Tag: family

Motherhood – challenging, terrifying, exhausting… and a privilege I’m eternally grateful for

Motherhood - Zee and I

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost eight years since that night… I’d showered, waddled back into the bedroom, gotten into cozy pjs, and penguin rolled onto the bed. A little while later (around 9pm) I told Shawn I was pretty sure I’d just wee’d myself! Turns out that was my water breaking, four weeks earlier than expected. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

A quick call to my mom, because you know, that’s what you do when you don’t know what to do, and we were off to the hospital as she advised. We walked in, smiling and giggling, nervous and excited that we were going to be parents almost a month sooner than we’d thought.

Embrace - bump 8 months

I remember dismissing the wheelchair I was offered as we walked in, and laughing a few minutes later when the sister (looking at the monitor) told me that I’d just had a contraction. I was like, why do people make such a fuss – contractions aren’t that bad, this is going to be a breeze. I was pretty pleased with myself for deciding right at the beginning of my pregnancy that I wanted a natural birth, and no drugs. 

A few hours in though, and I was like, WHAT IN THE WORLD IS HAPPENING??? I was alone, as they’d told Shawn to go home and get some rest, because the baby would probably only come by midday the next day. They said I should rest in my room, but I was feeling pain and discomfort like never before in my life, and I was pacing the hall in that ward. I don’t know if the hospital gown had me exposed, and I didn’t care. They did another check, and things were progressing faster than they’d predicted!

Its almost as if my mom, and my friend Jules (who, like my parents, was living two hours away at the time) both sensed this would happen, because instead of coming through the next morning, my parents and my brother decided to drive to the hospital then, as did Jules. They even passed each other on the road, and arrived there at the same time.

It was around midnight, and mom and Jules found me sitting in a bathtub, attempting to – unsuccessfully – soak away some of the pain. After accepting that the bath wasn’t helping, it was back to pacing – this time with great company, complete with comforting back rubs and assurances of “you’re doing great” – until I was taken to the delivery room. Shawn, Mommy, and Jules took shifts in twos at my bedside.

Seven hours after my water broke, there she was – the tiniest, most perfect being I’d ever set my eyes on. I had only just met her, and my heart was hers. In that instant, the last few hours of pain, tears, and screams were forgotten. And all that mattered was that beautiful baby in my arms.

Motherhood - Zee day one

I had loved her from the moment I found out she existed. I fell in love even more, the first time we confirmed her presence at the gynecologist appointment, and we saw the tiny bean on the screen and heard that strong heartbeat. As my belly grew, so did my love for her. And now, seeing her right in front of me, holding her in my arms, I felt a surge of emotions I’d never experienced before. A love entirely different from anything I’d ever felt.

Motherhood - mitten

Motherhood, to me, is the most wonderful adventure you could ever embark on – there’s something to learn almost everyday, its challenging, terrifying some days, exhausting most days, and more than all that it’s BEAUTIFUL, and completely fulfilling. From the second I looked at that little face, something… or maybe, everything inside me changed. I never knew I could protect so fiercely, be so selfless, cry so much at the mere sight of my three year old stepping onto a stage for the first time. Vanity went out the window – actually being in photos with my little person (something she and I would look at, and treasure together years later), became more important than how bad of a hair day I was having, or how chubby my face looked.

Motherhood - mommy and Zee

Motherhood - mommy and Zee

The start of it all – labour, delivery, and those first nights alone in hospital – is ten times more terrifying. Having the ones closest to me there to share in the time this life-changing adventure began (and there for me ever since), added to just how special it was, and added a sense of calm. Not everyone has that kind of support – a loving husband by your side while you scream like a banshee, and keep throwing off the sheet he repeatedly covers you with, so as to provide you with some semblance of dignity. Parents, siblings, friends, willing to drive two hours in the dark of night just to be with you, and remind you that you’re so loved, and that you’re doing a great job. A mom, who due to an unexpected trauma right after your baby is born (if you missed the post, you can read it here), has to hold your heavy self and help you walk to the bathroom, and then bathe you as well. All this support, which to be honest, I hadn’t even realised I would so greatly need.

Motherhood - Zee day one

I am infinitely grateful for this privilege of being a mom. And I will always be thankful for all the care and support I was fortunate enough to receive. I say fortunate because as I mentioned before, there are those who don’t have this support. It is because of this reality that Cape Town Embrace is asking women around South Africa to spend an hour with new moms at their local public hospitals on 14 May, to offer support and encouragement as they set out on this new journey of motherhood. Thinking back to that time almost eight years ago, I can say with certainty that it is definitely needed at this huge time in one’s life, and it IS appreciated. If you’d like to get involved, you can find out more here.

Cape Town Embrace


One Messy Mama


Mummy Times Two

Rand Show 2017

Rand Show - Danone

The last time Shawn and I went to the Rand Show was in 2004. It was a few months after we got married, and a few years before we had a Zee of our own. This year we decided to take our little person to the show.

There’s actually so much for kids to do there, and Zee had a great time. And so did we. ๐Ÿ™‚

Science and Technology 

We ended up spending quite a bit of time in the Science and Tech hall. Zee had lots of fun with the other little people at the Nutty Scientists stand. They sat listening to Professor Fun, screaming loudly when she asked them to, and eagerly volunteering to be part of the fun experiments. Then they’d run to their tables with the other professors, to try the experiments in smaller groups. 

Inside The Colours Of The Stars dome, everyone lies on their backs, to watch a projection show about the stars. Zee said “it was so cool!”

Rand Show - Science

Rand Show - Science

Rand Show - Science

Rand Show - Science

Danone Frozen Bar

The Danone Frozen Bar was a huge hit with the kids – I say this, because of the excited giggles and shrieks, which made it hard for adults to hear themselves think.. haha!

There’s a huge snow globe, a snow slope, a snow patch, an ice castle, and sparkly fro-yo… the giggles and shrieks were inevitable. 

An SABC TV crew also arrived in there a few minutes after we did, and one of the ladies asked if they could interview Zee about Danone Frozen Bar. She was happy to do it. So look out world… a celebrity is born! ๐Ÿ˜€

Rand Show - Danone

Rand Show - Danone

Rand Show - Baking


Shawn – with Zee as assistant, and me as cheerleader – made a really cool decoupage tray during a class by Tersia at Bee Artsy. He asked me to choose the colour and pattern, so of course it’s minimalistic with a Paris touch, because that’s how I roll. 

Rand Show - DIY tray

Rand Show - Tray

The Filthy Moustache

Before we could do anything else, we had to feed our bellies. We ended up at the food truck which had grabbed my attention on our way in that morning, because of its name – The Filthy Moustache!

And man were we happy with our choice! Their food (even though it may not look fabulous in my pic) is so YUMMY!! We tried the Manometer burger, and a hot dog, and neither disappointed. 

I don’t know if I should say it… alright, I’m going to… the Manometer is one of THE best burgers I’ve eaten! Shawn says it took him back to an outstanding burger we ate in Germany a few years ago (can you tell, from the fond food memories, that we love good food? ๐Ÿ˜‹), and I agree. 

Rand Show - Food truck

Rand Show - burger & hot dog

The Rand Show makes for a great day out with the family. It ends on Sunday evening (23 April), which means you can still catch it if you haven’t yet. 

Super early parenting… how did they do it?

It was 1981. He rocked an afro, ร  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, they were starry-eyed, they were beautiful, and they had just gotten married.

Parenting - mom and dad wedding

And just one short year later, they would be parents. To me. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

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!ย 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. Both of them handled parenthood like pros, with love and guidance for us in abundance.

I don’t know how they 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 (or even twenty three) 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 –ย 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.


Naptime Natter
Mummy Times Two