My July mommy blogger is Chevone from Chev's Life. Here she shares her journey as a single mom, dealing with her gorgeous son with such a stunning name, Kai, and all the ups and downs that life offers, including hearing loss and learning how to surf! I love her style of writing and enjoyed spending time getting lost in reading her blog posts.
See this super-cute kid interview she did with her son. And read these beautiful words in her post Fairytale. One of her favourite quotes are: "Create your own happiness" - I love that, such true words, something to remember every day.
Here's my interview I did with Chevone:
How did you get into blogging, and how long have you been blogging?
I’ve always enjoyed writing and as a child I would spend hours in the library after school, devouring book after book...and I suppose it is this early experience of stories being shared and the encouragement from a friend that led me to finally start blogging in August 2014.
Tell me about Decibels of Love?
This is one of those questions that I can answer in many different ways, but the short of it is that in South Africa parents are disempowered on so many levels. When my son was diagnosed with a hearing impairment I struggled to connect or find other parents raising children with hearing loss. I found my support and information through social media groups, and in 2013 I founded Decibels of Love, a support group for families. The focus is on empowering, educating and encouraging families to take ownership of their child’s diagnoses. I also do a lot of networking with industry professionals and share my knowledge with families, strangers, educators, etc. I am an advocate for inclusive education and more recently was part of a lobbying group who objected to the terminology that were used in the draft disability policy; the policy did not reflect any support for those who refer to themselves as hearing impaired ... but let me not get into all of this, ‘cause like I said, I can go on and on and answer your question in many different ways ;-)
You can also read a bit more here, a guest post I wrote for an international NPO on my experience http://handsandvoices.org/deafhardofhearingchildren/where-do-we-find-other-like-us/.
What motivates and inspires you?
I am inspired by many random things, but my son is a great source of inspiration and motivation.
What are your interests and hobbies?
Writing is one of my passions that I don’t get to do much of. I am also passionate about parent empowerment and providing emotional support or being that sounding board for parents to bounce their thoughts off. The ocean is my haven and reading allows me the space I need to clear my head. I tend to observe people, have done this for as long as I can remember, and one could say that this is a hobby of mine...
Share some of your pet peeves?
I can’t take it when people stand in the train and openly scratch for boogers in their nose, look at it and flick it! Disgusting!! Arrogant people, egotistical people and those who volunteer for ALL the wrong reasons.
If you could go back in time and change one thing, what would it be?
Honestly, there is nothing that I would want to change in my past. Everything that has happened in my life has led me to be where I am today; I can share with you many full circle experiences – from abuse to supporting those who have been abused; from learning about social media platforms to it being one of the reasons why I got a job when I had no money to pay the rent. Full circle experiences from living with a drug addict to now having the courage to empathise with families but also not take any bullshit from those who think they can con you with their small talk...I would not want to change anything...
What do you love about being a mom?
Being a mom is a constant adventure, it is ever changing, always demanding. I have my PhD.Mom – I learn new things all the time and being a mom keeps me grounded and reminds me to reach inside for my inner child.
What is the hardest thing about being a mom?
Being a single mom and that no matter how hard I try or what I say, I will never ever fill that void or sooth the pain my son experienced when he truly understood the meaning of father’s day for the first time.
Do you collect anything?
Uhm, no, should I?
What makes you sad?
People’s inability to show empathy. People who lose their humanity in their wealth and social status. So many things in life makes me sad, but I tend not to dwell on it for too long otherwise I would be a depressing mess of a person to be around.
And what makes you happy?
My sunshine Kai. Going for walks on the beach, seeing the sunrise, random moments of awesome craziness.
What are the most important values/qualities/lessons you hope to teach your son?
The courage to always be true to himself, to never allow anyone to chip away at his values and integrity. Also that no amount of wealth could ever take the place of the ability to show empathy, kindness and generosity from the heart. Each person is unique, each person is special, all people are equal and deserving of acknowledgement – be it the man on the street or the CEO in his high rising tower. That he CAN create his own happiness and that in life he will be faced with many challenges, and in life he may fail at many things, but that this should NEVER stop him from believing in himself and his abilities; always try.
What is your favourite family holiday tradition?
We’ve never been on a holiday as a family. Our favourite destination is anywhere where there is an ocean, lots of open space and fresh clean air.
Find her on Facebook too!
Thanks Chevone, for taking the time to answer my questions. I love your blog and look forward to getting to know you even better!