Most people know Gabisile Tshabalala as a local television presenter, singer and actress, but may not know that she is a mom to five children.
Two beautiful girls and three handsome boys who she parents with her husband, who prefers not to be mentioned as he is a very private man.
Parent24 interviewed Gabisile who shared her experiences of giving birth during lockdown, being an adoptive mom, as well as parenting and homeschooling during a pandemic.
My adopted children made me a mom
Gabisile tells Parent24 that even though she's only recently welcomed her biological kids, her three adopted children made her a mother.
"I started staying with them when they were very young, before I even became a mom. They made me a mom."
Gabisile says that she got pregnant with her first biological child just a few months after the adoption.
Birth experience during the pandemic
Gabisile welcomed a son during lockdown.
When we asked her what that was like, she said, "Shuu! That was very tough. My husband was not allowed to be there while I was giving birth. I think that was the toughest thing actually."
She says that it was more difficult because her husband was there during the birth of their daughter years ago and now with their son he could not be there.
The mom of five says that her husband kept on video calling her as he was extremely worried about what was happening in the labour ward.
Gabisile gave birth at 9am, and by the afternoon that day she was already on her way home. Luckily, she said there were no complications, and she could leave the hospital sooner.
Homeschooling soon after birth
Gabisile tells us that she began homeschooling her children during lockdown, not long after giving birth and it was hard since her husband was working at the time.
She says, that's when she realised she is not a patient person.
Upon reflection, she realised how much teachers have to put up with at school and the love and the patience they must have for kids.
'Your presence means more than the presents you buy'
"Another thing that I learnt from parenting during lockdown is that spending time with kids means so much more than buying them presents," Gabisile tells us.
She added, "Your presence means more than the presents you buy."
Gabisile tells us that her partner isn't always able to pitch in with daily duties due to the demanding nature of his job. "He could sometimes cook, especially during lockdown when I was pregnant."
Gabisile says that her husband sometimes forgets that he is a dad. He thinks he is a dad financially but not emotionally, so she reminds him from time to time.
"I think he is learning to be there and being more involved now than he was in the beginning. He is trying. He plays with the kids. I can leave him with the baby and go to church, and he would stay with the baby and not call me."
Lessons from motherhood
Gabisile tells us that she is learning to be very patient and understanding as a mom, even though she feels that sometimes things are just common sense and the kids should know better.
She's also realised that she cannot teach only with words, so she uses action now.
"Whatever, I do. They imitate it," she says. The same goes with her words, she tells us that she is learning to be very careful around her kids because whatever she says, they say it.
Despite it all, she loves her children, and she says that what she loves the most is that they got so much respect for one another and for everyone around them.
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