Tag Archives: Single Motherhood

Their Budding Bicycle Business and Co


When Alain was 9 years old and asked for a bicycle, I quickly got him one because I remembered how he loved his tricycle as a kid and will carry David behind as the zoomed the house. I had left Cameroon when he was 8 years, and was still dealing with so much guilt. Anything he asked for (given that I had easier access to him and barely any to his brothers), I quickly bought.

That was how he quickly learnt to ride his bicycle at his granny’s, and became the ‘chef du quartier’ par excellence (translate this as neighbourhood hero by popular acclamation lol). He always had what I call 12 disciples following him around, negotiating for even only 2 mins on the bike. We don’t have a bike culture here, and most middle or struggling families can’t afford the luxury of buying bikes for their kids, not to talk of each kid having their own lol

So, I got one for Alain, and when his brothers started visiting, they’ll learn how to ride on his bicycle. Their dad the ever his type, refused to get theirs for different reasons. He said they’ll run into the road when I offered to send the money to buy them…his first reason had been he had no money…

Anyway, fast forward to 2018 of course, we now have 3 bicycles for three guys in another neighbourhood like at granny’s. David of all, the one his dad feared for most, is the chief errand guy in the area. He flies on the bicycle, he rides almost standing, and does business with his bicycle more than the others.

They (except Gaby oh lol) ride their bikes to school too, and that spares me some change for taxi etc. It gives them so much autonomy and empowers them, they even give me some coins every now and then. They are fast learning to save and manage their finances and I couldn’t be more proud and grateful.

Alain is now with his 3rd bicycle since then, and he takes immaculate care of his bicycles. David does too, Gaby is just Gaby.

The chain is still on this time around lol

He puts the chair and chain on each time hahaha, but he still has some clients too; just for smaller amounts like 25 frs a ride or even a mango in exchange for some time on his own bicycle lol.

Alain bargains the most and he is big guy now right, so his own generation use the bike for more serious reasons like going on a date etc. One paid 500frs just last Tuesday for 3 hours. You can bet he needed that bike, maybe to go impress a chap lol.

I also seize the opportunity to continue teaching them to save and manage their finances, save also for when the bike breaks down and a wheel needs air for example. Alain and David have been doing that so well, Gaby is still trying to get that right hahaha. They even try fixing it themselves sometimes too and from them I have learnt some parts of a bicycle like the chain, brakes, nodes etc

Talking about business further, David is what we call a real Bamileke man (These are like the super business minded in matters of business in our country – a tribe renowned for being business inclined and with all the pride we can give them). He also has a sticker business. Stickers are called ‘autocolants’ in French, and he gets a packet of say 20 at wholesale price, then retails them for a profit.

The small downside of this business atmosphere here is that they tend to neglect other stuffs like washing their clothes. Nope I don’t do it for them, and nope I don’t have a washing machine, and nope I don’t have a housemaid.

So one day when I got back home and they had all gone out wherever, I didn’t want to raise my voice on their return – see am also fasting from anger and attack thoughts etc. I therefore left them a note on the kitchen door, and went to the nearby lake to read in peace. On my return, my obedient sons had done their laundry and we were all so happy. All is well that ends well, parenting can be fun if we are creative and let the children be themselves too.

Be inspired and motivated all you parents especially single mothers in here

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On a mini lighter note before I start my purification: Could someone refer me a parenting manual?


So, merry me again, got back home yesterday evening to no electricity and water. Electricity was cut/turned off by the provider – kind of ok news for us out here, they do that every other few days.

But no water, hmm that’s where Gaby comes in. My friend invited friends over for a game of football (there is a field nearby and am tired begging him to take his crew/disciples out there), ok well so I hear the game turned nasty and there was a fight or so. Result for me to validate is: pipe burst and meter off – call plumber dear mama cherie

The neighbour above travelled and I can’t go knocking on the furthest neighbour’s to get some water because she left very early.

Solution to avoid more wahala this morning especially after my friends slept like real logs last night, is to go fetch water for them at the nearby public tap. That I do, and on my way to find oga plumber I slip big time on the muddy foot path. Ashia mama is the chorus when get back. It rained last night and all are in a light mood including myself.

Parenting can be tough let no one fool you. There goes my monday, am sitting here waiting for oga plumber and resigned to working from home. Thank God Gaby gave up his 2000frs savings as contribution to the total repair cost.

Here is to wishing us all parents a good try at this challenging but ultimately rewarding adventure hahaha

How proud of your sons can you a parent or single parent be when…


Your last son at age 8 can finally also sew a button on his uniform like his siblings;

Your first son gives your last son home lessons, and this clearly helped him transition from the french system of education to the english system in Grade 4;

When your second son is the DIY chef in the house, and helps even at the neighbours;

When all three know how to cook and willingly help you in the kitchen;

When your second son’s grades in form one are much better than when he had after school lessons from a tutor;

How proud of my sons should I be? How grateful and graceful? Do I focus on some normal incidents of their age such as: naked dancing during laundry, some missing books and, non attendance at doctrine; and miss out on all the miracles and bliss they bring?

Parenting I am learning, got lot to do with balancing various choices and actions, but above all having a real relationship with your children. Even if physically apart (like I once was intermittently for four painful years), a spiritual connection is possible.

Since returning in August 2015, and moving to our own home in February 2016, it has been more of thrilling than not. No enticing or lucrative prospect can lure me to leave my sons again like that.

Be inspired and motivated all ye parents and single parents in the house

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

Sometimes when your kid is acting naughty, empower them; but, watch out any promise you make on the spur


Hello world, happy new week. You sew us glowing in our selfie, hmm it was in celebrating good bargaining and promise kept o.

Our story started at 5am when Gaby came out to me grumbling and wanting to cry because Alain refused he could have breakfast before bathing. I mean, wouldn’t that have been a very unhealthy precedence?

I tried to bully him into going to bathe, nada. I told him to sit down and wait until I finished my workout but the whining continued. I was already wrapping up and it occured to me I could do with a natural back massage.

I thus told Gaby that in return for the massage, we could bathe together, eat together and leave home together. He accepted and after the massage and while I relaxed some, he skipped some with my long rope…no more whinning hurray…guess our photographer? That very Alain hahaha

The deal now came to be the promise I made. Ok, bathing together wasn’t something difficult other than trying to get him to stop playing with the shower hose. As for eating together, nop, Gaby didn’t wait for me because of course I hardly sit down on a Monday of all days, to eat breakfast at home.

Finally, my leaving home together idea was to say our byes up the street where I’ll take a cab to the office. But Gaby thought it meant walking all the way to his school.

Now, walking with Gaby to school is far different from walking with David to school. You don’t walk in silence enjoying the feeling of walking together holding hands, na you kick peebles, wow at birds and their nests and greet all neighbours you recognize. You even stop to greet the mentally ill by the big refuse hip near their school, and then well get to school late when the national anthem is being sung and the gate is closed until after that.

I just got to work and marvel at how I handled the wahala of this morning, spared our minds and hearts some hurts and toxic energy, while making the best of my promise.

I will however think twice before making any promises in the future lol.

Happy Monday us all

Take them along as much as you can…


Hello and happy weekend e-world, I just felt inspired to write this blog to motivate the mums and parents in here. As the title says, I want to encourage us to take our kids along as much as we can, on those heart and soul outings because that’s the best way they can learn. You know, when they are exposed to life (other facets of) early on, those experiences make or mare them and helps them make the choices they opt for when they get to that stage of their lives… Two of my ‘daughters’ had babies last week or so, and out here it is custom to go visit the new babies with gifts or cooked food. Cooked food because that helps the new mum worry less about feeding her family, and rest more because she needs it.

David helped me to cook what we call ‘pepper soup yams’, and we were ready in time for lunch.

Even Ella kept us company in the kitchen lol

I couldn’t just shuttle in and out of both homes, so I sent them off to the home they knew, while I went to the other and met them where they were after 2 hours or so. I know it can be tough organising all the logistics and even getting them interested in this otherwise ‘women stuffs’, but starting out at an early age is the deal – at least for me it worked. I took them to visit 2 orphanages when they were toddlers, and I have taken them to the ghetto parts of town for the experience too, and we all attended mami mami’s wake keeping.

Can you also see what Lady Diana’s exposure of her sons to the other side of life has yielded today? I indeed feel good taking them along as much as I can, for that is giving them real lessons in informal school while increasing our family time. I therefore encourage and motivate us moms, single mons and parents in here to try as much as we can to take our children along…

Lessons of Effective Discipline shared with me by my son – Alain


positive discipline

A month ago, I realized I was losing it with the boys when I will get home and meet the house in a mess. I started giving timeout, not to them but to myself – I will rush into my room and lock the door and ask them to knock when they finish tidying up. I didn’t want to stay with them and spend the little energy I had screaming. But it was taking longer each time and I started praying for a better way – Alain was equally getting concerned and so the last time I gave myself a timeout, he came to my room when his siblings had gone to sleep for a chat (we sometimes have them in our capacity as GM and Deputy of Our Home Inc) – He brought his reader and shared with me what they had been learning in school on effective discipline. I share same in its entirety – of course it is left for each to appreciate as they deem.

Discipline is a strong virtue that a parent can leave as an indelible legacy to a child. The Biblical King David in one of his epistles in the Old Testament dubbed Proverbs says train up a child in such a way that when he grows, he would not depart from it. Effective discipline is a dire need for smooth going on of things. Many actors come into play for ‘child discipline’ namely the parents ,teachers,elders,older siblings, kith and most importantly God Almighty for who else can discipline a creation better that the Creator? This rhetorical question is considerate to the fact that nowadays children are taught in school and when parents seem to be losing it with the children, it deepens their attention for effective discipline. Often times, due to the openness between parent and child, they both exchange pleasantries in a disguise dialoguing form aimed towards attaining effective discipline as their conversation is content-filled with the divergent views of the different stages of better discipline.

Effective discipline can take four formats namely Instruction, Training, Correction and Closure.

When we talk of instruction, it is an embodiment of teaching and commanding a child which can take two forms that is formal and informal for outlining clear rules and regulations for the child to follow and using every situation to teach by modeling respectively: What this means is teaching by the power of your example and not the example of your power. This sets the bases for an obedient child to grow effectively disciplined.

Training a child for effective discipline is the second level which aims at obedience and maturity. Training needs affection in most cases so as to build proficiency and develop the child’s skills and be able to know the reason for disobedience since learning is complexed at times. Is disobedience as a result of willful defiance or childish immaturity? When the answer to this question is established, it gives way for the third level of effective discipline which is Correction.

Correction which is multi-facetted is the taking of an appropriate action to enable the child follow the instruction and training. The facets of correction will include direct assertive communication, time-out, natural or logical consequences and rewards. Whatever strategy chosen for correction which maybe punitive or to restitute, it is aimed at getting the desired rightful results of effective discipline which is obedience since this is seemingly a painful factor often times than not as the modes will differ if disobedience of instruction and training is as a result of willful defiance or childish immaturity.

Finally, here we are at the last stage of effective discipline which is Closure. Closure which has varied ways like hugging, holding or lovingly talking to the child when correction ends is a form of communicating with the child for him to know you hold no grudges against him/her but out of love you needed to effectively discipline the child by correction.

Since the bottom line is to earn effective discipline of the child and right up to the stage of self-reliance of the child when he grows older, the guiding factor of discipline therefore is love which is mammoth and thereby embedded on the parent more than a duty which he or she is often overjoyed to see the child grow up effectively self-disciplined and living up in stark radiance to the discipline with little or no co-ordination and correction.

I am so grateful for what I learned and the efforts am making and I hope sharing same helps any parents and especially singlemothers in the blogsphere.

Experiences with two different teachers at my son’s school & related musings


Hello world, I want to share these experiences I had with two different teachers at my son’s school just this week. I share them to express myself, but also because who knows who has had any similar experiences or could be inspired and motivated etc?

My son took a story book to school and some drawings and none came back. I needed some answers more than he was giving so I went to his school last week. He was in a class which had recently been divided into two and he moved again, this means he had started making friends who stayed in let’s say the A and now he was starting all over in the B. Now, this makes two teachers involved and kids in the two classes too. Indeed the story book happened to be with a pupil in the A class who had left it back home, and the drawings were with different pupils in the B class. I was told by both teachers the stuffs will be collected the following day and returned to my son and he’ll bring them home before the weekend.

This week came and nothing was returned home, so I went to the school today because well I don’t know and need to know what’s the real situation. This is where the experiences come up:

  1. Teacher A gets frustrated I come often (this is the 3rd time am going there and well it seems too much), he tells me am overeacting over nothing and he doesn’t know what my son tells me back home and he thinks my son is a ‘brat’ and he’s glad my son is no longer in his class;
  2. Teacher B is empathetic and even glad I come to follow up such issues even if they may seem trivial. Few parents he says care to stop by at all even when PTA meetings are called up (this I know – they are called once a school and last time only 3 parents showed up in one’s class meeting for the one hour I was there). He actually tells me he thinks my son who transitioned sections (bilingual to pure anglo saxon), is coping just fine and he thinks it is also because I help him at home both formally and informally (very correct). Teacher B concludes that when a parent comes to school it boosts both the pupil and teacher’s morale for obvious reasons.

Huh, I was a bit perplexed and you know A class is one row of stairs above B class. So I had gotten the showdown in A up and was brooding as I went down the stairs to meet teacher B who turned out cool.

Well I was back there again the following day because my boy had come back home the previous day without 6 good exercise books. I needed to know if he actually forgot them in his desk or etc. Luckily by the time I got there he had already found them and I didn’t need to see any of the teachers.

What you make of these experiences people?

More Musings

Talking about experiences in their school, one came home in near tears because he had worked so hard but got a very discouraging note. I saw the script, looked at his school lessons and the text book and nothing made sense. Now he showed me a classmate’s script and same answer but 4 notes more. When he had even dared complain to the teacher, he had been removed the mere 2 he had and the other student got added 2. What? How could I let this go? I went there and saw the proprietor himself and explained the situation, he called the head teacher and they said to not worry all was going to be sorted out. They better do because am not one to give in or up any easy.

I mean that same teacher marked two answers wrong again in another subject and I know the answers myself – what the boy wrote. Eg HIV: Boy writes Human Immune Virus and teacher marks wrong saying it means Human Immuno Deficiency Virus (wtf). I don’t even know if to take this other paper back to the school…

Parenting ain’t easy, not to mention single motherhood. But I try my best each day and don’t want my boys traumatised or stiffled because some teacher thinks they are too upfront. I also go these schools so the teachers can tell me directly if there is any concern like I equally learnt about one of them playing wild and taking stuffs not his.

To all parents, single mothers and even teachers in the house, more grease to our elbows.

Happy weekend all

P.s: you remember a poem I once wrote about: “when no one wanted her”. Yes one who had literary dropped out of school is graduating today with a diploma in transport and logistics. How proud should I be of my contributions to the amazing young woman and wife she is now?

Mother is Gold Gathering


Hello world, so this was me at the IMA gatherings for mothers yesterday to talk about singlemotherhood. It was awesome although the media guy didn’t come and so did many invitees. Due to security reasons ahead of today which is ‘national unity day’ in Cameroon_ the event was ordered to be over by 6.30 pm. In Africa and maybe elsewhere, when you say an event is due to start at 3 or 4 pm, well people start trickling in by 6 pm.  I thought I was running and I took my time because I had decided to do so henceforth, and yet I was still the first person there.

Anyway, in images for our collective eyes. My VIP guess was none other than Alain who also spoke twice to his sheer…

You can tell it is us by our smiles lol

A selfie just before the event started

Happy weekend to us all

Questions to an Author: Molly McHugh


bipolar-1-disorder-how-to-survive-and-thrive-by-mollyHello World, during this month of May which is Mental Health Awareness month, I am as you must have noticed, doing interviews with authors who have written on mental health, especially about their personal experiences.

I have done a modest review of Molly’s memorable memoir on my blog, and it is my honour to interview her too. 

1) The Profile

  1. Let’s Start with a brief introduction of yourself – your background – and a tiny bit about your Childhood:

    Sure. Born in U.S., youngest of five kids, mom a nurse, dad (after 4 years in WWII) owned own insurance biz. Very athletic (probably saved me from having worse mental-physical health issues), soccer in college, diagnosed Manic Depression freshman year after a psychotic break and hospitaliztion. Normal middle class kid. Loved animals, loved nature, loved being active. Did well in school. Always in one sport or another. Had close friends, the first boyfriend, first kiss, pajama parties, dance parties, prom night… plus some other things I will refrain from mentioning. Lol.

  1. About your Memoir, how did you come up with this audacious title?

I had a FB group for e-book authors, and I asked for feedback on my book title. One of the earlier ones was “A Brain Gone Awry”… everyone hated it. I of course, thought it was brilliant. Ha! More ideas for a title not that great according to my helpful ‘more experienced writer’ critics either.

Then someone told me I had to be more clear, and that folks want to ‘solve a problem’. So I realized my gift to share was to focus on BP-1 (the classic Manic Depression) and to talk about the alternative care that I did over the years that helped me. And helped me not be on psych meds – which is huge. Most folks want that. Hence the title about BP-1 and how to thrive.

2) The Soul Journey

  1. Going from the assumption therefore that you are surviving and thriving, what is your take about mental health?

I am doing well. I’ve suffered – and still do – like anyone who has to deal with these issues but have had many wonderful things in my life as well, so am thankful.

My main issue is that the ‘Chemical Imbalance’ theory used to put folks on drugs has to end. Sure, these meds can help someone suffering with an epsiode of illness (bipolar is episodic in general – with normal periods of functioning) stabilize, get back in control, but are very harmful with long-term use. And no – there is no such thing as an identifiable imbalance they correct. They affect brain chemicals (like anything you ingest into your body) but are neurotoxins with many distressing side effects and create new ‘illness’ issues i.e. side effects.

Mental health is a huge term. It would take a long time to write my thoughts. But the main issue for me is to identify underlying causes of the symptoms someone is experiencing, if possible. And then search for ways to treat. I still deal with quite a bit of fatigue… but not severe, debilitating depression like I had in my younger years. God that was awful. And the improvement is from learning about and treating some of my unique health issues (thyroid, allergies, detox from toxic exposures, etc). Others can do this too.

  1. Did your diagnosis help or hurt your mental wellbeing in the long term?

What an excellent question. I’m not really sure how to answer this… as I had no ‘choice’ in being diagnosed. I didn’t read a book and think ‘oh, this is me’ or spend a bunch of time in therapy then get told I was bipolar. I had the classic onset with a manic episode in late teens and was hospitalized. And no, I was not doing cocaine or any recreational drug that caused it.

A diagnosis is just a label describing symptoms, is one way to look at it. I kept it pretty under-the-table from my outer life as much as I could when younger. But I had to have treatment – had severe depressive episodes and mania. So in that respect, it was needed I guess. Though I fought for other ways to be well and learned much, and healed much on my own with regular docs – what I share in my book.

I can say if I had bought into the ‘I have a chemical imbalance and have to take psych meds’ for life nonsense I would be dead by now. No question in my mind. And also I would not have had some of the amazing experiences I’ve been fortunte to have: college degree, healthy baby, well paid professional work, rasing my son as a single Mom, travel the world, etc. All of this while not on any psych med(s).

  1. Can you tell if there was a difference in the way you were treated and the way you perceived stigma before and after you got a diagnosis?

    I definitely have experienced stigma (personal relationships, being treated differently, fewer job opportunities) – was forced out of a four-year university program due to knowledge of my medical history. Stigma is real, and I am not sure how it can be changed.

    I had a fair amount of emotional cruelty too – the “tough love” approach is how some describe it. To deny what it really is. When I was severely ill, living on the street, wealthy family with multiple apartments unoccupied didn’t intervene. I spent Christmas in a homeless shelter miles from everyone else secure and safe in their home. Of course it was my fault I had become ill, my fault I was forced out of college then crippled with student loan payments, my fault I’d somehow not fit into the cultural norm everyone felt comfortable with, my fault I was raped, my fault I was mugged, my fault I somehow didn’t miraculously emerge a rock solid twenty-something making tons of cash.

    At it’s essence, stigma is really a form of emotional cruelty. And there’s plenty of cruel people in this world.

  1. If you wouldn’t mind, can you tell us about motherhood with a fragile mental health like yours?

Fragile is a bit offensive of a word… though I know you do not mean it that way. We all have strengths and weaknesses. Surviving what I’ve survived I look at as an inner strength, something in my makeup that no one will ever take away. It is a part of me and will be when I leave this earth. I’m vulnerable in ways some others are not, but not fragile. And never have been.

I loved being a mom and was like many other single moms. I was on no psych meds, never hospitalized, worked for many years, eventually went on disability but still worked to provide a better life and opportunities for my son. We lived and traveled abroad, he is bilingual, has had a ton of amazing experiences.

The only thing that is very different about me – that really would not be noticeable to others – is I have to keep stress down. Limit social time. Had to focus on my son, staying well. Most don’t have as much of those concerns. But most haven’t Manic Depression with a history of psychiatric hospitalization either.

It was always on the back of my mind that I had to stay focused and be careful not to trigger any severe episode. For the most part I was successful. No parent is perfect. My son was raised with more love and caring attention that many children are.

P2  – the conclusion of this lovely interview comes up tomorrow so stay subscribed lol & Thank you