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…
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