As parents it is always a challenge to get it right. What is too much what is too little? Are we there enough? Regardless of how we try we always seem to fall short.
Our experiences shape us to carry guilt and resentment we spend so much time wondering and worrying that we forget that our children are a gift. We should enjoy and cherish them. We should do our best, and think less of what we want to do and just do.
It seems in a world where we plan and calculate that parenting comes with a lot of possible pit-falls – the biggest is being paralysed with planning.
Your child want you to be there for them and care very little about the window-dressing which takes up most of our time.
Enjoy the last bit of winter!
I have wanted to do a newsletter about relationships for such a long time, but it was only after attending a workshop over the weekend that I found some really profound words to outline the different relationships we as parents have. Dr. Bergman the speaker said, that when they spoke to parents after a birth with complications, where the baby was in ICU for a period. The mothers always felt that they had an interrupted relationship with their babies. The transition from gestation to new born had been delayed in some way. Fathers on the other hand viewed the relationship as a new one. Where mothers felt a sense of loss, fathers were just keen to start their relationship.
Daily we will start lots of relationships – some might be lasting; some interrupted; some might be new... Regardless of the length make sure to remember the following: “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did; but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Have a fabulous May.
The month of love and romance has come and gone and this made me wonder... As parents we are continuously sharing of ourselves, our time, our closeness, our thoughts, all these are ways in which we show our children that we love them. I have however found that the older Mia got the less I touched her. She wants to do it all herself, bath, dressing, doing her hair... and so I just touch her less.
A couple of times after a particularly harsh day I have decided to sit or lie down with her. Just stroking her body, and whispering if I talked at all but consistently thought how much I love her. It was amazed at how this bundle of energy, little miss independent would just be quiet and listen. Or maybe not... she has a fine ear for the language of love!
Until next time.
2010 did not just arrive, the first months is already done and dusted and the second is well on its way.
Time is a luxury which waits for no mortal, and as that I wanted to share a couple of thoughts with you about how I plan to deal with the rest of the year:
This might not sound like a lot, but I dare you to try it...
Until we talk again.
This month I received another lesson in being thankful, although it has not been a month with more or less stresses than usual. I had to take the drive to the hospital with Mia (my daughter), again this month, but the wonderful thing was that I was able to bring her home daily.
While I was there I was faced with other parent's realities. I could again see how lucky I was, and that I had a lot to be thankful for.
So I want to challenge you - in the next month find something daily to be thankful for. Let us change the world with positive thoughts and positive energy.
" Giving birth is not the same as giving life."
In children it is often the personality traits that is valued in adults which we as parents try to change. Children are seen as difficult and demanding instead of individual and a strong leader.
Some parents see these children as a challenge to discipline and mould, not thinking that these personality traits had to come from somewhere... So what to do? Do you leave your spirited child to do as they please? No, you need to be innovative, you need to manage their traits to try and find the “yes” in the situation rather than the no.
It is not always easy and yes, few of our parents did this. So why should we make the effort? Well the answer is simple, you want a happy, nurtured, home environment, you need to have rules and these should be enforced. You should however choose your battles wisely.
You need to be aware that there are a number of individual traits that make up the whole. Understand yourself or your partner and know how you cope in certain conditions this will highlight a lot of what your child thinks and feel. I find myself thinking how I would feel if... and it does make things easier to understand. It provides the why for certain reaction.
Try and empower your child with words to replace the actions, make sure they understand that you are a team and need to work together.
When all else fail, take time-out! It might not work for them; but it will allow you to at least get your head together.
With the spring break and the last couple of months of the year around the corner you can just about feel life around you. Just as nature is getting ready for summer so we should be preparing for the final countdown to this year. Parents will be looking at finalising schools and everything is being readied for the changes that will take place next year. As parent we know that the only constant in our life is change – enjoy it!
Next months we will be celebrating our first birthday, it is all very exciting that an idea has become my passion and that we have been able to help so many parents. For those parents who I have become friends with, thank you for our continued support and feedback. For all the new parents – welcome to our community of passionate parents.
I think you are truly blessed if you are able to look behind you and see where you came from and to look forward and to see there are no limits to what you can achieve.
Look ahead to this month with a smile.
Spring has swooped in with a fresh breeze and a light that inspires us to view our world with new focus. As the year starts sliding away faster it is so easy to miss the changes that are happening around us, the same happens in our children, they grow and change and evolve all the time.
Each day we are privileged to be part of a miracle which not only shape our world, but will ultimately be the link we have to the future. Your child represent a part of you which will be continued possible indefinite - your involvement with this little person will shape not only your future but people still to come.
Children are our silent legacy which we leave behind – remember and embrace this.
Yesterday we spend a day with my family, I was again reminded that memories are the things that bond us together – the mortar that keeps the house standing. Like a house it is important that the correct mix of sand, water and cement is used to make sure the house is sturdy. We looked at old photos; children that were mere toddlers are now in the full throws of teenage hormones were small and kept close to their parents for guidance. Holidays and good time.
It is so easy to forget that this is what we accumulate – memories. The time we spend with our children, are like a precious gift which in the end will be the measure by which our lives will be weighed to determine our impact. The thoughts of places where we have made a difference. The people we hurt or neglected; and the people we loved. Places we were.
It is so easy to loose sight of and think that we live to work; nó we are here to make a difference in each others lives.
Live life to its fullest!
After being at the Baba Indaba this month in Cape Town I was once again astounded at the options we as parents have. Everything from baby slings to nipple creams were on display, not to mention all the gorgeous furniture, décor, clothes, accessories and, and, and... The list is endless.
I had a great time and loved to chat to a number of the exhibitors there, Mia was excited because there were more balloons, popcorn, face painters and snacks than she ever saw and thought it must have been a big, big birthday party.
You as a parent are bombarded with information. Regardless of the path you choose I only want to ask that you ensure that your choices are based on enough verified information. Build a support system of trust. If you have set your heart on doing something know why you have chosen this path.
I think the most apt quote I saw this month that is applicable to parenting was accredited to Einstein and read: "If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?".
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This is an out of the ordinary newsletter as I did not plan to speak to you all so soon after the last. But as I have some news that needs to be shared sooner rather than later - here I am again in your inbox.
This week has been a bit hectic as I had to again change my daycare options which reminded me again how much easier it is to work from home which allows you to manage those little unplanned changes that comes with parenting. Trust me my thoughts are with all who are not a fortunate.
I hope that you all have a great long weekend!
When you become a parent you do so for life. Regardless of the age of your children, or where they are in the world, they are always a part of you. You might not always like what your children do but you ALWAYS love them. This makes parenting the miracle it is; balance is what we aim for - unfortunately perspective is not always on our side...
I think it is important to remember that each child; as with situations; are different - as parents we can only try our best and focus on ensuring that the choices we have made were based on information and awareness.
The first week of August is World Breastfeeding Week this year's theme is “Breastfeeding - a vital emergency response. Are you ready?”. Keep an eye out for stands and information sessions in your area.
"The best and most beautiful things in the world
cannot be seen or even touched.
They must be felt with the heart.”
- Helen Adams Keller
Yours in parenting,
You thought parenting would be easy, I mean how difficult can it be to manage a child, not to mention how much you learned from your parent's mistakes. Then you have your own or want your own and all of a sudden this change you have new found respect for your parents, even if they made mistakes.
Welcome to the realities of parenting, where you learn as you go, adjust what your thought you knew, and can do with as much support as humanly possible. It is a daunting task that has many variables and poses a myriad of questions and options.
“A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.”
With lots on this subject we will be doing at least another editions on parenting.
The last couple of days has been a myriad of activity, as with everything in parenting change seems to be the only constant. I need to commend my medical practitioners and my local hospital who again provided us with their hospitality. It is great if a hospital visit goes so well that your child tells you she had a nice visit with Dr. So & So.
I have also again seen the anguish on the parent's faces as their children receive some “terrifying” medical care. Nebulisation and physiotherapy is two of the most traumatic experiences for a child due to the noise level and varying digrees of discomfort.
Our thoughts are with all the people who care and assist – both parents and practitioners. Thanks you are doing a great job!
We look at safety in and around the house this month.
Till next we meet!
In the last couple of months a lot of people have been talking about taking care of your baby, and how to adapt to a new born. Thinking back to my own experience I know that especially for a first time mother this can be a taxing time.
As such I thought that it would be good to look at alternative ways in which to tackle the first couple of months of your baby being home, and the family settling into a new routine.
Regardless of what choices you make regarding the care and nurturing of your baby and child you should just be confident that these choices were made based on what is best for your family.
My daughter is in love with the idea of having a birthday. No day goes past without her creating a moment to celebrate, sing and blow out imaginary candles. She even shares the cake – she does not open up imaginary present :-)
She sets the tone on how to celebrate life in general, that every day is a reason to celebrate. Each day is a new birth which allows you to shed the old and embrace the new. As parents we get caught up in daily living, schedules; getting things done. Why not take some time to stop the rush and think back on the moments in pregnancy when you were part of the miracle of creating a new life? Then face reality that although your child is a separate being and an individual you are still part of a miracle and the choices made today will effect your child in future.
Take time to celebrate – take time be quiet and share in the miracle of life.
PS: Remember Father's Day next Sunday!
As parents we are constantly confronted with situations where we are unsure; or worry about what the best would be to do. I think this is one of the reasons why you need two people to father a child; your partner is the backup, the plan B, the one that can be your soundboard, or just take over in a time of crisis.
I always thought I would love more patience; and then I met and married my husband! Anyone who has ever met him would be able to tell you he is put together with patience; I got what I wanted, but not in the way I thought.
This father's day and every other day is a good time to celebrate our partners best characteristics and where you complete each other. Look at your partner as though for the first time and remember why you fell in love and why you selected to spend the rest of your lives together.
Till next time!
After months of doctors and even a hospital visit we thought that this is more parent's reality especially in the winter months. This is a time where parents are under pressure and find it difficult to stay calm in the balancing act of their daily life. Be aware that you are not alone and our thoughts go out to all those parents.
We are also certain that all the mom's are looking forward to some well deserved spoiling on Sunday; we hope you are surprised and pampered. We know mothers are the mortar that keep the family together; but we also glimpse ahead to Father's day next month.
We hope the rest of May is a wonderful month and look forward to hear from you.
Well the year finished its first quarter and I don't know about you; but it feels like yesterday that we were sending the kids off to school; yet the Easter holidays is winking around the corner.
March has been a tumultuous time and I feel like a seafarer who just finished an around the world trip. Between the rough seas, I had the calm and tranquillity of seeing whales, and cavorting with dolphins. I had near misses where I managed to steer clear of danger, I had peaceful beaches yet I know that I have not yet been where no mother has been before. I am looking forward to April with renewed strength, that is between all the public holidays and voting off course.
Enjoy all the public holidays and drive safely should you be on the road.
2009 is already in third gear and I am sure that things are as busy on your side as it is here.
For all the mothers, and fathers, who had a child go to day mothers, play groups, crèche, primary school, our thoughts are and were with you.
This month we have a mixed grill of information for you, but we are sure that you will find something to your liking.
The year is on it's last legs and we are at that magical time of year where we over indulge but also feel an overwhelming amount of goodwill and peace for all mankind. Gather your family and friends around you and celebrate the passing of the year and the promise of the new.
Keep your children close to your heart and enjoy spending the time with them, they grow up so fast and this time will pass.
Regardless of where you go or stay our wishes of joy, love and prosperity goes with you.
October has just flown past, and I'm sure that as with all parents you have had little time to stop and smell the proverbial roses.
This month we would like to focus on introducing th PlanetParent expert panel, so you can feel comfortable to send in your questions.
As you will see they come from a varied background and are all highly professional; together we strive to parenting with confidence.