You might be a mom, but you are still you

For quite some time after Tatum was born it felt like I had morphed into just being a mom and wife. There was no identity anymore. The person I once was, was non existent. I was sleep deprived, my boobs ached, I’m pretty sure my perfume didn’t even cover any poop fumes that clung to me and the last thing on my mind was getting my body back into shape.

I was given the friendly advice, which I refused to take, to not have my nails done anymore as I “won’t have the time.” But that was the only thing that made me feel well groomed. I soldiered on and started losing weight because my graduation was in February and there was not a chance that I will be plump or have a mommy tummy. I lost enough weight to fit back into my size 28 jeans, with only a little bit of excess love handles.  At least my graduation outfit was perfect and I even had to tailor the pants a bit. High five for me!

Six months later, I found out that I was pregnant again. I wasn’t prepared for a second pregnancy at all. I wasn’t ready to give up my body again, I just wanted it to be mine for a little while longer.

Last year I heard about the Well I Am Challenge, which I did enter but never finished. My mindset wasn’t right, I had just been retrenched and I was raising two babies under the age of two.

However, this time around it hasn’t been all that easy losing the baby weight. The love handles are a little more apparent when I wear tighter than normal shirts or dresses. And it’s time for them to pack their suitcases and go on an extended holiday somewhere far far away. That’s why I grabbed the opportunity and took a chance and entered a competition to win an entry into the Well I Am Challenge as sponsored by Inside Fitness Magazine South-Africa.

On Monday myself and another lovely lady was selected as the two chosen winners. Amd believe me, this time around I am ready to kick this body back into even better shape than it was before. I have something to prove to myself, but it’s not just going to be a flash in the pan kind of change. These 100 healthy days are going to be a change for the better in order for me to be the best kind of example I can be to my two girls.

Bring on the 9th of March, I can’t wait for the challenge.
So for the mommy wondering how to enter this competition, you can have a look at the Well I Am website and sign up for the challenge. A basic entry will cost you R549, and it gets you an entry into the challenge, two health assessments at Dis-Chem and a goodie box full of spoils to get you on the way to a healthier you. If you like them on Facebook, they are having a Leap Year discount that will run until tomorrow and an entry will cost you R349 for all of the above.

DISCLAIMER: I have not been paid to write this post, nor am I being sponsored by any of the entities as mentioned in my post.

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Keeping the kids busy – Homemade clay

I’ll admit this much, after a long week at work all I really want to do is be lazy in my pajamas and forget that I actually have something like chores that need to be done. Well, when you have kids you can forget about it. Unfortunately we are not in the position where we have a close enough support system in Johannesburg to look after our kids for a little breather.So all entertainment and babysitting is left up to my husband and I.

For Valentine’s day the girls and I spent the morning at home, because husband was racing the Dis-Chem Ride for Sight Super Classic. Tatum woke up in a fine mood and the plan was for us to finish all shopping and chores before G gets home. However, that was merely a plan and it quickly fell through. The girls then had their breakfast and morning nap, and I decided to start drafting a few blog posts.

So this is what we did…

We made homemade, edible clay. I have got no idea how much you have to consume in order for it to make a little person sick. But I can confirm that Tanielle did have a few bites and she did not have diarrhea or vomiting.

Recipe:

1 Cup All Purpose Flour

1/2 Cup Table Salt

1 Cup Water

2 Tablespoons Cream of Tartar

1 Tablespoon Canola Oil

Ingredients.jpg

Method:

  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a pot over medium heat. It will resemble smooth cake batter once everything is mixed together.Stage 1
  2. Cook over medium heat until the clay starts coming together. The recipe states that it will become a ball, however, mine didn’t. It looked almost as if the clay was starting to harden and form crusty bits.Stage 2
  3. Scoop the clay out onto a baking sheet or cutting board and leave for 5 minutes to cool down. Once cooled down, knead the clay until it becomes a smoother.
  4. Add food colouring or glitter to the dough and knead until colour is thoroughly mixed into the clay.
  5. Give to the kiddies to shape and mould!

 

Tips:

If you do not want your hands to look like you gave a Smurf a happy ending, please wear latex gloves.

Keep all food colouring out of reach from little ones sitting in the Bumbo chair, Tanielle looked like a vampire after getting hold of the red colouring.

Store the clay in an airtight container and it will keep for a week or two.

 

 

The embarrassment of the terrible two’s (Part 1)

This post is dedicated to the mom I silently judged in the Woolworths two or so years ago. I’m really sorry for judging you.

As I’m sitting here on the couch drinking my coffee (because green tea just would not cut it), I’m evaluating the hectic week we had.

Our kidlings are both at a very “difficult” stage of development. Tatum is currently at the terrible two’s and Tanielle is going through a milestone sleep regression. The terrible two’s sucks. It sucks big time. The terrible two’s will sap every last bit of your sanity from you. So let me not beat around the bush and tell you what this stage is like.

Somewhere in my search to gain my sanity back, I came across the following tip to survive the terrible two’s:

“Do not put your toddler in a situation that might cause a tantrum.”
Now, to the author who wrote this, here is my predicament…

Tatum has always been a very headstrong little girl. She will tell you immediately if something does not suit her. And she can be adamant.
Last weekend was terrible. I got the girls ready to go out on our weekly shopping trip  and let me tell you, every single situation erupted into a tantrum (By the way, the rest of the stores in South-Africa can gladly take a page from Woolworth’s book and remove all sweets and treats from their teller queues). In the first store we went to, Tatum wanted the coloured popcorn in the vegetable aisle. Who puts coloured popcorn with the vegetables???

Then we go down the cereal aisle. O. My. Word… “I want monkey cereal, I want monkey cereal.”
Do not attempt to reason with a two year old. I tried explaining that we have a full box at home, that isn’t even open yet. But, to no avail. Then it was time to pay. Look, I’m no saint when it comes to giving Tatum treats, but it is always within limit and never before she has had something decent to eat. Curse you Smarties, curse you. Tatum’s tantrum was so bad, that a teller asked me what I did to upset my child (Honestly now, do you think I pinch my child for fun to make her cry?).

I deserve a medal for not losing my bananas all over the store.

So on we go to the next torture chamber. I mean store. There Tatum decides that she does not want to sit in the trolley. No, little miss has to walk all by herself. So I allow her to, as I want her to develop her independence. Off we go to pay, and it’s the Smarties scenario all over again. My patience only lasts that long and it was taking a lot to keep my cool and not strangle Tatum right there in the store. I snapped halfway on our way to the last store of our shopping trip and I did the unthinkable. I spanked Tatum. The worst part is not that I spanked her, but that I spanked her out of pure frustration and anger. I just couldn’t handle the constant moaning and crying anymore.

So, to the mom I silently judged in the Woolworths two or so years ago, whom I vowed I’d never be. I would like to apologise. I was you a weekend ago, and I now know what it feels like. I’m so sorry.

A happy but crappy 2015

We have already entered the second month of 2016, the rat race is becoming more and more real.

However, for me 2016 hasn’t really started. The reason for this is because I had so much of 2015 that spilled into 2016. It has really stopped me from starting to really enjoy the new year.

Like most people I had all the intentions of having a better 2016. Happier and healthier with bigger and better plans. However, I couldn’t go ahead with 2016 as 2015 was still dragging me down.

You see, not all of 2015 was bad. Our second baby was born in April, we celebrated three birthdays and our first wedding anniversary. The bad parts were really bad and brought my moral down immensely.

I was retrenched during my maternity leave. And although this is kind of illegal in the current South-African Labour Law, there are quite a few ways of wriggling yourself out of it.

My case was referred at the CCMA (Commission for Conciliation Arbitration and Mediation) and I was hoping that it will be finalised at the very first meeting. Unfortunately the second meeting, which was Arbitration was only scheduled to take place late in January 2016. Needless to say, working for HR Practitioners made winning my case a little bit more difficult.
Remember how I said how there are many ways to wriggle yourself out of justifying why you retrench someone?  That’s exactly what my previous employers did.

I received the outcome of my case on Thursday evening, and I was upset. Really, really upset. Maybe pissed off is a better description of the emotions that I experienced.

You probably figured by now that I lost the case. And this is why I got upset:
1. As an HR practitioner myself, I really have lost all faith in the system I have believed for many years to be neutral and unbiased. I guess that’s not the case. Maybe more, how one party can bullshit the commissioner more OR perhaps it was a case of “who you know.”
2. I still love my field of work. But, my previous employers made me realise that I never want to be as unethical as they are. And they are part of the problem of why employees dislike the HR Department.

My husband made me realise a few things. I now have a job where I am appreciated, not where I am picked on continuously even if my work is 150% perfect. I don’t have to drive and sit in traffic every morning and every evening. I have the opportunity to fetch our oldest and talk to her about her day at school. I’m not missing out on her childhood anymore. And although I missed out on a lot during my pregnancy and didn’t enjoy my second pregnancy as I had my first. I now have the opportunity to spend an extra few minutes with my baby in the evenings.

I’d like to thank my previous employers for retrenching me. It was a blessing in disguise. My quality of life has improved so much more since I am no longer your employee. Therefore, thank you. Thank you very much. One day the wheel will turn.

I am now able to move on with my life and put the seven months I wasted for them behind me. I can only count this as a learning experience in my life and accept the lessons learned.

2016 can from now on only improve and move on to better, bigger and greater things.

The realisation

Like the most things in life, any invention or great discovery was sparked by an idea. My blog become just that, a thought the night our second baby was born.

You might think that this is a weird moment to decide to start blogging, but allow me to explain.

I have always been a creative. Not artsy fartsy creative, I never felt like I belonged with the creative’s at varsity. But I need something as a release in order to escape from the everyday.

The Easter 2015 long weekend started off with me and my bump off to the hospital for our weekly check-up. The plan was to go to church afterwards, but like most doctor’s appointments, the gynae was a bit behind schedule due to an emergency C-section.

So the Church plan fell through and we decided to have our fish lunch and I started unpacking boxes (yes, we moved into our new place two days prior). Unpacking boxes ended up me starting to nest and I could not sit still. But, do not for one moment think anything was ready for the arrival of our newest addition. No, her crib was still in a box, no clothes unpacked into the chest of drawers. NOTHING. On late Sunday afternoon we finally went to church. Well, my water broke after church. Good timing right? Not so much, but everything happens for a reason.

I was admitted to hospital on 5 April 2015, already dilated. I spent half the night alone in hospital, as much as I would have wanted my husband there, he had to go back home as our oldest was crying for him.

After spending another long lonely day in hospital filled with check-ups and walking up and down endless amounts of stairs. Nothing much exciting happened.

The gynae decided to give me magic tablets to quicken my labour and around 19:00 the nurses moved me to the delivery room. After one hour and fourty minutes of full on labour, our newest addition entered the world at 20:40. Naturally. No medication.

And this is where the idea was sparked. My body had just endured a lot. As I got out of the shower, I caught a glimpse of my “new” body.

It was far from the body I had as a 21 year old. It wasn’t firm anymore; in fact my tummy resembled cookie dough. Mushy and soft from stretching for 9 months. My breasts weren’t perky anymore. They had grown to the size of a small melon preparing to nourish my baby.

In that raw emotional state I thought to myself: “Your body might not look like that 21 year old anymore. But in your imperfections you are actually still perfect.”

My body had changed. My life had changed for a second time. I was a mother again.

And that’s when it really sank in.

Nothing will ever be the same again, and this journey is just going to become more interesting.

Image found here.