SOUTH AFRICA: Welcome to Planet Parenthood #WorldMoms

SOUTH AFRICA: Welcome to Planet Parenthood #WorldMoms

Mom in South Africa
Today we welcome a guest post from South Africa! Karien Potgieter is a full-time working mom of two kids aged two and under.  She loves nothing more than to load up the double jogging stroller and set off on adventures with Little Miss K and Baby J – together they dream of running the world!  You can follow their adventures at  Here, she introduces us to what she calls, “Planet Parenthood”. It’s a hoot! Read on…

Becoming a parent for the first time is a bit like entering a whole new universe.  For nine long months little old ladies scare you with old wives’ tales; complete strangers feel enticed to make unwanted comments about your body shape; and discussions with your caregiver border on TMI.  But no-one tells you about Planet Parenthood – it’s one of the best-kept secrets of humanity.

A parent’s first encounter with Planet Parenthood happens even before the birth of an offspring.  Whether you have a natural home- or hospital birth, or a C-Section, you’ll quickly find that there is no such thing as dignity in your new galaxy.  What was once considered to be, ahem, private business, isall of a sudden out in the open for entire medical teams to see.  And the weirdest thing about it?  No one bats an eyelid.  Not even you, because meeting your bundle of joy is way more important.  Welcome to parenthood.

The second sign that you now find yourself in a new solar system, is the fact that sleeping, which was once regarded asbeing vital to performing your daily tasks with gusto, is all of a sudden optional.

Who wants to sleep when you can party around a crib all night anyway?  And don’t let the fact that others, who are not from the planet of parents, intimidate you with their well-rested physiques and bushy-tailed appearances – looking fresh is way overrated anyway.

But those are just your initial weeks on Planet Parenthood.  It gets way, way more interesting than that.  Squeamish?  You’ll soon get over it.  Because there is no such thing as being prissy about bodily fluids on Planet P – everything goes.  In fact, everything goes all over you!  Gone are your days of going to the shops without boogies on your sleeve.  Or in your hair.  Or organic pumpkin puree artistically smeared all over your shoulder.  It’s your new normal – and you’re okay with it.

Strings and strings of hard-earned tertiary qualifications are furthermore also of zero relevance on your new planet.  Because instead of having hoity-toity discussions with others about the nation’s contribution to global warming, or the pros and cons of fracking the Karoo, the majority of your conversations for the next three or four years will revolve around Pajanimals.  And Telly Tubbies.  And the risks involved with sitting too close to the sofa’s edge.  And what will perhaps surprise you the most, is that you will actuallystart looking forward to your daily dose of Shaun the Sheep.  And Justin’s House.  Don’t you even try to fight it.

Perhaps the reason why everyone is so hush-hush about PlanetParenthood is the fact that it grows on you.

After the initial shock that comes with finding yourself in completely foreign surroundings, you find yourself adapting.  And growing.  And liking it more and more.  Until suddenly, one day, you realise that you don’t want to live anywhere else.  Viva Planet Parenthood!

This is a guest post from South African writer, Karien Potgieter of  

Photo credit to the author. 

World Moms Blog

World Moms Blog is an award winning website which writes from over 30 countries on the topics of motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. Over 70 international contributors share their stories from around the globe, bonded by the common thread of motherhood and wanting a better world for their children. World Moms Blog was listed by Forbes Woman as one of the "Best 100 Websites for Women 2012 & 2013" and also called a "must read" by the NY Times Motherlode in 2013. Our Senior Editor in India, Purnima Ramakrishnan, was awarded the BlogHer International Activist Award in 2013.

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My husband and I had been puzzling over the Boy Scouts of America for some time. My husband was a scout, and we assumed our boys would be too. There are so many positives to the club – building life skills, fostering peer relationships, and helping in the community. However, when we learned of the anti-LGBT policies of the scouts (currently banning non-heterosexual parents from leadership and expelling gay scouts), we were dismayed. We weighed the variables.

We live in a rural area, and there isn’t a plethora of choices. BSA talks about re-assessing their policies from time to time, so maybe they’ll change their stance before our kids are older. My husband and I are not in the LGBT community, so while we oppose the policies, it wouldn’t prohibit us specifically from participating. And my 7 year old has classmates joining the local troop. In the end though, we just couldn’t do it. We felt that joining would send the message to the Boy Scouts, our kids, and the greater community, that we can turn a blind eye because this bigotry doesn’t affect us directly. We couldn’t reconcile that.

Before going on, I need to say that there are people in my life whom I respect and admire tremendously, who are amazing parents, and who do participate in the Boy Scouts. I don’t judge them nor am I addressing their specific decisions. I’m writing this to share why we made this choice for our family.

Since my husband and I decided to walk away from the idea of scouts, we were left to come up with an alternative. I decided to ask some local friends if they would be interested in forming a club. We could get the kids together once a month to work on life skills and socialize….sort of like a playdate with projects. If it sticks, over time we can consider appropriate community service endeavors. (more…)

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Tara is a native Pennsylvanian who moved to the Seattle area in 1998 (sight unseen) with her husband to start their grand life adventure together. Despite the difficult fact that their family is a plane ride away, the couple fell in love with the Pacific Northwest and have put down roots. They have 2 super charged little boys and recently moved out of the Seattle suburbs further east into the country, trading in a Starbucks on every corner for coyotes in the backyard. Tara loves the outdoors (hiking, biking, camping). And, when her family isn't out in nature, they are hunkered down at home with friends, sharing a meal, playing games, and generally having fun. She loves being a stay-at-home mom and sharing her experiences on World Moms Network!

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