Tag Archive | Parenting

All in a brisk walk…

This morning I woke up with a foggy feeling in my head and it was as if I hadn’t slept at all. I felt lazy, and just wanted to continue lying on my bed, but I knew that doing so would simply set the wrong tone for my day and literally muttering ‘mind over matter, mind over matter’ I basically cajoled myself to crawl out of bed and take my antidote – which is to go out for a brisk walk, to get some fresh air and hopefully feel more alive in the process.

Photo by Juan Pablo Serrano Arenas on Pexels.com

My brisk walk can involve various things depending on my mood, either listening and humming to music that I enjoy with an occasional shake and a jig to accentuate the notes that hit home, listening to a podcast or any talk that piques my interest, venting in my head and going over an argument that I had with hubby and realizing that maybe I should have used a better punchline than I had; mentally deciding to save a punchline and use it to drive home my point, going over my to-do list in my head, making a shopping list, thinking of random stuff and just watching people go about their business…

I had almost come to end of my walk when an idea popped into my head out of the blues and I was so excited at the thought that I made a mental note not to forget to include it in my soon to be executed plans. Right as I turned into the bend leading to our apartment block, I ran into a young dad and a toddler – who by my assessment is barely more that 24 months – attempting to play football, and I slowed my pace to absorb the scene.

The man kept a few paces apart and kicked the ball towards his son. It’s either because the baby was wholly new to the game or wasn’t sure what to do; he missed it not once but four times. After each miss, his dad patiently walked towards him, picked the ball and kicked it again. I was silently rooting in my head for the little one and just as soon as I thought that he would miss it yet again, his little foot finally connected with the ball and he kicked it back with gusto. The ring of his delight and joy from his accomplishment had me applauding both of them and a huge smile made its way to my face.

A brisk walk of 40 minutes not only brought me such unexpected fullness, it drew home several pointers and set a positive tone for my day. During my grudgingly taken walk, I got inspired, I saw love and patience, I saw resilience and joy, I became energized, I gained more clarity and buzz that I wouldn’t have found in my cup of coffee. These little things we often overlook, they are the things that matter.

How is your week going so far?

The toughest job of my life…

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Being a parent is about the hardest job ever! I am learning invaluable lessons every day about being a mother. From one stage of your children’s lives to the next, the dynamics keep changing and your job as a mother simply never ever stops.

Our job as mothers is not about fixing our children’s lives, but primarily to teach them how to live as best as they can, how to cope, how to rise again and again, ‘cos when they become adults, life’s problems don’t go away – they simply morph into adult problems and all we have taught them as parents will serve them well.

No matter how earnestly we might wish it differently, we can’t fix everything. Sometimes, we have to let our children figure things out for themselves. Sometimes, we have to stay by the sidelines, on our knees bowed in prayer, waiting for them to come to the other side.

 

 

Real Talk: What’s It Like Mothering A Big Family?

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Every little girl’s dream to meet the person of their dreams, plan a spectacular wedding and start a family. Okay, maybe this theory is outdated now but it’s true that most women want a husband and kids. When dreams turn into reality, it can be incredibly scary. One day you’re a happily single woman with no cares in the world, and the next you’re a mom to five kids. How did that happen?!

Moms with large families hear the same questions all of the time. “God, your house must be crazy,” or “the laundry alone must be a fortune” are two classics. To put it into perspective for those that don’t know, here are the basics.

The Routine Never Stops

Have you heard of the motto “sleep, eat, rinse and repeat?” In many ways, it sums up being the head of a large family. Let’s get one thing straight – one day is never the same. However, there are core features which never go away and they keep you mega busy. Preparing meals take up a large chunk of the day, as does the school run and getting the kids to practice on time. Thankfully, the routine is merciful because you only realize you’re exhausted by the time your head hits the pillow.

Nor Does The Laughter

The incredible thing about the house being full is the noise. Sometimes, it’s a racket which never ends and it’s annoying as hell. But, usually, it’s a mixture of the things which put a smile on a mom’s face. The sound of laughter has to be a sound sent from God to keep us happy and motivated. Listening to the kids enjoying life is wonderful, and the parents get to join in too. It’s a cliché, but these moments are worth all of the bad ones and more.

Money Is Tight

With lots of hungry mouths to feed, there is a lot of pressure on the bank balance to provide. Of course, food isn’t the only expense. As the family grows, you will need everything from a new home to a bigger car. And, lenders such as Auto. Loan won’t give you a freebie. Yes, their rates are affordable but it is still another expense. As a result, money is often tight but not to the point where the mortgage won’t get paid. It’s more of a you-have-to pick-and-choose-your-moments type of thing. Oh, and saving is essential if you want a vacation or a family trip.

Holidays Are Interesting

Speaking of vacations, it would be remiss not to mention a family holiday. Like all trips with the loved ones, it’s a chaotic affair full of arguments and constant counting. Moms need eyes in the backs of their butts to make sure everyone is present and safe. Again, the scale of the vacation makes it bigger and better. It’s like your senses are dialed to ten and every little detail is funnier or more joyous.

Are you thinking about starting a family? Do you want a big one or are you going to keep it small?

This is a collaborative post

Remember to Breathe…Stream of Consciousness Saturday

Life has taught me that being of good cheer is a value not outwardly acquired, but one that is fostered from within. Why do I say this? Because day by day the vicissitudes of life seeks to weigh us down.

It takes resilience and constant mind-over-matter not to get submerged under the flood of misery and bad news which seems to prevail these days.

It takes uncommon grace to build an oasis of peace within you and to keep your chin up even when life batters you.

It takes wisdom to know that each day lived in misery is a day lost to misery and we must find moments of cheer in every given day no matter what.

These moments of cheer could be as little and as simple as finding solace in a quiet moment, a power nap, a smile, deep meditative breathing, regular reminders of gratitude, a glass of milk, sharing a hug…

On the other hand, school is out for Summer and the kids are ecstatic. I have mixed feelings ha, ha. I love that there is no school and we all get to unwind a bit, but I know that in a couple of days after mindless hours spent on games and what not, they will start singing the ‘I am bored song.’

I’ve got to put on my mama cheerleader cap on and think of cheap and cheerful ways to keep them positively and gainfully occupied without having to rob a bank.

With each passing school year, I watch my young ones’ gallop through their classes, growing older and inching day by day to the time they have to leave for college and fly the coop.

Gulp! The thought leaves butterflies of apprehension in the pit of my stomach. I hope that I’m equipping my chicks well enough to survive life’s onslaught out there without mama dogging every footstep that they take? Only tomorrow will tell.

For now, let’s enjoy every bit of our simmering Summer with copious sips of cold, freshly squeezed orange juice or watermelon. Cheers.

Jacqueline

Stream of Consciousness Saturday – Cheers

We Planted The Seeds of Our Dreams…

Yes, we literally planted our dreams. Grabbing handfuls of the remaining Spring’s moments, I took the children to the park armed with our post-its and coloured pens. Each of us wrote out 5 dreams/aspiration of ours, folded the papers nicely, dug little holes around the tree and planted them amongst the grass. We had a few curious squirrels as observers and I guess they aren’t surprised ‘cos they’ve seen enough queer humans.

I told the children that though the paper might decay and become one with earth, the dreams have been sown into their hearts and that each day they must till the soil of their dreams, water and nurture them till they yield bountiful returns ‘cos every seedling has its season.

I also told them that sometimes our dreams and aspirations change and our harvest becomes different but that it’s okay ‘cos that’s the way life works at times. However, for each aspiration, they must plant it into the soil of their reality and not hold on to the seeds ‘cos the seeds alone will not yield abundance. ‘All great deeds begin as seeds.’ Months and years may pass before these seeds grow into full form and we see the glimpse of our harvest, but the birthing moment is as important as the harvest.

The land is green and the Earth is ripe for planting. Amidst the pressures of our modern lives, we tend to think that the conditions have to be right in order for us to start but time and time again my experience has shown that most times the simple act of starting is what makes the conditions right.

Love and Light Always,

Jacqueline

When The Sun Is Sinking Low…

Daddy always said ‘rise with the Sun so that you set the tone of your day,’ and throughout my growing up years, like clockwork, we rose way before the Sun.

Sunrise, Sunset, Days of our Lives, Our loved ones, Reflection, Life, Parenting, Love

Today the most important things I inherited from my dad are the ethics, the values, the wise words, the memories and the parenting influence that he had on my life.

Ever so often, a saying of his will echo in my mind and I feel suffused with the warmth of his presence albeit through his words.

As a child, I truly had no deep understanding of losing loved ones’ – not sure that I still do – and like the sunrise and sunsets of my young days, I felt that those that mattered most would always be there.

Well, I am deadly wrong. I think that life is so unfair to take away those we love and yearn for, on the other hand, I am deeply thankful that I had the opportunity to know such love.

Knowing what I know now, the glorious rise of each Sun, reminds me that I’m alive, that I must embrace the day and that there’s no time to waste in looking back at yesterday. By the time the sun sinks low, I’m reminded to leave every form of acrimony and as much as is humanly possible to end my day with a cleansed mind.

Below is a little tune from me. Excuse the croaky voice 😉

Oh I often sit and ponder
when the sun is sinking low

where shall yonder future find me
only God in heaven knows

shall I be amongst the living
shall I mingle with the free

wheresoever my path may lead me
Saviour keep my heart with thee

Oh the future lies before me
and I know not where I’ll be

wheresover my path may lead me
Saviour keep my heart with thee

©

Jacqueline

The Daily Post: Rise and Set

 

What My Mama Said To Me…16

 

Wisdom, Mother Knows Best, Proverbs, Mother and Child

Mama said to me, baby
never go borrowing
those things meant for others

or

be prepared
to live with the discomfort
that accompanies them.

©

Jacqueline

This piece is an excerpt from my work-in-progress.

You can read my book, Unbridled on Kindle Unlimited for free.

Amazon
Kindle

 

What My Mama Said To Me…15

Wisdom, Mother Knows Best, Proverbs, Mother and Child

Mama always said to me, baby,
always search inwards first,
as deeply as you can bear to dig in;

‘cos most times
the answers we scurry around to find
lies latent within us.

©

Jacqueline

This piece is an excerpt from my work-in-progress.

You can read my book, Unbridled on Kindle Unlimited for free.

Amazon
Kindle

Possible Causes When Your Child Is In Pain

Aches and pains are something you expect to experience as you get older. We all accept that our bodies aren’t going to be as elastic and mobile as they once were. However, we don’t expect that our children are going to have to put up with various aches and pains for many years. And yet, kids can complain of seemingly random pains that have no obvious cause. If you have a child complaining about something hurting, but you can’t see an obvious injury, you might think they’re being sneaky and trying to get out of something. But there could be a number of reasons they’re feeling pain.

Children's Health

Credit: Pxhere

Injury

Injuries aren’t always visible on the surface. While sometimes there’s a bruise, cut or swelling, it’s possible for your child to get hurt and not have an obvious injury. They might have fallen over or walked into something, hurting themselves but not immediately leaving a visible mark. If your child can still move everything and doesn’t seem to be in too much pain, the injury probably isn’t too severe, and you can treat it at home. However, if it’s a pain that doesn’t go away, it’s affecting their mobility (or even ability to sit or lie down), or you start to notice any swelling, seeing a doctor might be necessary.

Congenital and Developmental Problems

Sometimes, children are born with medical problems that aren’t obvious right away. Or they might develop an issue as they grow and something doesn’t grow as it’s supposed to. Some children can experience hip degeneration caused by hip dysplasia when the hip forms incorrectly. This sort of thing might happen to various parts of their body. However, it’s not necessarily easy to pick up just by looking. Seeing a doctor is often the only way to diagnose the problem with various tests and examinations.

Germs, Illness

Credit: Max Pixel

Illness

Being ill can sometimes cause aches and pains too. From headaches and tummy aches to sore throats and itchy skin, there’s a whole range of symptoms your child might complain of. Most illnesses might not be very pleasant to experience, but they can often be treated at home and will soon pass. Some more serious illnesses can occur too, of course. Some need to be addressed immediately, such as appendicitis, septicemia, and meningitis, so it’s important to know the symptoms to look out for that indicate that you might have an emergency on your hands.

Sapling, Growing

Credit: Pixabay

Growing Pains

Some pains that children experience don’t have a clear explanation. A lot of children and preteens experience “growing pains”, which are also called recurrent nocturnal limb pain. This is when children get aching legs, usually in the evenings and at night. Despite being called growing pains, there’s no evidence that they’re caused by growing. They might be the result of lots of physical activity, and they’re also more common in children with more flexible joints. They run in families too, so if you remember experiencing them, your child might too.

There’s no need to worry straight away if your child complains of being in pain. There are many possible causes, and usually, it’s nothing serious.

This is a collaborative post.

Candle Lit – Word Wednesday

I can barely find the words to express how touched and happy I felt when my ten-year-old son offered to take care of me and make me something to eat last night as an effort to ease my stress.

Several packs of tagliatelle, cheese, carrots, tomatoes, ketchup, fish-fingers, all my spices and a messy kitchen, the young man whipped up a candle-lit dinner.

The food tasted better than any that I’d had in ages. It could have done with a little more simmering to soften the tagliatelle, but it was just perfect.

There was oodles of love, a dash of care and sprinkles of appreciation washed down with a cold glass of orange juice 🙂

Candle Lit Dinner, Made With Love, Food, Children, Cooking, Parenting, Family

kitchen quotes