11 Traits to have in your single years – while waiting for a life partner

The single years can be fun and productive, but in some societies, the stigma that arises when you start getting close to a certain age can become overwhelming.

Beyond that, how can you make your single years transformational and fruitful before settling down? Here are some tips to help you:

1. Give more than you receive

This is the best time to start practicing how to share. When you get married, you’ll have to share your life with your spouse and if you have always felt that people were invading your space, this is the best time to start practicing.

Smile more, show courtesy, give out some things that you don’t need and volunteer with your time.

2. Start working on things that challenge your self-worth

Do you have issues with being confident? This is the best time to seek therapy on that. Do you feel you’re not tall or beautiful enough?

This is the best time to start seeing yourself in a positive light. Take time to evaluate what makes you feel less and start appreciating it.

In marriage, you wouldn’t want your spouse to be the source of your happiness because sometimes you’ll need to learn to enjoy your alone time. Nobody can complete you so start learning to love yourself.

3. Learn to manage your money

If you spend without a budget, plan or savings then you want to learn to manage your finance. You can start saving and investing now.

You can research on apps that allow you to save and invest and also learn more on business opportunities.

4. Learn to manage your home

If you can’t clean your space, then start owning your space well without the intention of your spouse arranging everything for you.

Learn to clean every corner of your house and practice good and healthy hygiene.

5. Be a praying person

Marriage has its own battles and you don’t want to go into marriage with an entitlement mentality.

You want to start praying for yourself, your spouse and children ahead. Learn to build a relationship with God in your single years so that you don’t build your world around your spouse alone.

6. This is time to work on your insecurities

There’re people who’ll get married and try to control or manipulate their spouse because of trust issues. This is time to stop projecting your fears on your partner.

Seek therapy and closure. It usually stems from your past experiences and it is better to seek for healing before you settle down.

7. Let go of pride

If you’ve pride issues, this is the time to start seeking professional help. Pride kills the beauty of marriage.

Don’t assume that your excesses will be managed. Pride comes before a fall.

8. Practice self-control

If you think marriage will help you to stop playing the field, that’s a mistake. Self-control is important because you won’t be having sex every day.

9. Start learning little act of commitment

Marriage works because of two committed people. Commitment should be practiced even when things are not going your way. It starts with your thoughts and decisions.

10. Travel to a new place

One of the beautiful things you can do in your single years is to go to new places and try new things. if you cannot afford to visit a different country, try traveling to another state to tour and meet new people.

11. Invest in your personal development

You should also use this period to read books, attend seminars and invest in yourself. I can’t emphasize this enough.

A lot of singles find it difficult to invest in their emotional life and it can be frustrating at the end of the day. Save yourself the stress of being hurt and clueless.

Learn and relearn. Learn about your personality type, your values, your deal-breaker, communication, love and apology languages, and so many other things.


Which of these do you want to start doing?

FACEBOOK LIVE: GIRL TALK WITH DR. FEYI AND SHE LEADS AFRICA (NOV 28)

What’s it like being a girl?

There are a whole bunch of things women go through, our emotional and physical kit bags are always filled up and frankly, we all need a sister to talk to.

It’s funny how we live in the century of the millennials where almost everyone is very open-minded but women are still embarrassed to talk about specific topics regarding their bodies, their sexuality and the female nature overall.

Got some woman issues bottled up inside? Lighten up! We’re bringing you an opportunity to get all your questions answered.

Join our girls exclusive Facebook LIVE with Dr. Feyi on Wed, 28th Nov @ 5pm WAT. It’s a deep-dive into everything! Click To Tweet

Dr. Feyishara Kuku is an OB/GYN and marriage therapist who has several years of experience in dealing with women’s health and family therapy.

Join us on Wednesday, 28th November, as we host a Facebook Live Chat with Dr. Feyisara Kuku, themed Girl talk with Dr. Feyi. It’s going to be a deep dive to all the things you’re probably shy to talk about.

Some of the topics we’ll cover

  • What you need to know about Breast Cancer
  • How to tackle Clinical & Social Depression
  • Let’s talk about Sex and STI’s
  • Before you say  “I do”… Girl, listen
Register below to access this opportunity and submit questions that you would like Dr. Feyi to answer.

Facebook Live Details:

Date: Wednesday, November 28th

Time: GA, USA 12pm // Lagos 6pm // Johannesburg 7pm

Where: facebook.com/sheleadsafrica/

 


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About Feyishara

Feyishara Kuku is an OB/GYN, a marriage and family therapist and the Co-Founder of Sarthelpline. She’s also a mom and a Peace Activist.

In her journey as a therapist, she has had the opportunity to work with high- achieving men, CEOs, baby boomers, college students, and affluent clients who are looking for a counseling experience that is tailored to their unique needs.

She specializes in clinical issues as addictions, crisis, betrayal, trauma, faith-based issues, leadership development, stress management, maximizing productivity, divorce, finances, and career counseling.

Tolulope Tunde-Ajiboye: Life lessons from my journey to new beginnings

Coming into my 33rd year is very special, as it marks my 20th year of walking with God, 10 years of marriage, 10 years of parenting, 10 years of being a professional and the birthing of something new – Blooming Amazons.

I will be sharing life lessons I’ve learned through the journey.

Before you begin, grab a notepad and maybe a cool drink, because this is a long but eye-opening read.

Living for the praises/ validation of men is futile

This year, as it’s a pattern with me when something new is about to be birthed in me, all Hell would let loose and most times only a few can see what I m seeing. When Blooming Amazons were about to be birthed, I had people who I taught should be excited about the new work say to me, cancel, it’s not time.

I knew I heard God, so I went ahead, not allowing the opinion of anyone to deter me. At the end of our first conference in June, I had a few of them (who were Humble enough)  say to me, you really heard God, after the conference, we are convinced.

So I say to myself, what if I succumbed to all the pressures?

Own your Journey as it is part of your process

EVERYTHING we go through in life( The Good, Bad and Ugly) is all part of our becoming and it’s the enemy’s plan to keep us down with shame. God will never want us to be ashamed irrespective of where we have been.

He’s more interested in where we are now and where we will spend eternity… We should find strength in our journey and own our story without prejudice, someone out there will draw strength from your journey.

Always remember you are only a vessel

When God does His work through us, there’s the temptation that people would start to put us on a pedestal of worship(very dangerous), we have to constantly remind them, it is God who is doing His work and we are only vessels, and He alone should take all the glory.

If we are not deliberate about this,  pride will set in (and it’s usually subtle). God resists the proud, the fear of being resisted by God alone should keep us humble.

Everything we go through in life - The Good, Bad and Ugly is all part of our becoming - @tolulopetaj Click To Tweet

Some things never grow old

1. Prayer 

These days when you say to people lets pray about this, it sounds like a cliché, like the normal thing Christians say, but I tell you the truth, Prayer changes things.

Prayer is us admitting to God that we are limited and need His intervention in a particular situation. It’s a show of surrender and Humility. His answer may not come how we many it or when we want it, but He certainly answers.

2. Submission

With all the feminism out there and being taken overboard, it assumes that submission is out-dated. I see submission as admitting that the power I have comes through me and not from me, I believe God knows the strength of a woman and if left unchecked can create chaos and that’s why He has commanded us to submit.

Submission is more than an admonishing, it’s a command.

So, I”m married to this amazing gentleman who allows me to have my way a lot of times, but when He puts his foot down, I know I have to submit, it might not be easy on the flesh, but every time I submit to my Husband, I notice He honors me more and He is spurred to do more for me.

Irrespective of what I do outside of my Home, once I get to ABCVille,( How we like to call our Home), I’m first Babatunde’s wife before anything else. Being submissive isn’t the same as being subservient.

3. Loyalty

I’m a believer in if you belong to a place, then give it your loyalty, if I start to doubt the integrity of a  place I belong to, I would rather move on than to be two-faced.

I still don’t know how people are able to sleep at night after hailing someone who they just cursed behind their back. (lol.one of the first questions I will ask God when we get to heaven).

God is a loving Father

A lot of us have this fearful, awfull picture of God, perhaps painted to us as children from Sunday school days, but it’s not true about Him, we should fear God in reverence, but not an awful kind of fear. God isn’t like the Nigerian traffic police (lastma) lol, hiding and just waiting for us to fail so He can hit us with His rod of correction of sickness, diseases or crisis…

Rather, He loves us with an everlasting, I like to call it a ‘reckless love’. The Bible makes us know He doesn’t want the sinner to perish, it is never His will for anyone to perish, and it is never God who puts crises on people, all good and perfect gifts come from Him and its impossible for Him to do evil.

Next time you find yourself “falling”, remember, God’s love is waiting with hands open wide to receive you back - @tolulopetaj Click To Tweet

Feelings are a bad master but a good servant

As Christians, we can’t be ruled by our feelings, they will mislead us. We are first a spirit, then we have a soul and live in a body, Our soul is responsible for our emotions but as strong as emotions are, they are in no match to what our spirit carries. Our life should be guided by the spirit.

So Here was I, tongue-talking, demon chasing daughter of God, being attracted to some other person, of course I know to Kill that emotion because it is not leading to anywhere good. Anger, Jealousy, Fear, all these are emotions and should be put in constant check with the word of God.

Sometimes we might wake up not feeling too good, perhaps because of life challenges(being an adult can be demanding….I know), we are weighed down.

Here is my reminder to you, it’s only a feeling, it’s not who you are, it will pass.

Marriage has to be built on the right foundation

Right foundation for me will be marrying for the right reasons, being sincere about who you are from the beginning of the relationship and most important part, Having God be the center of it all.

Forever is a very long time to spend with someone, and years down in marriage, both of you will evolve, children will come or may not, careers will grow , finances, Health, in-laws, priorities, purpose, a lot will just happen and its the foundation of your marriage that will really sustain the union, we can’t really change our spouse.

No Human being can change another( God hasn’t given that power to any man), but we can ask Him who is the creator and father of our spouse to do with and in His child all He wants to.

Be sincere and open with your Children

I learned this from my mum, She is a  very sacrificial mother and let my brother and me into her capabilities. Even when I was far away in school, there were just somethings I never got involved in, because I knew my mother emptied all her savings to give me the comfort I have.

I just kind of felt being of good behavior and excelling was the least I could do to honor her. Also, you earn your children’s respect when you treat your spouse well.

This a subtle life lesson we pass to our children without talking. So my children notice my Husband and I just disagreed over an issue, and as children may want to ask for favors from me which their Dad won’t approve of.

They know I won’t bend over to let them have their way. They have come to learn this, so these days, they don’t bother…

Competition and Rivalry is baseless

One of the core things the Lord has been impressing upon my heart is collaboration. We are the light of the world, but a candlestick in a world of gross darkness cant dispell much but imagine what happens when we all bring our light together, there is no darkness we can’t dispel.

Afterall, no one ever shines brighter by putting our another person’s light.

It’s Ok to admit we are limited and don’t know something

There’s the temptation of wanting to answer everyone’s questions, want to meet everyone’s need and solve every problem when we begin to have people look up to us.

While this is good, to have a serving heart, it can place too much demand on us, we should do as much as we can, but we should always have at the back of our minds that its only the Holy Spirit who can fix people and solve problems and we are in no match with him. We should always point people back to God and be sincere with our limitations.

If  someone asks us a question we don’t know, its ok to say I don’t know or I’m not sure about this, can I get back to you or can I refer you to someone I feel will be in a better position to answer you correctly

 

People would always have an opinion and they are entitled to it, but you should choose what advice to listen to - @tolulopetaj Click To Tweet

Everyone God has brought our way is for a purpose and we are accountable for them

One of the ways my Husband and I have decided to give back to the society is by ensuring anyone who comes to work for us as a domestic staff leaves us better. We are committed to their growth and development.

Seriously, we can’t claim to be mentoring people outside when the ones right under our roof, that spend a lot of time with our children are not well mentored.

Not only do we mentor them but make an investment in them. Is there a possibility they won’t be grateful, Oh yes, but who and what is our motive? God!!! So it’s unto Him

There’s a reward for faithfulness

When we are in the capacity to work for others, we should do it as though it is ours. People say a lot to me now that running BLAM comes so easy for you.

How do you do it, but then, years before now, I was serving somewhere else, not having the slightest idea God would call me to start BLAM, but I did it with all my heart as though it was mine, not only did God reward my faithfulness.

I was also unknowingly developing myself for my own purpose, so now it appears so easy as I have developed my root downwards.

 

Courage isn’t the absence of Fear, but not being crippled by the fear.

I remember our first conference, I was so afraid like visibly afraid, if you looked at me, you literally could see me trembling, but I didn’t let that stop me, I know fear is only a feeling, I heard God clearly about the conference, so what I felt really didn’t matter.

Fulfilling a purpose isn’t for the faint-hearted

Ask anyone doing great in any sector, they will tell you the same thing. Someone told me she was crying because some people she thought should support her vision arent doing so.

I simply told her, welcome to the club, its ok to cry, but one of the beauties of being a woman is we can cry this moment, and the next go to the washroom and slay it up again.

Usually, I would recommend anyone starting or doing a great work to confess Ephesians 3:16 (NLT)  I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. 

We need a lot of inner strength for the journey.

People would always have an opinion and they are entitled to it, but what they aren’t entitled to be forcing it on you.

You also owe yourself not being moved by the opinion of people, I have observed that people’s opinions are ever changing, since the days of Jesus, today Hosanna, tomorrow crucify!

Seek Counsel, ask for advice, but ultimately, hear God.

I once heard of an ex-governor who when He wanted to run for governorship sort the counsel of one His mentors, a big name in the Christian faith in our nation, and the person told him not to run as he won’t win, but He was convinced God spoke to Him.

He ran and won the elections and even did a second term. I’ve had this play out in my lifetime and time again. This doesn’t make the man of God a liar, it only means that concerning the issues of our destiny, it is ONLY the holy spirit’s guide that is 100 percent accurate.

Your spouse isn’t your enemy

Many times the enemy tries to make our spouse look like our enemy, but we know better.

His aims are not far-fetched, to steal, kill and ultimately destroy. So when dealing with issues, we should always have this at the back of our minds.

Whats important is that we don't measure our own success or be put under pressure by what we see on social media - @tolulopetaj Click To Tweet

Preparation time is never wasted time

So you sense you are being called to a certain trade or profession, rather than launching out untrained, take time out to go prepare, go watch someone do it.

That way your roots grow downwards, so even though no one is seeing the tree itself yet, you have developed a solid foundation and when you start out and the storms and challenges of life flood in, you are able to stand.

Social Media is a very good tool

Like most of the work we do with BLAM is via social media, that being said, it can also be very misleading. Everyone puts their best foot forward and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Whats important is we don’t measure our own success or be put under pressure by what we see on social media.  Not all that glitter is gold

It’s Ok to laugh at yourself

I remember a night I was in Bible school and because of my tight schedules lately, I’ve been going on wigs more to help me cut down on salon times this day, off my wig went in the middle of class.

Honestly, I still can’t explain what made it fall off, but I just picked it up and wore it back nicely, rather than being thoroughly embarrassed. Life isn’t that serious

Its ok to ask for help

When we were having our conference in June, we sent out letters for support which we got a lot of, I can’t imagine if we tried to muscle it all alone. God will always send us people who would help us.

Put structures in place that make your life easier

With all the many roles that I play, while in bible school, I had to invest in getting a very good home tutor for my children, that is something I did myself, but I wasn’t going to be available to do it and I didn’t want  their academics to suffer for it, so I had to pay the price.

I also had to get an extra hand to help out with domestic chores. Women like to be perceived as being super, but you can only shine when your sanity is intact.


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The tales of a disgruntled miss Independent

My friend is going through that phase where she is panicking about whether she will ever find the man of her dreams. I keep telling her “Girl, chill out, the sea is not empty yet”.

She recently went on a date with this new guy she is seeing, and now she knows what she wants in life, and I admire her so much for that.

Before she even goes on a date with a guy, she has to have conversated with him for a while and after the first date, if she is not feeling it, she is not the “Let’s see where it can go” type of girl. Maybe that’s why she is not married yet.

Anyway, I asked her, “How did this one go? Do you think he is the one?”, she stared into space and after a while replied, “Yea he might be, but he asked me if we should do Dutch”.

I also paused and stared into space, what does that mean, I thought.

“So, for the rest of the date, we ended up talking about doing Dutch and women becoming more independent.” So, “do Dutch”, basically means splitting the bill. This made me ponder about a statement I once read which said – “These days women are now becoming the men they once dreamt of marrying”.

Unfortunately, I can’t help but feel like that’s somewhat true. Why is it that many women don’t rely on men as much anymore, is it because we don’t need them, is it because they are not providing what we are seeking?

Is a man no longer a man if he can’t provide? Should women turn down their independence just to maintain the man’s ego?

Women are now becoming the men they once dreamt of marrying Click To Tweet

That’s a flat out, big NO for me. Women have been oppressed and have had their rights suppressed for a long time. Now that we have more privileges and equal opportunities, some men and women are slightly uncomfortable with our liberation. So much so that some women feel the need to hide their ambition.

There is something endearing about being humble, but there is a difference in taming yourself down because some people are uncomfortable with your star qualities.

You don’t win by playing small Click To Tweet

There are men out there who feel threatened if their woman is earning more than them and they feel like they are not enough. If a man feels threatened by your independence, then those are his insecurities he needs to work on, not yours.

You shouldn’t have to pretend to be less just to please him.

The independence of a woman can often destroy a man’s masculinity. There is absolutely nothing wrong in building together with your man, he makes his own money and you make your own too. There is also nothing wrong with sitting back and letting your man treat you and you doing the same for him.

As long as the woman is not putting down her man because she is richer or more powerful than him, a happy, balanced, healthy relationship can be boded.

These are just some of the things you suss out when you begin dating someone, are they comfortable with you being the bomb ass woman that you are, can they handle you, what does their ego say about you being this boss chick? It is as simple as asking your potential suitor those direct questions.

Society depicts that the man should be the main provider of a family. As women, we should allow the man to be who he is and who he is destined to be. Our life’s purpose does not take priority over his your opinions don’t matter more because you have more money or are more powerful than he is.

In relationships, you often have to compromise yourself and compromising is not betrayal. When you find yourself having to kill your true, authentic, hardworking, go-getter self, its yourself you’re betraying. You don’t have to kill who you are to please your counterpart.

Independent women are often deemed as high maintenance, sometimes greedy and their standards are too high. Well if you don’t set boundaries or standards you will settle for whatever is handed to you in life and you will never be fulfilled.

Having said all this not all men think the same. Sometimes men want more than just an independent successful woman with her own money. Hopefully, there is more to you than just your successes. What are your family values, what are you like as a person without all your accomplishments?

Are you really this well rounded independent successful woman in all areas of your life. It may not be your independence and success that’s putting men off you. It’s a matter of looking inwardly, are you really this gracious, strong Queen you say you are?

Standards only scare off people who are not willing to make an effort with you. Click To Tweet

We were all put on this earth for a different purpose and we each have a duty to fulfill our purposes before we die, whether we become richer or more powerful than our male counterpart and vice versa.

You never need to tone down your ambition. Some men will take pride in having a woman who works for her own because even an independent successful woman still has her vulnerabilities.

After all, she is human.


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Unmarried womenconomics: Managing your finances for the future

You may want to start saving ahead if you plan to marry and have kids in the future Click To Tweet

So you are just like me. Young, wild and free. In the bloom of youth. No husband has stamped his logo on your heart yet, and there are yet no children to wrap themselves around your legs, displaying embarrassingly in public with cries and tantrums, making you wish they were old and married off already.

But we all know someday the story may change. No more Maybelline fit me foundation shades as a priority on the list. Instead diapers, school fees, and their ilk of expenses will be the main components of your monthly and by extension, annual budget.

So in the meantime, how do you manage your finances in preparation for the future?

Here’s how:

Be self-reliant

Do not rely on someone else, like a boyfriend or “Sugar Daddy” (yes, we all know they exist) for your financial security. They may or may not be there for you forever, but at least you know that you will always be there for you.

Get a job, a career and try to make your own money. Also be open minded about educating yourself on how to manage and invest your money. After all, it’s your money. Trust me, you will rather keep a keen eye on it, than have someone do that for you.

There are too many I-trusted-my-money-with-someone stories gone bad and you do not want to be next on that tall list.

Like all others, your financial discipline depends on your mental strength. Click To Tweet

Budget

A budget is simple; it helps you to know how much you have earned versus how much you are spending. Above all, you need to know what you spend most of your money on. It’s as simple as putting down all your figures on that notepad, or downloading Fast Budget or AndroMoney on Google Play Store.

Either way, you will know if most of your money is invested in the Friday and Saturday night outings with the girls, or if you are spending more on make-up than you absolutely need to.

After such a “divine revelation”, you will know which activities to cut down on and if you need get an alternative yet cheaper means of transport to work.

Save

Think long term about how you want your financial future to look. One too many Whatsapp chain messages have accused the average African of prioritizing consumption over savings and it is time to prove the outside world wrong.

It starts with a mindset change, and for us at SLA, it starts with the woman’s renewed mindset. Unfortunately, statistics has also not been kind to our gender. Per a recent study by mutual fund company, Vanguard, men have 50 percent more money saved for their retirement than women do.

Even after earning less, it appears women cannot resist the urge to splurge. so let us prove them wrong. Although this is not necessarily a battle of the sexes, small acts of saving play the most significant role in determining if you can live your desired lifestyle.

Let us determine to put a percentage of the salary down, untouched. So walk to that bank, open up a savings account and place a monthly standing order on your current account. Or?

“Money, like emotions, is something you must control to keep your life on the right track.” 
 Natasha Munson

First save, next invest

Saving is not enough. It is woefully inadequate. That money cannot just be there breathing. Do your own research on acquiring financial assets; will it be a Treasury bill, a fixed deposit or mutual funds?

Let the money make money for you. Click To Tweet

It could even double as your emergency fund for that rainy day. There is a lot of information out there for avenues to invest. This is a great place to start. Better still, you can talk to a qualified investment officer about the options for investing.

imvesting-3

Learn from your money mistakes. Do not let them sentence you to a life of financial misery.

All the blood rushed from her head to her eyes when she saw that red dress, and in a split second of not weighing the odds, she pulled out her purse, counted that thick wad of stash, and exchanged it for a dress which she will later find out to be one size smaller.”

impulse-buying-1

Can you relate? (Yes. That was a hushed whisper, but I heard you.)

We simply learn from our past mistakes, and the next time our friend above will think twice about wanting that dress, and purchasing it. She now has the present and future to correct that slip-up. The same should be for you.

So what if you are an impulse buyer? Seek counsel. Read a book to help you snap out of it. What if you are the contemporary African female Santa? Learn to control your philanthropic escapades. Examine your spending streak, look at your money mistakes and put measures in place so you do not repeat them.

impulse-buying-2

So renew that mind and let us get to the promised land. Similarly, the hackneyed quote says; “if you can dream it, you can achieve it.” Here’s a toast to all the money you will be saving and investing for the future.

May you be disciplined to manage your finances now!

May interest rates be high so that you earn more when you save and invest!!

And above all, may you enjoy spending it!!!

toast viola davis gif

 

 

The struggles of being a stay-at-home mom

shehive joburg

A reluctant stay-at-home mom shares her experience and why she came up with an exit plan Click To Tweet

Any time you see a woman who tells you that her main job is to take care of her children 24/7, know that you just met a stay-at-home mom. The definition for this term is someone who stays at home all day to raise her children and manage her household, while her spouse gracefully assumes the position of a provider.

This term has become a cliché in some countries —thousands of women proudly wear this badge in a show of their sacrificial parenthood. In many societies outside Nigeria, stay-at-home moms are often seen as good models of motherhood because it is not everyday you meet a woman so selfless and willing to let go of her financial independence. But the question remains; what does a stay-at-home mom do all day? Is cleaning and doing laundry a daily routine or is she watching ‘Zee World’ or ‘Telemundo’?

dont-judge-meIn this part of the world, there is something so ordinary and basic about being a stay-at-home mom. Out of personal experience and data check, most stay-at-home moms in Nigeria take on this role out of frustration of not getting a job after childbirth or lack of zeal to further pursue career goals. It is, sometimes, very easy to give up trying but the consequence of this decision is a grave one.

Most stay-at-home moms in Nigeria take this role because they can't find a job Click To Tweet

If by staying at home all day and writing occasionally qualify for being a stay-at-home mom then, I label myself a reluctant one. The state of not being able to be financially independent is one of the lowest that I found myself in. Nigeria happens to be a peculiar country where the depth of one’s pocket determines who the boss is.

These days, it is not safe to solely depend on one’s spouse for everything —financial independence is a must for every woman regardless of marital status. Nigeria is a patriarchal space, where being a woman is enough trouble, talk less being a jobless mum.

Loss of who I am

There are three things that I lost in the period of being a stay-at-home mom. I lost myself, my voice and my bravado. As someone who has previously worked in several highly structured organizations, full time motherhood threw me off balance. Day after day, tiny pieces of my self-confidence began to ebb away as I helplessly watched other women excel in their careers be it as entrepreneurs or career women. Nothing robs us of our joy like the helplessness of not being able to determine one’s fate.

I would feel inferior every time I heard the success stories of my colleagues. I began to look for excuses to stay indoors and revel in self-pity. Before I know it, I became a recluse instead of the strong, extrovert and go-getter I used to be.

I lost 3 things being a stay-at-home mom; myself, my voice and my bravado Click To Tweet

Being a full time mother opens a door of vulnerability; it reduces us to helpless creatures. I had a rude awakening of this in my second year of marriage when an in-law came around and subtly hinted at my ‘jobless condition’. He constantly tore at any suggestion I made during our family discussions. To him, I was just “an entity whose main job was to breastfeed a child”, as he put it then.

The mere fact that I wasn’t bringing in any income was enough reason to shut me up. To him, I didn’t exist, likewise my thoughts, in his mind, I was just a human with mammary glands and a womb to frequently push out babies.

One day, I decided that I had had enough, I began to outline ways to get out of this pathetic state.

Have a time line

It sure doesn’t matter what made me a stay-at-home mom, what is important is the time line for my exit.

A frustrated stay-at-home mom, like me, definitely needed a detailed plan on how to put an end to the cycle of helplessness. Questions like these should be included in your time line:

  • When do I pull the plug?
  • How do I integrate myself into the chosen career or business?
  • What are my new strengths?

These questions will best guide you on the next step to take when considering an exit.

Never stop learning

Don’t ever be deluded into thinking that motherhood takes all your time and energy. There are millions of women who are beautifully juggling child rearing with careers; so even while you are stuck being a stay-at-home mom, compel yourself to take lots and lots of self-development courses.

Nothing stops an online course or even a distance learning course. These courses will one day help to advance your career. I must confess that it is hard to get back into a career or a business after a hiatus, but it is doable. Since I decided to get back to the corporate world, I have constantly learnt how not to take NO for an answer —I don’t get fazed by the number of rejections, I just keep on pushing.

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Keep on dreaming

This is one thing that kept me sane in my five year stay-at-home mom experience. I never for once stopped dreaming about who I would be in my chosen career. This vision kept me awake at night and gave me a clear perspective on how to attain my career goal.

Children need to see their mothers in places of strength and independence Click To Tweet

Never allow anything or anyone to rob you the power of dreaming big. I once read online about how children of career women excel in life compared to children raised by stay-at-home moms. Children need to see their mothers in places of strength and independence and let’s be honest, being a stay-at-home mom will never create that reality.

Am I supposed to be sex-starved as a career woman?

I never believed that my job that I enjoy a lot could bring me to an unfulfilling sexual place Click To Tweet

I can undoubtedly say that I love my job a great deal and it has brought nothing else but joy and unspeakable gladness of heart —being blessed with such a wonderful career. I never thought I could get to a place in my life where I would wish for a different kind of life. I never believed that my job that I enjoy a lot could bring me to a place where I felt sex-starved.

Never knew I could get to a stage where I would wish or make fantasy about sex in my head. Fantasy is all I was reduced to having; it’s all I could do. I would compare my sexual libido to that of a hormonal teenager, and I am not mincing words. I am a woman blessed with great sexual desires, I had such an amazing sex life with my husband when I still had lighter work schedule. My sex life was great and always so electrifying until…

Until I got promoted at work and had more meetings to attend and deadlines to meet up with. At first, it was nice and satisfying. At the time, I didn’t know that I was waving a goodbye to my amazing sexual life. In the words of Billy Joel; “There’s nothing better than good sex. But bad sex? A peanut butter and jelly sandwich is better than bad sex”.

tamar-braxton-aint-nobody-got-time gifPeanut butter and jelly sandwich was now so much better than my sex life; I didn’t want to admit that but it was true. I didn’t want to believe that my steaming exhilarating days are practically over. I didn’t want to believe that my successful career could have such a terrible impact on my sex life.

I knew I just had to do something, my sex life represents a huge part of who I am, and I can’t fake that! So, I couldn’t submit to defeat! No, instead I took some daring steps which helped me realize how I could enjoy an exciting sex life and still be a badass career woman.

I realized I could enjoy an exciting sex life and still be a badass career woman Click To Tweet

Quickie, not such a bad idea, right?

A quickie is a spontaneous act, though it’s quick, women believe that it can’t be extraordinary. You are wrong, you can make it all that you want it to be! Quickie sex is designed to bring a new whole dimension to your love life; you don’t have to hold back when you know there is no time, remember?

Just have it and be done with it, but don’t forget to make it fun. I say a quickie is way better than no sex at all. As a career woman, you don’t have to deceive yourself into believing that you can have frequent sex life. I don’t think that’s feasible, only if your work schedule is not as tight as I imagine it is. If it is, then you would want to do this instead of being sex-starved till eternity.

Let your body do the thinking for once

Planning your sex can go a long way in satisfying your sexual desires as you have always wanted with your partner. Look forward to an ecstatic day of your choice and make every second of the love making count. Don’t over think things, forget about that workload sitting at your desk, ignore that misunderstanding you have had with a colleague at work.

Just ease yourself into the sexual pleasure you are receiving and forget everything in your head. Your head isn’t supposed to be in the “work” place now, let your body do the thinking.

Run from it all

You don’t deserve to be this emotionally or sexually frustrated, however you want to call it. You deserve all the happiness in the world, do you know why? Because you are a strong, hard working and gorgeous Motherland Mogul, you literally deserve the best.

You don’t have to finish your work in a day; you can always finish it up tomorrow. Plan a weekend getaway with your partner if possible, pamper yourself with some invigorating romantic pleasures, your body deserves it.

running gifSex is a good thing; don’t you know God designed it to be beautiful and relaxing? So, why be unnecessarily sex-starved? Your body doesn’t deserve this. It’s high time you stopped blaming your career for ruining your sex life.

Take action today in liberating yourself from what may be a dysfunctional sexual life; I know you can do better than this!

5 things you must know before starting a business with your husband

married couple husband wife

What could possibly go wrong when you start a business with your husband? Everything! Click To Tweet

Relationships have a lot of milestones, and one you could add to your cherished-memory collection could be of starting a business with your husband. You may be thinking, “We’ve been married for five years now”. You’ve obviously thought of the cons, you have even imagined how much of an adventure it would be —what could possibly go wrong??

Now, you may have a point, but before you go on and tell hubby you want to start a business together, here are a few things you may want to have in your knowledge basket…

tyra-banks-excited-gif1. Compatible marriage partner does not mean compatible business partner

So you dated the man for 3 years, and have been married to him for the past 4 years. You’re thinking “we make a great team!” Sure you do —but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will work out the same way in the office too.

When thinking of a business partner, regardless of whether they’re your husband or not, a lot of things come to consideration; such as your personality types and your skill sets, and personality traits for success. Does he want to take charge everywhere? Would he be willing to let you be an equal partner and leave the ‘head of the family’ cap at home? And your skills; are they complementary or overlapping??

If you both love to do paperwork, there will be a problem because no one will want to do some fieldwork. Who is sitting behind the desk and who is meeting the big guys? While complementary skill sets are a bonus in marriage, the same just doesn’t apply in the work field.

2. He will still need his wife…

This is definitely something you need to talk about along with your job descriptions. You probably already have some rooster at home  for who is taking out the trash or picking up the kids from school and what have you. The same will need to apply in the office.

Who makes the final decisions? Who talks to the employees (if any) in meetings? Having the who-does-what conversation will be fruitful, and will help you carry out your wifely and/or motherly duties effectively. After all is said and done, you are his wife and he will still need you to be such before and after work.

Don’t make the mistake of assuming that just because he saw you slaving away at work he will understand not having his favourite meal on the day it’s served. Will you need to hire a maid? Will you be too tired to cook? Talk everything out, but remember to not neglect the fact that you are his wife above everything else, and that as lenient as he may be, he’s still your man and his needs are yours to cater for.

You'll need time alone...and other things to consider if you want to start-up with your husband Click To Tweet

3. Your marriage will take strain…

Your funds and the time you spent together being a couple will take strain, and it will show. Is it manageable? Totally. Are you and your partner strong enough to weather the storms that will hit?

That is a decision you should both be willing to make because things can get ugly…In the meantime, be warned my sister.

4. You’ll need alone time

If you decide to start a business with your husband, consider the fact that you are spending pretty much all your time with him. To add on to that too, you are married to the guy, so you’ll be living like this forever, God-willing. Believe it or not, you will get tired of your husband.

To avoid this, make sure you find hobbies and activities outside of your marriage and work. Get that work-life balance. This way, you avoid having your conversations revolve around work and home. You get to spice it up with some news about how you beat your girls to the tennis game you had that weekend. Spending too much time with him should not be an excuse to neglect your life, or not keep him on his toes.

5.There is no guarantee it will work out

Start-ups can fail, and having your husband as your business partner does not make you an exception. Work on a contingency plan before you start your business.

Besides, who says the fear of failure should hold you back? You can always bounce back!

10 reasons you should be your own #MotherlandMogul before and after marriage

I remember the day it dawned on me that my husband would have his own income. After a long day on campus, I got home tired and needing a long hot shower but feeling so fulfilled.

It was in this long shower that I suddenly had this thought, “Somewhere across the world my husband is coming home from a long day of grinding too”.

This was the first time that I realized that I could one day enjoy the fruits of my husband’s labor. I have thought of how tall I want him to be, how I want him to be chocolate like Idris Elba and intellectual like Nate Parker but I had never thought of the kind of money he would make.

I guess I have never really felt like I was entitled to his labor. I have always thought; I can’t change my own tire or kill a roach on my own but darn it I can make my own money.

Too many of our African movies depict the man leaving for work while the woman stays at home wearing her perfectly ironed dress (because we all wake up excited to wear a head wrap and make breakfast). It’s either that or my personal favorite, the scene where the girl’s best friend —or better yet her mother— tells her she is stupid for not liking the rich business man who likes her. Because God forbid we love a man for other things besides his money.

I think we can do better. Here are my 10 reasons why you should want to be a #MotherlandMogul before and after marriage.

Because Beyoncé said so

Beyonce bossy

Nuff’ said.

So that you can treat your man

giphyWhen you can say to your man, “Babe lets go out, my treat”…The only words sweeter to a man’s ear is “the jollof is ready”.

So that you can treat yourself

treat_yo_selfRetail therapy is a real thing.

No one would argue with you for buying 4 pairs of designer shoes in one shopping trip if you used your own money.

Because you don’t want to be stuck like Melania Trump

Trump gifHopefully the whole world would not be stuck with Trump as the President of the United States.

Because men are great…but they are not everything.

start-there

*Musters up the courage to repeat Rihanna’s words to every aunt who asks when I am getting married.*

Because we have every right to dream bigger and aim higher than men.

ambition
Auntie Chimamanda summed it up nicely. You shouldn’t hold back for fear that you’ll threaten a man.

All women should dream bigger and aim higher.

So that you can leave when you want to (or need to)

 

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Aren’t we all tired of the narrative where a wife stays with an abusive husband because he is her bread and butter and she has no other option? Motherland Moguls can leave when they need to.

Because a #MotherlandMogul is her own rich man.

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Studies have shown that parents will give their children more freedom to be single if their child is financially stable on their own.

Ok that study is my own personal wishful thinking. Also if your parent is African, it doesn’t work.

Because feeling your self feels better on your own dime

giphyI bet you Beyoncé and Nicki did not have that much fun on set because Jay Z and Meek Mill are rich.

It’s because they know they will be completely fine without their men.

Because a #MotherlandMogul’s best position is CEO

tumblr_mvt29oaj4w1qdax0jo1_500tumblr_mvt29oaj4w1qdax0jo2_500*Makes mental note to say this to every guy who asks what my favorite position is*

 

The Omotola way: 3 lessons on work and life

The Omotola way answers a basic concern. As a woman, the one question that has or will cross your mind is how to pull off a successful career and a happy family all at the same time. This is a question that does not seem to bother the opposite gender so much.

Anytime we see one woman doing it well, it’s always a wonder how exactly they do it. Omotola Jalade is one such woman; with 300 movies under her belt, several awards to boast of, a music career, philanthropy, four beautiful children and a happy 20-year marriage to boot.

This is definitely one woman that works hard and has got everything to show for it. In many ways, Omotola exemplifies all of the advice I have received about life from many different corners.

Let the countdown begin.

#3  Success follows hard work

For the number of movie appearances that she has made, coupled with her modelling and music career, not to mention her philanthropic activities, Omotola has had to put in a lot of man hours.

Omotola seems to prove Malcom Gladwell’s 10,000 hour rule for perfecting your craft. In one article, she told how she went back to work barely a month after her first child was born.

While some might frown at this decision, it would seem Omotola knew all too well what she needed to do to get her career going.

omotola

#2  A happy family is a woman’s real success

Omotola has never been shy about showing off her beautiful children to the world. If the support she receives from them is anything to go by, then she must be doing something right.

A major piece of advice that I have never forgotten was from one of my aunts who told me that there was no such thing as a super woman. You can’t really pull it all off without making decisions that create room for you to do so.

Omotola shared with Ndani TV that one of the ways she was able to put in the needed time in her career was because her children were in boarding schools. It gave her time to focus on her career and trained her children to be independent.

Having her children at a young age also seems to have worked to Omotola’s advantage. She also says that she is not shy about disciplining her children as she was when she was growing up. Her tough mum act has produced some exemplary children who are off doing great things even at their young age.

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#1 It matters whom you marry

‘’Your spouse can break or make you career, so it matters whom you marry.’’

One of my mentors told me that once. Omotola says that her husband has been her biggest supporter; 20 years into their union, it is no wonder she has been able to make such great strides.

Matthew Ekeinde, himself a busy and successful pilot, has not failed to give his wife the space she needs to grow in her career. In an interview with the Daily Mail, Matthew said he has never been threatened by her success.

He, in fact, met her when she had just one movie under her belt and he has seen her rise in her career.

These lessons from Omotola inspire on balancing work and life. What more lessons do you think Omotola can teach #MotherlandMoguls?