Motherhood is a journey filled with fun, love and adventure. This Mother’s Day we celebrate women who have used the lessons of motherhood as building blocks to pave the way for successful careers in sport. Often motherhood teaches the art of multi-tasking and being the jack of all trades. We chatted to three phenomenal women who are paving their sporting journey inspired by their children.
Former Banyana Banyana captain and Bantwana head coach, Simphiwe Dludlu, has found that parenting and coaching are similar which makes for a smooth transition between the two. “Motherhood has taught me valuable lessons about favouritism. You can never have a favourite child at home because it will drive a wedge between your children. Loving them, showing them support and reprimanding them equally does the trick. The same values have given me a successful recipe as a coach, more especially working with teenagers”, she shares.
Long distance running sensation Mapaseka Makhanya has shared that motherhood has given her the strength and perseverance to thrive. “Motherhood has taught me to be resilient and to be very strong. It comes with challenges, but it is challenges that I can conquer. It has taught me to love myself because there is somebody that needs love and, I cannot pour from an empty cup. Motherhood has played a vital role in my career because I have a daughter who looks up to me. I am her first point of reference, so I cannot give up. I need to stand firm; I need to chase more of my goals. It has given me the chance to be a better version of myself whether running or doing interviews, I have somebody looking up to me. I am raising a girl child and she needs to learn from me. Through sports, through the discipline in sports, I have learned to become very strong.”
Aerobic gymnastics champion Dominique Crous shared that her journey has taught her how to effectively manage her time and the value of quality over quantity. “It has taught me to manage my time between my baby’s needs, work and training. Training ‘quality over quantity is definitely something I have mastered since becoming a mom. I have learnt that a woman’s body is extraordinary. Watching my body go through pregnancy, and then returning to hard training has been incredible,” she shared.
Being a first-time mother is exciting but it can get overwhelming, our wonderful moms share their advice on how you can be the best mom that you can be to ease your journey:
“My advice to new moms is that they can take all the advice that they get but must use what applies to their individual needs. They must enjoy the ride and create their norms and culture with their children. They must also never neglect themselves; they should put and love themselves first. Having it all together is a myth, so they must enjoy the speed humps as well.” – Simphiwe Dludlu.
“Give your body time to heal before going back to training. I recommend seeing a postpartum physiotherapist. She was able to assist me with my abdominal separation and pelvic floor before giving me the all-clear to get back to training safely.” – Dominque Crous.
“I believe that you must just love your children and everything else will fall into place.” – Mapaseka Makhanya.
The leading ladies have some words of encouragement for the youngsters:
“You can be whatever you want to be. With hard work, determination and consistency, you can conquer any goal. I started sport late, and I was able to catch up and make sport my career. Anything is possible.” – Dominique Crous.
“Respect yourself and respect your elders. Self-respect is very broad when you respect yourself, you respect your school work, you respect your sports and you respect your surroundings.” – Mapaseka Makhanya.
“Children must live their age and not try to skip stages. Being young is the best freedom you will ever get. Dream unrealistic dreams, chase impossible journeys and most importantly enjoy every ride. Create memories in the process. They never live as people do. Forever is guaranteed.
Photo 1 Caption: Bantwana head coach Simphiwe Dluldlu has found that parenting and coaching are similar which makes for a smooth transition between the two. Photo: Supplied
Photo 2 Caption: Aerobic gymnastics champion Dominique Crous shared that her journey has taught her how to effectively manage her time and the value of quality over quantity. Photo: Supplied
Photo 3 Caption: Long distance running sensation Mapaseka Makhanya has shared that motherhood has given her the strength and perseverance to thrive. Photo: Supplied