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Eziaha Bolaji-Olojo: Wetin Stay-At-Home Moms Dey Do Sef?

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I am actually surprised that I do not recall every single last detail of this encounter considering how intensely livid I was at the time that this happened. My goodness, since revenge is best served cold, I took my time to plan my revenge, and it was going to be frozen.

Ok, so what happened?

I was on my way to drop my 14-month-old at his home-based Daycare, rushing out because I was running late. I said good morning to my neighbor, and she responded with: I don’t know why you take this POOR boy to creche all day. What do you even do AT HOME? You just sit at home DOING NOTHING while you dump your son off with someone else to take care of…

I did the Christian thing of smiling and walking off, but I knew that was not the end of it. I came back home that day and couldn’t believe it. The more I thought about it and told some people, the angrier I got. How does this happen?
This woman doesn’t even know my life, yet she had washed me crazy, bleached me white and hung me out to dry, all before 7am.

If she was looking at me this way, it represented to a large extent how people view and judge Stay at Home moms.

If you are a Stay at Home mama, I feel you and I am sure you feel me. People think that when you stay at home, all you do is sleep, watch TV Series and Reality shows back to back, eat, and repeat.
God help you if you complain about anything, like you are tired, or you need a break.

Wetin Stay-at-home moms dey do sef?

What a lot of people don’t know is that staying home and caring for your kids and the home is a huge deal. It may be thankless and worth very little to many, but it doesn’t reduce the fact that what you do is important, priceless and has its own significance in life, both now and in the future.

I get the privilege of speaking with stay-at-home moms and sadly, sometimes even the husbands who should understand are part of those who also think that there is nothing to this. It reminds me of a Nollywood movie I saw where the man was very critical of his wife since he was the one who brought home the big bucks, while all she did was spend it. Things took a beautiful twist, roles were reversed, and the now ‘house husband’ learned a lesson in a way he could never forget.
I have realized that there a couple of qualities that you need to have as a stay-at-home mama that will help you enjoy your season fully, no matter what the future looks like. They helped me too, and this list is not exhaustive.

Show some confidence
You can also call this a positive self image. I know you do not get to dress up and go to ‘work’ daily like my neighbor, and while I agree that there is something to going out daily, making up, wearing corporate dresses and high heels with a correct handbag and posting pictures on the ‘Gram with hashtags like #WorkingMom #OnMyGrind and the likes, but if staying home and caring for your kids is what your life season looks like at the moment, be confident about it.

Dress up in your house, wear your own makeup, dress up well when you go shopping, or go to church. Take pictures at home too and post if you want to. You are a Stay at home mom, raising a whole new generation, not an armed robber, so please show some confidence. I know that all that pressure and judging harshly has also caused you to stutter when someone asks what you do, but please stop it immediately. Chin up, shoulders square and look them straight in the eye and say with confidence and a smile.

‘I am a stay-at-home mom; what do you do?’

Don’t try to sound apologetic about it please. That confidence will shock them and cause the ‘judgers’ to shut up.

Have a schedule and routine
You see, part of what makes work outside the home very attractive is the fact that there is some kind of intentional planning to it. Having a plan, schedule and routine always brings some form of professionalism to everything. So, sit down and plan your own hours. Don’t always sleep in and wake at 11. Don’t always wear night gown and not shower until 6pm. No, plan those hours. And while at it, plan the hours for your kids too if they are old enough to fit into a schedule.

Plan fun things too. Plan market days, social visits, play dates, movies, gym time, study time, and even rest and TV. With your hours fully accounted for, your confidence starts to build up. And please don’t fill it with activities just so that you can show ‘them’ that you too are doing something. I made that mistake by taking on some boring online courses because I wanted to be able to say that I am on a professional break and will soon be back to the work world. Good action, wrong motive so those online courses went belly up. Nah baby, do it for you.

Be professional about your own life, even at home.

I still recall how shocked a friend was when she invited me a night before to her son’s birthday and I told her I couldn’t come because I was busy. I truly was because I had planned my day ahead of time, and needed a bit of a heads up, just as you would a mom who works outside the home. She invited me like she thought I had nothing else to do so would jump at her invitation, but I wasn’t even being petty. I was just showing my hours some well-deserved respect.

Be a boss chic, even at home, with a schedule, diary and everything.

Have a project
You see, the beautiful thing about a project is that it is your thing. You can make anything a project. For me, two major things became my project. First, my son. So, I spent hours in prayers and research for how to be the best caregiver for him. I researched his diet, his milestones, his temperament, future schools, e.t.c The second project was my own weight loss. Oh gosh, I had added a lot of weight from being low key depressed about being a Stay at home mom, so I started to lose weight and I was consumed with getting as much knowledge on this journey.

I researched and applied, and lost weight and helped many for free too cos I was so passionate and a couple months later, I started CoachE’Squad Ltd, my own company from home helping women lose weight and stay healthy too, and from our profit, we do some good works in the world, including hosting regular meetings for stay at home moms like this one.

Now, I do not know what your project will lead you to, but let me tell you something, it will give you confidence, joy, make you an authority and truly fill your hours in very profitable ways.
My sister, you have an amazing job, as a stay at home mom, and if anyone thinks ‘Wetin stay-at-home moms dey do sef?’, you do not even need to dignify them with an answer. I never did with my neighbor and we cool too, just in case you wondered. Offence is inevitable, but drama is a choice.

Eziaha Bolaji-Olojo (CoachE’) is a Food and Fitness Coach and CEO at CoachE’Squad Ltd, a thriving home-based business where she serves Jesus and Fitness to the world. Asides helping women live optimized lives through a healthy food and fitness routine, she runs a personal Faith-based blog www.eziaha.com where she chronicles her Christian walk, and holds regular meetings called POWWOW with E’ for Stay at home moms.She is a First-Class Graduate of Sociology, holds a UK degree in Personal Nutrition and a Pre-natal and Postnatal Fitness Specialist Certification endorsed by the American Fitness Professionals Association (AFPA). She is also an Alumnus of Daystar Leadership Academy (DLA). Above all these, she is a proud wife and mom to two boys and takes that assignment very seriously. She is a product of many teachers and mentors, constantly going for knowledge, regularly pours into mentoring younger folks, loves stir-fry eggs and home-made zobo, and is a proud member of Daystar Christian Centre.Eziaha can be found on Instagram @stayhomemoms.ng and on Twitter as @eziahaa, and you can email her on [email protected]

21 Comments

  1. temi

    July 2, 2018 at 8:32 pm

    wetin men wey dey go work dey do sef? abeg leave women alone and free them from all these societal pressures and expectations!

    • Star

      July 3, 2018 at 7:24 am

      My dear being a stay at home mom is not an issue if you are not just wihout purpose i mean, its good to be there for your children but i look forward to women breaking this vicious circle of living life without a dream, allowing your talents and skills to rust saying you are sacrificjing for your kids and then your GIRL child grows and does the same and even your grand daughter the same. If you must be a stay at home mum, ensure you are also living your dreams while at home, i even think its better than being a working mum abandoning your kids to strange and abnormal poeple. So mothers make sure you have a LIFE thats PURPOSE DRIVEn.

  2. Adaolisa

    July 2, 2018 at 9:46 pm

    That’s a v

  3. Adaolisa

    July 2, 2018 at 9:47 pm

    This is such a timely article.I am inspired.

  4. Mrs chidukane

    July 2, 2018 at 10:03 pm

    Very good article. Being a stay at home mom is the most judged thing. Everyone has an opinion of what you should be doing.

    • Iyke

      July 3, 2018 at 9:48 am

      Quick question: Since money is being associated with power and a bit of some influence, can a stay at home mom who doesn’t have her own money but justifies her status be considered a feminist? Can a stay at home mom who depends on her husband’s/ partner’s or boyfriend’s money yet justifies her status be considered as a feminist?
      What about a stay at home dad? Will be be considered a dead beat man if he chooses not to work but prefers to stay home and bond with his kids?I think of myself as a highly educated abd highly skilled dude, but sometimes I just want to stay home, not go to work and take care of my kids.
      What does that make me?

    • Mrs chidukane

      July 3, 2018 at 8:44 pm

      Well, Iyke from a woman’s point of view, most didn’t set out to be stay at home moms. Most start by working, stay at home because of stressful pregnancies and to raise kids, and when the kids start school, go back to work or continue with the business they started while at home. I don’t think a man can provide your needs to the extent that you’re fully comfortable staying at home doing nothing. If a man wants to stay at home to take care of his kids, get ready for the feeling of emasculation and worthlessness that will follow. It will take a really mature woman to accept and embrace your role because we have been wired that men are the providers. Women also have that feeling of worthlessness and many stay at home moms are quite unhappy with their status.

  5. Kosi

    July 2, 2018 at 10:25 pm

    Yes, then your mother in-law feels she can stop by anytime without warning cos she feels you’re home all day. Then ask you what her son will eat when he gets home. Then give unwanted advice about housekeeping

  6. Ada

    July 2, 2018 at 10:28 pm

    Early last year I was so ashamed of myself for not having somewhere to go every morning. I had resigned from a job that was unfulfilling and low paying because I was also under stress and beginning to have health issues. I practically hid from people. Luckily for me I got another job shortly after. And then God clearly showed me what I could do from home: teaching Igbo language online! My new job came with its own troubles, but I held on because I thought that people wouldn’t ‘respect’ me if I was always at home. I combined the job with my ‘side hustle’. With time I started desiring to work for myself just to be in charge of my life and time but was afraid to make the move. Not to worry, I was shoved into working from home again via termination of appointment. This time, I was happy to work from home. I am grateful for the ability to plan my day: have a schedule that includes work, study, exercise, healthy eating, prayers, me time and tick off as I get them done. I am working on launching my online course by the end of the month. I love the feeling of strolling around the mall or watching a movie when others are at work.. Lol.. It’s incredibly liberating. What’s more, people think I am ‘jobless’ so no one asks for money or ropes me into unnecessary commitments. It’s a season I know will end so I am enjoying it fully. BTW, I am single.

    • nope

      July 3, 2018 at 6:04 am

      people dont ask you for money? hmmmm i should really adopt this strategy

    • Oma

      July 3, 2018 at 11:59 am

      Hello Ada,

      I am interested in teaching Igbo language online. Can you teach me please? Or link your sister up Biko nne!

  7. tunmi

    July 2, 2018 at 10:47 pm

    I applaud you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Cocoa

    July 2, 2018 at 11:24 pm

    There are women who stay home and do nothing…there are also employees who go to work and make every effort to do nothing at that job.

    Its not a TITLE issue but a CHARACTER issue.

    If youre a diligent worker you will take care of your home front diligently.

    I hope to stay home for a few yrs when my kids are born…i will be their educator …snatch their minds before i release them into the world as SOLDIERS FOR CHRIST.

    Stay home if you want..but please make sure YOUR PRESENCE at home is an ASSET to your husband and kids. .

    • Onyinyechukwu

      July 3, 2018 at 12:47 am

      Cocoa for president!.. You, my dear is Bae!,.. Your comment ??

    • demash

      July 3, 2018 at 10:39 am

      Totally agree with Cocoa, it’s all about character and commitment. I don’t believe in being a stay-at-home mum, my wife mooted that idea at one time & my remark was what are you gonna be using all the free time to do. I am a buddy daddy that puts in a good shift into doing school runs and house chores while working in a Bank and I believe depending on each persons circumstance both partners should be able to work and manage the home. Stay-at-home is sometimes a co-out for some women to just lounge.

  9. Omi

    July 3, 2018 at 8:10 am

    you teach igbo language online? How do I sign up for classes?

  10. Shinning Star

    July 3, 2018 at 8:29 am

    Dear Eziaha, you forgot to add that you MUST be earning an income, whilst you are a stay at home mom. The fear of the Nigerian marriage is the beginning of wisdom!.

  11. Iyke

    July 3, 2018 at 9:47 am

    Quick question: Since money is being associated with power and a bit of some influence, can a stay at home mom who doesn’t have her own money but justifies her status be considered a feminist? Can a stay at home mom who depends on her husband’s/ partner’s or boyfriend’s money yet justifies her status be considered as a feminist?
    What about a stay at home dad? Will be be considered a dead beat man if he chooses not to work but prefers to stay home and bond with his kids?I think of myself as a highly educated abd highly skilled dude, but sometimes I just want to stay home, not go to work and take care of my kids.
    What does that make me?

  12. Ada

    July 3, 2018 at 11:59 am

    @Omi yes I teach Igbo online. You can email me at [email protected]. IG @nwaadaigbo. @Cocoa: you just voiced one of my deepest desires/wishes/prayers: to be able to afford to stay home or at least be very available to raise my kids during their formative years. That to me will be a great achievement!!

  13. Life Happens

    July 3, 2018 at 12:16 pm

    There ARE stay at home mums who do nothing except watch TV and bully househelps who are less than 10 years (side eyes to an evil neighbour. I don’t understand how a woman, especially one who has experienced labour pains would maltreat another person’s child).

    On the other hand, please, stay at home mums, do something even if it’s a business from home or take a more active interest in the family’s finances because life happens. God forbid, the husband can lose his job or worse die, putting the whole family in dire financial difficulties. Also, many women remain in horrible marriages just because they know they don’t have the financial resources to take care of the children on their own. In the event of a divorce or abandonment by the husband (which is rapidly becoming common), the children would also suffer.

    Please, go through Arese’s article for the stay at home mum and apply it.

    • Star

      July 3, 2018 at 9:18 pm

      Life is beyond doing business and makin money stay at home moms shud be living their dreams and they cant say they dont have one

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