Reflecting on 2016

Lifestyle, motherhood, Relationships

          As we reach the last day of 2016, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on what a year it has been and also my goals for the coming year. 

          To say 2016 has been a year of change is an understatement. This has been both for the good and bad. For me this year started as a nightmare as I lost my younger brother in January – two weeks after his 18th birthday and on the day of my partner’s birthday. The thing that hurts the most about his death is that he wasn’t sick but died from a stab wound to the neck.

          I still play back in my mind the moment my father broke the news to me. Part of me also died when my brother died and I honestly didnt believe there was anything that could take place in 2016 that would make me feel better about this year but God had other plans. About a month or so after my brother’s death, I fond out I was pregnant. 

          I had not been trying and it wasn’t something I thought would happen so soon but I took it as a sign from God that although he has taken away something so valuable to me, he’s also given me something just as valuable and taken me to the next stage of my life. My brother is irreplaceable but my daughter’s birth has helped me find joy again.

          To me 2016 feels like the shortest year of my life. It doesn’t feel like I’ve gone through the full 12 months at all. My only memories of 2016 has been of a death and birth and I’m so grateful to God for both. 

          I’m grateful that I was blessed enough to have had my brother for 18 years, although I still feel that it wasn’t near to enough time here with him. Nonetheless, I’m grateful for the time we spent together and the memories I have of him which I will treasure in my heart until we meet again. I’m also grateful and thankful to God for choosing me, as unworthy as I am, and entrusting to me such a responsibility as to be someone’s mother. To experience the miracle of childbirth and the joys of motherhood. 

          I’m also grateful for life in general. Life isprecious  and so so short. We often think we have time – time to follow that dream, time to travel, time to do that course at university, time to say I love you to loved ones. The actual truth is that our time here on earth is limited so there’s no point in putting off things that we want to do or achieve or putting off our time with family and friends, thinking there will be a next time. 

          I don’t want to set resolutions for the new year. Instead I want to live each moment of the rest of my life as deliberately as I can. I want to deievrately love, laugh, enjoy my family and all the blessings that God has bestowed upon me and those which are awaiting me in the future. I want to stop and smell the roses more often. I want to take more pictures and make more memories. I want to travel with my daughter and teach her what I know. I want to be the best partner to my other half and the best friend to my friends. I want to strive to be the best version of me everyday and to praise God more, in any and every circumstances.

          To everyone out there I wish a prosperous, healthy and happy new year, filled with Love, joy, patience, compassion, success and good healthy because we are all here but only for a limited time so as cliche as it may sound, we need to grab it by the horns and live it to the fullest!

          Happy New Year 2017!!

          Love, 
          Lilia

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          What’s in a name

          Lifestyle, motherhood, Relationships

          Baby girl is finally registered!!

          I was excited to finally get her birth certificate so we can apply for her passport because mummy and daddy love to travel. At the same time I was kinda dreading having to go to the registry office because we still hadn’t decided on a middle name for her. In fact this has been the elephant in our room which we happily ignored for the last six weeks.

          Although we’re both of African origins, my partner and I are from different countries in Africa. This in itself has never been an issue in our relationship because, well why would it be? We’re two human beings who are in love and respect our cultural differences and that to us has always been what mattered.

          Funny enough a year before I even found out I pregnant, we had already picked a name for my daughter. No, we weren’t planning to start a family just yet but we thought it would be fun and/or funny to see what names we liked and innocently googled potential names when we came across a name we both loved. So when I found out I was having a girl, we pretty much called her by her name. 

          Although we’re not married yet, we agreed that she’d have his surname as I plan on changing mine to his when we do get married,so that wasn’t a problem. However, when baby girl was born, I suppose for the first time I was greeted with our cultural differences- and not necessarily in the way I had liked. His family wanted to be involved in the name picking as per their tradition. This didn’t sit vey  well with me  just because I didn’t want anyone else to name my kid. I also didn’t want to name her after a relative or anything traditional like that. I wanted her to have her own name so she could have a fresh start.  This of course caused a arguments with my partner and pretty much tested our relationship in a different way than we were used to before. Because culture and traditions can be a sensitive subject and out of respect for each other, we pretty much avoided the conversation when it came to middle names for the six weeks until our appointment today. 

          As the date got closer, I know that we both were thinking about what was to come but neither had the courage to say anything in fear of further arguments on the subject. What a pair of cowards, right!

          The inevitable happened of course and we were asked if baby girl had any middle name(s). I don’t know what it was but at that moment I realised that it was unfair to deny my daughter of half of who she is and although I don’t necessarily see the point in naming your child after a day of the week (partner’s originally from Ghana), I knew that it meant a lot To my partner that she had a name which followed his tradition. I realised that my daughter was a mixture of two beautiful African cultures and I wanted that to be represented in her names. So in that moment, I proudly told the registrar that she was going to have two middle names. One to represent each parent’s origins.

          One thing being a mother does, is make you selfless. You want to do what’s best for your kid and sometimes that’s the hardest thing to do because you may not necessarily agree.I am proud of myself for not letting my pride come in the way of the blessing that is our daughter. I want her to be proud of who she is and where she comes from. I will teach her to embrace both cultures and to carry both traditional names with pride and respect because whether we name our kids after loved ones,  or we just name them after a name we really like….it will be how they and the world identifies them so why not give them a name with a significant meaning, a name that has a story. At least that’s the case for us.

          Now off to get her passport made. Wish me luck in getting her to photos taken!

          Love,
          Lilia

          Ripping off the band aid

          Lifestyle, motherhood

          Last night was my first time going out since I gave birth just under six weeks ago. The other half Has been organising this annual Christmas dinner thing for our close friends and family for a couple of years now and to continue with our little tradition he wanted to do one this year too.  Seeing as I only gave birth just under six weeks ago however, i was a. It reluctant about it and was hoping we’d skip this year since the baby is still so small. Quite frankly seeing as  I no longer sleep for more than 2 hours at a time, I would rather spend my evenings resting at home cuddling than spending time doing normal adult things.

          To be honest, even while he booked the restaurant and was sending out invitations, I still somehow managed to convince myself that it wouldn’t go ahead as he’d realise that we just had too much on our plate but as we got closer and closer to the time, I had to accept that the annual dinner was going ahead and though I suggested staying home whilst he went, I knew that he needed my support on this.

          So this week Ive felt like a crappy mum, filled with anxiety and guilt overload. Can you blame me? I’ve been with my baby every second of everyday since she’s been born and the thought of not having her in my presence, even if only for a couple of hours is still hard to imagine.

          When Saturday finally came, mymny guilt got the best of me and I had to take a moment to cry about it.  Yes, ive become a big softy since this whole mother thing and I’m kinda not ashamed to admit it. Sue me if you will!

          I finally forced myself to get dressed, do my hair and put on make up which I haven’t done in months and actually felt good – followed by more guilt for feeling good about looking good. Go figure!!

          After showering her with a tsunami of kisses and crying like a pathetic woman, I let her daddy take her to grandma whilst I stayed in the car because the experience was just too traumatic for me (drama queen much?).

          The night went without a hitch and I’m sure I annoyed my mother in law with my constant check ups – especially because bubba was asleep most of the night but I just couldn’t help myself. 

          I now understand and agree with the other half that this had to happen but I’m still not in a hurry to leave her any time soon. His birthday is coming up next month and I’m thinking we’re gonna have to celebrate with a home cooked dinner – after all, 31 is hardly a milestone birth right? Now I just need to pitch it to him. Wish me luck?
          Love,
          Lilia

          I can’t catch a break

          motherhood

          So baby girl hasn’t been her normal self these last couple of days. I think she’s going through some sort of growth spurt or something. She’s being super clingy and has been holding my boobs hostage for hours at a time whilst comfort feeding. To add salt to injury, she’s also been constipated which means she’s even more cranky (or is it crankier) than usual.
          All this has of course meant NO sleep for moi – Raul ting in me also being cranky and irritable because all I want is TWO hours of shut eye so I can feel like a human being again. Every time I think she’s in a deep sleep and put her down, she lets me know who’s boss and wakes up with her beady eyes wide open and we start the cycle again.

          So last night after I’d been unsuccessfully attempting to get her to go down and let me breath (sleep) for a sec, fast forward 3:30am and she somehow manages to get her shit all over me. Yes, her nappy was intact. No, I have no idea how I ended up with shit in my hands….literally. I can tell you that the warmth of the poop woke up right up and where I’d definitely have died had it been any other baby, all I could do was thank God that she had finally managed to move her bowels and kissed her as I tried to work out I how to clean her AND myself. I’d somehow acquired super powers and managed to clean us both up without having to wake the other half for help. Her sleepsuit unfortunately was unsalvageable and had to be dashed in the bin. 

          At this point I’m giving myself a mental pat in the back for what I consider a great victory when little madam worked out I didn’t get punished enough and decided to be sick all over her newly changed clothes which then required more cleaning and another change of clothes.

          I mean….can I get a break??!!

          Love,

          Lilia 

          Mummyhood…a month so far

          motherhood

          I cannot believe it’s already been a month since I welcomed my bundle of joy and joined the mummy wagon. I can honestly say it has been the best experience of my life and I’m completely in love with my daughter (I’m still getting used to saying that!). Having said that however, I’d be lying if I said motherhood hasn’t brought with it some challenges and a lot of tears. 
          To celebrate my one month milestone, I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve experienced and learned so far in this journey. I could really go on and on but here are the top 10:
          1. Overwhelming Love – cliche as it may sound, you never truly understand love until you give birth and even then you can’t really put it into words because it’s nothing like you’ve ever felt before. All I know is that I’ve finally found my purpose in life. It still hasn’t registered to me that I birthed this perfect human being. She’s truly the cutest, most special little thing I’ve ever laid eyes on (yes, I’m bias).

          2. Paranoid & Overprotective -is it weird that I’m always thinking someone is going to kidnap my child or the million different other scary thoughts that run through my head? And the sudden case of separation anxiety and mummy guilt I can’t seem to shift.

          3. Breastfeeding is HARD – this topic deserves its own post which I will write about another time . All I can say for now is that it’s not always possible to breastfeed – even if that’s what you want to do. 

          4. No Sleep – now I can’t say that I wasn’t warned about this, especially towards the end of my pregnancy when everyone would tell me to sleep as much as I could. I knew that babies cried A LOT (amongst eating and pooping) but what I failed to appreciate is that although they seem like they’re constantly sleeping….new borns hardly sleep at night. Who knew I’d be grateful for a mere 3 hours sleep.

          5. Baby Poo – imagine my horror when my daughter pooped so much it actually came out her nappy and all over her AND me. How did I go through life without baby wipes before? And let’s not forget the constant farting!!!

          6. Baby Blues – post natal depression is real and although I was blessed enough not to suffer from it, I cried the first week or so after she was born and couldn’t even tell you why on most occasions.

          7. Still Breathing? – on top of constantly looking at my child in awe because I just can’t believe she’s mine (I may never get over this fact), when she’s asleep I often check to see if she’s still breathing and I know I’m not the only one.

          8. Prep Time – getting myself and the baby ready now takes me about 3 hours. And no…that doesn’t include make up or hair. And just as you’re about to leave the house, they need a feed or nappy change. Getting anywhere on time is now a thing of the past….and I don’t even feel bad about it. 

          9. Bye bye hygiene – a shower? Is it really necessary to have it on a daily basis? 

          10. Superwoman – brings a mother has made me realise that I can do almost anything…..one-handed AND probably blindfolded too!

          Love,

          Lilia

          Finally blogging!

          Lifestyle

          To say that I’ve been wanting to start a blog for some time now is a major understatement. Ive spent years trying to convince myself why I should blog (because I love writing and I think I’m kinda interesting….ish) whilst using the same amount of energy to talk myself out of doing it. Why exactly?? If I’m honest I’d say it’s fear. Of what exactly?? Lord knows!

          You see I’m a perfectionist but more than that I’m a control freak and though I’ve always loved writing, i’m my own toughest critic when it comes to anything. Gone are the days when I was a care free 13 year old who didn’t care about grammatical errors or trying to please anyone. I guess that’s because I didn’t write for an audience. I wrote what I felt only I had access to my notepads as diaries. Blogging however exposes one to the big World Wide Web and all the trolls that come with it. Truthbe told…that can be scary.

          What’s changed,you asked? Well, there is something about bringing life into the world that gives one the impression that one can do anything…..kinda like superwoman. So I’m nervously writing this post at 3am as I hold my one month old daughter who doesn’t yet understand that night time is for sleeping because I realise that I owe it to myself to do what I love….dammit I owe it to my future readers who I’m sure will appreciate me sharing.

          I started this blog to document my life as I experience the joys and challenges of motherhood for the first time whilst trying to juggle life, love and everything in between. There will be errors if all kinds and I’ll still critic myself harshly because that’s just who I am but for the first time in years….all that matters to me is that I just WRITE.

          So hop in and enjoy the ride!

          Love,
          Lilia