Coping with the lockdown 2021

An anonymous share from a fellow mom about her tricks to help cope with lockdown in 2021!


Mom, wife, sister, friend, employee, student, homemaker, teacher and caregiver all at the same time all equally demanding attention. 2020 had been exhausting for women and a few men too. After reflecting on the year, I did some thinking on what worked and what didn’t work in trying to manage the up’s and down’s.

Here are some of the things I will be doing this year, which have served me and my family well.

Learning to let go..

Instead of trying to be the perfect mother by tracking how much t.v. my kids watch, what the family eats and how clean the house is, I have learnt to be more forgiving and less rigid. I still beat myself up about a messy kitchen or shoes lying everywhere, but letting go means I spend less energy stressing about it and more energy to focus on the things I can get through. This cut my down my stress making me kinder to my kids.

Let go of waste

Through cutting down what we have in the house that we done use, toys, clothes, and random odds and ends, I have less and less to tidy up. This has made the house more pleasant as well as see the kids imaginations grow with having less toys. I have also opted for smarter organizing in the house.

Play

I love learning alongside my kids so science experiments are great for all of us – and they are so simple surprisingly fast and easy to do, making them the perfect option when I’m taking a quick tea break from work. This way I get to spend time with my kids, let them learn and we have plenty of giggles. The James Dayson Foundation has created challenge cards for kids of all ages that were fun, inexpensive and importantly they don’t take much time!  

Talking about feelings

Talking to my kids about the coronavirus, what is happening and how it affects them has given them the space to ask questions on the anxieties they face. As a school goer, the disruption to her schooling led to anxiety and by talking about our feelings, she managed to express her (strange) fears about the virus and we have worked to reduce her fears. Though talking about our feelings,  we have learnt from one another and have been able to lean on each other for support.

Have dinner together

It sounds simple, but trying to cook after a long days of work, homeschool, cleaning, and exhaustion meant that some dinners would only take place 20 minutes before bedtime! Yet without fail, we sit together and have time to connect.

Some of the best conversations take place around the dinner table.

Mindfulness in Salaah (prayers)

I am learning to use my Salah as a time of mindfulness, a break from the busy-ness and to find some stillness. By immersing myself in my Salah, I find that this gives me a break in the day to be present Allah and to acknowledge without judgement if the day is going well, stressful or just ok. Irrespective it’s a time for regrouping my energy and focus.

Practicing mindfulness “on the go”

This helped me to be more present in my tasks, be it work, play, cleaning or connecting with my husband. So rather than having my mind running on 100 things, I can focus on doing one thing well… well most of the time, I still need a lot of practice, but when I do get it right, the results have been so richly rewarding!

Gratitude

I am choosing to start each day with gratitude is one part of the process of trying to live a life of gratitude. We all know that benefits of gratefulness, and that it takes effort. My biggest lesson in gratefulness is that it does not equate to acceptance – rather it has taught me that fighting – be it for justice or your dreams – is a critical part of grateful living.   

Leverage the past as a resource

A guide for the present is by learning to stop rumination. Rumination is the act of thinking about the same thoughts over and over and over again. When we think about the past, good or bad, the emotions of that event build up in us and this heightens anxiety. Rumination is part of what makes us human, yet it can be dangerous. I have learnt to notice when I am ruminating without feeling bad about it through mindfulness practice and to then focus my energy on the present. Rather than trying to change what happened in the past, I’m trying to focus on how to learn from it.  

Schedule

Planning meals, activities and shopping trips weekly helps me cope better. It relieve the pressure on us to think of what to eat, cook or what to occupy the children with. Building in a routine (that we break every so often without judgement) helps us to cope with the day to day grind.

Having honest conversations

The phrase, don’t bring your home into work, has been shattered. I have learnt that it is not unprofessional to speak up about my needs from work to balance and juggle things. We are all human, so approach topics with empathy and understanding and standing up for myself has been good for me and the company I work for. Not only do people respect my boundaries, but I am more productive.

Letting go of judgement

With billions of people in the world, there can never be only way of doing things. We all have our own quirks, ways of working and our own beliefs on what is important in life. Suspending judgement and seeing people as they are in their own truth is something I am trying to practice daily. It has allowed me to enjoy my relationships with those I love as I respect their way of doing things and not force my opinion. Celebrating our differences for me, makes life richer and more interesting.  


I hope a few items I have spoken about will help you in your 2021 journey to cope with lockdown better. We are all in this together so still connect to those around you and have a blessed year!

Love Anonymous xoxo

Gratitude in 2021 – Nabeelah Menk

Featured guest post from a lovely follower Nabeelah Menk. She shares her gratitude journey with us through all the struggles she has faced over the past few years and how she has learnt to over come it. For anyone else who has suffered or is currently suffering with any of these related issues I hope you will find inspiration to help you know you can get through it. You are not alone.


If anyone asked me what the greatest lesson I’ve learnt from life so far is, it is this: Gratitude. Being able to appreciate each moment for what it is and thanking Allaah for it.

Having been through post partum depression twice, having been suicidal, and gone through anxiety panic disorder, having faced many medical complications and living with a chronic autoimmune condition, I have learnt a lot about how to cope, Alhamdulillaah. Having overcome my mental issues, I am grateful everyday for every blessing that Allaah has bestowed upon me. The gratitude just increases His bounties. It is His promise and truly, I have witnessed that in my own life.

Be grateful, even for the difficult times you go through, you learn so much and you come out of them stronger and wiser.

A few simple yet very effective things I have learnt through the challenges I have faced on my journey so far:

1. Be you. Be honest, be kind, yet be firm in setting your boundaries. Don’t let go of your morals and values for someone else. It is never worth it.

2. Don’t let others’ opinions of you bother you.
This is very difficult to achieve, but once you get this, it makes your life so peaceful.
People will always have something to say, no matter what it is you do. So do what is right for you, keeping Allaah’s limits in mind.

3. Be mindful. Live each moment in the present, because no one is guaranteed tomorrow.

4. Let go of what you cannot control. Don’t worry and stress over things that are outside of your control. Do what you can, try your best and leave things in His hands, because He is the best of planners.

5. Don’t hold on to the past. Learn from it and let it go. Forgive. There is nothing to be gained from holding grudges. I read somewhere that holding on to grudges is like carrying a sack in which you place a potato for every grudge. The longer you hold on to it, the heavier it feels and the more the potatoes rot. Lay down that sack and let go of those rotten potatoes. You deserve to breathe clean, fresh, revitalizing air, which is not possible if you’re carrying around a sack of rotten potatoes.

6. Forgive people in the same way you would like Allaah to forgive you.
You can also keep your distance from such people. That’s okay. Forgiveness does not automatically mean interacting closely with them again. Being polite while maintaining minimal contact for your own mental health is just fine. Letting go of the grudge is more for yourself than for them.
Don’t give people and their actions more importance than they deserve.

7. Acknowledge your own accomplishments. You are doing the best you can. You are trying and that is what is important. Be content. Be happy. Be grateful.
You are unique and Allaah has blessed you.

Love Nabeelah


Gender based violence. Anonymous submission.

We have recieved a submission from one of our followers who is interested to share theire thoughts on this topic anonymously. Please note that this has been shared privately with the blog and we are happy share the thoughts of this topic with our readers. No hateful comments or abuse will be allowed as comments. This blog is meant to be a safe place where many stories and thoughts can be shared with our readers and allow voices to be heard. If you would like to submit please email us at submissions@momscaping.co.za . Stories will be revised and if it is relevant to the blog and our readers we will accept it for publishing.



I would like to first touch slightly on an Islamic viewpoint as I have researched certain topics surrounding this abuse topic. I am of Muslim faith in case you would be interested to know . The one thing that i grew up seeing was the Muslim communities who want to neglect the fact that Islamically even in our Shariah law, Islam forbids us to treat another human being in such a manner. Various communities worldwide have created a stigma of divorce, Islam does not stigmatise divorce. They have created this unrealistic idea that a woman should stay with the man when she is under abuse. WHY? It is not your husband who provided to you in your marriage it is Allah (SWT) and he will continue to provide for the both of you after you part ways. So, if your marriage is so bad and negative should you not just part ways? If it can be done amicably then it is best to part ways than to keep inflicting pain and hardship to one another. In the eyes of the communities the abusers are normally seen as the most kind, the most giving but in the home but they bring fear and are despised from the wife, family members and even the children for the hurt that they bring. Dont be hypocrite. Take your faith and follow it to the best that you can do. We will only answer to one person at the end of this life test.

Allah says in the Quran: “Do not hold onto your wives only to cause them more harm.” And if this is your Ni’ah (intention), you are not doing this Dhulm (oppression) to your wife, you are doing it to yourself.

But please do not think I am targeting only the Muslim communities this as this happens in lots of other religious homes and cultures. But, I do not speak on other religious items that I do not have knowledge on.

Lately on the news there seems to have been spread that there is a spike in gender-based violence since the lockdown has been lifted in South Africa and the allowance of alcohol has been brought back into sale. A hot topic on the news channels of late I must say. The President , Mr Ramaphosa has expressed his distaste towards this vile behaviour. It has aggravated the being inside of me. So, this is also why I decided to share this article with momscaping to share my thoughts. You do not know me, but you may know the ladies who are going through these things, suffering in silence, or trying to get help and not being heard.

We know there are two types of abuse that many women suffer with around the world with, not only in South Africa. It is Physical and Emotional abuse. In the Arabic terminology emotional abuse is called Tukabbih, it is when a man makes his wife feel ugly and negative about herself and demeans her in a nasty manner. Even if you do not physically hit a woman this emotional abuse is also a hard hitter and it is also probably the most common type of abuse currently.

So to the many woman out there, know you are stronger than any person who has caused you the pain of abuse, you have endured this for how many a long time that you may have, this is strength so use this fear to build up your insecurities and independance to get the help you need and get out if nothing changes, this is after you have taken the steps first to sort the issue out internally first. Do not let fear take the joy out of your life. If your partner cannot change then the sad reality is that they will never change, unfortunately these stats are quite low. Belive in yourself and know you are capable of more and feel at peace knowing you are safer.

Another Interesting fact that most cases are caused by alcohol usage in South Africa and possibly worldwide and seemingly during the ban of alcohol sales there seemed to be a drop in severity of the reported cases of domestic violence cases reported in South Africa during level 5 and 4. Although Sober partners still could be abusive and controlling, they may be less inclined to turn to violence and could have stuck to emotional abuse instead. What are your thoughts?

Did you know? Gender-based violence is an inequality to mainly the female gender and it continues to be one of the most notable human rights violations within all societies around the world. I would also like to mention that both women and men experience gender-based violence but most victims are women and girls in their highest numbers.


Facts and figures from UN WOMEN.

Various forms of violence

  • It is estimated that 35 per cent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or sexual violence by a non-partner (not including sexual harassment) at some point in their lives. However, some national studies show that up to 70 per cent of women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime. Evidence shows that women who have experienced physical or sexual intimate partner violence report higher rates of depression, having an abortion and acquiring HIV, compared to women who have not [1].
  • Similar to data from other regions, in all four countries of a multi-country study from the Middle East and North Africa, men who witnessed their fathers using violence against their mothers, and men who experienced some form of violence at home as children, were significantly more likely to report perpetrating intimate partner violence in their adult relationships. For example, in Lebanon the likelihood of perpetrating physical violence was more than three times higher among men who had witnessed their fathers beating their mothers during childhood than those who did not [2].

TO READ MORE CLICK https://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/ending-violence-against-women/facts-and-figures


People to contact if you or someone you know is experiencing this–

The Gender-Based Violence Command Centre (GBVCC) – operates under The Department of Social Development. The Centre operates a National, 24hr/7days-a-week Call Centre facility. The facility employs social workers who are responsible for call-taking and call referrals. The Centre operates an Emergency Line number – 0800 428 428. This is supported by a USSD, “please call me” facility: *120*7867#. A Skype Line ‘Helpme GBV’ for members of the deaf community also exists. (Add ‘Helpme GBV’ to your Skype contacts). An SMS Based Line 31531 for persons with disabilities (SMS ‘help’ to 31531) also exists. The Centre is able to refer calls directly to SAPS (10111) and field Social Workers who respond to victims of GBV.

Stop Women Abuse – 0800 150 150
Toll-free Legal Aid Advice Line – 0800 110 110 for free legal aid if you who cannot afford one.

SAPS Emergency Services10111

Thoughts on turning 30

I am turning the big 3-0 next month and so far, I have ticked the boxes of marriage and kids the socieltel boxes of “life”. I feel like turning 30 is a scary thing because your no more in that young carefree 20’s zone. But then I remind myself that the older I get, I am getting to know my own impulses.

When my mind is going at 643256 km/hr and realize gosh you just need to let things go, life is too short, stop worrying about things that are also not that important. Or if I get teary eyed because I dropped something on the kitchen floor for the 3rd time that day, it is really because of something I probably ended up holding in from another day that just wants to be let free (I actually need to learn to just cry sometimes, better in than out!). Or when I tell myself listen, you are not going to eat that whole packet of crisps, then that kitkat and binge a Netflix series till 1am because your kids will be awake in the next 6 hours, and well we all know what happens next! Lol. Then we complain we never get enough sleep. Lol.

I do feel like I have learnt to dance to my own tune and I know what makes me happy and what triggers my emotions. I enjoy my own company if you would put it like that. Which for me is comforting because it really means I have learned to get to know me, the real me. I am not soul searching and I already know what certain aspects I would like to work on more going forward in life. I have learnt to take my mistakes and apologize for them, we are old enough to be able to say sorry if we are in the wrong, aren’t we? I have learned to stop being so critical of myself and others, uno not everyones life is black and white. We are all just trying to make it!

My friends are my soul group. If you have been blessed to have had the same friends for the past few years as I have then you are no more friends but more family I feel. Look, there will always be new people who come in and out of your life who will always keep a space in your heart for many reasons, but these certain friends will know you inside and out if you have managed to surpass the 20’s stage of up’s and down’s. The late nights, natural no make up looks, Pj visits sitting in the car talking, the fights, the marriages, the children. All these create stronger bonds between friends who have experienced these things together. Appreciate it.

But the best thing I feel the most happiest about turning 30 is that I really have become unapologetic in a sense where I do not feel the pressure to be a certain look, or have my body look a certain way either. I live my life to my own path, and I will not tolerate shit. I admire everyone who is on that road and who might already be there. Do not fall victim to the ideas of society and live your life towards a certain trajectory. Live your truth, because you are the one who controls it.

To that once seemingly daunting number 30, bring it on!

Interview – Rachel Kolisi

Rachel Kolisi is a working mom but she balances her career and home life with such grace. We caught up with her to ask her a bit about herself and her family life beyond being the wife of South African Rugby captain Siya Kolisi.

This is what she had to share with us.


Hi Rachel thank you for sharing with us here at mom_scaping. We appreciate the time you have taken to speak to us.

1.When you became a mother for the first time, did you face any challenges post pregnancy?

Recovery? Yes, my son was born at 32 weeks and was in NICU for 3 weeks after his birth we were home for 2 days and my liver started failing so we were readmitted 

Depression? No

Hormonal Issues? No

2. Who is more like you between Nicholas and Keziah?

I think they both have a lot of me in them in different kind of ways. But people often say Kez is a lot like Siya and Nic a lot like me (personality wise)

3. Many women admire the fact that you have taken Liphelo and Liyema as your children officially. Can you offer advice to moms out there who also are undergoing an adoption too?

It’s worth every single fight and battle you endure along the way to getting them. I know Its sometime extremely difficult navigating the legalities but just remember who you’re doing it for. You’re changing a Childs entire life and thats no small thing.

4. Do you have a mom role model? Someone who inspires you.

I have plenty in my personal circle that I admire and try learn from. Moms that have managed to raise incredible men and women (sometimes on their one) while building a incredible career for themselves. And some that sacrificed their own dreams and careers in order for their husbands to thrive in the work environment and children upbringing are top priority.

5. What is your favourite quote, or saying you live by?

Proverbs 3:6 , Read more

6. You are an entrepreneur and a mom of 4 beautiful kids. How do you balance work life and home life?

I have the most incredible business partner. and the most supportive husband. Sometimes I feel like I’m dropping the ball either at work or at home with the children and the guilt is so real, but I have amazing people around me who remind me that it’s okay to not have it altogether 100% of the time. I organise my days really well and always remember whats priority.

7. What inspired you to start Rise Woman?

It was actually first conceptualised by my partner Tammy Rawstron, and was birthed from a place of desperation, we were both going through really tough personal experiences and went on a health/fitness,heart, sole , mind journey and a lot of women wanted to know more about it and we wanted to make it accessible to all women, and Rise was created.

8. Lastly, are there any future plans that you could share with us for your journey to empower woman?

We have some massively exciting thing coming around the time of our 1st birthday (1st of June 2020) but for now we are about to launch our online training program (rise_studios__ on insta) which is great during this isolation period for those wanting to get a workout in.

9. How do you deal with the controversy that sometimes surrounds your marriage in the media and social media users?

People always have unnecessary comments! I don’t give these people or their comments any energy unless I have a good clap back ready 🙂

Follow Rachel on IG : https://www.instagram.com/rachel_kolisi/?hl=en

Rise: https://risewomen.org.za/

Fehmz – Creator and founder of FEHMZ Mocktails.

Hi Fehmz, thank you for sharing your time with us here

@mom-scaping.

1. First question, how did motherhood change you? And are you planning on expanding your family?

 Motherhood has been the hardest job I have ever applied for, and the hardest job to get as well because it took us a few years before we were blessed with a baby. It’s been rewarding, amazing, exhausting, fun and the best job ever. I love it. Unfortunately as I get older, even if I would like to expand my family, my age is not on my side and neither is my energy level so it’s likely we will stay a small family, except for one more addition through adoption one day insha-allah. It’s a dream of mine to fulfil the sunnah of adopting, i hope to achieve it soon.  

2. Who is most admirable to you in the mom world and why?

I don’t know if I could pinpoint a person. The relationship of Khadeejah RA and the Prophet SAW are an incredible example of parenthood for me. The love they shared in raising their children is unparalleled. 

But if we are talking about someone alive and kicking, then it’s my sister and one of my cousins, Aneesa. They have this motherhood, bringing up children thing down to an art. The perfect balance of discipline, confidence and connection to religion. I am in awe of them.

3. Do you feel like there is pressure on you as an influencer that takes away your time as a parent?

I think there is pressure in life regardless. I try to ensure that I strictly make time. I try not to be stuck into what is perceived as a MUST do for social media. My focus is on family and on my small businesses. I absolutely love social media and I like to share my life and what I love. Does it sometimes take away from my children, yes it does. But i look at it as “me time” in a way. I do it for me. It makes me happy. 

And i make sure I have downtime. I put my phone down and spend time just playing with them too. Life is about balance right? 

4. What are the challenges if any, that you face being a parent?

The biggest challenge is wondering if I am doing this parenting thing right. 

5. What is your favourite thing to do with your children? And to do as a family?

There’s no favourites, my kids and I sing together, dance together, jump on the bed together, make up stories together, put puzzles together. I draw the line at playing with slime though…yuck. They can do that without me. Hahahaha.

6. Any advice you could give to woman who are struggling to start their own business whilst juggling working and being a mom?

There’s no formula, do what you can. Be honest and true to your commitment. Don’t use your family as an excuse for poor or shoddy service. Give your all to every avenue and you will find that a tricky balance is possible. Set your time aside or manage your time, prioritise family but don’t lose your quality standard in your business.  

7. You always have a smile on your face and bring laughter to people. What’s your secret?

I choose to try my best to be as happy as possible or at least to smile when I answer a message or a phone call. It puts others at ease. I have my bad days and my self conscious days, my angry days and the days I just can’t even be bothered to get out of PJs. But most of all, I think choosing to be happy is important. There is so much to be grateful for. Alhamdulillah. 

If you would like to follow Fehmz on any of her social media accounts:

Facebook: Fehmz.com
Youtube: Fehmz / Instagram: @Fehmz

My post-partum depression story by Shahina Aslam (Zimbalicious)

Before I begin to share Shahina’s story with you all remember to be kind to yourselves and others, as we do not know the journies they have been on. Be brave and strong for one another, as we as mothers only know the truths behind our own individual lives.

I hope this courageous share will inspire other mom’s to open up about their stories too.


It’s 6am on a Sunday morning, I’m wide awake but exhausted, I can’t get myself to get out of bed. I must’ve woken up every hour last night feeding the little one. 

As I lay in bed I can’t help it but tears won’t stop flowing. I have this deep deep sadness embedded within my soul. My cheeks feel raw from wiping my tears away constantly. So many thoughts and questions flowing through my head, and with each thought follows the tears.

Why am I feeling like this? I hate being a mom! Why don’t I love my baby? I have to be the worst woman in the world! Who doesn’t love their own baby? 

My mind is foggy yet these thoughts won’t stop from entering my head. 

My body feels limp, forget getting out of bed I can’t even get myself to turn sides in bed, I feel all my energy slowly being drained away. I can actually feel it leaving my body. And it’s not just my energy, I feel like all my happiness is being sucked out too. I have no dreams, no ambitions, I don’t look forward to anything, I lie in bed thinking my whole life is over and this is it. The end of my life…

All I wanted was for it to end. I have always been the person to fear death, but here I was fascinated by ending my own life.

Not caring about anything or anyone. And worst of all, it didn’t seem wrong, it felt perfectly natural. Natural that my life’s purpose was over and I needed to end it, now. I kept thinking of ways this could be all over right now. 

I finally got the energy to get out of bed, looked at my baby and woke up my husband and told him to give her away. I didn’t want her, but I couldn’t tell him that. I just told him I’m unwell and couldn’t look after her today. He understood and took her to my inlaws.

He tried everything to make me feel better, one of the things he tried was taking me out on a long drive. Something we did often when it was just the two of us.  But I sat in the car and just stared into nothingness.

All I could think was my life is over, ‘It’s over! it’s over! It’s over!’ (That was the only thing playing in my head).

We got home and naturally the baby was handed to me. And all I could think was ‘ I don’t want her, someone please take away, she destroyed my life!’

I took her to my room and put her tiny curled up body on my bed, laying against those fancy cushions we unnecessarily decorate our beds with. Then, a voice in my head spoke. ‘Take this cushion and suffocate her. All your problems will be over’. I looked at the cushion then looked at her. All I wanted was to take the cushion and suffocate her little face under it. Then another voice, very faint this time, popped up, saying this is not normal, this is wrong! 

I restrained myself, but the whole day was spent thinking of how I wish she was just gone, either I give her away to someone or just kill her.

That night, as I forced myself to sit and talk to myself and Allah, I thought about that faint voice telling me that this is wrong. I went to my husband and told him there’s something wrong with me.

I need help and figured it out, this is postpartum depression. I’ve read about it but can this really be happening to me??? 

We researched and found a postpartum depression counselor, messaged her straight away and for an appointment, I made another appointment with a psychiatrist on the same day. There’s something wrong me and I need it fixed, right now. 

Speaking to both my psychiatrist and counselor I just couldn’t help but cry throughout. My grief doesn’t make sense. 

They both made me understand that this is just my brain, and explained everything to me. I started anti-depressants as soon as I could. But I can tell you, that was just the beginning. The side effects of the anti-depressants were terrible, I had anxiety attacks throughout the day, I had to move in to my moms house so she could look after the baby. 

It is now 6 months down the road….

I exercise, get counseling, sit in the sun and eat whatever I feel like. I make it a point to do something for myself every week, be it going for coffee with a friend, buying myself something nice or going for a pedi.

I still feel low and irritable but the worst is now behind me. I am so thankful to have an understanding family who supported me and was just there for me, even though they didn’t understand. 

Writing this was hard, remembering my darkest hours and days. Now I look at Mishaal, and all I have for her is an overpowering wave of love. I do get my days when I’m low and I just need a break, but then that’s normal, every human needs a break and trust and love myself. 

Thank you for reading my story, if this is happening to you, know that this is NOT your fault, and you didn’t do anything for this to happen.

Be easy on yourself and make yourself a priority. Discover yourself and practice self love on a daily. All it takes is time! 

Shahina x 

Shahina Aslam (Zimbalicious)
Shahina and Mishaal on their trip to India.