What do I have to say about mommy blogging – well, I’m not a mommy for one, I’m a daddy; b) I do have a mommy (it was her birthday this week… Happy Birthday again Mamoo); 3. I am in love with a beautiful mommy, who is also a great partner in crime and who teaches me everyday about this parenting thing. So, as a member of The Blog Tag, in a week theme centered around Mommy Blogging, who better than these two to help me tackle the subject matter – they are my invited co-conspirators for this weeks interview/Q&A.
So, without further ado, I proudly introduce you to the two most important mothers in my life:
Stella “Mamoo” Nestoridis, the woman that gave birth to me and managed to keep me alive (which was no easy task let me tell you). A single mother with two kids (my sister and I) who battled and soldiered forward after a disastrous marriage, and with limited support or contribution from the sperm-donor.
One day I promise to repay you for everything you have done for us! Love you Mamoo!
Anabela “AnaB” Pinto, the woman who makes my heart do boom-titty-boom; the woman who has given me the two greatest gifts in this world (apart from her love); the smile I get to look forward to on the bleh-est of days.
She amazes me with just how much of an awesome Momma she is. My boys are truly blessed to have her as a mom (and me to have her as the Mrs).
Love you babes!!!
– and then there’s me, soztheo.me, “Dad“, I’ll occasionally offer my thoughts…
So to start off, before I get to the Friday Q&A, I think we’ll briefly tackle the daily challenges that were up for posting this week:
Monday – Most memorable Mommy Moment
AnaB: The first time I held my boys – Surreal! It’s the first time you feel unconditional love.
Dad: And I would have to concur… I remember when we were in the ward after the event, just holding them and staring at them both for hours, as the brain tries to catch up with what has just happened… For a dad, it’s the first real moment of connectedness, for moms the baby has already been a part of them for nine months, but the first solid and tangible realisation happened once they were in my arms.
With Ari it was a little harder, as he was in ICU having been delivered early as my beautiful Bela had developed gestational diabetes – it was so scary – and to top it off, when he came out his umbilical cord was in a knot, so we were really blessed after the trials before! so we had to wait before we could hold or even touch hime, but when it finally happened… #Love
Tuesday – Tips for a new Mom
Mamoo: For an expecting mom, prepare to be uncomfortable, I hated the discomfort… They romanticize it, it’s actually okay, you are not alone, the discomfort sucked! When it comes to toddlers, give them the freedom to explore, but with boundaries – so that means you have to watch the Hell out of them. For teens… It doesn’t really change… Watch Them, Watch Them, WATCH THEM (They are up to SH1t)!
Dad: Thanks Mom
AnaB: Lol!!! 1. Ask for support, you don’t have to do it all yourself. 2. Relax and Enjoy every moment, they grow so fast! 3. Figure your own way out… Each child is different.
Wednesday – What does it mean to be a Mother
AnaB: Being a mother is the most challenging yet rewarding thing you will ever do in your life. When you don’t have kids you know no better, when you have kids you can’t imagine your life without them.
Thursday – Day in the life of a Mom
Dad: She doesn’t stop, she’s amazing like that – I do my best to keep up, but she’s just amazing at being everything she is…
Mamoo: And you have to do your part Dad!!! It’s really tiring, I was working five jobs.
- I had a “morning” half-day office job until 13h00,
- Then I would travel to the ballet shop I owned (and which your father destroyed), trying to keep that alive was tough (eventually suppliers wouldn’t work with us, and this was after the divorce, but just because of his association with business, I eventually sold it to other owners for literally nothing, all we did was sign the papers over).
- I was working as a hostess at a restaurant in the evenings, I would pick you kids up from school, have dinner with you quickly to be at work at 18h00, and only get home at about 02h00 in the AM.
- On the weekends I then taught dancing lessons,
- and I sold clothes in what ever little spare time I had after all of that!
1. When did you become a mom/dad? & 2. How many kids do you have and what are their names?
Mamoo: I have two big babies; My son (let’s call him soztheo.me) who is 36 years of age and a daughter, Miranda (33).
Dad: The first time we became parents was on 23rd April 2012 when Alexi José Nicolaos Pinto Theofrastos was born (yeah, our kids are going to hate us, but they say your parents mess you up, and we started early – his names printed into the serated edge of his birth certificate)…
Ari Nestor Antonio Pinto Theofrastos came this year, he is 5 months old and was born on the 3rd February 2016 (his name just fit on his birth certificate :P).
3. Do you want more children?
AnaB: When my hubby becomes a millionaire, then we can have a third :)…
Dad: …coz I really, really want three; which is a surprise because I never wanted to have kids… but they really do change you!
4. What is the most challenging thing about being a mom/dad?
Mamoo: In retrospect… Keeping the peace in the household. When you’ve got two brats like I had… I never succeeded… It was World War 3 daily!
Dad: Totally justified (we really were nightmare children)… So which of your two kids is your favourite (just jokes)?
AnaB: The most challenging thing for me is spending quality time together as a family, and splitting time between the boys.
Mamoo: It’s so important! Those are actually my favourite memories of raising my kids, those quality moments when we spent time together without the two of them trying to kill each other (which was quite seldom)… It’s also some of the favourite memories of my mom, like when we used to sit up watching movies, my kids, me and my mom, watching movies in the flat.
Dad: For me, that’s a part of it, for me it’s the whole “are we doing the right thing?”, coz while they didn’t come with manuals there are alot of manuals, and opinions, and best intentions we as parents have for our children…
5. What was your first reaction when you found out you were having a baby?
AnaB: I was delighted, always wanted to be a mom.
6. Does your child/children have a favourite toy they can’t live without?
AnaB: Alexi and his Teddy
7. Are you a stay at home parent? If so how has being a stay at home parent impacted your life? If not how do you handle work and family?
AnaB: I’m a working mom. I really do try to keep a balance between the 2, I dedicate time from 16h00 – 19h00 to the boys, and ensure that’s dedicated time – no compromises…
Mamoo: So I was a single, working mom. It was all I knew, I never had the luxury to compare it to anything else. It was financially difficult. I don’t know if I handled it all that well, but it was a thing of survival. The single parent must be as stern as the father should have been in the house, without over-pampering the children, and prepare yourself for a bit of a financial battle… Mind you not every single parent has a financial battle, some are very, very well looked after – in my day, it was a stigma as well…
Dad: I remember, I was one of two kids in my class who came from a family of divorce, it’s a lot more accepted nowadays…
Mamoo: And it’s never what I wanted for my kids. I was very fortunate, my memories of my mother are of me coming home, just her being there every day when I came home from school, it was amazing, she took such pride in her mom duties, fully cooked meals, quality time…
8. Do you co-sleep?
Dad: We do co-sleep, it’s a rather controversial topic when you really delve into it, but it’s such a delicate balance and it’s at these moments you go with your gut and instincts.
9. What is your childs favourite TV show?
AnaB: Alexi – The Lego Movie; Angry Birds
Dad: LOL! It started with Teletubbies – we put it on when he was very little just to see if there was a reaction (I am a child of TV and Film); those things are evil man – it was an instantaneous connection. Then we went through the Barney phase (and I said I would never… ever…), but like I said, they change you – it was when I was singing all the songs that I realised that it’s not always a good thing!
10. Favourite baby/kid item that makes your life easier?
AnaB: Bottle Warmer; dummy; bouncing chair
Dad: It’s not a popular answer, but sometimes the hypno-box is just the distraction you need…
11. Why did you start blogging about your kids?
Dad: I don’t really blog exclusively about my kids and parenthood, but my blog is all about the world around me and my family are a huge… correction, the hugest aspect of my reality!
12. What are your favourite baby care brands?
AnaB: Fissan Bum Creme; Johnson & Johnson Top to Toe; Sterimar; Sudocreme
13. What are you favourite kid friendly restaurants?
Dad: Papachino’s is great (although the one we frequented was out of our immediate area and is now closed!?!} Spur is the natural answer, every parent’s best friend (although you do get sick of the food after a while), but at least it keeps Alexi occupied and having fun! Lastly, there is a gem in Bedfordview called Happily Ever Laughter, look it up if that is within your range of necessity – great food, great atmosphere and great children’s facilities.
14. Have you been on holiday with your kids, how was that experience? If not where would you like to go?
Dad: We’ve been on holiday a few times, it is a bit of a logistic nightmare (and suddenly boot space becomes the most important thing when choosing a car), but…
AnaB: …when we took Alexi to Cape Town in December! It was his 1st time on an aeroplane, he swam in the ocean for the 1st time and he loved Table Mountain – It’s the best holiday we’ve had!!!
15. Do you have any help with your children? Family, friends a nanny?
AnaB: Vovo (My mom, Portuguese for gran); Yia-Yia (His Dad’s Mom, Greek for gran); my husband
Dad: It’s all about Bela (AnaB), I don’t know where I’d be without her, she really is the center that makes it all worth. The grandmother’s of our Portu-Greek household are vital, and I have to mention my brother-in-law José and my sister-in-law Lauren; they has guided us (parents to three boyz) through this parenting-thing from the beginning. First thing in the morning after Alexi’s first night home we called them to our rescue – Family is so important!!!
Mamoo: For me there was my mom who lived next door, and Nahsisi, she was our maid then, our domestic worker now, an integral part of this families journey, so much so that her kids are our kids and siblings to my kids – I couldn’t have done it all without her!
16. What are your favourite places to shop for your kids?
AnaB: Cotton-On; Woolworths; Ackermans
Dad: Anywhere that sells toys 😛
17. Your kids naughtiest moment.
AnaB: Alexi ran away from me in a hotel, straight into an elevator and the door closed immediately – him on the inside; me on the outside; and the elevator started moving…
Dad: I remember that, Anabela was very pregnant at the time… For me it was when Alexi started his new school and about two weeks in when I went to collect him his teacher pulled me aside and said, “Your son, yesterday, snuck away during lunchtime in the dining hall, and we found him flooding the classroom…” – He was literally, repeatedly, filling up his drinking cup at the basin and pouring it on the floor… Laughing when they found him… I was mortified and embarrassed, but I also chuckled inside (in fear, because it’s a scary kind of mischief), and all I could say was, “Wait… You lost my kid…”
18. What is your best advice for new parents?
AnaB: Spend time together as each moment passes you by, you never get it back – enjoy every little moment!
Dad: Sleep!!! Don’t sweat the little things (and that is easier said than done)…
19. Have you had any bad experiences as a parent?
AnaB: I think for me it is just how judgmental, rude, discourteous and impolite people can be towards parents and pregnant mothers, especially during my pregnancy with Ari – I mean, you are actually incensed with me because I am in the parent way!
Mamoo: But you don’t take criticism, you brush it off and let it run off like water off a duck’s back because every situation and every child and every character is different, because I honestly believe it’s too dynamic, there isn’t a correct way to do it. So it is just a case of, what right do you have to criticize someone else because you’re not in that situation and vice versa, what right do they have to criticize you.That’s basically it.
For me, you guys, my kids, always fight! I never managed to get that out of you, to knock it out of you, you are still always bickering! You still fight like cats and dogs.
Dad: Yeah, but we love each other!!! And woe be to those who cross our united battle faces!!!
Mamoo: That’s fine, but the memories that come to mind are of me being at work and getting those phone calls (especially during the holidays)… constant… do you know what it was like?
MOMMY! Sozos hit me…
Well there’s nothing I can do, I’m at work! Sort it out!
two minutes later…
MOMMY! Miranda bit me…
I can’t do anything about it, I’m at work!!!
(put the phone down)
two minutes later…
Madam! The children she’s fighting!
Well sort them out, I’m at work, what can I do?
But she’s fighting
Just… hit them… put them… separate them
two minutes later; the phone…
Listen here Stella! WHAT KIND OF CHILDREN DO YOU HAVE?
(It was my mother)
And then (from school):
I’m done, come fetch me.
I’m at work!
But it is your lunch time, leave the office quickly, you’ve got a lunch hour come take me home
(these were daily phone calls from school)
You guys were unrelenting and demanding!!!
Dad: #WeDon’tCondoneChildAbuse – we really were horrid kids, and in between the above renditions there are copious amounts of laughter at the memories of how difficult we were…
20. Complete the sentence I love being a mom/dad….
AnaB: …because I love what my boys teach me daily. They remind me to smile, be patient, be young and have fun! Their sweet innocent nature and ability to be carefree – they remind me to enjoy every moment I have with them.
Dad: FULL STOP… because of the meaning they bring to this journey called life! With them I got a new name, Daddy (well two, like Superman), but really one that will forever be associated with me, they have changed me in the simplest and most profound of ways. The short answer? #LOVE
Mamoo: …’cos when I look at my kids now I’m really proud that despite all the difficulties they have turned out to be honest, hard-working, good characters and people. When you hear how tough it was from everything I’ve said before, it’s a great sense of pride for me!
I love being a grandparent because when I get tired I get to give them back to their parents (Laughter!?!)
Quick Fire with AnaB:
Huggies vs Pampers
vs Bottle Home School vs Public/Private School Stay at home mom vs Working mom (Currently)
Character Themed Nursery
vs. Colour Themed Nursery