They say the first year in a child’s life is the provides the most exponential growth period in anyone’s life, adolescence coming a close second. The physical, mental, and emotional growth is nothing short of astounding. This is a period of so much growth for the parent as well as I can honestly say that I have really evolved as a person in the last 12 months. Here is some new perspective I have gathered as a parent so far:
I have grown up with the knowledge that human beings have three basic needs, food, clothing, and shelter. As a parent, I know instinctively that this is the bare minimum I must strive to provide for my offspring. After acquiring the three, getting my young one to utilize and appreciate them is kind of challenging. Ok. Not the shelter so much, though he mostly prefers the outdoors. However, putting clothes on him counts as a workout these days. Feeding him has me in the market for a hazmat suit (thank you New Yorker cartoon for this suggestion) and summoning all my patience convincing myself that he will eventually get it, food is for his own benefit.
I remember this one time; my friend and I were talking to some guy who was telling us his version of how to take care of a woman. It started off quite well, he told us how a man should treat a woman with kindness, offer gifts every so often. How it is important to keep a woman happy for in return she will keep him happy, then he adds, but when she does wrong you need to discipline her so that she does not repeat it.
Most people who know me consider me a strong person. I totally agree with them because the dress fits. I am extremely resilient, it takes a lot to shake me and even when I am shaken, it rarely shows. I fall and get right back and I rarely give up, I will keep on trying and trying till I get a result that I can live with. Failing most times for me is not an option and I will always fight for the things and people that I hold dear. However, having a child is threatening this definition of me
I have concluded that either, parents suffer from amnesia, lie through their teeth, or think that if they say that they remember how it felt like to not be parents […]
Sometimes the only way to fully grasp the gravity of a situation is to be put smack in the middle of the said situation. For me, this was traveling with a baby. Sure, we've had short trips, 3 hours max, this though counting from the departure point my house in Nairobi to the destination point in Mombasa was an overwhelming 9 hours.
The world is skewed in favor of the man. Men are privileged even from birth with some communities placing a higher value on a male birth over a female one. It's a sad world where a child's life can end before it begins, for the simple mistake of being the wrong 'gender'. Patriarchy favors men at home, at work and even by infrastructure design.
Having done this adult thing for a few years, I think it's a scam. As children, we couldn't grow up fast enough. We had this idea that once we grew up, everything we wanted would be ours for the taking. No more bedtimes, curfews, not being bought what you want, school. Childhood looked so oppressive but in hindsight was it really? Do you ever just look back and think,"wow! I had it good"
There are so many differences between the time my mother raised me and the time period that I am raising my child. My mother calls my parenting style, new-age parenting and constantly comments on how things have changed. Some things she finds completely astounding, some she actually relates to and says her generation did something similar and others she actually says she wishes she knew then.
Whenever you look around, you see images of women who seem to be doing it all and without breaking a sweat. You see mothers who handle successful careers, having functional relationships, parenting the perfect kids and still manage to smile almost round the clock and going on and on how motherhood is the most beautiful and glorious thing that ever happened to them.
I first saw Tiffany Haddish on The Carmichael Show but it wasn't until I saw her on an entrance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert that she really stood out. She's was so full of energy and confidence and I was in awe. From then on I have been lowkey obsessed and she hasn't disappointed me yet. Everyone loved her on the girls trip, her comedy special was bomb too. I am currently reading, The black unicorn and I can't stop laughing. You almost read it the way she speaks.
Coming into motherhood, all I knew about breastfeeding was that it was apparently the best way to nourish my child and that it would help burn the pregnancy weight. All the photographs you see and stories told to paint a fairy tale experience that makes you really want to be part of the club.
I am a fruit lover. I love almost all fruits except guava which, I frankly think is not a fruit anyway and pawpaw. Right now mangoes and plums are in season and we thought why not attempt to make some homemade jam. The results were pretty awesome and not for a first attempt, I can immodestly and honestly say, it's the best jam I ever tasted. The whole process took just under two hours.
I have gone through depression before. Not many people know this and some of the people close to me will know this for the first time as they read this. It was a strange time. I am not ready to share the details that led to this state. I wasn't even consciously aware that I was in this state till a friend offered help.
I love being a mother. I feel like I should put this up as a disclaimer for people who may be quick to judge me for this piece based on the title. I love my little boy. The way he smiles at me and melts my worries at least for that moment. The way he knocks down my phone when he wants my attention while I'm talking to somebody on the other line. His tiny hands grabbing and burrowing into to me when a stranger wants to pick him up or just say hi. I could go on and on. Motherhood is one of the most beautiful things to happen to me and I shall forever be grateful.
Living or should I say surviving in Nairobi is not for the faint-hearted. Nairobi and Kenya, in general, is extremely expensive. Yet the cost just keeps going higher!!! Sadly, most of our income does not increase at the same rate as our expenses do. Most Nairobians have formal employment and side hustles and still struggle to make ends meet.
Parenting is not easy. It may very well be the most challenging job I have or will ever have. It's also the subject that everyone wants to give advice on and I do mean everyone. Family, friends, strangers even the internet. All I am trying to do is raise a human being, while not losing myself and make enough to give my family a comfortable life.