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!

My Child, My Rules.

Raising a child is HARD work. There is nothing easy about it. Every single day is a challenge. A well behaved child with manners didn’t just wake up like that. Behind every child is an adult that has worked hard on teaching them those manners. If I think of the amount of times I have to give Olly ‘the look’ before handing him something, or after giving him something which reminds him to use the ‘magic words’, I lose track.

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However, I must say that he has gotten so much better about remembering to use manners at the right times, and even remembers to excuse himself from the table. There were two things that stood out to me over the weekend, that made me think that it’s a good idea to write this post.

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Firstly, Olly had a birthday party over the past weekend, and I wasn’t able to go because I had a kitchen tea which clashed. His Granny took him instead. Later that evening, I got a message from another mommy saying that Olly is so polite. He had such good manners, shared with her younger daughter the entire party and really looked after her, because she was younger than the rest of the kids. My mommy heart wanted to burst at the seams with happiness.

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Another situation, which happens SO often – we went for a play date over the weekend, and 5 minutes before we were leaving I told Olly that it was time to pack away his toys. The mom, so kindly, told him not to worry. I feel that we all do this, because our kids play with them too, and will probably continue to do so once the guests leave. But, I work so hard at having him pack away his toys at home once he’s finished playing, and because it is the polite thing to do at a playdate, I always try to encourage him to do the same.

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Then there are the daily challenges that we face with other parents and adults. Topics such as the food we allow our kids to eat, routine at home, screen time, the list could go on. I get so mad when I ask Olly to do something, or tell him ‘no’ about having something, and right in front of him, I get challenged by the other parent/adult. I’ve raised a child who knows that what I do is best for him, and he doesn’t question it – and then to have another adult question and say ‘Shame, he’s just a child’ in front of him, it creates doubt in his mind. Doubt that I have made the wrong decision for him, and often leads to an argument where he then begs for whatever it may be, and it turns into a battle; whereas without that parent even saying a thing, my son would’ve been quite happy as usual to just go on without it.

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Might I add that this often happens with family members too! Remember this, they’ve had their turn at raising their kids and now it’s your turn!

The amount of time it has taken me to get to this point, where my son knows exactly what he is allowed to have, how much screen time he is allowed, that he chooses water over juice 99% of the time, and his overall manners – it has taken years to get here. (We aren’t perfect, and SURE, we have our bad days). To have somebody else carelessly ruin that for you, and to set you back is just MEAN!

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We all know what is best for our child, and as you’ve put months or years instilling rules and manners for your family – we have all done the same. MY CHILD, MY RULES.

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And I feel that this is such an important thing to remember when you feel like opening your mouth. You never know the full story behind a family or individual. So, instead of putting your foot in it, rather keep out.

I’d love to hear your thoughts or experiences on this topic. And may I add, that I am in no way saying that myself nor my child are perfect. We are far from, and there are days where he tests me beyond my capability. I just thought that many of you can probably relate to this and wanted to chat about the topic.

— One Modern Mom

Photos by Angela Rea of My Sunshine Journey: https://www.facebook.com/OurSunshineJourney/

Ceramic Loving.

I’ve been slightly, and strangely (is it strange though?) obsessed with buying special mugs, plates, bowls, and cups lately. Home-ware overall, actually! Maybe it’s because we are living in our own home now, and finally aren’t renting anymore. Preparing for renovations and finally creating our dream home in the next few months. Or, maybe it’s just because I am growing up, and am starting to appreciate the beauty in things we use on a daily basis or when we entertain and have people over for coffee or dinner.

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I’ve always been in love with the home-ware from Country Road, and I do have quite a few items from there, but I have also had fun browsing small, local stores at markets and online. My latest favourite is a small company run by a beautiful local, soon to be wed lady, Kate. Her full time job is a manager at Zando, and her secret love affair is Potsicle Ceramics. The name defines her and her business perfectly! ‘Potsicle’, just the sweetest name to go hand in hand with some of the most gorgeous, imperfectly perfect ceramics that she hand makes herself.

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I sent Kate a few reference pictures of what I like, and told her to be creative as I love her own personal style. I was so eager to see what she would create, and oh my goodness, am I in love! It arrived on my door step a couple of weeks later (it’s a process), and let’s just say that Kate is a bubble wrapping queen! My package arrived all in one piece, and I giggled as I unwrapped all of the bubble wrap! I’m sure I actually gasped when I first held my complete pieces in my hands. They are beautiful.

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I’m so excited to have some girls over for tea so that I can fill the plates up with home baked treats, just so that I can show them off! The quality of my ceramics are phenomenal, not a single flaw.

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These would make such wonderful gifts for a wedding. You can do your very own custom order if you wish, and create something personal and special for either yourself, a friend or a couple getting married. I think I may even be placing an order before too long for a little set to be made for a special baby that is soon to be born. We were gifted with a Jamie Oliver set that included a small ceramic plate, bowl and cup. And I just loved the idea. But, to be able to choose what you want yourself, to make it personal and special just wins over my heart!

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Kate, you’ve made me one happy lady with these beautiful Potsicle Ceramics. I can see through your work that you love what you do so very much. Thank you!
You can browse her already made products here: http://www.hellopretty.co.za/potsicle-ceramics
Or you can check out her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Potsicle/
And her Instagram here: @potsicle_ceramics

Back To School.

It feels bizarre that three weeks has gone by in a flash! I can’t believe that my little guy is back at school today. It has been a successful holiday. We managed to complete the three tasks we really wanted to get out of the way – 1. Potty Training 2. Painting our room. 3. Clearing out the outside room from when we moved a year ago.

But there was one more task that I knew I wanted to work on the week before Olly went back to school, and that was getting his mind prepared for the return to school. It’s a huge thing for their brains and emotions to have so much change in such a short period of time. It’s almost as if the moment they get settled into school, and the routine that goes with it, school holidays arrive and throw them off. It’s all totally confusing, and I can completely understand why – honestly, it sort of catches me off guard too!

The whole of last week, I spent (without Olly even realizing) preparing Olly’s mind for returning to school. Last term was a tricky one – I found that he would moan the night before school and in the mornings before school saying he didn’t want to go. But, once we arrived, he was content – and I know that he loves being  there. So, I didn’t want a repeat of that. I would chat about the exciting things about school, his friends, the fun things he does there. When he seemed slightly bored at home, I would use that as an opportunity to chat about ‘when he goes back to school next week, he’ll probably be doing some exciting messy artwork with his friends..I wonder what it will be.’ And, when we would chat about a certain topic, I would mention that he would probably learn about that at school this term. All of these opportunities that arose were used to the best of my ability to get his emotions ready and excited to go back to school.

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We also worked hard on getting him back into routine. We printed out a very special chart for mornings and afternoons/evenings so that he knows himself by looking at the pictures exactly how each day will go from the moment his head leaves the pillow in the morning until it hits the pillow at night. From putting his jarmies under his pillow after he’s dressed to bath time. This has worked phenomenally well, and I am so content with how he has swung back into routine, and settled so nicely into the new routine I’ve created which involves little chores (things that he did anyway, like packing away his toys and putting his dirty clothes into the washing basket, etc.) which gives him the feeling of being independent and responsible.

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Breakfast, lunch and dinner all happen at the same time each day, and he will help me pack his lunch box the night before, which also stirs up some excitement for school. Mornings start with a healthy, brain fuelling breakfast. Oats, or egg or even a protein packed smoothie if he doesn’t feel like eating. There is NO TV time before school, but sometimes we have a little time left for a story, puzzle or even a snuggle.

This morning was smooth sailing. He rushed into his classroom, leaving me trying to catch up behind him. He was very excited for us to tell his teacher that he’s at school WITHOUT A NAPPY!!! (HOORAY) and he was even more excited to be STIMULATED with puzzles that he hadn’t seen every single day for three weeks, but most importantly, his mind had already been put at ease for the past week, so that it wasn’t all too overwhelming for him today.

I’ve learnt that parenting is ALWAYS a process. Nothing ever just happens. We need to prepare ourselves and our kids for big, scary emotional roller coasters that they will encounter. They are too little to understand and work on their big emotions on their own, and we need to be sensitive and understanding of that. And we can so easily give them a helping hand.

How have you helped your kid(s) be emotionally ready for going back to school today? Do you find that a solid routine helps in your household too?

— One Modern Mom x

Competition Day: Win With Clever Little Monkey

If you don’t know this little fact about me by now, then do you actually even know me at all? I am obsessed with special pieces of decor that get their special spot in our home. And, over the past year – I have loved being on the hunt to find unique and trendy bits and bobs as well as larger pieces of furniture and home decor pieces that fit in beautifully for Olly’s bedroom and play area too.

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I’ve been really blessed to work hand in hand with Clever Little Monkey over the past year, and we always find the most magical things on their website. You have also had many opportunities to win some of these products over the past year! And, today is no exception! It’s another chance for you to WIN!

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This time, we are giving away a Lorena Canals Bubbly Basket that are brand new to their website. They are valued at R550.00. Which colour would you choose? https://cleverlittlemonkey.co.za/?s=basket&post_type=product

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It’s super easy to enter, and you can gain three entries into the giveaway!

Right here!
Right there:  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/onemodernmom/photos/a.1413740795622584.1073741829.1409931466003517/1811840692479257/?type=3&theater
And over here too: Instagram: @onemodernmom

How to enter here:

1. Subscribe to my blog!
2. Head over to like Clever Little Monkey on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cleverlittlemonkey/
3. Leave me a comment below telling me which colour Lorena Canals Bubbly Basket you would choose from their website (link above).

 

 


TERMS & CONDITIONS:
You need to be residing in South Africa.
The prize will be couriered directly to the courier at our expense.
The prize may not be redeemable for cash or exchanged for anything else.
The giveaway will end on Friday 28th July 2017 at 15h00, and the winner will be contacted via email.
If you have not claimed your prize within 5 working days, a new winner will be randomly selected.
If ALL steps are not completed, your entry will not be accepted.

 

A Toddlers Essentials – Mumu & Me

Funnily enough, for a change Mumu & Me stumbled upon me and wanted to find out more about my blog. I sometimes am quite reluctant to review brands that contact me – but went over to their website to see what their brand was about.

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I logged on, and instantly felt a content feeling rush over me. Beautiful, clean photography that showed off their products well. An easy to navigate website that was simple and uncluttered, and lovely products.

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I chatted to Elizabeth, mom and owner behind the brand – and wanted to find out a little bit more about her company. After a few emails, I chose a couple of products I wanted to try out.

I love everything about stripes on kids. The navy and white striped long sleeve tee won it’s way to my heart immediately. They had his size! Yes!!! Add to cart. I then went on over to the toy section and fell in love with the wooden ‘ABC Sorting’ . Olly is surprisingly quite good with his letters, even though he calls them numbers – but knows the alphabet off by heart and can even fill in the gaps when I sing the alphabet to him and stop at random numbers. But seeing letters is of course a totally different thing. I was curious to see how he would react to the activity.

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He loved it! He squealed with delight when he opened the box and immediately found the closest seat, sat down, put his head down and got stuck in. I was honestly quite surprised to see how well he did at such a young age. I am a sucker for educational toys, and I must be honest by saying that I was really hoping that there wouldn’t be any little splinters or anything in the wood, and that the wood would be neatly sanded down. IT WAS! Joy.

Olly continues to love this activity, it’s a toy that he won’t ever lose interest in. He always goes back to it.

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The long sleeve is stunning. The stripes make those gorgeous blue eyes stand out and there’s just something about the cut that really makes him look so cute! The top is flawless, and I love that on the inside tag, Elizabeth has taken the time to add a little scripture verse. I love it when people add a little something that not only makes a product unique – but tells the buyer a little bit about who they are and what they stand for.

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Their entire range of products are lovely. I felt that they had some handmade toys that are available elsewhere, but made beautifully – such as their kids wooden cameras. They have made them beautifully and with a bit of a twist.

There are stunning birthday party gifts for kids available – such nice ideas for kids between the age of 1-5 (to be safe). Their products are handmade with care and with every little detail worried about.

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They are totally child safe, and I love that I don’t have to worry about having Olly choke on anything that may fall off.

I am so happy that Mumu & Me got in touch with me, I would have lost out and have been so sad to not have the opportunity to share such a lovely small, local brand with you.

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Definitely get your hands on some of their long sleeve tees for your little ones for this Winter. They are a winter wardrobe essential and unisex!

Check out their social media platforms:

Instagram: @mumuandme_shop
Website: www.mumuandmeshop.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mumuandmeblog/