Anthonia Soyingbe of Daily Independent interviews Yetty Williams, Founder of LagosMums, who believes that parenting cannot be outsourced. They discuss her reason for setting up LagosMums.com and her views on raising children. Read the excerpt below:
LagosMums was birthed out of the need to have a resource for Mums and Parents based in Nigeria. At the time I started having children I noticed there was no parenting site with local content and information that I could relate to. I decided to start LagosMums to fill this gap and to be a resource for mums, parents and caregivers to get information for family life and parenting.
What is spectacular about LagosMums?
LagosMums is not just another website; it is a wholesome community of Mums (and Dads) who are interested in being the best Mums and getting useful information on the Parenting journey. The site strives to provide information about family friendly events, education, health and nutrition, financial tips for the family and much more. We also have events such as our maiden LagosMums Parenting and networking event, where we brought Mums and speakers together for an interactive session to talk about raising children, the theme was “Raising Global Citizens”. The session was full and we got to address real issues Mums were facing.
Can you let us into your background?
I grew up in Lagos and went to Primary and Secondary Schools here before going to the US for my University education and to work. Growing up was fun thanks to my wonderful Parents who raised myself and my siblings in a loving home. I have always been someone to ask why? And then try and find out how?
So, what are some of the effects of bringing up a child in a city like Lagos?
Lagos is a very hectic city and if we are not mindful our children can suffer negatively from the hectic pace of Lagos. Parents are very busy trying to earn enough to take good care of their families and as a result if not careful parenting is left to domestic staff. More often than not parents after a long day in the office coupled with traffic only get to spend a little time with the children. I believe that parenting has to be mindful that is, conscious and collaborative in using all the resources available to help you, especially in Lagos. There is a lot of “apparent” glamour and flash in Lagos, so it’s important to raise children with the right values. You have to model these values as a Parent for the children to imbibe.
What has been your experience as a Mum in Lagos?
As a Mum in Lagos I find that finding avenues for children to have a rich experience outside of school is tough. I try to balance it all by ensuring we have quality time as a family. I firmly believe there is too much pressure on “Having it All”, but I rather believe in having what works for you at a given period in your life. For example I ensure that with all the busy-ness of Lagos I work very hard to be at home to do homework together and to tuck my kids into bed at night myself. Lagos is about juggling and not losing focus of what is really important.
What is your thought about full-house wives; do you think it should be an option considering the harsh economic situation of the country?
This is a case by case situation per family. It gets more and more expensive to raise a family now so the decision has to be made jointly by both the husband and wife. I remember what my parents paid for Secondary School versus what we pay nowadays! Jobs are much more demanding today than they were when we were growing up and as a result it is important that someone makes time to be with the children, if you don’t make the time you will invariably pay somehow later down the line. Parenting cannot be outsourced
. What does full-time housewife mean? It is very possible to have flexible time, be home with the children and still earn a living.
Can you tell us about your immediate family?
I am married to a very supportive and wonderful husband; we have been friends for a long time before getting married. Friendship, mutual respect, love and the fruit of the spirit (Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control) are necessary ingredients in keeping the marriage and the home happy. Spending time together, learning to communicate and learning to agree to disagree. Sometimes you might not agree to do things the same way but ultimately, there is one Head and therefore you must yield to his decision after you have made your case in a calm way.
What are some of your winning strategies in life?
Being persistent in prayer and having a relationship with God such that you are walking according to God’s will for your life. God needs to be the driver of your life and you are like the co-pilot taking your orders from God. I also believe in taking a chance and staying focused, be ready to take a chance as only by taking a step can you move in the direction you want. It is important to be flexible in life we all learn every day and i believe that every situation and relationship has a teachable moment from it. Surround yourself by people who are positive influences in your life and will tell you the truth no matter how hard it is.
What are your thoughts about mothers entrusting their young children to nannies and house maids?
It takes a village (and an e-village) to raise your children therefore for various reasons Mums might use the services of nannies to care for their children. Please we need to note that not all nannies are evil or mean, some are great and they love the children they care for like their own. The people who hire the nannies must take the time to carry out a thorough background check, make enquiries into the place of past employment, carry out medical tests and do all that is possible to ensure that you are hiring the right person into your home.
After hiring the person you must be alert and discerning to notice if anything is amiss. Treat them well and also stay prayerful so that you pick up if there is any change and you need to let them go. Lastly at the end of the day the nanny is doing a job in your home and can leave any day remember that they are your children and you are accountable for them and to no one else. Mums should also pay attention to their children around the nanny, are they fearful? Or are they are ease with the nanny? These are some signs you need to be able to answer to be sure your nanny is caring for your child well.
How best can a woman keep her home?
A woman keeps her home by keeping God at the centre of her marriage and her family. A family that prays together is strong, can weather the storms of life and is grounded on the word of God. Lastly i firmly believe that keeping a home is the job of both the Woman and her Husband, they both have to be sacrificial and put the needs of their spouse before theirs.
Read the full interview on Daily Independent