I am very EXCITED about our second “Mom to Mom ” interview with a very inspiring mom in the making : Liezel Kriel! Liezel Kriel or as I know her via Twitter and Instagram as @Elle_K I met through other “Twitter moms”, through some “mama tweeting” over our baby boys! It’s been so awesome following her journey with her gorgeous son Ben, she is real , and honest in her approach to “mom hood”, and I find that to be so inspiring, and relatable ! She has a gorgeous blog : ellekaydiary.blogspot.com that you should definitely check out!
Right, lets get straight into shall we? Grab a cuppa ladies, sit back , and relax.
About Liezel :
- I am 31 (32 in September) and have officially reached the stage where I feel the need to start lying about my age.
- I am originally from the small town of the De Doorns and moved to Stellenbosch after high school to study Drama at the University of Stellenbosch.
- I’ve lived in Taiwan for a year, then Cape Town, but eventually found my way back to Stellenbosch.
- I am a wife to the most handsome of men, mom to the sweetest 3 year old Golden Retriever Knox and then of course my pride and joy our baby boy Ben. Man I love this little guy so much.
Tell us a little bit about the season that you are in :
I’ve always hoped to be a “stay at home” mom. I wanted to be present for every minute of my children’s live’s. In October 2013, 2 months after Ben was born my husband had to close his business and find a new job. I wasn’t employed at the time and financially we took quite a hit. Eventually I had to give up on my dream of staying home with my baby and had to go back to work . It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But I found a great daycare and Ben is really enjoying the days spent with friends. He is 9 months old and I must say I am loving this phase. He is so adventurous, and loves to interact and explore. Being a mom has given me such a sense of purpose. Yes, I am beyond tired and there are many frustrating moments, but there are far more awesome moments.
“Married with kids”
The biggest challenge so far has been maintaining a healthy marriage. We’ve always been the “perfect couple”and we hardly ever fought. Marriage came easy to us, then we had a baby and suddenly everything changed. I had no time to cuddle with my husband on the couch. We were constantly comparing who was doing the most work and who was more tired. In between the utter exhaustion we lost the ability to laugh together. We were so serious, ALL of the time. Sometimes I would feel lonely and a little neglected by him (I’m sure he felt the same) all of our time and energy went into Ben. Things have returned to normal (somewhat) and we are back to laughing and joking, but it’s definitely harder than before.
“Mo money Mo problems”
The other challenge being: Money (Or lack thereof). Not being able to afford the R10 000 Pram or the “best” car seat on the market eats at you. Then you start thinking about school and university fee’s and suddenly your are struggling for air and breathing into a brown paper bag.
For me a big blessing was being able to fall pregnant, and then to experience pregnancy . Another blessing; being a mom to thee most gorgeous little boy. It has made me feel so worthwhile and special. I also love the fact that I can share this journey with both of my parents. They are SO obsessed with him, and seeing the bond form between them is so special.
Advice for other moms
A week after I had my baby I had to go see my doctor for a checkup. Getting both of us ‘dressed and ready’ for my 11:00 am appointment created so much anxiety that I phoned my husband at work crying and asked him to meet us at the doctor’s office. That first trip driving my baby was so nerve wracking. I was such an emotional mess when I got to the doctor’s office, that he ended up prescribing me a mild anti-depressant. When I got home I saw a fellow new mom’s Instagram post of her sitting at a coffee shop with her newborn looking calm, polished and put together. I felt like such a failure. In comparing myself to this mom I put so much unnecessary pressure on myself.
My advice would be to just focus on you and your baby. No comparing yourself to others!!! Go at your own pace. No new mom or baby is alike. Do what works for you.
Thank you Liezel for sharing with us, your honesty is SO refreshing! Ben is such a gorgeous boy and is so lucky to have you as his mama! I loved how you ended this post off by saying “Don’t compare yourself with others” , as women we tend to do that ALOT. We bring ourselves down without even realising it! It reminds me of this quote : “Comparison is the thief of joy” – Theodor Roosevelt. I’ve often found that when I start comparing myself to others, I start feeling down and thats when I KNOW I need to count my blessings and be grateful for what I have ! A Thankful heart, is a happy heart.
Photography by : Nikki Meyer