15,897,600 seconds.

It’s amazing how time differs for different things.

Pregnancy. The 40 longest weeks of your life. Then your baby is born, and its ‘blink and it’s gone’ fast. Everyone tells you how quick it goes, everyone. You believe them, but you don’t quite get it until it’s your baby. One minute he’s next to you in the hospital bed, drowning in his new-born baby grow, all pink face and puffy eyes, and the next thing he’s rolling, and sitting, and shouting, and eating solid food (sometimes) and you’re booking his first birthday party in your diary.

Carter James is 6 months old today. Half a year. I can’t quite believe it. On one hand it happens too quickly, and on the other hand I can’t remember a life before him. How did I fill my time for the past 31.5 years? (Actually, that’s a silly question. I slept, and exercised, had boobs that stayed in their bra, had a clean house and went out, a lot.)

6 months. 184 days.4,416 hours. 264,960 minutes. 15,897,600 seconds.

I wasn’t quite sure I’d enjoy having a baby older than infant sized. Honestly, I found them exhausting to be around. Always moving, always vocal, always needing stimulation and always so busy. SO BUSY. My naïve pre-mom self thought that newborns were perfection. You could doze with them on your chest, dress them in doll sized clothes, and gaze adoringly at them for hours on end. While this is all true, and while Carter’s newborn stage was one of the highlights of my life, I cannot explain just how much I am enjoying him more and more as each day passes.

I’m sorry, moms, for ever judging you when you posted another ‘solids’ pic on Facebook, or gushed about teeth, sitting or milestones. You deserve to post them. It’s an incredible feeling to watch this tiny, helpless (read: boring) infant turn into a small human who swallows, and grabs, and chats and rolls and learns new things every single day.

Carter smiled at 4 weeks, rolled at 11, got his first tooth at 5 and a half months, and then straight away a second, sat just before 6 months and fell off the bed the very next day (induction to parenting I suppose). Carter laughs at funny things, grabs and chews everything in sight, gets frustrated when he can’t do something on his own (definitely his moms child then) and smiles at everyone he meets.

So yes, whilst I may be in a spin about just how fast they do grow up, I am also shit excited for the next 6 months, and the next after that. Because watching your child grow up is a privilege that just cannot be explained.

Happy 05. Birthday to my beautiful son.

6 Months In vs 6 Months Out
6 Months In vs 6 Months Out
Carter is 6 months old today!
Carter is 6 months old today!
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Solids, Sickness and Sucking It Up. Plus – Win A Medela Breastpump!

There’s a magical time in the life cycle of a parent, where for a split second you know exactly what’s going on. Your baby’s schedule finally resembles something of order, he’s sleeping, crapping and eating on time, and you’re high-fiving yourself for a job well done. And by high-fiving yourself I mean drinking 5 glasses of celebratory wine.

Then, without notice or warning, your baby goes through one of his seventeen thousand growth spurts (it’s true, I Googled it) and everything changes.

For me, it was around about the time I went back to work, Carter decided night time sleep was not necessary, and waking up every hour was more of his vibe. He also then decided to bring home every germ known to man from crèche and make me ill and himself perpetually snotty in the process.

So, as if sitting in meetings with racoon eyes, a permanently-resides-in-my-gut-now tummy bug and a third of a brain cell wasn’t bad enough, we then also had solids to contend with. I have been dreading the progression from milk to solids – it felt  like a monumental chore to me.  Not only would I now need to leave the house with everything and then the kitchen sink – now I must remember microscopic portions of blended, pureed vegetables (a variety, just in case he hates carrots), as well as spoons, bibs the size of small countries and another 6 changes of clothes. Lord, it’s hard enough remembering the baby!

Like most things in life though, solids have proven to be way more fun than I imagined. Sure, you end up dirtier than a Kardashians divorce, but the baby loves it, the dogs standing underneath the feeding chair love it, and its overall a pretty rewarding thing – having kept your baby long enough that he or she now eats from a (albeit rubbery and purple) spoon.

Baby weaning to solids

This is not a post on baby food recipes, or tips on how to keep kid clean during feeding (hint: you must actually throw the baby out with the bathwater) but it is a little note to all the moms who are nearing this milestone, on how I’ve managed to incorporate solids into our lives, without having too much of a logistical breakdown.

  1. Start slowly. Your baby still needs his milk (breast or formula) throughout the process. The initial introduction of solids is small, and for the first few weeks it’s simply there to get him used to something other than milk. So don’t panic about it – it’s pretty impossible to mess it up too much at this point. For more info on formula and what’s best for your babe, check out Diapers.com
  2. Start with porridge and then only move on to vegetables.
  3. Because Carter has the ‘crèche-plague’, I’ve been mixing his porridge with breast milk as opposed to formula. Lucky for me I have a nice stash in my freezer to use. I’ve also been substituting one bottle of formula a day with breast milk (the stuff is magical as an immune booster!). If you are going back to work soon, invest in a travel pump so you can express at the office.
  4. When your baby is ready for veggies – make sure to find out what veggies he will eat. It’s completely pointless steaming an entire pumpkin when he ends up hating the stuff. Because we only started vegetables this weekend, I’ve made 1 batch of each veg, and will be introducing one to him a day – that way if he loves a particular one I will know to make more and freeze. My child is 50% my husband, so Im not holding my breath on him loving anything green that rhymes with megemabel.
  5. In term of portions – I’m still trying to figure out how little or how much, but the general consensus is to steam, puree and freeze in ice trays. Then, when it’s feed time, simply pop a cube or 2 out and go from there. Please, and this is very important, make sure you still have normal ice trays available for your wine. It’s also quite important to not confuse the 2, and give Little Johnny a spoon of Sav Blanc, or drop a frozen block of sweet potato in your Chardonnay.
  6. It’s best to introduce solids between meals – and because I work full time, I’ve found that 5 pm works best for us. Carter now also has porridge after his morning bottle, and then a nap. (remind me why we wanted to be adults?)
  7. A few other foodie options I’ve played with are breast milk lollies, teething biscuits and banana in a mesh food bag. In a few weeks I’m going to introduce biltong and dried mango – because I’m loaded apparently.
  8. Like I said, I am NOT the expert. Luckily for you, there are some moms out there who have it waxed. I found Baby Jakes Mom to be a huge help.
  9. Lastly, have fun! I have very quickly had to get over my anti-mess OCD tendencies, and have resigned myself to the fact that for the foreseeable future I will probably never be clean again. I keep reminding myself of the mantra that ‘messy play is good for babies’.

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Lastly, in keeping with the spirt of healthy, happy and well fed babies- the kind folk at Medela have a Harmony breast pump to giveaway to one lucky Rupert Approves reader. So, if you’re pregnant, current owner of a freshly baked baby or know of someone who would like to win this awesome prize, all you need to do to enter is the following:

  1. Make sure you like the Rupert Approves Facebook page
  2. Follow the Rupert Approves Blog
  3. Leave a comment on this blog and tell me a story about your solids experience (if you have a baby) or if you’re as far away from being pregnant as Donald Trump is to winning the elections – simply tell me who you would like to win this breast pump for.

The Ts and the Cs

  • All competition mechanics must be followed in order to be entered in to the draw
  • The competition runs from 22 October and the winner will be picked and announced on 26 October at 3 pm
  • All entrants must visit the Rupert Approves blog to find out if they have been chosen
  • The prize is not transferrable
  • The competition is open to anyone worldwide, however the prize can only be delivered within South Africa.

About the Medela Harmony

  • Medela Harmony single manual breast pump is designed for mums who mostly breastfed and is great for travel or as backup.
  • Light and discreet: Switch between this pump and a double electric pump, or use the pump on its own if you aren’t a frequent pumper
  • Medela Harmony single manual breast pump is designed for mums who mostly breastfed and is great for travel or as backup. (Perfect for the office!)
  • Elegantly designed and comfortable to use: assembly is intuitive and the pump has an ergonomic twist handle
  • Features 2-Phase Expression technology

Medela Harmony

UPDATE

COMPETITION WINNER

Congratulations to DEBS on winning this competition!! Please pop me an email to katenicolekearney@gmail.com to claim your prize! 🙂

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5 Things That Really Happen To Your Body After A Baby. (that everyone is too scared to tell you)

I feel like I owe you all an apology. I’ve been holding something back. I’m normally so honest with you, but this time I haven’t been able to bring myself to tell you what I’m about to say.

It’s not pretty, it’s not cute, and it might just send you off to the hysterectomy clinic the second you’ve finished reading it.

Ladies, for those who are already pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant, this one’s for you.

We’ve all read the articles about the weight gain, flatulence, stretch marks, leaky boobs and heartburn. None of this should be a surprise anymore. But what these sons of bitches don’t tell you, is what happens after you give birth. After the C section scar has healed, after your milk has dried up and after you’ve pretty much returned to normal. THAT’S when the shit-fest fun starts.

I first noticed it about 8 weeks after having my son. I finally found the energy and enthusiasm to shave my legs. Well, atleast I thought I’d shaved my legs, but when I woke up the next morning the hair had returned, thicker and darker than ever before. Blaming the mum-dumb I returned to the shower, and shaved them again. Only to find that within minutes, more black-pube like hair had sprouted from the very place where the razor had just touched. Turns out that having a 3.7 kilogram human pulled aggressively from your womb isn’t torture enough – your body then decides to manifest hair faster than a drain at a communal camp site.

(Oh, and in case you were wondering, this isn’t limited to legs and armpits.)

Hairy legs after baby

Think back to a time when you were the most nervous, and when your body, startled into action, produced the most sweat it has ever produced. For me this was on my wedding day. Granted, it was mid November, hotter than hell and I happened to be dressed in a frock made entirely out of feathers and poef, but I was shvitzing faster than Bill Cosby at a modelling convention. Fast forward to 5 months post partum and my wedding day has nothing on this Sweaty Betty. In pregnancy you glow, in post pregnancy you shall sweat and stink and berate the CPA for falsifying Mitchums 48 hour promise.

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I ran this one past my husband who nearly vomited and told me ‘under no circumstances should I EVER put this on my blog’. Which clearly meant I absolutely had to put it on my blog. Girls, your period, when it eventually returns, will terrify the living bejeezus out of you. Aunt Flo comes a visiting and she’s brought company. Do not get rid of your mattress sized pads they give you in the hospital. You will need these, and more, to staunch the wrath of Satan that launches out of your already weak and vulnerable body. I’m not making this up. This here from a friend who shall not be named:

aunt flo

Leid-Tampon-600x310

I get that most woman, over the age of puberty, have cellulite. But what I can’t understand is why the punishment for bringing a human life into this world, is the fact that our resulting bodies look like a plaster wall before tiling. Cavernous dimples riddle one’s body like the plague. My arms have cellulite. The cellulite in my cellulite has cellulite. Fuck, I’m not even convinced that it’s a dimple on my cheek anymore – I suspect the cellulite on the rest of my body has run out of space and is now moving up into my face.

this-is-all-baby-fat

And lastly, because why stop at Hell when we may as well fast track into damnation. Boobs. The only time I find a pap-sak appealing is when it’s 2 litres in size and filled with red wine. Nowadays, my not-so-fun bags resemble this cat. Except the only difference is that THIS CAT HAS PERKIER BREASTS.

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Now, before you start selling your unborn child in panic, let me tell you it’s not ALL that bad. Yes, you may be softer, smellier and dumber than ever before, but you’ll also be the richest you’ve ever been. No man, not as in money, ‘cos you’ll have fuck all of that. As in your baby. Your baby will make most of it all of it worth it. Promise promise. Cross my hairy chest and hope to die.

honey boo boo birthing babies

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What Is A Mom?

It came to my attention at 3 am this morning, as I leant over my baby’s cot – for the 18th time that night – that motherhood is a multi-faceted thing. To be a mom is to be provider, protector and parent. But it’s also so much more than that.

It’s holding in a wee, even though it feels like your bladder might burst, to rather spend some quality time with your child

It’s putting their needs before yours. Forever

It’s starting dinner late, if at all, because a thousand things need to be done before you get the luxury of eating

It’s overcoming your OCD tendencies as your 5 month old smears sticky porridge in your face, your hair, and over your not-so-white work shirt

It’s feeling like you will always do more for him, than anyone else. It’s being mom martyr for the rest of your life

It’s sacrificing your free time to rather lie outside with him on a blanket, and sing silly made up songs.

It’s re-applying your makeup for the 4th time that day, because something like bath water, vomit or more baby porridge has smudged it. Again

It’s crying over anything you ever see about sick babies, sad babies, dead babies or happy babies. It’s about never being able to watch Grey’s Anatomy with an air of detachment

It’s worrying about something 24/7

It’s about sacrificing your holiday savings in favour of pool fences and day-care

It’s about rubbing your nose over his soft cheeks while he slumbers, even though you risk waking him up

It’s about going against every bad parenting action you swore you’d never do, just to get them to give you 10 minutes of sleep

It’s about buying bigger jeans, stretchy bra’s and one piece swimming costumes. It’s about wearing your hair in a mom-bun, and investing in concealer that never actually hides the caverns under your eyes

It’s about letting go and giving them the space to grow, knowing that their games will probably end in tears

It’s about saying ‘no’ to things like adult dinners and get-togethers, because your baby’s routine comes first

It’s about squealing when you watch him roll over for the first time, but dreading each day that he gets bigger

It’s about the deals you make with the devil when he just won’t sleep. And the gummy smiles that greet you at 2 am.

It’s about planning his first birthday, before he’s 4 weeks’ old.

It’s about having the weight of the world on your shoulders, as you burden the responsibility of being his mom. It’s about knowing that you will play a very large part in shaping the person he becomes.

It’s about hosting 20 people for a raucous get together, knowing full well that you won’t have the luxury of sleeping in past 5 am the next day.

It’s about learning the value of a love so large that you struggle to breathe

It’s about learning to love, but not smother. To live and let go, and to trust that you are good enough. Every single day.

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What is a mom

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Moms, I Need Your Help.

“Aren’t you glad you’re past that stage?” Someone asked me this yesterday. She was referring to Carter being a bit older and past the whole newborn/infant part of his life. She asked this because just minutes before, my brand new pink shiny niece had been born in to this world, and I was gleefully counting down the hours until I could leave work and go visit her.

Truth? I’m not glad. I’ve had a heavy heart since yesterday. I envy my sister in law. A fresh mom, drugged up and in a love coma. Those 4 days in hospital are some of the greatest memories I have with Carter. It was 4 days of chaos, of people, of snuggles and of learning all about my brand new baby. What then followed was 4 blissful but hard months of being a stay at home mom. 4 months of the most quality time that I will ever have with my son. Nowadays I see him for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening. Weekends actually feel long in comparison – I feel like I’ve forgotten how to be a great mom – and it’s breaking my heart.

My Niece, Lea.
My Niece, Lea.

The thing is, I want to work. Coming back here has rejuvenated my soul. Adult conversation, healthy lunches, Excel! (Look, I’m still using a calculator to work out simple maths, but they do say one the mommy brain hits, it never goes away.)

I started writing this piece, with no answer in mind. For once, I’m at a loss for ideas. How can I utilise my time better with my baby? I don’t want to think back on his infant years and only remember the mundane; wiping drool from his chin, mixing up bottles and buying nappies. I want to remember the play, the laughs and the learning.

So, I need your help. How have you mastered the art of a work/baby balance? How do you counteract the guilt? Do you spend less time socialising and more time at home? Do you attend mommy baby classes, or are you too just trying to fit everything in, while trying not to panic at time wasted.

(While you have a think, browse through the latest selection of Carter photos. because hes cute as fuck, and because, as MD, owner and director of this blog, I’m allowed a little shameless self promotion.) 

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10 Reasons Working Mothers Make The Most Valuable Employees

There’s something quite terrifying about going back to work after maternity leave. Despite your hardest efforts, you change a lot as a person during your time off. I tried to keep my brain busy with online courses and adult stimulation, but the change goes deeper than that. It’s an internal shift that happens with or without your permission.

When I was pregnant, I would often carpool with my bestie, Amy, to work. Coming from Fourways, and traveling into Hyde Park, means traffic, always. A stresser by nature, I hated the fact that I was spending more than 3 hours a day sitting on a congested Jan Smuts, when I could be doing something productive with my time. Amy, mom to Ben (nearly 2) would always tell me that my anxiety for things that were out of my hands (read: traffic) would diminish, if not disappear entirely when I had the baby.

She was right. Something in me has shifted, and I’ve found a backbone and will that I never knew existed. My life is no longer just mine, and going back to work means adjusting to a new kind of normal. Do I strive to succeed in the work place any less? Absolutely not, but my priorities in terms of my timings have changed. I no longer have the luxury of dawdling over a task until 6 pm. 6pm is my child’s bedtime. I now steamroll through my work in order to leave at a decent hour and make the painful commute back home, to fetch my baby from crèche.

The past two weeks, of re-learning how to adjust to a full time job, being a mom, and not losing my sanity has taught me some very important lessons. And this is why I believe that working moms make the most valuable employees**. Here’s why:

  1. We are efficient. We keep humans alive, so running a team, managing a client and getting things done comes as second nature to us. Trust me, work is a hell of a lot easier than being a stay at home mom. For any mom who raises their baby on a routine, implementing a similar routine at the office becomes second nature. Timing is everything (just ask the parent who’s been shat on when they took too long to replace the nappy.)
  2. We have empathy. I used to have sympathy for moms when their sick child meant they worked from home, or when they left early to go attend little Johnny’s underwater basket weaving tournament, but now, I totally get it. Sadly, the world does not stop spinning after you have a child (the fucking thing doesn’t even slow down) so getting anything done is twice as time consuming. Just this morning, millions of parents woke up, bathed, changed, fed, burped and played with their kids, before packing their school bags, making their lunches, wiping their nose for the 18th time and shuttling them off to school. They did this all before bathing, feeding and getting themselves to work. I’m not asking for a medal, I’m asking humans to have some compassion towards other humans.
  3. We don’t fuck around. Yesterday a colleague mentioned to me that she’s hardly seen me since I’ve been back at work. That’s probably because I get in, sit down, work harder than hard, and make sure my shit is done before I have to leave for the day. I know that I get 45 minutes with my baby every day, and I need to be able to do that with a clear conscience, knowing that I have achieved my work goals for that day.
  4. We have a zero bullshit tolerance. I no longer have the energy, nor the time, to tolerate bad behaviour. Be it in a personal relationship or a working environment. I will never be rude, but you can bet your ass that your behaviour will no longer go down with me rolling onto my back.
  5. We are patient. Sure, we have a low tolerance for rudeness, but we are possibly the most patience specimens on earth. Any mom of a toddler will tell you that, compared with her child’s “but why” questions 1000 times a day, helping someone with a work related, laborious task, just ‘aint no thang.
  6. We will deliver. Listen up, I have sucked snot out of an infants nose, using little more than a plastic tube and a prayer. That means I am resourceful as hell, and can probably go the extra mile to ensure you get what you need.
  7. We are trustworthy. I’ve kept my child alive this long, right?
  8. We can work under pressure. Having a baby is like giving birth to a ticking time bomb. In the early days, one never knows how long the nap will last, how long the nappy will stay clean, and how long your bebe can go between hunger screams. We live our lives like brave explorers, fitting in hundreds of chores and activities between naps and poos. That means, the more you pile on us in a working environment, the more we can do, You’ve all heard the saying – if you want something done, give it to a busy person.
  9. We are resilient. I haven’t had a full night’s sleep in almost half a year. If that’s not resilience, then I don’t know what is.
  10. When we are there, we are there 100%. Having a family means spontaneity disappears faster than your figure. So, when we do commit to something, it means we have lined up a plan in our absence in order to be there. That also means, we are going to take full advantage of the situation, and be present in the moment. Unless it’s a finance meeting, because I mean, snore.

** I’m not saying every single working mother is a win though. I have worked with a mother of 2 who proved more useless than Eskoms delivery promise. I’ve also worked with childless people who couldn’t arrange a piss up in a brewery. So, basically, some people are great, some people are dicks. You can’t win them all.

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Motherhood. Expectations Vs. Reality.

Oh, pregnancy. A sweet time of glowing skin and great plans. Alas, just as your uterus shatters, so do your big parenting ideas.

I will get my post baby body back.

No. No you won’t. Sorry. (Unless you’re my friend Amy. Fuck Amy).

I will always look presentable. No mom jeans for me!

You will never look presentable again. Yesterday I put on a crisp white work shirt and dropped Carter off at crèche. The parent gods laughed and laughed at me when Carter threw up, not once, not twice, but thrice on said shirt. I spent the remainder of the day sniffing myself, wondering if anyone else could smell the curdled Nan.

I will still cook gourmet, healthy meals.

If that means opening a tin of curried vegetables and pouring a mug of wine, then yes, I’m positively Nigella’ing this shit.

I will make time for my man. No baby shall come between us.

And if by ‘making time’ you mean grunting at each other from across the lounge, while sprawled on your couch, mug of wine in hand, and Idols Season 76 on TV, then yes, we are living the dream.

I will never drug my baby.

Until you use Telament for the first time, and the angels in the heavens open their sweet, sweet mouths and sing your praise. “Hallelujah” they chant, “for your baby shall now nap”.

I will not over document my child’s life.

I see your ’18 photos of Juniors solids’ and raise you my birth photo, Facebook gallery and 416 Instagram snaps.

I will never help my baby to sleep. He will sleep when I tell him to sleep.

Sister, you will rock, swing, walk, run, coo, kiss and lick your baby to sleep. There are days when I find myself rocking slowly back and forth…and my child is nowhere in sight. Acceptable at home, not great in a business boardroom.

I will not let one small human getin the way of my life’s plans.

And if by life’s plans you mean living, breathing, napping, pooing, working, shopping, cooking, socialising and cleaning Nan vomit off your white shirt, then sorry. They will get in the way of it all. I have held a wee in for the better part of a day. Your body is a miraculous thing. It can hold a baby, and urine for equal amounts of time.

I will not bring up my kid in adult conversation.

Boss: “Have you done that budget recon, Kate?”

Kate: “No, because have you seen how cute my baby is?”

I will still have money leftover for nice things

A telephone conversation with my husband this morning went along the lines of “Darling, remember all that money we had saved for house extensions and that new custom made TV stand? Well, it’s now all going to be spent on a pool fence and some nappies.”

I will not feel guilty about re-priotitizing my life.

You will apologize for everything. Sorry I can’t make your function, sorry I’m leaving work now to fetch my child, sorry I’m late, sorry I’m sorry, I’m sorry I take a million Instagram photos and talk about my son all day. Sorry, not sorry.

You will never be the same again.

“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.” and so in you the child your mother lives on and through your family continues to live… so at this time look after yourself and your family as you would your mother for through you all she will truly never die.” – Osho

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Today I Feel Like The Worst Mother In The World.

Kid, you and me, we’ve been inseparable these past four months. Even before that, when you were physically a part of me for 38 weeks and 4 days. From the second you were born, your body has always found a way to be connected with mine. From the way you rested on my chest, just seconds after taking your first breath, to the way your fingers will always find mine. When you sleep, you curve your proud little chest into me, and when you wake, your hands swat my face in play.

I’ve always battled to be without you. Not in a ‘helicopter parent’ kind of way, but because I miss you when you’re not around. From the very beginning, being your mom has been my proudest role. I love how we read each other, and how happy you always are to see me (although, you’d smile at a brick wall if given a chance and I’ve watched you flirt with anything with a face, so I guess you’re not quite at the monogamous stage just yet.). Even when you were tiny, and the pain meds from my C section forced me to sit on the loo for hours on end, you would always be nestled on the bed within earshot, whilst I coo’d sweet nothings from behind the closed door, holding back tears of pain. Soon after, I stopped taking the meds altogether.

Maternity leave for me, albeit not ‘leave’ in the true sense of the world, has been the most intense four months of my life. You have come pretty much everywhere with me. Ive 4×4’d your pram up steps to friends houses, I’ve plopped you in a Pick n Pay trolley to buy groceries and you’ve experienced the sounds of the bush house more than once. You come to the gym with me 3 days a week, and you watch me from the floor of the kitchen while I make dinner.

I wont lie, at times I’ve dreamt of a nanny, to help relive my aching arms at the end of a long day, to watch you for “just 5 minutes” so I could shave my legs or to unscrew the lid of your bottle when my hands were needed for rocking you, but we can’t afford one (have you seen the price of education?). I’m proud of the way that we’ve done this together, you and me. Thank you for your patience when I nearly let you fall off the changing mat, or when I placed you in a way-too-warm bath. You’ve made this easy for me.

Tomorrow, I go back to work. I’m trying to rationalise with myself that I’m not a bad mom. That me leaving you for a full day in the care of strangers is acceptable. That this will make you a well rounded boy, and that you will know that it wasn’t without severe deliberation or self blame. The thing is, a part of me wants to go back to work. My brain has fossilised these past 4 months. My friend Sheena and I (also a new mom) laugh about our ‘mum dumb’ daily. I love my job, I’m excited to see my colleagues and meet my new team. I’m excited to reunite with my favourite client, and push myself again. I am happiest after a busy day and I hope you know that you will always still be the favourite part of my day, and that when I see you, it will always be the best of me. I know that your new creche teachers and carers are going to fall into the Carter trap. You’re bloody cute, and everyone who meets you is taken in by your comical smile and sweet nature. I know you’re going to a place where you will be treated with love and care. Your two cousins are some of the greatest kids I have met – and I know that the school will help you get here too.

I also know that there’s a good chance that the only thing I’m going to achieve tomorrow is trying not to spend half the day in the bathrooms, sobbing. That I’m going to be looking at my watch every hour, counting down the minutes until I can fetch you from creche. That if Eskom initiates load shedding and I get stuck on Jan Smuts, that you may be visiting your mom in a state prison.

I also know that in a weeks time, and a months time, I probably wont cry anymore. And that in a few years time, you would rather be at school with your new friends, than stuck at home with ‘boring dad and me’.

Kid, you are going to be so great. So am I. We are not the first mom, nor the first baby to have to do this. In fact, I have a feeling being a working mom is going to help me more. You’ve given me a new found strength and set of balls. I want to work for me, and for you. I’m working so that I can be an employable and well rounded person, and so you can get that fancy new cricket bat when you need one.

So, while I may feel like the worst mother in the world today, I know I’m not. I also know that when it matters, I will be there for you. I’m going to be at your parent teacher days, and your first swimming lesson. I’m going to embarrass the shit out of you at your first athletics day, and your art is going to drip off every available surface of my fridge.

Here’s to new things, kid. But please, just always remember, if you have a bakerman day at school, your mom bloody better get that first cupcake.

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Sheena, my partner in ‘mum dumb’ gave me this ‘back to work’ survival pack.
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My mom gave me this beautiful locket, so I could always keep Carter close to my heart.

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10 Things That Happen When You Become A Mom

Today I went out in (fat) pants with the label still hanging out, flopping merrily against my bum for the better part of a morning. It’s not a thing anymore really, most days I look like I’ve been pulled off a People Of Walmart website. Looking like shit? Yep, you’re a mom. So, if you happen to be thinking about starting a family, then for the sake of full disclosure, it’s only fair that I share with you the 10 things that will definitely happen when you become a mom.

You will never look (that) good, ever again. Sure, makeup covers a multitude of sins, but there isn’t enough Clarins in the world for an exhausted sleep deprived face, toasted cheese sarmie thighs and “fuckit I’m having another glass of wine” bloat. I’m currently day 3 into a no sugar and no carb challenge, so whilst I may look less puffy, I’m about as happy as Donald Trumps campaign manager and about to cut the next carbohydrate eating person I see. So, mom in prison, or fat mom – pick your battle.

You will forget to how to English. This has been my worst. I used to be able to banter wittily until the cows came home. I could smash your funny retort with my own, and sarcasm spilled out of me like my 36D’s out my pre baby bra. Alas, with the expelling of the fetus, came the expelling of the use of the English language. Sure, I can ‘coochie coo’ my child into a smile, but ask me about anything related to the outside world and I begin to mimic a newborn: gummy grimaces and tears.

You will resent most people. That doos who parked too close to your car door, again. The lady dawdling in the mall when your child is mid-poonami and she’s blocking your way to the changing rooms. Childless people who tell you how busy they are. Childless people who look attractive. Even worse, mothers who look attractive. Anyone thin. Any baby proof cap, because which retarded medicine cap maker decided that it would be a good idea to make opening the lid the equivalent of getting in to Mensa, knowing full well a mother would have less than two and a half fingers and half the amount of living brain cells available when said medicine was needed. (Not pointing fingers here, but I’m talking to you, Calpol).

You will count down the seconds to nap time. So you can do the dishes, wash the bottles, prep the formula, shave your legs, play with the dogs, go to gym, eat some food, brush your hair, shave your pits, make some dinner, buy some groceries, catch-up on work, write a blog, clean the house, fold the washing and remove that bloody clothes tag from your fat pants. Then, to make matters worse, because we are so stupid from lack of sleep and too much wine, we choose rather to watch our darling baby sleep instead of actually doing anything on the above mentioned list.

You will mourn your life. And that’s OK. Because it’s fleeting and normal and you get over it. Plus, leaving the house without the baby is so much more rewarding when you’ve spent three weeks and a million bribes finding someone to babysit.

You will never be clean. Sure, you go through the motions of showering and brushing your teeth (the front visible ones, molars take too much time) but you are never really fresh. You will always be covered in something baby related. Poo, vomit, food. Did you ever watch The Walking Dead, when the characters had to cover themselves in dead zombie juice in order to mingle with the Walkers? I’m almost certain this is why babys stop crying when placed in their mothers arms – because they can’t smell the fear through the fecal matter covering moms frock.

You will have no money. Because babies are expensive, and apparently it’s not OK to water down their formula with Vodka. Just last week we did a reccie of Carters potential crèche. I left in tears. Partly due to the fact that I am in no way ready to leave him and go to work, and party because the cost of the school fees had me enquiring about egg donation and selling an organ.

You will feel guilty about everything. You will doubt yourself as a mom, as a wife, as a functioning member of society (although, to be fair, at times I am so mentally dumb that feel its better to put a bullet in my brain and call it a day). You will feel bad that you have to turn a lot of social outings down, that you cannot physically cook a gourmet meal every night and that your gym membership is on the cusp of extinction. It’s OK. There will come a time when the haze of baby-dom has cleared and you can make your way back in to the world, slightly battered ad bruised, but stronger because of it.

You will never stop worrying. Nope, not for another second. You can kiss that sleep goodbye friends – because not a day will pass when your child doesn’t consume your every thought. If you happen to be in a good not-worrying-about-baby-mood though, then once glimpse of your naked body in the mirror will quickly bring you back. Cellulite in my arms? Superb.

So yes, you may be fat, broke and smell like a turd. But you’re keeping a human alive, and that’s pretty much the greatest job on earth.

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WIN A Four Week Baby Reflexology Class

Maternity leave. A time filled with long lie ins, serene walks in the park with your sleeping baby, and endless cuddles.

Atleast, that’s what people think.

In reality, maternity leave is the most manic, chaotic 16 weeks of ones life, with very little time to actually get anything productive done. In between all the washing, cleaning, burping, feeding, rocking, crying, eating, sleeping, farting and second-guessing, it’s extremely important to actually get out the house and do things with your new baby (and oh-boy – have I done my fair share! – more on that coming soon).

Cue: Baby classes. Oh, sweet baby classes. Possibly the greatest invention since sliced bread Magnum wine bottles. Baby classes give the new mom the perfect opportunity to explore a world beyond vomit stained leggings and bottle sterilisers. They are also the perfect place to meet fellow vomit stained legging wearing moms and discuss everything from engorged boobs to post baby sex life.

If frequent flyer miles were awarded to attendees of baby classes, then I would be the proud recipient of a round the world trip by now.

One of the courses I attended was a 4 week Baby Reflexology Class, held at The Bub Hub in Broadacres. (Disclaimer – don’t ever go to the Bub Hub unless you are mentally stable enough to receive debt counselling. You might even consider selling your baby to buy all of the things they have in store)

Hosted by Sarah Vorster (she calls herself a ‘Therapeutic Reflexologist, Pregnancy Massage Therapist & Doula’ but I like to call her a ‘Magical bearer of wide smiles and cupcakes’). The classes were awesome – Over the 4 weeks we covered aspects such as colic, calming and comforting, wellbeing, teething pain, blocked ears and ailments. Apparently, the actions work just as well on humans as they do on babies, so I chatted to Sarah about finding the pressure point to win the lottery, get a full nights sleep and fix my Telkom line. I’m still waiting for her reply. It’s probably still pending due to Telkom issues.

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Sarah was fantastic with the tiny babies, but it was how she handled us adults that really blew me away. There is no bigger baby than a new mom working on 18 minutes of sleep. She handled our farting, crying, laughing, napping and feeding offspring with the grace of Kate Middleton. Bless you Sarah for not judging me when I came in one day one after a ladies night, child in one hand and a litre of coffee in the other.

So, whilst I may not have learnt how to save the world using 5 toes and my finger, I have learnt how to squeeze a big toe in just the right way to alleviate Carters distress. And that, my friends, is priceless.

I’m so excited to be giving one of these courses away to a new mom! You can also enter on behalf of a mom who you think would love to win a 4 week course with Sarah.

The winner can pick from one of the following courses starting on the following dates:

2 September @ Simply Expecting Pilates in Illovo

18 September @ The Bub Hub in Broadacres.

All you need to do to win is tell me where on the big toe is the pressure point for turning water into wine.

I jest.

To enter:

  1. Like Boho Mamas on Facebook
  2. Follow Rupert Approves
  3. Comment on this post and tell me if you want this course for yourself, or a friend, and which class you would like to attend

Don’t forget to share this post and tag any friends who you think would like to enter!

Good Luck!

Masseuse massaging little baby girl's foot, shallow focus BR 1 BR 2   

BR 8

BR 4

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Ts and Cs

  1. This competition ends at 7 pm on Thursday 20 August 2015
  2. All entrants must check the blog post for the winner announcement
  3. Competition rules must be adhered to in order to win
  4. Prize is not redeemable
  5. Winner must be available over the selected dates
  6. Winner must make own travel arrangements

PS – You may have noticed the new Rupert Approves logo…. a massive thank you to the superbly talented (and dad-to-be) Don from Front Sky Media. If you need equally awesome design things…erm…designed, then check out his Facebook page or email him on don@frontskymedia.co.za

*UPDATE*

Congratulations to Kerry Scott on winning this prize! Please pop me an email to katenicolekearney@gmail.com so we can arrange your course 🙂

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