Category Archives: Published Work-The People Daily

How I Lost $230 In My First Online Writing Job

Disclaimer: The Articles in this section are extracts of my work in The People Daily Newspaper. Get your free copy every Wednesday here http://epaper.peopledaily.co.ke/

Who Said Being a WAHM (Work At Home Mom) Was Easy?

Nothing comes easy. This phrase has become my least favourite and as days go by, my dislike for it increases. I want my life to change and I want it now. I cannot have three children and still be stuck in a rut hole. I had hoped to get something I could do and still be around my babies. I looked around and got two things I could do: offer to be my boss’s virtual assistant so I get to wok from home or get into freelance writing. I could do both but since I was home and free, I decided to try out online writing. Without wasting time, I took up a course that assured me I would start earning $$ in two weeks. ‘How awesome!’

I made $230+!

Being a newbie in anything sometimes means that you get to learn some stuff the ‘hard way’ I felt pretty lucky for landing my first client. Without taking time to request a ‘milestone payment’ (this is what they call a commitment to pay as the cash is released but held by the site owners until the client gives a go ahead to pay), I jumped right into it. Four days in and I had submitted 14 articles. Yes, I was that determined! My timer app was counting in the $$ and I had already made $230! Man! Why hadn’t I tried this writing thing years ago? I was beyond thrilled! If only I knew what lay ahead.

…And Then I lost it

In disbelief, I began over analysing my client. What if he is a con? What if he was robbing me of my work? Aiyaiyai! “Did you ask for a milestone?” My husband checked with me. I hadn’t. I immediately logged onto the site and begged for a $100 milestone. The client had no cash in his account so it bounced and the site owners immediately sent me alarm emails. My heart sank. When I refused to write any more until my milestone request was honoured, he closed his account and just like that, he was gone. That was it: I had officially recorded my first loss.

Welcome to the world, baby! Flu is served

Many would expect that as an experienced mother, I would know all there is about babies. Hardly did I get any advice at my baby shower for the very same reason. Trust me, I didn’t ask any questions either. I thought I garrit . What we easily forget is experiences are different with every baby and no one quite experiences everything. My newborn was perfectly healthy. She played and fed well, slept long enough and was generally peaceful. All I looked forward to was her awake-time so I could smother her with kisses and enjoy watching her stretch and cry out for a feed. For a new mom, this is heaven and it was the seventh for me.

The attack of the Bug

I didn’t see it coming, I mean, the kids had the flu but I took extreme caution to keep them isolated. Before I got any close to her, I washed up like a surgeon preparing for theatre, scrubbing my hands and arms. I limited the other girls’ contact with the baby and only allowed them under close supervision. I thought this was enough, but the flu is airborne. I should perhaps have gotten her a cylinder of her own oxygen to breathe because we woke up one morning and she was terribly congested. She struggled through the discomfort it came with and screamed in distress. I could only do so much and I hated myself for not being able to take it away.

Broken but strong

Her tiny eyes followed my voice, helplessly crying for relief. I was broken. And when she cried, my eyes got wet too. “She’s only three weeks old for Pete’s sake!” I begged looking up and letting the waters fall down my face. I needed to let it out. “I’m tired of being strong all the time. I can’t take this!” I took about ten minutes and did this one thing that was almost strange to my body. I cried till I felt light. Man, did that feel good! I was suddenly ready to beat this.

Giving out my Valentine’s this year

He walked in late wearing a goofy smile. That smile said everything I didn’t want to hear. ‘Babe, I know I’m late. But hey, here I am!’ I had a thousand things I could say to him floating in my head but chose to hold my peace. He moved closer. I looked away and maintained my displeasure. Charlie was all over him, tagging at the hem of his pants; desperately wanting his hand on his fur. He ignored the dog and inched even closer to me. I was surprised when he grabbed me in the kind of embrace I would kill to have every day of my life. “I love you so much, hun,” he muttered and my suspicion shot through the roof, faster than a bullet.

From my heart to yours

“Aai! Baba Peshe,” I protested. “Kwani what happened today?” I knew where he had been, but secretly hoped that whatever made him pour his heart out could also scare him into coming home early next time. “Nothing, we just hang out with Eddie and Kepha and talked about a lot of stuff,” something told me he wasn’t going to share the details. “I barely say much, you know, and was thinking if I don’t tell you how much I appreciate you, you may tire and stop being the amazing person you are.” A heart melted. Suddenly, I didn’t want him to stop talking…and he didn’t.

 

Giving my girls my best

“I look around and can’t ignore the fact that you are one special woman. The kind of support you give me, especially when life brings me down is immeasurable. You hold our family together and I’d like you to know that I respect you. You are my gift and I’m nothing without you.” I slipped back into his arms and he smiled. He knew he had me, for sure. The smile plastered on my face hasn’t left since. I am gifted with a husband, who loves and respects me, and he spoke the words, not just with his eyes; he mouthed them. What more could anyone wish for? I can now let my daughters make their daddy their Valentine this year.

 

The Reality of Going back to work

Like many mothers, I have been faced with the challenge of having to plan to leave my child to go back to work. It’s devastating when you need six months of exclusive breast feeding for your child and the last three of the six, like mine, land you in a working environment that takes you well over an hour in traffic to reach, has no allocation or privacy to pump milk and only lets you leave after 4:30pm. I suffered high levels of stress and eventually supplemented Raine’s milk 4 years ago when I one day walked home with a 100ml bottle filled quarter-way. I should perhaps have made a request on the time adjustments, right? Because I never did…

 

The Challenge Ahead

My request was however received with a pinch of salt when I brought it up with my boss last month. My mind has been reeling over leaving work and starting something that will keep me off an 8-5 schedule. This fed-up disease perhaps attacks anyone who has worked well over 10 years and just needs a break. My work isn’t demanding. In fact, aside from usual monthly invoicing and administrative duties, I barely do much else. Sitting at the office doing my own stuff (that I could do at home anyways) while I could be taking care of my little one made me want to run wild. I must ’ave picked a bad time, though because I was dismissed with a ‘Lets-deal-with-that-when-we-get-there’ expression. ‘Sure thing.’ I thought to myself, ‘By then, I will have made up my mind on what direction to follow’

 

First Excuse

2017 was a bad year for all businesses…. well most of them. However, having to pay cash for my baby’s birth at a time so bad, I could have done with support from a stable plan didn’t improve the situation. Lets just say, when flying a small plane, you feel the turbulence more. So while we look forward to a better year, your guess is as good as mine about the decision that lies ahead.

 

 

Welcome Baby!

As every beginning has an end, so does my 40-week journey through my third and last (Lord I pray) pregnancy. I would like to say it was easy because it was for the most part, but trust me not to engage your senses in details you’d rather not go through. Whats most important is what happened at 3:30 am on the 24th day of January 2018; little Anna C. was born. Scoring highest on the Apgar scale despite her meconium distress, she came into the world like a little champion.

Meeting Anna Chanya

One look at her and my heart melted. Her face was too delicate; her voice so meek. She was terrified and took in the sound of my voice with all the trust she has. I felt bad for the countless times I wished she were a boy. Clearly, fate had other plans for me. I would raise three very beautiful and intelligent girls whose future can only look up. That was in itself satisfying for me. I nurse my newest bundle of joy with a lot of content thoughts and hope that no one expects me back in L& D unless I’m escorting another expectant woman in.

The Perfect Family

Back home, Anna fills her place like the last piece of a puzzle. Her sisters can’t believe how tiny she is and they all get protective of her every whimper. This is my version of a perfect family. Where there is happiness and love to share. It doesn’t matter who comprises of it, be it more boys than girls, one parent or no children at all, we all just have to work best with what we get. Life seems unfair when we feel it doesn’t give us what we ask for, but I look it with a lot of optimism. As only God knows of my tomorrow, only he would know best to gift me with what he feels I would handle best. So now a new chapter has begun. Lets do parenting for three and see how it goes!

New Year Resolutions?

Oh yes, It’s still January, 53 days later! We are still alive, surviving on the cabbages and spinach we had snorted at back in December. House helps who had disappeared to go enjoy the holidays in full are now asking for their jobs back and while there are bills to pay and children to raise, it’s a new year with bigger and greater opportunities to make the world a better place. We may have decided not to make any more resolutions and this may be the best for some of us who barely tick off past the third vow, but we must at least have a goal to add us some form of sanity this year.

Complain Less

Lets try to appreciate that everything really does happen for a reason, sometimes unknown to us. Let us look at situations with a more optimistic eye, believing that bad situations could as well have been worse and good things will always follow us when we are good.

Appreciate more

It never hurts to appreciate others, nor do we lose anything when we give a good word. In our effort to be positive towards life, let us encourage others when they do well, no matter how small. I am looking at showing kind words to my house help, children, husband and colleagues at work.

 

Grow more

No matter what, don’t be the same as you were last year. Purpose to be better, stronger, wealthier, and well, just don’t remain stagnant! Lets teach our children better growth tactics

Revealing the Gender to my other children

Last clinic day (hopefully) at 36 weeks found me getting another unplanned ultrasound. That previous night my eldest daughter had insisted on going for the check up with us. I should probably have said yes, but thinking it would be a usual 10 minutes doctor’s visit, I dismissed her request and asked her to help Yvette decorate the house for her sister’s fourth birthday. At the hospital all seemed well, but imagery and some blood work was insisted on to make sure all was as good as it seemed. This only meant one more thing for me; yet another chance to get a sneak peak on baby’s gender…and well, how big a head I would be dealing with!

It’s a baby Girl!

While the head measReured 38 weeks the rest of baby was 37 and 6 days. Standing at 2.9 kilos I am most definitely having a baby bigger than both my daughters at birth. She looked perfect and as usual kicked everything in her way including the sonographer’s instruments. I prayed for acceptance and this is perhaps what God wanted me to do because it was answered immediately. I fell so deeply in love with my new baby and for the first time since I discovered I was expectant, I couldn’t wait to meet her.

 I am a Grateful Mama!

“You’re going to have a little sister,” I whispered in Raine’s ear and her reaction was beyond impressive. “Yaaaaaaay!” and in seconds she had disappeared, screaming away in excitement. She didn’t want a brother all along, but only because girls in our hood only played with fellow girls while boys chased and played rough ball games. Minutes later, Pesh, my eldest came running back. “Is it true, mum?” We’re having a sister?” Much as I would have loved the experience of having a son and for them to have a baby brother, it is God’s will that our last also be a girl. I accept her fully and plan to spoil her and her sisters with a lot of love. I have amazing, healthy babies and this for me just does it.

Published on 17th Jan 2018

Looking into 2018

We’re barely heel-deep into 2018 and the mad rush is already here with us. School fees, uniforms, books, shoes and bags, oh wait, there are hairdos to take care of too! Its crazy everywhere! Kids are having trouble going to bed so early and waking up even earlier. Raine claimed to have forgotten all her sounds and all the numeric they learnt last term. Sigh. I am not sure how much damage the two-month-holiday has done to this kids. They have literary been on vacation enjoying sleepovers with their cousins, travelling to rural areas, others out on trips. I hardly saw any books touched. TV remotes were taken over and our kitchens… man, don’t get me started on the food budgets!

Schools Open

I am perhaps one of the few parents who would rather have their kids home than school…well, ‘cept for this past holiday I spent so much on food and power bills thanks to all the baking and frying we did. Schools finally started and the excitement in my girls knowing they now join new classes with unique names could not be contained. Raine is in PP1 and Pesh in Grade Three; sounds like we just moved to some state in the US. These kids are lucky school is getting easy for them. They are sure to enjoy the fewer, more interactive lessons unlike us who struggled to master a zillion books!

Njaanuary Pains

It’s only 10th and the month feels old already. It’s been January forever, hasn’t it now? It’s even longer for me, having the kids come home from school each day hoping to meet their new sibling. They look rather fed up with my large belly. If only they knew I’ve had enough of it too! I am tired of walking like a duck; breathing heavily, looking like impending doom and having everyone wait on a slow me to move along. Anytime now this journey will only be a story to tell, and I will be the newest mommy of three in town! Now that’s something to look forward to this month!

Cheers to a better year, 2018!

So we made it to 2018! Happy New Year people! It almost seems as though 2017 slipped right underneath us, right? We almost didn’t do anything at all! Several times I felt guilty, receiving a salary I had hardly worked for. For the most part, we watched people lose their jobs and companies get shut down. We counted losses and much as we sent out our few invoices, we were made to wait till the end of the year if we were to get any returns. Life was tough and we all are quite relieved to be here, in a new year, free from the shackles of politics, tension and dark days.

Making the Most of this year

I am on my final lap in this pregnant journey and I plan to work till my waters break. Trouble is I am due smack in the middle if the month unlike my previous December bliss experiences. Anything could happen while I am 40km away from home. After losing jobs twice last year hubs decided to try out something new. I feel it’s about time especially since he will be flexible and around when I need him at home. We have decided to go for online writing and as soon as baby comes, investing in a reliable home Internet plan and a good computer shall be our next endeavor. I may also get into it, depending on how much time I manage to spare and if it works, then this year will most certainly be one different and busy one!

What to look Forward To?

The kids are not very excited about going back to school. The only two things they seem thrilled about is going into new classes and knowing baby will be coming home this month. The latter steals the show. Raine is already making plans of carrying the newborn into her class, co-sleeping and being the official best friend. Pesh has more mature plans. She promises to help bathe the baby and stay in charge when I go back to work. Looks like I will have a lot of help this time around. Ain’t I one lucky mommy!

Published on Wed 3rd Jan 2018

 

Kicking 2015 into shape

As optimistic as I am I keep hoping to be a better person every year. Since I had my second child I went on maternity leave, came back three months later and continued working with a pregnancy brain all through till December. You know now is when I am wondering why I feel so different, why I am more energetic, and less worried. I thought it was simply the New Year craze, but no! I have no more hormones playing Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde on me! I feel free! (Dancing to Dorobuchi) …‘Doro I, Doro am, Doro free! Doro Freedom!

 

What I’m doing for me

Eish! My waist hurts. I need to work on my aerobics already. I waited and hang on to my size 10 trousers hoping to ease back in them. Instead, I jumped all through to size 12 mini and just sat there. This year I have decided not to look at the spot where I once was but to make a new spot. I have accepted my heavy bottom and my house help also accepted the many size 10s I offered her. I love my full cheeks and mature look. It’s not exasperating anymore when I almost think it’s my mother I’m looking at through the mirror.

 

What I’m doing for my children

My husband and I are making the future better for our 5 and 1-year-old girls. First things first, we are having savings accounts for them. We want to teach them to save early. No education policy for us unless the insurance assures that if I want out at whatever point in time, I get all my premiums. Since that’s just a dream, I shall keep dotting my pencil on that piggy bank absent-mindedly wondering where else to throw our money.

My 24 hour Job

Miss and Miss Mwambi 😛

 

I opened email accounts for both Pesh and Raine. Here, I occasionally send them stuff I’d like to share with them when they finally grow up. I send them pictures of themselves; tell them what I feel about them, videos and all. It’s really cute to picture them all grown up and going through a bunch of exciting (Hopefully) mail!

 

I chase Raine around on all fours and when I catch her I tickle her till she loses her breadth…Pesh likes playing Temple run with her dad, but out of jealousy she cuddles with me and we watch Sofia the first together.

 

What I’m doing for my husband

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I love him more. I am his mobile app and he, my handbag. In short we hardly leave each other’s side. We take walks together to the shop, the bathr…aaah, the shops, everywhere! We have set times to spend together, eat his favourite meals and drink my favourite wine. If I go on like this, I may have no resolutions for next year. So there you go. I’m out!

Appreciate your Mom everyday

Mothers around the world celebrated their day a few weeks back. Like Valentine’s Day many only wait for this day, on cue to appreciate their mothers. Someone openly posted on his timeline, “Motherhood is struggling to bring up an idiot who sees fire and wants to touch it, breaks glasses and wants to eat the resulting mess, pour milk then cry of hunger, you know the type who would wash a smart phone and mix sugar with flour? Yeah, those types. We all have been those idiots and our mums never gave up…they still never would give up. …” Eman, thanks for openly calling us all idiots… The messages are beautiful and endless;I joined the bandwagon and sent a few texts to my mother and my mom in-law. The former called later to complain that she never got as much as a text from me (Old age must be sited in her living room). Even so, I didn’t feel like I had done much in that text she never received. Being so far away from them, Mothers day was like a day that you would want to just pass: like Boxing Day, or mid- term. So, making my mothers feel special would involve a lot more than just a plain text message.

Vitenges and Sombrero

I would need to take her shopping (all women love shopping) get her a nice kitenge or Batik fabric, depending on what she styles in, show her the new buildings in town, hold her hand when crossing the road, buy her jewelry to match her latest fashion, like statement earrings for my mom in-law (something she could wear every day and anywhere) or a sombrero for my mom…she really enjoys big events of late. We’d chow popcorn as we walk into a park, enjoying the sight of Nairobi residents rush their lives away. We drop off small bits of corn along the grass, Hansel and Gretel style) and find us a city council bench and slump in it like we all did when we were in high school kicking off manners and letting our backs slouch. We would gossip a lot about the men in our lives, (and shoes) even though these men could be my father or…and her son. The convos would entail bits and pieces of these… ‘Men should learn to appreciate hardworking women.’ ‘Men Change…you can never pin a man down’ ‘Always have separate bank account, ‘Yes Ma’am’ I love any shoe with a red sole,’ ‘Marie Claire is good’ ‘they don’t have red soles’ ‘Almost all men in the 19th century have children out of wedlock’ ‘No, Mom. Not my dad…’
images

We would walk, bask, touch, laugh and cry. If the sun burns our foreheads too much, we would put elegance back on like huge coats, and pick up lady-like manners where we had dropped them. If it still soothes then we would gossip some more. We would pop into a classy restaurant for a meal. Order something we can’t whip up at home and remind each other how this world and the men in our lives expect so much from us…we would laugh so hard at life’s pleasantries, and wipe tears off at the sad memoirs. We would encourage each other to keep going and then hold hands some more. “You look just like I did when I was young,” Mom would say and I would respond to how I am not worried about how I will look in my sixties. “You are too beautiful, many will fail at guessing your age” I would respond. She would go again that its life’s tough situations that make her how she is, and that she accepts her age and her time. I would hold her hand and without a care in the world add that I want to be just like her, if tough situations made her the great person she is, that let them come. An assuring smile would seal that convo off. ………………Unfortunately all I could manage was a plain text message.

A stranger who belongs

It felt as though someone we would easily regard to as a friend of a friend’s friend had died. Someone we knew but never quite interracted with. For someone like our house help who hardly spoke a word, it was very easy to forget her very existence. We would mourn as quietly as her character is and move on as quickly as we can. Just before this would happen I had to make sure my family was doing OK. If I was not on call with my husband, I was text chatting with him. I do not remember a time I have ever been so happy to have him off work. He was that gasp of fresh air. He survived the full day at home with Pesh and Raine and by surviving I mean forest- like surviving. If he didn’t trip on himself as he did it then it beats sanity off me. The dishes from their lunch were all over the kitchen counter, scrumbling for space amidst those they had used for breakfast. Used baby bottles lay all over the house, and so did Pesh’s sweaters and T-shirts that she kept changing without her father’s notice.
I-Am-A-Stranger
I walked into the house, too exhausted already and placed my bag on the little space I could save on the couch. With quick hellos to everyone, even the sleepy baby Raine, I grabbed the apron and started clearing the dish mountain Justin had built. I placed Pesh’s bathing water to boil as I went along, pulling in all my mutitasking skills together. The dishes were almost done when I noticed a fliker on my phone. Vivianne had not called me by one as I had instructed and I had decided against looking for her. The number calling was strange and disconnected before I could read the whole of it. Someone beeping…; that could only have been one person; the one person who was probably using another phone to let me know she was looking for me. I called back. I always do to get the annoying beeper off my dial zone.

Good cop, bad cop
“Are you home?” it was Vivianne’s faint voice. I responded positively and she went on to ask if Pesh’s dad had changed his mind on her coming back. That pleasantly surprised me. I wore a big smug on my face and felt like a whale that just spotted a fat swimmer’s behind. So she actually wanted to come back! She knew we were all on the verge of kicking her out but she still wanted to come. Funny how one can decide to walk through burning flames. Beats the Jesus out of me! I asked her to come. Justin played bad cop and me, the good one. We planned on our words and even our intro. We practised to Pesh’s confusion and knew how we were meant to react. By the time she walked through the door, we were set at the right spots wearing glum yet serious looks…and when she came, we were prepared to have her pack her bags and leave. At the same time, we were ready to keep her if she stood to herself. We had to be tough; if we were to let her back in. For whatever reason, all Viv did was cry and insist that she was not ready to get married. Pesh sat there wailing with every tear that vivianne let off. She wanted us to stop talking that way to her; she wanted us to stop pointing fingers; she wanted us to speak in a language she would understand well. We didn’t change language but we stopped the argument and let Vivianne back in. However, a challenge rested on our shoulders…this was just a sign to get ready for her final exit.

My House help’s dramatic escapedes

The day I had for so long been dreading finally came. I wasn’t prepared. No one really is and the most we can do is make do with the situation you find yourself. I left work at four as usual and almost literary ran home to my baby… and Pesh and her daddy. OK, who am I kidding? I only run home to baby Raine. The rest can always wait. I got home to find she had just fallen asleep and Vivianne was taking a bath. Instinctively, and without a break to rest I put on my apron and started cleaning the day’s dishes. I try hard to minimize the number of chores Vivianne forgoes during the day in an effort to keep her sanity and mine on a high. Soon, she was out of their room looking fab and fresh. I smiled and thought to myself that she most certainly had a date. She wore a dress I had gifted her just recently. This dress meant a lot to me: I bought it after my very first temporary job and wore it when I was crowned 1st runners up in a modeling contest back in college. It was one of those items I held on to until the beginning of this year when I made a resolution to move past my past attire-‘ristically’.

How it all started

She left claiming to want to fix her broken phone and I did not hesitate to say OK as I knew she had other plans besides that. Meanwhile I took advantage of the sleeping baby to clean some clothes and prepare dinner. Three hours later, at around 8pm, something made me want to check to see if Viviane’s belongings were home. Everything was intact especially her latest new clothes and her phone charger. It didn’t look like she was going away for even a day, but only a phone call would confirm that. I called three times before she finally picked the phone. Her voice was broken and she sounded like a man. “Hi mom,” She started, “Viv?” I probed. “No, my name is Collins and I would like to talk to you”, was the reply. Thoroughly infuriated, I told Collins that if I wanted to speak with him I would have dialed his number and immediately asked to speak with the owner of the phone. Vivianne came on the line sounding submissive like Collins was her colonizing husband. She claimed this man wanted to speak with me despite her frantic efforts to stop him.

boy girl
“He wants me to sleep over…and be his wife” Oh wait, I didn’t get that right. Was this boy asking me boldly to have sexual relations with my house help? Why not just have it and let us move on with life? I was exasperated. Vivianne had two things to do, sleep over his place and live there for ever or come back home immediately where I planned to send her back to her parents. I though Collins might as well make that trip to fetch his soon to be bride from the right people. My mind raced, thinking how disappointed I was that Vivianne could build such a great rapport over four years only to crash it down in just a few hours. I felt let down and knew it would take time to heal. She chose not to sleep home and I was left to organize the children with my husband. Would Justin let me go to work and stay home with both our children or would he be like most men and ask me to stay home?
Night stand of sleep-over?

The night was sombre sad and half empty. OK, make that a quarter empty, or even better yet, with just one empty slot. There is nothing like getting used to someone who doesn’t belong. The space Viv left felt large, ugly and empty. Like an open wound that was better off left open. We all hated it especially since she had left unexpectedly. Pesh was confused and kept asking where Vivianne was. She went to bed that night still doubting our elusive responses. It was on a Tuesday night; right in the middle of the week. What a day she picked to mess me up. I hang on to the last memory I had of her, leaving with a lame excuse to go repair her phone yet her made up face , hair and dressing perfectly placed her on the laps of a loved one… a male loved one. I shook my head hard to get rid of that last thought. It was enough that I had spoken to that scumbag. A good for nothing idiot that had no concern for the time of his actions; funny how a man can totally bamboozle a woman and yank her out of a great opportunity only to land squarely on poverty and the outcomes that come with it. I was not a happy woman.

The following day, I woke up to my husband’s assurance that all would be well. “On second thought, I could just report to work and come right back,” I offered and all he did was shake his head. “Just go. I will let you know if I don’t manage.” was his calm response. I left with my head looking behind my shoulder as if waiting for him to call me back. I thought he was joking, but I realized he wasn’t when I disappeared round one corner and the house was completely out of sight. I immediately pulled my phone out and stared at it, still in disbelief that he would let me go to work. He didn’t call, he sent a text message. ‘I am back in bed. Both girls asleep, breakfast ready in wait’ I smiled and settled in my heart. Something told me he would be just fine and I believed that ‘thing’.

That same thing made me want to call Viv just as I boarded a bus. It was as though she was chanting at her phone and casting a spell on it, hoping I call her. Since her phone was completely ruined, unless she borrowed a handset, all hope was lost. It rang. I had given in to the urge. “Did you sleep well?” I asked and she responded positively. I asked if she was hurt and she said no, then I turned cold. “Pesh’s daddy doesn’t want you home.” She went silent, making me check if the call had dropped. “’are you there?” I probed and she asked again what I had said about Pesh’s dad. That seemed to have touched some part of her. Hmm, she still has some respect. That’s impressive. I thought and went on to hand over the ultimatum. She had up until noon to tell me what she had decided to do with her life; come back or move in with her boyfriend. I hang up, squirmed in my seat to get my comfort spot and continued to read from the page I had left the previous evening.

Love your wife wholy; not only in need

To all chauvinists out there, and all those who are not sure if they are or not…this is to you. It’s very sad to meet a grown up man, surprisingly not yet extinct, who thinks so lowly of women. Or that fool who treats women like crap and goes on to shower their mothers and sisters with love. Honestly, how ignorant can one be? When women fight for equal rights, do not think we seek them because we have air between our ears. It’s because women feel the pressure bestowed on men, who they so dearly love. As a result they decide to leave their nests, hire someone to watch their babies so that they can go out to look for money to cushion their men from financial distress.

AS I write this, I wish to thank my husband for letting me go to work while he stayed home with both our daughters, on a day when our house girl was away, I especially commend him for the exceptional job he did with our three month old Raine. Justin, I am still speechless.

For those still wearing iron masks, remember that it was initially your sole duty to be a provider. If you still beat up your chest and claiming that your woman is just a woman and nothing more, then you are not deserving of a wife, or a female companion for that matter; not in the 21st century. This is unless you give her everything she can ever ask for and never getting tired of her asking them of you. Most men i know quickly get tired of this and can easily resolve to violence to ease their frustrations.

Bear a child.
For those men who do not know this, if you are inflicted by half the pain a woman goes through during labour and the delivery of your child, you will barely be alive. Now, this woman agrees to have your child, ( I believe it’s a choice we make to bear them right?) while you sit somewhere in a bar with friends being rewarded for enjoying the child- making time and hardly looking after your wife while she was expectant…oh wait! You probably were the one who frustrated her all the way to the delivery room! Insisting that she cooks without help from the house help( with valid reasons), letting her go for clinic check ups on her own, dismissing her cravings…oh sure, you know exactly what it is you do. After your child comes, not in a million years will you be caught, not even ‘kwa camera ya mbao’ changing the baby’s diapers or giving him a bath. You will sit at a corner and watch angrily as your young child takes over your territory. Later when your wife is exhausted and suffering a back pain for the work she did without your help, you go on and ask for service.

Working Mama
Those with working wives, you easily forget that your wife is equally tired ate the end of each day yet you expect her to be home by 5 and cook in time for your arrival. Some employers are fed up with you when you stop your wives from attending meetings outside office or from going on team-building activities. You are a pain in their butts. You doubt your wife’s ability to be her best at work and to make her remain just a woman; you make unrealistic demands and insult her intelligence. You forget this woman is your greatest defender; the only one person who will stick with your should you lose your job. You think you are doing your woman a favour when you propose to her? Think again. Once married, you are the ones who gain the prestigious vitambis while you insult her distorted body shape after baby number one. You are the one who will sit and read the morning dailies while she runs around like a headless chicken trying to make you and your babies comfortable. Just because you are the head of the house, it does not mean the necklace around your neck is not noticeable. Take good care of your wife, support her and help her with the babies and your house when she is overwhelmed. You will not only be rewarded by long life, you will also be a happy man, being rewarded constantly for having a heart big enough to share. To those women with great husbands, reward them with as much as you can, let them be a motivation to love them everyday, take care of their every need. Let us not take for granted what God put beside us, lest you are forced to learn the hard way that you only know the value of something once it’s gone. Like Jesus said, “Now go ye and do good” Happy Easter

To My Precious Girls with Love

Just the other day, as it seems, I held you in my arms for the first time. The doctor showed you to me to confirm that you were my precious little Raine and not Oden as I would have named my son. Forget about Xenia…if it were really you haunting my dreams back then just know I was not ready then and I wouldn’t want to be reminded of that past now. I was happy to meet you. Weighing barely 2.9 kilos you looked so tiny and helpless yet peaceful and contended with where God placed you, in my arms. I loved you from the very moment I knew you were growing in me; I loved you more when I met you. You are beautiful, even when you cry, you tiny mouth curls up in a very cute pout and sometimes I forget you are crying because you look so stunning!
I need to leave
Time flies, my love. I cannot believe I am telling you this already, but I have to go back to work. You may not understand it now, but I actually signed up for this the moment I decided to become a working mom. I needed to help your father, that’s what good wives do; they act as the neck to the head. Oh my, this you will also not understand now. I write this as I also plan myself for my first week at work. I can tell you for sure that I am not looking forward to this at all. i had changed my schedule to fit into yours, my life was all about you, your sister Pesh, your daddy and our house. I hardly moved away from home just so I could give my children the best of my time. I hope I have given you a great welcome these last three months. I hope you do not forget me, hun. That is one of my biggest fears. See, I was with your sister for about eight months when I had her and leaving her was pretty bearable as she was a lot older than you are now. She was weaned and…Oh dear, it still wasn’t easy leaving her behind. I guess I’m just being a normal mom here. Simply put, I am not used to leaving any of my children at any one point in my life; it’s devastating.
p & R
You are my world
Pesh, I had a great time bonding with you, helping you with your homework each day and well, fighting with you to eat, clean up after yourself and sleep. You may have made me want to run up the wall but in the end, I would not barter this experience for anything in this world. I may start taking you to school next term, I hope I manage to juggle all these and still remain you and Raine’s super mom. I love both of you with every bit of me and even if you see less of me, I still love you to bits. One day when you grow up, you will understand that I am doing this for you; for a better life for you my girls and our family. I can’t believe its time already.