You know, as a parent, we always wonder if we are doing the right thing. Did we do the right thing? Are we doing right by our children? Will we be sending children into the world that are independent, caring, happy and confident? People with empathy, respect for others. People who can grow but not outgrow who and where they came from. Just generally speaking, good people.
I must have done something right. I got this message from Quintus’ boss:
“Melany, ek moet net vir jou sê, jy het ‘n baie oulike seun groot gemaak. So vriendelik, hulpvaardig en hardwerkend. Hy het ‘n “bright future”!!!! Valerie dink ook die wêreld van hom!”
Translated: Melany, I must just say you raised a very good son. So friendly, helpful and hardworking. He has a bright future!!! Valerie (his boss’s wife) also thinks the world of him.
“Thank you, Quintus. Thank you for being a great son. Thank you for growing up to be an awesome young man. Thank you for making me feel like an okay Mom.
I’m so very proud of you.”
I love long weekends. I love holidays. I love that I get to spend more time with my kids, without the rush of school, sports, choir, meetings, clients, work …. well basically life. Life tends to get in the way right?
I get to play cricket with them (even when I fall and feel 100 years old AND miss the catch)
I get to take silly selfies.
We get to sleep late. Go to bed late. Watch movies.
We don’t go away as often as we used to. Not near as often as I would like to. Going places teaches them about life.
Staying home does that too though. One can be at home.
We are extremely busy.
Finding a balance between being a (good enough) mom and a professional is never easy. I have done so for a long time and it has (thankfully) worked out well.
Now I have a little boy who needs some extra attention when it comes to his homework and as a mom I have to make a plan to do so. I have decided that leaving at about 3pm will work for us.
Some clients don’t understand especially when they want a late afternoon appointment. However, this morning I had a client in my office who is an engineer
and earns more than I ever will. I was talking to another client on the phone who wanted a late appointment and I told this client why I don’t see clients in the afternoon. (Normally I don’t though)
My client in the office actually got tears in his eyes and said that money can’t buy what I am doing for my son(s).
It felt good to know that he understood and actually appreciated what I did.
I am very lucky to be able to do this. I am very lucky that I get to be an almost-full-time Mom.
“Mom”, he said as we made our way to school. Just the two of us. “Do you know why I feel like an only child?”
No, I thought to myself. We weren’t talking about that at all. “Why?”, I asked.
“Jason is always away with Oupa, bird-watching and Quintus is always with his friends”
True true words my little one.
Yes, there’s a big gap in age between Zander and Jason. However my three boys have always been very close. They still are.
Yet, he feels like an only child.
I will need to sit the brothers down and talk to them. I don’t ever want him to feel like an only child.
I have not lost my temper with my boys in years. YEARS people. I work hard at keeping calm and being an adult in situations where I’m stressed and feeling as though my buttons are being pushed.
This morning though, this morning I lost it. I lost it when it really wasn’t completely his fault.
Zander did not want to wear his winter clothes to school. It’s 6 degrees this morning!!! He wanted to wear his summer uniform. We were running late.
First he wouldn’t wake up. Then he didn’t want to get out of the bath. I got it though, since he played two rugby matches yesterday and he went to bed an hour later than normal. Add to that the cold morning and even I didn’t want to wake up.
However, it did make us too late to fight over clothes.
It was only when he broke down in tears and said the he is going to get into trouble if he wears winter clothes, that I got it. I did. I got it but it was too late. I had already hurt his feelings, stressed him out.
I was unfair but didn’t know it.
If we had more time, I wouldn’t have lost it.
I feel so bad that he went to school feeling like that. Okay, we did hug and kiss. I did walk him to his class.
He has probably forgotten about it by now but Mommy-guilt, that kind of sticks around.
I think we tend to forget just how far a compliment goes.
Yesterday I got such a nice compliment from the mom of one of Jason’s rugby team mates.
It meant so much to me! It’s so nice to hear something good about yourself from someone else. Especially when it comes to the kind of mother you are. We all tend to judge ourselves on a daily basis when it comes to being a mom.
Well, at least I know that I do, and it was so nice to hear that she thought I was a good mom.
Being a mom is a tough job. One I’m hugely thankful for
(although the pay sucks and therefor I need a day job too…..)
It was nice to get some recognition.
Thanks Marna. You made my day.
I’m today’s guest blogger! I’m Melany, been blogging since …. Sjoe … I think 2004. Long time. It started out when I had problems in my marriage and needed a place to vent. It’s pretty much turned into my personal journal that I’m sharing with the not-so-personal world out there!
Charlotte asked me to write a post about my parenting style. Why I parent the way I do.
This is not easy, since I parent my children differently. Don’t get me wrong. I do not love one more than the other. Quintus is my favourite. Jason is my favourite. Zander is my favourite. My favourite Quintus in the whole world. My favourite Jason and favourite Zander in the whole wide world.
I do believe that every child has his own love language and on the other hand a discipline language. I cannot use the same discipline on my children, since they are so very different. I do expect the same things from them though. There is no substitute on good behaviour and I don’t tolerate attitude. You can be 5 or 11. You will be treated with the same respect and I expect the same respect from you.
I parent my children with a lot of love. I’ve been told that I’m very strict. When I sit down and think about it, I probably am very strict. I give my children equal amount of love and time too. So I don’t think strict is a bad thing. It must just be a part of parenting. Not the way you parent. My children know that I love them. That I have their back ALL THE TIME. They are my #1 priority and they know that.
I have 3 boys. They keep me busy. They stress me up, they let me laugh. They make me proud. They drive me insane. I do my best to ‘get’ them. To listen to them even when they don’t speak. I want to understand them. I want us to be close. For them to trust me with everything.
I’m lucky that my parents (especially my mom) helps out a lot with the kids. They are with their Ouma in the afternoon. I work from my parent’s home (I’m an Accountant), so they are in and out of the office in the afternoon. I’m not limited by working hours. I do whatever I need for the kids, when they need me.
I love being a Mom. Some days are tough. Juggling my own business and having the kids in the office can be a bit much some days. It’s difficult cause I’m not just concentrating on work. Not just concentrating on them. We manage though
Parenting is an honour. A gift. I treasure it.
Jason: 20 Questions
1. What is something mom always says to you? Wake up, it’s school
2. What makes mom happy? If we make her coffee and we give her a mini-slab chocolate.
3. What makes mom sad? When we lie.
4. How does your mom make you laugh? She tickles me.
5. What was your mom like as a child? Probably like me. Talked too much.
6. How old is your mom? 38 (out with one year)
7. How tall is your mom? 1.7 meters
8. What is her favorite thing to do? Drink coffee
9. What does your mom do when you’re not around? How much I know? I’m not there!? Uhmmm play on the Galaxy Tablet?
10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for? She will be a singer.
11. What is your mom really good at? Netbal, said my school teacher today.
12. What is your mom not very good at? uhmmm….I can’t think of anything..
13. What does your mom do for her job? She is a …… looking around on my desk……Professional Accountant.
14. What is your mom’s favorite food? Fish and chips
15. What makes you proud of your mom? That she always takes photos of us.
16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be? Buggs Bunny. (I had to ask why and he laughed and said he doesn’t know…) then on second thought , Tweety (apparently she talks a lot as well)
17. What do you and your mom do together. We go for walks.
18. How are you and your mom the same? We both have blond hair and we both talk a lot.
19. How are you and your mom different? I’m a boy. She’s a girl.
20. Where is your mom’s favorite place to go? Uhmm…Tsitsikamma
21. How do you know your mom loves you? Because she always buys me stuff and she gives me lots and lots of kisses.
1. What is something mom always says to you? Get stars at school (they get for good behaviour)
2. What makes mom happy? When I behave well.
3. What makes mom sad? When I don’t.
4. How does your mom make you laugh? Me. You laugh when I laugh.
5. What was your mom like as a child? Good , never naughty
6. How old is your mom? 29 (bless his soul)
7. How tall is your mom? …..
8. What is her favorite thing to do? Work (poor me! – clearly I work too much)
9. What does your mom do when you’re not around? Work
10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for? A superstar
11. What is your mom really good at? Work (I should work less)
12. What is your mom not very good at? Building cars
13. What does your mom do for her job? I don’t know. I am still small.
14. What is your mom’s favorite food? Macaroni and cheese
15. What makes you proud of your mom? She makes the best tea.
16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be? A child
17. What do you and your mom do together. She pushes me on the swing and plays with me outside
18. How are you and your mom the same? We aren’t. She is a girl and I’m a boy.
19. How are you and your mom different? Our hair
20. Where is your mom’s favorite place to go? Wimpy
21. How do you know your mom loves you? When I was born, she already knew me and loved me.
Nope. Not the conventional mother at all.
I’m the mom who keeps the kids out of school because it’s snowing and they have never experienced snow before. Because it most probably will never snow (proper white snow that your legs get lost in) in Klerksdorp. (oh and the poor little snow men are tiny, since we don’t own mittens and your hands tend to get very cold for some reason!)
I’m the mom that keeps them out of school to take them to the Voortrekker monument. Won’t you remember more about it when you have been to the museum? Actually seen the toys they played with. The flags. The guns. They way they lived? Won’t you appreciate your language more if you understand how they fought for it?
I’m the mom who takes them out of school early, so that they can meet up with Ouma and Oupa at the train station. For them to see the very smart and luxurious Blue Train. To get the chance to meet their butler and take a small quick tour of the train.
Yes, I’m the mom who feels that some days they can learn more from missing day at school.
Don’t tell the teachers though lol
Quintus is growing up so quickly. Maybe because he is my eldest child? I don’t know but he just seems so grown up lately.
He wants to tell his brothers what to do and explain why I’ve said yes or no (drives me and the other boys insane lol)
He is really concerned over his brothers. He looks out for their best interest, like making sure that bully doesn’t come near Jason.
The way we have conversations …. they are just more mature conversations.
He will make me coffee or make dinner out of his own. (His dinner is two minute noodles – good enough for me!)
The way he is studying right now. The same way he has been studying all term long. No nagging from my side. No checking up on him. He is taking responsibility for his own doings.
But then he takes my hand as we walk past all his friends at school. Like he has done since he was old enough to walk by himself.
Maybe that’s another sign that he is mature. Mature enough to not worry about what the other boys are thinking.
I think the compliment I get most is for being a good mom.
I don’t know how accurate that is but I do know that I’m a very dedicated mom. My children are very important to me and I support them on every level possible. I accept them unconditionally.
Do I make mistakes? Many! Do I say sorry for them …. every time.
I don’t think I’m supermom. I don’t actually think I’m a good mom.
I am a good-enough mom though.
Day 01 → Something you hate about yourself
Day 02 → Something you love about yourself
Day 03 → Something you have to forgive yourself for.
Day 04 → Something you have to forgive someone for.
Day 05 → Something you hope to do in your life.
Day 06 → Something you hope you never have to do.
Day 07 → Someone who has made your life worth living for.
Day 08 → Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.
Day 09 → Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
Day 10 → Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.
Day 11 → Something people seem to compliment you the most on.
Day 12 → Something you never get compliments on.
Day 13 → A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)
Day 14 → A hero that has let you down. (letter)
Day 15 → Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.
Day 16 → Someone or something you definitely could live without.
Day 17 → A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.
Day 18 → Your views on gay marriage.
Day 19 → What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
Day 20 → Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 21 → (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
Day 22 → Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.
Day 23 → Something you wish you had done in your life.
Day 24 → Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)
Day 25 → The reason you believe you’re still alive today.
Day 26 → Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Day 27 → What’s the best thing going for you right now?
Day 28 → What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?
Day 29 → Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.
Day 30 → A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself
Jason came into my room this morning and said that he is very lucky, since he has the best parents in the whole world.
BIG smile on my face.
Then he said why:
- His Dad is willing to buy him a new bicycle at the end of the month.
- His Mom was spent a lot of money on a brand-new Western Province rugby shirt.
Okay, I was hoping it wouldn’t be because of material things but hey, you take what you can get that early in the morning.
Zander overheard this without me knowing. He called him to come eat his breakfast, when he walked into the kitchen, tears streaming down the face “You broke my heart” he said.
Uhm….what did I do?
Well, I didn’t buy him a new bicycle or a new Shark rugby team shirt. If that is what makes Jason love me, then I just broke his heart.
After explaining that he has a new bicycle (barely 6 months old) and we looked for a Sharks shirt (many times) but could not find one, he felt better.
….kids can take things the wrong way so easily.
Zander has a friend over to play and they are in his room, just next to where I’m working. The boys all sleep in the same room (although they don’t need to!). Zander sleeps in his own separate bed and while the older two has bunk beds, they share a bed.
The little friend wanted to know where Zander sleeps and he showed him his bed.
“That’s dumb” the friend said “You should sleep on the top bunk bed.”
“No” said Zander “I want to sleep in this bed because then it’s easy to walk to my mom”
:) Still my baby!
I write about being a mom a lot. Mainly because that’s what I am. That is what takes up most of my time but also, I love the wonder of it. The magic that is Motherhood. The innocence of my children.
That very first time I held Quintus, I changed. The first time I held Jason, I changed again. Holding Zander, I changed.
All for the good.
I watch in wonder as they grow. Not the turning-8 or 10 or 21 grow but the little things. The wonder of being able to blow bubbles. Seeing the sun set and hearing one of the appreciate it. Seeing their faces light up when they see me in the car after school. Silently looking on as their relationships grow.
I love being “Mom”.
I was thinking just the other day or every day how I would love to be a SAHM.
When I have a sick child or two like today, I wouldn’t have to rush them out of the house by 7 am, in the cold, to drop the other(s) off at school.
I wouldn’t still be doing homework at 8 pm, just because I couldn’t leave work at my normal time.
I wouldn’t have to take happy pills all tax season long, just so that I don’t cause permanent emotional damage to my children.
My personal paperwork will be in order. I will not wonder what forms need to go back to school and when. Accounts will be paid on time. It won’t look as though a war zone has hit my dining room / study.
I might even cook actually food…veggies and all.
Most importantly though, I’ll be a less stressed and happier Mom. I would have more patience.
Happy Mom = Happy Home right?
Maybe I would even have time to buy myself a Mothers day gift, since my husband forgot.
Happy Mothers day Mom. Thank you for all the years that you have been there for me and that you still loved me during my teenage years.
Thank you for being such a cool granny. You totally rock.
I’m one blessed Mommy.
Happy Mothers day to all the Moms out there. It’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it it is so worth it.
Jason wrote me a song yesterday.
He was writing songs with his best friend in his room. Playing guitar and making tunes. Now they are 7 years old and can’t play the guitar but there they were, writing songs.
One of the songs he wrote for me.
It goes like this:
My mom is my life
She is my Mom
and she is my life and my love
How sweet is that!?
I remember when I was just a little one, smaller than my brothers and not yet allowed to play with magnifying glasses. I remember watching in awe that my brother could burn shapes onto wood, paper, leaves. I used to wish that I could be old enough to do that and then when I got older, it just didn’t bother me anymore.
Then this morning Jason came to me with his magnifying glass and asked if I would show him how to use it to burn paper. We had so much fun. Even little Zander had a go at it. So did Quintus while he was supposed to be studying.
I used to be a nerd study real hard at school. I played sport, I sang in the choir, I had many friends but I studied, really really hard. When it got to tests and exams, there was no time for other stuff. Nothing. I studied. I put a lot of pressure on myself. If I got under 80 % on subject, I would be upset with myself for weeks.
Now, looking back at my school and ‘varsity years, I know I should have studied less and enjoyed being a kid more. I said that this is what I want for my children. I want them to be more balanced.
This was easy up until now. Now Quintus started with exams and I really battle to stand back. To find that balance between pushing him and not pushing him.
He has done really well so far. And even though the result on one of his tests would have freaked me out before, I realized that the balance is right. He is studying and doing well. Studying more than enough for someone his age and still enjoying his friends and sport.
Sometimes I suck at being the good Mom. Sometimes I overreact.
At least I know how to turn around and say ‘sorry’.
I suppose that makes me a good-enough Mom.
- To love
- To laugh
- To laugh some more
- To listen and learn
- To say please and thank you
- To have opinions
- To respect those of others
- To be honest
- To be a friend
- To be yourself
I have always believed in Respect yourself, Respect others and take Responsibility for your own actions. I like the list above more.
I asked Jason to pass me the wipes, which is on the same table as Zander’s night time pull-ups.
JJ says “Where there are nappies, there are wipes. Where there are wipes, there are nappies”
True I thought.
Then he said:
And where there is my Mom, there is love.
Gotta love that boy.
When your son wakes you up with coffee, you just know it’s going to be a good morning.
I really do have awesome boys. They were so sweet with each other this morning. Quintus had Zander on his back, chasing Jason around in the house.
They dressed Zander. Brushed his teeth and combed his hair. They packed their own lunch boxes for school.
I got a zillion hugs.
Today can only be good.