5 Inexpensive date nights for parents
When was the last time you had a romantic date night with your partner? If you’re like most couples and parents, chances are it’s been a few months since you had some quality alone time due to the demands of parenthood.
Keeping the spark alive and staying connected should continue to be a top priority in your relationship. Babies are a handful and require a lot of our time and energy but your relationship with your partner doesn’t have to suffer because of parenthood. That said, we know it can become tough to keep dating each other through parenthood and scheduling date nights can become a mission.
With our list of innovative date nights it doesn’t have to become complicated, we’ve done all the work so you can enjoy romancing your partner again.
Take a walk or go on a hike
Sometimes simple is better. Rediscover your neighbourhood and just take in your surroundings while catching up. Talk and find out how your significant other’s day was. Hiking is a great way to up your fitness level and to explore new heights together while connecting.
Have a picnic in the park
This is a tried-and-true romantic date idea that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Pick out your favourite treats and place them in a picnic basket. If you want to be extra romantic, add champagne, seafood, a cheese board and some sweets. Play a game or quiz where you get to know each other some more because this could be a great opportunity to know your partner better.
Create your own photoshoot
All you need is an empty room, a smartphone or camera that has great quality and a tripod or selfie stick. Get dressed up, add your own props or conceptualise a fun idea with a theme, for example you could dress up as your favourite couple from a movie. Have fun, relax, laugh at yourselves and create special memories that will last forever in photos.
Visit a botanical garden
Most towns and cities have botanical gardens that are easily accessible or a drive away. Entrance is usually free and the scenery is worth a visit!
Cook or bake together
This can be a sweet and romantic way to bond over an interesting recipe that neither of you have attempted. Prepare a three course meal or bake a cake that you’ve wanted to try for awhile. Take pics of all your cculinary efforts and don’t forget to play while at it! Cooking and baking are great stress relievers and dining together could bring that spark back.
How to put the spark back in the bedroom with a toddler around
Pre-parenthood was a mix of hot hook-ups, steamy sex in exciting places and sensual lingerie that had you and your partner lusting after each other.
When baby came, things slowed down and you found yourselves reaching for the bedside lamp instead of each other. What was a fun filled and adventurous sex life has now become dull, predictable and routine.
Yet it doesn’t have to stay that way because having a child doesn’t mean that boredom should settle into the bedroom. You and your partner can put the fire back into your sex lives in a variety of ways even with a toddler around.
Bring back date nights
This is a non-negotiable. Spending time together, just the two of you with no distractions has to happen often. Schedule date night in advance so that you both can get used to having this one night where you can explore activities together and re-connect post baby. Think theatre, night spas, strolls along the beach, jazz picnics or just watching the sunset with a bottle of good wine.
Ban the baby talk
When it’s just the two of you, ban all baby talk. Your child is presumably safe and being well taken care of so focus on talking about what the two of you have been up to. Ask questions about what you have discovered post baby, play games with each other with the aim of learning something new. Parenthood has brought a new dimension to your life, explore how you have both changed.
Dress up for each other
When it’s date night and even on family outings, keep the element of surprise there by dressing in threads that your partner hasn’t seen. Keep things fresh by showing off your figure or trying on new make-up.
Compliment each other
Is your partner shedding the baby weight nicely? Then tell her so. Don’t forget to enjoy each other and it’s the simple things like a compliment which remind you of your attraction to each other.
Baby should sleep in the nursery
There will be times when your toddler can’t fall asleep on their own and they will come to your bedroom for comfort. This should be an exception and not the norm. Your bedroom is your love sanctuary and should be treated as such. Keep toys in your baby’s bedroom and keep your room as romantic as possible.
Keep the lingerie close by
Just because you’ve had a baby, that doesn’t mean t-shirts and pyjamas should replace your sleep wear. Keep the sexy negligees and matching underwear sets on hand to remind your partner how you made your bundle of joy. Racy bedroom outfits should be standard and role playing should take place once in a while.
Oils, candles and perfume
To spruce things up, get scented and flavoured candles to turn the atmosphere in your bedroom into a romantic one. Sensual massage oils are also a great way to get things heated. Offer your partner a massage after work and let things unfold from there. A light, scintillating perfume can also add to the kinky atmosphere, building momentum for a fun and exciting night for the both of you.
Making a family car emergency kit
Parents need to be especially prepared on the road where unforeseen circumstances can take place unexpectedly. Keep your family safe and secure by preparing a car emergency kit which you can use during roadside emergencies.
You should include a copy of your emergency plan in your emergency car kit. This kit should include a map of other possible routes to take to get home or to work. It will be essential to note any potentially disastrous areas such as bridges or dams that could be flooded. The map should contain detours.
For the whole family include blankets, an extra change of clothing for everyone, toiletries, snacks and water. Entertainment can be made up of board games, books and DVDs that the kids can watch on a laptop. Medication should all be stored separately and safely.
Storing your kit
Look for a bag which is easy to carry like a backpack or a medium sized trunk. Inform the whole family exactly where it is located so that they all know how to find it.
Car kit essentials
Battery powered crank radio/extra batteries
Bright-colored cloth (preferably red)
Camera or cell phone (to take photos of vehicle damage)
Can of motor oil
Cones, warning triangles and emergency flares (keep in
Empty gas can
Fire extinguisher (5 lb., A-B-C type)
Flashlight with spare batteries
Quarters/change for tolls/meters
Jack for tires
Road atlas, maps
Sealant for small leaks in tires
Tire pressure gauge
Tool box with screwdrivers, wrenches and a small hammer (keep this in glove compartment)
Windshield washer fluid
First aid kit
Tip: Don’t include any financial information which could be stolen. Rather keep this information and supporting documents on email or on a hardrive at the office, locked in a safe or locker where you can remember to access it when necessary.
Pre-school options for your tot
Choosing a pre-school for your child is one of the most important decisions that you’ll ever make so it’s essential to explore all options so that you make a worthwhile investment in your child’s education.
Read our guide to available school options which can help you make the best decision for your tot.
The Montessori schooling programme focuses on nature, creativity and hands-on learning with guidance from teachers. The learning style prioritises senses, character, practical life skills and academic ability.
This type of education is centred around a rigorous approach to education by integrating arts in all academic disciplines. The aim is to inspire life-long learning and to enable children to fully develop their unique capacities.
These schools focus on developing innovators and leaders. Their approach is on developing a child’s full potential through a rigorous and innovative approach to education. Lessons are centred on creativity, energy and engagement, Children are encouraged to ask questions and solve problems from a tender age.
Public and private
Every suburb in the country has public and private schools which cater for children in the area that they live in. These government and private schools offer Grade RR up to Grade 0. Depending on the school, the approach is varied and includes creative, sports and academic activities to prepare little ones for their academic career.
The best practical clothing items for your toddler
Parents to toddlers know how active they can be, exploring, touching and wanting to find out how things work.
Dressing toddlers can be a mission on its own because it’s essential to have them comfortable but wearing clothing that they can play in at pre-school. We asked three mothers how they manage to get it right.
Yvonne Siphuka, mom to three-year old Nonhle says she finds tights, t-shirts and pumps a great combo for crèche wear.
“Tights and t-shirts are my favourite because it’s easier to buy as they always come in pairs. When they are playing, they feel comfortable and that’s a priority for me, that my daughter has fun and is able to play without any hassles.
“Dresses are for occasions in my house. At times, my daughter wants to feel like a princess and dresses make her feel special but she knows that they are reserved for certain outings and events like birthdays.”
Zimkhita Mfecane has a two-year old toddler whom she enjoys dressing in leggings and dresses.
“I prefer darker colours because I know my daughter loves playing and that means she will likely get dirty.”
Vuyo Dlamini says she prefers shorts and tank tops for her son and daughter because they are simple clothes to wash and maintain.
“I am a regular at the shorts and t-shirt section because I know how durable and uncomplicated these items are. I love the fact that I don’t have to but these same pieces of clothing over and over and that I can buy a mix of colours to keep my kid’s wardrobe fresh and interesting.”
Watch which summer clothing items are essential for the summer season below
Share with us what your favourite clothing items are for your toddler?
These are the cool celebrity moms we identify with
Warning! By the time you finish reading this article you could be super broody and gearing up to add a new member to your family.
From super cute play dates, funny videos to intimate moments with their mini-me’s we’ve enjoyed watching these cool celebrity mothers chronicle their motherhood journey. We take a look at why we relate to their relatable yet fascinating motherhood journeys.
The actress and TV presenter welcomed her adorable daughter, Sbahle last year. With her own Instagram page and a following of thousands, Sbahle and Ntando have shared cute moments on video. We identify with Ntando because at 23, she is a young, single mother who manages to work hard, stay focused and career driven while parenting her daughter on her own.
Tshepiso Da Costa
Since giving birth to her daughter, Assa last year, model Tshepiso has embarked on a fitness journey to get her pre-baby body back. Her routine has consisted of intense training at the gym, a healthy diet and walking with her daughter. We love how confident she is in her own skin and how she celebrates herself by showing off her post baby gym results.
Mom to two sons and a daughter, comedian and TV host Tumi shared her own experience of how motherhood can be challenging and demanding. The presenter got candid as she explained that running her own household, being a wife and working fulltime has taken its toll and she has had to go to therapy to cope, showing that sometimes moms don’t always have it all together and it’s okay to look for help to keep things moving.
“My job is to entertain, make light of things…lately it has taken a real effort to do that. I am back in therapy because I am a weird combination of exhausted, on edge and looking for answers. For the first time this week, I have taken on a more active role with the kids and I felt like I must have been an absent parent all along.
“I kept messing up their schedules this week. Shortly after I took this picture I had to get them all to bed because we had work to do. Afia begged me to sleep with her, Lesedi started crying for a cupcake and Bonsu was upset I got his book request wrong…We are all trying. We are all human,” Tumi wrote on her Instagram page.
Since becoming a mom to Kairo who turned 3 in July, Zinhle Jiyane has taken her fans on her parenting journey and shared how she manages to successfully co-parent with rapper AKA. We relate to how honest she is about her life, how she strives to maintain her own identity while mothering Kairo and how she stays motivated to be the best mother she can possibly be. On her blog www.momentsbydjzinhle.com, she offers readers an in depth look into her life and how she is able to uplift herself by reading self-help books, journaling and listening to podcasts by Oprah.
Three surprising things your toddler will do
Your tot is growing fast and becoming independent as each day goes by. He can now talk and form sentences and hold a conversation with you. Your toddler can also undress himself, bathe himself and make his bed somewhat.
Here are some more surprising things toddlers can do for themselves.
Make food for themselves
By the age of 2 or 3, toddlers are usually able to fix a simple meal like cheese and ham sandwiches. Just show them where the ingredients are and they’ll whip up a meal in no time. Of course they should do this under supervision.
Pick out their own clothes
Your child is developing their own personality and they already have a strong sense of what they like and dislike. When it comes to clothes they can recognise what they want to wear and what they don’t. Given an opportunity they will pick out their favourite clothing. Let them make their own clothing choices and gently guide them to picking clothing appropriate for the weather or for outings.
Walk beside the trolley as you shop
Toddlers can follow you around and sometimes they will even hang onto the trolley and want to catch a ride but they can walk next to you and not want to jump in and be pushed around. Next time you visit the supermarket, let your toddler walk beside you and observe as you pick items and shop. Keep him pre-occupied with something edible like a lollipop so that he doesn’t throw a tantrum for an item in the store.
What surprising things can your toddler do on their own?
What information to leave with a baby sitter
When leaving your toddler in the care of a babysitter, it’s essential that you thoroughly brief them on what to do in case of an emergency.
Prepare them with a checklist and contact list which they can use to get ahold of anyone in the case of an unfortunate incident. We’ve provided a list which you can simply add all your personal and important details to, print out and leave with your babysitter.
- Names of all family members and their contact numbers
- Names of neighbours, and their children
- Your exact address
- The exact location of the first aid kit
- Contact number of the closest person or relative to call in case of emergency
- A list of things, including food items or medication, to which your child is allergic
Specific contact information:
- Your cell phone number
- Information about where you will be while you are out
- The name, address, and phone number of someone else to contact in case of emergency (if you can’t be reached)
- Local phone numbers for police, fire, poison control, and emergency services (internet-based phone systems, like Vonage, and cell phone systems do not necessarily work with local 911 services)
- A photocopy of your child’s health insurance card
- The name, address, and phone numbers for your child’s paediatrician
- The name, address, and phone number of a nearby hospital
- Information about any over-the-counter or prescription medication your child takes (including dosage)
- The name, address, and phone number of the vet, if you have pets
- A list of the house rules (what TV programs kids can or can’t watch, what kids can or can’t eat, bed times, anything that is not allowed, etc.)
- Homework information, if necessary, in order to help school-age children
- A cheat sheet of where important items (first aid kid, flashlights, medications, fire extinguisher, emergency preparedness kit, etc.) are located in the house
- What to do in case of fire or other emergency
Natural remedies for morning sickness
A Caesarean section (C/S) is performed when natural birth is impossible or unsafe.
The operation may be performed before labour begins, if there are medical reasons for not going through labour and natural birth, or if the health of the mother or baby may be in danger.
What you need to know about caesareans
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the unexplained death, usually during sleep, of a seemingly healthy baby less than a year old.
SIDS is sometimes known as crib death because the infants often die in their cribs
Dealing with temper tantrums
Remember when you went shopping and your child eyed a toy they wanted but you had no intention of buying it?
Identifying a bully
Bullying is when one child picks on another child repeatedly. It can be physical, verbal or over the internet and social media.