The Only Thing I’ve Judged Another Parent For.

Driving back home from one of the best weekends I’ve had with my little family at our old family farm up at the Breede River, we decided to take the longer, scenic drive back through Robertson instead of our usual route back through Caledon. We weren’t even the tiniest bit phased by the toddler tunes on repeat blaring in the car, or the extra bit of traffic. We were just in our element.

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Dark crept upon us, and we made our way through the Hugenot Tunnel just after Worcester. Still happily chatting about exciting family events to come as well as our special weekend away; a sudden chill hit us as we saw a car that had recently drove over the edge and was smashed up. Added to the scene were emergency lights, and a crowd of people – paramedics, etc. One of my least favourite things to see, especially on a long, happy journey home.

Not even having a chance to get that visual out of my mind, I glance to the left on a road that one can drive 120km/hr and literally find myself taking a second look. My heart sinks, I feel my blood pressure rise at a rapid speed. A little girl younger than my own son – couldn’t have been older than two running back and forth on the back seat of her parents car, jumping forward between the driver and passenger seat. This sounds terrible, but I wanted to get out and just shake her parents. Didn’t they just see the accident? What if that was them? It could have been, and one day it could be!!!

I am shaking, and I feel sick even typing this. If they can afford to have a car, and if they can afford to put petrol into their car – they can afford to prioritize a car seat for their precious little girl! They can afford to protect their baby girl from an accident that can so easily happen. It doesn’t matter how good a driver you are, these things happen in a heartbeat!

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You know, I often find myself feeling anxious when we go on long trips, and we have a great car seat! I find myself nervous because I know that accidents happen, and my child is securely fastened in his car seat! I find myself praying throughout our long trips because I know that there could be someone who is texting or drunk and an accident can happen, and we spent thousands on a car seat for our son to protect him.

Yet, another parent, their childs life just as precious and fragile as my own child, couldn’t care less to take the precautions to potentially save their daughters life. One doesn’t even need to be educated to know! If you can drive a car, you are educated enough to work out that a child needs to be in a car seat! If you can drive a car, especially one like this family was in, YOU CAN AFFORD TO BUY A DECENT CAR SEAT! Your child’s life is far more valuable!!!

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I am not a judgmental person. And I will never put another parent into a situation where they feel like they are not good enough. Whether you formula feed or breastfeed, whether you had a natural birth or a c-section, you are good enough. Whether you rock your baby to sleep or let them fall asleep on their own, you’re perfect. BUT, the one thing that I will voice my incredibly strong opinion on is putting your child in a car seat! If you are reading this, and don’t and feel offended, or guilty – I’m sorry, but I’m not sorry.

Being a parent means that you need to do what is best for your kids. Sometimes having to invest in something like a car seat is just something that you need to do. Sometimes you have to let your child cry even when they don’t want to be in their car seat, or sometimes your already long trip means stopping an extra 10 times because your kid needs a break from their car seat. But, there are no excuses.

STRAP YOUR CHILD INTO A CAR SEAT.
EDUCATE YOURSELF.
EDUCATE OTHER PARENTS.
SPREAD THE WORD TO PARENTS TO BE!

I can’t express myself enough.

Do the right thing!

The Instagram World.

Who are they even? And why do you feel as if ‘their’ likes, follows and comments mold you into the person that you are behind your computer or cellphone screen?

Guys! This topic is actually so relevant in my life right now, and I’m sure that so many of you will be able to relate to it. Perhaps it will only click in once you’ve started reading this, and it will hit home and have you realizing – ‘oh, crap…I feel this way too’.

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I’ve somehow (only now) come to the point where I actually couldn’t care less if you like my Instagram posts or not, whether you follow me..or not. I’m at the point where I don’t care if my number of followings are higher than followers and if only two people like my posts.

WHY DO WE ALLOW FOR OTHER PEOPLE’S OPINIONS TO INFLUENCE THE WAY THAT WE FEEL???

Out of all honesty, I don’t know about 95% of my followers on Instagram. I follow people who I feel will influence me in a positive manner each day, or moms that I can relate to, or companies that I love and even just people who have beautiful content that make me happy. I don’t follow people for the sake of following. But, there are just so many beautiful moms out there that I honestly feel like I know from their social media accounts, and I LOVE IT!

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BUT, lately, I’ve found myself in this negative Instagram space. I find myself feeling disappointed or let down when I’ve taken time to make a nice post and have taken a lovely photo of something and only get a handful of likes. I feel like my post isn’t worthy when I ask a question, and don’t get any comments with answers. You’re either laughing at me right now or nodding your head because you’re totally in the same boat?

Some days I have my phone buzzing non-stop after posting a photo on Instagram (often this means that I have a handful of randoms who didn’t even take a moment to read my post but rather just thought the photo was ‘nice’ and double tapped’.), and other times I have 30 likes that are actually meaningful – people who actually truly enjoyed reading my content and took time to appreciate it. So, WHY on earth do we go out of our way to then delete that post just because it didn’t get as much attention as the others?

WHY DO WE CARE?

Oh, us humans. We live on such a high horse with such pride. We allow such prestigious things to capture us, and it’s so difficult to change those ways.
But, seriously – I’m done with feeling this way. I’m done with Instagram having the control to leave me feeling insignificant when in fact, if more people had the opportunity to scroll past your post, they would love it – but they just haven’t seen it. Know that by every photo you post, every word you share – you’re influencing at least one person – and actually, that’s ok!
I remember back to when I first started using Instagram – purely for my own personal photos and for my friends to enjoy, it was actually about ME, MYSELF. Now, somehow it has turned to being a competition between one mom to another, or one blogger to another – and in fact, who even cares??? Literally.. NOBODY. And that’s the beauty of when we use our brains instead of our hearts sometimes.. we actually allow for ourselves to see the reality in situations.

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I feel quite emotional typing this.. maybe I feel slightly embarrassed to be admitting all of this online. But, I’ve just been feeling totally fed up with myself, and after a weekend of spending time doing some home renovations with hubby, I’ve so enjoyed my life away from my phone, away from social media and focusing on the ‘real’ things in life. Instagram is WONDERFUL for sharing the memories you created, BUT you cannot be creating memories while you’re so absorbed in sharing the old ones.
So, this being said – I’m taking control over my REAL life now, and NOT allowing for Instagram and social media to influence me in a NEGATIVE way. I’m not leaving, not at all! I’m just not going to allow it to smother me, and to let it make me feel like I am not as good as the rest, when actually it’s all (as the internet says) about algorithm.
So, keep this in mind when you start to feel like somehow your life isn’t as great to others as the rest -because it is. It totally is!

Love — @onemodernmom

The Reality of A Happy Home.

I wish that the world explained to parents that there is more to life than a clean house. Look, I’m totally on board with keeping things hygienic, but when it comes to choosing between folding a mountain of laundry or saying ‘yes’ to playing with your kid, you’d think that as a parent, the answer would be an immediate ‘play with the kid’.

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However, social media and society tends to have the ability to leave us feeling as if a slightly disorganized home means that we are failing as mothers or even fathers. Apparently it means that we don’t at all have things under control. I’ve walked into the home of many a mother. When baby was very little, I would feel slightly guilty when arriving at another moms house. With everything in place, the glass coffee table freshly shined, and babies little play area totally organized, I DID feel as if I was doing something totally wrong. Was I lazy? Was there something wrong with me? Did I belong on the show ‘Hoarders’? Did someone forget to give me the memo?

But then, it was my turn to have a few moms over for tea. I spent hours the night before sorting, shining, polishing, vacuuming and setting up. I, too had the response from moms about how my life seemed so in order. I was flabbergasted. It was all a show!

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As moms, especially with younger kids, very few of us have our houses totally in order, (at least not done by ourselves). When I had a nanny that would come once a week, that was the only time that my home was remotely in order. With an incredibly busy toddler and four dogs as well as my partner, I’ve stopped apologizing to people saying, ‘I’m so sorry – excuse the mess’, because this mess means that although I may not have my home in order, I have a very happy child who has parents that take time to play with him. It means that he explores the house, and he PLAYS! It means that we invest our time in the moment, and it’s about the memories that we create with our child each day, rather than having a house that looks like it has fallen out of the pages of a magazine.

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Don’t get me wrong – our home is CLEAN – I make sure to use the hours that Olly is at playschool to get household chores done, and our home doesn’t look the way you’re most likely beginning to imagine it to look, but what I am trying to say is that IT IS OK to skip a day of laundry to take your kid on a special outing, to make yourself that cup of tea (and to drink it…while it’s hot) or to have a break by meeting your girlfriends for a glass of wine.

People are so quick to show off the positives in life. It’s time to create the awareness that life doesn’t have to seem perfect to the rest of the world. It’s time to stop pretending. Creating a happy environment for yourself and your family is all that matters at the end of the day.

— One Modern Mom