…. Let me start by saying that my childhood and life experience has had great influence on my parenting skills … but I guess thats how it is for most people.
So this morning (13/9/2019), I had a 9am and 10am meeting which I dialled in from home…. After my calls I decided to make my way to the office.
On my way to the office I decided to stop at my optician and pick up my new contact lenses prescription … I got there to find that the prescription wasn’t ready for collection … instead my new pair of glasses was ready for collection with a hafty balance to pay😡….
While at the optician it suddenly dawned on me… like a light bulb moment.… that my daughter, that morning, had an orthodontist appointment at 10.30am to adjust her braces😳… oh well there was nothing I could do at that moment. If she had forgotten we would have to reschedule and pay any fine. I remembered I had recently signed the permission slip for her to be able to leave school early.
For the first two dental appointments I painfully met her at her school reception. By the 3rd appointment I told her she was on her own. After all she has been going to school on her own since the age of very small. Plus she needed to learn how to keep appointments and deal with the London transport system and traffic.
Ofunne (15 now) is quite organised with things like appointments (but not tidying her room) …. she supports my memory a lot, allowing me not to forget these important dates.… including her brothers appointments 🙄 (his brain is preoccupied with playing computer games)… sometimes I think it’s over sabi (Ofunnes behaviour)… but she is extremely useful like that… the worse thing you can do is tell Ofunne you have an appointment, there would be no rest for you after that. Gosh
I decided to go home from the optician and wear a pair of tights because although it was very sunny, it was also freezing at the same time 😩….
At 11.23am and two bus stops away from home, who did I see but my daughter as she got on the same bus. She explained that she was just coming back from her orthodontist appointment…. I was very pleased and not surprised that she had made her appointment. When I think about it, she had successfully taken herself out of school on time, got on a bus that would take her at least 40mins, and arrived at her destination on time for her appointment…. and found her way back…. thats just awesome..
One of the key things I established with the orthodontist on our very first appointment was the possibility of my daughter attending these regular appointments alone. Actually I try to establish this for every new outpatient appointment. Otherwise my diary date becomes very tight. I found it is easier making these arrangements with a private orthodontist, after all it is only to change elastic band.
There are certain appointments that you need to keep an eye on… like a broken foot. With the orthopaedic surgeon I sat in the room at every contact because I wanted to avoid the option of an operation. I did not even trust anyone else attending these critical decision making appointments.
But even with my son’s (16 yrs) physiotherapy appointments, I only went into the consultation room on our first appointment. At every session they would give a long list of instructions. I sat in the reception and told him to listen carefully to the instructions as he will need to do them on his own…
I didn’t intend to miss my son’s prom night. I simply and completely forgot and so did his dad. But the outcome made me smile. Kachi simply got dressed… made his own way there (by public transport)… had fun and came home. The down side is that I have no prom pictures on my phone… I would really need to find out what he actually feels…. incase he is traumatised for life. But in my experience, if you do not make a fuss… then your child(ren) will not make a fuss.
As a child and young adult I was literally given free reign to do things at home… I have always been coordinated and organised, so house keeping and feeding the masses I learnt as a baby. To tell you the truth we were more weary of my elder sister than my mum. My dad was a terrorist🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣. … enough said for now. I saw this even though I remain his favorite child.
I remember we lived alone In London… without our parents…. for a while… my brother Obiyo was in a boarding school in Devon because he was just too tiny. I remember visiting him every month with my mum when she came into London to see us and restock our provision…
I remember my first job at the age of 12. Working for a company called Zetters Pools. In those days there was no social media or mobile phones. So working was the norm to keep busy. In those days too, betting was done via the post. I got this position through a friend at school, Andrea, who also worked with them. This was a Saturday position. All I did was open the mountain of envelops placed in front of me, and remove the betting slips contained inside. I recently saw my employment card. Real nostalgia (I will try and get a pic in here at some point).
All in all I muddle through parenting, still laid back with tones of common sense and practical worse case scenario which I often share with my children. I continue to learn and grow from my experience and practice.
I believe in two things. The first is making things happen for me. The second is using my common sense. Plus I did not want to disappoint my mum. She was already very laid back on parenting. So I had the freedom to go to parties, come back at the early hours of the morning, have boyfriends visit me at home. It would be idiotic to then add pregnancy to the list simply because my mother always said to us girls in our language, “if you get pregnant, you will have the baby”. So despite the fact that I smoked, drank alcohol, partied 24/7, and had very dubious friends… I had enough focus to complete my university degree with a 2:1 while holding down a full time job despite my mum dying in the my first year of uni….
The making things happen for myself is just me. I create my own fun. My own happiness. I grew up to understand and I now strongly believe that it is my responsibility alone to make myself happy, to keep myself busy and meaningfully engaged. I created a lifestyle that infuses happiness for me (e.g. I blog) And my blessings are in tune with me. They are observant, and they in turn will create their own happiness.
I am indeed content and happy in my lane.