on being a single parent

This past week, I have been a single parent. The husband left on Sunday morning for a business trip, and will only be home this evening. 5 nights and 6 days without him. 5 nights and 6 days of me running the family.

Oy vey.

I am physically, financially and emotionally exhausted. This is what the past 6 days have entailed:

5:30am – By this time I’ve actually been awake for about 1-4 hours, depending on when one (or both of the twins woke up) but I go downstairs and put the geyser on. I then go back upstairs, and chill (haha)
6:00am – wake up Morgan-Lee, go downstairs, get her lunch packed, feed the marine fish (and do the chemicals), feed the dogs, feed the geese, feed the rabbit. Get Morgan-Lee’s breakfast ready for her. Reminder her (yet again) to feed her koi fish outside
6:45am – hop into the shower, all whilst the twins are either lying in their cots screaming blue murder, or are downstairs in their walking rings, screaming blue murder
7:10am – nanny arrives, and I bundle Morgan-Lee into the car, to rush her through to school before 7:30am
8:00am – collapse behind my desk, trying to find a way to keep my eyeballs from rolling into the back of my head

4:30pm – leave work
4:45pm – arrive home
5:00pm – feed dogs, load nanny and 3 x kids into the car (Monday and today our gardener will be in the car too). Drive nanny home
5:30pm – arrive back home, offload 3 x kids, run Morgan-Lee a bath
6:00pm – get supper on, whilst begging Morgan-Lee to bath and get dressed
6:45pm – try and get Morgan-Lee to finish her supper before 7pm, as that’s her bedtime!
7:30pm – house is in lock down, dogs inside, all 4 of us upstairs in bed; Morgan-Lee in her bed, twins in my arms as I rock them off to sleep. Morgan-Lee then ‘remembers’ that she didn’t go to the toilet after brushing her teeth *sigh*
7:45pm – put twins down in their respective cots – yay – some me time!
8:00pm – passed out in bed
10:00pm – Alex wakes up
10:30pm – put Alex back in cot
12:00am – Maddie wakes up
01:30am – put Maddie back in cot
04:00am – both twins are awake
05:15am – put twins in their cots
05:30am – go downstairs and put on geyser

Repeat x 4

The husband and I share the household responsibilities; we alternate cooking supper and he sorts out the animals in the morning and evening. He takes Morgan-Lee to school in the morning, and I fetch her in the afternoon. I sort out the twins with their bottles and get them off to sleep. I have absolutely detested this week without him, but at the same time, although even more exhausted than usual, I have proven to myself that I can actually do it; I can be a single parent. But I sure as hell do not want to, and I take my hat off to those of you who are single parents. My wallet has been emptied out due to the double school run this week making my petrol consumption higher than usual, I’m emotionally drained from the responsibility of the entire house, the animals and the children, and I’m physically drained because not only have I been getting minimal sleep due to the twins, but I also don’t sleep well when the husband is away. This morning, I’d been awake for 8 hours by 07:00am (it was one of THOSE nights) and I barely had the energy to even greet my nanny. She looked at me and asked if I was sick! I was THIS close to taking a day off work today, but I didn’t; I have soldiered on.

The husband will be back home in about 5 or so hours; and I can’t wait! I have honestly felt incomplete without him; he keeps us together. He keeps me grounded. He make me feel safe.

He is my home.


that time when i couldn’t see the light

I have a dark little secret. It’s not something I’ve told anyone; in actual fact the only person that knows about it is a school friend who pulled me aside one day after class, because she was worried about me. And that’s only because she saw something. She saw what I had done to my wrist. My left wrist to be exact.

The year was 2002; I was in Grade 11 and life was, well life. I hated it. Why I hated it, I don’t really know. But I felt incomplete. Unwanted. Not needed. I was an average student, and an average athlete. I was generally well liked at school, and got on well with my teachers and family. I just felt numb inside. Dead even. Like what was the actual point of it all. Why was I working my backside off academically, when I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to study after school? Why was I showing up to every practice for hockey and softball and waterpolo and cross-country and athletics and and and when I knew that I was never good enough for the first team, that I’d never qualify for a scholarship or bursary to take things further. I remember feeling like the 3rd wheel in my family; I had been living at my dad’s place for almost 4 years, but I didn’t quite fit. I didn’t fit in the area, I didn’t fit in the dynamic, and most days I felt like I didn’t fit in the family.

So what was the point? I was 16 years old, and I saw no future for myself. So one afternoon, I calmly took a blade, and drew it across my left wrist. I expected to feel pain. Instead there was nothing. The area went a little red, so I decided to try again, to press a little harder. This time spots of blood appeared, and again I felt nothing. And so I kept going, slowly dragging the blade across my wrist. I don’t know how long it went on for. I just remember being called, and dutifully going downstairs to see what for. I had made about a 2cm cut in my skin (thankfully not too deep) but do you know what scared me more than wanting to end my own life? The fact that I felt nothing in trying to do so.

The next day during Biology class, I assumed my normal position of head in my arms, eyes closed for the duration of the 1 hour lesson. As the bell rang signalling the end of class, KJ, my friend that sat next to me noticed my wrist, and asked what had happened. I remember hastily pulling down my jersey, mumbling “nothing” and disappearing out of class. She cornered me at the end of our English class, just her and I in the classroom and asked me again, what had happened. Was I ok. I remember being silent; KJ wasn’t stupid, She knew. She then proceeded to save my life.

You are wanted.

You are needed.

I’m here for you.

Talk to me; I won’t judge.

I am your friend.

You are not alone.

I didn’t say much during that 5 minute talk, but her words resonated through me.

You are not alone.

And for the first time in a while, I didn’t feel alone.

Fast forward 6 years, Christmas Eve 2008. I found myself in a tattoo parlour, covering up my scar. The scar that I had hidden for so long, the scar that represented a different part of me, a part that I don’t ever want in my life again. I finally felt ready to let go of it; to not have to explain it, to not have to come up with some nonsense story whenever someone asked about it. I chose the Chinese symbol for ‘forever’ (yes I’ve had it verified!) and it actually has a double meaning for me, as it is also in memory of a friend who was taken too soon from our world in 2008.

Almost 7 years down the line, and my tattoo is showing signs of ageing; it’s gone a bit patchy, and my scar tends to show through more and more. But I don’t actually mind. It shows that I’ve lived, that I’ve experienced life. That I overcame.

There have been days since that day in 2002 when I’ve wanted to give up, when I haven’t been able to see the light through through clouds. But I’m still here.

And will continue to be.

Until my last, natural breath leaves my body.


where did 2015 go?

Just hang on a second, I’m trying to figure out where the last 8 months have disappeared to. The twins are 6 months old, SIX MONTHS OLD. Not that I’m complaining, as the older they get, the more ‘adult’ food they eat, so the less (expensive) formula they drink!

Maddie & Alex - 6 months old!

Maddie & Alex – 6 months old!

But it feels like the year has just whizzed past me, and apart from the fact that I feel like the walking dead due to the lack of sleep I’m currently experiencing, I honestly don’t know where it’s all gone to. I can barely remember the first few weeks of the twins’ lives; it feel like it didn’t even happen. What I do know, is that it is possible for a human being to function on about 3 hours of sleep a night, if they’re lucky. And not to say how well things are going, because true’s nuts, it won’t.

Case in point.

Maddie has been sleeping through quite well for the past week or so. If she goes down at about 7pm, she’ll generally sleep through until about 5am. Yay! But I then went and gushed to some friends on Saturday about how happy I am that she’s been sleeping through, and BAM! Saturday and Sunday night she woke up about 2-3 times during the night. And then there’s of course her brother Alex, who is yet to sleep through even 1 night. If I’m lucky, he’ll wake up once, but a really bad night (like last night) will have him awake pretty much from midnight through to 6am. Yay me.

Alex also decided to pop both his bottom teeth at 5.5 months old. That then explained the gawd awful week that was experienced, in that he restlessly slept, cried, moaned and wanted no one but me. The worst night was the Thursday, in that he woke at 10pm, and didn’t stop moaning and being miserable until 6am. When he promptly fell fast asleep. Just as I needed to get up for work. Yeah, I don’t remember much about that Friday. I do however remember going to change his nappy on the Saturday morning, and as I bent down to get a nappy from underneath the change station and I placed my other hand on his chest, he pulled my hand up to mouth to munch on my fingers and I thought to myself HELLO! That doesn’t feel quite right?! And there they were, 2 little pearly whites, poking up out of his gums. Well I think Maddie thought I was an idiot, and Morgan-Lee (my eldest) thought I had finally lost my mind, as I scooped Alex up into my arms and proceeded to dance across our bedroom, singing at the top of my lungs at how proud I was of my boy with his ‘toofies’. At least there was a reason for me looking like the back end of a bus had rammed me face first for that week.

There are some days when I wake up out of my hazy doze, and it hits me that I’m a mom to twins. That I have 3 children. That my eldest, my beautiful, enigmatic, energetic, amazing, wondrous, humongous ball of energy daughter, is going to be 6 in 2.5 months time. I remember when she was coming close to her 1st birthday, thinking to myself “where on earth has the time gotten to”, and here I am again, almost 5 years later thinking the same thing.

i wish you enoughI saw a post a few days back, which basically stated that the day a woman becomes a mother, is the first day of the rest of her life, that her heart beats outside of her chest. I couldn’t agree more. Whilst I want my children to experience life first hand, I also want to protect them, cocoon them, cushion them. I want only the best for them, only happiness for them, only love for them. But, if they have only the best, only happiness and only love, life will be untrue for them, and to them. There’s a speech out there in the universe, and I can’t remember who wrote it, but it’s very similar to the poem written by Bob Perks called I Wish You Enough.

So, in another 6 months time you’ll read about me frantically planning the twins’ 1st birthday party (yes I’m already thinking about it!) and how I can’t believe that this has happened, and that that has happened. But that’s life for you; throwing you curve balls and taking your breath away. Making you stop and question, giving you room to breathe, and also showing you several wtf moments, all throughout your day!

2015 has been crazy and tumultuous; new babies, new jobs and new schools.

I can’t WAIT to see what 2016 brings us :)


my Mandela day 2015

Nelson Mandela. Who doesn’t know his name? July 18th has become known as ‘Mandela Day’, and this year the company that I work for decided to make a contribution towards this initiative.

This morning, we made our way to the Masimbonge Old Age Service Centre in Hammarsdale, KZN, South Africa.


Just wow.

It’s a very small centre, caring for around 20-25 elderly, handicapped and disabled members of their community. The looks on their faces when we brought in box after box, bag after bag of food stuffs, blankets and even a counter top stove, had me very close to tears. These are people who barely make it through each month, but their doors are always open. It was a truly humbling experience, one that I hope to have again soon.

We split into different groups; cleaning teams, cooking teams and painting teams. I ended up being a part of both the cleaning and painting teams, and I loved every minute of it! If only we’d had a week or so, we could have repainted the outside of their buildings properly; scraped off all of the old paint, put primer and filler, and then painted over it, but as we only had a few hours, we filled the holes where we could, and gave the building a mini face-lift, in the form of 2 new coats of much needed paint. The occupants of the centre came out whilst we were busy, and entertained us with songs and dancing, and all I could do was smile, smile and smile. Their appreciation and (in all honesty) shock was extremely humbling; it grounded me and showed me that I really do have so much to be grateful for.

All in all, it was a wonderful morning and afternoon, and I’m so very happy that I was able to contribute and give back to the community, even if only in a small way.



the best is yet to come

On the 30th of August, L and I will be celebrating 12 years together. On the 28th of September, we will be celebrating 6 years of marriage.

The best is yet to come.

We have been through quite a bit in our almost 12 years together; 1 miscarriage, 7 car accidents, 2 break-ups, numerous fights, several divorce threats, 2 pregnancies and 3 children.

The best is yet to come.

We’ve survived retrenchment, legal action from creditors, low-life car dealerships, dodgy jobs and dodgier landlords.

The best is yet to come.

We’ve suffered through the heartbreaking loss of our pets, felt the joy of a rescue, and the loss of friends.

The best is yet to come.

We’ve sat in silence, laughed in abundance, and slammed the phone down on each other too many times to recall.

The best is yet to come.

We have been through an incredible amount of life together, so much of it negative but that has only made us stronger, more united as a couple.

The best is indeed, yet to come.