February Yummy Mummy
Our Beautiful Beginnings February Yummy Mummy is the lovely, witty, beautiful and unapologetic Ese Walter Ark. Ese is a modern woman who has reconnected with her inner child, ,a Wife, Author, a Mother and an Attorney. She lives her life on her own terms and practices yoga as a form of physical and spiritual exercise.
BB. Who is Ese Walter Ark?
E.W.A. Ese is a girl. She was told she was born on the 29th of March 1984. She is an attorney and author though mummying has been the core of her life’s experience in the last three years. Ese likes gadgets, traveling, learning and writing books (social media posts too ?).
BB. We all have our motivations that fuel our drive, what makes you tick?
E.W.A. Mysteries make me tick. A mysterious person, place or thing will keep me up at night. Maybe it is why my favorite genre of film is thriller/suspense. I am also very fascinated with the human mind. Anything that helps me understand why we do the things we do (or fear to do the things we want to do) pulls my heart strings. I can be up nights in a row researching something that seems out of this world. An easy way to put it is, anything that seems un-understandable will tickle my fancy and have me running in its direction trying to figure it out.
BB. How many children do you have?
E.W.A. I have two children. A boy born on the 9th of January 2015. And a girl, born on the 11th of March 2017.
BB. As a mum, you are expected to come equipped with some magical powers, what has your motherhood journey been so far?
E.W.A. My motherhood journey has been one of survival, learning, unlearning, frustration, fascination and surrender. Of all my experiences in this lifetime and the things that have helped me “grow up,” motherhood has to rank number 1.
In my journey, I have learned that no mother is born with ‘magical powers.’ At least I am not. Daily, I am met with the question of, “what the hell am I doing here?” Meaning what the hell am I doing mummying two babies. I lean toward the ‘bad mother’ side than any other type of mother. And this is mainly because, I do not put my kids first. I put Ese first. I know that if Ese is happy, content, and satisfied, then she can give others, her children especially, what they need to thrive.
BB. In your opinion, is Post-Partum Depression attracting the level of attention it deserves in Nigeria? What do you believe is the way forward?
E.W.A. NO. It is not. We still have a lot of learning, unlearning, and truth to speak when it comes to postpartum depression. While mothers need to be educated on what postnatal depression is, partners, family members, and friends need an equal level of education on the subject, so they can offer support when a mother begins to experience the blues of mothering a baby, whether she is a first-time mother or mummying 5 children.
I also think we need to create a safe space for mothers to express these often-dark thoughts that rise about mothering. It wouldn’t hurt to set up therapists and psychologists mothers can see during the first few weeks of birthing a baby. When a new mother has hospital visits to check on baby, she should also have visits to a therapist to talk about the often confusing and guilt-inducing thoughts that may rise from the type of life change a baby inspires.
BB. Can you honestly say that you have it figured out now? Your role as a woman in the 21st century, a wife, a mum and everything else you are or aspire to be?
E.W.A. I have not figured anything out. Not about life and definitely not about mothering. A few weeks ago, I was in an Uber with my children looking out at the fuel queues and asking myself whether I want to continue to live in Lagos and even Nigeria as a whole. There was a moment of doubt there where I asked myself how my life had come to that point. I wondered if I knew where I was headed, talk a whole lot less dragging two littles along. So, no, I don’t have jack figured out. What I know is, there is infinite intelligence that knows better than me what this life experience is about and daily, I surrender to Life, it’s leading. prompting, omen and flow. This is how I go from day one to the other. Or better still, from movement to moment. The Christian bible says, “be anxious for nothing.” This is my favorite quote in the world as it reminds me to live worry free no matter what. This doesn’t mean I don’t ever worry, but worry doesn’t lead me to want to give up on myself. My various roles as wife, mother, author, friend, daughter, sister and human sprouts from the belief that everything is as it should be and I will be alright even in my not knowing what I am doing or like you say, not figuring everything out.
BB. What do you know now about being a mum you wish someone had told you or prepared you for?
E.W.A. I know it is hard and challenging. Though i don’t believe anyone could have been able to tell me this. Even if someone told me, I wouldn’t have understood it until I lived it. Nothing could have prepared me for motherhood. You go with the flow and learn on the “job.”
BB. What is the one thing you would love to tell your pre-mummy self? And what do you miss most about your pre-mum days?
E.W.A. The one thing I would tell my pre-mummy self is, DO NOT DO IT. LOL. Do NOT have children. My pre-mummy self would probably not listen though. What I miss most about my pre-mum days is snap decisions. Being able to wake up, leave everything behind and go to a new place to start a new existence. My children sort of anchored me. If they weren’t here, I’d live in a van and have the world as my backyard.
BB. Tell us one or two weird mum things you do. I know we all have at least 1.
E.W.A. Hmmm. Weird mum thing. I’m not even sure I know what this means. I think my whole mummy doing falls under the weird category. lol. Ok, one weird mum thing I do is, shower all three of us at the same time. My children and I get into the tub and have a bath at the same time together. This saves bath time I think. lol.
BB. What one significant thing is different about you now since you became a mum? How has Ese changed if at all?
E.W.A. I think before I act. Most days when I wasn’t a mum, I act, then think later. Or I don’t even think at all and just act, act, act and keep acting without thought.
BB. You look amazing, please share your fitness regimen
E.WA. Yoga. I practice yoga daily. And I absolutely love myself. I love the woman I have become, and I love the body I live in. Loving my body, helps me treat it kindly. I find that this makes me glow from the inside.