Milestones

Milestones

What is this about?

The parenting webinar is a community initiative to build each other’s capacity and empower one another on the parenting journey.

This was birthed from the understanding that it takes a village to raise a child. This is a concept that I am very familiar with having been brought up in Zimbabwe. Growing up, I was raised by the community. Fast forward to my own parenting journey, the circumstances have changed. In a bid to find that community, a virtual one was created in February 2017.

I remember as a health visitor deliberating and talking about this with colleagues; the social isolation, the statistics on youth crime, gangs and changing face of society. What also struck me was how ethnic minority families were not accessing children centres for support. On a personal level, as a mom of teens, the need for support and encouragement became compelling.

The more I talked about it to family and friends, the more I realised the need. Ideas started flowing, fear also crept in as well. Fear of the unknown, being judged etc. With encouragement prayer and support from a lot of people here we are today.

As we celebrate this milestone we have covered 30 sessions out of the 52weeks as we initially ran the webinars forty nightly and then took breaks when needed e.g World cup semi- finals. Topics discussed ranged from boundary setting, managing inter-parental conflicts, understanding children’s love language, sleepovers, parenting and social care as well as the role of fathers to name a few. I have also covered some face to face sessions. I believe I have grown tremendously in understanding of self and the world around me. I thought I would share a few things with you.

Lessons learnt :

1️⃣- Start- Just do it! Do it afraid if you have to. Technical hitches do happen, prepare as much as you can and if it happens, do not lose face.

2️⃣- Enjoy- Some days it will be such great fun. Most days it will be hard from finding motivation, people to empower and simply being busy with life. Find joy anyway. Time flies when having fun. Having your vision scribbled somewhere, on a placard, note book or framed helps. It keeps you aligned and focused.

3️⃣- Engage your audience. Depending on the topic, allow people to share, suggest, ask questions. Be open minded about audience and potential client group.

4️⃣-Be on time. Being punctual is critical. Not only does it show that you are professional and serious, it demonstrates respect. Respect for your audience, their time and dedication.

5️⃣- Find people who can critically appraise what you are doing. Having feedback is key on moving forward. Encouragers are great, a critical friend is key and a keeper. Acknowledge them. Appreciate them.

6️⃣- Value- valuing yourself, your effort is also important. Don’t allow anyone to tell you otherwise.

7️⃣Back up- Yes, save, save your work, drafts and save again, especially in blogging and content preparation for the webinars. I can’t recall the number of times, my content just disappeared. That can make or break you. I learnt to get up and write again.

8️⃣Prayer- Remains the foundation and cornerstone in your building. Communicating about your vision, committing yourself and audience to God offers a place of clarity and understanding.

9️⃣Ask- ask for help and offer help when others need it. Having a support network makes all the difference. We receive what we give. By being present and available to others, it offers opportunity for reciprocity.

🔟 Losses and gains. Many people especially immediate family and friends will not get your vision. After all it’s yours. Don’t be discouraged. Familiarity does that and we are all guilty of that. You will lose familiar faces and gain more new ones. Embrace both.

1️⃣1️⃣ Conviction – Stand for what you believe and express yourself. In this journey, I am learning to speak my mind and mean what I say. I term that growth.

1️⃣2️⃣ Celebrate- celebrate both the big and small achievements. It is said ‘ do not despite the days of small beginnings’ and remember Rome was not built in a day.

Here is to the future. For what it will be, we entrust in Him. What we know is that there is grace and hope.

If you are interested in joining our growing community, you are most welcome. Our Zoom webinars are weekly on a Friday at 8pm UK time. Do get in touch ( whatsapp, messenger, facebook, instagram).

Hopeful ❤

Mama

Mama

Day 10

“You are the bows from which your children

as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,

and He bends you with His might

that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;

For even as He loves the arrow that flies,

so He loves also the bow that is stable”. Khalil Gibran

What a privilege to be called mom. My transitioning into motherhood was fraught with fear, uncertainty, depression and ignorance. I struggled with attachment and then got separated from my son at 11months whilst I came to UK. It was by choice, by the way. Was I thinking straight? I am not sure. Anyway, that a story on its own for another day.

There is a grace to make it even if you started badly. That grace is available today for you. Reach out to Him to help you. Motherhood challenging as it is, can be fulfilling. I ask the father of all flesh to bless you with His love, grace and favor today as you look to Him for guidance. May He show you His tender mercies and the beauty of His strong everlasting arms. Feel His warm embrace and the lifting of burdens.

Lord we thank you and honour you today and always. ♥️🙏🏽

Fear

Fear

Day 8

This week a lot of planning will take place in preparation for our parenting webinar first anniversary celebration end of this month. It’s such an exciting and beautiful milestone. There is an element of being fearful and worried as it’s our first.

Today I pray that you may found joy in what you do, be it at home or outside. I pray that you may find fulfilment and a sense of purpose.

For those in the work environment outside of home we can take inspiration from Daniel. Him and his friends were diligent and they excelled beyond their peers.

We declare that we are builders in His kingdom. Builders of families, communities and nations.

We are putting our hands to the plough this morning going forward and declare that we are effective. We take inspiration from Nehemiah. His assignment in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem was huge and daunting. Nehemiah sought the help and counsel of His God. He prayed and asked for help. Nehemiah also looked for skilled, diligent and committed helpers. I pray that you will find helpers in fulfilling the task ahead.

May the week be great. ♥️🙏🏽

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.

♥️🙏🏽

Purpose

Purpose

Day 5-

A story is told of a woman who poured out a bottle of very expensive perfume on Jesus and went on to wipe his feet with her beautiful hair. Those who were with Jesus, his friends are said to have been flabbergasted, angry and disappointed with both Jesus and this woman. This woman was not meant to be around Jesus, she was a sinner and a woman. At the time men and women didn’t mingle together. Most importantly, they felt she was incredibly thoughtless in wasting the expensive perfume.

-In our journey as wives, mothers, friends, colleagues, some of our actions will not make sense.

-There is a point in our journey that our purpose becomes very clear. Don’t be persuaded otherwise.

Today I pray that when that time comes, it finds you ready to break the barriers and cynicism that life throws at you. I pray that you will not pay attention to nay sayers but do what feels right to you. I pray that you will give yourself fully to that purpose.

🙏🏽♥️

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 ♥️🙏🏽

Fortitude

Fortitude

The willingness or ability to go through challenging times with grace. Is it a gift, talent or inborn ability that is sharpened and honed through experience?

I was privileged to have met and worked with some young women who survived the genocide in Rwanda. Their stories of horror, escape, loss and terror can only be heard once. The impact of their experiences on their bio-psychosocial well being was immense. What was amazing about these women was their willingness and ability to share their story. Very compelling. 

I also worked with vulnerable families in parts of London. Stories of parents who were hooked on drugs, unable to parent their adorable children confronted me on most days. It was the case of a mother of 3, youngest was same age as my daughter, who had succumbed to the deadly addiction of heroin that broke my heart and I never went back. Their struggle, took the best out of them. Is it these kind of experiences from a distance that make us hold our own with dignity?

Not privileged to compare or contrast the challenges of life, I look myself in the mirror with admiration. I am a fortiduous woman. Am I comparing myself to the above mentioned women? Not at the least. I have been fortunate, life has been kind and God has been gracious. I have been in the ring and He fought my battles. I’m grateful that I didn’t stay down too long for the referee to whistle a defeat. I could have been that mother, but Mercy spoke into my life and stood on my behalf.

 In my first blog, ‘Transnational parenting’  I explored the issue of postnatal depression. These sort of experiences, you only realise the depth, once you are the other side. Gods grace and love carries us through in those seasons, when we are just a shell being battered to and fro by the sea waves. One becomes a pearl,  a product of admiration and worth through the struggles. What’s amazing is that I was not that aware of His presence and sustainance then. I knew about Him as a God, not friend, helper. That one person I can have a relationship with. He has been gracious on this wonderful journey and I am getting to know Him better.

Our experiences in life may want to define us at times.  It is up to us how we deal with that.  People around us or those who know us and our story may want to define us that way. Ultimately, the decision lies with you. The woman with the issue of blood in the Bible is one such character. She was associated/ identified with her problem. I guess when she was healed, people had to refer to her as the woman who was healed of the issue blood.


Fortitude takes many forms. I could never have anticipated or imagined the pain of losing a sibling or loved one. It’s crippling! I was confused and literally dying too. The shock, pain and reality of that loss was incomprehensible. Death is painful to everyone but I guess it gets so complicated when you are abroad. The long flight home, being in transit, jet lag, the mourners and the  funeral itself. How do you eat the reheated airline food when your heart is sorrowful and heavy? 

When you arrive you succumb to the heat, noises, decision making,  the crying and ofcourse the peering eyes. They will always be those who want to see what you are wearing and what you brought. I had not even taken a shower! Let alone travelled 15hours, passing through the equator in transit for that matter. Nearly missed the flight due to road works and traffic. How does one deal with all that in one go?

My sister was bright, colourful and vivacious. She loved and understood my family and they got her too. Being single, she could afford the time to be with them whenever we visited home. They loved that, and I did too. The laughter they shared. She cared. She was a dreamer and goal getter. At most, she was a mother to my children  that I am not; patient, laid back and a child at heart.

Then there is the other small but equally demanding stuff of fitting into a different society and culture. That, requires courage right there. I know a friend who couldn’t do ‘the London thing’ and had to go back home. She tells me she could not be happier; got a beautiful home in the westen suburbs, lovely job and her children are doing really well in a good private school. 
It takes fortitude and a whole lot more to settle in diaspora. It is a far cry  from the glitz and glamour most people imagine it to be. It’s grafting in gruelling long hours. I’m reminded of the days I worked on the farm. That was my first job. Boy did I not cry my eyes out on the onion line.

I recall making a long distance call after  first day at work to my mother and bowling on the phone booth. If you recall, these were public phones and there two other people waiting to use the phone.  I cried for the entire duration of my £5 worth of calling scratch card. Bless my poor mother, she kept saying to me:

‘Taura neni otherwise card rinopera”, meaning please talk to me before the phone credit finishes. 

Indeed, the phone credit finished and I went home, straight to bed. In the morning I woke up and went to work. What was equally painful was hearing my then 1year old son babbling in the background.

For me fortitude is an idea and a choice. I choose to be courageous for those who couldn’t. Whilst doing nursing degree I met some middle aged African nurses who had come under the adaption nurses program. These women were dynamic and highly skilled nurses who held positions of authority and high office in their home country. The cultural shift and expectation had left them as a mere pair of helping hands on the wards. Their despair and frustration was not hidden from their faces. It was ‘them’ who silently taught me to be fortidous. It is for them and many others that we stand and are courageous. 

Above all, it is for those coming after us. Those who have a privilege of watching us closely, that we demonstrate courage in the face of fear. It is for our sons and daughters. 

📌The issues of death, loss and bereavement can be crippling especially when you are abroad where you have to get on with it. The reality of expenses incurred to attend the funeral and the funeral itself can be soul destroying. It’s important to seek help, from family and friends if there are physically and emotionally there. In U.K. that’s quite rare, your GP can refer you on for counselling, talking therapies or to charities that deal with bearevement and loss.

📌The same can be said of issues at work. Talking to someone about the challenges you are facing is good. This may not solve all your problems but it gives you thinking space. Hearing your own thoughts through voice can be liberating and empowering. Many a times, for those who are Christians, we leave everything in prayer. Prayer is great but it needs to be followed by action which is faith. Finding an independent counselling service is better.  Your union is a great source for advice and guidance, you are paying them, make use of their services.
In U.K. migrant family support offer great services around the issues discussed. They can be contacted in their website signposted below:

Life is for living. Live it to the full in good health, mind, body and spirit.

Finally, be courageous and confident, for the Lord your God is with you always (Joshua 1, summarised).

Courageous hope ❤
 

http://migrantfamilysupport.co.uk/