Landisa: I'm the first female editor of a major SA motoring publication - and here's why I thought I'd be a horrible mother

2020-03-06 14:18
Janine Van der Post.

Janine Van der Post.

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Telling people you don't want any children is a lot easier than saying you can't have any.

So that was my story for most of my life, and I stuck with it.

People never even asked me "why"; they accepted it and moved on, and that ultimately worked for me.

So much, that I began to believe that story myself.

I didn't ever want to have any children; I never yearned to be anyone's Mommy.

Nor did I ever want to get married.

You see, I was insulin resistant.

Still am.

And when I was younger, doctors had said: "You won't be able to have any children."

No one explained that to my teenage self. No one said it could be corrected, and that's what I needed to hear.

So, I matured into an adult never having any desire to be a Mother.

In all honesty, it suited my "tomboy" lifestyle as a petrolhead woman.

Fast cars and my career were the order of the day, and nothing else mattered. 

Fast forward a few years, and I met my now-husband, two days after moving back from a significant five years in Johannesburg. A job which cemented my career in the local industry. A year later and we were engaged. And then precisely three months later, I found out I was pregnant.

It couldn't have been; it must have been some mistake. My cycle had been irregular over the years. And even though I believed I could never be with child, something made me go and buy a pregnancy test after a few months of having no sign of the crimson tide.   

To say that I was scared shit-less is an understatement.

I was so confused and terrified, and I was already almost 13 weeks pregnant.

How could I have not known? My very first thought was that I needed to get to a Marie Stopes clinic, I couldn't have this baby. I didn't know how to be a parent.  

My fears were short-lived because I decided to tell my fiancé immediately. He was over the moon, and that made everything all right. Or so I thought.

I can't recall a time in my life when I was ever broody. I could hold my younger cousins as babies, or the offspring of my friends, but never had I yearned to have a child of my own. I battled to come to terms that another little person was growing inside of me. 

My self-doubt consumed me as I fought to show that I was happy. I was, but I was a mess. 

We told our families, and our wedding date needed to be brought forward six months so that we could wed before I gave birth. I wanted it that way.

So, at almost seven months pregnant, we tied the knot.

Now that I think about it, my wedding dress was black.

Not because I was impure, but because it was my favourite colour and as someone who hardly ever wore a dress, the colour was non-negotiable.

My dressmaker Mr Smith said in all his years, he never made a dress for a bride in black. I was his first; he passed away a couple of years after my wedding.

May his soul rest in peace.. 

But the self-doubt, the fears, it still consumed me. I worried for my baby; I feared that whatever I was feeling, she would feel and that it would affect her.

I loved her, though, I loved her more and more every single day. I realised I needed her way more than she needed me. I just had to have some faith that I could be her Mother and believe that everything was as it needed to be.

And then she was born; a perfect little girl. We named her Sloane.  

She just turned five years old.

She's still absolutely perfect, stubborn as a mule, and as cheeky as an adolescent teen going into puberty.

She's damn smart, insists on being a real-life Princess every single day. She's changed our lives forever; she's the best thing that's ever happened to my husband and me.

But, I still think I'm the worst Mother in the world. I still think I fail her every day. I write this with tears rolling down my cheeks because I still feel I am not worthy of being her Mommy.

Yet, she's our air. She's our reason, our heartbeat and I wouldn't want things any other way. 

As women, we are so hard on ourselves. I have a dream job, a superstar husband who is an amazing father to our child, and I am doing my best even when I don't realise it.

I am the first female motoring editor of a mainstream publication, I am a mother, and a wife and God has given me the strength to juggle it all – even though it isn't always easy. Sometimes I forget about 'me', and to give myself a little pat on the back.   

Because in the end, I am doing pretty damn all right. 

* Janine is the editor of Wheels24, mother to Sloane, wife to a rugby-player and lives in Cape Town.  

Do you have a story to share? Send it to landisa@news24.com and include your contact details and a photo. Visit Landisa for more stories. 

Read more on:    children  |  motherhood  |  mother  |  parenting
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.