Umi Spotlight: Eunice Oluwatoyin Akinsanya

A mum in Ondo, Nigeria

With Umi Spotlight, we are sharing the best of what other mothers have figured out both in their motherhood journey and in life.

On this edition, Eunice Oluwatoyin Akinsanya lets us into her world as a mother - the joys of it, her struggles, the best advise she’s gotten, the memories she would love her kids to hold dear and so many more. Read more about her here

Going back to the way you were raised, are there any styles of parenting or traditions your parents raised you with that you now also do with your kid(s)?
Growing up, my parents set rules and boundaries and they didn't leave us unsupervised. I find myself doing the same.

What about your upbringing would you prefer not to repeat with your own journey as a parent?
I didn't have the privilege of friendship with my parents while growing up which prevented me from been open with them. I wish to be friends with my kids.

What attributes of yours or that of your husband have you begun to see in your kids?
My husband is very organized; he has a place for everything; As for me, as long as it isn't in my way, I'm not bothered until it's time to clean. My baby girl has started keeping her shoes away as soon as she takes them off (she is just 15 months)

What was postpartum like for you? Did you have help? Were there any complications with your mental and physical health? And if there was, how did you deal with it?
Postpartum was a rollercoaster for me. I had help for about 10 days while I was with my sister in-law after which I felt abandoned because she had to resume back to work and my husband wasn't with us. After about a week. We returned home and my husband was my rock. He helped me in every way possible.
I'm usually mentally resilient but after my baby girl came, I cried at the smallest frustration and was very defensive at the slightest provocation. My husband called my attention to it, we talked about it, identified the underlaying causes and dealt with it.

How do you relax? What is self care for you?
I let someone else handle my baby, I take a warm shower and SLEEP!

What do you miss most about your life before kids?
Spare money and spare time. Children are expensive and all engaging.

What was the best advice you got about being a mother to your kids?
Your baby absolutely trusts you, trust yourself.

How would you describe your parenting style?
Gentle but firm.

What about motherhood and parenting do you still struggle with?
Keeping calm when my baby is throwing a tantrum.

How do you discipline your kids (instead of beating them)?
I reinforce positive behavior. When my child isn't behaving pleasantly, I try to remain calm but firm. I make corrections immediately. I recently observed that my child sometimes puts up negative behavior to get attention so I come down to her level and give my attention.

What's your happiest childhood memory?
Gosh! Watching my mom get down from the cab with my baby sister in her hands after she was born. I was almost 5 at the time and it felt like I was been handed a perfect gift.

What would you prefer your children’s memory of their childhood be?
I would love my children to remember lots of love and tranquility. And lots of fun too.

What is your proudest moment so far as a mum?
My baby girl weighed less than 3kg at birth and on our first appointment, a nurse said she was malnourished because I wasn't lactating well yet.
I was so proud of myself when the nurses called her 'orobo' and said she was well fed at her 15 month appointment.

Who are you, aside from being a mum?
I'm a wife, daughter, sister, role model and a teacher.

What was your experience with healthcare when you were pregnant and during the delivery of your kid(s)?
I found out I had fibroids when I was 3 months pregnant. I happened to be in a remote village at the time, hence I experienced terrible medical center. I had to travel to see a private doctor monthly which was quite expensive. This informed our decision to go from Ondo to Ekiti State to be delivered of my baby girl. I got the best of medical care at the teaching hospital.

Are there any deliberate plans you are making for yourself for your family, especially for your kids ahead of the new year.
Yes, I plan on opening a savings account for her before the year runs out.

What are your thoughts on family planning? Did you plan your kids, or did you just go with the flow?
Family planning is quite important. However, getting pregnant didn't come quickly for me. As soon as my baby turns 18 months, I'll like to start trying again.

If you could do something different about your choice of career and family life, what would it be?
I would have started my PhD program before getting married.

What advice(s) do you have for new mums in Africa?
Parenting is a long journey. Even when you don't see the effects of your efforts, trust the process.

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