Tag Archives: kids

The Annual Parental Boast

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – right? The madness of nativity plays and Christmas shopping, decorating, holiday biscuit making, red nose reindeer foot-printing, credit card maxing, food, festivities, and EXTREME BUSY-NESS. You see it everywhere.

Parental boasing hits an all time high this season (well-meaning boasting of course 🙂). The “here’s Johnny’s graduation day in Gr 000”, and “Awwww… Polly is a reindeer hoof in the school play” and “look at how beautiful Sammy’s homemade Christmas toilet paper angel is”, and and aaaaaaaaand. I can understand why these pictures can be a bit irritating for those without a reindeer hoof, toilet roll thingy-magig or Grade 000 graduation certificate. I mean I’m a parent, and I feel bombarded by FB’s plethora of random kid accomplishments.

DIGRESSION WARNING: Let me stop here to say I have numerous friends who are longing for children. LONGING to the point where communities have prayed and pleaded with God, and where I have physically and emotionally ached for them. Friends who have blessed MY family and MY children more so than I have ever properly acknowledged. Many are still walking this journey. This post is NOT for/directed at you. Please forgive our ignorant slapping of pictures onto Facebook which, I can only imagine, may cause a deep sting. May we all open our hearts, minds and homes to those who we know are walking this road… You are loved. May you feel this deeply this Christmas.

Back to the kids and their random kids accomplishments. Oh friends, they’re not. THEY ARE NOT.

You moms and dads out there: you’re Heroes. The relentlessness of parenting and the never-ending need experienced day-on-day… there are not many appropriate words to describe it, other to say that parenting is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done. There are not enough adverbs, both good and bad for how unbelievably intensely, beautifully, damn-bloody difficult it is. From the mental strain of remembering every single tiny little thing (darn you ‘show and tell’, why do you ALWAYS sneak up on me), to the physical exhaustion of a baby on a hip, broken sleep for the rest of our lives, the driving to and fro, sheltering your kids so you can get caught in the rain, the stepping on LEGO, to the emotions around playground talk, to emergency hospital visits, a scary diagnosis, indescribable fears…

Guys, the reality is that kids are insane. “They are tiny little dictators with unpredictable mood swings afraid of the most absurd things and cry for no apparent logical reason whatsoever”. How are you supposed to appropriately deal with that? It is like that ‘putting a jersey onto a octopus’ analogy. A bit like breastfeeding the baby while you’re on the toilet explaining to the sibling why you can’t butter their toast simultaneously. No wonder parenting is a big fat guessing game to which we all question whether we’re doing it right? There is no easy answer, ever, and we’re left wondering if all our impatient screaming has undone all the nail-bitingly difficult intentional “let’s make homemade Christmas paper with these potatoes and paint” moments. And I have a theory.

Those moments; when your kids eyes light up seeing Father Christmas, or when that Donkey (who is a kind, gentle, introverted thinker) actually sings a solo on the stage in front of 100+ people, or that ‘i love you’ they’re able to scribble for the very.first.time – that’s it. That’s the affirmation us parents are CRYING for. For the every-day, never-stopping, never-giving up day-in and day-out thing we do called Parenting. That’s it. That’s the glimpse of beautiful BRIGHT HOPE that we’re doing something, maybe very little, but something… right. They are it. It’s in these kids, and these moments that we see it. There is a tiny voice whispering from that graduation certificate/toilet roll angel/reindeer hoof performance proclaiming “well done mom/dad, you did okay, in fact you’re doing freakin’ awesome”.

Fellow (parenting) Comrades, You are PHENOMENAL. Post those end of year pictures everywhere you possibly can. Bombard us with them. Lock in those seemingly-absurd achievements… those joyful memories.

Celebrate loudly, celebrate richly, celebrate well. Because, man alive. You deserve it. 


I am exhausted

Yes, it’s that time of year, yes it’s been a hectic one, yes we fell pregnant, bought a house, renovated, started a business and had a baby. So yes. I’m pretty tired.

This is me in the foetal position on my unmade bed, hiding from the rest of the family…

This past weekend we (I) reached semi breaking point. We have 3 utterly INCREDIBLE kids. Like, I adore them. With all of me. Every cell. BUT I’m also a normal human parent with my own dreams and desires and needs and they’re NOT about finding this.exact.piece of Lego, or making a hat with a button and a helicopter propeller and which propels you into the sky (I mean) or eating aaaaaanother piece of peanut butter toast after I made bovril by mistake. I’m soooooo tired of changing your nappy (Ryler) when I can verbally have a conversation with you about how great the potty is and how excited you are to use it, and please, for the love of all humanity, if I fall over your bike which is *not* supposed to be in the house ONE MORE TIME I will literally melt into a puddle on the floor. I don’t have spare batteries for that, please stop picking that scab on your face, and I think you’ve lost all our screwdrivers ‘fixing’ your own toys I have repeatedly asked you not to ‘fix’. I love your singing Clay but if Batman smells any more and Robin lays just ONE more egg… I’m going to implode.

So on Saturday, the crazy-o-meter was cranked up to max and I had to make some big decisions. My immune system has been on the blink since our 3rd arrived and I needed space from the noise, I needed an escape. After a go at the hub (which, let’s be honest, is what moms just need once in a while), and then a lovely un-shouty debrief of my current state of mental stability, I decided I was gonna take my smallest to my friends for a girls night. Daddy was gonna have a boys night with movies and popcorn and ice cream and chocolate (which they rocked), and I had wine and girly chats until midnight (which we rocked). We both got our kids to bed no problem and had a decent nights sleep.

Tummy time party at our girls sleepover…

What a calm, peaceful evening we both had – apart. I made my way home in the morning, to the boys screaming MOMMMMYYYY with open arms upon my arrival. Cute, but loud. Clay still in his jarmies and Ryler with an exploding nappy but whatevs – hubby was vacuuming. Go hubby. The welcome home was dear, but the chaos that then ensued put the maxed crazy-o-meter to shame. To SHAME. Our littlest wouldn’t settle with her dad and the boys sounded like they were playing, screaming, and singing joyfully through megaphones. Attached to amplifiers.

Both hubby and I looked at each other like ‘what the effffff is going on?’ “We had a great night” states hubby. I sigh and return with a “as did we”… Both of us were a little stumped at how the re-addition of only 2 of us, set the world ON FIRE. We also happened to have a wonderfully jam-packed afternoon planned (the eternal optimist in me), so much so that all 3 kids had fallen fast asleep before family tea, and they remained in la-la land the entire time. Hubby and I even snuck in a game of pool. It was like a date night, but at family tea.

All that to say, we got home, shattered (I even fell asleep in the car on the way home holding a jar of splashing kombucha and scoby), fed the kids toast (I couldn’t have been bothered to try feed them their ‘rainbow’), my mom bathed them and we sent them to bed. Right, so it turns out 3 kids is MANIC. Maaaaaaannnnniiiicccccc.

Even in admitting that, I wouldn’t change a thing. We have wonderful sleepers, adorable, considerate, kind, playful, adored and passionate children. But we feel it. I’m home with them, we don’t have a nanny, and I try go out drinking with my girlfriends as often as possible. But yes, this is trying.

So chip in here – please. How do you genuinely make this parenting gig work for you? And please don’t say ‘a hot candlelit bubble bath’ because I can still hear my kids screaming ‘maaaameee, where aaaaaare yooooou’ through the hollow unable-to-lock bathroom door.

Instantly gratifying DIY – Magnetic Letters

So… nursing, changing, bouncing, rocking, and cuddling a newborn is great, but it’s also tiring. And peppered in between is the never ending list of washing, desperately searching for breast pads, rushed toilet breaks, reheating coffee, handing baby to hubby so you can give your other kids some attention, trying to sneak in a quick shower, Disney Junior (DSTV channel 309), and throwing a real quick 5-food group/eat-your-rainbow dinner together.

After actually birthing, one needs some other instant gratification in this new life of blurry nights and debating with hubby who was up longer the night before.

A while back I found this OLD box of Scrabble. In my true minimalist style I almost threw it straight in the ‘donate’ pile (we have another, much newer Scrabble set) until my light bulb moment. Two birds, one stone: a holiday activity with my 4year old and a way to learn letters and words.

Brace yourselves: this one is a doozy. Are you ready? MAGNETIC SCRABBLE LETTERS. Have I blown your mind? I thought so.

Here’s what you need: 

  • Old scrabble tiles.
  • A4 adhesive magnetic sheet (found at PNA for R39 – maternity leave budget friendly).
  • Scissors.
  • Your handy helper.

Method: Again, brace yourselves, it’s complicated. Cut the adhesive magnet sheet into squares and stick them onto the back of the scrabble tiles. Did you get that or should I explain it again? Not to worry – I’ve got step-by-step pictures for you all…

Is that not the easiest, simplest and quite profoundly gratifying DIY project, with years of benefit (as long as you don’t lose all the vowels?)

Ta daaaaa.