The Kenyan Mom Share, Learn, Inspire and Get Inspired 2014-04-02T04:13:38Z WordPress kenyanmom <![CDATA[Stolen Hopes]]> 2014-04-02T04:13:38Z 2014-04-02T04:13:38Z By Lilian Mwihaki

Hope is the main business of the human spirit – Lewis Smedes

Babies hope to walk, so they keep getting up despite falling; toddlers hope to run, so they keep springing forward despite the bruises; children hope to ride on their bikes so they keep getting back onto their bikes despite scrapped knees. Hope propels athletes to break records, suitors pursue their beloved; scientists hope to find the cures for diseases. Mothers hope that their children will stay healthy by feeding them well, keeping them warm, training them to wash their hands before meals etc.


Hope shows itself everywhere in life, in experience, suffering, and determination. However, hope is stolen by frustrations, tragedy, deception, humiliation, divorce and or rejection… In these situations one will always be choosing either hope or resignation; usually there is no middle ground.

There are various experiences that steal hope; growing up in an alcoholic family, poverty, divorce, abused relationships, a cheating spouse, being in a situations where uttering of casual statements is the norm: ‘Don’t get your hopes up, you will not make it…’, ‘… you are stupid…’, ‘…you are useless like …,’ ‘you are fat/skinny…,’ ‘you are a bad parent.’ These casual statements and experiences precondition the mind to have low expectations; resulting to minds programmed for hopelessness. With this kind of setbacks, frustrations are experienced and it is hard to open that door and glimpse at a different kind of life.

Every day, we cast visions of hope or hopelessness for ourselves and others with our words. When we speak to your children, spouse, friend, mates, our mouth is the key to instilling or stealing hope in them. Instead of criticizing and reprimanding others, we should learn to praise them or offer options: – ‘You are such a good helper in the kitchen…,’ ‘I recommend you read the parenting book for more insights…,’ ‘I prefer the white shirt, looks better on you…’ ‘…thank you for helping, I really appreciate…’

The influence that even the casual spoken words hold on others especially young children is immeasurable. You may remember hurtful words your parent, guardian, relative or neighbor has ever said to you and how they affected or affect you leading to either abandoning of your dream or having low self esteem. You may also remember encouraging words of a stranger, friend, parent, mentor that have been your anchor.

Be the voice that gives hope and not a voice that steals hope. Importantly, culture the children with hope, let the children grow with hope and they shall be a generation of instilling hope and not stealing hope irrespective of the experiences, suffering or determination.

In the face of challenges, hope is patience with binoculars! It is what we look forward to. Hope may not change situations but it will certainly change the response to these challenges.

kenyanmom <![CDATA[Being A Happy Mom]]> 2014-03-26T04:29:43Z 2014-03-26T04:29:43Z

By Lilian Mwihaki

A happy mom equals a happy family

When you become a mom it seems like all you do is work, you are responsible for someone else if not one, it could be a clan! You are naturally responsible for everyone else and little time for yourself. Excuses are made that we are engineered to carry the load, that we are superwomen; however, even a beast of burden has its breaking point.

The fact that you are reading this article means you are taking time off your schedule to do something out of the norm. A mom is a cook, chauffer, cleaner, career woman, nurse, adviser, lover, mediator, and decision-maker, these responsibilities can take their toll and it is important to rediscover the “you” even with all these responsibilities. Here are some of the steps you can take to rediscover yourself and avoid burn out:

Stop multi tasking and prioritize

The belief that women are better at multi tasking than men, however multi tasking is bad for everyone according to sociologists, Professor Miller ‘The human brain is far happier focusing on one task through to its completion (or as near as completion as appropriate) before switching to another, and by trying to juggle several tasks at once, we put the brain under enough pressure to end up stressed, in a rage, and even with reduced IQ levels by as much as 10 points…’, Professor Miller, who studies the dangers of multi-tasking says that it can induce brain fog and yet we’re very good at deluding ourselves that it’s working.

A mother is the first teacher your child has, as such you are a role model to your children; they need to experience calmness and responsibility. In a multi tasking situation, you will always have things half way done, resulting to moments of frustration thus exposing your child to experiences of a stressed out, exhausted mom.

Prioritize with your children schedule in mind. Nothing is more important than spending time with your children. Upon prioritizing, you will have a clear time line of what needs to be done at what time; as a result you will avoid multi tasking, you will also be able to stay in the moment and enjoying it, for instance if you are at work, work and when you get home, be a mom completely.

Say NO, as women we find it hard to say NO either to workmates, friends, spouses, family or even our children. By saying yes to demands, you will end up with extra schedule on your priority list and you will not be able to meet your commitments causing disappointment to those you said yes to. Always take time before you say YES to a request so that you can analyze how it is going to affect your set schedule and priorities.

Talk, Talk, Talk some more

Do not lock yourself away, make a point to talk to other women on your experiences, you will be surprised how much you learn from other mothers. Hearing or reading about other mothers experiences will help you to realize you’re not alone and that it is better that women talk about these issues than to pretend they do not exist. For example, the surprise of working in male dominated environments, the life after-birth, managing a career and/or stays at home mom, the challenges such as depression that can creep up on you unawares, the challenges presented by affairs and/or divorce, and the sheer unexpectedness of hormonal changes and challenges of nurturing children.

Anxiety, worries, depression, and stress disorders are mental health issues that you might face as a full-time mom with many responsibilities. It is important that you do not neglect such issues when they arise because they are as are as weakening as physical illnesses. Unhappiness, uneasiness, and sadness could be foundation in depression, stress, or anxiety; such women can tend to blame themselves for not being adequate or strong enough to pull through the down times. If you are experiencing more than a week of constant sadness, blue moods, feeling down, and disliking yourself, talk through your feelings and concerns with a friend, parent or spouse or ask for help without guilt from support groups, mother and child groups, relationship groups.

Remember who you are

Irrespective of your job, your mothering role, you are a woman first with as much right as anyone else and you should lead a fulfilled life. A reassurance that the motherhood journey is worthwhile is through the tough times, amazing moments, incredible love and intimacy. Amongst all these rewards, remember to keep something just for you, not work related, such as meet up with girl friends, drive, outing, spend plenty of time laughing either watch comedies, read funny books or jokes, engage in thought provoking discussions that are not children related.

This kind of self worth rejuvenation is not only beneficial to you but also to your children to remain true to themselves and to respect mothers are individuals in their own right.

Even with these steps, the bottom line is that every mother deserves to enjoy her children, relationships, and work, so do not deny yourself the possibility of having a more enjoyable and worry free life when you are organized.

kenyanmom <![CDATA[Visit To Nairobi Children’s Home, Kids Book Club and Library Boost and Unreasonable Institute East Africa Update]]> 2014-03-04T03:58:45Z 2014-03-03T04:17:47Z First the good news. This young lady’s name is Samia Kassam. Samia is one of our children ambassadors, a member of our Kids Book Club and Library, one of our advanced readers and is very passionate about books. Not only is she helping Grab A Book collect story books and course work books to help the library but she has managed to raise US$40 all on her own towards the Unreasonable Institute Campaign!

She and other passionate children are our reason for keeping our dream alive!

Here are more details regarding the Unreasonable Institute East Africa Campaign:

Now for even better news. Grab A Book is all about children. This Sunday, the Grab A Book team joined Kenya MUN for a charity event at the Nairobi Children’s Home. A little play time and understanding what these children need is what we live for.

Catch all the beautiful images here:

And a thank you note. As you can see, our full of energy team is not just focusing on one thing. Wherever the children are is where we are. We cannot save all the children of the world, but we sure as hell will try!

We have now raised US$430 towards the Unreasonable Institute East Africa Campaign! That is a big milestone and we want to thank you for your support and encouragement with everything we are doing.

Back To Grab A Book

kenyanmom <![CDATA[Kids Book Club and Library Grab A Book Goes To Unreasonable Institute East Africa]]> 2014-02-24T09:02:04Z 2014-02-24T09:02:03Z It has been quite a ride for Grab A Book, our Kids Book Club and Library that is aimed at bringing back the reading culture to our children. We successfully opened our second library at Shadrack Kimalel Primary School, and we would like to humbly thank everyone who has helped us through book donations, cash and even a word of encouragement. It has kept my team and I quite motivated to see this through, even when days get tough.

We are announcing another milestone! We have been selected as Unreasonable Institute East Africa 2014 Fellow! What does this mean? This means that Grab A Book has been recognised as a project creating a sensible solution in East Africa, in this case, getting the children to read and write in a fun environment.

We still have a long way to go and now have an opportunity to meet with world-class mentors, sponsors, and venture capitalists who will guide us on the best steps to take in order to make Grab A Book even better. How we can reach even more children in need and grow our libraries across Kenya. We are the only venture in East Africa that is concentrating on Education this year, which means we are more than determined to help our young ones.

We need your help to make sure we are able to fly out to Kampala and meet these leaders. Just as we have managed to buy books, a few shillings at a time, we still believe we can also make this worthwhile trip, a few shillings at a time. Please check out our profile on the Unreasonable Institute East Africa here: Tell your friends and just as we have been doing, let’s show the world that we treasure and believe in our children.

kenyanmom <![CDATA[Bloggers Association of Kenya announces first CSR project]]> 2014-02-17T04:39:00Z 2014-02-17T04:39:00Z The Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE) has announced its first Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) project. The project is to start a library at Shadrack Kimalel Primary School in Ngumo. This project is in partnership with Grab-A-Book.

Grab a Book, the organisation behind the initiative, has already set-up one library. BAKE is partnering with them to set-up the second one. The first library was set up at Seedlings Junior School. It has 50 registered members so far and the children’s grades have improved by at least 25%.

Shadrack Kimalel Primary School is the project school BAKE will be involved with.  We are currently looking for donations to help make a difference in these children’s lives.

The cost of setting up a library is as follows:

i) 300 books to be bought at Kshs. 200 which amounts to Kshs. 60,000.

ii) 3 puzzles/games going for Kshs. 4000 which amounts to Kshs. 12,000

iii) 3 shelves going for Kshs. 12,000 which amounts to Kshs. 36,000

The total cost of setting up of the library is Kshs. 108,000. You can help support this cause by either making a monetary donation or by supplying books.

Book donations can be dropped at our office at Nailab, 4th Floor, Bishop Magua Centre on Ngong Road.

Monetary donations can be sent via M-Pesa to 0704 090 471.

Get more information on the Grab-A-Book  website

About BAKE

The Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE) is a community organization that represents a group of Kenyan online content creators and that seeks to empower online content creation and improve the quality of content created on the web.

About Grab A Book

Grab a book is a company founded by Carolyne Kimari. It is a Kenyan non-profit organisation that exists to get books into the hands of ALL Kenyan Children. The aim is to get as many children as possible to not only get a place where they can borrow books to read but a fun and comfortable environment to read. Read more about Grab A Book here: About Grab A Book

kenyanmom <![CDATA[Pampers Diaper-thon 2014 At Baby Banda Sponsored By Procter & Gamble]]> 2014-01-27T13:25:27Z 2014-01-27T13:25:27Z Press Release

The Pampers Diaper-thon 2014, a race for babies in diapers, is here again, sponsored by Kenya’s leading diaper brand, Pampers, at the Baby Banda Pregnancy and Baby Fair 2014.

The Baby Banda Fair takes place from January 31 to 2 February 2014 at Sarit Centre, Westlands. The diaper-thon will be held on Sunday 2 February at 12.30p.m.

Pampers Communication Manager, Irene Mwathi suggests that parents whose children will be participating in the diaper-thon should ensure that the little ones have a good night’s sleep the night before. When a baby has a night of undisturbed sleep, they are more playful and active in the morning.

Wetness against baby’s skin could easily disturb her sleep. Using Pampers, a baby is kept dry for a whole night, helping to enable uninterrupted sleep, which is so important for a baby’s cognitive and physical development.

For moms who would like to learn more about the importance of a good night’s sleep for baby and how they can help make this possible, Pampers will also host the Baby Growth Milestones session at the expo.

The Baby Growth Milestones session takes place on Saturday, 1 February at 12:30pm. It will be led by health care professionals and will be facilitated by Pampers brand ambassador and media personality, Janet Kanini. Hundreds of moms will have the opportunity to have their questions on baby development answered. The focus will be on developmental milestones from 0-24 months, as well as the motor, language, social and cognitive development stages of babies.

Pampers, which is in partnership with the Kenya Paediatric Association, works together with the organization to educate mothers on baby development. In particular, Pampers is committed to sharing information about the importance of quality sleep for babies, while offering tips on how parents can help achieve this.

Happy, healthy, baby development is at the heart of what Pampers does and stands for. One key proposition that Pampers makes is the ability of its diapers to keep babies dry for a night of sleep undisturbed by wetness, which is crucial for their development.

Irene Mwathi, P&G Communications Manager commented: “We look forward to engaging with moms and providing them with the information that they need to raise happy, healthy babies. The insights that moms share with us forms an integral part of our activities in this market. We hope that as many moms as possible will attend this session.”

As important as keeping baby dry throughout the night, is ensuring a comfortable environment for her to sleep in, and Pampers will be making that possible for one lucky winner at Baby Banda.

A Pampers Treasure Hunt will give one lucky parent a chance to win a fully furnished nursery for their little one. Information on the treasure hunt will be available at the Pampers stand at the Baby expo.

kenyanmom <![CDATA[Mitigating Conflict At Home – For Our Children’s Sake]]> 2014-01-15T05:03:51Z 2014-01-15T05:03:51Z By Mr. Anon – Aspiring Father

The first place/ flat I settled had this couple who used to fight almost on a daily basis; I would wake up some minutes to midnight to screams punctuated by breaking plates. I remember wondering why they had to bring plates into the whole scuffle……..I must confess, I do love my plates. I also remember thinking about Karen and Stephen that’s the two little kids next door. I wondered what their school days were like, especially the girl; was she able to concentrate? Did it affect her interactions with other kids? Then it occurred to me, the kids probably slept through it all; that thought warms my heart even today.

Got me thinking about conflicts in our households and how that affects the children. There is nothing like perfect homes, and each and every one of us had some sort ‘hiccup’ as far as our being brought up is concerned. Maybe alcoholism, 2nd family, absentee parents, poverty…you name it. All this defines us in some way and only the exceptional among us are able to get out of the shackles of our upbringing, well sadly not all of us are exceptional.

On some of my leadership workshops, I usually point out that conflicts are an intricate part of any entity with some sort of defined or undefined relationships. Meaning, so long as there are human beings interacting there are bound to be conflicts, therefore the trick is to mitigate conflict as opposed to eliminating them.

Back to our homes, how much of these conflicts do we expose our children to?

In my opinion, children should understand early on that people do disagree, that when that happens someone is bound to ‘feel bad’ and the one on the wrong should make amends to right the ‘wrong’. It is okay to see daddy or mummy a bit off; it is even more paramount for the children to see the making up part of these conflicts. One thing our parents got wrong as far as raising our generation was the level of excellence were to be expected of us….because they were the number ones’ in their schools, they never disrespected their parents, they always went to church, and all the other kinds of angelic manenos.

I think we should do it differently, let’s show them the challenges that are inherent to being human. Lets also teach them how to overcome these challenges without seeking perfection out these beautiful little things. After all, aren’t they perfections? May be in the process, we might learn a thing or two about ourselves.

kenyanmom <![CDATA[Featured Mom – Nelius Kori]]> 2014-01-14T05:15:16Z 2014-01-14T05:15:16Z we are featuring Nelius Kori , an IT Consultant and her soccer-loving son, Jaden. ]]> I have never met a mom who didn’t have something fascinating to say about their child. If you are keen enough, you will always catch something unique about each child. And why shouldn’t they be unique? Our children have talents that we can nurture, if only we pay close attention.

This week, we are featuring Nelius Kori, an IT Consultant and her son, Jaden. Jaden is an active, future soccer player. Despite her hectic schedule, Nelius makes sure that her son’s talent is nurtured, no matter what. Here’s her story:

My name is Nelius. I am an IT consultant but currently working as a P.A./ Online marketer. Its an 8-5 job so can get pretty hectic but i try my best to get home early to spend time with my son. I love the fact that he is a smart boy. and so active. Every evening when I get off work we have to play soccer, no matter how exhausted I am.

Jaden is 2 years 4 months now. He was born on 4th August 2011. Yes, he shares a birthday with a great man. President Barrack Obama.

When I first discovered I was pregnant, I cried. A lot. I had just graduated from college and could not imagine being pregnant. After all, I had just been employed and had already decided, just like any newly employed college girl, that my fisrt salary was going to be spent on shoes and clothes. I am however thankful for my support system of family and friends. Within a week I started enjoying the nuances of pregnancy.

Jaden and I spend sundays together. Just the two of us. We do lots of things including watching cartoons. We love dancing. So we put on loud music and dance around the house as we play peek-a-boo. He loves it! And I enjoy it very much. It’s the perfect way to kick back after a hectic week.

Jaden’s first word was boo(car) he loves cars. I remember when he took his first step I was at work. I felt so sad because that is a milestone I had missed. No mom wants to miss their child’s first step. I got home that evening and I could not make him walk unaided, no matter how hard I tried to convince him! After a while, he walked for mama and I was so proud! He took his frst steps at 10 and a half months.

As a single mum to a boy, its not easy. You have to make sure he learns alot. He does spend time with his dad but i feel i have to do a lot more to bring up a responsible man in this society. I love being a mom. Its the best and most rewarding job ever and I would never trade it for anything else.

I love the mom life. I love my lil’ man.

kenyanmom <![CDATA[Adopting An Attitude Of Gratitude]]> 2013-12-10T04:51:51Z 2013-12-10T04:51:51Z If there is one thing I have always preached and believe in with every fibre of my being, it is gratitude. Gratitude means appreciating things, both big and small. We have so much to be grateful for, yet, we spend our lives complaining or noticing the things that are not working. We get so absorbed in these, that the things that we ought to be grateful for pass us by. That is why, today we are going to learn how to adopt an attitude of gratitude.

Download audio file (attitude-of-gratitude.mp3)

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Catch all our Soul Living Podcasts here or subscribe to the Series here.

kenyanmom <![CDATA[Pets, Things And Imaginary Friends]]> 2013-12-04T05:03:01Z 2013-12-04T05:03:01Z

By Mr. Anon – Aspiring Father

Me and KM have this beef going regarding my timely submission of blog posts. No worries, it’s nothing a cup of porridge can’t cure on these cold days, till then it’s for tip toeing around her. On the real though, it’s been quite a challenge balancing between work and finding a secluded spot where you can pen a meaningful word or two. The secluded spots are very rare as I came to realise, but the balancing act is coming about, bit by bit.

Today’s topic is on building on your kids interests or guiding them for that matter (I think). Am told by my pro bono shrink that I tend to be controlling, which is kinda true, so I know I might have a challenge when it comes to fostering kids interests. On my commute sometime back, I happened to be caught up by traffic in those chochoros in the suburbs. In one of those cars was a kid, maybe five, holding an owl. I know I wasn’t dreaming because that thing just stared at me through the window with those big brown eyes. It wasn’t done with just staring at me, but it went ahead and rolled its head like ‘uta do’?

Let me put it out there that am a huge movie fun, I have watched all seven Harry Porter movies, TWICE. I also had plans of watching the whole set with my kid one day; those plans were squashed that morning. I honestly don’t know what my response will be if my son or daughter asks for an owl for his/her fifth birthday. I didn’t even know you could literally own an owl in this country!!

Am your typical educated guy, still go to church on Sundays but am still superstitious as hell about things like owls. They are bad omens, right guys? I mean, even the pope has got to be bonkers to keep one, right? As far as interests is concerned, an owl is out in my household, yes I said it. I went ahead and made a list of things that shall be out of my households (the Mrs. Hasn’t seen it).

  1. Imaginary friends – Am not setting up a dinner plate for no empty seat; if I can’t see/talk to Timmy your imaginary friend, he is not allowed past the door (actually, make that the gate).

  2. Pets are not allowed if they have more than four legs – I don’t want stories of Bob (that’s the pet tarantula) is missing from his cage.

  3. Pets are not allowed if they can win a staring contest – this gets the owl covered, so its not about superstition. Can you imagine being stared down by a bird?

  4. The pet better clean up after itself – This checks out dogs and leaves cats; am a cat person. Aaaaaawww.

Am I going overboard with this? I have a list already, so I guess that’s a lil’ – bit overboard. But who knows, I might grow to like Timmy, might even let him stick around for the family portrait.