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Inspiration, Lifestyle, Slider

What it’s really like raising three toddlers

January 17, 2017

I hear allot of questions and debate and even fear around whether or not to go for baby #3 while the other two are still so small. As a mom of a 6 year old, a 4 year old and a 3 year old, I agree that these moms have good reason for their uncertainty and their need to be completely sure before taking the giant leap of growing the family tree. And it’s our maternal instinct to always want to reassure these moms that everything is going to be just fine, even at those times when we are not sure of this ourselves.

I therefore also hear many moms urging these parents on to have another baby.  They claim the other two kids will have another ‘friend’ to play with and, my absolute favourite, they will have more kids around to look after them when they’re old and gray.  Maybe these are somewhat true, but they are certainly not the basis on which you should make your decision.

So, here are my ten proven facts of what life is really like with three little ones.

1. You know the phrase that goes something like this: ‘you gotta have hair on your teeth’? Well, with three toddlers this is definitely a requirement. You’ll want to murder them all.the.time! But you don’t, because even though they terrorise the living hell out of you (and each other!), they are the most precious beings to you and you would literally walk over molten lava for them.

2. Everything is a competition. Everything. Which is not a bad thing at all, however it does tend to push you to the edge when the one wants to sing louder than the other, or swim faster, have the last goodnight kiss, when all three compete to sit next to mom, hold mom’s hand in the mall or be the same movie character. Not to mention they all have their own taste in movies, which mean three movies all at once unless your negotiating skills are on point. Which it unfortunately as to be most times. It really is THAT crazy and the only thing keeping you sane is to remind yourself of your unconditional love for them ruckers. #woosah

3. Speaking of keeping sane. You HAVE to make time for just you and hubby at least once a month. This is non-negotiable. If grandma will allow you once a week or you can find a babysitter twice a month then all the better. Raising three toddlers is HARD work and like sponges, they suck every bit of energy from you. All three require individual, undivided attention all day, every day. You may think I’m exaggerating right now, but I’m only giving you the cold hard facts. What keeps me from completely losing my mind is a sunset walk on the beach after work, a Baxter theater show and the occasional Tuesday date night at HQ.

4. Then just when you think your life is about to become a whole lot more peaceful with the firstborn finally outgrowing the tantrums or terrible two’s, the other one starts the exact same sequence, followed by the next. I’m afraid, honey, it doesn’t get easier, you just become better at controlling the situation, your kids and yourself. Which is what makes us moms so fabulous.

5. Going on holiday is not so easy anymore. In my vain attempts to book family holidays, I noticed most places offer free flights and accommodation for two kids under 12. With three kids I still have to pay full price for the third child. Not exactly the end of the world, this only means our plans might be slightly delayed and we’ll have to save up a little longer.

6. School fees and study policies are always quadrupled. So when deciding on baby number 3, think of your career goals and which schools you would like your kids to attend. They may seem like minor details but has the potential to cause serious implications on not only your pocket but also your relationship with your spouse.

7. Everything comes in threes. Clothes, toys, life stages, I love yous – you name it. And bath-time takes forever!

8. Oh, and you’ll sadly have to say goodbye to your beloved 2 door sports car or the 5-seater family sedan for that matter. With you, hubby and three kids, all still in their baby seats, I recommend you find yourself a more reliable 7-seater fast! Although your family of 5 may still easily fit into the 5-seater, it, unfortunately, does not allow any other family members or friends to join in on the ride. Which we discovered is a big problem for us. So 7-seater it is. They are however costly, in value and petrol, so be sure to do your research carefully before deciding on baby number 3.

9. Three is such an uneven number. The buy-one-get-one-free concept means little to nothing to you when you have three little ones. On New year we bought tickets on daddy’s deals for bugs play park  – 2 tickets, including all kiddies rides, for the price of one ticket. Great deal, except we then ended up with one extra ticket we could not use. This is just one example of many, but you get my point. I’m almost tempted to say that having 4 kids instead of 3 may make more sense.

10. You have more kids than hands. Any mom would agree that having just one child is already physically and emotionally demanding. Having three, even more so. Sure your kids have each other to occupy. Until one pisses off the other and then it’s right back to mom and dad to clean up the mess.

I’m sorry I didn’t sugercoat more, but this is reality. MY reality right now. These facts are not meant to scare you, but to prepare you. It’s tough and it’s messy, but at the same time it’s also beautiful to see them grow up together, protective of one another, an unbelievable friendship and an unbreakable bond. Honestly, I wouldn’t change a thing if I could. The truth is you are never going to be ready. You simply have to ask yourself if you are ready to become a stronger version of you, a wiser one, a more tolerant one, grow a bigger heart.

Love,

Books/Movies, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Slider

My Mini Biography: The Milestone Years

March 4, 2015

Mamma:

I don’t know much about my birth or what I was like as a toddler. Mom was never around long enough to tell me nor have I ever asked. Looking at my three little tods now, I gather I wasn’t one of the quieter ones out there. What I do remember clearly however, is growing up with mamma. No not mamma as in the movie Mamma. My mamma would kick movie Mamma’s behind in a heartbeat.  Although known as the scariest woman on our street, she loved me dearly. Maybe a little too much. So much that I was forbidden from staying out too long at the neighbour’s house, where my best friend lived. So much, that the two us had to break through the wired fence that separated our yards to ensure we saw each other more often than was allowed. Friendship ruled back then and could get you out of almost anything. When I was eight years old, mamma’s health had deteriorated so much that by the time she took her last breath, no one was happier or more relieved to see her drift off to a more peaceful place in the beyond, than I was. Back then I thought my happiness for her death was because of how strict she was, but I missed that as soon as she was gone, and as I got older, I realised that I simply couldn’t bear to see her suffer so much and that I loved her more than I will ever be able to comprehend in this lifetime.

Mummy:

I know I said mummy wasn’t around much while growing up and that’s true. She wasn’t around nearly as much as I longed for her to be. But when she was, even just for a few hours, my whole world would light up instantly. Oh was she beautiful! She was so beautiful as soon as I saw her come walking down the street, I would immediately stop running, skipping, jumping or whatever I was busy doing, and just stare at her. Then quickly I’d be all over her demanding all the attention I didn’t get while she was away the past few weeks. Everything she did was just amazing, flawless, and perfect while she was visiting me at gran’s. Every second spent with mummy was heaven. She could do no wrong and I was the happiest little girl when she was around. My complete obsession for reading stems from a Disney book collection she got me for my birthday one year. I never stopped reading after that. If there was ever any doubt, this proves that moms most assuredly have a tremendous influence on their kids’ evolvement.

Tietie:

After mamma went, I was left in the care of my older sister who was then only sixteen, had a little baby of her own and was working full time. By then my grades had plummeted dramatically. I went from an A-student to a complete failure in just one year. So one day while playing in a rundown van with some friends I hardly knew, my sister called me home and told me that I will be staying with my aunt and uncle from then on. I loved my aunt and uncle dearly so of cause I was overjoyed at the prospect. I left Athlone and my mamma’s house a few days later. Although we didn’t speak about it for a long time after, sis later told me that she simply couldn’t stand by and watch my life fall apart. One will never fully grasp the potency of a sister’s love…until the going gets tough and shit hits the fan. I haven’t thanked her nearly enough for always looking out for me.

New family, new beginnings:

Suddenly, I was two brothers, a sister, a mom, a dad and a dog richer. I would spend the next thirteen years in my new family’s home before I’d move out on my own. At first it felt like I was hit by a bus and was now recovering and learning to walk, talk, think and be all over again. With the support from my new family, I soon learned how to walk with my head up high, talk positively, think and dream about the endless possibilities that’s opened up for me and most importantly I learned to ‘be’ part of a family. It was a slow recovery, but in the end it all made me the person I am today. We often think sibling rivalry and getting a good lashing from parents are bad things. And though I agree that these are not nice, they are indeed little bolts and nuts in the machine that makes up a loving family. Needless to say I got a good dose of both. I was also inundated with love and soon it was pretty bizarre to think that there was ever a time I was not a part of this family. Where mamma, bless her soul, wouldn’t allow me next door to play with my own best friend, mommy Gladys allowed us so much freedom and so little social boundaries that we felt guilty even thinking about letting her down, so we never did. My second mom was and still is the most beautiful soul and God fearing human being I know. Her husband, and my first and only dad, has never shown me anything but the love any daughter desires. I didn’t think of this before, but I now realise that he played an enormous part in me choosing the life partner I did.

Finding my prince charming and my happily ever after:

My life was full. I had just finished school, just started my new job and I was another sister richer (My younger biological sister from my biological dad) whom I was going to visit once I got home from work on this particular day. It happened to be a very hot summer’s day and I was walking toward the station when this guy stopped me and offered me a ride. Ofcause I refused and continued the excruciatingly long walk to the station, but not before he handed me his business card which I reluctantly accepted. Completely out of character and not entirely sure why, I called him later that night. It’s been almost eleven years and three children later and we haven’t stopped talking since. Although my life was full, before that fateful day I took a stranger’s business card, it was now complete. I wasn’t looking for love. Perhaps because I was so grateful for all the things life had already given me and maybe love was just a little much to ask for too. But love found me none the less.

 

I now have an amazing husband and family of my own, with whom to create the life I never had. I haven’t been given a second chance. I have been given yet another chance. I’ve been given plenty more chances after that. I am not simply a mom, I am a fabmom.

Carmen_Lesley wedding

 

Carmen_Lesley wedding

Carmen_Lesley wedding

Carmen_Lesley wedding

 

To happy endings and new beginnings…

fabmom xx

From Engineer to aspiring fashion designer

July 20, 2012
During a recent lunch date with my girlfriend, while sipping on my cappuccino, I curiously asked her why she’d suddenly decided to become a stay-home mom to Luke (now 7 months), after climbing the corporate ladder faster than I can say ‘success’ and her response astounded me – turns out she left her career as successful Engineer at one of SA’s largest power plants to pursue her passion as Fashion designer! Yes, you read correctly. Now I’ve heard of many an engineer leaving their current employer and venture off on their own, but FASHION?! Never!
Lynn
As a fashion blogger, more importantly a fashion MOM blogger, her story immediately intrigued me and as a blogger who thrives on all things ‘unusual’ it fascinated me so much more! I wanted to know what makes a qualified and highly skilled Electrical Engineer suddenly go from machines to frills. So while diving into my high-calorie steak roll and Lynn into her very healthy salad, she went on to explain that although her son might be the most important reason she bid farewell to the hustle and bustle of corporate SA and weekly business flights to Joburg, the more important reason was that her job could no longer satisfy her emotionally. She knew there was something amiss – here they were- this beautiful little family, loving husband, adorable son, a beautiful home in the most beautiful city in the world and a career some can only dream of, yet something was still missing. Lynn knew she had to listen to her heart and follow her passion and so that was exactly what she did and we at FabMom salute her for taking such a bold step and making family and fashion her focus! We’ll keep cheering Lynn on from the front row until her designs, someday, comes marching down the runway!
xoxo Fashion Butterfly