Vote for me So That I Can Help Other Women Be More Than They Thought They Could Be

Vote for me So That I Can Help Other Women Be More Than They Thought They Could Be

I am grateful for the opportunity to be a semi-finalist in the Tammy Taylor Mrs South Africa Women Empowerment Programme.
To Vote for Me Please:

  1. First like the Mrs South Africa Facebook page and open my official photo in the Semi-finalists 2018 album which is the same as the one below
  2. Please like my picture (click on the picture first then click on like so that your like goes to the original picture posted by Mrs South Africa).
  3. Please also Vote by smsing SABC3 Desirae Pillay to 35959. Sms’s are charged at R3,00 per sms. You can Vote as many times as you would like.

Here’s why I would like your vote:
I entered this competition to draw attention to two groups of women.

The first group who I am doing this for are the women who will always be caregivers to children with special needs. As a mother to Savannah who is a young lady with a disability; I have lived all of my adult life dedicated to helping her to become as independent as she could be. At the same time as a wife and a mother; I was raising Talisa and Eli to be the best version of themselves while trying to develop my own career. All of this while also fighting for Savannah’s rights as a person with a disability including advocating and creating awareness about the community of people with disabilities.

When I thought about turning forty this year, it was hard to accept that I am not where I thought I would have been in my life by this stage. I thought that by now Savannah would not need me as much. I thought I would have had more time to pursue my own interests that sometimes have nothing to do with my being a wife and a mother. I thought that I would have the privilege of choice.

As a mother, I can make peace with the fact that this is my reality and that is okay. But in the words of Whitney Houston:
“ I want one moment in time, When I’m more than I thought I could be. When all of my dreams are a heartbeat away and the answers are all up to me. Give me one moment in time. When I am racing with destiny. Then in that one moment in time, I will feel eternity”.

So that is it. For all the mothers who are treated as if all we can ever be are caregivers to our children. For all the mothers who are ignored at parties because people don’t know what to say to us. For all the mother’s working full time jobs to pay for medical bills that will never end. For all the mothers who will never be able to stop working. For all the mothers who become overnight nurses, therapists, technicians, researchers, special education specialists, teachers, advocates, while also being a best friend to their child with a disability; I wanted to do something to remind myself and to remind them that “We are here and we are more than we, or anyone thought we could be.”
My second reason for entering the competition is for my second daughter Talisa and all the young women like her who need to believe that they can be so much more than their circumstances dictate. A few years ago, Talisa acknowledged that she was not participating in sports at school because she felt that it was unfair for her to do so when her sister was becoming more physically challenged. That broke my heart.

She was afraid of betraying her sister by enjoying her own abilities and health. Michael, my mom, my brother Darren and I explained her to her how important it was for her to do what she wanted to do and how proud her sister would be off her. Ironically, Darren became an amputee a little while after this happened. That is a story for another time.

As I thought about how Talisa felt, I sadly realised that I was guilty of a similar thought process. I did not know how to enjoy getting dressed or how to focus on being fit and healthy. I felt how could I enjoy health and self care, when Savannah’s body was twisting and bending in ways that caused her persistent physical pain. I was worried that she would become aware that she was not like other women. Is she beautiful? To us, Savannah is the most beautiful girl in the world. Could she appreciate and enjoy that? Not always because her body does not always co-operate with her.

No matter how much I tried to compensate for our reality; I knew I was being unfair to myself and to my daughters by not living my best life. All of these years my children mostly saw me looking exhausted and throwing on the easiest clothing so that I could be lifting, carrying, bathing, feeding, changing and organising Savannah’s life. Yet, on the occasions when I had the luxury to dress up, I saw such pride in my daughters’ eyes. Especially in Talisa’s.
By entering the Tammy Taylor Mrs South Africa Competition, I have unwittingly allowed Talisa to give herself permission to enjoy her health and to enjoy being a young lady. She has been bravely trying activities that she previously would not have attempted and she is my go to person now about what looks good on me and what doesn’t.

Recently there has been another positive development in our home. Last year, Savannah had some health issues which made her feel very depressed. As her body slowed down and her pain increased, she became disengaged from her usual interests and she did not want to leave the house.

However in these last few weeks, due to the combination of a different treatment plan and the new energy that my being involved in the Mrs South Africa competition brings; Savannah has become more positive. She wants to accompany me when I visit sponsors and she loves going through my Facebook feed to look at the photographs of the other contestants. Who would have guessed that just a year ago she was so ill? Now days she excitedly wants to talk about what I will be wearing to the next function that I am attending.
I hope to use this platform to help our communities to become effective in supporting mothers who are life long caregivers as well as to help both mothers and young women realise how much of an impact we can have on each other when we know how to appreciate the lives we have been given. I have so many strong women in my life who have taught me how to live my best life; unselfishly and with an attitude of service. They are part of the million beautiful pieces that makes me …ME.
Vote for me because all my life I have had to be “More than I thought I could be” so I know it’s possible for all WOMEN.

Credits:
Official Tammy Taylor Mrs South Africa photo – Brendan Croft
Main post image makeup & photo – Cathy Heaton

 



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