Want to know WTF a Woke Mama is? Each week, we’re introducing awesome women who are making the world a kinder place, one happy baby at a time.
Name & age: Kemi 35
Kids: Monae 4.5 years old and Leon 6 months old
How did you end up doing gentle parenting?
I am a children’s therapist and emotional well being coach. So long before I was a mother, I knew attachment and gentle parenting was going to be the path for me.
My upbringing was your average typical African upbringing – lots of love but lots of discipline. Whilst I am full of love and awe for my mum and how she raised me by herself, I wanted something different for my children.
What does being a woke mama mean to you?
Being open and flexible, whatever ideas you have in your mind has to be subject to change according to your child and their personality.
I listen to parents who have their child’s entire life mapped out and I groan internally, sometimes externally. I am led by children, my priority is ensuring their needs are met.
Already I can see they are both very different personalities so my parenting has to be tweaked slightly to respond to and meet their needs.
Most awesome moment so far?
This is such a hard question. I love the age my 4 year old is now and seeing the world through her lens and the multiple conversations we have had as a result of that.
I often say, I learn more from her than she learns from me; her perspective is so interesting and unique.
Then the day they were both born, that moment you first hold them, [there is] nothing like it. The cherry on the cake when my second was born, was my daughter meeting him, that moment just melted my heart.
Biggest struggle so far? How do you cope with stressful moments?
The adjustment from one child to two was tough for me. We had a nice little rhythm going as a family of 3 then we have had to adjust and find a new rhythm.
I cope with stressful moments by staying calm, I literally have to have a word with myself — the part of my brain that is going into overdrive — and explain the situation as if I were talking to my child.
I like to put things into perspective. Breathing exercises also work for me.
How do you juggle work with gentle parenting?
I am self employed in private practice as a children’s therapist and run emotional well being sessions for families and schools as a Relax Kids Coach. Working for myself means flexible hours and I ensure I get a good work life balance.
At this age my baby is only left with my mum or his dad and they are both very supportive and on board with gentle parenting which helps.
It’s hard to juggle working mum life but it can be done with planning and preparation and not trying to be super woman, which I am guilty of trying to be sometimes.
Any advice you would give to new mums?
Relax and trust your instincts. You are the expert on your child, get to know them and what works for them.
What’s on your soundtrack to your first year of being a Woke Mama?
This makes me chuckle as I type but hang drum music. I played a lot of it for the baby during bath time and bed times, so much so that I ended up just leaving it on a loop as I found it relaxing.
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