Search

Mylittle colorful life

Learning through the different shades of life

Welcome to my Blog

I’ve always wanted to write a blog, just never got around to doing it. I felt someone else had something better to say and there were too many voices online – actually it was me hiding behind my laziness to take the time to sit, reflect and write and also the fear of putting myself out there to be judged!

Starting this new phase of life as a mum I realised this was a journey that’s forever going to change me and my life is no longer for me but for this little person I’ve brought into this world. At that moment I decided I never want to tell her to do stuff or believe in things I never did or was too lazy to pursue. Plus there’s so much each day with her is unbelievable how much you have to learn and keep up with. So I’ve decided to sit, reflect and write no matter how chaotic things are. I’m in the process of learning the fine art of balancing wife, mum and career but I’m confident I’ll get it right after a bit of tweaks here and there.

This 7 months I’ve been home on maternity leave, I come to conclusion that my job is not who I am, I know I will be great without it, but it is another layer to me that makes my life interesting, it’s an additional avenue to create impact and influence beyond my private sphere of life, plus it pays the bills

So I don’t intend to be a stay at home mum, except I start my own business. So I plan to grow in my career and truly explore all there is within the corporate world. But in my mind, I’m not taking for granted that it would be easy – but it’s a road many strong women with great partners (and sometimes without) have gone and excelled at so I’m sure I’ll be just fine.

This blog for me is a where to have a conversation with the broader world and share my experience as I go along on this adventure. I’ve debated on how honest I should be – but I believe so much in authenticity – so here will be #mylittlecolorfullife as a wife, mum and career woman.

Featured post

Mama Guilt

I remember the first advice I got when I was pregnant, it was from a lovely couple who invited us for dinner. They told us “all you really can do is be a good enough parent”. There is no perfect parent! That struck me because I always had it in my little mind I’ll be the perfect mum, I guess I never really thought about what perfect would mean or look like and now perfection has a whole new different meaning – lol!

Mama guilt had never really caught up with me but recently I’ve been feeling like I’m constantly doing a lot of stuff wrong or just not the way I’d like it to be. So having to deal with Mama guilt rather then shrugging it off has been my focus for a few days now.

All of a sudden forgetting to brush her teeth in a day is a deal breaker for me. Her not liking the food I made, me not being on top of her skin regiment, giving her stuff she reacts to… I mean why has it all become a big issue now? 11 months into motherhood? I seem to be very much aware of my faults and 10 other ways I could have done things better. I’ve dealt with guilt before but Mama guilt is of a different kind. It tugs at your core and potential and that really has a way of hitting you hard.

So today I allowed Zoe sleep a little longer even though I knew it meant me most likely missing my train. But I just couldn’t get myself to wake her up to get ready for nursery. Just that little act made me feel so much better  though I had to run like a panting fish out of water  to make my train after dropping her off.

While on my commute it dawned on me; the little moments of Zen is what matters … it must not all be perfect every time and I will not always be on my A-game and balancing mum and job would mean missing bed time more that I would love to. But when possible, I need to enjoy those moments of Zen – enjoying the pure bliss of the moment and laughing out loud and hard where possible.

Mama guilt is real but like any other thing I’ve come to learn the power you give it is what it uses to take a hold of you. And for me being a Christian it’s important I remind my self I’m not the all the “Sufficient One” God is and having that faith and anchor makes the journey way better.

Would love to know How do you deal with Mama or Papa guilt?

Lesson on Resilience from my 10 month old Daughter

To say I’ve been stressed is a bit of an understatement – I feel like I have gone round the stress block a couple of times, gone under back on top and somehow squashed somewhere in the middle. A lot it personally induced (classic!) and others from the different elements of life. Hard work has never scared me but oh my, work, baby plus study is a new a whole new kind of “hard work”. It takes puts to test your believe about your own strength – lol! Every day I have a new-found respect for the women in my life who’s gone down this road ahead of me and did an incredible job!

So in the beauty of trying to find order to my seemingly chaotic mind, I decided this weekend to be really mindful of what I read, watch and listen to. Being particular about guarding my heart and mind, making sure I don’t expose myself to anything that already makes me feel worse or seemingly think this is the new normal – I have also been very present in every moment, especially with my daughter. It was not to find a solution and suddenly find a new me, it was simply to focus on what was most important, shut everything else out and simply be. It’s been the most restful weekend even in the midst of all the stuff I’ve had to do.

I guess the clarity of mind helps you see more that’s happening around you and boy I’m marvelled at how much Zoe has grown in 10 months. But most importantly is how much I’ve learnt from her this weekend on resilience.

Resilience doesn’t lose its power because you stop for a moment. The ability to step away from something that seems impossible and come back to it again with fresh eyes saves you from the agony of being burnt out by just the constant push/going at it. She’s been trying new things as she’s found the wonder of standing up on her own and trying to walk. Her fascination has been on a box in the living room which she’s been trying to get to and it’s been challenging. But at her 1st, 2nd or even 10th attempt when she doesn’t get it all figured out, I see her move away to play with something else. She continues with other things and then goes back to try again. And when I least expect it she finally figures out how to get the box off the dinning chair and have unrestricted access to its content.

I almost feel like every time she crawls away there’s a new piece of information her brain process that adds value or insight the next time she goes for it until finally it all adds up to her finding the right solution. I’m sure if she was stuck at it all day she would have gone through the different stages of anger, frustration and self-doubt. As ordinary as it might sound, for me it was revealing just watching her use the same process over and over for everything else. And in that moment when I saw the box open and the content scattered all over the floor, it clicked when they say “first you don’t succeed, pick yourself up and try again” – you can decide how you rise up to start again. You can sit up, breathe, dust the dirt off and give yourself a little time to process and then try again.

I have got one more day with her before its back to work and I intend to play as much as I can in our makeshift tent, talk in baby language all day and constantly put back her cloths and diapers back into the drawer, for some reason its super fun for her to empty out her drawer 🙂

Happy holiday tomorrow if you are part of the lucky ones.

The Dry Skin Saga

After spending most of yesterday at the hospital, I had enough time to think about what I wanted to write next, unfortunately my phone battery was dead so it pretty much was all up in my head until this morning. I knew I had to write about my battle with Zoe’s dry skin (eczema, dermatitis,), you name it, we’ve seen it.

If someone had told me this will be something I would have to deal with, I wouldn’t have believed in a million years! Aside from chicken pox, I rarely have any skin issues and I don’t look after my skin half as much as I should. I guess I took it for granted my daughter will have flawless skin (which she’s still set to have as I hear they grow out of this phase).

Zoe came out all flaky after spending 2 weeks extra in my tummy, so the first few weeks it was more dry and flaky skin we had to contend with and being the typical Nigerian mum I was ready with my Shea-butter at my side but to my surprise, my little miss reacted to Shea-butter so we had to stop and moved over to Oilatum. After 4 weeks of using it, her skin was still getting dryer and flakier and she had a breakout of rashes which started to itch her badly; making for an uncomfortable mix. Another visit to the GP and we were advised to start using Aveeno and Bath her once every week (we were doing once every other week at this point).

Aveeno worked wonders, brought moisture back to her skin and helped with the rashes – it was great, I had found my magic portion. By month 5 she had this bad skin irritation at the back of her head, down her neck and for the first few weeks the GP misdiagnosed it, we were treating eczema with Cetraben, when later we found it was an infection and we were later prescribed Canesten HC (to be used lightly and sparingly). After a lot of back and forth I stopped using it as it wasn’t getting any better – it did help with the itching I have to say but that was about it.

Fast forward on month later till date she broke out with a bad case of eczema, it was so bad that it covered her had like an extra thick rough layer of skin and she was itching like a junkie. It gradually spread down to her legs and trunk. I have never felt more helpless a mum, it drives me crazy. Anyways, we went back to the GP and they asked we stop using Aveeno and prescribed, Aqueous cream (for bathing as well). After 2 weeks I was back to the GP (saw a different one this time) as there was no improvement. We then moved to Zeroderm and Dermol for her bathing water and Hydrocortisone to be applied to affected areas.

The combination worked wonders for the first 2 weeks and but after that it came with full force; like nasty rebound effect. At this point, a couple of mums advised me to skip Hydrocortisone (not the best for black babies) and every mum seem to have something they used personally or a friend used when their baby had the same issue. I’ve also come to realise that in the UK a lot of Black babies suffer from excessive dry skin. I still can’t figure it out – Why? Some say is the water, my mum says it’s the air 🙂

We are 4 months into this journey and I’ve done more research on this than anything else I have in a very long time. I’ve also done a bit of trial and error to work out the perfect solution – below is my game plan for the next 3 months;

  • Continue bathing once a day (it helped dramatically with the dryness when we started), so I’ll keep at it with Dermol in her water to make it skin friendly
  • I’m going back to Aveeno (complete care set). Experimented with it for 2 days and I’ve seen way better result without a doubt
  • Warm rinse her laundry after every machine wash
  • Increase her veggies intake and cut down a bit on diary

Not a very long list, but let’s see how it goes for the next three months – I’ll keep you posted. If this gets us to the point of an itch-free, clear skin baby, that is a “Bigly Win”.

Random Morning Thought

It’s Good Friday and it’s been ages since I sat to write and today is a good day to write. It’s a holiday here in the UK and it’s quiet in my house. Hubby is asleep and same as Zoe whose been sleeping now for over 10 hours straight – yup the sleep Gini has been good to me. I’m currently listening to Havard Business Review podcast on Spotify on Emotional Agility. Oh I definitely need to get the book to read.

How do you overcome emotional labour (experiencing difficult situation) in the work place? According to the report there are two ways people deal with emotional labour – Bottling (push it aside and try to rationalise it) and Brooding (Over analysing and over obsesses around why things are not working) can either be done individually or co-breeding. Funny both have the same outcome which hinder your ability to solve the core problem!

Hmmmm… which am I? I’m definitely a Brooder for sure – who becomes a ticking time bomb. But I love the way the lady explains how your emotion takes total control of you; “your emotion has you hooked”. At the end of the day our power to choose between that space of emotional stimulus and action is critical.

As humans we have a minimum of 16,000 unspoken thoughts each day – wow! Imagine if our mouth opens up every time, what a freaking disaster that will be. But it’s also amazing that out of all those thoughts it’s just a few that takes hold of us and ends up controlling and influencing your day and decision. Do we give our thoughts too much power?

This has finally got me thinking about Zoe and how I manage conversations with her to ensure she understands her emotions are not bigger than who she is and can make decisions above them and push past them … hopefully I get this right!

Crazy how a podcast has totally derailed me from what I wanted to write –lol! Well I’ll leave my battle with Zoe’s dry skin for another post. I can hear someone crying which means I’m done writing. Let the day begin.

All this brings to mind the following scriptures;

“Guard your heart more than anything else, because the source of life flows from it” (Proverbs 4:23 – GW Version)

“…. The things people say come from inside the” (Luke 6:45 –GW version)

 

 

 

 

Teething Nightmare

The last 3 weeks have been draining to say the least. Don’t get me wrong there have been great moments of joy but overall it’s been a little challenging dealing with all the teething drama.

Zoe started teething and without a doubt I was sure this time. There was no drooling involved just good old-fashioned cranky baby with burning fever, diarrhoea, loss of apatite and very swollen gums. My sweet baby was down! I personally thought this had to be something else; how does teeth popping out have such an effect on the rest of the body. But yup it was teething alright – thanks to an emergency A&E visit when her fever went over 40 degree. We were sent home to comfort our baby and wait it out. If you know me you know waiting isn’t my strongest virtue.

Calpol became the constant in our day – to be honest I wasn’t sure if it was helping much after day 4. But we stuck to it alongside other teething remedies and good old non-stop cuddling and cold water compress for her fever.

The  low apatite and restless sleeping got to me  as the lack of sleep was making my day at worker much harder. Also, we were just entering the space of her sleeping through the night and then this happened taking us backwards. Most importantly watching her move to an all formula milk diet (as she’s officially off breast milk) made me appreciate breastfeeding and how cost-effective it is.

Honestly my heart broke for her – I could only imagine how much pain she must have felt and that moved me to be extra loving! Any ways, we are out of the woods for now with one tiny tooth finally out. Not to sound ungrateful I was hoping after all that drama a minimum of 2 would pop out together. But we are enjoying our one tiny tooth for the moment and causing a lot of havoc with it.

I’m now well prepared for the next teething phase with a few learning from my recent experience

  • Be open to try different things when soothing teething pain – giving baby options to decide worked well for us. We explored, teething rings, cold teething keys, Sophie the Giraffe, cushion rolls (similar texture to stress balls), teething granules, cold veggie sticks just to name a few 🙂
  • Finger rub on the gum is golden – with clean fingers of course 
  • Be prepared for anything – from bum rash to explosive poo or even excessive coughing
  • Be patient with baby (if you are like me) this is a phase and it would soon be over
  • Don’t get burnt out – try to find little Zen moments to recharge. Use your support system as much as possible

What have you used to battle Teething pain/discomfort with  your baby?

International Women’s Day

Life happens is something you hear a lot and I have to say I’m truly beginning to understand what that means. It’s been awhile since I picked up my phone to write – life has been happening. However, today is one of those few days I don’t have a to-do list that eats up my “me time” during my morning commute to work. I sense it’s gonna be a good day x

Today is International Women’s day and all over the world Women will be celebrated, the female  agenda will be highlighted and pushed further in its journey while at the same time some women will cover their pain, bear the grunt of an unfair world, hope and dream of more. Yes that’s the world we live in – not balanced or perfect but made a little better by every good act.

I’ve never been a loud advocate but I am a supporter of many and today like any other day I believe in education for her, equal opportunity for her, good healthcare for her, protection and respect for her and most importantly celebration and delight in her. Being a mum makes me reflect on a few Women that have shaped me and challenged me.

I celebrate these women today! They may not be famous but they have strength unfathomable.

  • My mum: she’s the strongest and bravest woman I know. Her passion for her family, her desire for us to have more, her determination to stretch herself beyond believe to give us better has made me who I am today and compels me to be more for my daughter. She taught me to me to work hard, to live beyond a man and to trust my instinct.
  • My godmother: though she’s passed on, she was an entrepreneur extraordinaire – A teacher, baker, tailor, florist. Name it, she did it. She was a woman who paved her own way in life and lived full and loud. I loved the way she would boast about me – was a really good confidence booster!
  • My Literature teacher in secondary school (can’t remember her name for the life of me). I still can picture her really slim frame, her soft voice and deep eyes that held lots of untold story. She was the first person outside of my family I can clearly remember to tell me I was special and loved the way my mind processed worked. Just to impress her I read “The beautiful Ones are not yet born” by Ayi Kwei Armah and trust me at 15 that wasn’t an easy book to read and write a paper on.

My life is full of great women; from my Sister-in-laws, to friends from university, friends from church and work … their stories are full and colourful, their dreams are bold and inspiring.

Happy International Women’s day to you all and cheers to the journey x

New Week, New Horizon

It’s a new week and I’m fully getting into the swing of things. Last week was full of highs and lows and I’m praying this week is more of the highs.

Zoe started nursery last week and settled in pretty fast. First day in nursery wasn’t so easy for her and me. My baby cried most of the day and I just felt this strange heaviness all day at work and i was so looking forward to picking her up. By day 2 my little champion was totally ready and aced the day like a boss and did so all through the remaining of the week. There was no more crying I was told, she played more with other kids and she even made a new friend. I’m so happy to know she’s settling in well and getting a hang of it and her face when I pick her up beams with so much joy which made each day come full circle in a very good way. However, the real gem of last week was Zoe finally taking formula all through the week and even more surprising – sleeping through the night. Which has been a huge welcome but my delight was cut short by Friday when she took ill (I know everyone warned me she would get all sort at nursery). But this was the first time she’s been sick and it was heartbreaking for me. Was also weird seeing her refusing to eat her food, considering how much of a foodie she has become. Thankfully a mixture Calpol, a milk only diet weekend and an overdose of love has her feeling much better, still a bit clingy though. I’m hoping going back to nursery today after the weekend won’t be too hard for her. On a differnt note, It’s individual photo shoot day today at her nursery and i can’t wait to see the pictures – she loves the camera 🙂

This weekend I was reminded of how little the control I have over Zoe especially over stuff like sickness but I’m glad there is a God who has sole control and being able to rely on him and be carried through is a blessing I no longer take for granted. All in all I had a great week and looking forward to an even bigger one this week with new milestones.

Have a fabulous week everyone x

Back to Work

My first week back at work reminds me of the first day I started with my company, the only difference is I know my way around and I’m less scared. I came back to my role still filled with my maternity cover so it’s been more of an ease back to work situation rather than a deep dive. Which I guess should be okay, but I’ve officially come to accept I love the pump and pace! Until I’m in it, all I want is some calm, lol (The human mind and our constant need for what we don’t have). Nonetheless, I’ve come to appreciate it.

So far I’ve found going back to work pretty okay – I haven’t been consumed with mummy mushiness of missing my little person and I’m pretty excited to get my teeth into something new and get consumed with work (I can so feel my workaholic self). To be honest work has come to be my little escape and I’m loving the time away. Zoe starts crèche in 2 days and I’m feeling a bit guilty leaving her with strangers for 10 hours during the day. I know I shouldn’t , I know she would settle in and love it, but I guess is that feeling of protectiveness and mummy love that always wants her close by so you know she’s okay at all times. Well, there isn’t much I can do so I’m marching on and embracing this new life totally and figuring the right balance which is the skill at having it all. If there is one thing though that makes my day worthwhile, is coming back to her and the pure joy and excitement on her face when she sees me walk through the door – for one week now that has been my moment of Zen!

My first week has also been full of forgetting stuff, it’s like I’ve forgotten how to properly pack for work; from failing to pack the suction part of my breast pump and having to express with my hands, to forgetting my glasses and having strained eyes all day and constantly forgetting my work pass. I swear something’s never change; while on maternity I was always forgetting stuff when packing for outings. More and more each day though, I’m beginning to realise a key part of slaying working mum has to be effective prepping and I have to truly ace this (in my own way of course).

Aside from forgetting important stuff, the commute has been truly gangster. Its takes me 2 hours from door to door, which is taking me awhile to get my head around it. To give a bit of context, before baby it took me 50 mins door to door from our former place to work so you can see why I feel the way I do. But I hear commuting is one of the true mark of a Londoner – so I guess I’m earning my stripes! So far I’m trying to look onto the positives; more time to catch up on my reading, morning devotionals, podcast and some comedic satire on American politics but I still feel the bite if I’m totally honest. I guess a time is coming where I won’t even think about it at all, I salute all the experienced commuters. I’ve thought of driving, (as I just passed my driving test, Yippee!) but honestly I don’t think I’ll like that either. I love the comfort and freedom the train gives me to relax before I’m thrown into world of work. Let’s see how it goes, I might feel otherwise after a while.

It seems I’m off to a good start and I’m enjoying using this chilled out time to catch up on what’s been happening since I left but also being inspired on what limits the external market is pushing. I feel like a new person, hopefully I don’t lose it. I need to protect it and see how much growth I can cramp in before baby no 2 🙂

The End of Maternity Leave

I’ve got a little over 24hours left before I resume back to work and I can’t believe it’s time already. I took 8 months off and at the start of my leave I thought it was going to be bloody long, well this has definitely been the shortest 8 months of my life. I had a plan of how prepared I would be ahead of resuming. I was to give myself a good pamper a week before; nails, massage, hair, shopping the full works but that has so not happened, not even top 3 priority! Phew.

I just spent the last few hours rummaging through my wardrobe trying to find something that fits and would do justice to my post baby tummy by giving it a good cover up. Nothing seems to work and with me still breastfeeding, mummy boobs isn’t making it any easy. I can feel that sad, too fat thought creeping in to take over a prime position in my mind. I hate this and I’m not about to get myself down & blue. So I’ve decided to make myself a cup of coffee and pick up my gratitude journal to write down what I’m grateful for because I sometimes forget that and get all hung up on stuff.
Fact: I gave birth 6 months ago and I haven’t gotten around to loosing the baby weight as much as I would love too and that’s okay, doesn’t make me less beautiful or sexy. Hopefully with me going back to work I can get back to my healthy routine. 

Okay weight issues aside I think I’m now ready to go back to work (largely due to the fact I’ve finally settled childcare – which needs its own post). I’m looking forward to getting back to my own thing, doing what I’m good at and gearing up for the next phase of my career. The only thing I’m not sure of yet is how I’ll manage with missing my little person – I’ve spent every moment with her for the past 6 months and now a full chunk of my day will be without her, I sense it will be a tough one and I’m so not looking forward to this part of going back. 
Another thing I feel a bit unprepared for is potentially expressing at work, not sure if I have too yet, but most likely will as Zoe has refused formula and I need to provide milk for the nursery. I’ve started expressing and storing in the freezer to create a little bank for her first few weeks. I’ll see how that goes, might mean I still need to wear my breastfeeding tops come to think of it. Yoh! The things you get to worry about in this new amazing life.
My Apple Watch has just reminded me to “Take a minute to breathe” – perfect timing ….. I’ll take a deep breath now and just chill because it’s going to be alright. 

If you’ve got any tips to share on going back to work after maternity I’d love to hear from you x

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑