Super Mom

Parenting

Parenting

Parenting is darn difficult.

You might be the perfect an amazing baby parent but then battle with your toddler.  Toddlers and babies might drive you insane but teenagers seem easy.

Raising your child changes all the time.  It changes as your child gets older.  Things that worked before, might not work at all now.

I had some parenting battles this past year.  Not all the time but some days were bad.  I felt as though I was losing my relationship with my child.  Something I never ever want to happen.

We had always been close (as I am with all my children) but then something changed and he seemed to drift further and further away from me.

It came to a point where I either had to discipline the heck out of him or work on getting our relationship back together. I chose the latter.

This brought some judgement from others and it got me thinking.  Look, I don’t like judgement.  I don’t think any of us have the right to judge others.  We don’t know what really goes on in their lives and cannot judge based on the little bits we actually see and know.

I was just thinking how raising your child is such a balance.  A balance between being fair to all the children.  Disciplining them equally but not the same?  If you understand what I mean?  Not all children react the same discipline.  However, not just the discipline but also knowing when to discipline and when to see the bigger picture.  When discipline will just push your child further away and into more danger than just trying to find what can work for both of you.

I don’t want to say who this child is but please know that you are loved beyond measure.  I will do anything to keep you (a) safe and (b) happy.

Soos die son


All our children

 

As we sat in the dark after the kids went to bed, Tommie and I spoke about the children.  We have so many worries about each and every one.  So many things to be proud of.  So many personalities to work with.  Different reactions to situations and trying to keep them all happy and loved.

I wish I could explain to them just how much I love them.  Just how proud I am of them.  How they drive me insane.  How hard I try at raising them to be well adjusted, proper people.  People who will care and understand.  Have respect and be confident.

I can only try.  We can only try.  We don’t always succeed but I hope we mostly do.  

I hope they know that they are loved and respected, regardless.  That I would move the world, hang the moon just a bit that way or pick a flower on the other side of the world for them if it will make their lives better.

Kiddos, you are loved.


Best kids

I have the best kids….okay I always say that but really I do!

I was helping Jason just now. He was battling a bit with idioms.
One of them is “nie jou woord breek nie” (never go back on your word)

After explaining it, he said…”oh, like you Mom! When I was born you promised to be an awesome Mom and you have kept that promise!”


When we hurt our children

Look, I’m far from the perfect parent.  I don’t think there is such a thing as a perfect parent.  One can only strive to be a good enough parent.  Which is great, since children have to see that we make mistakes.  We get upset.  We handle situations the wrong way.  All so that we can teach them how to say sorry.  How we correct the wrong. 

Yet, I wonder if parents (including me) sit back at night and think if they could do anything better. How they actually handle situations wrong when it comes to their children. If they unknowingly treated their child badly. If a child looking for a hug was pushed away.  If a child wanted to say something special or exciting but was told to be quiet.  Maybe it’s little things but when they add up and happen often, it hurts.  When a child should be encouraged to be loving and caring but instead is pushed away…then what do we teach our children?

Parents should think before they act.  Parents should remember who is the parent and who is just a child. 

Parents should remember that children learn from them.  Good and bad.

Sit back and think if you would want your child to treat your grandchild, the same way you are treating your child now.


Tears

I think one of the worst things for me as a parent is to see my child cry.

I want to hug the tears away and fix the hurt.  Sometimes you can’t and it is all part of life’s process to turn them into a mature adults.  I get that.  I then help my kids to understand this and to work through their feelings.

Sometimes it’s unfair and nothing you can think of can even remotely make it sound fair or okay.  Those hurt.

When the tears are because of the way someone close to him handles / communicates or treats another person then I’m just royalty pee’d off.  

My kids are emotionally caring people.  I have taught them from little kids to always put themselves into the other person’s shoes.  To have empathy.  This is what they expect other people to have as well. 

Then someone close to them doesn’t and treats another with disrespect and my son ends up crying for that person.  This is when I see red.  “My tor val af”

I use it as a life lesson but flip man, treat other people with respect. 

Regardless


Parenting

I had a client this week who is 8 weeks pregnant.  Multiple IVF treatments.  A miscarriage and now she is pregnant. Hoping this is the one.

We spoke about parenting as I filled in her tax return.  I realised that she was seeing a whole other side of me.

Being a mom is such a big part of who I am, that I sometimes forget not everyone sees that side of me.

She is so nervous about being a mom.  I think she will be a brilliant mom.  She’s that kind of person who you want to be your Facebook friend even though you only do your tax lol She is sweet and caring and adorable.  I think she will be a great mom.

It is not always that easy to know though.  I never thought I would be this kind of Mom. That I would love parenting so much.

I love being a mom.  I love spending time with my kids. I enjoy them. I don’t find parenting difficult. I am blessed that my kids are easy to raise.  Don’t know how much credit I can take for that.  I think they just have great personalities that works well with mine 😉

I hope that she will love parenting as well.  Especially since it was/is so difficult for her to just have a baby. She mos went through the hard part already.


Like the sun

When my “morning” (and by morning I mean the time from waking up, to dropping the kids off at school) ends with a letter in a pencil case that says:

As upset as I can get with you, I love you way more.  Have a great day at school.  Mom.  “Like the sun”

Then you must know that the “morning” wasn’t so great.  Well, I think the fact that I woke up to no milk in the house and therefor no coffee, I should have known it would be like that?

Oh well….everyone has the stuff they left at home.  Little boys were walked to class.  I love you and it is okay were shared.

Hopefully it gets better from here on.


Major brownie points

Yesterday we took the kids to uShaka Marine World.  Much loved and enjoyed by all. 

All the kids.

Okay, I totally loved it too but not sitting in the rain for 3 hours!

Ushaka 097Ushaka 099

Yip, we sat under non-so-effective umbrellas while the kids had an absolute ball.  Thankfully it didn’t rain all day long.

I do think that being willing should earn us some Brownie Points?


Finding a balance

I thought we had a good balance. It was working really, really good…or so I thought.

Quintus would do homework, with his friend(s). Helped by his teacher mom. I would have more time to help Jason with his homework and by the time we get home, we will be able to spend time together as a family.

Well, I think that the “aftercare / homework” centre has too many kids and that Quintus is being distracted too easily.

Every time I check his homework, there is something that he didn’t complete. Forgot about.

Today, we spent 3 hours doing homework after coming home.
I also don’t want him to feel as though he has to do his homework twice.

Maybe I should go back to leaving work earlier and being solely responsible for school work.
Maybe I need to feel in control and sure that he understands and does well.

It will put more stress on me. Take even more time away from Zander (who is really not getting enough attention from me)

Parenting … Not an easy job


Is it possible?

Is it possible that I got the wrong children  back from school?

I’m sure I sent proper children to school this morning.  You know, normal children that listen when I talk or at least when I shout.

These little alien people that are in my house right now don’t do that.  Not when I talk, scream, tantrum.  Not at all.  URGH.  I am so not used to this nonsense.


Strict

I never thought of myself as a strict parent.   The boys don’t walk all over me but I didn’t think I was that strict.

Apparently I am!

Jason went to sleep over at a friend on Friday.    The little friend’s mom told me yesterday that Jason came to her and said:

“I can’t believe the kids fight so much!  My mom would never allow that!”


Expecting the impossible

Someone just sent me an e-mail and it was a ‘wow moment’ when I read that.  Who knows why, since it is darn obvious but still…it took a single e-mail.

I expect very little from my husband.  I’m willing to give a lot and not expect much in return.  Not that he doesn’t give in return but I don’t expect him to.

I expect much from the father of my children though.  I expect him to be the kind of parent I am.  I expect him to be the kind of father my dad is.  I expect so much of him but I don’t tell him what my expectations are.  I don’t give him the tools.  I just have these unwritten expectations.

Oh I know how to tell him when I’m not happy with how he has reacted but does that really help?  That is after the fact.  When it has been said and done. 

Women grow up with dolls in their arms.  We read pregnancy and baby books before we even fall pregnant.  We have a better chance at being a good parent, since we prepare for it.  Long before we consciously know we are doing so.

Men don’t.  They don’t ever prepare for being a father.  It just happens.  And then they don’t know what to do.  No father magazine (not sure if they wouldn’t read it though!)

I must make a point of telling what I need for him to do.  What I think our children need from him. 

Maybe if he knew what to do, he would.


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Thankful Tuesday

I’m feeling blah.  Kinda like our weather.  Dark en so.  So I’m thinking I should look at some positive things:

  • I haven’t murdered Tommie yet.  That’s a big thing especially after his actions on Friday.
  • Zander went to school with shoes on today!  I mean sjoe.  It is the first time this winter.  Regardless of the weather, he won’t wear shoes.
  • I dropped the boys off at school before school started.  Not sure if they made it to class on time but they were in front of the school gate on time.
  • I did not have a heart attack this morning.  You have no idea how close that was.
  • I get to try this “mom” thing again this afternoon.  Maybe I’ll do better.

Right thing?

Tonight I’m feeling a tad depressed, sad.  Unsure if what I’m doing is right.

Since becoming a Mom, I have only had my kids best interest at heart.  My every decision was to make sure it was to the benefit of my kids.  I always want my children to feel loved, validated and happy.

I try to raise my boys to always respect others.   The rule in our house is, that if it doesn’t make another person happy, then you shouldn’t be doing it. 

Then I brought Kyla into their our lives.  After her coming to our house for a few weekends, her mom asked if we could take her every weekend and some nights.  I discussed this with the boys and with Tommie and we all decided that, yes it wouldn’t always be easy but we are willing to do so.

Some weekends have been better than others but mostly it has been okay.  Since the holidays started, it’s been really tough though.  She is with us every day and it is beginning to work on everyone’s nerves. 

The boys aren’t getting any ‘brother’ time.  They aren’t getting to just relax and chill. 

Kyla is acting up and is totally draining me.  It seems like a constant battle to keep the boys happy and her to behave well.

Am I doing the right thing?  Is it just worse because it’ school holidays and she is with us all the time?

I feel like I’m letting the boys down.  I hate feeling like that.  I feel like a bad Mom for expecting them to share their time with her.  I’m not used to this ‘bad Mom’ feeling to be honest. 

I tried to find a crèche’ for her for the school holidays but I tried too late and couldn’t get her into one that I think is proper.  I will definitely book ahead for the next holiday. 

I can’t just show her the way and wish her good luck as she walks away.  I’m not that person.

I don’t want to be a bad Mom either.


Exhausted

I’m exhausted.  Soos in moeg.  By 9 o’clock I crash.  It’s probably because we are so busy at work.  Then also generally moms are tired.  Goes with the territory I suppose 🙂

I have thought about writing a post about my little Zander.  About how exhausting he can be.  How challenging.  How typically two. 

I think I was spoiled by Quintus and Jason.  They were near perfect toddlers.  Tantrums was something I knew nothing about. 

Zander is not that.  He tantrums.  He often doesn’t listen.  He wants.  Everything.  Especially if it’s something Jason has.  He can cling to me and push me away at the same time.

It’s exhausting.  It is also very much normal two year old behaviour.  Mostly though he is a sweetie.  He loves sport and anything ‘boy’.    He melts my heart when he holds my leg and says “Lief jou Mammie”  (Love you Mommy).  I adore the way he talks.  I love how he asks where everyone is, mostly not forgetting anyone (including his dog).

I love this child with my entire being.  I want to protect him from myself others who may expect of him to act older than he is.   I often hear myself say “He’s only two”.  

My baby boy, you won’t always be ‘only two’.  Soon you won’t want or need my protection.  I hope that then I did well enough with the little toddler You.  The one the continuously challenges my parenting.

Photo by Jason de Bruyn


Favouritism

Or even worse…having a very least favourite child.

I have written about this a great deal.  It lies close to my heart.  Maybe because of what I am experiencing and I don’t know how to cope with it. 

What if someone has a least favourite child.  When that one child doesn’t get taken with to work.  Doesn’t get bought something special.  Doesn’t get that extra attention.  Doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt.

How do you ‘fix’ that.  How do you manage to make the situation between the children ‘fair’ without the other kids feel that you now a favourite?


Mornings

This is the one thing that I just can’t get properly organized.  The one time of the day that has me stressed out.  The one routine that just seems to be without routine.

I know my boys are still small.  I know that things won’t run like a well oiled machine but oh. my. word. they have the ability to drive me to the edge of insanity some mornings!

Like today.  I had to tell them a zillion times to get dressed.  I got out of the bathroom to find both of them sitting on my bed (in the middle of winter) with only their underpants….huh?  Then I ask Jay to put on his socks, just to find him playing with cards on his bed.  Begging them to brush their teeth.  Comb there hair.  Over and over and over again. 

I got to work my folks home extremely frustrated, when my mom said I shouldn’t.  It is my duty to make sure they get to school on time.  That they are still small and I need to get them ready.  That I should understand that they are still small and need help.  Yes. I agree that I can’t just wake them up and then without warning tell them to get into the car to leave for school. However, ALL they have to do is get dressed, brush their teeth and comb their hair.  Breakfast is already dished up.  Bags packed.  They have 45 minutes to do just that…dress, teeth, hair.  45 minutes!

Funny how they can get ready in 5 minutes if I tell them we are going somewhere fun tough! 

 


You are late

Mornings are like the countdown to the new year in our home.  We run by seconds not minutes.

From the time we wake up till the time I drive away from the boys’ school everything is perfectly planned.  As long as everyone plays their part and follows the plan that has never been written or even said out loud from A – Z, everything works out perfectly.  No rush.  No raised voices.  We can even hear the odd bird chirping. 

Don’t mess with the plan though.  If you as much as let your toothbrush fall…we are late. 

Weird thing this morning routine.  Waking up earlier or not doesn’t make it worse or better.  It just is.  We seem to still do what needs to be done at the same second.  Even if we did wake up 10 minutes earlier, we will still be late if you do as much as let your toothbrush fall.


Parenting

Being a parent takes guts, patience, love, time and a lot of sanity. Being a parent of 3 kids takes a lot of insanity.

Parenting during the day is one thing. It’s hectic. You get lots of hugs and cuddles though so it’s all good.

Parenting at night is a whole different story. I can handle being woken up by a sick child. Being woken up by a cranky toddler who is giving it a bit of that just because he is two and he can repeatedly for no good reason for nights on end takes it toll.

Tonight. I have to sleep.


Zander

Hi

 My name is Zander.  Please don’t tell mom that I can type and read she might just think I’m some kind of freak.

I’m the youngest of three children.  All boys mind you.  I see mom has this book “The art of Parenting” next to her bed and I thought it a good idea to page through it.  I mean if she has this book then she probably feels that she is losing control over us and needs some help?  Maybe I can give her a few tips.  Help her out.  Make sure how to be a good boy.

You must be joking!!!!  I’m a BOY!!!! I’m not reading this to help HER.  I’m reading this to help US.  Now that I know the tricks in this book, I’m the one with the advantage!


Naughty boys

When a friend sits on the opposite side of the Wimpy (restaurant) and sends me a sms (text message) rather than dare enter the war zone that is my table commenting on how calm I am with the three busy boys, maybe it’s time to face reality.  I think it might just have been a nice way of saying “it’s time to discipline your three naughty boys”

I don’t know what my kids had in their bodies when we were there but I have never seen them acting so badly.  Look I know I have busy boys.  However, never in the 7 odd years that I have been a mother has anyone commented or called one of my kids naughty.  Ever.  Today someone did though. 

Jason jumped into the air to catch his balloon (have I EVER mentioned my absolutely dislike in balloons!!!???) when he bumps off a cup from the table.  It breaks into a zillion different pieces.  Right there with my silence when the woman told her friend that THAT CHILD is so naughty. 

Do not.  I got up.  Walked right up to her and replied rather politely with “No actually he is not.  He was just trying to get his balloon.  However since I must assume you never were a child and has never had any either, it may be best for you to move on to another table”.  Which she did lol  I must have looked pretty scary.

They did turn into brats after that though.  I could not get home quickly enough.  Even the staff came to ask me what’s wrong with the kids, since they never act like that (yes we go there often)

The one old lady next to me looked at me with such compassion…”where’s their father?” she asked lol  Probably again thinking they so need the firm hand of a father.

Thankfully days like today aren’t very common.


Photos of my kids

It’s  known fact that I am trigger happy.  I take many a photo and my fair share of videos.  My kids are used to having a camera pointed at them at all times.

However, that’s ME taking the photos.  I do not like other people taking photos of my kids.  I don’t mind friends and such but strangers.  This weekend while away there was a man taking video of the kiddies play area.  That in itself didn’t bother me but when he seemed to concentrate on a little boy that I knew wasn’t his, I got irritated.  It must have shown on my face as he didn’t attempt to video tape anything near us.

This stems from the day that Quintus was almost abducted.  Yes.  My son Quintus.  We were in play area in Johannesburg.  It’s a pretty secure area where kids can’t just go in and out without being accompanied by their parents.

There were many many children and this woman was taking photos of who I presumed to be her child.  She then took a photo or two of Quintus as well.  This bothered me but by the time I realized that and walked up to them, she had walked away.  I didn’t see her again.  Until later, when she tried to take Quintus by the arm and walk out with him!  I completely freaked out and when I called out Quintus’s name and ran up to them, she ran away.

Yip.  That easily.  I still battle to breath when I think about it.  It would have been so easy for her if someone stopped to confirm that he was indeed her child, to just show them the photos on her camera.  Proving that it was her child – since she had photos of him.

Thank goodness I do not let my kids out of my sight.  It’s just so easy for them to be abducted. 

So no pointing of cameras at my kids unless I know you.