Homeschool: Socialization

The first thing people ask when they hear that your kids are home schooled is, ‘but what about socialization?’. Like I’m raising my kids in a cupboard.

And even if I was, how many of you had a good experience at school? Maybe you were one of the popular kids who fitted in and made friends easily. If that was the case, then you probably had a good experience. I wasn’t one of the lucky ones. I was teased, bullied and tormented for 12 years in various ways and I left school feeling worthless, stupid and ugly.

What’s so great about Socialization anyway?

The ‘socialization’ I experienced was rubbish, and the only thing it taught me is that people suck. So please forgive me if I don’t believe sending my kids to mainstream school, just for the socialization aspect, is worth it.

I’ll go out on a limb here and say that things haven’t improved in the last 20 years. My son was in school from 2010-2015. In those 5 years he was verbally abused, picked on, ridiculed and had his possessions damaged. His socialization experience taught him the same thing it taught me. The pressure and stress it placed him under meant that he wasn’t even learning anything academically anymore because the bullying continued in the classroom, where it was pointed out to him over and over again that he didn’t fit in, he wasn’t good enough and he couldn’t do anything right. All because he saw things differently and he didn’t blindly follow instructions like a zombie.

My daughter was in school from 2013-2015 and, despite the fact that she is a social butterfly, school became about who was her friend and who wasn’t every day. She told me how some children didn’t have friends and who were laughed at and teased for not fitting in. On any given day she could tell me who was her friend and who wasn’t and how she didn’t understand why someone played with her yesterday but didn’t want to play with her today with no explanation given.

Kids are way more broken today than they were 20 years ago. More children come from homes where their parents don’t have time to engage with them face to face and never get the attention they crave. Sure, they have all the latest toys and gadgets but snuggle time, tickle games and laughter is in short supply when they are shuttled from one activity to the next with screen time as their main companion.

When you add all that together, it doesn’t take rocket science to work out why they act the way they do when it comes to social situations. Children need to be taught how to behave. They need to have their questions answered and be guided towards the skills that will help them be compassionate, kind and emotionally mature.

If you allow the media, computer games and books to teach those skills, you are taking a huge risk. Have you looked at what kids watch on TV lately? Either they will start thinking that life is a singing, choreographed dancing Disney musical or they will think that slapstick comedy or toilet humour is the order of the day and start throwing cream pies in their friend’s faces.
Girls especially seem to pick up on the ‘drama’ and translate that into how they should treat the people around them. Even if eye rolling and ‘whatever’ seems cute to you when they are 5, it will soon lose the cuteness factor when they are refusing to listen to you when they are 15. TV is not real life. Nor are books like Sweet Valley High or Twilight. Unless you clue them in then you are setting them up for a life of disappointment and unrealistic expectations.

If boys aren’t taught how to treat girls. they will automatically assume that what they see on TV or in the computer games they play, is true to life. So they will start expecting every girl that catches their eye to obviously reciprocate their affections and do whatever they want her to do. The media has tried to convince us since the dawn of time that if you drink/eat/use/wear/buy this product, it will lead to a happy, fulfilled life where all your friends will hang out with you on this yacht in the sunshine where you will have the time of your life. Ja, we all know how that pans out, right?

So, I choose to home school my kids because I want them to be well rounded human beings who are able to reason and use logic to find a way of making a difference in the world. If they lack the ‘social skills’ they would get from being bullied on a daily basis then I’m okay with that. Instead, they can rather talk to grown ups they meet in the grocery store and in the library.

They can learn how to ask the right questions while being kind and compassionate. This will be far more beneficial than whether they were popular or not.

Disclaimer: I’m not saying that the way you are raising your kids is wrong. However, if your kid is a bully, please do us all a favour and find out why. My kids aren’t perfect and I still have a mountain of stuff to learn about being a parent (I never claimed to know it all). Please feel free to weigh in here and let me know if you think I have the wrong end of the stick.

Home schoolers, I’d love to connect with you and hear what you have to say about the topic. I am still very new to the home school game and probably haven’t touched the tip of the iceberg.

What you need to know about homeschool

Some say, “A change is as good as a holiday” but that implies that change is relaxing, peaceful and a respite from the pressures of day to day life. A LOT has changed since the last time I blogged and I am tense, stressed, worried and sleepless.

Of course, moving out of the house where I raised my kids for the last 11 years was never going to be fun and I am grateful that we have a place to stay while we wait for the transfer of the house to happen but I just want to hit the road already.

On top of everything we have been homeschooling for a month now (although it seems MUCH longer) and I honestly feel like I have bitten off more than I can chew. The responsibility weighs heavily on my shoulders. This is not something to be taken lightly.

What you need to know about homeschool

I chose the workbook centered approach so that my lessons were outlined for the day and the amount of planning needed from my side was minimal. But there is SO MUCH WORK!

After all the research I’d done beforehand, I had pictured home school to be more cuddling in bed reading than working one on one with each child to help them understand subtraction. There are loads of articles about teaching fractions using Lego and playing loads of Monopoly but there is more to Math than that.

On a good day, I feel like I’ve accomplished something and I love it but 65% of the time I wonder how we are going to cover all the material by the end of the year. Thankfully I have learned to manage my level of frustration and choose to focus on the small foundation blocks my kids are coming to grips with.

Like my friend Sam reminded me this morning. It is still early days and we need to take courage in the fact that we will get there. If my kids were still in mainstream South African school, they would still be focused on inter house/school athletics and having their stationery counted.

At least what they have learned in the last month is tangible. I know they won’t be left behind as the rest of their class grasps or doesn’t grasp the concepts that their overworked, underpaid teacher needs to impart to them amongst all the admin and extra responsibilities they face everyday.

Chocolate Crunchies

easy, chocolate, crunchies, baking, recipes, lunch box fillers, sweet

Wishing you and your loved ones every blessing in 2016. Happy New Year!

Would you believe that this post was actually scheduled to go live on 28 December? I have no idea why it didn’t and, by the time it was supposed to, my ISP informed me that I hadn’t paid my subscription so they were going to suspend my sites.

Now, I’m not one of those people who are comfortable with shirking their financial commitments however, despite jumping through all the required Government hoops on the last day of my contract on 30 November, I only received my final salary on 14 January (and that was after pulling strings (to get information) from a few of my old colleagues who had become friends over the 11 years I had been there).

Obviously, once money came into my account on the 14th, I didn’t even have time to blink before it was gone again.

As you may already know, my family and I plan to tour South Africa this year which means that we are selling our house and hitting the road. The original plan was to leave in mid January but because the house was in desperate need of some work, we had to shift things a bit and are now looking to start in early February.

So, after placing the house on the market on 12 January, we were shocked, pleased and grateful to have an offer on the 14th of January. This is absolutely a testament to God’s timing. Friends have been asking us for months whether we had placed the house on the market yet and seemed sceptical that we would manage to sell in time to leave in January.

Which means that, if all goes well this week, we will be able to leave for our South African tour in the first week in February 2016. #SoMuchExcitement

Anyway, back to the recipe I was supposed to give you last year but, since it will definitely feature in our “padkos” (road trip food), it actually fits in better right here. These chocolate crunchies are packed with oats, coconut and cocoa so, despite their robe of dark chocolate sauce, the “good ingredients balance out the butter and sugar quite nicely.

And you don’t even have to wait for the crunchies to cool before you pour on the topping. When the topping is poured on, while the crunchies are still hot, you will find that the icing sinks in before it hardens to form a delicious layer of crisp, dark sweetness to hit that sweet tooth right in the gut. Good luck getting these to last a week in your house. In fact, invite some people over or take this tray bake to a party. You don’t want to tempt yourself with these tantalizing titbits. It’s a little ridiculous how easy it is to finish a pan full all by yourself. No judgies!

easy, chocolate, crunchies, baking, recipes, lunch box fillers, sweetChocolate Crunchies

500ml whole wheat flour

500ml coconut

500ml oats

250ml sugar

30ml cocoa powder

10ml baking powder

375g butter, at room temperature

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celcius and line a 30x45cm oven pan with baking paper making sure you leave a generous edge all the way around. You will use this later to help you remove the crunchies from the pan. Place all the ingredients into a large bowl of a stand mixture and beat on low speed until combined. If you don’t have a stand mixer, feel free to use your hands to rub the butter into the dry ingredients. Press this mixture into your prepped oven pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. It will still seem a bit soft when you remove it from the oven but don’t worry.

While the crunchies are baking, mix together 500ml icing sugar (sifted), 15ml cocoa powder, 60ml butter (at room temperature) and just enough hot water to make a smooth, spreadable paste. Pour this over the crunchies the minute they come out of the oven. Use the back of a large tablespoon to spread the icing all the way to the corners of the crunchies. Let this set for about 20 minutes before using the baking paper to lift the crunchies out of the pan and onto a chopping board. Slice while still slightly warm and cool completely before storing in airtight containers for up to 2 weeks.

Chocolate Mint Ice Cream Cake

christmas, xmas, recipes, ice cream cake, choc mint, chocolate, ice cream, easy, no churnCustard, for me, will always be one of those comfort foods that make me remember my childhood. I haven’t even considered it as one of the first things I cooked until now because, until I started writing about it, I’d forgotten how (in order for me to eat it) I would have to make it myself because my family LOVED custard so thick, it could be used to build a house.

Urgh! I feel sick just thinking about it. For me, custard has always had a single requirement. It must have the consistency of *Ultramel and have absolutely no lumps! Now I will admit here that the custard I’m referring to “cooking” was made from the shop bought powder. I know! I’m sorry but I only learned about crème patisserie when I started blogging and now my custard powder is used to ONLY make custard cookies. Of course, once I learned that proper ice cream was made using a crème patisserie base, it took some trial and error before I came across a recipe that would hit the spot every, single time.

Now, the title of this post isn’t custard. It’s Chocolate Mint Ice Cream Cake so maybe it’s time I stop waffling…OOOH WAFFLES *drags mind back to the task at hand* and actually give you the recipe. Sorry, I have the attention span of a goldfish when it comes to food.

So basically, the premise is that you make the crème patisserie and, while that’s cooling, you gently whip a tin of caramel together with some more cream. Once that is nice and thick, you add a drop of green food colouring, 2.5ml mint essence and 150g Nomu Decadent dark chocolate bits (or more, to taste). You then gently fold that into the cooled custard and you’re ready to turn it into  showstopping delight.

Chocolate Mint Ice Cream Cake

Crème Patisserie

125ml milk

125ml cream

15ml sugar

20g corn flour (Maizena)

50g sugar

3 large egg yolks

5ml vanilla extract

20g butter

Heat the first 3 ingredients to just below boiling point on the stove. While you are waiting, mix the corn flour, sugar and egg yolks together to form a smooth paste. Add a scoop (I use a 60ml cup measure) of hot milk to the egg mixture and stir well. Add the mixture back to the pot and whisk with a silicon whisk until thick and creamy. Add vanilla and mix. Remove from the heat and add butter. Stir until the butter has melted and has completely incorporated with the custard. Set aside to cool in a clean bowl set in a bigger bowl filled with ice cubes. To prevent a skin from forming, cover the custard with cling film or saran wrap, pushing the plastic down to touch the top layer of custard.

christmas, xmas, recipes, ice cream cake, choc mint, chocolate, ice cream, easy, no churnAssembly

200g **Tennis Biscuits, caramel or choc mint flavour (crushed with rolling pin or in food processor)

100g butter, melted

397g tinned caramel or Dulce de leche

250ml cream

A few drops of green food colouring

2.5ml peppermint essence

150g dark chocolate, finely chopped

Crush biscuits and mix with butter until it starts to look like wet sand. Press into a large, greased cake pan to form a base. Refrigerate until needed.

Gently whip cream and caramel together. You want smooth and creamy, not stiff. The mixture will thicken while standing. Add essence and food colouring. Mix well making sure you scrape the bottom of the bowl. Gently fold in cooled crème patisserie and add chocolate. Pour mixture onto your prepped biscuit base and cover in cling film (saran wrap). Wrap the entire dish in heavy duty aluminium foil and free until needed. Remove from the freezer 10 minutes before serving. Top with grated peppermint crisp or melted chocolate if preferred.

* ultramel – a brand of ready made custard that can be bought in all major retailers. While delicious, homemade is always best.

** Tennis Biscuits – this is a popular coconut cookie used as a base for many sweet, unbaked desserts in South Africa. It is available in plain, caramel, cinammon and choc mint flavours. If this is not available where you live, try using digestive biscuits or graham crackers flavoured with 50g desiccated coconut, cocoa and 50g mint flavoured chocolate.

Addressing the Taboo

Why is it considered crass to talk about money? I’m not talking about asking people how much they earn, I’m talking about being honest when you don’t have any. Am I the only one who feels the need to tell anything but the truth when it comes to not having cash? You know, when friends want to hit the town and you’d rather say, “no thanks, I have something else on that day” rather than (the truth) “I’d love to go but I’m up to my eyeballs in debt!”

Addressing the Taboo

Telling the truth shouldn’t be seen as asking for a hand out. It should simply be what it is. The truth. Maybe this is why there are so many people who struggle with debt. We all feel the need to be living la vida Top Billing. And what for? Sounds a bit loco to me.

It’s coming up to Christmas and I didn’t get paid yesterday. I’ve been receiving a salary on the 15th of the month for the last 11 years and on the 30th of November this came to an end. I should still get paid for the last 2 weeks I worked but the government feels no urgency to give me the money I worked for. Who knows how long it will take for the money to reflect in my account. In the kingdom of passing the buck, it’s pretty hard to get a straight answer from anyone in head office.

So, for the last 16 days, we have been working our butts off to get the house ready for sale but we’ve done all we can using no money. The next phase requires over R10k to finish off the bathroom ceiling and painting the inside of the house before we place it on the market. I don’t want to show the house looking anything but it’s best, so that we can get the best possible price.

Which means I’m stuck between an unfinished house and another bond repayment that I may or may not be able to cover (depending on whether head office decides it’s more important for them to start their Christmas holidays tomorrow or not). I know God will provide. I am trying so hard to trust Him. I was completely fine with it about 10 days ago. Now we are less than 10 days away from Christmas and I’m feeling the need to breathe into a paper bag.

Am I a bad person for admitting this? Was this post so “crass” it’s beyond the pale? I used to think that I had to keep up with pretences on this site but I figure, how would that help? Maybe implying that everything is fine is actually adding to the problem. I don’t know anymore.

** To any family or friends reading this post, please don’t think I’m asking for a hand out. I’m not. I know you’ll want to help and I appreciate it more than I can say. I know God has a plan and I will trust Him. I just felt it was important to share where I’m at with my readers. I know you are all so awesome that I need only ask and you’ll bend over backwards to help. But I’m trying to stand on my own two feet here. My problems are not your responsibility. It’s the adult thing to do.**

Festive Cookies

 

baking, christmas, xmas, recipes, cookies, any flavour, biscuits, cookie dough

I love filling the house with cookies over the festive season. Cookies can be made in advance (when you actually have the time), they don’t go stale as long as they are kept in a sealed container and you can customize a recipe to suit your favourite flavours or what you have in the house. This cookie recipe is from the Hummingbird Bakery, Cake Days recipe book and, while they suggest almonds and apricots, I chose to use toasted flaked coconut and dried cranberries for one batch and dark chocolate and ground almonds for the other.

When you customize, use the larger quanity for the dominant flavour and the smaller quanity for the complimentary flavour. These cookies spread A LOT so don’t try and bake off more than 6 teaspoon sized scoops at a time. I tried chilling on of the cookie dough batches first but it didn’t minimize the spreading. Any leftover cookie dough can be brought together into a log and sealed in a zip lock bag. This can then stored in the freezer and used as slice and bake cookies when the need arises for freshly baked cookies.

Festive Cookies

(makes 12 large cookies)

135g butter, at room temperature

160g brown sugar

1 large egg

5ml vanilla extract

5ml mixed spice (optional)

190g cake flour

2.5ml baking powder

100g dried apricots/cranberries/white chocolate/dark chocolate/nuts/anything really

60g ground almonds/cranberries/cherries/toasted flaked coconut/mini marshmallows/anything really

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celcius and prep two cookie sheets with baking paper or non stick cooking spray. Beat butter and sugar together until creamy then add the egg. Mix well. Sift dry ingredients together and add to the creamed butter mixture. Place teaspoonfuls of cookie dough onto the prepped cookie sheet with at least 5cm space in between each mound. Bake for 12-15 minutes and allow cookies to cool on the tray so that they can crisp up. Repeat until all your cookies have been baked or place dough into a freezer bag and bake off as needed.

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Status Quo

If you spend a few hours on social media most days a week, you start realizing that there are loads of people who never left high school and get their kicks from bullying people, in every way they know how.

Of course, no one is pushing you up against the wall and demanding your lunch money but they are undermining your knowledge and experience because you can’t possibly be more than what they have fitted into a (mental) box.

Status Quo

A food blogger who comments on politics? Sit down Poppie. Rather go back to being a trophy wife and spending your husband’s money. A beauty blogger that questions ethics? No dear, rather go paint your nails, okay?

The underhanded, vicious comments come from all sides and what it boils down to, is that people have made assumptions about your life based on what they’ve seen on the internet, and they feel that they have the right to judge.

The “experts” love passing comment about your parenting style. It’s especially fun when people who don’t have children feel they could do it better. How dare you say that about your child? Don’t you know how vulgar it is for a woman to swear? You commit that “parenting sin” (according to me)!? What kind of a mother are you?

It’s the shame game, folks and it is the grown up’s way of making you question ever, single decision you make instead of going with your gut. They give no consideration to the fact that blogger, yes even food bloggers, are often doctors, lawyers and actuaries but the minute you stop talking about the main focus of your blog and delve into other areas, you are shut down and told that it’s not acceptable.

Maybe this is why blogging is dying. Where is the incentive for us to keep creating content? Very few people bother to engage so, after a while, it feels a  lot like an all take and no give relationship.

Well, I refuse to be silenced! I am more than just one thing. I just happen to love baking but I am a working professional who has knowledge and experience. So, I will talk about whatever I feel like on this blog and continue to do my bit to make the world a better place. The End.

Breastfeeding in public

Okay so here’s the thing, look at these two pictures. Which woman is showing more boob? I’ll wait. breastfeeding, breast feeding breastfeeding, breast feedingEvery now and then this “breastfeeding in public” saga comes up and I roll my eyes and sigh. Again! Really? In this day and age where we are well aware that you shouldn’t be fat shaming, thin shaming, fashion shaming etc our fellow women and yet, here we go again.

Why ladies, why? Why do we clutch our pearls when we see a woman behave in a way that we feel is appropriate? Since when should the fact that we are offended, mean that she should “change her ways”? That’s like saying, I don’t like what I see so you should stop. Not, I should just look away if what she is doing isn’t hurting anyone.

We don’t seem to mind when people drive around like lunatics with their toddlers roaming freely on the back seat, but we see a woman feeding her child using the tools they were designed for and we think it’s perfectly okay to gasp and splutter? It sounds like you are the one who has sexualized those feeding tools, doesn’t it? So how about you address that problem with yourself.

If the woman in question was feeding her baby a burger and Coke, no one would expect her to be banished to a smelly public bathroom so that no one gets offended. So why is she expected to make herself invisible when her baby needs some nourishment? So that your sensibilities aren’t bent out of joint?

Come now. Let’s all realize that there is more to life than getting caught up in this nonsense. Breastfeeding is the cheapest, healthiest, most convenient food to feed your child. Let’s give the mom a pat on the back and hand her a glass of ice cold water. Okay?

Titanic – The Artifact Exhibition

titanic expo, cape town, exhibition, titanic, history, school, display, ship, south africa

**UPDATE** Winner Announcements

And the winners of the Titanic giveaway double tickets are:
Nicola George
Niel Swart
Frano Loots
Lindie Kuhn
Olivia Williams
While the following people will receive single tickets:
Jasper Louw
Susan Damster
Gail Steenkamp
Elize Skriker
Ashley Flint
 

I will email you shortly about your tickets. Congratulations!! :)

If you’ve Walked with the Dinosaurs and shivered your way through the Ice Age (expos), news of Titanic – The Artifact Exhibition won’t come as a surprise to you. Because you probably like expos like these and you’ve been waiting for the run in Joburg to finish.

Titanic – The Artifact Exhibition 

This expo boasts a number of historic artifacts that have been recovered from the wreckage on display. None of them hit closer to home then the gold pocket watch that belonged to one of the passengers, Thomas William Solomon Brown, a Cape Town native. Did you know that? I didn’t!

Thomas was a successful hotelier who decided to relocate to Seattle where his sister-in-law lived to pursue other business ventures. He was travelling with his family in second class, when tragedy struck. His wife and daughter were rescued, but Thomas died on the sinking ship and his body was never recovered.

Titanic – The Artifact Exhibition will be housed at the Watershed V&A Waterfront in Cape Town,  from the 22nd November 2015 until March 2016.

If you would like to be part of this educational, emotional experience you’ll be pleased to know that I’m giving away 10 double and 5 individual tickets to  Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition. Come and take a journey through the life of Titanic and pay homage to the indomitable force of the human spirit in the face of tragedy.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This competition will run from today, 16 November 2015 to Friday, 20 November 2015 at 12am. I will pass on your names and email addresses to the PR company and they will sort the tickets out for you.

Winners will be decided by a random number generator and the judge’s decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into and the prizes cannot be exchanged for cash or anything else.

The expo is in Cape Town, South Africa and transport to and from the venue isn’t included in the prize.

But if you don’t win a ticket here, visit WebTickets  and find a ticket that will suit your needs.For your convenience, I have listed the ticket prices below. The 30-minute time slots are there to indicate the time at which you would like to arrive. This helps prevent overcrowding at the entrance and during the exhibition. Once you are in the exhibition, you may stay as long as you like within operating hours.
(18YRS +) R135
CHILDREN (5-17YRS) R85
STUDENTS AND PENSIONERS R90
FAMILY PACKAGE OF 4 R80 per person
TITANIC & TWO OCEANS AQUARIUM COMBO TICKET – ADULT (18YRS +) R236
TITANIC & TWO OCEANS AQUARIUM COMBO TICKET – CHILD (14-17) R163
 TITANIC & TWO OCEANS AQUARIUM COMBO TICKET – CHILD (4-13) R130
TITANIC & TWO OCEANS AQUARIUM COMBO TICKET – PENSIONER / STUDENT R193
 TITANIC & TWO OCEANS AQUARIUM COMBO TICKET – FAMILY OF 4 (KIDS 4-17) R166 per person

10 ways to strengthen your marriage

anniversary, marriage, relationships, 10 ways to strengthen your marriage, south africa, mixed race couplesAnton and I married at Morgenhof Wine Estate 14 years ago today. We met in 1995 and started dating when I was almost 17 and he was 21. By the time we got married in 2001, we had dated for 6 years and I had just turned 23. I share more about our story from an interracial perspective over here.

Since we were both so young when we got married, we hit rocky patches a number of times but we battled through and emerged stronger on the other side. Marriage takes WORK and commitment from both sides. If one person has one foot out the door, the relationship won’t stand a chance.

The media may portray relationships as that continuous warm and fuzzy feeling but real life isn’t always like that. There are a number of times things just feel normal and maybe, dare I say it, just a little boring? People may chase after the “thrill” that comes from being in a new relationship and move from one person to the next without realizing that a real relationship takes a lot more effort and tenacity to last.

But instead of focusing on the hardships, here are 10 ways to strengthen your marriage.

TALK – you need to be free to talk about anything at any time. This is often the largest hurdle to overcome because many guys don’t like using their words. Try a few strategies and find what works for you. You have to know where the other person is on an emotional level and keeping the lines of communication open helps a lot
PDA – again, I’m not going to paint everyone with the same brush because I know everyone is different but even holding hands will go a long way to keep the physical spark alive in your relationship. If he likes having his back tickled or she likes it when you play with her hair, make sure you incorporate into your day at some point.
Find a common interest – whether it is gaming together or shouting at the local rugby team in front of the TV, make a point of doing something together at least once a week. It doesn’t have to be pricey or take you away from home.
Acknowledge your issues – and start working on them. Get help if you need to. People come into relationships with all sorts of issues. Heaven knows I’ve only just recently started dealing with my own. The first step is to acknowledge your issues and have a very frank discussion with yourself before you tackle the dissatisfactions you find yourself faced with in your relationship.
Marriage isn’t 50/50. It takes 100% from both sides.
Share the load – most couples both work full time and running a house takes a lot of work. There is no reason why both of you can’t cook, clean and do laundry. We are in 2015 after all.
Do things separately – maintain your friendships once you are married. You are not only a husband or wife, you are a person too. Negotiate what will work for your relationship and keep things balanced. If you are spending more time away from your partner (work excluded of course) than with them then you are taking a huge risk in terms of the health of the relationship.
Guard your marriage – all it takes is a few weeks of fighting or unresolved arguments for outside forces to start affecting the relationship ecosystem. There is always someone out there who will see and acknowledge what you saw in your partner in the first place. Temptation is real.
Laugh together – maintain a sense of humor and don’t take yourselves too seriously.
Marriage takes WORK and commitment from both sides. If one person has one foot out the door, the relationship won’t stand a chance – Yes, I know said this before but it needs to be said again.

I know life is hard. There are all sorts of reasons why marriages don’t make it. And if you’re in a physically, emotionally or mentally abusive relationship, WALK AWAY and don’t look back. Your partner needs professional help and no amount of love will change that.

I certainly don’t have all the answers. But maybe the fact that I shared some relationship realities will help someone who is trying to make some tough choices. I’m all for putting an end to the pretense and having some real discussions over here. Who’s with me?

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