Category: Mommy musings

Super early parenting… how did they do it?

It was 1981. He rocked an afro, à la The Jackson 5. She had cut her long hair for the first time (real hardcore too – all the way from bum-length to a short pixie cut). They were young, starry-eyed, beautiful, and had just gotten married.

Parenting - mom and dad wedding

And just one short year later, they would be parents. To me. 😯

Parenting - 1 year old

The other day I found myself thinking, man this parenting thing is no joke. And truly, it isn’t. Parenting is hard work. Here you are, this person who’s far from perfect, and you’re entrusted with raising a real life human being! Whaaat?

Plus, you’re still pretty young yourself. Except, you’re not. Well, not in comparison to when your parents had you that is. I mean, when my mom was my age, she had a sixteen year old kid. SIXTEEN!! I mean, I can’t even imagine myself with a teenager at my age… and my mom had both a teen and a tween. And she did it all, with grace. HOW?

Granted, not all our parents had us at nineteen and twenty three (that’s how old my mom and dad were when I was born), and not everyone today waits until their late twenties, or thirties to have a child. On average though, the age that women have their first child has gone up, meaning that in years gone by, many (our moms, aunts, grandmothers) did have their kids a lot younger than we do now. And how they did it all, boggles my mind.

I mean, at almost twenty seven, I remember wondering if I was mature enough to be a good mom to the tiny bean in my belly. I devoured baby books and magazines, I joined a mommy-to-be online forum, I hoped my childish silliness wouldn’t hinder me from getting everything right in the parenting department. I wondered, “what if I’m too young for this parent thing?”

ParentInc - first scan

Too young? Dude, your mom had an eight year old when she was your age! That’s when it hit me – maybe it’s the overload of information so readily available to us, which leads to us (well, me at least) overthinking everything? Or maybe there’s just so much more mayhem in the world today, it scares us, and we overthink and over stress about everything? I don’t know. What I do know though, is that parenting, as I mentioned earlier, isn’t for the weak.

When I think, for example, of how confused I become when Zee has an over-sensitive day and becomes a little difficult to deal with, I have to stop and wonder… how flustered was my mom at nineteen, with a baby… and how overwhelmed was she at thirty five, with a sixteen year old? Because you know, teenagers know everything after all *cue eye-roll*, and are sooo mature and cool *cough*. It never showed though. Grace and dignity. Smiles and love. That’s all I remember. That’s all she let us see.

I don’t know how she did it, how any of the super young moms and dads did it. But I’m grateful. Grateful for the stellar job done of raising us, even at such a young age. And grateful that it’s not me having to do the same. I was too childish at nineteen to have done what they did, and pull it off that well!

For me personally*, I feel like I had Zee at just the right time – still young and goofy enough, that I make my kid laugh daily, but old enough to deal with (or at least, attempt to) whatever parenting in this crazy world throws at me.

*These are just my personal thoughts and opionions, ie. what works for our little family.

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Naptime Natter
Tammymum
Mummy Times Two

So… How old are you?

Remember when we were kids, and someone would ask, “how old are you now?” Excitedly, proudly even, we’d answer, “nine, and I’m going to be ten in four months!” I was reminded of those days during the holiday. There were two older girls where we were staying, who were really sweet to Zee. Chatting to them, I asked how old they were, and the older one replied, “my sister’s eleven, and I’m twelve, but I’m going to be thirteen soon!” I caught that twinkle in her eye as she said the words, the barely contained excitement over the thought of getting older, becoming a teenager, being grown up and fabulous.

How things change… Hit your thirties, and there’s no joyful response to that question. A cynical snort maybe, or a scowl if you’re feeling particularly sensitive about the age thing that day. Funny how back then we couldnt wait for the next number, now that wait couldn’t be long enough.

On a serious note though, I’m going to be thirty five soon, and the truth is I’m ok with that. The part that scares me, is how quickly its come. Not in a bad way, like ugh I’m so old… am I going to have grey hair now?… are those marks on the mirror, or are they lines on my skin?… No, nothing like that – not that I want any of those delightful things which come with getting older, but I’m not losing any sleep over it. The part that actually freaks me out is that every year I get older, my little baby is growing too, and isn’t that much of a baby anymore.

On NYE, we were at my uncle’s place, together with my mom and dad. Zee was having a blast with my little cousins, playing in the pool at 10pm, chatting about ballet, and roasting marshmallows on the braai. She was having such fun, she was still wide awake at midnight! On hearing that it was 2017, she hugged me and said (beaming from ear to ear), “mommy, I’m officially seven and a half!”

You see, Zee is at that stage where she’s now counting down to the next age, and is quite excited about being “a big girl” – this, despite me telling her she’ll be my baby even at forty! 😀 She’d asked in November I think it was, if she was seven and a half yet, and I responded that she would only be seven and a half in January. Thus the excitement when the clock struck twelve. Needless to say, I quickly informed her that she would only be seven and a half at the end of the month, in an attempt to hold on to the baby-ness just that tiny bit longer.

Then yesterday rolled around, and Facebook gave me this:

Like, “your baby’s seven and a half now. Deal with it.” So I did, with a mini photo shoot of course, to remember the time my baby turned seven and a half. Officially. Because, what else can us mommies do, but stop being in denial, and accept the natural order of things… They will grow; they will become more independent, and say more often “it’s ok mommy, I’ve got this” *sniff*;
they will eventually feel we’re not as cool as they once thought… And we have to deal as best we can, savoring every baby-ish moment along the way, taking as many photos as we can to treasure forever, and appreciating the moments when they need us even as they’re busy getting older and wanting to do it all on their own.

“Look mommy, like a superhero cape!”

Please excuse the gross stringy thingy that Cocoa (Zee’s dachshund) was dragging around and decided to drop right there, in the superhero pic.

When a sneeze tickles your nose, but your mom won’t quit with the photos

Tammymum
Mummy Times Two

Maybe I’m Doing Something Right

​Many a meme has been made about the less than glamorous side of parenting. And the reason they’re so funny is because they’re relatable.

After all, who hasn’t experienced {1} a child say out loud something painfully embarrassing (but let’s face it, hilarious, AND true) in public… or {2} a toddler making his/her way into the bathroom and staring at you while you wee… or, better still, {3} a baby produce the most fantastically yellow, runny poo – you know, the one that makes its way all the way up to the back of their necks, and all you can do is throw away the clothes they were wearing? 😛

We’ve all been there. Raising, and caring for a little human does come with a number of challenges. It is, after all, one of the weightiest responsibilities we are ever entrusted with.

This post isn’t about those challenging moments though, when parents don’t know whether to laugh or cry in response to what their offspring has just said/done/pooped. The inspiration to write today actually comes from the other moments.

Those moments when you feel so much anger because of the dishonesty, disloyalty, and disrespect in the world… and then, little arms wrap you in so much love and warmth, and all the ugliness is forgotten.

That moment after a particularly trying and stressfull day, when you look into that innocent, happy, ever hopeful little face, and the sun breaks through the clouds again.

The moment you realise how blessed you are to be able to call yourself a parent, and to have this pure, beautiful soul in your life who loves you unconditionally.

It’s been a rather difficult few weeks on our side, on the business/work front. Shawn recently had an experience so unbelievable with an employee (now ex-employee), we’re still reeling from what the guy did. And apart from that, it’s been a tough while overall.

Long story short, for the past two weeks, I’ve been helping Shawn out at the office. An 8 to 5, with a little one by my side. I know it can’t be nice being out of her own space all day, in this less than fun environment, but she’s been so good – zero complaints, many big smiles.

On Monday afternoon, I suddenly found myself feeling so overwhelmed. I was sad that my little one comes to work with me, instead of enjoying the school holidays… worrying about my husband, and how stressed he’s been, praying that it won’t affect him physically somehow… angry at how despicable some human beings are capable of being…

And all it took was something as silly as a lock and key not cooperating with me as I tried to close up that day, to almost have me explode right there. As I fought with that lock, everything I’d been feeling and worrying about surfaced, and the tears welled up so quickly… And at that very moment, Zee’s little hand touched my arm. “Mommy can I try to do it? You’re so tired, and now you’re hurting your hand.”

I froze. I’d been facing the other direction and she couldn’t see my eyes, but my child had picked up on the defeat I felt then, and I hated that I’d allowed her to see that. I blinked those tears away so quickly, smiled at her, and took a second to appreciate my child for the incredibly caring and considerate person she is. Then I showed that lock who’s boss, and we went home.

I couldn’t stop thinking as I drove, and after we got home. As parents, we do the heavy lifting – the cooking, fighting with them to eat their food, changing diapers, homeschooling or helping with homework after school… the list goes on, but our kids do their share too, and it’s so important to remember to appreciate that, and not let it get lost in the madness that is this world and the hectic lives we live today.

I thought about all the times Shawn had horrific days at work, and how quickly his mood was lifted by Zee just being Zee. Sometimes, watching our little ones play, or make silly faces, listening to them laugh, or squeal with delight can be the best therapy ever!

Life sucks so bad sometimes. And sometimes there’s not a lot you can do about it. You feel like you’re getting everything wrong. When your little person is so good, and kind, and caring though… when they come and give you a special hug, because they sense something has you down… You know that maybe you actually got something right after all.

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Tammymum
Mummy Times Two
One Messy Mama