Our LagosMums Mum of the Month is Okeyinfu Ajayi, the Executive Director and Founder of Busy Minds Center, an educational institution and training center in Nigeria.
Please tell us about yourself. Can you share more about all the hats you wear?
Okeyinfu Ajayi is the Executive Director and Founder of Busy Minds Center, an educational institution and training center in Nigeria. She founded Busy Minds Center in 2013 and has grown the organization to enviable heights in the education landscape in Nigeria. She is experienced in curriculum integration and is certified as an Assessment Lead by evidence-based education in the United Kingdom.
Okeyinfu is a confident and motivated business and project management professional, known for consistently driving business goals and delivering successful outcomes across diverse sectors, including Manufacturing, IT, Education, Consulting, and E-commerce. With a strong track record spanning over two and half decades, she brings extensive expertise in a wide range of strategic activities, including people and change management, Agile and scrum workflows, process improvement, target state analysis and mapping (As Is and To Be), as well as exceptional business administration skills.
I wear several hats and some of these are listed below:
- Business Analysis
- Process improvement Analyst
- Education and Learning Strategist
- Performance and Clarity Coaching
- Mentoring Tech Professionals
- Business Operations Support with Tech Tools
Share one unexpected thing about you.
One unexpected thing about me is my versatility, an ability to excel in different fields – a quality that not everyone possesses. Whether it’s navigating various industries, adapting to different roles, or thriving in diverse environments, my multi-faceted nature sets me apart and makes me an adaptable and dynamic woman.
Tell us about your beautiful family.
I am married with two amazing, children a girl, 18 and a boy 16.
How did you meet your husband and for how long have you been married?
How I met my husband is an interesting story, and I hope I do not shock you. My husband and I met whilst I was using his friend’s computer at work. My computer was faulty, and I needed to submit a report or miss the deadline. As soon as I turned on his friend’s computer, Yahoo messenger popped up, and we started to have a conversation and the rest of they say, is history .18 years, almost 19 years later, we’re still going very strong by the grace of God. Thank you.
Do you and your spouse have the same parenting style?
That’s another interesting one. I believe as they say, variety is the spice of life. My husband and I have very different parenting styles; yes, we have areas where we parent similarly. Regardless of our differences in parenting, we understand that the best for the children is at the forefront of every single thing that we do. We always have conversations about what we’re going to do and that’s what we’ve always done right off the bat when we started having children.
I had something that we hope to continue to do till we’re old and greyer. I’m usually the bad cop; my husband is a good cop. My husband, when the children were younger if he had to spank them or anything like that, he would almost be crying. I’m very strict; I am the get it done right now parent and my husband is very ‘let’s have a conversation’. When one parent is handling conversations, the other steps back. Someone always takes the lead.
The thing with parenting style is that it changes as your children grow. My daughter is 18, and my son is 16; it’s more of a conversational style. We have become parents as friends. We need to be parents who can connect with their children and have them connect with us. So, I would say that even though we do have different parenting styles, our parenting style has changed and really followed the children, if I may say so.
Can you tell us one of the funniest things your child(ren) has done?
When my son was under three, he loved to run headlong into things. For example, we will go to the pool, and as soon as we get there, he will run and jump right into the pool, fearless. We have often had to jump in fully clothed to get him to safety.
This one time, we went to an ice cream place in Katy, and as we stood in line, I smelt something funny, and I asked him, very silently, “Did you fart”? I was carrying him as we didn’t want him running around. HE very loudly proceeded to say to me “Mummy, you farted” “Mummy Farted”. It is funny now, but I wished I had the invincibility formula.
What do you love the most about your work and all the many expressions of your purpose and passion?
My love for what I do stems from my impact on individuals’ growth and development. Witnessing the progress of students or clients, the aha moments of understanding, and the positive influence on lives is rewarding for me. Additionally, continuous learning and inspiring and empowering others is fulfilling.
What have you learned about preparing children to choose the right career for the future?
I would emphasize that don’t hinder your children from exploring different fields; allow them to explore a variety of subjects, activities, and interests. When they are exposed to different fields, this helps them discover what they are passionate about. Also, pay attention to their strengths and interests. When you understand what they excel at and what they enjoy doing, this can guide career choices aligned with their natural abilities. My daughter wanted to be a dancer, then a teacher, then an actress, then a space traveller. She is currently studying Mechanical Engineering.
How important is a support system for a mum? Who is in your tribe and what kind of support do you have?
Navigating the challenges of motherhood, from childcare to household responsibilities, can be demanding. Knowing that there’s someone who can step in when needed provides a sense of security and peace of mind.
In my case, my husband, my mum, and my siblings and my team members, form a robust support system that has been invaluable in helping me overcome the challenges of motherhood. Their involvement goes beyond practical assistance; it extends to emotional support, shared responsibilities, and creating a nurturing environment for both me and my children.
What are some ways that children and parenting are different from when you were growing up and now?
My parenting style has evolved; my children are 16 and 18 respectively. When they were younger, it was more about holding their hand, showing them the path, a lot of listening, and that hasn’t changed. We still listen a lot because we encourage the children to speak. Right now, they are old enough to have conversations, and it’s more about watching that the morals, ethics, and values we have shown them over the years are being imbibed and manifested.
They no longer really stay at home as they spend half the time actually, more than half the time, in their respective schools. When you don’t see children often, it becomes virtual parenting, and so you rely on values and a lot of prayers to ensure they’re doing what they need to do. From early on, we understood this, and even whilst they were growing up, we always parented in a way that encouraged individuality and independence.
I can see the results and the benefits in in how my children work, how they manage themselves, in their being respectful of their time and being accountable. My parenting style has evolved, but most importantly, it really has followed the child and molded itself to be suitable based on the needs of my child. My value system hasn’t changed, but the way that I do what I need to, is what has changed.
How are you raising your child(ren) to be ready for an ever-changing world?
I do not shield my children from the world, I show them the world and give them tools to function as responsible citizens. I also encourage them to be self and spatially aware; they grew up as thinkers. This has helped.
How do you balance work and parenting? Is it possible to achieve this?
Achieving a perfect balance between work and parenting can be challenging, and it’s essential to recognize that perfection may not always be realistic. Some days, work demands more attention, while on other days, family needs take precedence. We need to find a balance that works per time and make it work.
I manage my time by creating schedules and prioritizing tasks, ensuring that work and parenting responsibilities are addressed. Effective communication about commitments and limitations with my employer, colleagues, and family helps manage expectations.
Delegating responsibilities and relying on my support systems to share the load has also helped achieve balance. Setting boundaries and learning to say no when necessary is another practice I’ve adopted to prevent over-commitment, which can lead to burnout and negatively impact both work and family life.
What inspired you to venture into being a Coach and Career Mentor?
I mean it’s it’s not I don’t think it’s just one thing that let me into the space of being a coach on the career mental it was many things and just seeing how people were being LED in the wrong way how people wanted to move wanted to do things and they couldn’t find a path was one thing that prompted me to that space and just showing my experiences contributed my quote our giving back has been immensely satisfying of course their frustrations that come along with mentoring but most importantly I’m giving back and if only one person from the thousands of people that I connect with take something from me that’s enough.
Can you share what surprised you the most about your job as a Coach and Career Mentor? What would you advise parents on choosing the best career for their child(ren)
People want to be spoon-fed; people not just ready to do the work. People say they want to do the work, but in reality, when you give them tasks that would help them clearly articulate their personal profile and show them the path they could take, they want me to do it for them. They’re just not ready to do the work they want you to do the work for them, and that is always a surprise for me because that was my own experience.
On parents choosing the best career for their children, that is not the parent’s responsibility so I don’t really have any advice in that regard except to ask the parents to please step back and let their children think. Ask what problems they want to solve, what is important to them and for them? Just let the children be. There is no way a child can develop critical thinking skills, grow a problem-solving persona, if a parent is always stepping in. My advice would be that parents need to step back but they should be available and let the children be.
What has motherhood taught you about yourself?
Be intentional about the people who pour into you. What you connect with is what you manifest and become, and it affects my parents if I do it. I want them to get the best of me so I protect that.
Use one word to describe one thing that should not be missing from every home.
Communication – This is the most important ingredient for every successful home.
Share with us your Mentorship journey and how you get inspiration (what inspires you?)
My mentorship journey has been an interesting one in the sense that it’s been very observation based. I have modelled my actions based on the value systems that I got from my parents from my family and by just observing people who I find have broken the glass ceilings in the different sectors where they operate/dominate. That has helped me. I have had people who have guided me along the way, and their support has been invaluable. I would not trade it for anything because they really helped me to see the holes that were ahead with that I would never have imagined on my own. This is something that I also try and give my mentee’s.
On my inspiration I just trying to be my best; just trying to be somebody who my father, my heavenly father, is proud of. Showing forth the glory of HE who has called me – that’s my inspiration. Making the world easier for the next person – This might sound very cliched but that really is my inspiration. I want to wake up every single day with a purpose with a reason to get out of bed. A goal that is beyond me has helped me stay the course.
Burst one motherhood myth!
Mothers can achieve a perfect balance in every aspect of life— work, parenting, or personal well-being. Motherhood involves constant adjustments, and it’s okay not to always have everything perfectly balanced. What matters most is finding a rhythm that works for you and your family, and recognizing that imperfection is a natural part of the journey.
Share one self-care tip. How do you relax and spend time with yourself?
One self care tip: Include rest time into your schedule. I always leave some free time in my schedule as well. This way, I can take a break and not feel like I am missing out on doing something. I hope this helps someone.
I find relaxation in watching cookery, home hacks shows and more recently, Korean drama shows on Netflix. Additionally, reading a romance novel remains a timeless joy for me.
Can you tell us how you stay stylish and your beauty routine?
Confidence and self-care is my style mantra. I really do not much of a beauty routine, as I prioritize what makes me feel confident and comfortable rather than chasing trends. Also, maintaining a healthy lifestyle contributes to a radiant appearance – I stay hydrated with plenty of water and tea, maintain a balanced diet, ensure sufficient sleep, and incorporate regular exercise into my routine.
What advice would you give to other mums?
Embrace imperfections – No one is a perfect mom. Don’t be too hard on yourself, learn from mistakes, and understand that it’s okay not to have all the answers. Prioritize quality over quantity – It’s not about the amount of time you spend with your children, but the quality of that time. Be Intentional, be present and engaged when you can.
Additionally, don’t hesitate to seek support. Whether from your partner, family, or friends, having a support system can make a significant difference. Ensure you find time for self-care, whether it’s a few hours of sleep, a vacation, or even a day at the spa.
How do you plan a new year?
First, I take a moment to reflect on the past year—celebrating achievements, acknowledging challenges, and cherishing memorable moments. This reflection gives me an insight into what worked well and areas for improvement.
Next, I set clear goals—making them specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Whether in personal development, career, health, or family, well-defined goals provide a roadmap for the year ahead.
Additionally, I identify the most significant goals and prioritize them, focusing on what matters most to me in the short and long term. Third, I create a detailed plan outlining how to achieve each goal, breaking them down into smaller, actionable steps to make the process more manageable. I also connect the people element.
Lastly, I embrace flexibility. While planning is crucial, I am open to adjustments, recognizing that life is dynamic and unexpected events may occur. Throughout the year, I regularly review my plan, assessing progress and making necessary adjustments to goals or strategies based on what is and isn’t working.
What do you love about LagosMums?
As a mom, I understand the importance of having a functional community you can rely on because parenting is not an easy job. The many expressions of Lagos moms is my personal blessing.
○ N1 Million or more sleep?
○ Would you prefer to go shopping or an all-expense-paid trip to your dream destination?
An all-expense-paid trip to my dream destination
○ Homeschooling or traditional school?
○ A spa day or Eat out?
A spa day