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!

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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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I Don't Love You.

I love wine, but I don’t wake up thinking about it (well, not every morning). I love a good book, I love carbohydrates and I love a traffic free route to work. But love you? It’s not enough. The feeling I have for you is so all consuming, so large and so overwhelming, that it scares me to death.

When you were born and placed in my arms, my life changed, yes. I loved you then because I had been loving you for 9 months already. But then, something shifted. I commented to someone the other day that I wasn’t sure how I could ever love you more. That newborns were my favourite of all the baby brands. That nothing could, or would, beat having a teeny tiny thing in my arms. But then you grew, and smiled, and laughed, and rolled, and grasped and connected, and my heart felt like it might explode.

A big part of my pregnancy was spent worrying about how I would know what to do when you were here, and how would I care for you. But when you have a baby an incredible thing happens, your instincts kick in, and although I may not always know why you are crying, I alone can make you stop. Sometimes, when someone is holding you and you are wailing louder than a fire truck, I know why. I know it’s because you prefer to be held in a certain way, that loud voices can startle you, and that you actually prefer a certain dummy over the other. I can’t tell people that obviously. I don’t ever want to be that helicopter parent, but it’s part comforting, and part terrifying that I alone am responsible for your happiness. At least for the time being.

Another big no no I had BC (Before Carrter) was the amount of you that I would share online. But then you burst into my life and everything excited me. Your triangle toenails, that tiny dent in your skull, the one eyelash on the bottom of your eye that grows at a 90 degree angle. And so I share these things, because to me you are perfection. You wont ever remember, but when I feed you at night I rest my neck against your forehead, because it’s a perfect fit, and I run my thumb over your tiny fingers, and massage your Michelin man thigh. I want to record every sigh and sound you make, and bottle them for future consumption. I have even, at times, held your tiny mouth to my ear when you are screaming, because I need to absorb every inch of you.

This afternoon you napped for 2 hours and 44 minutes. I crept into your nursery 6 times to stare at your face and kiss the top of your soft head. There’s a lot I can get done in 2 hours and 44 minutes, but at times I cannot tear myself away from you. When you sleep I yearn for you to wake up and give me that gummy smile. (to be fair, when you’re awake I kinda hope you’ll nap again soon).

This afternoon, when we were lying on the picnic blanket on the lawn, watching dad install a light, you would jolt in fright each time the drill went. I have to remind myself that everything is new to you. That finding your toes is possibly the highlight of your day. Watching you jolt with noises, and coo in delight with familiar objects brings me to my knees in the most humbling of ways.

Every day with you is a delight.

I am besotted, obsessed, enthralled, in awe and head over heels for you.

Carter James, I adore being your mom.

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Win a Photoshoot Valued at R2500!

“Please take a photo of Carter and me”.

This is something I ask my husband atleast once a day. Why? Because I have no photos of my child and I together. (slight exaggeration, but you get the point). I am always the one snapping the hundreds of people holding my baby, and capturing those tender moments between him and someone who isn’t his mother. I must have several thousand photos of my husband with the kid, and a few thousand more of my dogs, grannies, friends, friend’s kids and friends babies with my baby. Hell, even my domestic worker has her own album on my iMac.

Every now and then my husband does remember to take a photo. Unfortunately it’s generally at 5 am when Carter is lying in the bed next to me, when there’s dried snot on my cheek, my face is puffy and lined from sleep, and I look like this:

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Arsehole.

It may be the wannabe photog in me, but there are atleast a dozen moments throughout the day when I’m perfectly posed for a pic. TAKE MY PICTURE YOU IDIOT I want to shout as I’m lovingly gazing into my baby’s eyes, he’s gazing lovingly back and there are fucking violins playing in the background. But no, unless I ask someone nicely to snap a pic, it wont happen, and even then the moment is undoubtedly lost when I get a forced “Ok look up at the camera and say cheese!’.

So, it is with muchos excitement that I’m running this competition on my blog. This one’s for all the moms who took the time to wash their hair and apply makeup in the hopes that someone would snap their pic of them and their baby…and then were asked to hold the camera and take a photo of someone else.

My good friend – and photographer extraordinaire – Clair Fraser from Fraser Photography (you may remember her for our engagement shoots) recently did a photo shoot with me and Carter (and the dogs, but they are incredibly needy, so I’ll let that one slide). I adore these pics so much, and just love how Clair is with the babies behind the scenes. Carter had an absolute blast, and to thank me for it he delivered a gigantic poonami from hell later that day, but I digress.

Clair has kindly offered to giveaway a photo shoot, valued at R2500 to Rupert Approves readers. And if you’re anything like me, then luxuries like personalized photo shoots are almost impossible given the price of nappies, formula and wine. Three vital things needed when raising a child.

Even better – the shoot isn’t limited to a newborn – it can be anything from maternity to a family lifestyle shoot. So, if you’re feeling bad because the last time you updated your family album was in 2012 using an old Instagram photo, then this is the competition for you.

I know you’re busy (washing your hair and putting makeup on and all that) so entering is really simple. All it takes is 3 easy steps:

  1. Follow Rupert Approves.
  2. Like Clair Fraser Photography on Facebook.
  3. Comment on this post and tell me what shoot you would like to win (Maternity, Newborn, Baby, Cake Smash, Toddler or Family Shoot)

The winner will be drawn and announced this Friday (7 August) at 7 pm.

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 The Ts and Cs

  • Winners must make their own travel arrangements to and from the studio, based in Fourways, Johannesburg.
  • Prize is not transferrable
  • Prize must be redeemed before 30 November 2015
  • Photoshoot categories are limited to: Maternity, Newborn, Baby, Family and First Birthday Cake Smash
  •  Entrants must abide by competition mechanics listed above in order to qualify

*update*

Congratulations to Mellissa who has won this amazing prize! To everyone else, thank you entering. Clair from Fraser photography has kindly offered a 10% discount to everyone who entered – simply quote the word ‘Rupert Approves’ when booking your shoot through her. The discount is valid for any shoot until the end of the year.

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He's A Dad, Not A Babysitter.

I read this article a couple of years ago, before I was even considering having children, and even then, young and carefree, I thought to myself “this. This is how I plan on working a baby into our lives”.

To quote the article – a father should never be called or seen as ‘the baby sitter’. To imply that they are merely there as a temporary carer implies that their role is of lesser value and importance than the moms. As an example – you would never say to a mom who was out at the grocery store “Oh, I see you’re baby sitting today?”. So why would you ever say that to the dad?

When Carter was born there was an almost silent agreement between my husband and I that this was a dual role. That they baby was ours 50/50, and caring for him would be just that.

Even before he was born Barry came with me to every single ultrasound and checkup. I insisted he pay half the bills when my medical aid had dried up and we will split our childs cost equally going forward as well. Am I a bitch? Am I high maintenance? Absolutely not. I am one half Carters parent. Therefore I rely equally on my other half to come to the party when raising him. Not ‘help’ me to raise him. if I want help I’ll call his granny.

From day one he has been a hands on dad – we have split the night feed duties in half, he packs the nappy bag when we go out and changes the car seat base between cars (most of the time…). Just last night it was his turn on night duty (of course our baby then slept for 11 hours straight), and when I told people this, they were more shocked about the fact that he does ‘night duty. Yes, he bloody well does night duty – he also changes the nappies, baths him and puts him to bed on most nights. In fact, he comes home at a decent hour on most days, not to allow me to go run, but to give me time from my ‘job’ of mothering to go and exercise, to get some much needed ‘me time’. Plus, he knows that on Sundays he gets to disappear for several hours to hit the trails with some of his mates.

In less than 6 weeks I will be going back to work – which means we will both be full time working parents. Is it going to be easy? No. Is it going to be do-able? Absolutely, because my husband will do one half of the creche run, one half of the cooking (although I think that may be news to him) and one half of raising our child. 

I get that I am so so fortunate, and that many dads still see their role as the silent observer type. I also understand that there is a lot a man cannot physically do for his child, which may leave him feeling helpless (nursing being the biggest), but in times when a man can’t magically grow a set of boobs, he can bring his wife a glass of water, or make her a cup of tea. If baby is particularly mom-fuss on a certain day, hubby can help with the washing, or cleaning or cooking. Because it is 2015, and I know very few woman who don’t bust their ass every day in the office and work hellishly long hours too. 

Simply put, I try keep my hubby out of my blog, but sometimes a gals just gotta brag a bit. 

I got me a good one.

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Babys Best Buys

Remember Bonnie from Bonnies Best Buys? This is exactly the same, except entirely different.

Bonny.
Bonny.
Not Bonny
Not Bonny

Leading up to having Carter, I was kindly gifted with so many ‘must have items’ from fellow moms. And once he was born, I discovered a few of my own. 

In the spirit of promoting our GDP – here are several baby items I just cannot live without:

1. Towelling nappies. To be used for everything except actually nappy’ing. These bad boys soak up any liquid, from baby vomay all the way to your snot and tears when it’s 4 in the morning and you’ve put the nappy on backwards for the 3rd time in a row. 

2. Itzbeen ‘Pocket Nanny’. I didn’t really start using this bad boy until a few weeks ago after I attended a sleep talk, and decided to start enforcing a stricter day time sleep routine on Carter. This handy little device times everything from feeds, to naps to nappy changes. It times up to 24 hours, but if your baby happens to nap that long I would seriously consider getting sterilised.

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(In this image you can clearly see that Carter has been sleeping for 1 minute. He sometimes like to show off like that)

3. Baby bouncer. Another revoltingly coloured plaything with a repetitive jingle? Check. However, this crafty bouncer is probably the only this that occupies my child for longer than 2 minutes. I can pop him in there when I’m pouring a glass of wine writing a blog and he merrily pulls, bounces and stares at the plastic loops for minutes on end.

4. Plastic loops. I think these are called linking loops? I call them presents from Jesus. For about 40 rond you can grab yourself a pack of these ingenious little toys and attach them to just about anything. (like a baby bouncer). In about 2 weeks Im going to try use them to hold him down on his changing mate so he can’t roll over while I pour another glass of wine scour the house for a nappy that fits

5. Formula. Im still giving him ye old boob juice, but for days when its inconvenient to breast feed (read – ANYWHERE in public) I simply give him baby protein powder. It’s helping to make the transition for when I go back to work easier, plus it keeps him fuller for longer (hello 10 hour sleeps!)

6. iPad apps. Yes, I’ve introduced my child to the iPad. No, I don’t think Im going to kill him by doing so. Fisher Price have the most incredible apps for each stage of babys life – I’m currently using one called “Contrast Colour’ which is a series of interactive black and white and colour images designed to stimulate baby. I used it on him for the first time last week. About 2 minutes in he was fast asleep and I was gleefully hopping from one video to the next. (addendum, it’s great for adults too)

7.Clever clothing. Fark you onesie manufacturers who make putting your outfits on tiny wriggling humans a sweat inducing challenge. Your buttonless outfits are about effective as Donald Trumps combover. Enter – the clever and oh-so-cute companies like Tous Les Jours who actually put thought behind their products. Like this little outfit – cute, practical and easy to use. 

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Oh, the packaging! Tres chic.
Oh, the packaging! Tres chic.

8. Honey Dummies. Often met with ‘erm, thats an interesting thing in your babies mouth’. These dummies are the red headed step children who turn into Prince Harry. Super cheap, ugly as sin, and a firm favourite with my kid. The best part? If he loses it I don’t have to fork out a small fortune to replace it.

9. Bibdannas. I don’t know if it’s his age, or if he simply gets a kick from me changing his outfit several times a day, but my baby is a drooler. Thankfully, bibs have come a long way from the ugly square plastic neck accessories they were. Mamma and Nanna make some awesome ‘bibdannas’ which double up as gob-catchers, whilst looking trendy at the same time.

10. Car seat mirrors. I am paranoid about my baby and his breathing. In hospital I would sleep with him in his bassinet next to me, and wake up every 18 seconds to put my hand in front of his mouth to test if he was alive. So, you can imagine my paranoia when driving with him in a  rear facing car seat. A mirror that goes on to the head rest of the car seat that he’s facing allows you to view him through your rear mirror. Plus, my baby is incredibly vain, so he gets to gaze at himself for hours on end. 

What am I missing here, moms? Any ‘must have’ items on your list? (and don’t worry, I already have vodka on it).

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The Problem With Mommy Groups.

Falling pregnant is (relatively) easy. Being pregnant, and then spawning a baby, is the hard part. It’s only until you have this tiny, helpless infant in your arms that you think to yourself “shit, now what?”. 

I think I spent my entire pregnancy in denial – under a false illusion that once baby was here I would know exactly what to do, and that everything would magically fall into place. Except, it didn’t. Suddenly, I had this brand new, pink, squeaking, frog-like human in my arms and panic set in. How will I know when to change its nappy. What size nappy? What brand of nappy? When does it eat? How does it eat? How much does it eat? OhMyGodWhenAmIEverGoingToEatAgain?!

And so, I sought advice from the experts. Other moms. 

Facebook, with all its faults, does offer us one great thing – groups. And if there’s one thing a mommy loves, it’s a mommy group on Facebook. Before my baby was barely more than some drying wee on a dipstick, I had been added to more Faceook groups than I could remember. Breastfeeding groups, gentle parent groups, Joburg groups, groups about groups, groups abut those groups who group together. You get the point. 

My newsfeed was filled daily with panic stricken moms asking for consultations on their baby’s rash, moms asking for reliable family photographers and moms looking to sell little Johnnys ‘barely used’ burp cloth.

At first, I loved it, I sucked in the information like an alcoholic on relapse. Everything fascinated me! No ‘is this poo even normal’ question was too much for my insatiable appetite, no requests for ‘it’s little Julie’s birthday in 7 minutes and I need one hundred million gluten free Frozen themed cupcakes’ could scare me away. Oh no, I was mommy group befok. 

Until I started asking my own questions.

They started off innocently enough. One day I asked if anyone could recommend a good book to read during maternity leave (and we laughed and laughed). I also posed on the group the day before my son was born, and the love poured in. Then, I had the absolute gall, the CHEEK, to post about something that required a point of view. Circumcision. Words like ‘baby massacre’ and ‘genital mutilation’ spring to mind. My post elicited hundreds of responses where women, who I have never met and who have never met me unleashed their verbal abuse. 

I’m not alone. I have seen hundreds of moms torn to shreds for even mentioning the word ‘bottle fed’ or (gasp!) ‘C Section’. Questions around how many ml’s a baby should be drinking were met with very angry women lambasting anything that didn’t come out of the boob. Cute pics of ‘baby’s nursery linen’ were followed with Internet links to cot deaths and SIDS stats.

Eventually, I started to unfollow most of the groups, and retreated into the corner like a scolded school child. From there, I observed, and watched more innocent ladies fall to the merciless hands of the know-it-all-parent.

I have chosen to remain on two Facebook groups, where abuse is met with a quick removal by the page admin, but having been burnt a few times I am hesitant to post anything more than an innocuous update about something that can’t offend anyone. (puppies running through tulips, and that sort of thing)

Motherhood is fucking tough. We all have our days where we have no idea what we’re doing. I’m still so grateful to the few groups I remain on and the 99% of moms out there who are genuine and helpful, and don’t mind a difference of opinion.

To those moms, the invisible personas behind the profile pictures, I thank you. We may have never met, but you have helped me in more ways than you know.mommy wars

PS – I still can’t help anyone with a hundred million gluten free Frozen themed cupcakes. Sorry. 

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Blake Lively, You Are Not helping Matters.

I just took a light jog with the dogs and the pram. In my nursing bra. My oversized boobs were literally flying into my mouth.

Why did I just take a jog with 2 dogs and a baby you ask? No, it was not to taste my own boob milk, nor was it to proudly display my multitasking skills whilst I clutched dog leash in one hand and bouncy breast in the other.

You see, my face slash body double Blake Lively has also recently given birth to a baby. I’m not sure of its name. Probably God. 

Have you seen Blake Lively post partum? Wait did you see her pregnant? Holy mother of all things fertile, the woman looks like a Victoria Secret model. She’s all lean arms and legs, luscious hair and flat tummy. It’s depressing dear reader – and don’t for one second try to tell me she’s wearing spanx under her dress made of human skin. I tried them things. All that happened was that my post baby belly went from sitting around my waist, to being squished up around my chest, resulting in 2 sets of 36 D’s to deal with. 

She has time to wear a hat?
She has time to wear a hat?

Seriously?

I mean COME ON!
I mean COME ON!

Im still wearing the pregnancy leggings I lived in for 9 months, and when I dare to wear a tight top I look 5 months knocked up. You guys, my cellulite has cellulite.

I had an easy pregnancy – so I guess this is my big pay back – the fat that won’t come off. What makes it even worse is that my bordering on problematic pregnancy cravings (white chocolate, vanilla cake, Kit Kat chunkys and toasted cheese sarmies have not at all abated). Harder still is that junk food is the easiest thing to eat when nursing a baby in one hand and fondling my fat rolls in the other.

I did go back to gym. Once. I signed Carter up to Club V, left him there and waddled off to the floor mats. There, I bumped into a lady I used to work with, who has the body of Blake Lively’s twin sister. She told me, very kindly, to go easy on myself. 12 months is a very long time to be stagnant, but I was too stubborn to listen. 8 jumping squats later I could actually feel myself starting to black out. 1 attempted plank and a handful of running lunges later and I think I actually DID pass out. 

EIGHT DAYS LATER and I was only managing to sit down n the toilet again without crying. 

I know I need to be patient, I know its only been 7 weeks and 6 days since I gave birth (and all the lard in the world is worth it when I look at this perfect little kid) but man, am I feeling crappy about this post baby body. 

I guess, in a perfect world, I would have a nanny to give me some time off to hit the gym, a slew of maids to do the washing and drying and cleaning when my baby vomits all over his brand new outfit (again) and a million more hours in the day to get everything I need to done. 

For now, I will take running up the street, clutching heaving bosoms in a nursing bra, whilst holding on to a pram and 2 hounds. 

Welcome to motherhood. 

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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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