Praying for sons

What a promise we have in God as we continue to hope and trust Him with our families and children!

Rise and occupy your place as a praying parent. Believe in the power of your prayers and God’s faithfulness to answer prayer.

June has been a phenomenal month, standing in the gap for the male child. As we draw to a close, Thursday 30th at 6am will be a time of praise and thanksgiving for what the Lord has done.

Tomorrow again at 6am we are praying for his future. What vision has God given you concerning your child/ ren’s future?

“I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for.”
‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11‬ ‭GNT‬‬

His same WORD encourages us that
‘The people who KNOW their God shall be mighty and do exploits’

There has never been a greater season to be mighty and do great things as parents.

May the Lord hear you when you call. May He answer you from heaven.

May you lift your voice and declare:

‘I would have lost heart, have I not believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

Remain blessed and anchored. 💕

Hey Fa,

Hey Fa, you have always wanted to be a mum, haven’t you? Stories are told from school friends that you fantasised so much about this role. Yes, I do remember dating my now husband and telling him the names of our 4children. It still remains a running joke in our house. Two have been enough and I am so grateful for their impact and contribution to who I am today 😍

Today as the world celebrates mother’s day I would like to draw your attention to maternal mental health as well. For many of us, our children are indeed bundles of joy. Our pride and joy. Yet, sometimes that experience can be tricky. I am partnering with the Perinatal Mental Health Partnership to share my story here.

What do you do when motherhood sends you spiralling into dark tunnels and difficult roads? We do not openly talk about these experiences enough for a number of reasons. Personally, I think like all things parenting/ motherhood, it’s difficult to make sense of what’s happening when things are taking place. By the time you are finally able to make sense of the drama, it’s time to move on and cover the lost ground. And sometimes, that experience isn’t yours alone to own so it becomes difficult to share other people’s experiences. How can you talk about motherhood/ parenting and leave your child/ ren/ spouse/ partner/ husband out of the equation? Many a times, african parenting experiences will also include wider extended family members because we roll like that, right? What about the shame that comes with struggling in parenting?

Our eldest and only son was born back home in Zimbabwe. Boy, was dearly loved and adored since his quick conception apart from the severe vommitting which lasted forever and I now understand to be hyperemesis gravidarum. You can read more about it here.

During this pregnancy, I was working out of town, commuting every Friday and Monday from the marital home. I hadn’t envisioned how this would take a toil on my mental and emotional well being. On taking maternity leave I went to be with my parents as per our Shona custom of kusungirwa. You can read more about this fascinating practice here

I stayed with my parents from 35weeks of my pregnancy till I gave birth. It was wonderful to be back in the family home and with the community that had known me from birth. I had an uneventful labor, although the midwife was rude (story of another day). My mum took her grandma role seriously with such diligence it was fascinating. I was taken care of, not permitted to do much apart from bathing and breastfeeding. It was bliss. I resigned from my job with the hope of finding something local.

For 6 weeks postpartum, I was ‘fattened’, waited upon and pampered as a new mom by my mum and maternal grandmother. After-all, this was their eldest great grandson. My maternal great grandmother would soon visit and all the 5 generations would gush and give thanks for Gods blessings. That did not stop our son from having colic and being the most unsettled baby in the household. My mom and grandmother used to take turns to cuddle and bhabhu him to sleep which he loved. I remember very well my late grandma laying down to sleep on her tummy with boy was on her back.

Once I returned to the marital home, I couldn’t bath, eat or do anything due to his crying. Because I was waited on for 6weeks, I wasn’t prepared for juggling motherhood and house chores. Social isolation did not help either as we moved into suburbia. My poor husband did not know how best he could help. Things kinda settled when we finally got a nanny, when son was around 3months old. On reflection, I feel I should not have suffered in silence. But how could I? I did not know or understand what was going on. Gripe water did not work and son blatantly refused formula milk.

The feeling of overwhelm and sadness was insidious. I felt lost in all the roles life required of me. This was meant to be exciting, fun and fulfilling yet here I was! Hubby tried. We started going for evening jogs together. Then, it was to shift the postpartum baby weight and sure it did. As the months progressed, we would have lunch dates 3times a week near his workplace. This was to give me something to do, create an opportunity to have a proper shower, dress up and show up at his workplace 😍. I just felt so lost. Family and friends empathised with my struggles. My parents would often comment that I missed work and all the freedom it brought ‘Wanga wajaira mari yako’ translating ‘you miss having your own money and financial independence’. That was very true. I applied everywhere for work and jobs were hard to come by.

A dear friend would invite me for play dates, coffee etc. It worked for a bit. She would have our son and the nanny on valentines just so me and hubby could have couple’s time. It was only a few years later when we met here in UK with this dear friend and we were talking about how much I struggled. It was then and when I was training as a public health nurse that it became clearer that I had suffered from postnatal depression(PND). The good news is though I struggled, I recovered. As the months progressed, it got easier and life became lighter.

There are many reasons why one may suffer postnatal depression. The Very well offer more insight on PND here very well

I am writing this to encourage other moms out there. Motherhood is challenging but there is help and resources available. Do not suffer in silence, there is help available. One of the sad things about untreated/ undiagnosed PND is the moments and time lost to love and enjoy your baby. PND can also place a strain on other relationships especially your marriage as your partner struggles to understand or is needed to step up and support you and the baby.

Friends have since commented that they didn’t know how to help. Family couldn’t understand how and why I would struggle. We ticked all the boxes for a blessed life, yet here I was. I would have loved for people to ask me, ‘are you ok?’

If someone you know is struggling, please ask. At most let them know you are available and willing to be contacted if they need anything. In this age of busyness, many people struggle on their own as they do not want to bother other people. It should not be. Look out for your family and friends. Be a sister’s keeper. Check in on loved ones. A phone call or text doesn’t cost much.

So what can one do if you feel you are struggling as a mum?

📌Talking about your feelings: Talking your feelings through with someone is a start. For most couples talking to your spouse/ partner ideally, should be the first point of call. By talking it through together, it aids the transitioning journey to be in synergy. Sometimes, he may not be the best candidate to talk to, maybe due to work pressures or lack of insight. My husband did the practical bits ( coming home on time to cook and relieve me so I could have a shower). However, he never confronted my emotions and how overwhelmed I felt and looked. He just did not know how to and so were my family and friends. Here in UK, Your GP is a point of call and s/he can signpost you to the necessary services. Midwife and health visitors are also best placed to support you.

📌Treatment: there are a variety of treatment options available. You can explore this with your GP/ health provider.

📌Community/ cultural groups. These groups, if well run, are fantastic for offering a sense of belonging and well being. The challenge from a professional point of view, is that they can be a stumbling block to cultural integration. Some of the groups do not offer parenting courses, support groups etc. The Intentional Parenting Community exists to support African migrant families who sometimes want to talk to someone who understands ‘where you are coming from’. Indeed parenting practices differ globally. Our 6am club is a faith/ prayer club for mums who want a safe place to build relationships, pray and center their day. The club runs term time only, Monday -friday 6am-6:30am GMT via zoom. Anyone is free to join. You can connect via this link. Our webinars are also a great resource to learn, ask questions and be equipped as a parent. More details coming soon for the webinar sessions.

✨Motherhood groups/ networks are key for supporting the journey. Our upcoming luncheon is one such example of mothers coming together to share, laugh, learn, network and support each other. More details here

Would love to hear if any of this resonated with you. Please do share widely with your networks.

Every blessing.

Fadzai x

RESOURCES

COLIC: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/colic/

Post Natal Depression: pnd

Perinatal Mental Health Partnership : https://perinatalmhpartnership.com/

Talking Therapy: https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/talking-therapies-medicine-treatments/talking-therapies-and-counselling/nhs-talking-therapies/

Black Mind Matters https://www.blackmindsmatteruk.com/

Diaspora diaries: My children and their education-supporting exam time.

Webinar

God has called us into a *living* relationship with Him and those around us especially our families, children in particular.

By investing time, we are able to be effective in supporting their journey into their growth.

– Loving them despite and beyond the grades is key.

– Love propels us to invest time in prayer for them.

– Supporting them with their studies throughout the year is more important than exam day.

– Speak to their teachers, be involved at school.

– For most of us, the education system is a whole new experience. Seek to learn from others, ask questions, be open and willing to learn.

– Let’s be sensitive and empathetic towards other parents who may seem to be struggling at school.

God bless you

Safeguarding and parenting

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-61248055

As parents we need to be assured that these clubs and places that our children spend time are safe.

How are you making sure that your child/ ren are in safe hands when you are not there??

I do appreciate we cannot be everywhere as parents but we can take steps to make sure that our children are reasonably safe.

📍Community groups/ clubs etc can be exploitated by unscrupulous people.

🌻In our upcoming webinars in June, we explore the role of parents in safeguarding children.

🌱Be sure to join in June

Hey Q

Prayer for my son on your birthday


Becoming your mama was and continues to be my greatest legacy. Growing together has been exhilarating, exciting and challenging at most times. Can’t wait for what the future holds. Intentional parenting is you son. Thank you for the many lessons learnt that I get to share with other parents. Thank you for your patience as I continually learn how to mother you better. Thank you for your understanding that at most times, I am winging it with you. Thank you for the grace you extend when I am able to get it right with your sister. I love being your mama.
So today on your birthday I pray that you continually know who you are in God’s eyes. I pray that your light will shine brighter before your generation. I pray that you never have to doubt yourself, second guess Gods purpose and capabilities that are in you. I pray that you will continue to rest in the love we have for you as your parents. I ask God to lead and guide you all the days of your life. Above all I pray that you will walk in Gods purpose, utilising all the gifts and talents that God has given you. I pray for your friends who are your greatest social capita, that they would love you sincerely, be there for you faithfully and that they would encourage you in all things. Quinton, I pray that in all things you will allow your faith to speak louder than your fears. Love you always MaiQ.

Hey Fa,

Saturday musings

There are more messy entries which I shall share, once permission is granted 🤣😎

Loved this hence I am sharing with you🤣. Stumbled upon this journal entry whilst tidying the bedrooms. I have never been called Fadzai before so this a WHOLE new level for my cherub. This entire entry has been revelatory for me today 😍.

Can I let you in onto something? I have struggled with the whole parenting shindig. Intentional Parenting exists in my bid to share all my pitfalls and blind spots so YOU do not have to. Once in a while I come across evidence such as this 👆🏾, that reminds me that I do get some things RIGHT. Giving notebooks and stationery gifts to my children has been powerful over the years.

This is a journal entry in 2020 from one of my precious jewels. The global pandemic was in full swing and emotions were raging all over the place in the Nyirenda household. We had the exhausted parents from working in healthcare and then the young adults overwhelmed and literally STUCK at home. It was a mess.

In a bid to get some control, sanity and maintain a level of mental wellness, phones were confiscated and that’s how we ended up here.

To see this entry today 2.4.22, warms my heart to a certain extent. Many a times the decisions we make as parents can be painful as we are not 💯 sure wether we are doing the right thing. And to be honest, there will never be a time you are 💯 sure

Whatever decision you need to make for your family , your children especially, trust your GUT. Utilise the research evidence you have at hand about that particular decision. Ask God to help you and find out from His word what you need to do. Reach out to other TRUSTED parents in confidence.

“Effective, intentional parenting isn’t a two people band. Don’t let anyone lie to you. BUILD a community around you to help, you need it.”

Fadzai

Back to your decision making; What’s the worst that can happen?

That’s one of the questions I ask myself when I need to make an important decision and work my work back to mitigate that WORST thing that can happen.

Take for instance, confiscating the phone from your teen. What’s the worst that can happen?

-S/he may hate you

-She may get another dodgy phone from someone else.

-S/he may get social media withdrawal symptoms; depressed/ angry/ upset etc

-S/he may struggle to reach you in an emergency etc.

You explore all this and plan effectively.

The key and most important question is;

What am I trying to do in my parenting??

For me, I am raising the future . I want to honour God in my parenting. I want to raise independent, secure citizens. All this informs my parenting style, commitment and VISION.

Note books are good for putting your thoughts on paper. This is a very useful strategy to use especially with teens who sometimes may struggle to express themselves.

Do you use notebooks, do you write letters to your child/ren, partner or yourself?

If you haven’t tried it, give a go and let me know…

For those who practice this, how is this working? Let me know in comments below,…

Remain blessed and anchored 🌱

Every blessing.

Fadzai

Growth

Just realised that I have a lot of growing up to do 😂

What about you? Which areas are you currently strengthening? Which ones do you feel/ think you are doing well?

✨If you have young adult children, senior teens, use this as a conversation tool. Review those areas together and formulate an action plan. For example:

💹Financial life… there is lots of apps to use with young people around being financially savvy, eg Natwest money sense.

📌How is s/he managing social life, screen time? It’s good to measure this with evidence. Screen time usage is readily available on iphone and androids.

🍀Having a break from the phone/ screen makes room for creativity thereby tackling number 10.

🤸🏾‍♀️How about physical activity. How do you keep motivated? Do you use the apple/ smart watch to see how many steps you have taken? Do you have a gym/ exercise buddy?

Let us know if you find this useful or there is smelting you can add.

With blessings

Fadzai x

Wise parents

Who are you walking with in this season?
Who are those wise friends helping you as a parent? The friends who are caring, thoughtful, encouraging and sencire.

📌Find 3 friends that you trust, love and admire.Friends you can be vulnerable and honest with.

🙏🏽Pray for them and their families faithfully. Ask God to use them in your life in a powerful way. Pray that you will be a great friend too.

❤️Let them know that you appreciate their friendship.

💫Be #intentional in cultivating that relationship through spending time and encouraging one another.

By doing that, we are role modelling to our children what it means to be a #FaithfulFriend.

Remain intentional 🌱

Hey mama,

Hey mama, how have you been? You have been on my mind. I am writing this just to encourage someone who may be saying, I don’t have much to give as far as motherhood is concerned. I am tired, weary, overwhelmed, on my own, financially distressed etc. Here is an encouragement for you. God sees your heart and your desires. Offer those to Him.

Let Him carry the weight of motherhood and parenting. His shoulders are broader and His feet steady. Trust Him with the load and allow His rest to give you peace.

Praying for our families especially children is a gift that we give. The Bible says the ‘FERVENT’ prayer of the righteous availeth much (James 5:16 summarised). In another version it reads:

“tremendous power is released through the passionate, heartfelt prayer of a godly believer!”
‭‭James (Jacob)‬ ‭5:16‬ ‭TPT‬‬

I do not think there is anyone who can be as FERVENT as a mum in her desires for her child/ren. May be biased but hey… 😝

Pray however suits you. Pray the WORD over your situation/ circumstance and family. Believe and have confidence in your prayers.

We are continuing with the 6am prayers. For me they have been a source of strength, encouragement and commitment in actively praying for my family and especially myself. I believe it is out of the abundance of what we have that we are able to impact our children. You can’t give what you do not have right?

Here is my prayer for you:.

May you know Gods grace and love in such a tangible and profound way. May His peace be in your homes. May you love and love well 💕

Let us know how we can pray for you https://intentionalparenting.blog/contact/

If you care to join the 6am GMT prayers, via zoom, link is below:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6335913172?pwd=MnNlNGhIK0M3TVRWSVliY1ZIeEVtUT09
Meeting ID: 633 591 3172
Passcode: prayer

Till then, remain fervent 🌿

Morning Devotion

Thank you to those who joined this morning. The prayers continue Monday- fridays at 6am GMT for 30mins via zoom.

Today, one of our sisters and #momfriend, led us into praying for ourselves as mothers, to be vessels used in our children’s lives.


Like Moses with the children of Israel, God is asking you, what do you have in your hand? Moses felt inadequate, ill- prepared and unqualified for the assignment ahead of him. Sounds familiar?

Often times as parents we can feel out depth, inadequate and challenged by the demands of parenting. God is saying to you mom, dad…

What do you have?

Yes I know you lack the knowledge, language, understanding. What is it that you have? I want to use what you already have!

The patience, love, joy, hope, aspiration, dreams and visions that you have towards your child/ren, let me use that! Give it to me. Allow my spirit to search deep within you and REVEAL some of the hidden capacities that I have put in you.
it’s those hidden things you possess that I want to use for my glory as you impact and empower your children.

Prayer:

Lord reveal to me what’s in my hand and heart so I can be of use to You. Show me the capabilities and capacity you have given me. Open my spiritual eyes to see. Thank you Holy Spirit for equipping and empowering me as a parent. Amen”

Reading

Luke 10:19
Mathew 16:19
2Peter 1:3
Philippians 4:13

You can join the prayers Monday- Fridays at 6am GMT for 30mins via link below. Copy the link to clipboard for ease of access :

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6335913172?pwd=MnNlNGhIK0M3TVRWSVliY1ZIeEVtUT09. Passcode: prayer

Remain blessed, watered and intentional 🌱