What my mom taught me about Motherhood

Times are very, very different now compared to 33 years ago when my mom had me. Firstly, it seems we wait a lot longer to become parents these days – My mom was 23 when I was born and in a very different stage of her life. Having waited longer, it means that I might have more financial stability than someone in their early twenties, but I’ve learnt from my mom that the most important thing a baby needs is an abundance of love.

Yes, it sounds terribly cheesy, but if you think about it – all the gadgets and gizmo’s that we see now associated with “good parenting” – they cannot replace a mother and father spending quality time with their little one. In 1981, when I was born, my parents were both in their early twenties. I had about 4 years of attention just to myself, before my brother arrived 🙂 My parents were renting a humble “servant’s quarters” or “granny flat” in Vanguard Estate and doing their best to make sure that I had an incredible childhood. This was before luxury prams (that cost more than double what I paid for my first car), 5 star safety approved car seats, award-winning toys that could help nurture the next Nobel Prize winner or bouncing chairs that required a certified engineer to assemble and power them. My parents raised me with cloth nappies – not because of environmental concerns, but because it was what they had. My mom had to be up at 5 am to wash the nappies (I still remember the big white buckets that she used) and make sure that there was a big enough stash for the day ahead. I was quite a difficult baby when it came to crying. They spent hours trying to calm me down and had to do long drives to try and subdue me and not upset the family whose “granny flat” we were renting. Though, the Pekeurs, who we lived with, really loved me like their own and had so much patience with me. They would relieve my mom when she needed to shower and I refused to stop my crying onslaught 😉

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They raised us with so much love, patience and attention – something that I appreciate even more now that I’ve become a mother myself. They sacrificed so much and ensured that we never lacked anything. I am so blessed to have been born into their arms!



Modern Mommy Written by:


  1. Washiela Rhoda
    Mon, 14 April 2014

    Absolutely amazing story. I was born in 1980 en het ook swaer groot geword. My pa was ‘n bouer en jy weet mos dit bedoel niks werk in die winter nie. Maar ons as kinders was so tevrede met alles en dit het my net sterker gemaak as ‘n grootmens en ek waardeer soveel meer die klein goedjies in die lewe. Ek het nou ‘n 6 jarige grade one Dogter en 3 jarige seun met cerebral palsy en hy is die liefde van ons lewens. Good luck met jou baba en bly so humble soos jy is. Lovies Washiela

  2. Mon, 14 April 2014

    Absolutly Beautiful Foto! You never forgot where you came from, and now you are apllying it to your life. Your are my role model. What great amazing story, good luck on your bundle of joy. Gods richest blessings for you and family.

  3. Judith Leclercq
    Mon, 14 April 2014

    Absolutely beautiful!! and as previously mentioned. This is how I wish to look with my daughter in a few years time. She was born in 2000(your famous year!! lol) and she’s my Angel!! Love your posts. Truly inspiring!! Love, J xxx

  4. Candice
    Mon, 14 April 2014

    You truly are a role model to me. I love the fact that you acknowledge where you come from – you are going to be such a awesome mum!

  5. Jenny
    Mon, 14 April 2014

    You are a truly amazingly beautiful being in and out. I may be so much older than you and can even call you my daughter, but I learn from you everyday. I am so blessed to have met you in person. You are my true princess. Your mom must be really proud of you. Stay blesed Joann

  6. Wedaad
    Mon, 14 April 2014

    I love your blog and loved reading this post! You are such an inspiration, and have the greatest, purist spirit! #RoleModel
    Beautifully written:) lots of love Wedaad

  7. Mon, 14 April 2014

    Hi I am glad you acknowledge your humble beginings and are so grounded.
    I grew up in Belhar with single mum. And although we didnt have much.we had lits of laughter and love growing up.

  8. Haylene Schalkwyk
    Mon, 14 April 2014

    WOW, loved reading your story. You are such a beautiful person, and your little one are so blessed to be born in a bubble of pure love. We must all thankful for our moms and dads, and being a mom myself of a teen, I apreciate my parents now, more than ever

  9. Esmarelda
    Tue, 15 April 2014

    You are truly blessed and reading your stories makes me realise how blessed I am to.

  10. Nicole
    Tue, 15 April 2014

    Lovely story Jo-ann. You are my role model and a wonderful inspiration to humanity!!! Please keep the wonderful posts coming….

  11. Nicolene Swartz
    Thu, 17 April 2014

    Beautiful story Jo-Ann! Congrats on your bundle of joy, may he bring you loads of happiness. Loved reading this story and I just loved the fact that you waited until you and your husband were completely ready to bring a little one into the world. I can totally agree- you’ve been blessed with amazing parents and an awesome brother and they are equally blessed to have you in their lives. Keep on inspiring us, it’s so encouraging to know that there are still such amazing role models in this world today. Lots of love xoxox

  12. Thu, 17 April 2014

    Beautiful story. You are truly beautiful inside and out! Love that you are such a purist and still remember your humble beginnings and childhood. You are a blessing to so many the way you inspire!

  13. Pertruska Hendricks (ne Botman)
    Fri, 18 April 2014

    Hi Jo-Annn….awesome story growing up in Blackheath as friends never do we realise what our parents go through to give us the best in life.I think what my mom taught me as a kid was to always give your best…work and study hard….as a kid this was difficult as you always got first prize lol…as a a parent my mother taught me that what happens at home is what you will do anywhere else….so she taught me teach my baby girl good moral values…the children imitate you…as a parent myself now and having another on the way..my husband and I have decided that you can live in the world but you do not have to be like the world….best of luck in parenting kids grow fast so enjoy every minute..they precious…my daught is 10 and she admires you and would e thrilled to meet you…if ever maybe please free to make contact..would love to catch up and meet the little one

  14. Sat, 19 April 2014

    I appreciate all your feedback and have passed on your kind messages to my mom too – enjoyed Good Friday with my family in Blackheath yesterday and had so much pickled fish and hot cross buns – my mom makes the best pickled fish 😉 And my parents (especially my dad) shared this beautiful piece from Kahlil Gibran on children -worth reflecting on:

    Your children are not your children.
    They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
    They come through you but not from you,
    And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

    You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
    For they have their own thoughts.
    You may house their bodies but not their souls,
    For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
    which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
    You may strive to be like them,
    but seek not to make them like you.
    For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

    You are the bows from which your children
    as living arrows are sent forth.
    The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
    and He bends you with His might
    that His arrows may go swift and far.
    Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
    For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
    so He loves also the bow that is stable.

  15. Mario
    Sat, 26 April 2014

    Hello Joe. What an amazing story! All the best for you and your husband on this new chapter in your lifes. May this journey be filled with happiness and love. Love you always.

  16. Leanda van Wyk
    Sat, 26 April 2014

    God bless you and stay the humble person that you are.Love the pics.

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