Tag Archives | motherhood

i thought he was ready for play school. i was wrong

In the lead up to Jimmy starting play school at the beginning of term 2 I told anyone who’d listen, “he’s so ready, can’t wait for him to start” etc etc.

Now, not for the first time since I started this journey called motherhood, it turns out that I was completely wrong.

I knew he would kick up a bit of a fuss, but I didn’t expect complete inconsolable grief (on his side) and pleading, begging and cajoling (on mine). It lasted for three weeks, until we were told that he really isn’t going to settle and that maybe we should try again next year.

Not even next term. Next year!

We had tried everything. Our wonderful nanny Christina, who he adores, stayed with him all morning, sitting quietly nearby, so he always felt secure. That worked for a session or two. Then it didn’t anymore.

I tried dropping them at the end of the road with the pushchair so as to avoid the whole goodbye and leaving thing, that didn’t help either.

He just cried a lot – loud, continuous crying, and he wouldn’t settle. So at the end of last week we made the call. No more play school.

I have been battling with all this mama-guilt. What will happen if he’s not socialised, what if he is going to be awkward his whole life, what are we doing wrong…? But then I think (in my mother’s tone of voice for extra impact) “for goodness sake woman, he’s only 2!”

It’s hard to step back and allow your children to develop at their own pace sometimes. I’m sure you are all far wiser than I when it comes to this, but I sometimes catch myself thinking “other people’s kids do it, so mine should too”. But that’s rubbish, and realising that is it rubbish is incredibly liberating.

Yours in motherhood,

— Emily

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parenting through the pink phase

Right now my children optimise every gender stereotype known to toddlerdom.

Willow (3.5 years old) lives and breathes sparkly pink, princesses, unicorns and Barbie. Jimmy (2 and 2 months) is obsessed with cars, trucks and motorbikes, as well as head butting, dominating and body slamming any person smaller than him.

It’s not something Ryan or I ever encouraged (the bullying of babies obviously, but also the pink craze).

If I had my way W’s wardrobe would be made up of paired down separates in grey and neutral tones. There would be no sparkly Barbie shoes, or Barbie anything for that matter.

When she was tiny I dressed her in navy and grey, bold in the face of my mother’s disapproval. But since she’s been able to vocalise her preferences it’s been pink all the way. Initially I pushed back until one day my mum said, “Darling, just enjoy it. Soon she’ll be dressed from head-to-toe in black leather with studs in her nose and you’ll wish you had enjoyed these sweet days”.

With that image firmly in mind, I have decided to embrace the pink. Today she went to school in bright pink ‘Hello Kitty’ onesie pyjamas and I’m cool with it…

The fact that my son won’t wear long sleeves, despite rapidly dropping autumnal temperatures and a wardrobe of cute winter stuff, is another matter.

He rejects any attempt to insert his thrashing, writhing body into warm clothing of any kind. No form of bribery or coersion works and I’m wondering if I must resign myself to a snotty, shivering baby throughout winter? I could weep at the thought.

If there is a way of overcoming this aversion to jerseys I’d love to know. Any tips or advice most welcome. The pink however, I am resigned to. For now!

Yours in motherhood,

— Emily

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POSTED IN: Confessions

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beautiful chaos

I have a collection of stationery on my desk at home. Clips and pens and a few cool things from Typo that I received as a gift when I left a contract position a few months ago.

Included in this pile of things is a DOPE SHIT stamp – I’d been saving it for a particularly brilliant piece of writing that I can print out and duly brand with this highest form of praise. However, that moment has not arrived and at the point of this story the stamp was fresh and moist and a clear temptation for prying hands.

I was working on a particularly taxing article that was already late when my 3yo daughter appeared in the doorway naked and covered from head-to-toe in bold, black DOPE SHIT stamps.

It was branded all over her body and face and, I realised as I marched her to the sink, it was also all over the walls at toddler eye-level. She’d been particularly stamp-happy in the kitchen and dining area and I also found a few on the back of the new, white couch which was enough to wipe the slightly amused grin off my face.

I was in the midst of uncovering the degree of havoc wreaked in such a few short minutes, when my phone rang. It was our landlord’s elderly father. He hasn’t been around in a year and was in the area and wondered if he could pop by for the mail… how soon, I enquired, no he’s about a minute away, was that a problem?

Panic. I kept him outside chatting as long as possible while Christina, who helps with the kids when I’m working, scrubbed frantically at child and wall. I still can’t get over the non-serendipitous (is that even a thing) alignment of things in that moment. Particularly as I’ve been waiting months for Landlord Snr to pop in so I could show him a few things that need fixing around the house.

These will now have to wait until the next annual post collection – I think even then I will be discovering upside-down DOPE SHIT’s on the garden walls and hidden behind curtains.

Note to self: never (ever) think smugly to yourself ‘my child must be quietly playing’ but rather know they are up to something.

— Emily

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POSTED IN: Confessions

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one

The last time I spilt my guts on these pages was about a year ago. I think I was bemoaning the difficulty of life as a heavily pregnant mother of a not-quite-two-year-old. Trying to haul a shrieking toddler out of an empty dishwasher, while remembering to do my pelvic floor clenches so I didn’t give birth on the kitchen floor. Those days seem so long ago now. Did I really find it so hard? The new me rolls her eyes at the old me. I had no idea.

This last year has brought with it the most extreme ups and downs I have ever known. There have been times when I have been so euphoric with joy at the sight of my two beautiful babies that I have wanted to explode with self-congratulatory happiness. And there have been times when I have shut myself in the garage (the only place they can’t reach me) and ugly cried until common sense eventually got the better of me and forced me back out to face my bemused offspring. More than once Ryan has come home to my horror-struck face staring at him from the staircase, with a tantruming toddler in the bathroom and a shrieking baby in his cot. From the staircase I can listen to make sure they are both safe and alive, while removing myself to a safe distance so I can regroup (ie. kick the wall, silent scream, meditate etc).

I haven’t written one of these posts since Jimmy was born because it’s been impossible to muster the creative energy, the time or the self-confidence to do so. I have been emotional, terrified and completely out of my depth often enough. I’ve felt so drained and frustrated that I can’t wait to get them to bed and then, the moment their little bodies are all warm and slack with sleep I have missed them desperately and wanted to bury my face in their necks and whisper how sorry I am for being such a hopeless, impatient mother and how I’ll try so much harder tomorrow.

I sound like a complete lunatic, but such all-consuming love that hurts your insides will do that to you. Especially when it’s combined with bone grinding exhaustion, looming deadlines and an eating plan that doesn’t allow chocolate. Jimmy will be one in a couple of weeks and I have to pinch myself. One whole year! What an achievement, what a privilege. But God…

— Emily

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POSTED IN: Confessions

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the momtrepreneur

The creative genius behind the cutest onesies and baby accessories (Basic Beings), Sally Rodrigues is a woman with tons of great ideas – she’s a thinker, an over analyser of life, a complete creator. She absolutely couldn’t give up cappucinos or dark chocolate and she’s at her happiest when surrounded by friends, laughter and nature. Together with her husband, Miguel, who is a project manager for the Rabie Property Group, they have a beautiful six-year-old daughter, Isla, as well as Sassy the Jack Russell and Tinks the kitten. Whenever we meet Sally for coffee, we always ensure we take pen and paper along so we can scribble down all the creative ideas and people she speaks of.

sal

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— Liza

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POSTED IN: The Parenting Juggle

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the beauty queen

Lynette Botha is ELLE magazine’s Beauty Editor, as well as a freelance writer. Her two daughters are the same age as Emily’s two and they were both pregnant at the same time, twice. Chloe is 21 months and Coco is 4 months. Lynette is also step-mom to 19-year-old Connor. Her husband Luke works as a Sales and Marketing manager in food imports and they both dream of selling everything and moving to The Seychelles.

Here Lynette gives us a little insight into her own brand of chaos!

Lynette_parentingjuggle

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— Emily

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POSTED IN: The Parenting Juggle

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2 under 2 is no walk in the park

Hello, my name is Emily! By now, most of you know that Liza and I run this blog together, as well as our writing and editing company, Copy Ink. My husband, Ryan, is a PPC Campaign Manager and we have 2 kids under 2 years old (!) – Willow, who’ll be turning 2 in a few weeks and James who’ll be four months on Thursday. We also have a long-suffering staffie called Zula who used to be our only baby, shame!

parentjuggle

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— Emily

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POSTED IN: The Parenting Juggle

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