Mother’s Day is on the horizon, the day we show our moms just how much they mean to us and thank them for all they’ve done. In honour of this mother’s day we talk to blogger Nandi Dlepu, founder of JOHO MOMS, about her website, inspirations and gift ideas for the most important lady in our lives.
ELLE: What is JOHO MOMS?
JOHO MOMS is a looking glass into the perspectives and experiences that make up motherhood.
The website features a different mother each week. I have a traditional feature, which is a standard questionnaire accompanied with a shoot at the mother’s home. This features the mom and child/ren as well as corners of their home. It’s a broad look into motherhood. Then there’s the expectant mothers feature as well as the “My Journey into Motherhood” feature where mothers have to single out one particular thing they would like to share about their journey.
ELLE: What inspired this initiative?
I wanted to create a safe and relatable space for ‘young’ mothers like myself – a space with enough stories that could bring motherhood down to earth. For the longest time, before while and after the birth of my son, being a mother and calling myself a mother felt surreal. These women and their stories helped do that – brought me down to earth. I hope that the site is a space where other mothers find comfort in the shared yet unique experience and journey that is motherhood. I also hope that the site is as insightful for non-mothers women too.
ELLE: Most gratifying aspect of the job?
The shoots are filled with love, laughter and banter. The moms and I often start sharing and comparing notes. Learning from them brings me an incredible amount of satisfaction.
ELLE: Common difficulties mothers face today?
Balancing our work, our social lives, our relationships and our selves. I’ve come to understand that a work-life balance is something you constantly strive for, it’s a daily goal. Some days are a W and other days you just gotta take an L. It’s important to be conscious and tally those up. Pat yourself on the back if you got more wins than losses that week but if there were more losses than wins, just readjust accordingly.
ELLE: Why is it important for mothers to share and connect?
When I was pregnant I often felt alone. My friends and family were there but it wasn’t the kind of support I craved. I needed something less intrusive and talkative :) II wanted to speak to women who were going through what I was going through WHEN I was going through it.
ELLE: What sets this blog apart from others?
JOHO MOMS is predominately made up of interviews which are based on a standard questionnaire. This was intentional on my part, because I wanted to show that even though motherhood is a shared experience you’ll find that we've all tackled it in different ways. There’s an opportunity to learn in that. There are also the instances were one mother’s journey is similar to yours and addresses your fears and there’s a comfort to be found in that. My intention for JOHO MOMS is what sets it apart. It’s about bringing motherhood into a relatable, inspiring space. It’s not just my journey but those of a number of mothers from different walks of life.
ELLE: Most creative thing you did for your mom on Mother’s Day?
I wouldn’t say it was the most creative way to spend it but my favourite Mother’s Day was when I took Queen Mother (that’s my nickname for my mother) for afternoon tea at 54 on Bath. It was a break from my usual flowers and/or spa voucher formula.
ELLE: One of the happiest moments from your childhood?
I honestly can’t recall but that says more about my bad memory than the quality of my childhood :)
ELLE: A piece of parenting advice you would give to moms?
Make an effort for your child/ren. Parenting, like any relationship, requires effort. The effort to look at your schedule and allocate time for your family. Planning what takes place during that time even if it’s nothing.
ELLE: Motherhood today means….
What is has always meant: raising and shaping the future.
ELLE: On your radar for a Mother’s Day gift/s is…
I usually want a day off :) but lately have been thinking of a weekend away and with my son. Preferably somewhere that’s a short drive from Johannesburg.
ELLE: How can we become a JOHO MOM?
If you are a mother and live in and around Johannesburg and would like to be featured on the website, simply email me on email@example.com
Visit JOHO MOMS at johomoms.co.za
Photo: TSHWARELO NOKULUNGA ZULU by Stephanie O'Connor of Conner Varin Photography