Unashamed

‘You know the stretch marks on your arm are visible in this picture?’ I’m sure he meant well. I anticipated the sharp comeback drenched in bile that I would throw his way in response. But it never came. Instead, I said “Yeah, it’s actually very important if those are visible” throwing my arm out and putting said stretch marks in their best light, giving them their moment.

When Yvonne asked me to contribute to her blog, I knew right away that it was a yes. Her unique energy and drive are just what I need on my Instagram feed. Add in the fact that she is killing it in the accidental entrepreneur arena and an outspoken Nigerian woman, I was always sold. So when she sent me her UNASHAMED slogan necklace, it really unearthed some feelings in me.

UnashamedTo be honest, I think I’m surface level body positive. Halfway putting my flaws out there because I honestly love women, in all their shapes and sizes but have not yet come to terms with my expanding body. I am two stone heavier than when I was pregnant. And my body has begun to tell me that. No stranger to stretch marks (I became acquainted with my first when I was 10) I’ve accepted them willingly. Willingly because subconsciously, they’ve never been in places that people have to see. But on my arms? That can really play with a girls head.

I need my arms. I need them out of doors on a sticky summer’s day. I need to be able to wear a sleeveless gown Viola Davis style and feel empowered. I need to feel like no one is like ‘Woah, she gained hella weight, just look at her arms’ So over the past six months, I’ve been toying with ways to work these new stretch marks into my wardrobe. Where I would once work out in vests, my exercise gear now must have sleeves. I’m imagining Chanel style dinner jackets on top of flirty summer dresses. I’m trying to find a way to work my new friends and not let them work me.As per every other woman, body image issues started early. I’ve played with eating disorders but never been strong nor perps weak enough to succumb to the eternal grip of restricting food portions or relieving myself post binge. A true brick house, I developed in a waif Moss world, where anything above a size 8 was dutifully talked about amongst my large bottomed female family members. Then the Kim K effect happened (much to my dismay but this is not a post about cultural appropriation – follow my Instagram for fleeting monologues regarding that mess) and all of a sudden the figure I was naturally blessed with came into the spotlight.

But when it came to taking these pictures, with this UNASHAMED necklace bestowed upon my bare, dark marked, mole decorated skin, I felt like I would be the complete opposite of unashamed if I even dare airbrushed the stretch marks out. They are not just a sign of physical growth, but mental growth also. And it is my true belief that I will only graduate once I accept them. Because they are like tattoos. They may fade and morph with you but they will always be there. So how dare I talk about body positivity or continue to encourage women to embrace their bodies in its current state if I’m letting some stretch marks ruin my current mental state. No more of that. Get ready for some Michelle Obama arm realness this summer cause I’m a coming, without a jacket in sight.

Candice Brathwaite is a mother of one, a vlogger and the founder of cake by Candie.She also blogs candicebrathwaite.com, Her Instagram page is here.

I am Enough

I am enough and Blessed

The words,” I am enough” and “I am blessed “are the words that saved me. They continue to save me because they are powerful

Growing up in Sabon-Gari District in Kano meant that once in a while, you saw ‘mad’ people walking naked on your street. ‘Mad’ was the term we all used back then and it referred to people with mental illnesses. People who have not been given any kind help (mainly because of shame) and their illnesses have spiralled to the point where the families have lost control of the situation. Most of them were hidden indoors by families.

Back then, due to lack of education on mental issues, People thought most of their problems were either spiritual or due to drug abuse. I thought that too!

Looking at my life, and with the traumas, I am blessed not to have had any obvious mental health issues. It may just because of my faith and the fact that I don’t bottle up my feelings. I speak up, I cry, I shout, I do whatever it takes to get rid of stress.Also,  I have never used alcohol or drugs to make me feel better about my pain. I have always had good friends to talk to  and I have always confronted the people who I feel have hurt me

I am enough and blessed

My late brother could not do this. He was not as strong as me. He had a life trauma that threw him into the hands of mental illness. With no a lot of support, this finally led to his death.

The words,” I am enough” and “I am blessed “are the words that saved me. They continue to save me because they are powerful. I affirm them even when I don’t feel enough or blessed. Try affirming these words, it may just help you too.

Have a fab day.

Yvonne xxx

Boogieing Down with Breast Cancer

Making the big decision to start KemiKids is (apart from marrying John, having my daughters Lore and Ola) the best thing I have ever done with my life. It has brought me tremendous joy, made me a better person and has brought so many people into my life like Annalesha Edgehill.

I came to know of Annalesha through Naomi, a very supportive member of The KemiKids’ Tribe. Naomi emailed me asking if I could include a personal note with the Mama Warrior tote bag that she was buying for her friend who has been diagnosed with cancer. That was how my friendship with Annalesha started.

I’d like you to meet Annalesha. Here she is and her story.

Please, if you can, make a donation towards her heartfelt campaign. The donation you make will help with additional expenses for the day to day family expenses, including trips to and from the hospital for tests, etc. etc.

You can follow Annalesha on Instagram. You can donate HERE

Divorce, family and the future

‘He never hit me.’ I said that a lot the first few months after I left my husband. I had counselling with a domestic abuse charity; the CMS labelled our marriage breakdown as being due to emotional abuse. It had honestly never occurred to me until the day I left him that I was suffering from emotional abuse. I knew my marriage wasn’t ‘normal’. I knew I wasn’t happy, but I did not realise I was being abused.

In the early hours of that morning, I sent a text to my friend in desperation: ‘These are things that he does, and says, and thinks about me. He admits all of them but refuses to change, I don’t know what to do.’ The reply was almost immediate: I made the decision to go, our marriage was irretrievable at that point, but the words were a shock. I simply did not realise what had been happening to me for almost eight years.We met on a dating site when I was twenty-six years old, back in the distant past when you had to log on to a laptop to message potential partners. I had moved to a town in the South, far away from my friends and family. I felt I was being proactive, meeting people rather than staying in on my own. He was charismatic, reckless and a bit of a risk-taker; everything I had always shied away from in the past when looking for a boyfriend; but I was breathless with the attention and his impetuous nature.

We met on a dating site when I was twenty-six years old, back in the distant past when you had to log on to a laptop to message potential partners. I had moved to a town in the South, far away from my friends and family. I felt I was being proactive, meeting people rather than staying in on my own. He was charismatic, reckless and a bit of a risk-taker; everything I had always shied away from in the past when looking for a boyfriend; but I was breathless with the attention and his impetuous nature.

DivorceWithin two months we had rented a flat; within three we had bought a house. Within six I was pregnant. I had noticed he was a big drinker, we had already had many an argument over it, but I was always told that the problem with his drinking was my issue and not the drinking itself. Think about it: if you’re told something often enough you eventually start to believe it. When I was close to my due date, I asked him to stop drinking so that he could drive me to the hospital if I went into labour at night. He said he was drinking for two and we would call a taxi.There were much more issues over the years. He called me names,

There were many more issues over the years. He called me names, ‘Sexless Being’ was a particular favourite of his. He created false Facebook accounts so he could chat with other women, he ran up debts for online porn. He took out a loan in my name without my consent that years later, I still don’t know what it paid for. He once emailed me a list of ‘32 acts’ he wanted me to perform for him. He refused to make any effort, it was all down to me to please him.

I used to look at other marriages with envy. I’m not naïve enough to think that all other marriages are perfect, but I realised mine was definitely lacking. I was once at a friend’s house having cuddles with her newborn. It was a Friday and her husband came home early from work. He came in, kissed his family, made us all a cuppa and held the baby whilst he had his coffee. Then he went outside, washed both their cars – and mine too as it was there – and then washed the windows too. I was almost speechless. If my husband had finished work early on a Friday, he would head to the pub. He’d drive home drunk hours after we’d had tea, and I’d dealt with homework and bedtime stories.

We bought our own house, stupidly I thought it might bring us together. It didn’t. If I wasn’t back from the school run in time to get him up for work and present him with a cup of coffee, I was in trouble. If I sat downstairs reading on my day off rather than doing housework, I was in trouble. If I chopped the peppers or the bacon incorrectly, I was in trouble. I remember walking back from the school run one morning. I’d been chatting to a friend and was late, I knew he’d be angry with me, especially if work had already tried putting through calls and I’d not got him up in time. So, I daydreamed that he would die young, maybe in his fifties, and I could hopefully have a nice life after that. I was 34 and he was 35 at the time.

I know what people will be thinking as they read this: why on earth didn’t I leave him? I look back now and I ask myself the same thing. The answer is that quite often he was nice. Things would be fine for months. He’d be the model husband and Dad. We’d have fun and go on dates and go on camping holidays and I’d think: ‘Yes. This is it. We’ve sorted it. He’s realised what’s important’. But before long, I would sense a change in atmosphere, and I knew the storm was coming, I just didn’t know when. I’d live in fear until it happened. The drunkenness, the intimidation, the blame.

Since the separation I’ve created this handy image, to try and explain what being married to my then-husband was like. Picture a wide river. The current is choppy, and hard to swim in. I’m at one side and he’s at the other. The river is the disagreement, the gulf to cross. I immediately jump in. I want to get to the other side and sort it, put the issue to bed. He doesn’t, he wants to make things worse and make me suffer. So instead of jumping in the river to help me, or at least helping me out the other side, he starts throwing things at me to make it harder to make it across; old tyres, shopping trolleys and sacks of rubbish. These are labelled: Lazy, Bad Mother, Doesn’t earn enough, Doesn’t try to be sexy. I’d always strive to solve the argument, but he delighted in muddying the waters. You can’t mend a marriage like that, not on your own. It just took me eight years to see it.

So one day, five days before Christmas 2014, I took the leap. I put my clothes and our daughter’s into two suitcases, and I moved back to my parent’s house, and within a month, we moved into our own small house. I went for a promotion and got it. Bits of the last two and a half years have been fantastic, bits of it, worse than I ever could have imagined.

Last week the courts signed off on our financial agreement, meaning we are no longer connected financially and can have no claim in the future. The divorce had been finalised in 2015, but I needed the divorce to be done, as I knew how long and complicated financial arrangements can be. I also reclaimed my maiden name. My Dad says, one by one we have disentangled every tentacle he had around me – my family clearly love a good metaphor. It’s been hard, harder than I ever could have considered it would be. There were times I felt broken, that he’d beaten me; there were also times that I thought I’d never stop crying. There have been times that I had to fight, and fight really hard. Those times mainly concerned issues with our daughter, who more than anything else I have done my best to protect. I’ve had help from mediators, family support workers, social workers, school mentors, counsellors and the CMS on how to best support my daughter. I’m now fluent in a language that previously I didn’t know existed, let alone knew how to speak.

Amongst all of this I’ve done my best to be a good Mum and to give my daughter a more calm and stable home life than she had before. She remembers the arguments and accepts that we are happier apart. Naturally, I’ve shielded her from most of the reasons why we split up. However, she is almost nine now and has a very mature and sensible head on her shoulders – she loves her Dad and visits him, but I’m pretty sure she knows more than I have told her. My family and I have a strong sense of togetherness; she is not short of love and support and is such a happy and balanced young girl, and I’m so proud of her. When she first started to visit her Dad, after the separation, I told her that her heart and mine lay next to each other for nine months, and that hasn’t changed. I told her, my heart will always be next to hers – she likes that a lot, and I’m making the most of the affection between us before the teenage years arrive!

I love my job; I’m lucky that I have a passion and I’m able to get paid for it and I strive to do it well. I want my daughter to know that I worked hard and I stood on my own two feet. I feel proud that I got promoted only 3 months after the separation – I wondered at the time if I’d gone a little mad to even consider going for it, and once I’d got it, I wondered how the hell I was going to make it work! Fortunately, as always, my amazing parents were there for support, both practically and emotionally.

My Mum had a stroke last June. That was, without a doubt, the worst time of all our lives. We nearly lost her, but she fought with all her strength and is doing well now and continuing to make improvements in both her speech and mobility. When she was in the hospital my brother and I would talk about my ex-husband in order to encourage her to swear – our argument was that it was part of her speech therapy and therefore helpful. My Dad continues to be my rock too, in spite of the changes that have taken place in his life too; he cares for Mum full time.

I’ve also carved a new life for myself. I have a lovely, caring, kind and considerate boyfriend who has taught me what it is to be partners and he is the kind of man that my daughter stands at the window for, to watch for his arrival. I could not feel more loved and respected; he is endlessly patient with me and my constant need to apologise. I’m getting there; when he reminds me not to say ‘sorry’. I have learned not to immediately say it again – one day at a time! He’s also helped me to see that there may be a day in the future when I might walk down the aisle once more.

Counselling helped me immensely, I didn’t know how much I needed it until I’d had it, but I know that I couldn’t have started a new relationship until I’d exorcised the demons of my marriage.

I’m currently off sick. The completion of our financial agreement was the final thing I’d been fighting him for, and my body sort of crumpled into a heap after it’s conclusion; I am one very snotty Emma right now! I’m having a rest from all that ‘strong’, but I know something that I didn’t before; how much of it I have inside me when it’s required. I’m looking forward to the next chapter, hopefully without any choppy rivers in it.

Emma xxx

Motherhood Quotes

My five quotes about Mother

I love quotes because they are mostly words of wisdom. Some quotes make me think really hard, some are just damn funny and some don’t even make sense. I thought I’d share my five favourite quotes on the definition of a mother with you.

“If I were asked to define Motherhood. I would have defined it as Love in its purest form. Unconditional Love.” –  Revathi Sankaran 

“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavour by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.” ― Washington Irving

“The only love that I really believe in is a mother’s love for her children.” ― Karl Lagerfeld

“In a child’s eyes, a mother is a goddess. She can be glorious or terrible, benevolent or filled with wrath, but she commands love either way. I am convinced that this is the greatest power in the universe.” ― N.K. Jemisin

“Children are knives, my mother once said. They don’t mean to, but they cut. And yet we cling to them, don’t we, we clasp them until the blood flows.” ― Joanne Harris
Do you have any favourite quote of yours? We’d love you to share it with us.

On Reflection

Having lived my life at breakneck speed – always filled with lots of energy and for the most part managing to escape the feeling of being overwhelmed (and low) – to say the last five weeks have been a shock is an understatement.

I’m not yet out of the woods… but I am out the woods enough to be able to start to reflect on the eye-opening lessons I have learnt from this period.

Four and a half weeks ago I had a major operation, which was very frightening to me in the lead-up and debilitating in the recovery period. The hospital said it would take 6-8 weeks to recover, I arrogantly thought, “Sure a couple of weeks will do it!” How wrong could I have been? Willing healing to speed up has no impact on it speeding up; mind over matter is fairly useless when you cannot walk. What you are left with is being utterly dependent on other people.

I have a busy life. I run my own business, I have two daughters of primary school age and I am married to a man who also runs his own business. My family works based on me being the primary caregiver and the energetic part that keeps everything going. Not to say that my husband doesn’t play an important role in the mix, but he does play a different one to me.

Jenny Knighting

The last five weeks have taught me some important lessons.

The age old saying that you know who your friends are “When the shit hits the fan” is really true. It is surprising how few people take the time to show empathy and to be there when you really need it. When you are four weeks in and depressed because – not only can you not drive, or walk – you must work all the time to keep business commitments… and then your youngest becomes extremely unwell with chicken pox. Factor in a mentally ill relative whose current angry episode is targeting you, your children are changing schools and you have a major infection from the operation – it is hard not to feel incredibly low. When you are at this point you realise whom in your life are there to pass the time with, and who are there because they genuinely care and you have a friendship with substance. They are the people that when they ask, “How are you?”, they actually want to know the answer. They are the people I will be eternally grateful to for getting me through this very difficult period of time. The kindness and compassion that has been shown to me by family and friends has humbled me and balanced out the hurt – not sure if that is the right word – but the sting from those that have shown little empathy. And really, what does it matter? You can’t force people to fake care, and more importantly, would you want them to? It just helps you understand more about what part that relationship plays in your life.

The first lesson I have learnt is that I am certainly at fault of people pleasing, but, if I have learnt anything it is that people pleasing and caring for the right people is a good use of energy. People pleasing and caring for people who do not reciprocate is not. For those of you running yourself ragged: stop a moment and give yourself a break. Take some time to regain perspective, as this will help you to prioritise who you want to spend time with. That is not to say people outside of that list don’t play a part in your life, but it does mean that it’s ok to give yourself a break and an out from keeping all commitments going. It’s ok to say ‘no’. It’s ok not to go for coffee with that friend who doesn’t make you feel good.

Painting by Jenny’s second daughter

Pleasantries and surface relationships make for a happier life overall and that’s what makes a community. It’s just knowing and being comfortable with who is a surface friend, and who is one of a substance. Neither is wrong, but knowing the difference will protect you from feeling let down.

The second lesson I have learnt is that I am my own worst nightmare. The strengths of my personality that work when I am well are virtually impossible to live with when I am not. I have a relentless drive to succeed for reasons too personal and long-winded to go into now. I put ridiculous expectations on myself and am a borderline workaholic. I say borderline because my children (and family as a whole) are without a doubt my number one priority, but certainly, the hours I work each week are far from healthy. Taking the time, or rather being forced, to reflect on what we find difficult to live with ourselves is very difficult. I treat myself in a way I would never treat anybody else. I am just packaged up in a very confident package. If I feel like this I wonder how many other people do the same. So really my second lesson is kindness to myself. If I can learn to treat myself with kindness not only will it be better for my family, but also hopefully it will help my daughters do the same. If you are reading this and it strikes a cord with you, the next time you open your mouth to make a joke at your own expense, or talk to yourself in a derogatory way… Stop. The more times you stop the easier it will be to break the habit.

The third lesson I have learnt is that I have a greater insight than I thought was possible into how hard life can be. I am fortunate that I will recover and get my health and my love for life back. For others, it is not that easy. For some, they are living day in day out with a debilitating illness, whether it is mental or physical. This can come across as rudeness that can be masking shyness or low confidence. Abruptness that can be a mask for depression. If we can all just reach out to that person who is struggling and show some kindness, I cannot tell you the difference it will make.

I have been blessed to have a hotline to somebody I love dearly who will take the call at any time of day and will be there to listen; I have friends who will make it a pleasure to have my child; friends who will pop in even when I have said no because they know I need cheering up; friends who when I say can you pick up my daughter reply within seconds to say off course it would be a pleasure. Not everybody is that fortunate. If you are feeling really rubbish and need a friend to listen to you, and you feel on your own, pick up the phone and call somebody that you trust. Rarely are people that care too busy or not interested. Let other people decide whether they are too busy. And loose feeling like a burden. Most people who are real friends will feel privileged that you have confided in them.

I am not sure this blog post has achieved anything, and I am not sure if it will prove interesting to anybody, but I just wanted to reach out to any of you going through difficulties on the off chance that this may help.

Jenny knighting is a mother of two and the founder of Nutcracker Agency. Jenny is on Twitter @JennyKnighting and her website is nutcrackeragency.com

“I am just doing the right thing.”

Today, when I woke up, I wrote a long to-do list. I must let you know that only two items on my list have been accomplished; writing this blog post and taking my daughter Lore for her hospital appointment.

After Lore’s appointment, I took her back to her school and made my way home to tackle the rest of my to-do list. BTW I was walking. Five minutes away from my house, I noticed my camera drop out of my bag. It was only then that I realised that the contents of my bag had been making a trail behind me. I was not aware of this because I had been too busy chatting on my mobile phone with a Royal Mail salesman.

One of the items that had made its way out of my bag was my wallet – and this made me freak out. I did not freak out because of the wallet itself or its contents but because of the palaver of dealing with the different banks, DVLA, etc. But almost immediately after freaking out, I felt some strange sense of peace and this peace reassured me that my wallet and I will be reunited. So, I retraced my steps… but found nothing.

You may be wondering why I felt this sense of peace when I had just lost my wallet. I felt some peace because of the good seeds I had sown in the past. For instance, the time when I was a penniless student and found a wallet full of fifty pounds notes in the toilet of Harvey Nichols Departmental store. As much as I was tempted to keep the wallet, I did the right thing.

A recent example also comes to mind. Some weeks ago, I found a file lying on the pavement as I walked my kids to school. I picked it up, traced the owner and reunited her with her file.

Finally, I still have faith in the goodness of the human race.

So, after a few hours of getting home and still no sign of anyone contacting me through the personal details in my wallet, I decided to stay safe and cancel my cards. First, I called my bank and cancelled my personal and business debit cards. Next up was our joint credit card. As I was waiting in the telephone queue to speak to an agent, my doorbell rang and I knew that that was my wallet being returned to me.

When I opened the door, a gentleman stood there with my yellow leather wallet in his hand. He handed it to me and I thanked him. I asked him in for coffee but he politely declined – but he said to me, “I am just doing the right thing.”

Why am I telling you this story and what have I learned?

  1. When I was growing up, I heard this saying a lot “Man proposes, but God disposes”. It simply means human beings can make as many plans as they want, but it is the universe that decides their success or failure. My plans for today did not go as I wanted them to and that is fine. When these kinds of things happen to me now, I do not beat myself up because some things are not under my control.
  2. Today has also reiterated the saying “You Reap What You Sow”. If you sow good deeds, you will reap good deeds and vice versa.

Have you had a similar experience, I’d love you to hear from you.

Yvonne x

When your kids strip you naked

This evening, I was showing my children some old photos on the computer. They were very surprised to see how fat I used to be. I was over 15 stone. This was before the kids were born. In all honesty, I thought I was happy but I wasn’t. Not until my first daughter was born did I realise that I wasn’t happy after all. It showed in my weight. I had lots of issues. When my daughter came, she stripped me naked and made me look at myself.Children do that to us, don’t they?
Speaking to other mums, I have had to conclude that something in us changes when we have kids. Something makes us want to be the best version of ourselves.
I wanted to love me so I made a decision to start loving myself. There was no way I could have loved my kids if I did not love myself. It was just impossible. I would have been lying to myself and my kids.
I started with the words, “I am Enough”. At the beginning, they were just words. When I started believing them, everything changed.Those words are life changing. They changed my life. Those words made me love me.

Don’t be polite, just block them

Last year, I blocked some Facebook ‘friends’. I even blocked them from seeing my timeline on Instagram. Why did I do that? I’ll explain it this way. You know when you have just done up your home, you have painted the walls white, you have new white carpets fitted and you feel really proud of your home.

So, you decide to invite your friends round to have a look at your newly decorated home. But your ‘friends’ had other ideas. Instead of enjoying your home with you, they pull down their pants and take a big, fat, smelly crap on your white carpet. What would you do? Give them a welcoming drink or throw them out and rub the crap on their coats?

For me, I was not going to let that happen. No, No No. Not in my home. I threw them out by blocking them. Also, before they left, I made sure they cleaned their mess. I have worked so hard on my confidence and my brand. I don’t need anyone taking a dump on it.

Why am I telling you this? Don’t let haters take a crap on your white carpet. In real life or online. Don’t be polite or nice, just block them.

Yvonne xxx

It begins at home.

So Yesterday I was in a wrestling match with my daughters. And I won. Favourite Daughter Number two, Lore kicked it off. She is fiery like me. Ola is gentle like her father.
Growing up in a Nigerian home in Nigeria meant you feared your parents. You did not talk back to them, basically, you have no rights. You are just a child. I hated that kind of parenting. It killed my spirit. I was an outspoken child who got into trouble every day.
Since I didn’t like my parents parenting style, I did the opposite. John and I allow our kids to speak their minds, to complain when they are unhappy with my husband and I. We have always listened to them.
However, kids being kids don’t know the boundaries between complaining (about what they seem to be unfair) and rudeness. I had to put this right yesterday. I realise that if I don’t, they will be rude to other people outside our home and become dreadful teenagers. As much as I love my girls, I am their mother and it is my duty to teach them how to be great citizens of this world and It begins from home. They got that message yesterday and my eyes are firmly on them. My question to you is, how do you keep your kids in check without killing their spirit but still teaching them great values.

Yvonne

Watching porn in public places

Two or three days ago, on BBC 4 Women’s Hour, women called in to talk about their various experiences (and reactions) when they had caught people watching porn on public transport. Some of these women complained to the conductors of the train or buses, some challenged the antisocial behaviour and some did nothing.

I was tempted to call in and join the conversation. You see before I had kids, one day on my way back home from work, I caught a man watching porn on the train. Despite being a 15 stone woman then, I  was just too chicken to challenge this guy. I guess I was too embarrassed to even acknowledge that I knew what he was watching. I was very annoyed, though.

Fast forward to today, if I caught the same man or anyone else watching porn on the bus or train that I am on, I would challenge them. However, this depends on a lot of factors like the time, how empty the coach or bus is, who I am with etc. etc.

I believe as a woman and a mother of two girls, I am entitled to feel safe and comfortable in public spaces.  Going back to what I’d do, I would put on my loud Yoruba accent and ask him why the urgency. Why can’t he wait and watch whatever he is watching in the comfort of his bedroom? I’d explain that I feel threatened.

I feel really strongly about this issue and I consider it an important one because very soon my daughters will be traveling alone using public transport. It is very important that they feel safe and not threatened.Also, as women, we also need to feel safe. I was wondering if like me, would you challenge someone watching porn in public? What would you tell your son or daughter to do if they ever come across such?

Yvonne

Silver shoes and fur coat

This was me doing the school run this afternoon in silver shoes and my fabulous pimp fur coat.
Do you know that when my mother-in-law initially gave me this coat (her late husband bought it for her in the 70s) I did not have the confidence to wear it? I felt it was too loud and dramatic.
A month after she gave it to me, I remember wearing it out (and feeling rather uncomfortable) going back home to change into a more conservative coat. I felt people were staring and wondering, “What the hell is she wearing? Who does she think she is? Diana Ross?”

Fast forward to today, because I now recognise who I am and whose I am, I just don’t give a flying pig what people think of me. In a nutshell, what I am trying to say to you  is If you are one of those women who still worry about what other women at the school gates (or even your colleagues at the office) are saying or thinking about you, you have to seriously ask yourself why are you so bothered about their thoughts or opinions. Or even their chatters.
In Nigeria, there is a saying that goes, “Unless you are feeding me or paying my rent, I owe you absolutely nothing.” And that is the way I live my life now. And you should live your life that way as well.

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