KidloLand Preschool Math Games Review

The KidloLand Preschool Math Games Can Complement Learning

Did I tell you guys I have deleted 90% of Caitlyn’s games off my iPhone?

I could not find anything that I felt was worth the subscription fee. And to get to the really good stuff (you know what I mean) you need to subscribe.

I was invited to review the Preschool Math Games from KidloLand, and saw it as a good opportunity to try out something new.

After trying out the games for a good month, here is my (our) balanced review of the app.

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

KidloLand Preschool Maths Games Review

kidloland preschool math games download

 

What we loved about KidloLand Preschool Math Games

The graphics of the app is fascinating. From the moment I downloaded it and sat with Caitlyn; she was hooked.

What I liked most about the app is you can choose K or Pre K. Pre K being age group 3 – 5 years. And K being 5 – 6 years of age (well, my summation).

Caitlyn is four years old and was very comfortable with the ‘Pre K’ games, but for certain concepts we went to the next level.

Different maths concepts covered

The KidLoLand Preschool Math games covered a number of math concepts. We played with games addressing the following concepts:

Number recognition and tracing

The complexity of the counting games and number tracing games were at level that was easy for Caitlyn to master. And so, she could progress to more challenging games.

Before we received this game, I was spending time with Caitlyn on number recognition. And this game helped with grasping some of the concepts.

Identifying different shapes

We had fun naming and categorizing different shapes, from basic shapes to more complex ones.

Comparisons

Comparing objectives based on their properties, such as long, short, big and small, and so forth.

Patterns

Caitlyn needed a bit of guidance on this one, however it was fun nonetheless. A new concept  for her that we have not tackled at home.

The games are endless. They are fun, colourful and has educational value, if used correctly.

What could be better

Three points.

1. Each time you start a new game, you have to download it. Hence, watch out for space comsumption on your phone.

2. Secondly, there are so many games it is easy to become overwhelmed.   The vast amount of games can be a strength too.  We tackled one concept at a time.

3. The narration on the games I felt could be better. Example, we have a LeapReader. Each game on the LeapReader is clearly narrated so that Caitlyn can figure out herself what to do. Whereas with the KidloLand Preschool MathGames, I did have to step in quite a bit and explain what needed to be done.

Altogether, not a train smash, but just a heads up.

That was it! It is incredibly hard for a kid to get bored with this game. Provided the complexity level is right for them.

My conclusion on the KidloLand Preschool Math Games

Get the app. I sit with Caitlyn  doing paper-based ‘activities’. However, the app has enhanced her understanding of specific concepts.

Especially, patterns and counting games. I do not see the App as replacing our paper based games. In conclusion, it ampliefies her learning experience.

What is your favourite app for your kids?

Learn More!

You can learn more about the Kidloland here or if you want to download the Math Ganes:

Disclosure: We were sent the PreSchool Maths App To Review. We received an annual subscription to the Kidlo Learn English app in exchange for the review.

My Daughter is ‘Bossy’, Here is Why I Am More Than Okay With It

‘Caitlyn is bossy. She likes to direct other children during playtime’.

The teacher delivered the message with some caution. I guess she was not sure how we would react.

She had nothing to be worried about because I was okay with it.

The teacher acknowledged that she does not have a concern with it. We need to remind about Caitlyn boundaries, and explain when it is okay and when it  isnot okay. You know, be a decent human being and respect others. I am cool with that.

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

I do want to get too caught up in semantics, like the message in the ‘ban bossy campaign’. I do not personally think of the word ‘bossy’ as derogatory.

When I hear a girl or boy referred to as ‘bossy,’ I think ‘Leader’ and ‘Confident’.

[bctt tweet=”My Daughter is ‘Bossy’, Here is Why I Am More Than Okay With It” username=”cherralle_”]

Here are 5 Reasons Why I am Okay with My Daughter Being Bossy

My daughter is bossy why I am okay with it_mydailycake

1. You say bossy, I say Leadership

I see it as the little one displaying early leadership skills. Heaven knows, that after going through terrible two’s; tiresome three’s; and ferocious fours – all of this ‘attitude’ has to amount to something!

2. Stand up for herself and others

I  want my daughter to be able to stand up for herself.

For her to be brave and stand up for yourself and others.

In fact, her last year’s teacher wrote in her report card ‘Caitlyn stands up for her friends.’ That was the best teacher FEEDBACK EVER! I was proud of her.

my_bossy_daughter mommy blog
3. Be Confident and Proud

Caitlyn has BIG hair. She told me that one of her friends laughed at her hair. So was teaching her a comeback. ‘Everyone’s hair is different and my hair is beautiful because my mother said so.’

Mic drop.

I never know how to deal with these type of situations. I always think, what can I say that reminds her to be strong and proud. And then I come I up with these gems.

Afterward, I look at myself in the mirror.

Shaking my head, reflecting on my pop psychology brand of parenting. Where is the PARENTING HOW TO GUIDE when you need one?

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

4. Independence

Caitlyn is very hesitant in new situations, I wrote here about why you should not call my daughter shy. However, when she warms up, she can be something else.

By growing comfortable in the situation, she also learns to engage in her surroundings without much assistance (on her own terms).

At one party she took over one hour to get comfortable.

As we were about to leave she transformed into a ‘Woohooo girl’. Jumps in and out of the pool (I was panicking of course).

Ultimately, she is developing her unique brand of confidence. Simply put ‘let me be, I will let you know when I am ready.’

5, Ask

I hope my daughter feels confident enough to always ask questions. One of the things that hold us all back in any situation is being hesitant to ASK the question. Well, if being bossy gets her to ask the question, then I am behind it.

Putting her hand up in class to ask a question. Speaking up whenever something needs to be said.

Trust me she has never had any issues steering me to the Spiderman clothes when I am standing in the Barbie aisle.

So, I think we are covered.

In conclusion – Let girls and boys be bossy (and whatever else they need to be)

The point, I am making is this: Let girls and boys be bossy! Embrace it and encourage it. The world needs independent thinkers and doers.

Allow each child an opportunity to develop their voice. And respect others while they are doing it of course.

[bctt tweet=”The point I am making is this: Let girls and boys be bossy! Embrace it and encourage it. The world needs independent thinkers and doers” via=”no”]

#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.

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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?

 

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

Job hunting can be a daunting exercise. Updating your CV, going for interviews and endless discussions can take it it’s toll.

Not much fun is it? There are a few things that trip people up, that I am going to share with you.

Here are ten job hunting tips that you may not have heard of before.

 

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

 

 

1. Set job hunting objectives beyond money

Think through what you want from a role in broad terms. Such as:

  • Income (obviously this is important)
  • Exposure and Growth
  • Industry
  • Role responsibilities and so forth

 

I emphasize ‘broad’ terms because sometimes life can throw you an opportunity you have not thought of before. So, be open-minded.

Tip: When job hunting it’s essential to factor in pay. Equally so there are other things besides money that you need to weigh up.

 

2. The ‘can we have a copy of your payslip’ dilemma

Always a tricky one.

The recruiter will request your payslip to understand how your current package compares with the salary range of the job.

The payslip provides a confirmation of job title as well as actual benefits. (To be frank, most people cannot decipher a payslip properly, they don’t know how to compare ‘apples with apples). HR speak!

Often, a candidate is hesitant to provide their payslip.

Why?

Candidates feel it is unfair to look at what they have previously earned to justify their new salary. Especially so, if they are currently making on the lower end of the range.

My recommendation is to give your payslip.

However, be very clear that you want to discuss the package in line with the role’s level or responsibility and your experience.

If you refuse? Well, it might make negotiation difficult. However, I don’t think it should negatively effect your chances of getting the job.

 

3. Fix your ghost-town LinkedIn Profile

Your LinkedIn profile needs to reflect your CV and more. Do not be that person that gets put on the ‘maybe’ or ‘no’ pile because your LinkedIn profile is a ghost-town, abandoned three years ago when you last updated it.

Be that person whose profile lands on top of the pile.

Here are six steps update your LinkedIn profile.

By the way, my philosophy is that LinkedIn is not purely a job-hunting tool. It’s a branding tool, that can establish your online presence and showcase your work.

[bctt tweet=”LinkedIn is not only for job hunting. LinkedIn is a personal branding tool, don’t let it become a ghost town.” username=”cherralle_”]

 

4. Ditch that old CV

Do not ever submit a CV in word format (unless requested). Your CV should always be sent in PDF format; it just looks more professional.

Keep your CV in word so you may tailor it to each job you apply for, however, convert to PDF before submission.

Here are 6 Hacks to transform your CV in 20 minutes.

A couple of basic principles:

  • Adapt our CV to the role that you are applying for.
  • Use key phrases similar to the job description in your CV (this is to get past the initial filtering that recruiting software does).
  • Highlight key experiences that are relevant to the job.
  • Add stats and numbers where possible to demonstrate achievement.
  • Remove ‘fake, fluffy and happy speak’. Just speak plainly.

 

5. Networking simplified: Talk to people who do what you want to do

Kick off your networking initiatives, by talking to people who are doing what you want to do.

Simple as that. ‘Informational interviews’ can open the door to more connections. End off each conversation with ‘if I want to explore roles in your company, what would be the next step?’. Be genuine.

I recently came across this tip when I read Designing Your Life.

Include networking as part of your job hunting endeavours in a fun way.

I stress and break out in sweat when I hear that I need to ‘network’! I hate ‘networking’! But I LOVE talking to people, listening to them and having a conversation. Throw away ‘networking’ and just listen.

[bctt tweet=”Networking tip: If you want to be more interesting, be more interested in others.” username=”cherralle_”]

6. Be yourself in the interview and don’t ‘fake speak.’

Be a human being and let your true nature shine through.

Interview preparation is necessary. However, always ensure you are presenting your true self in an interview.

Write down 2 – 3 work experiences, which showcase the best of your qualities and achievements. If you have these 2 – 3 stories down it should cover the most significant questions in the interview. Within each story highlight the parts that relate to the question.

Here is a guide to 8 tricky interview questions and how to go about answering them.

When I say ‘fake speak’ I mean don’t say stuff like ‘I drove a transformative agenda, blah blah blah’. You see, I can’t even type it out, that’s how boring it is. Share practical examples grounded in real life.

7. Give your references a heads up before starting your job hunt

I cannot tell you how many times a candidate is left hanging due to:

  • the recruiter ‘can not reach the reference despite trying ‘ or
  • the reference had nothing nice to say about the candidate (yep this happens!)

 

Follow these three steps to get a decent reference:

  • when you are adding someone as a reference, ask them if they are okay to do this for you. Do not assume someone is okay with being your reference.
  • when your recruiter lets you know they are about to call the references (within a day or 2), let your reference know
  • please put people on your reference list who liked working with you

[bctt tweet=”Always check first if someone is okay with being your reference. Never assume they are okay with this role. It will come back to bite you in the process #JobAdviceSA” username=”cherralle_”]

8. People don’t read; therefore cover letters should be short and sweet

Let me just lay this down.

Do not include a cover letter if you are not investing a little time into adapting it to the role and company that you are applying to.

A cover letter provides you with an opportunity to write a brief story about why you are the best candidate.

Trust, me when I say. Do not submit a cover letter if you have not invested into adapting it. It is a complete turn off when a cover letter is a copy and paste job. Herewith an article about cover letters with examples.

9. Say Thank You

As a standard courtesy, send a thank you note afterward to the hiring manager. If you do not have the contact details for the hiring manager, send it to the recruiter and ask them nicely to pass it on.

10. Clean up your dodgy Instagram (and other social media profiles)

The basic rule of thumb: do not post anything that you do not feel comfortable with your grand parents, parents, boss, colleagues seeing. Simple as that. Craft a favourable online presence (the real you).

Bonus Tip:

Do not be a ‘ghost’ online. Having no online presence may be just as harmful as having a negative social media presence. Developing a positive online persona is no longer optional. It is a must.

Finally

Tell me, what do you struggle with when you are on the job market?

Check out our career resources:

8 Career Tips To Throw In the Trash And What To Do Instead

6 Ways To Add Self-Care To Your Work Routine

Dear Working Mother – Here is How To Leave Work On Time

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?

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via GIPHY

 

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

 

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via GIPHY

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

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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_”]

 

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5 Tips to Maximize Playtime With Your Kids: Plus *WIN* with My Little Pony and Play-Doh [CLOSED]

One of the habits I have adopted for 2018 us to be less busy on weekends. Allowing me time to play and be more available to my girls. I feel that when I have too many ‘plans’ I just do not get to everything or get to spend quality time at home.

Whatever amount of time we have with our children, let’s make it count!

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

Here are five tips on maximizing play time with kids

Get on the floor with them

Nothing beats getting on the floor with your kids and playing with them. You are at their level and you can engage and participate fully.

Manage screen time

We love watching TV in our house.

Therefore, it is even more important that we strive to create a form of  balance.

To maximize play time with your children, get off your screen. If they see you on your phone, or laptop, they will want to watch a screen too. Trust me, our family loves TV – but I do keep an eye on it. We have our TV sessions but I make a point of switching off the screens.

When you forget about your screens, so will your children.

 

Let your kids take over

Allow your child to direct play time.

Let their creativity shine through as they use their imagination. They might just surprise you!

When we read books these days its a full on ‘play’ and my four-year-old LOVES acting out book characters.

Go Outside

Nothing beats just stepping outside and playing a game.  I get grumpy when there is too much running around, but I give it a go!

My daughter discovered ‘tag’ – oh man, that game leaves me huffing and puffing like an old woman.

Set time aside for play

Very often, we get caught up in doing what we ‘need to do’ by the time we look again the day or weekends is over.

Don’t be afraid of setting time one side and ‘scheduling’ play time. For me, I try to keep my weekend as open as possible so I know I will have enough time to just ‘be’ at home. You know what I mean?

 

GIVE AWAY!

In the spirit of playtime, I am giving away a My Little Pony and a Play-Doh toy to two lucky readers.

sa mom blogger play-doh and my little pony

 

 

My Little Pony Princess Twilight Sparkle and Spike the Dragon Friendship Duet

Princess Twilight Sparkle and Spike the Dragon always stick together, especially when they sing a song.

Press the Cutie Mark button on the Princess Twilight Sparkle figure to hear her sing by herself, or hold the Spike the Dragon figure next to her while she sings,  to hear them sing a duet. Music sounds best when friends sing together. For more information please visit My Little Pony, My Little Pony Facebook Page or the My Little Pony YouTube Channel.

 

Play-Doh Sizzlin’ Stovetop

Play-Doh Kitchen Creations sa mom blogger

Have fun with the Play-Doh Sizzlin’ Stovetop that makes real sizzling sounds as soon as the skillet or saucepan are placed on the burners. Listen to how the sizzle gets louder when a Play-Doh creation is placed in one of the pans, almost like a real stove.

Want to know what’s on the menu? Use the Play-Doh stamps to create pretend steak and eggs, crazy burgers and even fish.  Add some Play-Doh veggies with the half mould and use your tongs and spatula to flip and grab your creations before displaying them on the plates provided. For more information visit Play-Doh, Play-Doh Facebook Page or the Play-Doh YouTube Channel.

 

To Enter Follow This one Easy Step

  1. Comment on the Facebook Give Away Post or the Instagram Giveaway post  whether you prefer the My Little Pony or Play Doh toy and tag one mommy friend.

That is it, you are in! Good luck!

Increase your chances of winning. For extra entries do the following – note each action is one additional entry:

  1. Share this post on facebook and tag (@mydailycake)
  2. Subscribe to our mailing list (form posted below)
  3. Share this post on twitter

Rules: Competition is open until Thursday 1 March. Winners will be announced by latest 5th March. Only open to SA residents. Prizes will be shipped by the agency.

Good luck!

XXX

Enter This Giveaway!

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Disclaimer:  Toys sponsored by Hasbro.

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

Bad Mom confessions do not make us neglectful moms. It means we are not perfect.

We make mistakes and sometimes things just happen!

Raising my girls is the toughest and the best part of my life.

So, my three year old swallowed a birth control pill! This is how it went down.

 

Last year, on a regular weekday morning my daughter kept on saying her tummy was sore. I brushed it off because she always says her stomach is sore.

Now looking back I feel terrible for not paying more attention.

As we arrived at school, she said: “mummy I want to throw up.”

Which she did.

After wiping her down as best as I could, we drove home immediately and she stayed home that day. We assumed she had a tummy bug. My husband stayed home the morning (took her to the doctor), and I took the afternoon off. As working parents, we made a plan.

I turned to Google in my time of need – Is this normal?

My daughter received medication from our family doctor.

By the time I arrived home at midday she was tons better. Eating and playing, almost back to her usual self.

As I was tidying the bedroom that same day, a few things clicked into place:

  1. My husband asked her the previous night if she had eaten a pill. He found a birth control pill packet on the floor. I couldn’t tell if any were missing as I stopped using them at that point. Anyway, we were satisfied she did not eat it and went on with things.
  2. Then on this day, I found half a pill lying on the floor as I was busy tidying up
  3. Add up the two previous points along with the nausea it became clear that she swallowed a birth control pill

As this realisation dawned on me, I did what any self-respecting parent does in that situation. I Googled the LIVING DAILY LIGHTS OUT OF ‘my child swallowed birth control pills’. It turns out, this has happened to quite a few people!

[bctt tweet=”I Googled the LIVING DAY LIGHTS OUT OF ‘my child swallowed birth control pills'” username=”cherralle_”]

We also checked in with our doctor.

Everything turned out fine – no harm was done.

Epic parenting fail! Here are 9 other Parenting Fails

Don’t judge! Tell me yours in the comments so we can be bad moms in solidarity.

 

1. Using the incorrect number of scoops

I made a milk bottle for my little one. Instead of using 5 scoops for 125 mls, I used 8 scoops. I remember this clearly. I was like – oh well!

2. Forgetting to send stuff to school

Forgetting to send show and tell on numerous occasions when my daughter was at playschool. I always missed the reminder from school! Playschool is not real school anyway.

3. Forgetting to pay for stuff

Forgot to pay our daughter’s drop off service for two months in a row…terrible. Luckily we have a good relationship with the company.

4. (Super) early bedtime

I put my kids to bed as early possible (the little one sometimes before 18h00), so I can be off ‘mommy duty’ and chill out

5. I lie about needing the bathroom

Sometimes when we are with the kids, I tell my husband that I need to go to the bathroom quickly when I don’t need to. I go to the bathroom and play on my phone.

bad mom confessions mommy blogger

 

6. Let them play in the cot

Sometimes when my Daughter wakes from a nap, I let her play in her cot. If she is okay I leave her. I can get sometimes another 30 minutes to an hour out of this situation.

7. I pretend to not notice the poo nappy

Sometimes when my daughter makes a number I pretend I don’t notice. I then ask my husband to check. As he discovers she made the poo, he must change the nappy.

8. When nap time turned dangerous

When my Daughter was between two and three years of age, she started dropping her nap. Nap time was challenging as she was sleeping in a ‘big kid bed’ meaning more freedom.

One day I put her down closed the bedroom door.

I went to relax in my bedroom. I felt so chuffed as I managed to get her to take a nap!

About 30 minutes later I heard something on the balcony. I walked to check, and guess who is playing on our balcony. Standing on a chair. Leaning over the railing! Having a field day on the freaking balcony! With a flimsy rail (well, any rail is flimsy when your two year old is standing on a chair, leaning over it). I was so frightened because she could have easily fallen over.

9. Bribery

When my child refuses to leave places, I bribe her. I promise to give her a sweet in the car.

There you have it, I am a bad mom

Being a parent is  NOT what we put out on Instagram. It is beautiful, exhausting and nasty at the same time.

Join me! Tell me in the comments, what is your bad mom moment?? 

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