This month’s guest feature is Olerato, a cute and bubbly mama who captures her cute and bubbly life moments with her daughter, Kbear on their YouTube vlogs. I asked her to share some of her toughest and favourite moments of motherhood, and how she deals with #MomShame.
Hi Olerato! Please introduce yourself to my readers.
My name is Olerato. I am an IT specialist by day, mommy to my wonderful four year old daughter during the evenings, and once little one is in bed, I am a blogger and video content creator. I enjoy the simple things in life, like getting in a car with my boyfriend and daughter and hopping from one country to another. I love visiting new places, creating memories, and capturing it all on camera – videos I upload on my YouTube channel. My blog is what I love to believe is a happy place for people to share experiences, give tips, and connect with each other. It’s a space I created a few months after my little one was born as a way to remind me of the me in mommy. My biggest guilty pleasure definitely has to be malva pudding with loads of Ultra Mel custard – gosh I could live on this and be as happy as kid in a sweet store. At the moment my fave song is Thunder by Imagine Dragons – make that their whole album actually. It’s so fun.
Who calls you mama?
The most cute, smart, sharp and energetic four year old little girl whom I call Kbear. Her name is Kamohelo.
How was your pregnancy and delivery? Any surprises, good or bad?
I had the most wonderful pregnancy – very little stress and barely any issues. Then again, it was only my first pregnancy and deep down I do believe that I was a bit oblivious at times, which I don’t regret. I paid attention to the potential risks and important stuff but everything else didn’t phase me. I barely used any pregnancy apps. I just listened to my body and of course my midwife. The delivery was definitely nothing like I had imagined. In my not so perfect little world, I had a perfectly written out birth plan that I was surprisingly very determined to follow. I can barely tolerate any pain but for my daughter, I was ready to go all natural. For eight long hours I did but sadly ended up with a c-section. No regrets though. I did what I had to do for my daughter and what matters is that she was born happy, healthy, and absolutely perfect.
What would you tell your younger self about motherhood?
Trust your way and listen to your gut feel. It’s not going to be rainbows and unicorns all the time but it will be one of the best adventures of your life. People will judge you, criticise you, and at times attack your parenting style but honey, don’t give those the light of day. Only you know what’s best for you and your baby. Most important, girl, get some sleep. You will miss it.
How do you balance everything?
Honestly, I’d like to believe the balance comes from knowing when to stop. I always try and make sure that I have enough on my plate to get through in a day. Some days I try to overachieve but other days I’m happy with getting through priorities.
Do you ever feel judged or criticised? How do you deal with it if you do?
Yes, I do feel judged and criticised sometimes. It’s very frustrating and annoying especially because people judge and criticise from an outsider’s perspective. They have virtually no idea what I am doing as a mom and/or what I’m trying to achieve with my daughter and yet, they judge and criticise anyway. To be honest, I don’t pay much attention to it. There was a time when I used to try and explain to the people judging to try and give them understanding but I realised it’s not worth my time and effort. So I just completely let it slide and I ignore.
How do you stay connected to yourself and your partner?
I try by all means to put some time aside for myself every once in awhile where I can just do anything by myself. This usually means, taking a long bath or editing a YouTube video and just about anything that I enjoy doing always leaves me feeling refreshed. My partner and I are honestly still two goofballs that met back in varsity and I am so grateful that even through parenting we haven’t lost that. We talk and laugh for hours and still do crazy things that we both enjoy like waking up at midnight to make waffles because we are hungry.
What’s the best thing about motherhood?
The unconditional love, the adventure, and my daughter. I wouldn’t be a mom without her.
What do you find most challenging about motherhood?
Sleepless nights. My daughter is four years old and I still find myself waking up to check up on her at night. Keeping my cool and being patient at times, getting my daughter to eat some foods (picky eater problems).
What’s the best advice you’ve received or want to give about being a mom?
People will tell you stories about parenting and how to do things, it doesn’t mean you should act upon those. Listen to them but don’t feel pressured to do as they say. Every journey is different.