What I… Sally-Jane from Pink Hair Girl

I met Sally-Jane at a recent Cape Town Bloggers Meetup, actually I met a lot of lovely bloggers that afternoon and I’ll be featuring a few more of them in the coming weeks, but back to Sally-Jane! Sally stood out from the crowd with her bright pink hair and constantly moving knitting needles and although we didn’t get much chance to chat after a few visits to her blog, aptly named Pink Hair Girl, I knew I needed to find out more…

In a nutshell Sally-Jane homeschools her 3 kids, loves to knit tries to live in a sustainable, minimalist way (well as much as is possible in an urban setting!)

What I…

Know

1) I know how to help a baby into the world and support someone as they leave the world.

I have been both a Midwife and a Palliative (end of life) care nurse. A friend joked that I worked in ‘Hatches and Dispatches’. From these I learnt that it is more important to be present, than to say anything. The ability to quietly stand with people in times of enormous emotions is a skill and it often offers more support and comfort than 100 clever words. Human strength and courage is beautiful and never more so than in raw, real situations like these.

2) I have 3 children and I know nothing about parenting.

I knew every about parenting before I had kids. I said a lot of “my kids will never do/eat/behave like that.” After 1 child I realised that this was a lot harder than I had imagined. Once I mastered all the practical stuff and somehow my daughter and I survived, I thought I was ready for number 2. Child 2 came along and he was totally different, slept differently, fed differently, behaved differently, all my parenting tricks were useless, my resolve weakened. By the 3rd time I thought surely I must know something by now… how wrong I was! I quite honestly know absolutely nothing about parenting. It is the best and yet hardest thing that I have ever done and my kids do everything I said they never would. Now instead of trying to know how to parent, I try to be open to learning how each of my children needs me to parent them and it is different for each. They are my best teachers.

3) Oh, and I know how to knit!

And no it is not an obsession … wait I just checked the dictionary meaning: “an idea or thought that continually preoccupies or intrudes on a person’s mind.” Okay yes it is an obsession!

Love

I love me. Love has to start here; it took me a long time, and a very damaging first marriage, to learn this lesson. It is a lesson you have to take seriously and keep re-learning but it is vital. We need this before we can love others properly. My husband and my kids are the best and I love them very much.

I love knitting. I can’t have idle hands. People say they have no patience or time to knit. I don’t have the patience NOT to knit. It keeps me calm and queues are no longer a pain. Doctor delayed – no problem – I knit, I knitted while waiting to vote, I knit at kids’ activities, while watching TV, on the plane, at the beach, in restaurants, at friends’ houses. There is always time to keep your hands busy. I wrote a whole blog post about why I knit but one of the most important is that: As a home schooling mom surrounded by kids, dogs, dishes, laundry, ironing (okay I lie, I don’t iron) and housework all day, it is easy to lose who you are and why you are unique. Knitting gives me a tangible achievement, something for me. I had control over something and, in the midst of the chaos, I made something beautiful.

Read

I love to read, having kids has interrupted this a bit, especially when it became hazardous to their lives. While lying down on the bed breast feeding baby number 3 I dropped an enormous book on him! Another one for the mother guilt bank. Now that all the kids sleep through the night and I know what a full night sleep is like (most nights) I can read again at night without falling asleep at the first sentence.

I have just started reading the Outlander series – Being a Cameron, the Scottish highland setting appealed to me.

Besides that I read a lot of knitting patterns – that counts right?

Want

Million Bucks? More yarn?

No seriously, I have in abundance. There are always more nice-to-have things, but compared to so many, I am very fortunate.

I want my kids growing up with an outward focus, not thinking about what they do not have, but rather about ways that they can make a difference and improve the lives of others.

 

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Wear

I home school my kids and so practical is the name of the game. I wear jeans a lot, but with my own style. There was a stage during the darker months of early motherhood where getting dressed was a challenge. I try living by: “No matter how you feel, Get Up, Get Dressed and Show Up, and never give up.” Motherhood can be an excuse to be a bit frumpy but I like to try adding a little unique/fancy into every day.

We were at a wedding and I was saying how much I want to wear a fascinator to a wedding like the British do. I was moaning how there are not enough occasions to be fancy and so a friend and I decided that fancy should not be reserved for special occasions and that we should just “Be Fancy” in a small way each day.

As a knitter and knitting pattern designer I wear a lot of hand knits too. Hand knitted socks – don’t knock them until you have tried them.

Need

As a mom who has her kids around her 24/7, am I allowed to say quiet? I long for a few quiet uninterrupted moments, but I know all too soon my time with them at home will be over and it will be too quiet, so I just knit through the chaos.

But mostly I need to remember that I am responsible for my own happiness and to follow my own path, boldly and without conformity.

Images: Sally-Jane Cameron
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Kathryn Rossiter

Kathryn is a South African lifestyle blogger and mom of 2 who has been blogging daily for over 9 years! She writes about travel, health, beauty, fashion, decor and family... but not food (unless it's food she's eaten made by someone else) as she is a hopeless cook. She only wakes up early for 2 things... a red-eye flight to somewhere exotic and early morning game drives. She has just finished an extensive home renovation and would prefer to never see another box again. She's never met a chocolate or glass of bubbles that she didn't like!

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