Self love and motherhood musings

Since my last little episode, I’ve recovered quite nicely. Relatively speaking of course. 

I’ve taken a few showers. Yesterday I even made myself breakfast. Boom.  

Caring for myself is so much effort when I’m depressed. Sometimes loving myself is one of the most difficult things to manage to do. I think it’s rooted to my upbringing and being molested. I never felt good enough. So often I have negative questions in my mind like, “what makes you worthy of looking after yourself?”. 

This in turn means I run on “empty” often. I don’t pour enough love into myself to give it in a healthy manner. Because I do give love. I give my everything. I give too much which leaves me with nothing. No energy or want to love myself. You know, I can’t even remember the last time I put on lotion after a five minute shower. It’s just shower. Get dressed. Finish and klaar. 

I can’t blame the three kids. I can’t blame the husband. I can’t blame my parents. I can only blame myself. I’m stuck in a world of complicated psychological mess and I need to get out of it. 

How do I do it? One way I thought of was taking ten minute showers. I know it seems stupid but that extra five minutes can seem like a luxury when you have a two year old banging at your door, “mummy, mummy, mummy!” 

I need peace. Not necessarily quiet because that’s just impossible. 

I need the peace of mind to find ways of looking after myself. 

I need freedom. Not necessarily freedom away from the kids, because duh. I’m a mother. But I need the freedom to love myself. Without the guilt. 

Guilt is painful. I’d starve myself if I could just for my children. I hear mothers say things like that all the time. I love my children fiercely but I can’t can’t can’t sacrifice myself or who I am for them. That’s my opinion. I give them my all, daily, but there comes a point where I see women give themselves away in the name of motherhood. Is that motherhood? I know my mother did that. She gave her everything and ended up being so bitter. She’s great now but I think she had it wrong- like many of us sometimes do. I think it’s part of the reason why I can’t show this weight. There are other reasons but I’m not focused on myself anymore. There is no me. There’s “us”. “We’ll” be there. “We’re” running late. “We” can’t make it. My baby making days started early. I just turned 21. So I missed out on quite a few great years because I had to be punished for having kids before marriage. 

Ok, Maybe I’m bitter. But that’s besides the point. I’m married now and although I’ve grown since 21, I still feel pressures from the online world and soccer moms to be a certain kind of mother. Like Maz from Caffeine and Fairydust referred to in one of her post. Moms with Instagram filtered lives. Moms who do no wrong. Moms who aren’t wearing slippers in the car on the way to fetch the kids. Moms who aren’t suffering from anxiety and panic attacks daily. Moms who know how to deal with tantrums and crying fits. 

Basically moms who have their shit together. 

I’m not that mom. But I’m feeling the pressure to be that mom. I’m feeling the pressure to need to give everything up to fit into that box. 

I try my best not to judge others, especially moms who don’t seem to get it right. I know how it feels. I judge myself and I’m particularly hard on myself. Why? That’s therapy convo. 

I’m tired of mothers judging one another. In fact sometimes I get tired of being a mother. It happens. There are moments when I want to throw in the (dirty) towel (into the washing basket). But I don’t. You simply can’t. You think you can, but you can’t. You love them way too deeply. Every mother loves their child so deeply in a way that is sometimes too difficult to understand. 

You will never be able to understand it. (Pity). 

But you can embrace it. 

What did I want to say with this post?

Self love is important. Don’t lose yourself in motherhood. 

Live it up,


Sleek Geek Ultimate You Challenge and mental illness

Over the weekend I came to the realization that I’m still overweight. I’ve lost some weight thanks to my new meds and my walking regime but I’m not getting to my goal. Yes I’m impatient. So I decided to do something daring. I decided to roll out my rolls and expose myself: half naked and bipolarish. 

I posted the below pic and accompanying text to Facebook. What was I thinking? Maybe I wasn’t thinking. Maybe I was feeling…

Feeling fed up…

Fed up of walking around with weight I never planned on gaining because of an illness I never asked for. 

I was fed up with the excuses I kept making for myself. 

I was fed up with being bipolar.

And fat.

I was mostly fed up with being fat. 


So this is me. I have bipolar disorder and issues with my anxiety. Due to my past medications and consecutive pregnancies I’ve picked up a lot of weight. I’m ready to take on the real me. Not this excuse of what I can be. I’m accepting any advice even sponsors for the next ultimate you challenge. I I have been clinically well for almost a month with my new medication and have lost a few kilograms but it isn’t enough. 
I’d like to thank Olivia Swail Adriaanse for supporting me and motivating me every day. 
This is me coming out. 
I need to make a difference to my life. I want my life back.”
There. I did it. I made myself feel totally vulnerable and I’m not quite sure how I feel about it. 

Ok, I know what you’re thinking, I’m not as hot as I used to be- but that was before the medication. Now, I’m a lot healthier, mentally of course. So much so that I’m ready to take my physical health to the next level. After I posted this pic I got amazing responses from dozens of people who also suffer from mental illness. They went public about their illnesses too. This was a big deal because stigma in our country is a very big problem. It was absolutely amazing to be part of that kind of positive activity. It was like a mini anti stigma campaign. 
Anyway there were a few people who really liked what I had to say and sponsored me to enter the Ultimate You challenge.  In a nutshell, it’s an eight week weight loss / body transformation competition run by Sleek Geek in South Africa. 

My goal is win the competition. 

That’s it.  

I’m in it to win it. To win my life back..

21 day Running Challenge

Hi my name is Yvette and I’m overweight. There, I said it. Now I can move on.

It’s amazing how one’s weight can affect almost every part of one’s life. I feel it the most when I’m around other people. I imagine people commenting how tight my clothes are, or how attractive I could be if I just looked after myself. I must say since I’ve been better mentally, the negative thoughts haven’t really infiltrated my head as heavily as they did before.

But being fat still sucks.

I have boxes of old clothes that are (way) too small for me now but I so badly yearn to be fit into them.  I hear you say, “throw ’em out then.” But no. They all have sentimental value. Plus, I used to look hot in them. One day, they’ll be vintage and in fashion again. I just don’t know if my body will be in fashion again.

Most of the times I feel the weight of my weight when I’m around my children. They’re so busy, and I can’t always move like they do or keep up with them. I’d like to get to a fitness level where I have a fighting chance of playing with for more than 10 minutes without panting to get the few words out, “OK, mommy is tired now.”

I decided to embark on a running (read that as walking) challenge. Everyday, just a walk down the road or around my block. I want to do it early in the morning because I don’t really want people to see me breathe heavily (*giggle*). I used to be a dancer, believe it or not, but even then I felt fat- no matter how hard I trained, I felt bigger than I was. When I was around 12, I used to sit and stare at my thighs. I’d poke and prod at the “fat”. It was all in my head. I was poking at muscle.

Anyway, that’s in the past. Looking forward now.

Come on Yvette.

You can do this.

I have lost a bit of weight after changing medication but I still have a lot more to lose. I’m currently a size 40. I’ve changed to eating low carb meals so I’m hoping that will help. I’ve also noted what situations make me what to pour chocolate down my throat. I try to avoid those times. I have running gear, 2 x 2 kg weights and a skipping rope. I have all my shit together.

I have to do this.

Any advice?



D-day has arrived: Operation Hernia, here I come

When I was at the clinic for depression, we discovered a few other things that were wrong with me. You know, the usual, hernias and lesions on my brain. Gah! It was scary trying to deal with all the emotional stuff and these new physical things but I think I managed to keep myself sane. A few people helped along the way. I could never have done it alone. (Thanks Blahpolar and fam). I was diagnosed having an umbilical hernia observed while doing a sit up in the gym. It put me off exercising- that’s how embarrassing and awfully uncomfortable it was.

Source: An umbilical hernia in adults usually occurs when too much pressure is put on a weak section of the stomach muscles, due to factors including:

  • being overweight
  • frequent pregnancies
  • multiple gestation pregnancies (having twins, triplets, etc.)
  • fluid in the abdominal cavity
  • stomach surgery
  • having a persistent, heavy cough

I tick a few of those boxes, lol, especially the frequent pregnancies bit.

Anyway, I’m off to surgery to have it fixed. I’ll have more on the brain lesions when I get a chance.

Life is a precious thing.


Loving the family time

I’ve been much more stable and present in my children’s lives after my last medicine change. I can’t only thank the meds for it, I also have a great therapist who has been working relentlessly to bring me back to my world. I haven’t had a long term therapist for years, so this adds to my recovery. 

Yesterday, we took a short trip to Paternoster close to where we live on the West Coast in South Africa. I decided to take some pictures – even add some pictures of myself which I never do. 🙂

say “cheese” mom!


while dad’s at work, we play around with mom’s camera!


I’m the easiet to throw up in the air


my three boys


i am one!


not -so-baby Gabriel- stillness of heart


paternoster beach

My camera didn’t quite capture the simple seaside beauty of the town. But then again, a camera can almost never do that anyway. 

I look forward to being part of my children’s lives every day now and that’s one of the best gifts a mother (with or without mental illness) can ever receive. 

Mommy, wife, woman. 

World, Yvette is back. 


That feeling when your toddler pees straight into the potty!

Can I get a yay? or even a middle class whoop whoop?


Cheese and Ham!!!

Cheese and Ham!!!

I woke up at 9 am today, I lie, read that as 11:30 am. My husband had a work function last night and so I had to delay taking my tablets. That just means me having half a day to do things.

Anyway, something told me that I needed to step in with my middle child’s potty training programme. (You know that stomach churning feeling you get when your instinct screams at you from the core. Just go with it.).

We’ve been doing this potty training thing on and off for a few months now and he’s always failed miserably. But today, I knew we had to try again, but this time, do it the right way. (Ag, then again whatever works for us). After asking about tips and tricks on a Mamahood Facebook group, a member told me about a 3 day potty training idea. I thought it was madness, but googled it anyway. It’s on Baby Centre’s site and although it seems a little extreme at first, it worked for us.

It’s all about quick training, which apparently isn’t a new concept. Since publishing of the book Toilet Training in Less Than a Day by Psychologists Nathan H. Azrin and Richard M. Foxx in 1974, many have come up with their own versions of this quick training solution.

I used the one technique – the “potty training in three days” strategy outlined in Julie Fellom’s Diaper Free Toddlers program – (which is outlined on the site). It’s easy to follow- all you need is to have a naked baby running around for three days and get them pee in a potty as much as possible. And then of course celebrate when we get the pee in the potty.

Today was different. While I was cooking breakfast, the nanny saw Alexander make his way to the potty (which was stationed in the TV room for convenience of course), he sat down by himself and did his thing. (He pee’d his pee).

“Mummy, look, Alexander pee’d in the potty.” and just like that I melted.

You don’t have to invite me twice to do a victory dance. There we were, nanny, Alexander and myself boogy’ing while baby Gabriel stood staring. Boogy’ing turned into heavy metal jumping, but with more smiles and less grunge.

I’m feeling very proud. I now know that he’s ready. He’s growing up and we’ll be spending less on nappies.

Amen to that!


Jumping for joy

Jumping for joy


School is IN and blogging is OUT

Phew! What a hectic past few weeks I’ve had. But I’m not going to complain much. I’m kidding. I haven’t been blogging due to my mom commitments as well as the writing schedule I made for myself.

Cayden started his new school term three weeks ago. I’ve also been getting my ass in gear for the usual pick up and drop offs with regards to extra murals. I’m a proud soccer mom. Cayden also played rugby but we found out today that he didn’t make the team. My sensitive son cried a million tears. Why he cried so much I dont know. He’s never played it before and never even watched a game on TV. But I comforted him as is my job. 

I’m also part of a lift club and this week was my turn to haul three boys to school and back and to their activities. At first I was hesitant to make such a commitment because I was so afraid of letting the parents down. I was scared that I’d get depressed again and embarrass myself by not being able to take the kids to school. Good news people: I made it. I was a success this week and managed to be on time, every day! I only go on duty in three weeks again which is fabulous news.

In other good news: I went for a jog on the beach today! Yep, got some vitamin D too. I must admit it was very cold so my lungs were a slight problem. Breathing ice and managing caving knees are way better than the energy sapping bipolar disorder though. So it shall be my daily routine: drop the kids and shed some load straight afterward.

Tonight I celebrate my victory with the last cup of hot chocolate in a very, very long time. 


The new adventure: day f#@$ six

Today is Friday,  my day off. I’m sitting outside reading How not to murder your husband , by Stephanie Calman. She shares my grudge of having a so-called perfect husband. You know the one everyone praises and you wish they could live with him for a week and see if they change their minds.  Anyway,  I digress.

It’s been a rough week and because I’m terribly impatient I expected myself to be settled in already.  I started the negative self talk again which often is set off because there’s dirty dishes. I know my mother would NEVER have dirty dishes and so the spiral of comparison brings me down. I’m not beautiful anymore,  I am not talented enough, I can’t write,  I’m not a leader anymore,  I’m not thin (see how petty I’m getting) and lastly I don’t fit in with certain people. Look that’s a topic all on its own. Just typing this is making me sad. 😦 Am I getting depressed?  What are MY signs?  One of my fellow online friends I should give myself time. She’s right but I keep believing I’m programmed to think that I don’t have time. Everything needs to be felt and learned, now. Old people will tell you this is impossible.  They are right but we choose to live differently.

I have never been patient with myself. All my goals and timelines are set to zero and if I don’t achieve them I die inside a few thousand deaths. Then I go for the impossible again. My parents are probably to blame for this and they know it. My memoir will probably have all the details but I must thank them for it too. I have the ability to push through almost any adversity life spin balls at me, even the ones beginning with the capital M,  ME. I hold myself back in so many ways it’s scary. 

I hope this move to this somewhat sleepy town will teach me about patience.

I need it. Now.

Sleepy Saldahna Bay

I have just made a major move the west coast in the western Cape, South Africa.  It’s about an hour and a half out, so it’s not that far,  but it what a difference it is living here.

Sleepy town life

Traffic only whispers in the morning
Birds fly free all day
To play in the promise that tomorrow still stays the same
I sit and wonder about old city life’s bitterness
I sit and ponder on schedules and deadlines and time
When it has no authority here.
I sit with Worry,
Time’s cruel friend.
I sit and miss life’s cruel games.
There’d be rules and structure and a place for me to play
Now there’s none of that
Just me and birds and words
And ties to tomorrow’s waiting game today.

I hope the poem makes sense. Let’s call it a draft 🙂

I haven’t written  much on my memoir this last few days as I have been so busy with the move. It’s been crazy and I think the sudden stop has left me feeling strange. I’m left trying to catch my breath when the world over here has stood absolutely still. So I look crazy. Right?

I feel crazy.

What’s even more strange is that some of the plants here, the birds, and the land between places reminds me of the Free State where I grew up. I become so nostalgic every day, yet I haven’t written a word.

I’m hoping this will pass.

Here’s to new beginnings.


Happy Mother’s Day (I’m so late)

This post is all about me.

How selfish some may think,  because most posts are… but this is a post I’m writing to myself to pat myself on the back as a mother.

My eldest made two mother’s day cards and I found the messages just so beautiful that I had to share:
“Dear mom, thank you for always being there when  I need you. ” and
“I love you when  you are sad, I love your cooking. I love you in each and every way.”

Those who know Cayden are aware of his passion for writing and art (like his mom) so these messages came straight from the heart.

I know I’m not perfect but at least I know that I’m doing this ‘mother’ thing right.

I hope you felt appreciated as a mother or caregiver of  mother’s day, Thank you to my mother AND my mother in law for bring loving and so supportive.