Nicolette Writes

Professional Freelance Writer and Stay-at-Home Mom

Holding on…


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Wow… no idea where I am going with this post, but I just have to write something… because Chester Bennington is dead. His voice and the lyrics he sang has been a part of my life since my friend’s brother introduced me to their music at 18, and today at 34 I am still following Linkin Park and am an even bigger fan. When I was pregnant with my first child, my baby was practically listening to Linkin Park in my womb for hours a day!

I think what is the hardest for me about his death, is that because I struggle with Depression myself (not saying that that was his diagnosis, but we can assume mental health was a factor), so because I am a Depression sufferer myself, and have been for probably the last 15 years of my life, I can’t help but feel anxious, thinking: ‘If HE couldn’t make it, if HE couldn’t beat Depression, how on earth will I?” If Chester Bennington, who had ‘the world at his feet’, couldn’t handle life anymore, how will I, a ‘mere stay-at-home-mom’ who no one knows about, how will I pull through the dark times?

He seemed invincible. His whole life. The band. I can’t get myself to listen to any of my Linkin Park CDs right now, as I am not sure which emotions will show their face…

“CRAWLING in my skin, these wounds, they will not heal…” I guess they never healed for you Chaz, even after all those years you first sang that song, and after so many interviews I have seen where it seems you have overcome all your demons.

Looking forward to meeting you one day when my journey comes to an end, and until then, I’ll try to find some answers about life. I already know that pain is sometimes more than humans can take. I know that knife feeling in your heart. I know how it feels when everything in your mind is just so heavy. But there has got to be another way out.

Two different worlds – let’s bring them closer together


I would like to just have two minutes of your time as you read this:-)

This morning I went straight from my kids’ school to the creche at the Kayamandi Trauma Centre. The difference between these two spaces brought me to tears. I was just dropping off some fruit for the kids. I wrote a piece about the Trauma Centre four years ago and recently heard about the creche and wanted to go check it out to see what needs they have.

The Kayamandi Trauma Centre is right behind the Kayamandi Police Station, basically on the R44 as you exit Stellenbosch on the Kaymandi side. It is a safe house for women and children who are victims of domestic violence and abuse.

I expected that maybe the creche would need a few things, but what I saw left me in tears. I cannot explain how very little these kids have to keep them busy during the day. I was standing in the Checkers before I went, checking out some crayons, wondering if I should buy some for them, but then I thought, no, let me first go check out what their needs are. I so wish I had bought those crayons!

The kids are divided into two groups – the babies and the toddlers (about age 3-5). Four babies were sitting on the floor, crawling around or just sitting, one was sleeping on a bed – the ‘baby creche’ is basically a bed room in the Trauma Centre. No blocks or toys lying around to play with. The toddlers are in a Wendy house outside the building. I have never seen such an empty space! They have plastic tables and chairs, but other than that I spotted about three pictures on the wall.

I asked Mary, who works there, what the greatest need is at the creche. She said educational supplies. Anything educational! Crayons, puzzles, play dough, educational posters.

If there is any way you can help to bring some educational things to these children, could you please help me? Any toys or posters or crayons or books your kids don’t need anymore. Things you are throwing out. They really have close to nothing. I wish I could show you photos, but it felt too intrusive to take the camera out. And if you want to make sure if the place is legit, you can google ‘Kayamandi Trauma Centre’, I could give you a phone number, or even directions to the centre – I felt very safe, you have to walk by the front door of the police station to get there. I am also willing to drop off any donations. I think I am going to make some posters this weekend.

Hoping to hear from you xxx
Love
Nicolette
You can mail me at nicolettewrites@gmail.com

20170504_091117_resized. My very privileged kids at their school – enjoying a Mothers Day event with me.

Mindfulness


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Wowzers! Is that even a word?! I haven’t blogged in over a year! For so long I have thought that I have given up my writing career to be a full-time mom… but I think I am not finished yet.

Besides being a stay-at-home-mom, my laptop was also kaput and I haven’t been able to access my blog. Well, my birthday is tomorrow, and my husband got me a new MacBook Air! Can you hear me screaming?! Just to justify such an expensive gift, my previous MacBook was TEN YEARS old and the guy at the Apple Store actually laughed when I took it out 😉

So here I am. Pretty much the same Nicolette, just a little bit wiser I think. I have been in therapy for my Depression this last year, and I have learned significant coping mechanisms. At the moment, however, the black dog has got quite a solid grip on my ankle again, and the tool I am trying to whack it over the head with is MINDFULNESS.

Mindfulness seems to be all the new hype – if you are into self-help reading and minimalism and all those kind of things like I am.

Here are the two mindfulness techniques I am currently TRYING (it’s not easy) to apply to make life with the black dog bearable:

1.) Thoughts are just visitors. Last night I read this quote: “There is only one meditation – the rigorous refusal to harbor thought.” – Nisargadatta Maharaj. In other words, when my black dog thoughts come to torture my mind, I tell them, ‘Okay, here you are, I see you, and there’s the door, there you go again.’ I literally picture the thoughts coming in, and then a door opening in my mind and me letting them out. I try to NOT entertain these visitors. Here you are, there’s the door, there you go. Perhaps it sounds silly… but it does help.

2.) I try to not think about yesterday, I try to not think about tomorrow or anything I still have to do – I try to become aware of what is going on in the moment. I hear the clock ticking, I hear a car outside. I love the look of my new laptop. I see Rebecca cutting up a piece of paper. She looks cute. I become present. And I try to remain present. This is possibly the most difficult part of mindfulness for me.

So that’s that for now – this is just where I am at right now. Please share any stories of mindfulness that you want to!

Oh yes – I forgot a third mindfulness thing that I am trying:

3.) Look up. Look up from the mess going on inside your head and see where you can help. Anyone. In any small way. Email your church to find out about needs in your community. Offer to drive an old person somewhere. Buy a friend something small you know will cheer them up. Walk puppies at the shelter. Make something for someone. Buy food for someone. Look up from the mess in your head that only makes you bleed, and stop someone else’s wound from bleeding. This actually helps me the most.

Love to you all
Nicolette
Picture for attention 😉

My son’s dress…


The past year my husband and I have been challenged with my little boy of three years old wearing dresses. I say ‘challenged’, because even though many might say it is nothing and just a phase, we have had to face the disapproval of loved ones. Despite this disapproval, it is understandably also hard for my husband (a real farm boy!) to come to terms with, as he really wants to love and accept Alex as he is (and encourage what makes that little heart happy), but we live in a society entrenched in gender divisions of male-blue-strong and female-pink-weak.

I have turned to my Lighthouse and I have been trying to find an answer – I have been yes/no, yes/no on this matter too much. God has showed me Jesus – who was Jesus? What does the Bible show us about Jesus? Well, everything that the Word teaches me about the kind of person Jesus is just confirmed to me that there is nothing wrong with Alex wearing a dress…

Try to imagine Jesus on earth, and a little boy running up to him with the biggest biggest smile and showing him with great pride his beautiful (sister’s!) dress that he is wearing. The little boy’s eyes are so bright. His smile is so big. He wants Jesus to look at his dress and give him a smile so full of love before he will run off again and play. I can only imagine Jesus rubbing this little boy’s head and laughing with him. I cannot imagine the Jesus I have come to know in the New Testament breaking this little boy’s heart. And that is what happens when we take away Alex’s dress… his little world falls apart. I have never seen my little boy so sad, so inconsolable, as when his dress gets taken away. He doesn’t understand. And quite frankly, it doesn’t really make sense that little girls are allowed to play with whatever they like and wear whatever they want, but little boys are not.

We have decided to ‘let Alex be’ – the less fuss we make of it, the smaller the chance that he will one day feel he will have to wear dresses (or do anything he thinks we might disapprove of) in secret. And if he turns out to be a dress-wearing adult (which I doubt), he will know that his mom and dad love him unconditionally and that he can share anything with us.

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Lots of love,

Nicolette

I’m back! I think…


Wow… I haven’t blogged in over a year… that is almost the time that Rebecca has been with us. In this year I have also stopped working for magazines and taking on any professional writing. I have made a decision – for now I am a stay-at-home-mom, and my main focus is my children, although I do plan to return to my writing and career again one day… For now, maybe I can start again slowly, blogging for my own delight!

So watch this space!

Love,

Nicolette

My focus at the moment!

My focus at the moment!

C-section by Calendar – You can say NO!


The February issue of Mamas&Papas is out now, with my cover article ‘C-section by Calendar’.

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Look out for next month’s copy with an interesting article on Neonatal Jaundice 🙂

The EXPECTANT MOTHER’S GUIDE 2014 is out!


Check out page 8-9 and 18-19 of the dad’s section for two of my articles.
Here is a link to the digital version: http://emgonline.co.za/2014f/

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