Then and now. The Great Divide of having children.

I used to have a decent fruit bowl, now I have fruit pocked with teeth marks.

I used to have a desk drawer stocked with stationary, now I have bits of prestik sticking to things, disassembled pen springs, empty sticky tape, missing scissors, and dry highlighters.

I used to have clean windows, now they have scribbles done in body lotion, sunscreen, or toothpaste.  The same applies to curtains. Children use curtains as we would use napkins, towels, and tissues.

I used to have a sundowner at sunset, now I feed babies and walk them up and down or read them stories.

I used to be selfish, now I am unselfish

I used to be impatient, now I am patient

I used to be intolerant, now I am accepting

I smile at the bitten fruit, because it means my children are eating fruit.

Pen-springs in my drawer remind me that my children are inquisitive and smart as can be.

And scribbles on the windows are proof that I have little-people in my life that fill my heart with love.  And according to me, love is what makes the world go around and makes life worth living.     

I thank my fruit bowl, my desk drawer and my windows for the lessons they have taught me.

Finding the ‘new normal’ with an infant

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Finding the ‘new normal’ with an infant 

Until the moment the baby arrives everything is completely normal.

You know your life is about to change dramatically, but it doesn’t change until the actual moment of the birth. You can hardly prepare and you can barely picture it. There is no easing into it slowly…

The arrival is inevitably accompanied by discomfort, be it the sunroof variety or the more natural kind. Neither comes without a certain amount of pain. But the pain does not end there.

It is followed by the feeding. Almost immediately. Your body takes one battering and exchanges it for another. And it’s on going. Every three hours. Tick tock. Tick tock. Every day. Every night.

Revered silence breaks into insatiable screaming, calling for immediate attention at any time. During the day or night, during a meal or a nap. There. Is. No. break.

The good news is that it is temporary. The shared moments of wakefulness become more interactive. The feeds become more conveniently spaced and the miracle of life is overwhelming.

Holding someone so small, so warm and so vulnerable is beyond description. That someone so perfect can develop from a mere seed is beyond comprehension.

SO bring it on. Infant bootcamp 101 is a small price to pay for a make-or-break-experience. It’s the end of life as you know it. You better strap on your in-the-mood-for-something-new attitude. Go with the flow, cancel all plans and delete all expectations.

And you will fly into the ‘new normal’.

RIP: Checklists for your off-spring’s guardians

As i enter the final few days of expecting baby number three, my life is filled with checklists. What to buy, what to pack, what to stock up on, what to do before taking a few weeks off. So this list is just another one of those, but one i found wasn’t frequently mentioned in the baby publications i’ve been delving through.

RIP pic

I was recently on a trip with my girl friends and, although, nobody likes talking about it, we decided that it is a good idea to have all our family documents up to date and in an easy-to-access-folder should anything happen to us. A kind of manifesto.

This kind of ‘admin’ resonates with us more when we become parents, and our once fancy-free days are over. Instinctively one of our main concerns becomes our off-spring and their interests. Luckily we inherently become more cautious and risk-averse as we enter the realm of parenthood.

Either way, its a good idea to update all these documents once in a while and there is no time like now.

So, where to start.

Obviously the first thing is to decide who the guardians would be (and let them know).

Next, get the folder out and make sections for all material assets and liabilities with contact details for relevant people as well as account numbers and pass codes. Examples include primary home, secondary home, insurance, medical aid, bank accounts, investments, policies, savings accounts and loans.

The idea is not to have all your bank statements etc on this folder, simply details of the accounts, contact people and a reference to another file containing all the statements. This is just a thin reference file to guide somebody trying to make sense of your affairs.

Make a section for certified documents. All identity documents, passports, birth certificates, and marriage certificates. Children’s vaccination documents (as well as pet vaccinations).

Vehicle registration documents may be useful too.

A list of monthly expenses and term fees for the children is useful, so payments can either be continued or stopped, which ever is appropriate.

Update your will. Most important here is to ensure the assets follow the children to guardians in order to pay for their future expenses.

Finally, should you have a contract with your domestic help, add this contract and all UIF details as well as certified ID’s etc too.

One last useful item could be to identify where all spare keys are kept. Or anything else that you may consider useful.

I have written 6-monthly dairies for my children to keep them up to date on what they’ve been like, their progress and their awesomeness. These will also be included in my folder.

Once this is all in place, you may find some peace and the whole idea might no longer be so daunting.

Do it.