Life Right Now, Random Thoughts

Life Update – #truthfultuesday

“Kids make life the best kind of busy” ~ Anonymous

I haven’t posted a new blog in quite a while. No, I’m still alive and well. And so is my family. Even though my first semester exams have finished, life’s still been busy. You’d think there’ll be so much more time available, but catching up on all sides of life is quite needed after finishing a series of five exams.

So what have we been up to, you may ask? Well, we’ve been fighting some mean, green and just plain awful sinus infections. That said, a lot of rest and TLC was needed. It was our third round of sinus infections for the year, with Caitlin just recovering from a cold a week after her sinus infection cleared up. Crazy, I tell you! Sometimes I pray that she becomes a doctor one day in order for me to at least feel that with all the doctor and pharmacy bills we’ve somehow contributed to her future career path. Haha!

Don’t get me wrong, she used to get sick a lot more, but as she grows older it seems to get ‘easier’ – if that makes any sense? Less paediatrician visits, less hospital submissions.

Apart from fighting the winter’s nasty cold and its friends, we’ve been enjoying some much-needed family time. I’ve realised that my little girl is growing up so incredibly fast that some days it feels like I’m missing half of her life, milestones and tiny moments (you can probably smell the #momguilt a mile away, right?). I’ve learned to take it a bit easier on her and though it may mean that she’s not in bed by 8pm, it also means that my child is getting her daily dose of love, affection and attention.

Our kids change our lives for the better. And though it may be challenging some days with you feeling like you just want to crawl into bed and sleep for days. I would not exchange this journey we’re on for anything in the world, dark under-eye circles and all!

So here we go, with the thought of sharing more blog posts in the coming weeks as we return from our hibernation and hope to engage a bit more with you all as we start to approach the fun, upcoming months of Spring and Summer! For now, I’m quite enjoying the winter weather and the indoor adventures it brings. 🙂

C xx

 

Encouragement, Handy Tools & Advice, Random Thoughts

Never lose sight of who you really are… trust in yourself

wom·an·hood
ˈwo͝omənˌho͝od/
noun
  1. the state or condition of being a woman.

What seems to be missing from the above is the mention of ‘superhuman with the ability to play multiple roles at the same time’ – don’t you think?

Somehow in the midst of being everything to everyone, we reach a point where we start to lose sight of who we really are. We allow the opinions of others affect us and we give in to the pressure of the feeling that we’re ‘not good enough’. As women, we put ourselves through numerous attempts of changing ourselves, ‘making ourselves better’ with the hope of feeling better about ourselves and accomplishing acceptance amongst others.

Throughout life, you’re surrounded by others guiding you through it all, ideally providing you with the necessary life skills to keep you strong against all the ‘bad’ outside there in the real world. Sometimes, you find yourself surrounded by people that aren’t in it for the enrichment of life, but rather for personal gain. A matter of ‘what can I get out of this relationship’? These people add even more pressure to our lives on top of what we already experience as women.

You must be sexy, you must be smart, you must be nice… things that don’t add value to life or your worth as a woman. You also have to be a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a friend, an employee – each role with sub-roles that you have to fulfill. You, as a woman have to be so many things to so many people! Are you relating to what I’m saying right now; nodding your head thinking ‘yes, she gets me?!’

I think it’s due to the fact that most woman, especially when going through the dual journey of motherhood and womanhood, find themselves in this particular situation like the one that I’ve just described. You got to deal with all this pressure, sometimes hearing that ‘you’re not good enough’. Meanwhile, all you want to do is gain acceptance for you – just that, being your true self. That in itself is being something great, isn’t it?! It completely shatters you as a woman, as a human, when your self-worth, your self-esteem gets knocked down as you get consumed by the pressure and the obsession of trying to be SuperWoman.

Wouldn’t it be the most tragic tale ever written if the treasure of a human being that you really are and the talent that you possess was buried under the mountain of opinions and expectations of others?

“You’re a bad mother. You’re a terrible wife. You’re an awful friend.” You’re just plain, no darn good if you try and do anything whatsoever that makes you happy. Sound familiar? Those thoughts have run through my mind before… “Don’t you dare do something for yourself, forget to do the washing or take your eyes of your children for one second! You better be there… all… the… time.” That’s the messaging that mothers get. Did you know that this particular message has the power, the ability to drive someone totally insane whilst she tries to be everything and do everything?!

The most important skill that you as a woman can have in protecting yourself against losing sight of who you really are and keeping your happiness is to learn to trust in yourself. Stop hating yourself for everything that you aren’t and start loving yourself for everything you already are. You have the right to be happy!

As a fellow woman, mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend and so on – I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I’ve never tried to make myself better by giving in; giving into the pressure of it all, because I have. Sometimes I still do, even if it’s just to keep the peace momentarily. We’re only human and it will happen occasionally. What I’m saying is don’t let it consume you.

Never underestimate the investment you make in yourself. You have the right to be happy in life and in yourself. It is what fuels you from the inside. Your happiness in yourself is what sets the tone for every relationship you have in this world. The more you work on it, the better life will become. Don’t lose your way, lose sight of your true self and what makes you happy.

Be wise, learn from your past mistakes, take better care of yourself and ensure that you do what makes you happy. That gives you the ability to take care of others at the capacity that is required in life as a woman and all the numerous roles that we play on a daily basis.

Surround yourself with people you can grow with and avoid the people who are only in it for personal gain. Motherhood… womanhood… it’s considered a tribe. The most important thing we must remember is that we can learn from one another and support one another.

Stay true to yourself. Trust yourself. Never lose sight of who you really are. And know, that others, your fellow tribe members and your true people will always have your back.

Much love,
Chantelle

Encouragement, Random Thoughts

Breath & Know… that you are good enough!

This past week I came across a blog post written by one of my favourite local blogger mama’s, Cass from leatherjacketfoxes.com titled “The lies we believe as women” upon which I found myself reading the post that touches on a matter that myself and a dear friend were discussing earlier in the week – comparison. (If you do have a moment, be sure to head over to Cass’ blog and sniff around.) In her post, she focuses on the ‘little lies’ that we as women tend to tell ourselves.

 

For example: ‘I’m not a good mother’, ‘I’m failing my husband as a wife and life partner’, ‘I’m not attractive enough. I wish I could look more like her’ or ‘I work so hard, and yet my best is just not good enough’.

 

In the modern world that we live in today, with social media keeping us connected 24/7 to what others around us showcase as the highlight reel of their lives, it’s become easier for us (women) to swing the wrecking ball called comparison against our self-esteems. We compare our lives, our appearance, our lifestyles, our possessions, our careers with those that we seem to have the need to be ‘connected’ with. On top of that wrecking ball  I see a wicked little witch sitting and enjoying every moment as we break down our confidence, our ambition, our self-love and appreciation of what we’ve been blessed with in life. The outcomes of the comparison game in which we continuously find ourselves in leads us to believe the little lies that we tell ourselves (I used to call them my demons, quite dramatic I know, but Cass’ manner in calling them lies really changed my view on them) causing an unhealthy manner of dealing with our emotions, interaction with others around us and situations that we find ourselves in.

 

Upon the age of nearly 30 (yes, I’m turning THIRTY this year… eeeccckk!), I’ve realised over the past year or so that these little lies combined with the unfortunate personality trait of having other’s opinion influence my personal views on my own value caused many internal insecurities that kept me away from the potential that God has given me. In taking small steps like evaluating my feelings, the value of other’s opinions and rationalizing the emotional effects thereof I’ve learnt to adapt through (the only way that I can explain it) building a filter for these little lies. In return, it has spared me great heartache and given me the strength and ambition to realise the numerous blessings that I have received in my life, to work hard for my dreams by using my potential and skills, and to enjoy every moment that life throws my way. In Cass’ words: “We no longer become slaves to our lies or insecurities, instead we become free and empowered in who God has called us to be, despite our flaws.”

 

Don’t get me wrong, we’re only human and in being human we are flawed – we are not perfect. Thus, every now and again when I find myself tired, overloaded and weak in a situation where one of those horrible little lies knock on the door and say ‘hello’, I  blindingly open that door without looking at who (or what’s) knocking and get slapped in the face with the aftermath of feeling insecure. It is in those instances where the love of those close to you step in to reassure you of your worth. I would not be the woman that I am today without those in my life that I hold so dearly and it is in those moments of weakness and insecurity that they are the ones that hold me upright, dust off the insecurities and push me in the right direction.

 

There are numerous ways on how we as women can guard ourselves against these little lies, and I urge you to do so as it is on us to teach ourselves the necessary skills of protecting our self-esteem so that we may carry them over to our daughters (and sons) for them to effectively know how to deal with the challenges of self-esteem. They are growing up in a world of information overload that can cause emotional overload at the snap of your fingers.

 

Now… take a look back at the examples of little lies that I gave in this post and understand that the golden thread through each and every one of those little lies boils down to telling yourself ‘I’m not good enough’. Today, I’d like to say that the statement of ‘I’m not good enough’ cannot be further from the truth! Look in the mirror, breath and know that you are good enough! Tell yourself that each and every morning. Go the extra mile… put on a daring lip colour and take on life knowing that you are worthy of all your desires, your blessings and if you ever feel weary and weak from your insecurities I dare you to just look at the expression of your child(ren) when you look at them and you’ll see the love and appreciation there solidifying the fact that YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH!

 

Ps. If it makes any difference at all, know that the examples of little lies given in this post are the insecurities that I’ve dealt with for as long as I can remember. I’m by no means sharing this insight with you to obtain any affirmation but am being open and transparent with you. 

 

Lots of love, Chantelle

xxx

Random Thoughts

Surviving the storms

IMG_2138Update from my previous blog post: Be strong, walk through the storms

Nearly a month has passed and it seems that I’ve survived the storms (so far)! How, you may ask? Well, I merely listened and opened myself to the advice of someone that no other can replace… my husband.

He always encourages, supports, cares and goes the extra mile for his family. The one thing that I’ve learned from him is that some things you can control (and your reaction to situations is what makes you survive them or let them consume you) and some you can’t. Those you can’t… well, they’re out of your hands. You always just need to give your all, but ALWAYS keep focus on what you hold dearest to your heart. That should be your first priority and for the rest, well time management skills and open communication is key.

A colleague of mine commented the other day stating that “you seem happier lately”. And yes, I am. Even with a to-do list as long as my arm, I’m not stressing, panicking or at a constant fear of ‘the worst’ happening. I do my best, give my best and yes, life lately has been good to me.

A month has past since my previous post, and I’m exhausted from all the busy-ness of the past few weeks. That’s why we’re making time for us as a family and planned a well-deserved family weekend getaway. I cannot tell you how excited I am (like a child!). It all goes to show, the small things (those that you cannot replace with anything else) are what matters. And quality time with my beautiful little girl and handsome, wise beyond his years hubby is the ultimate gift that encourages me to get through all that needs to ‘get done’ each day. They are my purpose and I’m sure that all moms out there can relate. We do what we do, as hard as we do all for the ones we love.

Stay strong, fellow moms! The storm shall soon pass.

C
xx

 

Random Thoughts

Be strong, walk through the storms

(warning: not a mommy related post, rather the ramblings of an overwhelmed wife)

It’s 2017 and we’re in March already – oh how time flies by! Lately, life’s felt like a constant race of ‘getting things done’ rather than enjoying life. New Year’s Eve I told myself that 2017 will be the year of great beginnings for us and boy, did we jump in the deep end!

Not only is work crazy busy (compared to last year this time), I’m back to studying again – a part-time 3-year course AND we’ve decided to buy and build our very first home (meaning a big move from the Suburbs to the Winelands in December). I have to admit that trying to keep your head above the surface, as difficult as it already is with being a working mother, these additional commitments and “to-do’s” has not only been challenging my energy and focus levels, but also relationships.

In today’s modern society where both husband and wife OR mother and father (if you prefer) are working full-time with only a few hours to spare in the evening for the kids and one another, having these additional commitments (as I like to call them) can seriously strain your relationship with one another and also with those dear to you like family and friends. Suddenly, there’s no more time for that weekend away, or dinner dates or even just a quiet chat. Support is such a crucial thing when these storms appear on the horizon of life with love keeping you strong and pushing you through it as it quickly passes. But it is also in these moments when the storms that we don’t experience together (work pressure, personal feelings or emotions) may possibly cause us to not fully support or love as we should.

Life gets hard, it becomes a challenge and in between there is the risk of failing your loved ones deeply. The feeling of inadequacy and the fear of losing what’s most important to you comes to haunt your mind causing lack of sleep, which in its own makes any situation even worse. Especially in my case as I am probably the worst person ever when overtired.

I read a short article the other day and it stated that the following 5 things can cause a marriage to fail:

  • Overcommitment and physical exhaustion
  • Money conflict or excessive debt
  • Selfishness
  • Unhealthy relationships with in-laws
  • Unrealistic expectations

When reading this we all are most likely to at least identify one of these in our current situations. That is why honest communication within a relationship remain the most critical factor in making your marriage a successful one.

Now, I may work in PR/Communications – so naturally you’d assume that this factor (communication) should be great in my personal relationships as well, right? Well, no, not necessarily. You see, in business there’s no feeling its straight-forward, but in personal relationships, well they’re personal. I’m also a people pleaser, which means that I will try and do all that I can to keep those I love happy (even if it means not communicating my true feelings for the greater good of avoiding conflict). But then these storms (the ones we create and the ones that arise naturally) come on the horizon and the people pleaser is physically not able to please everyone. It results in those who mean the world to you taking a back seat on the priority list as you have to ‘check emails, post social media posts, do assignments, coordinate event logistics, write content’ and ‘cook supper, clean the dishes, bath the little ones’ – all things required for your family’s well-being. But isn’t your time and attention also a priority? YES, of course! But it’s physically not possible for us humans to be as productive (for a lack of a better word) as we’re pushing ourselves to be.

So what’s the solution? Well, if you know please let me in on the secret! I’ve yet to find it. The closest solution that I’ve come upon is remaining open and communicating with your partner – remember the vows you gave on your wedding day, appreciate one another’s flaws and support one another. Hold each other’s hand as you walk through the storms and leave the criticism and resentments where they should be, in the movie review section of the newspapers!

And lastly, LOVE one another no matter what! It’s what got your to marry one another in the first place.

Chantelle
x

Random Thoughts

Sorry I’ve been so quiet (but I can make it up to you!)

So here I am, the working mom within an industry that requires attention from you 24/7 and a toddler that’s in desperate need of her mommy’s love and attention. Not even to mention how my (might I just say AWESOME) husband is feeling. #CanYouSayNeglected

It’s tough being a working parent. Oh wait, it’s tough being a parent…full stop! Not only are you responsible for the life of another, you have to lead by example – that means keeping your cool, no matter how tired, frustrated or upset you are. This is something I am personally struggling with as I’m sure some of you are as well.

 THE REASON FOR MY ABSENCE….? Being too busy with work and not focusing on my family and personal growth. Needless to say, instead of this easing things up and increased productivity it has made me grumpy, frustrated and at some stages just plain stressed. Why? Well, that’s a story for another day (or blog post). The short version is that I need to realign my focus to what’s important – my beautiful baby (um, toddler) girl, my superman hubby and my blog.

 So with all that said, I apologise for the silent treatment and to make it up to you I will be doing a little feature for MooMoo Kids (watch this space!) and you could be the lucky winner of a lovely prize to spoil your little one!

 Here’s to a more balanced life and many more blog posts here on Mama & Me (raising a glass of wine because you know it’s really made to be mommy’s coping mechanism 😉🍷)

 Much love, Chantelle