Our LagosMums mum of the month is Titilayo Oyinsan also known as Titi the Dynamite. She is a mum and Momager to children Youtubers – Amber and Ruby Oyinsan, wife and broadcaster among other things. We enjoyed talking to her. Read more about this amazing mum as she shares her passion to profit journey and her motherhood experience so far.
Please tell us about yourself.
I am a wife, mum of two super amazing girls, a Professional News Anchor, Voice-over Artist, Voice Actor, Audiobook Narrator and Diction Trainer. I am a Professional Television Host and Segment Producer for Nigeria’s Number 1 TV Breakfast Show, Wake Up Nigeria on TVC. I’m a COO at Amber11 Media and I am also the Host of Nigeria’s Biggest English Language Quiz Competition for Nigeria’s Top 50 English Language Secondary school students called “Wordsmith.
Share one unexpected thing about you?
One unexpected thing about me is that I cannot drive, I don’t actually know how to. It’s one of those big secrets I try to keep. I have been trying to learn for years now and it just has not happened. I have owned three cars in my lifetime and I have never driven any of them.
Can you share all the hats/roles that you wear?
Presently, I wear quite a lot of hats. First of all, I am a mum and that’s always the first for me. This comes with a lot of duties as I also try to be a friend to my daughters. As with all friendships, there will be arguments and issues that we have to drag out but I believe being friends with my girls is important. I don’t want them to feel the need to hide anything from me and I want them to share things with me that they feel they can share with anyone else.
Also, I am a broadcaster. I’ve always wanted to be a journalist and work in the media. I find this to be a responsibility because of how important and impactful it is if the voice behind the microphone has an important message to pass. I was able to find my message quite early in life. With that, I have been able to inspire quite a few people to be better; read more, reach out to help other people, inspire their communities and their youth and be a proper role model. I believe there aren’t that many role models left in the society for young ones to look up to; so I try to be one.
Tell us about your beautiful family?
My family is a small but cute family. It’s just myself, my husband and our two kids – twin girls. We love to play games and watch TV together. We’re always sharing hugs and deep emotional moments. We definitely argue a lot but we aim to give everyone the opportunity to speak their minds in our family.
Amber and Ruby make the family complete. They show my husband and I what we look like when we are angry, sad or happy and they never hesitate to speak their mind.
What has surprised you the most about motherhood?
I can’t say I was surprised really. I was a host of a parenting show for over five years. The parenting program gave me the opportunity to research so much about what it is to be a mum and what children need at every point in time. I did so much research on possible mistakes that I would have made. I also got to compare past and new methods of parenting. With that, I was able to make a choice between the two options and find a middle ground as well.
Nobody told me that motherhood will be such a joyful experience. Everybody complained about the stress; how tired they were all the time and how much of a balancing act it is. Nobody really talked about the joyful and sweet aspects of motherhood; those amazing smiles I will see every morning from my kids, how great it will feel to receive that hug when I get back from work. Nobody told me that my kids can easily tell how I feel from looking at my face and try to comfort me. These were the aspects I was surprised about.
What has motherhood taught you about yourself?
Motherhood has taught me that I am a lot more patient than I actually believe. Motherhood taught me that you have to do everything in your power to survive and make sure that everyone is provided for. It has also taught me quite a lot about what you can achieve if you just put your mind to it. There are so many different hats that a mum can wear and still be a great mum. You don’t have to sacrifice one for the other all the time. You can actually have more than one hat, balance it all and feel the joy that comes with it.
Motherhood has also taught me that I actually do know right from wrong because I am willing to teach it all the time; as opposed to how many times my mother screamed “Don’t you know the right thing?” at me. Motherhood has taught me that I can be dynamite, be a mum and be hot – wear makeup and heels carry a feeding bottle, breastfeed on the move, change twenty diapers a day and still go shopping. I never knew I could do all that before I became a mum.
How are you keeping your family safe during this period?
My mother hen mode was activated as soon as COVID-19 began all over the world. It was so powerful that as soon as the index patient entered the country; I went to the bank, got out some money and went straight to buy cleaning equipment. I went around spraying and cleaning everything and securing everyone. In fact, no one can enter my compound without wearing a mask; if you don’t have one, I will provide one for you.
My children know the rules. They talk about it every single day. We are all using medicated antiseptic soap and hand wash right now. When we return from the supermarket, all bags are thrown out and all packets are sprayed or washed with soap. There are so many moves I have been able to use to checkmate any form of infection coming in and around our environment. It has definitely been dramatic and my OCD has been on point. But I think it is the right time for me to have my OCD moments.
Can you share some peculiarities of being a twin mum?
Being a mum of twins is definitely something different, twins are amazing blessings. I can’t really compare the experience to anything because I have never had a single child. I’ve always had to balance my attention between two children and make sure there was enough for both. I have to make sure I buy the same item for both children. I’ve always thought in twos so I can’t really compare with someone who is just feeding one, buying for one or giving attention to one child.
One thing I can say is that I have had the opportunity to understand the peculiarities of children in terms of attitude, personality, food preferences, sleeping patterns, mood swings etc. I have been able to learn how different each child actually is and have learnt not to judge them for those peculiarities that they have. I’ve learnt to accept them for who they are and to build on what I understand their personalities to be.
I have done everything possible to not compare or contrast them. I’ve also begun to understand how to get things done with each child. For instance, I have learnt that child A needs more encouragement than child B. But the truth is; although child B might get the work done, it won’t be as quickly or as perfectly as child A after much persuasion. So they both have their peculiarities and I have learnt to accept them for who they are.
Can you tell us some of the funniest things your children have said or done?
Asking about the funniest things my kids have done is like asking about what they say and do every day. Please visit their YouTube page – AmberandRuby Oyinsan for some of the fun things my kids say and do. They also have a website now. They have come up with so many amazing ideas for their own merchandise, games and activities. How much they want to do and the great ideas they have are a little overwhelming for my husband and I. We often wish we had enough time to put all their ideas right there on every single platform possible. Then again, because they are still schooling, we have to ensure that we keep school at the forefront.
They also have peculiar wants and preferences around this time. We know who the techy person is and who the more “divaish” one is. We know who the more emotional one is and we know how cynical, logical and skeptical the other one is. I’m not going to point who is who right now for their own privacy. It’s interesting how they understand what it is to have privacy and their own emotions and they own them. I am just pleased that they have been able to grow into 7-year-olds that understand that they can own their own emotions.
Share your professional journey; from your early years of being a model to becoming an OAP and then, a TV host.
Journeys differ in every profession and mine was one of the blessed ones. I have always had the opportunity to be in from of the camera from when I was about 17 years old. Being in front of the camera comes with its issues. I was one of the people whose name was always out there on the covers of trending magazines; before social media even existed and it was a big thing. I can tell you it’s not been that easy. It means that I had to maintain a particular persona.
I had to always be ready to smile in front of a camera no matter how moody or upset I was. I had to be prepared to pose and honestly, it’s not as easy as it sounds especially if you have a sick parent at home who needs a paycheck and you’re being owed by advertising media companies back to back. Also, the demands for new photos and the demand from the industry to make you compromise your dignity was overwhelming to mention a few.
It’s been a journey that led from modeling to events and ushering, TV, red carpet interviews to having my own talk show. I started on TV with music videos, I fell in love with the camera and became a host with Naijizzy for quite a while. Then I moved on to the NTA where I had a show that used to air at 5 am every day. It was a live TV talk show where I got to interview artists. At the time, Mr. Ben Bruce was still the head at NTA and he put a lot of things in place to make sure that those studios were really amazing. So I learnt so much from working with NTA that stuck with me.
Then I had the opportunity to work at Soundcity, I also learnt quite a lot here and I moved around the country quite a bit on different events and roadshows. I also had my own talk show for a bit. From there, I moved on to radio. I started out at Inspiration FM as an intern, then I finally got employed.
8 years later, I went back to TV. This time, I was a host on Wake Up Nigeria on TVC. It’s been one of my blessed journeys. I have never at any point been owed salary, I have never been cheated or undervalued or judged because of my gender. I have never been given the kind of ultimatums that you hear about sometimes in the media today. This is why I believe that I am one of the blessed ones.
What’s one thing you wouldn’t want to repeat that your parents did while raising you?
My parents did their best to raise me. They instilled quite a lot of morals in me and taught me so much about music and entertainment. They taught me so much about being the best I can be. Also, they taught me quite a lot about my culture and my language, my ethnic identity.
However, one of the things I try to do differently is to give my kids the opportunity to speak. I try to hear them out and then correct them as opposed to how I was raised which is that you don’t question your parents. I do believe that not every parent is right and parents make mistakes. As a result, because they are not above reproach, they should give the children the opportunity to speak and then be corrected based on their own mistakes.
I wish I could have made a few more mistakes as a child so that I could have learnt from them. As opposed to learning from the warnings of my parents. I kind of ended up learning from fear as opposed to learning from actual experience. Some may not be on the same page with me on this, but it is something I am trying to with my kids – allow them learn from their mistakes.
Is there any other project you are currently working on?
When my kids were about to start school; I found out from a friend that there were many young children in Lagos that did not have access to education. This was either because their parents could not afford it or they didn’t have the need for it.
So I started working with my friend, Triciabiz, who had started helping young children go to school. The girl child always comes second in any family when it comes to education. I decided to focus on the girl child and with about N30,000 a year, a girl child could go to school. So we started that project and thankfully, for over five years, we have been able to send 30 girls to school each year and I find that amazing. The target is that by the time I am 40, 300 girls would have gone to school and I am still hoping for the best.
Work-Life Balance or Work-Life Integration?
I am definitely for Work-Life integration. This is owing to the fact that I have always been part of the media and my parents have always understood what it meant. It meant that on Christmas and Easter day I might not be home, there were many weekends I couldn’t turn to family weekends because most media people tend to work on the weekends.
It is still the same today, my husband and I are both in the media. As a result, we have to make sure we either involve the children by having them come with us or plan media events for them to attend. It’s so interesting that our girls actually get personal invitations to events of their own that we have to make happen for them.
It’s more of integration because we have them record their own sessions every day. They have their own sessions every day and we interview them once in a while. They come to our workplaces regularly and we involve them in what we do. So, we’ve been able to integrate our lives in such a way that no area is “lacking”. We have been able to find a sense of balance in the integration of our work and our lives.
How important is a support system for a mum?
Yes, it is very important for a mum to have a support system, especially in her husband. But not limited to him because there are some amazing single mums out there and they are doing amazing things. I am grateful to God for the effort that my husband puts in. He is a hands-on dad who makes sure that there are some things our family doesn’t lack especially in terms of homework for the kids, making meals and providing activities for the children to do when I am not around.
I also have to give a shout out to my mum who often comes around to help out particularly when I know I won’t be around because of some important projects. She never hesitates to help and I appreciate the fact that I can always rely on her to show up when I need her. I use nannies but oftentimes nannies are not reliable which means that you must always have a backup plan.
Thankfully my office has a creche/after school system so if my nanny or my mum is not available, I can always have my kids there. Also, my husband works for himself, so he can be there for our children if there’s a need for that. I don’t know what would have happened if we didn’t have these opportunities
Use one word to describe one thing that should not be missing from every home?
Love! As cliche as it sounds, with love all things are possible. If you love your family enough, you will hustle enough to make sure they are well provided for. If you love your wife enough, you will make sure she has everything she needs to make sure the home front is covered. Likewise, if you love your husband enough, you will make sure he has the right support to help inspire him to do great things and lead the family in the right direction.
As long as you teach children with love and not fear, children will understand right from wrong and understand you’re trying to teach them
Share one self-care tip. How do you relax and spend time on yourself?
The only thing I really do to pamper myself is that I like to soak myself in the bathtub at every possible opportunity. I just fill up the bath with warm water and relax inside it. It has a very calming effect and I don’t have to pay for it. The bathroom is very quiet, I soak myself in a nice warm bath just to relax my mind and muscles. I also use that time to meditate and think about my future plans.
As a Yummy Mummy – can you tell us how you stay stylish and your beauty routine?
It’s not as posh as you would imagine. I am always made up every single day because of my TV show, so it has nothing to do with getting my hair or makeup done. It’s more of just making sure I wash my face with a great face wash. I also make sure that my skin is clean and dry because I have combination skin. I understand that my skin needs to breathe every night. I’ve also learnt to avoid using anything abrasive on my face, so I don’t use facial scrubs as much as I used to. I just use washes which seem to keep my pores open for fresh air to get in. I also get a facial probably once a quarter, nothing too dramatic, and it works for me.
What do you love about LagosMums?
I am pleased and impressed with LagosMums. It’s a platform that has consistently been there for women. It gives all it can to make sure that women have the opportunity to learn something new year in, year out. I also appreciate the fact that LagosMums doesn’t limit it’s topics to just instructional videos and articles. It has interactive sessions, events and networking is real. I have learnt from you every single year since you began.
N1million or more sleep?
- Definitely more sleep! I’m a big fan of my bed and my bed is one of my best friends. I love getting good rest because once I wake up, I am ready to face the world. Depending on the amount of energy I have at the end of the day, I will make more than a million naira. So, definitely more sleep.
Go on a shopping spree or all expenses paid trip to your top destination?
- All expenses paid trip to my top destination! I love to see the world and learn new things. I can always do the shopping at that destination.
Homeschooling or traditional school?
- This is a tough one. I have tried both and I am still a big fan of homeschooling. This is because I think the children drift off a lot more often when they are with their peers and they don’t focus on actual learning. Also, teachers get to learn a lot more about their students when they are more hands-on. I will rather have a personal teacher teach them maybe three days a week than have them go to school for five days a week.
A spa day or Eat out?
- A Spa day!
Visit LagosMums Mum of the Month category to read from other mums who share their motherhood journey.
SEE ALSO: Tips for Achieving Work-Life Balance