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Hi!, I started this blog quite selfishly and yet not. I had just become a new mum and I needed a space to air out my thoughts. I’ve neve...

Jul 30, 2016

All Grown Up


My baby turns three in September.
I need to stop calling her baby really..
In a thousand different ways she makes it clear to me that she is no longer a baby.

Through her intelligence, decisions and speech ,i know my girl is claiming a whole lot more independence from mummy.

She makes remarks that begin with "i think.."or "maybeIt reminds me that her mind has become more complex and developed  than the baby i remember and feel in my heart.

She not only tells me that "ella is not a baby,ella is a big girl"  she shows me too,
She dresses herself
Moisturizes her skin,
She wants to read the bedtime book to
me,
She wants to wipe her own bum,
She decides how she wants her hair braided.

I hear it over and over "ella can do it by herself mummy" or my favorite when i offer her help she replies " no mummy,ella can help you!!"  πŸ˜Š

Last week hubby was working late so Ella and I got our carrot sticks and fruit as usual and hopped into my bed to watch a cartoon and sleep together. After the film ,I switched off the light and she asked me to take her to her room to sleep.
I was so startled by this request i sat up and asked her again, you want to sleep in your room?? Alone?? Without mummy ??

She said yes, climbed off our bed and went to her room happily.

Once i tucked her in her own bed and returned to my  room i could barely sleep processing this miracle that I have wished for since she was an infant... ,now its finally happening..and yet i was feeling sad! In fact i  was the one feeling alone.

Shes done it several times since and My husband came to ask me one night quietly,thinking we had argued ..."what did you say to her? Why Is she going her room " completely puzzled..
There is only one answer- shes all grown up and she wants her space too. 
Its amazingly mind boggling!!!!

This development as wonderful and fascinating as it may be has happened so fast my heart and mind have been left behind.
Im still surprised at her memory ,thoughts and abilities, 
I guess this is it...
The real point where the umbilical chord is cut
I realize that need that existed between us is fading fast, leaving only love behind

As a mummy it makes me a little sad to know she is too big for me to carry comfortably
But im enjoying new things too ...Conversations 
Development of her ideas
Role modelling ,more than ever
 building that self esteem
She talks about how strong she is which makes me proud
She also  finally notices the differences  between daddy and mummy and i catch myself having to be a better me as she models herself through me/us
 
*************************************************
Its rather early in the morning and she is snoring  lightly next to me , she just stretched ,yawned ,opened one eye and said to me "ella's tired " and went back to sleep πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ˜ŠπŸ‘ΆπŸΎ
#perfect



 Ella and her aunty in Nice -France, a week before so many lost their lives in the very same spot.
we remember the global hurt and pray for peace.

Jun 15, 2016

My Daughters Father

Since becoming a mother I have become even more aware of the unbalance between mothers and fathers and I don’t mean in the division of labor
I am talking about the perspectives surrounding both roles

There are major cultural and social variables but still most of the comments I’ve experienced/heard or read have one thing in common - the general assumption that dads are useless!

Ive had this conversation so many times and we often get to the point were the ladies nod  and say "well he just doesnt do as much" which i can totally understand. 
There is no detailed job description which details who does what and indeed I don't think there should be.
I do feel like its a conversation that needs to be had more often and more openly. 
Expectations can be met if their are communicated but also having expectations often motivates your partner to live up them them.

I’ve seen a million memes, blogs and comments celebrating when dads do the simple most basic act for their child
I do realize that there is a history in terms of expectation for men to work and women to care for children and I also know that I am of the naive personality type but it never seems to amaze me, that people are amazed that dads dance with their children,
that they do their daughters and sons hair,
that dads can successfully change nappies as swiftly as mummies
that dads stay at home whilst mums or other dads work
that dads cook baby meals !
generally that dads function as dads should.

Those of you who follow my blog know I live in Sweden were traditional gender roles seem to be almost extinct, (at least in some communities)
so I am surprised how often people marvel at my daughters father.
yes he is my husband but I think he fulfils a pretty awesome role as dad of the house so he should bare the title as well!

From the day we brought our girl into the world he has been an equal parent with me,
I think the only thing I’ve done that he hasn’t, is pretty much breastfeeding.
He spends as much time at home with her, if not more

When I’m on the bus or in our local store, people literally stop me to say “ahh that’s your daughter , I always see her with her dad and I wondered where the mother was.."
I find it hilarious because no one would see me with Ella and ask me where her daddy is..
I know so many awesome dads and dads to be ,
I sincerely hope the tide will change and they get the recognition they deserve
that absent, disappointing fathers don’t tarnish the image for all the pretty amazing dads out there.
We need to expect more from dads, and give them the credit due when it comes to parenting.

I follow this blog called The Daddy Diaries which chronicles 2 friends who share their experiences as dads. I can totally relate given that I started blogging to chronicle my motherhood experiences too!
Consider all the forums and blogs and platforms that women have to discuss parenting, now try and find something similar for dads.
Its pretty disappointing to say the least.

I guess what I’m trying to put across without ignoring the fact that there are some parents who don’t live up to exceptions is that we should do all in our power to EMPOWER dads.
Fatherhood is a journey that is new and terrifying, fulfilling and exhausting, magical and rewarding and everyone who gets support through it , benefits.

I am incredibly proud of my daughter’s father and I love that she knows that both of her parents stand on equal ground. she is almost three and still mixes up our names
sometimes I’m daddy sometimes he's mummy and I like that because they are simply labels to represent what we truly are: parents who love her more than anything.

Last night she woke up around 2am and called for us with one breath "daddymama, mamadaddy"- she wasn’t calling for us both, she didn’t have preference , she wanted a parent, to come kiss the nightmare away.
and that makes me happy.

The Roots is celebrating fatherhood and i've really enjoyed thier articles.. click here to check them out

You should also really check out The Daddy Diaries blog too!

Finally, below are some pics of Ella and her Daddy - doing what they do everyday😊😊🌟🌟🌟😎⚽️πŸŽΎπŸ“πŸŠπŸΎπŸš΄πŸΎπŸŽΉ

Apr 11, 2016

Ellaisms

My Girl is 2 and a half,
Last night for the first time she called me by my name,
It was in the middle of the night, probably a nightmare
Instead of the normal, "mama, mama" this time she screamed "mamamily"
I lay there most of the rest of the night thinking how much her speech is evolving to reflect
everything she needs to say and the languages around her.

We are a multilingual household.
We don’t structure or plan it, we just speak.
My husband speaks Wolof and English to her, on and off mixed throughout the day
At school they primarily speak to her in Swedish and some English
I speak to her in French and English

She watches British tv cartoons in English in the evening and French cartoons every morning.
Society speaks to her in Swedish most of the time

I’ve never really thought about how that would manifest in her speech.
Now at 2 and a half she has the most awesome phrases and mixes and contexts..
She know who around her speaks which languages and when to use what
She also mixes grammatical rules between languages which is rather awesome to see
My favorite example is bath time:
knowing daddy is the boss of bath time, Wolof rules that moment
she squeals "sangu time!!" and “tati nen” as she runs around naked before her bath every evening
I put together a list of my favorite Ellaisms and close translations click here :D


I am not going to speculate on how her language will develop and how this will affect her psychosocial skills but I will share links to the two articles that were shared with me which are super encouraging and interesting!

This one from Spraktidning - (in Swedish)- Children with two Languages are better at solving problems

and this one from IFL Science - (in english) "bilingual babies have more flexible brains"

I just had to add one more from two nights ago. - mama, Ella pippi i skornana LOL :DI admit its more funny if you speak french-english and wollof but still, i love it!!

Mar 4, 2016

My Power

Yesterday I turned 32 and this year I spent a lot of time thinking about my Power,
Seems very strange as I would never describe myself as interested or motivated for power,
In fact when I think of that word , I think of politics and greed and excessiveness..
but in all honesty these last weeks I have been feeling powerful and I know exactly why.

Let me put this in context,
These last months in Sweden have been rough
The migrant and refugee crisis has opened the gates for open, unreserved hatred and violence.
Just as engagement and volunteering is increasing, homes where the young refugees are living in are targeted systematically and burned down
By my last count, we were way past 20 burnt homes and I still don’t know what is being done about it
For a whole weekend, Nazi sympathizers roamed the heart of the city, assaulting, - well, I hear it was the african unaccompanied youth, but from witness accounts that I read, anyone who doesn’t look like Khaleesi was a target.

That weekend I had to track my brother and his friends and make sure they stayed home.
When you have to say those words
"Stay home, it’s not safe, there are Nazis in the city and you are a target"
Something inside crumbles.

I have been to over 20 countries in my young life
I have always felt at home and at ease with my difference
I have in all honesty always been a minority, but I have never felt like one until I moved to Sweden
I have never had my hair touched by strangers or friends
I have never been looked at like a curiosity
I have never been told to 'go back where I came from'
I have never been denied a job because of who I am.
This is a fact, before moving here, for every interview I attended I got a job offer, except twice in over 10 years of working.
Those of you who have read my post about find a job in Sweden, know it took me 4 years to get ONE interview .

I realize I have always been powerful,
I say what I think,
I go where I want
I have started projects and gotten jobs I wanted, I never see anything as a challenge, but rather, right within my reach
My power, the one my parents gave me, made every option available to me
fearlessly,
I moved to Sweden because I loved what it represented
so really I am a migrant,
I am not married to a Swede or connected to any,
I am truly just like the people standing at the border now, except I have luxury of a european passport that can take me where I want, when I want.

So that’s the context


I went to the premier of A Raisin in the Sun in Stockholm
It was a cast of AfroSwede’s tell this story that I know so well and studied at school
but for the first time , I felt that desperation they conveyed more personally
It hit home that the world of the 50s, of segregation and racial injustice was right outside my door, today in 2016
When the curtain rose during the applause I could not stop crying ..

I felt powerless

And then I got a message that Seinabo Sey was doing a Grammy performance
and she wanted women of African descent to join her on stage and just 'be there'
It was a week when my family was sick, I had lots work and yet I dragged myself there,
It was too important to miss
We stood on stage, 130 women and in that moment, my power returned to me.
I was looking at the audience, and being outside the Swedish music scene I recognized so few
But I did notice the emotion on Adam Tensta’s face
With the lights on us, I could see those who were watching a performance
and those who were listening to the message we were projecting.
“we are here, we are strong, and we are a part of you

The lady next me was so close I could feel her nerves and the tremor in her leg,
half way through the song we held hands and I felt her calm return
In that moment of sisterhood
Seinabo gave me what I didn’t realize I had lost
She gave me my power

As a migrant , nothing is owed to me by this country
to be a part of that statement, that night, was truly emotional
not one or two people accepted me,
the sisterhood took me in as one of thiers
because I am not an AfroSwede
but my daughter, born here and raised here,
she, is an AfroSwede
She must have a space in this community that is hers

In the rehearsal room I heard women sharing how it had felt
how they had never been in the same room with so many people who looked like them
how they were from small towns where they were the only person who was of 'other' decent.
I can never know how that would feel for them
I have always felt that my 'otherness' is something positive,
something I celebrate
my loud laugh and brightly colored outfits despite the weather,
my ridiculously mismatched accent to my heritage,
my multiple heritage in itself
my love of strangers and connecting to people
I love it all
I never questioned it

But there you go , that night I found my light again
Thank you Seinabo.

Read more:
The Nazis in Stockholm:
http://news.sky.com/story/1632774/masked-neo-nazis-assault-migrants-in-sweden
The feeling in Sweden:
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/feb/05/sweden-refugees-border-tightening-readers-on-political-mood

More on Seinabo Sey’s performance
http://www.svt.se/kultur/musik/staende-ovationer-for-seinabo-sey
https://www.facebook.com/hejedit/videos/1145815922142073/

Photo repost from : SVT /Seinabo Sey/Riksteatern and yes thats me in the middle looking powerful lol

Jan 1, 2016

Welcome to the blog!

Hi!,

I started this blog quite selfishly and yet not.
I had just become a new mum and I needed a space to air out my thoughts.
I’ve never doubted the strength of Womankind but I never could have imagined how motherhood could be challenging and wonderful in its unique way.
There were just so many things that we never talk about or shared… from stretchmarks, to morning sickness, or attachments and hair loss...
I felt like i entered a brand new space where I was expected to know exactly what to do..when really I hadn’t a clue
I decided to blog as therapy, and so I happily receive your comments of support and understanding, annoyance and mockery.
It’s all welcome!
Enjoy this journey with me, and more importantly share it with a woman you know.
Thanks for Reading!

Emily