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This post was created in Collaboration with Super Nannies. All views are my own and is based on my personal experience with Super Nannies. A nanny will be one of the important people in our children’s lives. Therefore, it was a no-brainer  for me to invest in training our nanny. When I think about any person who employed even in a work context, I want to ensure this person has the right training and onboarding. So why would I NOT do the same for the person who will be taking care of my children? Sending our Nanny (let’s call her Sandra) on a nanny training course was an entirely natural thing for me to do. I wanted her to feel enabled, empowered and confident in her role. It also helped me to become a little more comfortable to leave my baby with a nanny as I returned to work. I found Super Nannies online and we sent our then domestic worker to the Comprehensive nanny training when my eldest was a newborn (who is turning FIVE in two months WHAT!!). RELATED: 7 Reasons Why I Am Pretty Certain We Are Only Having Two Children We Invested In Training Our Nanny, And This Is How It Helped Us 1. Empowerment Our nanny felt empowered as she had more insights now into raising a little baby. They taught her how to stimulate our little one and how to maintain the health, safety, and hygienic environment for our baby. 2. Communication It opened up the doors of communication so that we can discuss what she may have perceived as okay and acceptable, however may not be for us. We are all different and raise our children differently (Sandra is a parent too). So it created a foundation for our nanny and myself to talk openly about HOW I want her to take care of my child. We still have issues and miscommunications that happen (even now) however we can work through them. 3. Development skills Sandra learned how to stimulate our little baby, and I was comfortable knowing that she was in good hands. She started observing me and helping me with small tasks since my first daughter was born. So she could bring home her ideas from the course and share them with me. RELATED: All Hell Broke Loose When I Came Home With Baby Number 2 4. Safety and First Aid Exposure to basic first aid is important. The comprehensive course covers First Aid, CPR and handling childhood emergencies. 5. The importance of balancing cleaning the house and taking care of our baby Balancing housework and the baby’s needs is a discussion point that must be discussed between the Nanny and Parents. The way I approach our relationship is that seeing to our child (now children) comes first. Although it is a balanced approach. Throughout the programme I received an email summarizing what Sandra had learnt each week. Where are we now? Currently, our nanny has been with us full time for four years looking after my two girls aged one and four. In building our relationship, there has been a lot of ups and downs (as any relationship we have in life). However, her role in our family is built on a solid foundation. Part of creating the foundation was to empower her through Nanny Training.   Visit the Super Nannies website to learn more about their training programmes and Nanny Placement Services.

The post We Invested In Training Our Nanny, And This Is How It Helped Us appeared first on South African Working Mom Blog.

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During a terrifying time in modern history, The Tattooist of Auschwitz gives us the opportunity to witness the triumph of humanity. A story within ‘history’ is what attracted me to The Tattooist.  I am generally drawn to non-fiction, and  so The Tattooist of Auschwitz was right up my alley. From the moment I opened its pages, it captured every bit of my attention. What is  The Tattooist of Auschwitz About The Tattooist is the story about Lyle Sokolov who was sent to Auschwitz in 1942 (he was 25 years old at the time). Early in his stay of three years, Lyle finds himself being allocated the job of Tattooist. It is his job to tattoo the serial numbers on the Auschwitz inhabitants’ arms. The serial numbers were tattooed on prisoners who were deemed healthy and fit enough to work in the camp. RELATED: Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 1: Book Review Falling in love During his tenure, he falls in love with 18 year old Gita while tattooing her arm. Even though her head was shaven and she was wearing tattered clothes, he fell in love with her (get out the tissues now!). Is it a Cheesy Romance Novel? Let me set the record straight. I do not like ‘romance’ novels. I find them cheesy and unrealistic, and I just cannot read them. There are times when the author does go off the rails a bit. For example when she talks about ‘Lale’s longing for Gita during the hot summer days…etc.’ She does bring it back. Also, when it gets too ‘Mills and Boonsy’ it felt a bit too much considering what is transpiring at Auschwitz at that moment. The book’s focus is the connection between Gita and Lyle There are many parts of the book, where I was genuinely moved. Although this book’s focus is not the Holocaust (it is about the love story), the author could not avoid sharing the horrific details (more tissues!). Important Messages It shows us that although Lyle was enduring one of the lowest moments in modern history, he found hope (and so did Gita). It also reminds us to maintain and embrace the humanity within ourselves. Always lead with kindness. Be human first. We are human before we are any other part of our identity. I recommend the Tattooist of Auschwitz if you are looking for a read that is embedded in history but laced with a true love story.  The story is heartfelt, and will have you reaching for the tissues! You will be googling the hell out of Gita and Lyle because you will want to know more about them! The tattooist is for sale at Take A Lot  and all reputable bookstores.

The post Book Review: The Tattooist of Auschwitz appeared first on South African Working Mom Blog.

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I can’t believe our little one (Miss A) will be going to playschool next year! She turns two in October 2018, and we have decided that Jan 2019 is the right time for her to go to school. So I have been walking around our neighborhood scoping out playschools. Her sister went to playschool/daycare at one year three months, and she adapted quite well (Except for the getting sick part). So Now That We Are Officially Checking Out Playschools for Our Toddler here is what we are looking for Walking distance We want a playschool that is within walking distance of our home, so our nanny can walk over and fetch Miss A. Miss C (who is  in grade R next year, and I cannot handle it!), is registered with Cool Kids Cabs and it is working quite well. BUT, I don’t want to follow that route for now for the little one. Meals Parenting is largely a bunch of extra chores that have landed on your lap. Never. Ending. Chores. Cooking, cleaning, making snacks, cooking, cleaning, bathing, etc. So, any situation that alleviates the pressure or helps the chores gets a yes from me. So I would really love a playschool that can give her as many meals as possible. As she will probably be half day, at least a cooked lunch! RELATED: Bad Mom Confessions: My Child Swallowed a Birth Control Pill and 9 Other Parenting Fails   Stay Within The Budget The budget might need to be traded off with the above factors. If the school provides at least one meal, and it is within walking distance, we will be okay to flex our budget a little bit. A Good Feeling In My Tummy I want to walk into this playschool and have a good feeling in my tummy. I know, I know it is not scientific at all. But my eldest Miss C has been at two daycares/ playschools. I can tell you the one we really loved just FELT GOOD when we walked in there. Angels started singing, and we felt all warm and fuzzy. Okay, no angels, but it felt good. The first one she attended that we did not like as much, looking back there were signs. We had to ‘convince ourselves’ a little bit about the daycare. So I trust the feeling in my tummy. Oh and then the standard ‘hygiene factors.’ I would not be a responsible parent if I did not cover the ‘important bits.’ Other important factors to consider are: Cleanliness and Hygiene standards Structured Routine for the children Appropriate Illness policy Reasonable teacher to child ratio Safe play areas, indoors and outdoors Healthy and balanced food (if food is provided) The school and the teachers must have papers! Must be registered with recognised authorities   Finally, do some snooping. Go online and so some online research on your options. You never know what you can find. Thou hath no fury like a mother or father scorned. If there are any reviews, you may pick it up online. Also, find a parent whose child attended the school and ask them about their experience. I always consider other parents’ experiences. In fact, Miss C’s playschool I loved was a referral from a friend. Question: Do you have any tips for little ones starting at a new playschool? Before you leave, join our email list! No SPAM I promise, only one email every couple of weeks. Join Our Email List! * indicates required Email Address * First Name *

The post We Are Checking Out Playschools for Our Toddler – What I Am Really Looking For This Time Around appeared first on South African Working Mom Blog.

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My dear daughter, you are four years old (turning five this year as you like to remind us!). Although we had a rough time for a few months after your little sister came home, I am so proud of the bond the two of you have developed.  My little Caitlyn, I loved you from the moment I laid eyes on you on 14 September 2013 at 05h00am (thereabouts). You looked just like your daddy. We could already tell from the ultrasound. I was a bit annoyed that you did not look anything like me. That does not even matter in the least.  What we do not share in physical features we make up for in our ways and personalities. You have turned into a wonderful big sister, and I could not be prouder of you.  I know it may be too early to put it out there, as you have only known each other for twenty months. But I am going to put this out there in the universe, as it makes me so happy! You are an amazing big sister. Here is How I Know You Turned Out To Be An Amazing Big Sister A post shared by Cherralle (@mydailycake_) on Jun 18, 2018 at 10:52am PDT Comforting your sister When Ava falls down or hurts herself, you are always there to comfort her. Sharing food with her sister Although when it comes to luxuries, you are very hesitant to share. When it comes to actual food, you share. I was also happy to hear from our nanny that you keep a piece of bread from your school lunch and bring it home to your sister. Make each other laugh When the two of you are laughing together, that sound is magical. You are kind You are very kind to your sister. You are gentle. In your normal and every day interactions you treat her like a baby that must be protected. You help her get out of bed Helping your sister out of the cot is a bit dangerous and we have asked you to not do it without us. You help Ava get out of her camp cot in the morning and you both walk up the stairs to mommy and daddy’s bedroom. A post shared by Cherralle (@mydailycake_) on May 15, 2018 at 8:08pm PDT You like to dress alike You love dressing up like your sister, from your outfits to your hairstyles. In conclusion: Making space for both When we had you and only you, I was content being a mom of one. But we wanted to give you a sister. Little did I know, Ava was the little extra gift we needed to complete our family. When I was on maternity leave (for an ENTIRE MONTH before your sister was born!), I made you an album of our special moments. At the time, it was hard to imagine loving two of you. But, it just happened. All of our spaces expanded to hold both of you. Our home, our hearts and our arms! I love you girls and I am proud to be your mom.   Are you on our mailing list? I only send an email out every couple of week or so and I promise you will not be spammed! Be in the KNOW, Join Our Email List! * indicates required Email Address * First Name *

The post Letter To My Daughter, You Turned Out To Be An Amazing Big Sister and I LOVE IT! appeared first on South African Working Mom Blog.

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These are not the house cleaning tips for busy moms you are expecting! I always admire other people’s homes which are spotless. Unfortunately, it will never be mine. Although I have a helper, she looks after our two children during the day. We still do some housework on weekends when our helper is off. A home that is tidy and clean is something I do aspire to. However, I have come to realise that because I have children, I will not have the super tidy and organised home. I will try but in my heart I know it is not going to happen. Parental burnout is a real concern, and a super clean house is another form of pressure we may be placing on ourselves (I am  certainly guilty!). Being a working mom means that there are certain ‘adjustments’ that you need to make. Remember, we cannot have it all! There are of course moms who thrive on a super organised and clean home, and the cleaning itself bring joy. If that is you, then by ball means own that! House Cleaning Tips For Busy Moms (with small children) Lower your cleaning standards, there are no ‘clean house’ police Relax your cleaning standards. I have spoken before how low cleaning standards can help you get more time out of your weekend with your children, and we need it for our sanity as working moms! Not what you expect to hear in a post about ‘house cleaning tips for busy moms’? I am not saying live in a mess, but you know what YOUR standards are, and you will determine for yourself what makes sense in your home. A Clean House should not be more important than having fun as a family Yes, we all want the beautiful homes. But let’s not forget that our children are only little once. Enjoy the space you are in now. When your children are little they think you are a goddess and they want to hang around you the whole day.  When they are older, we will all have enough time to have a perfectly clean house. Accept that children are children: they WILL mess Best we all make peace with this. I am not even joking when I say that on the weekends my house is a disaster. I keep the kitchen and bathrooms clean and tidy mostly. But the rooms, lounge, and garden contain a spread of toys, crayons, colouring books, socks, and more. Whatevs. I have two choices: choose to spend my weekend cleaning the whole time, or I can overlook certain things and play with my children (and squeeze in my alone time). Do a  walk through with two bags For some reason, we are natural ‘hoarders’ in this house. Every couple of weekends I walk through the house with two bags. One bag is for rubbish and one bag is filled with stuff to give away.   Buy reasonably priced household items, so you don’t get upset when they are ruined With two children under five, I feel as if I can’t have beautiful things (right now). For now, rather focus on having things that are more reasonably priced, but durable. So that you don’t get too stressed when they get ruined. Simple. A home is to LIVE IN.  A cream Persian rug for the lounge? I don’t think so! Have a little routine that works for you Do what you can and what makes sense for you. Example, in the last few years I have become paranoid about going to bed with a dirty sink in the week (weekends different rules apply)! Get everyone involved Children as young as two can understand the meaning of packing away toys or throwing rubbish in the bin. Every little bit helps. Create a ‘tidy up song’ and your toddler may surprise you. You can also incorporate it as part of your quality time with your children. Find products and hacks that work for you I have recently discovered Chux which offers a line of cleaning accessories to help you keep your home clean. The Chux Magic Erasers are my favourite.  So now when my children write on the walls and the tiles, it does not stress me out as much because I know the magic eraser will sort that ish out!  Their scourers and cloth ranges are of excellent quality too. So what am I saying? Well, let me spell it out…Chill out. Let’s chill out, enjoy our families and our homes. Let go of unrealistic standards.  I am not saying that you must live in a complete mess. But relax, be proud of your home, but chill out. You know what that means for you. There are no amount of house cleaning tips for busy moms that can tell how you to run your household. Find what standards you are okay with.   By the way, are you on our mailing list? Sign up below, I only email every couple of weeks or so, and it contains a bit more personal content that is NOT shared on the blog. Be In The KNOW! Join our mailing list * indicates required Email Address * First Name *

The post House Cleaning Tips For Busy Moms (with small children) appeared first on South African Working Mom Blog.

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That helpless feeling when you don’t know what to do anymore because your child is ALWAYS sick at daycare. I have been there. Feeling so guilty as I wanted to be with my child. Guilty because of all the days I had to take off from work. Our eldest started daycare at 15 months, for a year she was always sick! Our lives consisted out of an endless stream of ear infections, low-grade fevers, tummy bugs and at the end she also had hand foot and mouth disease. You name it; we have seen it all! I use to refer to her as ‘Patient ZERO’  because she was sick so often, and she infected us and her friends sick too. Although illness during the first year at daycare is a reality, there are ways to reduce their occurrence. Daycares are the perfect breeding ground for germs. You have little hands touching everything and sneezing and coughing all over each other. Research suggests that children who attend daycare settings get less sick when they are older. However, this fact provides little solace when you are running out of family responsibility leave days, and the doctors’ bills are piling up. RELATED: Leaving Your Baby At Daycare For The First Time: Top Tips for Mom and Baby Here are 5 Tips When Your Child Is Always Sick At Daycare   1. Hand washing Get back to basics and teach your child to wash hands. If your child is little, you can do it for them and also start modelling the behaviour. Also, mention it to your caregiver that they should assist your child if need be. TIP:  check if there are hand washing basins at various locations within the daycare. Example, a basin in the vicinity of the changing station is a MUST. Read further on Dettol’s tips on how to encourage hand washing to protect your family.   2. Fill up their sleep tank Ensure your child gets as much rest as they need, herewith a sleep needs chart to check how many hours roughly per day our child needs. By having their ‘sleep tank’ full they are in a better position to fight off illnesses. A tired child is more susceptible to falling sick. RELATED:  Mommy, Please May I Sleep In Your Bed? Why I Am Okay To Say Yes to My 4 Year Old 3. Eating Fruits and Vegetables (Plus Vitamins and Immune Boosters) Encourage your child to eat a healthy balanced diet.  Herewith a useful article from Food Lover’s Market, on creative ways to encourage kids to eat vegetables. A daily vitamin is an excellent way to boost their intake, although ideally, they should obtain most of their nutrients from their food. In some cases, immune boosters may be needed. Discuss an immune booster with your doctor. I conducted an informal poll on my Instagram Stories and seven of the parents who commented back advised that they do provide their child with some form of immune boosters and or vitamins. However, the visits to the doctors’ rooms were still high. 4. All sick policies are not equal My eldest who is now four years old attended two daycare facilities. The first one accepted all levels of sickness and were lax about sending kids home who was ill. The relaxed approach meant that kids tended to get sick a lot more. The second daycare had a stricter policy, and they would call you to fetch your child even if they had a runny nose. In hindsight, I prefer the second option as this ensures that the daycare environment remains healthy. 5. Check vaccine policies Most schools require a child’s up to date vaccination card as part of the application process. For me, it gave me comfort to know that each child has been vaccinated.’ Following these tips will help you when your child is always sick at daycare. BONUS TIP: Practically, how to deal with days off work Two things which came through from my Instagram stories feedback are: If both parents or any family members can share the ‘days off’. We did this in our home and lessened the pressure at work for both my husband and me. Aim to organise work from home days where appropriate. Dettol is the world’s #1 Germ Protection brand and wants to help you keep your home GERM FREE this winter! Win this Cold & Flu Survival Kit Hamper! The Hamper consists out of a range of household cleaning and personal hygiene products, to keep your home germ free this winter!   To Enter Follow This one Easy Step All you have to do is answer this question in the comments below. What is your favourite Dettol product? That is it, you are in! Good luck! Increase your chances of winning. For extra entries do the following. Comment with your answer on the Facebook Give Away Post Comment on the Instagram Giveaway Post   Why not share this post with friends and family who could do with this hamper too? Rules: Competition is open until Sunday 1 July. Winners will be informed by latest 6 July. Only open to SA residents, over 18 years of age. Prizes will be shipped by the agency. Good luck! XXX      

The post 5 Tips When Your Child Is Always Sick At Daycare + WIN A DETTOL HAMPER!! appeared first on South African Working Mom Blog.

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I had this elaborate blog post planned in my head about beautiful and unusual mother-daughter ‘date ideas’. When I sat down and started writing, I realised that there is nothing fancy about the best moments I share with my girls. Our lives are pretty predictable, simple and that is how we like it. I am not racking up hours with my children during the week, and I am okay with that. As a working mom I need to make the best of the time I do have. When I get home in the evening after work, this is REAL QUALITY time. It may only be an hour or so, but it is one pure hour dedicated to my daughters ONLY. I am connecting with the two of them: No social media. Talking to them. Reading stories. We play music; we dance, we sing. We jump on the bed. Whatever, that time is OURS. RELATED: What Working Moms Ought To Know About Attending Daytime School Events One on one time Within any family, there is a group dynamic. There is either the shy one or the dramatic one, and that impacts how we engage in a group. Therefore, one on one time is imperative. In many cases, by having one on one time, you connect on a deeper level with your child. With a one-year-old (Miss A) and a four-year-old (Miss C), it is easy for all attention to go onto the little one automatically as that is how it is right now. Here are some every day mommy-daughter moments which can be done one one or if you have more than one! Here are  10 Everyday Mommy Daughter Moments or Mommy Daughter Date Ideas, whatever Everyday home life To me, the ‘everyday moments’ is quality time. When I am in the kitchen in the morning chatting with my Four-Year-Old  about her school lunch that is quality time. Which is always a bad idea as she always has concerns about what I am packing for her lunch. Another ‘bad idea’ is when she is helping me make our beds on a Saturday morning. Also turns out to be a pretty unproductive exercise most times. Nonetheless, it is ours. Visit the library Visiting the library is simple,  free, fun and educational. The best part is that it is easy to start a routine. Once you take out a book, you are obligated to return to it (rocket science!). Before you know it, you have built a habit of library visits. I think it also depends on the child if this is their scene but worth a shot! A post shared by Cherralle (@mydailycake_) on Mar 8, 2018 at 8:27am PST Homemade pedicures and manicures The sweetest mommy daughter dates are ‘girly’ activities. The girls and I received a pretty Barbie hamper. Included was a range of Barbie nail polishes in cute pastel colours. So we did a little pedicure with Miss C. We also have matching cups which is so cute! I love being a girl mom, can you tell? Check out the Barbie Facebook Page to stay in the loop of how to keep little girls inspired! Fake facials When I do my face masks I also make one for Miss C. So I take our Epimax  moisturizer, and I decant a generous amount into one of my (pretty) empty moisturizer jars. Then add a few stickers on it. Miss C has her personalised face mask / and face cream and bob’s your uncle. Miss C thinks she is getting a face mask with mommy’ creams. RELATED: 16 Places To Visit With Kids In Johannesburg (when you are stuck for ideas) Turn off the TV TV on = Watching TV not talking. TV off = engage and talk. When the TV is off, it creates a natural space for conversation and engagement. Sometimes, I don’t want to talk, and I do put the TV on. I do keep a check on myself and try to limit screen time where I can. A post shared by Cherralle (@mydailycake_) on Jun 4, 2018 at 9:08pm PDT Cuddle and Watch a movie TV is not all bad! A movie on the weekend is a great way to connect. Baking together We love baking! At the moment I enjoy the premixes because one it is much more straightforward for me to whip up some baked goodies. And two I am just a bit lazy in the kitchen and need all the help I can get. Using premixes takes the pressure off.  Premixes are failproof! Cooking together It might double the time it takes to get any food to the table, but sometimes it is worth it. Plus, the food is much more likely to be eaten by our children if they assist in the cooking. Picnic in the garden Throw a picnic blanket on the floor or the garden, and you can have a fun picnic. Always a good option with the girls on the weekend. Chats before bed Never underestimate the value of connecting at bedtime. We are running around from one thing to the next, one chore to the next. When I place Miss C in bed, and I lay next to her and we slow down. I ask: What made you smile today. What made you sad today? What made you angry? I get asked the same questions! And if I answer and its deemed not good enough I have to think up another answer. Make the moments you have count. No need to do anything extravagant. Follow me on Instagram to see more on my working mom life journey with my girls.

The post Why Quality Time Beats Quantity (Plus Everyday Mommy Daughter Date Ideas) appeared first on South African Working Mom Blog.

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