I lost my heart, mind, sleep and ten other things

Parenting, like marriage, is one of the areas that many fantasize about and have unrealistic expectations of. I want to tender my confession as being one of those who expected to sail through both but realized that it is involves less of self, and more of others.

Clearly my expectations were not met, and shock is definitely not the adjective I’d use to describe my feelings when I realized this. The inspiration for this post came from a generally insignificant incident in the family bathroom. Yes! We have a single bathroom for my three kids and I, insanity IS the word! And, mine is highly at stake…

Nonetheless, I managed to drag myself off to the communal bathroom to brush my teeth and hopefully wake up thereafter, and found the cap of the toothpaste gone and the paste hardened and impenetrable! Now, this would have been written off, as one of ‘the joys of motherhood’ if it wasn’t something I have had to do on a daily basis for the past 5 years. It only dawned on me then, that the toothpaste might never have a lid again after being opened! My frugal alter ego must accept that the budget must always allow funds for more toothpaste!

This caused me to calculate most of the losses I am gonna have to ACCEPT and ACKNOWLEDGE about being a mother, this excludes the loss of my heart, mind and sleep!

My lost privileges:

  • Drinking and finishing my cup of coffee, without forgetting about it because I have to stop a fight; forgot where I left it or ran to wipe a face!
  • Eating and enjoying a meal without having to get up and help with one or the other.
  • Wearing make-up without having to explain, WHY!
  • Reading a book which no one has scribbled in!
  • Receiving guests without having to whirl through the house to remove toys, books,etc.
  • Having a conversation on the phone without SOMEONE asking whom I am talking to.
  • Take a long leisurely bath with no interruption.
  • My pre-baby figure
  • Finding out who pinched the gum from my bag!
  • Television remote control!

I might as well add that this list is but a drop in the bucket, it is infinitely endless, but without my musketeers my life would be dull and empty!

Disclaimer: Any grammatical or other errors are due to loss of sound mind and sleep!


The woman in the mirror

I always review my progress, as a parent, on a quarterly basis and I must say I sucked the past four months. Don’t get me wrong, I am NOT about to belittle myself, it is my assessment of what went wrong!

I am proud of being a single mom of three, pulling a full time teaching position, entrepreneur, parent representative of a school governing body and aunt,those are the relationships and areas that require the most from me and lately there just hasn’t been enough of me to go around. My forty-something year old self just needs an additional 12 hours added to my day in order to be a better version of my fabulous real self!

I love my kids dearly and am fiercely protective of them, but my overtired self has really made it painfully impossible to express that. So how bad has been, you might wonder.

As bad as:

  • Snapping at my already children
  • Bad mouthing their dad for not pitching to pick them up
  • Threatening to have the dogs impounded
  • Screaming and shouting 24/7
  • Slacking on preparing good nutritious meals

The worst is that I really just want to forget about being late for work again and drop happy kids off at school, and drive off to my mornings only job and be there waiting when school dismisses. My desire to be more available for my children is destroying the results of what I am already doing! Now, that is ‘mommy bashing’ par excellence!

How do I convince myself that whatever I am doing right now is my best, without comparing myself to any other mother- single, married, co-parenting, SAHM or all other forms of mothering?

I shall acknowledge that :

  • I am doing the job of two parents
  • I step up to the plate when required
  • I am a woman and mother of substance
  • Without my efforts my children’s world would be poorer 
  • I am doing my best, albeit imperfectly

I long to pledge to myself that I will no longer aspire to be a perfect mother, because she is the figment of my and many others’ imagination. She does not exist and demonizing of self, is not going to improve my performance as much as loving myself and acknowledging my works-as good- can potentially do.

I will from now on, aspire to:

  • Hug instead of snap!
  • Laugh rather than frown!
  • Sing instead of shout!
  • Pray before complaining!
  • Dance in the eye of the storm!

The woman in my mirror deserves love, my support, my compassion, and to be acknowledged by me as a QUEEN!


Happily everafter

I often wonder what I will do the day my children have all flown from the nest. I am planning on sticking to the nest exit age, of eighteen; and might give them a few months  grace!

That might be the most important stage of my life, and requires detailed planning. My track record for productive use of ‘me time’ has been severely tainted by my inability to do something fun when not with my children.

The five things I absolutely have to do:
* Eat ice cream at Nelwa’s Gelato in Tanzania

Image from @nelwasgelato via twitter

* Experience a sunset in Kenya

Image courtesy of via FreeDigitalPhotos

* Touch the right hand of the Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil

Image courtesy of via FreeDigitalPhotos

* Conquer the world one-cupcake-at-a-time with my Cupcakenism brand.

More than just a cupcake lover!

*Write a book dedicated to my children to let them know how much I love them!

Triple fold blessings

Everyday is not sunny but that doesn’t mean one has to stop dreaming. So whilst my son is dreaming about becoming a Formula One driver, I fantasize about eating ice cream; uninterrupted!

It is totally worth it to raise my trio, but it will be even greater to look back on a life, lived and loved! I may not hold their or my future in my hands, but the One who holds us reminds me constantly of  ‘… plans to bring about the future you hope for.'(Jeremiah 29:11).

Share your plans for living a life a happily ever after raising your kids.

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!