5 years on…

Hello Tribe,

This is my first blog post for 2019. Honestly, there is some shame trying to creep in… And I have just kicked it to the curb. Because I know, that you know what the busyness of life can be like. So, thank you.

This morning, Facebook popped this reminder on my feed. A pic of the girls and I in 2014. At the Aquarium.

Look how little they are! 🙂

Immediately, my thought was that we had been on our own for 2 years already. We had already overcome so much. And had no idea what was going to be coming our way. And, we are together, smiling and hopeful.

We are still that. We have had wonderful blessings in 5 years, in spite of some painful challenges. As a little unit, we keep growing, moving forward and showing up. One day at a time.

To be honest, again – this was a reminder that I needed. We have come a long way. If I think about how I was feeling in 2014, there was so much guilt around making the decision to get divorced and the impact it was going to have on their lives. Looking at this picture, I also remembered a truth gem. When I was in the throws of the divorce, a wise woman told me that as long as there was one constant parent – the kids would be okay.

That is so true! Our family looks and moves the way it does, that’s right for us. And we are okay.

If this post does nothing else, let it encourage you to know that it will be okay.

Take it one day at a time. And be gentle with yourself as you do.

With love,

Ray

Everything will be okay!

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Am I the only one feeling this way…

Yesterday, I finished my work day at 12, so that I could lovingly fetch my younger girls from school. Fairly on time 🙂

I was so excited at the prospect of spending the day with them. 

Well, by 12.45 – the moaning, bickering and requests started rolling in. I sat there at looked at this playing out. And dropped this gem!

It also reminded me that I really am not a stay-home mom. I take my hat off to those magic makers. I tried. Twice. And nope!

Back to the truth bomb that feels so real for me. And they seem to forget that there is a part of my life that is, well – about me. Not just about them and their needs! 

They heard me. And it stopped. 🙂

We went on to have a lovely day and evening together, and with family.

Have a wonderful Tuesday, magic makers!

Serving yourself too 🙂

Love

Ray

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because you are strong enough…

These are some of my favourite words.

To be honest, I wrestle with them. Often!

Sometimes it feels like too much of an ask. It feels unfair.

The juggle. The challenges. The demands.

There is also an invitation in these words. It feels challenging. Asking us not to settle. To keep pushing through. And I get it. Sometimes that feels like too much of an ask as well.

The thing is, whether we are aware of it in the moment or not, we do keep pushing through. And we keep showing up. Inspite of the juggle, the challenges and the demands. On auto-pilot a lot of the time 🙂

So when next I take a moment and read these words, I am going to be gentle with myself. And give myself a high five! I hope you do the same, magic makers!

Love

Ray

because you are strong enough…

 

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Single-parenting. Positively

Hello tribe!

it’s June already! I hope you are pausing in some way, to take a few breaths.

I thought I would share an article I read in the April/May 2018 issue of the Cape Town’s Child Magazine, Positively single (read here).

The title may feel like an unthinkable ask – especially if you’re a newly single parent and trying to find your feet. It’s an honest yet gentle piece about the realness of the journey of single parents, particularly single-moms. The stigmas. The challenges.

The article touches on key aspects of the single-parent journey – your mental attitude, understanding how your attitude affects your children, the quality of your tribe, moving through your pain, not getting stuck in your story, self-care, persevering and hope.

If I think about my own journey thus far, these themes kinda continue. What I realised while reading the article is that it’s a daily intentional choice that I have to make! To keep my mind strong and positive. We rely on it. And you have to persevere – it’s the only choice really, because the alternative is harder to overcome.

Helena also provides a survival kit for single moms and dads. She starts with forgiveness. I strongly echo this invitation. One of my mantras whilst making my decision and then going through the divorce process, was a definition of forgiveness I had heard on the Oprah show (of course!) a few years prior and it stuck! ‘Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different’. I remember this almost daily still.

Forgiveness allows you to open yourself to all the possibilities of your future.

Remember – you are braver than you think.  Take it one day at a time.

Have a wonderful weekend, magic makers!

With love,

Ray

be gentle with yourselves…

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Yes. No. Ok. Maybe…

A quick thought this Thursday morning!

I try my best to be a Mom that shows up. And for the most part – I do. In my human way. I think I am brave and can face pretty much anything.

The one thing that really does test my resolve?! A puking kid!

Jesus take the wheel! I just can’t.

Poor Beks puked spectacularly last Friday night (while she was sleeping), around 12.30pm. And as I heard her big sis, Bella, call out to her – the words in the pic popped into my head. Sheer avoidance tactic of having to face the inevitable. You will be pleased to know I did not leave it to Bella to sort out, as tempting as it was.

I showed up. I took care of my baby girl, did 3 loads of washing until 3am Saturday morning. Gave her a spot in my bed. etc. etc. I must admit though, I caught myself huffing – ‘I hope you plan on puking at your Dad’s next weekend. Same time. Same way’. I know. Not ideal. She did not hear me. Promise!

And then we rolled with what the weekend brought us.

That’s all we can do, Moms. Roll with it. And do what we must. 🙂 Better yet, dala what we must 🙂

One day at a time!

Love,

Ray

Keep making magic!

 

 

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How to kick the school runs arse!…

Tribe,

I was tickled pink when I saw this image! It is such a truth for me! Particularly this week.

So I will confess..

I do the school drop-off in my gown. Most mornings! That’s right. And I could excuse it by explaining that every morning by 6.20am I have already dropped off the teenager. Then when I get back home, it’s time to get the three younger girls ready for school. To their credit, they pack their own lunches. And, you know how it goes that time of the morning.

By the time we are ready to leave the house at around 7.35am – I have just about neatened (noted not brushed) my hair. Enter – my lovingly worn grey gown. A gift from my brother, Andy and his partner, Cara 🙂 #forevergrateful

Said gown does what it needs to, no questions asked, no chatting back, and it does it so well. How could I not show it some love! And you would think there may be some embarrassment or shame on my part! You would be mistaken! I wish you could have seen the surprise and wonder on the face of one of my friends, Letishia, when she realised I was in my gown! It was perfect! She came around though, noting that a gown should be a mandatory issue when embarking on the journey of motherhood!

There is a point here. And it is – I ‘dala what I must’ to make the magic happen everyday! 🙂

So Mom’s, keep doing what you must – in the way that makes it work for you and your family – as you continue to make magic happen!

With love,

Ray

 

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Keep Calm & Carry On!

Happy Friday tribe!

This post is a long time coming.

The past five weeks have been a bit of a blur. We were taken hostage by the mumps. Each of my girls had it, in turn, since the week before Christmas! Isabella had her first day back at school, yesterday! The 25 January 2018!

The mumps has also delayed us from meeting the newest member of our clan, baby Jude Alexander! The first boy in 15 years! We have had to video call our monkey, and will need to wait another 3 weeks before we get to snuggle him! I mean really! My first nephew!

Lawd!

Shame man! The girls were hard hit. Their faces expanding to double it’s size (needed to be seen to be believed), fevers, loss of appetite and terrible pain – and the heat of Cape Town!

Even though the mumps disrupted our festive season some what, it also forced us into ease. That’s my silver lining.

So all we did was – we kept calm and carried on – and hired Blue Bloods – starting with season 1. Thank God for the Reagan family, and pizza!

The lesson for me was, ‘it is what it is’ and we had to roll with it. And so we did.

So here’s to a mumps free weekend!

Have a wonderful weekend with your loved ones!

God Bless,

Ray

 

 

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The magic of the Pause…

My last blog post of 2017 was about self-care and what a necessary practice it is. Read more here

My first blog post of 2018 is about the magic of pausing. The definition of the word pause is to – interrupt action or speech briefly. I feel that if we allow ourselves to pause it helps us practice better self-careTo stop the action and the speech and just take a breath. One of my tribeswoman has the word ‘selah’ tattoed on her wrist. It is the biblically used word which means to pause. She chose the word to remind herself daily to practice pausing. Love that!

I have been doing a lot of pausing. The past few weeks have brought some challenging moments. I alluded to it in my previous post. What stopped me in my tracks was being booked off with burnout. It was a hard time. I was forced to stop. I was forced to rest. I was forced to look at how I got to that place and reevaluate. I had to pause. And in doing that, to choose myself. I had to get still and consider the next right move for me.

I wanted to start the year with this reminder – to remind us that it quickly becomes a slippery slope when we don’t pause and when we don’t practice self-care.

So while I don’t have any firm resolutions for 2018,  I am very clear on self-care and pausing. I am clear on being intentional and practicing consistency. And trusting that. And always trusting Him†

I hope that 2018 is all you hope for, need and deserve. May it hold love, hope, joy and every blessing for you and your family.

With love,

Ray

 

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You are allowed to be a mess…

I came across this post earlier in the week. It was such a reality check. Thank God the reality checks keep on coming!

It feels messy at the moment.

I am not sure how effective my parenting skills are at the moment. Truth be told, I think the messy is clouding things. It feels like it has affected how I show-up with my girls. They have had a very brave conversation with me, in such a loving and clear way. It feels like it has affected my relationship with my eldest girl. Whom I think is very grateful to be spending this weekend in P.E. with her friend and their family!

And the juggle feels exhausting.

And still, I show-up. They are fed (miraculously), clean (another miracle) and have been writing exams and have been doing pretty well.

My point is, it’s okay to feel messy and still show-up and be the parent they need. Those things are not mutually exclusive. And sometimes, I tend to forget that.

I need to keep reminding myself that they need a #real #authentic mother, who show’s-up. Maybe not always in the right way. She just shows up. With her messy.

And that I keep giving myself the permission to be the #real #authentic mother and woman. Not just for them. For myself too.

I hope this encourages you to do the same…

With Love,

Ray

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Compliance… Is it wishful thinking?

Let me start with the definition of compliance. As defined by the Oxford dictionary – The action or fact of complying with a wish or command.

Now, some context.

Last night, at about 21.20, I caught myself blurting out – ‘If I don’t get some compliance right now, I am going to lose it!’

After I said it, I caught myself thinking – Wow, that is a pretty big word this time of the evening! My next thought was, wishful thinking… Compliance – at this hour!. And then, how is it that I am still talking to little people this time of the night!

It was one of those evenings when everything just ran late. And then when I was ready for everything to settle, they were not on the same page. Does that make them non-compliant? Not necessarily. That moment was not going to be what I needed or wanted it to be. So, I should have just taken a breath and just rolled with it. Instead of causing myself and the girls some irritation.

Some moments are just going to be what it must/should/will be. Not what we hope/need/want or wish. And that’s okay.

This evening – we will roll the way we need to. Hopefully, without me asking for compliance… [grinning]…

With Love

Ray

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