Single father’s in South Africa

My eldest son is currently in a situation where he finds himself about to become a first time father at 23.

Whilst I’m certainly not ready to become a Glam-ma, I owe it to my son to guide and support him.

How do you support an unplanned pregnancy.

Carefully …

In this case the young girl is 18 and just finished school. As a teen mom myself I know all too well the challenges that she will face along the way.

As a mom who raised her children alone and divorced I’m also aware of the delicate situation this poor baby is being born into and the amount of maturity, co-parenting and support both future mom and dad will need.

Whilst there is not much that you can do to change a situation other than accept it and weather the new territory one step at a time you can do the following:

  • You can refrain from voicing too strong an opinion. This decision is between the mom and dad . It is more difficult to guide than to discipline but the parents will need to work together for the sake of their child.
  • You can offer your advise and discuss all options available to both parents. Alternatively You could contact www.famsa.org and arrange counselling or mediation for the new parents.
  • You can accept that you play a role in guiding your child into a daunting new chapter of their lives and offer the support they need regardless of how you feel towards the other parent.
  • You can prepare your family for the arrival of a brand new member to love and enjoy. Encouraging both parents to equally be involved in this journey.

It is often easier for a man to put out of his mind the pregnancy , especially if he is not living with the babies mother. He should be encouraged to prepare for baby, plan, discuss his thoughts, read up about pregnancy, support the mother emotionally and attend Dr and antenatal visits.

You could start a scan album for the dad to be to keep his first photos in , throw him a nappy braai, buy him some baby books to read and ask often how he is feeling as you assist with baby shopping .

What are single dad’s rights in South Africa?

According to the South Africa’s Children’s Act a child born out of wedlock is a child whose natural parents were not married to each other at the time of such child’s conception or at any time thereafter.

The Act No. 86, 1997 (NATURAL FATHERS OF CHILDREN BORN OUT OF WEDLOCK ACT. 1997) states:

  • A court may on application by the natural father of a child born out of wedlock make an order granting the natural father access rights to or custody or guardianship of the child on the conditions determined by the court. An application will be granted should the court be satisfied that it’s in the best interest of the child.

Section 19 of the Children’s Act 38 of 2005 states:

  • A mother, whether married or unmarried, has full rights and responsibilities towards her child, but a married father also has full rights and responsibilities.
  • An unmarried biological father will only have automatic parental rights if he is living with the mother in a permanent life partnership (and consents to being identified as the father).
  • Fathers who are in a cohabitation relationship with the mother to have an inherent right to contact, care and guardianship.

Therefore the biological father does not have any automatic parental rights unless he was in a relationship with the mother. He has the option to apply under section 2(1) of the Natural Fathers Born Out of Wedlock Act 86 of 1987 for access rights to or custody or guardianship of the child.

Important information for single fathers

  • Does the biological unmarried father have to pay maintenance:

Yes it is his duty to maintain his child

  • Does an unmarried father need to be considered for important decisions:

Yes – when it comes to:

    • Passport application for the child
    • Adoption of the child by another person
    • Removal of the child from South Africa
    • If the child wants to get married

Up until the Children’s Act was enforced, the law favoured the mother as the parent who would be given the care and custody of minor children. That situation has since been drastically changed. The court is now required by law to look at what is in the best interests of the child, rather than look at favouring a mother or father as the custodial parent.

Most importantly it is never easy being a first time parent and your son will need your wisdom, support and love as he prepares for a new life.

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Grandchild announcement

There is no perfect timing for a child and each little one is a blessing.

We’ve spent the last few weeks digesting the news that my eldest son and his ex girlfriend are expecting a little bundle in October.

It’s a complicated situation and in the perfect world this little angel would be welcomed into an established home without any complications.

But, such is life that this does not always work out so …

Regardless both mom and dad seem excited and ready to work towards their child’s future.

Both are very young and will need to grow up tremendously. I guess this is life’s way of helping them along.

So what changed ?

I’ve personally, been reluctant to announce the babys arrival because of the drama around these two, their relationship and a few other issues they needed to resolve.

Today they reached a decision and went baby shopping. It was very cute to listen to them preparing for a baby.

Although I’m not sure if they still going to feel so elated after a week of no sleep , lots of dirty nappies and graveyard shifts 😛

How do I feel …

I must admit I was not angry , I was 17 when I had my eldest and so I know that age has little to do with your ability to be a good parent.

However I do know how mentally stable and selfless you need to be. I also know the hardships that come with teen pregnancies and just how daunting those first years can be to new parents.

Because of their relationship drama, both her parents and I do not condone their relationship but this is not for us to decide.

I needed to gain wisdom to deal with this issue , as at the end of the day my grandchild is involved. So, I went to one of the few women I can say I admire … Nancy Campbell from Above Rubies.

http://aboverubies.org/magazine/subscribe-to-above-rubies-magazine/postal-subscription-info

I was first introduced to Above Rubies by a friend when we lived in the small town of Aberdeen. Both of us homeschooled and were raising large families in faith.

Whilst I have never met Nancy, I feel I’ve watched her children grow, I value her wisdom and I admire her family morals and values.

So, I spent some time reading ….

Whilst she does not have a tab open on dealing with difficult pregnancy dramas involving your son, she did remind me of somethings that I know …

  • Everything happens for a reason
  • Every baby is a blessing
  • Sometimes people need a reason to start again
  • Families are important
  • There is strength in unity
  • Sometimes you just need faith

My conclusion

It’s an odd feeling , almost surreal knowing that your child will be bringing a child into the world.

Because of the circumstances I worry about his paternal rights and the very real fear of him getting hurt and at the same time I need to acknowledge that he should be man enough to step up as a father.

Seeing him in such a responsible role is also taking alot of adjustment.

I often wonder if we , as parents don’t worry more as our families grow ?

We are a big family and as such any new addition is welcomed with open arms.

It’s still early days , just a few weeks and October seems far away …..

Regardless, we look forward to welcoming the new member of our family.

31 days of self love challenge

As women we need to learn to.love ourselves in order to care for those we love.

Join me on a 31 day self love challenge starting today. Each day I will follow the image task and blog about it.

If you don’t blog follow with an image or post on Facebook or Instagram

Remember to #funmammasa on any social media platform so I can follow you .❤

15 things to do that won’t cost you money

Here’s a list of 15 things you can do with your family this weekend that won’t cost you much money .

  • Visit the park – we have so many amazing parks on Cape Town. My favourite is the Greenpoint Biodiversity park. It even has an amazing fenced in play area for little kids.
  • Go sightseeing – I recommend a trip to the V&A, they have a free walking history tour. Just grab a map at the tourist information centre and follow the maps and signage.

  • Play a board game – when last did your family sit down to monopoly or scrabble? My boys are currently enjoying Risk.
  • Visit the library – go grab some new books and havd a chilled weekend relaxing with a good read.
  • Try a new recipe- the internet is full of devine recipes. Pick one to treat the family with.
  • Draw something- you don’t need to be an artist to draw. Try your hand at nature journaling. Take a book and some pencils outside and sketch what you see.
  • Camp out – if you have a tent put it up in the back yard . Build a bonfire and let the kids camp outside for the night. If you can’t camp build a table blanket fort and spend sometime in the fort reading to the kids.
  • Watch a movie – between DSTV, Netflex, YouTube and the internet your choices are unlimited . Or you could go old school and rent some dvds. Don’t forget the popcorn.
  • Learn a new skill – take the time to start that diy project you’ve been dreaming up or trying a new craft.
  • Budget- sit the family down and work out an entertainment budget for the month. Get the kids to make lists of things they would like to do as a family.
  • Make a time capsule- collect a box and everyone writes letter to their future self if puts in an item that is special to them. Agree to open in 2030.
  • Go through old photos – the kids will enjoy seeing younger photos of themselves and it’s always fun to relive a memory.
  • Exercise -take a walk,join a fun run or go for a bicycle ride.
  • Go geocatching – Navigating to find caches.Learn more on Geocaching.com: bit.ly/2sVBwOe

  • Make paper aeroplanes – teach the kids to make paper aeroplanes and race them.

Life in the bear cave … is it February already?

It’s February and I feel like I seriously blinked my eyes and it was December.

How did it go by so quickly?

So much new on our home and lives I thought I’d share a quick update ….

Mid November saw my two eldest son’s move back home. My eldest son and I hadn’t lived under the same roof since he was 18 and it was quite an adjustment.

I, in my mind was still seeing a teenager in my 22 year old grown man.

But it was good for us. It repaired some damage done to our relationship through my divorce and we got to know each other again.

January saw him move out into a flat with his girlfriend …and so the stay was short but it was nice to have him back under my roof.

December was a busy month for us. Kiki came for the holidays and I was over the moon having my baby girl home for the whole 8 weeks.

Papas mom came for a few days visit and we managed to get some tourist sights in before she flew off to Jhb. It was very special to have Papa spend time with his family and to have bear bond with his nan a bit more.

It was also the first time she got to spend time with my other bears.

December also saw me spend my first Christmas in 5 years with all my bears. It was very special having them all under the same roof on Christmas eve.

The noise, the chaos, the lack of space, the jokes, the teasing and the fact that not one stich of food was left was exactly what Christmas should be.

It was my nostalgic moment realising that as they get older and form families Christmas time just gets bigger, louder and more full of love.

This year we had me and papa , little bear, papas mom , Dylan and his girlfriend, Shaun, Byron, monkey, Kiki, tammi and her fiance and his mom. 13 people 😊

January started well and Kiki moved back to us perminantly. As it was so sudden, it was a mad rush to arrange school transport, After care and logistics. Quickly get school supplies and kit her for her new year.

Little bear and I started his bucket list and went on some amazing adventures.

Little bear also started his new school and I couldn’t be happier at how quickly he has settled in.

But 3 days into school he picked up a virus and was ill for the week 😲

And just like that its February and I’m finally back into the habit of my morning routine , getting bear to school, cleaning the house and working before collecting bear again.

Next week sees my little Teddy troop start and I’m excited about bears upcoming photo shoot with XOXO baby.

February us not only the month of love , Valentine’s day , but also two birthdays in our family . So I’m sure we going to be just as busy as last month.