The heartbeat races

The heartbeat races
The brain pounds to the beat
Of the reverberating drum of life

People to love,
Lovers who break your heart,
Friends to cherish
Buddies who betray your trust

Life is a double sided coin,
Life is a rollercoaster, a journey, an adventure,
Life is your tune to create.
It all depends on perspective and attitude.

Humanity: violence and hope

The World, I fear, has lost its mind;
It’s running amuck, humanity is stuck in a grind:
Hacked to death, storms a’raging;
Terrorists’ plots and massacres from bombings;
The news around invades one’s peace of mind.

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Politics, a terrorizing version of chess;
The true nature of a leader steers us all towards chaos or progress.
The Media adds fuel to riots galore;
Violent-ridden streets, rivers of blood and gore.
It is time for wisdom to rule, time to think for oneself.

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Youths in their years of twenty-somethings,
Caught up amidst turmoil and woes, what is life’s meaning?
We are now adults, still lost in a storm;
We’ve forgotten where we came from,
Lost in the thrill of chasing Forbes-Hollywood of fortune and fame.

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As a youth and leader of tomorrow,
Now is the time to educate, observe, avoid past mistakes and sorrow;
Decide who I am and where I want to be.
A better world starts from within, you see?
I shall not be caught up with the masses and their passivity.

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Dearest reader, stop all the hustle;
Reflect, and breathe life outside of your passionless daily hassles.
Re-evaluate your goals and priorities;
Life is filled with endless possibilities!
Who are you? What legacy do you want to leave behind?
Do you want to be swept up with the masses, endlessly stuck in the grind?
Or do you want to set new visions, forge a new road to a brighter future
For your children who are yet to arrive into this tumultuous world?

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This is a Poem I wrote in the wake of #UK cleaver-murder of 22nd May, 2013, originally posted on an old Facebook page i started here

6 years ago I wrote this post. The last chapter brings chills down my spine, as when I wrote this, I had no idea I would be a parent any time soon.

Now with a daughter of my own, this poem resonates on a whole new level with me. What sort of world have I brought our daughter into?

What can I do starting today that will build a better world she can live in and thrive?

What can YOU do to be the change the world needs in your little corner today.

You can choose to be different

Be a positive influence to your siblings, classmates, colleagues, neighbors, employees and even the bosses above you.

If you are blessed with greater spheres of influence in education, politics, engineering, medicine, etc, stop being afraid of ridicule and stand for what is right!

This was written by a younger, more idealized version of me…you once were a better person, you had dreams of a better future…you can still uphold those standards of integrity and make the younger you proud!

I survived my 1st year of parenting!

And just like that, it is now a day to our baby girl’s first birthday and I want to scream to the entire world “I survived my first year of being a mama!!”

I imagine myself drenched in sweat, weary from countless nights of interrupted sleep, dirt under my fingernails from all the poopy diapers I have changed, standing victoriously on a mountaintop. Yes I am on top of the first mountain in a whole range of mountains, but for now I want a pat on the back, an award for participation. A personal moment to say “girl, you did it!”.

This time last year, I was on one of several beds in the labour ward. Anyone who has any experience with Nigeria hospitals will imagine or know first hand the trepidation I felt. I had to constantly use exercise my faith so as not to be overcome with worry . All I knew was that as long as I had a natural birth, by the grace of God, I and my baby will be in good hands.

I was divinely favoured to have a relatively pleasant and easy labour and delivery story (no need to bore you with my tales of the inadequacies of the healthcare system here). With simple child-like faith, I believed for a relatively stress-free labour experience and I was beaming (like a child who opened their Christmas gift to find it was what she has asked for and doubted whether she will get it) when I found out I was 2cm dilated with pain-free contractions. There were some challenging moments as time when doctors insisted I go for a C-section but honestly the whole experience was divinely blessed with God’s grace.

Our child has been a blessing from the moment of conception, to labour and unbelievably easy pushing part of the delivery. I literally pushed and grunted and our baby slid out.

Within first few minutes of her birth, a song of praise burst forth from my lips. Mind you, the words was more or less whispered under my breath as I was exhausted and beyond famished. As they were stitching me up, I turned my head and watched in awe as they cleaned up this pale skinned, raven haired little human with olive oil.

The struggles and anticipation of the previous nine months and the grueling ordeal of labour were already fading into memory.

How do I condense all the struggles of a rookie mama into a paragraph? Or two? The journey of bonding with our precious baby was no walk in the park. It is assumed that because a baby grew inside of you for nine months, you will form a magical bond that will detect whether they are hungry, tired or need to go poopy.

In the first several months, the process of trying to figure out why your baby is fussing goes like this:

Changed her diaper, check. Nursed her like five minutes ago so she can’t be hungry. She just napped like 30 minutes ago. Probably she is feeling the heat? Is she feeling uncomfortable because of the immunization shots she took yesterday?

Oh I look back with fondness at how frazzled different stages of the past year made me. From mommy and baby struggling to latch properly, figuring how to nurse baby girl in public like it’s no big deal, to learning how to survive the crowded immunization clinic days. Dealing with immunization aftermath like fevers, swollen tenderness and fussiness. Teething periods. Introducing solids. Progressing through purees to semi solids to beaming in pride as baby girl ate a whole banana by herself.

Oh and the moments when as a parent I beamed with pride and urged our baby girl to perfect a milestone or new skill: holding things with her fingers, grasping, rolling over, pulling herself forward, crawling, pulling up, standing, cruising and so on.

Right now we are helping our daughter learn how to perfect her balance and walking. As parents we are always teaching and encouraging our children to improve or perfect new skills and talents but there are so many lessons our little ones teach us to. I recently did an article on lessons I have learned from observing baby girl learn to walk. (Read here)

I honestly don’t know what my second year as a parent will hold but that’s what makes being a first time parent be so much fun.

Please share stories about your experiences with me too! What was your most challenging and rewarding moment in the first years of your child’s life? Is it easier the second or third “child” around? 🙂

Motherhood Diaries: Baby Sleep struggles

It’s 2.35am, I am wide awake, the normal bone deep tiredness retreating into the distance for a confused change. I just went through a bizarre tussle with my 10 month old daughter, leaving me feeling somewhat lacking as a mother.

Basically what has been happening lately that gave rise to me feeling that I am failing as a mum is that bedtime has been mostly a struggle withour baby girl and I. Well, a “more-than-usual” struggle. I honestly don’t know how sleep training would work with a restless sleeper.

From the moment she turned 7 months, she would pull herself to stand in her crib-turned-play-pen and walk around in circles endlessly. So leaving her to sleep on her own in the crib doesn’t work as she will take that as permission to explore and play and perfect her walking skills through the night.

So now, in putting baby to bed, I would go through this long tiring workout juggling between backing her, bringing her down when she keeps wriggling.

To put her to sleep, picture backing a child and bouncing up and down on your heels to rock her to sleep…

If she is still awake an hour later, or as short as it takes for me to physically tire out, I proceed to use my breastmilk to make her fall asleep (yes, I know experts say this is a no-no but what is a fatigued mama gonna do?!)

Any little energy I have at the end of the day is spent putting her to sleep. Sometimes she falls asleep quite easily. But it is nights like this one that leave more of an impression. I had to Whatsapp call my husband in the living room to come bail me out.

I had woken up before 7 this morning with a determined zeal to clean (sweep and mop floors) our entire house in one day (we have a big house). Usually I do portions between two or three days. My mum and her helper had come over today and I used the opportunity to see my plan through.

My husband had come home by 9pm and hadn’t eaten his packed lunch yet so I didn’t want to disturb him till he had eaten dinner. I continued my efforts doggedly despite my aching legs and back and tiredness. At 10.45pm, I had to Whatsapp call him to come bail me out. I had just changed her poopy diapers and he met us splayed out on the bed, she had rolled over playfully on the bed. He picked her up and she docilely laid her head on his shoulder. I looked on in disbelief and felt a brief pang of disappointment at all the effort I had put in, including struggling to keep her head on my shoulder to sleep as part of my list of efforts of sleep routine. I turned off the lamp and lay silently on the messy bed so as not to make any noise.

Fast forward to now, I can’t remember if this is the first time she woke up since hubby put her to bed, but somehow this time she just would not suck and go back to sleep, though this happens a few times since she turned 5 months. I don’t know how this huge sense of frustration and anger came over me and I stood up with her and start forcing her head to rest on my shoulder and angrily hissing at her that its time to sleep. She obviously fought off my efforts and her whimpers woke my husband who normally sleeps through her middle-of-the-night-feedings. I got back into bed and tried giving her the breast to go back to sleep, but she is still awake and I’m feeling angry and frustrated and she is crying out. My husband gave up tossing and turning and just takes her from my arms and she quietens and falls promptly asleep as he rocks her. He keeps on his efforts for like 10 more minutes to ensure she is in deep sleep all the while I am feeling guilty at my anger and frustration and somewhat betrayed by how easily she has been falling asleep with her dad.

My husband lays her down and comes into bed..I reach out for him, he lays on his stomach, head faced away, arm squeezing mine and instantly falls asleep, unaware of the turmoil within me.

Wide awake and disconcerted, I pick up the phone and weirdly try to blog my feelings away to the calm whirring of our standing fan. The me of several years ago would bring out my well worn diary and write and write, trying to sort out my feelings, Literally pouring out my confused feelings till I fall asleep, emptied.

I guess I blow my nose a little bit noisily and our darling super light sleeper is up and standing, clinging to the sides of her cot, whimpering. I take her, bring her to my breast, she instantly falls asleep and all is right with the mother in me. Though I still feel the need to finish this blog. Whereas my thoughts were all jumbled off and I started going off on a tangent, which I erased… my head is cleared and I am able to recount this nights misadventure more clearly…for a fellow nursing mom’s reading pleasure as you chuckle and sympathize along with me.

For now, I will try and resume as much needed rest before she wakes up for her next midnight breastfeed…

Dear nursing mother…or nursing father (as my hubby and some men I know would passionately argue for…)Please would like to hear your stories as well as moments of frustration u felt in your journey into parenthood. Where there certain vivid circumstances that occurred which left u feeling less than or lacking as a parent?

What lessons have you learnt from being a parent?

Sleeping “like a baby” in the wee hours of the morning…and yes, she sleeps most soundly in our bed

Cheers to all the beautifully strong Women I know

Though International Women’s day may be over…I hope the celebration of ourselves as women will continue.

So cheers to all the phenomenal women I know and all over the world, yes you! No matter what corner of the world you live in, I celebrate you, your dreams, your daily grind and hard work, your struggles, your fight, your disappointments, your failures…

Even those of us struggling to find passion, purpose & meaning in life…let us learn to stop and smell the roses. To appreciate people in our lives. Don’t give up, pick yourself up and try again. Don’t take NO for an answer. Stop beating yourself up because Self-Discovery is a process that doesn’t ends till we die. To discover ourselves, we need to spend more time with our creator. How do we learn about all the features & abilities of a machine without the owner’s manual? The Bible is our owners manual. When we spend time with God and with His Word, it illuminates every aspect of who we are and our lives “The entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.”
Psalms 119:130 NKJV

Ask God to reveal the gifts and talents He has deposited in you and get to work sitting down And listing, as well as asking people who know you well. Focus on one thing you are really good at, something that u find pleasure doing and ask God for direction.

My hope and dream for the female gender is that all of us women will first learn to value ourselves & each other. We are fearfully & wonderfully made. Stop the backbiting, jealousy, comparisons and negative competitive spirit creating divisions among us women. Instead let us learn to develop and model a spirit of solidarity among ourselves for the younger girls to be inspired

Dear Women, we shouldn’t take ourselves for granted. Our bodies are phenomenal! God created our bodies with the ability to nurture, grow and sustain life within for 9 months. Even if for whatever reason we haven’t experienced that, we all have the emotional and mental faculties that operates at extraordinary capabilities & under enormous stress.

A few of the women I know are relentlessly chasing their dreams. For some, the universe just magically aligned itself and the road to achieving their dreams was more or less a smooth ride with minor bumps. For so many others, it was a relentless pursuit, being rejected time and time again, refusing to take no for an answer. You may be struggling to gain admission, are a job seeker, recently unemployed, a stay at home mum or any other circumstance that’s threatening to make you feel inferior. If you are like me, life has just struck you down one too many times and you can’t find the willpower to get up. That dream you chased till it almost killed you seems totally out of reach, you can’t find an ounce of passion to dream again. You are alive, it is not the end. Don’t let that define who you are! You are strong, don’t give up!

Yes, humanely speaking it is impossible but that’s where faith comes in. A relationship with God, our creator, the giver of life will make all the difference. We may not be able to rise again in our own strength, but we can draw strength from the God of the impossible. Spending time in God’s presence will help us to rise above our circumstances on wings of an eagle.

May our lives inspire the younger girls coming up after us.

Let the celebration of you and I continue

Let us grow to be strong women.

Cheers to Strong Women;

May we know them,

May we be them,

May we raise them

#internationalwomensday #strongwomen #victorious #rolemodel #model #quote #wisdom #inspiration #motivation #thoughts #reflections #love #admire #woman #bosslady #entrepreneur #mother #daughter #sister #friend

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