I have been overwhelmingly busy, to say the least! But I really REALLY wanted to share some of what went down from my recent Mom’s Meetup. This was the first of it’s kind and something that I really do hope to continue doing in the future.
I started planning and pulling everything together over 3 months ago. The idea was to have moms join me for breakfast where I could introduce new brands, hear from professionals and get spoilt rotten with some amazing goodie bags and competitions. The task seemed impossible especially after having someone, who is very active in the industry (and who I once admired) kick me down with an essay of an email, telling me why this would NOT work. It kinda kills me that when someone is trying to create community, others see it as a threat and will rather bully or put them down than encourage and motivate. Anyway, I took it as a challenge and made it my own and boy, did I prove her wrong!
On the 6th of September we were set to welcome 20 moms to Life with Lemons, a quaint venue owned by an extraordinary woman by the name of Lynda. Read her story,
There was a lot that I had planned on saying on the day, that I didn’t get around to, due to time or just talking myself in circles when given the opportunity. I decided to cover all of that now.
Baby Blog is a place that I document Axl’s milestones and share my adventures (well, rather mis-adventures) of motherhood. It’s a place that I can be honest and say yay or nay to products and brands. But most of all, it is a place for moms to read and relate. Let me not fool you into believing that I have this life figured out, because I don’t! There are thousands of moms who do it better than me and if you want a rolemodel, look to them.
In life, I have learnt that if you want to know something, look for the book (or in this day and age, google it). To get from point A to B, there are mapbooks, SatNav and TomToms, if you want to know which flowers to grow in the summer, or which bird is sitting in your garden, there are libraries dedicated to each subject. But when it comes to parenting, there is no single book that can quite capture the challenges and rewards that each child brings. There is no ‘How to bring up Axl Botha, for dummies.’ No? Why? Because each child is completely different!
I giggled when I attended the Baby Sense seminar, two weeks ago, where some of you had joined me. I asked the panel about my son, who no matter if he sleeps for 5 minutes or 3 hours, if he wakes there is no niggly-wigglys to rock him back to sleep, he sits straight up and is ready to go. WIDE AWAKE! They all gave me a reassuring smile before telling me that he is a social butterfly (gets it from his mom, clearly) and that there was basically nothing that could be done. The funny part was that I just sat through 4 hours, waiting for the ‘dealing with sleep routines’ section, listened closely and then it came down to, that sleep training probably won’t work for him, because why… he is different, he wants to socialise and much like his mom and his aunt, he doesn’t want to miss out on anything. Too bad for me.
I think back to when I first found out that I was expecting. I didn’t want to buy any clothing or blankets until we knew: blue or pink. So we started off by buying bottles and dummies. Darren and I stood in an aisle for about 45 minutes to an hour, deciding which bottle looked more like a boob. I didn’t want Axl getting confused and turning away my breast, as he is breastfed, but I still wanted the option to express. There before us, sat hundreds of bottles from different brands. This one had anti-colic and that one had natural feel. Eventually we came to the decision that the teat of the Tommee Tippee bottle was wide and was the closest shape to a boob, it was appealing to the eye and boasted a few things that I was meant to worry about. Happy with our decision, we bought EVERYTHING Tommee Tippee. Oh but Axl, he had another plan for us. For 2 weeks, Axl happily accepted his Tomee Tippee dummies, until one day he didn’t. He cried, he wailed and would not sleep. I googled and thought it was colic, or reflux, perhaps my milk was not enough and even asked google if it were possible that my milk was coming out sour? After a few nights, I sat and watched how he would suck a bottle happily, but give him a dummy, he’d spit it out. Testing my theory, I gave him a teat of a bottle, still – he was happy. Exploring a little further, I pulled out a wrapped NUK dummy that I was given part of a goodie bag. Low and behold – he had converted. The kid suddenly wanted NUK dummies… not NUK bottles, Only NUK dummies.
You see, you can spend hours planning but know that it will never go that way. Children are unique, they have personalities right from day 1 and assuming that one will be like the next, well that is just preposterous!
On February 1st, I naively sat with family and friends, cooing and ahhing over unwrapping cute baby clothes. After my baby shower, I headed home where I excitedly washed the new goodies before folding them and packing them on to shelves. Who would have thought that not even 27 days later, those very ‘cute’ clothes would become the bane of my existence. I wonder if I could go back to that girl, who was so heavily pregnant, what would I tell her? Would I be my mom telling her to get more sleep? Would I be the married-in-sister-in-law worrying about how I have wasted money on things I will never use? Or would I be telling her that breast feeding really is best and one day you’ll have sleepless nights over which brand of bum cream to buy? Honestly, I wouldn’t say any of that.
I would go back and tell myself that you need not fear parenthood. All that you have faced, leading up to this moment, has prepared you, moulded you and made you into the person who you are, and that is all that the little baby, growing in your belly, digging toes in your ribs, needs. There is no one better on this earth who can read and tell you what your baby wants, better than you can. There is no one who will soothe or calm your baby, better than you will and that really, parenthood is 90% winging it as it comes, 7% useless information from TV and a tiny 3% of combined tips from books, family and friends.
I like to joke and say that parenting books aren’t written for everyone, and that I figured that out while facing my contractions. I remember looking up at the poster beside my bed and trying every labour pose from the illustration and NOTHING helped!
I guess what I am trying to tell you is, Baby Blog, is not to tell you that if you do not do it my way, you’re a bad mom. Baby Blog is sharing my experiences of motherhood – good and bad. And these meetups are aimed at giving you the opportunity to be introduced to new brands, chat to moms who relate in the challenges you are currently facing and hearing from professionals from different walks – if you like them, great! If you don’t, well enjoy the breakfast, chat to some moms about the colour of your baby’s poop and enjoy the goodie bag!
A huge thank you to my sponsors who went the extra mile in delivering a goodie bag worthy of praise! I was determined in giving goodie bags that were full of spoils and not a bag full of vouchers for ‘20% off your R1000 purchase!’ Companies were happy to be involved and provided a variety of gifts for the bags and luck draws.
Goodie Bag Sponsors:
Palmer’s: 125g bottle of stretch mark cream
Optiphi: 200ml body lotion and 2x refine exfoliant
Purity and Elizbeth Anne’s: 2 x shampoo, 2 x soap, 2 x petroleum jelly, 2 x aqueous cream
Toy Toggle: Sample of toy toggle
Naartjie Kid’s Clothing: R150 off voucher
Wakaberry: 20% off voucher
Nurture Naturally: Freshly baked finger snacks for your tot
Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond: R50 off voucher
Lucky Draw Sponsors:
Kiddie Calm: Bath salts and foot soak for mom
Love My Home: Voucher
Lovely Links: Bracelet and voucher to start your collection
Naartjie Kid’s Clothing: Giftcard
Baby Gym: 1 x 1st course, 1 x 2nd course
Bio-Oil: 2 x Gift Boxes
Optiphi – Skincare regime to the value of R1800
Phil Visagie from Commissioned to Go
Ilze – Baby Gym: Website