Connect with us

Features

Eziaha Bolaji-Olojo: Dear Stay-At-Home Mom, What Are You Projecting?

Published

 on

Is this what you do all day? He asked me incredulously one day when he returned from work and I was trying to fill him in on the latest celebrity gossip in town. “Is this how you spend your days? Watching TV, reading blogs and spending time on social media?”

I was slightly upset because I thought he was being accusatory, so I mumbled some kind of weak defense to get him off my case and saved my sweet gist abeg. I didn’t lose the uncomfortable feeling it brought up within me in my more lucid moments though.

This was September 2015, and in that season, it was starting to fully dawn on me that I was jobless. You see, I had quit a career at an international organization, complete with opportunities for travel, to be a mom. It was a huge sacrifice to make in order for my new family to work. We were in a long-distance marriage and I worked not just away from my husband, but also away from any stable family support network, so I didn’t have much of an option but to pack up and join my husband with my new-born.

I swore I would get back to work, but as days went on and I found myself adjusting to a new life on an Island isolated from the rest of Nigeria, which was where my husband worked, reality was setting in.

Jobless.

Housewife.

Lazy.

And that self-fulfilling prophecy was winning. I felt that way. I acted that way. I projected all of that to the world.

I am not saying that your husband should treat you bad, but trust me, men want you projecting more than I was projecting then, and I am thankful my husband showed me who I was fast becoming.

In truth, the television and my phone were my best companions and I invested myself heavily in matters that neither concerned nor bettered me.

Reeling from the import of those words “Is this how you spend your day?” I knew I needed to project better.

My reality was that I had to be at home and care for my son. I wasn’t jobless. I had a job. Or maybe three. I needed to invest myself in better, more productive activities, and invest in taking better care of my then almost 6-month-old beyond putting him in front of the screen all day. Finally, I needed to invest in running the home more efficiently.

First, investing in Eziaha
I have always been a reader, writer, and researcher. I started to read and write again. I would wake up, have a bath and look like I had a job to do outside the home. I researched extensively everything that peaked my interest. I believed I would go back to the corporate world so I tasked my brain, took online courses within and outside my field of learning, read materials on parenting, home making and went on a weight loss journey where I ultimately lost 30kg. I even brought out my final year course work and project and did refreshers on them. I soon realized I didn’t have enough time for media, both traditional and social, as I did in the past.

On the home front, I became a better manager. With less pressure from social media, I also put less pressure on my husband and the domestic finances. Yes, I was not contributing actively, but I realized that if I helped my husband manage it better, we could have savings and some extra money to pay for some premium certifications I aspired to. He would be even happy to make an investment in that as opposed to asking him to buy some kind of fancy milk for my baby just because someone popular was talking about it. In fact, I recall that I moved on from store-bought purees to researching on homemade semi solids for my baby, better alternatives which freed up money to invest in other things.

As a result of all my reading and researching, I started to have more meaningful conversations with others including my husband. I could help my husband reach better decisions on some matters. He could confide in me because I brought something extra to the table as a result of investing my hours at home.

Lazy?

I was no longer lazy. I was fruitful right at home. Because I invested in me, I started to project better. And today, even though I run a home-based business, a direct result of all my investment, I consider my highest calling to be a domestic queen, an epic one rocking my life as a wife and a stay-at-home mom to the fullest.

Dear domestic queen, you would notice I used the term “investment” a lot. Something most people would not use in the context of “staying at home.” But can I challenge you to be intentional about investing your hours at home?

I am not saying never put on the TV or visit any social media site (though, like me in that season, some of us may have to do a time-based screen detox). What I am saying is for you to strike a balance and make some investments in you. I am tempted to list a couple of things you can do at home, but I recently learned from a friend and big sister Dr N, a BellaNaija reader herself, that we need to point the destination of the horizon to people and let them figure out how to get there.

So, dear stay-at-home mom, what are you projecting?

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]

17 Comments

  1. mz_danielz

    February 20, 2019 at 12:30 pm

    I don’t know why reading your articles makes me sad and fills me with a sense of loss.

    My mum was like you, she had a bookstore and was making investments, teaching women, raising world leaders, yadi, yadi ya but in reality she was a housewife and I wished she was more. In primary school, I always lied that she was a pharmacist. I wanted to be the daughter of a power woman and my mum wasn’t one. I loved her and my dad adored her and together they built a great marriage but that life isn’t for me.

    Why your article makes me sad is that, the life isn’t for you either, because you try so hard to prove a point ‘ stating your first class, degrees, books you read etc.’

    Don’t get me wrong, I have friends who are housewives asin they just have a shop or sell hair online, etc and they are happy. They don’t try to do too much to show you that they are ‘investing in themselves; helping people live optimized lives, etc.’ They are just happy and going with the flow.

    But you always try toooooo hard, like the roadside seller who uses big words to show you he is a graduate; God forbid you are a woman who isn’t working but is running her home and has small businesses by the side ( that would be like those women who have shops right?) so you do all these to tell yourself that you are different from them.

    Be true to yourself dear about how you feel about your life.

    PS: I could be wrong as I am no psychologist but this is the vibe I get from your post, you sound like someone who isn’t accepting her reality cos she believes she is better than the reality but like I said, I could be wrong but your write-up always makes me pity you and fills me with a sense of loss on your behalf.

    • Sunshine

      February 20, 2019 at 2:39 pm

      You are entitled to your opinion, which i’m presuming is based on your childhood experience of having a stay-at-home mother who did not live up to your expectations, but I don’t know that you get to invalidate her decision to make the best out of her current circumstances by starting a business from home.

      Like you I’m also not a psychologist either, but your post was mean and the points you were trying to make could have been more tactfully stated. How would you propose an intelligent woman write an article talking about her life? Has it occurred to you that there are millions of well-qualified women in her exact situation, who made choices/sacrifices for family and probably needed someone in their shoes to encourage them?

      I am not married, do not have any children and i’m very fortunate to currently be in full-time employment, but I read this article and unlike you had nothing but respect for the writer, who by the way I don’t know from Adam.

      My point here mz danielz, is to live and let live. God bless.

    • Miss B

      February 20, 2019 at 2:50 pm

      Hmmmmmmmn…

    • Jummy

      February 20, 2019 at 5:11 pm

      I don’t understand what you’re saying to be honest. What do you mean by “more”? That word is problematic because it presumes that staying at home to take care of the kids is somehow “less” and I vehemently disagree as I believe both are very important choices you make, and am of the opinion that choosing to be a SAHM is more demanding especially in the 21st century where women are campaigning for women in the workplace to the extent that SAHM are looked down upon as “lazy”.

      My mum was the opposite of yours. Workaholic to the core. Worked everywhere, sold everything, traveled everywhere just to make money, and I ABSOLUTELY hated it. I’m the only daughter and we didn’t even get to bond while I was growing. It took 23 years for us to finally get to a place where we can start having the semblance of a normal mother-daughter relationship.

      She being a “career” woman scarred not only me, but my siblings and my dad as she was often irritable and extremely physically and emotionally abusive. In fact because of this, I have CHOSEN to work part-time or from home once I have children cause I absolutely cannot bear the thought of history reapeating itself.

      If I may add, you detesting your mum for choosing to stay at home has a lot more to do with your insecurities than anything else. Why have to lie that your mum was a pharmacist? Wanted to “be the daughter of a power woman? Even as a grown up you still feel this way?To impress who? You really need to grapple with your insecurities then And perhaps your bias of SAHM mums was what led you to see this article the way you did.

      Last though, I know countless people who have greatly appreciated their mums staying home. In fact, just last week I had this discussion with my roommate. She comes from a family of 8 and was so glad her mum stayed home. She told me she couldn’t imagine her mum not being home as she was there to drive all 6 of them to all types of musical and sports activities, and always met dinner whenever she got home from school.

    • didi

      February 21, 2019 at 8:13 pm

      Hmm @JUMMY i remember your comment on NKEMS article about your mum, it touched me. I thought you were too hard on her too. Perhaps your mum lived a life that ,ade her determine to give her children more. If only you knew God then i believe you would have asked for Gods help on your mom. She did it for you dear. We show love in different ways

    • didi

      February 21, 2019 at 8:33 pm

      I understand where @ MZ DANIELZ is coming from even if she was raw. I have a working mum who later became a SAHM she suffered in the hands of her in laws, she sacrificed everything for her children but sometimes i feel guilty because when i look at this wonderful woman i just want her to live up those dreams and aspirations she once had before she was married, my mum has alot of talents but due to this “sacrifice” she has never used them and it really hurt me its because of me. Now shes older that yputhful energy is gone and i asked myself is this all there is to life? I keep telling her now we are grown its not too late to purzue her passion. Its this reason people like CHIMAMANDA say what she been saying. Is this a vicious circle for women? We sacrifice for our children they grow up and they sacrifice for their children and so on then whats the essence?

  2. Dora

    February 20, 2019 at 2:15 pm

    @mz-danielz- mate, did you not hear that she is running her business. She is simply saying that she has moved from the point of reading blogs all day to actually being more productive. How does this bring you a sense of sadness? Dear writer your write up is just for me. I have a 6 month old and from being a busy city lawyer I find myself reading bellanaija all day and to be honest my husband has asked me the same thing “what do you do with yourself all day? So thanks for sharing this. I will definitely get to work and start investing in myself pending whenever I go back to work. And if I so chose to be a house wife and/or have a small business on the side, it definitely should not be a cause for sadness the anyone bcoz in life, something has to give and we hAve a choice to prioritize what is important to us. So if I chose family over career, it is still a decision I will be very proud of and I will explain to my children the reason I have made this decision. So if you were ashamed that your mum was a stay at home mum, could it be that you did not understand her motivation? Was she not proud or content being one? Coz if she was happy and content then I think you should be also. Xx

    • Ihuoma

      February 20, 2019 at 7:39 pm

      You go girl!!

  3. Dame Penelope

    February 20, 2019 at 3:50 pm

    I always enjoy Eziaha’s articles. I am SAHM who runs a small business on the side. I have done so for the last fifteen years. What I have found to be true is that although I ‘earn more’ than some of my friends who are gainfully employed, the society tends to rate people that dress up, leave home to get to work higher…it is a primitive mindset really. Need I mention names of people blogging from the comfort of their bedrooms and earning in a month, the gratuity the career folks get paid after thirty five years of service? Yes I know…it shouldn’t be only about the money. It should also about sense of fulfilment….and you know what, I don’t wish for different circumstances because l am living my best life!

  4. Ifymcqueens

    February 20, 2019 at 4:17 pm

    im a House wife & I love it ?….in this age where kids are massively influenced by negative ?? social media, parents must have time for the kids, money is important but giving attention to your kids is priceless.

  5. mz_danielz

    February 20, 2019 at 4:45 pm

    Hmmmm. Maybe I came across as tactless and if I did, I apologize. However, my points are:

    1. While no one should be shamed to do what they don’t want to do, no one should lie to themselves either. There are housewives who are happy doing their thing from home (I know some of them) and there are people who are housewives due to life and there is no need to lie about it. This writer sounds like someone who had different dreams for herself and life happened and so she made Lemons from her Lemonade but there is no need to create some noble stories about it. She is yet to accept her situation and that’s why she tries too hard to convince herself that she’s different from the other stay at home moms because she reads, blogs, …… (I’ve read all her articles and I get this same vibe from all of them).

    2. Staying at home for your kids to ensure their success might not always be the best for them. That’s why I stated the example of my mum. Kids can benefit from a working mum too but my mum stayed at home because that what was she wanted (her only vision was to have a good home and raise children who had a mind of their own and loved the lord) and so while I didn’t have a power woman for a mum, I had a happy mum who did what she wanted to do and because of that I have no fear doing what I believe is best for me as she taught all her children to do same both in words and actions

    The vibes I get from this writer is the same vibe people who aren’t financially successful give when they say ‘money isn’t everything, what I lack in money, I make up for in friends and family, why can’t the rich give all that money to help the less privileged.’ While these things are true, the people saying them are more often than not trying to console themselves.

    PS: Working mums get shamed too, sometimes more than stay-at-home mums.

    • Ajala & Foodie

      February 20, 2019 at 6:43 pm

      @ mz_danielz, this thing about vibe…it is subjective. What I mean is you are referring to something that MAY or MAY NOT be there. You may or may not be projecting. While your mum may have been happy, it is obvious you were not happy with her decision to stay home “I lied that she was a pharmacist because I wanted a power woman”, so yea, there is a high probability you are projecting your disappointment/unhappiness with your definition of stay at home mums. Even if we are to go with your deduction of her making lemonade out of lemons. Isn’t that life? That staying at home may not to have been her first choice does not mean she has not found a way to work around this and made it ok. It does not mean she is “lying to herself” as you try to put it. It means she has learned to work with a curve ball that life threw at her and maybe excelling at it? And letting other women know that it is ok if they are in the same situation is not “pretending to be better than others”. So what would you advise? that she mops around because she had to quit her job to stay at home? Or what would you suggest she say or not say to not “pretend to be better than other stay at home mum”? I think you may want to address the issues you have/had with your mum’s decision. I think you are reading this through that filter and may be feeding into your “vibe”. In case you missed it, her platform is based off of being a stay at home mum hence her need to be repetitive about it. Nevertheless, I can’t say I have read all her articles. Not sure, but this may be my first.

    • Lol

      February 20, 2019 at 8:00 pm

      MzDaniel, your comment actually says more about you than the author imho. As someone mentioned, it reflects the insecurities you had as a child of a SAHM, which you’ve now projected onto the writer. She defines herself, not you, you simply don’t have the right to.

      I am currently what you would consider a ‘power woman’ in your books – climbing up the ladder, working in a global role in a MNC, flying business class across the world for business meetings and earning shitloads of £££££. But guess what? It doesn’t define me AND I have every intention of taking time off the whole career stuff when I start a family. It’s a privilege for a child to have a SAHM. I know the career sacrifices my mum made to give us as close as that, and I will always appreciate that, and will pay it forward to my own kids by God’s grace.

      As others have said, live and let live. It’s unfair to project yourself onto someone else.

  6. Lol

    February 20, 2019 at 8:30 pm

    Also, can I add that you ought to be grateful to your mum. Ask those who have scars from being molested because their parents were never there.

  7. Chi

    February 21, 2019 at 4:49 am

    Is it eyes or did u just right you lost 30kg! Biko how fat were you? How long did it take you to lose this weight.

  8. Estee

    February 21, 2019 at 7:19 am

    Hmm. I’m surprised that someone will get a kind of vibe from this. Eziaha pls I totally enjoy your articles. They are intelligently put together and bring different perspectives. I also started taking an interest in you because your business (which you do from home) has helped a relative of mine. Pls keep on doing what you are doing. It IS worth it!!!❤️❤️❤️

  9. Elle

    February 21, 2019 at 9:45 am

    Eziaha’s column on BN is actually catering to a specific demographic, she is sharing her experiences so others walking or coming up that path can be better prepared (mentally, emotionally, physically) for what it entails. That is very valuable in my opinion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Star Features

Recent Posts

Get The Pan-Atlantic Advantage

Advertisement
css.php