I have occasionally thought that of the working parents, some were better than others but today, it hit me as they say in Kiswahili kila mtu apambane na hali yake (each one to contend with their situation / bear their cross). I also read this post that chronicled how some parents are sharing their child care needs – each of us is doing what needs to be done. That is all.
So how are we sharing the responsibilities?
- We discuss calendars on Sunday evening and coordinate so we do not have clashing calendars. This is necessary because one parent works in the morning as the other does child care/ house and all those demands.
- We each took on more around the house based on interest and strengths. Having said that, I suspect as the mom I do more 😦
- Early on, we shared with our respective bosses and teams the situation at home and the impact on overall availability and deadlines.
- We regularly check in with each other because its tough for each of us, on different days and in different ways. And we need to carry each other because as I keep saying to the Mr, if we think we are hanging on by a thread now, we
cannot afford to break down or get sick.
- I/ we both dropped our house cleanliness / tidy standards because no one has time or energy to keep those up. Also, no one is visiting the other so whatever.
- Lastly and most importantly, to be easy on myself. I had some grand plans for this year, both in terms of school, work and personally but God in His sovereignty has placed me here and now. So I occasionally say to myself, chill, be easy.
Underscoring all of this is such great privilege that we both kept our jobs and work in fields that allow us to work remotely. Coupled with this is a child who has the beginnings of being resilient and who rolls with the punches given by Mama and Papa.
So how are you coping?
This being Day 8902 of lockdown (not really, it’s Day 54 here) and working remotely as we take care of the 14-month old. I wanted to share the one thing I have learnt about my Mr and new work mate:
He is really passionate about his work. He is genial and well liked and regarded by his workmates. They really respect him too. He is also very serious when at work. Less positively, he hates to do any kind of project admin. Oh and his day involves being in so many meetings / calls.
It’s been interesting to see this side of him as the last time we worked so closely together was back at Varsity.
What have you learnt about yourself or your partner / housemate(s) as you worked from home? If you and your partner regularly work from home, what have you learnt from each other at this time?
Posted in Heart matters, home, life
Tagged about, about us, flexi working, husbands, life lessons, lockdown, relationships, work, working
This short film challenged me to love my work and to do it to the best of my ability.
Posted in home, Motherhood/ Parenting, working
Tagged babies, belief, careers, cooking, faith, Heart matters, parenthood, parenting, Pasta, pasta recipe, recipes, Sunday Reads, women and work, work philosophy, working
…. although I would change the fact that she had to transform into the mainstream to get a seat at the table. What if the mainstream changed to accommodate her and she did not morph into a gatekeeper for the new “other”.
I just read this post and the comment and felt prompted to respond with some of my own career advice.
- Think of your career as a jungle gym not a ladder and it’s OK to change your mind about your career path, your objective, it’s OK.
- Fake it till you make, most of us are.
- Find that thing that distinguishes you from everyone else on the team and perfect that.
- Show respect to everyone from the most junior to the most senior and do not compromise your personal beliefs for anyone.
- Demand respect from all the people you work with and it will follow.
- Identify the person at your level that the management loves and replicate what you can of this winning formula. Caution here though, you might not get the same feelings they do but it could help with your overall feedback and perception.
- Work is work, give it your best but don’t kill yourself for it. Unless you are self-employed, we are all replaceable.
- Listen to feedback and then decide what works best for you and work on improving that.
- Trust your instinct when it is time to move on.
- Go into each job with a specific goal or lesson that you would like to learn and then compare this with your specific career objectives or goals.
- Be the kind of senior that you wish you had at each stage of your career. Ths has meant extra work for me at times but is personally aligned to my core beliefs and so it’s also been a source of great joy.
Whatever you work at, work as unto the glory of God
What professional advice do you live by?
Posted in Heart matters, home, marriage, working
Tagged cooking, DIY, faith, ice cream, Japan, Johannesburg, marriage, recipes, Refugees, success, Sunday Reads, working, youth
Posted in home
Tagged advice, cheese, coffee, cooking, enchilladas, hosting, interviews, Johannesburg, life lessons, Linden, Mexican, Nicholle Koabi, pasta recipe, recipes, working
“To all the little girls out there,
we will set fire to this world
that steals your childhoods
and stops you from being
everything you want to be,
and build you a better one from the ashes,
the kind of world that treasures you
for all your powerful capabilities.”
– Nikita Gill, Women’s March 2018
Posted in Heart matters, home, life, working
Tagged Bible, bible god, Bible Study, Chimamanda, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Christianity, faith, female friendship, flexi working, friendship, recipes, This is Us, working
This definition of her: to go from her father to her husband, to be pretty, docile – a man made tragedy. Her soul was made of larger, more powerful things, things that create or desecrate armies and galaxies. This is why when she loves she changes kingdoms, and when she hates she destroys legacies. Nikita Gill, Jasmine, A Princess That Belonged To Herself First
Posted in books, Heart matters, home, marriage, school, working
Tagged books, Books reading, Chicken, church, faith, fish, friendship, gender, marriage, new year resolutions, pasta recipe, poetry, recipes, Sunday Reads, working
Fill your life with women that empower you, that help you believe in your magic and aid them to believe in their own exceptional power and their incredible magic too. Women that believe in each other can survive anything. Women who believe in each other create armies that will win kingdoms and wars. Nikita Gill
Posted in books, design, home, working
Tagged Beneath the Lion's Gaze, book club, books, Chicken, church, faith, Grace Mugabe, kids, Nigeria, race, recipes, Sunday Reads, white, women and work, working
Posted in Heart matters, home, marriage, working
Tagged Africa, Bible Study, bible verses, Ethiopia, fatherhood, Kenyan elections, marriage, motivation, Nigeria, photography, prayer, Salvation, travel, working
Posted in life, working
Tagged break-up, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, France Votes, Le Pen, life lessons, migration, Podcasts, Rachel Dolezal, recipes, relationships, slavery, working
Posted in design, Heart matters, working
Tagged church, Ethiopia, faith, female friendship, fitness, jobs, journaling, Muslim, women at work, working
Hillary Clinton speaking to Humans of New York (HONY) on an issue that a lot of women have to contend with in the work place, how do you get people to get past your femininity and take you seriously?
“I was taking a law school admissions test in a big classroom at Harvard. My friend and I were some of the only women in the room. I was feeling nervous. I was a senior in college. I wasn’t sure how well I’d do. And while we’re waiting for the exam to start, a group of men began to yell things like: ‘You don’t need to be here.’ And ‘There’s plenty else you can do.’ It turned into a real ‘pile on.’ One of them even said: ‘If you take my spot, I’ll get drafted, and I’ll go to Vietnam, and I’ll die.’ And they weren’t kidding around. It was intense. It got very personal. But I couldn’t respond. I couldn’t afford to get distracted because I didn’t want to mess up the test. So I just kept looking down, hoping that the proctor would walk in the room. I know that I can be perceived as aloof or cold or unemotional. But I had to learn as a young woman to control my emotions. And that’s a hard path to walk. Because you need to protect yourself, you need to keep steady, but at the same time you don’t want to seem ‘walled off.’ And sometimes I think I come across more in the ‘walled off’ arena. And if I create that perception, then I take responsibility. I don’t view myself as cold or unemotional. And neither do my friends. And neither does my family. But if that sometimes is the perception I create, then I can’t blame people for thinking that.”
Tonnes of baby/mama related reads because a close pal is having a baby!!
- Boosting post-partum care.
- Article captures how you reconcile a shift in your nationality or what you define yourself as.
- Presentation tips that apply to all of us.
- Being rich means living longer and therefore positive gains on your pension. (NY Times)
- I would still choose to be a kid in the ’90s.
- How do you keep up the creativity?
- Stylish senior citizens. Yaaaassss!!!
- Anyone that knows me knows I have been singing about wanting a four month maternity without a kid. Turns out its called “meternity”.
- Some people have very meaningful jobs …
- Talent, passion or obsession? (YouTube)
- I recently got a juicer so i am glad for the different recipes.
- Mushrooms and chickpeas on toast.
- The many places that salt hides in food we eat.
I love Seth Godin and look forward to his daily blogs. Below, a recent one that totally challenged my work ethic, copied word for word from his blog here.
Show your work
It’s tempting to sit in the corner and then, voila, to amaze us all with your perfect answer.
But of course, that’s not what ever works.
What works is evolving in public, with the team. Showing your work. Thinking out loud. Failing on the way to succeeding, imperfecting on your way to better than good enough.
Do people want to be stuck with the first version of the iPhone, the Ford, the Chanel dress? Do they want to read the first draft of that novel, see the rough cut of that film? Of course not.
Ship before you’re ready, because you will never be ready. Ready implies you know it’s going to work, and you can’t know that. You should ship when you’re prepared, when it’s time to show your work, but not a minute later.
The purpose isn’t to please the critics. The purpose is to make your work better.
Polish with your peers, your true fans, the market. Because when we polish together, we make better work.
I tend to wait until I have the perfect answer, or I have the perfect report/ proposal or I have prepared the perfect meal before I speak up and sometimes what is required is that you give a suggestion or you show that you are engaging with the material.
I will now ship before I am ready because unlike the common saying, I will never be ready!!
Following this summary of what is currently on my to-read bookshelf I have a couple of books that I would like to review.
Happiness is a Four Letter Word – Cynthia Jele
I loved this book, it deals with two things that I am particularly passionate about: Johannesburg and female relationships.
- The book is what would happen if Sex and the City had been cast in a cosmopolitan African city. If you would love to see that, check out the YouTube series, An African City.
- The themes are easily recognisable: love, family, beauty, work/ career advancement, marriage, female friendships.
- The book is a really easy read, I started on Friday at 7 and finished the next day by 12.
- Having said that, it is definitely a conversation starter and will have you thinking deeply about some of the issues dealt with for instance, what would I tell a dear friend that was cheating on her husband because she did not exactly marry him for love? Or a friend that rekindles communication with an old ex?
- Only concern and I guess because of my personal views, I feel like the author portrays a very negative view of (Black) relationships and someone that is not acquainted with any Black people might take it as a given that this is how our love dynamics play out. Yes it’s a novel, but their portrayal is definitely very one-sided, what happened to “normal“?
- Would I recommend it? Definitely yes!! I actually cannot wait for the author to release a second book.
Men of the South – Zukiswa Wanner
A bit of a preliminary disclaimer is that I read this book on the back of Happiness and the after-glow it gave me.
- The book’s main theme is love and relationships (gender dynamics, hetero- or homosexuality, family and friendships) and it definitely deals with each of these in turn.
- The book is set in Johannesburg and Cape Town, cities that I can safely say I am familiar with which makes the reading that bit enjoyable when I can understand the physical setting.
- The book provides an entry point to have some difficult conversations for example, being a Black homosexual in a culture where one is expected to get a wife and settle down or what if I earn more than my husband and can take care of him, should he stay home while I work?
- However, I think it attempted to do too much in a few pages and fell short. Hence, it was not as memorable as it could possibly be. I also felt that the first person reportage was not too helpful either.
- Overall, the book was quite predictable and I would not recommend it unless you maybe had a few hours and did not want to be wowed but wanted to tick a book off your reading list.
Rachel’s Blue – Zakes Mda
I tried to read this book and failed to get into it despite trying. In light of my recent advice on how to read more books, I am giving up and will mark this is a non-read on my part. My biggest issue I suppose is that I love it when he writes about various aspects of South African people and the setting of this book was too different for me to adjust my expectations accordingly.
Posted in books, Heart matters, home, life, marriage, working
Tagged being gay, Being Zulu, books, Books reading, Cynthia Jele, female friendship, friendships, Heart matters, home, life, love, marriage, reading, relationships, working, Zakes Mda, Zukiswa Wanner