Train Up a Child

The Bible says: ”Train up a child in the way they should go, an even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6

I’ve been active in the church my entire life until recently. There is nothing really wrong. I am just flat out tired. Plus, my daughter’s terrible 2s will make me miss the entire sermon. So what’s the point, right? Nah, wrong!

I have been wrong about church for too long. The point in my all prayers for a husband and children was so that we could grow in the church and be agents of change in the world. I’m not training well. I am praying for strength to make it to church every Sunday — not just first Sunday. I cringe at the thought of going on Holidays or for special events only. It’s not who I really am.

Goals. Go back to church.

I love Bishop TD Jakes but there is something about getting up early, getting dressed, and going out to worship.

Goals.

Short-Term Goals.

Let your children meet the Lord. It’s not fair to keep God to yourself.

Scattered Marriages

I was being nosy on Social Media the other day… like so many other days. And I began to wonder whatever happened to a particular friend who used to post so frequently about their life, family, and so much more. After looking at a series of posts I began to understand that this family was either experiencing a crisis in the marriage or it was indeed the end.

Since I married into my Nigerian family, I’ve learned to casually use certain words or phrases to connect with various family members and friends. It’s a way to say, I get you and understand completely. For instance, when you are engaged or newly wedded, people will wish you a Happy Married Life. Ever so often we hear stories about people whose marriages have “scattered” and we are quickly warned to not do whatever that particular couple did or did not do to bring on a divorce.

As someone who’s relatively new to marriage, I just have to say: Lord knows it ain’t easy. My heart almost breaks for my friend who seems to be in a bit of trouble. I don’t wish divorce or heartbreak on anyone.

One thing I know for sure is that I absolutely positively love my husband. And I dread the thought of a scattered marriage. I remember so well all the bliss in the beginning and I also remember the dreaded conversations and work that have to take place in order to keep us going strong and moving forward.

Marriage is not for the faint of heart. The timid. Shy. Doubtful.

Marriage without God is just plain foolish.

A scattered marriage is a painful and emotionally heart wrenching place.

May we — yes, you too — never see it.

Self-Love is Self-Preservation

Self-Love is a real thing.

I was once told that before I loved someone else, I have to love myself. I spent my 20s grappling with undergrad, grad, and law school while trying to do just that. Yet, my strategy was deeply flawed. I found self-love only after someone loved me first. I guess the mentality was that if someone else loved me, then of course I love me too. So and so thinks I’m cute so then yeah, I think I’m cute too.

Ah. Twenty-Somethings.

Now the struggle is different. I’m a wife, mom, professional, and so much more. But I struggle like so many of my peers to remember to show love to myself and take care of myself….first! Self-Care is not selfish. It’s preservation. It’s survival.

So just because I have a husband, I am learning that I still have to love myself first, take care of myself first, and find happiness within — First!

There is no one outside of me who can bring me joy and happiness. They could add icing to my cake but they are not the cake, my dear.

This is the major lesson from my 2nd year of marriage. And it was a hard lesson. It took something monumental to happen to me (and only me) to understand this.

So now, this is my beautiful struggle. To continue to be the giver I am by nature and self-preservationist by necessity.

I love my husband, my kids, my job, my family, my church, my friends, my clients…everyone. But I am checking in with myself first because my life depends on it.

How can I ask someone to do something that I refuse to do for myself?

So now the goal is to do it for myself. Maybe they will be inspired.

Be an inspiration.

Be your own game changer.

Right your own wrongs. Sing your own songs. Beat your own drums. Set your tone. Rock your boat. Rock your world. Make yourself high. Shoot for your stars. Believe in yourself. Express yourself. Respect yourself. Love yourself. Want yourself. Need yourself. Please yourself. Excite yourself. Invite yourself. Calm yourself. Warm yourself. Desire yourself. Nurture yourself. Treat yourself. Be yourself. Date yourself. Marry yourself. Make time for yourself. Pamper yourself.

Preserve yourself.

Top 5 Podcast

I absolutely love it when people use their social media platforms to educate, encourage, and uplift women. In the last year, I have grown to absolutely love listening to Podcasts. Even though my commute to work has changed recently, I make it my business to tune in to each and every episode of my top 5 podcasts. In fact, I often repeat episodes to make sure I captured all the teachable moments.

So without further delay, below are my top 5 Podcast and the reasons why I make the space and time for them.

1. T.D. Jakes Potter’s House:

If you really know me it is very likely that at some point you have heard me mention something I learned from Bishop T.D. Jakes. Not only is Bishop a Bible Scholar, He is an amazing teacher. Don’t you hate when you listen to a sermon and the pastor barely scratches the surface of a profound piece of scripture? Well, the Bishop does not hold back. His 30 minute mini-sermons/devotions have literally changed my life. It’s to the point where I can tell which sermon he chopped up to make the podcast. I can also finish some of his sentences.

Don’t get it twisted. I’m not obsessed with the man, but I sincerely thank God for using the Bishop as his messenger. I cannot imagine not having access to this podcast for my early morning commute, pep talk when I’m down, or voice of reason when I’m frustrated about something in my life. Check it out.

2. The Fab Wives Unfiltered:

I stumbled upon this amazing group do women on Instagram and I have been hooked ever since. I love how I can listen to an episode and immediately feel some relief about our similar marital problems or frustrations. Not only are these women open and candid, I can relate to their backgrounds and pick up a lot of cultural references that I don’t always see shared on other media platforms. These ladies always leave me with something to work towards as a wife. They also challenge me to keep married life interesting and love on myself. They are the quintessential group of friends every woman needs to make sure “Mom life” and married life do not take over.

3. The Read:

Isn’t the read in everyone’s podcast library? What’s not to love about these Black Culture connoisseurs? Since my life is so busy, the Read keeps me up to date with any and all thing entertainment. The hosts are besties in my head. Plus it’s always great when you don’t have to argue about the amazing Goddess that Tina and Mathew Knowles placed on this earth– Beyonce. Blue, Sir, and Rumi have a mama who snatches wigs and sells out shoes for a living and the hosts on The Read sips the same kool-aid with me on this topic.

4. Deeper than Work:

While this may not be the sexiest topic or podcast, I love listening to ways women can maximize their earning potential in their respective fields. The host is super smart, informative, and fun. Even if you think you have the most fabulous job/career, you can never get to comfortable and should always consider ways to stay on top of the Rat Race.

5. Clever Girls Know:

The CGK Podcast is nothing short of amazing. If you’re battling student loans and/or have surreal personal finance issues or just want to make smart decisions about money, you should listen to this podcast regularly. The Host breaks down the best ways to live your best life while saving and investing money. It is catered to women of color and addresses some of the problems we see with people of color.

Honorable Mention:

The Social Work Podcast has been around for well over 10 years. It’s informative, academic, and practical advice for people in the social work profession, especially those who want to have a clinical practice.

Do you have a favorite Podcast? Share with me in the comments. I’m always open to knowledge, learning, and improving my life.

Until next time, take care!

Mother’s Day 2019: Two Under Two

Two Under Two is not for the faint of heart. Just as one child settles, the other child rattles. It is by the grace of God and some help that I have made it this far (roughly three months).

But at the same time, I have never felt so complete. I feel like I can really close the preggo life chapter and enter into a new phase. I am very happy with my girl and boy. I thank God for their health and the provisions to raise healthy and well-rounded children.

Ayo

I remember their births vividly (thanks to unauthorized video recordings and their Dad who made it happen). With Iwa, I was just relieved that I actually gave birth and the baby was okay. With Iwa, I knew I could do it and had the chance to enjoy the process (as in showing appreciation for the wonders of God) and greet our boy with anticipation. Both pregnancies had their ups and downs but Ayo’s was more emotionally tough and down right stereotypically hormonal.

Iwa

Motherhood is everything I thought it would be and it is my favorite thing to do. I don’t know if other moms feel this way but I often find myself hugging the kids a little longer in hopes that the love I have for them shelters them for whatever diagnoses that could potentially arise because their “mother never hugged” them. LOL. It’s funny but a real thing.

I love my two under two and I’m really delighted to share them with you on this platform.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day 2019: My Village

Since I was a child, I’ve heard the phrase over and over: “It takes a village to raise a child.”

Now that I am a mother I know this African proverb is so accurate.

This Mother’s Day I am grateful for my village who continues to help me raise my babies. There is absolutely nothing like having peace of mind about your babies.

When I returned to the office from maternity leave this week, my Mom was caring for my children. I only called mid-day so it appeared that I had some sort of thought and concern about their well-being. The truth is that I knew I did not have to worry.

Since my daughter Iwa was born, there was always my Mother-in-Law and Aunties (actual blood-related Aunts) who traveled far to come to our aide. And we thank God.

My Mom with Iwa in Florida (photo bombed by my brother) 💕

My Aunt Sandy and Daughter Iwa

Iya Esther, who gave Iwa her first Nigerian bath

Iya Damola, who traveled from Nigeria to help us for some time 💕

Kristen, Iwa’s Godmother who’s just a random call or text away

Iwa being backed by her Grandma when she first arrived from Lagos, Nigeria

Ride or Die friends, Bea and Tanesha. There are not enough words 💕

Shaon and I at Iwa’s Baby Shower

Ayo with his Grandma when he arrived from the hospital

Tricie, Ayo’s Godmother and our dearest friend

Ayo and his Godmother ❤️

I grew up in a family that turned their noses up at daycare centers because there was always a family member available for childcare. As a Floridian, there are yearly reminders of the perils families find themselves in when local news channels reveal breaking news of a toddler left in the back of a daycare center van. While this can happen to families who care for their small children at home, in Florida it’s an epidemic and every parent’s nightmare.

Madam Toks, our dear friend, with Iwa

Lekan, My Mom, Me (with Iwa)

Iya Afeez, our 2nd mother who helped me when I came home from the hospital with Iwa. I will never forget those days.

I thank God for all the people who have the heart for children. You know those people who know just what to do with a difficult child. Is it me or do children seem to respond to their calm, cool, and quiet demeanor? Or those folks who know just what’s wrong with a baby they barely know? There is something special about that type of real life experience that every millennial Mom wishes someone could document in a book or record on a podcast. But certain things are just intuitive, natural, or part of their make up.

Whatever it is…I thank God for it and hope to someday have it to share with my grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, God Children.

Until then, we just have to soak up the good sense from our village and someday hope to pass it on.

**There are many others who are not in these photographs but our love and appreciation is the same.

Hubby of Life

This is my absolute favorite picture of my husband. Hands down. It was taken by me during our Honeymoon. I was on an emotional high after our wedding weekend, where we made our love official before the church.

We got married in the church where I was raised. It was the place where I got saved. From the knitting in my mother’s young womb to the hairs on my teenage head, I was taught how much God knew about me. I also learned about God’s unconditional love for me. I was blessed to have the opportunity to get married in the very church where I prayed fervently and overcame so many youthful obstacles.

Marriage is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever tried to do. And on a great number of days I question my decision to say yes. And then I look at this photo and remember how much I love this chocolate man. I remember my friend. I remember his firm hold on my worst days. I remember how his commitment to me, us, and our family. I remember my hubby of life, my partner, my love, my cheerleader, and I simply cannot imagine doing life without him.

I remember asking God for a good man. I didn’t know he would be 6’4 with a funny last name. I didn’t know he would have one good dimple that was deeper than the ocean. I didn’t know he would meet me in New York City after being raised half-way around the world.

There was so much I didn’t know. And today, there is so much I have yet to learn.

One thing I know for sure is I still want to do life with him.

He’s going to flip out and say that I’m exposing him on social media. 🙄☺️