Parenting 101

Parenting is one of the toughest jobs in the world. No one goes to school to become a parent, yet parents are required to know what to do every day. Being a parent has taught me so much and I still have sooooo much more to learn. It is one of the most thankless yet rewarding jobs in the world. I am grateful to be a parent everyday.

Runaway Parent

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Have you ever thought about running away? Like seriously, run away!  A couple of years ago my daughter got so upset with me that she told me she wanted to run away from home.  Leave me and the rest of her family behind. I secretly thought, “Take me with you!” I didn’t tell her that though (sigh)…

As a parent, sometimes it feels as if you are trapped in this vicious cycle of school, taking care of children, feeding children, driving children, clothing children, spending time with children etc.  There were times I longed for just adult conversations. I can sit back, reflect and even smile, and laugh at those experiences now, but back then…I wanted to get away.

If you’re married, in addition to a child or children, you also have a spouse who you’re responsible for or responsible to. It depends on who is asking!! And sometimes, yes sometimes it feels as if you are living in this never-ending and frustrating cycle that involves children, a spouse, taking care of the children and spouse, and working (if you are employed)! Again I am sure, there were times you have felt as if you wanted to run away, or simply get away from it all!

I know I have felt like running away. I thought of going to a place where no one would find me. There would be no spouses, no children. I would disappear, at least for a day!  Sounds like paradise right! I wonder…

Oftentimes we dare not even think or express these emotions out loud, for fear of hurting those around us, or fear of being ungrateful. But if we, as women are true to ourselves…you and I both know those feelings are very real! I also realize that there are men reading this article who may have felt the same way too. Just saying… at some point we all felt like running away!

So what do you do? What do you do when you feel like running away? I can only tell you what I have done.

Staying Power Activities



Yep, prayer makes a world of difference. Instead of looking around us and seeing insurmountable problems, we need to look around us and acknowledge a universal gargantuan God!


Don’t just focus on the things your spouse and kids are doing that are frustrating the living day lights out of you, focus on the good. The fact that you have a spouse who is sharing equally in raising the kids or simply that you have children.  Some couples are longing to have children.  Some women are praying for husbands.


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Take deep breaths and look up. Simple actions such as standing straight and lifting your head, expands your lungs. Take deep breaths again. My grandfather always said if you look up you see stars, if you look down you see dirt. Where do you want to look?


Let it all out. Cry, scream, shout!  If that doesn’t work for you, go work out, exercise. Literally burn off your frustration! After a while, the tears do stop following and your pain subsides.

Talk it out

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Speak directly to your spouse or children. Tell them how their actions make you feel. Not in an accusatory manner, especially with children. Usually they are trying their very best to do the right thing, but because we are human, we fail lots of times.


Take a nap or break, if possible. Ask the kids to allow you to take a nap or break at some time in the day.  Or if you have babies or toddlers, take a nap when they take a nap. I know  you want to do it all, clean house, cook, wash and take care of the baby. You will end up taking care of everything and everyone, else except you!

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Give thanks

Find something, anything to be grateful for! Be  grateful that you are in good health, have a sound mind, having ten fingers, ten toes! Anything! An attitude of gratitude naturally lifts your spirits.

And yes, sometimes I still feel like running away. I know I have just touched the tip of the iceberg. But just when you think you have had enough…stop..think, try any one of steps above. Remember life, your life, is not made up of only giant, great and wonderful steps but in actuality is a series of small deliberate and meaningful steps that take us directly to the place we always wanted to go.

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Train Up A Child

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A teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her five and six year olds in church. After explaining the commandment to “honor thy father and thy mother” she asked, “Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?” Without missing a beat one little boy answered, “Thou shalt not kill.” Just a little childlike humor to start us off! 

How are raising your children? But even before I get there…Do you love God? It is really hard for us to teach something that we don’t believe in ourselves. So for example, my daughter loves my special “mac and cheese” meals.  One day she asked me to show her my special recipe. Not from the box! So I did.

Imagine if she had asked me and I did not know how to make the recipe and maybe had been secretly ordering it from a restaurant all along! OMG!! The only reason I could have shown her was because I knew! As an adult, first you need to know and love God for yourself. Then it becomes so much easier for you, and me, to teach and to emulate the lives that we want our children to live.

King David wrote “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” Ps. 119: 105. God wants His word to change our lives and help us grow spiritually.  I’ll use a bible story to illustrate my point. One of my favorite stories in the bible speaks about a sower and some seeds.


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One day Jesus told the story of a man who scattered seeds that he wanted to grow. Seeds need good soil, water, sunshine, right? We all know that! Some seeds fell out in the open,  some fell on rocks, some seeds got choked by weeds, some fell on rich soil.  I imagine the sower originally set out to have all his seeds planted in rich soil, of course, but some fell down along the way!

Jesus explained the story to his followers.

He said the surface or type of soil is like a person’s heart and the seeds are like God’s word, for example, a reading from the Bible or a message about God’s kingdom.

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Seeds that fell in the open or by the ways are persons who hear God’s word, don’t understand it and the devil snatches it away before they do.

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Seeds that fell on the rocks, Jesus explained, represented persons who hear God’s word and get all excited but then give up trying to grow when things get tough. It’s hard to grow on rocks after all!

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Seeds that get choked by the weeds are those individuals who hear God’s word but get busy with life, their jobs, careers, family, friends etc. Instead of prioritizing God in their lives, focus on the cares and worries of this world.

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Seeds that fell in good soil represent the persons who hear God’s word and it totally changes their lives! They grow stronger spiritually and do many wonderful things for God in this world.

King Solomon says that parents ought to “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).

Not only was King Solomon the wisest man  who ever lived, but he was also the son of King David. King David as we read before, advocated that God’s word was our lamp and that we should adhere to God’s  word if we want to truly be successful in this life. I am not saying that David’s life was perfect and that he was the best parent ever. Far from! But his willingness to follow God in spite of his shortcomings and to train up his children according to God’s word resulted in a son who made his father proud and who ultimately became the wisest man on earth!

So parents if you want your children to love God, first, you must plant His word in their hearts. If you are a parent, and even if you are not, I hope you will plant these seeds of love for God in the hearts of your children and all the children you interact with today. God wants His word to change your life and children’s lives too everyday.

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Here Comes Super Mom!!!

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It’s a bird, it’s a plane…’s it’s SUPERMOM! In my 30s, I made a valiant attempt to be a SUPERMOM!  A SUPERMOM extraordinaire, if you will! That was was foolishness, just like Solomon said in the bible, because my ex was definitely not trying to be a SUPERDAD!! He was content being his usual self! He was not at all interested in us becoming a super couple!  That was all on me!  What was I thinking!! Ladies,  moms…GET A GRIP! You need your strength in your 30s, so you can really enjoy life in your 40s!

I have always admired Wonder Woman. Growing up as a child, I remember getting the Wonder woman vest and underwear (yep, it really was underwear)! I imagined myself being Wonder Woman, saving people and fighting evil doers, while looking beautiful at the same time. So granted, I was about 7 or 9 years old, did not have the same long, black flowing hair and blue eyes as Wonder Woman, not even the same complexion or race, but in my imagination…we were twinsies!

Anywho…somehow this image of Wonder Woman always stuck in my mind and growing up, I was  determined to be a sort of super hero, or shero myself. That being said, by the time I got married, had my career, a husband and a child, I felt like I had to do it all! By myself! For myself.! Why, O why??? Alas!

Frustrated mother and child
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As I mentioned before, my ex never tried to be superdad! So really what was up with me trying to be SUPERMOM?? Of course it doesn’t help that society has these expectations of  women that usually are unfair. Professional and working moms especially, are subjected to some unrealistic child rearing, home, work, life balance expectations, whatever you want to call it. But the worst part is, as women, as moms, we actually believe we can meet these SUPERMOM expectations!

So as a SUPERMOM, I felt it was my responsibility to ensure that every meal was freshly cooked and on time, and that all activities inside and outside the home were organized and coordinated by myself.  All responsibilities related to the day to day care of our daughter, I also felt was my own. My job at the time required that I spend almost 12 hours each day away from home, and that excluded travelling abroad. My position in the organization at that time was not a travelling position. Yet, and I calculated it, I was out of the country, on average every 6 weeks, for some 3 to 5 days per trip. Talk about a hectic life! And still, I was determined to do it on my own. After all, I was SUPERMOM! 

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Looking back on my life then, I could see how silly I must have been!  I am grateful for the tremendous support of my parents, siblings, aunts and uncles and even my grandmother, who was still alive at the time to see her first great grandchild. Ultimately I could not have done it without them!

Now as a single, divorced mom, I know that me trying to be SUPERMOM, was me…being ridiculous! I have vowed never to do so again. In trying to be everything to everyone, as women, as mothers, you often forget the one person who matters most, YOURSELF! Ladies, be yourself. Taking care of yourself does not mean that you are being selfish. The truth…And I know it’s hard to accept. If you don’t take care of yourself NOW, you will not be around to take care of those you love the most.

Yep, sobering but true. God wants us to love and take care of ourselves, so that we can best love and nurture those around us. Today, I no longer see myself as SUPERMOM. Instead, I am a SUCCESSFUL MOM, who loves and takes care of myself, and my family too!

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Thankfully Single Parenting? 10 Lessons Learnt!

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As we celebrate Thanksgiving, I am thankfully single parenting? Huh?? Really!!!  Being a single parent is one of the most challenging jobs you will ever undertake in the world. No exaggeration! It is really hard to see your children dealing with issues that as a single parent it seems like you have to solve or at least try to. There is no other parent to consult with. It’s just you!  

So here are ten lessons I have learnt about being a single parenting.

Lesson one – It’s hard!

It’s tough being a single parent. I grew up in a two parent household and was clueless to the challenges that I would face as a single parent. All the decisions are mine. The problems in the household are mine to solve including childhood and teen outbursts and frustrations. There are no other words to describe it. It is just tough!

Lesson two – You constantly question yourself

Single parenting makes you doubtful. What if you made the wrong decision in becoming a single parent? What if my kids end up all mixed up? What was I thinking? I could never parent on my own! Some of us are single parenting by choice and others by circumstances. Whatever your situation, I think all parents, not just single parents, question their parenting skills at times.

Lesson three – Problems are everywhere

Not all problems will be solved today or ever for that matter! I think this applies to everyone! Some problems can be dealt with today and others cannot. Some problems will last a lifetime. Others can be addressed gradually over time and that’s okay. You will live to fight another day.  As a single parent you may feel that you are somehow inadequate because you were not able to solve today’s problems.

Lesson four – Kids are resilient

Children are stronger than we think. We often neglect the fact that children are usually more open minded and are able to rebound much faster than adults. Although it doesn’t seem so at first, but with time, children adjust to the changes that emanated from divorce and separation much faster than adults do. I do suggest that you constantly communicate with and spend time with your kids. Eventually your kids will share how they really feel.

Lesson five – Kids feel pain 

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Children feel pain. How does a two year old express the pain or loss of a parent? I don’t know. I do know that one day post separation my daughter cried and screamed for almost an entire day for apparently no reason to me. She was not hungry, she was clean, she was clothed. I felt so frustrated, sad, angry, depressed. I was just about ready to give up that day. The timely intervention and kindness of a neighbor (who later became my friend) saved the day.

Lesson six –Single parents need support

Single parents need a strong support system. It is important to have a really good support system.  Maybe other single parents or families can babysit for you or you can swap babysitting services, especially if the other parent is not actively involved in your child’s life.  Many days and nights are spent just figuring out who is going to help you take care of your children when you are at work, or if there is an emergency.

Lesson seven – Yes you can have a social life!

Single parent, social life, huh? I write of my own experience…going on dates is tricky. As a single parent you have to decide if you want a social life, to date etc. And then once you make that decision, how much of your social life or dating life do you really want to share with your children? It all depends on your own personal preferences. I did not want to have too many persons coming in and out of my daughter’s life, so I was always very very careful about my choice of friends, social networks and dates.

Lesson eight – Prayer is life changing

God is able even when I am not.  I am not almost all the time!  Most times I feel like I am making the wrong decision. So I have to pray and ask God to help me make the right decision not sometimes but all the times.  Every day, taking time to pray, read and meditate is a game and life changer!

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Lesson nine –Humility is a must

Being a parent is a humbling experience. I was in awe the first time I saw my daughter as a baby and have been ever since. She has taught me so many lessons that I could have never learned on my own. I have learnt that her needs supercede mine, she depends on me.

Lesson ten – It is rewarding!

Being a single parent is super rewarding! It is an awesome responsibility and privilege being a parent. There is something even more rewarding knowing that parenting can be completed just as ably by one parent as by two! 

Honestly, I would have never learnt or even known those lessons if I hadn’t become a single parent myself. I am grateful and thankful for my daughter and the awesome single parent I have become! Even if I do say so myself!

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