Our Lagosmums Mum of the Month is Adaobi Olaye. She is a Mum, Data Privacy Practitioner, Regulatory Compliance Expert, Global Co-ordinator One Hope for the Heart International, CEO of Snackbox Foods Limited and Momager, Slimesistersng. Enjoy reading more about our first Mum of the Month for 2024!
Share one unexpected thing about you.
I enjoy watching Dr Pimple Popper’s videos on Instagram. I find them oddly satisfying and relaxing. While I appear very controlled and stoic, I actually have an extremely goofy, free-spirited side.
Tell us about your beautiful family.
I have 3 gorgeous daughters, aged 17, 14 and 8 respectively. They are my absolute delight, my best friends, confidants and prayer partners.
How did you meet your husband?
I am presently separated from the father of my children. We got married in February 2005 and were married for 15 years but have now been separated for 3 years. We met through mutual friends in 2003 and instantly hit it off as he was quite charming and persistent.
Do you and your spouse have the same parenting style?
No, we don’t. Our individual parenting styles have become more apparent as we are presently co-parenting. My children’s father takes a more authoritarian approach towards parenting while I maintain a balance between an inclusive & permissive approach towards raising the kids. As well as seeing them through the ostensible difficulties that arise in dealing with divorce or separation. Overall, I will say that even though the co-parenting arrangement is still a work in progress, I believe we have been able to adopt a style that has worked thus far. And create a balance for the children.
Can you tell us one of the funniest things your child(ren) has done?
While living in the UK, 7 Years ago, my daughter who was 10 years old at the time, thought it was a great idea to pick up the phone and call 911/199. She invited the UK police to our home in Brighton. And upon their arrival, she wept profusely as she believed she was going to be whisked away to jail. The cops who came were extremely gracious and understanding. But we never let her live it down. If she did something naughty at home, we promptly threatened her with a visit from the cops. LOL.
What do you love the most about your work and all the many expressions of your purpose and passion?
As a Mum, I love that I get to nurture, raise and equip my girls with the social, spiritual and moral skills they will need to navigate life and difficult times. I am very intentional about this because I believe that even though my parents did an excellent job raising me, there were still aspects of life growing up that I struggled with and had little or no guidance on.
I am the Global Co-Ordinator for One Hope for the Heart International, an American-based humanitarian mission. And I love that I am able to be an expression of God’s love as I serve others in communities very different from the one I grew up in. This provides me with a constant reminder to be grateful for the life I have and willing to give of myself in servitude to others.
Share with us what you love most about your work as a Data Privacy and Regulatory Compliance expert.
As a Privacy practitioner, I love that I am able to advocate for a safer society for online users by holding data controllers and data processors accountable for how they protect the information of data subjects. I’m proud of how I have embraced this career opportunity to reinvent myself and provide value to a growing community of privacy professionals.
How important is a support system for a mum? Who is in your tribe, and what kind of support do you have?
I daresay that no mother can effectively manage the responsibility of being a mum and house manager and juggle a career without help. A support system includes those who can provide physical/manual, emotional & spiritual, and sometimes financial support. I am blessed to have the referenced support levels in my tribe through my family members (my brother, sister, and mum), my mentor (Rev Miriam Moore) and a small group of friends who have remained in my corner over the years. These select groups of individuals have provided me with a safe space to be truly transparent about my struggles, provided me with genuine advice and support, and cheered me on through both good and bad times. Shout out to you guys 🙂 I love you.
What are some ways that children and parenting are different from when you were growing up and now?
As children, we were raised not to question authority even if we did not agree with the instructions or directions being enforced by the authoritative figure. These days, children are encouraged to question everything and anything that does not sit right with them.
How are you raising your child(ren) to be ready for an ever-changing world?
In the constantly evolving, highly pressured world today, children and adults alike are pressured to attain perfection in whatever they do. This can be a heavy weight of responsibility for anyone.
I’m raising my kids to focus on the experiential nature of living and the nurturing of their individual giftings. And not get carried away with the hype of societal pressures. An example of this is my daughters enjoy singing and I consider them to be pretty good at it. However, I constantly harp on them about the importance of enjoying what they do. Without the added pressure of comparing themselves to others, who they may consider to be better than them. Every singing practice is an opportunity to have fun and get better at what they love to do.
How do you balance work and parenting? Is it possible to achieve this?
Is it possible? Yes! With God on your side, a good support system, and the implementation of effective strategies to ensure that you are on top of your daily responsibilities and deliverables. A woman can push herself to be the best mum and career woman. However, it requires sacrifice, selflessness, and self-compassion (especially when we fail or feel inadequate in the execution of our duties).
What inspired you to venture into being a data privacy expert?
I started my sojourn into data privacy 5 years ago, after I received a text message on my phone from a company called Ros—– FS, in which I was offered a loan facility. And the series of questions that kept needling at me were: ‘Where the heck did these people get my name and number from? If they have access to my name and number, do they have access to my account information, personal records, health records, or pertinent information about me that I may not be in a hurry to share with anyone else?
I felt strongly that My information is my property, and I should have a right to be actively involved in deciding how my information/data is managed, how, to whom and for what purpose it is being distributed, and if possible receive some benefit from the use of this data, with my express consent. This, and a burning desire to ensure that my children didn’t have to experience the harmful effects of indiscriminate use of personal data by corporate entities, ignited a passion to dig deeper and explore the digital and regulatory framework that existed both globally and locally around the emergent field of data privacy. My goal then became to actively promote & foster awareness of Data Protection and Privacy with the aim of making it a matter of public interest and agenda.
What three things do parents/young people need to be conscious of with respect to digital laws that can affect them today?
- Parents across the globe need to familiarize themselves with the digital laws of the country they reside in. This will help them provide their kids with the necessary information on how to comport themselves in the digital space. Take, for instance, laws on cyberbullying. The strictest cyberbullying laws are found in Canada, where under the Education Act, individuals who engage in cyberbullying face suspension from school, and repeat offenders may also face expulsion from school and possible jail time. Japan has recently imposed harsher penalties under their penal code system for online abuse; insulting someone on the internet is now punishable with a one-year prison sentence and a maximum fine of $2,500.
- Many young people use social media to post extensive information & photos of a personal nature, which will remain online for potentially long periods of time. This information can have harmful effects on their lives as it can be used in the future to harmfully profile them or used by educational institutions or even potential employers in the future to size them up.
- The Internet is also used by predators to contact children under a false identity with a view to abusing them, including sexually (a practice referred to as “grooming”), and even to recruit them for trafficking purposes. Parents and children need to know that where their rights have been infringed online, they have access to several platforms of redress through the authorities in the country they reside in or through well-meaning organizations set up to protect and provide help to victims of cybercrime online.
Can you share what surprised you the most about starting your own business? What would you advise a new entrepreneur just starting out?
What surprised me the most about starting a business is:
- How much time and resources you must put in to make it succeed.
- How much I had to deviate from my original business plan, to create a viable business structure.
- How difficult it is to find staff that will run with the vision you have outlined for your business.
- How alone and frustrating it can get to be the sole driver of your business,
- The high you experience when you succeed or get a rave review from a client.
Advice for new entrepreneurs:
- Develop a comprehensive business plan that outlines your goals, target market, financial projections, and operational strategy.
- Focus on being good at what you do, and make daily strides to perfect your craft.
- Be open to learning from every experience, whether it’s a success or a setback. Continuous learning and adaptability are key to entrepreneurial success.
- Focus on understanding and meeting your customers’ needs. Happy customers are more likely to become repeat customers and advocates for your business.
- Manage your finances wisely. Keep a close eye on cash flow, create a realistic budget, and be prepared for unforeseen expenses.
- It is okay to feel like giving up sometimes, especially when you experience failure, but don’t; learn from your mistakes, get back in the saddle and try again.
- Surround yourself with mentors, advisors, and a supportive network. Learning from others who have been through similar experiences can be invaluable.
What has motherhood taught you about yourself?
I am fiercely protective of my children and willing to take a bullet on their behalf.
Use one word to describe one thing that should not be missing from every home.
Share one self-care tip. How do you relax and spend time with yourself?
Monthly massage sessions help to relax me.
I enjoy karaoke singing, it’s a favourite pastime I hope to do more of it this year. It helps me to release pent-up energy.
Can you tell us how you stay stylish and your beauty routine?
I am not sure am qualified to answer this question, as my personal style is quite laid back, I hardly use makeup, and I don’t have a defined beauty routine. I drink loads of water and recently started using facial masks sometimes, once a week or when it comes to mind.
What advice would you give to other mums?
Be easy on yourself, be selfless when executing your responsibility to your family, but self-loving enough to prioritize yourself and your needs.
What do you love about LagosMums?
I believe LagosMums is a labour of love that has meta-morphed into an essential resource of our time. I am impressed by the impact they have made globally and through their desire to provide a platform to support parents on the parenting journey. Their steady and constant evolution over the past couple of years has seen the platform grow from a platform to disseminate information and curate parenting events to become a key driver in the parental skills development and education support space. Kudos to the team and its Management.
○ N1 Million or more sleep?
I sleep well, give me the money.
○ Would you prefer to go shopping or an all-expense-paid trip to your dream destination?
All expense paid trip to the Maldives
○ Homeschooling or traditional school
○ A spa day or Eat out?
Eating out is a favourite pastime, I’m an unapologetic foodie!