Our Lagosmums mum of the month is Dinma Nwobi. Wife and Mum of four, popularly known as the “Queen of Happiness”, Founder of Happify Humanity Project, Practitioner of Positive Psychology, Coach, Mentor, and the Director of Studies at the Institute of Family Engineering and Development.
Please tell us about yourself.
I’m a happy soul who loves meaningful connections. I’m a sucker for love and family and I glow when I’m with my family or I can help another family increase their connection and mutual happiness. My name is Chidinma Nwobi, most people call me Dinma and my tribe calls me the Queen of Happiness and Human Flourishing.
The DinmaNedum nation – our family, is made up of my partner in bliss Nedum, and I and our lovely children – the Kays – Kosisochukwu, Kachimsiemeamaka, Kamaranachimdi, and Kobichukwudi. We are a happy family whose core values are godliness, fun, creativity, empathy, competence, and impact. We radiate love and friendship as we seek to raise other happy families.
Can you share more about all the hats you wear?
I feel blessed and grateful that I’m an individual with a deep sense of purpose to contribute to the world as child of God, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a coach, and a mentor to lots of people.
My role as a wife and mother is one hat I wear with pride because like I said earlier, family is one of my core values and I believe that the family is the bedrock of society. Parenting is important to me because the home is where life begins and ends.
I am rigorously trained in the field of human flourishing with respect to mental and emotional well-being and what it takes to live a meaningful life as a certified Positive Psychology coach with the Flourishing Center USA, a licensed Emotional Intelligence Assessor from the prestigious Six Seconds Emotional Intelligence Network, USA, a Master Practitioner of Neuro Linguistics, a Master Trainer of Family Systems Engineering and a certified Meditator from the International Mediation Institute, Germany.
I bring my expertise of over 10 years working with individuals, families, and organisations from Africa, the USA, the UK, and parts of Europe to work as a coach, consultant, trainer, and mentor on Individual, Family, and Organisational well-being.
Also, I work as the Director of Studies at the Institute of Family Engineering and Development where we are raising competent professionals in the family life industry in Africa through the Family Systems Engineering programs. So far, we have raised over 1000 family life practitioners who have passed through the institute.
I’m a friend and I take that role personal as I value the place of meaningful connections with peers and friends.
Share one unexpected thing about you.
I struggle with the fear of death and the definiteness of death. I often panic thinking about how life beyond here will be and if I can still feel my loved ones in eternity.
How did you and your partner meet?
Nedum and I met at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Apapa. We were both young members of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal there. Somehow, we found ourselves working on projects together. We become friends and like a joke, like a joke, we got married in 2003. And we’ve remained best friends, lovers, and partners in bliss for 19-plus years and counting.
Do you and your spouse have the same parenting style?
Thankfully, Nedum and I have a similar parenting style which is intentional parenting. We shared our experiences and parenting principles in our book – The ABC of Intentional Parenting: How to Love, Lead and Influence Your Child with Ease. Most of its readers call it the parenting bible.
Can you tell us one of the funniest things your child has said?
Will I call it funny or insightful? You judge.
I remember once when our then 8-year-old daughter said to me “As a mother, you should know that when you make promises, you should keep them.
At another time, our 11-year-old daughter wrote me a letter with the opening words “I may be 11, but I have the mind of a 13-year-old.”
At other times, when we have a new domestic staff and we ask one of the Kays to introduce them to the family culture, we hear lines like “welcome to the house of learning. Here you cannot not learn, you can only learn.
Or when one of the Kays hit a milestone, you could hear the other one say with pride, “I knew you would smash it. You are a Nwobi.”
What are some ways children & parenting are different from when you were growing up?
Times have changed. Any parent still parenting his children the way his parents parented him is preparing his children for a world that no longer exists. Let’s look at some of the ways parenting is different now.
- Today, children are more courageous to challenge our views. In our days, we were afraid to question our parents and believed whatever they told us, but now your child will boldly ask you why and challenge your views.
- We are raising children born into the www world. The first generation to be born into the internet. As such, they have immediate access to information at their fingertips. The internet has shrunk the world into a global village where our children have access to diverse cultures and values at the click of a button.
- The world is changing and so is everyone alive now. Whoever is insisting that she will continue to do parenting the way her parents did is static and fixed in her mindset… The cheese has moved. We are dynamic as humans. Even our brains have evolved from prehistoric times when our forefathers were hunters to the Internet age where people travel to space.
How are you raising your child to be ready for an ever-changing world?
The world is changing fast and parents must rise up to face the changing world with a growth mindset, continuous learning of proven parenting skills, and access to science-proven tools for raising whole children in a changing world.
For Nedum and I we adopt an intentional parenting model. Let me share some of what guides our parenting.
- Parenting is about ME the individual parent and US as a team more than it is about our children. As such, we recognise that a flourishing ME and the team-centered US is important for us to parent well. Hence, we prioritise what we term the 3 Rs of Parenting Efficacy.
These are the 3Rs
- Resourcefulness: we are committed to lifelong learning to improve our mindset. To learn more skills and accumulate additional tools in our parenting toolbox.
- Responsiveness: your mental and emotional state as a parent is very important. You can be so fixated on the past or worrying about the future that you are not present in the moment. We intentionally engage in routines that attend to our mental and emotional states. Practices such as meditation, gratitude journaling, yoga, social interactions, exercise, contemplative praying, and sometimes therapy and coaching when need be. Yes, a coach needs another coach sometimes. And if we don’t heal, we risk continuing the cycle of trauma and dysfunctional habits with our children.
- Resilience: we also thrive to be resilient in spite of any challenges we are facing and embrace mistakes as opportunities for growth. d otherwise.
- To grow our team-centered approach to parenting, we created these family systems to make connecting, communicating, and co-creating solutions with the Kays our lifestyle.
These are the Family Systems
- We have a mutually created family vision and values that guide our daily living including resource allocation, education, community contribution, etc.
- Learning Together: we take parenting courses together and select a book to read together and share our learnings and how we can adapt it in our home.
- We know each signature strengths, learning styles, love languages, and personal values and parent them as individuals using tailored approaches in communicating and disciplining them.
- We have quarterly family retreats, and monthly family meetings with the children to create our collective and individual goals and review our progress. Anyone can call a family meeting when there is a need. We don’t sweep issues under the carpet till our quarterly meetings.
- We believe life skills are first caught and then learned at home. We modeled life skills to the Kays. There is a dedicated learning curriculum where we take workshops, read books together, and discuss different life topics like relationship building, money and wealth creation, emotional intelligence, leadership, and spirituality as a family.
- We are big on gratitude and visualisation as key components of manifesting our dreams. As such, we have a family ritual for gratitude through a monthly gratitude day celebration. We also have a family manifestation room. Here we hang our individual vision boards, our value board, and our victory board. This room also serves as our family chapel where we have our daily devotions because we recognise that we can’t do life successfully without leveraging on our Supreme Being – our God.
More on the Family Systems
- We understand the uniqueness of the generation of children we are raising and their stage of development. We are parenting Generation Z children who value inclusion, truth, transparency, and authenticity. As such we model these to them through a collaborative family decision-making process and appropriate vulnerability displayed.
- We also know that Gen Z is self-conscious and often self-deprecating and because they are also adolescents going through brain remodeling and prone to intense emotions, cravings for social engagement, novelty, and creative exploration. Hence, we are intentional about maintaining a secure attachment with each of them where they feel seen, soothed, safe, and secure to explore their world.
- Emotions validation and regulation are integrated into our family culture, We encourage the children to have conversations where they are free to name their emotions freely. We also have connection rituals such as our 4-4-4 hugging routine to deepen our bonds. This means 4 hugs in the morning, 4 hugs at midday, and 4 hugs at bedtime.
- Two of our family values are fun and creativity and we intentionally create memories through play, dance, and lots of fun activities together.
What do you love the most about all the many expressions of your purpose/passion?
What I love most about my work is seeing the joy on someone’s face who was once confused beaming with clarity like a parent who is overwhelmed with parenting and in the midst of our consultation call, she is feeling relaxed and becomes aware of what the challenge is and what to do better.
I love seeing someone who once felt stuck now feeling empowered and like the woman who is feeling lost, stuck, and dissatisfied with life and I can help her reconnect with her authentic self, heal, and is now expressing herself meaningfully.
Seeing a couple who attend our Couples Weekend Getaway or be coached by Nedum and me through our Flourishing Two-gether Couples Project and send us gifts later thanking us for the new bliss they are experiencing in their marriage.
I’m grateful that I’m doing what I love and I can fully express my strengths through my work.
What inspired you to venture into Entrepreneurship, especially with your successful corporate career?
Over the years, I have dedicated resources to studying what makes humans thrive in life and live meaningfully. I am trained in the science of happiness and Positive Psychology,
I am born to teach. Teaching is one of my superpowers. I delight in creating simple transformative solutions, programs, and guides to help myself, my family, and my tribe integrates the science of happiness and human flourishing into their lifestyle.
One of my popular mantras is “this life lived once ought to be lived freely, fully, and happily.” And it has stuck in the mouths and hearts of my tribe and hence the title Queen of Happiness and Human Flourishing.
Share what you love most about your work as the Founder of the Happify Humanity Project and Creator of Happify Your Life.
I love everything about it. Starting from how the inspiration came in the early hours of Sept 12, 2021, to teach the science of Happify through the project’s different channels.
Most importantly, I love the feedforward that comes from people who read the book and participate in the Experience.
A UN diplomat once wrote to me that she would have thought the book was written by an American psychologist if she didn’t know I was the one that wrote it because of its depth and simplicity.
A couple of people in Happify Humanity Haven call it the happiness Bible. Someone once told me that’s her favourite book after the Holy Bible.
These comments make me feel grateful that I listened to the leading to write then. I’m proud that I am fulfilling my purpose here on earth helping people reconnect to their authenticity and lead more meaningful lives.
There is nothing as refreshing as knowing that I matter and my work matters and that I’m making life more meaningful for someone else.
How important is a support system for a mum? Who is in your tribe and what kind of support do you have?
We are all made for human connection. Nobody succeeds in parenting without a support system. For mothers especially, our brains are wired for connection, especially with fellow women. We have larger emotional brains which increase our capacity for connection, collaboration, and seeking help.
I’m grateful that I have a large support system made up of my husband mother, sisters, and hired help. Friends who also have children about the same age as ours, mentors, coaches, and therapists. These professionals work with me or any of the Kays as need be.
I encourage mothers to find a group of mothers who they can share connection, compassion, and courage with. There is something about being in a support group. You tap into mutual compassion as you realise that everyone is navigating one challenge or the other. You learn from the bank of wisdom and are encouraged to try out simple solutions when you glean from other mothers’ experiences.
Everyone needs at least 5 people in their inner circle. A cheerleader, a friend, a peer, a mentor, and a coach. Get these people and experience more ease in parenting.
How do you balance work and parenting? Is it possible to achieve this?
If the term work-life balance suggests an equal distribution of resources between work and life, then I’d say that is a myth. Come to think of it, is work not part of life? So if you are to balance life and work, does that mean work should take half of your time and resources and every other thing that makes life meaningful for you should take half?
Rather, I like to view the concept of work-life balance through the lens of living a harmonious life. Based on my work, I have a 12-dimension approach to harmonious living. These dimensions are spiritual growth, family, intimate relationships, other relationships, finance, business/career, personal growth, health, quality of life, fun/recreation, community contribution, and life vision.
So living a harmonious life will be knowing per time which of these dimensions you need to focus on to make improvements on based on your purpose values, seasons, and needs. A mother who is taking courses to build her chances of getting a promotion with school-age children has different priorities compared to a mother who is retired with children in the universities. Parenting is embedded in the family dimension and if work is to be taken as a business/career, then both parenting and work are part of what makes a harmonious life.
Therefore, every mother first needs to recognise that is WHOLE, more than work and parenting. Such a mother should know what she needs to improve on her work and parenting and never burden herself with pursuing balance, rather focus on harmony through minimalist goal setting, self-care, resilience skills, leveraging on her strengths, support system, and God, while normalising mistakes as opportunities for growth.
What 3 things would you like to share with parents as they raise their children to live fully? And be happy?
- Teach, model, and coach children to embrace value-based living by having family values and guiding them to identify their own individual values and practicing using them values to navigate daily life intentionally. Making choices that align with your values gives a sense of authenticity, autonomy, and meaning.
- Teach, model, and coach children to identify the people, places, and practices that inspire them, make them feel alive, and promote the secretion of hormones of positivity, motivation, and drive such as endorphins, serotonin, oxytocin, dopamine and guide them to create rituals, routines, and reminders to intentionally spend time with such people and places and engage in such activities. This will help them increase their positive emotions and build their psychological capital.
- Teach, model, and coach children to learn how to apply consequential thinking and make your home a haven where your children feel safe to share their struggles, mistakes, and failures without fear of judgment.
What has motherhood taught you about yourself?
I am more resilient than I give myself credit for. Motherhood has also made me appreciate my mother better.
What is one motherhood myth you would like to bust?
Motherhood makes a woman. Before you become a mother (which should be your choice and not forced on you by societal expectations) you are first a woman. You can fulfill your purpose and live a meaningful life as a woman without being a mother. If you choose to be a mother, give it your best. Commit to lifelong learning because parenting is a science and an art.
What advice would you give mothers to help them achieve true happiness?
Whatever you think you are, you are much more than that. Being a mother is a choice and just one part of you. Prioritise updating your mindset, skillset, and toolset first as a flourishing human because you cannot keep pouring from a cup you are not intentionally refiling. At a point, you will become drained. So, commit to the cycle of continuous self-awareness, self-compassion, and self-care. Quit beating yourself up. There is no perfect mother ever.
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 on yourself?
I’m a sucker for authenticity and allowing people to exercise autonomy to choose whatever self-care they need per the time. My advice here will be to direct the readers to a simple diagnostic evaluation that helps them select the self-care they need in the moment that aligns with their values and interest so that they can sustain doing it for some time. That’s the Person Activity Fit Diagnostic by Sonja Lyubomirsky. You can find it online, I also shared it in my book – Happify Your Life which you can order here.
As for me, I prioritise inviting positive emotions intentionally because I understand it builds my psychological capital. I have a game plan of what I do daily, weekly, and monthly to care for myself. Some of these include movements like dancing, exercise, and yoga. Other practices like meditation, gratitude journaling, sitting with my emotions, going to the beach, walking barefoot, praying, etc. I particularly take compassionate breaks in between my work hours to stretch, dance or pause to call a loved one and gist.
My hubby said my time in the bath should be investigated. I like to pamper myself sometimes like once a week and have a mindful bath where I allow myself to enjoy the bathtime.
Can you tell us how you stay stylish and your beauty routine?
I prioritize comfort so I go for comfortable clothes and footwear. My style is also defined by simplicity and vibrance. That reflects in my taste for minimalist accessories, hairstyles, and makeup. I’m sensual too so my femininity shines through my style in alignment with my values. Lastly, I like to reflect my African heritage in my style so I go for more Ankara and Adire pieces.
For my beauty routine, I’m a minimalist to the core. I was a typical bathe and rub shea butter on my body girl until recently when my friend Oladunni, the Makari Boss inspired me to start a simple beauty routine. So my recently adopted face care routine includes a cleanser, toner, vitamin C serum, moisturiser, and sunscreen in the morning with 2 times a week exfoliation. My body care is body scrub once a week. In addition, I carry my water bottle with me everywhere so I can drink at least 2 litres of water daily. Recently, I have slacked in my generous intake of vegetables and green smoothies but I will work on increasing that again.
What do you love about LagosMums?
I love the founder Yetty Williams, who I call Yetty AI. Her commitment to learning and sharing with other mothers how to raise our digital natives, live an abundant life, and integrate tech and artificial intelligence into our businesses is admirable.
I love that LagosMums is a support group for women. Women from different tribes, cultures, and religions with a common interest in raising whole children without losing themselves can get an education, empowerment, and entertainment with other like-minded women.I love the founder Yetty Williams, who I call Yetty AI. Her commitment to learning and sharing with other mothers how to raise our digital natives, live an abundant life, and integrate tech and artificial intelligence into our businesses… Click To Tweet
○ N1 Million or more sleep?
Right now, the quality and quantity of my sleep is great so I’ll go for the N1m and spend it on an experience such as 3 days in a beach resort. I have been eyeing Lakowe Lakes and Golf Resort. That experience will be refreshing and I can tell you, it will give me more sleep definitely.
○ Would you prefer to go on a shopping spree or an all-expense-paid trip to your dream destination?
Shopping spree bawo? All roads lead to an all-expense-paid trip to my dream destination. Who shopping epp?😀
○ Homeschooling or traditional school.
Traditional school oh. I don’t have grace for homeschooling.
○ A spa day or Eat out?
A spa day. I love the pampering effect. Hope it will be a complete package oh. Facials, pedicures, manicures, Moroccan baths, relaxing massage. All the works.
It was lovely learning more from our mum of the month, Dinma Nwobi. Thank you for sharing with us. You can connect with Dinma Nwobi here.
READ ALSO: LagosMums Mum of the Month- Funmilola Adewole-Lawson