Tag Archives: Love

Kilasi omo ti a lọ -Baby classes we attend

Once I had given birth to my little girl, gotten into the swing of breastfeeding (without the pain) and maternity leave (it feels great not waking up early to go to work), I decided to enrol onto some baby classes. I felt that it would be a great way to meet new mums, stimulate my daughters’ brain and provide us with a structure that meant we were out of the house every day.

I first signed up to Mini Mozart classes for the term (Sept – Dec). These classes were GREAT – I think I enjoyed it more than my daughter did (then again she was only 5 weeks old at the time). The class features one or more live instruments with a piano accompanist. The babies and toddlers get up close and touch the instruments, before enjoying a classic story such as ‘The Ugly Duckling’ or ‘The Gingerbread Man’ with incorporates bubbles, parachute, puppets and lots of singing. The music is heavily centred around Mozart and Beethoven which is a great way to introduce concepts of pitch, rhythm, dynamics and tempo.

Another class we signed up to was Baby Sensory . This class is run by a large franchise, so you should hopefully be able to find a class relatively close to your home. Again, we signed up for the term and found the organisation of the class to be great and the teacher was most welcoming and very engaging.  Each week, a new theme was presented and a vast array of props were used to engage the babies. Over the winter, we have been treated to themes such as ‘French Week’ and ‘Sea Life’. We attended an epic Baby Sensory themed Christmas party in December with laid on a great spread for us mum and the babies were given presents.

The class is very relaxed and breastfeeding or bottle feeding is completely encouraged if the baby needs a feed. There are a nice selection of toys and baby gyms scattered around the room to keep all babies entertained during the class and a 15 min break in between, means that you can squeeze in a nappy change and a chinwag with the other mums.

I also enrolled my daughter onto swimming classes with Water Babies. My daughter has definitely enjoyed swimming (apart from the odd day or two when teething has been intense), she often laughs and giggles whilst having a splash about. We’re currently on our second term and enjoyed an underwater photo shoot a couple of weeks ago.

We did a Baby Massage course for a month when she was 10 weeks old. It was a great way for us to bond further and develop the instinctive healing power of touch which is a baby’s first form of communication. So definitely have a look around your local area to see which courses or classes are running. You might find that it’s easier to attend when your baby is between the ages of 0-6 months and they’re less mobile.

Some of the other classes we are looking into signing up to next term are Sing and Sign, and we’re potentially going to trial Monkey Music and Hartbeeps (also run by large franchises).

When we’re not attending classes, we venture out to the cinema. We frequent The Electric Cinema, Lexi Cinema and Everyman Cinema  whenever there’s a film I really want to see…like Fifty Shades Darker, Fences, Hidden Figures, Mooonlight etc which are some of the films we have recently been to see. Most cinemas run parent/carer and baby screenings on a weekday morning, some offer a hot drink and a slice of delicious cake with your ticket price, so check out your local cinema.

Remember that having a baby doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy life like you used to. In fact, in my opinion, life just got better!!!

Which baby classes have you attended? Have you found any great classes? What are your favourites? I would love to hear from you.

Until next time…. O dabọ (goodbye)

Idi ti obi yẹ ki o wa rẹ akọkọ idojukọ -Why parenting should be your first focus

So, my daughter has had a few play-dates with a little girl that’s a week older than her. At 6 months old they sit side-by-side babbling to each other, pulling each other’s hands and feet (it’s ever so cute). They’re both at the age of not wanting to share, so give them a packet of wipes and they could spend a good 30 mins snatching it off each other (again, it’s ever so cute).

Whilst our babies babble and play, we mums have a chinwag about life, relationships and baby classes. The little girls’ mum is in a same-sex relationship and her daughter was conceived via IVF. To my understanding, the couple didn’t lay out pros and cons before making a logical and rational decision about becoming parents. It was a simple case of both women wanting to be mums, one wanted to experience birth and the other one didn’t. However, this mum recently expressed her fears about how other parents might react towards her family dynamic, especially among friendship circles when her daughter starts school. Now we all know that children are very accepting and open, but sadly society often teaches them how to be bias. There are adults who raise their children to be hateful and intolerant towards others and this is something to consider as we raise our children.

As a teacher and now a parent, I’m a firm advocate in children socialising with people from different backgrounds whether they’re: gay, straight, conservative, liberal, Christian, Jewish or Muslim etc…in today’s day and age, I don’t believe that it’s advisable to necessarily shelter your children too much. They’ll be living in this world and they’re going to have to learn to relate to people from a wide variety of backgrounds and all walks of life.

I personally think it’s important to get to know the parents of the children and understand their lifestyle and whether or not you’re comfortable with it and I’m not solely referring to same-sex parents. For instance, there might be an independent mother who brings part-time lovers home on a regular basis, or a dad who’s involved within the pornography industry etc etc… How comfortable would you feel about your child having a play-date at their house?

Parents have a duty to train and educate their children and to also protect them emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually whilst maintaining an open heart and sharing love and respect to those who don’t necessarily share your principles. It’s important to remember that respecting people doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your values and principles. Nonetheless, you will always be your child’s most effective teacher.

This blog is open to all opinions…and I’d love to hear from you, irrespective of whether or not you have children.

If you’re a parent with very strict religious beliefs, how would you feel about your child playing with children from a different background to your own?

If you weren’t comfortable with a family’s lifestyle, do you believe that it’s appropriate to establish guidelines and reasonable boundaries from a young age?

 Please feel free to comment below, all views and opinions are welcome. 

Mo wa ko jẹbi – I’m not guilty

Whether you’re a mother or not, I’m sure that you can relate to the statement above. However, there is no denying that elements of guilt intensify more so when you become a mother. Whether it’s how you choose to feed your baby, the type of nappy your baby wears, clothes your baby wears and even how you transport your baby. In fact, it’s fair to say that becoming a mother can lead you down a long road of feeling guilty, particularly when you share your choices with other people.

I’ve categorically made a decision to not be bound by guilt for the next 18+ years of my daughter’s life. Unabashedly, I will parent her in the way that I deem is necessary. I will do right for my family, whether that’s co-sleeping (which we do regularly), I will breastfeed and or express for as long as I want to (which I do proudly), I’ll continue to purchase disposable nappies (as the idea of rinsing poo is not for me), I’ll mix purees and do a bit of baby-led weaning (because that way I can ensure that my baby is actually being fed and not simply gnawing on a carrot stick to relieve her irritable gums) and I’ll speak Yoruba – (my heritage language) to her daily (as I believe that from birth to age three, language is acquired and naturally picked up rather than learnt).

When people ask me about her sleeping habits (not that it’s any of their business…lol) the conversation goes something along the line of this…

Mummy: So how many times does your daughter wake during the night?

Me: *clears throat* She doesn’t wake up during the night.

Mummy: What do you mean? Does she sleep straight through?

Me: Yes she does.

Mummy: When you mean straight through, like what time would she go to bed and what time does she wake up?

Me: I put her down between 9:30 – 10pm and she’ll wake up at 9am, sometimes later.

Mummy: WHAT!? HOW!? You’re so lucky. No wonder why you always look so fresh faced and chilled. How old was she when she started sleeping through the night?

Me: *sheepishly answers* Since the night she was born.

Mummy: (looking at me like I have TEN heads) WOW!!! Unicorn baby or what? How!!??You lucky cow, if only we could all have babies like that. Gosh, haven’t you got it good. I haven’t slept more than an hour since this one was born, I’m up constantly through the night its torture…..blah blah blah…

Gbogbo m lo yat – Every child is different

To gain the upper hand they might throw in a comment such as “I hope you don’t co-sleep as that’ll become a bad habit as she gets older.” In my head I’m thinking… “What bad habit am I creating”? I’m hardly going to co-sleep with her until she’s 8 years old, or 16 or 25!!! Am I creating a bad habit by not teaching her to use a spoon at 6 months old? Will she eat with her hands for the rest of her life? No, she won’t (nobody is raising a scavenger out here #justsaying).

These things that people often say to try and make me feel guilty, only last for a short while. I literally let it go straight over my head – otherwise ma br wahala – I’ll start trouble. We mothers are constantly told that;

If he/she cries, leave them or else they’ll learn to cry to get what they want….WAIT….isn’t that what being a baby is all about? How else are they meant to communicate with us before learning to talk??? I mean, I don’t know about you, but I have things to do on a daily basis. Luckily for me, I’m 29, I have a mouth and a wide vocabulary at my disposal, along with a pair or arms and legs which helps me to do things for myself. Therefore, until my daughter learns how to say “Mummy, I want a cuddle. Can you please pick me up?” I’ll deal with the fussing and the odd cry how I choose.

Imagine having a crap day at work – horrendous – your colleagues have back-stabbed you, you made a major mistake on a team project that has cost the company thousands of pounds, on top of that your manager has called you in for a serious meeting to express concerns about your competency, and all you want to do is go home, call a friend, have a friend listen to you, give you a hug and eat a huge bar of chocolate and eat a tub of ice-cream with you. Then imagine someone says to your friend “Don’t bother listening to her right now, she’s just trying to get what she wants. If you take her for chocolate and ice-cream now, she’ll always depend on you to take her for ice-cream and chocolate whenever she’s having a bad day. Do you really want that to become a habit?

SHUT THE FRONT DOOR…THIS IS WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR!

This thought process wouldn’t work for us adults, so why would we apply a similar mentality towards a baby who can’t communicate in the way that we do?

So like I said before, the guilt has been thrown out of the window. Unless you are the mother of my child, then nobody else’s opinion matters in the way that I choose to do things. Any ‘habits’ that I do or don’t create will be my consequences to bear.

Quite frankly, I’m fine that my daughter will love me and need me and want me to help her. I’m fine with my daughter knowing that she can come to me and say:

“Mum, I’ve had a bad day, can I snuggle up with you?”

“Mum, the dark scares me, can you hold my hand?”

“Mum, I just miss you, can I have a hug?

“Mum, I’m in pain, can you make me feel better please?”

Because right now, these are probably some of the things she’d like to say, but she doesn’t have the words just yet.

Please do feel free to comment below. I’d be interested to hear from those of you who have heard all or some of the above since becoming a parent.

 

A gbọdọ ka – A must read (‘Sharenting’)

It’s pretty obvious why I don’t post pictures of my five year old daughter on my blog, considering it’s a blog about us rebuilding our lives after she was sexually abused. I don’t have a Facebook, Instagram or any personal social media accounts for exactly the same reason. We disappeared from our old life, and […]

via Sharenting: Pictures of Your Kids Online, Yes or No? — Life As We Know It

Abiyamo ni osu mefa – Motherhood at 6 months

It’s been 6 months?! I’ve been a mummy for 6 months already?! I still pinch myself at the thought sometimes. So much has happened in such a short space of time and it’s not just been physical, but more so mentally, spiritually, emotionally and possibly even egotistically.

I came across this quote a little while back;

“In giving birth to our babies, we may find that we give birth to new possibilities within ourselves.” – Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn

The first time I read it, I felt nothing, it meant nothing to me. It was just one of those quotes you read and thought…”meh…whatever…” However, after connecting with motherhood and reading this quote multiple times over, I find that I’m deeply connected to the words more so now than ever before. I find myself exploring ideas and new ventures that I had never even considered before. They say the mindset of a woman changes when she becomes a mother and boy don’t I know it now??!!! Billions of women have ventured before us and found their way and that’s just what it’s been….their way. What I realise is that you can read every book, talk to all the other mum’s at classes and soft plays but whether they’re experienced or not, they might provide you with some direction but not necessarily THE ANSWER. The answers are our own job to find…you have to find what’s right for you and your child. We’ll try everything. We’ll fail at some things. We’ll mess up a few times. Possibly feel lost 50-100% of the time. Feeling overwhelmed more than you care to concede. You might even feel like you are spending a lot of time driving through thick clouds of fog just trying to fiercely to find your way.

As I watch Iman these days I have a hard time believing that it wasn’t so long ago that I held her for the first time, that I bathed her for the first time and those first few breastfeeding weeks weren’t that long ago. Motherhood has been an amazing journey for me. As someone who has always been excited about the prospect of having children but also self-focused on my career. I had always hoped and prayed that this time would work out for me.  There have been big ups and downs and these are things that I plan to talk about in future posts, but more than anything I look back at photos from the days of pregnancy, birth and the first few weeks and I see a beautiful new version of myself. Iman has changed me in all the best ways possible. I’m so happy that I haven’t lost myself anywhere along the lines. Instead, I’m here feeling as if I am more of myself than I ever thought I could be. I feel I have all strong handle on who I am becoming in this new role.  I like this Latifah far better, irrespective of the journey that brought me here.

Being a mother is amazing but it has its challenging moments. Though I haven’t struggled with PND or PPA, I’m pleased to say that I’ve been able to offer support to women I know that have. Over the last 6 months, I have been able to share real honest and raw details of our motherhood experiences with other new and experienced mum’s. We’ve celebrated the big things and the little things to support one another without judgement through the hardest things. From fussy nights, to postpartum depression to breastfeeding ending sooner than hoped to finding the balance as mum’s and career women or entrepreneurs to physical recoveries to vaccinations and weaning. I have grown to really appreciate the importance of friends who are there for you without judgement, who believe the same things, who fight for the same things with their child or children and are there for you no matter what!

Irrespective of the journey over the last 6 months. I have never felt more complete in my life. Iman’s developing awareness of the world around her is exhilarating and I know it won’t be much longer before I’m chasing her around the place. I’d say I’ve hit a point where I’m learning to loosen the reigns and let her explore and figure things out for herself even at this young age. I see parts of her personality showing and I know it’s only going to get better and better. She lights up my world every day that I feel like I could explode. No matter what, she will always be the No.1 love of my life. My focus has shifted to wanting to build a life that is all about providing her with the greatest life I can and that itself creates so much clarity in life. Therefore, surrounding myself with people that make me better, is a key part of my motherhood journey.

Iman has always been and will always be my calm during the storm. I can’t necessarily put it into words but every time I look at her, I know everything will be just fine. I’m enjoying every second of every day with her and looking forward to all the next development leaps.

So mum’s and dad’s, how did you feel at 6 months? Anything trying or hard about this time? What would you say has been your best part thus far?

If you have a question please add it below!!!