Life lessons learned in April

Life lessons learned in April

“Where have you been, Melissa?” I hear you asking.

Well, I went on holiday with my family. We did a road trip from Johannesburg to Cape Town, from there to the Northern Cape and back to Gauteng. I’m home sweet home in Johannesburg after being away on a road trip for two weeks. Phew!

The beauty of being married to a musician is that I can sometimes tag along to his shows. We went to Cape Town because Husband had gigs at a festival. The Northern Cape-thing happened because my parents live that side and we were fortunate to take a break to visit them.

For those of you following my blog, you know I’ve been retrenched. Here’s an update:

I’ve had some interviews, in person ones and through Skype (online) and I was unsuccessful. In the process, I’ve learned there’s a lot of things I thought I’m doing right that I’m actually wrong about. For instance, the “what is your greatest strength or greatest weakness” question you should tell the interviewer about your skills, preferably not personal things.

I got a few pointers on how to answer interview questions by a recruitment-person and I’ve also read up about it online. While reading about it online, I learned that your answers should be focused on the company that interviews you. So answers should be about how you can be of value to the company.

Personally, I’ve always had it in my mind that your CV speaks for itself and you’re going to the interview just to show off the person behind the CV. Well, it is, but that’s not all it is about.

Other lessons learned in job-hunting:

It takes a village to succeed in life – meaning it takes a community to help you get a job. I’ve told some of my friends and acquaintances, and I’ve gotten interviews this way.

Networking is key. In the past, I’ve gotten jobs because someone knew me (and my work ethic, plus skills) or someone I knew put a good word in for me. In business it’s like that. In this article by Emelela, the business owner shares how she underestimated the power of networking. “I am continuously learning that socializing with people and attending events within the industry helps one understand that there are better ways to delivering an impeccable service,” she said. Read more here.



“What else, Melissa?”

I’m still volunteering. Mind you, I’m running a Twitter account of an NPO and I’ve gotten good feedback about it. I realise that it’s a lot of work. So now I can understand why you actually get paid to do something like this. I’ve also learned that there’s a certain voice for every social media account. You have to decide beforehand what type of posts you will publish, and also what type of people and topics you want to engage with/ in.

It’s a really interesting process to volunteer. I’ve been constantly reminded the importance of communication and the value each person brings to the organisation.

Let’s talk about motherhood…

my daughter melissajavan

The potty training business is going great. Princess goes to pee in the potty all by herself when she’s wearing underwear. If she’s wearing a nappy even if it’s the pull-up nappy, she doesn’t go to the potty. Her teachers were right – they told me they don’t want the pull-up nappy; they want to train with underwear. It makes sense now.

Girlie still doesn’t want to poo (number two) in the potty, whether she’s training with a panty or a nappy. I put a nappy on for her at night before it’s bedtime. Also, sometimes she warns me that she wants to do a number two, then I put the nappy on. I know, I know, I’m a bad mom for keeping the nappies.


Besides that, we’re (Princess I mean) drawing now. If I ask her, draw a snake, it’s a long line. She can do a circle, fish and a boat – stuff I can make out. Other stuff like a heart or whatever shapes she’s learned I cannot make out. But I’m SO PROUD OF HER. I proud of the stuff I can make out. She’s good!

And sometimes she asks me to hold her hand to draw something together or she’ll ask me to draw something. I’ve attempted drawing a chicken and an elephant over the weekend.

Also, the funniest thing happened: my two-year-old tells jokes and then laughs in her hand afterwards. I asked her about school one day after fetching her, she babbled in her baby language and then put her hand to her mouth to laugh. It was funny.

Last thing, back to talking about shapes: my kid messed her porridge one morning on the floor – deliberately messing it on the floor – and then she called me, saying “Mommy, circle!” I found it cute but I was a bit mad about the messing-part too. A teeny bit.

For now, that’s all folks! How has your month been? What challenges or surprises have you faced? Have a good week!


  1. Such a lovely post Mel. I admire how you stay positive throughout every phase of your life. Well done to your princess on the potty training, just a few more weeks and she’ll get to phase two of the process, lol!
    Hope you enjoyed the time with your family, two weeks away sounds amazing

  2. Being retrenched is tough! It is great that you have found positives through this experience! Good on you. Good luck with the potty training 😉 Rose @ Our House of Love

  3. I love this honest update – absolutely no one likes the poop. Its every parents nightmare! The trip sounds so good for the soul. Hope things start looking up in the job department – I’m sure it will. Will be thinking of you <3

  4. Before I plan my cross country trip in the near future I will be running my plans past you.
    Secondly and coincidentally I was listening to a chat on 702talk radio and they mentioned that recruiters check your social media accounts before even looking at your CV and I’m a bit behind in the CV skills department but your hobbies etc need to be left out. Not sure on your thoughts regarding this…

    Goodluck on the potty training. It gets better then it gets worse then it gets better – well from my experience.

    As for shapes and drawing it’s another clever creative soul in your family that’s for sure

  5. Great post. Motherhood is such a fun time of life. It goes by fast so enjoy them. You provided some great tips for job seekers. You could create a pdf of your tips as a freebie. Just a suggestion. Thanks for the post.

  6. I have been putting off potty training my two year old daughter haha. Your kids are adorable. Thank you for sharing this bit of your life.

  7. I have felt your absence. What a lovely update and looking forward to seeing you next week. You are such a special person. Your strengths are: team player, caring, positive, encourager. And more!

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