A prayer for my children:

wp-image-429698603My dear children, its my hope that you never loose your fearless and brave spirit. That you keep exploring the world with the same wonder you explore a new park. That you see every detail in your path, that you continue to assess your surroundings, taking note of obstacles and figuring ways of overcoming them. I pray that you continue to ask questions and take the paths less travelled, just like you do on our hikes. I pray that you recognise fear, not as a hindrance but as a warning, a call to attention to what could happen, and that you act accordingly, with the knowledge that choosing to change course or turn around is sometimes the smart thing to do.

I pray that you continue to care for others like you care for your friends and each other as siblings. Like you do for your mama, when even at your young age, you can tell when she is sad. I pray that you continue to learn empathy, as we continue to talk about how our actions and words affect other people, and why we should be mindful of what we do and say. I pray that by the time you read this, I will have figured out how to teach you patience and tolerance, and how to find inner peace. I pray you practice them everyday.

I pray that you learn that there lies danger in a single story. That each person’s story is complex and has many sides, and that knowing only a single side of their story puts you at risk of judging them, and them at risk of being stereotyped. May you ask for more information before forming decisions and opinions. I pray you give everyone a chance; yet, know when to walk away from something that brings darkness to your life.wp-image-647639466

I pray that you keep moving your body, keep it healthy and strong, and use it to do good. I pray that you go places, both physically and spiritually, that you have a deeper understanding of life and what role you play in it. That you find peace, and know you are loved way more than I can express in words.

I pray that you know that you are perfect in every sense of the word. That you never feel the need to compare yourselves with others, that you know your strengths, and be aware of areas that may not be your strongest points. This knowledge is power. Use it wisely.

I pray that you know the joy you have brought to my life. The awakening that has happened within me. Getting to know you has brought me great pride, great joy and a deeper understanding of my purpose.

I pray that you know that each night before I go to sleep, I say a prayer for you. I pray that you are healthy, I pray that you have peace of mind and spirit. I pray that you know kindness and show kindness. Each morning, my heart smiles when I see your faces.

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I pray that your generation is more understanding, more tolerant, kind and loving than those that have come before you. I pray you never loose those beautiful wide smiles, those hearty laughs and the silly giggles. I pray that I continue having the privilege of getting to know you. Thank you for coming into my life. Love always, mama.

What I gained from joining a mothers group.

When I was pregnant with my first child, a lady I met at a party gave me one very valuable piece of advice. She told me to attend the mothers group meetings organised by my local early childhood centre. She also told me to go to more than one meeting.  She went on to explain that at the first meeting, I might feel that I have nothing in common with these women. That the meeting would feel like a waste of my time and there was nothing to be gained from listening to a group of mothers complaining about sleep deprivation and sore nipples. She advised me to stick it through, to go a second time and a third time, and in that group, I was likely to find a friend. As a new mother to be, in a foreign city, loneliness was definitely a concern of mine. None of the new friends I had made had children. Now, looking back, I am so glad I listened to the lovely lady who took time to talk to me at a party.

My son will be three in a few months and I have to say, nothing prepares you for motherhood. Not the endless advice, not the literature and not even those lovely think pieces (like this one) that show up on your facebook feed. It’s a whole new ball game, and for that reason, I am thankful for the ladies from my mothers group who have now become friends and confidants.

Together, we have laughed, cried and shared our stories of motherhood many a times. It’s because of them that I survived those first nine months of sleep deprivation. It’s because of them that as I experience the joys of having a newborn again, I have managed not to lose my mind. They have taken my son away for a few hours when I needed to concentrate on my baby girl, brought meals to my house and sent me messages to remind me that when it comes to parenting, none of us really know what we are doing and that is okay.

So here is my hope to anyone reading this. If you are a new parent to be, or know of a new parent to be, encourage them to go to that mothers group or meet up. Tell them to go a second and a third time, and hopefully, somewhere in that large group of other mothers, a new friendship will blossom, and just like me, they will be glad they showed up.