Funmi Adebayo's Blog

Inspiring Change Through Literature and Media

Those Diaper Days Are Over…

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Home Chores

I was supervising my son, Ed, now 11, as he ironed his school uniform one afternoon, while his younger brother Eddy, now 8, fussed over not being allowed to take his own turn; and then it dawned on me that yet again, life and ministry have silently shifted gears and moved to another level without being so polite as to inform me let alone seek my permission.

Hmmmm…. Life never seeks our permission to overtake us. Realities of the effect of time can be so evasive that he who is not vigilant enough will awake someday only to discover that it’s all over! Such is the brevity and irony of life!

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Ironing Ed’s school shirt took about thirty minutes of my ‘precious’ time that afternoon amidst the discomforts of Eddy’s tantrums; and sincerely as at other times, I was greatly tempted to take over and do the ironing myself, as I would have done it in five minutes without much ado. But who would then teach my son how to iron his own shirt and at what age?

Truth is, shying away from the stress of training my child and the oft ‘hullabaloo’ involved (for example things like dealing with Eddy’s tantrums on this particular occassion) is the reason why Ed is just learning to do some of these things at 11.

Gone are the days…

Many years ago when my boys were merely toddlers; I mean those days when I worked at Lekki, then Ikoyi and later Apapa while living in far away Ikorodu (some plus or minus 10km and about 4 hours daily average of traffic jam apart); days when all I had to do for my boys was bathe them, get them dressed, feed them, change their diapers, watch Barney and sing ABC with them, I thought life couldn’t be more demanding…

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How I always wished for more breathing space in those days, constantly longing for days when I would be self-employed with better control of my time; and by when my boys would be old and independent enough to at least take care of themselves and handle some basic things on their own…

As expected my belief in those days was that parenting gets easier as they grow up. Today however, reality has proved that nothing could be further from the truth!

Myth or Reality…

As at now, Providence has it that my dreams are fast becoming reality. I am now self-employed and should indeed have better control of my time. Moreover, my boys are grown and truly should be able to handle some basic things on their own by now…

Only that having better control of ones time when one is self employed is a fallacy and not reality (but I’d rather reserve work related details for my “Updates From My Empire” and “Madame De Madame” seriesAnd you really must start following those fantastic series).

Besides, children can only handle things on their own provided one has been diligent and patient enough to train them to the point of gaining full mastery of those things in the first place.

For me, the days of pampering my children are over. These are days of responsibility: that stage in life where I have to deliberately train them up the way they should go so that they wouldn’t depart from those ways for life.

Life never seeks our permission to overtake us. Realities of the effect of time can be so evasive that he who is not vigilant enough will awake someday only to discover that it’s all over! Such is the brevity and irony of life!

Train vs. Nurture…

Now feeding and changing diapers is easy. At least babies adjust well to routine without question or resistance.

However, training up a child is NOT fun especially when your child  is grown enough to have preferred and definitely highly distractive alternatives to what you are trying to teach, while you are always pressed for time.

In most cases, doing things yourself or your way seems the faster option. The only problem with that option however is that though faster, it is indeed very selfish as you would then be depriving someone, your own child for that matter, of the right to know, to be trained, to be tolerated and to be allowed to fail and retry several times before getting it right.

Training up a child is highly demanding. It involves time, patience and much tolerance. Training up a child however, can also be very engaging and rewarding. It is during those times that the strongest parent-child bond develops, one which in my opinion, supersedes the kind of bond nurture brings; one which lasts an entire life time.

However, am I ever patient enough to train my child? Would I always be?

Unrealistic Expectations

I live in Lagos Nigeria, and typically, we Lagosians are always on the spotlight – always pressed for time, rushing from location to location; always in a hurry- scurrying about from activity to activity… The focus most times for us is to get the work done as quickly as possible. No one cares about the process.

20140529-210451.jpgThe pressure is much and expectations are high. One is expected to look good, smell nice, stay cheerful, make good money, live in a clean house, arrive early for meetings, stay in shape, raise beautiful, gorgeous, healthy, godly and well behaved children, and the list goes on…

But no one cares how…

And sincerely, most of these demands can never be compliant with anything which requires patience, of which training up a child is chief.

For instance, consider these little analogies:

Because my child is expected to always come  to school looking very sharp, I would rather give his school uniforms to our laundry man (‘dry-cleaner’) and save myself the time and headache of having to wash and iron them myself, let alone go through the time consuming and uninteresting rigors of training him how to wash and iron them to acceptable standards himself… I mean I’ve got preferred and more interesting use of my time than that…

Moreover, if a Hussy in an average Lagosian home for example, expects to always return to meet his house spark and clean every bit with his table set and perhaps even his beautiful wife kneeling down elegantly on one corner to adorn the whole set up as she awaits her lord’s arrival from work as typical of the African tradition (lolzz zz- please pardon my naughty exaggeration). And then, she would also be expected to be very set for other ‘activities’ that must definitely follow thereafter…

In any case, we’ve all got but one life to live, and I am coming to discover what really counts for today. I am learning to live purposefully and strategically within the perimeters of what the Father expects of me, as well as to focus on what is important for this age and stage of my life without any bias or prejudice.

After which she must take at least 200 plus some skips and crunches in a peculiar manner so as to enhance her curves and not erase them altogether…

All these not minding that she also went to work, underwent series of business meetings and activities that same day amidst the typical territorial challenges of traffic jam, power failures etc., then tell me how allowing herself go through additional rigors of letting her child help out with household chores in the name of training him, and spending more time, patience and psychological energy in the process could ever appeal to her when she could get the job done faster otherwise without any hitch…

However, train up our children we must lest someday very soon, we all woke up to discover that we’d released untrained grown-ups into the society!

God forbid!

Besides and beyond home chores, there are also issues of morality to address and discipline to instill. There are values to impart and cultures to imbibe. There are issues of wrong ideologies from peer pressure and media interaction to set straight; issues of child abuse and molestation to be so vigilant and prayerful as to detect and shield our growing children from.

Getting Our Priorities Right…

As for me, I am learning to set my priorities right and my records straight. I am learning to allow the main thing be the main thing and to stop majoring on the minors of life.
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And that is not to say that those things I now term ‘minors’ are unimportant in themselves- just that there is a time for everything and a season to every purpose under the sun.

Some were indeed ‘majors’ in times past, but yesterday is gone. Who knows whether they would still become ‘majors’ again tomorrow when this stage is over- if I am not merely taking another fantasy trip that is… Only God can tell what the next stage of parenting would demand…

Besides and beyond home chores, there are also issues of morality to address and discipline to instil. There are vaues to impart and cultures to imbibe. There are issues of wrong ideologies from peer pressure and media interaction to set straight; issues of child abuse and molestation to be so vigilant and prayerful as to detect and shield our growing children from.

In any case, we’ve all got but one life to live, and I am coming to discover what really counts for today. I am learning to live purposefully and strategically within the perimeters of what the Father expects of me, as well as to focus on what is important for this age and stage of my life without any bias or prejudice. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and yet lose his own soul…

For me, some things which used to demand my time can wait. I could watch less movies, spend less time on BB and Facebook, skip some meetings, decline some IVs, burst some bubbles as regards opinions on some ‘owambe‘ things someone like me should get involved with, so I could have enough room to focus on what is really important.

I will surely have time for those and other good things which would definitely be in vogue by then in the nearest future; but for now, training up my child is top priority for me. I don’t know about you… but I guess you do share my passion.

And of course, my prayers are with the Chibok girls! #Bringbackourgirls.

To godly parents like Abraham who would be dedicated enough to pass down sustainable generational blessings!

Funmi Adebayo (c) 2014

NB: Up next are Daughters Of Eve Chapter 10 and Madame De Madame Episode 3. They’re late I must admit, but you’ll sure read about why sometime soon. Trust me. Thanks indeed for your continued audience.

About Funmi Adebayo

Funmi is a Content Creator and Online Media Strategist. She creates (and implements) Customised Contents and Digital Strategies for Businesses and Professionals to enhance their Brand Performance, Presence and Visibility Online. She is an Engineering major (with tech experience in ITSM, ERP, Process Management, Project Management and Strategic Business IT). She has expertise in Content Development and Digital Marketing.

2 comments on “Those Diaper Days Are Over…

  1. wumiabo
    May 31, 2014

    Indeed life happens to us! Its our decision to be partakers or spectators. Sometimes I wish the days of carrying a beautiful baby girl are still here of course without having to change diapers!

    Like

    • Funmi Adebayo
      May 31, 2014

      Lollllzzz Wunmi. Grandma days are fast approaching and then we’ll do the same routine of diapers etc again. Thanks for visiting again.

      Like

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