Category Archives: Life with Kids

Your child is not like every other child!

There is such a huge hype these days about kids who go to school, kids who are in home schooling, kids who are in a big class group or groups should be smaller, private schools, public schools, kids who drop out early to fulfil their dreams, or which college to attend, kids who make the top grade, kids who just get by, and the kids who desperately work hard and just don’t seem to “make the grade” they are so determined to reach. For the child it is an on-going battle, and for a parent it can be very exhausting always hoping you are doing the best for your child! What is right and what is wrong, and so the battle in the mind continues.
Having kids is a job all on it’s own, and if you are a parent you will agree with me!

Listening to my kids tell me what they want to be one day makes me proud that they have such determination and hope that they will achieve their goals. And in my heart, as every parent hopes for, I find myself praying silently to myself, “Lord, let their hearts be filled and their desires come true”.

A few months ago we were receiving on-going messages from my son’s school teacher. He just wasn’t participating in class, he would not listen or carry out instruction, making a noise in class, at times he was called the class clown, talking too much, not passing his tests and my husband and I thought, “Here we go…this is going to be a problem, if not a costly problem, there is something going on and we were not going to start the blame game and thinking our child was right and all the other kids in the class or the teacher actually had the problem! I know as a parent we always hope “it’s not my child, it just can’t be our child – but in this instance, it really was our child!” (I was not prepared!)

We had numerous talks with him almost every night – but there was never a straight cut answer and his reasoning was difficult to understand, and some of the answers that he did provide us (with a straight face) was, “I look at the grass outside. I think of going into space or being on a nice holiday. The teacher can get boring repeating herself” … and it felt as though we were moving in circles. We sat with him at night and helped with homework, we did the bribe game, we blamed him for his ridiculous attitude, we started picking which friends we thought were appropriate, we did the star sheet and if he was good he could earn extra money – money didn’t even help him focus! We loaded him with more chores – thinking more discipline is what he actually needed, we tested his hearing (which is still pretty much selective at the best of times), we cut out certain foods in his diet – believing that lettuce and greens would somehow magically make a difference (however eliminating sugar did help!), we sent our daughter off as a spy to check up on him during the day just encase there was a bullying problem, or something the teacher (or us as his parents) were not seeing, we tried the punishment scenario – no TV, no playing outside, no treats on weekends, no friends to visit – and so the list went on and on. We kept in close contact with the teacher (who was a real angel). I phoned in for extra lessons after school – I kind of went on a mini rampage. I was determined to find out what the problem was and why he was starting this “no interest, no passing, no care in the world state of mind” which was a huge concern for us.
All the while, my concern was, “my child is not the same as everyone else. WHY must we deal with this problem? He was not acting the same, in fact, he wasn’t acting like “all the other kids were supposed to behave in class”, and instead of seeing it as something perhaps completely normal for a 10 year old child, I saw it as a problem and tackled it head on like a was moving into a solo war.

But, as the weeks went on, he was the same child. There was no change. He quickly got into the routine of bringing us his homework to check without us even asking him, he would sit with me while I cooked and do his reading, the TV stayed off, the kids in the complex knew he would come out and play only if he had finished his homework and the afternoons became just that, him and me, chatting and going through the day’s events.
To be honest, I started to like it. We were forming our bond, a bond that I had never quite connected with before. I always saw him as my little baby. He couldn’t get older, even though he was going to school, to me, he was still my baby.
The term was finished, and holidays came and went, he managed to do whatever home work they were given to do during the holidays, another term went by, and all the fuss we made in the beginning of the year kind of fell by the way side. There was no more hype over it. There was no more stress and in fact, we stopped asking. The teacher and I had agreed that if, and only if, there were anymore outbursts and grave concern would she contact us again.
The teacher never messaged us. There were no notes to be seen on Parents evening and my husband and I started questioning what exactly was going on. Did they no longer care about our son? Was he just at a point of no return and he was failing, not just the term, but the year?
Everything was the same about him, and the only difference was, him and I started to communicate more – on a different level, there had been a mind shift, instead of thinking he had a problem, he was starting to feel encouraged and taking his “problematic situation” and creating a solution. He knew his past behaviour in class was not acceptable, and slowly I believe he started to change that on his own, once we stopped labelling him as having a problem.
As the end of the school year is near, my husband and I started to become anxious. Last week we received a message to notify parents that school reports were being handed out at the end of the week. My husband calmly prepared me for the worst and in my mind, I could not accept that he was the same little boy who had been giving his teacher such nonsense as he was in the beginning of the year.
The end of the week was upon us and the kids walked in and handed us their report cards. I handed them both to my husband and sat with my hands under my chin, elbows on the table – hoping for the best. My daughter sat amused, knowing she had done very well, so we breezed through her report not wanting to show too much excitement as my son sat next to me waiting patiently for his news. And then, his report card came out – my husband could not have opened the envelope any slower…
Personally I don’t think I blinked, for a while. I could see my husband’s eyes move across the card and honestly when I looked at his chest he didn’t look like he was even breathing. There was silence, even our fur baby went and lay down, in another room.
My husband looked at me, by this stage I had moved into a trance state of mind – I could feel nothing, while he said to me, “I am shocked! He has gone from below average to a high flying pass rate in every subject!” In a quick movement I took the card to check we had the correct child’s name on the report card and my son just looked at us and smiled, while he said out loud, “I no longer am in the last 3 in class, I am now in the middle”!
I don’t think I ever really doubted my son’s abilities, but it was close at one point in his life!
It was a good start to our weekend!

To the parents who have kids in school. I do not deny the fact that there are many reasons why kids do what they do – and there may be learning disabilities, and why parents do what we do, but I thought I would share this with you, as being a parent is by no means easy. No child is the same. And we shouldn’t expect them to be. School may be a small part of their life, and yes, it is a very important part of their life, but be encouraged, we should not put our kid in a box. Each child is unique, they all learn differently and have different skills. As study time is nearing for the end of the year, take the time to talk to your child. Learn from them too, and allow there to be a balance – bring in the fun along with the studies. It is easy to pull the blame game and rant and rave – most of us do that so well, but learning from our own personal experience, what we failed to do was communicate from the beginning.
If your child goes to school, or is home schooled, in college, is an A student of a failing student – it shouldn’t create a mark on who they are as a person, or who they will be in their future. It starts with you – in the home, communication and acceptance is a huge positive in a child’s mind and in their overall behaviour as a person, as an individual.
May you be encouraged. Spend these next few weeks with your child, the beginning of the new year and years to come – quality time is the best time for growth. Read with them, let them read to you, talk with them, show some interest, you never know, there may be vast improvement – not only from your child, but also from their educators, their circle of friends and even you as their parent!

Your child is unique. After all, they are yours! Be encouraged!

Love and God Bless,
Cindy.

Parents! Be a positive example in front of your children!

Last night my hubby phoned to give me some great news. It went something like this, “Don’t cook tonight because I am taking you and the kids out for dinner. I know you love Sushi, so be ready when I get home!”
Well… if that phone call doesn’t excite anyone, then I am not sure what will! Two bonuses enlightened me in that moment, 1) I did not have to cook; and 2) Sushi was coming my way and I wasn’t paying for it!

The kids and I dressed and got ready for our special night out.
We arrived and got settled at our table and I noticed a young girl sitting two tables across from us. She was a pretty girl and still dressed in her school uniform. She looked tired and somewhat irritated while she sat staring at anyone and everyone who walked into the restaurant. I never noticed anyone else at her table, as the waiter handed us the Menu. I knew exactly what I was eating so the time was all mine as I glanced across at the people sitting in the restaurant. Listening to my husband and kids discussing their choices of what to eat, my eyes caught this little girl again.
I was a little distracted. “Did I know her? Did I seem familiar to her?” I took my attention back to my family as they had all decided what to eat for dinner and called the waiter to take our order.

While we were placing our order, chaos struck with loud voices and a woman clearly not happy with a situation she was facing at hand. As I looked passed the waiter to see what all the fuss was about I noticed an elder woman standing up at the table where this little girl was sitting.
The lady was clearly drunk. She did not care to notice that the restaurant had come to a halt, and all eyes were fixated on her and the people at the table she was sitting with, as she caused an obnoxious scene with the waiter to bring them another drink!
The waiter walked off with our order, while the kids got up to go play in the kids area. My husband poured his drink and I looked over to the little girl again.
She was staring at me. Her eyes were sad. This time I never looked away, I smiled at her and noticed (we were advised later) her mother was having a (what seemed like) joyful and wonderful, less than what I would call romantic, time with the young man sitting up very closely next to her. Their actions were not for the likes of restaurant state material and they should have rather booked into a cheap hotel to carry on with their lower class acts, instead of acting the way they did in front of a restaurant filled with customers who were all there to do the same thing, enjoy their meals and their night out, and especially her daughter!

It was awkward. As I looked around the restaurant again there were very few people able to enjoy their meals to satiety. It was ruled by upset without reason. The table next to us, where a Mother and Son were enjoying their dinner called the little girl over to sit with them. She didn’t even blink or hesitate to their offer. The little boy collected a chair from a nearby table and the little girl sat for the remainder of her evening with her back toward her Mother and her friend. But still, on several occasions the little girl looked at me. She watched my kids and my husband and in my mind I wondered if she longed for her family. My daughter who had witnessed most of the evening said to my husband and I, “Mommy, my heart is so sore. I feel like crying for that little girl. I am so grateful God gave us a happy family”.
As my husband and I looked at her, my husband responded with, “There are thousands of more children who experience this every day, even worse”.

Eventually, her Mother and friend decided it was time to take their “private” party else where. As they threw back every shooter on the table and finished every other alcoholic drink that was in front of them, she called for her daughter. “Are you coming with us or are you walking home?”
By this stage I looked at my husband as though he had to rescue this little girl.
I felt like answering the question of abuse on behalf of the little girl! I was furious with the mother and her heartless actions.
The little girl sat still. “I am not going with you, she mumbled”, after a short while of confrontation from her mother’s so-called friend and a lady from another table who tried to get involved and assist where possible, the little girl got up and walked passed us. She looked at me as if to say, “please help me”.
My heart was broken, I could not stand to see what we had just witnessed.

We drove home in silence. I could not help myself by looking for her along the road.
This made me so angry, and it has really got me thinking that what my husband said is so true, “she is not the only little girl in this world who lives her life by being bullied and rejected by her own parents”.
I did nothing to help.
Perhaps this is the worst part of it all. I am not sure. I have never been in a situation like that before, and to be truthful, I didn’t know how to react to the situation – without dishing the mother and her friend with a tight fist!

We got home. I tucked my kids into bed and we prayed – as much as my heart hurt, I was grateful my children are safe. I thanked the Lord for helping me be the best parent I can possibly be to the children He has blessed us with. His own children He created for us to take care of on this earth.
As my children prayed, they asked the Lord to protect the little girl they had met that evening and to protect all the other children in the world who face the same daily difficulty and challenges in their own home.

I really don’t know how to end this post today. To be honest, what I witnessed last night has deeply effected me. All I can ask for, to every parent reading this post … be a positive example to your children EVERY DAY! In everything you do – the words you speak. In your actions. Choose the people you meet and spend time with carefully, and remember the people you socialise with reflect your own behaviour and your character – be wise with who you share your life and spare time with.
Single parents (and I was one a few years ago), so I speak from my own experience, be sensitive to the new partners you bring home, or better still, don’t bring anyone home to meet with your loved ones or children until you are certain the person you spend time with is of good, responsible and sober habits – a person who is capable of being responsible around your children and family, a person who is worthy of being met by your loved ones and who respects you, and a person who wants to spend more time with you, and your family.

This is such a sensitive subject. I know. And if you are a child who can respond to this today, I pray for you. I pray that your heart will know true love and you will grow up respecting yourself. May your dreams be vivid, may your life be filled with renewed hope each and every day and may your heart’s desires you so hope for come to pass in your life. You are so worth it.
There is a saying that says, “the apple does not fall far from the tree”. I do not quite believe this. As I watched that little girl last night with the pain in her eyes, I doubt very much she would choose to follow in her Mother’s footsteps one day.
Be at peace. Your future is everything you make it to be, so don’t lose hope. This world is unkind and it is filled with many unkind people and actions, but in truth, there are also many beautiful people on this earth, find them and live a good and solid life.

May God bless you each and every day. May His face shine upon you and give you all the happiness your hearts desire, today and forever. And to all the parents who love their children unconditionally. Thank you. Thank you for creating little people who will make a difference in our future one day, our next generation who is so desperate for loving, settled and kind people.
I salute you. Never go to bed believing your children don’t need you – they do and they love you, even in the times when you don’t feel it!

God bless each and everyone of you, your children and your household. Today and forever.

Love and God Bless,
Cindy.

Blog : lifetotell.com
Email : lifetotell.com@gmail.com

Making delicious memories with your daughter

My daughter has reached the age where she wants to do everything for herself. Okay, she has been trying to do this since she started walking! (Let’s face it, these days children are growing up way too quickly!), anyhow, she is 10 years old and watches everything we do like a hawk. As a parent, we all believe our children are the best, and after all, we are allowed to believe it!
At times I look at her and wonder to myself, “how was it that God blessed us with such a beautiful young little soul?” Her character overwhelms us and the love she has for her parents truly makes us proud.
During the last few weeks she has had a fascination for the kitchen. My husband can cook. In fact, I have learnt a lot from him over the past years and now it’s my daughter’s turn to learn from him as he puts together heaven on our plates.

If you have a daughter you will know how special it is when you bake together. Something wonderful happens between a mother and daughter when they get together in the kitchen and bake something fabulous and oh so tasty! (or you may have been blessed with sons, and now have a grand daughter!)
Would you agree?
I can not disagree that some of the best bakers and chefs in the world are men, but today I am going to spend some time on the Mother / Daughter moments that should be seized in life and never forgotten, or denied in any family during their childhood years.

So Friday afternoon, after a long week at work I could feel the sugar strings tug and cause war in my taste buds. I knew if I mentioned it my kids would be on a mission to get a sweet. After all, Friday is our treat day!
Once we arrived home, unpacked our things I looked in our grocery cupboard and was delighted to find all the necessary ingredients needed to bake a delicious chocolate cake.
As I started getting the ingredients out, in walked my daughter, eyes fixated on the recipe book and she made a smile that could have been larger than the length of a 30cm ruler! She had reached her element!
“MOM! Are we baking?” She asked in delight.
Before I could answer, she said quickly, “please can I bake it on my own? I promise I won’t make a mess, and I will make us the yummiest chocolate cake we have EVER tasted, okay? I just want to bake on my own today, you stand over there and watch!”
By “standing over there and watch” I knew she meant, you can stand by the sink and wash the dishes!!!

I don’t know what came over me in that moment, but before I knew it she had taken control and was on the go. She read the recipe out step by step, measured the ingredients out as I had always taught her, broke the eggs in a separate cup to avoid any rotten eggs being mixed in with the mixture, switched on the oven and mixer and there she was, baking a chocolate cake all on her own! (While I stood washing dishes!)
Half way through she said, “Today we are going to make it different. We are going to make half chocolate and half vanilla?” She took out two tins, greased them, poured half the vanilla mixture in the one tin and the remainder of the mixture she added in cocoa. I watched her in amazement.

In the oven it went as she started preparing the icing.
Once the sponges had baked and she had left them on the rack to cool I watched her as she cleaned up around her and took out the sprinkles and cut up the cherries for decoration. There was no stopping her, in her heart she had made up her mind that this was going to be the first cake she would ever bake on her own and it was going to be a winner!
We all had to leave the kitchen and sit in the lounge while she iced and decorated the cake, and this was the turn-out we received as she cut each of us our slice …

cake

Does that not look just too delicious?
We were so proud of her!
To watch her face and notice how proud she was of herself was a truly amazing moment. Her delight didn’t just end there, before she sat down to have her slice she went outside to see if our neighbours were home so she could take them a slice each to enjoy. She did not know what it tasted like, but all she knew was that she, in her own mind, at her young age, had baked the yummiest cake ever!
By the picture you will see it was not only beautiful, but the taste was perfection…

Over the weekend, while I noticed the cake tin had been opened a few times and the cake started decreasing in size (even I had to sneak in a little extra taster here and there!!!) I was reminded how sweet life truly is. There are many moments that we treasure in life, and there are many times we can get bitter and angry, but the truth is, during the good and the bad special moments remind us of how good life can be. We didn’t just bake a cake that day. We didn’t just count added calories that will have to be worked off this week, and yes, there were more dishes than usual I had to wash, but what we did do is, we made a memory in our lives together. We created a Mother / Daughter moment that will forever be in our hearts, and hopefully one day she will share with her daughter. But Friday was our day to enjoy and it was one of the sweetest days I will always remember, and I know she will never forget.
Let this be a reminder to all of us, no matter how busy our weeks get, let us make a sweet memory together with our children – even if it’s individually. My son is not interested right now in baking, so he was outside playing, but he most certainly enjoyed the end result and complimented his sister again and again! (Perhaps it was his way of claiming another piece for later on!)
They grow so fast, they move out of the house, travel, or live abroad, whatever the case, enjoy the time you have with your children. If they are still young and you are with them day and night, it does not necessarily mean you are spending quality time with them. Make special time with them.

May your week be sweet. Plan something special to do and make it a memory to be cherished. I can promise you, it will do you and your child a world of good.
Have an awesome week and be safe.

Love and God Bless,
Cindy.

Blog : lifetotell.com
Email : lifetotell.com@gmail.com

The Mommy Daily Routine – do it without complaining!

You will know what I mean when I say life gets boring and dull when you are doing the same thing over and over and “get stuck in routine” when you have kids.
With a new year in place, new school year, another year at work, the same route to school, going to work daily, visiting the same shops and driving the same route I found myself looking back and realising this is a re-run from last year. It was like de-javu all over again. My mind kept telling me, “I could have sworn I did this just the other day”, and truth has it, I did, and many times before that, and there will be many more times I will do the same thing over and over again.
I felt down. I kept thinking “Where is my life going? Where are my years going?” and all I do is re-model what I did earlier and try make it a little different so boredom doesn’t set in and create a monotonous life – my ONLY way of life!
There were moments I hoped for a thunder bolt to come falling from the sky to give me some change in direction or excitement – a change of scenery, but as we all know it, that thunder bolt will never come when we expect it, or think we need it.

This struggle for me was real. And every time I felt this nostalgic way come over me I felt like I was letting my kids down. I was letting me down. I was just not doing my job as a Mother the way I had always done it, as best as I know how. There are so many people on this earth who long to be parents, and here I was, “complaining, bitterly”!
A few days ago I was chatting to a really good friend of mine. She is older than myself and her children are all grown up, married and have children of their own. She was telling me what she was up to in the day and I found myself getting annoyed. She was having so much fun! She no longer had to go to work every day, she runs her own little business, she is free to do whatever she likes and she is a woman I truly admire. During our conversation, while cutting her off in between her daily joy of living stories, she paused and said, “what is wrong with you today?” (I mean, seriously, did I make it that obvious?”)
I blurted it out – I could not refrain from telling her about my agonizing days of late. I felt wicked. “I don’t know what is going on with me lately. I just feel like my whole life is just one big routine. Wake up, get the kids ready for school, have breakfast, take them to school, go to work, pick up the kids from school, homework, cook dinner, make lunches, do the washing, clean the house, spend little time with my hubby and kids before bed, take kids to bed, get myself ready for bed and in a few hours time the alarm clock gets me going and I find myself doing it all over again, every day! I can’t remember the last time my routine was out of whack! I think I need a little out of whack and having kids is difficult, there is no time in the day for me to just sit and put my feet up. My days are going by and we are not getting younger, there is nothing fun to do and this feeling just won’t go away”.
My heart was sore, and I felt miserable to even feel that way.
Life is so wonderful, and I still found something to complain about…

She smiled, and through her little laugh I heard her saying, “Cindy, are you finished?” Clearly I could have put the phone down in her ear for her sarcasm, but I waited for her lecture to tell me how darn ungrateful I am. But she was calm, as she continued, and as I write this I can hear her words clearly as though she was sitting next to me telling it to me over again. “Cindy, as I am getting older now I fill my days up to keep me as busy as possible. As you know I am a Mother of three and there was a time in my life I did the same as you, and I worked full time. I too complained and thought this ‘life was treating me unkind and will it ever get any better’? But do you know the reality is, these days you have now will truly be the best days of your life because one day you will miss your busy life with your children for they will be out of the house and start families of their own. Do you know what I would do to go back and re-live those years again with my children? It is a cycle of life because your children will wish for their own time when they have children and you, my dear girl, will be finding things to do to keep yourself busy and wish you had those days all over again to spend with them. Enjoy your days with your children and your busy ‘boring’ life as nothing lasts forever. These days are your best days! Enjoy them!”
I felt as though I had been punched in the chest.
She was so true. My mind went 10 20 30 years down the line and I realised one day these little people I call my own will no longer be so little and these days we share now are truly the very best days of my life!
It was so easy to miss, and I had missed it. I live my life trying to do better and be the very best I can be, with no regrets, but this time my thoughts had been diverted.

If you are feeling this way and so over whelmed with life at the current moment, it is okay. You don’t have to be a parent to feel stuck in a rut of routine, but if I can encourage you today, as I was encouraged, just be reminded that today is good enough. Today will be the best day of your life, and more than likely tomorrow – even if it is the same, it will be a great day too. We can go through life complaining and feeling bitter, but do you ever just stop to think that this is exactly where you need to be in this time of your life? Sometimes we spend so much time hoping for more that we forget to “Be Still” and enjoy life as it is.
It is never too late to make some changes, and it has to first start with you, mentally – with the correct attitude and maybe some wise words from a good friend! No one is perfect and we will all have our bad days, but may our bad days be fewer than our good days!
Enjoy your “busy hectic boring mundane crazy routine in daily life” for these will be days you will never have again, cherish them, and your loved ones – and most of all, make them count.

Love and God Bless,
Cindy.

Blog : lifetotell.com
Email : lifetotell.com@gmail.com

Be honest with your Children

All my life I have worried about others. How others feel, if people are sad my heart is easily distracted for them, I cry for the littlest things and at times I wish my sensitive button could be switched off! Worrying about others can be rather draining and exhausting if you don’t balance it right.
If I am feeling down or just flat out tired, I let my kids know that ‘today has not been a very good day”, if work has been tough “I tell them”, when something great has happened, my husband and kids are the first to know. You get my point!
I have never hidden my emotions or feelings from my children. However, at the same time I also don’t feed out the details to the last core, understandably they are still very young, and they don’t need to know everything! But learning to respect others feelings is a great moral to live by.
Emotions and my character is not what I am talking about today, but what I am talking about is being honest with your children – majority of the time.
Children need to understand that their parents will always be there for them, but at the same time, parents are not robots and we need time out for ourselves too, without feeling guilty or ashamed to say it.

The other day I was flat out exhausted. Basically if I heard the word “mom” again I might have just emigrated because it had been a long day. I had been with the kids all day, we had been standing in queues, doing the Christmas shopping, paying accounts and it was pay day month end – the malls were chaos and shopping with small kids is not for sissies – I am sure you picture the scenario. By the time we got home our feet were sore, we were tired, hungry and I could not wait to flop on the couch with a well deserved coffee.
But in saying this, the kids had been ultra-amazing and super good! I had prepared them well in advance with a speech before we left home and they were informed that the day out was not for them, but we were shopping for Christmas and family gifts.
I have always explained to my kids that there is always a time for everything. Most of the time the weekends are for the kids, but there are times they have to sacrifice their “fun” and help Mom and Dad, and of course, do their chores!
Which has been a No.1 Rule in my house since (I think) I was born!!!

As I sat on the couch I could hear them whispering to each other, clearly they were up to something and wanted something out of one of the bags that were on the floor. I dazed out for a while and then heard their little voices loud enough for me to hear, “Wait! Leave her now she is tired and has had a long day! Maybe we can ask her later when Dad is home!”
My heart softened. Here were these two little rascals, who clearly had experienced an upbeat day, they did not get anything for themselves, they helped me in every store to pick out the right gifts for everyone else and if my feet were aching, I could not have imagined how sore their little bodies were, but above all that, they still thought of me in their desperation state of mind, because I knew in one of the packets were chocolates and let’s face it, not many people forget sweets in a grocery bag that doesn’t have a name tag attached to it!

I thought, if my husband doesn’t get home soon, this is going to be a long afternoon for the three of us! I called them and as they walked up to me I asked them what they were doing. “Um Mom, we know you are tired, but those chocolates in the bag, who are they for? Can we open them?”
Without hesitation I said, “Yes”.

That was my day in a nutshell! And as I sat drinking my coffee I realized that children need to learn to be respectful to others. Even if it is ‘only their parents’. My children will always come first, and they are well aware of that, but as they are growing up, the one thing that I am grateful for, is the fact that they are sensitive to others needs.

My personal belief is that children should be treated like children for as long as possible, but at the same time, honesty is the best option. Society makes it extremely difficult for our children to still act like kids, or the best way to put it, “to act their age”, but society does not have to rule in our homes.
Be honest with your children. If you are feeling burnt out and tired, explain it to them, instead of shouting out and upsetting everyone. If you are strained financially, explain to them that they will always receive their needs, but you can not always cater for their ‘every want and demand’. Your children do not have to know the last cent in your bank account and that you can’t afford the expensive food hikes, but they need to be aware of these things in a round-about sort of way!
If you and your husband need ‘time out’ and a date night, don’t feel bad! Go out! Find suitable and safe sitters and get out! The guilt card should not even be thought about. You are human, and we all need some fun to keep sane!

As Christmas is drawing near, make your shopping list and be reminded, Christmas does not have to put you in debt, or send you on a guilt trip if you can’t afford every item. At the end of the day, children need their families together – happy and healthy – so give your children what they need!

Enjoy the rest of your day and be patient during the “silly festive season”!

Love and God Bless,
Cindy.

Blog : lifetotell.com
Email : lifetotell.com@gmail.com

Did you talk with your child today?

Communication.
A word that is so easily thrown around, especially if relationships are turning sour, teachers aren’t teaching your child the way you would like them to, siblings don’t respect one another, work colleagues irritate the life out of you or your Boss is never around to explain procedure. The list goes on. And what is the common ground that damages so many relationships?
Failure to communicate (decently) amongst one another!
The most interesting explanation I was once told is, we were born with 2 ears, 2 eyes, 2 legs, 2 arms, 2 kidneys, 2 lungs, 2 nostrils, 1 heart and 1 mouth – you get it.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why God created man the way He did. Our mouth can be easily used for us or against us. If we want our relationships and social environment to understand one another we need to start using our mouth correctly. Speaking words of wisdom and kindness would be a good place to start.
That means, before we quickly criticize or judge others, which is so easy to do, change the criticism and find something pleasant to say, or if you find that too much of a challenge, keep quiet until the need to be nasty passes.
When last did you use your mouth to communicate correctly and in a polite manner toward another human being, or family member?
When last did you actually sit down with your child and have a fruitful conversation?
It makes one think doesn’t it?

I am asking you this question today, because for the last few months I have been (truthfully) swamped in my own chaotic mess. I have moved full throttle going forward and had the mentality of, “you are either with me or not – I am struggling at the moment and I can’t be hassled with things that aren’t working positively for me”.
Sad, I know.
A few weeks ago I was paging through my son’s homework book. I noticed that he was struggling in some of his subjects. It concerned me, so I started quizzing him about certain things at school. You know, the parent mode kicks in and you get all defensive over your child and it just has to be the teacher’s fault. (Sorry teachers, but continue reading, you will get my point!) At first, he was hesitant to answer any of my firing questions and kept reassuring me, “I am fine, Mom”. But, his grades were telling me something different. I had failed to notice that he had been struggling in his new class, with new class mates, different subjects and a whole new environment. Not once did I stop to think of the kids.
My personal life has been a selfish catapult ride of highs and lows, and it seems like the roller coaster ride isn’t finishing soon!
I mean, aren’t children just supposed to be resilient? They just move with the crowd?
The truth is I had not spent time in conversation with either of my children, for quite a while. I had not given him much time because my own life had been in turmoil from our move, work, moving house again for the second time within 4 months and just the usual day to day concerns. But I had taken my burden fully on my shoulders and shut the rest of my family out.
My husband and I decided to make an appointment to see his teacher. Walking into the class room I looked around and noticed all the drawings and pictures on the wall. An emotion came over me and I was reminded that this is where my son spends most of his day, without us. This was the place he received his education which would mark his entire future and I had forgotten that. I expected him to just get on with his little life because that’s what kids are meant to do! As we met with the teacher and sat down, all questions were raised and answered, there were concerns and there were moments of relief, but the hard core truth was that I had not spent enough quality time with him that he needed during this time. He could not come to us during his struggles because he could see my worries and believed his struggles would not be as important.
Is there anything in this world that does not concern a parent when it comes to their child?

As the few weeks have passed, we have worked through my son’s different subjects and instead of feeling overwhelmed and living as though we have failed as parents (as it is so easy to be caught up with negative lies and worries) instead, we actioned the matter, dived in head first, encouraged him daily and yesterday was another meeting with the same teacher! Back in the same classroom and it was all smiles. His efforts have been noticed and he is passing his subjects. There is still a road to walk, but the improvement is there, his confidence is growing and we are all on the same page once again!

I read a very sad and traumatizing article about a Mother who lost her 14 year old daughter to suicide and in all honesty, it made my blood run cold. I could not control my tears for her and the family who was left behind.
The mother stated that there is nothing she could ever do to bring back her daughter to find out what was worrying her. What was the reason for her precious girl ending her life so young? She is gone and nothing will ever bring her back.

I write this post today, as a Mother, a wife and even as a teacher. If you are a parent, you are a teacher without even realizing it. You have the power to get in touch with your child’s lifestyle every day! Not just when you feel like it, not when the washing is on the line and you have 3 minutes to spare before the next glass of wine needs to be poured, the truth is, YOU are in control of your family, even if you don’t believe it. Even in you are falling apart, you are the glue that holds your family together.
This is not a lecture. This is not to pass the blame game, being a parent is hard work, being a Mother is even more difficult, but God called you into this life and He handed the special people in your life because He has faith in you.
If there will ever be a positive affirmation it would be this, “God knows you are awesome, so start believing in Him and in Yourself!”
We all have days where we wonder, “Am I doing the right thing?” and it’s easy to answer our own question, by answering, “No!” But the truth is, you are human, I am human. No one is perfect. There is no such thing as karma coming to get you back! When Jesus died on the cross, He took what you deserve – all of it! Live in that freedom and hope.

If you are a parent or in a relationship or an employee that has lost your drive, get it back today! Start communicating with the people in your life, it does make the day easier and it certainly makes life a lot more pleasurable. Your days of being out of whack are history, now is the time to make it up.
When you see your child this afternoon, make a glass of your favorite drink and share it together – with conversation (TV and mobiles off!), when you see your spouse after work, find out how his / her day was, and mean it!
It is time to communicate, it is time to open the doors of certainty and close the doors of doubt and anxiety. Drive them out – they have no room in your life and most certainly not welcome in your mind!

Enjoy your journey, be happy, stay focused, get up when you fall and do not allow people’s thoughts of you to cloud who you have been created to be. I love the saying, “if people want to talk about you, at least give them something worthwhile to talk about!”

Have an awesome day!

Love and God Bless,
Cindy.

Blog : lifetotell.com
Email : lifetotell.com@gmail.com

Talk to your kids, don’t shout !

If anyone knows me well enough, they will agree my voice can ‘travel’! I am by no means tone deaf, but at times perhaps I act as though I am. My Dad is also known to have a loud voice, so I have to accept that I get that ‘gene’ from his side of the family! (Let’s keep this clean and not point fingers… no family is perfect, so let me not continue to find error within either sides of my precious family!!)

This past weekend my folks came to visit. I always love having them around! My Dad is the worker, he loves to find something to fix (and yes, it is a huge relief knowing things get done around the house!), and my Mom is the calm, gentle, quiet and neat lady who keeps herself entertained and loves spending time with her grandkids. Whether she is lying on the floor playing Rummie or climbing a tree outside (yes my Mother at her age loves climbing, crazy as it is, she will put most youngsters to shame) and the kids love it! (Freaks me out a little, but to be honest and as the saying goes, “what the eyes don’t see won’t hurt”!)
Well, they came to visit. The kids were in their element and had a great time being entertained. By the end of the day, as most household’s will agree, after a long day, parents can feel withered, drained and not always in the mood to be calm or have a loaded gun of energy waiting to be unleashed, usually it is the temper and frustration that is sitting at the tip of the barrel waiting to click off and explode. As my Mother and kids walked into the house after being out, the kids started their routine, “what is for dinner?” We were still not quite ready to have dinner, so the easiest thing I could do was to give them a little snack and ask them (shout) to go tidy their rooms. (House moving is stressful enough, and we are still in the process of getting settled). Needless to say, my begging, pleading and shouting did not get them to clean their rooms!
Time went on and we were tired. Hence, my voice became louder and the kids did not ‘listen’ to anything I said. In fact, the more I moaned, the worse it got and the more tired I became – the more they ignored me.
My Mother could see my stress and quietly took both kids, by their little hands to their rooms, and I heard her talking to them for a while and within minutes they were laughing and talking to one another from each of their bedrooms. I walked upstairs and noticed they were enjoying their time cleaning their bedrooms!
My Mom got up, walked towards me and said in her calm and gentle voice, “Cindy, you do not have to always shout at the kids to do something. When you shout, kids go blank and they switch off. It is tiring for everyone”.

Sarcastically I raised my eyes and walked off. Seriously, she did not know what she was talking about. In my mind I thought, “It is just because their Granny is here and kids will always be on their best behaviour when Granny is around!”
The following day, the same thing happened. My Dad, husband and I were sorting out the house while my Mother entertained the kids. Near the end of the afternoon, I was physically exhausted, and the kids, being kids, started with the usual story, “what’s for dinner?”, “when are we going to eat?”, “I am bored!” Again I tried to persuade them to do something and again I found myself irritated and ‘shouting’.
A few minutes later, my Mom to the rescue and the kids were outside keeping busy!
By this stage of the day I was thinking up every plot in my mind as to how we were going to convince my Mother to stay for a longer period of time! (Which I knew was never going to happen – but the thought had be captivated!)

Later in the afternoon, it was time for my parents to head back home. I watched the kids hug them goodbye and I felt like a piece of me was missing. To me, she is the perfect Mother. The perfect Grandmother. So calm, full of life and energy, a lust for life and a mind full of wisdom to share. In her petite little frame, she is a fireball and I am so proud of her. In moments like this, I wish I was more like her.
As she came towards me to say goodbye, she looked at me straight in the eyes and said, “I know you have so much to do in the day, but please listen to what I am telling you, your children are such a blessing. Don’t shout at them, talk calmly and you will see they will respond to you better, and you won’t always get so tired. Talking loud exhausts a person! If they are naughty, take them to their bedroom by their hand and discipline them, but stop shouting! Please believe what I am saying to you and TRY!”
I was embarrassed. But I knew her words to be true.
Life is busy as it is, and being a parent is harder, but at times, we think we are doing the best we can, but there is always room for improvement.

The following day, as I drove home from work to go pick up my kids my Mother’s words spoke in my mind and gave me comfort. Children can be challenging at the best of times, but as they grow up they become their parents. With my good and bad points, my heart is that my children will become more of my good, and they will be able to deal with matters calmly and with wisdom as they grow and not be ‘rants and ravers’! (Like their mother!)
That afternoon, as we got home, I took a deep breath, walked inside and spoke to myself. My children are a massive blessing and perhaps I do shout too much. So I decided to take head of my Mother’s advice.
Happy to admit, four days later, I have not lost my temper, or ‘shouted’ loud to them. They have been obedient and we have laughed more! It has actually been quite a relief to come home!
But I learnt one thing, “it has to start with ME”. A Mother’s duty is never finished, it can never be perfect, there is never time to quit, and as much as I love to have a clean home – it is not the clean house that will promote a strong bond between myself and my children for years to come. I have my faults, as we all do, but as the Lord comforted me, I was reminded that we always have today to change things toward the better. The sun will come out tomorrow and practise makes perfect.
If you are a ‘loud speaker’ at home and find yourself repeating yourself over and over and nothing is done, perhaps, like me, you need to change your ‘tune’! Speak directly to your children, calmly and they may play your bluff and make jokes at the new and ‘calmer you’ in the beginning, but in time their respect will increase and they will find making you happy makes them happy too.
In all honesty, it’s a win-win situation!
Let’s take the next few days to break the ice and talk our way into being calm when speaking to, or disciplining our children with love. Who knows? It may just be the best thing to bring up our children – with wisdom, love and respect.
We may even have that extra energy to go find a tree to climb outside with our kids… we will never know, if we don’t try make an effort!

Love and God Bless,
Cindy.

Blog site : www.lifetotell.com
Email : lifetotell.com@gmail.com

Hitting the pillow with a guilty heart

If you are a parent you may have sometime in your ‘parenthood life’ experienced that hollow guilty feeling at the end of the day and that evil question which hits you like you have been hit by a bus in full speed is, “am I being a good parent?”

God’s word says (and very directly), “do not spare your child the rod”. Yes, I know there are several highs-and-lows around the world discussing this topic about ‘smacking’ your child and it is a huge NO NO! However, I am going to disagree.
(Shoot me down if you dare, but these are my reasons and only my opinion…)

“Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them”. (Proverbs 13v24)
God’s word does not say ‘beat your child to a blistering pulp’, or ‘hang them from a rope until your child can barely breathe’, or ‘kick your child until their body turns different shades of blue and black’ – NO! God’s rule for discipline is, “but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them”. Did you notice the word ‘careful’?
It is very easy for any parent to get all ‘soldier like’ on their kids. Trust me, if I could get my kids into a uniformed line and march along a solid line I probably would! However, we are not in the army and my children have a life for a reason, and we as the parent, need to know our boundary and pray for wisdom as we bring our kids up to become adults and survive in this world on their own.

In the last year or so, my husband and I have been watching some of these crime series. I can’t watch them too often because in all honesty, it does upset me and in some series I have battled to fall asleep afterwards. But, if you do watch these series has it ever occurred to you that the majority of the murderers have been brought up in homes where there is no father, or the discipline from their parents has once gone void? (I am by no means generalizing and not every child who doesn’t have a father will become a murderer – trust me, I was a single mother and I didn’t for one second think my kids could be the ‘killer type’), but hear me out, discipline starts from a very young age – from both parents.
If you are a single parent, take heart, as long as you are doing your best and have steady support around you, you will win the battle of disciplining your children! But discipline is every day, not only when you feel like doing it or have the energy! Discipline is a form of exercise, because for me, it takes more emotions, sweat and tears than going to the gym! Nobody likes to discipline their kids, but if necessary it has to be done.

The other day a good friend of mine called me to say hi. I know her all too well and as she spoke I could hear her words, but the tone in her voice was monotonous. Something was bothering her, so after a little while longer I asked, “so what is really bothering you?” After a long while on the phone and three follow up calls explaining her home life, she asked the same horrid question that lurks in a parents gut, “am I a good parent? I get so angry with her at times, and she is usually such a good little girl, but am I doing something wrong?”
She sounded exasperated!
My friend’s little dilemma with her daughter’s new school and being at the young age of how to discipline a toddler correctly in a positive manner and her toddler doesn’t listen, and if her child will know her Mommy loves her during and after the anger moments and discipline… reminded me of the years when my own children were so young. It seems like nothing changes! Children will be children, parents do get tired and discipline is a form of love, if handed out correctly.

My answer to her was, “you need to keep to the rules. Stick with it, and reinforce the same rules daily. It will get tiring, but children need boundaries. Children thrive on boundaries and if a child needs your attention, trust me! He or she will demand it whether it is in a negative or positive way! Perhaps you need to re-look at your afternoon schedule and change your routine to spend more time with her. Being a parent is 24/7 hard work, it does not stop, your time no longer comes first, and your children need your time – but remember you are still the parent and she is the child, she needs to respect YOU as the parent”.
End of discussion. Full stop!
I asked the same question many times in my life, and I still find myself asking it often now as my children are growing up, and I will more than likely ask the same question over and over in the future, but the conclusion and peace I have come to terms with is, if you are a parent and you discipline your children with love and explain to them why you are disciplining them and love them after, your children will never forget it. As time goes on they will know the difference between being punished for the sake of their parent just being angry, or they will know their acts of wrong and expect their punishment due, and respect it thereafter and respect YOU as their parent!

If you are a parent and find yourself going to bed at night feeling guilty and asking the horrid question “am I doing this parent thing right?” Be at peace.
You are not the first and you won’t be the last parent to ask this question either! Re-look at your schedule, make a note of when, how or why your child plays up, and start working on it. If your child needs your time, make time! You are the parent. Work on your time management skills! Children don’t know time, they could play all day! If you make time daily and give them your undivided attention, they will soon realize there is a time for play and time for work. If your child ‘hangs on you’, don’t keep pushing him / her away and getting annoyed, perhaps all he/she needs is a comfort hug and “I Love You”. Eventually the trust will be formed and you will own your shoulder and hip again! (Just be reminded, there are no 18 year olds that are carried around by their parents. There is hope for you! It doesn’t last forever!) But in saying that, you would rather have your child coming to you for hugs and security than finding it elsewhere.
It is never too late. Discipline with care and love is the ultimate sticky glue to keep a relationship between parent and child bonded strong forever, no matter how rough the ride is, the love, wisdom and guidance you both walk through – the bond that is sealed – will never break, no matter how old or brittle the glue gets, it won’t break. Enjoy being a parent and allow your child to be swamped in love and worthy discipline to last their lifetime, and yours!

Love and God Bless,
Cindy.

Blog : lifetotell.com
Email : lifetotell.com@gmail.com

Mother and Daughter – a Priceless relationship

Being abused as a young girl my one prayer in life was that I would never have a daughter. I did not want a little girl to perhaps go through what I experienced during my early teens. So in my immature state of mind, I thought, having sons would be the best solution for me. After all, boys are easy, aren’t they? I mean, they get dressed, shave their hair or spike it with gel, brush teeth and they out the door! A daily conversation consists of, “what’s for dinner, Mom?” and “wow! did you see that car that just drove past!” Boys don’t suffer with mood swings, worrying about when to buy the first bra, at what age to start shaving, shampoo and curling irons, keeping up with the latest fashion, handbags and make-up, periods or emotions!
Growing up, I thought I had it all sorted in a nut shell. A little girl for me was definitely out of the question, and I prepared myself for a “happy ride” with boys and not much effort!

You know that saying, “be careful what you wish for?”…

Well, I am pleased to say, God has a sense of humour and He definitely knows what each of us need, even if we tend to believe differently!
My first born was a beautiful little GIRL! Well, let’s just say, the moment the doctor told me ‘she was a she’ those thoughts from my younger years vanished from my mind completely!
My new prayer these days is that I shall always be equipped with a loaded pellet gun and if any boy just looks at her with a sparkle in his eye he will know all about it, in other words he will meet me very quickly, and trust me when I say, “a Mother will always aim for the jugular to protect her children”!!!

As jokes are put aside, and each of us who are raising children will know and agree, your children become your life. There is a piece of them you carry with you every where you go, for your entire life.
But today I want to talk about the very special relationship a Mother has with her daughter/s. Even at times if I am at the shops to get a few groceries and I see a pair of pretty shoes, my mind wonders to my daughter because I know she will be like, “OH MY WORD MOM! I just have to try these on!” But then those are the moments I also have to smile and be grateful she is not with me at every shopping visit because she has realised that if you swipe a ‘specific sized’ plastic card you walk out the shop with the packet of goods in hand, but I don’t think her mind has quite yet grasped the thought that one has to earn our keep, by working and saving, and even if she is responsible enough to understand it, she does not allow me to practise it with ease!

daughter

If you are blessed with a daughter, you have a wonderful gift. As I write this, my mind travels back to many beautiful memories of my daughter as she has been growing up. The thought of anyone ever harming her sends chills down my spine, but for that reason I pray to the Lord daily for His guidance and protection over her every day of her life. These days there seems to be a day for any occasion, either it’s “Sister Week” or “Best Friend Day”, but telling your daughter you love her, is a true joy as we are able to celebrate Mother / Daughter day every day! If you haven’t spent time with your daughter for a while, make the time to meet up. With families living all over the globe, and technology at its latest, one is still able to connect over Skype, or chat telephonically without it costing a quarter of your monthly income. I heard a wonderful story the other day, a family hadn’t visited their Mother in a while and they organised a “date night with her”. They organised dinner to be delivered to her, and through Skype they enjoyed dinner together and an evening of skits performed by the kids, prayer time and laughter, she even got to read her grandkids a bed time story. For many that may seem very sad that some family’s do live separately around the globe, however, for that mother / grandmother, it was the greatest gift she received in a long while.
If you are blessed to live near your daughter, make time with her. Every chance you get. My Mother and I met on several occasions when we lived near to each other, and now that we live further apart it is those “quick coffee meet-ups and the 10 minute chats between grocery shops” we both miss the most. Don’t leave your visit for a ‘rainy day’ or make excuses, the only excuses you should be making is how to meet up again… and again!

Your daughter is your greatest treasure. She will be the one person who will learn the most from you. Be an inspiration to her. The greatest jewels you will ever wear are the arms of your children around your neck. Make sweet memories, invest your time with her – you will never receive that time back, but it will be an investment worth every minute spent together. Allow your words to be fragrant so she will one day teach her own children the same values, to be able to tell her children stories about her own Mother and the love they share. Even as I am an adult now, I love seeing the look in my Mother’s eyes when she talks about her growing up years with her Mother, and often she will say to me, “Cindy, there are days I am so down the only person I want to talk to is Ma, and then I realise she is no longer here with us”. I hear her words, and can relate, when I am down the one person I want to talk to is my Mother, and Praise the Lord she is still with us on this earth.

Keep your channels clear and open, allow room in your heart and life for your daughter to be able to intervene at every opportunity she may need from you. There will be many special people that will walk into your Daughter’s life, but be ensured you will always be her most important person she will need, and love. YOU are her Mother, YOU are her defendant, YOU gave birth to her, YOU can be – should be – and YOU are the best friend she will ever need.
If you have a distant and fragile relationship – time is of the essence – make amends! It is never too late to say, “I am sorry. Please forgive me”. Every relationship needs work and special attention, make the first step – even if it was “never your fault” – no one is perfect. And trust me when I say, “no Mother is perfect!” We do not live in a perfect world either. There is no time to remember the lost past, bring in the new – where there is a season for seeds being planted for love, friendship, laughter, unity, trust, forgiveness and hope. Every seed looks dead when you hold it in your hand, but it’s what is inside that seed that counts the most. Water it daily and watch it grow into its true beauty and full potential. With time and patience you will share a beautiful future together.
Enjoy your Mother-Daughter relationship for as many years as you have both been granted together, and your story will be a Timeless Classic as there will never be another story the same as yours.

Love and God Bless,
Cindy.

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The single life of dating. And you have kids?

I had the pleasure of staying with both my children, working from home until they were three years old, after that they attended “Pre-School” for half the day. I remember the first week my son started school, he was (and still is today) a real cutie pie. As they were still so young, and their ages are very close together, each afternoon I would bath them and clean them from all the sand and grub they would happily bring home for me each day!
One afternoon during bath time, I was cleaning my son, while he pointed to his sister’s ‘private part’ and expressed a vulgar word that still gives me chills throughout my body when I think of that day – which I will never forget. As I could not leave them alone in the bath, and trust me, that afternoon their bath was cut very short as I scrubbed them quickly, and the silent tears ran down my face. My children had never been exposed to such filthy words and the first week at school (and a well known school for that matter!) he comes home expressing the body parts that, I could not use, even as an adult! If anyone knows me well enough, they will know I don’t leave things un-attended!
My kids were left at home with a friend that afternoon and I put pedal to the metal as I reversed out our drive way. I got to their little school and I was desperate for answers. I mean, I understand teachers teach kids from an early age about body parts, and as a cautious mother, and able to spend time with both children, my kids knew a fair amount of education! But I was very interested to know exactly how the names of the body parts had changed so dramatically since I had been at school!
As I went in to meet with the Principal we chatted and I got to the bottom line, without pausing to breathe. Once I had told her about our “little bath incident” earlier I am not sure whose eyes were bigger, mine or hers! She literally stared at me with a mouth full of teeth and I could not wait for the explanation coming my way. But, she had nothing to say.
We left on a good note, but I was not going to ignore it. I wanted to be assured that my kids (and the other kids) were not being taught “interesting words”, while I was paying school fees for their ‘so called’ private lessons!
The Principal assured me she would keep a close eye on the situation (personally if it was up to me I would have placed cameras in every sector of every room in the school), but I had to trust that she would find out why or how my son knew of such an ugly word to express a little girl’s “rose”. The Principal kept in touch with me, and trust me when I say for two weeks afternoon bath time with the kids was not fair game for me. I held my breath waiting for that little finger to be pointed once again towards my little girls private area, but with a thankful heart, my son never repeated that word again.
Two weeks later the Principal called me in to have a talk. I was a bag of nerves because, as human nature would have it, we think of the worst, immediately. We sat down and before she started speaking she apologised that I had to experience this in her school. All I heard was “blah blah blah”… I wanted the low down of all this! I did not care for apologies.

The Principal kept to her word and chatted to the teacher, watched the kids play during social activities in the day, and she eventually contacted the mother of a little boy my son often mentioned at home. The Mother admitted that her life style in the evening was not of a good standard as she and her husband had divorced and she didn’t realise the impact it was having on her little boy, or that he had visually seen their acts while she was meeting with different men and enjoying her dating life style. Needless to say, she had not realised that her son, whom she thought was fast asleep in his bed at night, was in fact watching her and the boyfriend/s enjoying their new found passion, and her little boy was repeating certain moments and words he had been witnessing during the time at school to his playmates. Needless to say, it didn’t make me “happy” that my son, and perhaps other children, had been exposed to this so early in their little life, even though they did not quite understand it all, the truth is, it had happened and it is happening throughout the world, and in families and in schools every day.
Little did I realise that this scenario taught me a valuable lesson as a mother. I did not know that a year later I would be faced with almost the same situation. My late husband became ill, which lasted almost two years before he passed away, and within a moment from being a married woman I became a widow. In other other words, I became a single MOTHER to two very young children.

I do not want to get too personal with our lifestyles, but let’s be honest, after a divorce or death of a partner, life does continue… eventually. A person gets lonely, and in time, if it is our choice, and by God’s grace, we eventually meet someone else and move on.
I am not going to lie, but after two years of taking care of my ill husband and spending so much time in and out of hospitals and homes, I could not wait to meet new people and have a conversation with the ‘outside world’. I connected with different Online Dating groups, I attended single groups, I met new people, a friend gave me her outdated Black Berry and I enjoyed conversation over the internet with different people every night when my kids had gone to bed.
I enjoyed the ” invisible company” I was receiving each night sitting on my couch with my mobile device and internet festivities! My kids were safe in their beds, I was safe in the comfort of my home and the world’s dating service was my oyster. Eventually the day came that I had agreed to meet one of the single men I had been chatting to. He wanted to meet for coffee and requested he come by the house one evening to meet me, and also meet my children. I mean, we had been chatting for weeks and it felt as though I knew everything about him, but in truth, he was still a stranger.
Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…. Sirens went off in my head and it was a ‘no way – stay clear’ zone!
I had no problem meeting a “friendly stranger friend” in public, on my own, but as for my children, that was an absolute NO. Not a chance was that going to happen. My children did not need to see their Mother with different men, and my sound advice to myself and to many others, and I have taught my children to believe, “No man/ woman can complete you. The partner you chose to spend time, share a relationship with or marry is there to compliment and treasure you. But God is all you need.” And I say this, because if you are single and have children, the ‘right person’ can not be every person you meet! Guard your heart, not only for you, but for the sake of your children as well. Your children need YOU more than anyone else. Not every ‘new fling’ has to be introduced to your family, friends OR children immediately or within a 48 hour time frame!
Moving forward with the online social dating, my ‘new friend’ and I met a few times in public. My parents or close friends would take care of the kids for an hour or so, and I could enjoy my so-called social life away from the house, but he was never introduced to my children, or entered my house – in fact he didn’t even know my street address. I met two other gentleman via my friends and I enjoyed my single life, but I did it in style, at my own pace – my children’s time came first. The three of us needed to unite once again and work through the emotional steps of grieving, and above all, healing. Becoming a single parent is hard enough, being single is lonely enough, but priority is key – happy children = happy environment = happy home = happy relationship! It is that simple, and it can be that simple!
Did my children know I was making new “male friends”? “No”. They were never exposed to any of them. I did not believe any of the gentleman would become someone ‘special enough for me’ in the future, or for my children to be introduced to. My mind kept going back to the incident I experienced with my son and his little friend at school whose mother was too carefree about the men she entertained, where she entertained, and the exposure her child had been witness to. Children are created by God. In my opinion, it is His will that we are blessed with children, His plans for their future is all in His hands, but it is a parents duty to protect, guide and teach their child/ren valuable truth all the days of their lives through every situation. Children mirror their parents actions. Whether we like to believe it or not, it is truth. No matter how tough, or lonely it may get down the road. Married, single, divorced, widowed – it makes no difference. Life changes when children come into your world, they come first, especially when it comes to the dating game!

My point is, being a single parent is by no means easy. And yes, each of us have been designed to be loved and cared for. It is not easy to live alone, taking care of children, and to still be expected to sit home each night because you are ‘unable’ to go out and socialise, and then it may become so frustrating that the negative choices present themselves because you may get to a point where you “just don’t care anymore” and ‘anyone or anything’ will do! Sadly, it is a fact, but it does not work that way, and in fact it brings more damage than joy down the line and in the future – for everyone concerned.
If you are separated, divorced, widowed or chose to be a single parent – your ultimate and first job is to protect your child/ren. By all means have a social life, but your social activities do not have to include your children, or take preference! If you are struggling to come to terms with being alone, perhaps you have had a sad and bitter break up, the easiest opportunity is to find “love” and be accepted or appreciated again, I understand this, but to actually enjoy a relationship with your new found ‘love interest’ (and I say this with respect to each and every person), you need to cling to your children first. Trust me, they need you, but in all honesty, don’t live in denial, YOU need them more! Right now they may seem like a burden, and yes I am a parent, and I am a good parent, and yes children can become a burden if your life is in a shambles. How do you expect to sort out your children’s life if you are unable to sort out your own? But in saying this, God gave you your children! The God I serve does NOT make mistakes! Sort yourself out! Give your children the time they deserve, it does not have to be all day long, or the minute you walk through the door in the afternoon, but give them YOUR time! Make time! Even if it means scheduling it in your diary until it becomes a priority! Once your children know they are secured and locked in your love and your life, you will find your social activities will not take priority. In fact, you will be able to enjoy your social life and “own time”, because your family life will be in order. Don’t chase after things, places or people that do not make you a priority in their life, and in turn exclude your own children, the negative and vicious cycle consequences in the end will be far reaching, and may be at a point of no return.
It is not worth it!
If you are in a place where you are lonely. If you are arguing with your children because you feel that you are just not ‘making it’ anymore and the changes in your family have been too severe to help you remain positive, I urge you to take control of yourself. Start by saying, “You are sorry”. Start by telling your children they are your favourite. Start by making the small things count, but mean the most. I will tell you this, YOU WILL MAKE IT! God sees your struggle. He sees your heart, and if you have not been the parent you believe you should be, do not be discouraged – no one is perfect! Today is a new day to take control and make your family smile once again. You can smile again too, just be reminded of how special you are and how much joy your children gave you the moment you held them in your arms for the first time. Your first love, allow them to always remain your true love and have patience – no matter how difficult it is, I promise you, your joy will come in the morning.

Love and God Bless,
Cindy.

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