Tales from a Mom of Two | The Story of … Barbara and her girls Laylah and Chloe

BARBARA CHESIRE-CHABBAGA, 33

A Micro-Insurance entrepreneur based in Nairobi shares her story of being mom to Laylah and Chloe…

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Q. I’m mom to…

Two wonderful girls, Laylah who is 4 years old and Chloe who is 19 months.

Q. How we picked our Children’s names…

With Laylah…we had no idea whether we were having a boy or a girl. And so we had a list of both names. Laylah was one of the ones for the girl, among others. On the day she was born, we just settled on it.

With Chloe… I felt that I was going through a transformation and so did my husband. New jobs, new home and we felt that her name should signify growth. Chloe means the shoot of a new branch and in the bible she is also a Christian matriarch.

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Laylah and Chloe

Q. It used to drive me mad when people said…

When are you having the next one? Im like geeeez….Can I first getting used to being a mum first before you start asking about the next one. It used to drive me up the wall…these days I just laugh it off and say soon.

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Barbara and Chloe

Q. The most memorable present I received was ….

For my first pregnancy, my mum got me a doula who walked with me throughout the last few weeks of the pregnancy teaching me Lamaze, then into the labor room, and even after the baby was born. I would recommend a doula to any pregnant woman.

Q. My hospital bag contained…

I packed two bags. One for me and one for baby.

For me – Nightie, Slippers, Warm clothing, Socks, Maternity sanitary pads, Breast Pads, Breastfeeding Bras, Breastfeeding Pillow, Breast Pump and all the necessary Toiletries.

For baby – Diapers , Blankets, Onesies, Gloves, Warm hat, Changing mat, Vests, Spirit (umbilical cord),  baby wash, body cream, diaper cream and car seat – I left this one in the car 🙂

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Playing hide and seek with Laylah

Q. I couldn’t have survived the first few months without…

My breast pump no one ever tells you that breast pumps are everything. Literally everything. It gives you flexibility to do other things you can have your me-time, visit friends and still have your baby nourished.

Q. The best advice I received …

That I can let go and the kids will be ok. I used to be extremely fussy about my kids. They can’t eat this, can’t add salt to their food, sugar is a no-no, only olive oil, no junk food. One day my mum said to me, “Do you know that Laylah is also a human being” as she proceeded to give her a fried sausage as I watched in horror, as Laylah delightfully chowed it down.

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Chloe

Q. How I spend my “free time” …

When I have “free time” I love to go to my room, shut the door and lie still for a while and imagine that I do not have a care in the world. If I have more free time I will indulge in a book or a series.

Q. Motherhood is…

The most rewarding job at the same time the most tiring job, but it has given me a different dimension to life. Imagine having little people who just love you unconditionally… even if you’re stressed, even if you’re angry at them… they still love you no matter what you do. Motherhood has definitely shown me what real unconditional love is.

Q. The most important thing that i’ve learnt is …

The importance of having a good support system to see you through the first few months of a new baby….never turn down a friend wiling to come and help you and if you can invest in a good nanny.

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Laylah and Barbara

Q. My advice for future moms ?

If you have an older child (like I did when I had chloe) make time with the older child without the baby.

When Chloe was born I noticed that Laylah became very stubborn, cranky and she started getting very naughty in class. I mentioned this to one of the more experienced mom’s at Laylah’s school  and she said that at least once a week it would be good for me to take Laylah on a date for just her time.

We started going for hot chocolate , cake and pizza dates with her at Artcaffe, Java or Monikos after school and during these dates we would remind her of how special she is, how big she was now that she was a big sister. This worked like a charm for us. She suddenly felt like her and I were on the same team taking care of the new baby. So the stress on both of us quickly evaporated.

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