Pregnancy Chronicles 2: Where to birth!

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Hi people, I started sharing my pregnancy experience last week by opening up to you about my fears pre-conception and even my worries about my baby in utero. Today, I want to focus on the actual pregnancy itself and touch on the decision to birth our son in a foreign land and how S and I were on opposite ends of the spectrum on that. I discovered we were having a baby boy and I immediately started praying for him specifically.

I prayed about his health- I asked God to make him free of disease, whether genetic, congenital, acquired howsoever. I prayed about his character- I asked that his behaviour will be shaped by God himself, that he will be a man of character, that he will take on all of S and I’s good sides and none of our failures. I prayed that academically, he will outshine S and I (trust me, that’s a great prayer as his dad is a brainy, me too :p). I prayed that in school, he will not join gangs or cults. I prayed that he will remain a virgin till he marries (I don’t think S said ‘Amen’ to that!!!). I prayed that he won’t marry a destiny destroying woman. I prayed that his wife would submit and love him genuinely in the way God ordained it and that he will also submit to her and love her genuinely as Christ loved the Church (yes, the Bible advocates couples’ submission one to another. See Ephesians 5:21). I prayed that he will birth godly and healthy children. I prayed that, I have known his beginning, I will never know his end and that he and his children and his sibling and his/her children will bury S and I at a ripe old age. I prayed that he will fulfil destiny, make heaven and lead many to God.

As part of the desire to give our son the best, I suggested to S that we birth him in the United States and this was immediately met with strong resistance. “That is the colo/kolo-mentality that is not making Nigeria move ahead. If we put hands together to develop this country, there will be no need to birth abroad, study abroad, go for medical treatment abroad. I was birthed and bred in Nigeria and frankly I don’t think any Nigerian-American is better than I am or has more opportunities. Why should we gather our money to dash foreign hospitals who treat you like crap?” It went on and on and on.

I decided to quit harping on the issue and leave it to God. I told God, “I desire for this boy to have things I didn’t have. I want him to have open doors and whichever door he decides to go through is up to him through Your leading. HOWEVER, if it is not your will, let S remain adamant. If it is your will, let him change his mind WITHOUT any further pressure from me”. It turned out it was God’s will. ūüėÄ The whole planning and execution was taken over by God Himself and all went smoothly.

To be continued… *** Today, and related to the above, I want to discuss how to handle opposition especially when you are certain that you are on the right path and your opinion is superior. Always remember: -You are probably wrong and your opinion is probably inferior; -You can’t achieve much through argument. At its best, your now ‘opponent’ brings forward strong points aimed at beating yours. At its worst, there’s a total shut down and you may be tempted to falsely believe you have won. In fact, then, you are the loser; -Let it go by thinking of what will happen if you don’t have your way. In my case, my baby would have been born in St Ives or Premier? Ehn ehn? Where was I born and how has holding a single nationality held me back? Where was my father born? Who is the American in my life that I’m looking up to as the beacon of light and exemplification of opportunities?

I began to prepare myself mentally for a resolute ‘no’ from S and I became fine with the decision. This helped me not to be so desperate in my attitude which would have irritated S and probably made him insist; and -Pray to God to take control. He knows the right way and be ready even where God’s answer is NO! A lot of couples fight their way through decision-making and end up losing sight of what is truly important.

Birthing abroad is not worth my marriage. Sending your child to a fancy 350,000 per month day care is not worth your marriage where your spouse disagrees. Not/having a honeymoon in the fanciest resort is not worth your marriage. Keeping up with the Joneses is sooo not worth your marriage. Interestingly, the art of joint decision-making starts on a large scale when a couple begins to plan their marriage/wedding.

Decisions around where to live, how many people to invite to the event, whether to have a photo booth, whether to engage an expensive decor company or use your fianc√©’s aunty who does ‘decorations’ and all she has in her resume is decorating the church pulpit with a few drapes and balloons. The list is endless. You need to know what is very important to you and let others go.

Even with those “very important” things, your presentation is key. Being confrontational never works. Even where the other party budges, it is usually with bitterness and probably resentment and they feel bullied and helpless and hate that! This point is also apt in other areas of life where teamwork is at play be it deciding on a presentation in a team at work, deciding when to keep quiet in a presentation/client meeting and letting your colleague speak for the team, or even planning a baby/bridal shower for a dear friend. I have seen people literally bulldoze their way through decision-making in groups set up to plan showers. Baby Shower : Source Stated in link

Even if you are the mom to be or bride’s twin sister and best friend since fertilisation of the egg, you should not treat these tasks as though you are a commandant handling your subjects. When you notice people just keeping quiet and only you are doing the talking, then there is a problem and you have lost people who either are too fed up based on their previous experiences with similar dictatresses or just love their friend too much to be the one protesting because sure enough, you will report ‘difficult’ people to the bride/mom to be.

I have seen people being charged as much as 10/20k for showers with elaborate themes and ideas for a bride who is financially challenged and would have her sensibilities offended at such ‘wastage’. You need to know who you are planning stuff for and not forget it is not for you and be reasonable in all you do. I digress. This :

OR This:

I know that in every team, there MUST be a leader who when it comes down to it, their views PREVAIL. In marriage, it is the man (yes, throw banana peels at me). But always allow for differing opinions and invite them. They can either make you see the folly in your choice, improve on your views or reinforce your decision as being the right one. But never make it look like a dissenter is an enemy or a party pooper. If after attempts to be inclusive there is still no consensus, then and then only may you hit the gavel on the sound block.

So people, what are your thoughts on teamwork and decision making therein?

Should husbands’ views prevail? When he says no, do you go ahead against his will or sulk?

As a husband, would you put your foot down or allow views you don’t agree with fly?

As a team leader, do you believe in letting everyone have a say or does this lead to confusion?

Let’s muse! Temiville.xoxo

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Don’t marry that man!

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It has been raining for over 40 minutes…Well not actual rain, yet not drizzles. Somewhere in between. Segilola lit a cigarette, what she considered to be her only vice since it was harming her health. She is a doctor and she knows what is good for her but she just would not do it. She took a slow, long drag and¬†inhaled to the bottom of her lungs, held it there for about 6 seconds and then did a slow nose/mouth exhale. She loved the way it made her feel woozy, then dizzy. The sound of her phone ringing brought her out of her reverie.

“Hi dear”, she answered, attempting to sound cheerful.

It was Onome calling… Onome Makinde or was it Akindele, whatever, Onome was a pretty messed up girl and was her kinda ex-friend trying to make a come-back. Her story buttressed Segilola’s resolution never to get married. What exactly is the reason why people get married? What is the point of subjecting oneself to a lifetime of either boredom or regret. The thought of being with one person forever was one Segilola refused to even consider. The only way she would ever agree to marriage is if she finds a man who was okay with an open relationship. You can do your thing. I can do my thing. But please let us not pretend we are faithful to each other. It was not just about the sex, it was the thrill of meeting a new man, fronting for a bit or brazenly seducing him till he gave in. In marriage, all that is lost. You are with the same man, kissing the same lips, shagging the same man forever. She shuddered at the thought.

What irritated her most was the lies. Men lie. These days, the women are worse. Would it not be better if both parties laid their cards on the table: we marry but you can do you and I do me.

“Segi, please are you home?”, Onome asked sounding a bit shaken.

“Where are you and what is the problem?” she¬†quipped, taking 3 quick drags. This time, she¬†exhaled immediately, slightly upset at the disturbance.

She¬†was in no mood to receive any guest or play host in any form. She¬†just wanted to be alone, read a book, smoke her¬†fags. It was either she¬†lied that she¬†was not home or she appeared liked a bad friend by telling Onome she¬†was unable to see her. She¬†frowned, waiting for Onome’s¬†response.

“I am at home. Can I come to yours now? Are you at home?”, she sounded impatient with Segilola’s¬†evasiveness.

“Yeah, I am. You can come but what is the issue?”

“It’s Jide”, she mumbled between sniffles.

“Hmm, okay. Take it easy. I’ll be expecting you”, she¬†said as she¬†threw on some knickers and yesterday’s clothes and dragged herself to the living room to wait for her guest.

***
sad-girl-cry

Source:http://www.gollyfolly.com

It was the exact story she¬†expected to hear. Onome had snooped on Jide’s phone on Saturday and saw a text message from an unsaved number asking what the plan for that evening was. Refusing to accept it was a benign message, she promptly inputed the digits into her True Caller app and lo and behold it was a female name that showed up. At about 4 pm that same day, Jide had a second shower, got dressed to the nines, picked up his briefcase and the keys to his new car and announced that he was off to a business meeting.

With the information she had, she decided to probe. She asked him who he was meeting with and he responded that it was himself, Chinedu, his male colleague and a potential client, one Chief Eruwa. As soon he spoke those words, she confronted him angrily with her proof of a lie and announced that she was fully aware that he was meeting up with a girl whose name is …cant remember what she called her but she definitely mentioned the name to her husband.

Jide was half stunned, half angry and still proceeded to go out without saying a word. He didn’t come back home that Saturday and didn’t pick her calls either. Today, the next day, he showed up at 2pm still not saying a word. She screamed at him and in response, he slapped her and told her never to touch any of his phones or snoop on him again. Somewhere in their fight, he admitted seeing another woman who brings him peace unlike her. It was after that encounter that she picked up her phone to call Segilola.

***

Segilola soliloquised.

Onome has never been happy in her marriage. I am one of the few, if not only friend who told her not to marry Jide. I know, for a fact, that I am the only one who actually told her outrightly. The other two semi-bold girls had, at best, hinted at it. I damned the consequences against the warnings of mutual friends who said to leave her alone and pray for her that God will reveal to her that Jide is not the one for her. What is it with hypocritical Nigerians and prayer? You say to pray for a girl who is about to marry someone we all know is a loser and a cheat. How exactly is God to answer that prayer, pray tell?! To send Angel Gabriel to tell her in a dream not to marry him or to give her the strength to endure an unbearable marriage? Gosh!!!

In my opinion, my telling her was the answer to someone else’s prayers for her. 2 months to her wedding, I sat her down and as kindly as I could, told her right to her face that Jide does not have the ability to make her happy and in fact worst still, he would bring her misery. She screamed at me and promptly dropped me off her bridesmaids list. She refunded the N60,000 I had paid for bridesmaid’s dress, make up and accessories and sent me a text that she believes guests at a wedding should be those who wished the couple well not prophets/prophetesses of doom who believed their marriage will fail and in view of that, she would appreciate if I did not attend.

I was hurt. I was disappointed. I had thought Onome to be a pragmatic and reasonable person who can handle truths, however bitter. I was so wrong. Thankfully, my brother’s son chose that period to make an unexpected and early arrival into the world after 7 months gestation, so I spent that period by his wife’s bedside in faraway Medical Centre Arlington, Texas. That is the only way I was able to avoid too many questions as regards my non-attendance. She took me off her BBM as well but we have loads of mutual friends and Jide is a typical “Lagos bobo” so their engagement and wedding pictures were all over social media and my BBM updates as well. I saw the other bridesmaids looking resplendent in the fabric and style I had chosen. I’m glad she was not childish enough to change it.

Onome looked beautiful in both her traditional Urhobo and Yoruba attires. Everyone looked great but I was sick to my stomach when I saw updates from our friends saying things like “Happy Married Life to the most amazing couple”. “I know your marriage will be awesome”. Even Bisi, a bridesmaid, who the week before had told me Onome was making mistake, wrote a long epistle on her instagram page about how great they are together. Hypocrites!

Two months into their marriage, I bumped into Onome in Balogun market. She looked into my eyes and kept walking. I had neither the strength nor the inclination to go after her in the crazy busy market and anyone who knows me knows I’m too stubborn to apologise for a good deed of mine and I have no tolerance for bad behaviour so I hissed and carried on with my fabric shopping. Just 2 weeks after our Balogun market encounter, we met again, this time, at a spa. I met her there waiting her turn but I had pre-booked so as soon as I walked in, I was attended to and ushered into the room for my spa treatment. She looked upset but the receptionist was quick to tell her that walk-ins generally have less priority in comparison to those who had booked and paid beforehand. We never saw again at the spa but that night, she sent me a WhatsApp message saying it was nice to see me. I didn’t respond immediately and waited about 2 hours after reading and sent her a smiling smiley, the one with no teeth. She wasn’t worth the teeth.

The next day, she called and sensing my coldness, said she was coming to mine. I was tempted to tell her I was unavailable but concluded instead that she was not worth my lie. She showed up 10 minutes after and within a few minutes, opened up to me. She cried and cried, telling me I was right and that her marriage had been hell. According to her, two weeks after they returned from honeymoon at the Maldives, Jide resumed hanging out with the boys and clubbing. She didn’t think much of it until she saw a condom in his wallet. She asked him about it and he claimed his friend put it in there and that he was even more shocked than she was to see it. Thank God he uses condoms, I thought to myself.

I didn’t need all that explanation to be honest. I personally have caught Jide in compromising positions at the club many a Friday night. He was a cheat and didn’t even try hiding it. I don’t even know why Onome accepted his proposal. It takes a lady of little or no self esteem to think its okay to be married to such a man and cry when accepting the ring that should have been flung in his face! Up until the day he proposed (and possibly after), he was in serious relationships with at least 3 other girls, so serious that in the eye of external observers, any of his girls could have been proposed to. When he gave Onome that ring, it was as though she won the race because, trust me, there were other contenders. One of the other competitors is known to be a good girl, a young Ibo girl who was reputed to be a virgin but whose parents were both pastors, slightly tribalistic and just would not accept a Yoruba boy whose parents were both politicians, chiefs and non-church goers (what a lethal combo, they must have thought!). They just would not allow it. So Onome was the next best thing and she got the ring.

I gently patted Onome’s back as the tears rolled down. She had wept and sobbed and now was exhausted. The only advice I have is a divorce! Onome was just 28 and many people in happy marriages today had not even met their spouses at that age. Unfortunately, as crazy as I am, I wouldn’t even dare offer that advice. I decided to follow the crowd and speak those words I absolutely have no belief in: “pray and fast, he will change”. Those were the words she said even her mother had spoken to her. Her mother had reminded her of how she had suffered so much in her marriage too and that no one ever has a problem-free home. Her mother had said that all her friends who appear happy all the time in photos etc are pretenders whose true and unedited stories if she heard would make her thank her God that all Jide was doing was cheating and giving her the occasional slap.

If her own mother can advocate staying in agony who am I to suggest otherwise. Had they been in my kind of idea of marriage, no one would be hurt as there are no such expectations of fidelity. Her mother had agreed with her that they would not tell her dad but would commence on a seven day fasting and prayer session. She asked if I would join my faith with theirs. “No problem”, I responded fully aware that I would be breaking each day’s fast with my 9:30 am breakfast. No time!!!

***

These questions play around in my head:

+ Should you tell your female friend she is about to make a terrible decision by marrying a certain man or do you keep quiet hoping she will either find out through some other means or for her sake, the man will change?

+ As a woman, would you want to be told that your fiancé is a cheat just a few months to the wedding?

+ As a parent, all the vendors have been paid and IVs sent, but you discover your son in law to be is a philanderer. Would you pray it away or face the situation head on and advise your baby girl to move on?

Let’s muse!

Temiville.xoxo

Pregnancy Chronicles 1: How I got pregnant

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LOL! More like “Pregnancy Chronicles” not HOW it happened… *tongue out*

I got married in April and saw those twin lines on Sunday the 1st of June. I still remember exactly how I felt. Thank God, I’m not barren and will not have any problems conceiving. All of my teenage years were filled with trepidation over conception and birth. I was so frightened that I will have to be going from one Pastor to one Gynaecologist about getting pregnant as I had been surrounded with people who had struggled with this and the thought left me so numb with fear. I was also Team #GiveBirth9MonthsPostWedding and I confess that I wept when I saw my first post wedding period *covers face*. I won’t bore you with the details but I scared the hubs who must have been thinking, ‘what can of woman have I married o who’s bothered about not having conceived in 2 weeks of marriage. What will she do in 2 years?’

So yeah, what prompted me to do a test? The hubs noticed a cluster of pimples on my face and teased me about it. Well, I wasn’t finding anything pregnancy related funny so I proceeded to the closest MedPlus and got myself a test kit, read the instructions about 5 times then woke up bright and early the next morning to make sure the first day’s pee wouldn’t be diluted by water, pee-ed on the stick and said a prayer. TWO LINES!!! I repeated the test on the second morning because of false positives and voila!!! A confirmation!!!

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After being excited for a few minutes, paranoia set in: Will I be a good mom? Wait mom lohun lohun…will I miscarry? Will my child have defects and be sick as I had consumed some alcohol the week before? Will I have pregnancy ailments? Will I be fat and ugly with spots and swollen feet? Will my child be okay in there? I couldn’t believe how I became so obsessed with everything and so worried. I couldn’t accept the good news and be happy. I kept reminding myself that anything can go wrong so keep calm and take care of your child.

I ended up having a relatively easy pregnancy but it didn’t start easy. I remember my poor driver having to park on Third Mainland Bridge whilst I proceeded to empty the contents of my insides on the tarred road. I remembered how my colleagues nicknamed me Tsunami because mo man sun gan (I slept a lot), I remember how I would bleed for no reason and was convinced I had hurt my baby. I remember being diagnosed with fibroid and googling fibroids in pregnancy and being worried the growth will squash my baby. I remembered all the people I know who had died in childbirth and was worried praying hard that my baby will not call another woman mother. I remember my first naughty sip of coffee and how my baby kicked so hard after and was convinced that I had made him high on caffeine. So many fears.

All through, my hubs, S, kept me grounded. “Temi, where is your faith?”, he once asked. “You will pray and pray yet worry and worry. Is that not a sign that you truly don’t believe in God’s ability to take care of you?” Those words bore into my core and I decided to trust God and let Him take care of both myself and our child.

Little Peanut

Little Peanut

S wanted a a little cute girl. I was indifferent. I just wanted a healthy child but I sure was happy when I discovered: It’s a boy!!!

It's a boy!

It’s a boy!

To be continued…

Related to my Pregnancy Chronicles is this Question: Why do (Most) Nigerian women keep their pregnancy low key? In my defence, I still went for many weddings and parties and hung out a lot with my big belly. My Instagram pictures (@temiville) were never all bump though and only those with a gift for identifying even a week pregnancy could tell. Some people believe it is fear that people (aye) will hurt their baby. For me, I just didn’t see the need really. Amidst battling with severe morning (make that ALL FREAKING DAY) sickness, I just hardly had any post worthy photos. I did put these one up once though:

6 months gone

6 months gone

I saw this hilarious yet true post once and couldn’t help but chuckle at how much I can relate.

wpid-screenshot_2015-05-12-10-36-071-e1431596424680-272x300

Before I got pregnant, I remember asking a pregnant friend excitedly “when are you due?” I got daggers in her stare for an answer. Other questions that engender paranoia in preggies in Nigeria include: “is it a boy or a girl”? I have once gotten “It’s a healthy child” LOL! I hated my belly being rubbed though but not for spiritual reasons. I just hated the feeling but I once invited a few colleagues to feel for kicks.

For me, at work, as a newly married lady, I started getting the knowing glances way before I conceived. Every sneeze, cough or (heaven forbid) menstrual pain earned me the “congratulatory look”. LOL! I tried to keep it coded for the first 12 weeks just in case my earlier described fear materialised. I really didn’t wanna hear any “peles”.

One lesson I have learned is to stay grateful for everything and trust God who has begun a good thing to see it through to completion.

Ice Ice Baby!!!

Ice Ice Baby!!!

Gender

Pregnant woman showing off her belly with her unborn son

Pregnant woman showing off her belly with her unborn son

So what your views guys? Would you announce your pregnancy? Would you announce your baby’s sex or would you wait till you have the baby and write “Welcome Princess/Prince”? Do you get irked by those who are clearly pregnant yet hide it or worst still outrightly lie when you ask or send you a ūüôā smiley? I remember one of my very good friends whose bridesmaid I was who outrightly denied being pregnant when I asked yet 4 months after announced: Thank you Jesus for our beautiful son. Welcome to the world!

Looking forward to reading your views…

Temiville.xoxo

The Cake or the Icing…

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Hi people!!!

How are you? There is so so much to report and I shall do so in the following weeks. You will find a little update in the last paragraph!!!

Now to the day’s post: I have found myself in a position where people feel the need to ask me for advice on relationships and marriage. Im no expert but I read a lot and this informs a lot of my views and actions. I have also learned so much in my year of marriage that I feel like I am right on this one. There are two major points that I must make:

1. Always choose the cake over the icing; and
2. One man’s cake is another’s icing.

Folafunmi is my 27 year old cousin who reached a relationship crossroads last month. She called me and after a 15 minute long explanation, she ends with: Sister Temi, what do I do? Who do I pick? She has two young men on her case. The one is a fine gentleman with a great job that keeps him ALWAYS busy. From her description, they get to meet up for lunch or dinner twice a month. He hardly ever calls and has gone 3 days with no communication only for him to return her call finally and say “I have been so busy”. The other has an okay job that keeps him semi busy from 9 to 4. He has a lot of time on him hands and he spends that time calling her, texting her and trying to meet up constantly. He is not as serious as the former and goes partying, clubbing, weddinging (yes, I coined that) all the time.

Folafunmi’s story exemplifies what many go through in various forms. In cases like these, I feel the matter boils down to what you want as a woman/man. You need to know yourself and the things that make you happy and you need to respect what and who you are. If you are mushy type, you have NO business being with someone who cannot say I love you and who genuinely doesn’t see the utility in calling, checking up etc.

For me, stability, dependability, integrity, character, godliness, maturity and prospect are my cake. The lovey dovey is the icing which can over time be taught/learned till a compromise is reached and frankly, and icing-less cake is fine by me. Not every woman shares my sentiments. I have friends who must be wined and dined for them to feel loved. I have a friend who cherishes love notes and I have concluded that her husband had better be a wordsmith. I know of another who is satisfied with a loaded card even if her man hardly comes home. We have no right to judge and each person should be free to select as they require.

What leads to disappointment in marriage is picking a partner who only brings the icing to the table. Marrying a lady who dresses like Jessica from Suits to work and like Beyonce to parties is usually a nice icing. But I am not sure many a man will consider that the cake. Unfortunately, some will get so blown away by the sexiness and select based on that whilst the cake is sadly absent- no substance, no morals, disrespectful and entitled.

In my opinion, as I was quick to tell her, Folafunmi has not yet met The One because I don’t feel her needs will be understood by either option she presented to me. What I recommended to her is the following:

1. Pray to God to reveal your true self to you.
2. You need to know what vacuum you have and what is required to fill that i.e. your weaknesses. You also need to know the good stuff you are high in supply of i.e. your strengths.
3. You need to know what you really truly like and what you cannot stand or handle and once you discover these, you must respect yourself enough to choose a partner who does not exemplify everything you loathe about life. You are all for women empowerment, what on earth are you doing with a man who believes he is marrying so that his wife can take care of his needs…

Once you break your needs into the ‘major’ and the ‘minor’ i.e. the cake and the icing, you will enjoy a choice made from a focus on the cake/major and less consideration given to the minor. I considered height a major (yes, stone me!) and as silly as that sounded to most people, I didn’t compromise in that regard. I’m 5′ 9.5″ and I love high heels and I love to be able to look up at my man. I wrote about it once here and also here . So there was just no marrying a short man for me.

I hope this post has enlightened someone and reminded another about the important things in life. No one should put himself/herself through the torture of enduring a marriage. It is not worth it at all. You will suffer and also the partner you compromise for will suffer because no matter how hard you try to stifle your needs, they will show up and lead to bitterness and resentment. Conversely, when a person tells you things about themselves that do not align with your own cake, respect them and their wishes and keep walking. No use forcing a person into becoming your cake when they really have not very much in common with you.

***

It’s absolutely amazing to be back blogging. Its been too long and I’m not gonna make any more excuses (Please if you know a website developer, send their email as a comment. Thank you). New facts since I was here last:

6 months pregnant

6 months pregnant

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IMG_5179

9 months pregnant

9 months pregnant

9.5 months. Same outfit

9.5 months. Same outfit


-I am a mommy now to the most adorable little human
-Pregnancy is 10 months not 9 lol!
-Pregnancy, labour and delivery were not a walk in the park. Hugs for mothers
-I returned to work when my son was 10 weeks
-I work in the most AMAZING organisation with the most mother friendly policies EVER as I leave work at 2 and can carry on working from home
-Exclusive breastfeeding is not for the feeble hearted.
-My pieces will revolve a lot around my pregnancy days, mommyhood and being a young wife and mom (balancing the duties when your son seems to take over your existence)
-Banishing fear and letting others take care of him whilst I am away
-Losing the baby weight
-Getting my career back with a vengeance and staying relevant at work

Thanks to all who keep checking on me! I am back! God bless you.

Temiville.xoxo

Things I have learned as a city lawyer

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Hi people,

Some of you who have followed MCLA from its inception will recall how I went to law school and got a job. It is not my first job but I must say that it is the first career defining work experience so far as it is right up my professional alley and at it, I have learned a whole lot.

I have learned that your fancy degree(s) might get you the job but only your character and attitude will ensure that you not only keep your job but thrive and excel at it. In fact, these days, many a masters degree holder gets turned back and gets confused: but I thought once I get a masters, the jobs will be lining up for me. These days, masters degrees are a dime a dozen. Everyone and their mama has it. It’s no longer the biggie it was 10 years ago and you need to show more to get the attention of employers and recruiters. I digress.

See, this post is not really about getting the job you want. Its aim is to show how one can enjoy and excel at the job you have. Here are some tips I have discovered whilst working in my law firm. I believe they are applicable anywhere. Enjoy!

1. Understand your role and discover ways to perform your job well

As a lawyer, I get tasks as mundane as writing minutes of a meeting (this is a general summary of what transpired at a meeting for future reference etc) to drafting an entire agreement from scratch i.e. without the use of a template. I have learned that both the seemingly mundane and seemingly important tasks deserve the same level of excellence. My role in the firm is not to draft important agreements. It is to be a useful lawyer and employee. This means if what will make life easier for my boss right now is to prepare an agenda, then an agenda I shall prepare. If tomorrow, I am needed to deal with the administrative aspects of a seminar, then that I shall do. If today, it is to meet with the head of a multinational, then meet I shall.

The point is you are not just there to do the sexy deals. You are there to move the organisation forward and make your presence and in fact, absence felt. Now don’t get it twisted, spending all your time doing admin work will not fetch you much. Wisdom is key.

Further, when you identify what your role is, it is not enough to just do your job. You must do it well and with pride too. Go the extra mile. Suggest an idea that has been playing in your head. Put in the extra oomph. I have watched great models get voted off America’s Next Top Model because they are not memorable. They take great photos and walk the runway well but they are not outstanding and a thousand others do just that. You need to distinguish yourself in your role and let it show that you are different.

standoutfromthecrowd

2. Be a hard worker
Get to work on time. Make good use of the period you are at work. Minimise your gisting and chilling. Don’t go over your allocated breaks, don’t spend the day bb-ing, chatting on your phone, updating your status, using office internet to shop (trust me, you are being observed and even if you are not, it is a thing of integrity).

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It is not enough to just be at work, work hard whilst there. Hone your skills, perfect your craft. If you are in my field, this means reading books, reading emails and ensuring that you are on top of it all, writing and generally endeavouring and working towards being better than you were last month. If you get appraised yearly, appraise your self half yearly. If you get appraised half yearly, appraise yourself every quarter. Your company does its bit by paying you every month. You have to do your own bit by ensuring you do not drop the ball.

3. Dress and act like a professional
Be a professional. Talk like a professional. Use the right lingo. Dress well. In my field, this means keeping your coat of many colours to a minimum or better still, for Church. It means dressing the way the partners in your firm dress not necessarily with the price tag but with professionalism.

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Be friendly. Be engaging. Don’t just come to work, do the job and pack your bags. Have buddies. Be nice even as you focus on your job. This does not mean you have to become I go dye and the office clown but you get the point…

4. Have a can-do spirit
Don’t be the one who always notices the faults and ends with the words ‘it is not possible’, ‘I cannot do it’. Even if you have the gift of identifying the problems and drawbacks with a plan, always end with a possible solution. Clients don’t always care how you go about solving their problems. They do know they have problems or potential problems so they do not need you to highlight them all and end with ‘not possible!’. Yes, it might not be possible this way, but what about that way. Remember, there is always a way. Your company’s role is to find it. You can be the solution provider! Start thinking like the boss.

5. Know and respect hierarchies
Yes, this means knowing who’s boss and treating them accordingly. Your bosses range from the MD/CEO or Managing Partner, to the other partners to your HOD to the girl who finished law school a year ahead of you even though when you were in SS3 in QC, she was in JSS 3. That’s just the way it is, at least in my industry! Until you distinguish yourself and are consequently elevated, you might need to take orders or to put it mildly ‘instructions’ from someone who would is younger than your little ones who call you ‘Sister’. Yup! Leave the chip on your shoulder in your car. Remember it is a job. Be professional. This is not your family meeting or your home. This is work. Age is literally nothing but a number, an insignificant one. The only number that matters is your years of experience and how well you are doing your job, your client score card etc, not your age.

6. Take initiative
Like I alluded to earlier, merely doing your job will help you keep it but might not mean you will excel and be a high flyer. You will be just a normal worker, nothing special, just there. You need to push the boundaries, identify voids and ways things could be done better in the company as a whole and your unit specifically. Make suggestions. If your boss is not too much of a my way or the high way person, you could even dare to make a small change here and there and share with him/her after.

7. Not everything is about better pay and commendation
As nice as it is for all your handwork and excellent attitude to be noticed by all and rewarded by the big guys, it is actually for your own good and personal development. So don’t get all grumpy and discouraged if a red carpet welcome does not await you the day after your brilliant suggestion saved the day. And please don’t give up because your wonderful ideas etc in March does not reflect in a big bonus if any. It is not about immediate applause and commendation or pay or reward. It is about building yourself to a certain level that your ‘outstandingness’ cannot but go noticed AND rewarded…

8. Be prayerful
I saved the very best tip for the last. The power of prayer for favour and grace cannot be overemphasised. No matter how much you hustle, without the touch of God, your efforts might be frustrated. Without God, the builders build in vain and without God, the watchmen watch in vain (Psalm 127).

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So there you have it guys, my tips for excelling in your careers. I’m sure there are much more you can add to the foregoing. Please do in the comment section below. Even the word of God says, “Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.” Proverbs 22:29. Also, Colossians 3:22 says, “Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God”. Okay, you are not exactly in a servant/master relationship but you get the drift…Then again, who are we kidding!

Have a lovely weekend guys!!!

Temiville.xoxo

When opinions differ…

8 Comments

Hey lovelies,

HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all! I wish you the very best of this year 2015. May God protect you all and yours too. May sickness not befall you or yours. May your planes not crash. May no accident befall you. May those looking to the Lord for admission, jobs, career direction, spouses, children etc all be met at their points of needs in Jesus’ name. Odun yi a tura ko ni lekoko mowa o (this year will be blissful for us all in Jesus’ name) AMEN.

Today, I want to discuss one of the first issues that I had to deal with as a married woman and how it was dealt with. It might sound pretty trivial to some people but if like me, since the age of 14, you had been fantasising about something and suddenly a decade and more after, you find out you are not gonna have it, it might be an issue. I had alluded to it in my last post and would like to discuss it in greater depth now: Honeymoon or lack thereof!

You see, at 14 or so, I started envisioning my honeymoon. I dreamt of white sands, lovely views, beautiful beaches, lovingly staring into my husband’s eyes as he blesses the Lord for giving him such a prized possession. At 21, I had started googling possible destinations. By the time I met my husband, O, I had narrowed my options to about 7 possible locations and by the time we knew it was marriage-bound, I was already using style to find out about visa procedures for my options. I mean, nothing could interfere with my fun filled, passion filled 2 week adventure with O. I was therefore not prepared for the extreme disinterest O exhibited when I started discussing with him. He was so not bothered I felt slapped in the face! Eventually, due to work exigencies and his total lack of interest and not wanting to ‘follow trends’, we had to postpone the honeymoon. Till date, I still have not been honeymooned…lol!

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I can laugh about it now but then, it was such a big deal. Our opinions completely and entirely differed on the subject. He did not see the big deal in it. If it was convenient, sure let’s go to Accra, The Gambia, Bora Bora or St Tropez but if it’s not, let’s postpone and go when convenient. He was very pragmatic about the whole thing and I just did not get it or get him! I felt robbed of my rightful possession…my dream holiday where I can wear my monokini or bikini or nada freely.

I had a few options open to me: I could look at couples’ instagram pictures of how they enjoyed their honeymoon and be quietly bitter and feel deprived. I could moan and lament to O about it till he feels pressured and hops on a plane with me where he will then be gloomy and I will end up hating the whole thing or I could choose to remember that a honeymoon is just a holiday at the end of the day. There will be many many more and because it feels like I sacrificed, O will be sure to pull all stops whenever the right time comes. I painfully chose the third option and it has been a great blessing in my marriage.

As a person, as much as I enjoy looking at other people’s lives i.e. through wedding blogs, instagram pictures etc, I understand its their own path not mine. I don’t feel envy and I don’t aspire to what God has not destined me to be. I have my dreams and hopes and it is not shaped by others’. This helps in staying grounded and deciding what is worth fighting over and what should be overlooked.

For some, it is a seemingly minor decision like honeymoon destination or whether or not to go. For others, it is a major issue like relocating and quitting one’s job because of a spouse’s new job. These things have a way of subtlety rocking a marriage /relationship and must be handled delicately. You should know what is too important to be waived and what is really not a big deal. Pick your battles and don’t fight them with your words etc, fight them on your knees in prayer first before discussing with your partner.

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I just thought to share and yes, I’m still owed our honeymoon and at the right time, we shall go…hehe.

Have a lovely Friday!

Temiville.xoxo

Looking back at 2014…

13 Comments

Hi readers,

Miss me? Lol… Blame it on my work o. It is so hard combining starting out a new job and blogging especially as I generate my content myself. No excuses and no promises other than I shall try to be more consistent. The Indian website guru I engaged to sort out my website has decided not to deliver so that project is still on hold for now.

So today, I am bursting forth with gratitude. I am grateful for so many things and I decided what better way to end the year than to count my blessings and give God praise for each one of them.

A few people have also asked me to give them tales of marriage, how it is living with a man, the challenges and how we deal with them and I think that sounds great. I have had that in mind and I will ask for the boo’s consent to blog about him…let’s call him O. You see O is incredibly private. I am too but he is 5 times more private than I am so it might take some cajoling given that my blog is not exactly anonymous… I have decided to either be totally open or not bother at all. I will let you know his response.

2014 started great but God has really surpassed all my expectations and has given me and my family way more than we asked for.

I had my introduction in February. Got my ring after my intro (lol, O is unconventional and quite traditional so he had to ask properly first and then the ring came after) Oh btw, I picked my ring o. O is also quite pragmatic…No use doing lemme surprise you and it turns out to be a bad surprise so I chose the ring and when next he travelled he produced it and gave it to me on my birthday. So there was no mushiness or please marry me blah blah blah. I mean we had already started planning our wedding!!!

After the introduction, planning proper commenced. O is simple and really didn’t understand why a wedding should have more than 300 guests at the most. I was planning for 1000 so you can imagine my shock horror when O insists that I should find a way of cutting down the number…it is a wedding ceremony not a carnival… I decided to start practising what Pastor V our marriage counsellor had been teaching. Don’t argue, discuss… Omo, O was just not budging at all. My incredible planner needed information in order to proceed and there was no way I could tell her to search for a 300 capacity marquee/venue.

I decided to pray about it and leave it to God. I kept reminding myself…Temi, it is about the marriage not about the day so please don’t start your marriage with fight because of some guests who probably don’t really care about you guys anyway. Eventually, O agreed and we ended up getting this amazing hall with a capacity of over 1000 but we were expecting max 700 and decided to cater to about 1200. That was just the beginning of compromises on both sides…from why we need 3 ¬†photographers as well as a Photo Booth, cocktails as well as two mobile bars, how many tiers cake should have, why we need a popular comedian to MC, etc. O and I had to learn compromise and I advise couples planning their wedding to learn that the planning stage is your first test of the marriage and you must ensure you pass it. Don’t give up all your dreams just to be Mrs Proverbs 31, submissive and be miserable on your wedding day. But please don’t start fighting over these things. So not worth it. I am grateful to God for the planning stages, for my amazing planner, our families, friends and for my awesome O.

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The engagement and wedding went great, I don’t think I noticed 60% of the things I fussed over. I didn’t notice that the small chops had snails and prawns or that there were fruit cones. Imagine if O and I had fought over these trivial matters! Another issue that got me tearing my hair was the issue of honeymoon. I had just started a new job and was not entitled to more than 5 days compassionate leave. I wanted to beg to take it unpaid but O said not to and that it how till date your girl never go on honeymoon though we went to the Intercontinental sha which was pretty decent. O said don’t worry, there will be so many other trips you will forget the honeymoon. Now, guys, I am so grateful we decided to hold off on the honeymoon men.

Marriage has been interesting, challenging and rewarding. We have argued, made up, laughed, cried (at least me cos i can be a cry baby), prayed, forgot to pray, had mad fun, had some bleh sit-at-home all weekend days, left for work as  early as 5:40 am, come back home at 11pm etc. But through it all, I look back and thank God for my husband, my home and the bright future glimpses of which I see every now and then.

God had blessed the work of our hands and is daily loading us with benefits and causing us to be fruitful in all we do. We are indeed grateful as we look back at 2014 and are thankful and excited as we anticipate what 2015 has in store.

I pray that God’s mercies will overshadow us all and His protection will never leave us…

Cheers to 2014! It’s been real!!!

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Temiville.xoxo

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