I am a mom of girls. It’s weird, always thought I would be a mom of boys, but who am I to argue with the universe? I was invited to attend Barbie’s Birthday Bash recently, and it got me thinking …
What does it mean to be a mom of girls through the years?
There is one consistent thing that all moms of girls, have in common: BARBIE.
I played with Barbie when I was a little girl and during this time Barbie and the Rockers were all the rage. Hours were spent dressing and styling Barbie. Already then I do believe in our minds we believed we could be anything.
This is the umpteenth attempt at writing this because I do not want it to be sales pitchy and really that is what it was sounding like but how can you not sound like a sales pitch when you realise that Barbie turned 59 this year.
Yes, I shall age like Barbie.
With Barbie’s birthday came the Barbie #YouCanBeAnything campaign. The highlight was her birthday tea held at the Fine Living in Parkmore. It was here that we were graced with the beautiful Sureshniee Rider as our MC. She even gave us a snippet into her own childhood and shared her own personal Barbie memory with us.
We all got to take a trip down our very own memory lane too as we saw Barbie through the generations. From the very first Barbie until the present day #YouCanBeAnything campaign.
Having girls I need to be more mindful about empowering them. Something I am quite passionate about and, yes, I am passionate about a lot of things. We recently held a #GirlMomsMeetUp to explore the brands and products that speak to us and our kids, as moms of girls, and we were beyond excited to have Barbie as one of our sponsors for that event.
Back to Barbie’s Birthday Bash … The girl power was fierce.
One thing that fascinated me the most from the Barbie birthday event, was the insight into what goes on behind the scenes when it comes to the Barbie clothing range. We were shown exactly how a Barbie outfit is created. Contrary to what a lot of us assume, it is not necessarily imported. Rather, it is conceptualised and made right here in South Africa. I love to hear that products are designed specifically with us South Africans in mind.
The presentation we were taken through showed us how the fabric used to make the Barbie clothing merchandise is sourced. Whether it is imported or sourced locally. It turns out that specialized fabrics like mesh and denim are sourced overseas. However, the single knit jersey fabric is sourced locally as much as local cotton growers can supply. The majority of single knit jersey is used for character basics in Edgars for example. You can find out more about that on the Cotton SA website. There is a focus to grow local cotton production. I loved just knowing this.
This campaign continues to speak to me”. Now that I am a mom of girls, I hope that I am a good role-model for them. And when I’m not, I hope that there are icons that are picking up the pieces.
Barbie has changed.
I don’t mean the outfits and jobs, but she has evolved into different sizes and cultures which is much more relevant to our little ones living in a modern society.
The Barbie Fashionista range has its roots in 2015, which saw the launch of a brand new Barbie crew featuring 23 dolls with a range of skin tones, facial structures and hair colours. The popularity of the new line saw the official launch of the Fashionista label in 2016, with the introduction of three new body types – tall, curvy and petite – seven skin tones, 14 facial structures, 22 eye colours and 24 hairstyles. Plus, of course, countless new on-trend fashions and accessories to suit each individual doll, from casually cool and boho bold, to elegant evening wear and pretty much everything in between!
Today, the Fashionista range features over 100 dolls of diverse appearance, and it continues to grow.
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The Power To Choose
The 2018 range will bring with it even more variety. They are introducing another four body types, nine skin tones, 13 face-sculpts, nine eye colours, 11 hair colours and 13 hairstyles.
The choice, as children have come to expect from the Barbie brand, is limitless.
“Barbie has always given girls choices – from her 180 careers, to inspirational roles, to her countless fashions and accessories,” says Andrea Ziella, Head of Marketing and Trade Marketing, Mattel SA. “These new dolls represent a line that is more reflective of the world girls see around them – the variety in body type, skin tones and style allows girls to find a doll that speaks to them.”
Barbie fans can now choose their Barbie to look just like them, or create a group of friends to mimic their own friendship circles.
By allowing our children to choose a Barbie in their own image, or in the image of their best friend, or favourite actress, singer, movie star, or sporting hero, we are encouraging them to see the beauty that not only lies in their own shape, colour and style, but also in the various shapes, colours and styles that surround them. A truer reflection of the diversity of modern society as a whole.
We live in an increasingly diverse world, it is not only natural, but crucial, that our children’s imaginary worlds represent this diversity.
Barbie Dreamhouse – The Reality
I stumbled upon Barbie: Life In The Dream House, and suffice it to say, I’m hooked! It has tapped into the whole reality scene craze for me. Barbie just leveled up as not only witty and cool but super fun. She even has her own Youtube channel with around 4.8m subscribers!
Barbie’s Birthday Bash was definitely an eye-opener for me. She is one of those toys that has truly managed to grow through the ages in her own unique and timeless fashion, whilst being a icon for little girls that really does reflect the diversity of life now.
Today is one more sleep and then it is school holidays.
Am I scared?
A little… and that is a rookie thing to be. Scared, not a rookie at parenting.
The first rule of parenting, or taking care of the children, is that those snot-flickers can smell fear. It’s part of their DNA, so we can’t really blame them. It’s mother nature’s fault.
Back to first rule: Do not ever tell your children that it is a special day and that they must behave. Something ticks over in the brain and then there it is. The glazed look and twinkle in their eye … CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.
“I will do everything opposite to what my lovely parent has asked of me”
Said in an evil whisper.
In one of my past lives I was an au pair, and for a few years I ran a local agency supplying au pairs to families.
What Is An Au Pair?
There are many definitions of au pairs and childminders, but during my time running the agency and trying to put some structure to a very new environment and service, this is what we decided on with regards to providing an explanation for each service:
A couple of years ago we decided on a lovely family holiday. This was back when we only had one child, now we have two. We ummed and ahhed over flights to Cape Town, but in the end we decided that a road trip would be much more fun! What follows in this post is an account of day one of our journey!
Making it from the front door to the car
This is a post with no helpful travel hints on keeping your child occupied. We were quite lucky as my child kept herself rather well occupied; she did this by asking for us to stop for a wee every 18.7 minutes and alternating with the questions, “Where is the sea? When will be at the sea? Can I have a wee in the sea? Why can’t I pooh in the sea, I want to pooh in the sea? Does the sea have eyes? I want the sea? When can I see the sea? Can the sea see? When will we be at the sea?” All of this was as we were pulling out the driveway, in Benoni!
Expectation vs Reality
I envisioned the perfect holiday and it started out that way; perfectly chaotic that is, with a meltdown or two thrown in for good measure.
Meltdown one: Me to Ms K. “Morning, we are going to the sea my baby. You have a choice of these two outfits.”
What ensued was 40 minutes of screaming, crying and feeling sorry for oneself and that was just me! This is an ongoing problem in our household, getting Kenzie to wear the required outfit for the ensuing activity. Somehow, through the snot and tears, she ended up wearing a blue tutu with a spotted top and those plastic girly high heels, also known as, “eina” heels. Smugly, thinking we had won, we put her in the car, ready to leave for the sea. Come to think of it, Miss K won, she wore neither the dress nor the t-shirt and shorts combo that I put out.
They were cute outfits, I promise.
Meltdown two: Ms T didn’t want the cereal I made for her breakfast, nor did she want to sit, stand, crawl or smile.
Ok, let me rephrase that, I can be so negative sometimes; she did want to cry and moan.
Meltdown three: A mom, wondering where her perfect holiday vision had gone, as she sits in a cesspit tears that have washed away her dreams, as she starts drowning in the constant stream of pity and worthlessness.
First world problems can bite me.
At this stage we are already an hour behind schedule, and it is a bit more delayed as we have to stop for our obligatory personality, Coffee!
I’m all about solutions!
The perfect way to avoid any of the above is to fly with your children instead! Here are my top 5 reasons why flying with children is better than any of the above:
- There are loos everywhere so nothing stops one from getting to said destination.
- Not having to navigate. This is a whole other blog post, but honestly, how do marriages survive kids and directions on road trips?
- The experience of flying. I love it and I hope my girls will love it even more than me.
- Time. Saving time to holiday and getting to experience more. Let’s plan road trips when the kids are older.
- Air Conditioned airport lounges.
In case I haven’t managed to convince you yet here is a video from our friends at Travelstart about their experiences of flying with children.
Here are 10 Tips for flying with children:
In case you were wondering, the next time we decide to go on holiday, we will definitely be booking cheap flights to Cape Town!
Disclaimer: This post was done in collaboration with Travelstart.
I have memories of when we had Miss K – she was about 9 months old, well around there. It was the crawling stage, not quite walking but definitely not sitting.
We woke up one Saturday morning with a twinkle in our eyes and the hubster suggested we go to our local coffee shop for a breakfast. Thinking it was a fabulous idea, I imagined us sitting at the table chatting and laughing while sipping elegantly on our Americano’s with not a drop of food on my top.
Having a 5 year old going onto 19, I have been in some situations and the most recent was the please can I have a sleepover…
What to do, what to do? For me it is easy. My husband and I (still not sure how much I can involve him in my thoughts here) have come to a conclusion. Quite simply, we do not do sleepovers full stop. (See what I did there to focus on my “point”)
I survived the party weekend. Minimal drama and tantrums and that was just from my husband. Go me!
As the first party ended a few kids went up to the party mom and asked where their party packs were. This mom has taken a stand and is starting a trend of no party packs. Her reasoning is sound – there are sweeties, cake, food and fun – right. I then went to another party where there were limited amounts of sweets and drinks available during the party but we went home with a party pack that was full of sweeties. The idea – send them home to get a sugar high and no screaming kids at her house. Well played mom, well played.
So the party pack conundrum begins… to party pack or not to party pack… that is the question…
Tonic and Tiara’s is a collection of thoughts and stories from the quarter life crisis of a coffee addicted mom of two from Benoni.
October 11, 2017
December 1, 2017
May 24, 2017
June 19, 2017
September 29, 2017
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