All in Motherhood

Mumfessions: My Life and Reality as a Mummy Blogger

In recent times, we’ve seen the rise of “mummy bloggers.” In fact, some digital commentators argue that this category of bloggers, digital creators and influencers are the best kinds of people to showcase or market your product as a result of their trustworthy and relatable nature. A popular YouTube influencer jokingly noted that if you wanted a spike in viewership or subscribers, have a kid or two!

On the flip side, there’s also been a lot of bashing of such bloggers particularly in relation to the fine line of exposing their kids, oversharing, profiting off them for brand campaigns and generally putting them out there. It’s for this reason that some people are quick to denounce the title of mummy blogger. Others, however, feel that they are so much more than just a mum, and refuse to let a limiting tag define them or what they like to blog about.

In this Mumfessions feature, Tola Adeoti, who was born and raised in Nigeria but moved to the United States 20 years ago, proudly accepts her '‘mummy blogger” title. Mum to two beautiful girls — Simi who is 6 and Temi who is 2 — she describes her blog for mums as “your girlfriend having a good ole chat with you.”

Motherhood + Career/Business: 8 Tips to Make It Work

Few days ago, as I set out for work and took a quick selfie with my son, crouched in front of our mirror in the hallway, I thought to myself how I was behind on some of the goals I had set for myself—mostly because these days I was pretty exhausted to do anything else.

And then I remembered the question someone had asked me: “how does one not let motherhood deter your career or business goals?” I knew she didn’t have a child yet so I asked if she was having a baby soon. She responded in the negative but explained that she was just thinking ahead. No surprise there—many women often wonder just how much they can combine their business/career goals with motherhood.

As I gave her several tips, I knew that it should definitely be a full on blog post. Truth is, although it seems like a paradox, motherhood in some innate way almost acts as a propeller to dream big, innovate, and smash those goals. As Sheryl says in her excellent book Lean In, Motherhood is not the time to go slow, it’s actually the time to step on the accelerator!

6 Women on Why They Don't Want to Have Children

From a very young age, some women are children inclined—they play with dolls, play pretend mummy, have names picked out for their kids and imagine themselves in that role. That was not me. I didn’t think much about having children, but at the same time, I don’t think I ever considered the possibility of not having a family with kids. And now, having prepared myself for it and fully certain—raising my son has to be the most beautiful thing. It’s such a privilege and an utmost honour.

In a recent conversation with a friend, a first time mum to a gorgeous toddler, she said and I paraphrase “I love this child so much—much more than I could ever imagine. But sometimes I wonder. Did I really want kids or is it something I did because society expects.”

In this feature, 6 women share why they’re pretty certain kids are not for them! And they answer some pressing questions. Is it selfish to not want kids? What happens to you in old age? What are the underlying reasons or fears? Will they take permanent avoidance measures? What if their partners want kids?

Mumfessions: Living and Raising Children in Saudi Arabia

My closest interaction with Saudi Arabia happened a couple of years ago, via a law student who was interning at the law firm I worked. We would often grab lunch together and she would talk about how much she loved London. But when she spoke of Saudi Arabia, you could also hear the fondness in her voice. I looked forward to her stories, and many times I’ll catch myself wondering what it would feel like to live there - having  grown up in a society that I considered quite different.

In today’s Mumfessions, Abubele Green, fondly known as Bubu puts some of our curiosity to rest. From the southern part of Nigeria—Rivers State, with three kids under five, she lived in Saudi Arabia for a number of years until recently when her family relocated to Grenada.

She shares a lot about her experience in this Middle East country: from why she moved there, her misconceptions and culture shocks as well as raising kids and making mum friends.

Mumfessions: On Marrying Young and Raising Five Kids at 28

Ify and I had a few mutual friends online. She had a first class undergraduate law degree and lived in the same town as I did, so when on one of her posts she seemed to be considering legal practice in the UK, I reached out to help. And the rest, as they say, is history. She’s one of the most hands-on people I know. From cooking to baking, sewing to knitting, hair-braiding, and soap-making, Ify seems able to do it all. As long as there are no heights involved—she’s afraid of heights.

At the moment, however, she’s mostly a stay-at-home mom. Ify says, “I do freelance consulting work and oversee certain aspects of the cases handled by my husband’s firm.”

At twenty-eight and after eight years of marriage, she’s had five kids. In this Mumfession feature, she shares her experience as a young mum of five! Ify discusses a lot—from the joys of having a large family, the impact of motherhood on her career and marriage, a terrifying moment as a mother, and of course some helpful advice for other mums!

From Dating to Parenting: How my Love Language Has Changed After 12 Years

My husband and I have now been together going on 12 years—married for almost 5—and have a 16-month-old. In this time, I’ve noticed my love language change.

Knowing your love language and communicating it to your partner is essential in a relationship—otherwise, your partner might be expending so much on gestures that mean nothing to you. In his book, The Five Love Languages, Gary Chapman claims that of the five, most people will only really have two dominant ones. According to him, the five love languages are:

- Gifts: Gifts and thoughtful gestures are important. Even small gifts go a long way to please such people.

- Quality Time: Focused and uninterrupted one-on-one time time is key. Special moments.

- Words of Affirmation:  They want to hear you affirm your love in spoken words, a note, text, or card.

- Acts of Service: They want you to help and alleviate their workload.

- Physical Touch: Be near, in person; hold hands. They value physical touch and intimacy.

Okay, on to my love language through the seasons!

10 Bookstagram Mums to Follow for Some Serious Inspiration

Are you on #Bookstagram? If you’re unsure what the term means, then you’re probably yet to step into the world of books on Instagram. Bookstagram is Instagram’s book community teeming with #shelfies, #bookaddicts, and fans of #amreading (that is, reading in the AM). Also on Bookstagram, however, are another group of favourites - mums!

In this post, I’m shining a spotlight on some of my favourite mamas on Instagram. These women somehow manage to runs homes, care for their kids, read A LOT, and then do us the favour of sharing their reading lives (and sometimes those of their kids too!).

Here are ten of my favourite Bookstagram mums.

Mumfession: Redundancy, a Masters Degree & a New Baby!

There were a few things I knew I wanted to have settled to a large extent before I had a baby. One was my education - up to masters level. And the other was a relatively decent position in my career. And it seemed like it had gone according to plan. But then, just before my maternity leave was set to commence, I knew I had to resign. Now this was a voluntary decision. But even at that, I felt a lot of uncertainty and nerves.

How much worse would I have felt, if I’d been made redundant and at the same time pregnant? In today’s Mumfession feature, Kemi shares how she navigated through all of that. From being made redundant, unexpected results, giving up a few dreams, leaning on the shoulders of others to the one thing that made it all worth it.

Mumfession: My Life as a Mum with Sickle Cell Disease

I’ve wanted to start this column for the longest time, and I’m so glad we have our first feature. Mumfessions is simply a space for mums to talk about their real life as mums, giving us the unfiltered real truth in a way we may not ordinarily hear about or even think of.

Basically mums + confessions. 

And today, we’re starting off with Elozona, a public health specialist in the UK, wife and mum to two lovely boys who is fascinated with motor bikes and wants to own one! She has Sickle Cell Anaemia (SS) or Sickle Cell Disease (SCD), an inherited blood disease - and shares with us some of her experiences, challenges and advice.

The Return to Work after Maternity Leave: 8 Tips to Make it Easier & Make You Excel

Speaking from personal experience and that of those around me, it’s safe to say that many career-focused or career-inclined women often have a lingering doubt about how having kids would affect their career; and it is not an insensitive concern to be treated lightly. Having children does take a huge toll on you - physically and mentally. Ridiculously enough, many organizations have failed to create an atmosphere where mothers feel like they can thrive.

Women are often seen to be less competent once matters relating to a child come up. As a simple example: if a man requests to work remotely because he is having improvements done in his home, he is not judged in any negative way but if a woman requests to work from home due to a child care emergency, she could be slightly perceived, albeit unconsciously as not being very organized.

There are lots of improvements that organizations have to do to be truly inclusive, and ensure that women and mothers feel more included and valued. But that’s a whole different kettle of fish for another day. Today, let us focus on how best woman can return to work strong after maternity leave.