I am enough

Tattoo

When I turned 30, I thought my life was over. I really did.So silly. Little did I know that my life was just getting started and very exciting. On the day of my birthday itself, I remember sending thank you emails to people who were in my life at that time. To be honest with you, I can’t really remember the content of the emails, (looking back now) I am sure they were concerned by my strange email!
To celebrate that big milestone, my best friend Lara (who was also 30) and I decided to get a tattoo. To cut a long story short, I decided to have a naughty butterfly tattooed on my left hip and it is still there. However, (after two huge babies) for my tattoo to be seen, you have to grab and lift my loose skin and have a peek.
Lately, I am thinking of having a new tattoo to celebrate my life. I don’t know what I am going to have yet and my daughters keep coming up with ridiculous ideas. My question to you is, if you are going to celebrate your life with a tattoo, what would you have?
Yvonne xxx

Nightmare

This morning, I was a nightmare of a wife. I was cold and insensitive towards him as he headed out in the cold and dark morning.As he left, my conscience hit me. I knew he was worthy of more than I gave him. My husband did not complain or make a fuss, he just said, “I love you.” and closed the door behind him.

My husband deserves better than how I treated him this morning or even at other times. He is no angel and he has his flaws but (for goodness sake) he is a good man and I love him. Most importantly, he treats me well. He respects me. He treats our daughters well. He is a man who puts his family before himself.
For as I can remember, five days a week (whatever the weather) he gets on that train, travels to London for 12 hours just so that we can have a decent life. Because of him, I am able to focus on my business full-time. Because of him, I am able to look after our kids without having to think about the stress of childcare. Mind you, I am not writing this post because I want to tell you how good my husband is but to just remind us that (just like us) men have feelings and a whole lot of pressure placed on them as well. They have the pressure to provide for their families, the pressure to be perfect dads, perfect sons, perfect employees etc etc. Without sounding patronising, I sure you understand what am trying to say.

It also took me a while to realise that men don’t really talk about their problems. Not even to their close friends, wives or partners. Not talking about the problems they are facing, has (sometimes) made me behave insensitively towards my husband.I keep reminding him that if he does not talk to me, I will not know. Now he does… sometimes

To cut this post short, I just wanted to remind us that men have feelings – they may not voice it like women do. So, to my husband, if you are reading this, sorry I was a cold Yoruba wife this morning.

Yvonne xxx

 

It is that time of the year

It is that time of the year when we are beginning to think about what we’d like to do better in the New Year: we are now thinking about our new year resolutions for 2017. Not me.
Last year, I made a decision not to make any resolution because I have never been able to stick to them. It made me feel like a failure. So, I don’t do resolutions anymore.
If you are one of those people who make resolutions and stick to them, I’d like to congratulate you and say, “More grease to your elbow.”
For me, Instead of making resolutions, I now make a gratitude list of everything I am thankful for. I also make a list of the things I have achieved in the year.
I believe we can’t do better in a new year without showing gratitude for what we have already achieved. It is not possible. Try doing something different this year, it may just work for you. Yvonne xxx

Blah Blah Blah

Blah Blah Blah

A friend once confessed to me that her interfering mother-in-law makes her feel incapable. My friend said, “She makes me feel like I am not capable of taking care of my kids or her son.” I advised her that she only had two options; 1. To put a boundary in place with her mother in law. I exp[lained that it is her duty to ensure that the boundary does not get crossed. 2. To treat her mother in law’s snide remarks as Blah blah blah.  She went for option 2. It was easier for peace sake. She explained that at the end of the day, no matter how nasty her mother in law is to her, her husband still loves his mother. 

As a Nigerian woman, I am not afraid to confront issues. Confronting issues stop anger from jumping into my heart. From a young age, Nigerians are taught to stand up for themselves. However, as I have gotten older, I have come to realise that there are some annoyances that are not worth the battles. Those annoyances, I treat as Blah blah blah. I treat it as noise.

This canvas case I am holding was created to empower women to speak up for themselves… when it is necessary. The rest of the time, treat the nuisances as noise, shake it off and move on. It is just noise.

Yvonne xxx

You are enough

My confidence bashing experience

If you are a small business woman like me, you’ll understand how what I am about to tell you can murder your confidence in your business. If you are not a business owner, then, I’ll describe it as when you go to a dance, all your friends are boogieing down on the dance floor with some gorgeous men and you are standing alone… no one has asked you to dance with them. You start to ask yourself if you are beautiful enough.

Some weeks ago, I travelled on the train from Surrey to East London (on the day of a train strike) with a very heavy suitcase, full of my products and a confidence that I will sell almost everything. I had the confidence because my products are fabulously Beautiful and well priced. However, the market proved me wrong.

I sold only one item for £6.00, the table cost almost 10x that amount and my confidence was about to be hit. I had two choices, either to feel sorry for myself or to just take it as one of those things and learn from the experience. I chose the latter. I chose the latter because I believe in what I do. Also, you spending your hard earned money to support me proves it. What am I trying to say? You are Enough. Believe in yourself

Yvonne xxx

Looking after you

When my kids were younger, I was one of those mamas who bought the best for them but bought crap for me. I thought that was what good mamas were supposed to do.

I am sorry (and without feeling a tinge of guilt) but now, I treat myself to good things. I treat myself well. Who wants to go around looking tired and haggard? Plus, I don’t want to go about town looking like I am my husband’s mother instead of his wife. You know what I mean? When the husband looks young and the wife looks worn-down, grey-haired and sluggish.

Now, I buy good clothes, good food and good everything for myself. I do this because I love me and I am teaching my daughters how to look after themselves before another. Looking after yourself by putting yourself first does not mean you love your kids less.

Yvonne xxx

Mama Necklace

Sacrifices Mamas make

Every Saturday, my daughters go swimming.  At the start of this weekly routine, I went along (with John) to watch them learn to swim. However, I stopped going as my business demanded more of my time.
Today,(despite been busy and not planning to go again) I left everything that needed to be done and went to watch my daughters have their last lesson of the year.
I went along because one of my daughters asked me to. This is a big deal for me because my daughters never make me feel guilty about running a business which means not giving them a lot of attention. My daughters are my biggest supporters. They want me to do well. So, asking me to come along to watch them swim must have meant a lot to them. So, I went along and I am glad that I did.

Since starting this business, I have really not been a fab mama to my daughters but thanks to John, our home is still ticking along. I am sure you know this but being a Mama is hard. It is full of different emotions. Being a mama and running your own business is even harder because you make a lot of sacrifices. Sacrifices that you may regret in the future.

If you are a mama and you are thinking of starting your own business, my advice is to go for it. But remember that you’ll have to make some sacrifices. Are you okay with that? What sacrifices are you willing to make for your business to succeed?

Yvonne

 

Queen

The MaMAQUEEN slogan

A lot of people ask me why I created the #MAMAQUEEN slogan. My answer has always been the same. Women are born QUEENS. If you are a woman, this makes you a QUEEN.

When you now have kids, your kids are born into royalty. They are born with a crown on their heads. Right now, I am teaching my daughters not to take their crowns off for anyone. They must NEVER do this to make others feel comfortable about their insecurities. They must always wear their crowns. Queens and Kings don’t male themselves small because they want to be liked by others.

Yvonne x

Tough Love

Without going into a lot of details, this daughter of mine and I have had some rough few weeks. But things are getting better between us. I’ve had to be really tough on her. I’d be a bad mother if I did not. I believe that sometimes we have to be tough on our kids when we see them going down the wrong path. To be tough on them is not an easy thing to do but We can’t stand by and watch them throw their Lives away. As parents, we have to step in and stop whatever nonsense they are doing. That is what I did. And I will continue to do.

Yvonne x

Ready To Speak Up with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

“Award-winning author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie discusses how make-up gives you the power to be Ready To Speak Up, in partnership with No7. Joining Chimamanda in conversation are presenter Gemma Cairney, chef Gizzi Erskine, broadcaster Cherry Healey, journalist Sali Hughes, author Louise O’Neill and entrepreneur Sarah Willingham. Discover their thoughts on how the transformative power of make-up gives them the energy and confidence to show up, speak up and make a positive impact in their worlds.”

Mama Warrior

How to take great photos

I love great photos. I love beautiful Instagram feeds. As I have mentioned here before, sometimes, I have to bribe, beg or bully my daughters into taking photos of us looking all happy for my Instagram feed. Sometimes, they are interested, and other times, they are not. Cocoandliquorice shares a funny (but honest) post on her Instagram feed on what it took for her to snap this amazingly beautiful photo. With her permission, I share it with you here. Enjoy x

“This right here is the very reason why my feed doesn’t contain photos of us walking hand in hand on a moonlit beach; or of Coco running barefoot through a cornfield with a flower garland in her hair. We’re just not that family. I wanted to get a shot on point for KemiKids.  I’ve purchased yet another piece of her AWESOME hand wear. (She’s also just launched a super cool jewellery line so please.check.it.out)

However trying to incorporate comedic props (which as you can see was Coco’s idea) whilst balancing on my hunkers so I’m the correct height and my head isn’t cut off I just thought F**kIt and gave up. My blurred left knee indicates the loss of balance and right after this shot; I fell on my arse onto a scabby cigarette butt. (There is no third party to assist with photography so my iPhone is on a timer, propped up on a stack of books on a public footpath) We are THAT kind of family #TrueStory.”

I am a MAMA WARRIOR. I LOVE US

GEM

GEM

Yesterday my daughter asked me what GEM means. I said: “GEM is you (her) because you are a treasure to me, your papa, your sister, and God”. GEM is me because I am blessed to be alive.
I said GEM can also mean GOOD ENOUGH MAMA. For me, I stopped trying to be a perfect mama a few years ago when I broke down crying my way back home after a bad school run. I was exhausted and angry with myself for falling for the perfect mother bullshit. BTW what made it worse was it was raining heavily on the day I had my AHA .

GEM

It was that day that it occurred to me that it does not matter if my home is tidy or not. I’d like it to be. It does not matter if I make parental mistakes: my kids are forgiving and I must forgive myself. It does not matter if I don’t do what the society expects a perfect mother to do. And so on and so forth. It was that day that I made a pact with myself that all I want to be is A Good Enough Mama. This necklace reminds of my pact with myself that perfection is another word for unhappiness.

This is the idea behind our GEM necklace. You can buy one HERE

"what is this here to teach me?"

What is this here to teach me?

"what is this here to teach me?"

“What is this here to teach me?”

This girl gave me a fright yesterday. She fell down the stairs in our house as we were getting ready to leave for school in the morning. She did not hit her head or anything like that but she did complain of a pain in her back. Not wanting to be late for school, I checked she was okay and went to grab my shoes. However, my mama instinct kicked in and  asked me to check her again. As I went back to check her, she passed out in my arms for a few seconds.

Surprisingly, I was calm. And if you know me, you’ll know that I am not a calm person. I guess I had to stay calm because her older sister was freaking out.  To be honest with you, I was more worried about her older sister who thought her younger sister was dying right in front of her.  To cut a long story short, she is fine. The doctors said the shock of the fall was what made her faint.

When things like this happen to me, I have learned to ask myself, “what is this here to teach me?” My lesson? Not to take my daughters for granted. Life is freaking fragile.