Category Archives: Confessions of a modern wife

Educating teens about digital footprints

My daughter is on Instagram as @motivational__lab but before I let her do this, I simply asked her, “what is your purpose?” Am not the kind of mum to say “No” outrightly because I like to explore my kids’ minds plus every moment is a teachable moment. I am also someone who believes in intentional living so am raising my kids to live with a purpose. So when I asked why she wanted to be on Instagram, she told me she was having a hard time adjusting to learning from home in the midst of the COVID-19 lockdown and knew that they were other teens like her who were struggling and some even depressed because of the impact of the pandemic and the challenges of online learning. I had seen my daughter go throw mood swings due to online learning and she had also felt choked up being stuck in the house. I really wanted her to have an outlet to release all that stress. So I sat her down and explained digital footprints to her. I think rather than say no outrightly to your kids, it’s best to educate them about their responsibilities. I told her that though social media gave us free speech, it isn’t actually free because whatever we express today sometimes resurfaces to hunt us in the future. So I explained that access to social media came with responsibilities which is to self. Free speech comes with a cost which is why “Cancel culture” has become a problem.

And now, I have to explain cancel culture to her as well. A lot of the time, we think our kids are too young to understand these real life challenges but the sooner you expose them to these realities, can they develop a voice and to fight for a just cause. So rather than ban your kids from social media, have a deep talk about their purpose and responsibilities with them first. From such conversation, even they will realize that they are not ready for the responsibilities.

Cheers!

Enne

My hysterectomy experience

Hi guys! It’s been such a long time since I blogged; life has been hectic and I have had some health issues but I am so glad to be back!

So, I had hysterectomy done three months ago right here in Lagos, Nigeria. This was a procedure I wanted to do five years ago but doubt and fear held me back while I struggled with excessive blood loss and its attendant anemia caused by uterine fibroids. I have had fibroids for as long as I could remember – in fact, I found out that I had fibroids in my early twenties even before I got married. At that time, my doctor had told me that the fibroids would not interfere with my ability to have children so his advise then was that I hurried to have kids and then deal with the fibroids later. So I agreed. Just as expected, I was able to have kids – I now have three children and each time I got pregnant, the fibroids expanded in size. It was tough managing my pregnancies and I ended up having three caesarean sessions. After my third baby, I had my tubes tied so I would not get pregnant and that way I could focus on managing the heavy bleeding that I experienced during my periods. This heavy bleeding left me anemic my entire adult life. And when you are anemic, it means that you are dizzy or drowsy most of the time, your blood level is so low that it starts to affect your concentration so much that I started struggling to remember names or things that I had read. I was struggling to remember basic things! Because I was performing at very low capacity, it affected my productivity and everything else around me so I had to see my doctor last year.

Now, I will be candid – I do love my doctor! He is a very meticulous and cautious doctor so even though he gave me the option of hysterectomy, which is the removal of my uterus, tubes and cervix, he also wanted me to try other evasive procedures to see if we could control the excessive bleeding. So I had a hysteroscopy and mirena inserted to hopefully control the excessive bleeding. Unfortunately for me, a few months into having the mirena inserted, it fell out of me in the toilet. I must also say that the mirena did not help me at all as my bleeding became even more excessive. So with the mirena gone, I had to face the decision to go through a hysterectomy because my blood count had become so low even though I had been on hemoglobin (iron) supplements for years. With my dwindling health, I was losing my ability to concentrate and a few months into the covid 19 lockdown, I started having irregular heartbeats and suffering from palpitations so I had to see a cardiologist who advised that I went ahead with the hysteroscopy. After weeks on some medications to stabilize my heart beat, I was cleared for surgery.

My surgery started as a laparoscopic hysterectomy because my doctor wanted a procedure that would encourage quick recovery but he also informed me that he would do an open surgery if I started to bleed, which was exactly what happened. I had the hysterectomy three months ago and my recovery was quite speedy. I was back on my feet in no time. The beauty of hysterectomy is that one stops bleeding two days after surgery so you get that instant relief. However, it took my body nearly three months to normalize. To start with, I had a serious case of vaginal dryness that even when I was cleared for intercourse, I couldn’t do it because of the vaginal dryness. It was a very painful experience. I also lost my desire for sex for the first two and a half months after surgery. I was told that loss of libido was not associated with hysterectomy but that when that happens, one could seek sex therapy even though the majority of women had no issues at all with sex after the surgery. My ovaries were not removed during the surgery so I was not becoming menopausal, which meant that I needed to give my body some time, which I did. Gradually, the vaginal dryness disappeared and I no longer experienced loss of libido.

Life after hysterectomy has been great now that I am fully recovered. My sex life is now back to normal and so is my health. I am no longer on hemoglobin (iron) supplements because I was able to build my blood count by eating iron-rich foods and meticulously taking my iron supplements after surgery. I am now also active – I can now go on long walks and do simple exercises and trying to stay fit without being excessive. The beauty of it all is that I no longer have to spend a dime on sanitary pads or tampons! I feel so relieved to not have to worry about monthly periods and its accompanying heavy bleeding that always kept me absent from work and activities nor do I have to deal with the pains.

I know many women can be doubtful or fearful of hysterectomy but I will encourage you to do it if your life depends on it. My life depended on it because I had lost so much blood and with my heart now involved, I could not take my life for granted. If you need to go for a second or a third opinion, please do; if you need to change your doctor to someone more experienced in the field, do so. Clear all your doubts and do the procedure because you need to stay alive to take care of your kids.

Have you had a hysterectomy or any other procedure done? Do you need information on my hospital if you are in Nigeria and need a reference? Do you have fears? Please do share!

cheers!

Ene

Covid 19: How cooking is helping me to cope

After being stuck in the house for just a week, I thought I was going to go crazy. The thing about me is, I hate being stuck in one place and I hate mood swings and worse of all, I hate my will power being taken away from me. So I manned up and decided to change my situation. I made the decision to learn something new every day and get my hands and mind busy – cooking was one of the things that I indulged in during this lockdown.

As I found, “Learning changes the physical structure of the brain. These structural changes alter the functional organization of the brain; in other words, learning organizes and reorganizes the brain.” Pls read more here 👉🏽 Here As we learn, nature kind of creates both “hardware” and “software” simultaneously (Read more) and in so doing, the more we learn, the easier it becomes to learn new tasks. If we are not learning at all, we find our brain in some kind of redundancy which makes the task of learning even harder. So for me, learning new things and acquiring new skills is very important because it stimulates the desire in me to learn more. And when I learn more, my confidence grows and then I feel better about myself. That is what cooking has done for me during this covid 19 lockdown.

I do enjoy cooking but I got bored eating the same regular foods every time and thought that by creating new dishes, it would create excitement and bring fun to meal times, which it did because my kids would go, “mum, what are we eating today?”

So, my routine was to learn new dishes and also to find ways that I could be creative with regular dishes that we already eat. So that gets me off my feet to start planning, which I do a day ahead. By doing this, it keeps me excited and expectant about the new day ahead of me. It also makes cooking interesting because the kids and I are learning new things plus it presents a teachable moment for my kids because then I can take advantage of the opportunity to teach them about the culture from which the recipe originated from. When conversations flow, automatically, we are having a good time. Also, by tweaking some of the recipes, I am able to test my creativity and improve on my skill as a cook.

Here are some of the meals that I have cooked:

Chicken curry

This is my version of chicken curry with basmati rice and steamed carrots, which I was just making for the very first time. My family does not like curry but I wanted them to be a little adventurous so I altered the recipe a bit. I used pure coconut oil which I used in stir-frying the chicken and curry to give off the coconut vibe. My family hates coconut milk or anything cream in foods so I had to mix the chicken broth with a little corn starch as thickener which I poured into the curry. And it was a success because everyone enjoyed their meals.

I grill quite a lot now so we had grilled potato jackets with grilled ribs served with carrot purée sauce and mixed vegetables. This was another winner.

Why am I sharing this post? Because I want to encourage everyone who is on isolation or quarantine not to give up – rather, learn a new skill; pick up a new healthy hobby and you will be amazed at what it does to your mind!

Cheers!

Enne

Why are kids so mean?

I started to question why kids are so mean to one another after my daughter started high school and became a target of bullying and verbal attacks from her peers and classmates. I just couldn’t understand it and my eleven year old would come home emotionally bruised not because she couldn’t stand up for herself but because I told her not to engage in altercation with anyone. So she kept her feelings to herself and would come home to vent in her bathroom. I would help her through this difficult time by teaching her coping mechanisms and encouraging her to express herself and defend herself in school without appearing violent or with intent to fight anyone. I also taught her the power of music and journaling to help her through it all. And everyday, we would talk, I would listen to her and counsel her. While doing all of this, I went to the school to speak with the educators as well to get to the bottom of the matter and I realized that kids who could reason from right to wrong, are mean to others simply because those kids aren’t like them or do not share the same values or interests. Thus, my desire to understand why.

So I found this piece on 👉🏽 https://www.google.com.ng/amp/s/www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/growing-friendships/201803/why-are-kids-so-mean%3famp where it talked about why kids are mean. This article was written by Dr Eileen Kenedy-Moore where she talked about “empathy blind spots” in kids. Here is an excerpt.

“Empathy blind spots happen when children decide that certain people’s feelings don’t “count” and therefore feel justified in being mean to them. Empathy blind spots allow kids to make excuses for being unkind. They insist, “He’s so annoying!”; “She’s weird!”; or “Nobody likes him!” Believing these excuses, they tell themselves that the mean behavior is acceptable, unavoidable, or even righteous.”

As it turned out, this was exactly the reason why my daughter was being persecuted and she wasn’t the only one. Apparently, this set of “cool” girls were bullying others because they were not cool enough. So after my complaint and the girls were made to face a disciplinary committee, I was called to the school to give my opinion and I told the committee not to punish the kids but rather to counsel them because they really are just kids. In fact, I am of the opinion that parents should be held responsible for their children’s bad behaviors because it is our responsibility to raise the kids right.

One of the values that I teach my kids is tolerance and that they are sensitive to other people’s feelings. No child exists in vacuum but if we don’t teach them to be accepting of people, they are not able to have an open mind to embrace everyone regardless of race, culture or beliefs. There is no way on God’s green earth that we all will ever be the same – we will never share the same ideologies and we will never look alike – but we must be tolerant of one another and embrace or accommodate diversity. This is what we should be teaching our kids.

I know that parents are busy but we are responsible for our children and a child can’t raise he or herself – they look up to us to teach them well so let’s teach them not to have biases. The world needs more love.

Cheers!

Enne.

Workout motivation: To live long for my kids

My biggest motivation to workout each day and to stay healthy is because I want to live long for my kids and family. I have three lovely children and each day when I look at them and make unhealthy choices, I feel like I am doing them a disservice by putting my life at risk when I should be healthy enough to take care of my kids and plan for their future and even dream of a bright and beautiful future for them and with them.

Last year, I complained a lot about my health; I went from suffering fatigue to having body aches and not even having the will to get up and just go! You know that feeling where it feels as though your joints are giving up on yourself? My head was foggy as though I had clouds in them; I couldn’t think clearly or logically and I suffered what seemed like memory loss because I couldn’t recall things nor names; I couldn’t remember events and simple things like my daily vocabulary was missing. I had to struggle to clearly express myself and this is coming from someone who is a natural writer. Clearly my brain was fatigued just as my body was. And my husband – even though his words seemed simple had said to me: “if you don’t like your situation, then change it and don’t keep complaining.” You see, you can not expect any change or result if you do nothing and remain static or stagnant – nothing will change and you will find yourself in the rot and your self-confidence will spiral downhill. All that happened to me.

So last year in October, I made a simple decision – that I would walk for thirty minutes daily just as soon as I drop my kids off at school. I hate gyms and being an outdoorsy person, this was just the perfect option for me. So I started with thirty minutes walk – it wasn’t even brisk 😀. I tried for a week and then I stopped. I went back again but this time more determined. Each day I got stronger and my small workout routine got easier. By December, I was running and walking 11km daily. I felt so strong that I could just rise up and go!

And now, exercising for me is no longer about losing weight but staying healthy to live longer for my kids and family. I have had to make lifestyle changes like going to bed early to get enough sleep hours so I could be up at 5am the following morning. I make sure that my kids and I are out of the house by 6.45am so that once I drop them off at 7am, I start my two hours workout immediately.

I have also learnt to listen to my body. I realized that as we get older, our bodies start rejecting foods especially starchy, high carbohydrate and sugar foods. So I am also listening to my body and avoiding foods that my body does not want.

I haven’t even attained my weight loss goal but I am not giving up because my daily workout is no longer about losing weight but staying alive for my kids and family.

Whatever your motivation is for staying healthy or losing weight, hold on to it but make sure it is something valuable that can give you cause to run or jump every day and one that can strengthen you to make good life choices. Remember, your situation cannot change unless you do something about it.

When is the right time to be happy?

When you live with someone who sees the glass as half empty, it is very difficult to find happiness with such a person because no matter how hard you try, nothing is ever good enough, the time is never right enough and your lives are not perfect enough therefore happiness has to be postponed. This is quite common with ambitious people who will stop at nothing to attain the level of success that they have defined for themselves. These individuals spend a great amount of time measuring their life’s contributions to their life’s worth as well as compare their growth, achievement and success with others. Even though these individuals are high-achievers, nothing ever seems to mean much to them because they have not attained the success that they aspire.

Ironically, while others who probably do not have as much as these individuals would envy them and even wish that they had just a little of what they have, these high achieving individuals rarely stop to appreciate what they have and even sacrificing their relationships with spouses, children and family for the success that they dream of. The trouble with living with such an individual is that they cannot live in the moment, they find fault in seemingly simple ‘imperfections’ that shouldn’t matter and their obsession with perfection cripples your every attempt at promoting some level of happiness in the home. So what happens is that they bring their frustrations from the work place, offload them on you and expect you to delay your happiness because now is not the perfect time to be happy. “We will be happy when the promotion that I am seeking comes” or “We will be happy when the money I am expecting comes” they seem to say even though they do not actually say it but they seem to convey to you that you would have to postpone your happiness for the right time. Or they give you a plan B which is quite simple and takes the blame from them entirely – they tell you not to rely on them for your happiness as no one individual can give another individual happiness. Good advice, I guess because truthfully, that man or woman is not going to change; he or she will not suddenly become easy-going, happy-go-lucky. It will not happen in this lifetime!

Sadly, while we are postponing our happiness for the right job, the right promotion or the right time, life happens. For a start, your kids, if any, keep growing and moving on. They begin to learn to adapt to not having you around and become detached from you because even when you are physically there, you aren’t bringing them any joy or happiness. They acknowledge that you care and love them; but you will not be the first parent they turn to when they are having problems. So, life moves on; your spouse or partner equally moves on and learns to build his or her life away from you where he or she is guaranteed happiness. In the end, when you are old and grey, you will look back on your life and only find emptiness – yes, you would have attained the success that you think is more important but by then, happiness truly would have eluded you.

The old saying that he who appreciates little things would even more be grateful with bigger things goes for happiness and how we live our lives. If you can’t find happiness in the little things in life, how can you find happiness in the greater things? When do you think is the right time to be happy? When you are rich? When you become famous? When you become accomplished? But what happens in between when you first started and when you ended? Your loved-ones should simply put their happiness on pause for the right time determined by you?

Self-love: secret motivation to weight loss

I went from a size ten to a size fourteen within the space of ten years and three children. In the past, I would sob and sigh in frustration at my weight gain. The result of this self-loathe and self-anger resulted in depression and dangerous dependence on comfort eating to make me feel better.

Whenever I was feeling blue for gaining that much weight, my brain would start to desire sugar which in some way, was meant to “pump” me up a little to give me temporary happiness or “high” so I found myself reaching out to sodas, chocolates and whatever was sweet. And then after such sugary food was consumed and I was happy for a while, I would start to sink again because I would start to feel guilty for eating the wrong foods and of course, the weight mounted leading me through that vicious circle of self-loathe, dependent on sugar, after regret, weight gain and then depression. This circle left me emotionally and mentally drained as well as fatigued and unfit. It took a strong personal resolve to break the circle.

I realized much later that self-loathe had been my enemy and that I needed to love my current body enough to want to enhance it to a healthier version of me. I started to count my blessings and tell myself that I would gain all that weight in a heart beat and still go through three caesarean because I have three beautiful and wonderful kids and these kids need their mother to be healthy and alive to take care of them. This became my motivation. So while I was shopping for body shaping under garments to make me look good outwardly and boost my self-confidence, I was also making resolutions and shopping for healthy foods to eat as well. Because my motivation to lose weight was no longer limited to the actual weight loss with the attendant reward of shopping new clothes sizes or having to wear those fabulous clothes that no longer fit me, I was much more focused on enjoying my fitness regiment and living healthier.

These days, I am no longer reaching out to sugar because I realized that I don’t need them to be happy or to stay positive. I am no longer burdened by the anger of not being able to fit into my old clothes rather my focus shifted to being healthy.

I realized too that our self-confidence and self-love depends on how we work with our current body. If you abandon your body and do not care about your appearance, it affects your self-confidence which also affects your fitness or workout. You cannot workout with a depressed mind – you got to be mentally fit and positive to commit to a workout and actually enjoy it. Because as soon as you begin to enjoy your workout sessions, then you are on your way to weight loss.

Am a work in progress; but I like the fact that I am free from self-loathe and frustration with self. I am more active than I ever was and my self-confidence has improved as well. So love your current body while you work on it to a healthier, stronger, beautiful you.

Cheers!

Enne

Coping with anxieties

Until recently, I was doing fine after having managed my anxiety so well all through 2018. And then I received some news and I am back to being anxious again. As an adult and a parent, worrying is part of the deal – I worry about my kids and the future; I can become anxious just from watching the news! I have learnt not to be “hypnotized” by all the negative news but it is equally not easy living in “ignorance is bliss” psychology.

Being someone who turns to medication as the last resort, I always try to deal with situations from a more holistic and natural point that gives me lasting results. So to cope with these anxieties, I am now taking things slow. I am taking each day as it comes, I am getting enough sleep, eating healthy and exercising; I am maintaining a positive mindset and I do this by listening to soul uplifting music as soon as I wake up. Music has been my therapy in coping with anxieties and emotional challenges.

I am also depending solely on God. As a Christian, our faith is tested in uncertainties and since I can not control the future, I am learning to cast my burdens on God because he cares and only he can give me the peace that I need. So while an expectant about the future, I am equally learning not to worry too much because worrying cannot change my future.

I don’t know what you do to help you deal with anxieties but my sure steps have always been good sleep, healthy diet, good music, exercise and prayer. How do you cope with anxieties? What worries you the most? I would love to hear from you!

Cheers!

Enne

In pursuit of short term resolutions in 2019

Happy New Year guys!

Hope your celebrations were lit because mine were. This Christmas and New Year season has been exciting and fun for me and my family. And now that the festivities are winding down, I am now planning towards accomplishing my first short term resolution for 2019 which is to expand my business and my brand.

I would usually make new resolutions every year that would guide me all through the year. But I realized that these resolutions are usually not easy to accomplish. So I decided that I would create monthly resolutions and goals that will help me improve myself and my business as a whole. With such short term targets, I can accomplish my goals easily and even be able to take stock as the months go by to help position me for the forth-coming months ahead. This is why I am ditching yearly resolutions for monthly goal setting.

The thing about yearly resolutions is that they are usually broad-based and have a lot to do with my desire for self-improvement but I realized that in the past, I wasn’t creating any particular strategy into how I was to accomplish these resolutions. So since I am an advocate for small victories, I am choosing to set monthly goals and resolutions for myself that will include strategies on how I hoped to accomplish these goals so that at the end of each month, I am either celebrating a small victory or re-positioning myself from past experience to correct my mistakes and to do better in the coming month. This is how I hope to accomplish my resolutions and goals for 2019.

What are your resolutions for 2019? How do you hope to accomplish them? My theme for 2019 is “better me and a more efficient me” which extends to both my personal life and my business. And to accomplish this, I am already setting monthly goals with activities that need to be accomplished for me to realize this dream of mine. So I wish myself good luck just as I wish you good luck in accomplishing your resolutions.

Cheers!

Ene

How Distorted Thinking Increases Stress and Anxiety | Psychology Today

I know people who suffer from cognitive distortion; I am in fact living with one! I live with someone who magnifies things and make situations appear way bigger than they actually are and ascribe way too much significance to things that are minor and of very little significance. Such individuals also do not give themselves that much credit for anything! Rather than dwelling on their gains and successes, they would rather dwell on their failures and amplify such ‘failures’ to the point where they fail to see that much good in them.  You know about seeing the glass half empty rather than half full? Well, this boils down to perspectives again. The consequence of this cognitive distortions is that it wrecks havoc on relationships. The person with cognitive distortions becomes unbearable to live with; becomes even more difficult to understand and appears to be someone who is difficult to please even though it might not necessarily be so.

So, I am sharing this beautifully written piece with everyone including people that I know so that they can learn to cope and banish cognitive distortions because they are unhealthy for both the sufferer and their partners.

 

10 cognitive distortions that make things worse for us.

Source: How Distorted Thinking Increases Stress and Anxiety | Psychology Today