Our Lagosmums mum of the month is Bolanle Ibitola. Wife and Mum of two, Human Resource Professional, Real estate Developer, and the Founder of Crayon Development.
Please tell us about yourself
My name is Bolanle Ibitola, a strategic Human Resource Professional and a Real Estate Development Partner. I am married to my childhood love and our union is blessed with two children (a girl & a boy). I’ll describe myself as a highly unassuming individual who sometimes gets misunderstood. I’m fiercely independent, goal-oriented, and incredibly driven. I love challenges and my core strengths are in planning and execution. I am quite passionate about intentional living and being able to maximize my potential and that of those around me. I’m a never say never kind of person. When something needs to be done, I get it done!
Can you share more about all the hats you wear?
I wear multiple hats. There is Bolanle the woman; Bolanle the wife; Bolanle the mother; Bolanle the homemaker; Bolanle the career woman; Bolanle the dutiful daughter/sibling and Bolanle the loyal friend. I try my best to effectively juggle all these hats. On some days I’m killing it and on some other days, I need a vacation for six months twice a year !😄
Share one unexpected thing about you.
I am a true-crime buff. I love watching crime and murder documentaries.
How did you and your partner meet?
I met my husband when I was about 15 or 16 years old. He came to visit a friend at my secondary school and we didn’t talk much then. A few months later, we randomly bumped into each other when I was walking down the road to visit my grandparents somewhere around our area. We started talking, developed a friendship and as they say, the rest is history. We’ve been married for 12 and a half years.
Do you and your spouse have the same parenting style?
Not necessarily. My hubby is more of the disciplinarian while I think I indulge them from time to time. However, we do agree on our core parenting values and we always make sure to present a united front on important issues.
What are some ways children & parenting are different from when you were growing up?
A lot has indeed changed from when we were growing up. For instance, growing up, we didn’t have technology, the internet or mobile devices. We didn’t have all these apps and digital solutions. On the other hand, our children were born into technology and the world of social media, and that already presents a big divide in our lived experiences. They will never understand how it felt to actually only play outside as well as have fun without technology.
I remember our days of “ten -ten”, “catcha”, “suwe” etc. We are however grateful for the evolution and as the bridge between our world and theirs, we can only do our best to help them navigate the world as they know it.
How are you raising your child to be ready for an ever-changing world?
The world is changing fast and only those who are well-positioned stands a chance to thrive. For me, I always ensure my children remain aware of the changes. It is a good thing that the curriculum has also evolved, now there are a lot of STEM-focused classes to help open their minds up to infinite possibilities. I also make sure to feed their interests and passions. For instance, my daughter loves to cook, dance, sing, and play the piano and the violin, and we give her opportunities to express these interests because I am of the opinion that passion feeds into purpose.
What do you think the future of jobs will look like for our children
There are lots of interesting stuff coming up, technology is running at breakneck speed and Artificial Intelligence and robotics is taking over and I think it’s a welcome development. I am excited to see how it all evolves in the coming years.
What do you love the most about all the many expressions of your purpose/passion?
As a multi-faceted human, I love that I am able to explore my abilities to the fullest but what I love the most is being able to transfer my skills from one interest to the other.
Share what you love most about your work as the Founder/CEO of Crayon Development
I love being able to make something out of nothing. The absolute satisfaction and fulfilment of seeing your thoughts and vision manifest into a beautiful work of art that creates so much joy for end users is indescribable. As a business owner, it can be quite challenging doing business in Nigeria but I am never one to back down from a challenge I take the difficulties and use them as fuel to keep going.
How important is a support system for a mum? Who is in your tribe and what kind of support do you have?
I cannot over-emphasize the importance of having a solid support system. There’s a Yoruba adage that is loosely translated to mean that it is the entire community that raises a child and I wholeheartedly support this notion. My husband and I run a very tight ship, we are very hands-on with our kids, and he makes me feel supported all the time. My husband pushes me real hard and is my pillar of strength. I am also thankful for the other pillars of my support system – my family members and friends who are always there no questions asked whenever I need them. I honestly wouldn’t have made it without their unwavering support.
How do you balance work and parenting? Is it possible to achieve this?
Honestly, work-life balance is a myth. I call it work-life harmonization! It is almost impossible to have it together 100%, all of the time. On some days it’s 70%, on some other days it’s 10% but over the years, I have learned to plan and prioritize, and on the days when life throws a curve ball, I simply roll with the punches and live to fight another day.
What has motherhood taught you about yourself?
Motherhood has taught me unconditional, unexplainable love. Motherhood has helped me tap into the reservoir of strength I didn’t know I had. It has taught me resilience, I now know and truly believe that there’s nothing that I cannot achieve especially as I know I have children who look up to me.
What is one motherhood myth you would like to bust?
That you have to be a ‘perfect’ mother. Perfection is a big myth, your children do not need a perfect mother, they need a happy and present mother.
Use one word to describe one thing that should not be missing from every home.
Love, Patience and Tolerance. As the bible says, Love covers a multitude of sins. It is the most important ingredient for every successful home.
Share one self-care tip. How do you relax and spend time on yourself?
Every now and then, I try to proactively block out me-time on my calendar. Sometimes I just stay indoors, read a book, or go out to eat and other times, I schedule spa sessions to pamper myself.
Can you tell us how you stay stylish and your beauty routine?
Nothing too stressful. I use Image skincare products ( Vitamin C, Sunscreen, Moisturizer & Body Cream). As for my style, it’s pretty functional, I always go for staple and timeless pieces which accentuate my body.
What do you love about LagosMums?
I love the community that you have built. As a mum, I understand the importance of having a community you can rely on because parenting is not easy at all. Honestly, I would like to say big kudos to the entire team for keeping this platform going for this long. Please keep up the good work.
○ N1 Million or more sleep?
○ Would you prefer to go on a shopping spree or an all-expense-paid trip to your dream destination?
All-expense-paid trip. I love to travel.
○ Homeschooling or a traditional school?
Traditional school, it’s important for building healthy social skills. I definitely do not have the temperament for homeschooling 😊
○ A spa day or Eat out?
Eat out, please. I am a foodie LOL.
It was lovely learning more from our mum of the month, Bolanle. Thank you for sharing with us. You can connect with Bolanle Ibitola here.
READ ALSO: Other LagosMums Mum of the Month here