Category: Parenting

#CarseatFullstop, I’ve Learnt So Much.

Zee was two days old when she and I were discharged from the hospital. That day my little girl had her first of many car rides, each time strapped safely in her car seat. Whether its a quick trip to Spar in mom’s taxi, or on holiday in Cape Town in a rental car, Zee has always been in a car seat.

But wait! This isn’t a post about how I’m the perfect mom, who always does the right thing. I’m not, and I don’t. You see, while I have been absolutely uncompromising when it  comes to my child’s car safety, HOW this was done wasn’t always 100% correct. This post is to tell you about two major mistakes I’ve made along the way, and more importantly, to share with you what I’ve learned since the #CarseatFullstop campaign began.

What is #CarseatFullstop?

For those who’ve yet to see posts by, or about #CarseatFullstop, this is the crux of it:

#CarseatFullstop is an awareness campaign designed to educate South Africans on the life-or-death importance of using car seats for kids under 12.


Dragon Lady

Confrontation – out here in the real world, or online – isn’t for me. That’s why you won’t find me getting into debates and fights even on social media. I try not to allow most things to get me worked up… Except for that time I saw a child standing on the front seat of a moving car, or those kids bouncing around on the back seat of another. Now that makes me go from good ol’ chilled, sunshine and rainbows me, to full on fire breathing dragon/monster/beast.

I’m not that judgemental mom – none of us should be, we’re all imperfect here, and are entitled to handling this parenting thing whichever way works best for us. However, some things, such as the safety of our children, are non-negotiable. Seeing children left unsecured in a car makes me want to shake their parents by the shoulders while screaming, “that  is a little life you brought into the world, why are you not doing your best to protect him/her???”

Alright, rant over. Sorry if I got a little carried away there. Time to get back to my own mistakes, and what I’ve learned.

1. Forward-facing at one… What was I thinking?

Zee had just about outgrown her first carseat, the rearward-facing baby one. Excited new parents, off we went “big” carseat shopping. We bought a forward-facing seat from Toys R Us, and we were quite happy with our purchase.

Here’s what I discovered through the #CarseatFullstop campaign and Volvo’s Children and Cars safety manual: Children should be in a rearward-facing carseat for as long as possible, at least until the age of three or four. The neck muscles are weak during those early years, and the skeleton isn’t fully developed either. Rearward-facing carseats greatly reduce the risk of injuries should there be a collision.

This one really got me in the heart, because Zee was just over one when I had moved her to a forward-facing seat. We knew that we wanted to keep our baby safe, we just weren’t educated on how to properly do that. All I could do after reading that was be extremely thankful that there had been no incidents in all those years that I was getting it wrong, and try not to hate myself for being a bad mom.

2. “It looks a little uncomfortable, let’s loosen the straps”, she (I) said.

I would sometimes loosen the car seat straps, thinking they were too tight or uncomfortable. Fail!


The pic above is a post I saw on the #CarseatFullstop Instagram account. It mentions the pinch test – if you’re able to form a fold when you pinch the strap together, it’s too loose. The straps should be tight and untwisted, in order to properly secure and protect your child.

It’s safe to say, Zee is tightly strapped in now, no more loose “comfy” carseat straps for us.

Knowledge is Power… IF you apply it 

We’ve all made mistakes, the key though is making the necessary changes once we’re educated on  how to correct those mistakes. Had Zee still been a tiny bit smaller when I learnt what I did, I assure you she would’ve found herself back in a rearward-facing carseat. She may have found it strange, she may have fought me on it, but I prefer a SAFE and secure crying/screaming child over the alternative.

To learn more, like I have (and still am), like and follow #CarseatFullstop on Facebook, and Twitter/Instagram, then tell everyone you know too. 🙂




Throwback Thursday – Family Photo Shoot

I transferred these photos from the laptop to my phone a few weeks ago. They’re from a family photo shoot we did in 2011, when my now first grader was just two years old. Looking at the photos again today, I can’t help but be filled with gratitude for the blessing that is my very own little family. Grateful for this incredible man who works so hard, who laughs with me everyday, and loves me so completely. And grateful for the kind, beautiful (and sometimes sassy, but she gets that from me so I can’t complain) child, we are privileged to call our own.

I also can’t help but laugh at the memory of us working really hard to get our little person to cooperate during the second half of the shoot. I had taken two outfits with for her, and she was not impressed there was a costume change and more posing to be done. If you look closely, in some photos you’ll notice she’s carrying (and eating) a pack of Mentos sweets in her little hand – bribery. I’m not ashamed.

There are too many to share in one post, so the photos I’m sharing here are only a few of those taken during that second half. I’ll post some from the first half in my next Throwback post.

Photos by: Pixel Pro Photography



Playing Catch-Up

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, and I thought the best way to get started again would be to catch up on some of the stuff that’s been happening/keeping me busy.

Zee: Growing Up, Homeschooling, and a Barbie Event

At the end of July, Zee turned seven. Mommy’s emotions, of course, were extremely fragile, as the number seven just seemed too big for my baby.

Zee is in grade 1 this year, and it’s a way bigger deal than I realised. I know it was 28 years ago, but I seriously dont remember ever having to do this much school work when I was in grade 1 (or class 1, as we called it back in the stone age). I actually feel sorry for this little person of mine, when I look at the pages and pages of work which need to be completed daily. And then I feel sorry for myself when she becomes distracted, and lazy, and tries to escape in the middle of it all, and I have to be the bad guy who gets her focused and working again. At least the year is almost over, and we’re almost done with the curriculum. And distractions and all, she’s learned so much and so well this year.

Last month I won tickets from Tums2Tots for Zee and I to attend the Barbie Star Light Adventure event. It was a fun mommy daughter day – face painting, a meet and greet with Barbie, a screening of the new Barbie movie, and a goodie bag for little Barbie fans. We even got to catch up with one of my closest friends and her little girl, who had also won with Tums2Tots.

2016 – The Year of Inactivity
I’ve spent the last ten months piling on the pounds. 🙁

I haven’t worked out in the longest time, and in winter I really peaked, eating anything I could get my hands on.

Making matters worse, and providing me with yet another reason excuse, in August I did a sensational job of breaking my toe on the very Sunday that I made the big decision to work on my fitness again by walking in the afternoons with Husband and Zee. And then, a week later, I hurt the toe again. That was a fun 6 weeks of pain, no closed shoes, and self pity.

On a positive note though, things are looking up – I’ve been cooking better (healthier), and I guess that’s not a bad start. Let’s see how it goes…