The journey of marriage and motherhood can be surprising and overwhelming at times for newlyweds and new parents, but we want to separate the myths from the realities. We will be sharing highlights on the topic as discussed in a relaunch of the ‘Abundant living for Mums series’; featuring host, Lagosmums founder and parenting coach Yetty Williams, and guest speaker, Mayowa Adegoke, an international journalist and new mum.
This year being the 10th year since the inception of LagosMums by Yetty Williams, she reminisced how she started; and she shared that Mayowa was actually her very first full employee…how the years have gone by! Mayowa then proceeds to share her marriage and motherhood experience so far; her relationship before marriage, pregnancy period and so much more. Here are the highlights of the discussion
Read about Mayowa Adegoke as our LagosMums mum of the month
My name is Mayowa Adegoke, formerly Mayowa Ogundele; I’m a media professional. For people who are fans of Channels TV, and have been watching Channels TV for many years, then you probably have been a part of my media career growth as well. Before channels TV, I was first at Flytime, then from Flytime to LagosMums, and from LagosMums to Channels TV. I’ve been at Channels TV since 2013, I am by God’s grace and by just amazing privilege, I’m now a Channels TV correspondent here in Dubai, where I’m based with my family.
I’ve got a little five-month-old baby and an amazing and very supportive husband of my career and everything. So I’m blessed and I’m just this happy child really.
Yetty Williams stated that one of the biggest things she finds out when talking to different women is that guilt is a thief of joy. Stating that when some women are at an amazing part of their life, they may feel guilty, or that they are not doing everything they should.
Tell us about your Journey to Marriage
Before my husband came into my life, I had stayed single for like eight years. It wasn’t deliberate, but I had this decision that I wanted to wait till marriage before sex; also build my relationship with God. Many years down the line, it really happened exactly as I told God I wanted it to happen; God revealed to me that this is the guy. But the beauty of the story is, I wanted something a particular way, and it happened exactly that way.
So I entered the relationship with my head in the cloud, so giddy and excited. We courted each other for a year, he was based in Dubai and I in Nigeria, and when we started dating, two months later he proposes, and I said Yes. We planned our wedding, and just about a year later, we got married and I moved to Dubai. I’ve not really dated my husband because it was a long-distance relationship, and we’re getting to know about each other in marriage.
At first, you got that newlyweds bubble, but as time goes on, reality sets in, and then you begin to understand this person and start building capacity. So if this person is in a certain way that rubs off wrong with you, How do I manage that? Because you don’t want conflict all the time. I think for me in a year, I’ve matured from a person that was proposed to, and come to realize that there is love, but it also needs work and understanding. There is a lot of covers that need to be done, and I had to learn to pick things faster instead of wait for forever to before I learn. Because when it comes to marriage, there are so many things in the middle; it is not just about feeding and sleeping with him, and everything will go on fine.Because when it comes to marriage, there are so many things in the middle Click To Tweet
Read Also [Balancing Good Parenting with Good Marriage]
What are the things in the Middle?
If food is not a problem, and sex is not a problem, how about when your partner is not in a happy place? I went through depression during my pregnancy, I had dark moments there and nobody really tells you or teaches you about these moments. And most people would tell you not to share these issues with a third party and this is what kills people fast. I think that we all need to find safe places to go to when we can’t help each other out. The emphasis should be safe; a safe place or a safe person.
From your perspective, where is it coming from when they say don’t tell anybody about your issues?
I think that those who say that are not wrong, because it is likely a mix of bad experiences on their side. Sometimes, people are not being real, they seem like good people but they are not. Heaven forbid you to take your problems or issues to that kind of person; outward, it’s like they care for you, but on the inside, they don’t care for you. So there are people who have had such experiences and it must be rampant for a lot of people to be saying the same thing. I’ve heard testimonies of people who say they have never for once had a third party help them settle any conflict, and that is amazing, but not everybody will have that from the beginning, some people might have it, later on, some people might not have it at all. So everyone’s experience is different.
When I find myself faced with an issue, I try to flip the situation and try to think like someone else that has gone through what I’m going through; but there are moments when I cannot overcome my emotions, where my head is saying one thing and my heart is saying another. And there so many little and inconsequential things that happen in a marriage that can become something even bigger if not managed properly. Marriage is really a whole school, and many people say marriage is not an achievement, but I disagree; a good marriage that has lasted many years is an achievement and deserves an award.
Yetty William stated that there are three schools that a lot of us don’t go to that are important; schools for marriage, parenting, and wealth creation. Normal schools that we go to don’t teach us about passive/multiple sources of income, investing, budgeting, and so on. Also in marriage, not the normal counseling people go for to get a certificate so they can get married; that’s not it. Married couples need to learn emotional intelligence, conflict resolution, understanding their triggers, and more.
Tell us about your Motherhood Journey so far
As of January 2020, about four or five months into my marriage, it was one of my goals for the year to wait on getting pregnant. And then a few days later, I found out I was pregnant. And then the feeling of being super sensitive, not being able to eat, or keep my food down, was really crazy; I could only take pap and crackers, and my sense of smell was also sensitive and I was frustrated. It was just me and my husband, and my husband is great, but he is also learning on the job. And being in Dubai where it was an environment where you had to plan education for children and all.
After the first trimester, it felt like the sun came out, I was balling, working, things were sweet and rosy; it has been a beautiful journey since then. One thing I’m really thankful for nowadays is just the blessing of being able to care for my child and still work because my work is not structured like it used to be. So it’s quite flexible, as I can work from home and manage my own time and schedule. So sometimes it could be a Monday morning and I’m with the stroller, pushing the baby around enjoying the sunshine. I had a very hectic work life in Lagos, so being able to just slow down and enjoy a morning walk with my baby or my mom, and just chill and I’m still working. Being able to have both at the same time is an absolute blessing and joy.
Yetty Williams added that women would be happier when companies allow more flexible time; they will be more productive when they are at home with a positive state of mind.
What would you tell your younger self about marriage?
I would say to my younger self that ‘don’t overromanticize marriage’; like learning from movies or watching from Hollywood and get swoon. Because if that is the core of your picture on marriage, you will be disappointed; it’s not Hollywood every day, but just being in each other’s presence, being at peace, there’s beauty in that. That’s not to say that there aren’t relationships that are like Hollywood every day, but not everyone is matched that way.
Yetty Williams added that when you’re comparing your own life to what is not real, ideal, or what’s not your personality; trying to hold your spouse to something that they are not, you will always be seeing the gaps rather than celebrating the beauty. And it is really important that we focus on what is beautiful in our lives and always chasing that thing that seems ideal.when you're comparing your own life to what is not real, ideal, or what's not your personality; trying to hold your spouse to something that they are not, you will always be seeing the gaps rather than celebrating the beauty Click To Tweet
Balancing Work and Parenting
Mental health is a big topic now, so women need to put themselves in a place of “What am I able to do now? What can I manage now?”, and saying “Can I outsource something?” So I posted on my Instagram yesterday, and I said, you know what? I think I finally decided I needed a personal assistant. And the reason for that is because there’s so much I want to achieve and I want to start now, but I cannot do them. So let me get someone who will assist me in achieving my goals; we may not get to, hundred tomorrow, but we would have left zero. So we need to prioritize; your life has a certain rhythm, and you might just be overcrowding it. So what can you manage and still have your peace of mind?we need to prioritize; your life has a certain rhythm, and you might just be overcrowding it. So what can you manage and still have your peace of mind? Click To Tweet
Yetty Williams added that we can outsource the normal things such as chores and errands and focus on the parenting aspect we can’t outsource. Saying we need to figure out how to work smarter, not harder; so we need to be productive and automate as many things as we can. She put out a pictorial example of juggling so many balls, some balls are glass, some are plastic; dropping some balls has more consequences than dropping others. So we need to start drawing lists in our lives ” What are the plastic and glass balls?”we need to figure out how to work smarter, not harder; so we need to be productive and automate as many things as we can Click To Tweet
Something you would tell your older self
Dear Mayowa of the future, I can see how great you’ll become, I’m so happy that I have the strength today to do what will make you happen tomorrow. I pray I don’t disappoint you, in any way.
Message to New Mums
My message would be to just trust in God’s rhythm for your life. I feel like when the core of you is grounded to your creator, and that touches every part of our lives. It’s not just about maybe your spirituality, but it touches your career, your relationships, your ideas, and your dreams. Being grounded to your creator will allow things to fall into place for you. This is how I feel about life because this has been my experience. I feel like my assignments more than anything is to stay grounded to my creator and stay in that flow, stay connected; and every other thing would just find a way to click and align.
Read Also [What you wish you knew before marriage]