Tag Archives: parenting

Why blog? The answer may surprise you

They say that life is a lesson, you’ll learn when you are through. Similarly, they say, life is a journey. Blogging can take you on a journey too. I’ve often been asked why I spend time doing something that earns me no money. Sometimes I ask myself that question. After all, by now, it seems like wishful thinking that I will ever earn an income from blogging.

How I started blogging:

It was the year 2013. The economy had started seriously slumping as too my emotions. Mother to a toddler, finances weren’t looking so fabulous. When do finances ever look fabulous?

When you raise a child, you really start noticing the cost of things. More than anything, I wished I could somehow supplement my income. At the time, getting another job was out of the question. Parenting will do that to you. Where will a new employer understand that your toddler is sick and you need to take her to the doctor, again? For a woman, I receive some good benefits and should not complain. I earn better than many other women I know. Then again, some more women I know also earn much more than me, but those are the ones who actually had the opportunity to go and study at a University outside the country.

Making money online, is all too easy – or is it?

Life is hard when you feel anxiety at the mere thought of going out and doing new things. Earning an extra income on the internet seemed like such an easy thing. After all, all those online adverts were telling me it is so, so easy making bucket loads of cash if I just sign up here or there.

Online surveys – yay or nay?

Even then, I was not that naive. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. Most likely online swindles! I was looking for something legitimate. At some point, I signed up with several websites for doing online surveys.
While this may be an ideal supplementary income if you live in the U.S. of A. or Europe, none of the offers was for my region. I was never what they were looking for. I soon found out that each and every survey I clicked on was not one I could get paid for doing. How frustrating!

Eventually, I signed up with another website. This website was a bit different from the others. Among other things, they advertised that if you put their button on your blog, they would pay you for that. The idea was born. Blog!

What is a Blog, anyway?

First I needed to figure out what a blog actually was. Yes, I was that green. I googled “what is a blog”. At that point my idea of a blog was some famous person such as an author or actor, telling their fans all about their life. After all, I was already following the ramblings of one or two of my favorite authors.

Who would ever be interested in reading my ramblings? Ordinary, not famous girl, living in Africa! What in the heck, would I even blog about? My life is not all that. So I researched ‘blogging’.

I read that a blog was similar to a website and that many websites I visited were actually blogs. The blogging professionals told me to find a niche. A topic I knew a lot about. At the time there were two main free blogging platforms. One was Blogger and the other was WordPress.

So, in February of 2014, I started a blog on Blogger. It was about Office Administration. At that point, I’d been working in the field of Office Administration for ten years. I thought I would have several things to say on the subject. Indeed, coming up with content was easy. However, I was not the only one blogging on that subject. Many established blogs already existed in the field of Office Admin. I soon started thinking; how can I be more interesting than all the rest?

A month later I also started a blog on WordPress. I mainly wanted to see the difference between these two platforms and promote my Blogger blog on WordPress and build better Social Media connections.

As they say, the rest is history. Both of the blogs I started have since been shut down.

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Blogging is a good teacher

While I’m yet to earn anything from blogging, I’ve found it to be a useful tool for personal growth. Apart from the obvious expansion of knowledge that looking up information brings, reading and writing blogs opens your eye’s to many a thing you’d before not taken notice of.  Experiences by other people can teach you many things while documenting your own is very illuminating. In a world where personal growth is a multi-million-dollar industry, this one free tool really does wonders. Of cause it all depends on how you use the platform, and like anything in life what you make of it is up to you.

You learn the strangest things about yourself and the world you live in. In my opinion, this is priceless.

I’ve learned that I don’t really like Google’s ‘AdSense’ nor the WordPress counterpart, ‘WordAds’. While there are other alternatives, none of the ones I’ve discovered work for my country (typical).

The problem I have with these programs is that you have little control over what kind of ads are placed on your blog. I’ve come across ads for fake news websites, fake celebrity gossip, diet scams and other websites with dubious intentions. Rest assured that if you see an add on this blog, it is because I’ve not upgraded it to a premier account. In case you have not read my disclaimer, in no way do I endorse any of these ads.

In trying to figure out how others monetize their blog,  these days I approach new websites differently. I evaluate a site by what it seems to be trying to sell me. I also find that I’m doing the same with new people I meet online and offline. Trying to figure out if someone has a hidden agenda was never something I used to consider. In this way, blogging has made me a little less naive, which in my opinion is a good thing. Don’t get me wrong, people still tell me that I’m very gullible – since I try to see the best in everyone, but still … a little less green.

I’ve learned that there are some posts, that, even if you paid me, I’d never publish them. For example, I can’t endorse a money lending business on my own blog. I hate debt. While I do find that it is necessary sometimes, we often loan money for unnecessary things.

I’ve found websites and social media platforms, which I’d never have used and visited on my regular surfing trails. I’ve learned that especially on social  media platforms we ought to not forget our manners (even though many do). You can’t really erase anything you have published online.

I’ve learned that while I may be good at Office Administration, writing about it on a regular basis is not mentally stimulating enough. On the other hand, I’ve found that writing as a creative outlet is something I enjoy doing. It was a discovery that really surprised me, about myself.

Among the millions of bloggers out there, I still wonder how I can be fascinating enough for anyone to follow.
It is still beyond me that anyone would be interested in reading anything this girl, who lives an ordinary life in Africa, would have to say. Regardless, I love the voice blogging has given me.

What about you, what has blogging thought you?

P.S. This is the third day of ‘it does not need to be perfect,‘ a series I’m currently running on this blog.

 

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

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Thankfully coffee: The baby, the diaper and the healthy fizzy drink

If we were having coffee, I’d offer you a homemade rusk. Sorry, no Christmas cookies. I’ve not come around to baking any and most likely I won’t. It’s been a month, how doeth time fly?
How does time fly indeed? The year is almost on its back and we have one extra little human in our house.
“I can’t believe it! It seems like only yesterday you told us you were expecting”, one of my relatives said as she called to congratulate me.
“It’s been 9 months”, I said.

As you dunk your rusk, into your coffee (or possibly rooibos tea), I’d probably be showing off the little man. My heart is overflowing with gratitude. Mini-Me is just as pleased to be a big sister. Although, I think, she was expecting someone a little more playful and a little less sleepy.
“Give it some time,” I tell her.
I’d sincerely hope you don’t want to know the in-depth detail of the birth? If you asked I’d probably reply, “do you really want to listen to this particular horror story?” Natural births generally aren’t all that pretty.
I’ve written it out none the less and am wondering: if I should post it, if I should give it away as a guest post or if I should just let it be. It seems a waste to the all but five readers of this here little space on the interweb. Perhaps, this is one of the reasons you have not seen me write much of late here.
Granted I’ve been too busy breastfeeding, cleaning up the poopy baby bottom and catching up on sleep to give my lack of enthusiasm much thought. All three things for which I’m thankful. Yes, even cleaning of baby poop gets a thankful vote, since I have the diapers to throw away after they have been contaminated. Yes, I know I’m polluting the earth with all those nappies, but washing diapers . . . Maybe that is something I can try when the little man does not soil more than 10 diapers a day.

If we were having coffee, we might discuss my maternity benefits. We could possibly discuss what our Social Welfare pays out to new mothers (who are on maternity leave). My claim seems to have been handled without a hitch. Something to be sincerely thankful for. Considering that this is Africa, the benefit is really good too.

As I offer you another rusk, I’d thank you for the gift you brought for the baby. Everybody who’s been over for coffee has been very generous. I recently found out that in some of our local cultures it is a taboo to meet a new baby without offering a present first.

As per the usual discussion topics, we’d wonder over to the weather which has been hot and relentlessly dry. It’s this kind of heat which makes you thirst for something cold. I’d offer you a refreshing sip of my husband’s homemade kefir juice.
Kefir is something more I can be thankful for. We drink a glass each day of the milk variety. For those not in the know, kefir is natural milk culture. It forms grains which are used to make drinking type yogurt. It’s high in probiotics which have all kinds of health benefits. These grains can also be converted into what is called a water kefir. From this one can make the kefir juice, which is slightly fizzy.
I’m  sure as we continued chatting, we’d find many things to laugh about. Laughter is always something to be thankful for. I’ve recently started re-reading a book and have had many laugh-out-loud moments. Sometimes I’ve got to be careful not to startle my son awake.
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If we were having coffee I’d thank you for stopping by. It has been good catching up. I’d tell you to catch up with other bloggers over coffee on the #WeekendCoffeeShare. You can also catch up on what bloggers are thankful for on the #10Thankful.

 About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

Find her here:

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#Weeklysmile where there is never a lack of things to write about…

There is never a lack of things to write about. Seriously.

I’ve been too exhausted (for lack of a stronger word), to even read five sentences never mind string two words together. Pair that with my need to suddenly whip out my sewing machine and try some DIY projects (which were epic fails) – there was simply nothing left in me to even look at the computer screen.

Oh, we are not going to mention the blood pressure, the chronic sinus infection or the fact that I’m in my third trimester. I don’t complain too much about the havoc pregnancy is been having on my body. It simply seems wrong to moan about that, when I’m really happy about having a baby soon. Pair that with the fact that quite a few people in my inner circle have been struggling with conceiving one of their own, or their life circumstances just never added up – I think complaining would be a slap in the face.

Obviously, they’d notice the difficult way I get up and the slow manner in which I’ve been walking. It is all good, though. So long as I have a healthy baby I’ll bear it with a big grin on my face. It’s something to smile about.

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Talking about my friends and family – they recently threw me a surprise baby shower. Whoop! Big smiles all around, because my hospital bag was still lacking in some small items. When my doctor sent me to the hospital for some tests yesterday, I was very relieved to have finished packing the hospital bag. I almost thought I would have to have the baby one whole month early. Sheesh!

Turns out to be nothing that drastic so I was sent home. I should try to rest up before the due date.
I felt somewhat bad and stressed out about that, because I was only scheduled to go on Maternity leave in a weeks’ time. In an abrupt manner, I dumped all my workload on my colleague, for whom I feel super sorry. Such is life and sometimes we need to just roll with the punches.

Alas, Darlings – I felt to drop by here for a quick hello. The Weekly Smile link up hosted by Trent seemed like the perfect opportunity to drop by.
Moreover, since there is never a lack of things to write about, I may drop by a little more (but no promises, though). I have got ,like, so, many things floating about in my head; the abstract roller-coaster in my head is making me dizzy.
And in case you missed it, y’all should listen to Annette’s interview on “Tell me a Story” with Jo Robinson. As a writer, she understands the fact that there is never a lack of things to write about. Jo is an excellent writer, so the interview gave me something to smile about.

 

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

Find her here:

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facebook

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#WeeklySmile – sleep tight

You are never fully dressed without a smile! And guess what? It is contagious. So tread carefully, you may just catch a smile if you continue reading….

I really wanted to be part of Trent’s first #weeklysmile link up.  If there is one thing that can make me smile, even in my darkest day –  it is the little bright spark in my universe. I went digging through my old blog and found this poem to share with all of you, which I originally wrote in June of 2014. The poetry may not be the best, but the sentiment behind it still rings true.

Sleep tight

I wake, to watch you sleeping.

You are far away and dreaming…

Your small hands look for mine…

You wrap them around my finger…

 

You have your head on my chest.

Your ear close to my heart.

The beats lolling you on to dreamland.

I struggle not to shower you with kisses.

 

Little mouth, little nose and rosy cheeks.

Sleep now my little dreamer, sleep tight.

Tomorrow you awake to bring energy into my life.

For now you shine light into my heart.

Sweet dreams. And kisses I cannot resist to give.

I love you.

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