Living The Stay-At-Home Life – It Isn’t As Bad As It Seems

A few months ago this blog post would have only applied to a certain group of mommies. Then like a thief in the night, COVID-19 entered our country and gave every mom a taste of “La Belle Vie” (the good life) of a stay-at-home mom.

I remember sitting on the stairs one morning, just glazing at the mess below as my husband was preparing to leave for work. I caught a glimpse of my self in the mirror in front of me. And I thought, is this really me? I must have been doing something wrong because what I saw that morning was not the stay-at-home life that magazines and Insta-mommies sell to us. I had a messy house, a zink full of dishes, and a baby who woke up before I even got to pick up two items from the floor.

Waking up to tidy up and be a feeding machine the whole day took a toll on me and I found myself feeling like a miserable 23-year old with no life outside of being a mom. Sadly, then I did not have a community of moms who could share their realities with me and make me feel less depressed about my life as a failing mom and wife.

I recently had a lovely chat with (@Mommyingabout), a fellow SAHM and Insta-sister of mine as she shared her experience as a SAHM. I had asked her to share a story about her favorite dessert. And she shared a story about her first having Sago Pudding. Her first glance at the pudding was enough to set her taste buds off; however, she gave it a try and was surprised to find it palatable. This taught her that “Things aren’t always as they seem”.

I wish I could have heard these words that day as I was staring down at the mess all over the house and seeing my fat messed up reflection, thinking that I was never going to achieve anything in life besides being a mom. Not that being a mom is a great privilege and achievement, but at that time, I didn’t share the same view.

If loneliness and the need to find relatable stories from fellow SAHM landed you here, just know that “It isn’t as bad as it seems”. You might just be a little overwhelmed, tired, and in need of some tea time while someone takes care of the babies.

Here are a few tips to make your life a little less overwhelming:

1. Give Yourself A Break.

You cannot expect yourself to excel at everything, all the time. On some days you will have all the kids in bed at the set time, with all their bellies fed and bodies clean. But there will also be days when you go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink and the youngest child falling asleep at 11 pm. Celebrate the small wins and plan for tomorrow’s wins.

2. Remember To Take A Break.

A mother who doesn’t practice self-care sets herself up for destruction. You cannot expect to keep on pouring out without refilling. Busisiwe Sholo (@Busiesholo) wrote a lovely blog about the importance of having a self-care toolkit, which will consist of all the plans and activities aimed at rejuvenating you. This can be a few minutes in the car, before getting into the house or a long warm bath with some candles and lovely music. Let your family in on your self-care routines so that they know why, for example, you spend 10 minutes in the car before getting in the house. Knowing will hopefully make them understand and help by giving you the time that you need.

3. Ask For Help.

I know we all want to be supermom who saves the day and has the whole house in the palm of her hand. But whoever coined the phrase “a child is raised by a village” knew exactly what she was talking about. So do not be scared to shout for help when you need it or welcome help when your village is reaching out to you. Accepting or seeking help is NOT a sign of weakness or failure to be a mother.

4. Communicate With Your Partner.

It is so easy to take out your frustrations on your partner who is, according to you, not playing his part in making your life as a SAHM more convenient. Expecting the unexpected will only bring tears and misery to your relationship. So communicate your expectations and appreciate your partner’s efforts, lest he starts feeling unappreciated and stops trying at all.

5. Never Give up On Your Dreams And Goals.

Being a mother shouldn’t stop you from attaining your dreams and goals. It might take a little longer and require a few tweaks, but it is possible. There are many roads that lead to Rome, you just need to find one that will be best for you and work hard. There are many success stories that include late-night feeding sessions while busy compiling a business plan. Some of the women who fought for our rights walked to the Union Buildings with their babies on their back. They knew that their actions will not only benefit them but for generations and generations after them.

Motherhood is tough, but it’s beautiful. It gets overwhelming at times but as Mommyingabout said, “things aren’t always as they seem”. So take a few minutes, breath and look at the situation again when you are feeling better.

Please share with a fellow stay at home mom and share your tips in the comments section.

3 Reason’s Why Peppa Pig Is Banned In Our House

Ohk, we all know that too much screen time is not good for kids, right? But what do you do when you’ve ticked off all your Lockdown activities and you really just need to make sure your toddler is entertained long enough for you to get your work done? Exactly how much is ‘too much screen time’ and who gets to define that for my child.

I got my son to watch two of his favorite shows, Peppa Pig and Blippi, because of the cuteness and innocence of Peppa Pig and the educational content on Blippi. I’m not really one to limit screen time based on the daily hour limit set by psychologists who have studied the effects of screen time on toddlers. However, I do believe that it is very important to ensure that the content your child consumes is not harmful to his development and to make sure that your child doesn’t end up spending the whole day in front of a screen. Children differ immensely, so I don’t believe in a one size fit all kind of parenting approach. Therefore, what follows is just an account of how watching too much Peppa Pig affected my son.

At first glance, I thought Peppa Pig was an innocent show about a cute pig with a brother who loves dinosaurs just like my son. He’s been watching Peppa Pig for a very long time now without any problems, but this was the first time he watched it for long periods of time in a day.

He would cry over everything and just throw tantrums when things are not going his way. I overheard him a couple of times telling my little brother that he doesn’t want to play with him anymore then he started saying the same phrase to me when I would say no to him. After spending some time trying to figure out what could’ve led to my son’s sudden change in behavior, I decided to search for Youtube videos regarding the two pig’s behavior and these are the three bad behaviors that I came across on the videos. They were similar to the behavioral changes that I had started noticing in my son.

  1. George Crying Over Everything: George is Peppa’s 18 months old baby brother who loves his little green T-rex and this was actually the main thing that attracted me to the show. I knew that Rofhiwa (my son) would be able to relate to him as he also loves his T-rex. This cuteness quickly disappears when he starts crying over everything! In the one episode, George cried because his friend, was holding two dinosaurs and you can hear the narrator saying that George doesn’t like to share. Instead of his parents teaching him to share, they grabbed both dinosaurs and gave them to George. So Rofhiwa then quickly realized that he had lost his magic spell for getting the ‘yes’ all the time, unfortunately for him, his parents don’t easily give in to manipulation.
  2. Rude and Bossy Little Miss Peppa Pig: Peppa pig is a four-year-old pig that is described as ‘lovable but a slight bossy’. I honestly think they need to remove the word “slightly” because this little pig is a little bossy bomb ready to explode every time things don’t go her way. She’s seen in one of the episodes getting angry at her best friend Suzzy for winning twice in a row and we also get to hear her favourite phrases “I don’t want to play with you anymore” and “We’re not friends anymore”. Everything has to go her way and favour her or else everyone, including poor George and daddy pig, will feel the wrath of Peppa.
  3. There’s No Punishment For Bad behavior: There is no episode that goes by without the little pigs misbehaving. Peppa pig’s disrespectfulness towards daddy pig is overlooked and instead of her parents reprimanding her, they laugh at it. Furthermore, George cries over everything and instead of being thaught to voice his emotions, his parents give him what he wants while totally disregarding how their actions would affect others.

Rofhiwa wasn’t the most well-behaved child before that one week of watching too much Peppa pig, but he certainly didn’t behave the way he did after the hours he spent watching the show. I read a few reviews and blogs to find out if any other parent has had this happen to their child and I found that I was not alone in this. Parents all over the world are complaining about the bad behavioral habits that are portrayed by the two little pigs, from the tantrums to the body shaming.

However, there were parents in my circle whose children have been watching Peppa Pig without imitating the pigs’ behavior or getting the so-called “Peppa Pig Syndrome”. As I mentioned in the beginning that kids differ, some can watch the show and not be affected at all. This really just made me more careful about what I allow my child to consume. Peppa Pig is currently banned in our house.

Please comment and share your experience with Peppa Pig or any other kiddies show that you believe to have had any bad influence on your child.

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The Effect of Parenting Styles on Children

It has been a little over a year that I have taken my position as a “Deputy Parent” and ever since the first day, I have been really nervous about disciplining my siblings. I knew that it would take time to get the same level of respect that they would show to our parents, moreover, as children they could turn to rebellious behavior as a way of dealing with their pain.

I knew that I was dealing with children who are hurt and confused and who will need someone who will constantly keep in mind what they went through and consider how that could affect their behavior or how their form of discipline could affect the children. This is one of the main reasons why I was against any other relative taking them in.

Discipline can be misinterpreted as a sign of hatred by any child, let alone those who are being disciplined by anyone other than their parents. So I had to get it right because the last thing I wanted; was for them to feel alone, lost, and hated by their own sister.

In the 1960’s Diana Baumrind, who was a clinical and developmental psychologist, introduced three parenting styles and a fourth one was later introduced by two other researchers.

  1. Authoritarian Parenting Style: Authoritarian parenting style is the strictest form of parenting where the parent sets strict and rigid rules which should be followed without questioning. The children are not allowed to make their own decisions and get severe punishments when they break rules.
  2. Authoritative Parenting Style: Parents who follow the authoritative parenting style give boundaries and guidance to their children but allow them to make some of their own decisions so that they can learn from their mistakes.
  3. Permissive Parenting Style: Permissive parents have fewer limitations and more freedom when it comes to parenting. The relationship between them and their kids is more casual than a traditional parent-child relationship. These parents easily give in to their children’s wants.
  4. Neglectful Parenting style: This parenting style is exactly as the name suggests. Parents who follow this style do not provide any limits to their children’s behavior and also fails to meet their needs. This parenting style was added later on by researchers Eleanor Maccoby and John Martin.

Many studies have been done to determine the impact of different parenting styles on the growth and development of children. I was exposed to both Authoritarian and Authoritative parenting styles and will be implementing a bit of both in disciplining my children and my siblings. I will share my view on these two parenting styles.

An authoritarian parent assumes that his experience in life is good enough to determine what is right or wrong in a child’s life. They are the type of parents who do not believe that children are capable of making ‘good’ decisions, it’s either ‘their way or the highway’. You would mostly find this type of parenting style among the older generation as they are the old-school parents. They are known to use phrases like “because I said so”.

Image by rickey123 from Pixabay

The Effects of an authoritarian parenting style: Children grow up being followers and lack leadership and decision making skills as their parents are the ones making decisions for them. This style will make a child feel worthless and they will struggle to gain independence.

Authoritative parents, on the other hand, are the parents who would sit down and discuss things first before making decisions. This style acknowledges that children are unique individuals who need to find themselves through guidance and proper leadership, unlike being forcefully pushed into a direction their parents assume will be good for them. Children usually get punishment from the consequences of their behavior and the decisions they make and parents take time to explain these consequences.

Image by 272447 from Pixabay

The effects of an Authoritative Parenting Style: This style takes on a good balance between the very strict authoritarian style and the permissive style. Children will learn to follow and also lead. Moreover, they will gain the confidence they need to go into the world and be individuals who will be able to set boundaries, know their limits, love, and nurture, be responsible, and resilient.

I have to say I might not have been in the right position to be a mom and debut mom at my age if it wasn’t for some of the strict rules that my dad has set out, but it was mostly my mother’s authoritative parenting style that helped me to become confident and independent. My dad later on also became more authoritative and that’s when our relationship became better. With that being said, I truly think that the best way to raise is a child is by keeping a balance between the strict authoritarian and the permissive approach and the kids agree 100% with me. We might not be where I would like us to be in terms of behavior but I’m glad we at least agree on the same parenting style as that means that we’ll all put in the effort to make it work.

A Letter To My Mother-In-Love

Dear Mother-In-law

There are many monster-in-law stories on the internet, but this is definitely not one of them.

Tears are filling my eyes as I am writing this, but do not fret. These tears are filled with joy and thankfulness unto the Lord.

For this mother-in-law, I have prayed. A mother-in-law who fears the Lord, for I knew that I will need an extra pair of knees to support me in prayer. A mother-in-law who would love me like her own and call me daughter. For this mother-in-law, I have prayed, but God gave me a mother.

Many women are good mothers to their biological children, but only a few can love as you do. Your love is genuine and evident in everything you do. It is the kind of love that put my own mother at ease, the love that assured her that her daughter will be in good hands. She rests in peace knowing that her daughter has a shoulder to cry on, and a support system to guide her through motherhood.

I thank you for loving me with everything I came with; my flaws, and my siblings. Thank you for being the best Gugu (grandmother) to our sons and for always spoiling us when you can. Thank you for all the snacks and food that you pack for us and not being mad at me for not returning your Tupperware on time. You discipline with love for your aim is not to break me, but to build me up to be the best version of myself.

On this day I celebrate and I thank the Lord for a mother like you. Happy mother’s day.

I recently wrote a blog post about motherhood on Elize’s Homethentic blog celebrating all mother figures because mother’s day is not only for those who gave birth but for every woman who sacrificed and continues to sacrifice their life to love and nurture children. You can read the blog post here.

Rotondwa Musehani – Birth Story

The minute I found out I was pregnant for the first time, I started doing research about pregnancy and mostly about giving birth. I guess every woman who falls pregnant gets to a point where they want to find out how their vagina will get affected by the condition they find themselves in. As I was doing my research, I fell in love with the idea of documenting my whole birth story and I had my camera and cameraman ready for the births of my sons.

Unfortunately, none of my plans to document my labor and birth experience materialized. All I managed to get were a few last-minute pictures of me pushing Rotondwa out. I guess my husband was a bit more relaxed this time around.

I was hoping to give birth around the second week of December, when I was 38 weeks pregnant, simply because that was the case with Rofhiwa. I tried almost every method available to induce labor, without any success. You can read about how I tried to induce labor here.

So on the 23rd of December 2019, a day before my due date, I decided to stop Googling anything related to inducing labor or birth stories. Rofhiwa had been visiting my inlaws since the beginning of December and I was missing him a lot. We decided to go pick him up to go see the Christmas lights decorations on Lawley street, but we got a storm alert just as we were driving out. I was so tired of waiting on this baby to come and was missing Rofhiwa so much that I wasn’t going to allow a storm to keep me in the house any longer.

We arrived at my mother’s place at around 6 pm and the first thing she mentioned was that my face was swollen up. I then realized that my feet were also swollen up and I thought it was either due to the distance we drove or it was an early sign of labor. I went on to go watch tv and spend some time with the kids.

At around 8 pm I felt like I was wetting my pants so I ran to the bathroom to go have a look but it had stopped by the time I got there, so I just wiped myself and went back to the tv room. It started again just a few minutes after I sat down and I rushed to the bathroom again. This time it was more liquid than the first time, enough to wet the tights I was wearing. I knew right then that my water broke.

This was supposed to happen while I was home so that I could do the dramatic reaction and shout “TOOTHBRUSH” as I run to the room to change into clean clothes. Everything that I needed was packed and in the car except for my toothbrush so I told my husband and Katleho (my sister) that I will shout toothbrush when my water breaks so that we can remember to pack it.

Ohk, back to my water breaking… I was very calm about it and even planned on hanging around for a little bit longer because I didn’t want to go in too soon only to be sent back home. However, everyone else insisted that we leave immediately. We arrived at the hospital just after 9 pm and I was still fine, with mild contractions that were 7 minutes apart.

I got admitted into the same room as the one I was in with Rofhiwa and it brought back some painful memories. The first vaginal examination was a bit discouraging as the nurse said the sample she took of my water tested negative for amniotic fluid, that I was only 2cm dilated and that the baby was still very high. Those were the words that sent mommies-to-be back home on so many birth story vlogs that I watched. They were the same words I wanted to avoid by allowing labor to progress while I was at home.

Luckily for me, I was told to walk around and hop a bit on the birthing ball for the baby to move down, something I’ve had been doing every day for the last 2 weeks. The nurse predicted that I would give birth at around 4 or 5 am the next morning. So I told my husband to rest a bit so that he’ll gather enough energy for when active labor starts. The contractions were now closer together and the pain was on a scale of 7/10. With every contraction, I would just say words of affirmation and try to focus on the end prize as I held onto whatever was within my reach.

My contractions became excruciatingly painful from about 1:30 am and I tried to hold it out till 2 am when the nurse was initially supposed to come to examine me again, but I just couldn’t bear the pain anymore. I had decided not to get an epidural but the pain was just too intense so I asked if I could still get it. The nurse then called my doctor to find out which pain medication she could give me so long to help relieve the pain a bit but she had to examine me first before she could give me anything. At that point, I was losing my mind as I was trying not to focus on the pain and also trying not to give in to the need to push and also not to pinch so hard that I hurt the baby.

Am I the only one who thinks that the gas we get apparently for pain relief doesn’t help at all? I remember dropping it on the floor because I just felt like it was doing the opposite of what it’s supposed to do. Anyway, that nurse quickly realized that I wasn’t just being dramatic for nothing. The baby was ready to pop out and there was no time for us to wait for the doctor.

I was expecting the birthing process to go on for a bit long but to my amazement, my baby was out after three pushes. At 2:33 am my husband took the picture that would help the nurses to determine the time of the birth of our son as they had forgotten to check the time. Rotondwa Tshilidzi Musehani was born on the 24th of December 2019, weighing 3,43kg.

It was the most beautiful moment ever. I felt like such a superwoman having gone through such a painful procedure (with no epidural) to give birth to such a beautiful blessing.

Please subscribe to my blog and also head over to my Instagram account to see more posts about our now four months old Rotondwa and the rest of the clan.

Homeschooling – Limiting The Impact of COVID-19 On Learners

The whole nation watched and listened on the 9th of April 2020 as the President cut off our countdown to the end of the Lockdown period we’ve been in, extending it by two weeks.

I can just imagine how heavy those words were on the ears of those who rely on the income they get from the day to day jobs they get. As difficult as this is, we must all just remember that it is all in our best interest as a country. Therefore, we should all play our role in ensuring that we flatten the curve so that we can move on to our new normal.

Things might not get back the way they used to be, however, our children will still have to pick up where they left off with their education. It is very important as parents and guardians to ensure that children spend some time on their school work. We do not know what the future holds for us, but what we do know is that children are falling behind and will have to work extra hard to catch up after this lockdown.

I know some schools have managed to workout assessments that the children can do at home. Unfortunately, not all schools will be able to do so; however, there are resources made available to help learners to continue their education at home.

Here are a few resources that you as a parent can use to help your children.

Television and Radio Broadcasting

  • The Department of Basic Education (DBE) and SABC have launched a multimedia learner support initiative as part of the broader efforts to help learners to catch up with school work, and in so doing, to limit the impact that the Lockdown might have on the school calendar. These programs will be broadcasted over the three SABC TV channels and 13 Radio stations with a YouTube channel for online support.

The television schedule is as follows:

SABC 1: Mon-Sun 05h00 – 06h00               

SABC 2: Mon – Fri and 09h30 -11h00

SABC 3: Mon – Fri 06h00 – 07h00

Learners and parents are encouraged to visit their local listings for Radio schedules.

  • The Mindset Network on DSTV has launched a new channel that focuses on grade 4-9, the entire General Education Training (GET) phase, including Early Childhood Development.

Online Teaching Platforms:

  • WorksheetCloud has opened up free online classes for grades 4-7 covering English, Mathematics and Natural science. The platform offers free classes with a worksheet for the kids to work on and a memorandum to mark the work. They are still working on including more grades.
  • The Siyavula Technology Powered Learning platform has partnered with MTN and Vodacom to make access to their website free, meaning their customers will not pay for the data used to access the website. This is a platform that offers support in Mathematics and science for grades 10-12.
  • Vodacom also has a virtual classroom that is fully CAPS aligned and free for all Vodacom users. The platform has easy to follow video lessons with homework questions and quizzes after each video.
  • There are many other online websites and applications for learners, these are just a few platforms that offer free learning.

The DBE also encourages learners to work through their Rainbow workbooks. These workbooks are also available online for those who do not have them.

The Department of Basic Education and various private companies are really working hard to prevent a total loss of school year, however, this might come with extra weight on both the learners and their teachers to catch up. Let us play our role in helping them to keep up with the work by encouraging them to put in some hours to do school work during this lockdown.

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Surviving Lockdown as a family

We are deep in the second week of Lockdown. If you haven’t felt the emotional impact of this lockdown, you will certainly start feeling it now. Who would’ve thought that being confined in one space with your loved ones could be so emotionally challenging? 

You might be used to spending time with your family and might have even been nagging your husband to dedicate more time with family, however, even you will soon appreciate the time he went out to work and the kids went to school. These are unfortunately not normal stay at home conditions. We have literally been forced to stay at home by an epidemic that has the whole world in a panic. Therefore, we find ourselves in a situation that normally would’ve been desirable without the stresses, frustrations, and restrictions that this lockdown comes with. 

So I decided to get some input from the Appchemist and the kids on how to best survive this lockdown so that we can come out of this period stronger than ever. 

This is what the Appchemist suggested we do. 

Work together

One of the first things that popped up when I thought about being home 24/7 with four kids and a husband, was all the meals I would have to prep. That is three meals a day times 21 days, which adds up to 63 meals excluding all the snacks in between and on top of that you have the tidying up to do before and after all those meals. I almost declared myself sick just so that I can self-quarantine in the room away from all of that responsibility. 

Let’s be honest, no one really feels like working during times such as these. I believe if it was possible, we would all just be sitting in front of the tv watching movies or just creating beautiful memories with our families. However, the reality is that things need to be cleaned and tummies need to be fed. 

So it is very important to work together, not only will it help to ease up mommy’s workload, but it will also foster calm, and teach the children some discipline and responsibility. Additionally, with everyone helping out, there will be more time for the fun activities and everyone will have more or less the same energy to engage in those activities. And no one wants to deal with an overworked moody mother. 

Make it comfortable for other people to live with you

This might be a bit tricky for the little ones, but for those who understand, it is very crucial to do self introspect and identify conditions that could possibly lead to you being unpleasant to be around. Once you have identified those conditions, you will be aware of your weakness and be able to come with solutions, to politely inform your family and also be able to withdraw yourself when you notice that you might be unpleasant to be around. 

Let humor be the order of the day

This situation we find ourselves in is so serious and has so many negative connotations around it that we can easily be consumed by its seriousness and negativity if we do not bring some humor into our daily lives. So joke around and have lots of fun. After all, it has been said that laughter is the best medicine and we need that medicine now more than ever. We need to remain happy, hopeful and positive throughout this lockdown. 

I also got input from Katlego and she says that we need to communicate, do activities together and reflect on life. 

Communication

This is the first time in our country that we are experiencing a 21 days lockdown, so there are a lot of uncertainties and frustrations that will only be ironed out with proper communication. We might know each other as a family, but a situation like this will bring up emotions and feelings that we will have to talk about. 

We need to communicate as couples about the uncertainties pertaining to our finances for instance and we need to communicate with the kids about the importance of the lockdown, reassuring them that all will be well. 

Family Activities 

You can really not expect kids to be stuck infant of the tv and phones for 21 days. They will get bored and start working on your nerve, so its better to just come up with at least one family activity per day. This will help you as a parent to loosen up and take your mind off work and the frustrations that come with this lockdown, it is also a fun way to bond as a family. Also if you have toddlers you know that playing is the best way for them to learn. 

Reflect on life

This one was a bit of a shocker coming from a 12-year-old as its such a mature suggestion. We are generally too busy to sit down and reflect on life as a family and this is the best time to do that, not just to pass time but to really make sure that the family will be able to get out of this situation both physically and emotionally ready to survive the changes that will occur as a result of this epidemic. 

This period can either be a memory of the time you were stuck with family for 21 days or a beautiful period of self-growth, building stronger relationships and creating beautiful memories with your family, if it is done correctly. 

Please let me know what you guys are doing to ensure that you’re not stepping on each other toes and making this period work out for everyone in the house. 

Childlike Traits To Help Mothers Attain Their Dreams

The worst thing we can do to ourselves and our dreams is to limit or totally shut down our imagination.

“All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” – Pablo Picasso

It has been the desire of my heart for the longest time to host ladies, especially mothers in townships, and have a day of pampering and conversing about the struggles they face with the hope to lift up their spirit and encourage them. 

I remember going home during school holidays and overhearing and sometimes engaging in conversations that really left me with a heavy heart. It saddened me to hear how mothers let their inner child die the minute they brought a child into this world. 

On the 29th of February 2020, I had the opportunity to have a sit down with a few wonderful young mommies from different backgrounds and we had the most amazing time ever. 

I had actually kind of forgotten about my dream of having events directed at empowering and uplifting women when I decided to invite these ladies over to my house. I was actually just looking for an opportunity to hang out with ladies without having to leave my babies at home. So it started off just as a fun day. It was only on the evening before the event that I got nervous and started thinking about the reason behind the gathering. Why was I putting in effort and money, which I could spend on my children, on this gathering? Then it hit me and I remembered how badly I’ve been looking for an opportunity to bring the inner child back to life.

You might be wondering what kind of childish mother creche I’m trying to start here with childlike mothers. However, there’s a difference between being childlike and being childish. People who act bratty or immature are childish, but to be childlike is to have the good qualities associated with a child. At this gathering, we mainly focused on the childlike qualities that will have you dreaming big and working on the best version of yourself.

Wild Imagination

I think the worst thing we can do to ourselves and our dreams is to limit or totally shut down our imagination. The bible says that “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. 

I’ve been observing Rofhiwa in total awe as he creates amazing moments of things that he hopes for and experiencing them as though they are real. This took me back to ‘my days’ (I say my days because I feel like I too have limited my imagination) when I used to let my imagination run free and wild. The days when I would walk back from school and imagine my whole future as it is today. Ohk, not everything went as I had hoped for. Some things worked out even better than I had imagined, then there are a few that didn’t work out at all. The only one that I would’ve never imagined to happen so early in my life, is the death of my mother. I wonder where I would’ve been had I not let my imagination run wild. Remember that “as a man thinketh, so he is”.

Believing 

I find it amazing how children confidently walk around believing that their parents will buy them the toy that they so badly desire without even considering where the money will come from. We used to be like that as children until the world filled us with too many reasons why things won’t happen. The sad part about losing faith is that we could easily pass it on to our children and kill their dreams even before they get to imagine themselves as something greater than their current situation. If you strongly believe that you can attain a certain goal in life, your whole mindset will be channeled into working towards achieving it and nothing will stop you. A child believes in his imaginations so much that it becomes real to him. As a mother you need to know that God is able to make a way, you just need to believe it! 

Curiosity and Persistence

Have you ever had to say no to a child and still have to comfort him after he ignored you and got hurt? A child’s curiosity and persistence do not allow him to take a “no” as easy as adults do. And do to think that getting hurt will stop them from going back to the exact thing you were trying to keep them away from. Curiosity will lead you to ask questions that will open the doors that lock up your mother’s dreams, it will lead you to solutions to your problems and with solutions come opportunities. Persistence will have you working hard until you achieve your goals. 

I know there are many other mothers who got into situations that forced them to ‘grow up’ and prioritize the well being of their children. You have managed to be a good mother but your children would not want to be the reason for you giving up on your dreams. If you keep that childlike mindset alive you will be able to take care of your children and inspire them while doing that. You spent your childhood years as an artist painting a bright future for yourself so don’t let motherhood force you to put away your paint and brush. You can still finish your painting, it might take a bit longer and require a bit more effort and strength, but you will make it. 

Postpartum Struggles

The day I found out I was pregnant again was one Sunday after a very emotional morning at church. Ohk, I’m usually emotional but even I noticed that that was a bit extra! So I stopped at Shoprite on my way home to buy a pregnancy test, got home and tested it and to my surprise it was positive. I’m pregnant, so what now??? I nervously dropped the bomb to my husband then, like many other women out there, I turn to my friend Google. 

Google search “When did I fall pregnant?”, “When will my due date be?’, “what are the early signs of pregnancy?’, and I went on like that till the day I went into labor. I literally Googled everything from the time I didn’t know I was pregnant to the birthing part. I would tell myself that I had to know everything there is to know for me to be prepared for the worst. By the worst, I meant birth. It was as if I thought somehow everything will go back to ‘normal’ immediately after giving birth. I even went as far as convincing myself not to buy maternity clothes because pregnancy is just a few months and I won’t be needing the clothes afterward. 

Oh, how quickly we forget. One would expect someone who’s doing this for the second time to remember what she experienced the first time around, right? 

I now understand why some new mommies go through postpartum depression. There is so much focus on preparing the woman for the pregnancy journey leading to giving birth and so many conversations about it, that we make it seem like everything after that will be so smooth that we don’t need to prepare ourselves for it. ‘It’s motherhood, it’ll come naturally, you’ll be such a good mother…’ 

I went into postpartum so chilled, especially after the smooth labor and delivery I had. I felt like a superwoman, I mean what else, other than sleepless nights, could hit me? The answer to that was soon to be answered. 

  1. Postpartum Edema – The day we got discharged I wore a dress that I wore throughout my pregnancy, but for some reason, it was very tight on me. This is the dress that was perfectly fine with my belly and should be sitting even looser on me getting rid of half of the belly. My face was all puffy and my hands and feet were swollen up, with the one leg bigger than the other one. The same thing happened after my first pregnancy, but mommy had forgotten about it. Postpartum Edema is swelling of the hands, feet, and ankles and weight gain caused by an excess amount of fluid remaining in the body tissue after childbirth. The duration of the healing process differs for everyone but it can be sped up by eating healthy, staying hydrated, and resting. Swelling in new mothers is usually not a cause for concern but a doctor should be consulted when the swelling is accompanied by frequent headaches or when the swelling is only on one side of the body, as that could be a sign of a blood cloth. Fortunately for me, it was just mild edema and the swelling started going down after about two weeks.
  2. Breast engorgement – About two days into breastfeeding, my breast started getting very heavy and too big for the bra’s I had. Both my breasts were hard and lumpy and I had swollen lymph nodes in my armpits. It was so painful at some point that I would have my arms slightly lifted up so that there’s no pressure on the breasts or armpits. I had mastitis with my first baby and I was really not ready to go through that much pain again. I massaged my breasts and armpits as much as I could to get rid of the lumps and I would position my son in such a way that his chin would face towards the area that is swollen and lumpy. I would also soften my breasts before feeding by applying a hot compress, as it makes it easier for the baby to latch on. Postpartum breast engorgement is very common in the first few days after giving birth and usually goes away within a few days as the body adjusts the milk supply to the baby’s needs. 
  3. After-pain / Involution – The previous two postpartum conditions were not that bad as I had experienced them before. However, after-pain was a totally new experience that added more pain to breastfeeding. This one was a bit strange. It felt like I was getting contractions over and over again. Involution or after-pain is the process through which your expanded uterus shrinks back to its normal size. During this process, you will feel sharp cramps in your abdomen when your uterus is contracting. I mostly felt these cramps while breastfeeding. To my first time moms, you might be lucky enough not to feel these pains, but just keep this in mind in case you’re thinking about trying out for baby number two. Oh, and it apparently gets worse with every baby. There I was thinking that it’ll get better with experience…

There are so many women out there with different stories to tell about their postpartum complications, but yet only a few expectant mommies are informed and equipped to handle the struggles that come with being a new mom. We really need to be more vocal about these struggles. I was getting very worried about the cramps I was feeling until I decided to mention it to my mother inlay and she assured me that it’s normal. I was fortunate to have women to have her but for those who don’t have anyone to have these conversations with there are a lot of communities on social media platforms. Do your research and go on one of these groups and speak about your symptoms. I’m certain that you will find someone who has had the same experience or who knows of someone who has been through the same and together you could come up with a solution and not just help you, but all those mommies who might be afraid or too ashamed to speak out. 

These are just the three conditions that I had. I would love to hear about your postpartum experience. Please subscribe, comment and share with your world. 

Hi There!

Welcome to my blog! My name is Tshepiso Evon Musehani, I am a young mom of two boys, and a deputy mom to my 4 siblings.  

My husband (Melvin Musehani aka ‘The Appchemist’) and I got married in 2016 and in that same year I gave birth to our little genius, Rofhiwa. I didn’t really feel like I am a whole adulting mother because both my mother and mother-in-law were there to help us out and to give us a ‘break’ every now and then. However, something that we did gave God the idea that we are winning at this parenting thing. So God took my dearest mother on the 4th of January 2019.

I don’t know if this is a general thing throughout all races, but I know to be the eldest child in black African families, automatically qualifies you as the ‘Deputy Parent’. On that day we went from ‘part-time’ parenting one child to full-time parents of 5 children. You can just imagine how that changed our lives. A few months later I found out that I was pregnant, and would soon be a mother of two boys,  deputy mom to 4 siblings and an aunt (mma mogolo) to my sister’s child. 

I’m a mom and a debuty mom blessed with a wonderful husband who has been coding since he was thirteen, my own private developer who sorts out all my computer-related issues. There he was finally done with my blog and I could finally stop using him as an excuse for procrastinating, and that’s when we saw the B-word! However, I was not gonna let a simple ‘b’ hold me back. Nope, it was time to prove to myself that I can make lemonade from the lemons thrown at me. So I am a mom and debuty mom, deputy with a ‘b’ for beauty because motherhood is beautiful regardless of how you became a mother.

As young parents, we know that this journey is going to be very challenging, demanding, and stressful at times, but this is our life now and we are determined to work together to give everyone who is under our care the best that we can offer. We also know that we can’t do it on our own so I would like to take you with on this wonderful mysterious journey of figuring this parenting thing out.