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What Parents Shouldn’t Be Doing That They May Consider Normal

What Parents Shouldn't Be Doing laurenkinghorn.com

What Parents Shouldn't Be Doing

What Parents Shouldn’t Be Doing?

Well if we go by what our children tell us, what our parents tell us and what the experts tell us,  there’s quite a long list.  Here’s a shortlist of mistakes we may be making inadvertently.   I’ve added my commentary on each one.  I’m clearly not the model parent I strive to be. Are you breaking any of these parenting rules?

Are you making these mistakes as a parent? I'm making 3 of the 4. Read more at laurenkinghorn.com #WhatParentsShouldn'tBeDoingWhat Parents Shouldn’t Be Doing That They May Consider Normal

When it comes to views on parenting, there are a number of philosophies and ways of doing it. Teachers have a bird’s eye view and whilst they should never overlap the parenting role, they are a crucial part of children’s development.

There are some generally agreed tips that teachers give that parents can go by, however. These tips will help iron out grey areas and things maybe some people don’t feel too sure about.

One thing parents can do to set their children up for success is to enrol them in a top quality international school. If you check out https://www.panyaden.ac.th/, you will see one of the top international schools in Thailand. Children learn through a practical, value-based approach providing a solid foundation for successful academic study.

In terms of things parents shouldn’t be doing that they perhaps thought were okay, here are some tips.

THINGS PARENTS SHOULDN’T DO

Make your child the centre of everything

Your child may well be the most important thing in your world but you don’t want to act that way day in day out. In doing so, you inhibit their growth and make the comfortable to stay glued to you and the home environment.

When they see you have a life outside of them, they will continue to flourish and become their own person. This is an imperative part of maturing and becoming a responsible, successful adult.

Oops, guilty!  Am working on this one.

Not picking up on good behaviour

If your kids are acting in positive ways, it’s definitely great to acknowledge it. There is a balanced way of praising your children without boosting up their ego. Instead, you can encourage them and commend them so they know to keep doing what they are doing.

Okay, let’s give credit where credit is due…this is where I excel as a parent. I’m always looking for the positives in my children (and in everyone around me) and I affirm their positives as often as possible.

Avoid yelling when they do something bad

Negative behaviour can often be met with anger and frustration by parents. As they become more and more exasperated, kids become the target of yells, screams and shouts. This is an unproductive way to deal with children’s negative behaviour and will not do a great deal to help their progress.

Staying as calm as possible yet being stern and assertive, you want to state what was done wrong and take away anything that could help trigger the action. Being rational and remaining tranquil is a good way for most kids to learn from their mistakes or negative actions.

Oops, sometimes I yell.  And worse, sometimes my hubby and I yell at each other, another golden rule we should not be breaking as parents.  Definitely working on this one too.

Bend the rules

Once you set rules, it’s important to stick to them and avoid bending them. Children need to know there are costs to acting out and if you let them off, you are doing them no favours in the long run.

Have to admit, I’m terrible at this. Who would have thought that I’d be a bit of a pushover? I thought I would be so much stricter before I was a parent.

This is an important one as many parents love their children so much they feel harsh giving punishments. However, being consistent across the board will benefit the child and prepare them for later life.

You heard it here first! These are some things parents find themselves doing that they would do well to stay away from.

This article is published in partnership with Mediabuzzer.

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Moms, Make The Transition Back To Work After a Baby Less Stressful

Going back to work after a baby laurenkinghorn.com

Going back to work after a baby

Going back to work after a baby?

We had the most amazing Antenatal Teacher when I was pregnant with my son.  The late Rosemary Gauld (IBCLC) was one of South Africa’s top Lactation Consultants so the focus in her classes was on Breastfeeding.  

After the course, I made a firm decision to follow Rose’s powerful recommendations to breastfeed exclusively for 6 months and nurse for at least 2 years. 

I worked for a company that offered 4 months Maternity Leave at half pay.  I went to my boss and asked for 6 months Maternity leave (with no pay for the last 2 months).  She said no.   So… with my hubby’s support and lots of number crunching, I chose to resign.

This was the best decision I ever made for our nursing journey.  Because 6 months turned into nearly 4 years.  We went full-term.  And I am so grateful I never had to go back to full-time employ.

My hubby asked me to go back to work when my son was a year old. We found the perfect position through a brilliant Recruitment Agency called Recruit My Mom.  

It was a Sales Coaching position at a company about 3km’s from my house, mornings only, two mornings a week and it paid well.  I started when my son was 15 months old.

I found a creche nearby but I just couldn’t get used to leaving my little one there, crying.  I was a total wreck until his Teacher would send me a photo of him playing.  Then he got sick and I missed a couple of day’s work.  And it was even harder to leave him at creche after that.

We just weren’t ready.

Fortunately, my husband supported me in letting that job go too.  

I went back to being a stay-at-home Mom.

At 2 years-old I felt my son was ready for Play School.  We found one within walking distance and he started going 3 mornings a week.  I started working from home on my first blog, Happy Human Pacifier, while he was at Playschool and during his afternoon nap.  

We were lucky.  We got to live the dream. Many Moms HAVE to go back to work, usually long before they are ready.  

If you’re in this position, no doubt you are feeling all kinds of mixed emotions. Here’s a helpful contributed post to ease some of your stress…

Mom’s, Make The Transition Back To Work After Having A Baby Less Stressful

Featured Image Credit

Whether you decide to work from home, start your own business or return to your salaried position, the transition from being a full-time mom to a working one can be tough.

Luckily there are some ways you can make it a little easier for both you and Baby.

Check out my post below to find out how.

Keep your hand in

It can be pretty intimidating to have to return to work once you have had your baby. You may wonder what has been going on, whether you can still cut it, and whether you will be able to balance being a mom and a valuable worker too?

To help you with this is useful to keep your ‘hand in’ regarding your job as much as possible.  This may mean visiting on occasion, speaking and meeting up with colleagues or even reading articles about the latest developments in your field.

Now, you don’t have to go crazy and of course, baby will be your priority during your maternity leave. However, doing a little of the actions suggested above can help quell the anxiety and stress as you make the transition.

Consider other employment options

The stress and anxiety may be harder to dismiss if you are returning a job that you didn’t partially like in the first place. With that in mind, maternity can be the perfect time to explore other options and even get trained in another area or trade.

Something that can help you do this is reviewing the best trade courses that are available in your area and whether you can attend these while baby is young. In fact, you will find that the best providers offer special facilities for young babies that will help you study and keep Baby happy at the same time.

Be firm about your expectations

Next, to make the transition from being a full-time mom to a working mom a little easier you must be firm on your expectations. What the mean is that you need to know how many days per week you want to work, how many hours per day and the time you will be expected to work from and to.

It is so important to have all of this decided before you enter the work environment. This is because it can help you get the correct balance between work and life, something that will ensure you and Baby as happy as possible in the long term.

Don’t be hard on yourself

Lastly, to reduce the stress of the transition, you must learn to be gentle and kind to yourself. There will be tough bits like when you have to leave Baby with childcare for the first time, and when you boss is itching for you to do that over time, but you have to pick the little one up by 6 pm.

There will also be times when you have had the worst nights sleep ever, and maybe you are not at the top of your A game, and guess what that is OK!

After all, you have a lot on your plate, so make sure you don’t end up as your own worst critic if you want the transition from full-time mom to working mom to go as smoothly as possible.

Over to You, Moms

Do you have to go back to work soon?  How are you feeling about it?  

Or do you have a story to share about your transition back to work?

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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How to Switch Off and Be a Better Mom

Parenting is hard. Especially in the Digital Age. Here's what helps me be a better parent. #betterparentingtips

Parenting is hard. Especially in the Digital Age. Here's what helps me be a better parent. #betterparentingtips

Better Parenting Tips

One of the job hazards of being a Digital Entrepreneur is that it’s far too easy to be working ALL THE TIME.  Combine immense job satisfaction with workaholic tendencies, throw a smartphone into the mix and you could have a recipe set for family disaster.  Because it’s your family that suffers when you’re permanently online answering this person or tweaking that post.

Or is this just me? Is it just my family who’s missing me even though I’m here? Well physically here. I’m at home with my family but with a vacant look on my face as I stare into the screen.

I have no doubt I have a smartphone addiction and my husband calls me on it often. His complaint rings out a few times a day and even my son’s started chiming into the refrain:

“Mommy’s always on the phone”.

I’m not proud of this.

I know how absent I am when I am in my creative process.  I can feel myself glazing over.

I am also painfully aware of the dangers.

If I continue to focus on my online empire to the detriment of my family circle, I could lose years of my child’s life.  He’s already four year’s old. Next time I look up from my phone he might be 8 or 12 or 16.  He will be 20 and leaving home.   I know just how quickly the years fly by with children and I don’t want to miss out on them. I only have this one chance.

I could lose my marriage.  My husband may get tired of being alone in this marriage and may leave me, which would be disastrous not just for me but for both children.

Turning it Around

So I’ve been working on being more present, as a parent and a wife. Somedays are better than others.

Yesterday was one of my best days. We enjoyed the most gorgeous lazy Sunday morning.  I really connected with my son, it was wonderful.   My hubby was listening to us play and he congratulated me for being such a great Mom when he came downstairs to join in the fun.

Without further ado, here are my tips on how to be a better Mom even when you have other stuff to do.

How to Switch Off and Be a Better Mom

Do a Digital Detox

So how did I have one of my best days as a parent?  Well, it all started with me shutting down my laptop and ignoring my phone once my son was awake so that I could focus all my attention on him.

No, let’s go back a day or two because actually, it started by me easing away from my digital life.

Going cold turkey when you have a digital addiction is not easy so I’ve found I have to do in stages.   I find I have to switch off from “work-mode” before I can switch into parenting mode.

Here’s what helped me to do this:

Business Up-to-Date

I worked late on Friday night so that I could complete all business tasks I had planned for the week.  In an online business, there’s always more stuff you could be doing but I got to a point where enough tasks were done that work wasn’t crowding my mind.

I also worked hard on Saturday with my son getting his School project done (which co-incidentally was called “My Family”) and everything packed for school on Monday.  For once we were uber prepared. Early.

Tip 1: Reach a point where you declare your work is done and it’s now family time.

Housework Up-to-Date

I did loads of house cleaning on Saturday.   This ensured that I wasn’t distracted by a dirty house on Sunday plus something about housework actually helps me switch off from my website work.

I think it’s got something to do with it being physical rather than mental and perhaps also because it involves organising, tidying and cleaning.  It’s very satisfying in its own way.

I even roped my son in to help me polish my car so actually, Saturday was also one of my better days as a parent.

Tip 2: Do something that takes your mind off your work.  Weirdly, housework does the trick for me.

Get Active

While we’re on the subject of doing something physical, this is one of the best ways to enjoy time with your children.

On Sunday morning my son asked us to have a party with him.  So we switched on the radio and there we were in our pyjamas, dancing in the lounge. And even jumped on the couch.  What fun!  And quite a workout I must tell you.

Later on that morning, we jumped on the trampoline together, which is one of my son’s favourite pastimes.  And again, great exercise for both of us. Especially as I land up being his rodeo horse for some of the time.

Often we go for walks.  Or kick a ball around. Or play mini golf.  Or swim.   My hubby and son often wrestle together.

The point is to find something both you and your little one love doing and do it TOGETHER.

Tip 3:  Do something fun and physical with your child(ren).

Connect

I’ve noticed lately that my son increasingly wants to stay home and play on the weekends rather than go out.  Our lives are often so full and busy.  We arrange school extramurals, play dates and outings.

Where is the time for free play?

We pack so much into their little lives when really all they want is home.  Us.  Meaningful connection.

And I find the moment I spend quality time with my child, I just want to hug and hold him close all the time. He is so adorable, I just can’t help myself.  Of course, he’s 4 now, so he’s not always into hugs as much as I am but when you’re playing and dancing together it’s quite easy to slip in a few fun hugs.

If your child is really past the hugging phase, meaningful connection could just be that magical moment, mid-play, when you look into your child’s eyes and tell them how much you love them.

We had so much meaningful interaction yesterday that it kind of back-fired on me this morning when I had to get my son to school.  He did not want to go, he just wanted to stay home and play with me all day again.

Tip 4: Find a way to connect deeply either through touch or eye contact (or both).

Be a Playmate

On the days I give myself over fully to just being a parent, I’m actually more of a playmate.

I always allow my child to lead the play. I actually let him completely boss me around, tell me what to do and how to do it.  Here’s why:

  • It gives him a bit of power.
  • It helps him get really creative.
  • And it also makes a lot easier than having to think up stuff myself.

You will be amazed at what they come up with, especially if you really allow yourself to get in their head space.

Yesterday this meant throwing a dancing party in the lounge, jumping on the couch, playing lego together, playing inside his little castle tent and jumping on the trampoline.

Kids also love it when their parents allow them to be a little bit naughty and even do naughty stuff with them – hence the jumping on the couch with him.  It sounds counter-intuitive but I’ve heard from a really good source (Hand in Hand Parenting) that this can prevent real naughtiness later.

Tip 5: Let your children lead the play and be their playmate.

Give Your Undivided Attention

If you got the first step right, the digital detox, it should be pretty easy to set aside some time in your weekend or in your day when you give your child all of your attention.

And when you do that, the magic happens. The effect on your child is amazing.

For example, we hardly watched any TV yesterday. Usually, TV is the first thing he asks for in the morning.  It wasn’t even a thought in my son’s mind until we had been playing for hours and we all needed a rest.

Tip 6: Be there with mind, body and soul, be fully present.

Shower Them With Love and Praise

I find when I’m giving my son my full attention I also notice myself also giving him a lot of Praise.  On days like these, I tell him:

  • how great he is
  • how well he’s doing
  • how much he’s learned
  • how proud we are of him
  • how lucky we are to have him in our lives
  • how much we love him

These words make a child glow inside.   It makes them feel special and loved and supported and safe.  I know because my parents gave me the same gift and it’s these words that come to mind and their love that sustains me in tough times.

Tip 7: Be your child’s biggest fan

Over to You

What methods work best for you when you want to switch off from work and be a better Mom?  Are you able to just have fun whenever, wherever?  Or do you also need a digital detox before you can give yourself over to play?

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Count Your Blessings Name Them One by One by JillAlexa

Count Your Blessings Name Them One by One by Jill du Preez on laurenkinghorn.com

Count Your Blessings Name Them One by One - Jill du Preez on laurenkinghorn.com

By Jill Alexa du Preez of JillAlexa.com

After reading Laurens’ wonderful article on Motherhood, I want to add my pennies worth. Of course to me it is not pennies worth at all but some memories of early motherhood.

Forgive me, my children, if I don’t remember everything you said or did, it was rather a long time ago. The reason I have called this “Count Your Blessings – Name Them One by One” is that we were told by doctors and specialists that it would be most unlikely for me ever to bear a child and I did have medical issues which caused miscarriages. I won’t bore you with the details.

It was quite a shock to me to hear my children called PK’s (Preacher’s Kids) as the only PK’s I had heard of in my life until then, were pikinini khayas, which are outside toilets in Zimbabwe and probably other African countires. Well I am extremely proud of my PKs as they are all loving, caring and empathetic young people.

Having spent most or in the case of the last two children, all, of their lives living in Church manses and learning to accept everyone they have come in contact with in the church and their opinions. They also had grandparents sharing their home for twenty years and often had to bite their tongues when being told off or criticized in any way. I admire them greatly as it wasn’t always easy.

Oh, Happy days

Let us start a bit further back now. My beloved sister ,Gaye, who was married quite a few years after we were, discovered she was pregnant and when she first told me, naturally I was thrilled for her but hurting inside as I so longed to be a mother.

The first miracle was I found to my surprise that I was also expecting and we had our first children six days apart. Gaye was able to have natural home births with all four of her children whilst I ended up with three caesarian births. Never mind, it was just such a joy to have children and they were all perfect.

Warwick, our firstborn, was almost born in the church as I went into early labour during a congregation meeting (it figures). Matthew wasn’t yet in the Ministry but we were both very involved in our local church. Our car was giving us trouble and a dear friend rushed us up to the local hospital.

It was then that I was informed that would have to have caesarian section. It was a disappointment as I had been going to birthing classes etc. but never-the-less was grateful when I woke up to find I had this wonderful baby boy. When I looked down at this tiny mortal being, I was filled with love and awe that someone so tiny could be so perfect. Naturally, Matt and I checked every last bit of him. Amazing!

This child was born to talk. He absolutely had a love for people and befriended everyone he met. I was soon to become known as “Warwicks’ Mom”. No longer just Jill. He was a chatterbox of note and had an imaginary friend which was pretty useful, as when he wasn’t talking my ear off, he chatted away to his friend. The downside of this was that I had to prepare food for the friend too.

Accepting the call

Matthew had the call to the Ministry early but eventually accepted it when Warwick was just over a year old. Off we went to Grahamstown for him to study at Rhodes University. Great changes in our lives.

Hey ho!hey ho! its back to work I go

Sadly I had to leave my dear little chap in the capable care of a nanny and went off to work.

Warwick, often strapped to the back of his nanny, was taken all over Grahamstown and chatted to all and sundry thus becoming very well-known to all the passing parade. He loved to sit on the wide windowsill outside our lounge which was right on the pavement, and chat to everyone. As he grew older and went to school, no surprise, he was nicknamed “Chirpy” .

We couldn’t watch a movie without having a running commentary on what was happening and why, given by our son. This was quite irritating but we had to learn to accept it as it wasn’t going to change, and never did.

Pyromaniac?

My Mom, although she loved all her grandchildren dearly, wasn’t a very patient granny and didn’t offer readily to babysit. I think she felt she had done her bit, bringing up four children of her own. She also worked and was probably pretty tired after a long working day.

One day however, Matt and I had to go into town for something and she offered to look after Warwick. He was probably about three at that time. Mom went into the kitchen to make tea and when she went back into the lounge where she had left Warwick. He said to her, Granny, can you smell something burning? She could and they both gazed out of the window to see what it could be. Then Mom looked down and saw to her horror a drift of smoke coming from under an armchair. She moved it and saw a hole burning in her newly laid carpet. Where Warwick found the matches, who knows, what I do know is that my poor Mom was as mad as a snake and didn’t offer to babysit again. Can’t say I blamed her.

Making New Friends

Making New Friends

We arrived in Port Elizabeth when Warwick was around eight years old. Matthew had been called to St. Columbas Church. On our first Sunday I was surprised by a young woman coming up to me and thanking me for the invitation to tea. Warwick had met her son and said that his parents wanted him and his family to come to tea. We had such a laugh, come to tea they did and we have remained the firmest of friends to this day.

The Faith of a Child

It shouldn’t but it does surprise me what wonderful faith children have. When Warwick was in High School he developed two very painful plantars warts under his foot. He could barely walk and so I made an appointment with our doctor to have these beastly things cut out.

On the day this was to be done, Warwick came through to me in the kitchen as I was preparing breakfast and said, ” Mom, I had the worst pain I have ever felt, last night but I prayed about it and you don’t have to take me to Dr. Harle, my foot is healed.” I thought he was just afraid of the procedure but he said, “Mom, believe me, just look at my foot,” I looked and the plantars warts were no longer there and his foot was totally smooth. It actually made me come out in goose bumps recalling this incident. God really does work in mysterious ways, as my darling Mother-in-law always said.

Another Miracle

Our second son, Gregory or Greg as he is commonly called, was born in Grahamstown. He was also a premature baby and the smallest of my three children. On the second day after his birth I went to fetch him from the nursery for his feed. As I lifted the blanket all I could see was blood everywhere. This poor little baby was bleeding from his umbilical cord. What a shock it was. He was bundled up and taken by ambulance to Port Elizabeth Hospital and Matt and I drove behind wondering if our little baby would survive. It was a terrible experience. When we were allowed to see him, he was in an incubator with his fringes of beautiful black hair shaved off and tubes coming out of his head.

We had very good friends living quite close to the hospital who very kindly took me in so that I could be there to carry on feeding my little son. Matthew had to return to Grahamstown to study and also look after Warwick. Gregory was in hospital for over a week and I had to make sure I had enough milk to take to the hospital to feed him. I don’t know if it was this dramatic start to his life but when he was about two he fell in the kitchen. He stopped breathing and we had to revive him by giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. This was while we served the Krugersdorp church which was Matts’ first call.

Seeking Answers

Greg was just over four when we arrived in Port Elizabeth and when he had another of these episodes where he stopped breathing we were advised by our doctor to have him tested at the hospital. We spent a day with them doing all sorts of tests and it was decided at the end of all of this that he had a very rare form of epilepsy. He was put onto phenobarbitone, which I learned years later was totally the wrong thing to do. What did I know? We believed everything the doctors and specialists told us in those days. Have learned not to be so gullible and question everything now.

This medication caused Greg to battle through his early school life.as he felt sleepy a lot of the time. He also had stomach pain every morning, whether that was the medicine or the fear of school, who can tell? Probably a bit of both.

Time to Shine

Greg has tremendous ball sense and I can remember going to watch him play in his first cricket match. He was standing as though in a complete dream, then his arm shot out and caught the ball. All of a sudden all the little boys and the teacher ran towards Greg and patted him on the back, he had caught the ball and didn’t even realize it. He had just been standing behind the stumps, dreaming and unconsciously put out his hand and caught the ball. He was more surprised than anyone else. He now plays league tennis.

Technical Tendencies

Like most mothers, I knew when things were too quiet, something was up. Can recall, very distinctly, the day I went looking for Greg only to find him with a very happy and proud face with my sewing machine in pieces. He had carefully unscrewed everything he could on the machine and some of the parts we didn’t ever find. Hope he didn’t swallow them. This machine had been a 21st birthday gift from my parents, so could cheerfully have strangled him. He was two at the time. Had to restrain myself.

Another incident that comes to mind is when I was playing tennis and when I came to leave found that the windscreen wiper blades had been taken off the car. After a long search we eventually found them under the mat in the back of the car. Very frustrating.

Pastoral Call?

Greg was an escape artist of note and I received a call from a friend asking if I had seen Greg. As she also has a son Greg I assumed it was her son she was looking for. Oh no, she said, my Greg was there. He had ridden around in his peddle car. I didn’t even know he was missing. What a wake-up call that was.

Lost and Found

On another occasion, with friends and family members, we were all on holiday at Kenton-on-Sea and after a long day playing on the beach and in the river and sea, it was time to make our way home. The women wearily packed up all the necessary beach paraphernalia and marshalled the children, in readiness to go back to the cottage while the men went to collect wood for the braai,(barbeque).

Some of the older boys went off with the men and we women and little ones started up the hill back to the cottage. At the last moment, Gregory decided he wanted to be with the men and off he went. The problem was that he didn’t find them and I thought he was safely with his father.

After a long time, the men came back and began to get the braai (barbeque) ready for cooking the meat. I asked Matt where Gregory was but he didn’t know. he thought all along that he was with me.

The panic set in and the hunt was on for our lost little boy. He couldn’t have been more than four. Everyone went in different directions and eventually the police were called and at last we found him.

He was trudging along, his little face was ashen and the tears were rolling down his cheeks. As I put him on my lap in the car, his little body was shuddering with suppressed sobs. It was truly heartbreaking and as a mother I will never forget how I lost my little boy. It all turned out well in the end but it could have been so different.

Hallelujah!

Our third, and last child is Lauren. She was born just before Greg turned two and just three months after we arrived in Krugersdorp which was Matt’s first charge. After two little boys being born with a shock of black hair, they presented me when I awoke after the anaesthetic with this dear little bundle and she was almost bald. We thought at first the nurse had brought the wrong baby but we were assured it definitely was our baby and she was absolutely gorgeous.

Picky!

She was a very self-possessed little girl and certainly knew her own mind. She hated the colour pink and I soon learned that she liked to pick out her own outfits to wear. It made life much simpler to just place a few outfits where she could reach them and she would sort out what she wanted to wear that day. The outfits might not have been what I would have chosen but they made her happy.

This was definitely my artistic child and she loved playing the piano, writing poetry and stories. Collecting soaps and papers. She would spend hours entertaining herself and then present me with her writings or pictures, I still have a number of them in my treasure box. In all Lauren’s years at school, I never had to remind her to do homework or practice the piano. It was such a change from her brothers, as it was always amazing that they passed their exams at the end of each year, without studying very hard.

Mom Playing Truant

Mom Playing Truant

When we moved to Port Elizabeth she was three-and-a-half and she went to nursery school. It was lovely to be able to go straight from nursery school down to the beach and play in the surf and sand. Once I forgot to attend a large Women’s meeting at our Church and only remembered it when we were on our way home from the beach. I wasn’t very popular but boy did we have fun. Thank goodness I wasn’t running the meeting, that would have been unforgivable, I guess.

Stealing the limelight

Lauren was asked to be flower girl to one of the members of the congregation. She was so excited about it and I made the dress for her (not pink) and she couldn’t wait for the big day.

She was coached on how to walk down the aisle behind the bride and bridesmaid and to wait and be still while the wedding was taking place and all went well until it came time to walk out of the church. She hadn’t had any instruction on that part and first of all she picked up her skirt to show the congregation her white stockings and then skipped the whole way down the long aisle behind the happy couple.

PK Talk

One can often tell when children have been brought up in a manse as their conversation differs from other families. I was busy in the kitchen one day and as I looked out of the window saw Gregory and Lauren playing near the wash line. The window was open and as I watched them I saw Greg with a spade and he started digging a hole and there was Lauren standing with large pair of scissors and when I asked them what they were doing, Greg said “I am digging up the devil” and Lauren chirped in “and I am going to cut him up into little pieces.”

When Matthew was still at university he was given a holiday job working at Frere Road Presbyterian Church. The Minister and his family were going on holiday, so we stayed in the manse. This was a new experience for us. Warwick was at the stage of saying his prayers, Loved to answer the phone and also learning to say grace at the table. Matthew was out making a pastoral calls and Warwick and I were happily splashing around in his paddling pool. The phone rang and Warwick was out of the pool like a shot, ran to the phone and picking it up , he said, “For what we are about to receive.” I often wonder what the person on the other end of the line thought. I was convulsed with laughter. He was so very proud of himself.

Warwick and Greg were in the bath one evening and as I passed the bathroom door I overheard Warwick say to Greg,” you know Jesus and God are the same person” Greg was very puzzled and then Warwick with all the worldly wisdom of an eight-year-old said, “Yes, and his surname is Spirit.” There was a long pause then he said, “you know Greg, Jesus is everywhere, even in the bath with us.”. ” Well” says Greg, “If I give him a karate chop, do you think he will say ouch?”

Pity the Poor Teachers

We, as a family, had many lovely road trips and the children all talk often of the holidays we had. These were mostly spent with family and friends all over the country. The only drawback was that Lauren had a problem with car sickness. It was quite embarrassing for me to return the reports to the schools after one holiday after Lauren unfortunately was sick into my open handbag. I did clean the reports off as best I could but they still didn’t look too great, or smell too good either.

Seeing the Light

One evening, when we lived in Vryheid , in Northen Natal., we were driving out to visit Matt’s brother Lionel. Each Easter it is customary for the Town Council to put a star, in lights, on Vryheid Hill. We were discussing how lovely it looked when Lauren piped up, “That’s not lights, its a star in the sky.” It was quite a shock to us that she could not distinguish between lights on the hill and a real star in the sky. We realized then that she would need her eyes tested. This meant long journeys down to Durban. Car sickness and all the testing and then the poor child then ending up with her first spectacles. Since I had to wear spectacles from an early age, I knew the difficulties this entailed. My heart bled for her.

Quality Time

There are likely many more stories I can tell you about my beloved “blessings”, am sure they will be pleased if I stop now. What I do want to say is that I am a very proud and happy mother and I know that their father (although he can’t say much anymore) is equally proud of them. We see each other as often as possible.

Every week I am with Lauren, Dan and Ben on Wednesday, sleep over and go back home on Thursday afternoon. This precious time is spent working with Lauren on Wealthy Affiliate, playing with my youngest grandson, and getting closer to my son-in-law. I am in the enviable position of having wonderfully close relationships with all of my children and their respective spouses and my beloved grandchildren.

Tell me the Old, Old Story

Dear readers, I am sure you all have wonderful stories to tell of your children. If you choose to tell us about them, I do hope you enjoy the experience of looking back and remembering your dear children as they were, and still are miracles and blessings.

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Those Special Moments Moms Live For

What Moments Do You Live For, Mama? These are the Moments Moms Live For in my experience. laurenkinghorn.com #momentsmomslivefor

What are the Moments YOU live for, Mama? These are the Moments Moms Live For (in my experience) laurenkinghorn.com #momentsmomslivefor

My 4-year-old son half woke up this morning at about 4 am and said clearly as if he was completely awake,

“Do you know what I love about you Mom?… Everything.”

And then he snuggled up close to me and went back to sleep. It was the sweetest thing.

My husband says this to me and both our children often so I know exactly who taught our son this wonderful saying. But I thought it was their thing, this is the first time our little boy has bestowed this great honour on me.

I woke up an hour later thinking, “These are the Moments Mom’s live for” and that’s what inspired this post.

Moments Moms Live For

There have been so many precious, beautiful moments since I became a Mom.  Far too many to recall and recount, though I wish I had one of those genius memories that could call up every single of one of them at will.

Some of the moments Mom’s Live for are Universal, aren’t they?

Giving Birth

Giving birth is one of those moments you both dread and look forward to at the same time.  Especially the first time you ever give birth and you have no idea what to expect.  You are so scared, so nervous of the birthing process and yet you cannot wait.  And then the moment comes and it’s even more awful, more painful, more exhausting than you ever could have imagined and yet at the same time it is the most beautiful, awesome, empowering moment you have ever experienced. And filled with such love.

I remember the immense love I felt for my husband right in the middle of my birth experience (which was made, I believe, infinitely more intense by the fact that I had been induced).  If felt like there were no moments between contractions.  Except for one moment, that moment when I was just about to give up, when my husband’s face came into view and he said, “You can’t give up now, you’re nearly there.”  Or something like that, the words weren’t important at all. It was the fact that we were doing this together, we were bringing this baby into the world together. I wasn’t alone, he was right there with me.

And this for me was one of the moments I live for as a Mom.  This crazy, scary, off the Richter scale if there was a Richter scale for pain, the moment when we brought my little boy into the world. Did I ever mention that my hubby pulled my baby out?  He did.  What a moment.

So although every Mom’s birth experience is completely unique, at some point during labour or right after when we get to hold our precious little one close for the first time, or if we’re lucky enough, get to nurse him, we feel a love for our husband, our child, our union as a family that is off the charts.  A love that knows no bounds. A love that stretches across the whole globe and encompasses all humanity and then comes right back into the room, to our little family unit. To envelop this newcomer in unconditional, universal love.

This is a Moment Moms Live For.

Nursing

And though we’re exhausted and depleted after our birth experience, somehow we’re also on high alert, waiting for the moment when our little spawn will want to suckle.  I understand not everyone gets to experience the joy of nursing, but every Mom gets to experience the magic of nourishing their newborn one way or another – whether they are lovingly warming up a bottle for them in the middle of the night or pulling them close to nurse.

Knowing our child needs us for both their survival and comfort, is another Moment Moms Live For.

Moments Moms Live For - Firsts

Their Firsts

And then as our babies start to develop, we live for their first smile, their first gurgle, the first time they sit, crawl and then their amazing first steps which look more like teetering.  Their first words start coming and we are in awe of them.

These are Moments Moms Live For.

I Love You, Mom,

And then comes that special day when your child looks deeply into your eyes and says, “I love you”.

This is a Moment Mom’s Live For.  And you hope, you pray, that when they are 21 they will still be looking at you this way, with so much genuine love and adoration and saying these words.

And there are so many other cute and wonderful things children say to us as they get older. I remember a good friend remarking how her son who was 5-years-old at the time would say how beautiful she is.

These are Moment’s Mom’s Live For.

This is for You Mom

The same friend said that her son also picks flowers and gives them to her, almost every day.  My son has done that too from time and time and he often wants to buy me a bunch of flowers when he says them in the grocery store.   Such a sweet thought.

I also find it amazing when he makes me something special and brings it to me.  A Lego car or a play dough pancake.  His favourite toy. When he shares his chocolate with me.

When he comes up to give me a huge hug, just because.

These are moments Moms’s Live For.

I Appreciate You

I’m just as touched when my gorgeous bonus daughter (who’s nearly 14-years-old)  bakes a cake for me, gluten free so I can enjoy it guilt-free. Or offers to lend me one of her T-shirts (because we’re about the same size these days, in fact, she might be slightly taller than me now).

When she Thanks me for making her Dad so happy.

When she surprises me or her little brother a present she bought with her own pocket money.

When the two of them are sharing their own special moment together. When our little guy runs up to his big sister and hugs her.  When I see how he looks up to her and how lovingly she looks down at him.  How proud they are of each other.

When she asks me how my blogs are going and likes one of my Instagram posts. Such a caring young girl, not your “typical teenager” by a long shot.

These are the moments a Mom Lives for.

I Love You, Dad

When I’m cooking a meal and I can hear my son and his Dad playing and giggling and making jokes.

When my hubby hoists my son up on his shoulders and carries him home from the beach.

When the kids are both climbing all over their Dad or one on each side of their Dad, holding his hand, walking into a busy shopping centre.   When they are outside in the garden playing cricket, basketball, jumping on the trampoline or feeding the tortoises.

When my hubby is reading a bedtime story and one of the kids is snuggled up close or sitting on his lap. I watched him do this for years with his daughter and now it’s our son’s turn.

These are the Moment’s a Mom Lives for.

I love You, Gran and Grandpa

My Mom has been coming to stay with us every Wednesday night for a while so we can work on our blogs together.  My Mom has a very special relationship with our little boy.  He absolutely adores her.

When he talks about family, it’s not just our smaller family unit, his parents and his big sister, he always includes his Granny and Grandpa (even though Grandpa is in Frail Care now and can’t come visit us anymore).

One day my Mom came over to babysit so my hubby and I could go somewhere and so my little guy and my Mom co-slept like we usually do. My Mom said, before they went to sleep, he kissed her from head to toe.

These are the Moments a Mom Lives for.

I look forward to many, many more of these of sacred moments to cherish and hold dear as the years fly by.  And because I am short on this kind of life experience right now, I have asked a friend who has a child who has just left for University to write a sequel to this post.

My Mom and Virtual Assistant, Jill Alexa, just wrote this gorgeous sequel:

Count Your Blessings Name Them One by One

Over to You

What moments do you live for, Mama?  Please share any precious moments with your children or family that popped into your head while reading this post.