An ageless mom

I am of the firm believe that children are blessings, that’s why I had one every three years, since the age of 31! That way I managed to catch up and even overtake my friends, whom had babies in their twenties. 
Pregnancy was my super power stage! It was all about me and my bump, the cosmos revolved around my growing belly. However, it also involved a number of challenges normally associated with being an older mum and having a poor gynaecological history (a story for another day!). Despite all that, I am the mom of three ‘perfect angels’.

Truth be told, the assumption is not married to the truth because of the following FIVE reasons:
1. Your friends with older kids already informed you about what to buy; which baby accessories are overrated or totally useless. You still buy all of the above and more!
2. Grandma’s remedies are best! The paediatrician was trained for this and knows even better, than your gran!
3. You don’t panic easily, because you know ‘everything’s gonna be alright!’- NOT! A friend or relative better be checking up on you and baby, on the hour!
4. You are super organised! You don’t recall under which file you saved yournewborn survival manual‘!
5. Hope, Paul, Faith and Skye are good solid names but very old fashioned, too indicative of mom’s age! Blu, Apple, Nashmita and the likes sound much more contemporary!

I set up a very restrictive criteria for the name giving process!
* The name should be 3-5 letters long
* One name was more than enough!
* It had to have a profound meaning.
* Ancestors, grandparents and other relatives had their turn already, so we needed a unique name for the new addition, to the clan!
Image courtesy of ddpavumba at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

* Does the birth name of your babies reflect your age? 
* I’d love to know what your favourite timeless baby name is? 
* Which name would you not even consider? 
* Lastly, do you have any baby name recommendations? 

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One tough mommy

I still have to meet a mom who knew exactly what their role as the primary caregiver of another human being would require. The role of mom is often romanticized and depicted as a cool stroll in the park. In short, we all suffer from shell shock when you realise your offspring is not textbook material, but an individual. Does that make you a bad mom? Of course, not!
However,you soon realise you have the responsibility of grooming your baby into the best person they can possibly become. I have been a mom for all of 12 years and still make the most unexpected mistakes with my kids.
But for my kids have done the following:
* Walked out on a job because of an anti-kid work environment
* Prayed for a teaching position in a 10km radius, which includes
   the daycare facility- and got it!
* Quit my job to be a single SAHM
* Home schooled two of my children
* Returned to a full time job to provide for their needs
* Sacrificed more than I care to count


Image courtesy of africa via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Looking back I can’t believe that I had built up such an extensive resume as a mother. How it happened is an even greater mystery! What I do recall are all the moms I met on my journey. My mother,sisters, friends, church ladies and even fellow shoppers. They knew exactly what to say and when to say it. They could see the result of the sleepless night you had, they recognised how close you were to bursting out in tears. But, they never judged you- they gave well-measured advise; held your baby so you could finish your cup of tea; offered a treat to a busy toddler- but they never judged!
That type of understanding can only come from a mother whether your baby was breastfed or bottle fed, whether you returned to work one month after the birth or never worked. The challenges of raising amazing little people, are known to moms only regardless of what we do to take of their needs. Some positions in life are so sacred that you may only raise an opinion, once you have been through the storm.
I have  been under the knife multiple times to release my babies, major surgery can be recovered from but being a mom, is a lifetime opportunity. We may not always feel confident, in our doing but you gotta faith it till you make it.
Committed to my #mommitment!

Unapologetic Mom

Love is a powerful emotion, it is such that you will do things beyond your own expectations. This I learn daily whilst raising my three children. 
When your child is born; bonding and showering them with love , is the most fulfilling and indescribable act through which love is shown by a mother. It is the most amazing and rewarding stage of mothering. As our young ones grow, so does the demands of motherhood and the more offspring you have, the greater the demand. Having more than one child does not mean you are neglecting any of your children, you merely get to share your fabulosity with more people!
The past year I had to shift my parenting gears big time! My eldest is a pre-teen, at 12. My middle child, a 9 year old boy; and the youngest at 6 is learning to become independent. My mothering skills are being tested to the brim and so is my ability to stand up for my kids. One thing I realise daily, whilst interacting with moms of all spheres, is that there is nothing unique about my challenges- it might be something new to me; but not unheard of! The best I can do, is to share how I deal with them.
Whether you are a SAHM, working mom, single mom or whichever category you want to place yourself under; you are capable of doing much for and with your children. Forget about what everyone else is doing, trust that you are doing your best. If you believe you can do better, than do so. Set your own standard whilst learning from what everyone else are doing.
Love for my kids made me choose to do a few things, that made life more manageable and enjoyable.
Try this:
* Teach them the power of prayer
* Help them understand that they are responsible for one another and themselves
* Give chores
* Let them prepare meals
* Explain the value of money
* Participate in their school organisations (they spend most of their day in school, so you might as well be aware of what happens in school)
* Allow them to have pets
One thing my children know without any doubt, is that I will confront any person who dares to infringe on their right to being. That is a total non-negotiable area and which I refuse to ever be apologetic about! We have an African saying, ‘ You strike a woman, you strike a rock!’ You better believe it! 
As a mother you do not have to apologise for expecting your children’s humanity and rights to be recognised, bearing in mind that they in turn, should not disregard those of another. Basic rights include the much debated issue of education, each person have a different opinion as to what constitutes a good education. 
Education is still an unattainable right for many across the globe, and where it is available the standard remains questionable; but that does not mean you have to accept it. No institution is above the law and in free countries, it becomes your obligation to query the status quo and if possible set wheels in motion for change or create cognisance about important matters.
Common problems experienced in schools: – Bullying
– Special Needs Education
– Gifted learners
– Attitudes , Skills and Values of educators
– Facilities
– School discipline
Where do you stand as a mother? 
  • Do you protect your child by hovering on the perimeter or do you muster all your courage and join parent bodies that orchestrate change?
  •  Do you leave change to politicians and civic leaders? 

No, mothers get up and start involving themselves in what affects their most precious and fragile gift. We cannot allow the box officers (people who box us by their standards) to keep us from making a difference.

Mothers need to stand up, regardless of how frightened, inadequate or ill-equipped you might feel. That could be the best way you show your children that you love them, by standing up for more children than only your own.

The roar of a mum is as bad as her bite!
We can do significant things, in small ways.

Idealistic mommy blogger

Ideal as defined by the Oxford South African School Dictionary means ‘ a standard that seems perfect and worth trying to achieve’. That is totally my objective with my blog!

The following 14 days I am planning on improving my blog. This is proving to be no easy task but it is not impossible by my observation.

           Image courtesy of renjith krishnan via FreeDigitalPhotos
 I am aiming to accomplish the following:
1. Publish one post per day.
2. Increase the number of views on my blog, exponentially!
3. Attract followers, advertisers and publishers.
4. Share my posts on as many social media platforms as possible.
5. Earn money
6. Be relevant
7. Challenge myself to produce outstanding content whilst remaining true to my initial intentions for blogging.
8. Take better pictures.

Image courtesy of chanpipal via FreeDigitalPhotos


Why should anyone read, follow or advertise on my blog?
1. I totally have something to SAY!
2. Blogging is an extension of my love for journalling.
3. Somewhere out in this big, old world someone needs to be encouraged.
4. There’s nothing fake or plagiarized about my posts.
5. I want to prove to myself that I can do that which I love, and be good at it!

Image courtesy of Master Isolated Images via FreeDigitalPhotos

1. Follow me on Google+ & Twitter @cupcakenism
2. Share my posts, and comment!
3. Advertise on my blog!

Image courtesy of stock images via FreeDigitalPhotos


Five things I did not know about my kids

I have always believed that I know my kids best, until I started paying attention to how others described them, their teachers in particular. Some were shocking and others sort of confirmed a vague suspicion.

The greatest compliment any parent can hope to receive about their child, has to be ‘well-mannered; polite; disciplined or responsible’. I’m not that type of parent, my neighbours can attest to that- I shout, threaten and deal with you (in biblical terms) because it can get rowdy and noisy here. Three children and two dogs, require a touch of gangster!

This is what I heard about my bambine that shocked me!

1. The eldest, was called a ‘such a lady’! If it wasn’t for my ability to withhold emotion, I surely would’ve woken up in ICU. I’m always fighting with her to wear shoes; a dress for church or just act more girlish!

2. My son, is apparently very stubborn! OK, that might be genetic, by my own admission! He’s such a softy and my right hand man; ready to help whenever wherever, but stubborn!

3. The youngest and our resident ‘diva’ is quiet and finds it hard to make friends! Cannot be, the child I know has an opinion about everything under the sun.

4. They heard every warning, threat and promise ever made. My son reprimanded one of sisters about using the Lord’s name when angry, his exact words, “Mum,…is using the Lord’s name in rebellion!”

5. They can hold their own when it is required; they are fiercely protective of one another and their favourite line has to be, ‘don’t worry we will be OK’.

I’m looking forward to hearing more pleasing reports about my kids and not judge them based on the construction process!

Motherhood: Three months at a time

The past 3 months has been a grace project par excellence!

I had to painfully adjust to having three children in the public school system whilst holding up a full-time teaching position, baking, blogging, bargain -hunting,making nutritious lunch packs, running a household and looking fabulously unfazed by it all.

In reality :
* I slept after midnight most nights
* I felt like quitting my job
* Had at least one crisis per week
* Misplaced my car keys more often than I found them
* Managed to be on time for work as regular as a leap year!
* Cried like a baby!
* Finished my overburdened kids homework in my best childlike handwriting
* Remembered to wash the school uniform after falling asleep, on more than one occasion
* Used my oil heater as a dryer
* Woke up twice a night to prepare dough for homemade lunch
* Rushed from work because the kids forgot their house keys in my car
* Had car drama
* Considered managing my life with anti-depressants.

It is nearly end of March and all I can say is, the countless prayers; lamented and whispered saw me through this crazy time.

God is good, especially when it seems that our load is greater than our blessings.
  

Tips for easier parenting

A busy mom needs to come up with unorthodox ways of coping on a daily basis.

What might be a complete no-no to some, is your rescue remedy. Taking a shortcut to getting things done has become my coping mechanism. At times I want to take the high road, but if the shortcut still gets me to the same destination- why bother at all!

Three children of school going age, is no walk in the park! However, I am going to sprint through these demanding and stressful years.

TIPS:
1. I let my kids sleep in sleeping bags!
* Saves time making beds
* Bedtime is fun time!
2. They bath the night before.
* Mornings they brush their teeth and wipe their faces.
3. I let them wash their own underwear and socks.
* Sharing responsibility and being accountable for their clothing.
4. Preparing simple meals- noodles; frying eggs,etc.
* It helps when I get held somewhere or too busy to prepare lunch.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

5. Using the city bus instead of special transport.
* They walk instead of using the bus.
6. The municipal library offers free membership and have regular programs to educate and entertain children.
* A huge saving on the cost of books and children’s shows.

Our visit to the library

Nothing too radical, but totally workable for our situation!

Moms and dads share your ideas for getting it done, in your own unconventional way. I’m ready to try any if them to improve caring for my angels.

You are known by the company you keep

Every group shares a commonality such as a vision; common purpose or bond. One thus associates with those who have the same ideals and dreams.

Disassociation from some people can often be misjudged as snobbery or even arrogance. How do you ensure that you connect with like minded individuals, in a world where conformity is the common denominator?

·         Decide who you are, by your own definition (victorious/focused, etc).

·         Create a positive mantra (specifically for moments when you feel unsure!) eg. ‘I believe there’s much more to the world than that which I know’ NOT ‘I am the boss’

·         Talk to people, in order to draw like minded individuals into your space

·         Create quality groups, have discussions about new ideas and concepts in order to expand your view of the world

·         Be prepared to be corrected and learn from someone who might be more knowledgeable

·         Create a hunger for knowledge

·         Choose a subject or issue that you are passionate about and expand your knowledge
           

There is a definite a reason why the ‘the road less trodden’ looks desolate, not everyone has the courage to risk being different.

The knowledge attained in school is not always retained, but that which we explore through our own curiosity is kept for a lifetime. Being part of circle of people who are eager to learn and share, exposes us to different viewpoints and interpretations and most of all, makes us realise that we do not know it all!

Assess your growth strategy:

·         Who are you hanging with?

·         What do you talk to people about?

·         Have you identified a field you are passionate about?

·         Have you set short, interim and long term plans?

·         Do you plans involve action or are they still an intentions?

Lions associate with lions, with pride because they know who and what they are!

Evaluate your circle, eliminate the negative and illuminate the positive!

 

We Are Blessed To Be A Blessing

I bless the Lord for his faithfulness and kindness towards me, it has been a tough journey for me since the beginning of Lent. I haven’t given up anything because I decided to give a sacrifice of praise, no greater challenge than being thankful amidst many tribulations.

When was the last time you blessed someone because God had been good to you?

I am a food blogger, not as sassy as I would like to be but one nonetheless. My savvy ways and tendency to be frugal has drawn some attention! This lead me to alert my Facebook friends and Twitter followers  of food store bargains I come across in Johannesburg. However, God had bigger better plans and laid an idea on my heart.

A true event.
A friend once used the words ‘I bless you from my overflow’ when I appeared unwilling to accept payment from her for baked goods. It meant nothing until today…

I realised that my desire to stockpile food items and find good food deals, is not only about feeding my family, but as a result of my overflow.

The godly idea I wish to share is:

*Create #Godblessyoubox at your work or church to bless any unsuspecting person/family.

*Any non perishable item is allowed.

*Mark the box “The Lord my provider”.

*The idea is to avoid anyone from feeling obliged to give but to turn each of us into ‘a cheerful giver’.

*This is not about who gives the most or most often, but about the gift of giving.

God bless you and keep you.

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