Tag Archives: Single Motherhood

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.

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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

Am invited to talk on Single motherhood by Amy Banda on her IMA get togethers


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Hello World, the first time I was invited on the IMA Series (Inspiring moments with Amy), I didn’t feel as excited as I do now. Actually, a few days ago (May 8th) while still in Dakar which I so dared, I received the following from Amy:

” Dear Marie,

I trust this mail reaches you in good health.

How have you been? I trust GOD all is well.

I am inviting you to be a panelist on the IMA GOLD monthly’s second panel this May 19, 2017on ‘Choosing Single Motherhood: The Thinking Mother’s Guide’ which seeks to illustrate reasons why single motherhood is prevalent at such times, deliberate on strategies of single mothers’ success to bring up the children in an upright manner and  pinpoint the challenges single mothers face daily to raise their kids. Knowing you are an all round contributor to peace, human rights and coaching’

This topic seeks to illustrate the worth of the mother at home, and her multi tasking abilities to do a lot at a blow. It will be great having you share your enriching experience to help single mothers benefit from your testimonies.The ‘Making Mothers Matter’ enriching encounter will address single mother hood issues, the 21st century mother and the ever evolving technological trends which keep her away from her motherly duties. Why recognize a mother talks with principal aim to enrich the relationship between parents and their children. “

Why the excitement?

  1. Why – simply because I am a very proud single mother period!!! I am aware of the challenges, I have faced quiet many but I wouldn’t rush this stage of my life nor wish it to pass any fast. I am making the best lemonade I can and already reaping profits from this business – the joys are oh so joyful;
  2. I will inspire many I know who are still so overwhelmed and even ashamed of their situation in life… even those who ‘choose’ single motherhood deliberately, still deal with some melancholy and all which in my opinion isn’t healthy to one’s mental health at all – like many other things we do in life, if we don’t have it figured out or on check in our minds, the output can be shaggy or even lead to an outright meltdown;
  3. I love coaching on an audience scale instead of doing one on one. When I do the one on one, I get carried away too much into my client’s story, and well I spend more time with just one person instead of talking to many for the same time and then answering questions from the audience;
  4. To top it up, am very excited at seeing my dear Amy’s projects flourish. She is so talented and has so many ideas and projects. It is my honour to help in whatever way I can and she rightly considers me one of her big fans. I have been known to motivate her even on her sick bed;

What is there to be proud about single motherhood?

  1. Single mother is a mother like every other mother, but a mother who does it singlehandedly. Some single mums have their families to help them like Obama’s mother had, while others don’t. Doing such a job for me deserves pride and not prejudice;
  2. The fact that inspite of all the odds, you get to deal with the shame, guilt, pity, loneliness, and many more challenges to be this single mother each new day for as long as it lasts, is a feat to be proud of;
  3. By agreeing to go on that platform, I want to help the single mothers present and those watching from their homes to heal & deal:deal & heal

I will sure keep us all posted how this goes, it’ll sure be a boost to my mental health and my coaching journey.

Here is a picture film of the Pink edition in March on Female Entrepreneurship

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSX6RNoP6Eg&t=327s (My face is at 6.40-6.42) lol

Have a nice week us all and happy mid month

Prayer for My Sons


Prayer for my sons

Dear World, on this last day of April and a Sunday befitting for sharing a prayer, I share the prayer I was inspired to write for my sons and put up on my ‘War Room’. Whoever has watched the movie War Room will understand what I am talking about. I think you can find it on youtube – here is a link. The fun is, I already had what I call a prayer wall before recently watching that movie, it was actually referred to me when my cousin saw my prayer wall in my room. It is on that wall that I have my personal prayer, our affirmation and rules and etc. I share all this to inspire and motivate. Living is tough, Dying is tough, we need special Grace to cope with both. I am so grateful for the special and Amazing Grace I keep having from my Almighty Father and the support be it directly or indirectly of all those He puts on my path. Sometimes, even a toxic relationship teaches you and helps you so much.

Here is to a happy sunday for us all

Joys & Challenges of Single Motherhood: My Story P3


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The winning team: The joys outweigh the challenges big time

Hello world, the weekend is here and as I promised when I started sharing my single motherhood journey, here is the part three on some joys and challenges. The joys outweigh the challenges although for this post I kept the number for pro and con equal.

When you get lemons in life, do the best lemonade you can and look out for profit.

Shalom and happy weekend to us all

In Our Home: Affirmations and Rules to get our team going


In our Home affirmation and rules

Hello world, I am sharing the above for inspiration and motivation.  I became a mother over 13 years ago, but can only candidly say I have a home since February 2016. I mean a home with my boys. When I was still married, I never sincerely thought of home like I do now, and didn’t involve my boys in the running/management or concertation of home matters. On the 6th of March 2017, I got the above inspiration and shared same with them. We all agreed those were good affirmations and rules to help our team get by. I am so grateful for all the transformation in my life and the boys I am raising one day and Grace at a time – Amen

Here is to hoping some parents especially single mothers out there are inspired and motivated by my journey alongside my team.

1 Whole Week 4 just David & I


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That was in David’s School

Hello world,

Wow I just spent a whole week with David.

David is my Shepard; David is my King; David is my gentleman. David opens the door for me, David likes insisting on the dinning table: ‘after you mama’ and when I ask why he’ll say because it is ‘ladies before gentlemen’. I don’t want to bother his young and fresh mind on what sometimes goes on in the ‘bigger world’. David is my second son aged 10, and he didn’t have an Easter Break per-se because they in final year of primary school had preparatory classes in school daily from 8-12 pm.

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Those particular shorts of his I have begged to have them given me to fix but nada

And so hmm, that is how David and I came to have a whole week to ourselves at home. I had left his 2 brothers in Buea when I went there to savour Dyane’s epic memoir. Ok, my plan had been to send the three of them to Buea for the Easter break before I knew David wasn’t going to have a break. Now, during the first week of that break, Alain had opthalmologist appointments and now wears glasses, and Gaby the star had a tummy rumble and a wound under his foot which he picked up from one of his many adventures in the neighborhood barefeet of course – oh poor me.

With David, you talk less, do more,  and appreciate silence and art more than all. He loves , cooking, drawing or watching one comic or the other. He also has a like minded friend in the neighborhood who goes to his school too. They often hole up in our home after school and draw all those characters they see.

I made it a point to have dinner with David everyday and to help him with any assignments. I thought of what else to do with David, and realized I could start by walking with him to his school. The last time I had walked with them (Gaby is in that school too), was at least 2 months ago and that was a quick dash.  

Last Thursday therefore, althought having a hectic day ahead, I decided to walk with David to school. We walked mostly silently, enjoying the breeze and birds chirping , with me making not so successful attempts at conversation. Yet, David was smiling all the way and I later realized he was just happy to have me all to himself and walking with him to his school. When we got there, he asked me to buy him something to eat (we hadn’t had breakfast before leaving, happens sometimes). I also decided to have whatever he opted for so as to taste for myself what they eat in school.

David was so happy he became talkative, introduced near his entire class to me and then em – wished me to enjoy my meal. He wanted to go on with his friends now.  My entire day was set to be yummy, nothing could wipe the sweet memory of our walk to school and his joy at introducing his mates to me.

A walk and a sandwich was all it took this day. When I asked David on the eve of his brothers’ return while we had our last quiet dinner together,  what he liked most about our ‘home alone’ days, he said the best thing was my walking with him to his school that day, and my not being so stressed out the entire week.

Oh these kids, not only do they notice but they also have their own peculiar benchmarks. Alain the first will shrink if I offer to walk with him to his school for example, and Gaby the last will not be bothered. No I think he will find my presence by his side restraining since he plays as he walks and stones play with him too.

All in all, although I had hoped to have this Easter break to myself, I have a book I started writing in January and am not finding time to write, I am grateful for what I got – a whole week to bond with David.

If life doesn’t always turn out the way you want, turn yourself out to make the most of it.