We are still celebrating Motherhood! This 2nd group of mama’s are as “real” and different as they come. Doing life, motherhood and being a woman with so much ease. They inspire, just by being.
1. Anje- Ilana Nel
A name you are sure to recognise if you are familiar with our blog. My friend and Just a Mamma’s current photographer, Anje-Ilana from Madison & West. Pretoria girl, born and raised, this wonderfully talented girl mama has always been an artist. Teaching herself to play the piano and guitar at a very early age, sketching, painting and doing other things to keep her hands busy.
It was after her dream of a “perfect family” was shattered and Anje had to rediscover herself post divorce that she learned to look at life differently. Photography taught her to refocus and change perspective, to search for beauty all around and to capture and treasure those moments. Photography has healed Anje and even though time management can be a struggle this “wonder-mom” does it all with so much grace. Juggling motherhood and entrepreneurship with the help of a fantastic business partner (and new fiance – big congrats) and a few helpful systems in place; Anje makes sure her daughter never “pulls on the short-end of the stick” when it comes to priorities.
Motherhood gave Anje a reality check, teaching her that life is beautifully messy and the best thing we can do its to embrace it in all it’s glory.
Mila taught her to be courageous, take risks, and love indescribably. She also gave her insight into the unconditional love of Christ. With her gentle soul and pure heart she inspires Anje to be the best version of herself. In return Anje wants to show Mila that anything can be achieved through hard work and an intimate relationship with God where He guides you, because with God all is possible.
TOP TIP FOR BUSY MOMS:
“If your child asks you to lie down with them when they are falling asleep and you still have a ton of work to do, go and lie down with them. These are some of the most precious moments I spend with my daughter and she knows that she is more important than my work…Be present and set clear boundaries so that your child will also understand when it comes to your work.”
2. Linda van der Walt
Another single mama inspiring me to have more fun and love God, Linda van der Walt; mom to Noah and the creative mind behind Fabrikate. This mama has a contagious love for life and knows what makes her happy, so she spends her time accordingly – what a fresh perspective!
In 2009 Linda, very unexpectedly became a mama and life made a complete 180. “The only thing that changed was everything” and during 9 months of pregnancy Linda quickly and naturally grew into motherhood. Life as she knew it vanished and it so so GOOD! Linda sees Noah as the greatest gift from God, sent to ground her and open the BEST chapter in her life.
She enjoys being a mom and believes in fun, compassion, laughter and total silliness; not taking life too serious. Spending TIME with her son is her favourite thing to do, seeing life through his eyes, keeping his innocence in mind and living in the moment is what parenting and their life is about. Although the everyday routine and mundane kills her, Linda wont let it get in the way of “their quality time”. A quick cycle, coffee date or just reading a book together, each day, is a MUST!
In 2013, while spending a lot of time in prayer, asking God about her purpose, Fabrikate came to be. Linda dreamt about 2 designs, implemented them the next day and the rest is fashion history… Like all mompreneurs things get overwhelming at times and that is when Linda prays more, rests more and makes sure she gets me time. “Having a great family and support from Noah’s dad and also making time for myself, my friends and God’s word helps a lot. Your child needs to see you together, happy and in control, so they can just be kids.”
It is through acts of kindness, trying to act like Jesus, reading the Bible and constantly talking about God and Jesus that Linda teaches her son God’s word and love. ” We have a little ritual as we get into the car we say ‘ Good morning Jesus, Good morning Holy Spirit.”
LINDA’S FAVOURITE BIBLE SCRIPTURE:
11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
TOP TIP FOR MOTHERHOOD:
“I am the mother I am because of God. I am nothing without Him. I am weak He is strong. I don’t make decisions without consulting God. Why; because all the fruit I bear is because of His grace and kindness and forgiveness. He gives me the wisdom to raise my son in His ways. I raise Noah with a lot of confidence; not in himself but found only in God. We don’t care what other kids say or do, we obey God and try to react like He would have.”
3. Rhona Erasmus
Busy mama Rhona has always found it difficult to sit still. With a passion for Early Childhood Education and a love for networking and empowering other women there is nothing this boy mama of two can’t accomplish. Motherhood hasn’t changed Rhona. It has made her more vulnerable and more empathetic towards others but if anything it has inspired her to live boldly and with a purpose. Hence her journey towards becoming Mrs. South Africa 2017.
Somewhere between motherhood, entrepreneurship (owner of Midstream Baby House) and being a wife Rhona forgot about her own wants and needs. She realised that when you know and love yourself and spend time on and with yourself, you learn how to “fill” yourself with things that make you happy and be alive. “The Lord gave me a VERY BIG capacity to give love and to bring about change. Mrs. SA presents the opportunity to do good on a big scale.”
Rhona’s hope is to help woman and moms become the best versions of themselves, believing that when we know and love ourselves everyone around us benefit. Educating parents on the importance of Early Childhood Education and opening a training centre where woman learn to lovingly stimulate little ones aged 3 months to 3 years is her dream.
This mama is making the changes she wishes to see in the world and is building a legacy for her sons. Showing them how to be brave enough to take chances, stand up for what you believe in and let the Holy Spirit do mighty things through you. She is paying it forward by living her motto “Be a blessing to others.”
TOP TIP FROM RHONA:
“Be an empowered woman. I am truly empowered and have experiencing first hand how looking after myself and believing in the abilities that the Lord blessed me with is changing the people around me.”
4. Heleen Koch
From creative art teacher to being part of their church’s worship team, to performing and singing at weddings and giving any socialite a run for their money Heleen’s life changed dramatically after the birth of their son, Krister.
Priorities changed and this influences every aspect of life. Cautious and overwhelmed at first, Heleen didn’t see herself as a mom-type but when Krister was born, like magic, those instincts kicked in. Heleen felt: “We were born for this, not perfect but especially made for one another, made to be a family.” With husband, Francios they were forced to “slow down”, take a breath and Heleen jokes about even having to stop applying her make-up while driving.
She also resigned and now only teaches music 4 afternoons of the week. Mornings are mommy and me time.
Still always excited to get together with friends, the location has moved to their home. Life may sound boring to most but for the Koch’s it’s bliss. Heleen is happier than ever and falling even more in love with her man, now that he’s not just her hubby but also a devoted father.
This family spends time laughing on the carpet, playing with anything and everything. Music, creativity and fantasy-play fill their days and a favourite family pastime is story-telling. A classic; shadow stories told in bed, with a torch on Krister’s bedroom ceiling.
This family knows what “slow-living” is all about and Heleen simply can not do without “her men”, lemons, avocado, cinnamon, red wine, music and lamb tjops. They dream a family life of never-ending joy, fulfillment, endless possibilities in a world trying to bound us all and pray that Krister finds and acknowledges his identity in Christ.
HELEEN’S TAKE ON CREATIVITY:
“Creativity (and music) plays a huge role in our home. Kids are inherently creative and can play and find unique uses for just about anything. This should be nutrured and explored and never forgotten or set aside.”