For Women, By Women

Posted on Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Advice for women, by women

There’s an African proverb that says it takes a village to raise a child.  That an entire community of people should work together to nurture and protect children.  In a Covid-19 context, this adage is apt, but not just for children.

Social distancing and lockdown restrictions have shattered traditional support structures and

women from across South Africa are turning to virtual networks for advice, assistance and inspiration.

1st for Women recognised this, and is currently supporting a number of women-focused community groups that do so much for so many.  We believe these social media groups are performing an essential service in helping women navigate the complexities of home schooling, relationships and financial woes, and deserve to be recognised, and supported, for playing their part.

We recently asked members of The Village, a 35 000 member strong Facebook community run by the incredible Vanessa Raphaely, for advice on getting through the lockdown period and beyond.

The advice received was so motivating and uplifting that we decided to share the top 10 here – because empowered women empower women:

  1. Lauren Milne Meiring:  Every part of this life is a phase. Sometimes it may feel as though you fly through a phase. Other times it feels like trying to swim through molasses to get to the other side. Nevertheless, everything remains a phase. As mothers we watch our kids make it through different phases. Great ones, sleepless ones, terrible twos, terrible teens and all the wonderful ones in between. Our own lives are exactly the same. The most important thing to remember during the difficult phases is to keep moving, even if it is just to do the next thing that needs to get done. Each small step is life and is valid and valuable. Keep moving and celebrate your phases!
  2. Judy MacGregor:  There's so much advice and activities shared right now but sometimes you have to quieten your soul, step back and do what is right for you and your family, even if that looks completely different to the way someone else is walking this journey.
  3. Amanda Leigh Pieterse:  Be slow to judge, we never know what others are dealing with. Especially in times like these. We are often so quick to judge without trying to understand first. Love. Respect.
  4. Stacey Lewis: Commit to finding the sparkle in everything....even on a bad day, there is always something to smile about and be grateful. We choose the filter through which we view the world....choose to find the light the laughter and the brightness....sometimes we have to search a little more, but it's always there...there are gifts that are sometimes wrapped up in sandpaper, but the gifts are nevertheless there. A mindset of gratitude creates happiness, abundance and blessings. It's all a choice.
  5. Deirdre Taylor:  We have the choice to either be like ostriches and dig our head in the sand and only deal when faced, or we can plan ahead with the absolute intention that we're only doing this to be in a better space and not act from a space of overwhelm or fear.
  6. Adele Lourens: Normal is not normal anymore. The best way to get through it is to not expect anything, just go with life. This situation is just life happening. Hectic, but it is still happening.
  7. Jocelynne Lake: Accept all parts of yourself, light and dark, good and bad, as by doing so you will not only be kinder to yourself but to everyone else too.
  8. Alana Patton: Take it one day at a time. If one day is too long, take one hour at a time. You can survive through anything if you know it’s only going to be an hour. Then reset and repeat. Also, be patient and gracious with yourself.
  9. Kayla-Tess Pattenden: It takes a village to get through a crisis. When we focus on others we are empowered to help and don’t sit in self-pity or concern. This has been a call to be the village of South Africa, caring for others and in so doing knowing others will care for you in return. I now understand the spirit of Ubuntu.
  10. Neesa Moodley: Use a digital calendar that everyone in the house puts their activities for the day on - from home school timetables to household chores to business meetings and even lunch. This ensures that there are no clashes with anyone hogging the wifi and easy to keep track of what everyone is doing when. Neesa recommends this resource

For more practical tips and advice, join The Village on Facebook.

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