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Being a parent comes with a whole control panel of stress buttons.
And there’s a whole bunch of people who get to push them.

You can bet your kids are in the front row seats with a whack-a-mole hammer. Then there’s your partner, your parents, your in-laws, and that strange lady at the grocery store who always seems to be watching you.

We all have our own stress bears. Maybe you have a kid with special needs. Or you’re a single mom. Or you’re living in circumstances where you just don’t have the support you need.

Or maybe you’ve just…

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It’s a phrase that will strike terror into the heart of any parent:

“Mommy, Daddy, I’m booooored!”

Why the panic? Well, apart from horrifying visions of yet another mind-numbing game of tic-tac-toe, most of us instinctively feel that boredom is a symptom of lack. A sign that somewhere in the overwhelm and over-demand of parenting, we’re still not doing enough.

If you’ve got a personal Guilt Sergeant in mental residence blowing the whistle at your child’s first hint of boredom, I’m here to share the good news that’s going to set you free — not to be a lazy parent…

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Becoming a mom is basically signing up for a pretty daring human experiment.

While there’s a set of broad guidelines, some basic “do’s and dont’s,” and a vague promise of life-changing rewards somewhere along the way, every iteration of this particular experiment is completely unique. So you really have no cooking clue exactly what to expect, or how it’s going to affect you, personally.

Sure, millions have done the experiment before, so we have a bunch of anecdotal info, examples and recurring themes in the parenting commons.

There’s the mood swings and morning sickness.
The emotional rollercoaster of birth.
The inhumane…

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Another morning.
Another day on the hamster wheel from hell.
Another day running on empty while you fill everyone else’s tank.
Another day trying to jump the high bar to be the perfect wife and mom you promised yourself you’d be.

Another day to try, and fail.
Exhausted, overwhelmed, utterly empty.

It’s not like I even have serious challenges.
Like a special needs kid. Or chronic health issues. Or unemployment.
Why do I struggle so much with something that’s supposed to be so ‘natural’?
Why do I feel so empty when motherhood is supposed to be the most fulfilling…

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Little kids have very little control over external circumstances. They depend on us to create the best conditions for their ‘flow state’: solo play.

If you’re reading this, I’ll wager the idea of seeing your toddler or pre-schooler playing on their own, totally immersed in their own little world for a couple of hours a day sounds like parent heaven (yep, that place where you can also eat a meal in peace and sleep in past 6am).

Besides, it’s not just for the sake of parental sanity. Independent play is something our kids are naturally wired for. Just as adults…

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If you knew there was one thing you could do that would lead to your child’s ultimate physical, intellectual, social and emotional wellbeing and success, you’d jump on it, right?

What if that one thing was simply leaving them alone?

That is, leaving them to just play. Not 24–7, of course. Not leaving them alone in the park. Not abandoning them at home all day while you go gallavanting.

Just a healthy dose of independent play, in the safety of your home environment. Every day.

Independent play actually begins in infancy, even though we might not recognise it. Independent play…

Sometimes kids need a little help and encouragement kicking their solo play mode into gear — especially if their default setting has been ‘screen mode’ for a while.

Independent play has so many vital benefits for our kids’ development (not to mention the major upside for moms!), that it’s really worth getting past the initial hurdles to reap all the awesome rewards.

These ideas are inspired, tried and tested by my own kids. They require minimal setup and supplies, and can be adapted to different settings, whether you’re home or away.

Find out which ones are a hit with your…

Because, toddlers…

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As a stay-at-home mom a few years into the joyride of parenting, one of your biggest gripes, of course, is how much you miss the gym.

I hear fellow moms all the time talking about how they’d just kill for a good sweat fest on the elliptical or a deep burn spin class. (It must be all those extra hormones and pent-up energy we don’t know what to do with since we’re taking an extended vacation from work.)

But alas, we’re stuck at home watching Cocomelon with our toddlers, eating leftover fruit loops, and trying to stick to nap schedules…

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Johannesburg, South Africa — New niche restaurant, Hoovers, has seen disappointing turnouts on its highly anticipated opening weekend. This following the lifting of strict Covid-19 Lockdown measures, which once more allows the public to patronise eat-in establishments.

The brain-child of entrepreneur couple, Wendy and Arby MacDonald, Hoovers is the first of its kind, branding itself as an exclusive ‘moms only’ eatery with a kitchen staffed predominantly by children. The MacDonalds are quick to clarify that their employment policies are totally ‘above board.’

“The majority of our kitchen staff are essentially volunteers,” explains Wendy. “How it works is, moms can either…

Andrea Kay

Nap deprived semi-working writer mom. Out to help parents embrace the struggle, find the joy and reclaim some sanity.

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