Is there ever a time where you don’t feel like you just fail as a mom? For me, it started right from the beginning and I get a fresh rush of it every other day. I doubt myself as a person, as a mother, constantly. And then, the other day, after a little “all fall down” on Instagram and Facebook, I had you awesome mamas reminding me that I was not alone… It made me stop, and think about WHY I felt that way. It isn’t because what I am doing is wrong or dangerous for my child or anybody elses, it is simply because I know that there are a million people out there that believe that their way is the ONLY way. I still feel like I fail on the regular, today included, but I remind myself that how I am raising my girl is not the wrong way or the right way, it is just MY way. So I have my little meltdown and then I shake it off. So here are some of the things I do MY way… and why I don’t care if you think I am wrong.
One of the things that frustrates me the most with South African car seats, is that so many of our children outgrow their harnessed child car seats before they are able to safely use a booster seat with the car seatbelt alone. I had to face this with our secondary car seat that lives in my mom’s car recently. What am I talking about? Contrary to occasionally misleading salespeople and brand reps, other than 2 car seats in South Africa, all toddler seats – rear or forward facing – only allow use of the harness up to 18kgs and 105cm. (I believe there is 1 that goes to 18.5kgs) This is where my obsession with the BeSafe iZi Plus began, because those 2 car seats are the BeSafe iZi Plus and the Volvo Maxway. And when I first learnt this fact, along with the start of the information on extended rear facing, nobody had yet heard of the Volvo car seats in South Africa.
I have shared these facts in random places, in words. Never all in one place and never with photos. Last year, I started a crusade with #CarseatFullstop. I was so full of righteous anger and frustration at all the parents of South Africa that had the means, but didn’t use car seats for their children. I still carry a huge amount of frustration, but it comes with a humility of having faced my own mom shame on all the things I was doing wrong that was putting my child’s life at risk… This is not a pat-myself-on-the-back for changing my ways post.
I am just going to start sharing again. So very very much has happened over the past 4 months. I can’t believe it has been a whole four months. I feel so disappointed in myself for having dropped the ball here, but I am having to let that go. I’m not going to do a whole what’s happened post, because I started one and I hadn’t got through the first week and it was almost 2,000 words. Instead, I am going to share bits and pieces as we go along. I want to keep moving forward. It’s been hard, but in the past few months I have been learning to look after me again.
I am halfway through a nice “I’m back” post, and I promise I will finish it. I didn’t want to just jump straight back into the car seat business. I even have giveaways for you guys for the next 2 months to make up for deserting you for so long while I made that my focus. But I just HAVE to write about this right now. You guys may be sick of my #CarseatFullstop campaign. You may be sick of seeing articles all over all the parenting blogs. You may be sick of seeing my name or my face or hearing me on the radio. Fair warning, I am going to be in a few print magazines in November as well. Although the campaign ends at the end of September, I don’t think it is ever going to end with me. And THIS is why. THIS is NOT ok!!
I have been very scarce here of late and I am sorry. I am missing writing and sharing, but my heart and all my attention has been focused on putting together a national car seat awareness campaign for South Africa called #CarseatFullstop.