TOP TIPS FROM PARENTING BLOGGERS


Raising children is anything but predictable, even after reading all the parenting books under the sun! We interviewed five parenting bloggers to get some top tips for our Jet Club family.



ABIEDA SIERS FROM CRAZY MOM JOURNAL 


Abieda is a working mom with adorable twin girls and a baby boy. She started Crazy Mom Journal to express her feelings about the daily happenings in her life as a mom, which she feels can be rather chaotic.

1. Top tip for new parents?
A fed baby is the best baby. While we all know that breastfeeding is the best nutritional choice for babies (there is plenty of information on this), formula feeding is fine too. Many new parents are dead set on breastfeeding, and that is perfectly fine but sometimes – in fact quite often – circumstances don't allow for it. I've been through it with all my kids. My advice is simply to feed your child – whether breast milk or formula. You will still bond with your child and they will do well and thrive, either way.

2. What’s been your biggest parenting fail?
I won't say this is the biggest because there are plenty of epic fails on the regular, but one morning we were going about our normal routine when all of a sudden my daughter came running into our room devastated that the tooth fairy hadn’t paid a visit to her the night before. Realising that we had forgotten, my husband and I devised a plan (under our breath) to get the ‘tooth fairy’ to leave the money and take away the tooth. I calmly told my daughter that the tooth fairy must have been busy and she was probably still on her way. Surprisingly, she accepted the explanation, and I distracted her while my husband planted the money and took the tooth. A little while later I nonchalantly mentioned to her to check under her pillow. I’m still not sure if she believed me!

3. Let's talk tantrums. What's the strangest thing one of your kids has ‘lost it' over?
I always put my lipstick on in the car and most times it's when my kids are with me. Recently, my 17-month-old son saw me apply my lipstick and motioned to me to give it to him. I gave him my lip-gloss instead. It's sheer and glossy so no one can actually see that he has a gloss on his face. After a few seconds I asked him to give it back, which he did – but when he realised that I wasn't going to give it back to him, he full-on lost his marbles for the rest of the journey to my in-laws. Never again!

4. My advice on setting up a daily routine is: 


• Set realistic routine goals and plan, in writing, how you are going to manage your daily household routine. This makes life a lot easier.

• Find things that can aid your routine in a positive way. A weekday reward chart is a great way of motivating your child or children to be helpful. A reward at the end of the week gives them a sense of achievement.

• Change your routine to suit your family’s needs. If you find that a particular method and task isn't working, change it so that your whole family is accommodated.

• Discuss with your husband or partner what duties they can take over. This way, your child gets to bond with both parents.

• Don't be so hard on yourself if things don't run smoothly – a lot of it is trial and error!

5. What's your favourite thing about being a mom blogger?
I would say the enormous community of amazing people that has developed over the years. No longer do you find that mommy bloggers are the underdogs of blogging. Our platforms give us the freedom to voice our opinions and thoughts. I don’t think that there is a right or wrong way of voicing your opinions. I love that I get to interact with so many people at any given time, whether it’s a follower or fellow blogger. I have met some wonderful mommy bloggers with whom I have become friends. There is enough space for all of us to flourish and thrive.

6. How do you take time out for yourself?
I actually wrote a blog post on this and you can find it here. I have decided that this year I want to focus on my fitness and my health. So a lot of me-time revolves around fitness. Also, once a month, after payday, my husband and I will go out on a date and we make a day of it. And sometimes I will call up a friend and go for lunch just to reconnect. I also love taking a bath – and watching series after everyone has gone to bed is one of my favourite things; I'm currently hooked on Dynasty. Lastly, I try to wake up about 30 minutes before everyone else, sometimes just to have a cup of tea and read an article. The house is always quiet and peaceful then.


TERRAN WILLIAMS FROM THE DAD DUDE


Terran is based in Cape Town and has five kids with the love of his life, Julie. (He says that his TV isn’t broken!) Terran loves surfing and recording his journey as a parent on his blog, The Dad Dude.

Top tip for new parents?
Everything is going to change. You can see it as scary, or you can change your viewpoint to see it as exciting. Don't let the pressures of this new season undermine your love for each other as partners. You're going to feel neglected by each other as a new focal point comes into each of your lives. That's okay – but as time goes on you need to prioritise each other. You're partners before parents. Your best gift to your kids is the quality of your relationship with one another, which will take a knock but must be intentionally fortified in the coming years.

What’s been your biggest parenting fail?
Being too firm with my firstborn and not being firm enough with my last born! Our kids need love and leadership. If you don't lead them, don't say you love them, because kids need to know that mom and dad are their rightful leaders in the earliest years of their life. When they leave home you will be their buddies hopefully, but in the years before that, they need parents, not peerents.

Let’s talk tantrums. What’s the strangest thing one of your kids has ‘lost it’ over?
Trying to take a marble away from them at bedtime because I didn't want them to accidentally swallow it set off World War 3! The more tired your kid is, the more irrational they become.

What’s your advice on how to set up a daily routine for your kids?
Now that my kids are in preschool and school, two time slots are very important – early mornings before school and after 5pm. Julie and I have a “no screens” rule at that time for ourselves so we can be attentive to our kids. In the mornings, the older kids and I have the “triple S challenge”: 1) Scripture – we read a few verses together. 2) Seven – we do a fun exercise using the 7-Minute Exercise app created by Johnson and Johnson. 3) Smoothie – we eat something healthy. As for the evenings, it's 5 pm fun, followed by dinner where we try to have a conversation, then homework, bath and bedtime reading and cuddles. We try to start and end each day connected.

What's been your favourite thing about being a dad blogger?
Parenting often feels so repetitive, boring, draining and exhausting – we just thoughtlessly go into autopilot. As a writer, I am forced to learn more, apply what I learn more, and reflect on my practice more.

How do you take time out for yourself?
I surf. The replenishment that gives me makes me a better dad and husband (that's how I pitch it to Julie!) Also, once or twice a week we hit a green belt near our house. It's such a win – everyone's tank gets filled.


JUWAYRA FROM CURLYHEADS & DIMPLES


Juwayra is a full-time working mom of three – two boys and a teenage girl. On Curley Heads & Dimples she shares how to cope with the pressures of being a full-time working mom, a wife, homemaker and a natural-hair enthusiast.

Top tip for new parents?
Baby cuddles are so good, but my grandma taught me not to pick up my baby unless she needs to feed, needs a nappy change or is crying. Just let them be if they’re calm and quiet. This meant that I had enough free time for other things like taking a shower or drinking a cup of tea.

What’s been your biggest parenting fail?
There were so many times when I sat in the car ready to leave, and my husband would ask me where's the baby? #TrueStory! Don't ask me how or why, it just happened a lot of times.

Let’s talk tantrums. What’s the strangest thing one of your kids has ‘lost it’ over?
All three of my kids hated long-sleeved shirts. On colder mornings when I dressed them, they would literally fight me while I tried to put on their shirts. It was chaos and I’ve finally learnt my lesson – when my youngest started school this year – and stopped trying to convince them to wear long-sleeved shirts.

What’s your advice on how to set up a daily routine for your kids?
None of my kids are morning people so I let them do most of what they need to do the night before, so our morning can run more smoothly. I guess one could say that you need to plan routines around your kids’ personalities. Keeping your routine simple makes it easier for your kids to get used to. Also, make it fun – I used to wake up my kids with a song every morning, because just telling them to get up often got me a kick in the stomach and loads of tears!

What's your favourite thing about being a mom blogger?
Being a mom blogger means you meet other mom bloggers too. You see how they do things and what they go through, and you find out that you’re not alone. You also learn from the experiences they share and get inspired by how they handle motherhood, even though it might be different to how you do things.

How do you take time out for yourself?
My husband and I spend almost all our time together with our kids, but there are times when he takes the kids somewhere and I get to stay home, read a book and just lounge about in my pyjamas.


ZAAHIDA JOEL FROM JOURNEY WITH MUM 

She’s not only a mommy of three, but also a doula and digital freelancer. Her blog, Journey with Mum, is all about making life easier for new moms, so that they can more easily navigate the different stages from pregnancy into the journey of motherhood and beyond.

Top tip for new parents?
Do what feels right for you and what is best for you, for now. Not what every other person thinks is best for you. Focus on your own wellbeing and that of your baby and immediate family, and don't compare your life to those of others. Oh, and hire a doula – new moms don't have to go through this journey alone!

What’s been your biggest parenting fail?
Not co-sleeping with my first two babies. I read all the fancy magazines and lists of things that are supposedly needed to raise a baby. We are told we need a cot, a pram, this and that gadget etc. I would have had so much more peaceful sleep and free time, and less anxiety and depression if I had known about co-sleeping the first time round – and I’d have had calmer, more secure babies who cried less and weren’t so clingy.

Let’s talk tantrums. What’s the strangest thing one of your kids has ‘lost it’ over?
I offered her some warm tea before bed to which she said yes. She willingly drank the tea, settled her into bed and I tucked her in and said prayers with her. I said goodnight, kissed and hugged her, and all the while she was quiet and calm. But as I walked away she started screaming, “BUT I DIDN’T WANT TEA, BUT I TOLD YOU I WANTED WARM MILK NOT TEA!!!!! BUT I TOLD YOU!!!” It really puzzled me as she just drank the tea and she hadn’t asked for milk.

What's been your favourite thing about being a mom blogger?
I love connecting with moms every day, teaching, inspiring and being able to listen to those who need someone to listen to them.


OLWETHU LESHABANE FROM ART OF SUPERWOMAN

She’s a media entrepreneur, speaker, sanitation and maternal health advocate and best of all a mom of three boys. Her blog, Art Of Superwoman, explores the ways of creating the perfect balance between being a wife, motherhood, entrepreneurship and self-love.

Top tip for new parents?
Firstly, take all advice with a pinch of salt.
Secondly, do you and build up your own cultures as a parent.
Lastly, it’s okay. To fall apart, find someone who will be your accountability partner so you’re not falling apart and staying apart.

What’s been your biggest parenting fail?
Self-doubt. I sometimes feel like I’m not on top of things. But who is?

Let’s talk tantrums. What’s the strangest thing one of your kids has ‘lost it’ over?
I thought I’d seen it all. Malik, my 1-year-old, lost it when he saw me pick up my car keys and walk through the house with my handbag. The child threw himself onto the ground because he thought I was leaving. LOL!

What’s your advice on how to set up a daily routine for your kids?
I’m still figuring it out. I took for granted what it takes to get 3 kids ready for a day out. It’s a lot! So many moving parts and so many hands are needed!

What's been your favourite thing about being a mom blogger?
I guess the fact that I’m sharing my journey and being vulnerable. It is healing when other moms say, “Oh my gosh, me too!”

How do you take time out for yourself?
When I feel I need it, I take it. I book myself into a spa, hotel or get on a flight. I put measures in place to ensure my kids are taken care of and then I go reboot.
TOP TIPS FROM PARENTING BLOGGERS TOP TIPS FROM PARENTING BLOGGERS Reviewed by Jet Club on May 22, 2019 Rating: 5

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