Here is a practical guide on coping with life in Lagos as a mum.
The joy of motherhood knows no bound. Being a mother is the best thing that can happen to any woman. Your children become a priority, and you carry the responsibility of taking care of them.
This responsibility is not an easy one. To take care of your children, you need to provide for them in all aspects – Emotionally, financially, educationally, and spiritually.
Being A Mum In Lagos And Its Struggles
Balancing all aspects is the most challenging part of your responsibility. Because no one is greater than the other. Any lag in either aspect can create a negative impact on your children’s life.
This is the nightmare overtaking every mother. You love your kids, and you want to be a good mother to them, but you are not perfect. So, how do you cope?
Aside from providing for them, you have to protect them from harm both internally and externally. The painful truth is, you don’t get to train your child alone. Their environment indirectly helps you in doing so.
This brings us to discuss ways to cope as a mother specifically in the Lagos environment.
As a mother, what do you do?
Are you a stay-at-home mum, a trader, an entrepreneur, a professional, or a brown-collar worker? Despite your source of income, you should be in a position where your job does not take the place of your responsibility at home.
Lagos is a busy and rowdy area, but it comes with various job opportunities. Most times depending on your qualifications you can get a good job or even start up a business that earns you substantial money.
Working and taking care of your children is not an easy one. The pressure is weighty. But, you have to be strong because no one can take care of them as you will. With this in mind, you need to multitask.
For a formal worker, handling office pressures from your boss, and inconveniences can be frustrating. Due to competition in the Lagos area, there are pressures to meet deadlines.
So, you would need to work as hard as people who are not mothers and still face responsibilities at home.
You wake up early to make breakfast, get the children ready for school, and leave very early to beat the Lagos traffic. This is after you must have come home very late due to hold up, and you have barely had enough sleep.
It is advisable to get someone you can trust to stay with you and help with the kids. Children are most volatile from babyhood till 13 years old, and cannot afford to be alone.
But, you can’t care for them alone especially if they are two or three.
It could be a family member, nanny, or daycare where you drop off the kids while going to work. However, you can never be too careful hence the need for prayers.
Your job might be able to help you provide financially, but you still need to map out time even the least 30 minutes to bond with your children. Ask them questions about their day, friends, school, and neighborhood.
Play and pay attention to them because children are impulsive talkers. You might get one or two pieces of information from them, and strengthen your bond with them.
If you prefer not to have help, you can enroll your children in school in the same area you work. So, you drop them before work, pick them up at the office, and take them back home with you.
Most offices have provided daycare which has made it easier especially for nursing mothers to cope.
Some offices even allow mothers to come with their nannies to help care for their babies. During weekends, you can stock up the fridge to carry you for the week. You can also hang out with them, and pray with them.
Whether at home or work, you have to multitask and ensure you take care of your children. A stay-at-home mum would wake up early to prepare her kids for school, do house chores, go to the market, and cook for the family.
Compared to the workaholic mum, you get to spend more time with the kids. You even get more time for yourself when they are out in school or the neighbors.
However, you should be very careful, so you don’t over-pamper them or prioritize the chores over them.
In the Lagos environment, people from all walks of life are present. They could impact your kids negatively starting from school to the neighborhood.
Hence, the need to be vigilant to know the kind of friends they keep, and when certain changes occur in their manner of speech and behavior.
Staying at home could result in mental stress especially if you are not earning. Being at home doesn’t mean you can not earn. Your home can be your office.
With the help of social media, you can be an online trader of clothes, shoes, bags, etc. You can be a retailer, run a daycare or become an entrepreneur.
You can’t afford to be financially down as a mother so that you can provide some necessities like food, clothes, and education for your children.
Whether you are a single, divorced, widowed, married, or nursing mother, to take care of your children, you should have a timetable for everything.
You should also take care of yourself physically and mentally because you can only give out what you have.
Lagos Mums And Societal Expectations
As a mother, you need to be a role model for your children. Indeed, everyone is always a child to his mother, but legally, anyone below 18 years is a child, and should not be allowed to make certain decisions on their own.
In handling teenagers, you need to be more patient because they have a mind of their own. You should see things from their perspective and make them your friends.
It is important to understand your children. Know their temperaments; how they behave or how they would likely behave in given situations. Know their likes and dislikes, encourage them to make good friends, and know their friends.
You should also know their teachers, help them build future careers, and speak positive words to them. By so doing, it becomes easier for you to cope with taking care of them.