what i've learnt from my daugh­ter

As par­ents we feel that we have a lot to teach, but some­times it’s the lessons we learn from our chil­dren that are the most valu­able. Three moth­ers share what their daugh­ters have taught them…

Essentials (South Africa) - - CONTENTS -

Three moth­ers share what their daugh­ters have taught them…

Jes­sica Gois, 32, is a public re­la­tions di­rec­tor and lives in Four­ways with her hus­band Don, 35, and one- year- old twin daugh­ters Cali and Sadi. I al­ways knew that I wanted to be a mother; it was just a mat­ter of when. But I felt I needed to tick a few boxes be­fore bring­ing chil­dren into my life; I wanted to be in a sta­ble and se­cure re­la­tion­ship and have a ca­reer. For me, this would en­sure that I could take care of my chil­dren in the best way pos­si­ble and give them a happy home. Don and I had been mar­ried for six years and I en­joyed my job in PR when I fell preg­nant in 2017.

I al­ways thought that I’d be more suited to be a mom of boys be­cause I don’t re­ally think of my­self as be­ing very girly, so when we found out we were hav­ing twin girls, I im­me­di­ately thought, ‘Oh gosh, here comes trou­ble!’ It could have been that I was dread­ing the teen years or our fu­ture shop­ping bills; ei­ther way, I was a lit­tle ner­vous and had no clue about just how much our lives would change.

then and now

Be­fore Cali and Sadi my life was a blur of going to work ev­ery day, client meet­ings, and week­ends spent with Don and our friends. Most of my at­ten­tion was on my job: I’d go into the of­fice early and stay late – even if I got home at a rea­son­able hour, I’d switch my lap­top back on and put in a few ex­tra hours.

Things shifted some­what when I fell preg­nant. While I made it a pri­or­ity to be avail­able to my team and clients dur­ing the early months of my preg­nancy, I had to take it a bit eas­ier and put my feet up

‘Par­ent­ing has taught me to be flex­i­ble – you don’t re­ally have a choice!’

as my due date ap­proached. Of course dead­lines were im­por­tant, but noth­ing felt more im­por­tant to me than the twins’ healthy de­vel­op­ment and well-be­ing.

Cali and Sadi were born via C-sec­tion at 37 weeks weigh­ing 2,3kg and 2,5kg on 15 Fe­bru­ary 2018. Both Don and I were be­sot­ted with our two bun­dles of joy and couldn’t wait to take them home to start our lives as a fam­ily of four.

What I’ve learnt from my dau ghters

I’ve never been a par­tic­u­larly patient per­son but you don’t have much of a choice when you’re deal­ing with chil­dren, and twins in par­tic­u­lar, so

Cali and Sadi have cer­tainly taught me how to slow down and be more ac­com­mo­dat­ing.

As a parent, I’ve learnt how to be more flex­i­ble – things aren’t al­ways going to turn out the way I want them to, and be­ing able to ad­just eas­ily to sit­u­a­tions means I can cope a lot bet­ter when faced with a change in rou­tine.

Car­ing for the girls has shown me what a good team Don and

I are; ours is a re­la­tion­ship of give and take, where one parent is al­ways avail­able to step in and help the other when nec­es­sary. Don of­ten men­tions how, through our daugh­ters, he has been able to glimpse a com­pletely dif­fer­ent side to me – the twins have brought out a strong ma­ter­nal in­stinct in me that even I didn’t know I had! These days I try to take life less se­ri­ously, be­cause there re­ally are more im­por­tant things than fret­ting over be­ing stuck in traf­fic or some­thing going wrong in the of­fice. Chil­dren have an amaz­ing way of show­ing you what re­ally mat­ters.

My ap­proach to my work-life bal­ance has changed dras­ti­cally over the past year. I now work re­duced hours, going into the of­fice at 9:30am and leav­ing at 2: 30pm, so that I have more time to spend with my daugh­ters. My new work­ing hours come with a salary cut, but I don’t re­gret my de­ci­sion at all.

The ar­range­ment al­lows me time to be with the twins in the morn­ing. When I get home I take over from my nanny and I make din­ner and do the bath­time rou­tine. When the girls are sleep­ing, I’m on email and do­ing any­thing ur­gent for work. The in­dus­try I’m in doesn’t re­ally allow me to switch off en­tirely, and clients don’t stop call­ing or email­ing just be­cause I have gone home for the day.

If any­thing I’ve be­come much bet­ter at us­ing my time more pro­duc­tively, whether it’s meal prep for the girls be­fore work, or sending an email in-be­tween din­ner and bedtime. Don runs his own busi­ness and we’re able to share the par­ent­ing re­spon­si­bil­i­ties evenly.

Al­though Don and I sched­ule a reg­u­lar date night, we of­ten struggle to find time to see friends. I sup­pose that’s what be­ing new to par­ent­hood is about. What’s im­por­tant is that we’re happy as a cou­ple and a fam­ily – every­thing else will fol­low.

Chil­dren have an amaz­ing way of show­ing you what mat­ters

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.