Our Lagosmums mum of the month is Toyosi Olatunji. Mum of twins, the Chief Project Officer at Leadway Holdings, a Mentor, Coach and Growth Strategist.
Please tell us about yourself.
My name is Toyosi and I am a mother of two – a set of boy/girl twins. They are 14 months old. We are a happy trio and all our names start with T!
Can you share more on all the hats you wear?
Mother, Professional, Mentor/Coach, Volunteer.
Share one unexpected thing about you.
In another life, I would be a forensic scientist/crime scene investigator.
Can you tell us one of the funniest things your children have done?
Not funny per se, given that they are still “infants”. However, they just started to walk and it’s so amusing when they pick something up that they know they shouldn’t and attempt to run off on their little feet, smiling like they are saying “catch me if you can”. Well, they always get caught!! LOL!????
What are some ways that children and parenting are different from when you were growing up and now?
There is certainly a lot more literature available today, than back then. A lot more awareness of oneself too. I am and will be very conscious of not transferring my fears and biases to my children, something many of us couldn’t really avoid growing up.
How do you plan to prepare your children for an ever-changing world?
Tolerance is one of the things that I find is missing in the world today, along with compassion. I want my children to learn to be tolerant of others, to be compassionate and kind. I want them to be fearless, exposed to diverse people and cultures and respectful to all. I want them to be ready to explore, I will encourage them to ask questions, dig deeper, be bold and stand firm for what they believe in. I am an empath and want my children to be considerate and attuned/sensitive to others. Mostly, I will raise them to be fiercely protective of each other.I want them to be ready to explore, I will encourage them to ask questions, dig deeper, be bold and stand firm for what they believe in Click To Tweet
What has surprised you the most about being a mum to twins?
Mainly how different their personalities are. I always remind myself that they are two separate people.
Share what you love most about your work, as a Mentor, Growth Strategist, and Chief Project Officer at Leadway Holdings.
The opportunity to truly make a difference by simplifying the complexities faced by either individuals or the different businesses I support and proffering solutions that lead to sustainable growth/progress.
How important is a support system for a mum? Who is in your tribe and what kind of support do you have?
I don’t know where I would be if I didn’t have a support system, especially as a choice mom. A great example is needing to travel internationally with the twins. Many airlines do not permit an adult to fly with more than one infant (under 2). Bringing them back to Lagos, my Auntie-Mom flew back with us. Recently we visited the UK, this time, my bestie flew and stayed with us for the duration of our trip. Without them, I am not sure what I would have done. A “big sister” moved in with us for three months when we returned to Nigeria. When I returned to work, my friends and family took turns to come and stay at the house, until I got comfortable with leaving them with the nannies. Another aunt cooks up a storm and drops off monthly to make sure that I am well nourished.
These are but a few examples of how much support I am blessed to receive. There are different buckets of people, for instance, a few friends of mine had babies around the same period, so I am constantly checking and comparing notes, making sure I am doing the right thing and vice versa. My paediatrician sister-friend checks in regularly via FaceTime or when she’s visiting Nigeria, especially if I have any questions/concerns. I could go on and on. It does take a village and I am very thankful for our tribe who love us and give of their time and resources.
How do you balance work and parenting? Is it possible to achieve this?
As best as I can. I have a hybrid work structure, which allows me to work from home twice a week. I spend most of my free time with my children, but I also carve out time to spend with myself – doing things that I want or need to. I used to exercise a lot before the babies – play tennis, swim, run/walk. Of all those activities, I have only been able to return to walking and now I do the jump rope at home which is a combination of exercise for me and entertainment for them. There’s also the social part of it, I became a bit of a recluse thanks to COVID lockdown and thereafter, the need to protect myself (while pregnant) and then the babies from the dreadful virus.
So, I am now getting out a bit more – professionally and socially. I strongly believe that we weren’t created to be just one thing, so inasmuch as I LOVE my role as a mother, and LOVE spending time with my kids, I also do a lot to ensure that I maintain my individuality and relationships. Balance is not only possible, it is critical.I LOVE my role as a mother and LOVE spending time with my kids, I also do a lot to ensure that I maintain my individuality and relationships. Balance is not only possible, it is critical. Click To Tweet
What is most challenging about finding balance?
Time! Sometimes there simply isn’t enough of it. I have learnt to prioritise and always do the most important things first.
How did you react when you found out you were expecting twins?
I was overjoyed and terrified at the same time, I think I shed a few tears. I’d always wanted twins and I couldn’t believe it was finally happening.
What has motherhood taught you about yourself?
I have learned not to sweat the small stuff. I overlook many things now that would have made my blood boil in the past. Now I ask myself how big of a deal it really is, and move on. I am permanently in self-preservation mode.
What is one motherhood myth, you would like to burst?
“There are limited routes to motherhood”. There are so many paths for married and unmarried women who want to be mothers. Conventional and unconventional methods, all lead to the desired outcome.
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?
As they say, you can’t pour from an empty vessel. I am generally very deliberate and this is no different. I schedule self-care and put it on my calendar. So it is on there and I can pick from various activities, depending on how I feel at the time. It could be lunch with a friend or a massage or even solo Netflix and chill with a glass of wine. On our earlier mentioned trip to the UK, it was a solo trip to Paris for the whole day. Oh, one more – a digital detox is wonderful too.
Can you tell us how you stay stylish and your beauty routine?
Again, it comes to being intentional. My skin and body have still not recovered fully from pregnancy, so I choose to wear things that suit my body in its current state. My latest beauty hack is double cleansing at night and following the 60-second rule for washing my face.
What do you love about LagosMums?
It’s an amazing resource and community. As a new/first-time mom, I love that I can find information for every stage of their growth – which is really amazing especially as it is relatable, localised content.
○ N1 Million or more sleep?
Naira??! More sleep, please.
○ 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 traditional school.
○ A spa day or Eat out?
A spa day!
It was lovely learning more from our mum of the month, Toyosi Olatunji. Thank you for sharing with us. You can connect with Toyosi Olatunji here.