neck and he grower/vest.

Oh let’s not forget the dummies/soothers. I would have lost my mind had it not been for our Tommee Tippee dummies, guys. Like seriously. Ethan was self soothing on my boob when he was a newborn. Do you know what that did to my poor nipps?? I am forever grateful to TT for being there to replace my boobs and helping Ethan (and now Harper) to sooth themselves. They now also have a new range available – the Newborn Soother and the Urban Soother.

The Newborn soother is specifically designed for smaller newborn mouths. The urban soother has a symmetrical orthodontic shape designed to support natural oral development. And there are such cool colours available! I love that maroonish one for Harper.

Did you use Tommee Tippee? What was your experience?

Harper with her Tommee Tippee dummy
My dummy is almost as big as my face lol

My Mother’s Day and Embrace

Gosh I wish this blogging thing was easier. I’m stuck and I can’t seem to find a way out. But I’m not here to moan (even I’m tired of my moaning).

Mother’s Day was a week ago and I still think about the day I had. It was our third Mother’s Day without my mom and it hasn’t gotten easier yet. I doubt it ever will. My memories are filled with the things we did together, things she said to me, all the advice she gave me, and how she helped me through 2 pregnancies. I also spent an hour of my morning at Karl Bremer Hospital celebrating Mother’s Day Connect.

It was incredible, emotional, heart-breaking and so overwhelming. I went into that hospital not knowing what to expect. I was nervous because I didn’t know what I could say to a new mother. I was overwhelmed because I didn’t know what to expect or in which ward I would end up in. But I needn’t to have worried. The team leaders Tracey Porter and Lindsay-Leigh Thomas were so good at settling everyone and calmly explaining what we should do.

Each mom received a goodie bag filled to the brim with necessities and spoils. I got to meet a mom who had the most gorgeous twins. I met another mom who’s baby was in the NICU and she couldn’t hold him. I saw a mom who had just lost her baby. It broke me and yet also kinda made me stronger. It made me grateful for what I have. It put into perspective how privileged we are and how we take that for granted. Thank you Julie Mentor for starting Embrace and joining us to celebrate moms in all forms. I had such a wonderful time celebrating those moms and walked away stronger and more determined to live intentionally.

My mom isn’t here for me to tell her how this day changed me. She’s not here for me to tell her how much I love her and how badly I miss her some days. She’s not here to love on my babies and give them kisses and chocolates. She would’ve asked me about the mom’s at the hospital and asked me how I was feeling and tried to make me feel better by feeding me lol. I am grateful that she made me into the person I am today. But I’m not sad, I have an incredible mother in law who loves me as her own. She loves my babies and she’s always there for me when I need her. Love your mommies hard, tell them how grateful you are for them.

Being a real mom

Written in collaboration with Baby Dove

It’s after 11 at night, Mark is sleeping and Matthew is a few weeks old. He’s woken up with a poonami and it’s taking all my creative manoeuvres to get it cleaned up. Once cleaned, I put him on the boob to get him to go back to sleep. Next to me, Mark is snoring and I am contemplating how I can get away with smothering him in his sleep. I look down at this marvelous creation in my arms, suckling softly and grasping my finger tightly. I can see he’s not going to sleep soon, he is wide awake. I heave a sigh of frustration because I’m tired, my c-section cut is throbbing and I’m wondering where my pregnancy glow went. All the baby books I’ve read say that I should swaddle him, ensure that he’s warm enough, that he only gets breastmilk and that I shouldn’t offer the bottle too soon or he’ll get nipple confusion. Those same books say that I should let him cry it out if I want him to sleep through the night, no wait, we should co-sleep. No, never do that, you can kill your baby in your sleep, rather keep him in his cot in his own room. But then I’ll never hear him. So that means I must buy all the expensive paraphernalia just so that I can hear if he suddenly stops breathing or pulls the blanket over his head.

This was 7 years ago, when I was a new mom with no idea what I was doing or how I was going to keep my newborn alive. I was scared, in pain and utterly in love with this amazing creature that God entrusted to me. While I was pregnant, I was given so much conflicting advice from well-meaning aunts, friends, colleagues and the random grandma at the store, that I didn’t know what was what. Then all those books I read made me even more confused and I was clueless. One day, I received the only advice I needed to hear, to trust my instincts because only I knew my baby. I can listen to the advice of all those well-meaning people around me and just use what I need.

Us moms are bombarded with information and advice daily. If it isn’t an aunt, or some stranger in the shopping centre, then it’s Google and all those online articles that we somehow subscribed to. After 3 pregnancies and 3 children, I’ve learnt that the only thing I need is to listen to my baby and trust my gut. I’m the only one who knows what that cry means. I’m the only one that knows when my son falls, all he needs is a little hug and the permission to try it again. I’m the only one that knows exactly when my baby is sick, before the thermometer even confirms it. This is why I love the Baby Dove concept of being a Real Mom. Of trusting your own way of being a mom. That there is no such thing as a perfect mom, only a real one.

This campaign has made me reflect on my 7 years of being a mom. How overwhelmed I was in the beginning. How I wouldn’t trust myself to know what’s right for me or my baby. All those baby books and advice would never make me a perfect mom, I just needed to be a real mom. Remember, when it comes to your child, you know best, so #TrustYourWay.

Despite the pain

Have you ever wanted to say something but couldn’t find the words to say it? I’m in that space at the moment. I think it’s because my thoughts are consumed with the pain I’m in and trying to alleviate it. But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me start at the beginning.

When I was pregnant with Harper, I started getting these twinges of pain in my back but I would just take a Panado and brush it off as normal pregnancy aches and pains. After I gave birth, the pain was still there and again, I brushed it off as normal after effects from being pregnant and having the epidural for the c-section. It’s been 6 months since Harper was born and I’ve lived with the pain for so long, that it’s become ‘normal’. Only it wasn’t normal, and 1 day a few weeks back, I tried to get out of bed and couldn’t move. When I eventually stood up, I did what every normal working mom does, I got dressed and went to work.

At work, I just couldn’t deal with the pain any longer and left for home earlier than normal. I spent that entire weekend cringing and downing Panados like they were sweets. I eventually ended up at the doctor on the Tuesday only. Doctor diagnosed me with sciatica and sent me on why to physio with anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants.

When the physio therapist examined me, she said that it looks more like the pain is radiating from my S4 and S5 and that the inflammation there is causing the pinched nerve. I also have a more pronounced curve to my spine, which is probably why the pain is so severe. I have been given exercises to do and I need another 2 or 3 sessions. If the pain doesn’t subside after that, it’s likely that I would have to go for x-rays to see if there is any degeneration in that area.

The reality is that I am constantly in pain. Nothing alleviates it and the heat packs and painkillers only do so much. I know my pain is just a drop in the ocean compared to what many others have to endure but it doesn’t diminish my own pain and how it’s starting to make me just a little bit depressed. Please pray for me that the pain dissipates and that I can go back to my normal self.

Silver linings

Staring at the blank screen, waiting for the right words to come. Worrying if the words I write will resonate with anyone who reads it or cause many to judge me. Wanting to get the words out of my head and hopefully find some quiet but so scared that someone will find fault and give me hell for it. For me, this is a constant struggle both for my blog and in my life. Wanting to voice my opinion and not be judged for it. Second guessing myself and everything I say so that I don’t offend anyone. I don’t always get it right and I’m glad I’ve reached a point in my life now where it doesn’t bother me too much when people find fault. I’m still learning how to let go and be brave but I’m trusting that I’ll get there soon.

Things feel a bit deurmekaar in my life lately. I feel like I’m not keeping all the balls up and it’s driving me slowly crazy. Add to that the fact that the kids haven’t been well and I’ve been on and off with some gastro bug, makes things seem impossible.

There is always a silver lining, we just need to keep a look out for it. For me, it would be the belly laughs from Harper, or the sneaky smile and massive hug I get from Ethan, or Matthew trying to squeeze the life out of me. Or just that hand on my shoulder or quick glance in my direction from Mark while the kids are in the bath or I’m putting Harper to sleep.

I’m grateful for my struggles as they make me stronger, grateful for my husband and family for they keep me grounded, grateful for my children because they made me a mom, and I’m grateful I get to spend my days with the amazing people I have in my life.