DEAR SOPHIE, YOU’RE GOING TO BE A BIG SISTER

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


My sweet angel, I know that this is a trying time in our house. With the news of your little sister, you are trying so desperately to figure out what this all means for you and where your new place in our little family is. I wish I could just take your tiny face in my hands and kiss all your anxiety away.
When daddy and I found out that we were having another little girl, my heart just swelled with unbridled joy. My little gumdrop, I wish I could tell you how to be a big sister, but you see, when your aunt Dani was born, I was younger than you. I don’t remember her arrival. I didn’t go through the emotional rollercoaster you seem to be riding. It breaks my heart that I can’t relate better to these feelings of yours.

But don’t worry. There are three things I can tell you with absolute conviction, as one big sister to another:

HAVING A SISTER IS THE GREATEST GIFT MOMMY & DADDY COULD EVER GIVE YOU

As you know, mommy has two sisters. Growing up with Celine & Dani was like growing up with built in best friends. I don’t remember ever feeling lonely. I don’t remember ever feeling bored. Having a sister is like having a constant confidant that will always love you no matter what. And as you get older, that bond only grows. You share with her the agony of your first period, the joy of your first kiss, your hatred of your parents (damn those teen years are rough) and then eventually you get to share the bliss of motherhood (if you chose to have children). Aside from these milestones, there will be so much more moments of sheer happiness and utter heartbreak in your life and your sister will be there for you in ways that mommy will never be able to. The specialness of this bond will never stop.

YOU DON’T NEED TO GUIDE HER

Being a big sister doesn’t mean that you need to guide your baby sister and be a constant beacon of properness. Trust me. So many people will tell you that you need to be an example for her; I will never be one of these people. You will always be your own person. Free to fall and stand back up again without the pressure of needing to guide another person. In the end, just by being human, you will be guiding and be teaching your sister. My greatest hope for you is not that you never fail, but that when you do, you just get up and keep moving forward. And looking at you now, I know you will.

3.       YOUR PLACE IS MY HEART IS FOREVER. FOREVER.

When you have a baby, you learn a capacity for love you never thought possible. It is so incredibly important to mommy that you know that having another baby will never mean that I will love you less. I couldn’t if I tried. From the moment I laid eyes on you, you became my world. Think of mommy’s love like a bubble. First, it was only daddy in the bubble, then you came along and the bubble got a little bigger and now your sister is coming and the bubble will stretch a little more. No love gets taken away, only added. Do you know what the most amazing part is? Mommy and daddy are not the only ones who will be adding extra love to their hearts, you will too. Even though I know you can’t imagine it now, trust me. Your heart will grow so with all the love you will feel for your little sister.

My darling Soph we are in the trenches right now, trying to show you the light and I know that you will only truly understand when you meet your sister for the first time. So for now, mommy will continue to cuddle and kiss every tantrum into submission. Just know that I love with every part of my being. When you feel afraid that my love for you might one day change, just remember that it can never.


Our love for you is like a mountain, unmoveable. It will always be. 

RECIPE: GREEKY MEATY RICE

Friday, July 15, 2016


There isn’t a mother on this planet that is not completely sick and tired of the dreaded “what’s for dinner?” question. Even me, someone who spends her days writing about all things food, has zero inspiration come Friday night.

One of my projects for this year was to get better at meal planning. So far it’s been a moderate failure, but there have been one or two wins. This recipe I made on a whim one evening when I scratched through the freezer and found a seemingly random set of ingredients. It’s turned in to one of our favourite quick, fuss-free mid-week suppers.

Ingredients:
A good glug of cooking olive oil
1 tsp crushed garlic
½ fresh, minced green chilli (optional)
1 handful of fresh, chopped coriander leaves
Woolworths savoury frozen rice
4-6 lamb and rosemary sausages – taken out of the casing and rolled into bite-sized meat balls
1 handful of fresh, shredded spinach
1 disc of feta cheese to serve
Freshly cracked black pepper and crushed sea salt to taste
Tzatziki to serve

Method:

Add olive oil to the pan
Add the fresh garlic and chilli
Fry the lamb meat balls until golden brown and cooked through
Remove the meat balls from the pan but leave the pan on the heat
Pour the rice into the pan (I use about half the bag for 4 adults) and cook according to pack instructions
Add the spinach and toss through the rice until wilted
Add the meat balls and chopped coriander
Take the pan off the heat
Season with salt and pepper
Crumble over feta and serve with tzatziki 

What are your go to easy eats? 

SLOW PARENTING AND LETTING GO OF THE RUSH

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


Last night Sophie and I sat up in bed chatting, drawing and colouring. I watched her do a self-portrait and I almost burst into tears because for the first time ever I understood her rationale behind all the little squiggles and lines she draws. For me, it quickly turned into one of those profound “this is what life is all about moments”.

Now I am sitting around, listening to Simply Red, just in awe of this whole parenting another human being business. The music is egging on my already emotional state.

Like most other parents living on this planet, Regan and I often get stuck in the daily dash of adulting. Getting things done. Sorting things out. Getting from here to there. In the middle of it all, we have this remarkable 3-year-old that must sometimes feel like quite a passive spectator to her own life. We rarely slow down to her pace. We rarely stop and just exist in the world she knows and loves.

In the midst of a really stressful patch (life, work, baby number 2) I am suddenly struck by how important it is to let life unfold at Sophie’s pace.

Now, I don’t need to tell you that you only need to swing a cat on the internet to hit some kind of content about slow parenting. I will share a few of my favourite links at the bottom. Slow parenting is a concept I am buying into hook, line, and sinker. Why? Because it makes sense.

Allowing our lives to flow with a sense of simplicity, balance and mindfulness can only be a good thing. There are so many ways to define what slow parenting means, for me, essentially it is:

De-emphasising technology
Saying no to radical and unnecessary overscheduling
Creating simplistic play time that encourages creativity
Spending more time outside
Spending more time with family and friends
Giving Sophie the freedom to explore her interests
Slowing down
Being present
Promoting play
Choosing quality family time over all other activities.


Are you embarking on a slow parenting journey? Have you already started your journey? Do you have some tips and advice? I would love to hear it all.

Are you totally clueless about this whole slow parenting story? Here are some great links to get you started: 


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