Meet our newest Xander Mom, Le-André from Spirited Mom blog. She took some time out of her busy schedule, to talk to us about her blog and her family.
Tell us about yourself?
As my blog banner states… Motherhood, my best achievement to date…Many imperfect moments BUT those imperfect moments create the best memories. I am a thirty something mom of two boys aged 8 years and 1 year. I am also a wife/friend/daughter/employee and until recently I was a student too. I do believe that you never stop learning. We all know
the saying that “knowledge is power” well that is exactly what I tell my boys. You are never to young/old to learn something new. Even if it is only for personal gain, do it. You will thank yourself later for learning something new.
Tell us about your blog?
Spirited Mama was borne out of my need to communicate with other people in the “world”, to share and document my own parenting journey. To show the positives but more accurately the “real” moments parenting offers. This is not unique to any parent but I can assure you my life is not all moonshine and roses. It gets “real” in the spirited household on any given day. As my journey and blog took shape, I noticed that most parents want to see and know that you, as a blogger, also go through “real” life experiences, not just the pretty curated instagram feed.
How do you feel about using technology as part of learning?
It is inevitable that at some point in your life you will encounter technology. What better way to incorporate technology than through play. Kids learn whilst playing. Dudie, 8 years, is quite tech savvy and uses technology to do homework/projects. Using technology also keeps teh young minds interested for longer. Troll, 1 year, is very interested in our phones, iPad and laptops. I think we have created a tech monster.
What are your kid’s favourite apps?
For my older child, we have used LeapPad and leapfrog apps. Now those very same apps and devices are being used by Troll. I also have random word searches and “hangman” for Dudie. I recently started using the Xander Afrikaans woordbou app for Dudie. My husband and I are fluent in English and Afrikaans and now Dudie is learning Afrikaans too. It’s still quite challenging as he is predominantly english but we’re getting there.
What do you love about South Africa and raising your children here?
Most definitely the diversity, what’s not to love. My kids get to explore a multitude of cultures, a beautiful country and learn about their heritage.
TV “Yes” or “No”?
In the ideal world I would probably have said no. But this is real life, so YES. Of course we monitor what they watch and how much screen time they have but on the days that we as parents also just need a breather, we all plonk in front of the TV and just enjoy some screen time.
What is in the lunchbox?
This is challenging as my husband took over lunchbox duty when Troll was born. Dudie is just like his mama, we are visual eaters. We prefer snack food as opposed to traditional sandwiches. My Dudie has relieved Dad of his task and practically begged me to pack his lunchbox again. I don’t have a set lunchbox, so Dudie doesn’t get the option to be bored with his lunch. I stick to a snack, biltong/nuts, a fruit, a small juice box, 750ml water bottle, cracker biscuits, cheese, carrots, cucumber and rosa tomatoes (which my child eats as if they were sweets. Some days I will offer a sandwich in between. Dudie’s school is very strict on lunchboxes so no treats allowed except on Fridays. They literally check what you have packed each day and should something be deemed as a treat, your child will be allowed to consume it after school hours.
How do you balance it all – in one sentence?
As a parent I’ve learnt to wing it on most days; being routine oriented I’m learning to cut myself and my family some slack every now and then.
Do you children do chores at home, if so what and how do you manage it?
Dudie helps with packing the dishes away, setting and clearing the table at meal times, dusting small areas and he keeping his own room tidy. On the odd occasion, he will vacuum his own room 🙂 He also helps to feed the dogs and rake the leaves. I’ve learnt to let go of managing his chores. And just like that, he does them without us asking, except for the dusting part. I find that if I micro manage him, he is inclined to whine about it. If I let him do his thing on his terms, he actually does a pretty good job.
What is your favourite holiday plans/ activities with kids?
Any holiday is a good plan. We do frequent short breaks rather than long extended holidays. Holidays range from fishing trips for the boys, beach breaks and bush getaways too. This refuels all of us to keep our momentum going. We do try an do one holiday abroad annually with our kids to expose them to lief out there.
Activities with the kids range from swimming, jumping on the trampoline, picnics in the park and more recently teaching Dudie to play 8 Ball Pool.