A few things about me

Archive for February, 2009

That that I owe!

I promised to blog about my self esteem and confidence in relation to my current job and having been jobless.

My career is a very hot sensitive topic in my house. Big Al always approaches with caution, whether he brings up the topic or I do. Why? Because I always always end up in tears and a MOOD!

It’s 6 mins to 2.00pm whereafter I switch off my computer, buzz around the house like a bee doing house work before I go pick the baby at 3.00pm.

I cannot do the post justice and I am not to sure if I want to digout the feelings or discuss them. It’s too close to the heart and there is a tendency for me to come out as self pitying and negative which is currently and has been for sometime.. very far from the truth of me.

What I will say though is this : I think I have lost my ability to believe in the validity my dreams and believe in the rightness of my choices. The Mrembo who used to be very sure of certain things , she who was fearless in her dreams and choices is gone, gone for good and in her place stands a Mrembo who is “less in a hurry”, less steady on her feet.. but moving along.. quieter in spirit and soul”. Sometimes I feel like a very bright bulb switched off  (a false bulb perhaps) and in its place a gently glowing bulb.. that is glowing but has not yet reached its full brilliance. And all around me a these 220 watts shining bulbs.

So there is a hope, a flame….but that old burning bright fire.. that’s gone and I am not sure I am all too sad about that. I miss my daring dreams, my defiant ambitions. I do miss that certainty about things.. don’t know if this is part of growing up.. or it is just part of having lost and  trying to regain..

Like I said.. I am ok with things now.. I have hope.. but not stupid hope. IN the meanwhile I reach out and take what is infront of me.

See I told you the propensity to sound broken, down and out.. is always around when I have to talk about it.

This will have to do for now.. until I gather myself better!

Running 10 mins behind schedule!

Baby Bluesy

Big Al won’t even listen to me harp on about this anymore. When I open my mouth and begin the famous sentence “So do you want another baby”… he shakes his head and says “I am not listening to your drama anymore.. make up your mind then come talk to me”

Its like this:

Around early November I met one of my friends from mother group. (She has become a casual friend). We  meet rarely often at daycare when dropping of picking our little ones. Back when we met she said..”guess what I am 15 weeks pregnant….blah blah blah” I did not hear anything else except that. I was busy being shocked and tyring to get a handle of my pregnancy envy! Then I heard my cousin was having her second born, then lady at church was pregnant her second born… it felt like everyone was having their second born.. even on blogshpere.. . KenyanPundit was moving on to number two 🙂

Ala! was how I felt. Up until everyone else’s baby number two.. I was admant I did not want another one. I did not even feel the maternal call for number two that my cousin had told me about. Apparently it strikes when baby number one is about 1.5-2 years. That was not all….. I had not slept properly in almost 2 years, neither had I worked in 3 years. The idea of baby  number 2 was so appalling to me. I was not bothered.  Til November rolled in with all the number twos popping up here there and everywhere.

Thus begun my nagging

Monday: Mrembo to Big Al: “Its a good thing you are happy with just one child.. no way in hell I am having another one.. and anyway what’s wrong with just one child.. I mean.. what about women who can only have one”

Tuesday : Mrembo to Big Al: “Are you ok about having another baby.. I think I want one.. I can handle it.. Nikh needs a sister or brother .. what do you think.. that name you picked out is pretty cool.. works both ways”

Wednesday: Mrembo to Big Al: “Can you imagine xyz is having baby number 2. She crazy and number one is only 1 year old. Lucky them at least they have grandparents to babysit… no way I am having another baby… imagine all the work and not grandparents to babysit”

Thursday: Mrembo to Big Al  ” I want another baby.. I really do. I want another baby for me.. not for Nikh to have a sibling but because I want another one. Lets go make another one 🙂 (This is the only part Big Al is interested in hearing!!)

And so on and so forth. That is how it has been since november. I AM CONFUSED. But one thing remains, I do want another one.

Did I tell you that in my mother group, out of the six babies, there is something wrong with 2. That is 2 in 6 have issues. The common denominator is that both parents were over 35 when they had thier respective child. There is no medical diagnosis as to what is wrong with them.  One of them is just slow… as in mum told us it is not Downs nor could the docs say what it was after observing baby in hospital for the 4 days they were admitted. She is slow in all the developmental milestone and will probably be thus as an adult… just slow.  The other one had a difficult birth (kid was even baptised the day he was born.. cause they did not think he would make it).. at 2 he is not yet walking. Scary stuff.

I say this to reinforce to me that my plan for retiring the uterus after 35 is a sensible one.

Now comes in my biggest dilemma.

I am 32 years old.  Currently I have no career to speak of.  I am back at school “re-training” so as to start another career in a niche area of my general educational background (does that make sense). If I decide to get pregnant later in the year…(aiming for a Sept/Oct2010 birthdate). That means.. I will have completed my course.. go on maternity leave for at least 9 months ( daycare here  does not take in babies younger than 9 months.. or was it six)..then start looking for a job in that field after a 6-9months no work or study …. eh.. does not look good.

The other strategy would be to wait and get preggers late next year.. aiming for a Sept/Oct 2011 birthdate (makeing the age difference between my babies 4 years.. which is not bad when I think about it) But I will be  knocking on 35… which is still within my boundaries…. Hence allowing me enough time to have found a job within my new career.. work for a year.. then take time out to have my baby ama??

I guess I just solved the issue.

And you men think that having babies is a willy nilly decision for women… especially working women in Europe.

My hat off to all the working mothers in the Western block. It is not easy! Those in AFrica.. eh.. the challenge is not the same… at all. You all still have the village to look out for your babies!

Why I Blog

The tag “why I blog” was making it rounds not too long ago and it got me thinking.. again! (about a year ago or so, if my memory serves me right this very tag was buzzing through KBW and I do think I responded to it.. will link it here if I find it)

As I pondered the issue I came to the following conclusions:

  • I blog for me
  • I blog for my audience
  • I blog to remain sane
  • I blog to release the musings in my head
  • I blog because I have a wannabe writer within me
  • I blog because it gives me pleasure
  • I blog because sometimes I want/need to express my inner vanity
  • I blog to make sense of my sometimes confused thoughts
  • I blog to get encouragement
  • I blog to blog!

So there you have it… not so complex.. just plain simply Mrembo.

I’m feeling lots of love for you all so here is a big big BIG KISS *mwah” to you and you and you!

MishMash part IV

I am tired. A sensible person would be in bed if they were tired but not me. So why am I not in bed, when that is where I really want to be? Secondly why am I blogging away on Feb 14th at 20:03pm eh?

Here is why to both questions.  My son decided ati today he is a big boy and vigrously resisted all attempts to get him to nap during the day. Around 5.30pm he became really cranky and annoying so I figured he was ready for a nap. My idea was to get him to take a 30-45min long nap… then get him up around 6.30,6.45ish.. we have dinner.. he plays he goes back to bed around 9.00pm… but alas “the well laid plans of man……” It is now 20:06 and he is still sleeping, fully clothed in his day clothes.. dead to the world. I have tried everything to get him up and he is not getting up. This has twice happened to us.. where we find it next to impossible to wake him up… so I am now left to the forces that be to determine what time he will wake.. before I can put my head down. So that answers why I am tired but not in bed.

As to the blogging on 14th… that has to do with the fact that my husband is on his way home from somewhere…and he has with him a muffin and ice cream.. our celebration of Valentines.

NOw on to why I started this post. Guess what I have forgotten…oh it was about my job. Let me tell you.. I am constantly tired! It should be getting better and it is… but putting the baby/little boy to bed is now a harzdous activity because I am bound to fall asleep with him.  The fact that he is still not sleeping well through the night is killing me softly.. mpaka we now sleep in shifts.  So anyone out there with the magic answer to getting a 2 year old to sleep through the night without waking 3 times … I will pay you money if it works.

I read something somewhere and it irritated me and I want to say something about it.. but I realise that the fact I am tried and wanting to comment about something that has irritated me is not a good combination. I am also trying to figure out what about it has irritated me. I so thought I was past that. Anyway.. whattevverrrr!!

Last weekend I went to a very interesting party. J..the lady to gave me the details about my job.. invited me to a “njoo tule chakula pamoja.. nina pika chakula”. I thought it was a kinda of late lunch, kumbe it was a party that started with lucnh and went on right into the next morning.  Remember I met J on a bus.. I hardly know her. Keep that fact in mind.  I got there late and realised I was not late, cause there was no food in sight. I got talking to a polish guy.. very funny guy. A funny drunk. People started coming and I started getting uncomfy. Why? Because suddenly there was a house full of all these African women with their white husbands.  (Big Al and Nikh did not come.. I was angry with Nikh that morning.. we had had a BAD, SHORT, LONG, SLEEPLESS night). By the way J is not from Kenya.. she lied.. and I called her out on it.. she finally admitted she is from TZ and had lied because “unajua sisi hatusemi kila kitu” (we don’t say everything= we don’t disclose everything to strangers).

I left early.. cause of responsiblities and I wanted to make ammends with my baby.. not that he was aware mummy was pissed.. When I got home I closely reviewed my feelings of discomfort. This is going to take awhile because there is so much mixed in

The class issue: I have never been more aware of CLASS than I have since I moved to Denmark. AFricans of the same social class setting as myself in Denmark are very very few on the ground. I only know one and she moved here due to a job transfer. All the other Africans I meet here are economic immigrants or refugees and we are so very far apart class-wise. Hence I tend to meet African men who were “ma beach boys”  in Kenya or “hair-dressers” (that’s what they all say back in Uganda.) So most of the times they are married to the white guys for money. You think I lie.. case in point; J: she says to me “come and meet my husband.. he is an oldie… Mzee sana” She introduces me. He is a portly 45 year old technician.  He leaves the room, she begins to tell me how she is leaving him soon. She just married him to get here. Did I k now she had a swedish guy. He died in a plane crash. A year later she met Mr. 45.. he wanted to marry her. she agreed. She has a shop, plot and 4wheel drive back home. She showed me pictures. I believe they are hers.  So I asked why she married Mr 45… she smiled then laughed… and asked “mbona wewe ulimoa” (why did you marry yours”). I was not in the mood… I was partly disgusted and fascinated.  Fasinated that she could be so coldly calculating. Later on Big Al says to me.. they deserve each other.. him for just going off to TZ and marrying so quick…

I get uncomfortable because I am not “ONE OF THEM”. I am not like that. I do not want to associate with them nor do I want to be painted with the same brush. I do not want others.. both Danes and other Africans looking and me and thinking… “ah she is one of those”. No I am not.

I face this in Uganda when I am with Allan and we are out in town and you get all these comments. Same thing in Nairobi. Sometimes it is tiring..after sometime you shrug it off and don’t even notice. In 2007 Dec while visting in Ug.. Big Al, Nikh and I went out to get lucnh at a local take way.  Everyone was staring at us.. and it was not like a local local joint where a zungu would cause a stir… nope none of that.. but the stares. We went in, got out take away, went out and the stares followed so did the comments.  I was so conscious I begun to giggle as we walked away.. ridiculous. It bothered me that I was bothered.. then I realised we had not be back home together for sometime.. and I had forgotten what it felt like to be stared at all the time… Big Al.. the said to me… “get used to it.. I get stared at all the time, I no longer notice it”

There is more.. I am tired…


The new, the old.. no ugly!

So about my job! …. it is good to have a job even a blue collar one. I have been surprised at how pleased I have been and how my gratefullness has increased with each passing day I have had the job.The idea that at the end of this month, there will be a pay check is soo soo joyous and liberating. It is doing wonders for my self confidence… will get to that later.

So what do I do? hilo ndilo swali! I work at a laundromat (that’s the best English equivalent I can come up with) The laundromat does all the laundry for the two regional hospitals. The clothes come in by trucks,  get sorted out(by humans) into washing machines that are the size of a small kitchen.  You next see the clothes when they are dry. They fall into these big bins with wheels. That’s where human hands come in again. We get the clothes from the bins (by clothes, I mean anything used by a hospital or old peoples homes) and feed them into a machine depending on what item you have. Different stuff goes to different machines. The machines then  iron and fold the clothes and when they come out the other end of the machine, my job is to pack them into these trolleys and off they go to packing department and back to the hospital or home and the cycle begins again.

It is in no way a physically taxing job. (except for the fact that I have to get used to standing for 7 hours straight.. still adjusting to that). Every 2 hours we get a 15min, 10min and 25min break. I start at 6.15 and finish at 2.00pm. That allows me to get home by 2.50pm in time to pick Nikh from daycare at 3.30pm.  I have to walk there, so I bascially get home, drop my bag, pick his juice and pushchair and start off to daycare.

Big Al has surprised me by how well he has handled baby’s morning routine now that I am no longer in picture.  He has taken it all in stride and he and Nikh are thriving, so much so that the other day when I picked him up…he was not so excited to see me.. he kept asking for his papa….. and I felt a little jealous… ala.. how soon you forget son of mine!! (that is my admission of not believing that Big Al would “manage” managing the morning routine!) 🙂

The only downside is the starting time.  A 6.15am start means I am up at 4.45am and out of the house latest 5.25am if I am to make the bus. If I miss the 5.30am bus, I am late..and so did I on my second day.. how embrassing!

So there you have it.. my job in a not so small nutshell.

Being a working mother and wife means that I have had to take my planning skills to a whole new level. For things to run smoothly and for me to still have time with hubby and baby and to myself.. I have devised a plan that I cannot deviate from. It looks like so:

When I get home from picking baby from daycare about 10mins to 4.00pm: We chill for a hour; for  me to rest and enjoy my child and for him to transition from daycare. Chilling means being on the floor with him, watching his favourite cartoon, if he allows I check my email. We also pig out.. on food and whatever.

5:00 -7:30pm: I begin my other job.. cook food, iron Nikh’s and my clothes for the next day. pack my work bag. eat dinner, brush babies teeth, Big Al does dishes or washes the baby. Pack my lunch and breakfast. If I wash the dishes, Big Al washes baby and vice versa. It’s a toss of the coin who puts baby to sleep. I have been since I started working cause I have been going to sleep at the same time!

By 8.15 baby is usually asleep and that is now time for mummy and daddy.. but latetly… refer to last sentence of previous paragraph.

I am off every wednesday and thursday.. (but not tomorrow.. there is overtime at work and I chose to work).

The gym has been waylaid at the moment .. I am hoping that once I get into full stride of my new routine I should manage the gym at least 3 times a week. On my two days off and on Saturdays. (talking of the gym.. I have lost some weight.. hooray for me.. nothing giganomous.. but I have seen the results of having gone to the gym and cutting back on unnecessary snacking)

So that is about it: I have spent the morning doing 2 rounds of laundry, cleaning the house, I have a mountain of clothes to fold and put away.. cook food for tonight and pick the baby up. In between all this, I am trying to figure out how to squeeze in time to get a new pair of sneakers and a school bag in the next remaining 2 hours. I start school tonight.

I am loving my life at the moment.

See you around

PS: as far as job hunting goes, I have decided to give it a rest for the next month or so. I recieved another “we regret” letter yesterday from the one job I thought I had a fight chance at! I even considered writing back and asking why they did not give it to me… still have three pending responses….

PSS: I will do the post about self confidence another time. Gotta go.. time’s awasting.