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#morethanordinary – meet Jess

12 May 2018, Saturday

It's Mother's Day! And we want to celebrate mom's...not just today but everyday! We hope you find this blog encouraging as our #morethanordinary series continues... This time we chat to the super-inspiring Jess. Grab a coffee and take a quick read!

Who makes up your family?

We are the Roberts’ - a Ballito-based, exercise-loving, animal-obsessed family of four (five if you include our feline first born Derek the cat). Our son Luke is our first born. He is a busy, happy and bright little boy who is heading full steam ahead into the testing Two’s. He also happens to have been born with a tiny extra copy of his 21st chromosome. Our daughter Holly is 15 weeks. Her current loves include her brother, her mother’s milk and her father in that order. Thankfully, she has just come out of 3 months of incessant crying, affectionately known as colic.

Tell us about yourself...

I am a KZN born and bred girl, who grew up in the leafy suburbs of the Natal midlands. I was schooled in Pietermaritzburg, did a brief varsity stint at Rhodes University and completed my degrees at UKZN. Although I completed a degree in law, I ended up securing a job in retail at the Mr Price group straight after Varsity, which brought me to Durbs and it is where I have been ever since. My hobbies include exercising, drinking bubbly and blogging (my husband would argue that shopping needs to be included and that the bubbly part needs to be higher up on the list!).

What do you enjoy most about being a mom?

Becoming a mom has undoubtedly been the hardest and most rewarding job that I have ever undertaken. I often joke with my boss that going to work is like going on a Caribbean holiday. Knowing that you and your husband created these little people, seeing their little personalities develop, feeling their heart beat against yours, the little stolen moments, that for me is what it is all about.

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What are some of your 'mom-challenges’?

We found out that Luke would be born with Down Syndrome when I was 23 weeks pregnant. We were utterly devastated and floored, as a relatively young mum this was not in our plan. So for me, dealing with the unexpected, working through emotions, readjusting our plan was definitely a big challenge. Once Luke was born however, all of that negativity dissipated and what remained was honestly complete, blinding, all consuming light. Luke means “bringer of light” and light is exactly what he has brought into our lives and we without a doubt would not change a thing.

Holly has brought her own set of challenges (bless her dear heart). She has been a colicky baby (why does NO ONE warn you about colic!), so it has been an emotional, testing and frustrating time getting to know and love our beautiful second born.

As a full-time working mum, dealing with guilt is an ongoing challenge. Am I doing enough? Am I doing too much? Are we giving both Luke and Holly the best tools with which to reach their full potential? Mom guilt is a very real thing and it is something that I am constantly learning to let go of.

Do you have any advice/encouragement for moms?

Be kind. You never, ever know what journey a mom has been on. No one likes a judger anyway (is that even a word?!), plus she is tired...don’t mess with a mom running on minimum sleep who hasn’t had her coffee yet. In terms of a mom with a special needs child, being kind could not be more appropriate. Reach out to her, invite her to play dates, coffee dates, wine dates, just like any mom she probably needs it. Your children are sponges, they will pick up on your actions and will emulate them, and will ultimately become better little people as a result.

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What do you, as a family, get up to on weekends?

With a new baby, a class A car screamer and a needy cat, our weekends over the past three months have been lying low trying to recuperate, but they are usually spent trying to get in some exercise, some time on the beach and an afternoon snooze. My husband’s hobby is to fly so whenever he has a free moment (which as a hands on husband these have been few and far between) you will find him in the sky.

What’s your favourite ZUZU collective product?

Gosh how would I ever choose? Luke has been a brand ambassador for both Tiny Tribe and Panda & Frost. The lovely Kate from Katkin & Co shot our wedding, my brothers wedding and a family shoot and we are obsessed with her beautiful designs. We collaborated with Gnash on their kindness campaign and we are working on a collab with the wonderful Peony & Pea! Each brand in the ZUZU collective collection is local, incredible, unique and top quality and should be a must on every mum-to-be’s wish list.

Enjoyed this blog? Why not read some of our other #morethanordinary blogs or find some great ideas for a baby shower here.

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