Tuesday, 29 April 2014

The hardest part

Being a parent is filled with challenges. The huge responsibility of keeping this tiny human happy and healthy can be overwhelming. The challenge of figuring out how to make the budget work after buying that bouncy chair, baby carrier or toy that every other mom told you, you simply must have. The challenge of finding time for your husband while knee deep in baby food and dirty diapers. It’s a constant juggle to try make it all work. But the biggest challenge you will ever face as a mom is dropping your baby off at daycare for the first time when all you want to do is be a stay at home mom. The guilt, the sadness, and the realization that someone else will get to experience the giggles, the sleepy smile after he wakes up from a nap, and possibly his first step or first word. This is what heartbreak is made off.

All my grown up life I’ve been searching for a job I can be passionate about. You know the kind they talk about when they say “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” I’ve had a few okay jobs, but nothing that even comes close to the one. Maybe it’s because I’ve never been the career orientated, success driven type who talk business at a braai. I just don’t have that need to climb the ‘corporate’ ladder

Staying home with baby boy was the first time I’ve ever felt like I actually dedicated my day to a worthwhile cause. For the first time ever it didn’t feel like I was wasting my time hoping 5pm would come around so I could go home and ‘live my life’. I loved not having to make small talk with grownups and fake concern for some job crisis. I absolutely adore spending my time with my little guy. 

But even though being a stay at home mom is the hardest, most stressful job you will ever do it is also the only job (except for interns) where you don’t earn a cent . And in today’s very expensive times a no paycheck job is just not acceptable. And so after 6 months of spending every single day with Ben I was forced to re-enter the work force.

The whole thing happened so fast. Husband came home and told me the PA at work was going on maternity leave in 2 weeks and they still haven’t found a temp to fill in for the 5 months she’ll be gone. I was told to apply for the position. I kept hoping, praying I wouldn’t get the job. And in between the hoping and praying I cried. Oh there was hours of ugly crying. Then I got the call to tell me my application was successful and a week later I started work feeling emotionally drained, defeated, and very trapped by my circumstances. It was a dark time. I have never been so sad in my life. The fact that I wasn’t talking to husband because I resented him for the fact that I needed to work didn’t help either.

2 months later and we’ve settled into our new routine just fine. I don’t cry anymore, work is going okay and Ben loves his daycare friends. But it still takes everything in me to walk out the daycare door every morning. That hollow feeling you have as you try to go about your day as if nothing’s wrong stays with you every single day.

But this is not a new story. This experience is not unique to me. Moms having to return to work happens every single day. But this doesn’t make me feel better. It makes me feel worse. Knowing there’s so many other women walking around with this kind of pain and heartache is just the saddest thing ever.

I have 3 months left at the current job and I am hoping to then find a part time job. Part time jobs are hard to come by but I’m keeping the faith. I also have a few sideline projects I’m working on so hopefully everything works out for the best. Holding thumbs.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

My favourite baby products - The diaper bag

When we first decided to try for a baby, we weren’t as financially strong as we would have liked to be, but as the clock was ticking we decided that waiting would be foolish. And except for the delivery/hospital part, how expensive can a tiny little baby be? They just poo and sleep. Its only once you start paying school fee’s that you need the money and by that time we’ll be sorted. Oh poor na├»ve us. When that shopping list of “Must haves” came I nearly fainted. From the pram to the baby carrier, bouncy chairs and car seats, babies are expensive.

Luckily I wasn’t too picky when it came to the big money spender; the pram. We got a very reasonably priced 3 wheel Chelino with infant car seat from BabyBoom and then a second hand Maclaren stroller which I actually use most of the time. Our bottle warmer, steamer and a bunch of other goodies we bought second hand as well.

But every mom has that one thing that she’s fussy over. For me it was the diaper bag (and the baby carrier, but more on that later).  I wanted something functional yet stylish. I wanted a gender neutral bag cause I wanted husband to be comfortable walking around with it as well. There’s nothing worse than making a grown man carry a huge pink bag or one covered in Teddy or Toy Story print.

Nothing I saw in the shops were right. I down right hated almost all of them. I started looking on the internet and fell in love with the US Brand Skip Hop, that was until my Sister in Law from the UK emailed me about Pacapod Diaper bags.

I watched the promo video on the website and that was it. Sold.  It was completely out of my budget but it was exactly what I was looking for and I knew I just had to have one.

The Pacapod is stylish, functional, good quality and easy to clean. The bag consist of 2 compartments, one for clothes, toys, mom's keys.phone etc. and then another fitted with 2 mini Pods: a changing Pod and a Feeder Pod. These Pods can also be taken out of the bag and used separately or attached to the Pram. The Feeder pod is like a little cooler bag and once kids are older the feeder bag can be used as a lunch pack.

  I chose the Mirano Pacapod in navy.  It's also available in white.


  From their website:

The PacaPod Mirano bag has taken its inspiration from Riviera chic and has a stylish mix of natural fabrics and soft leather, with fashionable buckle details to create a truly iconic silhouette. Tucked discreetly inside this cavernous bag (32 litre plus capacity) are PacaPods unique and detachable feeder and changing pod for storing baby feeding and changing items. All neatly wrapped up in a stunning baby bag outer.

I ended up getting my bag as a babyshower gift from my Parents in law for which I am so very grateful.

If you have a bit of extra money and a friend who won't mind playing courier on their next trip to SA (they do however ship to SA, if you don't mind spending the extra cash) I would seriously suggest you look at a Pacapod bag.  I promise you won’t be disappointed.

*All images from the Pacapod website.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Playing Catch up

I actually cannot believe it's been 7 months since my baby boy was born.  The time has gone so fast.  I remember when I took him for his 6 week check up and the doctor said next one will be at 6 months. That seemed so far away that I didn’t even give it a second thought, and then suddenly next thing I knew there we were for the 6 month check up.
So much has happened.  I went from a scared, unsure, emotional new mom of a tiny newborn to a capable, change a diaper in seconds, baby food down my shirt, multitasking mom of a 7 month old crawling tiny person.


I was fortunate enough to spend 6 months with Ben at home before I had to go back to work (more on that later) I got him set in a routine (something I never thought I'd get right)  We battled through his first time eating solids, quite a few snotty blocked noses, the back end of a winter and an extremely hot summer. We've packed away the Newborn, 0-3 months and 3 - 6 month outfits. We've cried through multiple shots at clinic and we went from boob to formula milk. It's been a wild ride and it's been the best time of my life. Here's to so much more awesomeness still ahead.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Long-time overdue

Ever since my gorgeous baby boy was born on 12 August 2013 via Emergency C-Section I had this urge to start a blog.  As a first time mom, who decided to give the Antenatal classes a skip, I was feeling worry, pain, anxiety, excitement, sadness, happiness, extreme exhaustion, devotion and so much love.  There was also lots of crying for no reason and feet swollen so badly from the c-section that the only shoes that fit was my (very warm) Ugg boots; pair this with always feeling like you are about to overheat due to breastfeeding and you have a situation that comes very close to Chinese water torture.
It was a huge amount of emotions that I needed to get on paper and share with like minded people. But with a newborn in winter washing tiny little fluffy onesies, frantically trying to control the room temperature with a heater and breastfeeding around the clock there was just no time to sit around and play on the internet.
 7 months later and I finally got the blog up and running. The bipolar emotions have settled down a bit (my husband is so relieved) and I’ve caught up on some of that missing sleep. So I guess only starting the blog now is a bit of a moo point. But I do think I have some tips to share, stories to tell and having a place to document my life with my boys is always a win.