Category: motherhood

Nothing like a Mother’s Love

Nothing like a mother's loveLast Friday, on my way to work, I called my mama. I wanted to check up on her, as well as inform her were going to visit during the weekend.

So, as soon as she picked up and we exchanged niceties, I asked, “What are you doing tomorrow mum?” “I have no plans for tomorrow. Why do you ask?” She responded

“We just want to come visit you. We’ve missed you so much!”

And there she went off, a crackling, heartfelt, soul-reaching laughter. I heard it and couldn’t help smiling. My husband heard it through the phone too. It was not funny-joke laughter, it was happy, really happy laughter. It was heartfelt and I could feel her heart through the phone.

“Why are you laughing mama? We have missed you. It’s been almost 2 months since the last time we saw each other” I responded. “I am just so happy”, she said after a long pause. “You kids are very welcome and I will be waiting for you tomorrow. Make sure you bring my grandson”, she continued.

“We sure will. Love you and see you tomorrow”, I responded.

We then hung up.

This left me thinking so hard. Why did she sound so so happy, yet we hadn’t done anything unusual or special for her. In fact, we only planned to stay for one night and then get back to the normal grind of life.

It then hit me.

I may not get it right now. However, the day that my Lowell is married and living far away in the city and I don’t get to see him as often as I’d like: that is the day I will understand mamas happiness on knowing that we were going to visit her. Some of these things we don’t actually get them until we’ve gone through them. Like how I got to understand why mothers love their kids so much, only after I had my own son.

There is nothing deeper than a mother’s love. Nothing warmer than a mother’s embrace. Nothing more comforting than a mother’s bosom. (You can tweet that.)

This reminded me how much I love my mum and how much I miss my mother in law, but I believe she is happy, resting with the angels.

How often do you visit your parents? Are you lost in the city, as some would put it, and never go back home until December? This is a new month, make a point of calling your parents today and arrange a visit one of these weekends. It will be time well spent. And bring me some ndumas and bananas while you are in shagz.

Ideas for Women to Celebrate Themselves this Valentines Day

Celebrate yourself this Valentines dayOnly two days to go to one of the most anticipated days of the year. It is a crazy time for most of us, whether single or married. Expectations are running quite high, and disappointments often follow quite fast!

When our partners don’t give us exactly what we expected or wanted, we are bound to be disappointed. One thing that I have come to discover is that you can never expect one person to give you what you need, all the time. You are the only person who knows what you want and at times, it is perfectly ok to go and get it.

As a working mother of one very active boy, the duties of motherhood, marriage and work can be too overwhelming. I remember last night getting home so tired and thinking how I just want to lie down. Then here comes Lowell, full of energy wanting me to carry him and dance at the same time. I eventually gave in and lifted him high and danced to some African pop music. The smile on his face when I twirled him and swayed from side to side completed my heart, but by the end of it I was super tired.

We might try to be super mamas or super women, but we all need some time to celebrate ourselves and find joy in ourselves.

Here are a few ideas on how you can celebrate yourself this Valentines and remove the burden of making you happy from your spouse’s, partner’s or boyfriend’s shoulders.

  1. Massage– Who wouldn’t want to lie down on a bench and have an expert straighten all those tired and overworked muscles. I wouldn’t mid at all. Most massage sessions start at only a thousand bob. I know you usually spend so much more on other people, so this is quite a small price to pay for a good relaxing session.
  2. Spa and Salon. I would give anything right now to spend hours getting my hair, nails and face done. You come out of the salon feeling crisp and fresh, and the compliments from complete strangers don’t hurt either. So, invest a little in your beauty and just enjoy the newness of a new hairstyle.
  3. Shopping.I have heard of women who hate shopping, but they are very very few. For the rest of us, shopping is therapeutic and can serve as a nice way of saying thank you to yourself. Do some online shopping from the comfort of your home HERE or Go get that white blouse you have been eyeing for 5 months now, or that dress that outlines your curves but costs just a little more than the dresses you usually go for.Thank me later.
  4. Do some charity work. This is what I will be doing this Saturday. You might ask how this is a way of celebrating myself??But, the feeling you get when you visit a children’s home and give your time and money to those very needy children is enough celebration. I usually come home feeling more satisfied than most other days. It is a beautiful feeling. And those kids are usually so appreciative of those small deeds. You can check out our event on Facebook here and join us.

There goes my list!!

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Don’t forget to check out our 25,500/=savings plan for 2016.

What will you be doing this Valentines?? Are you celebrating yourself?? You are definitely worth celebrating!

 

The Days I Realize I am Truly a Mother

you are only humanThe last two weeks have been tough on me.

Over the past 8 months, I had a great nanny who was very good with my son, and was a very good fit for our family. I had slowly slipped to the comfort zone of depending on her and knowing that she was always there for us. So, when she left without notice, or even giving us time to find a new one; to say that I was in shock was an understatement.

Anyway, we have since recovered and are doing quite well, even without a nanny. Though am a little (very) exhausted by the end of the day, we are still surviving. Lowell is going to daycare and things are running more smoothly now.

Last Tuesday was particularly rough. I was exhausted at work on Monday and slept like a log. First, I woke up late. Second, the baby had caught a cold and he didn’t want to be woken up. I had to prepare his food, milk, porridge and everything else he needs for daycare, and it was a pretty rough morning. To make matters worse, we had a lot of work pending on short deadlines and had not left the keys to the office for the staff.

Phone calls were coming in left, right and center and things did not go as well as expected.

Usually, I shower first, daddy next, then we wake up the baby, give him his breakfast, then off we go. So, after taking a shower, I usually wear an old sometimes dirty and rather unpresentable t-shirt that I change after feeding the baby. As any mother would know, wearing your white shirt while feeding your baby porridge on a tense morning is not ideal.

The old t-shirt was not the problem on this Tuesday. In fact, I had worn a rather nice top, but it was DIRTY. The bigger problem was that I completely forgot to take it off, and change into my nice blouse that I had already ironed.

To cut the story short, I went to work on that fateful Tuesday, late, wearing a mismatched outfit, topped with a DIRTY t-shirt. True story.

Only such moments help you realize that you have truly become a mom.

NB: I did nothing to alter my look throughout that day, and my day turned out to be rather awesome.

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Where and How to Ask for Help When Motherhood Overwhelms You

motherhood is overwhelmingMy son has recently turned two and has decided that tantrums are a way of life now.. Imagine crying, rolling on the ground, screaming and endless whining. This week has been a little better actually, but last week was kind of overwhelming.

Being a mother comes with its joys, and also a fair share of trouble, guilt and heartache. Over the past few weeks, my son has developed a habit where instead of drinking his milk or water, he wants to spend hours pouring the drinks from one cup to another. Whenever I bring him something to drink, he rushes to the kitchen, brings another cup (or two) and begins his tricks. It drives me crazy. The worst of it comes at night when he wants to be left at the dinner table performing his liquid tricks, while everyone is in bed. You can imagine the crying once I take away his cups. Most of last week I went to bed angry because of the battles I had to endure with him. Sigh!

lowell and his liquidsThere he is at a friend’s house, doing his thing.

Motherhood can be overwhelming.

It is not your fault that you feel overwhelmed. Many of us are going through the same thing. It comes with the territory.

Are you overly emotional?

Are you always angry/sad maybe?

Are you overly sensitive?

Are you anxious all the time?

Do you feel like a volcano waiting to erupt? Or a ticking time bomb?

Are you always looking out for someone to annoy you so that you can snap at them and release the pressure?

These are all signs that you could be overwhelmed. I have gone through each of these and I know how bad it feels.

However, one simple thing can help you get over this feeling. Ask for HELP. Many of us find it so difficult to admit that we cannot do it all and that we actually need help raising these little beautiful angels aka terrorists.

Instead of releasing that anger towards your baby, your partner or your boss, try these useful tips to help clear your head and get you back on track.

  1. Ask your partner to watch the baby for a few hours. When my baby was around 1 year old and I was a stay-at-home mom, I would take Saturday afternoons off just to go get my hair done or to have sometime to myself. While baby and daddy played, I would use this time to focus on myself and things that made me happy. I would come back feeling rejuvenated and ready to tackle the challenges of raising my boy.
  2. Grandparents. This is one of my absolute favorites. I am already looking forward to the holidays so I can take my son to visit his grandparents and let him stay for a week or two. We have done this twice already and my baby is so happy with my mom and we are left with time to relax and just be. We use this time to focus on our marriage and our relationship as a couple. I miss my baby terribly, but I know by taking some time off, I am able to become the best version of myself, which is so helpful for my baby and my family.
  3. Friends. Sometimes all we can get is only 2-3 hours free time while our besties watch the baby on their day off. If you have friends who are mothers too, they might understand your need for some space and are willing to babysit the baby for a few hours. Do not be afraid to ask your friends for this favor. What are friends for, if not to watch the baby while you go have a manicure or drink a glass of wine?
  4. Daycare. If worse comes to worst and you have no relatives or friends nearby, just take the baby to the local daycare center. He will have fun playing with other kids and you will have your much needed space.
  5. Professional Counseling. If you feel absolutely overwhelmed or depressed, please seek professional help from a counselor. This can help you from spiraling into depression and other mental issues.

Related: Why showing up for others is of absolute importance

How to throw a stress-free birthday party for your child

Asking for help is not always the simplest thing, but you just gotta do it. Pick up that phone, call your mom, your sister, your friend and ask them for help. Trust me, they want to help. All you gotta do is ASK. Do not wait until you are so depressed that they have to take you to a psychiatric hospital. Then, you will be of no help to your baby or your family. Take the time off to reduce the stress and let someone handle the baby for one day, or a week (like me).

You will come back feeling much more relaxed and with the power to be a super mom all over again.

Who do you ask for help when motherhood overwhelms you? How do you do it? Share.

8 Tips For Throwing the Best Stress-Free Birthday Party for Your Child

Birthday cake 2My Lowell recently turned 2 and we had the most fun putting together a birthday party for him, his numerous little friends, and of course, our friends. It turned out to be such a beautiful day and I enjoyed how fun it was. You can read more about it here.

Let me just say one thing beforehand, the 2nd birthday is not like the first. The boy remembers everything and I know the little memories are already starting to be embedded in his growing brain.Unlike the first birthday where the baby might be asleep the whole time and you can drink beer and eat cake with your friends, the 2nd one is definitely more for the baby. More importantly, at 2 years, he has already made several friends and they will be definitely looking up for an invite to the party.  Lowell remembers the cake and his auntie and uncle singing him Happy Birthday. He talks about it all the time, and he can recognize cake on TV, in the newspaper or magazine and pretty much anywhere he sees it. He always points it out and says “Kiki birthday”-loosely translated as Birthday Cake.

The planning process is what makes most parents (especially moms) cringe when they think of planning and hosting a birthday party. In my family, we are big on celebrating life and we don’t wanna watch the special days go by without notice. Many of my friends wonder why we do so much celebrating, but all I know is that these gatherings fill up our hearts and give us beautiful memories to cherish forever.

Though you will definitely be exhausted by the end of the birthday party (Coz I know I was), here are  a few tips that will make it easier for you to hold a perfectly beautiful and enjoyable birthday party for your little one.

  1. Start Planning Early: I know how much this sounds cliche, but it is one of the things that helped me host an awesome birthday party. I actually started making lists and sending out invites a month before the actual birthday. This makes it easy for people to confirm attendance and plan for the day beforehand.
  2. Create a Guest List. Create one for adults and one for kids. How many people will be there? How many will bring their kids? What about the neighborhood kids? Are they invited? I make a lot of lists and tick whatever task I have accomplished. Another friend creates spreadsheets  when planning events and you can do that too.
  3. Create a Simple Menu. Food is one of the most important things in a birthday party. What is party without food?? I say ‘no party’. Create a menu you are Vegetable ricecomfortable with. If you are the one cooking, don’t go for complicated meals. Choose recipes that are easy to follow. (I chose to make Pilau, Vegetable rice and Meat stew.) Make sure the food is appropriate for people of all ages, including kids. You don’t want the food to be too spicy, such that you have to cook some more for kids. If you are using outside catering services, contact them early and work with them to create a good menu.
  4. Prep the Cake. This is one of the most important aspects of the birthday party. All the guests, especially kids will be waiting for the cake. Birthday cake 2Make sure you contact the cake supplier early enough and work with them on the design or theme you need. Talk to them frequently, to ensure that they understand your needs perfectly to reduce chances of disappointments. I decided to use a baker who was referred to me by a friend and he did not disappoint. I was very happy and would gladly order another cake from them. Choose your baker wisely and work with them closely.
  5. Organize child-related activities. Have some toys for the children to enjoy so that they do not get bored easily. For Lowell’s birthday, the kids enjoyed playing outdoors, riding bikes and playing soccer. They had such great fun, while the adults chatted in the house.
  6. Make sure your baby is well-rested. A cranky baby=a terrible birthday party. Let your child sleep early the previous night and help them relax before the guests get there. When the baby is relaxed, they will have more fun and the birthday party will be a blast.
  7. Simplify and ask for help. Do not complicate things. Choose simple decor and do  the things you are good at. We chose to decorate our house with Birthday balloonsballoons only and it was so pretty, yet really simple. Do not be afraid to ask for help. It can be hectic and if you try and do it all alone, you will be too exhausted to enjoy the party. I asked my sister to come help with the cooking and everything else, which made things so much easier for me. She is such a doll.
  8. Have Fun. When it comes down to it, your child’s birthday party is all about fun. Let loose and do not fight the small things, like your carpet getting totally messy and the kids messing up their clothes and everything you planned perfectly. Go with the flow and let everything go as it comes.

The greatest birthdays are the ones where awesome memories are created. Enjoy.

Read More: My Jumia Kenya Review: The honest truth

                   The one appliance that will save you loads of time and money in the kitchen

                   Shaken Baby Syndrome: The monster you should know about

I Have Totally Become My Mother

I have become my motherJust to start on the right foot, my mother is an absolutely great woman and I am honored to be stepping into her shoes, because I could never fit into them.

I am starting a new series on the blog where I will be highlighting ways that I have adopted my mother’s character and embodied it into my own life. Sometimes the posts will be funny, like today and other times the post will be serious and heartfelt. Join in and you might find some interesting ways that you have totally become your mother.

I remember a few years back while still in campus, I woke up one morning very happy and excited. Those were the days when I viewed life with joy-filled eyes and everything seemed to make happy. I walked to the kitchen happily singing along to Rose Muhando’s ‘Nibebe‘. It was surely a happy morning. I peeled the green bananas sitting on the counter and went ahead to boil them for breakfast. With a little salt and a spoonful of margarine, they can be very tasty.

As mouthfuls of the bananas were washed down with sugarless African tea, I thought to myself, ‘I am totally just like my mother.’ She enjoys this breakfast very much and drinks her tea without sugar.

My hubby (then boyfriend), did not comprehend how a normal person could perceive this as breakfast, let alone enjoy it. He didn’t think it was funny either. Fast forward to two weeks ago and he was requesting boiled green bananas for breakfast. “Who knew this day would ever come?” I thought to myself. The only question I had: Is he becoming my mother too?? Go figure.

In what ways does your character resemble your mother or father?? Please share….

Read this:My Jumia Kenya review from real life experience

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Shaken Baby Syndrome: The Killer Monster You Should Know About

shaken-baby-syndromeImage Source

I was watching a documentary last week. It was a weight-loss story. A 44 year-old woman was talking about how she had let herself go and just gained an enormous amount of weight.

She talked about what issues led her to where she was now. She talked about how her heart was broken 17 years ago, when a nanny shook her son to the extent that he suffered irreparable brain damage. It was a heartbreaking story to watch and I knew I had to share it.

Shaken Baby Syndrome.

I know most of us have never heard of it, but this does not mean that it is not existent. This syndrome leaves babies with serious brain damage, which is sometimes fatal.

Shaken baby syndrome occurs when an infant or toddler is violently shaken. According to Kidshealth.org shaken baby syndrome is “caused by someone (most often a parent or other caregiver) vigorously shaking a child or striking the child’s head against a surface.” Something as simple as shaking a baby could lead to serious complications that could affect the baby’s life forever.

We leave our babies with caretakers, some of whom we don’t know very well and they could do this to our babies.

how to avoid shaken baby syndrome

Some mothers, as well as fathers have an impulse to hurt the baby, and this could ruin the baby’s life forever. It is your duty as a mother to tell those who take care of your baby to NEVER EVER shake your baby violently. No matter what.

Symptoms of shaken baby syndrome

  • Difficulty staying awake
  • Paralysis
  • Seizure
  • Skin turning blue
  • Poor feeding
  • Difficulties breathing
  • Coma

Make sure you visit a doctor immediately if your baby is experiencing any of these symptoms or you suspect that your baby has been shaken or hurt.

A child who survives such shaking may be paralyzed for life or have mental problems, as well as blindness and speech and developmental problems.

There are many tests and treatments available for babies with shaken baby syndrome.Always seek medical attention as soon as possible.

When your baby (heart) is far away from you

lowell and me

My baby is my heart, hence the title.

My Lowell has been away at his grandma’s for more than a week now. And I feel empty. I lack purpose. I lack the motivation to cook, or to eat, or to go to work.

Don’t get me wrong. I do all these things everyday (of course am not gonna starve to death), but I lack the motivation or the drive that I have when he is around.

To summarize it in 3 powerful words…

I miss him.

The point of this visit to my mum’s place is that we want to start a new tradition, or keep an old tradition anyways. I remember when we were young, we would go visit our grandmothers during the holidays. We had so much fun and were spoiled beyond repair. Grandparents’ love is like no other. I see it in the way my hubby loves his grandma and how she loves him back. Its precious.

Being their first grandchild, I know my parents love my son with every little bit of their wonderful hearts.

grandma quotephoto credit

But more importantly, I know that Lowell loves them so much. (Am tearing up right now). He is so happy with my mum. You should see them playing around and laughing so hard. Its beautiful. Don’t get me talking about how adorable it is to hear my oh so strong Daddy talking Kikuyu to my son, who understands none of it but nods in agreement.

I want my baby to know this love and to feel it in his heart and to treasure it, so that when he is back, he misses his grandparents.

But its taking a toll on us. I woke up yesterday very early to scroll through his pictures on my phone. I was doing it secretly, but soon after I caught my hubby watching videos of Lowell on his phone. We miss him terribly.

I now realize how big the part he plays in our lives is. A part?? Who am I kidding. He is everything. He is our life.

I feel for those mums who have to leave their kids and go to school, or go work in a foreign city or worse, different country. I now know the kind of sacrifice they make. I feel for the mums who have lost their babies. Its tough and only God can give them peace.

I miss the tantrums, the cries, the hair pulling, the craziness, the broken toys, the scolding and the tough love moments. But what I miss most are the hugs, and the kisses. The loud high-pitched voice calling ‘Mommy’ and ‘Daddy’ hundreds of times each day.

I miss his weird sleeping habits. I miss waking up in the middle of the night to find his legs on my face, and the midnight stomach punches. (I promise, am moving him to his bed asap)

I miss it all.

See you soon baby.

My C-Section Experience. Read then Decide. Don't Rush.

c-section

My baby will be turning 2 exactly three weeks from today. Its so sweet to see him reach his milestones and am awed by how fast these two years have gone. However, the days towards his birthday often become a reminder of the things I went through to bring him into this world.

I do remember those last weeks of August 2013, how heavily pregnant I was, and how much I just wanted to sleep all day and do nothing. I remember how we moved to a bigger house so that we would have more space to raise the baby. I do remember how much yogurt I had, as it was the only thing that took away the weird taste in my mouth. I remember taking a break from work, and thinking what a sacrifice that was. I just discovered that I never posted his birth story yet I remember typing it out. #forgetfulmama

As the days moved closer to my due date, I began getting a little scared. By the way, my baby was born one week past his due date. I had my bags packed, and like the planner I am, I was actually ready weeks before. I read a lot of articles on what to expect and I thought since I had a pretty normal pregnancy, the delivery would also be the same. I had also been very active during my pregnancy, and my hubby used to take me for long walks to make sure I had an easier time giving birth (If anything like an easy birth exists!!).

And so when the labor kicked in on that 14th day of September (a Saturday), I felt confident that everything would go as expected. (Expectations are the worst, they can kill you). However, things didn’t go as planned.

I was dilated 4cm when I was admitted at around 9 a.m in the morning, and little did I know that there would not be much progress from there. One of the nurses told me to take a walk around the hospital to quicken the dilation. I came in to get checked at 1 pm and the Doppler showed that my baby’s heartbeat was too fast. The nurse looked a little bit worried and told me to take a nap and rest to try and calm him down. Please note I was still in labor. Several hours later, his heart was still racing and a doctor was called in, and within minutes, I was wheeled down to the theater for an emergency c-section. At 9.25 p.m. Lowell Sedar was born.

Fast forward to 1.25 am, I regained consciousness for a few minutes and I remember asking one of the nurses for my baby. She said he was in the nursery and would be brought to me when I was feeling better. I went back to a deep slumber and woke up at 5 am to find a male nurse handing me my bundle of joy. I wish I could freeze that moment, but it is etched in my memory forever.

The moment I realized the kind of pain associated with a c-section was when I tried to get off my bed to go to the washroom. It was horrible, the pain was crazy and though I had been given strong painkillers, it was just so painful. I did not manage to get to the bathroom and I waited until someone could come and hold my hand.

For the next few weeks, I got used to this pain. I needed help getting off a chair, off my bed, taking a shower, lifting my baby, and pretty much everything. It was hard to wake up in the middle of the night to feed and comfort my crying baby. I remember how traumatizing it was thinking that someone cut my tummy and sew it back. Ouch!! The only comfort was the sight of my baby. C-section recovery is not easy and it takes months and its super crazy. This is why I find it hard to think that one would freely choose to go under the knife.

It scares me to think that I want other babies, and most likely I will have more c-sections because my body refuses to open up. Am terrified of the day after, the struggle of needing so much help to do the most basic things. It is scary to think that 2 years later, lifting something heavy might cause trauma to my c-section scar, which can lead to serious complications. It is scary to think that being pregnant again could stretch my scar too far.

However, this post is not meant to scare anyone. This is just my experience, my story and I would love to hear yours. Also, not all c-sections are the same, in fact none are similar. This is especially so for those of use who cannot go through a normal delivery, but if you can, please stick to that. Because it is natural and so much less riskier. Please.

I know I will weather the next c-section and the next one too, because the sight of my beautiful babies will give the pain so much more meaning. It makes you forget. And as I hear Lowell saying ‘av you’ (love you), it makes it all worth it.

My go-to easy breezy hairstyle, perfect for busy working mums

Motherhood is craaaaazy…This is a well-known fact and I have come to appreciate it even more. What would make a writer like me suddenly stop blogging for I don’t know how many months????

You guessed right-Motherhood. I have been super busy now that am a working mother to an almost two year-old boy. Oh my Oh my..how days keep flying by and I can’t seem to hold onto any moment..however beautiful.

In order to keep up with this busy lifestyle, I have learned a few tricks that make my mornings less stressful. I definitely do not have time to attend to an elaborate hairstyle, while dealing with my crying son when am leaving in the morning. Lots of mommy bloggers have tips on how to simplify the morning routine and I have been applying them religiously.

I have recently discovered the high-top bun hairstyle, which has made my life so much easier.

high top bun 2

It is super easy and super chic. It makes me look like am calm and collected, and like I took time to look good, even when I actually didn’t. Just comb your hair lightly, hold it high with a thick hairband (as we call it) or a hair scrunchie, then roll the hair into a bun around the band. That’s it, no stress, no hassle. In a matter of minutes am ready.

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Add a dash of lipstick or gloss to the lips, and you suddenly look like a super chic, stylish mom. As much as Lowell (my son) likes to mess with my hair, this is difficult to mess with and I can redo it in 10 seconds when need arises. Check it out below, don’t mind the scarf. I wear it because my office is quite cold.

high top bun front
Final result

Try it, you will love it.

Hope to get my blogging groove back asap to keep you engaged. Thanks loves!