Parent24 chats to Melinda
Melinda shares with us the joys, trials and tribulations she's had to endure when adopting her two beautiful kids.
Melinda has 2 children, a 3-year-old daughter and a 4-month-old baby.
I’m a working mom who spends time trying to find a little bit of sanity whenever and wherever I can. My hobbies include changing dirty nappies, cleaning UDO (Unidentified Dirty Objects) off walls, floors and my clothes and perfecting a fake smile.
What have you enjoyed most about being a parent so far?
Every moment is enjoyable considering that four years ago I was childless and bitter. The idea of a family was as far-fetched as is the idea of a tantrum-free toddler. So for me, even the yucky moments are better than the alternative
Are there any challenges you've found which have been particularly tough?
Adopting babies across the colour line has been particularly tough. SA might have moved on but people’s mindsets haven’t and we still find ourselves defending our decision to adopt two black babies. At the moment my biggest challenge is my little girl’s hair. It’s one massive dreadlock and I have no idea what to do with it
What would you do over, if you had the chance?
Nothing. Absolutely nothing! After all the fertility treatment and pain of a miscarriage I had come to terms with not having giving birth to my own children. I think if I had not gone through the acceptance of loss and the grieving period there would always be that ‘what if’ hanging over my head. My two children chose us perfectly…in fact we couldn’t have made them better ourselves
Any tips you have for new parents, based on your own experiences?
Go with your flow. Everyone knows everything about parenting. And the most vocal are those who ironically don’t have any children. I have never read a book on what my child should be saying, doing or thinking and I don’t intend to. I did it once. I googled “How many words should an 18 month old baby have in their vocabulary?” and I nearly fell over when I saw that my child was NOWHERE near that. I started making lists of the words she was saying and even making up words so I could match the ‘stats’.
If laughter is all that's keeping you sane, what makes you smile?
My little girl makes me smile a lot. In fact I find myself laughing out loud at some of the things she says and does. My husband also has a great sense of humour which keeps me tripping over that very fine line of sanity. Without them I don’t know where I’d be. But then again it’s because of them that I need to find things to laugh about
How do you think your kids would describe you?
Slightly mad (but in a good way), funny (my little girl tells me that ALL the time), extremely loving, and I hope, kind
What characterises a "good parent", and would you call yourself one?
I don’t know if there’s such a thing. Is there? I think a good parent is that parent doing the best they can with what they’ve got. Since tiny I have taught my little girl to always say please and thank you (good looks and brains will get you so far. Manners will get you a lot further). I have tried to instill, by example, respect and kindness. I also remember hearing / reading something a long time ago that consistency as a parent is key. So if you’re a miserable parent, then be miserable all the time. If you’re a happy parent then be that…all the time
Do you feel you have enough support?
It’s a difficult one to answer because I don’t normally ask for help so it’s hard for people to tell whether I’m drowning or just waving. I’ve learnt, thanks to baby no.2, that asking for help is not a sign of weakness but I still find it difficult to do.
Your craziest parenting moment? Why not share it with us?
There are so many. Far too many to mention. Let’s put it this way if you have kids and you haven’t had at least 10 crazy moments in a week then you’re doing something wrong.
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