Our children and their sexual health

Our children and their sexual health

IMG_7575Webinar 3.10.18

Growing up in Zimbabwe, sex was a taboo and not talked about. The expectation was that one should stay pure and be a virgin till married. Talking to a few moms, highlights that abstinence was never the case. Yes, most women got married to the men that they were sexually active with but they were engaging in the act way before marriage. It was felt that if someone had talked openly about sex, possibly things could have been done  differently. The fact that it was done behind parents’ back, made it a sinful act and that transcended into marriage thereby making marital sex complex in some instances.

This then poses the question’ how best can we prepare our own children to have good sexual health?’

According to the World Health Organisation, sexual health is defined as:

“…a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence. For sexual health to be attained and maintained, the sexual rights of all persons must be respected, protected and fulfilled.” (WHO, 2006a)

   “Sexual health encompasses more than the act of having sex”

 

The implications of poor sexual health are recognised as early pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections as well as sexual abuse. What makes sexual health even more complex is ease of accessibility. The online world poses ,many challenges for parents and pornography is rampant (NSPCC).

With that definition we realised that the topic is very broad and needed to be streamlined. We then focussed on how do you talk to your child/ren about sexual health?

We agreed that there is the need to be honest, transparent, graceful and open-minded. We acknowledged that our upbringing, values and beliefs can be a challenge in embracing our children’s experiences especially where sex before marriage is concerned.

 

One of the strategies used in talking about this complex topic is using current affairs. If there is a program on television, use it as a conversation tool to explore the child’s understanding of sexual health. It is our responsibility as parents to talk to our children about this matter.

As parents we should aspire for our children to remain pure until they get married. A good question was asked about’ what do I do if my children admits to being sexually active, how do I handle such a matter when s/he is living in my house and not married.

                              What would Jesus do?

That was the question of the evening for us all to consider as parents/ mothers of faith. Dealing with this disclosure requires being composed and not being shocked as well as offering reassurance. We agreed that extending love, compassion is key to keeping the line of communication open. Acknowledging that there is a good and trusting relationship is a bonus and credit to the mother-child relationship. Whilst we may worry about STI’s, pregnancy, sexual abuse, using that window of trust can be a good opportunity to empower the young person with this risky behaviour. If a mother feels that they can’t breach the topic with the child, it was suggested that finding another person that the young person can talk to is important.

 

Our children want o hear our own personal experiences. Schools and other institutions may well be teaching our children different things to our value system We admitted that whilst it may be uncomfortable,  we should be willing to be honest and vulnerable with our children without jeopardising our relationship and position as parent. Talking to our children about soul ties, early pregnancies, STI’s and the joy of waiting for the right person is key.

A lot of the challenges with face as parents are to do with fear of being judged and shame. We encouraged one another, that our children belong to us and not for the society or community. Prayer remains a foundation and strategy of choice in raising our children. We continue to pray for them and ourselves as we partner with the Lord in bringing them up.

We remain hopeful x

Choice

Choice

Day 6

May your choices reflect your hopes and not your fears’ Nelson

Some days I wake up with an enormous sense responsibility in raising our children to be everything that they are meant to be. That can be crippling when the what if’s are glaring at you. I do not know about you but those moments can easily leave us in a place of fear when we look at what is around us and what is happening around the globe. I want to challenge you today and say mamma choose hope in place of fear.

Hope is trusting, hope is believing in the beauty of the future with resounding confidence, and that’s what we bestow upon our children. My prayer for you today is that the Lord fill you to overflow with hope as you continue to trust Him.

I pray that you will choose faith. Faith to know that you are qualified and equipped to raise your children. You have it in you. Look deep inside yourself. Faith to reach out in confident surrender when it all gets too much, which it does many a times depending where you are in your journey.

Above all, I pray that you will choose love. That, you will love yourself, yes, you. Love you more, appreciate you more, be in love with you. I believe when we do that, we give others permission to love us and love us better.

♥️🙏🏽

Motherhood and well being

Motherhood and well being

We were talking motherhood and well being on the webinar this evening.

The ladies acknowledged that life can be busy and hectic but taking time out to recharge is important. We also acknowledged that as diaspora parents, lack of extended family support is a massive challenge.

Some of the comments from the attendees:

” Know that you do not love your family if your do not look after yourself. Who is going to take care of them if you burn out?”

“Don’t give ashes to your family when you have burnt out”

Remember what they tell you on the plane in case of emergency???

“Put the oxygen mask on yourself first before you put it on your child”.

Strategies used by some of the moms in enhancing their well being.

‘-Me time’ at the swimming pool as well as reading and listening to biblical podcasts.

-Exercising together as family, thereby being a role model and looking after our health.

-Praying alone and with other ladies. Being willing to be open and vulnerable with other mothers about our challenges.

– Building and maintaining a social network.

– Learn and be prepared for the seasons of life. For example unplanned pregnancies potentially may cause a strain on role transition into motherhood.

– Learning from other moms from all age groups and of different seasons.

– Looking to God for counsel and wisdom.

– Empower the older children to help with younger siblings with activities around the house.

-Getting hubby or significant other to help with childcare whilst I attend to ‘me’.

– A bath soak with candles, oils and a book is always a good easy treat.

-Platforms such this webinar, to come and learn together, building our own online village.

How do you unwind? What strategies have you seen or heard that are helpful? Would love to hear from you. xxx

Seed of Hope 💕💕

Gratitude

Gratitude

The Lord has great plans for each and everyone of us. His plan is of good and not evil, to give us hope and an expected end. This is the confidence we have Him.

I am grateful for the fierce battles that the Lord fights for my family be it through my marriage and my children. His presence and faithfulness in our lives is an anchor and our confidence. He is our battle axe, mighty warrior great in battle.

I am grateful that the Lord hears our prayers and answers. He is the one who goes before us and levels every high ground. I am grateful that I am found in Him, where would I be? I am grateful that I am walking in my purpose as a wife and mother. I am grateful that I can encourage someone with my life which is a testimony of Gods goodness, loving kindness and enduring mercies. He is Jehova Roi, our shepherd.

I am grateful that I can confidently and boldly come before God’s throne of grace through prayer and obtain mercy. I am grateful for the woman that I am and yet to become. I am grateful that I am surrounded by confident, courageous women who are secure in their calling and purpose. I am grateful for the channels of blessings, God has bestowed on my life.

I am forever grateful for the Seed of hope parenting platform that is changing the trajectory of families. I am grateful that He has qualified me. I am grateful that my purpose in Him stands.

Grateful to be His vessel ♥️🙏🏽

The woman in me

The woman in me

Woke up today feeling rather exhausted. It’s been a month since I started my new job. Reality has since set in and I have found myself busier than anticipated. That certainly has had a knock on effect on my mental and emotional health.  The English weather and the commute has not helped. The train commute isn’t bad, it’s the driving through packed, smokey and hot London tarmac roads that does my head in. For sanity’s sake I will not mention the parking.

The weather tops it all for me. The need to be comfortable and practical is a must. However, the English weather remains unpredictable. You never know when it is going to rain or whether the sunny spell will last the 12hours whilst you are at work. It is hard. One has to think about what to wear and how that can adapt to the weather too. It’s a problem I had anticipated hence I chose a uniform. If you have read my previous blog on the day before the new job, I bought some lovely, comfortable navy blue slacks to wear with plain white t shirts and pumps. Well, today I decided otherwise as it was going to be warm. Besides, my daughter had decided to wear my t-shirts at home. 

Feeling rather unmotivated and wanting to get into the office early for a busy day ahead, I just grabbed the clean and cotton dress that I could find. It’s the African dress mama got tailor made for me. It fits well and that’s all I needed so I could catch the earlier train. Thankfully, I made it after sprinting a good 5mins! The joys of commuting, I keep telling myself, you are getting fit girl!🏃🏽‍♀️🏃🏽‍♀️

Anyway, I walk into work and I get lots of compliments on this particular dress. I get lots of nods and smiles from ‘sisters’ with a look of approval. It dawns on me that the dress is making a statement that I had not perceived before. When I walked into the office, colleagues exclaimed how they like my dress. I chuckle to myself and just smile. Comments are made with the British niceness and political correctness that I have become familiar with but still unsettling.

The dress is addressing my identity and all that I represent. Someone remarked that the dress has made them feel homesick, as I reminded them of where they come from. Amazing how a piece of clothing can conjure so many emotions at all levels. Then there is the senior colleagues I met in the corridors with the look of ‘wow’. That’s me there affirmed! The beauty of working with a very diverse community is that you find your sisterhood.  These are the women who identify with you and what you are all about. These are women who have walked your journey or are on the same path with you.  Your stories, struggles and strength are entwined and become the given. Your journey is easily understood without having to explain yourself.

Today I didn’t  wake up, wanting to draw attention to myself, I didn’t feel that way at all. However, I’m glad that the day turned out the way it did. For the rest of the day, I had a spring in my step and a conviction in my heart that I will get there. There, for me, is a place of effectiveness and relevance. 

The dress reminded me that it’s not so bad after all. I am African. I am a strong African woman. The dress allowed me to have small talk with a few more people than before. This dress addresses the woman in me, a woman on a Journey


That has been the highlight of my day! 

Hopeful ❤

 

The blessing that makes one rich and adds no sorrow ❤

The blessing that makes one rich and adds no sorrow ❤

**First Published 20.06.2017**

What a privilege it is to wake up to God’s promises!

I was looking through the photos and came across this family photo that was taken last August 2016 in Copenhagen. It melted my heart. God has been good and gracious to us.


It has not always been like this. As a family, we have had our share of ups and downs, we have struggled as well as felt overwhelemed. We have also felt like giving up on each other as a couple as well as sending our children to be with grandparents in Zimbabwe.

Life is challenging, family life is complex. For us parenting in diaspora made the whole mix extremely complex. Our expectations for each other and our children change and keep on changing. That’s growth right?

Growth is a great thing as long as you do it together as a family. It’s very easy to grow apart. As our children have grown, we have decided to be an INTENTIONAL couple. We normally have a scheduled one hour daily, no phones and just us 2, to catch up on each other. I have taken working hours that are more family friendly as well. Happy couples make great parents.

The greatest thing we did is, we decided to partner with God. We realised we just couldn’t make it on our own. There is so much peace that one has when you handover something to someone else, it becomes their issue and agenda.

I remember when our amazing daughter was born. It was hubby’s first hand experience of looking after a baby all by himself.  Our wonderful son was born in Zim with all the help from extended family and nannies. The first day I left the three of them, I cried all the way to the nursing placement. I was worried about how hubby would cope with the baby as he was working  nights as well. We had decided that I would stay on the nursing course despite all health and safety issues from University and Occupational health. Indeed, I went to Uni on a Friday and gave birth on the Sunday.  Being on 3year student visa, we didn’t want to jeopardise that. Those who have experienced Home office service, beaurocracy and the extortius fees know what I mean.

No words can describe what a blessing our daughter is, incredibly strong willed, feisty, loving, caring, smart and definitely a daddy’s girl.

God promises us that He cares and loves our families more than anything. That is the confidence we have.

It takes a lot of faith and trust to believe and see the promises of God come to pass. Many a times, things may seem to get worse before they get better. As a family, we are encouraged by some of our answered prayers. We also know some families personally, who are walking in Gods promises and that inspires us. We continue to hope and trust in Him. The verse below summarises our mission as a family. Looking to the Lord for help always. We love the assurance in “never”, what a promise!!

“Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame”. ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭34:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

This is our journey, hope you have been inspired. Would love to hear how your journey as a family is panning out.

Be hopeful, always ❤

Trust 

Trust 

“Do not hold God at arms length- Let Him have complete reign in your life” Pastor Alan, Avcc.

Sometimes, life happens and it leaves you in a place of wanting control and being in charge. Having control gives you ‘peace’ and you feel in charge. O how I have struggled wanting to be in control!! The very things I want to be in charge of, somehow they slip my hands and spiral out of control. Today I felt God calling me out of wanting to be in control. I do not know how, BUT I am taking a step of faith and allow Him to lead me…

#outofcontrol

#intoHisgrace

#newseason

Hopeful ❤