We recently connected with Sibongile Bean, a mommy friend of ours that is strongly family oriented. She is one of those brave mommies that was courageous enough to have two babies under two years of age (moment of silent please). For that fact alone we decided to interview her and dig deeper into this super mom slash super wife. Enjoy!
You are clearly a very proud mother and going by your social media, you seem to enjoy it a lot. Did you always see yourself as a mother or did you stumble into it and then fall in love with motherhood?
When I was in Grade 1 we had an Occupations Day at school, the usual “what do you want to be when you grow up questions” my answer at 5 years old was A MOM, my answer today is still a mom. I don’t think I stumbled into motherhood at all, motherhood was always in my plans, I think my only surprise was when it happened. I didn’t expect to get married and have a baby all in one year but such is the beauty of life and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love being a mom and being a young mom gives me the energy and ability to still tap into my inner kid. I love to research baby things, best practices for my kids, cool exciting products and activities to better our lives.
How has motherhood changed you as a whole, and how has that impacted your relationship with your partner?
Motherhood has humbled the shit out of me, for lack of a better word. On a whole, I have tapped into places within myself I didn’t think existed. Places where there are copious amounts of love, tanks of patience and a reserve of energy for all those sleepless nights. I’m so much stronger than I could have ever imagined. I have a much stronger bond with my partner too, essentially, a child makes you a family, and two kids makes you a busy family. I have so much love for my partner but also it changes the dynamic, it’s no longer about the two of you so you really pick your battles. A deeper understanding of the circle of life comes to mind when I think of the change in my relationship, this is what it’s all about. If you think relationships are hard work, add a child in the equation now that’s work! It’s constant work and communication which I think we have down. There are always going to be hard days, but the good ones with babies far outweigh those. Looking at your kids and knowing that “we made that” all from our love for one another is pretty surreal and out of this world cool.
And have your friendships and circles evolved as a result of the many changes you have experienced as a mother/wife/family person?
Friendships most certainly change. It’s obviously easier to relate to friends who are in the same phase of life as you are. I have become a lot closer to my mommy friends and although my other friendships suffer at times I still try to keep them healthy. Once you realise that your “old life” is NEVER coming back and that you will never be that person again you start to make peace with your new beautiful life. Spontaneity goes out the window as soon as you have kids, especially two, everything has to be planned so you can no longer have a quick “after work drink” or pop to the club at midnight. I cherish the friends that understand and appreciate where I am in my life and rather than catch feelings about me missing a few events, we make the best of the ones that I can.
You recently gave birth to your second child, so now you have a boy and a girl (perfect pair☺). Congratulations! What can you tell us about the 2 pregnancies and the different experiences?
Thank you, it’s been a real ride but yes I now have my pigeon pair. My first pregnancy was super easy, like the glow, the pregnancy feel and all the amazing things you read about. I was never nauseous and smiled from ear to ear till the birth. I’m so glad I got to experience a pregnancy like this as it made the idea of another child seem like a breeze. Little did I know that my second pregnancy would be the complete opposite, it was the hardest 9 months of my life. At 8 weeks pregnant I was diagnosed with hyperymesis gravidarum which in layman’s terms is chronic morning sickness. I was sick, nauseous and vomiting my entire pregnancy up until the night before I gave birth. I prayed a lot. Knowing I was having a girl made me really dig deep to find strength because I PRAYED FOR A GIRL, So if God granted me my girl, the least I could do was be grateful, not dwell on the negative so much and survive, which I did. The moment she was born the illness was gone. Thank goodness that we forget these things and get great gifts to dote over and shift our focus. Having two children is the biggest blessing in my life.
Recently Kim Kardashian mentioned that her mother once told her that having one child is just that, one child; but having two children is like having 20 children. Do you agree?
I totally agree. It’s constant chaos. You have to be organised or you WILL lose it. I have, however found that having two kids is harder on the father, your partner suddenly has a child (the toddler) whom they are 100% responsible for whilst you attend to the baby. As much as it’s a juggling act, it’s definitely a bigger shift on my husband who now deals with my toddler at all times because I just physically cannot. I also have to try find one on one time with each child which is very important to me. I make sure I get to do cool things with my son which make him feel special. I like to check out cool toddler activities in and around Cape Town and make sure I take him alone for some one on one. He loves it.
What are the ingredients to coping with being a partner to your husband, being a mother of two and also being you- Sibongile?
Date nights as often as we can get them, even if your date is a coffee at your local café whilst the kids are around the corner at home with our nanny/granny. A diary to organise things, and a good sense of humour, when in doubt just laugh.
How do you manage to find time for you, or do you?
My baby is only 2 months old so I haven’t found any time as of yet because I EBF (exclusively breastfeed), but when I get the chance I like to get my hair and nails done, catch a movie alone and go for a massage at my favourite hotel. Last week I managed to pop into Sorbet; note you can get a bikini wax whilst holding a tiny baby. True story.
You are a yummy mommy and someone who takes care of her health from exercise to diet. Do you feel under pressure to get back on track after giving birth?
I totally feel the pressure and it makes me so sad that I can’t just enjoy my time of being a little big due to baby but sadly I don’t. Its obviously fueled a lot by media and these ridiculous “post baby body snapbacks” which drive me mad but I do always feel the need to have a plan. I’m not a small built person and generally have always worked to stay in shape. With both my pregnancies I gained 20+ kgs which takes a huge impact on the mind and body. After my son I had lost over 14kg then I fell pregnant again just when I was almost there then I had to start from the beginning. I am glad it happened though as not to yo-yo too much and put more strain on my body. My mantra this time around is “slow and steady” instead of stressing myself about every little thing; at 6 weeks I just changed the foods I eat for a more healthy lifestyle. I exclusively breastfeed my kids and thus have to eat healthy anyway, I have cut out foods which make baby gassy, mainly dairy and sugar. I also try to gym twice a week. It’s super early days but hoping to get where I want to be by the time she turns 1. I definitely want to look great but for me its about feeling great, when I feel good I’m a better wife and mother so some things I just need to do not only for me but for my family. I have to often remind myself to be kind to me, and that I just gave birth again. Moms are superheros and we need to remind them that no goal weight is as important as what you have just done, which is literally growing a human being.
Thanks for your precious time 🙂