The Day a Man at the Bank Changed my Life

Hello Mums,

I’m doing a little first post dance. It’s more of a seat shuffle. In any case, welcome 🙂

I used to have a small, more personal blog on motherhood but that’s now closed. I gave this one a name that didn’t work – Home To Mums (it was difficult to pronounce for some, for others it made them think of furniture?) what did you think of that name? Anyway, so I changed it and now I’m happy here as MummyFix.

Not fix, as in putting something thats broken back together . Mums are not broken. Were far from. This Fix means a good addiction, something you enjoy. We’ll talk more about that later, right now, I want to tell you guys about the time I went to the bank as a new mum.

I had a brand new little baby, who I was proud everyday to not only keep alive, but also watch putting on weight on milk I was giving her – breastfeeding is like a superpower! I hadn’t slept much, but I was coping and actually life was pretty good, I was figuring out that being a Mummy was something I could do and do well.

Then it happened.

That day I went to the bank with a mission.  My bank account had been opened for me by my Dad when I was a kid, and I had just continued using it for over 20 years, up until the point where I was being paid my professional job salary into it. Today the guy at the bank wanted to update all my information. Since, I had nowhere else to be urgently, I think baby was fast asleep with my Mum supervising her, I was good for another hour or so, before it was milking time again. I said OK.

He asked questions and I answered, then he got to the part about what I do.

I said I was on maternity leave – in my head this was correct, but he was not satisfied.

“When are you returning to work?” said Mr Banker man.

“I’m not sure”.

“Ok, so right now you don’t have a job.”

“No”.

I kept thinking, blogger, I blog. I had just started spending hours documenting my journey through motherhood so others can learn and not make the same mistakes I made. Maybe even just one person? I thought it was good that it was also keeping my brain active for when I returned to work.  I could share stories about motherhood without boring my close friends, most of who at the time didn’t have kids. But the B word refused to come out.

He then said: “would it be fair to say you’re unemployed?”

I found myself nodding. Even though a big voice in me said “No, I reject it”.

“So I’ll put unemployed down here”. The banking clerk was still talking.

I managed a low, almost whispered ‘yes’.

Some kind of feeling came over me.

What am I doing – I thought to myself.

And so there it was. The man at the bank confirmed what I had struggled to admit to myself at the time.

I was unemployed.

To bring more money into a bank account I would need a job and I needed to face the reality and start thinking about my future. Did I want to go back to work, I had been interviewing, did I really want to change the wheels and do something radical, different? What was stopping me? Beyond the job interviews. Beyond prospective job option A finance. Beyond prospective job option B in an industry that was slowly grinding to a halt with talk of redundancies. Were was I going to lay the roots of my next career.

Twelve months before that, I had left my old job, complete with clear career progression path, out of sheer arrogance and determination to find myself something that I was passionate about and loved to do.  I remember meeting the Head of HR to explain my decision to go and having her ask me time and time again… “what are you doing, what are you doing, take unpaid leave?”. I want dot go somewhere I fitted in, somewhere I could do my job and not feel like I had to wear a mask. I did not like smart casual clothes, I hated heels (not compulsory, but made me look sharp, older and in control), I hated not seeing people who I could aspire to, who looked like me.

I said no to Ms HR and now I really had a chance to do all I had said.

The bank clerk probably just thought he was doing his job, filling a form, but he forced me to admit to myself that I I needed to make a decision to either do the professional job or take seriously the new route – the unrecognised, unrewarded, unpaid and possibly unsatisfying (I did I know what it really entailed then) job. Blogging.

That was how that day I gave myself permission to put everything I can, into an area that is so important but the world has become accustomed to telling us is a side-job. Something to do and quickly return to life and work as you know it. Something to fit into your ‘real’ life. But many of us in it know – Mums, know that once you become a Mother, your world changes forever, and navigating that journey becomes a whole new WORLD of its own. You can put in support, you can delegate, but even when your child is sleeping well, you don’t sleep the same ever again. And if you’re like me, you have this quest, this fire in you to parent the best way you can.

That day , I decided I was going to mother and I was going to empower other mums too, in their parenting journey.

This blog is about doing that. It’s two years later, but thats a story for another day.

At first I thought I was going to just be giving out information, but 500 posts on Instagram later, I realised I was gaining a lot of insights from other mums . Friends and online friends. I figured out mummy fix is really a collective sharing space. We’re a community of mums making the journey easier for each other, by sharing our experiences, discovering helpful tips and talking about all the difficult, fun, fulfilling, tiring, rewarding days of parenting and life.

It’s good to have you here. Go forth and get your fix (that’s short for come in, read, discover & share your nuggets of wisdom too)!

Join the circle here and never miss a post!

*ps ok, so he didn’t change my life in the dramatic sense, but forced me to have a conversation that did! Shout out to my friend, Hannah, who told me to write about the bank experience.

 

Mummy Blogger or Back-to-work for a New Mum?

Let’s start from 2014, the old blog…

When I started writing a mummy blog (the old and now deleted one), it was different. As a new Mum, I was trying to avoid a situation where I could potentially be annoying my friends with daily updates about my baby.

I was obsessed, like any new mum, and seemed to have so many stories to share about my new adventure.

Admittedly, these were not stories about war and bravery, but to me, they were far from boring.

Every little smile was exciting; every new day survived on 3 hours of sleep with multiple feeds and nappy changes in between, was a mountain climbed, every shower – an achievement.

Anyway, I am sure you can understand why I decided to write posts, rather than send messages to my whatsapp groups, about baby. It can be hard to judge clearly, what is adorable versus what is simply ‘adorable to-you’ because, you know, it’s your baby.

Another reason I was writing? I am that person who’s always found it cathartic to write.

Being a new mum can be overwhelming, and that’s an understatement. The weight of the responsibility, the sleeplessness (is that even a word?), the steep learning curve as you’re getting to know baby. In this new world of parenting, I found writing gave me a sense of pride, joy, and achievement (outside of mummy life). Plus the posts were a reminder about all the wonderful things my baby and I were doing.

I was quite content, then this happened…

 

A light bulb moment for me

I was at the bank and that day, the guy at the bank wanted to update all my information. Since, I had nowhere else to be urgently – I think baby was fast asleep being watched by my Mum and I was good for another hour or so, before it was milking time again. I said OK.

He asked questions and I answered, then he got to the part about what I do.

I said I was on maternity leave – in my head this was correct, but he was not satisfied.

“When are you returning to work?” said Mr Banker clerk.

“I’m not sure”.

“Ok, so right now you don’t have a job.”

“No”.

I kept thinking, mummy blogger, I blog. I had been spending hours documenting my journey through motherhood so others can learn and not make the same mistakes I made. Maybe even just one person? But the word refused to come out.

He then said: “would it be fair to say you’re unemployed?”

I found myself nodding. Even though a big voice in me said “No, I reject it”. Haha – it’s the Nigerian ex-Redeemer in me.

“So I’ll put unemployed down here”. The banking clerk was still talking.

I managed a low, almost whispered ‘yes’.

What am I doing – I thought to myself. And so there it was. The man at the bank confirmed what I had struggled to admit to myself at the time. I was unemployed and I needed to decide if I was actually going back to the financial world or really, seriously try my hand at Blogging as a career.

 

Time to do some thinking – looking back at finance

It was time to face the reality and start thinking about my future career.

I had been interviewing in my old industry – finance, but did I really want to change the wheels and do something radical, different? What was stopping me? Beyond the job interviews (I am coming back to talk about this!), where was I going to lay the roots of my next career?

Twelve months before that, I had left my old job, complete with clear career progression path. I left out of sheer arrogance (I see that now) and determination to find myself something that I was passionate about and loved to do. I remember meeting the Head of HR to explain my decision to go. ‘Nothing lined up yet – very unusual’, so she asked me time and time again…

‘what are you doing, what are you doing, take unpaid leave?’ (a learning point – I should have taken the unpaid leave option, just to have. Or maybe not?).

I wanted to go somewhere I fitted in. Somewhere I could do my job and not feel like I had to wear a mask. I did not like smart casual clothes,  hated heels (not compulsory, but when you’re young and managing people, meeting top Executives, it helps). It seemed like was time to go somewhere I could see people who I could aspire to. People who looked like me.

I said a firm ‘no’ to Ms HR.

Decision time – mummy blogger or no?

Now back to reality, I really had a chance to do all I had said I wanted to do. Something really different.

The bank clerk probably just thought he was doing his job, filling a form, but he forced me to admit something. I needed to make a decision to either do the professional job or take seriously the new route. The new could mean being: unrecognised, unrewarded, unpaid (initially at least) and possibly unsatisfied.

That was how over the next few days, I gave myself permission**, to put everything I can, into an area that is so important but the world has become accustomed to telling us is a side-job.

It’s seen as something to do and quickly return to life and work as you know it. Something to fit into your ‘real’ life. But many of us in it know that once you become a Mother, your world changes forever, and navigating that journey becomes a whole new WORLD of its own. You put in support, you delegate where you can, but even when your child is sleeping well, you don’t sleep the same ever again. And if you’re like me, you have this quest, this fire in you, to parent the best way you can. You need tools, you need other Mums (and they need you too), you need clear reliable information. Could I build something?

That day , I somehow decided I was going to mother and I was going to empower other mums too, in their parenting journey.

Mummyfix – the new blog

It’s two and a half years later.  This blog is about doing what I described above. I do have a lot to share (built up from my days of writing) and a lot to learn from you. I’m hoping we will talk and share honestly, our experiences on the parenting hot topics and other topics, too.

There’s other Mummy bloggers and websites, what is different about Mummyfix? It is a community for young Nigerian (and African) Mums at home in Nigeria or abroad.

At first, I thought I was going to just be giving out information. 500 posts on Instagram later, I realised I was gaining a lot of insights from other mums – helpful tips, profound stories. I was gaining friends and online friends. I figured out that Mummyfix is really a collective sharing space for talking about all the difficult, fun, fulfilling, tiring, rewarding days of parenting and life.

 

More from me?

Apart from the regular blog posts, there’s:

(for direct links, hover over parts in italics)

free downloadable guides  – I carefully prepare these based on my experience and official research (click the link for baby shopping list, weaning guide etc)

mummyfix Instagram page – I share videos, other mum stories and ask questions about parenting.

mummyfix circle Facebook page –  A closed page for you to ask parenting questions and we solve them together.

New parent pro course – I prepared a free course with key information on 7 hot topics for new mums. Please email me if you want to join the course.

I will also put in a new tab for early learning, because I talk about it a lot! In the meantime, if that interests you too, check out PoPP Lagos.

I’m glad you’re still here.. I promise, my regular posts are shorter!

I hope you spend some time discovering, reading & sharing  your own nuggets of wisdom too!

If you enjoyed my story or specific posts, share with friends using the button below.

ps: Please share with me below, where in the world you are and the type of posts you’ll be looking out for on the blog. Welcome friends :).

 

 

** with the support & permission of my family, of course! But initially I slept over it, prayed over it etc.

***I ended up going back to work in a new field- early education, but that’s a topic for another day.