June Yummy Mummy
The Yummy mummy section this month features Omon Imohi, a wife, mother, medical doctor and mentor.
The Yummy mummy section is about the modern mum who is raising children and also about her life shattering glass ceilings!
Here is our Beautiful Beginnings June 2017 Yummy Mummy – Omon Imohi
Q. Please introduce yourself. Who are you? what do you do? How many children do you have? What is your life philosophy?
A. My name is Omon Imohi. I am a twin. I have been married for almost 7 years to a wonderful Man [ Mr Oisamaye Imohi]. I am a mother of 2 very active and cheeky boys who make my life very interesting. They are the centre of my world and my reason for always wanting to do better. They make my life so interesting and purposeful. I feel blessed to be their mother.
I am a Medical Doctor, specialised in Family medicine/ General practitioner with a special interest in sexual and reproductive health. I have a Diploma in sexual and reproductive health. I work full time in the United Kingdom as an NHS GP.
I am very passionate about mentoring and inspiring other women both in medical field and other works of life.
I am the founder of Inspiring Working Women a network for motivating, inspiring and empowering women to achieve personal, career and financial growth through shared learning for the benefit of the society.
I am also an entrepreneur and dabble in a few businesses. I always find an opportunity in everything or situation around me. People close to me always tell me in every idea/situation I always find a money-making potential. Lol. I don’t just love money but I love to be able to create value or impact in someone’s life.
I am a public speaker, mainly focused on motivational speaking. I just find joy in being able to encourage someone to find their purpose and achieve their dreams. I am an active volunteer for a group focused on inspiring young children/ teenagers called – ‘Inspiring the future’. I regularly volunteer by visiting secondary schools to give career and motivational talks to students. I also volunteer for Macmillan cancer research and British heart foundation UK.
My philosophy in life is to keep bettering myself. I constantly aim to be better each day. ‘’ Your greatest competition should be yourself’’. ‘’ Focus on you’’!
Q. It is a very competitive world out here. We want our children to be equipped to compete and excel on one hand, on the other hand we want them to develop at their own pace without being made to feel inadequate. How do you reconcile these two?
A. Of course, every parent wants their child to excel and be the best in whatever they are doing. Well my take on this is that your competition should be yourself and this is how I teach my kids. My kids are still very young 4 and 1 years old. I believe in teaching a child by example and with love. Of course, you must be firm and discipline when necessary for a good balance.
Children do a lot of growing and developing between the ages of 3 and 9. They have rich imaginations, may have strong fears, and love to play physically. As they move through the preschool ages and into school ages, they become more independent and confident about trying new things. Cognitive and language development change dramatically through these ages. Our children learn by example, they watch you and imitate you so it’s very important what you do in front of the kids.
I find reading to children is another effective way of teaching and broadening their horizons. Playing with them helps their imaginations. Arts and crafts to build on their skills. Also, watching educational videos. Singing nursery rhymes.
But no matter the age I believe parents should not enforce anything on the kids like saying you must be a lawyer or doctor. Instead look at this child and find their talent/ skills. Find out what they are good at and build on that. Not every child is good at science but they may be good at arts so why not build on that? Don’t focus on raising a perfect child, focus on raising a useful child.
Lastly and most importantly the way you speak to your children matters a lot. Do you tell them positive things or make them feel inadequate? Speak positive affirmations to your children. When my 4 years old does something well I encourage him, I tell him I am proud of him, I tell him he is very smart and I see how this works because he believes it and does even better. But if you tell your kids negative things that make them feel inadequate they will also believe it. Every day before my 4 years old goes to school in the morning I remind him to be the best and not be naughty in school. Award good behaviours and scold bad behaviours with love and positive criticism.
I can’t overemphasis the power of prayer. Please daily pray for your kids and spend time also praying with them so that they get used to it.
Q. Where do you see your project ‘Inspiring Working Women’ in few years? What do you hope to achieve with and through this platform?
A. lol. Uhmmmm
In a few years from now I see INSPIRING WORKING WOMEN (IWW) growing globally as a partnership network for motivating, inspiring and supporting women to achieve personal, career and financial growth through shared learning for the benefit of the society.
I see us strengthening the capacity of a unique generation of women to play more significant roles in society, industry, politics, philanthropy, education, health care, food security and business by connecting them to local and global opportunities in their areas of expertise.
I see IWW empowering more women to participate in governance and taking leadership roles. I have a dream of women shattering glass ceilings and breaking stereotypes to make a difference. I see a future where IWW can support and empower the struggling working women in the grassroot levels to start up a business, build skills and achieve both personal and financial growth.
I see IWW inspiring female education and helping alleviate hunger and poverty. If you can educate or empower a woman you can change a whole generation, you can impact massively in the society, you can change the world.
Q. What kind of sacrifices have you had to make both personally and professionally at each stage of your career/goals in trying to balance the work/home scale.
A. One career sacrifice I think I have made was changing my speciality after marriage, this was even before the kids came. I really wanted to do Gynaecology but due to long working hours, long residency programme which will require frequent moves and long commute to work, plus the intensity of the job I decided to go in to General practice / Family medicine because this could afford me better work-life balance and still be able to follow my passion.
When I had my first child I took one year for maternity leave to spend enough time with him, I was so excited and didn’t want to miss anything in his first year. I was still in residency training then so it set me back about 1 year and 6 months before I could qualify as a consultant but it was so worth it.
Working closer to home as well just avoid long commutes and prolonged time away from home, sometimes this means getting paid less but the sacrifice is worth it.
Q: Sometimes you have to ask, especially days you feel overwhelmed/in over your head, what do working moms really want? What does Omon want? What would be the ideal situation for you professionally and at the home front if you dared to dream? I mean a girl can dream, right?
All Mothers are Working Mothers, but those who have a career away from home have an extra challenge in juggling their career and their family life. We wonder how we manage to do it all. It’s not easy fitting in everything and finding time for ourselves. Some Working Mothers are lucky and have a very supportive husband who is happy to share in all the necessary household chores and also find time to spend with you. Some Working Mothers love to work and some Working Mothers just plain have to work because of the financial need.
Being a working mum is more stressful than we realise and no one prepares you for it, you just must experience it and learn as you go. But it’s not impossible to have a balance. Despite the stress most working mothers go through many of us still succeed as a working parent. Of course,’ most mums would rather spend more time with the kids especially when they are so young I think that’s what most mums want. But either due to the passion for career or due to the tough economic climate working is now a necessity for most women. And despite increase participation of women in workforce men are yet to increase participation in domestic duties. So, a working woman doesn’t have just her job to contend with but also to care for the kids, do the domestic chores and run the home effectively.
What Omon wants is to be able to strike a healthy balance between my job and my family. I have a passion for women health and would have loved to specialise in Gynaecology but I realised early that this will require full commitment, long working hours and missing a lot of family time, this was even before I had kids and this was one of the factors that pushed me into Family medicine because of shorter length of residency and better working hours with the added benefit of being able to still subspecialise in gynaecology. If I dared to dream my ideal situation would be to work short hours but still making a lot of money and having enough time with my family. I would love to witness every milestone changes that occur and possible be a hands-on mum till the kids are in secondary school.
Q. According to Pew Research Centre, millennial women are much more likely than men to experience family related career interruptions. We know for a fact, that motherhood specifically interrupts career paths for most (African) women. How in your opinion can women rise above this (if at all possible)?
A. Having kids and taking time off work will interrupt the career and can sometimes even stall career progression. Unfortunately, it is part of the sacrifice we must make as parents. We can’t have it all but we can enjoy a bit of work and family time if we plan well. My greatest support system is my husband. And of course my family and childminders that I use help make my work easier.
At the end of the day we should decide about what we want and what works for us. Here are some tips that work for me.
• Trust your instincts when you feel your kids are acting out because they need your attention. Give them the extra time and nurturing, even if it means you miss a few minutes of work. Motherhood is your most important job, and not one to be taken lightly. Also, don’t slack at work/ business, strike a balance
• Don’t worship money or career success- Before you take a job/ project think about how it will affect your work- life balance and your children. Make sure you are the one defining what success means to you
• Don’t compete with anyone else – Please don’t be envious of any other mum that seems like she got her own together, focus on your own journey.
• Rest – please find time to rest and rejuvenate yourself. Get help with the kids when necessary. Creche’/nanny / cleaning / housekeeping use them when necessary.
• Refuse to feel guilty about working. There are plenty of people who want to undermine you as a working mom — please ignore those comments that trigger working moms guilt.
• Enjoy family time- Cherish the time together, even in everyday activities
• Enjoy time alone – Don’t forget the most important relationship — with yourself. Take time each week on activities that nourish your soul
• Enjoy your work / business-We all work for several reasons. Whether it’s for the money, helping others or job satisfaction, identify the reasons that you work and own that choice.
• Do not judge others- Resist this impulse, please. Or if you must judge, keep it to yourself
• Prioritize- I can’t over emphasis this.
Q. What does Omon do for Omon? Every mom (and wife) at some point falls into this rut where she forgets about herself.
A. Taking some time out and spending time on my own is, without a doubt, the very best way there is to recharge the batteries and lower the stress levels. So, I ensure to have some ‘ME’ time regularly, it helps to refresh and re-energize me. It allows me to think more clearly and make better decisions.
Sometimes you just need time away from kids’ stuff / diapers et al and this might require other adults as well, it could be anything from spa, to retail therapy, to a meal with the girls, to cinema. Believe me I have gone to see a movie alone before! Lol. My 4-year-old was a baby then and no minder to help so me and hubby could go out and I really wanted to see a movie, so hubby watched him and I went alone. It was fun, just me, popcorn, drink and comedy. lol
As a wife and mother, it’s easy to get into a rut of just playing mummy and forget the man, the reason for these kids, who by the way are just passing by, when they leave it will be just you and bae. So, something very important to me is my relationship and sexual life. To make this work you need team effort. Lol so I and hubby plan date nights, we go clubbing/dancing occasionally and just enjoy some time away from the kids to remind ourselves of ‘US’. Sometimes we don’t even need to leave the house, we can chat naughty like new lovers lol… this is very important for working mums to remember. Don’t focus all your energy on the job and kids and forget your love. When all is said and done and the kids grow up and leave, when your career ends the only one left will be him.
Q. What simple changes have you made since having children that years ago you probably would never believe you could make?
A. I am more prayerful than before I had kids. Also, more careful with words I use and how I behave especially in front of them.
Motherhood has also taught me how to be patient and more organised.
Motherhood has taught me sometimes it is okay for the inner child to come out and play. Lol
Q. What is that one thing you wish somebody had told you about having children before you had any?
A. I wish someone told me my life will never be the same again. I wish someone told me how difficult it would be but yet fulfilling. I wish someone told me that everything will now depend on my kids. Even going to the shop for groceries require planning. lol. Work schedule etc requires planning. Having children is a huge responsibility.
Q. You know we have to ask. What fitness tips do you have for us?
A. Eat clean and exercise frequently. If you can’t go to the gym, then exercise at home, many exercise videos on you tube to follow.
Don’t follow fad diets, make healthy living and eating a lifestyle for a lasting effect