SLAMMED for NOT Piercing My Daughters’ Ears

Okay, this title is a bit tongue in cheek. Let me explain!

I have been asked when are my daughters’ getting their ear pierced. And so, I noticed the articles about Kylie Jenner being ‘mom shamed’ for piercing her daughter’s ears.

Articles reading ‘Kylie SLAMMED for piercing her daughter’s ears.’ This is completely ridiculous.

Kylie Jenner is being shamed for piercing her daughter’s ears.

WHAAATT!! Piercing a baby’s ears is so normal. And even if someone does not consider it normal, it is NOT harmful to the baby so what is the issue. Plus, it is ridiculously cute too!

From reading the articles, my own experience as mother of girls and just being a woman (or actually just being alive), there are cultural nuances to take into account.

In certain communities it is completely normal!

For example, I grew up in a Cape Town community. Here it is normal, no expected, that you will pierce your little girl’s ears.

If  a parent, whether it is Kylie Jenner or anyone else wants to pierce their baby’s ears let them be. If you do  not agree, then just don’t do it on your child. Simple.

RELATED: My Daughter is Bossy, Here is Why I Am Okay With It

My daughters do not have pierced ears.

My little girl is one and my eldest daughter is five.

In our community, it is normal (almost expected) that little girls will have their ears pierced within the first year. In fact, I get asked regularly when are my girls getting ear piercings?

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Slammed for not having my daughters’ ears pierced

Tongue in cheek, but I just had to say ‘SLAMMED’ as I find it ridiculous.

Anyway, I am not doing it because I am ‘WOKE’ and stuff. I just do not feel there is a strong enough motivation for me to do it right now.

It is just a personal decision (with some selfish motivations as well).

Why I am not Piercing my daughters’ ears

I have decided that I want to make it a special day when they are ready.

I want them to ask me to have it done so that they are aware and gives them the power to make decisions about their body.

It is an option for a birthday present. So that year they get it, it will be THE BIRTHDAY PRESENT.

Plus if I can hold off on the ear piercings, then it pushes out asking for more piercings and tattoos.

My four year old has been asking me to have her ears pierces, but she always forgets about the ear piercings the closer we get to her birthday. More important things have taken over as their birthdays draw near, such as a PJ Masks Birthday Cake for her and a Barney Birthday Cake for her sister).

No JUDGMENT!

However, my feelings towards ear piercing have ZERO connection with how I feel about other parents doing it. In fact, I find it beautiful and admire the pretty little studs.

DO YOU!

RELATED: Don’t Call My Daughter Shy (or any other kid for that matter)

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 1: Book Review

A balanced review of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls  by Elena Favilli and Francesca  Cavallo

We attended Disney on Ice last week, and it was hard to ignore how the stories are built around ‘girls being saved by knights and princes.’ I don’t have an issue with princess stories. In fact, princesses have high standing in our home!

However, I have a problem if that is ALL that my children are being exposed to.

RELATED: My Daughter is Bossy, Here is Why I Am Okay With It

Yes, girls and boys are different in many ways.

However, not everything need to be attributed to gender.

I want my girls to know for certain that there are girls out there who are aviators, mathematicians and Olympic gold medal winners. You know…if you can see it, you can dream it.

That is where  Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls comes in.

If you are looking for inspiring stories to read to your sons and daughters, then Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls will make an excellent addition to your bookshelf.

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 1: Book Review

good night stories for rebel girls review sa book

What is Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls about?

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is a children’s book packed with 100 bedtime stories about the life of 100 extraordinary women from the past and the present.

It ranges from Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Miriam Makeba (my favourite), Simone Biles and Amelia Earhart. The book covers a wide variety of fields, including science, medicine, literature, the arts, sports, politics, fashion, politics, the military, and more from across countries.

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls aims to show our daughters not to let anyone tell them that we cannot do something because they are girls. If you have the ability and mindset you can do anything!

What to expect from Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls

The  illustrations throughout the book are stunning an dramatic. Each women’s portrait is unique and impactful, just like the women themselves. The beautiful blue cover will make an excellent addition to any little girl’s book collection.

 

good night stories for rebel girls review page sa

How long is this book and will you be up all night reading this thick book to your child?

No. Although Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is thick; however, the stories are all one-pagers. Therefore, the book is very easy to read to your children.

How can you use the book to encourage conversation with your children?

Discuss the unique stories and why the women you read about are so special. The book aims to shatter preconceived ideas about what girls and boys are ‘supposed’ to be.

My four-year-old was amazed that a girl (Amna Al Haddad) could be a weightlifter. I also could not believe it, and we googled Amna together to read up about her further.

Constructive criticism: What could be better?

1. Caution: the writing is simple, remember it is a book for children. Please don’t expect an in-depth overview.

2. Stories are short and may only ‘brush’ over achievements. Can we really cover Michelle O’Bama in a one-pager? No, so be prepared to add in any additional information in need. If your child is like mine, who asks WHY WHY repeatedly you are going to need extra information (in this case Google is your friend)

3. Some stories might make you uncomfortable. As an example, in the story of Malala, she gets shot. I am not going to read that to my four-year-old. So I would adapt the words to say ‘they hurt her.’ Use your discretion.

In Conclusion 

I would definitely recommend adding Rebel Girls to your collection if you want your daughter to be exposed to a variety of role models. The beauty of this book is that these  stories are based on real people.

As with all things parenting, use your judgment and do what makes sense.

One of my daughter’s show and tell days had an ‘air transport’ theme. We drew a picture of Amelia Earhart together. And that was her show and tell – the first woman to fly across the ocean.

 

Rebel Girls is for sale at TakeAlot from R 319 and at all leading book retailers.

We Are Checking Out Playschools for Our Toddler – What I Am Really Looking For This Time Around

I can’t believe our little one (Miss A) will be going to playschool next year! She turns two in October 2018, and we have decided that Jan 2019 is the right time for her to go to school.

So I have been walking around our neighborhood scoping out playschools.

Her sister went to playschool/daycare at one year three months, and she adapted quite well (Except for the getting sick part).

So Now That We Are Officially Checking Out Playschools for Our Toddler here is what we are looking for

playschool for toddler_mommy blogger

Walking distance

We want a playschool that is within walking distance of our home, so our nanny can walk over and fetch Miss A.

Miss C (who is  in grade R next year, and I cannot handle it!), is registered with Cool Kids Cabs and it is working quite well. BUT, I don’t want to follow that route for now for the little one.

Meals

Parenting is largely a bunch of extra chores that have landed on your lap. Never. Ending. Chores. Cooking, cleaning, making snacks, cooking, cleaning, bathing, etc.

So, any situation that alleviates the pressure or helps the chores gets a yes from me. So I would really love a playschool that can give her as many meals as possible. As she will probably be half day, at least a cooked lunch!

RELATED: Bad Mom Confessions: My Child Swallowed a Birth Control Pill and 9 Other Parenting Fails

 

toddler looking for playschool

Stay Within The Budget

The budget might need to be traded off with the above factors. If the school provides at least one meal, and it is within walking distance, we will be okay to flex our budget a little bit.

A Good Feeling In My Tummy

I want to walk into this playschool and have a good feeling in my tummy.

I know, I know it is not scientific at all. But my eldest Miss C has been at two daycares/ playschools. I can tell you the one we really loved just FELT GOOD when we walked in there.

Angels started singing, and we felt all warm and fuzzy. Okay, no angels, but it felt good. The first one she attended that we did not like as much, looking back there were signs. We had to ‘convince ourselves’ a little bit about the daycare.

So I trust the feeling in my tummy.

Oh and then the standard ‘hygiene factors.’

I would not be a responsible parent if I did not cover the ‘important bits.’ Other important factors to consider are:

  • Cleanliness and Hygiene standards
  • Structured Routine for the children
  • Appropriate Illness policy
  • Reasonable teacher to child ratio
  • Safe play areas, indoors and outdoors
  • Healthy and balanced food (if food is provided)
  • The school and the teachers must have papers! Must be registered with recognised authorities

 

Finally, do some snooping.

Go online and so some online research on your options. You never know what you can find. Thou hath no fury like a mother or father scorned. If there are any reviews, you may pick it up online.

Also, find a parent whose child attended the school and ask them about their experience. I always consider other parents’ experiences. In fact, Miss C’s playschool I loved was a referral from a friend.

Question: Do you have any tips for little ones starting at a new playschool?

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Letter To My Daughter, You Turned Out To Be An Amazing Big Sister and I LOVE IT!

My dear daughter, you are four years old (turning five this year as you like to remind us!). Although we had a rough time for a few months after your little sister came home, I am so proud of the bond the two of you have developed. 

My little Caitlyn, I loved you from the moment I laid eyes on you on 14 September 2013 at 05h00am (thereabouts).

You looked just like your daddy. We could already tell from the ultrasound. I was a bit annoyed that you did not look anything like me. That does not even matter in the least.  What we do not share in physical features we make up for in our ways and personalities.

You have turned into a wonderful big sister, and I could not be prouder of you. 

I know it may be too early to put it out there, as you have only known each other for twenty months. But I am going to put this out there in the universe, as it makes me so happy! You are an amazing big sister.

Here is How I Know You Turned Out To Be An Amazing Big Sister

A post shared by Cherralle (@mydailycake_) on

Comforting your sister

When Ava falls down or hurts herself, you are always there to comfort her.

Sharing food with her sister

Although when it comes to luxuries, you are very hesitant to share. When it comes to actual food, you share. I was also happy to hear from our nanny that you keep a piece of bread from your school lunch and bring it home to your sister.

Make each other laugh

When the two of you are laughing together, that sound is magical.

You are kind

You are very kind to your sister. You are gentle. In your normal and every day interactions you treat her like a baby that must be protected.

You help her get out of bed

Helping your sister out of the cot is a bit dangerous and we have asked you to not do it without us. You help Ava get out of her camp cot in the morning and you both walk up the stairs to mommy and daddy’s bedroom.

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You like to dress alike

You love dressing up like your sister, from your outfits to your hairstyles.

In conclusion: Making space for both

When we had you and only you, I was content being a mom of one. But we wanted to give you a sister. Little did I know, Ava was the little extra gift we needed to complete our family.

When I was on maternity leave (for an ENTIRE MONTH before your sister was born!), I made you an album of our special moments. At the time, it was hard to imagine loving two of you. But, it just happened. All of our spaces expanded to hold both of you. Our home, our hearts and our arms!

I love you girls and I am proud to be your mom.

 

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House Cleaning Tips For Busy Moms (with small children)

These are not the house cleaning tips for busy moms you are expecting!

I always admire other people’s homes which are spotless.

Unfortunately, it will never be mine.

Although I have a helper, she looks after our two children during the day. We still do some housework on weekends when our helper is off.

A home that is tidy and clean is something I do aspire to. However, I have come to realise that because I have children, I will not have the super tidy and organised home. I will try but in my heart I know it is not going to happen.

Parental burnout is a real concern, and a super clean house is another form of pressure we may be placing on ourselves (I am  certainly guilty!).

Being a working mom means that there are certain ‘adjustments’ that you need to make. Remember, we cannot have it all!

There are of course moms who thrive on a super organised and clean home, and the cleaning itself bring joy. If that is you, then by ball means own that!

House Cleaning Tips For Busy Moms (with small children)

cleaning tips for working moms_house

Lower your cleaning standards, there are no ‘clean house’ police

Relax your cleaning standards. I have spoken before how low cleaning standards can help you get more time out of your weekend with your children, and we need it for our sanity as working moms!

Not what you expect to hear in a post about ‘house cleaning tips for busy moms’? I am not saying live in a mess, but you know what YOUR standards are, and you will determine for yourself what makes sense in your home.

A Clean House should not be more important than having fun as a family

Yes, we all want the beautiful homes. But let’s not forget that our children are only little once. Enjoy the space you are in now.

When your children are little they think you are a goddess and they want to hang around you the whole day.  When they are older, we will all have enough time to have a perfectly clean house.

Accept that children are children: they WILL mess

Best we all make peace with this.

I am not even joking when I say that on the weekends my house is a disaster. I keep the kitchen and bathrooms clean and tidy mostly. But the rooms, lounge, and garden contain a spread of toys, crayons, colouring books, socks, and more.

Whatevs.

I have two choices: choose to spend my weekend cleaning the whole time, or I can overlook certain things and play with my children (and squeeze in my alone time).

Do a  walk through with two bags

For some reason, we are natural ‘hoarders’ in this house. Every couple of weekends I walk through the house with two bags. One bag is for rubbish and one bag is filled with stuff to give away.

cleaning tips for busy moms_mommy blogger

 

Buy reasonably priced household items, so you don’t get upset when they are ruined

With two children under five, I feel as if I can’t have beautiful things (right now).

For now, rather focus on having things that are more reasonably priced, but durable. So that you don’t get too stressed when they get ruined. Simple. A home is to LIVE IN.  A cream Persian rug for the lounge? I don’t think so!

Have a little routine that works for you

Do what you can and what makes sense for you. Example, in the last few years I have become paranoid about going to bed with a dirty sink in the week (weekends different rules apply)!

Get everyone involved

Children as young as two can understand the meaning of packing away toys or throwing rubbish in the bin. Every little bit helps. Create a ‘tidy up song’ and your toddler may surprise you. You can also incorporate it as part of your quality time with your children.

Find products and hacks that work for you

I have recently discovered Chux which offers a line of cleaning accessories to help you keep your home clean.

The Chux Magic Erasers are my favourite.  So now when my children write on the walls and the tiles, it does not stress me out as much because I know the magic eraser will sort that ish out!  Their scourers and cloth ranges are of excellent quality too.

So what am I saying?

Well, let me spell it out…Chill out.

Let’s chill out, enjoy our families and our homes. Let go of unrealistic standards.  I am not saying that you must live in a complete mess. But relax, be proud of your home, but chill out. You know what that means for you.

There are no amount of house cleaning tips for busy moms that can tell how you to run your household. Find what standards you are okay with.

 

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5 Tips When Your Child Is Always Sick At Daycare

That helpless feeling when you don’t know what to do anymore because your child is ALWAYS sick at daycare. I have been there. Feeling so guilty as I wanted to be with my child. Guilty because of all the days I had to take off from work.

Our eldest started daycare at 15 months, for a year she was always sick!

Our lives consisted out of an endless stream of ear infections, low-grade fevers, tummy bugs and at the end she also had hand foot and mouth disease. You name it; we have seen it all! I use to refer to her as ‘Patient ZERO’  because she was sick so often, and she infected us and her friends sick too.

Although illness during the first year at daycare is a reality, there are ways to reduce their occurrence.

Daycares are the perfect breeding ground for germs. You have little hands touching everything and sneezing and coughing all over each other.

Research suggests that children who attend daycare settings get less sick when they are older. However, this fact provides little solace when you are running out of family responsibility leave days, and the doctors’ bills are piling up.

RELATED: Leaving Your Baby At Daycare For The First Time: Top Tips for Mom and Baby

Here are 5 Tips When Your Child Is Always Sick At Daycare

always sick at daycare

 

1. Hand washing

Get back to basics and teach your child to wash hands. If your child is little, you can do it for them and also start modelling the behaviour. Also, mention it to your caregiver that they should assist your child if need be.

TIP:  check if there are hand washing basins at various locations within the daycare. Example, a basin in the vicinity of the changing station is a MUST. Read further on Dettol’s tips on how to encourage hand washing to protect your family.

 

2. Fill up their sleep tank

Ensure your child gets as much rest as they need, herewith a sleep needs chart to check how many hours roughly per day our child needs. By having their ‘sleep tank’ full they are in a better position to fight off illnesses. A tired child is more susceptible to falling sick.

RELATED:  Mommy, Please May I Sleep In Your Bed? Why I Am Okay To Say Yes to My 4 Year Old

3. Eating Fruits and Vegetables (Plus Vitamins and Immune Boosters)

Encourage your child to eat a healthy balanced diet.  Herewith a useful article from Food Lover’s Market, on creative ways to encourage kids to eat vegetables. A daily vitamin is an excellent way to boost their intake, although ideally, they should obtain most of their nutrients from their food.

In some cases, immune boosters may be needed. Discuss an immune booster with your doctor.

I conducted an informal poll on my Instagram Stories and seven of the parents who commented back advised that they do provide their child with some form of immune boosters and or vitamins. However, the visits to the doctors’ rooms were still high.

4. All sick policies are not equal

My eldest who is now four years old attended two daycare facilities. The first one accepted all levels of sickness and were lax about sending kids home who was ill. The relaxed approach meant that kids tended to get sick a lot more. The second daycare had a stricter policy, and they would call you to fetch your child even if they had a runny nose. In hindsight, I prefer the second option as this ensures that the daycare environment remains healthy.

5. Check vaccine policies

Most schools require a child’s up to date vaccination card as part of the application process. For me, it gave me comfort to know that each child has been vaccinated.’

Following these tips will help you when your child is always sick at daycare.

BONUS TIP: Practically, how to deal with days off work

Two things which came through from my Instagram stories feedback are:

  • If both parents or any family members can share the ‘days off’. We did this in our home and lessened the pressure at work for both my husband and me.
  • Aim to organise work from home days where appropriate.

 

GIVEAWAY CLOSED

Dettol is the world’s #1 Germ Protection brand and wants to help you keep your home GERM FREE this winter!

Win this Cold & Flu Survival Kit Hamper! The Hamper consists out of a range of household cleaning and personal hygiene products, to keep your home germ free this winter!

always sick at day care dettol winter survival kit

 

To Enter Follow This one Easy Step

All you have to do is answer this question in the comments below.

What is your favourite Dettol product?

That is it, you are in! Good luck!

Increase your chances of winning. For extra entries do the following.

  1. Comment with your answer on the Facebook Give Away Post
  2. Comment on the Instagram Giveaway Post

 

Why not share this post with friends and family who could do with this hamper too?

Rules: Competition is open until Sunday 1 July. Winners will be informed by latest 6 July. Only open to SA residents, over 18 years of age. Prizes will be shipped by the agency.

Good luck!

XXX

 

 

Disclaimer: This Post was done in collaboration with Dettol South Africa.

Why Quality Time Beats Quantity (Plus Everyday Mommy Daughter Date Ideas)

I had this elaborate blog post planned in my head about beautiful and unusual mother-daughter ‘date ideas’.

When I sat down and started writing, I realised that there is nothing fancy about the best moments I share with my girls.

Our lives are pretty predictable, simple and that is how we like it.[bctt tweet=”There is nothing fancy about the best moments I share with my girls.” username=”cherralle_”]

I am not racking up hours with my children during the week, and I am okay with that. As a working mom I need to make the best of the time I do have.

When I get home in the evening after work, this is REAL QUALITY time. It may only be an hour or so, but it is one pure hour dedicated to my daughters ONLY.

I am connecting with the two of them:

No social media.

Talking to them.

Reading stories.

We play music; we dance, we sing.

We jump on the bed. Whatever, that time is OURS.

RELATED: What Working Moms Ought To Know About Attending Daytime School Events

One on one time

Within any family, there is a group dynamic. There is either the shy one or the dramatic one, and that impacts how we engage in a group. Therefore, one on one time is imperative. In many cases, by having one on one time, you connect on a deeper level with your child.

With a one-year-old (Miss A) and a four-year-old (Miss C), it is easy for all attention to go onto the little one automatically as that is how it is right now.

Here are some every day mommy-daughter moments which can be done one one or if you have more than one!

Here are  10 Everyday Mommy Daughter Moments or Mommy Daughter Date Ideas, whatever

mommy and daughter date idea toddler

Everyday home life

To me, the ‘everyday moments’ is quality time. When I am in the kitchen in the morning chatting with my Four-Year-Old  about her school lunch that is quality time. Which is always a bad idea as she always has concerns about what I am packing for her lunch.

Another ‘bad idea’ is when she is helping me make our beds on a Saturday morning. Also turns out to be a pretty unproductive exercise most times. Nonetheless, it is ours.

Visit the library

Visiting the library is simple,  free, fun and educational. The best part is that it is easy to start a routine. Once you take out a book, you are obligated to return to it (rocket science!). Before you know it, you have built a habit of library visits.

I think it also depends on the child if this is their scene but worth a shot!

A post shared by Cherralle (@mydailycake_) on

Homemade pedicures and manicures

The sweetest mommy daughter dates are ‘girly’ activities. The girls and I received a pretty Barbie hamper. Included was a range of Barbie nail polishes in cute pastel colours. So we did a little pedicure with Miss C. We also have matching cups which is so cute!

I love being a girl mom, can you tell?

Check out the Barbie Facebook Page to stay in the loop of how to keep little girls inspired!

barbie mom and daughter hamper_

Fake facials

When I do my face masks I also make one for Miss C. So I take our Epimax  moisturizer, and I decant a generous amount into one of my (pretty) empty moisturizer jars. Then add a few stickers on it. Miss C has her personalised face mask / and face cream and bob’s your uncle.

Miss C thinks she is getting a face mask with mommy’ creams.

RELATED: 16 Places To Visit With Kids In Johannesburg (when you are stuck for ideas)

Turn off the TV

TV on = Watching TV not talking.

TV off = engage and talk.

When the TV is off, it creates a natural space for conversation and engagement. Sometimes, I don’t want to talk, and I do put the TV on. I do keep a check on myself and try to limit screen time where I can.

A post shared by Cherralle (@mydailycake_) on

Cuddle and Watch a movie

TV is not all bad! A movie on the weekend is a great way to connect.

Baking together

We love baking! At the moment I enjoy the premixes because one it is much more straightforward for me to whip up some baked goodies. And two I am just a bit lazy in the kitchen and need all the help I can get. Using premixes takes the pressure off.  Premixes are failproof!

Cooking together

It might double the time it takes to get any food to the table, but sometimes it is worth it. Plus, the food is much more likely to be eaten by our children if they assist in the cooking.

Picnic in the garden

Throw a picnic blanket on the floor or the garden, and you can have a fun picnic. Always a good option with the girls on the weekend.

Chats before bed

Never underestimate the value of connecting at bedtime. We are running around from one thing to the next, one chore to the next. When I place Miss C in bed, and I lay next to her and we slow down. I ask: What made you smile today. What made you sad today? What made you angry? I get asked the same questions! And if I answer and its deemed not good enough I have to think up another answer.

Make the moments you have count. No need to do anything extravagant.

Follow me on Instagram to see more on my working mom life journey with my girls.

Yep, ‘Parental Burnout’ is a Thing And Makes The Case For ‘Me Time’

Do you think about your life before kids? I don’t as much these days partly because I have forgotten. And I have decided to build in ‘me time’ as part of my lifestyle and so has my husband. Although I complain, he must go do his thing.

A study published in 2017 found what ALL parents already know: like professionals can get burnout, parents can get ‘Parental Burnout.’ I think we all knew that however, it is satisfying to have a scientific article to back that up!

When we have our kids, we fall into the rhythm of ‘being all things to our kids all the time.’

Society, family, friends, ourselves place expectations on new parents. You almost lose yourself when you become a parent.

Even if you don’t put your child first at every single turn, you get subtle cues from the world to ‘get back in your lane.

Well, I am here to tell you…’Me Time’ is a THING! A little time away from your children is actually good for you and your family.

RELATED: Dear Working Mother: Here Is How To Leave Work On Time

[bctt tweet=”Yep, ‘Parental Burnout’ is a Thing And Makes The Case For ‘Me Time'” username=”cherralle_”]

‘Stay in your lane’ Moms and Dads

momme me time parental guiltHere is an example of how we are subtly encouraged to stay in our lane.

I returned from maternity leave, ready for action. My manager was allocating assignments, some of which involved an overnight stay in our coastal regions. All the mothers would not need to take any of the ‘out the town’ assignments out of ‘respect for their new family situation.’

I was safely placed in the ‘new mom who cannot travel’ category. I appreciated the gesture, but…

Hold up, we need that night away from home

I need that night away from home. Parents MORE than anyone need that night away from home.

I mean, to have one day off where you do not need to do bath and bedtime. To wake up not needing to take care of another human being the second you open your eyes. Sounded good to me!

Lesson?Never  make decisions on behalf of parents because you ‘assume’ it is what they need.

What exactly is ‘Me Time’

To avoid parental burnout (yes repeat after me, parents can burn out just from parenting) you need to carve out “me time” on a regular basis. ‘Me time’ means different things to different people.

It can mean getting a massage and a manicure. It can mean vegging out on the couch on Sunday afternoon watching your favourite series, or reading. As long as you are not ‘parenting’.

Are we trying ‘too hard’ at parenting?

As a parent, you often need to be everything to everyone. Ensure that your little one’s every need is taken care of. But do we need to? Understandably when they are tiny our whole lives revolve around their needs. But we take it too far.

Is it necessary that they go to every single party each weekend? Let’s face it, is not ALWAYS fun for the parents. And let’s be honest, they will survive missing a few parties. Maybe it’s a way to curb the development of FOMO when they are older.

[bctt tweet=”Relax a little on the weekend. Have unscheduled weekends. It is okay to miss a few birthday parties. Perhaps it will be a cure for FOMO later in life!” username=”cherralle_”]

Do they really need to do five extra murals? Do they? My little girls are one and four years old, so I have not experienced the ‘busyness’ of extramurals yet. So I may be speaking out of turn!

Are we putting too much pressure on ourselves?

As moms, dads, people, we are all different, and we have different strengths. I am not the Pinterest baking mom. I am not the creative mom. I am certainly not going to create work for myself by pretending to be someone I am not.

I am who I am.

[bctt tweet=”Juggling all the balls can be exhausting. But then we add out balls that do not need to be there.” username=”cherralle_”]

My Upbringing – Did our mom’s have ‘mom guilt?’

I think about my upbringing. My mother worked the whole week, and she was generally home by latest 17h00 from Monday to Friday. However, I never felt neglected or abandoned.  I am also not sure if my mother had ‘mommy guilt.’

Did ‘mommy guilt’ even exist back then?

She sure looked mighty cheerful as she even waved goodbye to us on a Saturday if she had a church event with her church folk. We were more than fine.

You see, I think our mothers had more ‘Me Time’ and less Mommy Guilt!

Your Family will benefit from you being energized

By taking time out for yourself, you press ‘restart’ on yourself. You will be refreshed to re-engage your family.

So do not feel bad the next time you want to ‘do you.

Just whip out the ‘Parental Burnout Research’ summary that I shared with you. You are welcome!

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16 Places To Visit With Kids In Johannesburg (when you are stuck for ideas)

Johannesburg offers many places to visit with kids

I moved to Johannesburg more than ten years ago, and I love it.  I found a number of places in Johannesburg where you can take kids.

The below list are places in Johannesburg I have personally visited (not a a desk top based exercise).

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16 Places To Visit With Kids In Johannesburg

places to take kids in johannesburg

 

Picnic Spots

Walter Sisulu Gardens

Walter Sisulu Gardens are beautiful botanical gardens with gorgeous picnic spots. Pack a picnic basket and you are set. Or eat in at the restaurant on the premises. Definitely one of the top places to visit with kids in Johannesburg.

Emmarentia Dam and Johannesburg Botanical Gardens

One of our most visited picnic spots is the Emmarentia Dam and Botanical Gardens

You can feed the ducks, picnic, go for a run or just laze about.

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Delta Park

Delta Park  (situated in Victory Park) is one of the largest parks in Johannesburg. The park has a great picnic area as well as a playground for kids. In addition, we did two family photo shoots here and the scenery was lovely!

RELATED: Flying With Children: What To Pack for a Toddler On A Plane

Animal Parks and Zoos

Johannesburg Zoo

The Johannesburg Zoo situated in Parkview was one of the spots we visited often before and after we had children. Visiting the zoo is a lovely day out with the kids.

Pretoria Zoo

Not far you can also find the Pretoria Zoo. The Pretoria Zoo is the largest in South Africa and boasts an Aquarium and Reptile Park. So, I had to add this in here!

Montecasino Bird Gardens

When you stroll through the beautiful Montecasino Bird Gardens, you would not say you are in the heart of Fourways. The Montecasino Bird Gardens also offer a fun Flight of Fantasy bird show during weekdays and weekends at set times.

Tres Jolie

A bit of a mix between eating spots and an animal park, Tres Jolie has a touch and feed animal farm. The kids can also ride a camel! Based in Muldersdrift, its a bit of a drive but so worth it. We attended a kiddies party at Tres Jolie, and it was absolutely lovely! Worth the drive.

Kid Friendly Restaurant Spots in Johannesburg

places to take kids in johannesburg

 

Nostimos

Based in Waterfall, Nostimos is a family focused restaurant. Nostimos boasts a safe playground with a mini art centre for kids, starting at R 20 for the little ones to paint an object that they can take home. The adult and kids menu is tasty! I often want to eat my children’s food.

Kiddilicious

Kiddilicious is a Family Lifestyle Centre based in Bedfordview. Centered around providing a relaxing and fun environment for children and parents it caters to your every need.

Everything you need under one roof, such as, multiple play areas for kids, mom and daughter spa, on site toy store, etc.

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Bambanani

Bambanani is  a quaint boutique style family restaurant based in Melville.  At the time of my visits Caitlyn was little and I found Bambanani particularly suitable for toddlers. As parents we know that not all play areas are made equal. The menu is divine, and the restaurant aims to provide adults and children with tasty meals and a relaxed vibe.

Papachinos

Cannot leave Papachinos off a list of family friendly eating spots! Papachinos Fourways is the one I have visited the most. It has a fun play area – one for little toddlers and one of older kids. To me, this is an important distinction as I need my children to play in a safe environment. Food is absolutely delicious!

RELATED: A Stay At The Cavern Drakensberg Resort & Spa: A Family Friendly Holiday

Indoor Fun

BOUNCE

Join the free-jumping revolution at Bounce indoor trampoline park. Another favourite.

Local library

Okay, I am going to be a nerd and add the library to the list. I take my four year old to the library twice a month or so (or once a month then we get fined!). We take at least one book. We spend only as much time in the library as she wants to. That can be five minutes or thirty minutes.

Yeesh

Situated in Woodmead, Yeesh offers parents a space to relax and chill in the coffee bar while the kids are entertained. Yeesh is set up in a huge warehouse in Woodmead and is an indoor play centre for kids. Oh, and they have free WI-FI!

RELATED: 15 Funny Mom Sayings (for moms with a sense of humour)

Johannesburg Theme Parks

Gold Reef City

Gold Reef City is one of the largest theme parks in Johannesburg. The theme park caters for all ages, there is something for everyone, and kids of all ages LOVE it.

Family Friendly Markets

Fourways Farmer’s Market

The Sunday Fourways Farmer’s Market is a a special place for adults and children. Open on Sundays from 09h00 until 16h00, so you can drop by for breakfast, brunch or lunch!

Grab your eats, sit down and enjoy, while you watch the little ones play! You may also have a picnic here.

 

There you have it! Any other place I must go see?

Are you Thinking of Hiring A Sleep Consultant? Here is Our Story To Help You Decide

Hiring a sleep consultant is just not something that is spoken of openly, it is almost ‘frowned upon’  (well that was how I felt).

With our second baby (Little Sis), I started thinking of hiring a sleep consultant. We engaged with a sleep consultant (Good Night Baby) when she was 6 weeks old.

Now, you might think that it is too soon. However, it was a positive experience for me as I had someone who could guide me into how to start with healthy habits from the beginning.

Let me get a few things out the way before some people get upset.

At this age there is NO sleep training.  There are NO reducing of feeds. There is NO hard and fast rules about soothing your baby.

The only rule is to be gentle, loving and soothe baby when she needs it. The point of establishing good healthy habits from the start is that it negates the need to do any sleep training later on.

[bctt tweet=”The point of establishing good healthy habits from the start is that it negates the need to do any sleep training later on.” username=”cherralle_”]

My first born (who is four years old now) slept well from an early age.  Or maybe I just had the time and energy to try out different things? I am slightly OCD when it comes to routines.

Returning to work after maternity leave

One motivating factor for me is that I wanted my baby to be on a routine by the time I returned to work from maternity leave.

For me, this was important.

I trusted our nanny; however, I wanted to be able to know that my baby will get the sleep and feeds she needs during the day. I needed to establish a flexible routine that also helped my nanny in her day with my baby.

What does a routine for a newborn mean?

baby sleep consultant

For me it meant, being consistent and building healthy habits from the start.

With two girls home with me, I found it hard to be consistent.  Bedtime was stressful as  I was running around with the two girls.

When thinking of hiring a sleep consultant it is important to discuss goals with your sleep consultant.

Utterly overwhelmed, everything got to me.

You see, I am not a ‘natural’ when it comes to parenting – everything is just hard and so was transitioning to two.

I was also snapping a lot with my eldest (who was three years old at the time).  I wrote here about how hectic it was coming home with baby number two and then when I calmed down, I wrote here about my tips and learning about juggling a three-year-old and a newborn. You see, I evolved.

Establishing healthy sleep habits is good for baby and the family.

With Little Sis, I was more motivated to seek out a sleep consultant. I did not have the energy and time as I did when I had only one child. With two children things needed to happen. I operate well with some form of structure. I know myself.

How did it work?

As soon as I started thinking of hiring a sleep consultant I contacted Good Night Baby online, and I received a questionnaire to complete. Carla (the sleep consultant) emailed me, and we arranged to meet at my house.

We discussed:

  • the sleep space for baby, where she slept at that point.
  • Current bedtime and bath time routine  (this was a disaster so after this I implemented a consistent routine)
  • We chatted about my parenting style and how my baby was doing (I felt this was important because each baby is a unique individual)
  • I was given tracking document to fill out during the day to pick up patters. I appreciated this.
  • We also discussed follow up support, if I had any questions or concerns.

 

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A newborn action plan (which was not sleep training) contained:

  • Tips on how to soothe my new baby
  • What type of routine is suited to a little one
  • What to expect at the various stages as she gets older
  • Understanding sleep
  • How to put her down to sleep
  • We fed the baby as per usual, as at this age there is no reduction of bottles and baby stayed her 2.5 – 3-hour feeding routine for a long time until she started solids

 

Based on our circumstances, Carla developed newborn guide document for me. It had a structured way to approach the day, but included personalisation.

As the baby is a newborn, there are no hard and fast rules it is just a gentle approach to building healthy sleep. Example, at the time, I sat with Ava when she fell asleep with my hand on her, so that was factored in.

Accountability partner

A sleep consultant also served as an accountability partner to ensure that I could feel confident in doing what I needed to do. I did not think my husband, family or friends wanted to discuss my newborn sleep issues. As all consuming as it was for me, it was not interesting for other people. We are supposed to ‘enjoy every moment’ at that point. Right?

So, I liked having someone I could pop an email to in need. Someone who got what I was trying to do.

Once the littlest was on a routine, I also had more time to spend with Big Sissy too (she was only three years old and needed me too).

And did it work?

By the time I went back to work she was able to put herself to sleep for naps and bedtime. The naps were still 30 minutes only. But when I returned to work it lengthened by itself – like it was a developmental stage.

Little Sis is 18 months now, and she has always been a darling sleeper.  Of course she has her moments of regression and issues now and then. But we keep track of her routine and adjust it as she grows up.

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I bet as soon as I hit publish Murphy’s Law will change my darling sleeper!

Tell me, have you been thinking of hiring a sleep consultant?