Hi, I’m Nicole, mom to Kirsten and Kieran. I blog over at Raising K Squared. I am a Joburg girl, more specifically an East-Rander, however I am originally from Cape Town. We moved back here 3 years ago. I am a dreamer, creative and soft soul. Motherhood is my greatest journey and something that didn’t come easy. I am married to my soul mate, we have been together for 16 years and married for 8 of those years. He is my complete opposite in every way, but we fit together like glue. I love reading (too much) Baking, Crafting, writing and connecting with other moms. I am a #PPD Warrior and survivor. This is my story…
Describe your typical day in 5 words or less:
Busy, Chaos, Love.
Name 3 things you can’t live without:
Attach a picture of your current mom bag and what’s inside – Actually just took this photo the other day!
Name 1 thing you wish you knew before you became a mom;
I wish I knew how little sleep you would be getting!
What do you do when the kids are asleep or napping?
Either nap too, read or social media.
What’s the best part of your day?
Breastfeeding my son just before he goes to bed.
Name a few of your mom Guilty pleasures
Chocolate!!!!!!!!!!! in bed once the kids are asleep and I can eat in peace.
What has been the scariest moment of your mom life and who did you look to for support?
It was back in 2012, I had just put Kirsten in a creche for the first time as her nanny couldn’t work for us anymore. I had to rush to fetch her because she wasn’t well. She was listless, very snotty, mucusy and had a temp. We took her to hospital immediately, they did not want to admit her because she only had a temp of 38.8, and apparently admission policy for a 1 year old is that it has to be 39 (what a load of crap). Anyways, we left that hospital and as we were driving I looked at my mother and said that I know my child and that something is very wrong and told her to drive to Linksfield hospital, maybe they would help me. And they did, turns out my child had caught 5 viruses and had to be quarantined! She had Influenza A, RotoVirus, Rhinovirus, The swine flu and one other that I can’t remember now. YEP! Literally 3 days in creche and BOOM in hospital. She was 19 months old. My husband and extended family were my biggest support.
Who is your hero and why?
This is so easy, her name is Henny de Beer, she is a Midwife (specialist). I fell in love with Henny while she cared for me after giving birth. She taught me so much, she is caring, loving and offers advice so freely. She has touched my life in so many ways and taught me how to be a better me and a better mother in such a small space in time. She is an amazing woman, mother who was born to do what she does. I am so grateful for her and the amazing woman that she is. She has impacted the mother I am today so significantly!
Name one thing (anything) that you would do if you weren’t afraid and were fearless and there were no consequences and nothing to hold you back
I would publish my poetry and be a song writer!
Name something that your mom taught you that you have taken into your own motherhood / parenthood.
Shooo, that is a long list, one she taught me to use a warm washrag when wiping a newborns bum and trust me it works. She taught me to always pack extra clothes and nappies wherever I go. She taught me how to ease tummy cramps and wind and mostly she taught me how to care for my family.
If you could be anyone for just one day who would you be?
My husband! LOL
Gosh there are so so many! The very first one that comes to mind is when Kirsten was about 3 months old, she was on my bed, I turned around for a second to grab something from the cupboard, next thing she was on the floor, she fell off the bed!!!
How has motherhood changed you?
It has taught me unconditional Love, patience and made me appreciate the little moments in life. The ways it has changed me are endless, but one thing I know for sure, being a mother was definately my life’s biggest purpose!
The day my daughter/son were born. They were and still are my biggest and best accomplishments.
If your house was burning down, name 3 things you’d grab besides the kids and pets?
-Black file with our important documents
-A few frames
Show us a photo when you were at your worst or best during your motherhood journey and why you chose it.
Name one thing you would change about yourself and one thing you wouldn’t.
One thing I would change about myself is my abrupt, sarcastic, straight-forward mouth, it gets me into a lot of trouble. One thing I wouldn’t change is my kind hearted nature.
What piece of advice would you give to a new mom starting her journey?
Don’t be proud, take the help when needed, you are not super-human. Take care of you so that you can take care of everyone else.
Who is your biggest support?
My husband for sure, he has supported me for the last 16 years.
What is the best part of being a mom, only ONE thing please, I know it’s a hard one!
The big, wet sloppy kisses~! Xxxx
Best book you’ve ever read:
50 shades of Grey (hiding)…
Have you ever been judged for how you do things as a mom or how you parent? If so why?
No I have not been judged. Well not that I know of. I cannot stand mom-shaming, its absolutely grates me like no-ones business.
Worst parenting advise you ever received?
Crying it out / Sleep training, this just didn’t work for us and my heart cannot take it.
How did you realise that you have Postpartum depression;
This took me about 8 months to realise and do something about it. I was horribly moody, upset, drained from month and months of no sleep. I used to cry for many hours a day. It then got to a critical point where I felt like I just didn’t want to be here anymore that my family would be better without me and that’s the day I called the psychologist. It was a long, hard journey and still is.
How has PPD affected your marriage;
WOW PPD affected my marriage A LOT! There wasn’t a day that I wouldn’t lash out at my husband, cry, swear, basically take everything out on him. There were a few times where I thought we were not going to make it. It was a dark time for us both. I look back now and wonder how we even got through it. By the grace of God I suppose. It has been the biggest most trying part of our marriage, we are still recovering from it I think. However, we are stronger because of it. It was HARD! It is still hard.
Advise to anyone who has Postpartum depression:
- YOU are NOT alone, you are 1 in 7 woman who suffers with PPD.
- Get help and don’t be afraid to admit that you need the help. Be it seeing a doctor or taking medication – trust me it helps.
- Take care of YOU FIRST, you cannot be a good mother, wife, caregiver when you are not putting yourself first.
- Remember you are an amazing mother, wife and woman!
- Share your experience, talk, write, blog, vlog, you never know who is with you in this struggle and you never know who you could help by helping yourself too.
Thank you reading my story, and for coming along on the Mom Series journey with me.
I have a new series in the works, so keep an eye out for that in the upcoming month/s.
All my Love,