My name is Caroline Wamaitha Kuria and I am a wife and mother to four amazing boys.
My boys give me purpose, inspiration and encouragement in everything that I do. I love their unique personalities. I enjoy getting to know them seeing the world through their eyes as they grow older and grow into themselves. It feels like an adventure raising them. I believe motherhood is God’s greatest gift to me.
Though I love my boys very much, there are some life lessons am keen to teach them like praying, delayed gratification, doing house chores plus saving and earning their allowances. Occasionally, it’s difficult for my children to understand the reasoning behind these small repetitive actions and I find myself explaining over and over. I hope when they are adults, they will appreciate the lessons their father and I are trying to impart on them.
Am a Boss Mum
Though being a mum is a title I hold dear, I am also a Mumpreneur and I love what I do. I am the Founder of Sarai Afrique Limited, one of Kenya’s leading eCommerce fashion platforms, plus we recently went into manufacturing of both fashion and safety apparel.
Ever thought about the clothes you wear? I believe an outfit can make a huge difference in a woman’s life. Through clothing, we communicate our feelings, dreams, desires, ambitions and even our mental state. We convey whether we have accepted ourselves as we are; our weight, age, lifestyle and so on. I believe when you dress well, you look good, and you feel good.
Making it work
Despite my busy schedule, spending quality time with my kids always warms my heart. When I drive home, and they all rush out to say hi…hugging me and helping me carry things to the house. It makes all the hard work worth it . The “I love you” when they go to sleep at night… when they give me a glimpse to their inner thoughts through our talks… when we have meals together and we make fun of each other in a very safe space … when we pray together at night. Those are the moments that make me cherish motherhood.
Right now, as we navigate the Covid Pandemic, I find myself working harder, longer hours really because tomorrow’s pay check is not guaranteed. God willing this will only be for a season, this situation will hopefully not be permanent.
Whenever I feel a tinge of guilt working long hours, I fall back to my dad’s advice and have honest conversations with myself. ‘ Is working longer hours and working harder the best thing for my family?’ ‘What are the motivations behind the activities keeping me away from my children?’ As long as I can answer these questions truthfully, then I do not feel guilty about being away from my family, because I know my intentions are good and the longer working hours or working weekends are in the best interest of my family.
Just like any other busy working mum getting alone time can be tricky. When it comes to self-care, I mix it up by carving out some alone time and sometimes making my family part of my self care. For myself, I schedule nail and hair appointments and an occasional massage alone.
On other occasions, we take walks together, do yoga, go hiking, movie nights or a long drive where we play music and everyone has to be quiet appreciating the scenery.
For me, self-care does not always mean total exclusion of the rest of the family. But being intentional with sometimes coming up with activities where I get my self-care in, while spending quality time with my boys.
Self-care is certainly an important part of motherhood. It gives you the rest and recovery you need to take care of your family. If you ignore to take care of yourself, you are doing damage to yourself and possibly your family. Eventually, you either have to choose to take the time out voluntarily, or you will be forced to stop either by fatigue or total burnout.
Back to Clothes
I know as mums we are super busy and I can completely relate to this. Here are some tips that I can share with you:
- Buy clothes that easily serve multiple purposes. For instance dresses that can easily transition from work to weekend wear.
- Sort and de-clutter your wardrobe (which is a service that we offer at Sarai Afrique). It is common and depressing to open a full wardrobe and find nothing to wear, because the clothes you have, don’t fit well, require mending or are no longer in style.
- Acquire pieces that easily match. I find pairing different pieces of an outfit will help you achieve a certain look. A colorful poncho may uplift a rather dull dress, while the same poncho can work with tights.
- Take time to know your body type, understand your personal style and the look you want to portray at any particular time. At Sarai Afrique we also help you understand your body type.
As I reflect on this Mother’s Day, certainly as a working mum it has not been easy to strike a balance. But I know that I am doing the best that I can, as a mum and as a business person.
I’m often reminded of Mother’s Day by my children when they gift me with handmade cards and trinkets bought by their father. These thoughtful gestures make me feel appreciated and make me appreciate my mother even more.
My mother has taught me to love unconditionally. Her love for me is consistent in every season of my life. She has been there when the going got so tough that I didn’t know whether I could go on. I love her dearly. Apart from my mum, God gifted me with a wonderful mum-in-law. Together with my mum they take every opportunity to challenge me, encourage me and celebrate with me. I believe I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for their prayers.
Over to you fellow mums …
Work on having a good support system. It goes a long way in helping you navigate ambition and motherhood. Be it an understanding spouse, a parent, sibling, guardian or a good nanny. A solid support system is a must-have ingredient in succeeding as a mum and as a professional.
Lastly, whether you are a Stay-at-home mum or the CEO mum…. keep going mama, you are doing amazing! Take a break when you need to, inhale and exhale…Be Prayerful…everything always works out in the end.
Caroline’s Outfits: Courtesy of her shop Sarai Afrique Lavington Mall Westlands, 2nd Floor.
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Check out Mother’s Day Gift Ideas on Soove Gifts