Thursday, December 27, 2012

I am a flag

Its been a rough day for me. I had been given the promise of being a red flag during this Christmas season. The first few days was good and I did so well. And then I started slipping and struggling. The joy went the peace went.

Today, like many other days I really battle with breastfeeding my older baby. I am emotionally drained and physically tired and tender by her demands as well as those of the other two.

I am reading a Genesis Bible study. And finally ran out of the house to go for a walk. Its cold and windy and I turn to go back. "Flags do not go inside when it gets windy" I hear Him say. That's when they are displayed best. I walk through the chill and think of Abraham and Sarah and Hagar. I am struck more and more about the fact that His covenant does not rely on their goodness. I look at the sea, the waves. I am your God and you are My child, the Creator whispers. MY Covenant does not rely on your goodness. Wow. Breathe. Write it on my heart.

But I still struggle with basic choices. What do I do. "Whatever you decide in life, there will always be people who encourage, affirm and agree, and people who disagree and criticise. It should never be about that.

And then I heard Him say, you have never made any motherhood decision based on what is the easiest on you. That is your thing."

I am a flag.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

There will be life after mom

My mom moved out today. I can't bring myself to look out the window at the dark garden flat. Her light on meant the difference between sanity and total breakdown many nights when my babies did not want to sleep. She is a late reader and I loved being able to send her a message and just know she is out there also awake.
She moved in when I had one toddler and now, 2.5years and 2 homebirths later she is leaving me to mother 3 alone. I do not mean that in a bad way, like she is letting me down. I just mean that now I have to mother without her extra pair of hands, her glasses of wine, her help with bath time and bed time, my extra half hour sleep in the morning when the little ones would rather go have tea with Ouma, etc. I do not know what this will mean for me, or the kids. I know I will be fine. And I know I am happy for her. And I know that it will be great to have a mother's home again, where I can go visit and where the kids can sleep over. But I will miss my mom. I will miss having her here, so close. Her presence, her light, her help, her unconditional love and support and her glasses of wine.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The new soft voice

I have said it before, that the pain and struggle in labour prepares you for motherhood. I want to say it again.
This birth was very different. No neighbours or passersby would have heard me calling for help! No, I was focussed and at peace. I did not scream once. I was breathing in and breathing out. Seeing myself floating in cool waters like a sea turtle, making no ripples. My husband helped, my midwife helped, the birth pool helped, but I did it. I sometimes felt like I was between two big waves, just survived the one and unsure whether I will survive the next. But I had no choice. It was then that I heard it. A soft voice, my own, saying something that it never had before: you can do this. I almost laughed at the voice, wanting to tell it that I do not respond well to that kind of encouragement and belief in my own abilities, never have, but I was too tired and let it talk. 
Well I did do it, and I did it well. And now when it is rough with three kids under 5 and I want to burst into tears and self pity like I always do, I hear a familiar new voice. It says, today is a bad day, but tomorrow will be different, and you can do this. And now I believe it.

Waiting for Nancy

I find it interesting how we cannot wait for our babies. When we know beforehand that we are in for this thing for 40weeks, why do we always expect them to come sooner? I have watched all my friends go through it, never expecting to find myself in the same place. And still, here I am, not even 40weeks, and so sad that she has not arrived yet. Why is this? What can we do to prevent it? I have tried so hard from the beginning to not place my hope on the Expected Due Date, and here I am expecting her not even ON the date, but BEFORE. Everyday I wait and every morning I am sad to start a new day without her. And can I just mention that she is nr 3, which means there are plenty of other little people keeping me busy which should create hesitation on my part to rush her!
Recently there has been so much research to prove the difference between just 38 and 39 weeks, that planned ceasers are now not done before 39weeks. That should mean that the difference between 39 and 40 is also huge.
I have the best ideas and reasons in the world why it would suit me if she should come on this date or that. Problem is, and this was my lesson once again, IT IS NOT ABOUT ME. How can I decide when a human being should be born? Who am i to think i know the number of her days? No no, I had to sit back again and say your will be done, not mine. Nancy you come when you’re ready. I will be waiting.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Preparing for birth and baby

I was sitting in my kids room the other night and realised again that I have romanticised the whole birth experience. I am so full of positive information, great encouragement and wonderful memories from my previous time, that I have forgotten how painful it really was. There is a part of me that feels so unprepared for the pain and another part that says, leave her, she needs that mindset now. Interesting how we have the ability to do this as human beings. When we are engaged, we here people's comments about how tough marraige is, but brush it aside as mere personal experience, instead of a warning to make good preparations and choose wisely. When we want to have children we hear and see others struggle with small kids and smile and think, how special. I think it is nature's way of pushing us into the next season, for who would have gone into everything knowing exactly how hard it would be?
So I have accepted my romanticised point of view of my upcoming labour. I am embracing it. Thinking only of the special time with my husband, the intimitate hours when everyone else is asleep, the feeling of the achievement when you have successfully gone through it, and the smell of your baby as she looks into your eyes. I remind myself to buy snacks, to get a good dvd, to choose music, decide about a birth pool or not, and pray that she will come when it is easiest on my other kids.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Wisdom from Hannah

Hannah was a good mother. But she gave up a small child to grow up in a temple! Sure, she kept her promise and gave back what God gave her, but I believe there is some wisdom for mothering that lies in the verses after that*: She visited her son every year and brought him a robe that she made for him. Why does this make her a good mother?
I believe that a big part of our role as a mother, is to cloak, robe or clothe our kids with who they are.
Think of a king's robe, or a minister's robe or a judge's robe. What we are clothed with says something about who we are, to ourselves as well as to others. It helps us stand up proudly and be that. It is our responsibility, as mothers, to find out who our children are and start clothing them. Not literally, although it might include that, but with our words and our actions and our prayers. "This is who you are. You are so good at that. I know you can do this. I think you should give that a try. I believe in your ability to do this." But not for everything in life. We need to direct them with our words. Not where we want them to go. But where they need to go, because of who they are.
Who told us that our children need to be all rounders? Why can they not be bad in certain things but be brilliant in others? We should stop trying to correct all the shortcomings we see in them and start boosting the talents and abilities that they do have. But once again, this means we have a responsibility to find our who they are. I pray for wisdom daily to raise my children individually. To discipline, teach and love them according to who they are and where they are going. I do not wish to say that I am "this" type of mother, but rather that my firstborn is this type of person, the second one is that type and the next one yet another. I want to study them and help them become who they are. Lets help our children to see their strengths and to take the responsibility that comes with that strength.
I want to start making robes. A different one for each child. One that will help them, strengthen them and build their character.
* 1Samuel 2:19

Sunday, November 28, 2010


I have been thinking about the conversation all day.
We were talking about people abusing or neglecting their kids. They had a choice, you know, I said, they chose to have children, now they have a responsibility to take care of them.
And that's when she said, That's why I have no problem with abortion. I kept silent and wondered. I had many friends who had abortions in college, they still remember their baby's birthdays every year, still think about them, she said. And then I spoke.
I have a passion for adoption. I find it sad that girls do not know they have another option. We freely accept abortion,and speak against keeping and taking care of the baby, but forget to tell them they have another option. That is why I wish I could talk to them, reach them at school level and tell them about the third option, I said. Talking about an unwanted pregnancies: They believe they only have these two horrible options, either keep the baby they do not want, or abort the baby. I want to tell them about the thousands of families waiting to love, adore, care for and provide for these babies. AND they are chosen and screened to be parents! They have everything to give a baby, from love to finances. All their medical expenses could be paid for, AND they can help choose the family where their baby is placed. Is this not a better option?
(I think of my little man, and wonder about the families that would have loved those babies.)
Well, I do believe in the Buddist way, that souls are searching for and choosing their next homes, she said later. I do not believe that. I know God gives one life to each soul, and He places them where He wants to. But I know she heard the point. My son was always mine, no matter where he came from. I am thankful to and have great respect of the person who chose to save his life and give him to me.