Tag Archive: tshego motiang


Once I’ve fed; entertained; disciplined; played with; answered a billion and 1 questions and then finally put the kids to bed, I get to relax and watch some tv – I am exhausted.

I don’t do this everyday, only every so often, to give those who do a chance to enjoy their long lost freedom – I am the babysitter.

I’m a firm believer in the saying “it takes a village to raise a child” and have chosen to avail myself, to a couple of good friends, as a helping hand to their adventurous child filled life. I love children; so much so, that I could not think of anything better than spending some good old time with them – everyone wins.

Now you’re probably thinking… “She’s crazy!” Or “it’s easy to be a part time parent, but she has no idea what it takes to be real parent” and you would be completely wrong. Yes, I may not understand the daily experiences of a 24/7 parent but, I’ve had my fair share of the ups and downs of the job and have learnt enough to understand the stressors associated with it.

I’ve been traumatised by the non-stop screams of a scared and confused toddler and awoken by the cries of a sick and uncomfortable child. I’ve been left defeated by the demands of an upset baby boy, who just refused to be put down because all he wanted was to sleep in MY arms until his mommy got home. I’ve been entertained by their excitement to many a discovery and amused by their unlimited boundary pushing tactics. I have been moved by their unconditional expressions of love and intrigued by their intentional acts of attention seeking. I’ve celebrated their applauded victories and consoled them through their misunderstood frustrations – I’m well aware that the task of parenthood is nowhere near easy…

Being a mom (or a dad for that fact of matter) is a roller coaster ride that often requires a lot of blood, sweat and salty flavoured water because…

To be a mom requires you to make some tough decisions, deal with temper tantrums and juggle a variety of life’s never ending tasks, simultaneously.

To be a mom requires you to overcome sleepless nights, overlook the chaos of clutter and face unimaginable criticism (from the people you’d think would be rooting you on because they’ve been there and done that), all while keeping your head held high.

To be a mom requires you to know it all, fix it all and carry it all.

To be a mom requires you to constantly support, encourage and counsel when and as it is demanded of you.

To be a mom requires you to put yourself aside, and learn to devise and conquer despite the overwhelming fear and persistent need to call quits.

To be a mom will require you to sacrifice every aspect of who YOU are, for the benefit of who THEY will become.

To be a mom requires you to love beyond, above and outside of yourself.

To be a mom requires you to be a superhero without any superpowers – your mission is to defeat, defend and deliver…. Good Luck!

To be a mom is a tough and exhausting job that requires more and more out of you each and every day.

And yet, in spite of all this, I have observed that…

To be a mom is the biggest and most rewarding yet underrated blessing, that is given to mere mortals such as you and I.

And if you really think about it…

To be a mom is an incredibly symbolic representation of our relationship with God.

[For more stories looking at the concept of ‘To Be A Mom’, click here]


When this topic first came up, I chose not to get involved because I knew the controversy it would cause. People on all sides are generally exceptionally sensitive when it come to the topic of race. We can never just talk about our differences without an argument ensuing. Someone always has to overact out of offense and someone else will always have to pay by taking the blame. The conversation is almost not worth having because no one is ever willing to just listen and learn. Over and above that, I never considered myself a contender in the game. I was brought up differently, so I thought I had no say in the matter, but after reading the first post, I figured I could give it a shot.

I am a young black South African female who happened to be raised within the realms of the very popular western culture. Our parents wanted us to live and learn from the world without the restrictions and/or limitations of tradition. They wanted us to become who we were destined to be and not what culture dictated us to be. I was confused – but then again you would be too if you were expected to “hate” the enemy when they were the only friends you knew. While my sibling comfortably embraced some of our culture (speaking our mother tongue and befriending people of the same race), I chose to comfortably adopt the culture I was brought up in (white friends and speaking only English). It was tough because I never really knew where I fit in – when you have your feet in two different camps, there is always going to be a conflict of interest, but I’ll save you the sop story (and besides you’re already judging me)….

From my experience, I have realised that the question really shouldn’t be “What I Think A Specific Race Should Know” but rather “What I Think Everyone Should Know”. We’re all different and are influenced by our varying backgrounds, and it’s easy to just get angry and point fingers but it’s beneficial to learn and understand. Unfortunately, not everyone is going to know and/or relate to your past, your feelings or your point of view, so it’s your job to educate them. Instead of playing the oversensitive he said she said offense blame game, why not let curiosity be a teacher.

I have learnt through babysitting that kids will ask questions in order to gain understanding. Their intention is never to offend or hurt, but when they see something out of the ordinary; something they deem to be different, they want to know why and are brave enough to find out. And the answer you give them never changes their outlook or opinion of you. They don’t mock or tease you about it (well for the most part anyway), in fact, more often than not they leave having learnt something new and they respect you for it. You teach them what’s right and wrong and they will just go with it.

And so it should be with us adults, if someone is offending you or being uberly inquisitive, instead of pulling the race card or getting overly sensitive on the matter, why not respond by explaining why you don’t like it or why it makes you feel a specific way. There’s no point in getting angry and holding grudges over it – it helps no one and only creates more division among us. How will anyone ever know that something hurts you if you don’t explain it to them? There is nothing worse than having to walk on eggshells around a topic because we’re too scared of what the reaction might be… That’s just stupid!

We’ve got to put our fists down (stop being defensive) and have an open discussion about our differences. It’s time we learnt a little bit about each other in a safe non-threatening environment. Yes! Let’s discuss what my white friends should know and why, then turn the tables and discuss what my black, coloured, asian and indian friends should know and why. Let’s make it a group effort instead of a “them vs us” scenario; let’s get to know each other (what makes one person tick, may be a big fat joke for another – we’re ALL different like that), because the more you know the better you understand; and the better you understand, the more comfortable the interactions.

We won’t always get it right, but that’s why it’s so important to keep the lines of communication open, so we can continually learn along the way. It’s a never ending life lesson and we’ve got to see it as a journey, never a destination. It’s not a free ticket to be rude, judgmental and/or stereotypical… (try to see the bigger picture here) it’s an opportunity to gain knowledge and build relationship through understanding…

[For the next post, this time by Tasha Melissa Govender, click here]

My Strength as a Weakness

If you were asked to define the word sympathy, you would probably say it’s the act of feeling sorry for someone. You have heard of something bad or sad happening in someone elses life and acknowledge that it is in actual fact bad or sad and you feel for the person going through that situation, and you would probably be right…

What if you were asked to define empathy? Hmmm, good one… What does empathy mean? Well I have literally spent most of my life trying to figure and live that out… Why? Well, because believe it or not, empathy happens to be one of my strengths – seriously!! Empathy can be a strength? Yes! I had no idea but I found out a couple of years ago, and although I wasn’t surprised (it was part of my personality, I had grown with it, so I knew it all along) how could it possibly be one of my strengths? Aren’t strengths supposed be cool.. Like ambition and determination and passion, you know things that make you BIG in life…? Apparently not, even the so called “softies” can be included as strengths too.

So I’m empathetic, and it’s considered to be one of my strengths (I’m a people’s person – what can I say?) but I have also recently discovered that if not well managed, this incredible strength can become a weakness (like any strength really) and I am evidence of that.

Just in case you don’t already know it, being empathetic means you can relate to a person’s situation. You not only feel sorry for them, but you actually feel what they feel; you can actually put yourself in their shoes. It’s an emotional connection and it can be very effective, especially when counseling people. Usually, you can put yourself in their situation and walk the journey to “recovery” alongside them. However, when the feelings overpower you to the point of incapacitation, you are no longer effective. You become so wrapped up in the emotions, that you are suddenly the victim
in need of counseling, on something that you are feeling through someone else.

And that is my strengths weakness, I get so caught up in the emotions, I am unable to help the person out of what they are currently facing. It can get so bad, that I have let the scenarios cause insecurities and fear and complacency. Eventually, causing me a great deal of frustration, while leaving me in a rut, one I don’t seem to get out of easily, even though the person it initially affected has moved on. Now imagine that happening with every scenario I come across, with every person I meet, every person going through a tough time., that’s enough to hold me back for a life time!

So how do you strengthen the weak side of your strength (we aren’t perfect and we certainly do not have it all together, but we can work on it)? Well, it’s all about steering that strength in the right direction. It’s about understanding it and controlling it instead of it controlling you. Take passion for instance. Some people can be so passionate, their drive, if not well managed, can cause others to feel intimated and see the as over-confident, arrogant and annoying. Someone who’s a bit of a perfectionist, can come across as bossy and self obsessed.

But when you become aware of the weak side of your strength, you can work on strengthening it. So instead of being in everyone’s face and driving them crazy about how much you love music and it’s arrangement, for instance, you could use that passion, that enthusiasm to train others, not to tell them what to do and how to do it, but helping them gain the passion and enthusiasm for their own musical journey. It means seeing the potential in others and nurturing it until they are capable of acknowledging it and striving to improve it.

And so it is with every strength. My empathetic nature overwhelmed me. Ultimately, it means, putting ourselves aside, cause that’s when a strength is successful, when we’re putting the needs of others ahead of our own, using the very traits that make us, us!

This means that you have not only understand your strengths but also the weaknesses behind them. In my case, I have to embrace the feelings I experience from different people’s situation, but I cannot let them overwhelm me. I cannot let them take over my thinking, I cannot let them rule… I need to rule them.

check out Tshego’s crazy show page [i met her when she was radio djing a show and she dangerously invited me to come vibe] for more on this crazy, passionate woman…

carry on reading for my friend Sharné’s Strength Weakness of INCLUSIVITY

the other day i was listening to one of my friends share some of their story with a group of people – four of our friends were speaking on the topic of serving God [and people] with our Time, our Talents [skills, giftings] and our Treasures [money, things] with each person dealing with a specific one of them.

as i listened to Lara [who is, among other things, a mom, a wife, a daughter, a nurse, a church member, a Simple Way board member] speak about Time, something she said jumped out at me and i was hit once again with the idea that sometimes our biggest strength can also become our biggest weakness [or if not the biggest then at least a source of weakness]

i think for me, something like competitiveness can be a good thing because it drives me to succeed and to push and to go further than maybe others think i can and so on, and to attempt things a lot of people might not, but when it is bad it is really bad and it can be a source of choosing goals over relationship, or getting into a bad mood [and generally helping other people feel bad] when i am losing in a game [Stop nodding, anyonewhohaseverplayedabunchofgamesagainstme!] or having some choice but not to kind words to say to the opposition on the hockey field.

it becomes tricky because unlike something that is just seen as a bad thing in my life, the answer is not eliminating it because it is a strength as well. and so i have to learn how to work on and emphasise the strong points while looking at diminishing or at the very least being aware of the weak points so i can hopefully let them appear less.

but that was just a taster… i have asked some of my friends and people who i respect if they will take some time to look at their own lives and choose a strength that they have which they have also witnessed the weakness side of and a number of them graciously agreed and so i will be running this series over the next few days.

i invite you to take a look at some of the strengths you have and see if you can identify the weakness that might lurk behind them. and feel free to share in the comments section. i am hoping that awareness of this will help us to be more focused on strengthening the strengths and weakening the weaknesses.

what is your Strength Weakness?

read the story of Steve Graybill as he speaks about a THIRST FOR KNOWLEDGE

read the story of Tshego Motiang and her experience with EMPATHY

read the story of my good mate Bruce Collins and his experience with PEOPLE…

read the story of Lara and her take on SENSITIVITY…

read the story of Robert Murray as he speaks about the WOO FACTOR

read the story of Shae Leigh Bloem and her experience with being HARDCORE

read the story of Dalene Reyburn and her experience with AMBITION…

read the story of Sharné Finn Osborne and her experience with INCLUSIVITY

read the story of Tim Tucker as he looks at being a MULTI-TASKER

read the story of Jane Lee as she talks a little bit about CONTEXT

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