GHANA: Motherhood and Experiences

GHANA: Motherhood and Experiences

I love being a mother and I’m forever grateful for my children. It has not always been so smooth through pregnancy, childbirth, and nurturing but I’m constantly learning, praying and evolving as I navigate through this journey of motherhood. We have been blessed with two gorgeous boys who are to me everything that I could have asked or wished for. They are sweet in their own right and sometimes can be thorns in each other’s flesh (sibling rivalry). I don’t dare say I know much about that as I am an only child so did not have to fight over toys with any sibling. Nonetheless I get to watch the love and bond that both boys share which is beyond every little fight that exist between the two.

Raising boys has its own challenges but I guess the same can be said about girls too (any help from mums with girls?) This should be another topic for discussion sometime later. Often times I get friends asking me how I manage with two boys? I don’t always have an answer but rather say to them; do I need a formula to manage boys? I believe every child is an individual with unique strengths that need to be nurtured by parents and not go by society’s norms to raising boys or girls in a certain way. Every child is created different and no two children are the same even twins. I am not a perfect parent but I pray and strive to be the best mother to our children.

This topic of motherhood and experiences came up during a discussion with a group of mum friends at one of the children’s parties we had attended. As usual we sat around and chatted over finger foods and tried to catch up on what we had been up to. A mum who was still nursing her then 4-month old baby told us about her birthing experience since she was a first time mum and wanted to hear from some of us who had been there before. You sometimes feel you have a lot of experience after a second or a third child and can give the most advice to new mums. This was her question to us: ‘so how was it like during the birth of your first child? Were you so nervous or scared? My answer to her was simple; I was just SCARED! (more…)

FLORIDA, USA: The Baby and The Boy

FLORIDA, USA: The Baby and The Boy

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“Baby Wessy-yyy” I say with that voice used only when babies have your attention. Immediately my toddler looks at me studiously and corrects me: “No, no, no, mama!” she says with her eyes closed, a shaking head, and a finger waving from side to side. All the while walking toward me and Wesley. “Mines ah baby’s! Baby Yomi!” She continues, as she points to herself.

I repeat what Yomi said, just to make sure I understand. She starts nodding her head, chin tilted down, eyes looking up at me with that this-is-redundant & mom-pay-attention you-know-that-is-what-I-just-said look. So in defense I say that she is a big girl and Wesley is a baby. She corrects me without hesitation: “Nooo, Yomi baby!!” (more…)

ThinkSayBe

I am a mom amongst some other titles life has fortunately given me. I love photography & the reward of someone being really happy about a photo I took of her/him. I work, I study, I try to pay attention to life. I like writing. I don't understand many things...especially why humans treat each other & other living & inanimate things so vilely sometimes. I like to be an idealist, but when most fails, I do my best to not be a pessimist: Life itself is entirely too beautiful, amazing & inspiring to forget that it is!

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WASHINGTON, USA: Settled, Just in Time to Feel Unsettled All Over Again

WASHINGTON, USA: Settled, Just in Time to Feel Unsettled All Over Again

Photo uploaded from PotoBucket  from Jawandapuck

Hello from Washington State!

I can hardly believe it’s already been three months since we arrived from Korea. We just unpacked our last boxes of books last week and are finally feeling a bit settled. The transition took much longer coming back than it did going.

Neither my spouse nor I was prepared for the culture shock we would experience returning to the country of our birth. Parenting in the States is a whole other ball game, and we are still getting our bearings.

We also underestimated how difficult it would be for our son, who had only been here once when he was 7 months old.  Despite our best intentions and what we thought was good preparation, it was a hard landing for all of us.

Thankfully, things are starting to change and we’re all feeling comfortable and content and present. It’s been three months of feeling in between two places, with daily (and sometimes hourly) utterly heartbreaking questions from our little one about when we will be returning home to Seoul. And of course, now that we’re all settled, our baby is due to arrive any day, throwing all of our new comfortable routines out the window. Such is life, right? Constant change with all of us just trying to keep up with as much dignity and grace as we can muster.

I find myself filled with unanswerable questions about how life will be with a new baby. Will I have enough time with my firstborn? Will our relationship change? Will I ever have time for myself or my spouse or our relationship? Will my body recover? What will it feel like to be the mother of two? Am I ever going to find my parenting tribe here? And on and on and on.

If I’ve learned anything from the times I’ve lived abroad it’s that unknowns eventually become known and in the meantime, you just make it work. Life will be what it will be.

My husband’s paternity leave has already begun so this morning we all walked down to the Farmer’s Market. It’s one of those perfect Pacific Northwest days with sun and breeze and Mt. Rainier looming. As we drank our hibiscus tea and nibbled on some vegan tamales, all the while surrounded by the heady fragrance of freshly cut bouquets of lilacs, I felt completely at peace, perhaps since the first time since we’ve stepped off the plane.

You know what that means, right? Come on baby. We’re ready.

This is an original post written for World Moms Blog by Ms. V. who we are happy to announce at the time of this posting has given birth to her families’ new addition. Both baby and mom are doing great! 

Do you sometimes feel like as soon as you become settled in a routine in life, something inevitable changes creating a new variable?

*Photo uploaded from PotoBucket from Jawandapuck

Ms. V. (South Korea)

Ms. V returned from a 3-year stint in Seoul, South Korea and is now living in the US in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her partner, their two kids, three ferocious felines, and a dog named Avon Barksdale. She grew up all over the US, mostly along the east coast, but lived in New York City longer than anywhere else, so considers NYC “home.” Her love of travel has taken her all over the world and to all but four of the 50 states. Ms. V is contemplative and sacred activist, exploring the intersection of yoga, new monasticism, feminism and social change. She is the co-director and co-founder of Samdhana-Karana Yoga: A Healing Arts Center, a non-profit yoga studio and the spiritual director for Hab Community. While not marveling at her beautiful children, she enjoys reading, cooking, and has dreams of one day sleeping again.

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WORLD TOUR: USA: Gina from Sister Serendip

WORLD TOUR: USA: Gina from Sister Serendip

Gina Sampaio

Ever since I was a tiny girl and they’d ask me what I’d want to be when I grew up, I always wanted to be a mother.

“An artist! And a Mommy!”

“A teacher!! And a Mommy!

“An art teacher!!! And a Mommy!”

 As I got older and realized I actually had no idea what I wanted to be, one constant remained unchanged—the wanting to be a Mother.

I gave myself a deadline of age 26 to have my first baby by. Beyond that, I didn’t put that much thought into what my dream family looked like. I have known plenty of people, almost always girls, who had all kinds of things planned out about their future children. They’d have a boy and a girl, the boy first, or all boys or all girls or a one-and-only. And they always knew what names they wanted to use.

I had no idea what I’d have (of course neither did they, really), nor was I hell-bent on any particular names. I guess I kind of figured I’d only have girls, but I think that’s because I only had sisters and so I visualized families that way. How many kids? What names? I had no idea.

So somehow we ended up with two girls and three boys. We had a girl, we had a boy, we had a vasectomy. We had a foster baby boy and adopted him, and then when his birth mother had another boy and then another girl, we fostered and adopted them as well. Our family gets noticed quite a bit, besides being on the large side, we are also racially mixed.

Women in particular seem very inclined to ask me a lot of questions about my children. Many of them indicate that they have always been interested in adoption themselves, and a large number tell me that their husbands didn’t want to pursue it.

Then, an acquaintance asked, “How did you and your husband decide to adopt?”, and I had to laugh when I realized how little thought we put into it; especially now that we know so many adoptive families who have told us about the many hours of research and soul-searching they put into making their adoption decision. Ours was nothing like that.  A book about adoption caught my eye at the thrift shop so I bought it. My husband saw it on the counter and said, “Adopting would be nice.”

Upon further recollection, it occurred to me that most of our biggest life decisions were made with very little discussion. Getting married? We can’t even remember whose idea it was. Having kids? Well I definitely had to push for that first one since I was the one who had given myself an age deadline for but after that it was easy. As a matter of fact, when the caseworker called me about our second foster son, I said yes to her on the phone and then remembered I ought to call my husband and verify that with him.

Naturally, he agreed in a heartbeat, because apparently that’s how we make the big family decisions around here—with our hearts.

This is an original guest post to World Moms Blog by Gina Sampaio, a lifelong actress and activist who lives in rural New Jersey with her husband and five children. She likes to challenge the notion of what being a stay at home mom means by not only staying busy with her kids but also with acting, writing, social activism and rabble rousing in general. Gina blogs about her daily adventures with kids, crafts and cooking, navigating a post-foster care transracial open adoption and the ongoing journey of surviving a sexual assault at www.facebook.com/SisterSerendip.

Photo credit to the author. 

 

World Moms Blog

World Moms Blog is an award winning website which writes from over 30 countries on the topics of motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. Over 70 international contributors share their stories from around the globe, bonded by the common thread of motherhood and wanting a better world for their children. World Moms Blog was listed by Forbes Woman as one of the "Best 100 Websites for Women 2012 & 2013" and also called a "must read" by the NY Times Motherlode in 2013. Our Senior Editor in India, Purnima Ramakrishnan, was awarded the BlogHer International Activist Award in 2013.

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EGYPT: When I Forgot that My Elder Son Is Still a Child

EGYPT: When I Forgot that My Elder Son Is Still a Child

nihad son postI mentioned in previous posts how I am madly in love with my children and how  I take care to express my love to my children.  I even wrote about different love languages to express our love to our kids.  I was always crazy about children, especially babies and toddlers.  However, a little while ago, I had a wrong belief that once they go to school they are not that tender and young, and this belief was the cause of depriving me of enjoying many beautiful years of my elder son’s childhood.

My elder son was six years old when I gave birth to his younger brother. Of course, all my attention was shifted to the newborn baby, and  as he was rarely sleeping at night, I was extremely exhausted, impatient  and nervous. It took me a whole month to realize that my elder son had became such a low priority in my life. Taking care of the newborn baby, the house works and all these details brought my elder son to the background of my life. All I was taking care of  was sending him to school and lettin him do the homework, and I totally neglected his emotional needs as a child. (more…)

Nihad

Nihad is an Egyptian woman, who was born and has lived her whole life in Alexandria, Egypt. She says, “People who visited this city know how charming and beautiful this city is. Although I love every city in Egypt, Alexandria is the one I love the most.” She is a software engineer and has worked in the field for more than twenty years. But recently she quit her job, got a coaching certificate and she is now a self employed life and career coach. She says, “I believe that women in this era face big challenges and they are taking huge responsibilities. That's why I have chosen my niche -- women looking for happiness and satisfaction. I help and support them in making whatever change (career change, life change, behavior change, belief change…) they want to bring more satisfaction and happiness in their lives.” Nihad is a mother of two lovely boys, 15 and 9 years old. She states, “They are the most precious gifts I have ever had. I madly love them, and I consider them the main source of happiness in my life.” Our inspiring mother in Egypt can also be found at Aurora Beams Life Coaching.

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