My Working Mom Win

So I have not sat down to write a blog for a while now because I really didn’t have anything I wanted to talk about but now I do. A lot has changed in the few weeks and I’ve just been feeling by what I have experienced this week.

I started a new job at the beginning of this month that allows me to work remotely at home or wherever I want to really. Everyone who works for the company works from home and we are scattered across South Africa and the USA.

When I saw the job being advertised I really couldn’t believe it was true because I had always imagined anyone who worked remotely was freelancing or running there own business. I never thought I’d ever be employed full time and be able to work from home.

There are two reasons why I applied for the job, one being I wanted to see if it was real and two I really wanted a change in my everyday routine that allows me to spend more time with my children. Well turns out the opportunity is real and I got the job. Most people asked If I was sure this was not scam and I would smile sheepishly and say of course it’s not! I had done enough research on the company to know it exists and didn’t find any negative information so I was comfortable with decision to accept the offer in the end.

Fast forward to my second week on the job and I have been able to reap the benefits that working remotely offers. My son fell ill at school and was put in the sick bed so I had to go pick him up. I was at home working and I didn’t feel the anxiety I would have felt if I was working at my old job to have to drop everything and leave. I simply got into my car and drove to school.

As I was driving I was thinking to myself that the drive would have taken me at least 40 minutes if I was at my previous job. That would have been 40 minutes to the school, 15 minutes to the house from school and because I would have wanted to go back to work to finish the days tasks it would have been 40 minutes back to work and then again in the evening back home. Err that’s a ridiculous amount of time spent on the road not doing anything productive. I was able to get me son and get back to work in 30 minutes. Later that afternoon I was able to take him to the doctor without any worries about my work falling behind too much. Playing catch-up at work can be exhausting.

The next day I kept my son at home as able to look after him and give him medication and make sure he gets better while I was getting work done. Fortunately we have a full time helper who was present so when I was at my desk she was around. This would have needed to be a leave day at my previous job. All in the same day my daughter’s teacher sends a text saying she is not feeling well and might be sick. I got into my car picked her up from class and we went straight to the doctor. I kept them both at home the following day and was just happy to be able to be around for them when they needed it most.

My heart is full. I have felt so much at ease during this time and am grateful I won’t have to experience the kind of anxiety I have experienced in the past. Two kids falling ill and me having to miss work or forcing myself to be at work would have sent me into frenzy. The work life balancing act falls apart at times like this.

Apart from the flexibility working from home offers there are other benefits. Less travel for one, I don’t miss Joburg peak traffic. Cost saving! I will be spending less money on petrol and I’ve just remembered that I can save more on my car insurance too. I’m calling them first thing in the morning. I’ll be spending less on lunch as well. No more Uber eats and Woolies I go to my fridge and whip up a quick lunch. I’m eating breakfast now, I never used to.

It’s just been two weeks but I already feel like its been life changing. My company also encourages we block off time in our calendars to spend time with our families or do something we are interested in that brings us joy. Like, where have you?

What are your thoughts on remote does it work for you or do you see it working for you if got the opportunity? Let me know.

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DECEMBER BABIES AND SCHOOL

Never did I ever think that my son being born in December, on the 26th to be exact would ever be an issue but it is since he has to go to school. It is not really something that I sat and looked at before I had him or even once he was born until last year.

When we enrolled him earlier that year we initially thought he was going be in a lower grade than the one he should be in based on age because I was more than happy for him to be in class with kids closer to his age based on the months they were born. Teachers suggested we put him in with the other 5 year olds since he would be turning 5 in December. This was 2017. Now that means he was in class with kids who had already turned 5 when the year started. My husband and I agreed but were slightly skeptical because we knew our son was not ready for that class because he was still basically 4 and would be till school closed.

Fast forward to the end of term 2 he is now 4 years and 6 months and the teachers raises a few concerns about where my son is currently at in the class and where he should be. No shock to me and my husband but I wished then that I had been more vocal about him not being in that class to begin with.

Two suggestions were made, one being that he sees an occupational therapist, an idea I was not fond of because the kid is only 4 and the other suggestion was that we take him to a lower grade. We went for the second without even considering the highly recommended OT the school was referring us to.

He did far better in that lower grade which kids his real age then with kids his school age if you know what I mean. The age thing came up again when we enrolled him to a new school for 2018. He should be going Grade 0 since he turns 6 in December. When want him Grade 00 since he only just turned 5 in December and we know he is not ready for Grade 0. I’m comfortable with the choices we have made for him now at the foundation phase rather than have him experience issues in primary school in the later years once the pressure and standards increase.

Have you experienced any problems with your December baby? How have you dealt with it? Let me know in the comments.

Umhlanga getaway with the girls

Last week I took my first official girls trip since having kids and being with my husband. It was a really lovely trip!

Our journey began very early on Friday morning the 6th of October. I was up at 2:30am and had to drive to my cousins place in Pretoria so that we can leave super early and avoid morning traffic. We we’re on the road by 4:00am. All I needed then was coffee! We eventually stopped along the route and I got myself a Grande Cappuccino from Mugg & Bean. My fav! I was so grateful we had a decent coffee place we could stop at.

A few hours on the road, overcast weather hindering our view of the scenery and some other pitstops later we finally made to our destination. Umhlanga! I just love that place. So chilled but yet so vibey. My kind of vibe. The weather wasn’t great but it is still beautiful.

I’d been there last year December on big family trip with kids and grandparents and arriving this time around I could see that some of the developments taking place then were now complete. We checked into the the Protea Hotel by Marriott Durban Umhlanga which was just a walk away from the beach and a new mall with great restaurants there was also a lot of other restaurants just below the hotel a lot of great options.

Our first stop once we checked in was the Umhlanga Pier. The weather was gloomy and going to the beach was just not gonna work for us so we chose to have cocktails and pizza at one of the restaurants close by overlooking the ocean. We were really exhausted though from having woken up at an ungodly hour so once we were done we headed back to the hotel for a nap before we heading out for supper at Granada Square. Supper was rather disappointing I can’t even remember the name of the place.

Day two of our trip and we had very gloomy weather again. We had planned a beach day after having brunch and the weather was not playing ball. We drove to North Beach, Durban and once we got there it is was drizzling. We got our stuff out the car and found a spot on the beach but then it started to ran even harder so we decided to go to Ushaka Marine World and did a bit of window shopping and sat for coffee to warm up. Seems the locals don’t give up on their beach days because we could still see people swimming on the beach. We ended our day with dinner at Gateway and yes more drinks. Nothing wrong with a boozy trip.

Day three and the sun was out, yay! We finally had our beach day at Umhlanga Beach. We fueled up on coffee and order our breakfast as take away and set up on on the beach with food and snacks for most of the day. The water was so cold but I enjoyed it! We soaked up the sun and took some hilarious beach photos of ourselves doing the Bay Watch run and all. The weather soon turned and it was time to go back to the hotel. We grabbed a chicken bunny chow from Rocky Bunny on the way back to the hotel. It’s was spicy, really hot and very good! We spent our evening at a hotel on the Durban Beach Front for dinner and drinks.

Day 4 and it was time to head back my to husband and kids who I missed so much. We had breakfast and checked out off the hotel. We hit the road and it was raining and hailing. Same was happening in Joburg and as we arrived we are welcomed back by traffic on the N4, what a lovey welcome back. Durban had its fair share of rain and flooding just the next day which caused quite a bit of devastation. I’m just lucky to have made home safely the day before and that it didn’t happen while we were there.

Our trip was short but very much well deserved. Taking time to get away from the everyday life between home and the office is required from time to time. Fortunate are those that can do this more frequently. We are already planning our next trip which might be to Mpumalanga or the Drakensburg in the new year. I can’t wait. I’ll hopefully have a trip with my husband and kids as well before that. I just love traveling South Africa. What about you? Any places you can recommend for taking small kids? Or romantic getaways? Let me know in the comments.