Motherhood in the midst of Global Chaos

These last couple of weeks have been hard to explain and I bet many of you are in the same boat. For us, living in Kenya, we now just have been hit with government regulations of schools being shut down, no public gatherings, and many events being cancelled. I have been watching all of this unfold from afar and felt like I was living in an alternate universe as we were still going through our normal day to day. All I was seeing was updates and concerns about COVID-19, but nothing was happening here, and no cases were reported.

We now have cases In Kenya and all over Africa. We have officially joined the curve of this global epidemic. This has been an interesting challenge in not just the business world for Imani Collective and navigating our workshop safety precautions and overall loss of sales due to events cancelling, but also juggling the day to day life as a mother.

I know there are many of you – all over the world, who have been required to work from home, so now you not only work full time, but are navigating kids running around you full time as well. MAN, I FEEL YOU. THIS IS HARD.

This throws off routine, mental sanity and overall focus. I feel that in the past 48 hours I have gotten extremely behind on everything because I have consumed my mind, feeds, and conversations around the COVID-19 epidemic.

So, how do we live in normality when our whole world is consumed with the reality of the highly contagious spread of COVID-19? AND more importantly, how can we still be present mothers (/parents) in the midst of all of this?

WELP. I do not have a clear answer to this, but I what I do know is we need to be extremely adaptable, flexible and in the interim create new routines. Here is my simple advice to you:

1. Take deep breaths and know this time will pass. AND together we will get through this.

2. Prepare as much as you can, but please do not panic. We got this and will get through it, together. Promise.

3. Start a new routine. Completely throw away what you knew as normal and create a new normal for the time being. This will be less frustrating then getting frustrated with what has been taken away from you.

4. Embrace the extra moments with your kids. These next couple of weeks will be challenging and as mothers, more exhausting – but let us embrace the little moments we have with our kids. Be creative with being stuck inside and become a kid again (remember, it is okay to have fun even in the midst of all of this.)

5. Let us use our imaginations, bake some more, color some more, binge on too many tv shows we have always wanted to watch, and snuggle with our littles. Since we are social distancing – get all the hugs and love from our little ones.

Overall, be you and know it is okay to talk about other things beside COVID-19. My friend Amanda started the movement #keepsocialmediasocial, so let us do that together. In the midst of our distancing with one another, let us come together and grow with one another.

Together – we got this.

Sending my love to all my overstimulated and overworked mamas. Know, I feel you.

 

Slowing Down + Nesting

This last week I was on 9 different planes, in too many vehicles to count and in a variety of beds. I traveled to Lodwar, Kenya in the region of Turkana to assess a project we will be starting with Imani Collective and then at the end of the week flew to Rwanda to visit Handspun Hope , which is located in the region of Musanze. During these travels, my spirit was very loud and clear. It said,

“Rest, slow down and take time to be present with those around you.”

It was a feeling that resonated over my whole being to just be still.

 

As soon as I landed back in Mombasa this past Saturday – I cancelled all my upcoming trips. Every single one of them. Yes, I am 31 weeks pregnant and had trips planned throughout the month of March. I was supposed to be in Uganda, Ethiopia and back to Rwanda. AND I cancelled them all.

THIS IS A BIG DEAL FOR ME.

For those who do not know, I am in my last year of my doctorate and my plan was to collect all my data this month before the baby comes. I am assessing programs in sub Saharan Africa, so it involved quite some travel to get all the data I needed.

I decided to stop, and my husband reminded me that changed plans are okay plans. For the first time in this pregnancy, I want to soak it all in and be present for every last moment that I have. I want to be there for Jadon and Sophie. I want to play more, laugh a bit more and begin to nest.

My motherly instinct has stepped up its game and I believe my entire being is preparing to take a bit of a break and for the first time in a very long time, I truly believe I am ready to just be still.

Pledging to be still, be present and shower love + grace to everyone around me.

From the mama taking deep breaths and long naps,