OUR DISTURBING TRIP TO THE DOCTORS

Wednesday, April 25, 2018


Germs pass through our house in a slow, soul-destroying, lingering way. I always say that the best case scenario is if we all get sick at the same time because then at least we all get better together. Most of the time we pass our germs back and forth until some miracle happens and we all just magically feel healthy again. A couple of weeks ago both of our girls were sick at the same time. Fevers, snot, coughing and general misery demanded a trip to the doctor.

Having just started a new job, I was unable to take the girls to the doctor myself – cue epic mom guilt – so Regan and our nanny piled into the car with Sophie and Grace and off they went to the doctor. Now at this point I should probably tell you that we have a pretty awesome doctor. We’ve been going to her for 5 years and she is really great. We all love her and feel super comfortable with her.

This visit to her office was the exception though.

After waiting the standard 45 minutes past the booked appointment time, Regan and the girls finally got in to see our GP and after a short examination, she declared that both the girls had chest infections and would need to go on a course of cortisone and antibiotics. In order to prescribe the correct dosage of said antibiotics, she had to first weigh the kids. And this is when things took a turn for the worse…

After weighing both the girls, she sat down at her desk, faced Regan and our nanny and declared that both of our children were at least 3 kilos overweight and both needed to go on a diet. Now there are a few major problems I have with this:

1. Sophie is 5 years old and not deaf. How dare 3 adults have a conversation about her body in front her and act as if she is not there, or not able to understand them?
2. I firmly believe that no child under the age of 12 should be put on a diet. Childhood obesity is pervasive and devastatingly sad, but children are not the problem. And they should NEVER be made to feel like they are.
3. She is a 4 year old girl, how dare anyone speak about the shape of her body, which is still growing and changing drastically, every single day.
4. She is 130 cm tall. That is 36 cm shorter than me. So yes she weighs more than the average 4 year old.
5. Grace is a baby FFS. NOt even 2, no way she's going on a diet.

Regan called me after the doctors visit and naturally I was outraged when he told me what was said. I took half the day to cool my jets. I needed to think about how I could help Sophie process this horrible trip to the doctor and also how I could take what our doctor said and make actionable changes to my kids’ lifestyles that didn’t involve putting them on a diet.

I have spoken a little about my own struggle with my weight and if there is one thing I hope for my girls it’s that they grow up loving their bodies. So how do I encourage a body positive mindset in a 1 year old and a 5 year old? I’m so glad you asked, because this is basically what I am doing:

Encourage them to be whatever they want to be.

I am aggressively supportive of everything my kids want from life. Whether its to wear an Alice band over a beanie or to become a rocket scientist that lives on Mars. I don’t care, if it’s what you want you want, I will support you forever.

Let them have a voice in making the decisions that affect them.

We discuss everything. When I came home from work, Sophie and I spoke about the visit to the doctor. We spoke about how we’ve been eating so much crap lately and we spoke about wanting to be healthy and fit and strong and how junk food makes us sick. We spoke about the importance of speaking up when you feel uncomfortable. We spoke about being brave enough to tell people that they are making you feel sad when they exclude you from conversations. We spoke about how important it is to be happy with yourself. Children have to feel valued and the easiest way to achieve that is to make sure they know that their opinions matter.

Be the woman you want them to become.

How can I tell my children to love and respect everything that they are if I don’t afford myself the same level of care? How can I shun diets when I am always on one? How can I preach about self-worth when I consistently devalue myself? I can’t. So I need to be the example.

Praise for their achievements, not their appearance.

Listen, my kids are gorgeous. And not just because I think they are. They really are. So the one thing they hear more often than ANYTHING else is how pretty they are. I hate it. It means nothing. Pretty is not an achievement. It’s not worthy of praise. It’s just your face. We all have one. And while yours may be nice, it’s not the thing that defines who you are. When we praise our girls we try to say things like: you are so clever, you have such a gift for xxx, I am so proud of you for being kind to your sister, you are so funny, I love that you care so much about your family.

Listen more than talk.

All children need to heard. They need to know that when they talk, we are not just waiting for our turn to respond, we are listening.

Help them process the messages they see in the media.

It would be so na├»ve to think we could shield our children from mainstream media. But we can help them process what we see. Here’s an awesome of example of something that happened to Sophie and I: I was paging through Marie Claire and Sophie saw one of those heavily airbrushed images of some female celeb in a perfume ad. Her first reaction was to say how the lady in the ad looked exactly like a princess. I started to say something negative along the lines of “well she’s totally airbrushed” but instead I decided to lift the curtain, and showed Sophie a bunch of makeup tutorials on YouTube, specifically the before and after ones. I explained that anyone can look like a princess with the right amount of makeup but that looking like a princess didn’t mean you were a better person. It just meant that you had lots of makeup on. Now when she sees ads featuring beautiful women, instead of shouting about how perfect they look, she says “I like how her makeup is done”. Which tells me that she understands that underneath all of the make up is just a normal person.

As far as healthy eating goes, we’re tackling it as a family. My children do not go to the shop to buy their own food. They don’t order take out or stand at the stove and prepare unhealthy dinners. I do. So I am taking responsibility for that. I am trying to reignite my love for cooking and I’ve bought a few new cookbooks to help us eat healthier meals that are nutrient dense and better for us in the long run. We’re also taking part in Meat Free May and waving goodbye to all animal products for the month of May.

Motherhood is such a journey and I know that since January I have kind of checked out of it a little. I have been dealing with so much stress and as a result I have let things slip at home, I have been way too lenient about snacking and being a little too indulgent about desserts. So we’re making the changes we need to make and in the meantime, we’re working on cultivating KICK ASS attitudes about our bodies.

Nikki
Xxx

SOPHIE'S BIRTHDAY WISHLIST

Thursday, April 12, 2018 Cape Town, South Africa


Holy smokes guys, can you believe my little angel is turning 5 on Sunday?! I feel like I was busy writing her birth story a minute ago. Like every single mom on the planet, I feel like time is moving too fast. With every eye-roll and sassy comment, I feel those tween years racing up to meet us. Yes I know she's only turning and I am possibly being quite dramatic, but it really does go too fast. Next year we're heading off to grade R and I am just trying my best to hold onto these precious years with both hands. 

We are usually quite relaxed about birthdays, in fact, you won't even see me doing a blog post about parties, mostly because I feel quite selfish about certain moments and also because I don't think about my blog at all when it comes to the girl's parties. I try so hard to just make it as bright and sparkly and innocent as possible. This year we are super excited about one big change to our party planning and prep. We're throwing Soph's birthday at The Play Shed and the best thing about this is how amazingly organised and on the ball Jeanne is, we literally don't have to do anything beyond supplying a few minor bits of decor and a cake. So I'm chalking that up as a quick mom win! 

As usual, Sophie's list of demands is pretty extensive this year, but for the first time in forever, she's been so focused and sure of what she wants. Usually, she just rambles off a list of everything and anything. Right now she is completely OBSESSED with all things Barbie. We watch the Barbie Princess and the Popstar movie every day and even though Soph can't hold a tune to save her life, she is determined to start her own band. So most of what she wanted this year revolved around musical instruments. But there were a few other surprising things. Here is the short version of her birthday wishlist. 


ALL THE BARBIE THINGS 

All Barbie everything. I am not even kidding. I have post planned for some time next week about why Barbie will ALWAYS be welcome  in my home, we love her. I grew up with every kind of Barbie available in the 90's and Soph is just as obsessed as I was. Barbie has become a lot more inclusive in recent years too. Sophie's been browsing Takealot and saving all the things she wants, basically its: 


LONG SLEEVE DRESSES 

Oh, guys, my little girl is the girliest girl on the block. She literally cried her little eyes out every morning if I say she can't wear a dress to school because it's too cold. So of course, she has been nagging non-stop about getting long-sleeved winter dresses and stockings so she can always wear a dress. Cotton On has some absolutely amazing dresses in stock right now. Most of them are R199 which is a really fair price for such pretty little frocks. There is such a huge range, but these 4 are firm favourites of mine. 

All of the ones pictured are from Cotton On. You can shop them (and more) here > 


NEW BOOKS 

Reader's Warehouse makes it really easy to cultivate a love of reading in your child because their books are so affordable. Sophie and I are what I would call, hyper-consumers of literature. We love to read. We love to get lost in the pages of a perfect story and in addition to her all pink bank and her winter frocks, the one request Soph has made quite frequently, is for new books. I recently read a great roundup of empowering books for young girls and I these 6 were the most age-appropriate ones for Soph but the whole list is quite amazing. Here's the link if you're keen to grow your daughter's collection > 


While we are quite tamed with Sophie's party, we almost always go quite overboard with her gifts. I always think that Christmas is the time for moderate gifting (simply because there are just so many gifts to be purchased) but birthdays are special because it's the one day that is 100% about you. So while I doubt we'll get Soph every single thing on her list, I know we'll probably cover most of it, because hey, you only turn 5 once right? Right? 

Nikki 
Xxx 

PS: this does not sit well with my minimalist beliefs lol

[QUICK DISCLAIMER: I HAVE NOT BEEN PAID TO WRITE ANY OF THIS CONTENT, I HAVE ADDED SHOP LINKS IN CASE ANYONE WANTS TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT ANY OF THE PRODUCTS I HAVE FEATURED, BUT I AM NOT BEING PAID TO SAY ANY OF THIS]

MARCH IN A MINUTE

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 Cape Town, South Africa


Well, it’s been a while since I’ve done a round-up post. We’ve been living life at a slower pace since the beginning of the year and to be honest, there just hasn’t been all that much to round up. March proved to be a bit of a tipping point though.

A few quick things about March... I am loving the change of the seasons, I basically read every single book I could get my hands on in March, I had SO much playing around with all of my make up, I stepped out of my comfort zone and wrote about shopping/fashion and loved it so much. It's been quite a month, while I am glad it's over, I am also really grateful to be able to share all the wonderful things I've been feeling and doing and experiencing this month.

A lot’s happened and it’s felt like a bit of a whirlwind but now that the month is done and the dust has settled I feel like I am in a space where I can share again. So let’s get cracking….

Writing

I won’t sugar coat it, it’s been quiet on this little blog of ours. I have been in and out of a creative slump since December last year and I try so hard to break away from it, but sometimes it just sucks me in. Here are a few posts I’ve enjoyed writing this month:
Hello Autumn, Oh I Have Missed You - I loved writing this post because I didn't actually realise how much I enjoy do shopping posts. Did you guys enjoy reading it? Should I do more shopping/ fashion/ beauty content?
Women Supporting Women - if you are looking for a cause to support, read this post!!


In addition to my blog, I have also been writing in a prayer journal, which was weird at first, but it’s become a bit addictive. I know that issues of faith are not for everyone, but I can say that if you are not in a religious way, perhaps tap into the thing that tethers you to your humanity, and keep a journal that focuses on that. I have found such an incredible peace in writing openly about my flaws, my fears, my hopes and my gratitude for the life I have. While it may not be perfect, it is something I feel unbelievably grateful for. I would really love to chat more about this journal, is this something you’d like to read about? Pop me a mail or tell me in the comments.

Reading 

I read 13 books this month. I’m not even kidding. Ok so 6 of them were of the vampire smut variety but the rest was really so great. I have recently discovered my love for fantasy and it has opened a door to a world that I literally wish I could live in. This month my absolute favourites were:

The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas, if you are not reading her books, you really must. Zayaan has written a really great post about why everyone should be reading Sarah J Maas, but to sum it up:

  • She has created fierce, fearless and strong heroines
  • Her books feature people of colour and many different cultural mixes
  • Her books champion relationships in all their forms, not just the heteronormative we’re usually bombarded with. 

Then I also read The Cruel Prince and Windwitch (the second instalment in the Witchlands series) and I also read The Language of Thorns which was so beautifully written I think it woke me from my creative slumber.

Listening to

Every damn thing on Spotify. If you haven’t downloaded it yet, you are missing out. This morning I sat at my desk and listened to a 6-minute long motivational podcast which made me feel like I owned Monday.

Loving 


Moving on. Since the beginning of this year, I have really struggled with my happiness. Finding out that I had 2 tumours in my spine played a huge part in that. But I was also so unhappy as a parent, I felt like I wasn’t giving my relationship with Regan everything I should. I was slowly letting this crater form between myself and my faith and it was all making me so miserable. I would love to tell you that all of that changed overnight, but it didn’t. What did happen is that I learned that I need to be the bricklayer for my house of happiness. No one will build it for me. And that is exactly what I am doing now. Little by little I am putting myself back together and it feels amazing.

Buying 


I did a bit of shopping this month and I really want to do a separate post about all the things I bought and how I selecting items based on their versatility because I am slowly but surely, piece by piece, putting together a capsule wardrobe for winter. So look out for those posts.

Watching 

Nothing at all. Aside from hours of CeeBeeBees, I don’t think I have watched a single bit of TV this month and that’s pretty great.

I hope you all had an amazing March. Here’s to an even better April!

Nikki
Xxx


SLEEP THINGS

Tuesday, April 03, 2018


A story about sleep things....

Aka Lack of sleep things
Aka I need a coffee before my coffee
Aka I'm a zombie
Aka Anyone else feeling basic AF
Aka That month that my kids screwed up our bedtime schedule

I am tired.
It's the kind of tired that transcends reason and logic and patience. It's the kind of tired that tugs at your sanity. It's the kind of tired that calls for mama tears at 3 am because your kid is crying in the cot, again, and you feel broken in your soul. It's a desperate tired.

LOOKING AT MY BED LIKE IT'S A LONG LOST LOVER


Our bedtime routine has been sacred to me since Sophie was about 2. In the beginning, we had no routine. I breastfed on demand and this meant that more often than not I was up all hours of the night with a little blonde cherub stuck to my boo. But then we stopped breastfeeding and things fell. Into a really great rhythm. Sophie went to bed at 7.30 and was asleep by 8. When Gracie came along things got a little rickety but luckily she loved her sleep so we quickly settled into a really great routine.

About 4 months ago, everything fell to absolute shit. My life is chaos and most days, my pure exhaustion leaves me reeling.

I don't really know how it happened, might be Gracie and her teething, might be the school holidays, but we've totally lost our bedtime routine. There is nothing left of it. Nothing. It's like the dark lands of despair and exhaustion. OK, I am being incredibly dramatic now, but I'm so tired. I don't know how else to be.

LITERALLY FEELING LIKE I AM LOSING MY MIND


The thing about being deprived of sleep is that it doesn't just make you yawn a lot, it kind of infests your whole life. You start to feel unhinged, you turn on your partner, you're clipped and impatient with your kids, you cry all the time. Basically, it's a shit show and it's horrible.

All. I want is to put my kids in their beds, kiss them goodnight and have them stay put, with no crying and carry on. It's not a lot. It's not like I'm asking for a miracle.

SO BASICALLY, JUST HELP ME


I've researched a few sleep things and read a few books, but I'm basically writing this post as a cry for help. A cry for advice. I'm calling out to the mom tribe and asking for someone to throw me a. Frigging bone. Please.

Do you know how I can get my kids to go to bed?
Have you tried anything that changed your life? Can you tell me what to do??

Guys, I'm desperate. Send me your wisdom.

Nikki
Xx

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