One of the best pieces of advice I ever received while pregnant was from a friend and fellow mother, her exact words were “remember your son does not know what you need to be doing so learn together” and there began an eternal journey of Trial and Error.

My pregnancy was nothing short of drama. It was far from the perfect image I had envisioned growing up. I was 29, engaged & dangerously in love with the man of my dreams and should not have been in fear of the future. Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love kids, all my unborn kids were already named (still are) so my own reaction to the pregnancy both surprised and shocked me….I did not want to keep the baby. That was the beginning of a downward spiral for my life as I knew it.

My relationship fell apart and I had an even tougher time coming to terms with the pregnancy, I still smoked and drank, didn’t take prenatal medication nor make any regular visits to the Gynae, I would even research ways of having a natural miscarriage until my family intervened around the 4th month and I was diagnosed with prenatal depression, for whatever reason my doctor did not want to put me on medication but forced a natural bond rather. I was about 5 months pregnant when one evening whilst taking a bath I felt something like small butterflies moving in my tummy. I ignored and he insisted on letting me know that he was here to stay and I needed to get my act right. It was like a train of emotions rushing through my body, I cried throughout that night and for the 1st time I acknowledged my son by apologising profusely. Being the obsessive compulsive person I am, those last 22 weeks were spent taking better care of myself, researching any effects, different birth options(decided on natural) and reassuring him how much I loved him.
The morning of 26th November 2011 around 5am I knew that “today” it was going to go down! Nothing went according to the birth plan (yes I handed these out to the nurses on my arrival). I was in labour for 18 hours and when all of 4kg Carl Tshenolo Smale Jnr finally came (he was the heaviest baby born at the hospital that week) I cried joyously and did not want him out of my sight.

In all honesty I didn’t know what raising a child was until the beginning of this year. 3 months after giving birth I found a new job that required a lot of travelling so he stayed with my grandmother, who would raise him and I would visit home every 2 weeks to play mom for the weekend. These visits fuelled so much jealousy because I was missing out on so much, so with each trip I made a conscious decision that I would get my life in order and bring my boy home.

I'm forever indebted to my gran who laid a foundation of love, respect and a happy environment for my son, so I wanted to carry on building on that. The adjustment was not as hard as I thought, Cj was already in a routine with me within 2 weeks and my work is very flexible when it comes to emergencies. He is obsessed with superheroes and calls himself Ben10, we laugh and play a lot, he tells me stories after school, he’s very smart (I call him Mommy’s prodigy), an old soul and understands things way beyond his age so we tell each other when the other is hurt and apologise.

I have never known and felt love like I do when I look into my lil’ man’s eyes, he is a compassionate child and very protective over me, sometimes I think he felt the pain I went through while carrying him and this is his way of letting me know he has my back.

if I ever get anything right it would be to raise a respectful young man with solid values, a long journey awaits us and we are both still learning but it’s a trial and error I’m willing to sacrifice anything for.

- Max and CJ are dressed by 32 Clothing


  1. Well done Maxy! I have watched you grow from strength to strength, both personally and as a Mommy. I hope you will continue to give yourself the credit you deserve for the sacrifices you have made for CJ. With love from Thando M (Sedi's mommy).

  2. This made me cry. I am nowhere near parenting or dangerous love. Your honesty really touched me. Thank you

  3. Wow! Max your the best! always know that and you make a very good mommy and friend - Im very proud of you. Nobuhle FIFA




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 - Our passions, spaces and children