Tag Archives: Parenting

Sometimes go with them and listen to them to know how they feel…


When you look at Gaby’s smile can you tell he was afraid? I am so happy I walked with him to school on his first day of school and could sense some anxiety in him as we got into his school. His grip of my hand firmed up and he became so quiet. He was moving into a new class -G5, and was probably wondering how it was going to work out. I asked him how he was feeling ( not good to ask them what’s wrong or embarrass them by saying they are acting up etc), and he frankly told me he was afraid. Wow, the Gaby I thought I knew? Afraid of a new class? Wow really – as in what can we really know for sure right?

To make matters scary again for him after I had tried my best to make him face the fear and near overcome it, we just discovered the class teacher is the same who taught G4 last year and with whom he didn’t get along for the few days he spent in his class. Mr D is a ‘no nonsense’ teacher who even spanks oh my. So we quickly agreed on Gaby’s best option being that of greeting Mr D and behaving better in class, and we see how that goes. Gaby agreed with me that Mr D was not spanking those who were not rowdy in class and who did their homework. We had a plan and I had to help him out each day to the best of my ability…

And that is how I have added home teacher to my list of daily occupations, trying to get up keep up and even slightly ahead why not lol.

Current feedback: He likes his new class and teacher because the latter doesn’t spank him. He answers questions in class and is more attentive than playful and distracted, although his buddie from last year got moved to the 5B and he kept in 5A, he is getting to make new friends and can still play with buddy A at break time. At this age, such stuffs definitely matter big time lol

My point or prayer is that especially with our children who sometimes seem they got it all together, when they are transitioning, we should walk the journey with them. Walking that phase may be driving them/dropping them off each day for a few days or a week before they start taking the school bus, and listening to them/asking them how they feel everynow and then. And this is taking care of their mental health too, teaching them it matters and they can trust us to tell us whatever is going on in them at any moment…

Here is to a great week of bonding and listening between parents and children

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Sometimes, sparing your sanity as a parent involves this..


Hello world and happy midweek lol.

On Monday I shared about how as parents we could sometimes just let them fume off so as to spare our ‘sanity’ lol. I mean the children or musketeers in my case can drive you nutty if you don’t flex a strategy to ‘manage them’ right?

Today, I want to share how on two separate occasions, the best I could do to spare my ‘sanity’ further density was to join in the ‘fun’.

One day, while I was preparing to go out to the farm in another city, I thought they were out there doing their laundry as we had agreed, only for me to get out and find the one and only Gaby with a car made out of a sardine tin. He looked so innocent and offered me to try it out. I held the rope and flashbacked to myself at that age or younger – making cars like that or with sticks and wheels was really trendy then. I enjoyed that brief moment and just shrugged at the fate of the laundry hahaha…

Two weeks later, I stepped out of the kitchen to find out same Gaby had abandoned his laundry to go play outside.

The washerwoman in me lol

I love doing laundry myself and I just decided to call him and do it with him – sparing my nerves some lol… He came with two buddies, and before I knew it, his friends were even more into the laundry foam than ourselves hahaha.

Anyways, in both scenario, breathing, joining in and letting the moment be, did really keep my ‘sanity intact’, and I didn’t ruin my voice shouting hahaha.

I therefore wish to inspire and motivate all parents and guardians in here, to sometimes realize that their ‘sanity’ is primordial, and that whatever is going on shall come to pass. If a choice can be made, choose the option that spares you your sanity hahaha. I am indeed ever grateful for all.

Sometimes let them Man It Up, Fume it out before Chilling down…


It’s been a while since I shared any shenanigans from our Home Inc, and so I just felt to start this week with one. You know as a parent you have to get that discerning spirit to know how to run the affairs in the Home Industry, and how, when or why to get involved guys’ wahala. For me as a single mother, it is even a little complex because I may have to intervene the mama way, and then the papa way – or could I just let them fume it out sometimes?

I preferred the third option one Saturday morning a few months ago when I was still on my long spiritual journey. One of the things I was fasting from was from anger, and so I couldn’t allow myself the luxury of asking them – the bickering boys – to shut up. I can’t for the life of me remember what was the issue, but I know tempers were up that morning, Gaby spoke so menacingly and David was fast approaching him. I decided there and then to just go close to without saying a word. I actually needed for them to spit out all the energy and fume it out before chilling some. When they chill, I can then rationalize the whole saga, we make peace and then draw conclusions, but otherwise no way. I also like leaving them sometimes to ‘man it up’ and ‘fume it all out all’ that way all the challenging emotions they feel at the time, get felt and faced. Cutting someone short when they are fuming may not be the best and as a psychotherapist I know and uphold same.

After they had therefore ‘manned it up’ and ‘fumed it out’, I gave each of them a glass of water and put two chairs behind them. We had a discussion and then made peace. I could still feel so dense energy in the air and so gave each person some chore to distract and help them chill more. Bottom line, they actually helped get the breakfast ready and we all sat down to a lovely breakfast with gusto.

And that is how sometimes the right technique can save the day in our industry and we continue to live, love and laugh ever after lol. It is vip for parents to not sweat the small stuff, or resort very easily to making the energy around more dense using whips, slaps etc, even though such methods may seem tempting and ‘provide faster solutions’. My sanity being at stake more often than I’ll appreciate in the Home Industry, being creative is imperative for me.

Be inspired all you parents and single mothers in the Bsphere

So much bliss in a day babysitting…I just had to share


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My little angel neighbours

 

Oh hello world, I didn’t plan this post but so much bliss today, I just had to share. Glad am still on the 2nd day of my 3 days break from stage one of my purification journey.

I had planned to work from home today and go on a long walk in the morning because I have a slight discomfort with my right ankle, but I had not planned to spend the day babysitting. But hmm, I love babysitting and got so much bliss doing that today.

 

As soon as I came back from the long walk which took me through the back of a secondary school where I helped separate a bloody fight between boys of Alain’s age, helped a man who had just had an epileptic seizure and also a girl carry her gallons of water, I received 4 of my small angels in the neighbourhood. They often come around when they hear my voice or Alain’s, because they love being around us. Aimé also brought Samira for some hours while she went to the market and ran other errands. I ate with her and put some bugs bunny on the other laptop so we could each keep busy.

And then, when a daughter of yours brings her baby girl to you for the day and night, you are simply honoured. I spent the afternoon in further bliss, cradled and fed my granddaughter, and gave her a warm bath at night before she slept. There was no melancholy at all thinking of my girl Ange Claire, and I knew it is well.

Sometimes, we find so much bliss and serenity and inner peace where least expected. Sometimes, when our plans and programs change, let’s keep open minds and hands to receive what else comes – we just may be as pleasantly surprised and merry as I was today. Did I even ever mention having a nursery school was one of my top retirement plans? Lord help me – I am just full of gratitude for all the talents/gifts and passions I have been bestowed!!!

Be inspired and motivated everyone

Thanks to Gaby’s Shi Shi I enjoy an hour of walking; and muggle down memory lane


 

I will write an entire blog post at the end of this special spiritual journey/fasting, to share my personal experience, the pros and cons of such a profound journey. But let me just state the fact that whenever you decide to do something in life, the ego and the self centered self seek to take center stage and direct you. This will definitely conflict if what you are embarking on is spiritual in nature – for example a fast.

On Wednesday 07/03, the 7th day of stage 1 of this thrilling spiritual journey am on, a conflict arose in the form of how to deal with Gaby’s Shi Shi*. He didn’t want to bathe – inshort he didn’t want to go to school even though they were starting 4th sequence exams that morning. Hod up now, he even wanted to switch education systems again back to French ha. I don’t even know where to start with the merry go round…

I first told him to give me a minute and I went into my loo to pray. I asked for serenity and discernment (Those are the first lines of my personal prayer). There wasn’t much time left. I invited Gaby to come bathe with me (inviting or allowing any of them into the loo my love is a privilege no one wants to ruin), he was calm and started singing as he often does when bathing. I joined in (I hadn’t planned on going out that early nor going for a walk, I wanted to do some small sports once they all left) and sang and danced with him until I realized he was in no haste to leave of course lol.

He said if I should please accompany him to school which was the idea I had anyway. We walked kind of fast (20 mins and not 40 when you don’t hold his hand and he gets to kick pebbles and watch birds hahaha), and by midway he was more mellow and we started to gist. At the school entrance, he met some friends and all was good – bye mummy…

It was then I continued walking taking a longer route, and I stopped by my former landlady (who owns the home where my marital sagas unfolded leading to my fleeing – she knows it all and stepped in a few times God bless Ma Made). Her grand daughter now a young miss, asked after the boys and especially about ‘le petit Alain la’. She still thinks of them like small boys although she is only a year older than Alain now. When I jokingly told her Alain was big and macho and could date her now, Maeva blushed and sad lol like they do. I always check in on Ma Made every now and then because she was simply put awesome to me and us all when we were her tenants.

When I got home, I met David outside (the college guy didn’t have school today because their class finished exams yesterday, and they were asked to stay home for a 3 day break,  while Alain finishes today) He was fiddling with the neighbour’s motor bike, and I was taken down memory lane…

Thanks to Gaby therefore, I had a good 56 minutes walk, I saw Ma made and Maeva (whom I last saw on New Year’s morning), and I sat on the neighbour’s motor bike and went down memory’s lane to a moment in time when I had a length Period of Grace before my relocation back home.

All in all, I didn’t raise my voice nor use a whip, Gaby bathe and went to school not whinning anymore about moving back to french system of education, I did exercise and got even some extra.

When life shows up with some twists, twist yourself around calmly and you may just have fun in the process like I did…

*Shi Shi: local slang in french to mean childish whining or something of the sort

p.s: My friend comes back from school 2 good hours after they closed, he stopped at a friend’s house he slurs. I look at him like that… sigh and say a silent prayer, then I take away 2 of the 3 mangoes I kept for him. He loves mangoes very much, maybe he could learn a lesson from there? I mean he could tell or ask me this morning he wanted to hang out at a friend’s after school; and that’s not even cool to just leave school and go to peoples’ homes like you don’t have one right?

Sharing to inspire and motivate especially parents in the blogosphere – wishing us all loads of patience in dealing with and bringing them kids up

Aime mon amour: their second mum and my heroine


This is Aime and her two kids, she lives two homes away from us. I have known her for like 18 months and I am so grateful for her. Her two kids are like mine too, and the little girl and I especially get along so cool.

Talking about her daughter Samira, when I got to know them, she wasn’t walking nor able to sit down on her own. Of course talking was out of the question. Her mum was tired of bringing her to the hospital and giving her all those meds and vitamins they were soon running out of money buying.

Her dad was not around pretty much, and when he was, he just dropped money and maybe even some bashing on the poor lovely mama for any flimsy reason.

I coached Aime, to heal her own heart, and then we helped Samira with more love and nurturing. We introduced Soya beans into her food (mostly still soft or outright liquid because she had barely any teeth to chew), and I courted her dad to make him realize the child could be suffering from poor nurturing by both of them.

Gradually, we made progress and Samira’s weight improved so good, today at three she is all set to go. A lot has also changed in their home and Aime who used to skin her son and I’ll hear his screams two homes away, doesn’t waste her energy and ruin their relationship so anymore. I am so proud of Aime for starting sports and loving same.

Now, talking about being the boys’ second mum, Aime has the key to our Home. Aime understands me so well and steps in when am sick, tired or absent say on a trip. I am so grateful I don’t have to worry when away (am currently in Yaounde since yesterday), because I know Aime is just two homes away.

In January 2017, and January 2018, we went out on new year’s night, just the two of us for a respite. It is tradition now, and we look forward to doing same in January 2019 with gusto.

And did I forget to mention that Samira is a chatter box now? that Aime is a seamstress and sews all my African attires? Yes she has done all I have had stitched since moving to this neighbourhood in March 2016, even these yummy ones below lol

I wish us all, especially struggling parents emphasis on single ones of course), to work on building a support system with at least an Aime like in there.

Bon weekend à tous

Learning to give David some time to cool down too…


 

That is David doing his things. He loves more of solitary play and drawing, than getting mixed up in brawls due to games with others, or mix ups at home. But precisely, the later can’t be avoided, na not among boys right?

So, yesterday morning there was an issue over chocolate paste and how Gaby took too much. David brought that to my attention while Gaby had stepped out do something. Now, Gaby overheard David tell and quickly told him to mind his own business. His words in french were: ‘Jaloux’ (jealous). Of course David wasn’t pleased and before I realized it they were manning up to each other and flinging more words around.

Gaby knows David’s soft spots and plays with those, going as far as calling him ‘bébé au lait’ (literally meaning milk baby – like weakling or so). I had to step in their middle to avert a fight.

I managed to get David to sit down and take off his school bag, then I rubbed him on his back several times. His heart was beating real fast. After a few minutes, I tried to get him to talk but he wouldn’t. We were all running late and so I desperately asked him if he needed more time to process his emotions. He said yes. He at least identified the emotion of Anger from the chart of emotions we have on the wall, and he told me he felt like punching Gaby even if he loved him very much.

I had to let him be because I realized he wasn’t ready to say any more. He was neither ready to talk with Gaby, not to mention make the customary peace of hugging each other while saying it’s going to be ok, and I still love you. Did I mention the last incident between those two which however gladly ended in a tripartite peace making was on Sunday?

Anyway, I learnt from the incident that, just like I sometimes want time off to process my emotions before moving on, so too do kids. I could in a position of authority threaten him into talking or force the peace making, but was that going to be real? Given that I don’t like fake relationships and actions or reactions, I will not expect that of any other including – even especially my children. I hope by the time he comes back from school he has forgotten about the whole incident. I asked Alain who is in the same secondary school with him, to check on him at break time out of sibling love.

My own sibling story is even tougher mindless the sex and age hahaha

Dear gentle readers, in life in whichever relationship, we have to respect the other and not seek to force them to keep to our pace, relate only in a certain way, or be the one we think is best for them. I share this events in my life, to inspire and motivate with my own reality. It all about seeking a holistic wellbeing and giving your children a balanced and good foundation

p.s: 8 pm 20.02.18 I get back home and the two fight out of the door to be the first to greet me are… yes you guess right: David et Gaby (I actually often confuse their names or pronounce in such a one the one comes when I meant the other). David tells me the anger was gone by short break and he felt fine. He choose peace over conflict and forgave Gaby

Have a great midweek all

What do you as a Parent or guardian do in the following circumstances? My real life and tough choices…


Gaby will finish me

  1. You ask them kids to do their laundry on the veranda while you are in the kitchen. You get a call and when you turn round you see one of them like that. Your first impulse is to take a picture to immortalize the moment, then I flash-backed to my own youth and saw myself not even at home but in front of the school taps while everyone studied. I at least kept my panties on and I stopped doing that at age 7. He is 8 years. Some say I should skin him alive, others say to pray hard, others say to talk to or with him, and one laughs loud saying therapist heal your own son, there is likely some ADHD there. What you advice my gentle readers and followers?
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  3. You come back home and find some neighbourhood kids invited by your son to play baby football in your living room. You see proof of what he does with his exercise book sheets and how he treats his school bag all the time. Well, I let them play because at least I get to see him, he gets to forget about TV (not that I have any), and he develops camaderie and learns to lose without fighting. On the down side, they finish and leave all that paper and chalk drown on the floor for you and you get to shout out your lungs before order returns. What will you do gentle reader and follower?Gaby peeling peanuts for soup
  4. You grill groundnuts for soup and you give him to go out and peel them so you can make the paste. He does just that but he eats up near half of that. Times are hard and you were hoping the 2 cups you had could make a pot of soup to last 2 days fora family of four for lunch and supper. I have explained to him previously why he shouldn’t eat dem groundnuts. Well, I shrugged, and decided I was better off doing that myself next time unless I could give that to a bigger child. I explain to him again why he shouldn’t eat them up especially in tough times like these. Can’t recall if I was any better or worse at his age, or if anyone even gave me such a chore in the first place. And you?
  5. You are once again convoked to David’s doctrine school (just friday I was in his school) where he has accumulated three absences although he leaves home each Sunday morning for doctrine he himself chose to attend. He knew it was a three years program although he is by this second year already failing with his grades and attendance.What do you do? Beat him up, withdraw him or let him continue to do whatever he wants? I give him 200frs each Sunday and tbt am getting tired with the whole thing too. Yet, I don’t want to stop him from having or making that experience. Gaby didn’t opt for that, while Alain is already done with his from a school where he had only a year of doctrine. I give him some work as punishment when he returns, and ask him to write a 700 word essay about the whole saga not leaving out the resolutions. I can’t go and sit there with him and still get to do all I have to do with and for them…my me moments are near getting threatened completely lol;
  6. You have sworn not to buy flip flops again nor a pair of shoe before school breaks out. Yet you feel so sorry for Gaby who has no flops again Lord knows where each goes to, and his lone pair of Shoes already looks so haggard. I confess I recognize that child and the genes he inherited And so, .I decided today after laughing at myself, not to bother swearing any never again around. I consoled myself by getting a dark chocolate bar from the market. Chocolate indeed is an anti-depressant unless any proof to the contrary…

Dear Readers and Followers, some of my quirps and muse as a parent and single one for that matter… ever grateful for my support team and journey to holistic wellbeing via different mental wellbeing plans…Yes We Can…we always try to find the Fun in the dysFUNction… (thanks Linda for the inspiration)

Have a great week

One of those frustrating days as a single parent striving with PTSD and RA


 

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Taken on my birthday last January, I was really sick and made some soulful wishes

Hi world,when I publish two posts on the same day that’s a sign. Am definitely not doing too good today, indeed I have been struggling this week. One of the signs is isolating myself and not wanting to go out if I can help it – working from home and just struggling to be the best I can for the boys. Today was just so tough and it’s just 9.30 am here.

The dream I had last night was a sure indication. I can’t recall dreaming such a dream to an end like this before. My brother Gabriel had just died and was in the mortuary.  I was inconsolable and insisted on sleeping in the room where he was laid out. A few days later or so, people came for his removal and he instead got up. The face was Alain’s and I heard my brother tell me it was ok. I wrote it down in my gratitude journal this morning and moved on to get the boys ready and out.

It is always a feat with Gaby (named Gabriel after my brother), and today I noticed that his school bag was very light. When I asked to see all his books, another story babbled again. I decided to do a morning power walk to his school dragging him along with a belt for some lashing if need be. I was getting frustrated already, I bought new exercise books in January. When we got there in 15 and not 45 minutes because it was no nonsense today. I was told the obvious, he tears them all to make airplanes and kites and shares the pages with some like himself whose parents have already been there too (poor us). He got seven lashes because he agreed to those, and the teacher says to send 5 new books on Monday and he’ll monitor more closely. If he had to do that for 40 pupils where will he have time to give lessons and copy out notes on the blackboard?

Next stop, David and Alain’s school. They had both asked for 3000 frs each for a school event whereas the note on the billboard said the pass was 1000 frs. Now, am told each class could have agreed on a fixed contribution for food, assume another 1000 frs, where did the other 1000 frs go to and why couldn’t they be honest? Gaby had asked for 2000 frs claiming 1000 frs for a pass and 1000frs for food, although I was there with him and at no time were they given any food.

The pancakes David made was with stuffs from home, and my poor bowl in which the pancakes were taken to school didn’t even make it back. Secondly, he David has brought back only one test paper home claiming his other teachers haven’t given theirs yet. I had to check that out which happened to be a big and flat lie. I had a tough time getting him to give me his sequence report card because he claimed to have misplaced it. I know he has some difficulties with his school lessons, but I just expect honesty.

My day is ruffled to say the least, glad the trip to another city I had to make today was cancelled. When ever frustrated or low like this, I feel my articulations begin to hurt and my knees gt heavy and walking shaky…I am yet to have breakfast, I think I should start from there…

Thanks whoever for reading, writing is a coping strategy for me. Parenting ain’t easy, single parenting ain’t easy for that much, parenting with any mental health challenges or illness or other condition like RA, ain’t easy one bit. Those of us doing this deserve medals period…

They get there at their pace: David got back to a choronko with gusto


Dear all,

Today is another childrens’ post to inspire and motivate us parents and guardians and all in here.

The phone to the left, a smart one right? Well, that is what David recently gave up to go back to using a Choronko (slang for basic Chinese gadget, easy to use and cheap to replace). I had offered that smart fone to him when I finally got the honour to use my late brother’s phone (a midway between smart and choronko) last year, and that phone is of course a relic to me. I survive just fine with it and prefer for the younger ones to go crazy over the latest whoever/whatever.

Last Friday, David finally decided he had enough wasting his time and small money on youtube watching Sangoku. He told me he needed to get a choronko. When I said I couldn’t afford one just yet, he said to open his bank and he was going to retrive what was needed. That choronko cost 7000frs and he was very happy with it.

Alain is far ahead of us all, with the type which recognizes your finger print. He bought that with his last year’s savings and I contributed 2/5 of the price as promised for his excellent results in school. You can guess he is the one teaching us lots of techy stuffs in this house.

Gaby isn’t even ready at 8 years to keep a wrist watch, a pair of flops or another pair of shoes (he wears one until useless and then you get another). If you buy more than one and he sees them, be ready to find only one side some time soon thereafter. But his brothers at his age were already clean-trendy conscious lol. He says he will love a phone or tablet if I can afford when he is 12 years.

My point with this post therefore is that, we don’t have to compare our children, nor put pressure on any of them to keep up with any ‘jonses’. That way, we spare us all mental agony and instead accept and celebrate our diversity.

Happy day to all,

Nkongteh (Thank you)