MEET PHUMLA MATABANE


Tell us about the day your children was born.

Lerato: 
Hers was, what many would call, an easy pregnancy. I never really had weird cravings, just those Woolies eclairs. I could eat 3 at a go. I also only started showing when I was about 8 months pregnant, or at least that was when many people started noticing I was pregnant. My due date was on the 22nd of September that year. When the 22nd came, I drove myself to the hospital and told the nurses that that the doctor said it’s my due date, please get her out.


 I was so excited and I couldn’t wait to see her. I was told it wasn't time and that I should come back the following day. The next day, very early early in the morning, I drove myself back. I remember I waited till around 11:00am before the doctor came to see me. Howeverl my baby was still not ready to come. The doctor induced me and I waited some more, till about 10pm. During that time, I still had not pains I was just my happy self waiting for baby to come. Because of my impatience the doctor had to perform a c-section I was disappointed but excited to finally see my little girl. 

Lethabo: 
Now hers was a very difficult pregnancy. I think God made it that way... . I don’t think I would have wanted to be pregnant again after this pregnancy. I was sick most of the time. I ballooned in the first trimester, I felt ugly. This time around there were no cravings instead I lost my appetite. This time around I decided I was going to wait for her to come and not be forward and try get her out. Needless to say, I still had a c-section with her because she was too big for me to push. After her birth she was rushed into the intensive care unit. Her lungs were full of the fluid. Fluid that she was supposed to have cough out during birth. That was the most confusing, frustrating and scariest time in my life. I’d always thought of my self as one of the strong ones... I could soldier on and through any situation. But this time I was weak... emotionally and physically. 




As far as their personalities are concerned its true that your name follows you. Lerato is so loving and caring. She is sensitive and compassionate. I’m always woken up with a kiss and a ‘good morning mama’... that just warms my heart. Lethabo on the other hand is a happy child, loud and feisty. With her I'm woken up with a shout ‘MAMA!! Vu (her version of open)’ because she can’t get out of her cot yet. The two always fight... like siblings I suppose. Both of them have strong personalities and I'm proud to say that they are also sensitive to each other.  Once a fight is over, they apologise and hug each other. One can only hope that they keep this up even when they are teenagers.






Work/life balance advice.

I am an interior decorator and I work from home so I am fortunate enough to spend time at home. At times I’m away the whole day (from 8 - 4) and I'll hardly see the little one. Other times I'm in my office working on admin and such but I spend my ‘lunch hour’ with her. Because I work for myself, I can determine my hours however, if i need to work throughout the night to complete a presentation or assignment (I'm studying as well), I put them to bed then continue with my work.

Adjusting to motherhood has been …

Joyous and frustrating at times. Joyous in the sense that I love spending time with them. We are always laughing, I'm breaking fights and the things they say at times baffles me but in a good way. I learn more and more about my girls everyday, their personalities, traits, strengths and weaknesses. It is also frustrating. Now, this is me now being selfish but I sometimes wish I could do some things with my partner or friends, I find that I always have to plan around who will look after the girls, especially on weekends. We are fortunate that we have some one to help out at home, however she also needs to have a life of her own.



How have you and your partner split the parenting responsibilities?

As a man, he would rather I have more of the hands on responsibilities, but I reign him in so that he can also learn. We take turns looking after them some weekends. At first I used to be the one with a bedtime routine for the girls. He saw it as meaningless I suppose and never really participated that is until I went away with friends for a week, then he saw the benefit of having that sleeping routine. We take turns in taking and collecting our oldest to and from school. I believe you also learn a lot from the trips to and from school about them.




How would you describe your parenting style?

I believe that the things you do at home and the learnings your children have are initiated by you, the parent. I’m not perfect, but I would like to think my girls think I am. We instil good Christian values in them and try teach them right from wrong. I’m still finding my way of parenting them because of the child that I was. I never used to question my mom, I was never a rebellious child so I was hardly disciplined. But I see my girls are the total opposites of me and I need a firmer hand with them (not literally). I’m still learning. 
Sometimes when I threaten to spank my eldest she screams and runs away and its so funny when she does that, then I just laugh and the sternness is gone. My husband has noticed so when he sees I'm about to laugh he steps in because he can keep a straight face.



What has been the most surprising aspect of motherhood?

I’ve never been the emotional type, even at funerals I wouldn’t cry as much. But the first time I saw our eldest in a concert I wept. She wasn’t doing much but dancing and I wept.



How would you describe your partners parenting style?

He at times is more lenient with them. We help each other out when it comes to disciplining them. We both believe in good Christian values.

How would you describe your home? 

I decorated my home before I went into the industry, so I would like to change some aspects of it to achieve the ultimate ‘feeling’ I want when you come into my home. So at the moment, my home is sort of like divided into two areas. We have a formal contemporary type lounge when you enter and the kitchen gives of a similar feel. Even though the lounge area looks like it’s the ‘adults only’ its got that family feel to it. I've managed to achieve by including two areas of family pictures. The one is a gallery and the other one sits on a console. It's some thing for people to look at when they enter into our home. We have an open plan kitchen with our dining area. Its also gives off a contemporary feel with the linear lines. We purposely put the coffee / tea station in the dining part of the kitchen to create conversation with people while sitted on the dining table as we make coffee or tea. Then the rest of the house is purely family orientated. We have our TV room which is cosy with browns and creams, the pyjama lounge is spacious for them to play around and not get hurt. I’ve decorated the girls rooms differently. Lerato with pinks and purples and Lethabo's with yellow and grey.





Your Parenting Philosophy? 

Teach a child how you want them to be and behave when you are not around.




What do you want most for Lethabo & Lerato
   
For them to be independent, be able to hold their own, to be loving, brave, to speak their minds in a respectful manner, to respect people from all walks of life and finally to be humble.


Parenting advice.

When your children are young, establish a routine with them. It gives them a sense of security.


Check out the blog again for a peek into the life of yet another JOHO MOM. 
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JOHO MOMS is about bringing motherhood into a relatable, inspiring and aspiring space. I wanted to create a space where mothers felt safe enough to share their respective challenges, their highlights as well as our parenting philosophies to fellow newbies. If you'd like to share your story please email johomoms@gmail.com - Our passions, spaces and children

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