Struggling to fit into the Living and Loving Mommy mould …..

This is the third part of a few parts.  What you can surmise from this is my inability to plan.  

The first part is here, the second part is here and the third part is here ….  if you wish to catch up on the “story” – alternately you can just skip those and read only this bit:

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I started blogging not because I wanted to chronicle my journey through motherhood.

I wanted to understand what was flying around in my head.

None of it felt normal.  None of it felt right.  I know people say that motherhood is difficult and and and …. my issue was that it was not difficult it was bloody impossible.

I kept looking for the escape clause.  It was as if I was acting a part, and I just could not “get into character.”

The only workable option was to find a way to put it down.  There was something cathartic about putting it down on paper/on a blog as then it was not knocking around in my head.

Not because I wanted treasured moments put down, and recorded for my children to come and read later.  But because I wanted to understand the way I was thinking and the way I was feeling.

My head is too busy and too chaotic most of the time, for me to work through my thoughts and come out with a solution.

I thought I would start at the beginning, and like all things I got bogged down in the detail.

Then I stopped writing.

As usual I had a picture in my head of how it was going to go and then when I struggled to put the reality into the picture or visa versa then I just stopped.  I could not continue.

In January 2010 I went out to dinner with a friend’s husband – he mentioned that he read my blog.

I was a bit surprised, as at that point I thought I wrote the blog, and some guy with his dog who lived in Parow were reading it. Just the three of us.

I was not writing thinking anyone was reading.  I was writing because I needed to write.

Mike (the friend’s husband) said that Anita (his wife) had struggled with post partum depression with both of her pregnancies and he never really understood what she was going through – until he read my blog.

He realised the pain, the confusion and what she was feeling because I could write it down.

He understood.  He got it.  He wished he had known that before when she needed his support the most.  But he just did not understand.

Mike said “Keep writing your blog, no one else is saying what you are saying, and there are people out there who it will help” ……

I didn’t believe him, but it did give me renewed energy to return to my blog and start writing again.

I wrote about everything, and I decide to write like I talk, and not worry about whether someone as reading it, but just that I was saying what I thought —-

I wrote passionately and sometimes in a deranged frenzy.  If I thought about it, then I wrote about it.

This post was about how I struggled to fit in with Mother and Baby Groups.

  I hate Mommy and Baby Groups – Part 1

I realize this rant is totally out of context, but I belong to a few women-with-baby forums and when I read through some of the threads I start to get a dull ache in my bum area.

For some reason this morning I recalled how much I loathed mommy and baby groups.

There is so much pressure to join one with your new little mushroom.

As soon as you get out of hospital and are able to take more than five steps, you start figuring out which group you are going to join.  You call the group leader and it all sounds so wonderful .

They are generally really really happy bubbly people.  Usually at this point I start to get uneasy – I am deeply suspicious of happy shiny people – I like my people a little bruised, a little dirty, a lot pessimistic.

You get your little bundle ready – dressed in their best clothes – you have already starting to buy into this under current of competition that exists at these things.

You don’t even realize you are doing it, but there you go.  You are so proud of your little Joshua/Sarah and can’t wait to get to the group, because your little one is going to be the best kid there – you know this.

In the car with your safety seat, getting the pram, the nappy bag and your bag in, buckled up, sort of figuring out where to go – because usually it is in a suburb off a side street that you really don’t know.

In your area, but you are not so sure, so odds are you take a few wrong turns, drive at 20km/hour to try to figure out street signs and basically get yourself lost.

You finally get there and it is usually a house in suburbia that has been revamped by a mommy with one or more likely two kids, who is using her love of kids to work from home, so there is a garage converted and lots of TreeHouse themed cushions and curtains.

You get all your kit unloaded.

By now you are a little flustered as you are late, and you have had to park about 500 metres away as all the more eager moms got there before you.  So you drag all your stuff all the way there.

By the time you get there and go through the alternate entrance, which usually is a narrow gate that your huge gi-normous pram does not quite fit in through the door, so there you are fighting the good fight, and starting to sweat a little, because odds you have over dressed, because you have not been out of the house by yourself for 6 weeks.

The weather has changed since you were last outdoors, and the only clothes that fit you are from the wrong season.

You sort of fall inside the sliding door.

To be greeted by a sea of usually attractive moms wearing their Sunday best and all their Joshuas and Sarahs are on little mats or cushions and everyone is so damn happy.

You, of course, have worked up a bit of a sweat, your Joshua or Sarah is a little cranky as you have transferred baby from safety seat, to pram, and now have to get baby out of pram as pram does not fit into room, so you are trying to juggle baby, your bag, the nappy bag, snug and safe and what is left of your composure.

The far-too-friendly leader of this little ensemble, comes over to greet you and refers to you usually as Mommy <well, it is tricky referring to everyone by name, so Mommy sort of makes it easy, and because you are a new Mommy, it kind of makes you smile that you have a new important title>.

You find a space and try to settle down.

At some point you are trying to assess the mood of the room, and then you start realizing that these moms are generally over achievers – like really over achievers.

When you are trying to find 10 minutes to read or sleep, while you are forcing junior to take a nap, more for your benefit than for theirs, these moms are busy reading Baby’s First Words or doing some sort of Baby Gym with their babies.

Damn, you are clearly behind with your baby’s development as you look down and your little imp is quietly gurgling and dribbling on his chin.

The leader takes her seat in the front centre, with her “baby doll” and everyone smiles and the excitement is tangible.  Everyone beings introducing them selves.

You start practicing a bit in your mind how you are going to introduce yourself and show off your offspring as you really only have about 4 seconds for introductions and really want to get bang for your buck here.

At the same time you are trying to remember names and baby names and ages …. and the reality is that you can barely remember your own.  So your turn comes around and all you can muster up is

“Hi I’m Celeste, and this is er…. Connor….. and he is ……hmmm….. his 4 months old.”  And the spot light moves away from you.

Then the real show begins  …….

 

I wrote subsequent posts about my issues with Mother and Baby Groups.

Expressing how I really felt about things, and showing people that I was not finding this motherhood malarkey easy, was so much easier than hiding it from people and saying “oh yes, everything is fine” — it was far easier.

I think the part that I found amazing and incredible, is that I realised I was not the only person crying in the bathroom at 2am.

I felt so alone, but I realised there was sea of moms out there, who felt the same.

Crying knowing you are not the only one does not make it easier, but somehow does make it less lonely.

Somehow.

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Looking back over a few years of Reluctant Mom ….. a quick stroll, not a delayed walk

I have been blogging under the name Reluctant Mom since AUGUST 21, 2009.  It’s been a while, I thought I would reflect on a few things.  I know that there are many readers who have known me for all the years, whilst there are new blog followers who have recently joined.

So allow me a few posts to look back over the years and the journey that brought me here.  I will not delay you too long.

I had my third child in June 2009.

It was a planned pregnancy.

I was prepared – I had two children already.  I wanted this baby to be the one where I got it all right.

Baby one and two, I put down to learning exercises.

But Baby Three was going to be the one where I got it all right.  All of the stuff I got so wrong before, I was going to have sorted

I was hardly surprised at how this worked.  I knew all about post natal depression, cracked and bleeding nipples.

I knew what being tired really meant.

I read it all, I knew it all.  {thumbs nose at the What to Expect books, because I have this taped ….. ha ha ha ….}

I went in to this with a bit of a swagger in my step, and a glint in my eye.  Because I was so damn sure of myself.

My third child was the gorgeous blue eyed, blonde haired girl that I had dreamt about.

Planned c-section, everything went as one would expect.  Nothing bad.

Other than the usual being cut up on the operating table, with someone up to their elbows in your abdomen.  But other than that, sort of a normal day out in the delivery ward at Medi Clinic.

In my dreams my daughter Isabelle slept with that serene expression on her face as only a newborn baby can.  And that little bit of milk caught on her rosebud lips, to convey the sense that she was well fed and content.

That is how I pictured it in my dreams.  No doubt fuelled by every image I had ever seen in Living and Loving.

Reality I am afraid was very different.

This was my third c-section, and it appeared to get more painful with each one.

No doubt due to the fact that I was older, fatter and they had to cut out huge hunks of scar tissue from the earlier c-sections.

I had my daughter on the Wednesday. Kennith collected me from the Panorama Medi-Clinic on Saturday morning at 10h00.

Then he told me at about 15h00 just as I was suckling my three day old child, that we were expected at dinner that evening and I should get myself ready.

After checking that he was not trying to play a practical joke on me/really fucking serious – I realised that he was being quite serious.

I tried to indicate with the huge cut in my uterus and my blood soaked sanitary pads that I was in no state to sit around a dinner table with 5 other couples.

His rationale was that I had done this twice before, and really what was the big deal.

And so the rapid drop into madness began.

To be continued ……

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On your marks, get set …. go Mommy Blogger Competition 2013

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The Kidzworld.co.za nominations are all in and have been tallied up!

The Reluctant Mom Blog made the shortlist this year, so that is pretty cool.

I am not in the habit of false modesty, but I really was a bit surprised and pleased when I saw the notification on Twitter.

I have been a pretty shitty blogger of late, and am a bit wrapped up in my own head.

I have not courted sponsors as I should.

So really I have had fuck’all to give away and attract you to come by and visit – and I have also realised I have not posted enough “good heavens I am so happy right now” posts with associated pictures of my food.

None the less, even at a clear lack of baubles to attract you and captivate your attention, you still were kind enough to go along and give me a nomination.

Yay for you.  Super yay for me.

{walks over to the fridge to pour herself a drink}

Thank you for anyone, and everyone, and anyone who told someone to go along and nominate this blog.

I know the registering to vote/nominate is a bit “off putting” it does make you start to get concerned how much information Kidzworld is actually capturing about you, and as you really just want to leave a vote, and do not necessarily want to have to received weekly emails about them.

I do  realise that going along to cast a Vote might be a big ask and pretty much goes against all your instincts of “not giving your personal information to any web site to try to market their crap to you” —- I feel your pain.  Truly I do.  But there is no way around it.

The top nominees are (and it is great to see some new ones popping up):

Cindy Alfino who blogs over at “3 Kids, 2 Dogs, 1 old House” – http://alfinos.wordpress.com/

Chereen Strydom who blogs over at “For the Beauty of It” – http://forthebeautyofit.blogspot.com/

Stacey Vee who blogs over at “Living Lionheart” http://www.livinglionheart.co.za/

Belinda Mountain who blogs over at “Making Mountains” – http://makingmountains.co.za/

Natasha Clark who blogs over at “Raising Men” – http://littleandbunny.blogspot.com/

Tanya Kovarsky who blogs at “Rattle and Mum” – http://www.rattleandmum.co.za/

Sharon van Wyk who blogs over at “The Blessed Barrenness”  http://www.theblessedbarrenness.co.za/

Any Westerman who blogs over at “The Grace Factory” – http://thegracefactory.co.za/

Sarah Huddy who blogs over at “The Mommy City” – http://www.themommycity.co.za/

{apologise if I have spelt anything wrong, please let me know if I have}

I don’t know all of these blogs, but it has given me a few more to go along and stalk, so that is always good.

 

Like one of the blogs, like my blog, go along to Kidzworld and vote for your favourite blogger or your favourite blogger right now – and VOTE HERE.

Click – click, capture a few personal things, and then it is all over.

 

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The small print:

It’s now time for you to vote for your favourite Mommy Blogger by completing the form and clicking on the subscribe button.

You will receive an email confirming your vote request.

You will need to click on the link on that email to confirm your nomination.

This double opt in email is to help discount spam bots.

Voting closes on 15 December 2013 at midnight.

Let the Mommy Blogger know you have voted for her so that she may post a “Vote for Me” badge (see below) on her blog to attract additional votes.

The Mommy Bloggers who receive the top votes in the voting round will be placed 1st (most votes received), 2nd and 3rd and will receive vouchers accordingly.

 

 

 

Melissa Bachman – what has she done to deserve the public outcry?

Melissa Bachman appears to be only slightly less popular than …. actually right now I think she might be the least popular person in the world.  Well the social media world at any rate.

I can’t imagine the mother in a refugee camp in Somalia has heard of Melissa, and my guess she is probably not that concerned about what Melissa is doing in a bush, with a gun and what the backlash is about.

My guess is this woman really does not care.  At all.

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I have no issue with hunting.  I do not like the idea of it – it is definitely not something I would do.  I can sort of see what the driving force is, and why someone would enjoy it, and I am not going to stand in their way.

Hunting is often about “the hunt” and not always about what the person kills to eat.  We have Woolworths now, so I do not have to go and kill a pig when I want spare ribs – I outsourced that to Woolworths and who ever they have sub contracted that out to.

People have been hunting big cats and other game since time began – and it was never about eating the animal, so I find the argument of “well you should eat the lion” a bit weak.

We are constantly surrounded by images that might not be a person holding a gun with a dead animal at their feet, but by a process of elimination one sort of works out that there must have been some animal killing involved.

Is Zuma wearing faux or do you think these animals worn in this image died of natural causes?

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I have no issue with animals being killed.

Actually I do, but as I like to eat roast chicken, love lamb and will not pass up a beef burger for anything, it is fair to say that I appear to be a consenting adult and accept that animals die so I can eat them.

I try not to think of this as I am sitting down to a meal.  But that is unfortunately the reality.  Because there is a supplier and a few other elements in the chain, I have no need to ever associate an animal and the way it died with my pack of purchased meat.

I do not have to eat meat – there are enough alternate means of nutrition so that I would not have to eat meat, and then maybe the baby lamb does not have to die.

I am rather fond of lamb chops, so I will not be signing a petition any time soon to STOP THE SLAUGHTER OF LAMBS.

I accept that people and animals are not afforded the same rights.  As much as I am emotionally invested in my animals, and I am – you really do not know the half of it – I do realise that animals are animals.  They do reserve respect, to be handled in a humane way, and if they need to die then this needs to be done quickly, effectively and with as little discomfort to the animal as possible.

I am able to separate the emotional side of hunting (I do want to ensure we are clear on legal hunting versus poaching – because right now people are going bezerk and blaming Amanda for the demise of the Panda and the Dodo – her PR company still has not issued a statement on that) from the fact that the reality is that far more animals are being killed through illegal means, than the legal means.  Hunting has been a part of what “mankind” does and it will continue to be so until there are no more animals, or no more people.

If someone has acquired a licence, the licence has been granted, the person has hunted an animal they are permitted by law to hunt and kill, the owner who owns the animal has given permission, and the animal is killed quickly and with as little pain as possible – then why are we attacking Melissa Bachman?

I understand that killing animals is not nice.

I understand that standing next to an animal you have killed, and propping its head up as you smile for the camera is probably not everyone’s idea of a great photograph.

The question I start wondering is – how many hunters with their trophies have we seen, and these images are posted, but no outcry about the shooting of these animals?

What is it about THIS picture that is setting people off and making them want to cause all sorts of bodily harm to Ms Bachman?

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Is it because Melissa is hunting in South Africa?

Is it because Melissa has killed a lion?

Is it because she shot the lion and he was 50 metres away from her – which allowed her to be safe, but was not such a good outcome for the lion?

I can’t quite put my finger on it what about this image that is making people shit in their pants.

I had a quick look around and there are dozens of hunting safaris offered in South Africa.  I have no idea how many hunts are done each day, I have no idea of how many animals are killed – but here are a few:

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I cannot find one outcry group or facebook page about this guy with his big cat.  One would think that this image would make people want to grab their forks and torches and at the very least find this guy and set his jacket on fire.

But, no, not a peep – anywhere on the interweb.

Not one person called him a c&nt – not one!!

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These images are all on Lew Harris Safaris and everyone there really looks happy and it appears to be a well established Safari (one of dozens I saw)

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None of these images appear to have caused much of a stir.

My question is why are none of these “old boys” being targeted for hunting in South Africa, with a licence and through a legal channel?

Is it because they are all wearing khaki?

Could it be because they are almost all wearing hats?

What could it be?

Melissa Bachman is not THE problem.  And neither is the fact that she shot a lion.  This lion was never going to roam the veld and impregnate lionesses, he was bred to be hunted.  A bit like my lamb was so I could eat him or her.

Instead of dealing with this issue in a sane manner, people are attacking her and making derogatory comments about her breasts, and various other parts of her anatomy.  I have seen the “c” word being used quite liberally –  pretty much a “full on hate campaign” is running riot – and it is everywhere.

I am not suggesting that Melissa Backman is my favourite person.  I do not know her, and for  me she is a non-entity, pretty much as I am to her.

She is on par with all these people pictured above with their animal trophies.

What good will come out of attacking her?  If you have an issue with the fact that animals are hunted in South Africa, then take this up with your government or your representative – or which ever department is issuing licences.  Will joining a facebook group really do anything of value?

Possibly have a  investigation about why hunting is permitted, what are the benefits, what are the risks, and so on.

Driving Melissa and her ilk away from our shores, is not going to save one lion, not one wildebeest, and not one cheetah.  Not one.

Based on what we as South Africans are putting out there into the world of “people who may be interested in visiting South Africa as a tourist”  the general consensus is South Africans are brutal, and we feel it is okay to behave like animals when someone legally shoots an animal.

We seem to be okay with a rape-scenario to sort out Melissa, have indicated she should maybe take AIDS with her instead of a trophy and various other pleasantries.  It is like common sense has gone out the window, and people are frothing at the mouth and recalling Bambi flashback moments.

If you think that all this social media “tarring and feathering” of Melissa Bachman is going to do one thing towards animal conservation or shut down one legal game farm, then you are seriously deluded.

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I have been reading various blogger’s posts on the issue around Melissa Bachman.

Some of them have had some brilliant insights.  Some have been tasteless and stupid.

Then there are a few that make me sit and go “hey, I hadn’t thought of that” – I saw this post by Jani Allan at My Grilling Life and this section that made for an interesting take on this rather well worn, and beaten subject:

Trophy hunting is an obscenity beyond the obvious one. Trophy hunting for lion is killing healthy members of an imperiled species.

Do you know or even care that when an adult male lion is killed, the destabilization of that lion’s pride can lead to more lion deaths as outside males compete to take over the pride? Read National Geographic and learn a few things. I know I did.

Once a new male is in the dominant position, he will often kill the cubs sired by the pride’s previous leader, resulting in the loss of an entire lion generation within the pride.

Trophy hunting by definition is counter-evolutionary. It is based on selectively taking the large, robust, and healthy males from a population for a hunter’s trophy room.

These are the same crucial individuals that in a natural system would live long, full lives, protecting their mates and cubs and contributing their genes to future generations.

I am hesitant to suggest that the image of Melissa Bachman as a hunter who is hunting in South Africa and killed a lion, has incensed people because she is a woman.

I am hesitant to make that jump.

Why are all these images I have posted above here – which are all taken in South Africa on a variety of hunting safaris – why have none of these been targeted with such venom and loathing as this one of Melissa Bachman?

Why have smear campaigns not been set up to “name and shame” these men – or is there something that Melissa has done that is different that has upset people?

Nominate Reluctant Mom for SA’s Best Mommy Blogger 2013

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Interesting blog award from The Blurred Line

I am never above a high five or a little pat on the back, or a large glass of wine arriving at my table as a surprise!

If you are giving it, and it is something we can mention in front of the children, then odds are I will be quite happy to take it off your hands.

I got an awesome badge from another blogger.

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Bloggers are fabulous people. They can’t help themselves, they just are.

It is always nice to get some recognition and it increases the chances of me getting money from people when I need it at a later stage, as I can just go: “Hey, you thought I was awesome back then.  I am awesome now, how about giving me some money!”

I received this from over at The Blurred Line (which is probably the most awesome blog name ever)

There is a bit of fine print which needs to be read – the normal stuff.

  1. Thank the person who nominated you
  2. List 5 random facts about yourself
  1. Nominate a minimum of 5 blogs for the award
  2. Ask the nominees 5 questions of your choice
  3. And finally, let them know you have nominated them
  4. Promise to never listen to Justin Bieber again (okay I snuck that in, but really when we are fighting a world crisis of “beliebers” then it seems the least you can do.

So here is my run at it:

One | Thanks

Thanks for giving me a prop.  Thanks for giving me a mention.  Thanks for reading my blog.

Two | Five random and anal things about myself

  1.  I have been known to sleep text, sleep email and sleep-have-sex-with-my-husband, which all sound great in principle, but less so when you wake up and go “what the hell happened here?”
  2. I used to perv over the boychild from Karate Kid – Ralph Muchness or what ever he is called.  I seriously thought he was all that in his little outfit, his flicked fringe and his squeaky little girl voice.
  3. It has been several weeks since my last purchase of Chuckles.  I think there is something wrong with me.  I may need to seek medical help.
  4. I still cannot bear emoticons.
  5. I love the Gruffalo, and have read the story at least a hundred times.

Three | Nominate 3 Other Blogs  (I really like three, five seems like too much – I realise I am fucking up the rules here, but there we go)

1.  A Brit living in SA with my South African Hubby and two small boys. – http://weezafish.blogspot.com/

2.  Cupcakes and Sailors –  http://cupcakemummy.wordpress.com/

3.  The Spirited Mama – if I recall I met her via the Moomie Forum, but I may be mistaken – http://spiritedmama1.wordpress.com/about/

Four | Answer some questions that the person-who-sent-the-badge asked:

Four point One | Elvis or The Beatles

I would really have to say the Beatles without even missing a beat.   I am fairly sure that Elvis dying on the toilet with his pants around his ankles has spoilt his music for me.  I get a mental picture of him wearing his onesie and dead on the toilet.  It is not an accurate picture, but sadly does not make me love his music.

Four point Two | What is the one place you have to see or thing you have to do before you kick the bucket and shrug off the mortal coil?

I would like to go on a boat cruise.  Me lying around chilling, reading my book, with no responsibilities and 15 – 19 days of bliss seems like a small slice of heaven right now.

Four point Three |  What did you laugh out loud at today? 

Nothing yet I am afraid.  It has not been a laugh-a-licious day, but I did smile when two appointments cancelled on me.  It is Friday afternoon, my interest in this day left four hours ago, so any excuse to get the hell out of here sounds like a fine ambition right now.

Four point Four | What is a better word for blogger that doesn’t sound like throwing up? 

Digital Author – I did not even think about that shit, it just popped in my head.  That being said the term “blogger” is not a problem for me, though I know a lot of people practically shit in their bloomers if you refer to them as “mommy bloggers.”

Four point Five | If you were a superhero, what power would you have? 

Reading minds must be a blessing and a total burden, but I do think that you could use it to do some fabulous party tricks, and more importantly always know where your husband put the care keys without having to go and look in the five places it isn’t, which would be nifty.

Okay, so that is done then.

In an attempt to play this forward, I am sorry, but I felt quite strongly about amending the button design.  If you prefer to use the original it is shown above, but you are free to use the new Nimbus 2000 model, which is available here:

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I would like to change this slightly going forward, not because there is anything wrong with the old way, but just because technically I own it and I am changing it slightly before I pass it on:

New rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you
  2. List 5 random facts about yourself
  1. Nominate a MAXIMUM of 3 blogs for the award – I know sometimes trying to find 5 is a challenge and it also dilutes the “play it forward idea”
  2. Ask the nominees 5 questions of your choice
  3. And finally, let them know you have nominated them
  4. But I really think we should keep this one – promise to never listen to Justin Bieber again

Here are my 5 questions/things I would like to know from my three bloggers:

One | What would you buy with five rand?
Two | When was the last time you told a lie? And what was it?

Three | When was the last time you went for a mammogram?  Was it as bad as you thought it was going to be?

Four | What was the worst baby/child name you have ever heard?

Five | What is the phrase you swore you would never use, and now you are sounding just like your mother and screaming it down the passage?

Thanks folks-who-blog for continuing to keep us people-who-read-blogs sane, and to give us something to read with our morning cups of tea, whilst we ignore all the urgent things popping up on our computer screens.

Ideas for putting together a great SA Mommy Blogger 2013? Do you have any?

The incredibly talented Laura over at Harrassed Mom put together a Mommy Blog competition for this year.   I have no idea how Laura finds time, but she did, and bless her cotton socks she did.

I think Mommy Bloggers in South Africa are really lacking a great Mommy Blogger competition – a platform to bedazzle new readers and a way to be more of a community with other Mommy Bloggers.

You may feel that Mommy Blogger competitions are unnecessary – you may recoil at the term Mommy Bloggers – if you are happy with blogging as a blogger, then great.

Competitions do make good people better, and introduce the public to Mommy Bloggers they may have never heard of.  It creates an interest around what we do and what we say, and it would be great to have an evening celebrating what makes Mommy Bloggers great – and there are so many stupendously brilliant Mommy bloggers, who make us cry, laugh and sigh on a daily basis.

Personally I am not a great competition fan – probably because I am too afraid of losing.  I am not a gracious loser.  I am an embarrassed-oh-god-they-hate-me-what-did-I-do-wrong sort of loser.

That being said I really do like the idea of being part of a SA Mommy Blogger Competition.  Happy to organise, happy to pool idea, happy to harass potential sponsors.

It might be good to do something for a Children’s Charity and raise awareness/money at the same time.

Let’s promote South African Mommy Bloggers – primarily because Mommy Bloggers are an overlooked category in the SA Blogger Awards, and another platform does not appear like it is going to occur in the foreseeable future.

If we cannot find a place there, well then it is time to create our own.

Kidzworld is the only place that offers a competition, and though I am appreciative of them having a competition, there are really not great prizes or for that matter a Mommy Blogger Awards evening to speak of – so it needs a bigger buzz.

It also needs an evening of dressing up and drinking wine!

Laura and I are still brain storming ideas, but if you have any suggestions/idea about how to do it – what works, what you think sucks, what you think should be included please let me know.

Laura is in Johannesburg and I am in Cape Town, so I am hoping to fly up there for a weekend and we can hash out some of these ideas, or she can come down to Cape Town.  We know what we want, we just do not know how to get there, so if you have any idea or suggestions, please please let me know.

We have a domain and will be setting that up shortly and publishing the details so we can get some interest and build up, but we really would like to hear from other Mommy Bloggers {established ones and new ones}.

When do you think is a good time to run the competition – so that it does not clash with other things?

What is the ideal format?  I am a bit sceptical about the vote-for-me-please-gd-vote-for-me format.  I think some voting combined with a judge’s panel might be good – but what do you think?

Do you know any sponsors who would like to get involved, hell maybe you are a sponsor and would like to get on board.

If you are a Mommy Blogger – how do you think these awards should be run – what seems fair to you?

Any suggestions for Mommy Blogger categories?

Right now, nothing is set in stone.  I think Laura and I would really like to pool our resources and get this thing running.  I can barely organise toilet spray for my house, so if you feel you want to throw and idea/suggestion/anything other than a cow pat at us, please do – I would love to be a part of something that feels inclusive and gives Mommy Bloggers a stage and some recognition.

There are so many fantastic Mommy Bloggers out there – please please, send through ideas or suggestions – if you do not want to post it as a comment, please email me on celeste@happyhelpers.co.za.

We are still months away, but I think it might be good to get all the backstage things set up and have as many ideas from the Blogger Community as possible and design something that works and that Mommy Bloggers are proud to be a part of.

What thinks you?

Get involved in the Santa Shoebox Project {2012}

The Santa Shoebox Project is an inspiring community initiative of the Kidz2Kidz Trust  that co-ordinates the donation, collection and distribution of personalized gifts at Christmas time to underprivileged children across South Africa.

Participating is a profoundly valuable and personal experience with each donor selecting the child he or she chooses to pledge a Santa Shoebox for by name, gender and age.

The website works like a charm, and is so easy to use.  You pick the area, the school, and it gives you suggested children who you can support – so you can tweak it and get the mix of ages and whether they are boys/girls you want to supply gifts to.

I did not do this last year – I was in the middle of my little break down, but I did it in 2010 and it was very rewarding.

Grab some shoeboxes, decorate them, the website gives you names/information/suggested contents for the packs.  You toddle along and drop them off and ta-da some needy kids get fabulous gifts.

What could be easier?  Few things.

Their aim this year is to give 100 000 children gifts.   The present pledge amount is close to 21 000 so they still have a way to go.

If you would like to make up a box, but maybe are struggling with logistics, or you are having surgery on the day, or something, feel free to sponsor a box through me – I figure R100.00 – R150.00 will make up a box – and I will make one up on your behalf and deliver it to the site.

Alternatively you want to donate straight to them, believe it or not sometimes pledged boxes do not arrive, and they have to make up boxes for the kids who will not be getting a box …. sad shit, but it appears this does happen.

So, see there are no excuses, get involved and give 100 000 kids a Santa Shoebox this year!

Public Service Announcement ….. and reminder to buy wine!

Reminder that nominations close over at Harrassed Mom for the Mommy Blogger Competition .

 

It’s a new competition, Laura has been brilliant enough to say “agh fk it” and start it.  There does seem to be some resistance and people moaning and complaining.  Some of the complaints are:

1.  It follows too closely to the Kidz World one that has just finished.

2.  Some blogger are offended/put out by the term “Mommy Bloggers” but the competition for “Bloggers who Drink Wine to Stay Sane” met with some resistance from sponsors, so with that Laura decided to go with Mommy Blogger of the Year.

3.  Competitions bring out the worst in people.

4.  Bun fights about bloggers can be quite epic, and often drags itself through to Facebook and Forums, and then the underlying bitchiness really gets going.

5.  The begging and pleading for votes from the reluctant public.

I agree with all the points.  They are all valid.

But, yes here is my but … Laura made an effort to put something together, she really found some fabulous sponsors, and she is doing it for purely altruistic reasons (I surmise).

With that in mind, just send her an email (laurakallmayer@gmail.com) telling her about your favourite blogger and why they are your favourite blogger.  Try not to do essay material, I think she is hoping for 144 characters or less.  Short attention span material!

Mommy Bloggers get a pretty raw deal, as people consider us a bit on the naff side.

I personally don’t read Mommy Bloggers who Blogs. I tend to look for Mommy Bloggers who Need Psychotic Medication Blogs and who refuse on principle to Bake Birthday Cakes!!  Them bloggers I do love.

Nominations end today.  That is all.

Moms who search for Stuff … for other people ….

I spend my days finding things for other people.

My favourite is when the conversation follows this thread.

Child/Kennith: I can’t find the widget, I have been looking for it, do you know where it is?

Me – internal dialogue: Actually I have no idea where the stupid widget is, and as it is your widget, and if you would put something away in the right place for one, we would not be having this conversation.

Me – what I say instead: Hhhmmmmm, I saw it in the spare room cupboard, take a look in there.  Third shelf on the left hand side.

Child/Kennith: {sighing in irritation, you know because they have been looking for so long} I can’t find it!!

Me – clearly annoyed, as the widget has now become my problem, and I wonder again why no one in this house can keep their shit together – If it is not in that cupboard, try the kitchen drawers or the passage cupboard!

Child/Kennith: {sighing in irritation, you know because they have been looking for so long} I can’t find it!!

Me – realising that screaming out instruction is not what the person is looking for, what they want is me to stop what I am doing, to come and help them find the widget.   Not sure why I just did not reaction quicker and drop what I was doing to come and find their sh^t.

But Kennith and the kids have learnt that if they cannot find something, then blame someone, and try to drag mom in it to help find the stuff.

I find my own shit because 95% of the time I have put it away so know where it is. The other 5% is the time I spend because someone has used my thing and has not put it in the correct/previous place.

I stroll over to the spare room, look on the third shelf on the left hand side ….

Me: Here it is ………

The two possible (and most likely) responses:

Child: Thanks Mommy!!! Thanks ….

Kennith: Great, thanks …. I really want you to speak to Priveledge about putting things in the right place ………. you really need to manage your staff!!

Me – reaction to both… {sighing … but mentally whacking him against the side of the head.  With the desk}

{Like Reluctant Mom, even just a little, vote over at Kidz World Blogger Awards – Voting closes on the 30th June 2012, then it is all over as the Fat Lady is known to say….}

Mom, what’s a lesbonian?

I listen to 567 CapeTalk when I drive.

Today I collect Georgia and Connor and while we are in the car, there is a discussion on the radio about Phumeza Nkolonzi, 22, who died after an unknown gunman kicked in the door to her home in the Cape Town township of Nyanga and opened fire three times in silence.

The term Lesbian was used, and I hear Connor’s cogs in his head turning over and processing the word.

As predicted he turns to me and goes: “Mom what’s a Lesbonian?’

This was the juncture that all parents reach, when you are going to cross “that final threshold…” from which you can never return – the entire ToothFairy and Santa Claus fantasy is over, we have moved straight on to se.x.

I let a few moments go by – primarily to steele myself for this momnt – decided I would go with the simple explanation, instead of trying to soften the blow and go into a long story.

Me: “Lesbians are girls who have sex with girls ….. like a boy has sex with a girl …. but a lesbian does not feel like that about a boy, she feels like that about a girl, and that is a Lesbian…understand?”

Connor: “Yes…… <and then the little hamster is running in his head and the next question comes> …… how does that work, girls have inside bits …. <and he makes the shape you would make if you were showing someone a cup shape with your thumb and middle finger..>

I glance at him – I am on the N1 at this stage, negotiating traffic …..so now he has figgered out the two inny bits …. so he goes “how does that work …… what are they going to put in there …..”

Me: “What do you think?”

Connor: “Fingers?”

Me: “Sure, that can work…”

Connor takes this information aboard and I explain how girls have sex with girls, and that is referred to as a lesbian, and if a boy has sex with a boy it is referred to as homosexual or gay.  And then I go on to explain that people love who they will love, and if they are a girl and they do not feel those feelings for a boy, and feel that way for a girl, then that is fine.

Connor: “Boys have outside bits <he indicates that with his two pointy-peter fingers…and I can see him trying to work this out> and where do things go in…they don’t have an in part..?”

Again, this is a juncture that all parents must get to with their children – I am glad this one is officially behind me.  Your turn is coming, so brace yourself.

Either you cross this bridge with your child now and discuss it honestly or start pointing at the sky randomly to try to distract your child and say you are sure you just saw Superman.

I chose to blunder ahead.

Me: “Okay, so where do boys have an inside bit?”

Connor: “Er ……….their bum???”

Me: “Yep that could work …….”

Connor: “Gross….”

Me: “My boy, that is the way it is, girls love girls, and boys love boys, and boys and girls love each other too. You love fishing, no one makes you love fishing you just do.  And your sister loves Smurfs.  Nothing I say or do is going to make the two of you not love those things, we all love differently.  As long as you are true to yourself and not hurting anyone, then you are free to love who you want.”

Connor – nodding as the fishing analogy is hitting a spot for him.

This awkward moments parenting is what parenting is about.  I realise this conversation might repulse people and make people angry who are against homosexuality, and I get that.

I understand the biblical message that explains the “religious” stance on this, but I am not teaching my child a religious or belief exercise here.  That is a seperate discussion, at another time.

I want him to be accepting, and I would rather him have frank conversations with me about what he hears and thinks, than him finding this out via another route.

Connor’s other winner question from last week after he saw one of those flag advertising behind an aeroplane was: “Mom, whats MAVERICKS?”

Mavericks by the way was a much easier question than me trying to explain the Israel-Palestine frucus …. it took me abotu 15 minutes, and hten I realised I(again) that I do not totally understand why two nations hate each other in the name of religion and holy land.

Trust me Mavericks is far simpler to explain and understand.  Pretty girls dance and men pay them.  That’s what I said.  Life would be simpler if the Israel/Palestine problem could be explained that simply.

{Mommy Blogger vote jig is nearly up – click over to Kidz World Blogger Awards – Voting closes on the 30th June 2012}

Fun with kids over the weekend …. she is not having it!

I know the right thing to say is to be all, geez I love motherhood, and gee willy this weekend stuff is groovy fun and then add a super happy Facebook status update about how happy I am!

Sorry, that shit is not flying on this end.

Kennith is gone for about a month – not gone as in dead, however that might get me sympathy and people offering to bake me lasagna and take my kids so I can have a lie down.  But no, worse, he has gone off to feel challenged.  Nothing says “challenge’ like losing 30 kilograms, and carrying about the same weight up a stupid mountain in Russia.

As you can imagine by my tone, I am really thrilled he has sought out this challenge.

Of course it makes the challenge of morning get-kids-to-school and get-kids-sorted-in-the-evening and try-and-remain-sane-on-the-weekends-whilst-your-kids-are-trying-to-drive-you-to-insanity the challenge I get to face, again and again.

But the problem with my challenge, is no one gives me a high-five and likes my status updates!

Such is the life of the little woman in the background, with three snotty kids clinging to an appendage and fighting with each other about {add anything varying from toothpaste to who looks out the car window}.

If I add the 30 days away to the long list of weekend hikes, running up table mountain after work, and cycling around the peninsula, whilst I am wondering if I can chew my tongue off and choke on it at home with three screaming children, then yes I am really excited for him!

Holler-holler!

Kennith left on Friday and this weekend was my first weekend “alone” – really alone if you consider that my lovely divine I-fall-at-your-feet-in-adoration Privelege was also off this weekend.

I think it did not help that I felt angry, because I was not feeling the joy of this entire experience, and had been suspicious that this was going to go very badly.  Very quickly.  For me.

I wasn’t worried about Kennith at all.  30 days of no kids, and pursing your challenge — what could be more fun??

My kids can smell fear. Probably because it leaves streaks in my panties.

They get wired, find a way to push every possibly button I have, work as a synchronised pack of relentless hyenas to drive me stark raving mad.  One long minute at a time.  It all gets going at about 06h00 and keeps up until about 20h00.

I watch each minute that passes.  Each minute!  I start wondering if I can put them all into bed and say goodnite at 2pm.  I have tried, they are too bright for that as soon as they figure out the difference in night and day.

I know I should tell you that I rose to the occasion.  Unfortunately I failed miserably.

I really tried to do the good mom thing.   Gd knows I tried!

I went for a nice walk – spent the entire time screaming at Isabelle to get out of the frkn road.

I made a roast chicken and all the trimmings as I thought it would be nice for us to sit around and have a family lunch (minus the dad of course) – that worked well until it didn’t.  The constant arguing and bickering and then Isabelle screaming because she was not going to eat any of my hard pressed cooking.

I hired a DVD for them – and then realised I could not sit and watch it with them without wanting to off myself.

I made them chocolate toast for breakfast – and then decided to go and sit somewhere else as I could not stand the arguing over everything.  How do kids find a way to argue over chocolate toast? Trust me, mine do.

I took them to a park today even though it was freezing – and then I lost Kennith’s umbrella, and of course they were arguing, and bickering and then I just got “gatvol” and figured I would rather be home and warm and they can argue there.

I took them to McDonalds for lunch – I also decided to sit at a separate table.  At McDonalds.  I really just needed a few minutes of not having to listen to the constant arguing and bickering.  This all worked until Isabelle fell, from a sitting position, only to smack her ear against the table – so then I sat with her whilst she bawled her head off.

I let them make and bake biscuits this afternoon – again an exercise is self-restraint, as I was sure I was going to hit one/all of them with the rolling pin!  I hate how other people can do this and it is fun, but when I do it, it really is like torture.

I have never glanced so much at the clock that stands in our kitchen area as I did in the last two days.  I waited for the minutes to tick by so we could get to 19h30 so that I could bark at them to go the *FUCK* to bed!

Today was not a good day.  This weekend was not a good weekend.

I am THANKFUL – TRULY – it is over, and that I survived, and more importantly that I managed not to commit what ever the term is where you off yourself and your children!

Dude/Dudette seriously if you are wanting a happy-go-lucky blog, I seriously suggest that you google mom+blog+really happy ….. because that shit is not happening over here.

Try again tomorrow, it might all be a bit better.  Or it might not.

Cheese and rice!

{Like Reluctant Mom, even just a little, please pop along and vote over at Kidz World Blogger Awards – Vote every day, as many times as you can click …. easy peasy}

Over Population ….

This image taps into my idle mind ramblings of whether it is right or wrong to have one child or three children, and whether as parents we are “permitted” to raise an opinion, based on our rather awkward position on the matter.

I think it is very easy to grumble about the state of the world with poverty, global warming and Justin Bieber – but when it comes to examining the world from your vantage point one chooses to have (or not have) as many children as you can afford {or would want to,because you can.}

It sort of gives the finger to what ever is happening in the world.

Do I think that with three children our carbon footprint is a tad big, and that we have added to the strains on the planet rather than lessened the strains had we chosen to have none or just one?  Definitely.

I wonder if the argument would be that no one should have more children, because there are so many children already and so many that need good homes.  Pick one that is already here, rather than add another?

What ever the argument, our intrinsic programming is that we have a desire to reproduce (not to just have s.ex but to propogate the specie.)

To have a child {usually of our own DNA}, to continue our line, pass on our unique genetic code to the next generation.  We often choose to do it for fairly selfish reasons, and it is all about us and the mini-me we hope to one day meet.

When faced with the gurgling bundle of newborn, the selfishness is all but forgotten, and we just hope that our imp will never sing a Justin Bieber song, or do drugs!

Though drugs might be forgiven.

{like Reluctant Mom, please pop along and vote over at Kidz World Blogger Awards}

Mommy Bloggers go for Gold …. or just a button ….

So the Mommy Blogger competition is on.

10 lovely mommy bloggers battle it out.  The competition is thinking about narrowing it down to three finalists, they will getogether and the final will be fought out as a mud fight – with actual mud.   It’s like a wet t-shirt competion, but not.

I am really hoping to get to the mud fight round, so if you are keen to see a bit of mud slinging, maybe some foul language, and the likely possibility of someone crying with snot, please pop along and vote for your favourite blogger.  The more votes, the more likely the blogger you would like to see covered in mud, will be.

Easy as that.

You can vote every day.

You can vote from every email address you own.

You can vote for any blogger on the list – we never find out who voted for us or against us, no matter who many times we request to buy the voting panel and results.

You can offer to sell your votes, I suggest sending around a well worded email to all the likely candidates and seeing who takes you up on that offer.  All/Most of us do not make a living from blogging, but for all/most of us, we still want to win so we can sit and smirk in the admiration of dozens.

I, personally, have found a few Facebook pages where you join and then you beg a few hundred/thousand stranges to go and vote for you, and you in turn vote for them.  All a bit creepy, but when the odds are high and one wants to win, well then one must do what one must.

Stop procrastinating.

Stop being so “snoep” with your votes, just click along for goodness sake.

Reasonably quick, and totally painless.

PS: I can neither confirm nor deny whether there will be an actual mud fight! I can however almost promise a bun fight ……