The Snyman Blog

A blog about the Snymans

living in Cape Town

with their own unique slant on life

and three kids

So you're a mom now? Join the club! Or maybe the mommy Bible study or moms and tots group, baby music class, baby gym class, etc? I'm part of a couple moms groups. One moms Bible study, one "hippie" mom group, and one facebook moms group for Christian mothers. Yes, I've joined a few clubs! But just because you join something doesn't mean that you feel like you belong. In so many ways, we feel a bit like misfits as parents. We're "attachment parents" except for...? "Hippie parents" except for..."Christian parents", but...

What words do you say the most when it comes to your children? What words do you say the most TO them, and what words do you say the most ABOUT them? I bet a lot of people with young children like mine would probably have to admit that "No!" is one of the main words they say to their children. I'm sure that's the case in our home as well, though I wish it weren't! What about the words you say ABOUT your children? How do you describe them to others? Do you find yourself complaining about your kids or building them up in the presence of others?

Getting to know you,
Getting to know all about you.
Getting to like you,
Getting to hope you like me...

The King and I

One of the things I tell my babies while they're still in the womb is that I can't wait to get to KNOW them. Not just seeing what they look like, or what gender they are, but really getting to know them and understand them. Know what will comfort them, make them happy, what will make them sad or afraid, what will make them laugh, cry, etc. When your child is a newborn, there's nothing better than when you realise you KNOW what's wrong and you can solve it, and nothing worse than NOT knowing.

This post is part of my 31 Days of 5 Minute Free Writes. See my first post if you haven't heard of 5 minute free writes.

Sometimes you just get STUCK. Usually, by the grace of God, it's with one child at a time (at least in my limited experience), but there are times when a situation arises and you've just tried EVERYTHING, but nothing is changing. Maybe it's sleeping through the night- I know a lot of parents come up against that one first. (We didn't- we simply didn't expect our kids to sleep.) Maybe it's potty training. We were stuck on that one for almost 2 years. We tried EVERYTHING. Seriously. Everything. "But have you...?" Offered rewards? Made him clean up? Made no big deal of it? Made a huge deal of it? Charted? I promise you- YES.

This post is part of my 31 Days of 5 Minute Free Writes. See my first post if you haven't heard of 5 minute free writes.

As parents we must be constantly learning and growing. From the time our children are babies in the womb through the rest of our lives, really, we can help our children (and ourselves of course) with what we learn. So much of parenting is subjective. It's hard to say what's "right" when it comes to so many areas! What works well for one child may not work well for another, even in the same family, and that applies to sleeping, feeding, discipline, education, and so much more! However, if I were to pick the two things I've learned that have made things easier in these Little years, I'd have to say breastfeeding and babywearing probably top the list.

This post is part of my 31 Days of 5 Minute Free Writes. See my first post if you haven't heard of 5 minute free writes.

We're third time parents, and it's funny how in the hospital, those were the key words to being able to do things our way without a fight. Mention that we have two older children at home and they were happy to let us do what we wanted with very little intervention. But it's also true that in some ways, everything is still new. You forget how tiny a newborn is, even just a year after you had a baby. I have friends coming up to me all the time, their own babies on their hips, exclaiming over how small and precious my new little one is. And no matter how many children you have, some things are always new.

This post is part of my 31 Days of 5 Minute Free Writes. See my first post if you haven't heard of 5 minute free writes.

What's your view right now? Mine is of a dirty floor, which had been freshly cleaned. A bookshelf completely out of order, a shirt covered in spit-up, and toys and books scattered over living room couches. What's your view? Mine is of a sweet baby, sleeping on my chest. A house that's being tended to faithfully by my husband while I'm recovering from a c-section birth. A house that's lived in, laughed in, loved in, played in. My view is

This post is part of my 31 Days of 5 Minute Free Writes. See my first post if you haven't heard of 5 minute free writes.

As soon as my baby is born, it starts. My precious little one is hours old and they are stirring, moving, searching for milk, sustenance, and comfort. I am sore, tired, and can't quite work how to make the logistics of moving my post-c-section body move, but I try. I can do anything for my baby. I heave my aching body onto a side, push onto an arm, and reach to gather my baby close. I don't want to move. It hurts, but it would hurt more to hear my baby cry. Weeks later, I'm healing, and just as I begin to fall asleep at night, my baby moves. They start to wake, asking for comfort, a feed, a change. I don't want to move. I want to sleep, but I quietly sigh and gather my baby close. I undo my top and begin to feed them, whispering gently words of love, despite the lingering aches and pains and exhaustion.

For the month of October, I am going to take part in a writing challenge. Every day, I'll be doing a 5 minute free write. If you aren't familiar with free writing, here's the definition as given by Wikipedia: "Free writing is a prewriting technique in which a person writes continuously for a set period of time without regard to spelling, grammar, or topic. It produces raw, often unusable material, but helps writers overcome blocks of apathy and self-criticism. It is used mainly by prose writers and writing teachers. Some writers use the technique to collect initial thoughts and ideas on a topic, often as a preliminary to formal writing. Free writing is not the same as automatic writing."