Meet Xander Mom, Thando Msomi from the Modern Zulu Mom blog. She spoke to us about her family, her blog and gave us some great advice to deal with dinner time and managing it all.
Tell us about yourself?
My name (Thando) means love isiZulu and I’ve made it my life-mission to live up to it’s meaning in all the things I do; so I’m very passionate and hands on with my loved ones, as I am with my career and interests. I have a son and a daughter.
Tell us about your blog?
I started Modern Zulu Mom in March 2015 after years of contemplation. Being the first women among my immediate friends to have a child 8 years ago, meant that I was the go-to person for information and advice for a long time and I began documenting the common themes and combining them with my experiences and passion for writing. I blog about my victories and failures as a mother, the various milestones a mother and child go through, current social issues, cultural influences and all the other ups and downs that a modern mother goes through. I have met some incredible mothers through the blog and seeing them being so receptive and supportive keeps me going.
I see technology as a great collaborative tool in learning. My son is currently learning new languages at school and his iPad allows him to get stimulated by the combination of visuals, sound and fun while learning. I love that it doesn’t feel serious and boring to them, so they don’t realise that they are learning. Being able to download/delete games and apps so instantly also keeps things exciting for them.
What are your kids favourite apps?
What do you love about South Africa and raising your children here?
Many, many things. I love that most of my family and friends live in South Africa so I have a great support system and network; I love that our history and heritage is so rich, enabling me to pass many meaningful lessons onto my children. I love that we have freedom of choice when it comes to birthing children, education, career choice, spiritual and sexual orientation, to name a few. I love our warm summers – they offer plenty opportunities to explore nature and the outdoors with children. Our country is going through a lot of turmoil at the moment and it can leave one feeling pessimistic and discouraged but I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, this is Home.
Suppertime tips for parents with young children?
Keep the same routine in the evenings (e.g. bath, dinner, bedtime story), it reduces the fights. Switch off the TV while eating – it’s distracting and you’ll spend hours convincing them to concentrate on their plate. Sit at a dinner table if possible and have each family member discuss their day; lastly, introduce them to healthy food while they’re still toddlers, it will make life so much easier later on, I’ve had to learn this the hard way with my first born.
TV “Yes” or “No”?
Yes. During the week we allow 30 minutes a day. Weekends are generally less restricted but we balance the day with family time, outdoor activities and reading.
What is in the lunchbox?
My son doesn’t like change or variety much; so it’s usually a hotdog/sandwich, water, juice, fruit and a small treat which we alternate. It’s been like that for a long time which is getting boring
How do you balance it all – in one sentence?
Each day comes with it’s own priorities and I believe that you won’t always be the best mom/wife/career-woman/friend/sister daily – do the best you can with what you have at the time and the rest will fall into place.
Do your children do chores at home, if so what and how do you manage it?
On a daily basis, my son is responsible for tidying and cleaning up after himself. On weekends he makes his own bed and on Sundays he helps with dishes. He also enjoys washing our cars and helping with feeding our dogs from time to time.
What is your favourite holiday plans/ activities with kids?
Swimming at home or at the beach; visiting family and friends with children of similar ages, movie marathons, visiting expos/festivals, theme parks and arcades.