SOUTH AFRICA: Why is change inevitably painful?


Change is painful. The myriad of cliches, affirmations, memes and inspirational quotes on this subject are testament that this is a widespread problem. No one knows this better than us mothers. From the moment of conception, change happens at an incredibly fast pace. Our babies go from helpless newborns to defiant toddlers in the blink of an eye. Blink again and they’ve left home to start families of their own!

Not only do our offspring change, but we do as well. At every stage we must adapt to new demands. I’m not the only mom who actually wanted her child to grow, change and reach milestones as soon as possible. What I wasn’t prepared for was the sense of loss that accompanied each change. In a strange way, it was as if I was mourning the baby that had been replaced by the toddler, the toddler replaced by the child, and so on.

My son is now 23 years old. Two years ago he moved away from home to live abroad with his girlfriend (now wife!) and her family in Germany. Thanks to Skype, we still talk often, but this change has been the toughest one for me so far. As grateful as I am for my in-laws’ generosity in giving my son the opportunity to live and study in Germany, I can’t help feeling sad that my son is now more part of their family than ours. Also, I’ve had to come to terms with the idea of not living close to (eventual) grandchildren.

Don’t get me wrong, as a mother, all I truly care about is that my son is healthy and happy (which he is). This has been a very positive change for him, and I am incredibly proud of the awesome young man he has become. I’m the one who wasn’t quite ready for this change, even though, objectively, I know it’s the best thing for him.

This change from mother to mother-in-law really is my most challenging change so far. I have a new understanding for what my late mother-in-law must have felt when my husband told her he was going to stay in Cape Town with me, instead of moving to Durban with them. Whether in a different city or on a different continent, the result is the same – it’s simply impossible to be present in the lives of your child and possible grandchildren.

It took my mother-in-law over 20 years to accept me, and I suffered a lot in that time. I vowed to never put my daughter-in-law through what I went through. Yet, if I’m being scrupulously honest, there’s a little part of me that resents the fact that my son has moved to a different continent, and that he was willing to learn German, but I never managed to get him to learn Italian, my own mother tongue.

Change is as inevitable as death and taxes. It is counter-productive to strive to keep things the way they are. It is much better to embrace each change as a new adventure. The problem is that I’ve never been adventurous!

How do you deal with the stress caused by changes in your life? Do you have any advice for me, to help me overcome my resentment?

This is an original post for World Moms Blog by Mama Simona from Cape Town, South Africa.

Photo credit: Conal Gallagher / Flickr.

Mamma Simona (South Africa)

Mamma Simona was born in Rome (Italy) but has lived in Cape Town (South Africa) since she was 8 years old. She studied French at school but says she’s forgotten most of it! She speaks Italian, English and Afrikaans. Even though Italian is the first language she learned, she considers English her "home" language as it's the language she's most comfortable in. She is happily married and the proud mother of 2 terrific teenagers! She also shares her home with 2 cats and 2 dogs ... all rescues. Mamma Simona has worked in such diverse fields as Childcare, Tourism, Library Services, Optometry, Sales and Admin! (With stints of SAHM in-between). She’s really looking forward to the day she can give up her current Admin job and devote herself entirely to blogging and (eventually) being a full-time grandmother!

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OMAN: Raising Children As Global Citizens

OMAN: Raising Children As Global Citizens

Is it possible to raise children to be global citizens in a conservative society?

Is it possible to bring the ideas of globalization in a culture that might reject anything new?

Is it possible to raise children as global citizens, yet respect their own culture?

These are the questions that we as parents, caregivers or educators should be aware of, when raising/educating children in the current global world. For me, as a mother of three children in a conservative society, I believe it is not only possible but a necessity.

Extremism in any culture, I think, is partly a result of isolating a society from the world to the extend it rejects and fights anything that differs from them regardless of the reasons.

Therefore, some effort is needed. Our children are not only influenced by us as parents. They are influenced by all the other constituents of the society they evolve in especially.

As parents, we may start with ourselves. We may be culturally-sensitive, non-judgmental and educated to the differences around us.  We may be very careful to what we say in front of children when they ask questions related to different cultures and ethnicity. We, ourselves, can be judgmental unfortunately sometimes towards a specific culture and may be careful with any words we utter in the presence of our children.

The other thing that I believe is crucial are resources. Books, television, internet programs,  and after-school activities could be diverse. We are lucky to have diverse and a rich market that allows us to learn everything about anything. Travelling allows us more exposure to different cultures and learning opportunities.

I think that learning English (or any other language) at a young age provides more contact to different “diverse” materials. We do have more diverse materials in English than , say, in Arabic.

Charity works wonders in an interesting way too. You may involve your children in a charitable action into giving to others who are in another country or culture. This provides a learning opportunity, empathy towards others and a responsible child who believes he/she can make a change.

Preparing children to be global citizens is a must at the present. We will not be present at every step they take in their lives, but at least prepare them to manage better in a fast growing world.

What are your ideas to raise a global citizen?

This is an original post from our #WorldMom, Ibtisam from Oman for World Moms Blog.

Picture Credit to the author.

You can find more of her wonderful perspective on her blog:

Ibtisam Alwardi

Ibtisam (at Ibtisam's musings) is an Omani Mom of three, living in the capital city of Oman ,Muscat. After working for ten years as a speech and language therapist in a public hospital, she finally had the courage to resign and start her own business. She had a dream of owning a place where she can integrate fun, play and 'books', thus the iPlay Smart centre (@iplaysmart) was born. Currently she is focusing on raising awareness through social media about parenting, childhood, language acquisition. She started raising awareness on (the importance of reading) and (sexual harassment) targeting school-aged children. Ibtisam enjoys writing, both in Arabic and English, reading and working closely with children. She plans to write children books (in Arabic) one day. Contact Ibtisam at ibtisamblogging(at)

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