Becoming a parent has been one of the most transformative things that has ever happened to me.
Not only because I was now responsible for another life, but because of what I learned about myself, and the world around me, in the process.
Becoming a parent changes a person.
Personally, I have found this to be the most humbling experience, yet also the most empowering.
It is with this in mind that I invited a selection of South African women to share their stories with me, and put together this collection of essays from a variety of South African parents.
From teen pregnancy to child loss, the main theme is that the road to becoming a parent is not a smooth straightforward process for many of us.
I hope these heartfelt, honest, sometimes sad and sometimes uplifting stories of the rocky road to family help you to see, to understand, the heart of a parent.
- Parent24 Editor, Elizabeth Mamacos
‘I lost a lot of things that night’: When single motherhood is the only answer
The harsh reality of being dropped off at home, with no help straight after discharge with a newborn and a painful post-op C-Section wound – his dad went straight back "to work" – was just an inkling of what was to come.
'I’m too much of a failure to die': Facing unwanted teen pregnancy
I am pregnant. Mom is too busy to notice. But as my belly grows, so does my sadness. I am such a disappointment. I am so ashamed.
'Haunted by miscarriage': Finding motherhood after loss
...no one tells you about the struggles they faced. The years of trying to conceive. The miscarriages.
'It doesn’t just happen': A difficult path to family
I see my journey into and during parenthood as a number of adjustments. But the quicker I am able to pivot from my expectations not being met, to an attitude of, lets "roll with the punches" the better it seems to go.
'Paper pregnant': Waiting for that call from the adoption agency
Whether one is pregnant or "paper pregnant", the fears, excitement, anxiety, and let’s face it, every emotion under the sun, is surely the same.
'I was not proud to leave him there': A working mom shares her story of sacrifice
While I was pregnant I started reflecting on what I have achieved so far as a person, but I just couldn't be satisfied with myself.
'Slamming into a brick wall': How motherhood ended my career
"But Cathryn, you are not your job. And you could never become irrelevant." They waited until I was on maternity leave to replace me.
'How could I have not known?' When a surprise pregnancy is a blessing in disguise
Janine-Lee van der Post
Telling people you don't want any children is a lot easier than saying you can't have any.
'I was not strong enough for this': How becoming a mother changed my career path
Rushka Lee Pedro
"I was not strong enough for this": How becoming a mother changed my career path.
Get in touch
We'd also love to hear from fathers, foster parents and legal guardians!
If you would like to contribute an essay on your experience of becoming a parent, please email me at email@example.com.