Parenting a comedy of errors

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Raise your hand if your parenting skills lack finesse and maturity at times. If you did not raise your hand, you should be blogging and sharing your secret! Parenting is truly a comedy of errors, with laughter almost always being preceded by frustration, and sometimes tears.

I often get pretty annoyed by individuals who seem to undermine the demands of modern day parenthood. There seems to be a perception that most parents have greater interest in their own needs, than their children’s. In some instances, this tends to be true; but most parents toil day and night in order for their children to have better lives.

The dilemma I face right now, is raising two girls and a boy. The boy has typical middle child characteristics and is not a hothead,at all! The girls however, are like chalk and cheese – more in personality than age. The eldest is more reserved and somewhat of a loner. The six year old is the total opposite – a serial hugger, articulate (with a vocabulary that speaks volumes!) girlie girl. This poses a challenge to me especially when giving an instruction. To get the maximum results, I have to think of the best way to the express my expectation, without any ambiguity.

I wish it was as easy as ordering a bottomless coffee at a cafe. It’s much closer to that dreaded visit to the dentist!

EXECUTION TIME!!!

The instruction usually consists of 3 phases, much like doing laundry wash, rinse and hang. At this point I might add that some would perceive my laundering tactics pretty basic, be rest assured that soak, rinse and dry is totally part of the package!

  • To get things started, I generally ask the one whom I know hates doing chores, like dishes.
  • They envision themselves as being the clever one, if you start you finish first.
  • The one who has a reputation for doing a thorough job, is responsible for phase 2.
  • The final phase is given to the fault finder, this way all three of them are bound to doing their chores well and understand, mom’s interpretation of teamwork.
  • The soak cycle is moaning about having to do chores.
  • Rinse cycle is the time they waste bickering about the quality and quantity of each other’s chores.
  • Dry cycle,realising that you have no choice but to do it!

For some this might appear to be ‘much ado about nothing’ but there comes a time in each parent’s life when you have to outsmart your offspring or bear the consequences. I’d rather bare my teeth in a satisfied grin, that their chores are actually getting done instead of regretting the fact that never taught them anything other than slouching in front of the television!

Happy parenting!

 

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Stolen Identity

The purpose of identity is generally so one knows and is reminded of where you’re coming from. The identity of an individual is then linked to a group and so forth. I have had my identity stolen a number of times.
How exactly have I lost my identity?

* My status has changed from single-and-too-busy ->single-and-looking->bride-to-be->MARRIED-> married-with-children-> wish-I-didn’t-get-married-> separated.
* My body transformed as much! I started out with a ‘bod to die for’->preggy bod 1-> preggy bod 2-> preggy bod 3-> I get jiggy with it, with minimum movement!
* My finances did not escape the melt down at all. My salary has always been enough with loads to spare, it migrated to -> debt orders-> bond repayments -> formula, nappies, toys, daycare & school fees->frugal -> and lately most frugal!
* Social life reduced to parent body meetings! Club scene (do they still have those!)-> party zone-> baptism preparation classes-> cyber chatting-> when last did I have coffee I didn’t brew!
* Dare I forget that I have had multiple operations in the same area for the purpose of procreation!
* My right to selfishness has been revoked entirely, with no hope of ever being restored!
* In the interim I have learned to perform despite being on the brink of  ‘total breakdown’- level unless fueled by coffee powered sanity!

That is the total transformation of a woman who, otherwise had a bright future in fabulosity!

Right now I am the woman in the car, because that’s where I am blogging from!

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.

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.