Brace Yourself. The Terrible Twos’ Are Coming.

I remember watching a friend of mine battling with being a mom. Her vacant haunted eyes terrified me and I never knew how to help her. She made parenting seem awful, and hard and I was terrified that one day I would find myself in a similar situation.

Then Carter was born, 2 years and 11 days ago, and he’s been a 99% wonderful human. All conscientious charm and manners. He slept well, ate well and basically made life pretty freaking easy for us.

Until 2 weeks ago when – true to the textbooks – he turned 2. Holy hell in a hand basket, it has been rough AF. Not only did he start potty training, he moved into a new bed and also decided that to get dressed in the morning was not for him. And not in a ‘no thanks mum, this isn’t for me’ way. In a “I will beat your motherly compassion out of you with a hockey stick until you want to strangle me” way.

Guys. I am at my wits end. I spent the majority of my 90-minute (because also, fuck you traffic) drive to work in guilt-ridden state. Never mind the 2 hours this morning just trying to actually get him dressed for school. Will I ever be on time again? When I dropped him at crèche this morning I was truly happy to palm him over to anyone who wasn’t me, and up until about 10 minutes ago I would have very happily left him there for a week. Because I actually don’t even know if I’m cut out for parenting, let alone parenting a 2 year old.

Newborns by comparison are possibly the easiest you will have it. I’m sorry to break this to you. It gets really hard, like really hard. Granted, it’s adorable when they start to talk and engage and participate in real-life activities – but the down side of their newfound abilities is the realisation that they have an opinion, limbs and a really, really strong will.

Keeping him in his bed at night (which entails 4 stories, strawberry milk, 75 pickups and bed put-back-ins and about a gallilitre of wine), getting him dressed every day, taking him home from a fun environment and trying to prevent volcanic meltdowns on a daily basis – along with juggling two demanding jobs and trying to also not look like a heroin addict have me absolutely farging exhausted at the end of every single day.

It also doesn’t help that t’s been a pretty rough year culminating in my Mothers Day ending with me leaving work (because yes, money doesn’t grow on spouses nor trees) and being hit by a taxi. Not only did he hit my car but he then proceeded to verbally assault and intimidate me, along with several of his charming taxi driver buddies. It was a horrific and terrifying situation and by the time I got home from the police station, shaken and drenched in rain, I was determined to emigrate and leave this ‘hell hole’ of a country.

I am so angry lately, and I suspect that my son is picking up on my emotions. But then he screams like a hadeda with a grammar phone and wrestles me with his 18 limbs and I can’t help but get more and more stressed out. I’m surprised I’m even able to make conversation at the moment. And I have only one human, only one. How are the moms of 2 or more actually coping?

I’d like to point out – one page into this rant – that I desperately love my son and that he has only been like this for 2 weeks. And he’s also only an asshole for a few hours a day. The other 22 he’s a delight, and then I forget about the asshole phase and go ‘let’s make another one!’. So no, I’m not really going to actually take him to school naked, or throw him out with Pickitup, but I do need to know, from other well oiled and experienced moms that this too shall pass. And before you come to me with your tricks, I’ve tried them. They don’t work

  • Bribery
  • Putting him to sleep with school clothes under his pyjamas
  • Naughty corner
  • beating Smacking
  • Ignoring
  • Hugging
  • Shouting
  • Wine
  • Distraction
  • Protein laden snacks
  • Mommy groups
  • Vodka
  • Rescue Remedy (for him)
  • Xanax (for me)

Help. Please.

 

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A Family Photo Shoot

A few months ago I was lucky enough to win a shoot with Robyn Davie photography, through the Rattle and Mum blog. As most of our weekends then were spent training for Half Iron Man, we decided to push the shoot out to July when we had a bit more free time. And I’m so glad we did – even though it was rather chilly – the light, the grass, the crisp air and the gold leaves were all perfect for the relaxed shoot in Delta Park.

Robyn is awesome – she is all about capturing the lesser spotted family in their natural habitat – relaxed, un-posed and roaming free. I adore how our photos have turned out, and am so glad she captured Carter’s cheeky grin and toothy smile.

You can find Robyn on her website, Facebook or Instagram.

Tell her I sent you!

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To Kate, On Your 32nd Birthday.

Dear Kate

32 today. I know when you were younger, you always thought that by the age of 32 you would have achieved so much. There were visions of holiday homes, your own company and enough cash floating around to never feel like you couldn’t breathe. I guess the reality is that even though you have none of these things, you really still have achieved a lot.

You are married to a man who still thinks your post baby boobs are sexy, you’re happy, and you live in a home that you love. It may feel like those 1980 pink terracotta floors will never turn into the Italian porcelain tiles that you want, or that the crack in the wall will ever be fixed. I know you want so much for your space, but you’ve taken the first step towards changing it – buying that house.

You have a car that gets you to work, is new enough to not cost you anything and a job that is fulfilling. A bigger salary would be nice, but you can afford to put food on the table, and send your child to crèche, right?

And your child. Your beautiful, incredible, hilarious happy full-of-sunshine 8 month old baby. You made that. Can you believe you made that? You’re a very good mom – you sing stories, and play games and insist on cooking organic meals even though he would rather eat peanut butter on toast or something from Woolworths. You keep him nourished and happy and you’re raising a well-developed and confident little man. Well done.

Of all the hundreds of birthday messages you received yesterday, so many of them alluded to the fact that you are a nice, kind funny person. I think that’s something wonderful. It’s a great thing when you can make other people smile.

I know you often wonder what you’re good at. I see you doubt yourself on a daily basis, questioning everything you do and everything around you. Let me tell you that so many people would kill to be able to crack jokes like you do, write rambling blog posts or tackle challenges and tasks head on. You may not have a degree or feel like you are worthwhile, but you are. You are very worthwhile.

Aren’t you lucky you have a family who doesn’t stop talking, laughing or worrying? That they are all healthy and capable and living their dreams. You have people who love you, and who you love in pretty much every corner of the earth. Your brother is drinking sake in Japan, your parents are relaxing in their bush house and your two grannies are tagging you on Facebook and berating you for answering your phone while driving, even though you’ve told them a hundred times about Bluetooth. You have in-laws who would go to the ends of the earth for you, a sister in law who loves your child like her own, and two nieces and a nephew who prove that love comes in tiny packages.

I’ve seen you let people in traffic and get screamed at by people who felt inconvenienced, I’ve seen how much people’s attitudes can make you sad, but I’m so proud of the way you still always do the right thing, anyway.

I’ve seen your boards on Pinterest – the ones that range from 6 pack abs to 6 stick butter cake recipes. Make that cake, get those abs, then visit every destination you can. Fuck the exchange rate.

I’m so glad you’ve saved all those nice bottles of wine and champagne – but for the love of all things delicious, please open one this weekend before its gets old and corked.

Drink that wine, write that book, buy that Polar watch you’ve been talking about for 2 years now.

Happy birthday Kate, you’re doing just fine.

Love, me.

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I Hate Being Fat.

 

Its 36 degrees in Joburg, and I’ve just declined another swim. I’ll sit on the edge of the pool and joke about how “nobody wants to see a whale in their water”, and that “no costume in the world is big enough for this arse”, but I’m sweating while I joke, because it’s fucking 36 degrees outside, and I really want to swim. More than that, I really want to not be fat anymore.

Pregnancy, as easy as you were, you were exceptionally hard on me in one way. My body. I have never felt this out of sorts, this alien and this uncomfortable in my own skin. I don’t think I’ve lost a kilogram of baby weight, in fact, I feel like in the last 8 months I’ve simply gained and gained. I hate being fat. I hate it so much that I’ve decided, come what may, I will lose 10 kilograms by 1 May. I will be back to my pre baby self for my child’s first birthday.

In order to stick to my new plan, I need to be accountable, and I need to grow a set of lady balls and actually have the willpower to push through what is possibly going to be a very tough 4 months. So, with a 10 kilo goal in mind, what better way to remind myself of why I’m doing this, with 10 reasons why I hate being fat.

  1. When I make a joke about being overweight and people respond with ‘I see’ or an awkward ‘Ya…’. That’s when you know. You know you’re big when people don’t even pretend to be kind in their replies. A new colleague said to me the other day “You were thin? I suppose I’ve only known you this size’. Ouch. I hated that.
  2. I don’t fit into anything from before I had a baby. My gorgeous skinny pants, slinky vests, blazers and even bras have been chucked to the back of the closet. Replacing them are the size 12 jeans I bought on a 2 for 1 sale at Edgars, loose shirts, leggings and sports bras with added stretch. Not being able to wear anything that makes me look and feel good? I hate that.
  3. The way people look at me – people closest to me, like certain family members. I feel their eyes on me whenever I take a bite of food or when I put on another pair of too tight pants. I hate the way they make me feel. I hate the guilt, I hate the shame. I hate feeling like I’m being judged for having the body I do. I hate that.
  4. The sweat. I am always sweating. Being overweight means boob sweat, head sweat and feet sweat. It’s gross. I hate it.
  5. I don’t feel like I get taken seriously in the work place. Silly hey? But still, I hate that.
  6. I don’t feel like socializing, seeing people or going out. I no longer want to be the person sitting under the umbrella while everyone else swims or the one in the long maternity style maxi dress when everyone’s lying in a bikini. I hate that.
  7. The way I feel at the gym. Physically I’m still gloriously strong, and I train 3 days a week. I can smash a spinning class, I’m building up my running resistance and I can probably lap most people in the pool. But the way I feel people looking at me in the gym? Like the token plump girl? I hate that.
  8. Shopping. I love clothes, and fashion. I love beautiful things. I’m tired of buying gorgeous garments for ‘when I’ve lost the weight’ I want to wear them now. The fact that I have items with their tags still on, and clothes from pre-baby tucked away at the back of the closet, because I’m simply too fat to wear them? I hate that.
  9. As if having a baby and a full time demanding career weren’t stressful enough on my marriage – try throw in body shame and self hate. I really don’t want to feel un-sexier than I do now. Changing in a locked bathroom so my husband cant see? I hate that.
  10. Other moms who lost the baby weight. Especially those who did it from ‘breast feeding’ or the ones who did nothing at all (the weight just “fell off” and then apparently on to me) I hate you. And I hate the fact that I hate you which means I hate me even more. I hate it. (Side note, there are a few ladies on Twitter who have spoken me off a cliff more than once, and helped my confidence so much – I hope you know just how lovely your kind words are, and just how much they’ve meant to me).

There it is. The raw brutal honest truth. It’s out there on the Interwebs now, which means I’m accountable to me, and all of you. Please help me in this journey, and if possible share your own stories of postpartum plumpness. I promise I’ll be nice to you even if you were one of the ‘lost the weight straight away’ ones 😉 – hell, maybe you can even share some weight loss secrets with me.

In the spirit of starting fresh, of turning over a new leaf, and learning to love who I am. Happy New Year. Here’s to having the body of a (20)16 year old!

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May 2015. The day before I gave birth.

 

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June 201. Fat. Uncomfortable in my own skin. This is one of the few photos I have of me and my child where Im fully exposed. I’ve become a pro at snapping pics of him with anyone but me, and when I am in the photo I manage to hide my body.
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November 2013. I’ve been happy with my body once. I just need to get back there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Baby Stages – Newborn Vs. Not

I can feel my sister in laws eyes on my child, and I know exactly what she’s thinking: “Please don’t ever let my baby get to that age”. She’s thinking that because she has a 3 month old. A 3 month old who lies where she’s placed, mewls instead of shrieks doesn’t grab, tug, pull or play, and still naps for most of the day. As much as it saddens me, I get it. I thought that too when Carter was that age. I used to meet friends for coffee on maternity leave, and while my son slept in pretty much any position he was placed in and would stare at nothing for hours, other (older) babies always seemed exhaustingly busy.

I’ve said it before, but having an almost-8 month old is 100 times harder than having a newborn. It’s also 100 times more rewarding. The old ‘I hope my baby never grows’ up Kate is so relieved he did. However, there’s a small part of me that misses the newborn phase, and here’s why.

Newborn Mess. Sure, when your baby is a tiny infant he or she will undoubtedly vomit, shart or urinate over you. The thing is, it’s never a daily occurrence, and when they’re that small and ingesting only milk nothing really smells. It’s all very innocuous. Mess with a new born means delicately dabbing yourself and your baby with an embroidered, monogrammed cloth.
Baby mess. My son is eating fruit, meat, grains, egg, ants, the dogs feet and every flip flop lying around the house. His turds are Dr Phil worthy S shaped and the smell is no different to a grown mans. Solids entail 30% of the food being ingested by him, and 90% landing on me. (I get that number doesn’t add up, but that’s exactly how much excess food there is after any given mealtime). Crawling means black crusty fingernails, scraped knees and (unless you’re Martha-bloody-Stewart) dust, everywhere. Basically, you will never be clean again. I implore you, if you are OCD like me and thinking about starting a family in 2016 – stop showering for several months to prepare your body for the offensive odour it will permanently emanate once your child turns 6 months. Just to further drive my point home – last week I was changing my sons nappy. Apart from the usual excrement inside, I found a piece of chicken, a squashed wedge of paw paw, a block of cheese and a white slimey suppository shaped biltong stick. Mess with a baby means dabbing yourself with a cloth, then stripping down and hosing both you off with a pressure hose.

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It is NEVER clean.

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Newborn sleep. Oh Lord, is there anything more incredible than a newborn sleep? Sure, they wake up a lot for food but when they’re not drinking they’re pretty much sleeping. Carter could nap anywhere. I took that kid everywhere on maternity leave and he would nap in shopping trolleys, restaurant floors, peoples beds, carry cots, travel cots, car seats, laps, dogs tummies and concrete floors. I used to watch funny videos doing the rounds on Facebook – of parents ninja dropping and rolling to avoid their alert baby noticing them exit the room – and smugly praise myself for being the BEST PARENT EVER.
Baby sleep. I am now that parent dropping and rolling to avoid my baby noticing me exit the room.

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I’m just gonna nap here on dad’s chest. No biggie.
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Watch me whip, watch me nap nap.
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Not even the rancid breath of a hound shall stop me in my sleep mission.

Newborn noise. When not eating or sleeping, a newborn will occasionally grace you with their attention by making one or two adorable grunts and mewls. Heart melting, 1 x new mom would invariably whip out a video camera of sorts to capture said adorableness on video. Even a newborns cry is quiet – I’ve had dogs toys that squeaked louder.
Baby noise. There’s nothing better than your baby’s first laugh and giggle, and when it becomes a guttural belly laugh you think your heart might pop from excitement. Sadly as your baby grows in size, so does his vocal abilities, and according to the unwritten rule book of an almost-8 month old, the best time to screech like a goat on one of those Youtube videos? In a restaurant, in the quiet of a game reserve or anytime between 2 and 4 am.

Newborn stimulation. Feed, burp, rock, sleep. Every now and then you try in vain to get them to grab a toy or make eye contact with a plastic mobile.
Baby stimulation. Things they don’t really love: 200 brightly coloured balls and inflatable ball pit. Coloured spaghetti, water tables, blocks and boards, wind up toys, wind down toys, toys that sing, ring shout and offend. Books, teddies age appropriate overpriced toys or anything from Fischer Price. Things they love: Small insects, jewelry, smartphones, swimming pools and edible boxes. Basically, the more potential an item has of killing them, the more they like it.

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Newborns. Happy as a pig in sink.

My son is almost 8 months, so I know there are moms reading this who are snorting quietly (because they don’t want to wake their 2 year old who just passed out from tantrum induced exhaustion) and thinking ‘Just wait’. I know this, because I’m one of those moms who see your 2 year old throw said tantrum and thinks “please don’t let my child ever get there”. But he will, and when he does I’m going to remember my once-almost-8 month old and just like I did his newborn memories, think just how much easier it all was.

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Older woman aren’t really his thing.
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Carter as a newborn next to his 4 month older baby friend. Clearly not thrilled.
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Oh, What A year!

Last year this time I was sitting on a beach in Port Alfred, admiring my 5 month swollen belly and dreaming about just what this year had in store. One year later I’m sitting on my couch in Johannesburg rubbing my still fat post baby belly and thinking back on the year that was.

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Birth. Our life got turned upside down, inside out and every other direction with the arrival of our baby, Carter James. I remember the 5th of May like it was yesterday. Watching them pull you out of me changed the way I view the world forever. Words just cannot express how loved you are, and how much you have completed us.

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Job. After a long 2 and a half years I was given a promotion at work. A promotion that I busted my lady balls for, and still do. I am exceptionally proud of myself. Any working mom knows just how hard it is to manage both a family and a career, and harder still, managing people’s expectations of you in the work place. I cannot tell you how many times I was met with comments such as “don’t worry about that issue sweetie, think of your beautiful family” or the “half day?” chirps when I left at a decent time to go fetch my baby from crèche. I have a long way to go, and women in general have an even longer way to go, but this is one small step for mom, one giant leap for mom-kind.

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Everyone stayed alive. We had no deaths in our family. Everyone is living and well and that’s pretty much the greatest result to a year that one could hope for.

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Balance. Like an athlete with an end in sight, I refused to lose myself amidst the madness of baby, career, family and friends. I feel I did a pretty awesome job at juggling multiple balls. As with all circus acts, someone will always get eaten by a tiger, and I’ve lost a few relationships along the way – but it was bound to happen. I feel better for it.

People. With loss comes gain and I have met some rather superb mommy friends along the way. Ladies I can drink wine with and talk about pureed chicken and green poo without fear of the pained eye roll from my non mom friends. (And that eye roll is perfectly Ok might I add, I still do it, often)

Money. I made none. But I also made no less, which is something, right? Right??

Body. 2015 can’t be all peaches and fluff now, can it. I may not have lost myself emotionally, but physically I’m a big fat wreck. My body has not recovered from having a baby, despite the gym, despite the eating and despite the pleas’ I make with the devil, I still hate the way I look and the way I feel. 2016 is the year of sorting out whatever issue is holding me back from (still) fitting in to my pre-baby clothes.

Marriage. Having successfully ticked off our 2nd wedding anniversary in style, I can happily say that marriage gets easier, and with a baby to boot. My husband, he can stay. (Plus, in my eyes, he’s father of the year).

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Clifftop Lodge Relaxing

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Skills. I took it upon myself to undumb this brain of mine and completed a photography diploma as well as a digital marketing diploma – both with a 99% pass rate. So whilst I still leave the tap running, and put the milk in the cupboard and the coffee in the fridge, I cling to the fact that there is still a brain hidden in there, somewhere.

Travel. Nothing to see here. Moving swiftly along.*

You. Rupert Approves readers. You’ve helped me grow this little blog project into something that’s actually something. I don’t think I will ever not get a little thrill whenever someone mentions my blog or I see my posts shared across the interwebs. Thank you for putting up with my offensive language and brutal honestly about tampons and stretch marks. You’re all fucking lovely.

Happy Christmas, Merry New year and everything in-between. I really cannot wait to see what 2016 has in store, for us all!

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I Love You. But You're Being An Arsehole.

Human beings can survive many things. In South Africa we survive just by surviving, but lack of sleep? That has got to the fastest sense of humour killer out there.

My child. My usually happy, smiley and content almost 7 month old has been displaying signs of what I refer to as ‘close to adoption tendencies’. He will not sleep, he will not eat and he moans at pretty much everything. When he does eat, he projectile vomits (his hand blended lamb and vegetables) minutes later and when he does sleep it’s when I’m wide awake at 2am wondering if I’m a terrible mother for calling my baby an A-Hole.

I can’t remember when last I wasn’t bending over his cot, shoving any form of pacifier or drug into his mouth to make him stop moaning for just one minute. Short of swatting him against a wall like I would a mosquito guilty of the same annoyance (and also, who has time to clean up all that 7 month sized blood anyway?) I find myself praying with the gods above to please just let him close his fucking eyes and sleep.

(In other news – I take back all the judgey judgeroo thoughts I ever had around moms co-sleeping, drugging or doingwhateverthefuckittakes to get your baby to nap)

Before you get all waggy finger in my face and ‘calling Childline on you’ I get that babies are tiny and helpless and teething happens and fever happens and they feel sore and yuk and miserable, and if I could, I would take away all the shitty pain that growing teeth presents, because it shatters my heart to see my small child in constant pain. Sadly though, teething in babies seems to be the equivalent of genital waxing in grown men, and Carter is feeling the effects more than any male salon go’er I know.

My lack of sleep, all consuming work load, loss of interest in anything and general ‘eff you’ mood has left me with one simple conclusion: You cannot have an easy newborn and an easy half year old. The world does not work that way. If everyone’s experience with raising a baby was a constant joyful affair, then even the most hard core anti mom would be walking around rubbing her engorged belly and picking out cot linen and hospital pads.

So, whilst I love my child with all my heart, I really don’t like him (lately) between the hours of 6 and 6. And that’s OK, right?

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I Can't Remember When Last I Pee'd

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, being a mom is hard. Being a career woman is hard. Putting the two together and being a working mom is probably the hardest thing I have ever done.

For anyone who has ever really wondered why I, and thousands of woman may ‘change’ when we become mothers, I’ll give you a little glimpse of what really goes into the day in the life of a working mom.

Its 4 pm. I’ve been up since 4 am, and several times throughout the night tending to you, my baby, who needed a dummy, a blanket or simply a reassuring cuddle.

My husband was flying to Cape Town today, so I managed to squeeze in a 30 minute jog before he left home. It felt awesome. At 6 am I fed you, changed you, then changed you again because you decided your morning poo would be better in a brand new nappy. In between showering and dressing for work I checked emails, sang to you with my hair dryer, fed the dogs, made my lunch, packed your bags, packed my bags, and managed to leave the house to drop you off at crèche. All without you falling off the bed (again). I managed to avoid most of the traffic fuckery and got to my desk just after 8:30. There were a few raised eyebrows of course.

I worked hard today. I even landed a new client, and managed to get everything done on my list, and then some. I drove very far for a meeting, secured some budget for a new client campaign, and man, I enjoyed every second of my hot cup of coffee. I bantered with colleagues, ate my salad whilst typing a report, and declined the after work drinks invitation in my diary.

I work harder than ever before, baby. I guess its what happens when you feel like you have something to prove. When you feel that people assume you cant have working ovaries and a brain.

At 4 pm I bolted from my desk. There were a few raised eyebrows. I managed to get to your crèche by 5 pm, the time was filled with a call to a client. Yesterday I wasn’t so lucky. Yesterday I got stuck in a terrible hailstorm for 2 hours and reached your school last. You were so forgiving and gave me that toothy grin that melts my heart.

We normally race home from crèche, because you go to bed not long after. Today I had to pop into Woolworths for dog food and wine. The store didn’t have those baby seats on the trolleys, so I carried you instead. I couldn’t manage the dog food and the wine while carrying you, so I sadly put the Merlot back on the shelf. I really needed wine today.

The store is decorated in Christmas colours. I get a lump in my throat. I’m so worried about money. How am I going to afford Christmas presents this year? The closes I’m getting to a bonus is 2 for 1 tampon specials at Clicks.

At the till I remembered we also needed baby food for you, because after cooking 3 kilograms of organic mince on the weekend, you decided you hated mince. I got a few raised eyebrows from other women in the store.

We got home not too long after and the dogs went mad with joy. I lay you on the floor with them – surrounded by pillows of course, because you still topple over sometimes, for just 2 minutes so I could wee, but somewhere between yesterday and today you’ve realised when I leave the room, and the sound of your frantic screams stopped me midway to the toilet.

You’re in your high chair now and I’m about to feed you the overpriced baby food from Woolies. You’re very distracted and I realise I have to change your nappy. 5 minutes later you’re back in your chair and I’m a plethora of aeroplane sounds as I try and convince you that pureed chicken and broccoli is more exciting than eating the plastic of your chair.

We skip the chicken and start on the yoghurt and fruit. Then the finger biscuits, grated cheese and dried mango. All along I’m teaching you and chatting to you about your day. For every mouthful you swallow, another 4 mouthfuls end up on you, the hounds and in my hair.

There’s another storm brewing outside, so I start running your bath while cooing at you in the next room. The sound of running water reminds me just how badly I need to pee, except you start crying again. You really do hate it when I leave now. You love the bath and we splash for several minutes until the first lightning bolt strikes. I whisk you out and take you to your room where you fight me and the onesie to the bitter end.

It’s too early for your bottle, plus I haven’t made it yet, so I bring you to the kitchen where I try start on dinner for myself while trying to give you my undivided attention. Your father phones to tell me about his holiday work conference in Cape Town. He’s been on a wine farm all day. I want to stab him in the face.

We read a book. I choose ‘The Gruffalo’, because even though you’re too young to enjoy it properly, I love playing the characters and putting on the voices. You don’t enjoy the story too much, but the pages are apparently delicious.

I let the dogs outside and play with them and the Frisbee for a while. I almost threw you accidentally, you thought it was hilarious.

The smell of burning brings me back inside. I’ve scorched my supper, for the second night in a row.

It’s now nearly time for your bed, and I take you into your room to give you a bottle, which you refuse. Ten minutes later though I’m hanging over your cot feeding it to you again, because apparently that’s how you like it now.

Eventually, you’re asleep. Its 7 pm and I start cleaning the house, wiping yoghurt off the floors, walls and ceiling and steaming fruit for tomorrow’s meal. Dinner ends up being a box of popcorn and a beer. Your dad messages me to tell me about the curried pasta he’s eating at some fancy restaurant.

It’s 9 pm now and I’m signing off on a few emails. The house is quiet, and clean. I lock up the house, brush my teeth, and eventually I sit down to pee. You cry out, I think you’re experiencing nightmares.

That pee can wait.

 

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Babies, Bank Balances and Brain Failure.

There are so many things I love about having a baby. I’m not going to get into that now, but consider this my disclaimer:

I hereby declare my undying love and adoration for my son, and no children were hypothetically harmed in the making of this blog post.

Right, now that that’s off my chest, there are times when having a child makes life damn near impossible.

Yesterday, while driving to friends for champagne brunch, we realised that we had left Carter’s nappy bag at home. We were too far gone (read: lazy) to turnaround and go back to retrieve it, so I had to go into Pick n Pay and buy a whole tin of formula and a new bottle. Thank god the friend we were visiting has a baby of her own, so she didn’t actually die of gagging when Carter shat in his nappy, with such velocity, that the turd spilled out of his bum, into his clothes, then travelled out of said clothes, smeared onto their kid’s Bumbo seat and all the way up his body. Of course we had no cloths or towels on us, so I cleaned him up using spit, a wet wipe and a fleece blanket. Have you ever seen shit on a fleece blanket?

So yes, parental error and in no way my 5 month old child’s fault, but having a baby means remembering 40 hundred things all of the time. And when – 5 months prior – you could be as selfish as Eskom’s electricity supply, suddenly remembering all of these things comes as a massive lifestyle change.

This got me thinking – and silently applauding – every other parent out there, for there are things that become just plain impossible when you have a child.

Dating. Single parents OHMYGODHOWDOYOUDOIT? A friend was telling me about a lady she works with, single mom to an 8 year old, who has recently started dating again. Can you even imagine if I was single and had to go out and meet people? First of all, I would have to go out. As in willingly leave the house when the TV was mere meters away. What, do I leave my child alone with a bowl of water and bag of snacks? What would I wear? I still rely heavily on maternity leggings and nursing bras. Would I have to shave my legs? Now, imagine the conversations on this imaginary date:

Him: “So, read any good books lately?”

Me: “No. But I sometimes Google “Is this much wine bad for me” and “How to effectively drug your baby to sleep”

Him: “Er, Ok… what are your hobbies?”

Me: “I adore napping, but am generally too busy washing and sterilising items around the house. Sometimes I take long walks… with a screaming infant and 2 lazy bordering-on-obese-hounds”.

Then, there’s exercise. I posted a casual ‘Hey, I’m interested in yoga class’ on my Facebook page the other day, and berated myself almost immediately for doing so. What was I thinking? When on earth do I think I have time to Namaste when I should home pureeing butternut and bathing my baby. At this stage of my life I’m more ‘mama’ than ‘meditation’.

Then there’s money. Or lack thereof.  My savings account has had a life size nose Frida inserted into it, and been sucked dry. I’ve spent my money on fun things like crèche, working mom guilt gifts and high chairs. Don’t even get me started on the pool fence quote I got last week. *Signs up to sell an organ*.

Sleep. This is possibly the one I miss the most. Yes, laugh away, I realise that for the first 4 months of my babies life when I gushed about “how easy it was” and “how much he slept” that you sat there thinking “just wait”. Gloat away people, for I now have egg (and dried snot, tears and drool) on my face. For my baby who shall be named, no.longer.sleeps. I have narrowed the list down to a small 65 reasons as to why this could be happening.

This then means that at work I become the biggest fucking bumbling idiot. People walk in a wide berth around “Crazy Kate” in the corner. Some days I have such brain failure that I’m surprised I don’t wee in my skirt because I’ve forgotten to go to the loo. Just last week I tried to use my computer mouse for close to 10 minutes before realising that it was my makeup compact.

Lastly, and I think this is a universal biggie – is that having a baby means you love something more than anything, yet hate yourself. I avert my eyes when I see myself in the mirror, I moan about the bags under my eyes, I joke about my stretch marked limp boobs and I starve myself to the point of tears to try and lose a little bit of the flab. I would never talk to a friend the way I talk to myself, so why is it OK to talk to myself that way? I should high-five myself while yelling “Well done lady, you made a human!”

However, for every reaction there is an equal and opposite reaction (FYI – that really should be Newton’s first law, it totally trumps the others). Just as the tide comes in during the day, you can bet your broke fat ass that it will also go back out.

Carter will start sleeping again, I will lose the weight, single parents will meet someone so wonderful that they will want to introduce their kid to them and slowly but surely your bank balance will fill up.

But those bags under the eyes? Those will never go. Because, fuck you genetics.

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How to grocery shop with a baby (and other handy hints)

Yesterday I started a baby massage class. I was disappointed to find out that it would be me massaging my baby, and not the other way round. Surely I deserve a little bit of deep tissue love? It should be payback for never having any time for myself.

Carter’s going through a growth spurt (well, that’s what the books say, as apparently ‘possessed by demons’ isn’t appropriate). This means that my days of having 3 hours in between feeds while he napped and I leisurely applied makeup, showered or pumped boobs are over – atleast for the next few days. Just yesterday I ate an omelette with my hands, like a sandwich.

I have the deepest amount of respect and sympathy for moms who have had niggly babies from day 1. It’s tough – you love them more than wine, but it’s near impossible to do anything if they don’t let you put them down for even a second. Short of drugging them, the only thing to do is wait for hubby to get home from work or wait for the growth spurt to be over.

With this in mind, I wanted to share a few handy shortcuts to motherhood that I heave learnt in the last 5 weeks.

Venturing out. When leaving the house for any reason at all, make sure you are always in gym clothes and are slightly disheveled. (Moms, I hear you laughing ‘cos how ELSE does one go out with a new born, right?). The reason for this, and no, it’s not to actually Go to gym, silly, is so should you bump into anyone you know, or even don’t know, they will automatically assume you’ve come from a 90 minute spin class, and will immediately think you Wonder Woman for exercising while looking after a baby. Extra points for smudged or no makeup and vomit on your top (people will just assume it’s  protein shake).

Cooking. When making anything, anything at all, make sure you make enough to feed a soup kitchen. Then freeze the leftovers and re-heat for breakfast, lunch and dinner the following week. Your husband will grow to love tofu noodles, promise.

Exercise. IF you ever get the inkling to actually do anything of the aerobic nature, then having a goal is key. And by goal I mean a fancy cappuccino or blueberry muffin. I like to take brisk walks to the local Seattle down the road and reward myself with a grande latte and a cheese sandwich. You may not ever lose weight, but it’s a lot more rewarding than going to the gym.

Wine. Is very important. I am not ashamed to admit that I now buy wine in boxes as its a lot easier to pour when you only have 1 hand. Just be careful you don’t drop the glass. I mean the baby, don’t drop the baby.

Makeup and personal hygiene. Invest in a deodorant that promises 48 hour protection, and you’ve saved yourself a day. Sleep with waterproof makeup on, and wear the sports bra to bed that you plan on wearing the next day. That pretty much leaves brushing your teeth and tying your hair in a mom bun, and you’re good to go.

Grocery shopping. I made the fatal error of going to the mall when my baby was asleep in his pram. Taking full advantage of this I thought it was a magnificent time to buy all new wine glasses, drinking glasses, soup bowls and blankets for the house. This left me walking back to my car pushing a pram, a trolley of breakables, a nappy bag a handbag and a 6 pack of milk. School girl error. If you need to do a grocery shop then leave the baby in the very capable hands of another adult and go alone. Although I can’t promise that you won’t dash out for sesame seeds and nipple cream and come back with a thousand rands worth of Woolies goodies and a new lounge suite.

Oh, and before you think “but the bitch has time to blog” please note that baby is with granny and I’m writing from the comfort of the hairdressers chair, while holding a dog named Leo. As you do.

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