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Fun activities to engage your child during the holiday season

It’s that time of the year again. Jacaranda propaganda. Schools closing. Towns flooding with people. Homes beaming with happiness and noise. People like me can already smell Christmas from a distance. The kids are back home and this time for two whole months y’all!! Favorite time of year for me. I get to eat pasta everyday with my little brother and cats as we embark on our annual home project (up until now, we haven’t thought of what to do yet. But well hack it before the new week begins; we’re badass like that 😉). But what does this long holiday mean to parents? A cocktail of feelings if you ask me.

 

 

Just the other day I overheard one of our neighbors tell my mom how she’s planning to “kupeleka watoto ushago hadi Christmas ifike” because she’s busy at work the whole time and is afraid the babies might cause trouble when left on their own. She also hinted the fact that there’s not much fun activities for the kids to engage in while she’s away making that extra coin. I’ve also come across parents on my Facebook feed and WhatsApp groups asking what activities they can engage their children in during the holiday. These two instances inspired my post today.
I’ll take you through what to make your child busy with at home. The beauty of all that I’m going to talk about is the fact that they’re both educative and fun.
Come with me;

 

Home project
We’ve been doing this with my twelve year old brother since he was five. Every other time the school school closes we embark on doing something that’s related to the environment around home and in line with what he’s been learning in school. Home projects can range from; working on paintings of animals, infrastructure, people and plants around your child. Making 3D and 2D illustrations of the surrounding at home as well as drawing characters from your little one’s favorite storybook.
What I love most about home projects is the fact that they’re hands on and most of the time my brother is preoccupied away from the screens which is such a plus.
Another good thing about the home project is that you can use them to decorate your baby’s room and trust it to make him/her proud of his/her effort anytime she looks at it.

 

Play dates
Have one child and is worried they’ll be bored at home with the help when you’re away at work? How about you organise a play date with their friends to cheer them up? This can be done by letting your child’s friends come over to your house to play and your child going out the next time.

 

Kitchen gardening
Do you have a small space in the backyard lying idle? Make use of plastic containers by filling them with soil and then encourage your children to plant herbs and spices of their choice. I’ve seen plants such as mint leaves, coriander, parsley and even turmeric do very well in kitchen gardens. By watering and tending to the plants till they’re ready kids learn the art of patience and responsibility. Go ahead and give this a try.

 

Cleaning
Make it a habit for children to clean their own rooms when they’re home. This practice makes them busy as well as teaches them to be responsible members of the society.

 

Pastry making
Making pastries can be tedious because of time factor but you can use that to your advantage. When home during the weekend teach your kids simple pastry skills to keep them busy as well as make them enjoy being in the kitchen when still young.

 

Bike riding
Once in a while go bike riding with your little ones around the neighborhood. You gotta love the fun that comes with this. If you don’t know or like biking; go on a drive with the kids to the countryside and let them enjoy seeing trees running and birds chirping.

 

Above all else, remember the holiday season is a time for your child to take a break from books and just enjoy being a child. So let them have a time of their lives this season.

 

That’s all I had for today and tada…!! I am so glad to be back.

 

Look, I found happiness and can still write… That right there is God.

 

In case you need to add something to my list please do so in the comments section below.

 

See you in my next post,

Love and sunshine ❀❀.

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Own My Own Movement

Fantasies help hide the deep wounds in my heart

Most people come from broken families and I am not any different. Sometimes you hear other people’s stories and you think to yourself. “I’m actually doing great, I am not that messed up.” I come from a single parent family.  And I’ve always wanted to have a better life for the both of us; my mum and I. She’s my whole world. I tell people around me that I want to be a single mother.  To have my kids but no husband.

This notion was true until I met some guy I thought was perfect. That goofy ambitious person who pushed me to be the best kind of girl. Everything was awesome. In my life, I never thought someone would cheat on me but this guy somehow did that. I was angry and my anger grew inside that I was highly irritable. My judgement was poor, I spent all my days drinking, going to class super high. If I wasn’t high I was over thinking, crying my brains out.

Thinking of going gay had actually crossed my mind. Worst thing I had to see him daily. I wanted to die. It’s super stupid to actually want to die for a boy but this was real. I stopped going to church. I wondered why God would let one of his own to suffer that much. No one knew I was hurting. I completely stopped believing in God. I was depressed. My phone was always off, I never touched that gadget and my hate for men grew by the day. Any dude who dared touch me always met some sort of resistance. I once had a fight with a group of men. I just snapped and went gorilla on them. My issues made me have issues with my family. If you made me angry, I would snap and turn to this fighting demon. Everything just turned black when I was angry but when I came back to normal I’d realize  I had done a bunch to that person who made me angry. I got anger issues till it become a family concern.

 

In as much as my condition has improved, I’ve never completely healed, I still despise men. You want to take me out, I’ll think of the worst possible thing and won’t show up.  I am dead inside. No feelings, no love; I  feel nothing towards very many things. I am not a psycho but I might be heading there. Worst thing its been over a year now and still  not over him yet. I tell myself fantasies to hide the deep wounds in my heart. I just can’t deal with stuff.

~Hope

Own My Own Movement

He toyed with my heart sinking me into depression

I am a very keen and cautious person. My interests are drawn to the little things that people overlook. Picture those things an ordinary person brushes off as a ‘by the way’, they mean a lot me. I’m told I make a mountain out of an ant hill. Also, I don’t go with the present, whatever people do/find interesting at the moment is most likely to get the least of my time and attention.

So when my peers were dating in high school, I wasn’t. I felt like I needed to observe first, learn the ropes and eventually play my cards right, you know. I never wanted to act as an example in an event my relationship flopped.
Time passed by and I started getting interested in men. I’d have that weird feeling in my stomach that later came to find out y’all call “butterflies”. But I was in Form Four (Grade 12) and a candidate waiting to sit the final high school exams. I decided to brush off the relationship thingy for a bit and concentrate on clearing school.

I felt I was ready after highschool and immediately enrolled for a pre-campus program by Life Ministries called Bridge. It was majorly a stepping stone to campus. As I said earlier, I am a little cautious and I just had to attend a class before coming to campus. Anyway, that aside Bridge program had sessions on dating called dating rights that entailed the do’s and don’t’s of dating. Slowly I started cancelling people till I was left with one. That one person. The one that had woed me for the longest time and passed the test.

Things were all good the for the first four months until a storm rocked our ocean of love and on the rocks we landed. But I held on saying it was just phase we’d overcome. Little did I know this was the beginning of my journey into depression.
One day I got a call from some lady who then added me to a WhatsApp group that had three other girls that all claimed to be dating the same guy I was dating. I was broken to say the least. Clearly, it was time to let go and fix myself.

I sank into depression for six months after the breakup. I would be admitted in the hospital every fortnightly for two months.
On the third month I started recovering and for the record only went to the hospital once that month and was admitted for a week before going back to school.

Later my ex-boyfriend would come out to explain himself and why we got ourselves in the situation we were in. He’d duped me. All this relationship thing was a bet. He was to date me for four months and win cash or whatever it was. And sadly, that happened.
I had given my all to that relationship and coming to realize that it was a joke was really painful. This revelation worsened my situation and made it even more difficult for me. I mean, who toys with someone’s feelings all in the name of money? I was taken back to the hospital again. My doctor was so good and referred me to his significant other who was a therapist.

The therapy sessions eventually led me to recovery but all these relationship hullabaloo affected me. I never wanted to date someone ever again, all the plans I had outlined for my life were falling apart right in my face, I regretted giving all my love to the wrong relationship, the wrong person.

Being social and extremely outgoing, I found the most suitable distraction. It’s actually all I needed. I started dancing to Afro-latin tunes. It made me busy, I found something else to do aside from reading books. Over the weekends I’d go for social dances. I got heavily involved that I was given a position in the committee without vying. From the socials I obviously interacted and socialized with the other dancers and even made new friends.

I can say I like the path that my life is taking now. I obviously couldn’t help but draft another plan for my life. With counseling from my pastor, supportive parents and friends, I’m in a happy place.

~Anonymous

Own My Own Movement

Tressie: On being a social misfit and why she’ll be a kickass mommy

​Its funny that when I look  back at my past, all I’ve had at every stage of my life (elementary school, high school and uni) is a maximum of three friends only.  I kind of associate with the social misfits; anyone that knows me knows that I’m socially awkward. 

Lets rewind that, I grew up being told nina maringo by my peers,or I kept too much to myself or too quiet and I never really bothered to explain or defend myself.I preferred my own company, spoke very little, never wanted attention despite being a very smart person academically. I always wanted to be like a fly on the wall, just there existing and mostly forgotten or overlooked. I preferred sarcastic replies or portraying this aloofness to every situation. I was to associate with nani but not nani and hata huyu nani I couldn’t associate with him/her a lot because I was afraid of being corrupted😕.

I had to figure out a lot on my own being the only child at home with a single mum who was super busy stuck in a selfish dream of being young, juggling between motherhood and ‘dating’ life while still trying to make  ends meet. In short, yeye hakupewa iyo manual ya kuwa mama ama alisahau hosi idk! I was literally alone or being passed from one toxic relative to another. I  grew up too fast and suddenly there she was. She didnt know me and  we were ‘forced’ to live pamoja. I call myself a ‘TV or cartoon baby’ because  my fav spot was hapo kwa tv all day and  sometimes night when she was out partying on all weekends and come back homen early Monday morning.

We never got along as she never talked to me and when she did it was to argue or emotionally manipulate me for something. I  was a young girl becoming a young lady without direction. I was awkward, shy, battled low self esteem and most of all I was afraid of people and their opinions. I was too skinny; never ate at all and as a result never grew. At 13, when everyone had boobs and I had nothing, nada! I felt shitty for so long. I couldn’t allow myself to be beautiful. Then boys came along…heeeh!! a trial that was. I could not interact with them at all.  Today I struggle with relationships but I’m  working on it with  a wonderful man.

My turning point was this one time during a Geography group discussion session when this girl who wasn’t my close friend asked me if I had an idea how pretty I was. “Unajua you’re  really cool,smart and pretty. Don’t put your chin down kila wakati,” she said. Whatever this girl did with this statement still remains a mystery. I felt a certain high for months since that day. Worked on myself from that time, rebuilt my confidence,vied for a prefect position and got it because someone believed in me!

I don’t like motivational talks,but somehow I chose to listen to some of the ladies who came to speak at school and got some role models in the process. Today, I am fiercely feminist and as much as I’m  quiet, I am not scared to speak up about my strong opinions.

Well, my mom is still a character and I didn’t let her dictate how I look/feel about myself. I fight the demons when they try to suck me in! In as much as the effects of my upringing are not completely washed off, I am a work in progress. More proud of my achievements. I am a wonderful young lady and I wil be a better mother to my kids

Hiyo manual lazima niipate. I can’t afford to fail at motherhood when that time comes. 

~As told by Tressie Njeri ❀.

Own My Own Movement

The little esteem there is in me keeps me going 

No one ever talked to me about self esteem or variations in terms of appearance  and  going to a girls-only school somehow made me view all of us as the same. I would not exactly pinpoint that so and so was a pretty girl or girl ‘N’ was not so appealing to the face. All of us were girls. I later  switched schools and life changed. Could be because of the prestige that my new school held(still holds) but everything just changed. And partly because there were boys. Now, I have (still do) been told that boys are bad, I should not be seen with boys and all that kind of stuff. Seeing boys was overwhelming. Not that home hakuna vijana…ni vile now I would be in the same class with them and maybe even get a boy deskmate (which I did and it was quite scary). 

Suddenly, I started  becoming cautious of how I looked. It’s like my eyes were opened to see what ‘beauty’ looked liked. The girls were just so pretty. Not only physically but from their ‘English of the nose’ that I was yet to learn, their physique, their walking style..Heck! I wanted to be pretty too. But I could not because my definition of beauty was twisted and no one ever told me what beauty really was/is..till today. This got to an extent that I start failing in class and the comparisons began. Folks compared me to a certain cousin of mine who was doing pretty well. And the little self esteem I had kept on diminishing. Many are the nights I cried  before I slept as I could not understand why I was not like my cousin.  I just could not. 

Fast foward to high school and girl, I have a twisted idea of what beauty is. Here I meet very beautiful girls. I could not say we were all the same….no way. There were girls who just had well shaped bodies, others with long hair, others with really smooth skin while I had to be the one with pimple breakouts before funkies,oi! So because I was always being compared to my cousin, I  also started comparing myself to these girls in school. Especially those from Nairobi. Those ones just made me struggle but not openly to fit in. Still, it did not make me feel beautiful at all. Again, my self esteem goes down past the empty signal.

 After completing high school, I get a boyfriend and this  was trying. I really relate well with guys than I do with girls, so I was determined to keep this boyfriend(who happened to be a high school crush) for good. I would make sure nimevaa poa or try and apply gloss on my lips so that I can look pretty because I was not really appealing and would wonder what he saw in me as I was ugly…atleast that is what I told myself and believed it.

The guy left. Apart from the crying,there was the self blame. That I was not pretty enough, that maybe if I lost my tummy he would come back and just so many excuses as to why he left. That scarred me. Anytime someone would tell me that I am beautiful, I would laugh it off and tell them a sarcastic thank you. I hid in this low self esteem cocoon for long unbeknownst to me that I was damaging myself. 

Today I love me. I have been through hell and back trying to be beautiful and feel beautiful. But all that does not matter anymore. Even though my esteem is not over the roof; not as tall as I am glad it is there. The little there is, keeps me going. I love me the way I am. With all the flaws I have, I love me. And I have accepted me for me.

~Aimie Nancie Wambaire 

Own My Own Movement

Paul Kind: on the undying thirst to build his self esteem 

​My name is Paul Kind and low self-esteem has been a part of me for a very long time. I’ve always been the  perfectionist; continuously wanting to live my life with one goal – no mistake should be made under no circumstances. Growing up with perfectionist parents made me always cross check whatever I did and somehow made it difficult for me. I would trip at some point and the mistakes I made would reveal themselves directly. As a result, I’d remain asking myself why something that was meant to turn out right would fail terribly.

 If every single moment was to be counted, the times I’ve failed to forgive myself would outweigh the number of times I’ve forgiven other people and thats where my self esteem would come crushing down. You ask why? Because before I did anything I’d have negative opinions of them before getting into doing whatever they were. Opinions that were uknown to a point that I had  a few people referring to me as Paul Wasiwasi. I developed the tendency of comparing myself  to others – my friends. At some point they fitted in better than I did and so whenever they’d outdo me, I would really feel bad because I was of the school of thought that we are supposed to be doing things,living our lives,think,talk and even tackle situations on the same level which unfortunately wasn’t the case. 

I later came to realise that  all these I was heaping on myself were too much vague expectations. They were my standards of perfection and I strictly had to live to them and rule was nothing was supposed to go wrong. That only meant one thing; I wasn’t ready for mistakes and whenever I came across the very mistakes I would break easily and it sort of became a permanent tatoo written all over me. It never stopped. It kept repeating itself until there was no self-belief just the undying thirst to build my self esteem.

Own My Own Movement

Stand up for you ~Ian Joel

​I wish …I wish …I wish

Those are the words that run through peoples minds after an encounter they went through due to lack of strong will to stand firm on the right

My story might be common but the results are not. I had a privilege of going to a boarding highschool somewhere in Eldoret. As a rule, we all make close friends in school and I was able to meet my clique, though before i was settled on the kind of group I was in I had reached form 3. My so called squad. I never knew I was getting in a hole that would have a thin exit. One fateful Saturday we had attended a music concert at our sister school, that morning I never knew that it would be the day things will take a new turn in my life. As always we had the best teachers who always took as to the supermarket to get some snacks.That day was no different,we were dropped at Naivas Supermarket in Eldoret town but as always mischevious students will take a different route to do some illegal purchase.

 My friends suggested that we go and purchase some liquor which I had never tasted, I was curious to know how the trade works so I followed them. We went into some dark path and stopped, my friend who is familiar with the trade made a signal to a man. He came and they talked then he left. We were in uniform and so the man was to make the purchase as  we wait for him. The guy came back and gave my friend something I did not see and he hid it fast like it was a gun, I was used to a lot of movies and so it was just  like I was used to seeing it in the screens. But it could not be a gun because he stashed it in his sock. We left in a hurry back to the bus due to the time limit. I could not question what it was because as the rule states illegal is not discussed. As I was sitted in the bus back to school I had 2 different feelings, first I felt like a king, part of the gang, badboy, tespected by all, but on the other side I was scared if we were caught or seen. 

When we arrived at school our gang leader called us out to the toilet…It was the only safe place we knew… He lifted up his sock and boomđŸ˜± he pulled out rolls of weed, bhang. It was my first time to be so close to the drug. I literally felt like the baddest boy in town. We were to smoke in groups of 2…. my partner was experienced and so he began the chain. I watched keenly on how it went so that i could not ashame myself when my turn came.The first puff,second,third …And I chocked but the feeling of being part of the squad is all I wanted. It now became a norm until our friend set us up with the administration, the next thing I saw was myself infront of the school discplinary committee writing the whole story I have narrated up there. As we all understand there is always punishment to each crime and mine was a direct expulsion .

 I knew from that point my life was over.My dad the lion and my late mum(rest in peace), my laywer were going to skin me alive. When I got home this were my dad’s words as quoted “when you are ready to study you will talk to me,” those were the only words he gave to me for 6 months. My mum only shed tears😔… It was a shame, I could not even tell my friends, church and other family. I had broken everyones trust on me as the good boy they knew. The months were terrible at home and I opted for death severally, I wanted to get out of this world but I believe my purpose on this earth was not yet over.

 I was able to regain myself back and went back to school though it had affected my studies, but I strived to make a better me. I realized all this time it was my fault, and did not know what I wanted in life. I lacked a firm stand and I had issues with how my friends would look at me… I had been affected by low self esteem. Someone reading my story today might have the same encounter or knows a person who has had the same experience,they should not give up but open a new page and start a fresh. I am proud to say my new beginning placed me in the only university on the equator to pursue my dream career and I built my esteem by knowing what I wanted and decided to work on it rather than being carried around by the crowd. Its time to stand up on your own and build a bright future for yourself, I will use my friend’s words to encourage you that “Wewe ni wa baraka sana👊.”