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Appreciate your spouses – A letter to you

Treatmesweetlie About Me 1

To Zieyaad, my follower and to all whom have chosen to read this post

I felt ill today and could not get myself to parent. Zieyaad was out as he had a business meeting to attend to, so I was alone with my little girl. I therefore plonked myself on the couch and gave Ammaarah the opportunity to have as much TV time as she could wish for in one sitting, so that I could have some time to get my energy levels up. I felt physically terrible, and mentally guilty for using the TV to help me gain some time to just relax. And then I posted this picture on Instagram

Appreciate your spouses

…and this picture sparked a waterfall of emotions for me! One of my followers reached out to me, sharing with me that she too was struggling with parenting lately, except that with her, her husband had passed away recently. At that moment, when I read her message, my heart sunk deep into my chest. I could not begin to fathom how she could possibly be feeling.

I never shared this story with you before, a story that will always be held dear to my heart. When I was a few months pregnant with Ammaarah, my sister lost her husband. This was almost three years ago now. It was sudden, unexpected and a complete blow to our lives. It was a really challenging time for all of us, but most of all for his parents and my sister. I watched my sister, from the side, as she mourned her husband, the father of  my 3 month old nephew at the time.

For me, it seemed as though we would never be able to get passed this happening in our lives. I cannot speak on behalf of my sister, but if that is how I felt, I have no idea how she possibly felt. For months, I watched how she mourned her loss, I watched how she became stronger, I watched how she allowed ease to enter her heart and I watched how she was granted understanding as time passed by. And it was during this time, where I truly grew closer to the Almighty, and I grew appreciative of the wonderful blessings I have in my life (one of which is my Zieyaad). Fortunately, as time passed by, the wounds healed, the pain became easier and the loss became more bearable. But unfortunately, as time goes on and as wounds heal, you begin to forget the pain and you begin to slip into a world of normality again, taking for granted the many many things we have in our present lives that we need to be thankful and grateful for.

Right now, I am laying on my bed drafting this blog post. My wonderful husband has taken Ammaarah to visit her cousins, so that I can have some time to rest. This is something that he does for me quite often, and it is something that I sometimes take for granted. And had you not reached out to me today (and you know who you are), I would have simply put on my pj’s and gone straight to bed after Zieyaad and Ammaarah had left, with no second thought to the one more wonderful thing my husband has done for me.

He really is my rock and my main form of human support in this life. He makes me coffee every morning, he cooks most of the time, he bathes Ammaarah, he plays with her, he wakes up in the middle of the night when Ammaarah is restless or needs some milk (partly so that I can sleep), he always makes sure that we are fed, he will easily and without a whim drive out late at night to fulfil my pregnancy cravings, he always puts us first, he makes sure that everything around the house runs smoothly, when I need the heels of my shoes replaced – he takes them to the shoe repairer for me, he always makes sure both Ammaarah and I take our medicine on time when we are ill, when I am working late he does everything for Ammaarah and makes sure that there is something for me to eat when I get home, when I need to go somewhere (alone) and I don’t feel like driving he will gladly take me, he wipes the sand off my feet when we come from the beach because he knows I don’t like the feeling, and that is only but to name a few! He does everything for us and sometimes I am just not grateful and appreciative enough. (To my Zieyaad, I am sorry!)

So firstly to whomever has decided to read this post – appreciate your spouses! Appreciate the many different ways they portray their love to you. Take a moment to forget about the things that they don’t do, but to remember the forgotten things that they do, on a daily basis, without any ask and without any complaint. Life is short, too short, and none of us are able to see into the future. There may not be a tomorrow, so don’t wait until tomorrow to say something as simple as ‘thank you’.

Then to my follower, who reached out to me today because of something I said that resonated with her. This post is not meant to remind you of what you have lost, but rather to remind you of what the Almighty has blessed you with – some blessings for a period of time, and some blessings for the rest of your time on this earth.  A post to remind you that you were the chosen one to be made his wife and the chosen one to be made the mother of his children. You were the person, that was chosen for him, for him to love and for him to make happy, through to the end of his life on this earth. You were the person, that was chosen for him, to love him and to make him happy through to the end of his life on this earth. You have been granted the gift of being able to share all that he has taught you with others around you, so that he may always receive the reward for his actions on this earth. You have been granted the gift, to be able to mother his children and to love them until the end of your life on this earth. You have been granted the gift, of being able to create memories with him, that will last you for this lifetime and the hereafter IA. You have been granted with many gifts, none of which will appear to be as such at this point in time, but which will become more clear as time passes by.

And then to my Zieyaad, my dear husband and the father of my children. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you do for me, Ammaarah and our unborn baby. I thank you for the countless ways you show love towards me. I thank you for dedicating your life on this earth to making your girls happy. I appreciate you and everything that you do for me. And I promise to be better at always showing you my appreciation. I truly am the luckiest girl, to have been granted you to be my husband. I love you, with all the love that my heart is able to share with another human on this earth. May our lives together always be happy and successful IA!

xxx

Radhia

Appreciate your spouses

 

 

 

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What if I love Porschie #2 more?

What if I love Porsche #2 more?

It seems to be normal, that when baby number 2 is on his or her way, that a mother would fear that she would not be able to love baby number 2 as much as baby number 1. Sound familiar? Well for me, it is somewhat different, because my fear is completely  the opposite! What if I love Porschie #2 more?

You see, I had a really rough start to motherhood. The delivery did not go as planned, there were epidural complications causing 2 weeks of intense recovery (read more about my birth story here), I struggled with breastfeeding for at least 8 weeks, Ammaarah had gas and wouldn’t stop crying, I most certainly suffered from post natal depression, and and and… In hind site, I absolutely know that I truly was my own worst enemy and it was mainly self inflicted, but regardless, I experienced those things. And those things unfortunately caused me to not love my baby from the moment I saw her – you know, that ‘love at first sight’ emotion you are supposed to feel when you finally meet your little one? Well not for me. I think I only fell in love with her after a few months. I mean, of course I loved her, my maternal instincts would not allow anything else, but I did not feel that unexplainable feeling of warm custard flowing through every part of your body – that feeling of love – until months later!

Hence my fear…what if I love Porschie #2 more, as early as from the start? What if I am granted that blessing of ‘love at first sight’ with Porschie #2? What if I feel that unexplainable feeling of warm custard from the get go?

I have no doubt that I will love my children equally – as best as I know how. I have no doubt that I will do my utmost best for them, always. I have no doubt that I will treat them as individuals, but all equal in terms of being my children. But again, what if I fall in love with Porschie #2 earlier? Wouldn’t that already mean that I was treating my children differently? (My heart just cannot deal with the guilt!)

Almost 19 weeks now (alhamdulillah), and I can finally start to feel Porschie #2 in my belly. Those early feelings of flutters in your belly (when you are not quite sure if it is a fart or not), and then that confirming feeling of little pops in your belly. Especially when you sit quietly and concentrate on the absolute blessing growing in your belly! I can finally feel Porschie #2 and I have already fallen in love…but that guilt has unfortunately begun!

Am I crazy, to feel this way? Or is this perhaps normal? I have no idea, but one thing I know for sure, is that each pregnancy is most certainly different and that has been proven to me already! I can only but pray that I am granted with another successful 21 weeks of pregnancy and be granted with the greatest blessing of a baby number 2 (and a healthy baby) IA!

 

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Dummy weaning wasn’t so bad after all!

Dummy weaning

Would you believe me if I told you that Princess Porschie will be turning 2 years old in a few days time?? Every time we reach a new milestone, and it really happens each and every time, I think back and I am beyond shocked at how quickly time has passed by. I still remember it as though it was yesterday, when I was pacing my non stop crying baby around the house during her 4th trimester, with the dummy being one of my saving graces!

Dummy weaning

Because Ammaarah suffered with gas during the first 3 months of her life, I felt as though I had no choice but to use a dummy. She needed to suck for comfort, and being the human dummy all day long was way too exhausting for me to handle. Sometimes I wonder if I really had no choice, sometimes I wonder whether I tried hard enough so that she didn’t have to make use of the dummy. I suppose those type of feelings are normal, where you second guess some of the choices you made in life, wondering if it would have been better had you done something differently. But not long after those thoughts have entered my mind, I slowly remind myself that everything happens as it should, only by the will of the Almighty, and that Ammaarah using the dummy was most certainly meant to be.

Dummy weaning

As you know, Ammaarah has been the face and main representative of the Treatmesweetlie handmade pacifier (dummy) clips. And rightfully so, as she was the one who inspired the idea in the first place. Because of this, I must admit, I delayed dummy weaning as long as I possibly could because I selfishly tried to hold onto that precious memory for as long as I could….until I went shopping and I saw a 5-year-old kid (I am convinced the kid must have been 5!) sucking a dummy while watching YouTube videos on a mobile phone! Now I do apologise if that was your kid and believe me when I say that I am not judging you, but this image scared the living daylights out of me as I slowly began to imagine the same scenario in my mind, except with Ammaarah as the kid.

It was at that moment when I realised that it was time for the dummy to go!

I used to have nightmares about it though, wondering how on earth I was going to get Ammaarah to stop using the dummy. She absolutely LOVED her dummy and went nowhere without it. (Obviously, that was partly because we always attached it to her clothing!) It had become a habit for her, a habit more than a necessity. She only really sucked on it when she realised she was wearing it, when she found it while playing, or when she wanted to sleep. She began to use it less as a method of soothing herself when she was crying, another sign for me that it was pure habit. I unfortunately stopped nursing when Ammaarah was 6 months old (working and nursing was just too difficult for me to uphold), so there was thankfully also no need for me to hang onto the dummy for that type of weaning.

We started weaning soon after that incident in the shop, and we did it as follows:

  • We stopped attaching the dummy to her clothing. We didn’t refuse her when she asked for it though, or when she found one lying around and decided to use it, or when she wanted to sleep. And after a few days she stopped asking for it other than at sleeping time.
  • We started making sure there were no dummies lying around anywhere for her to find. For those whose kids uses dummies, you know that there is always more than 2 in your home, hiding somewhere in the weirdest of places! We tried our best to make it impossible for her to find one, and often failed because we didn’t ever realise how many we actually had at home!
  • I then started detaching the dummy from her after she had fallen asleep. It had also become habit for her to just reach out for it while sleeping and pop it into her mouth. Sometimes she would wake up looking for it (causing Zieyaad or I to have to walk to her room and give it to her), and sometimes she slept right through the night.
  • Once she started sleeping right through the night without looking for the dummy more frequently, I began to start her bed time routine without the dummy. The lights would be off, the milk would have been drunk and only once she realised she was falling asleep she would ask for the dummy. Which is only when I gave it to her.
  • I then started delaying giving her the dummy in the evenings, often until she eventually cried for it. She would ask for it and I would make up any excuse to say where it was, or why I was delaying fetching it for her. Eventually, she started falling asleep without it.
  • Once that happened, we packed away all of her dummies and managed her requests for it by saying that we left it at grandmas house (and when at grandma’s, saying that we left it at our home). This lasted for about 2 weeks, when she asked for it quite frequently. (Shame, I could tell that she was having withdrawal symptoms!) It was difficult at times, I must admit, especially when she really started crying for it. But much like any type of training, we needed to persevere and push through the most difficult stage.

And before we knew it, and without much stress or time, she was completely weaned off the dummy. It felt as though we succeeded at completing a marathon, with the stress being not knowing when we were going to decide to give in to her requests and give her the dummy!

We weaned her off the dummy just before we went on vacation. We were a little nervous for the flight, as we thought the sucking would help with blocked ears as we reached different altitudes in the air. But I refused to give up on the month-long process we had just been through to help her wean. And you know what, we were just fine! Ammaarah didn’t need the dummy at all, throughout our entire trip. Yay for more milestones!!!

We truly have been so blessed with an easy child. Those first 3 months was most certainly the most difficult thing I have ever endured, but it was totally worth knowing how blessed I would be after successfully passing through that 4th trimester! Always thankful and grateful to the Almighty for my countless blessings!

And now for the next stage in Ammaarah growing up…potty training! Oh how I am dreading this stage, especially those moments when she may decide to relieve herself when she is not on the potty or wearing a nappy!! But much like anything else in life, I am certain that everything will happen as it should and when it should.

xxx

Radhia

 

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My mommy body struggles 

Ever since I stopped nursing, I’ve noticed that I’ve slowly began to pick up weight. I stopped nursing more than a year ago now, as I couldn’t maintain expressing milk at work, while nursing Ammaarah in the mornings and evenings when I was with her. 

It started when I substituted feeds with formula as I was not able to express enough to keep up with her demand. Then it moved to stopping expressing all together because as I started to express more frequently and at a faster pace to try to keep up with demand, I ended up damaging myself. And then it moved to stopping completely. Without realising it, my little girl had been weaned after just 6 months. 

I must admit, I’m a little sad that I never had the chance (or possibly didn’t give myself a chance) to nurse Ammaarah for my goal of 2 years. Having said that however, I am very grateful that I had no struggle when I eventually decided to stop all together. 

But ever since I stopped nursing, my metabolism has changed completely and I am no longer able to sustain my pre mommy weight gain. My eating habits haven’t really changed (I usually eat all the time – small snacks of anything and everything), nor has my exercise habits changed (close to no activity), but my body just cannot seem to get rid of the intake anymore. This bothers me – at least about thrice every day. 

Now don’t get me wrong, and for those of you who may know me, I know I am not overweight. I know that I am not physically ‘fat’. But unfortunately, emotionally, I feel as though I am. I’ve always had this problem – being conscious about my weight. I’ve always had this thing about how much I weighed, but because my genetic compound allowed me to be rather skinny with absolutely no effort, I fell into a habit of little to no exercise. And now it’s catching up on me! 

Every morning, whilst dressing for work, I find myself feeling bothered by how snug my pant fits, or how my shirt fits more snug around my belly and hips than how it previously did. Every day, when I snack on something at my desk, I immediately feel the multiple rolls layered on my belly. Every evening, as I change into my pjs, I catch a glimpse of how my body has changed, making me feel rather awkward about myself. 

My body has changed and I’m struggling to accept it. 

I find myself looking at skinny models,actresses and tv presenters, wishing I was as skinny as them. I sometimes feel complete remorse after I have had a meal, regretting the choice we made for supper or the choice I made off the menu. I sometimes find myself researching the internet for quick and easy ways of losing weight – what tablet can I take that will make me lose the weight easily. 

I always bounce back from these thoughts rather quickly, reminding myself that I have become a mother, and that I have become a new me – both physically and emotionally – and that it was okay to feel the way that I often feel and to look the way that I look. But then those feelings creep back in rather easily again – after I have to select a size 12 pant off the rail and then it still fits snug, as an example. 

And I know that the only way for me to fix this is to first accept that I have changed, and then do something about it – changing my diet and exercising. But I am struggling to accept it, and I am struggling to find the time to exercise. I find myself doing a week of my own training, only to revert back to doing nothing the following week. Which then makes me feel even worse, making it even more difficult for me to accept. It’s like a viscous tumbleweed, that just keeps rolling and just keeps growing.

People think I’m crazy when I talk about this, telling me that I don’t need to worry about anything. And I’m sure many of you are possibly thinking that right now. But this unfortunately bothers me, and I really don’t know how to fix it… 

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Plans – what does that even mean? 

Treatmesweetlie

Right about now, I am laying in bed, in a very awkward position, with my little girl crawled up in the curve of the back of my neck. This is how she decided to fall asleep this evening.

 And I already know what you are thinking…what happened to sleep training where she is meant to fall asleep by herself? Mommy guilt happened, that’s what!

It’s been a rough couple of months. Work has been extremely challenging and demanding, which has resulted in working late on many nights and coming home after Ammaarah has already fallen asleep. So when I am home during bedtime, I take advantage of laying with her while she falls asleep. I’m trying my very best to make up for lost time. 

Now what has that done to our routine? Well, I actually don’t care. 

Routine has always been a very important part of my life. I’m the type of person that likes structure and a plan and then most of all actually following that plan. And when things don’t go according to plan, I normally have a mild freak out session! This is one of the biggest lessons I have learnt since becoming a mother – nothing goes according to plans anymore. It was really difficult for me to comprehend at first, but I think I’ve gotten used to it. 

Unfortunately the passed couple of months has proven that other plans are better than mine. And you know what, that’s okay. Our routine has been kicked to the curb and overtime we will build a new routine. 

Together with so many other things, I’ve been neglecting my blog for the longest time now, only because spare time has really been limited lately. Every free moment I have had has been spent with my family. I’ve had to reprioritise everything I do outside of work, and unfortunately my blog came up as last on the list. I suppose that is what life is about, making the most of every moment, always ensuring that you spend your time on the things that matter the most to you. 

And that is what I love most about my blog…there are no obligations. My blog is meant to depict the happenings of my life, and it truly has, because lately, there has just not been enough time for everything and nothing has gone according to my plan. 

Motherhood has truly taught me to have the utmost faith in the Almighty, because plans from above are superior to any plans I may have! 

Here’s to taking living life one moment at a time, living everyday to the best that I know how…

xxx

Radhia 

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Kidz Season Table Mountain giveaway worth R900! (Closed)

Table Mountain Giveaway

It is somehow always rewarding to share first time experiences with your little one. Whether it be their first tooth, first word, first knee scrape or their first visit to one of the seven wonders of nature, there is always some sort of sensation that comes with it that is absolutely indescribable. And that is exactly how I felt when the Table Mountain Cableway team hosted us for their first ever Cableway Kidz Season Meetup.

Table Mountain Giveaway

 

Table Mountain Cableway is currently running an awesome special this winter season and it is all themed around kidz. Two children under the age of 18 ride for free with every return adult ticket purchased from the Lower Cable Station (how awesome is that!). So if you are planning your schedules for the upcoming winter school holidays, be sure to add this one to you to-do-list.

Table Mountain Kidz Season Special

Now I kid you not, I freaked out multiple times during the days leading up to the Kidz Season Meetup at the thought of PP stumbling and rolling off the mountain! PP is at the stage where running is the only option and it is becoming more and more challenging to take her into crowded areas.  I truly was a nervous wreck as we made our way up the revolving cable car. I am fortunate enough to have been up Table Mountain before, but never did I consider the element of child safety up until it was time to take PP up the mountain.

But when we arrived at the top, I was pleasantly surprised to once again realise the pure beauty of the Almighty’s creation. Much like the name, it was like an open wide field of unstable cobblestones that awaited us. Barrier walls and wire fencing surrounded us, clearly marking pathways that should be taken. Demarcated areas of ‘no entry’ was clearly identifiable, making me feel comfortable enough to allow PP to wonder alone a few steps ahead of us. We of course had to keep a constant eye on her as accidents can happen at any time, but my heart was immediately placed at ease knowing that there was plenty of space for her to wander around without having to come close to the edge of the mountain.

Seeing the pure joy on her face while she explored a never before seen territory was a memory that would last a lifetime! This experience with Princess Porschie was truly priceless, and I would highly recommend that you do the same.

Table Mountain Giveaway

 

If you are planning to visit Table Mountain this winter, be sure to take heed of the following:

  • Extra layers of clothing – As we approach our winter days, be sure to pack extra layers of clothing. It is extra chilly up there, and wind can sometimes be unpredictable. Be sure to keep updated with the Table Mountain website for regular updates on the cableway activity, including whether Table Mountain has been declared open, the temperature and even the waiting time for the cable car for the trip up and down.
  • Pack lightly – The Table Mountain Cafe has everything you will need to keep your tummies filled, so pack lightly so that you may enjoy exploring without any baggage.
  • Comfortable shoes – Be sure to wear comfortable shoes like sneakers or boots with rubber soles. Even though the top of Table Mountain is a level plateau, there are many steps and uneven pathways that make treading uneasy for little ones. Non-slippery comfortable shoes are ideal for this adventure.
  • Fully charged camera or cell phone – The views from the top of Table Mountain are breathtakingly spectacular. There will be moments that you would want to cherish for a lifetime, so be ready to capture them. We only had our cell phones with us, but take a look at the gorgeous pictures we were able to capture!
  • Lots of energy – To explore the mountain and run after your kids as they bask in their freedom!
  • Cableway Kidz Season deal details – Remember the deal details: two kids under the age of 18 ride for free with every adult return ticket purchased from the Lower Cable Station; the special is valid on weekends, public holidays and school holidays and the special ends on 30 September 2016. (Please bear in mind that the Table Mountain Cableway will be closed for annual maintenance between 25 July 2016 and 7 August 2016)

Table Mountain

Table Mountain Giveaway

Table Mountain View

Table Mountain

Giveaway

Okay, and now for the part that you have all been waiting for – the giveaway!

Table Mountain Cableway is giving away a Table Mountain family experience worth over R900 to one of you beautiful people. This includes two adult rider tickets (worth R225 each), two children’s tickets (worth R110 each) and a R250 Table Mountain Cafe’ voucher for you and your family to enjoy!

All you need to do is follow the 5 simple rules below:

  1. Subscribe to my blog (see on the right side of my web page – remember this is a two-step process, you have to confirm your subscription via the confirmation link that is sent to your email)
  2. Like/follow Treatmesweetlie on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter
  3. Like/follow Table Mountain Aerial Cableway on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter
  4. Share the link to this article on either Facebook or Twitter by clicking share buttons below
  5. Lastly, be sure to come back to this blog post and comment with the word ‘done’ to confirm your entry to win with a family experience with Table Mountain.

Terms and conditions

  • The prize will be awarded to the first correct entry drawn at random. Failure to follow all the steps will result in disqualification.
  • The winner will be selected at random by me, and will be final. No correspondence will be entered into.
  • Failure to claim the prize within 5 working days after the announcement will result in forfeiture of the prize and the next correct entry drawn will obtain the prize.
  • The competition is open to South Africans only.
  • The competition closes at midnight on Monday, 6 June 2016. 
  • Winners will be announces within 5 working days on my social media accounts.

xxx

Radhia