Spirited Mama

YOU have got to take in the BAD to experience the GOOD

Category: Parenting (Page 2 of 6)

Here’s to the Dads!!!

 

If you’re a Dad, congratulations

Kudos to YOU if you are a “hands-on or involved” Dad. It’s quite amazing to see that there are still guys out there who think their role is to implant you with their seed and VOILA they are ‘Father of the year’ because their job as “Dad” is done.

We really don’t show enough gratitude to the dads who really get involved and dirty their hands when it comes to raising their offspring. As a society, we are hell bent on naming and shaming dead beat dads BUT what about dead beat moms? Why is it shoved under a carpet or no one ever speaks about when the mom is a bad parent? There are so many bad/absent/uninvolved/negligent parents out there.

What Dads should know

Please don’t think that my life as a mom is all roses and moonshine BUT I really cannot imagine my life without my kids(yes I am already speaking of the resident alien as if he is here). Parenting is NOT easy. There is NO handbook. We parent by trial and error. What is good for one family might not necessarily be good for another. Everyone is different. Everyone has different parenting styles. BUT they day that we, Dude & I, became parents we made a commitment to Dudie – to always try our level best and to always be there for him! It’s taken 7 years to have another child. I do NOT take this commitment lightly.

For me being a parent is a LIFELONG commitment! You cannot unparent yourself. There is no return to sender, or 7 day exchange period. Please ensure that YOU are sure that YOU want to be a parent – for your child’s sake as well as yours… Spirited Mama

I am 31 weeks pregnant and counting. Dude is doing most of our housework and taking care of us, all whilst holding down his paying JOB too. Granted he is exhausted by 8pm every night BUT hey he is doing it without any complaints…perhaps silently or in his head but he is sure not complaining to us about it.

So today DUDE we SALUTE you for being an AWESOME husband and Dad. Thank You for taking care of us! We love you LOTS!

Spirited Mama

x

P.S. Anyone MAN can father a child but it takes a FATHER to raise his child!

Competition between siblings

Siblings

I can’t believe how competitive Dudie is with the resident alien, who is still in utero. He is literally competing with his brother even though his brother is still very comfortable and snug in my ever growing belly. Last week I was spoilt with a surprise baby shower for the resident alien. A lovely gesture from some of my colleagues. and some even took the initiative to get Dudie a gift or two.

Do you have a baby shower for your second or third child?

When I fetched Dudie from school , I had the leftover cake in the car. By the time we got home Dudie had eaten the “Baby Noah” off of the cake, dug little holes into the cake and was ready to eat the pretty blue booties. I was slightly annoyed as it just felt as if he was jealous and acting out. (How pretty is this cake and it was SO delicious!)

cake

When he saw all the gifts the baby received his immediate response was “he is so lucky to get all these gifts”. He was fine when he realised he also got some gifts though.

Competition between siblings is real

What gets to me is that it seems that he expects to get something if the baby gets something. How can I change that mentality? How do I make him realise that if one gets the other doesn’t necessarily HAVE to get as well. (I actually know of people who buy birthday gifts for all their kids, even if it is just the one kid’s birthday.) I’m sorry that shit just won’t fly with me. Perhaps I need to give it some time. Consistency is key here. We have had numerous conversations about it and will continue with these conversations because frankly there is no need to be competitive. We love our children and strive to treat them both equally and fairly.

I get that Dudie is only 7 years old and suddenly he needs to share his whole world with someone else, his brother. This brother that he has been yearning for… It’s a HUGE adjustment for all of us as we will now be a family of four.

How do you deal with competition among siblings? How do you handle it? Any advice?

Spirited Mama

x

 

 

Stop and play with the bubblewrap

Sometimes we need to STOP and play

Sometimes we get so busy and forget to just enjoy our present situations and be grateful for our blessings. Dudie and I are in a foul space. We are constantly bickering and quite frankly I’m not sure why. I am concerned that it may have something to do with the impending arrival of the resident alien, who is due in 13 weeks. Could it be a result of him not wanting to share my attention? Could it be that I am talking about the baby more and more?

Dude started painting the baby room, we had a slight mishap read here if you missed it, but thankfully that is now fixed. Soon we will no longer be 3 but 4 humans in the Spirited household.

Stop for some adjustments

As much as it is an adjustment for the adults, I cannot even begin to imagine how my 7yr old must feel. Suddenly, there will be a cute, cuddly and sweet smelling person in our family ALL the time. Suddenly, he needs to share his mom and dad with a sibling. It must be rough.

I am hoping that Dudie and the resident alien will become bosom friends and that they will share a love and connection so strong that nothing and no one can ever break it.

As for now, it is finally Friday. It feels like this week has taken forever. I am tired and my feet are swollen, #27weekspregnant .

I received a package the other day but I will share that news another day. My Dudie was way more excited for the bubblewrap in the box. Even the dog got into playing with the bubblewrap. Dude wanted to throw the bubblewrap away and Dudie protested. As pictured above even the dog went to lie on the bubblewrap to keep Dude from throwing it away.

It’s the small things, like watching Dudie and the dog, find their joy in playing with bubblewrap that fills my soul. I too have a love for bubblewrap. Sometimes I need to remind myself that I NEED to slow down, not because #Iampregnant but because I will miss out on the best patts of life if I continue to rush through it.

Happy Friday!

Spirited Mama

P.S. We had a freak storm last night and again at 1am this morning.

P.P.S I am taking the morning off to feed my unborn baby butter biscuits and lie in bed, whilst Dudie is at school.

Japanese teaches MANNERS before KNOWLEDGE

I saw this over on the Mumemtoes facebook page and it got me thinking.

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What we teach our children

Dudie is currently finishing off Grade 1. If I think about the beginning of this year , how my child came home one day in a flat spin because he is starting to write weekly tests. This was a MAJOR thing for Dudie. He was freaking out. Nowhere have we ever pressurized him about tests etc. Somehow someone must have told him that he should be worried about tests.

Side note – Both Dude and I study and still write exams. We never let our stress show or cause this child anxiety when it is our exam periods.

We have always encouraged the behaviour – YOUR BEST IS GOOD ENOUGH. Everyone is unique. Everyone differs intellectually. You can only give your best. And you should be happy with giving your best.

Manners before knowledge

Seeing this extract about MANNERS before KNOWLEDGE resonated with me. This is exactly how we try to teach and educate Dudie. And hopefully we can do so with the resident alien too.

In my opinion, even if you are a total genius if your manners suck – I WILL THINK THAT YOU ARE AN ARSEHOLE and quite possibly NOT associate with you. I think that some people are too focussed on the ACADEMIC side rather than raising a well-balanced, well-mannered individual. Dudie’s school is very strict on raising well-rounded individuals. It was one of the main deciding factors for choosing that school.

What is your take on this?

Spirited Mama

P.S. I can not believe that I am 27 weeks pregnant already. Freaking out a little as the time is nearing…

Is your child armed and ready?

I found this post  on “The MOM Diaries”

I Lost My 3 Year-Old While Playing Hide And Seek PLUS Safety Tips!

Reading that headline – My heart sank. Now I have not personally had such an experience (hopefully I will not) but it can HAPPEN to ANYONE. Kids are fast and incredibly creative/inventive/sneaky/escape artists etc…

I AM the paranoid mom. I bought the baby strap to keep Dudie in tow when we went out. People were disgusted that I put my child on a leash -guess what he is safe and with me was my very diplomatic response. I had people asking me in very hushed tones where I bought that strap cos they were too embarrassed to ask out loud. Hell even my Dude was not impressed with me. I stuck to my guns.

I don’t allow my kid to play amongst the clothing rails in a shop. Neither do I allow him to run up and down an aisle. He is always within my sight. Some people find this too overbearing but in hindsight I say rather safe than sorry.

Playgrounds at restaurants freaks me out and totally stress Dude out. Dudie doesn’t often play in the restaurant. We are there to eat as a family as we would at home – we eat together as a family. We do allow “some” play time in some restaurants where “we” are comfortable and where we can see Dudie.

It got me thinking. Is my child armed and ready  with the necessary emergency information? Not emergency information that is written down somewhere for him but does he “know/remember” his emergency information. He knows our names and our surname. He knows my number (and is way too happy to give it to anyone willing to listen. this includes random marketers) He knows his home address.

My question to Dudie – What is Dad’s number?

Dudie – In an emergency I will call you and you can just call Dad.

Me- We are together almost ALL the time. What if I can’t talk or if I have an emergency, how will you call Dad?

Dudie – Uhm , ok is it that 082 number?

Me – YESSSS! Now let’s start practicing it again please.

Is your kid equipped for an emergency?

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Spirited Mama

P.S. Dudie now knows the number!

My weekly schedule

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People listen up – working half day does not equate to doing half the work….In fact you do a full days work in half the time. Last week I wrote about the Benefits of a half day JOB

It is not all moonshine and roses. I do the school run mornings and afternoons. There is NO sick day to just lie in bed. The kid needs to get to school and extra-murals so I have to drag my ass out of that bed, in sickness and in health EVERYDAY!

Dudie once told me “Mom, when one is sick you need to stay in bed right?” Me – yes boy. Your body needs to rest so that it can get better. Dudie – well you NEVER get sick hey? I rest my case!

This is what my weekly schedule looks like. It is not cast in stone and on most days we are home way earlier than our schedule predicts.

Time / period Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
05:00 – 06:00 Wake up and get ready Wake up and get ready Wake up and get ready Wake up and get ready Wake up and get ready
06:15 – 06:45 Get Dudie ready Get Dudie ready Get Dudie ready Get Dudie ready Get Dudie ready
06:45 – 07:00 Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast
07:00 School run School run School run School run School run
08:00 – 12:30 MOM at work MOM at work MOM at work MOM at work MOM at work
13:00 -14:00 Collect @ School Squad training – Swimming Collect @ School
13:15 – 14:15 PlayGolf Home
13:30 – 14:30 Private Swimming Collect @ School

14:00

Cricket Practice
14:30 – 15:30 Squad training – Swimming Violin lesson Private Swimming 

 

Collect @ School
15:30 – 15:45 Home Home Home Home  
16:00 – 17:00 Homework Homework Homework Homework  
18:00 – 19:00 Dinner time Dinner time Dinner time Dinner time  
19:00 Bath time and get ready for bed Bath time and get ready for bed Bath time and get ready for bed Bath time and get ready for bed  
19:30 Bed time Bed time Bed time Bed time  

The empty spaces in between are reserved for Mom to do a shop run/read/gynae/appointments/etc… Sometimes we get home earlier than anticipated and homework is done by 4pm. On a Friday Dudie doesn’t get homework so when we walk into the house we just plonk onto our beds and just do whatever we please. Certain Saturdays we have sporting fixtures so that means we are on the field, wherever that may be as we do not always play home grounds either, by 7am. Weekends are downtime for family outings/activities/etc.

Some times we manage to squeeze in a walk with the dogs during the week. But basically this is how it goes. By looking at our schedule we were never able to do these things when I worked full time. I used to get home by 6pm and then it was a mad rush to get things done. We are blessed that Dude always gets home by latest 16:00 so when I wasn’t there he would just jump in and cook and start on homework etc. But we also never get time with Dude in the morning as he leaves rather early. Some days I will get up extra early and bake something for breakfast and make him a steaming cuppa just to say thanks. We know he wants to be there but at this stage it’s just not possible. We get the best of him in the afternoons.

Yes we are busy but we love it. In fact I can’t imagine what we would be doing if we just had nothing to do. My day is way more hectic than some of my colleagues who work full time. I just can’t see myself in that rat race again, hence why I wrote Happiness vs my full time salary.

Spirited Mama

P.S. I am starting to wonder how we will fit in the resident alien’s schedule….

Confessions of a Spirited mommy…

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Image borrowed from www.MamaSaysNamaste.com

So who can say that they have NEVER judged another parent on the way that they parent their kid(s)?

Don’t you just love how people who have never had kids are on the forefront to dish out advice??? FYI, shut up and have your own kids then come talk to me! Oh, it’s looks easier than it actually is hey?

We all have those moments:

  1. I would never do this/that…
  2. I would never let my kid(s) do this/that…
  3. How could that parent do xyz…
  4. I would never judge another parent…(I know I am guilty of this albeit in my own little world I still have my mind telling me those first three lines and sometimes more. I cringe as I know it’s wrong and I really try not to be judgemental. I humbly apologise if I have offended you in any way.)

I came across this, Shocking Confessions only moms will understand, article in Essentials awhile ago and then reread it a few times. Naturally, I found it totally hilarious and then the reality sets in and I think “Whoa, some of what is said here could in fact just be about me.

Right now I am battling with the idea of what constitutes a “Good” parent. Well, in Spiritville that means that I shower you will love and nurture you will all my being to the best of my ability. I am only human and I am learning as much as what my kid(and resident alien – who is kicking the daylights out of me as I write this) is learning too. We are in this together. And if we make it through another day unscathed, happy, healthy and safe – well then that’s how we roll. There is NO manual/book. We learn by trial and error. What works for one family might not work for another.

So let’s give one another a break. After all we are all just trying to be “Good” parents.

Spirited Mama

P.S. Only 5 sleeps until my BIRTHDAY!

Happiness vs my full time salary…

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Money is not everything BUT it sure does make everything a bit easier!

I am battling with a huge decision to go back to working half day. Working half day = half the salary

Now, this is not a new venture as I had this same debacle when I changed jobs in 2013… It was very beneficial to my family as Dudie got the best of his mom. Now here I sit at the crossroads again

The resident alien is due in February 2017. Of course I can justify taking the half day job to give the resident alien the best of me too. I am just scared shitless as I would again take half a salary. Only difference this time – I have another person to take care of. Yes my Dude is AMAZING. And happily supports our family but I have this huge chip on my shoulder called “Independence”!

In January this year, I started working full time again and boy oh boy did my extra salary come in handy…SHit we even acquired another property…

What kills me is that for me my family comes first. I have a flexible work environment but I do feel that I am doing the resident alien an injustice by working full time. In more ways than one, I have technically made my decision already but I just can’t help but worry about balance sheets and bank statements.

This morning I came across this post, Being a stay at home parent is a luxury, on Harassed Mom’s facebook page and people the lights went on! This describes how I have been feeling. How I am currently feeling. Why do I need to prove anything to anyone? I had my cushy fancy job at Wits Univeristy and I traded it for a half day job. I must admit I felt worthless. Some days I still feel as if I am wasting my talents in this job BUT if I look at what it means for my family the benefits outweigh the title

Why do I need to prove anything to anyone? I had my cushy fancy job at Wits Univeristy and I traded it for a half day job. I must admit I felt worthless. Some days I still feel as if I am wasting my talents in this job BUT if I look at what it means for my family the benefits outweigh the title any day!  I am there for every match, practise, knee scrape and concert! Dudie is sooo flabbergasted if I say I  won’t be able to come watch something that fo him it is incomprehensible…how can Mom NOT be there? I just can’t imagine having the crazy full-time job and 2 kids at home, homework, supper, bath time and hope and pray that the husband and I can squeeze in some “us” time too.

The resident alien is coming. I think I need to give him the best of me too. Who knows perhaps I can find alternative income sources soon. At this point, my brain is fried but I need to take stock and perhaps sit in a quiet spot somewhere and figure out what is out there/ what I can bring to the “proverbial” table in the world.

I have been doing some research and perhaps I am looking in all the wrong places. I found the workingmothersexpo. Think I need to get myself there to find some inspiration!

Why is it so hard to be a working mom???? Change is inevitable. CHANGE is coming! I am scared BUT I am excited!

Spirited Mama

Second child syndrome..and hand me downs

 

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Second child syndrome. Hand me downs? Is it fair or OK to pass on things?Do you feel neglected as a second child? I am the eldest of two children. But I am also the only girl. I have a brother who is 9 years younger than me. Dude is the youngest of three children but granted his brother is 8/9 years older than him. In essence, we kinda grew up as “only” children or in different generations to that of our siblings. Dudie and the resident alien will have a 7 year age gap between them. Whilst I am all for sibling bonds I am most certainly NOT cut out to be a mom of two babies/small children. Hence, the age gap between my boys… I do worry that they will not “click” right away but as with anything you cannot predict the future. My wish is that my boys create and find “their own special brotherly bond”.

Is it fair or OK to pass on things?Do you feel neglected as a second child?

The competitiveness…First born vs last born? The resident alien is not even born yet and already I am picking up competitive vibes from Dudie. And No it’s not anything that we have said or done but Dudie had a problem with the name that we I have chosen for his little brother. Yes, imagine that. To quote my 6 soon to be 7 year old, in exactly 8 days he will be 7 – he promptly reminds me daily of how many days are left until his birthday “that name is too powerful for my little brother”. I shit you not. When did this boy get sooo smart? And who in the hell of it old him which names are powerful? Oh my, this is but a sliver of what I can look forward to with my spirited Dudie. This kid is song willed…
Does it create sibling rivalry? Dude and I had this conversation the other day and granted I agree that if the parent makes a fuss about it the second child might feel somewhat neglected or begin to realise that this might not be normal behaviour. Although, I have always given Dudie things to family and charity my Dude had a valid question…”Why is the stuff not good enough for the resident alien? Honestly, I couldn’t think of a valid reason. Perhaps it’s the mommy guilt of wanting to give my boys everything I possibly can. And wanting to give the resident alien his “own” things?

I foresee a journey full of discovery for the Spirited Household. I hope that we all embrace the changes with love, respect and dignity…

Happy bonding.

Spirited Mama

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I chose these random images as I didn’t think anyone would want me posting pictures of their kids on my blog…and well the resident alien is still in utero so how do you think I would get a picture of my boys together…

Preparing for baby..

Whoa!!!! this shit just got real…I can’t believe how expensive things are….

I don’t even know who is more shocked…me or my bank balance. 7 years ago I almost died at the sight of the price tags of baby essentials but walking into Baby City a few weeks ago was mind boggling. I left with….nothing. I kid you not I was so shocked that I decided that I needed to regroup and clear my head. I needed a game plan and essential shopping list.

OMG, Thank goodness I still have my babysense sling and sleepy sack that I bought for Dudie when he was born. This child of mine only used his sling until he could peep out and actually see that there is activity beyond that sling so he needs to be sitting upright and checking out his surroundings. And that was the beginning of the end. Thereafter he only ever wanted to be on the floor so I packed away our sling. Here’s hoping that we will put it to good use when the new baby arrives… Now, although this is only my opinion of the essentials one would require for a new baby, in no way am I saying that your offspring will become the next president or world renowned scientist, please remember that we all have different needs and priorities. Of course as parents we only want the best for our offspring but hell man it can break your bank account.

Essential must haves:

Jogger Pram/stroller – sorted as I still have Dudie’s.

Camp cot – sorted as I still have Dudie’s.

infant/newborn car seat – sorted still Dudie’s, but I could get a new more padded version

bath compactum – sorted still Dudie’s.

bath seat and pillow – sorted still Dudie’s.

baby monitor – you guessed it, still Dudie’s.

thermometer – Dudie’s but need to check if it is still in a good working condition.

breast pump – frantically looking for it in the house as OMG it costs a small fortune.

pacifier -Dudie used his for 8weeks and the weaned himself off of it. Will buy some…

bottles- I used Dr Browns and Nuk with Dudie… Will buy new ones as I haven’t even checked what the old one’s look like…maybe I should just leave it at that and buy new ones.

wet wipes you can never have enough wet wipes. Dudie is 6 and at any given time you can walk into our house and you’d be guaranteed to find random packets of wet wipes in the house and even cars.

nappies, nappies, nappies

telement drops

telement gripewater

lansinoh nipple cream – it saved my nipples the last time.

bio oil – I guess its just my genetics but those stretchmarks still make their appearance….but love the bio oil nonetheless.

 

Now no list would be complete without a few tons of nice to haves….

baby rocker – still need to investigate this but love the concept

activity playmat -I only found the poles of our previous one….no mat but I did find the monkey that hangs from the bars. I could just make my own and connect those pipes to each other and let the resident alien lie on a mat soft mattress…but someone might just report me to the welfare

those pretty babysense burp cloths

babywrap because I love the idea of wearing my offspring. I loved my sling, pity Dudie didn’t want to use it longer.

a baby bag which will double as Mom’s handbag for the next 12 months…We all dream of this glamorous image of a new mom but in reality it is just convenient and much much less time consuming to pop your own essentials into the baby bag.

a new car seat – even though we kind of have this sorted I would like a new one though…just died at the sight of the price tags…

a new baby monitor – we have the very basic one but wow have you seen the fancy monitors these days.

shares in Pampers because you won’t believe how much money you will spend on nappies…I kid you not. Can someone let me know how I can buy shares in Pampers….

A decorator to do the new baby room….we seriously need some inspiration/ideas for a nursery/little boy’s room.

a few breakaways for mom….just me time…a peaceful night’s sleep, uninterrupted, preferably in a high end hotel with amazing room service so that I can just stay in my pjs the whole day.

a new car- ok maybe this is taking it too far but I can dream can’t I?

a Personal trainer to get back my pre preggie body…

A chef/cook, like that little old lady from the fattis and Monis tv ad. The one they used to keep locked away in the broom closet. She would make life so much easier and we could literally just ooh and aahhh over the baby all day long. (found the ad on Youtube)

In essence, you don’t need all those fancy designer clothes as your precious baby grows out it so fast. Sometimes they outgrow clothes they never even wore…don’t get me wrong it’s lovely to dress this new sweet smelling baby but believe me they poop and puke all the same in ordinary clothes just as they will in designer brands…

Currently, I am trying to figure out should I go get that wax at Sorbet or buy the damn PregOmega….Newly waxed vjay jay vs fishy burps daily…Just kidding…I will get the PregOmega vitamins. I used it with Dudie and it definitely made a difference then and now. Just got back from my wax download

I am already actively looking for a nursery school even whilst the resident alien is still in utero. It baffles me that I need to pay a deposit to secure his spot for 2017….its days liked these that I feel I should have a money tree in the backyard. Just go pick some money as and when I need it.

Happy baby prepping…

Spirited Mama

 

 

 

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