The motherhood chronicles: “Don’t be quick to judge”

Most mothers will be familiar with this, “judging a mother or father consciously or unconsciously before you became infected by the parenthood bug.” When I take a look at myself now compared to the era of BK ( Before kids), I see a significant change in my perception to life and I have had to let go of certain habits to be a better mum and person.

Before………….

In the BK era, I couldn’t stand seeing disgusting things like people spitting, soiled washrooms and any disgusting image you can imagine. Almost everyone cannot stand these sights but mine was on a different level. The mere sight of any disgusting thing meant I had to brush my teeth or rinse my mouth plus psychologically get my mind to erase the picture. That would take hours before even daring to touch anything or eat. I could even stay hungry till the brainwash process was complete. I used to say that whenever I had a kid, I would hire someone to do that job (changing of diapers) for me. That was how bad it was.

After……….

You should see me now. Those things still disgust me though. People should be sanctioned for indiscriminate spitting, that really gets on my nerves. I remember the first stinky poop after the meconium (black sticky poop), I was about eating some red red (fried ripe plantain with beans stew) and had to change her diaper. I was torn between eating first (satisfying my selfish self) or changing her diaper (satisfying her at the risk of losing my appetite).  Was that even an option? We brought them into this world when they were sitting their somewhere (direct translation from twi). It  also actually looked similar to the beans stew. The BK me would have let the food pass but I went straight to chowing (eating) after changing her diaper and washing my hands.

You know the bible verse: Matthew 7:1 ‘Judge not that you be not judged.’ I used to wonder how people handled their phones to end up with scratches and looking like the cat had a scratch fight with it. I considered them careless because I could really keep a phone and it would still look almost new. Apologies to anyone I misjudged. You should see my phone in the AK era, the phone is really suffering. In fact if you find a phone with no cracks in my house then it’s probably brand new and yet to go through the initiation rites. Little boss lady drops it in water (don’t know what scientific hypothesis she wants to test) and throws it away in a fit of tantrum like she has been hired by the manufacturer to test its strength and durability.

I used to wonder what could make families consistently late to church. My idealist mind just couldn’t decipher this. I get it now. I am usually late to church about 10 to 30 minutes. One time we got to church and mass had almost ended, we just drove through the church and went back home. You wake up early though, but getting a kid ready for work or school is a difficult task. Imagine packing up for a 2 to 3 days trip, yup…..now that’s similar to packing your kids stuff just for a few hours away from home. I try packing a day before but the funny thing that still beats my mind is that I still end up spending the same time. Your CHILD might also keep you awake all night and you would end up waking up late to church. As for alarms forget it! Sometimes if it wasn’t for the snooze I would have concluded that my alarm was faulty. I probably need one of those slapping alarm devices to wake me up.

The BK me had time to go shopping for clothes or shoes for occasions but now even managing to look good is a luxury. Not forgetting getting to the office or church with food or dirt stains. Wig caps and crochet braids are now my best hair pals. No long Rasta things. Oh and before I forget, am still wearing old clothes and I keep lying to myself that a wardrobe change was needed about 2 years ago. I still tell myself this and never act on it. I however manage to miraculously make time to shop for my kids. 🙂

I like things to be perfect but I realised in the kingdom of children you should let your guard down, have fun and be perfectly imperfect.

OMT

Through all this, I have learnt not to prematurely form conclusions and judge others (not only parents) if I haven’t yet taken a step in their shoes.

What’s your story? What habits have you had to change for your kids sake? We would love to hear from you.

Also check out our post on Daily Struggles of a Mother: My Top 5 on the hubpages!

“My experience as a mother”-Recounted by Mawuena

This weeks #superheroine is my lovely cousin, doctor and mother Mawuena (my namessake too). You will come across some medical terms which is understandable so be prepared to be referring to google.Just in you missed our previous #superheroine Eunice’s story, you can check it out here!

Story begins…………………………………………..

I know a lot of mother’s will mostly recount the lovely aspects of motherhood. Those moments sure are a blessing and helps so much to deal with the difficult aspects of motherhood.

Well, motherhood for me began quite unexpectedly. I got married in February and by March that same year, I was throwing up all over. Yea I was happy when I got to know I was pregnant. Thought it wouldn’t come so soon because I thought I had a window period of about a month or two before pregnancy would be possible (so unscientific right?). Well don’t blame me, my mum took two months to get pregnant after she got married and my elder sister after a month.

So here I was in the hottest season in Tamale, Ghana. Living every day in temperatures of 40 degrees and above, vomiting whenever I see an advert of food or oil on the television, or anytime I smelled food around me. And boy, was my sense of smell heightened. I was always on edge, my husband had to hide to eat, and I couldn’t believe human beings could actually bring themselves to eat foods prior to pregnancy, I loved so much. This was my life for the first 16months after marriage.

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Source: pregnancyhumor.com

Of course my marriage got stressed. I couldn’t do anything for myself and my husband didn’t know me to be like that. Sometimes, he thought I was faking it. Hahaha, how divorce seemed like such a good option to me then. Thank God for patience. Hmmm, I even went as far as questioning God for making me feel like I was dying everyday while other people were on TV dancing to alcohol adverts. I ate nothing and yet my baby was growing well. Some of the miracles yet to be understood. My wish then was to feel like a human being again and walk on the streets like a healthy person. That alone would have made me feel good.

I ate nothing and yet my baby was growing well. Some of the miracles yet to be understood.

Throughout the day I was on intravenous dextrose infusions hung up by my husband at home, in the bedroom and in the hall. Wherever I could crawl to.

Then like magic, that period came to an end. Now came the ‘I don’t know what I want to eat but I’m very hungry period’. All I wanted to eat were food I saw in magazines. Boy, did my husband suffer. Different restaurants and yet they didn’t meet my expectations.

Then came the waking up about five times at night to pee. What a disturbance in sleep for a person who loves her sleep so much. (Didn’t know actually nursing a baby could be worse. lol). I experienced what is called symphysis pubis dysfunction since my baby fixed quite early in my pelvis. My husband had to hold my panties down to my feet for me while I held onto his head and painfully lifted one foot at a time just to put on my underwear. Anytime I was tired of lying down on one side of my body, he had to wake up and turn me to my other side.

Alas! My baby was term and had a good weight via ultrasonic scan so I opted for induction of labour because I was so tired. What an experience that was. The labour was so painful I cried out for a caesarean section but the doctor refused. Thank God! Finally my baby’s head was out of my cervix and ready to come out and that was the end of my pain. It was like a joke. I felt nothing apart from the urge to push something foreign out of my body. I pushed my baby boy out within a minute or two with great encouragement from my husband. My mum who was waiting just outside my delivery room and praying thought I died when I suddenly stopped screaming. She didn’t know I was busily pushing my boy out.

Thank God! Finally my baby’s head was out of my cervix and ready to come out and that was the end of my pain.

To cut a long story short, I love my baby boy like crazy, but he made me quite crazy within his first eighteen months. I was so sleep deprived I couldn’t function well. He wouldn’t allow himself to be left alone for a minute. I couldn’t wait for the time he would start talking to me, give me kisses all over my face, tell me he loves me and hug me tight. Now he does all that and sometimes I wish he would just keep quiet. (Really, what do human beings want? Lol)

Managing work with family………

It is tough though, combining work and family. Thing is, though we preach exclusive breastfeeding, yet I have never been able to practice it. After my first three months was over, I was back to work on twelve hour duties at the accident and emergency department in my hospital back to back for two weeks continuously. My breast milk virtually stopped. Everyone was telling me to try different things. My bosses didn’t care cos the duties had to be done. Yes, I started formula feeding naturally. What could I do? Thank God it all worked out.

I thought after one baby, God had done so well for me so that was all I wanted. When my son was a year old, I was the one to ask my husband for another baby. Yea. I wanted my baby to have someone to play with at home.

Well, I thought, why not be stressed now and enjoy later right? But the stress is real.

Well, now I have three children, two boys and a girl, all very different in character. I am on my twelfth nanny and hopefully the last I pray. Both parent are still workaholics. Gone are the days when all one had to do was to give birth and hand over to their mothers. (What sweet times!)

My husband has been a great support. Well, now my slogan is IUCD (Intrauterine contraceptive device) till menopause, and that’s what’s up!

The kids are brilliant and noisy and lovely and annoying and adorable. But I still can’t wait till they can do a lot of things for themselves so I can feel like me again and enjoy my man anytime, anywhere, anyhow. Right now, it’s still all about my loves.

Definitely waiting to see how life will be when I start residency training but I know Jesus has got my back.

The END!

Share your stories with other young mothers by sending an email to omtsdigest@gmail.com. You can opt to be anonymous if you would be uncomfortable sharing your personal information.

Join the family on twitter with the hashtag #moderndaysuperheroines #omtsdigest #superheroines

You never know, but the simplest of life experiences can just be the strong motivational force in the life of another. Sharing makes the difference…..

OMT

“Share your life with others. You will have a joyful life.” 

― Lailah Gifty Akita

My experiences as a mum- Naana

This is the first of our series where young mothers share their experiences on juggling career and studies with having kids and creating time for the family at the same time. The ultimate aim is to help and also motivate aspiring and first-time mothers and fellow mothers out there.

Our mum for this week is Naana, a mother of 3 lovely kids. She is a law student and recently started a blog to share her testimonies on the goodness of God in her life. You can subscribe to the site ahead of her first post: godsgoodnessblog.wordpress.com

Here goes her story……………..

So I have been married for the past 6 years and I can confidently say it has been the best decision I have ever taken in my life. Fortunately for me I had a lot of pet talks with my mum who has been married for 40 years and is till very happily married. These little advices which she gave me really prepared me for the life long journey ahead of me” marriage “. We spoke at length including my personal aspirations for the future to the number of kids I would love to give birth to.

I can’t take all the credit for being able to stay sane with three kids and being able to pursue a law degree .  This is because first of all I have a very supportive husband who takes pride in the fact that am aiming for a brighter future for myself and the family. My parents who have been my pillar from the onset have helped in diverse ways. I had to do evening school and with my husband on transfer the main job of taking the kids to school as early as 6:30 am was my responsibility and picking them up before going to School by 4:00 pm. In between I had to do the cooking for the day, laundry and ironing of the kids clothing. With time it became routine and I doubled up as the father seeing to utility and home maintenance, not forgetting p.t.a s which I attend without fail.

I mentioned my parents as being very supportive because after picking the kids up from school my dad who is now on pension occupies them till I come. In order not to burden him I see to their home works before leaving for school. My law degree took 3 years to complete and God being so good I was able to have 2 kids by the time I was done. It was my desire to finish child-bearing by the time i was done with school and with a lot of prayers and self-determination my husband and I were able to achieve our heart desires.

I faced certain challenges as well in my desire to give birth before I was done with school. Interestingly both kids were born in the month of may in 2014 and 2016 with just three days apart. What made it tough was the fact that they were born during the examination period. I was so determined not to defer because as it already stands the law degree is pretty hard and I was able by God’s grace to gather the energy to finish hard. I nursed the kids and studied to finish and thanks to God scored As on some of my papers.

As I always say to my friends it is only God that makes the difference. Without His help, I honestly wouldn’t have made it. I know my future is bright because I have him and the love of family. A little advice for my fellow young mothers, motherhood makes us special and its OK to feel tired at times so it is Ok to ask for help when necessary. Also make time for the husband because after the kids are grown and left home the husbands will remain and it will only be left with the friendship between you too. I love being a mum and won’t trade with for the world. Kids are indeed a blessing……….

Share your stories with other young mothers by sending an email to omtsdigest@gmail.com.

You never know, but the simplest of life experiences can just be the strong motivational force in the life of another. Sharing makes the difference…..

OMT
“Share your life with others. You will have a joyful life.”

― Lailah Gifty Akita

 

Modern Superheroines

How do they do it? Going to work, making time to attend to the family especially the kids, etc. Do they have super powers? Do they receive any special motherhood training? These were questions I used to ask myself whenever I had an encounter with a working mother. I was always in awe of working mothers. I used to dread getting to that stage of life.
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Fast forward to now…………..am at that stage I always dreaded. Most of you are already aware that I took a break and became a temporary stay at home mom. Even that was a lot of work, multi – tasking in between child care, keeping the home, blogging and freelancing was a lot of work!!!  Mind you, mine is just one kid. Kudos to all working moms!!! Am still in awe of working mothers with more than one child……….They are true MODERN SUPERHEROINES!!! I have lots of respect for them.

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In GH, we all look forward to holidays. We don’t joke with them. So this Easter I had planned out my time including scheduling 2 or 3 blog posts, catching up on work to lessen the week’s workload among other things. I went home on Thursday excited and looking forward to the loooooooonnnnngggggg weekend, but alas my cute boss had other plans for us. She had a temperature so we decided to go to the hospital on Friday (first day of holiday) for a quick checkup then later go shopping for some stuff for her. Never in our wildest dreams did we think little boss lady would get admitted! We were truly unprepared, it was obvious from our facial expressions and initial reluctance. It was concluded she had malaria so she…..I mean WE……. had to spend the night at the hospital. Big shake up to my perfectly planned Easter holiday. We had to reluctantly stay but what really pierced my heart was the point at which we had to pin her down (two doctors, husband and myself) to insert the IV for the drip. Her screams teared me up. I was close to tears, had it taken any longer am sure you would find both mother and child crying. 🙂 Let me use this opportunity to appeal to scientists to invent alternative ways to provide healthcare for babies which is less painful than seeing these little gifts of God squirm and cry in pain. It’s heartbreaking. Anyways, the long and short of it all was that we spent the night but as kids, the temptation to take out the IV is high so they need to be watched 24/7 meaning no sleep for me. 😦 Although I managed to steal some 2-3 minutes periodic sleep. Being at the hospital meant delay in folding of laundered clothing, ironing, rescheduling personal and work plans etc but our kids are the reason for our sacrifices, so why complain?  I lacked sleep and unfortunately my best friend and support was also ill.  Probably father daughter bond, both fell ill at almost the same time with the same sickness. Bye, bye to my perfectly laid out plans.

Kids are gifts from God and they bring perfect and beautiful disorder to our lives.

I was tired but I don’t know how I managed to still cook up something, bathe madam etc who also decided not to sleep unless I held her, slowing me down in the process and draining my already tired self. I was exhausted but I still managed to gather some strength. After all she is my life, the reason behind most of my decisions in life.

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At the hospital there was a lady whose 2 sons were also admitted. I could imagine what she was going through. In the end she still manages to go to work and excel at the workplace. I ask again………How do they do this?

My conclusion is that it’s not magic or any super powers, it’s all by the Grace of God. Going back to work after being a temporary stay at home mother, I expected to mess up at work and home. But strangely enough, although it’s tough sometimes I dare say we (ALL WORKING MOTHERS) have done well. I have to wake up early to bathe her, dress her up, ensure she has enough packed food, change of clothes, sterilised zippy cups, enough wipes and diapers, feed her before getting to work etc. It’s chaotic.

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What gets me through the day is her excited face and welcome that meets me every time I pick her up after work. On a tiring day, I just stare at her pic and that’s it! No need for energy boosters. I get the vim to make it through the day!

I am grateful to God for helping me transition smoothly although I have still not fully perfected the skill. I always ensure that I make maximum use of working hours so there is no need to work extra hours when I get home. That is not even an option , little boss lady won’t allow that. I set daily work goals of 2 or 3 and ensure that I complete them before the end of the working day to ensure I am effective both at work and at home. They are interlinked.

Mother’s work and take care of kids, yet they are expected to achieve same results as their male colleagues. Don’t get me wrong, it can be done but it requires sacrificing a bit of your family time for it. So how can employers help career mother’s at the workplaces to bring out their maximum best?

1. Providing flexible working hours for mothers. Undue advantage should however not be taken by mother’s to ruin the chances  for others in future.

2. Creating a nursery at the workplace makes it convenient for mothers. And I can bet that these moms will work extra hours without complaining because most mother’s close at 5 sharp to attend to their family. Recently saw some pictures of MTN Ghana’s nursery.  Why won’t the mothers stay and work till the nursery closes at 7pm. Both the company and mother gain in the end. Kudos!!! Hope more companies follow in their footsteps. I know DataBank also has a nursery.

Pictures of MTN’s nursery

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Share your stories if you are a working mother. How do you make it through a typical day? What is the source of your drive in life?

Let’s help colleague working mothers and future mothers to adjust to this messy and beautiful phase of life by sharing our stories.