Beautiful Mother, Nancy Njoka
“Motherhood is a life changing journey that allows you to be the best version of yourself for you, your children and the people around you.”
Motherhood is the most glamourised and glorified task. We rarely hear about the difficulties mothers go through during and after child birth. I know of women who nearly died, women who suffered a sense of loss of who they are, women who felt lonely. We need to start sharing about the rarely talked about face of motherhood and empower each other as new, old and mothers to be.
Tell us about the day your daughter/ son was born.
My son was born on 14th January 2016. It was a long day that ended with the best gift. It was my rebirth. After 16 hours of labouring and about 7 minutes of pushing, my first child was born. He was pure and I am forever grateful for him. I see God in him since the first day, I know he is destined for greatness. He has taught me patience and unconditional love. My daughter's birth was a bit easier. I like to call it my hebrew birth. I shared the journey with my subscribers on my YouTube channel (Nancy K). I went about my everyday chores, dropped Bernie at the daycare, took a nap and at about 1 a.m I checked in to the hospital. 56 minutes later, she was born, unmedicated. She is an angel. These two are the purest gifts and loves of my life.
Bernie is a people's person. We call him the MCA. He gets to the kindergarten, and all kids want to play with him. Our walks take longer because we have to stop to say hi to people. He is kind and compassionate. He will freely give up his last piece of bread for a friend, he would say (sharing is caring). He is very strong willed child who never gives up. Makena is our smiling machine. She is a mama's girl. sorry if she doesn't open her arms to you. We connected so deeply since conception. She is bubbly, curious and observant. Her beauty is striking too. I look forward to seeing what she turns out to be as she is still too young.
Her/his name and why
Bernie is named after my dad. It was to honour my father who gave up everything to give us all. It also suits him. Makena means a happy one. It is from the Meru tribe of Kenya, one of the Bantu speakers of East Africa. Importantly, it is my mother's name. Makena's pregnancy was such a happy one. I was filled with so much joy. On asking my mom and my mother in law on what they wanted me to name her, they both suggested their names. They are both very strong women and it is an honour to name my daughter after them.
Adjusting to motherhood, how has it been?
Oh motherhood. It has been everything I never imagined. There is no manual. What I know for sure is that I am the best mother to my babies and no one else can love them as much as I do. It was tough in the beginning. Fighting through postpartum depression and culture shock to just see my son the next day was the toughest. There was no manual. It made me stronger than I thought I was and for this I am a big advocate for mental health awareness. No one deserves to go through what I went through. With baby number 2 I have been careful to fill my mind with thoughts that are right and positive. I am still adjusting to being a mom of two and it is definitely getting better.
What is the most surprising aspect about motherhood?
Love, patience and strength. I love them so hard that I have to be extremely patient with every step they make, however short it is. I am the strongest person I know. Motherhood is not for the weak. Dropping off your toddler at the daycare with a newborn in a carrier a week after giving birth is strength.
What aspirations do you have for your children and how do you ensure that they learn about their African heritage?
I want my children to grow to be fully themselves. to be free. I want them to be whatever they want to be. I aspire that my children will be mindful, kind and compassionate. They will care about the person next to them even if that person doesn't care about them.
I speak Kiswahili with Bernie but I do not stress so much about it ( the boy has four languages). Right now I make Kenyan food and talk a lot about Kenya and Africa in general. When they are a little older, then I will indulge them in learning our heritage. We also travel home at least once every year.
Hangout places/ playground
Bernie loves playgrounds. He is adventurous and likes to do challenging tasks with us ( follow the leader kind of a game). Makena loves outdoors. As long as we are strolling she is happy which is actually funny because in the beginning she hated her stroller. I actually shared on my blog at ( www.nancynjoka.com).
He is at a self discovery stage right now. He will choose everything he wants to wear. However, anything with paw patrol characters, spiderman and MCQueen's car is a win. Makena looks so pure and beautiful in white and blush pink.
Motherhood is a life changing journey that allows you to be the best version of yourself for you, your children and the people around you.