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.

 

By the way, are you on our mailing list?

Sign up below, I only email every couple of weeks or so, and it contains a bit more personal content that is NOT shared on the blog.

Be In The KNOW! Join our mailing list
* indicates required



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!

Share this post if you enjoyed it!

 

What Working Moms Ought To Know About Attending Daytime School Events

How on Earth Does Working Moms Manage To Attend Daytime School Events?

I often catch myself wondering if schools are built around at least one parent not working full time.

Dealing with the competing demands of daytime school events  plus meetings and deliverables in the office is a reality for working moms and dads.

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

Current example

We have puzzle mornings taking place this term and parents are encouraged to sign up and join in  (sessions are 7h30am – 08h45am). A well-meaning comment from someone (I am not mentioning names but you know who you are): “are you only doing one puzzle morning, I see moms’ names down four to five times.”

Hold your horses buddy; I don’t look at what other parents do. I look at what I can do based on my circumstances.

I am sorry, I cannot just attend stuff happening at 8 am whenever I feel like it.

[bctt tweet=”I will do what I can based on my circumstances. I will not compare myself to other parents. Comparison is the thief of joy.” username=”cherralle_”]

Do not forget the important stuff

You don’t want your child to be the one child who did not wear slippers on Slipper Day (I did not forget this, by the way, it is merely an example).

Once I forgot that it was Barefoot Day (the fact that this is a thing was news to me). Thankfully, this was quite easily solved – her shoes were just removed. Close one!

A post shared by Cherralle (@mydailycake_) on

Then there is the omniscient Newsletter

Our weekly Newsletter is an all important document.  I have dubbed it: The Newsletter of Truth.

The Newsletter Of Truth pretty much controls my life. I look forward to reading it on a Friday afternoon!

Newsletter of Truth Rules

  1. If something is not in the Newsletter, it is not happening *
  2. If something is in The Newsletter, it is happening *
  3. If you have a question, first check The Newsletter

 

*No one can override the Newsletter of Truth, no one.

I joke, but in all fairness, the newsletter is packed with important information.  Such as show and tell themes for that week and any other things they need to bring to school. It really is zero effort to read it.

Top Tip: Buy a kiddie encyclopedia (with lots of pictures). This will cover the most show and tell topics.

Now, on a serious note. Although I like ranting and raving about the school stuff, I do enjoy taking part in my child’s education.

I don’t see education as something happening in school with a teacher. Education happens in school with parents and caregivers participating. It also happens at home.

Here is what I have learned over the last few years. I am a work in progress and by no means achieve this all the time.

What Working Moms Ought To Know About Attending Daytime School Events

 

working mom_attend preschool event

Plan ahead of time

A calendar is issued ahead of time (termly or monthly) allows parents to plan ahead. When you get the calendar, block out your work diary asap. The keyword here is ‘work diary.’ Not your personal google calendar.

Just block it out, and you can then work around that time. If any work meetings has to be scheduled, people will see that you are busy! And then you are in control of what you can and cannot make.

You can always work around work commitments and then decide which school events you can make.

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

Prioritise

You may not attend the school baking day, but you would prefer to attend the sports day as you regard this as more important. It is okay to pick and choose the ones that you will attend.

Share the load

If both parents are up for it, you can make an arrangement where each parents takes a turn to attend a school function.

Currently, my husband and I split the school daytime events where it makes sense for us. Although, I do a bit more events as he takes the children to the doctor. That is what works for us right now.

Open communication with the teacher

Chat with your child’s school teacher at the start of the term about what you can and cannot make.

Teachers can step in and take care of kids whose parents don’t arrive. I have seen it at school functions where the teacher steps in. In this way, it is still a fun day for the children.

Yes, it is very challenging. However, active participation in our child’s schooling is essential. So, we need to make a plan.

A post shared by Cherralle (@mydailycake_) on

Some moments are priceless – and trade offs will be needed

I always think, I am not making the mothers tea at school, but I am making a meeting at work (let’s be honest, all meetings are not equally important). Where will be my presence make the most impact?

Seeing the joy on my daughter’s face when I catch her eye as she is sitting in class. I watch her as she nudges her friend next to her and tells her friend ‘There is MY mommy‘. That is priceless.

Yes we want to excel at work and pay the bills, but I think we should try.  Booking leave is an option if we need to.  And prioritize the most important events.

But try we have to.

How do you manage to attend daytime school events?

[bctt tweet=”Some moments are priceless – and trade offs will be needed to experience those moments” username=”cherralle_”]

 

 

#CosmoHustle2018 Career Workshop: My 15 Key Take-Outs

#CosmoHustle2018 Career Workshop Had An Excellent Panel of Guests, Delicious Bubbly and Thought provoking Content

The #CosmoHustle2018 Career Workshop: Influencer Edition, focused on how to make money using social media.

The workshop included fabulous speakers, daring outfits and delicious bubbly from Boschendal Wines. Not to mention an enlightening make up tutorial from MINA and a fabulous goodie bag to take home!

The diverse speaker line up included:

– Three of South Africa’s top influencers:

– Brand Manager of a notable brand (Boschendal Wines)

– Digital Law Expert Emma Sadlier

I wish I took better notes than I did. As Aisha Baker said, ‘just record everything’ (and I clearly did not).

[bctt tweet=”#CosmoHustle2018 Career Workshop Influencer edition shed light on the influencer career path in South Africa. Here are my 15 take aways from the workshop.” username=”cherralle_”]

Related Post: The Side Hustle – 6 Things You Need To Get Your Game On

I found the day incredibly valuable. There are two angles I looked at it:

1) One if you are a blogger/ influencer who wants to monetize their blog / social media
2) You are not a blogger/ influencer, but you want to gain knowledge of how you can use social media for your work, business and personal brand.

Here are my top 15 key take-aways. Ten are relevant to a blogger/ influencer. Five take-aways pertain to an individual who wants to you use social media to build their business or personal brand. The latter part is based on the presentation delivered by Emma Sadlier.

Cosmo Hustle 2018 Influencer Edition: Key Take-Aways for Bloggers/ Influencers

cosmohustle2018 speaker

1. Be patient, building your voice takes time

Building your unique voice and brand takes time.

When you start building your voice and your brand on your blog or your social media platforms, it will take time to evolve into your niche. What makes YOU Stand out, takes time to develop.

Therefore, it is okay to change as you evolve. You do not need to stick to what you thought you were going to be, two years ago.

However, don’t be all over the place.

2. Be patient (yes again). Investment is required

In the beginning, you will be expected to invest money in yourself.

Such as a website, products you want to display, doing work for free or product exchange. This is a standard part of developing your track record and relationships.

All three social media influencers followed this route at the start of their journeys.

3. Engage with your community

Engagement is a key metric. Again, Sbahle, Aisha, and Kefelwe all shared that it is essential to engage with their followers. As big as their followings are they make an effort (although it does get overwhelming due to the size of their followings).

If you are not receiving engagement from your followers, you need to look at what you are putting in. You do not have 100K plus followers, so engage.

4. Engage with brands you love

Engage with brands you love. Tweet or DM them. In many cases, being a fan of a brand can pave the way for future collaboration.

5. Brands stalk bloggers and influencers. Engagement (yes likes and comments) count.

Likes and comments on your Instagram posts count. A brand manager or PR will  stalk you on social media to get to know you.

  • In short, is your audience engaged?
  • How many likes and comments do you get per post relative to your following size?
  • Are your values and image aligned to the brand?
  • Are you engaged in a relationship with any competitor brands?
  • Brand ‘junkie’ and working with a different brand every week?

 

To sum up, these are a few considerations before an influencer is selected by a brand.

6. Brand + The Right Influencer = Magic!

1+ 1 = 3. A brand has a limited budget and requires a return on investment.

A brand plus the right influencer collaborating creates a ‘butterfly effect’.

In essence, the collaboration brings the brand and its consumers more than what the brand could have delivered on its own.

An influencer makes a brand come alive and creates a connection with an audience.

Proven ability or potential to deliver the ‘magic’ is what a brand is looking for when considering partnering with an influencer. A relevant and engaged following is required.

7. Be authentic

Authenticity emerged as a common theme throughout every single presentation.

Be you, do you.

Log off. Go engage and talk to people. Watch people. Be inspired by people ‘outside of social media’ and be you.

8. Stand out, don’t do what everyone else is doing

When a key trend emerges, always put your unique spin on it. Or go the other way. Whatever works for you.

Haters are going to hate when they see you do this. Keep it moving.

9. Reach out to brands but be prepared for rejection

Don’t be afraid to reach out to a brand manager and pitching an idea. Or requesting to be put on their media list. Charge your rates, but be open to negotiation. Building a relationship with a brand manager.

If you are going to do some work for free, make it count. You can negotiate that based on results any future work is paid.

10. Be consistent

Create consistency so that your followers know what to expect. If you post once or twice a day, or once every other day, stick to it.

Pay attention to which posts (blog and social) gain traction, and do more of those posts.

 

Cosmo Hustle 2018: Key Take Outs for Building Your Personal  Online brand

cosmohustle2018 goodie bag

 

1. Prospective employers will stalk you on online

I wrote previously about the role of social media in hiring decisions, on the Girl Boss Haven blog. Ensure that you maintain an authentic and positive online persona.

Remember, you do not want to be ‘ghost town’ as well, you want to have  a presence. I spoke about the importance of an online profile in this post pertaining to 10 job hunting secrets.

2. Think before you tweet

If you do not put it on a Billboard, do not put it on social media (or on WhatsApp apparently – see point 5 too). Bottom line, do not be an awful human being in any context. Chances are, someone is recording it or taking a screenshot!

[bctt tweet=”Bottom line, do not be an awful human being in any context. Chances are, someone is recording it or taking a screenshot! #cosmohustle2018 #socialmedialaw” username=”cherralle_”]

Related Post: 10 Job Hunting Tips You May Not Have Heard About Until Now

3. Protect your online profile

If you share, forward or retweet something that is derogatory or discriminatory in any way – it is just as well you wrote it. You take accountability for sharing this message.

4. Be careful about what you say about your employer

Never address any matters relating to your employer on a public platform. Unfortunately, this can lead to dire consequences for an employee and an employer brand. There are too any examples, just google it.

5. Whatsapp groups count as a public platform

I was surprised about this as well. Always think before you press send. To be clear, saying the wrong thing in a WhatsApp Group can land you in hot water too.

Furthermore, not leaving an inappropriate WhatsApp group or voicing your disapproval for certain remarks can also land you in hot water.

I recommend checking out the Digital Law Company’s website and following Emma Sadlier on twitter to stay in the loop on social media law.

In Closing

Overall, the #CosmoHustle2018 Workshop certainly elevated the discussion about influencer marketing.

Influencer marketing is not on the high priority list of marketing spend. However, based on what the panel shared , it is moving up the ladder.

I look forward to the next CosmoHustle Workshop!

 

 

Featured Image credit: Vibescout

Post Images Credit: scoopnest

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

Leaving Your Baby At Daycare For The First Time is Challenging, but there are ways to make it easier.

Leaving your baby at daycare has to be one of the most terrible motherhood milestones. If it can even bear the title of a ‘milestone.’

My eldest went to daycare when she fifteen months old (now thinking back it seems so little although some babies go earlier).

With all the illnesses and all the guilt, we made it through.

For a brief period, my daughter was sad when I would leave her at daycare. I felt as if I was damaging her ability to create meaningful connections for the rest of her life! I experienced a new level of guilt.

Placing your child in daycare is a family decision.

Do what is right for your family and do not let anyone ever make you feel less than for this decision. There is enough mom guilt around.

Here are 12 Tips to make it easier when you are leaving your baby at daycare.

[bctt tweet=”Here are 12 Tips to make it easier when you are leaving your baby at daycare.” username=”cherralle_”]

Leaving Your Baby At Daycare For The First Time: 12 Tips for Mom and Baby

mom and son leaving child at day care

For The Parent

1. Research daycare centers and make a decision

You need to be comfortable with your choice of daycare. Do your research.

You will never have the perfect amount of information. But, make decisions you must.

Make decisions based on the information you have available.

What do you deem necessary when choosing a daycare?

  • Low caregiver-child ratio
  • Opening and closing times
  • Location: Close to home or close to work
  • Are meals included or not
  • Go through your priorities and decide.

I did online research and visited the daycare centers.  I also chatted with the teachers.

Related Post: 7 Reasons Why I am Pretty Certain We Are Only Having Two Kids

2. Be optimistic at the drop off

Your child will very quickly pick up on your mood. If you are sulky and depressed when you are leaving your baby at daycare, it may rub off on your baby.

Projecting optimism will do wonders for your temperament as well your child. Notably, for that first day drop off blues.

3. Don’t hang around

When you drop your child, be present, affectionate and calm.

However, when you are leaving your baby at daycare, do not hang around too long. The more you drag it out, the more difficult it may be for yourself and your child.

When I dropped off my one-year-old, I made sure she was settled but left promptly. The more I stayed, the more difficult it was to go.

4. Connect your child with a caregiver

Here is what I mean.

Ensure your child greets and connects with her caregiver before you depart. If your baby is young, ensure that you place your baby in the arms of your caregiver. In this way, your child will feel that she is being ‘handed over’ with love and care and not ‘dumped.’

5. Do not sneak away, be transparent about leaving

Never sneak away from your kids. It breeds distrust. Tell them when you are leaving. Even if they cry, it is okay. They will learn that sometimes you need to go, but that you will return.

Don’t sneak away from creche. Ever. Say goodbye, firmly and with love. Then get your behind out of there.

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

6. Build a relationship with your baby’s caregiver

Connect with your baby’s caregivers and make sure that you know how to contact the school.

Establish a warm and friendly relationship that extends beyond a meet and greet.

Chat with the caregivers regularly during pick ups and drop offs.

You will be surprised at how much additional feedback you can gain on your child. You can also use the opportunity to provide extra feedback back to the caregivers.

7. Make the pick up exciting (for you and baby)

When collecting your child, make a huge deal about it. Give a big smile and a warm hug. You might be surprised to find a happy child waiting for you at daycare.

8. Leave your phone behind or in your bag when you pick up or drop off your child at daycare

Be present and engaged during this moment. It will be hurtful to your child if you are picking them up, or dropping them off but you are on your phone. Especially after a day away from you.

This is basic. Do not chat on your phone when doing a pickup or a drop-off. It is just not on.

Tips for your baby

mom and toddler leaving baby at daycare

1. Have a unique toy or blankie as a transitional object

My daughter slept with a muslin square. Lovingly referred to as the ‘sleepy blankie.’ We had a few ‘sleepy blankies,’ and we sent one of them to school. Also, we also sent her blanket for sleep time.

Therefore, she had something familiar to draw comfort from. Her naps went utterly haywire during this time.

However, she had her ‘sleepy blankie’ to comfort her.

2. Talk to your baby and explain what is happening

Even if your child is little, speak to her about the new daycare. Tell her stories about the kind aunties she will meet. And the little friends she will play with.

Your calm and confident demeanour can have a positive impact on your child.

3. Get your baby to bed early

Attending daycare makes a little on extra tired. And presumably, you are also getting them up a little earlier.

Make a concerted effort to encourage an early bedtime.  An appropriate bedtime for children under 5 years old is 18h30 – 19h30.

An overtired child being dropped off at daycare will make it worse for you and baby (and caregivers).

4. Start with baby steps – introduce daycare gradually

Many parents take their child to daycare for a short period in the morning, and then slowly work their way up.

I recommend this approach if it is feasible for your family. Slowly introducing a new experience allows your child time to acclimatize. It may also reduce resistance.

In Conclusion: They may be more adaptable than we think

To be honest, although there was some sadness, my toddler got over it very quickly.

I, on the other hand, remained torn about my decision to put her in daycare for months.

I have learned to accept that as long as she was loved, fed and safe at daycare, she will be okay.

How did you cope with leaving your baby at daycare?

5 Things That Speed Up Our Family’s Morning Routine

A month into the new school year and we are settling into our new morning routine. Caitlyn’s school starts at 07h30 (thirty minutes earlier).

That means everyone is out the door at 07h00 ish.

We have our fair share of morning drama, but our morning routine helps.

Like when my husband decides that a Monday morning is a good time for a haircut! Yip, a DIY haircut on a Monday morning.

Never mind that we all have to be out the house by 07h00!

Our morning routine is not perfect, but we get where we need to be on time.

Living our new early morning routine, also had an impact on my coming home time. Which is a huge win!  Leaving work on time has always been a real struggle as a working mother.

As I get to work a little while before the work day starts, I have no issue completing my priorities at work and leaving on time (most days!).

[bctt tweet=”We have our fair share of morning drama. Here is how we speed up our family’s morning routine” username=”cherralle_”]

5 Things That Speed Up Our Family’s Morning Routine

 

 

 

1. We get up  much earlier as school starts at 07h30am

Firstly, since when does school start at 07h30 a.m?

In my days it was 08h00 a.m.

Anyway, my husband does the drop-off, which means they must leave the house by latest 07h00am. By default, we all wake up a little earlier.

Getting up earlier helps.

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

2. School clothes are taken out the night before

My daughter’s school clothes are taken out the night before.

As she and Ava share a room, we cannot afford to have drama in their bedroom. So we pack it in the ‘study’ (aka the room of requirement*).

*any Harry Potter fans got that reference?

And no looking for a swimming kit in the morning. If it’s swimming, we pack the bag the day before.

We do have our morning issues, but we get it right most of the time and that is all right with me.

Related Post: 10 Things A Working Mother Needs to Survive

 

3. School lunch is kept very simple

I had to park my lofty ideals of home-made, well-balanced school lunches for Caitlyn.

What started out as homemade mini boboties is now a sandwich.

Lunch consists out of a sandwich of whatever there is with fruit, yogurt, and snacks such as biltong, etc.

4. We allow some TV

If Caitlyn is ready before its time to leave, she may watch tv.

If she asked to watch TV, we would let her. If I need to do her hair, the TV goes on so that she can sit still.

<

5. I prep the ‘day’s meals’ in the morning

I prepare the children’s food for the day. Sometimes I have meals prepared the day before or there are frozen meals which were made on the weekend.

I prepare lunch and supper for both girls (with snacks in between) and leave the day’s ‘menu’ with our helper.

Caitlyn has a school lunch plus a second (proper) lunch when she comes from school.

The girls eat dinner together at about 17h00, and I get home by 17h30 (normally). I do miss supper with them.

Long story short, but based on our family’s routine, they must eat by 17h00.

Otherwise, everything runs super late, and the whole house is grumpy (by the entire house I mean me).

When I get home, I focus on bath time and catching up with them on the day. Once they are down, my husband I will eat, and catch up on what we need to do.

The new morning routine seems to be working for our family (for now).

Here are 5 tips to help you speed up your morning routine

best part of having two girls

1. Any activities you can do the night before, do them the night before! Simple. Whether it is making sandwiches, taking out clothes. Every little bit helps!

2. Build in extra time for mishaps! Like when we discover there is no bread and someone has to pop out to the garage to buy a loaf.

3. Do you want to drink a cup of coffee before the day starts, or do you want  little extra time to do your make up? Build in extra time for your little luxuries.

4. Take it easy. Sometimes when we lose our cool, it delays the process even further.

5. Take it easy on weekends. Throw routine out of the window on weekends and just be!

Any tips that help you speed up your mornings?

 

How I Live My Purpose Through My Day Job – Interview with Lamona

Sharing the stories of working mothers has been an eye-opening experience for me. You may check out the previous interviews here. Each woman’s story I have shared thus far has been unique.

Today I am sharing the working mother story of Lamona.

Lamona and I worked together for a couple of years. Lamona is so wise (like an oracle). A grounded person, with strong values and a innate drive to see equality in this world.

Lamona is a Diversity & Inclusion Lead. Her role is to ensure that people identify their own unconscious bias, and influence the way people perceive each other. She helps others embrace diversity. 

As you all know by now, when it is italics in pink that is me adding my five cents worth!

 

Related Post: How a Life Changing Surgery Inspired This Working Mother – Interview with Nonka

Tell us about yourself

My name is Lamona Rajah and I am a mum to two teenagers. My son is 18-years-old and my daughter is 14-years-old.

Born and raised in Pietermaritzburg, KZN.

I came to Johannesburg 17 years ago seeking employment and have never looked back! Johannesburg is my home now.

I am a single mum for the past ten years. I prioritized raising my kids during this time of being divorced.

 

As a 22-year-old graduate, desperately looking for a job with a baby, I had no choice but to take the first available job I found – a teller at a bank.

 

During the next six years that I worked here, I eagerly tried to move into HR, with no success.

I eventually moved into HR after completion an Honours qualification. I then pursued two more qualifications, a B.Com Industrial & Organizational Psychology and a Diploma in Marketing.

 

[bctt tweet=”Here is how a working mother lives her purpose through her day job. How many of us can say that? #workingmom #interview” username=”cherralle_”]

How I live out my purpose in my career

Talent Management got me hooked and I grew into different roles within this space. After 11 years of being in the financial services industry, I moved into a global technology and management consulting company.

I landed a role in the Global Inclusion and Diversity Team.  This was where my day job started to connect to me to my life’s purpose. I thrived on working with individuals on how to identify and leverage their strengths to reach their full potential.

Guys, I can attest this, Lamona is referring to the Gallup Strengths Finder.  You can identify your innate strengths and learn how to use them.

Through using the strengths finder  I found that certain aspects of my personality is innate, and I can embrace and leverage that. If you ever have a chance please try to do it. Example, I like to do lists and close on things (Achiever). I have learnt how to use this to my own advantage in team and also also what I need to watch out for (burn out).

My innate strengths became clear and I learnt how to maximize them in my career. I was headhunted by my current organization to lead their Diversity and Inclusion journey in Africa and the Middle East.

Headhunted’, don’t get it twisted. 

My job is to develop strategies to address diversity challenges

working mom interview_lamona travel

 

  • We live in  a world where there is so much inequality and atrocities due to hate between people.
  • It is a privilege to be a champion for change and show them a better way of mutual respect, trust and human dignity. This is my purpose.
  • I help people reframe their world experiences to embrace and value diversity in others instead of being unconsciously threatened by them.

An important job. I have seen this in action.

All of us carry unconscious bias. Example, we like people who have the same background like us. We hire people who are similar to us. 

Lamona’s job in part is to highlight unconscious bias, and coach people and teams to see the world from a different perspective.

 

What do you LOVE most about your job?

Living my life’s purpose to change the world.

  • I feel that each interaction I have with people holds a precious opportunity to speak the truth that can change the way they see the world.
  • I like teaching others to reframe what they have always known and seek to embrace diversity and be inclusive in everyday living.
  • How we see and treat others because of assumptions and how we may be missing out on so much because of it.

Share with us your top two tips that help you to manage your work life integration (balance) that would help other working moms?

 

  • Everyone has a unique story. Don’t beat yourself up, if yours doesn’t look like other successful women around you. Work with what you have and write your own story. One that fits your life circumstances. For example, if you are single or don’t have a supportive partner/spouse, find a way to create success for yourself despite this. Don’t look at those who have support to propel them in their career. You can find that kind of help in extended family, friends and a good nanny.
  • Don’t try to be superwomen.  There are times you need to go outsource activities/tasks. Identify what you can outsource, be it meals, transporting kids etc.
  • Work on your strengths. If you can cook a mean meal but suck at baking, buy ready-made cake mix or buy baked treats and continue preparing great meals.
  • There are times you will need to vent about how much it all is. Do that. Find a trusted friend or family member that you can express your feelings and frustrations with. Then pick yourself up and walk right through.

Looking back share with us advice you would give yourself as a new mother?

 

  • Don’t feel pressured to conform to an image you grew up to believe is the only way it must be. Write your own story.
  • Don’t feel guilty about needing some time to yourself – leverage all the brooding family around who cannot wait to babysit your child, or help in some way.
  • Don’t be afraid to try something new. Recognize what works for you and your baby and give it a shot.
  • Be mindful. Be in the moment. Don’t miss the everyday moments. Journal them if you must, so you can go back and relive how precious motherhood is.

 

[bctt tweet=”Don’t feel pressured to conform to an image you grew up to believe is the only way it must be. Write your own story.” username=”cherralle_”]

What do you do to kick back?

Literally doing nothing, just laying on my sofa, and catching up on my thoughts. I also love watching series with my children, when we can chill without me worrying about what to clean next.

Reading an excellent Christian novel is also relaxing for me.

When I can, going out on a hike and being in nature is fabulous to ground me.

 

Lamona thank you for sharing your story with me!  You hold such an important role in your home (as a mom!) but also in society. Thank you .

Lamona is active on twitter, you may check out her profile here.

 

Further Reading: The Side Hustle: 6 Things You Need to Start Now

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

Let’s live on the lighter side of parenting, we don’t need to take everything so serious. I have previously confessed that I am a bad mom  and that I have parenting double standards.

I am also a self-confessed Pinterest addict (follow my Pinterest boards here), and I love looking for quotes and jokes.

Here are some recent funny sayings I stumbled across!

 

Here are 15 Funny Mom Sayings

funny mom sayings sa mom blogger pins

 

 

1. I love it when I find myself screaming “STOP SCREAMING” to my kids

Yeah, setting a great example.

 

2. Hey train wreck. This isn’t your station.

Yeah, keep it moving.

3. Have you ever looked at the last few loads of laundry and considered throwing them away?

I have thrown laundry out the door before. I can be a bit temperamental. Not kidding!

 

4. If I ever go missing. Please follow my kids. They can find me no matter where I try to hide.

Every. Single. Time.

5. As kids we wondered why our parents were always in a bad mood. Now, we’re like ‘ooohhhh’

For reals! 

via GIPHY

6. I hate it when I play with kids for 7 hours, then it turns out it was only 20 minutes.

True story!

via GIPHY

 

7. When I tell my kids I will do something in a minute, what I am really saying is ‘please forget’

via GIPHY

 

8.  Interviewer: Tell me about a time you once dealt with a difficult situation. Mom ‘I once had a four year old’. Interviewer ‘You are hired’.

My absolute favorite. As someone who does interviews a lot, I will totally accept this as an answer.

via GIPHY

 

[bctt tweet=” Interviewer: Tell me about a time you once dealt with a difficult situation. Mom ‘I once had a four year old’.  Interviewer ‘You are hired’. ” username=”cherralle_”]

 

9. Dear Monday: My Momma dont like you, and she likes everyone

No further caption needed.

10. So it turns out, being a parent is mostly just googling symptoms your kid has.

via GIPHY

[bctt tweet=”So it turns out, being a parent is mostly just googling symptoms your kid has.” username=”cherralle_”]

11. That awkward moment when  you’re not sure if you actually have free time, or if you are just forgetting something.

Pretty much my life, that is why I use a planner, my template can be found here.

 

12. To hell with this shit. I am going on maternity leave. See ya!

Just a little bit of this right?

<

via GIPHY

 

13. Parenting is basically whispering FFS under your breath before answering to your name.

 

<

via GIPHY

14. A worried mother does better research than the FBI!

<

via GIPHY

15. Parenting was much easier when I was raising my non-existent kids hypothetically

via GIPHY

Share this post if you had a little laugh!

[bctt tweet=”Let’s not take everything so serious, have a little laugh at #momlife!” username=”cherralle_”]

 

Get the inside scoop! I share an email every couple of weeks with new content that is NOT on the blog!

* indicates required