A few days away from Black Friday! While there is no chance that I will brave any store or mall IRL, I have been stocking up my wishlists on online stores! Why? Because I did an article in partnership with Superbalist over on Tums 2 Tots Online about how to stand your best chance of getting everything you want on Black Friday by beating the crowds…
On 14 October I shared a photo of Charly sleeping on Instagram. There was an instant and unanimous response that at first glance, people thought the photo was of me. I was devastated. Doesn’t seem like a normal response, does it? Yeah, I realised pretty quickly that my self esteem is not what I thought. So, here’s the thing… In my head the two alternatives are – if my poor child looks like me, my mommy goggles are exceptional. Or I literally do not see myself in the mirror. I’m not really sure how to verbalize how traumatic this has felt to me.
I’ve been crying going through my blog. While most of the stuff I share is raw and real, it is so rare it hurts. I wanted to find a link to share on my Instagram page (which I keep up to date daily) and I had to go so far back I burst into tears. I’ve lost me. No. That’s not right. I ran away from me.
I am incredibly resistant to writing this. I need to though, because I want 2018 to stay where it is – in the past. So I need to unpack it all… Look one last time and let go. 2018 has been full of loss, devastation, heartache, disappointment and unreached goals. It has also held elements of inspiration, clarity of purpose, finding true friends to replace those who didn’t deserve my heart and finding our forever home.
I work closely with the Prima Toys brand through my magazine, Tums 2 Tots Online. They sent Charly a whole range of their toys to review for our Christmas lists this year. We put a lot of thought into what makes it on to our lists, and Prima made it hard this year! So hard that we had to create a 2-part list to get it all in! (You can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here.) Their Little Live collection of toys is quite exceptional. If your little one is “ready” for a pet, but you and your patience aren’t… I may just have the solution for you.
Can you guys even believe that Charly is heading towards 5 years old?? Ok, I might be jumping ahead, but time seems to be on fast forward this year… So it isn’t too much of a stretch for me to imagine blinking and finding ourselves in February 2019. Living in the future is somewhat necessary right now as we face applying for schools for Grade R in 2020. Can anybody say overwhelm? But, again, I am jumping ahead… We are long overdue a Charly Roses update and there is so much to tell about our ninja ballerina gymnast!
There have been some very scary stories and social media posts going around on missing children, child trafficking and people trying to steal kids off the streets or from their mother’s arms. Some of them are very real. And others are completely fake. When I see people sharing false facts around child trafficking or kidnapping, it really upsets me. Because the realities are scary enough and making up stuff takes away from that and creates unnecessary work for SAPS. When I see panicked moms trying to build digital walls around their children’s identities because they fear Facebook is some kind of shopping list for their babies, I get seriously angry. So I did what I do – research.
I was recently at the Ford South Africa Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) event to share car seat safety tips. I joined Johan, who was the MasterDrive expert on what to do in a hijacking situation. There were five groups, so I went through the session often enough to have it properly sink in. Like most South African parents, I read and memorised a hijacking article that came out a few years back. Within seconds of starting this session I realised there were some massive discrepencies between what I was learning and what I had read. While this isn’t the kind of thing I usually share here, I had a lot of questions on a few points I shared online and sharing is what I do best. Here are some of the biggest things I learned about getting yourself and your family out of a hijacking situation safely.
A month and 2 days since I shared what I thought was the worst thing I could share. I had to re-read it now, to try to figure out where to begin. It hurts every inch of my soul to read it, especially knowing how much worse it was going to get. For 6 days, I mourned losing a baby. I raged over everything; but I had no idea how angry I would get. I sometimes wonder if I’ll ever go to the bathroom again without my mind preparing me for too much bleeding. I was in so much pain with the cramping… And I was heartbroken, for myself and so very much for my Charly. For 6 days I experienced a miscarriage, only to find out I was still pregnant. But this was not good news… Because there is a difference between a pregnancy and an ectopic pregnancy.
Yesterday morning I was pregnant. This is not the post I am meant to be sharing. Yesterday morning I was preparing to publish “Pregnant in Cape Town (Again)”. I was sharing the crazy amazing story of how unbelievably unlikely the magical little being inside of me happening was. How I woke up on May 14th and knew without a doubt that I was pregnant. How I had to wait 2 weeks to miss my period before the test would pick it up. And then how I took the test and watched the line appear… Yesterday morning I was 5 weeks pregnant, I was sure it was a boy and then I lost my baby.
There are some questions you know you will have to answer as a girl mom… Where do babies come from? What is a period? Why doesn’t (somebody) like me? Each question holds its own fears for me. As someone with incredibly low self esteem, the scariest questions for me are around the concept of being beautiful. After all, what DOES beautiful look like? The instinctive answer in my head is always, “not like me”. I have no idea where it started, but I know it never ended. I would do anything to avoid ever having Charly even ask the question! Because that would mean she had a sense of it herself.
A few of you may have seen or heard me mention a thing I have been working towards since the beginning of last year called #ProjectMe. I was hinting at it already in 2016 when the idea first came to me, when I was suffering from severe burnout after #CarseatFullstop. It began really clarifying itself when I did the #CTConfidence shoot with Abigail K. And then 2017 sucked me under and the very reason I so desperately needed to begin this journey of reprioritising me – losing myself in the chaos of motherhood and deadlines and finances and and and – became a roadblock to my getting #ProjectMe off the ground.
Late last year I decided 2018 was going to be the best year ever and #ProjectMe was definitely going to be a part of that. And then… of course… this happened. Instagram followers would also have seen that February quickly joined January on the trashheap of 2017. But March! March has been moving in all the right directions! And it is all starting to come together!
Not sure when I became the kind of blogger that only writes when I have something specific to say. Remember the good old days when I just blogged all the time about every random thing that caught my attention? I have a daily microblog thing going on on Instagram. You know what I have found? It’s the photos. I LOVE photos. They tell stories. So when I write here, I can knock out a post in a few hours, but then I have to take or choose photos… which can literally take me days (I wrote this 2 weeks ago). I have drafts, full articles, that have never been published because I just never got to finding the right photos. So yes, Instagram kind of forces me to select a photo from the day (there is at least one photo every day since Charly was born), and then share a bit about the day that was. Oh, yes… back to the topic! Do you remember how bad it was to be called a tattletale? I do. It causes that internal flinch in a goodytwoshoes like myself. From bullies on the playground to grown ups – teachers, parents, aunts and uncles; being called a tattletale was about the worst thing you could be called.
Late last year, life got away from me. I was beyond excited to become a brand ambassador for the Ford Everest through #CarseatFullstop. I was featured on Expresso with the lovely Graeme Richards. I filmed my first video for child safety with Ford. I had an amazing photoshoot with Josie Photography, with Charly showing off some of our favourite brands and awesome gift ideas. I was a guest expert on the Expresso Morning show, the South African Mommy Facebook page, and on Phumeza Lang‘s #SistahoodHour. And in amongst that craziness, I was betrayed and shattered emotionally by somebody incredibly close to me, two of my best friends moved away, my mommy fell ill and my granny went into hospital for a blood clotting issue. 2017 was somewhat of a bitch. 2018 was going to be better, and I decided that I wasn’t going to let January ruin that for me. So ‘tsek January, you cannot sit with us. I have officially declared you part of 2017, where you can have no affect on the awesomeness that 2018 has the potential to be.
What would you do if someone offered you a brand new Baby Bullet? A very lovely someone contacted me a little while ago and did just that… offered me a free Baby Bullet to review and another to give away. Do you know what I did? I said that instead of giving it to me, I would give it to one of you! My kitchen is FULL of gadgets. We have the NutriBullet of course, and a juicer, and some other kind of smoothie maker, coffee machines (yup, more than one), an air fryer, a slow cooker and a pressure cooker… I think we even have an electric frying pan somewhere. (This is all just reminding me that I need to do a big Gumtree sale…) ANYWAY! The Baby Bullet is SUCH a unique product for preparing food for babies, I really felt like a momma with a baby nearing weaning age would be a lot more deserving than I am. And also – I get to do more gift giving, which you all know is my love language!