Random Thoughts

Insight from Moms | Cheska Stark

Name: Cheska Stark RDavie-CHES-Fran-42.jpg
Age: 30
Child Age: Francie, 16 months

1. Are you staying at home because of someone else’s pressure?

This was definitely a decision that both my husband and I were happy with, I always knew that I wanted to be a stay at home mom so when i fell pregnant this was a natural transition for us.

2. What was something about being a stay at home mom that surprised you?

Two things: firstly how busy you are – although I think that is a surprise of having babies in general and secondly society’s view on your decision. I have a lot of people – mostly those who don’t have children – are very quick to judge a situation and I am often surprised that they see staying at home as an “easy way out”.

3. What is the hardest part?

Gosh! Motherhood in general comings with so many ups and downs and “hard parts”. Staying at home means that you are on duty for your babe 24 hours a day/7 days a week and along with that comes very little time just for yourself. When my babe is finally in bed, my husband is home and I switch into wife mode. Although I love both my husband and my child, sometimes it’s nice to just be alone. I find that making that time comes along with mom -guilt that all moms feel. I don’t get to be alone driving to work or on the way home stopping quickly for groceries so to take time out or alone time ends up a big thing – for me anyway. When I do take some time I feel “do I really need to be doing this” and need is all relative isn’t it?

4. What is your favourite part?

I haven’t missed a thing. I have put my little dow for every nap and given her every bath. I have felt the trauma of every tooth and every bad day. I have seen everything – her first steps, words and each discovery I am there to witness. I love spending our days together, whether it is just doing chores, going for long walks or attending her little music classes or playing in the garden.

5. What is the biggest thing you’ve learned about yourself?

I would say this lesson has come from being a mom, not necessarily a stay at home mom, but lesson is “you can do it”, moms are truly superwoman and rock a baby for as long as it takes or survive on no sleep but still have the energy to sing inch windy spider 20 times, moms just carry on no matter what they feel. The selflessness of a mother is incomparable and the love, of course you always think you know the love until you have a baby.

6. Do you ever regret this decision? {Please explain your answer.}

No. I know this is the right decision for me and our family.

7. Do you feel satisfied with this decision in general?

Yes. I have felt more pride and satisfaction looking at my daughter grow than I have ever felt in a job that I have done… perhaps I wasn’t in the right job but I definitely am now.

8. How has your relationship with your partner changed, if at all, from this arrangement?

Once again I wouldn’t say that the change is due to being a stay at home mom, but rather from becoming parents. This new little bing has changed out whole lives so of course our relationship has changed too – but change is good!

9. Do you sometimes feel resentment towards your working partner?

No, I am grateful that we are in a financial position that I can take the role of a stay at home mom and that my husband can financially support us.

10. Do you have an equal say in financial decisions?

Yes, we work as a team in most of our decisions and we make our financial decisions together.

11. Do you take care of all the household commitments or are they shared with your partner?

Yes, I am totally responsible for our home. Managing our home is part of my responsibility. We never made a conscious decision about this but it just happens and seems to work well for us. Of course, I am not up a ladder doing hard core chores, I call in the husband for those. But I am responsibly for the day-to-day running of our home, all the meals, staff etc.

12. Do you think that only moms should be stay at home parents?

No, definitely not. One thing I have learnt about parenting is that it’s such a unique process and that every parent/parent team needs to do what works best for them.

13. What are your views on men that demand their partners to stay at home?

I think it is fantastic if that is what works for their family… I think the biggest thing is ‘respect’ between parents and their roles. Each parent must respect what the other parent does – just because you are staying at home doesn’t mean it it is not full time, hard, stressful or tiring. So respecting the partner that goes to work as well as the one that stays at home is key.

14. What advice can you give other moms considering staying at home?

It’s not the easy way out as many people will tell you. It’s hard and tiring and all those things but it is also rewarding and fun and a privilege. Make other stay-at-home mom friends that you can see in the week and go to classes (we go to KinderMusik and Clamber Club amongst others) as being alone with your babe can be isolating. Make time for yourself  – even if it is a hot bath at home, or going to bed to read before your partner. And finally, when things are a little crazy and you feel like you are going crazy – put your babe in the carrier or in the pram and head out for a long walk!

When not rocking a baby or playing “tea” with her 16 month old Cheska blogs at Kimmy & Bear and contributes as a freelance stylist and writer to a number of South African publications.
Cheska is co-founder of Kimmy & Bear, which was founded by three sisters, all in varying stages of motherhood. Cheska is a first time mama to baby Francie Sugar who was born in last year. The Kimmy & Bear brand has also extended to Kimmy & Bear Clothing and Kimmy & Bear Space Design.
Kimmy & Bear is a space which rises above the clutter than can overwhelm you as a mother, and rather focus on the beauty of the mamahood experience. A space which inspires you – be it through nursery decor, a new clothing range, or a quick tip in the kitchen that will make your life a little easier. A space that focuses on style and beauty while carrying a babe on your hip. A space to share a glimpse into the lives of other mamas and mamas-to-be to be that may make you laugh out loud or even cry as you realise that we’re somehow connected through this journey we’re on. It is named after our parents whose grand children call them Kimmy and Bear.

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