March Yummy Mummy
The Yummy mummy section this month features Ighiwiyisi Jacobs, a wife, mother and professional.
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 March 2017 Yummy Mummy – Ighiwiyisi Jacobs
Q.Who are you and what do you do? Brief intro about yourself.
A. My name is Ighiwiyisi Jacobs. I am 34 years old and have been married for ten years. I have two sons whom I love ferociously and hate wall geckos just as much. I have a sweet tooth. Yes. Just the one tooth is all I have left because of sweets…but life is way too short to not eat dessert. I am an interior and set designer (www.Ijacobsbellacasa.com, www.hermosaboda.com, IG: @hermosaboda). I LOVE the process of transforming and or enhancing spaces. I would do it for free, except that dessert isn’t free. Shrug.
Q. How many children do you have?
A. Two boys…even though, if they had their way, there would be four of them.
Q. Based on your brief introduction, we can tell you are very passionate. How (if at all) does your passion influence your mum skills?
A. Well…I don’t think it would be possible to be a mother without passion. Good or bad. Passion, that is. I grew up under a mother who was superhuman. Nearly clairvoyant. She would rather die than see her children suffer or act like nuisances. So she had a quick knock always ready to “reset” us. She spoke with her eyes from across the room. We lived in terror of her and were just as equally secure in her love for us. Her love was a physical force. It was absolute and without hesitation.
This is my biggest message to my boys. It is important to me that they are replete in the knowledge of my unwavering love for them. That is my biggest legacy as a mother. if I don’t have the money to buy everything they want, the one thing they must have in abundance is love and the KNOWLEDGE that that love will never blink or stop to think, where they are concerned. This is where my passion is most visible. It is my gift to my sons. It will outlive me when I am gone.
Q. You do amazing work with your designs, projects and creations..wow! How do you do this and still manage to be a very present mum?
A. It has always been a struggle to balance both. I have never held a 9 to 5 job. So I have always been able to have the “luxury” of choosing what to focus on at every point in time. My boss has chiefly been me. I also happen to have been blessed with a very supportive husband who has stood solidly by me every step of the way. I could not have done an ounce of what I have done without him.
I do the type of work I love to do, so I will admit that in this regard, I might have it better than some. Having said all of that, my dual role as mother and career woman has never been easy. There was a particular project that spanned a period of roughly eighteen months. It required traveling by road for a total of sixteen hours (eight hours in each direction) in the same day.
At the time I started the job, my little one wasn’t even a year old yet and was still breastfeeding exclusively. I bundled him along with a small team and we all went to this village together. I couldn’t leave him and I couldn’t pass up this opportunity either. At the time, I had a nanny (who I took with me). However, as the job progressed, things got a little harder. By the time the project commenced in earnest, there was no longer any domestic help. It was me, my three year old, my one year old and my husband. But we all soldiered on. There were several trips where I would wake up at 1 am to bath get myself ready for the grueling journey ahead. Then I would wake my husband up at about 2:30 to take a shower and dress up for work. After which we would both bath and dress the boys at about 3am for school. School wasn’t till about 8am, so after they’d had their bath at 3 am they would go back to sleep until it was almost time for school, by which time, I would have already been long gone on my 16 hour journey. It was imperative that I left the house no later than 4am in order to be back by about 10pm that same day. It has been my most challenging project till date and my most rewarding. Things eased up after a while. At some point during the project (somewhere in the middle) God sent me help that was true help. She became a part of my family and made it easier to do the work I had to do. It was “easier” not “easy”. Leaving my children is without a shred of doubt, the hardest thing for me as a mother. It was six years ago and it would be the same in sixty years’ time I’m sure.
Q: What do you know now that you wish you had known before having children?
A. I wish I’d known just how life-altering motherhood is. How very dependent and deeply observant children can be. I wish I’d known how quickly I would have to grow up and face up.
But none of these things bring even a sliver of regret. I LOVE being a mother. It isn’t easy. It is the hardest, most under appreciated job there is. But I love it and am humbled by it.
Every single day , I still pinch myself mentally when my children say “mummy” to me. I always say in my head “Iwiyisi…so it’s you these children are calling mummy like this?” I have zero qualifications at being a mother and fail at least five times a day. But I love my children. Ferociously. And my legacy to them when I’m gone will be that of love that cannot be questioned. Not even for a split second. I may not have smiled, or dressed or played as often as the next mother, but by God I would have loved them and been there for them till they were tired of it. And beyond.
Q. In what ways do you believe you have grown (or changed) since being a mom?
A. I have become more accepting. Of myself and of other people. I’m not a very easy person. I tend to distrust people immediately and expect a HIGH standard from them. While this may sound unfair, I am worse when it comes to dealing with myself. No one wants to know, let alone hear, the things I say to myself when I mess up.
Watching the boys grow has made me calm the heck down. I have learnt that falling helps you have stronger legs. That nobody will ever experience the unique victory of standing back up if you didn’t fall first. I have learnt that being stubborn is an asset not a weakness. Provided it is channeled towards the right thing. I have learnt that people say I love you differently. You have to learn to recognize it when you see it and you have to accept it joyfully. It’s sort of like learning a new language. The fact that the French say “Je t’aime” and the English say ” I love you” doesn’t make one more powerful or less meaningful than the other. You just have to learn a new language is all.
I have learnt that commendation is INFINITELY more potent…more effective, than condemnation. Commend your child more and watch them bloom in front of you. Children live for praise. Notice I said commend more. It doesn’t mean you do not scold them. They must get some tough love. Just make sure it’s all love. I find that children are uniquely able to sense love even in the most dire of circumstances.
I am more patient. No two children have the same milestones. Some start out fast and slow down eventually. Some start out slow and catch up quickly. Patience. Children have a way of coming around with a good dose of prayer and love.
Q. What’s the hardest part to you about being a mom?
A. Failing at it. I can tell when I do. It could be that I came late to pick them up from school. Or that I smacked them out of emotion and overdid it. It could be that I said something hurtful to them or to their dad and they overheard. It could be that life gets in the way. It could even be dying.
Failing at being a mother is the hardest part about being a mother. I don’t know much, but I know enough to know that I will fail from time to time. As much as I want to shield them and destroy anything and anyone that would threaten the well being of my children, I am only human. I cannot foresee everything. The knowledge of this is nearly paralyzing until I remember Jesus.
The One Who makes up.
For all my mistakes…all my shortcomings…my weaknesses.
The One Who will live on when I am gone.
The One Who does all things well.
He it is Who encourages me when I have made a mess of everything, to stand up and keep moving forward.
Q. It is obvious that the world is changing and things are far different from our own growing up years, what do you do to ensure your children have a childhood for as long as is reasonable?
A. I spend time with them. It is that simple. I cannot slow this world down, but I can slow down my own pace. I listen to the things they say. I watch the cartoons they watch as often as I can. We have devotion on Sundays just me and them. I cannot tell you how much I have learnt from them in the process. We go out to have ice cream together. We sit together and finish it together. The bottom line is that they need stability. They need a strong and unwavering foundation. It is from here (the solid foundation) that they will answer the questions that life will throw their way. While I will fight to preserve my children’s innocence till dying breath, I must not do so at the expense of preparation to face the world. So with one hand we shield them and with the other we train them to fight. How? With the only weapons we ourselves know. God and a sound education.
Q. A lot of times we mothers tend to forget that our marriage came before motherhood. Can you please tell us how we can balance everything. Our relationship, our children and our careers or work or businesses?
A. I don’t know that there’s a universal answer for this question. No two families are the same. Moreover, I don’t know that I myself am getting it right. It is a difficult thing to change “hats”. For one thing that “mother hat” never comes off. I don’t care what you’re doing at the time, even if it’s sex, if you are a mother, a part of you will be honed in on your children’s location at all times.
The instant something is out of place, you would know. So forget that mother hat. It never comes off. We just have to find a way to keep it low key. So for example, in marriage, one of the things that I watch out for personally (and It is a work in progress) is how often our discussions are about the children. If the only time we talk is to talk about the children, then something is wrong. There must be a conscious effort to talk about each other MORE than we do about the children. It is hard because there’s no pause button when you are a parent. The boys won’t stop knocking on your door (when they remember to knock) to ask for snacks or to report some offense that their sibling has committed simply because you want to have some “alone time” with your spouse. Each couple will have to find their own creative way of doing it.
Q.There has to be a weird mom thing you do(I think we all have that one thing) what is yours?
A. Haughtysniff* what weird stuff? I don’t do weird stuff. Move along people. Nothing but superb motherhood to see here. (Sigh.) . I’m sure my sons would have a few ear-singeing contributions to make in response to this comment, but alas they are not here. Can’t for the life of me think of any weird stuff (just thought of one but I won’t say) lol.
Q.How do you stay fit?
A. Mostly mentally. Lots and LOTS of mental gym time go into the way I look today.