Adventuring|Children|Lifestyle|Mom life|Parenting

My 10-year-old and I faced our fears together

I recently took the boys on a Mom and Sons weekend away. We are a crazy yet fun threesome who love new experiences. Let’s just say we are a bucket list family who plan to bring you many more adventures. So, off we headed to the quaint little town of Cullinan, but we were not in search of diamonds. We were in search of adventure and exploration.

You can read more about our entire weekend away to Cullinan on my blog post Sho’t Left to a little town called Cullinan, but now I’m going to share the decision we made to face our fears.

Ashton, my 14-year-old is an adrenaline junkie who doesn’t fear much. He’s a thrill seeker who’s ever-ready to try the most daring thing out there. Skylar on the other hand, (my little baby … okay, not so little, as he is 10-years-old), is afraid of almost everything. In fact, Sky and I are a lot alike in this respect, but we decided a few years ago, that every adventure requires that we challenge ourselves to step outside our comfort zones.

We headed to Adventure Zone Cullinan and signed up for Ziplining. Ziplining, when 2 of the 3 of us are terrified of heights! How incredibly brave are we ??

Anyways, we arrived and were suited up with safety harnesses, helmets and gloves. As a person who works in the Quality and Safety environment on a daily basis, I asked the necessary questions like :-

  • When last were the harnesses load checked
  • What were the weight limitations? (apparently the straps can carry the weight of a bakkie, so I was good)
  • What if we got stuck in the middle? (my biggest fear)
  • Why was it so windy?

All my questions were answered without any hesitation during the safety briefing. Our group then climbed onto a truck and we made our way to the first zipline. At this point, I thought I had the option to choose the zipline of my choice, but I was wrong. Four ziplines formed part of the adventure and it was an “all in” commitment that was required. I had already paid, so there was no turning back. Oh, and talking about paying … we made use of the Entertainer App’s buy 1 get 1 free deal for the Adventure Zone. Yay, for saving money on a weekend away.

As we approached the first tower it dawned on me that I was adventuring alone with the boys. I was faced with choices of who would go first, was the line secure, what if Sky decided to bail at the last-minute. Was I being paranoid, over-protective or just being a mom whose instincts naturally kicked in??

I eventually calmed down and sent Ashton on his way, who faced his first zipline without any hesitation. Then it was Sky’s turn, but he panicked the moment he set foot onto the platform. He started hyperventilating and wanted to cry. He insisted that I go first, but how could I go first and leave him behind. Chances are he would panic again and derail the process for everyone. So with a stern mom-voice and darting eyes we got him secured onto the line. He looked at me and begged to get off. The guide then looked at me wanting a decision to made …. and then my mom instincts to protect and nurture disappeared for a second. A nod of the head gave our guide the go ahead to let him go. My heart sank for a split second as there was complete silence as he was pushed on his way, and then I heard a scream of exhilaration. He was good and made it safely to the other side without getting stuck along the way.

I was relieved but now it was my turn. I freaked out and I couldn’t do it. I was standing on the platform losing my mind and the guide said to me, “Your kids just did this. There’s no way you are going to bail”. I was honestly terrified, but I had no choice. I guess the saying “Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you” applied. As my foot left the platform I felt my heart rate increase as my body temperature rose. I’m very sure I held my breath for a few seconds, but before I knew it I was enjoying the zipline. It was pretty damn amazing and the view was incredible. As I reached the boys, their faces were beaming and they were pumped. They were so happy and thoroughly enjoyed the first zipline. They are always inpressed and proud when I try out activities with them.

Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children. – Charles Swindoll

We continued onto the next 3 ziplines. The speeds varied on each zipline and weirdly enough the fastest one was my favourite. I was utterly relieved that we chose to go through with the experience and face our fears. Had we not have pushed ourselves, we would have missed out on an amazing experience.

I’m the kind of mom who doesn’t mollycoddle her kids. It’s a tough world out there and I strongly believe that it’s my duty to challenge my kids; to push them to function and think in situations of difficulty and uncomfortableness. It is my duty as a parent to use every opportunity possible to prepare them for life as an adult. I want them to have inquirying minds and souls. I want them to live with adventure in their hearts and an appreciation for the beauty that exists in the simple pleasures life has to offer.

Disclaimer : This is in no way a sponsored post.

Fit Family|Parenting

It isn’t about winning, but more about crossing the finish line

Those of you who follow me, know that my family is indeed a #FITFAM. I couldn’t look at improving my health and fitness level, without including my kids. Being fit as a family is important to me, as it’s created lasting moments of quality time spent together. I know my kids will look back and cherish our moments of fitness fun.

Fit Family of the Month
It’s so important to me that I’ve decided to do a series about Fit Families who inspire me. Today I’d like to introduce you to Emanuel and his family. Mani (as he is better known as), is a Dad blogger who shares Darren’s and his personal journey as gay parents in South Africa. They are the gorgeous family behind the blog Two Dads & a Kid

Mani has generously agreed to share their story as a Fit Family with us and I’m over the moon and grateful to have them on the blog today.

Their Story
Hubby(Darren) and I both grew up during a period that sport was part of the school curriculum. You weren’t expected to participate in every single sport the school offered, but we were expected to participate in at least one sporting discipline in addition to PE (now known as Physical Training). Darren was into athletics and his rugby. He loved rugby so much that it became part of his career. I on the other hand was exposed to and participated in a variety of sports disciplines ranging from individual activities like squash, athletics and swimming through to group disciplines like soccer and cricket.

Into our adult life, sport or rather physical activities have always been a part of our daily routines. We either at the gym for 30 to 60 minutes doing weights or cardio, or we are on the road, running or cycling. Entering races has become part of your weekend routine, not to win but to finish and improve on your previous race time. When our son was placed with us, he was our support crew with whichever spouse was not participating. Early morning starts became part of our weekend game.

Even before our son came home, it was a given that he would be encouraged to participate in sports. So, it was no surprise that we introduced him to swimming at age 6 months. At this point we attended lessons for about 4 months before he had had enough. So, we stopped. I’m so glad that we attended these lessons though, because a Sunday afternoon a year later he accidentally fell into the pool. Thank God for the lesson, because instinctively he turned himself onto his back and started kicking his legs and moving his arms about. What felt like minutes, was a lot less. When I eventually reached him, he was calm. This scenario could have been deadly, thankfully it wasn’t. Drowning is real! Besides saving your life there are many other benefits to learning how to swim. Swimming is great for the heart, lungs, improving your strength, balance, posture and flexibility. In recent years child obesity has become a huge concern, as it may lead to diabetes, swimming is a great preventative measure.

Although our son disliked the pool for a while, today he is loving his swimming lessons. We’ve introduced him to the world of Karate, Basketball, Soccer and Mountain Biking to bring a little more balance. Of all these disciplines, Mountain biking is where his heart is. He is a true MTB Rider. Seeking all the challenging routes while out on the trails. Although the hills are still his nemesis, if neither Darren or I are around, he will give it his best, refusing to give up, and giving him a sense of achievement. As he matures, being out on his bike will be another way for him to meet and make new friends. Although relatively new to schools, MTB is growing at school level with many events now introducing a prize for the school with the most entrants, for example. The best part of MTB or Cycling is that you can go out onto the trails as a family and it’s a skill your child will have forever.

Benefits of Exercise for Families

  • it improves our moods by releasing endorphins in the brain, that natural ‘high’ you feel after a good workout
  • kids that exercise regularly are more likely to pay attention and switch between tasks with better speed and accuracy
  • perform better on tests regular exercise also builds a child’s self-esteem
  • provides an environment for kids to meet and make new friends

Different Strokes for Different Folks
As a family we don’t necessarily all excel in the same sports. So, for example, Darren enjoys MTB more than I do. For that reason, he tends to be the one hitting the trails with our son. Swimming is my fortes, so besides swimming school, whenever I get the chance I hit the local pool at the gym and basically get our son to show me what he has learnt during swimming class. All three of us enter races. There’s nothing like a medal to boost your spirits and push you to do better.

Final word
Their motto is that as a family they do not give up. They may not be the first to cross the finish line, but they will finish! If you would like to follow these amazingly inspirational dads as they keep fit with their handsome son, then go and vist their blog TWO DADS & A KID and follow them on social media.

Children|Lifestyle

The far reaching effects of bullying

As a mom who has experienced both her sons having being bullied, this is a matter very close to my heart. Ash and Sky were both bullied within the first two years of starting Primary School. They experienced it again with the change in schools due to us relocating from Cape Town to Johannesburg.

Sky is a lover not a fighter and somehow managed to remain unaffected by the incidents imposed on him. Ash on the other hand hasn’t been that fortunate. The bullying he has been subjected to has had far-reaching effects that affects us daily. At the age of 9 he was diagnosed with anxiety disorder and depression. 5 years on and this is still very much our harsh reality. At the beginning of 2018 he started High School, the anxiety and fear of being bullied again, had him in an absolute frenzy. We have a course of action to help him cope but that’s a blog post for another day. All I am saying is bullying should never be underestimated.

fitlikemummy-46
Ashton consented to me sharing this information about him with all of you in the hope that it would make a difference.

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