Gestational Diabetes & How To Manage It

Lifestyle, motherhood

I’ve mentioned a few times in past posts  that I didn’t have the bestest (yes, i wrote that) of pregnancies in the history of pregnancies. it was my first pregnancy so there is nothing I can compare it to but from what I experienced, it was pretty crappy – to say the least.The one crappy thing (among many) was that I developed gestational diabetes.  

A little over half way through my pregnancy my midwife booked an appointment for me to do a glucose tolerance test to check for gestational diabetes. At the time I wasn’t worried because there is NO history of diabetes in my family so I didn’t even think I needed the test in the first place clearly I wasn’t at all educated about the condition and my midwife said it was highly recommended, especially to women of certain ethnic origins.
A lot of women don’t know about this condition until it happens so I thought I’d be helpful and give a little insight on what it is, what caused it and how to lower the risks of getting it, or at the very least how to manage it.

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is basically a condition where a mum-to-be who doesn’t otherwise have diabetes (like moi), develops high blood sugar levels during pregnancy. It is generally caused by your body not making up enough insulin to handle the build up of sugars caused by pregnancy hormones. It commonly occurs in the second trimester hence the reason why tests are carried out between weeks 24-28 of pregnancy. I think I did mine at week 24 or maybe 26 – I can quite remember now.

The condition normally affects those women whose body mass index (BMI) is 30+, those women who’ve had it in past pregnancies, those who’ve previously given birth to big babies, or those with family history of diabetes and lastly those of certain ethnic origins such as  Asian, Black, etc. – as was the case for me. 

I was required to fast for at least 12 hours the night before. The test itself consists of taking two blood samples to test my sugar levels before and after taking a sugary drink (Lucozade). I had to wait Two hours after drinking the solution before they could do the second blood test. 

Gestational diabetes is a serious condition as it can essentially cause problems for the mum and baby during and after birth in the following ways:

* baby growing larger than usual 

* premature birth or induction

* pre-eclampsia

* baby developing low blood sugar or (jaundice) after he or she is born. 

Because it can be hereditary, gestational diabetes can sometimes be impossible to avoid, however my main tips in lowering its risk and managing it are as follows:


1. A balanced diet – it is important to avoid skipping meals and s the only thing I could stomach to eat during my pregnancy. Also, although fruits is generally natural sugars, some fruits such as bananas and grapes should be limited if not avoided altogether.

2. CARBS – because carbs break into sugar, I was advised to eat as little of it as possible. It’s funny because throughout my pregnancy all I could eat was bread but hey ho!

3. Blood sugar levels – this got a bit (very) tedious after a while but it is vital that you check your levels, especially after meals determine which meals increase the levels, etc. 

4. Exercise – my mind really wanted to exercise but I was so tired throughout my pregnancy that it was near enough impossible to go to the gym. I generally enjoy walking and so that’s about all the exercise I could do but every little helps. 

5. Medication and insulin shots – if GD can be avoid just by eating right and exercising then that’s great but if like me you need the extra help, then medication and eventually insulin help to manage the diabetes. The medicine made me sick so I was eventually taken off it and put on insulin as a last resort. Injecting myself became second nature but I found doing it four times a day such a chore. 


The good news is that it does, or at least SHOULD go away after delivery. My blood sugar levels went back to normal within hours of delivering my daughter and a follow up test three months post-natal confirmed this. The downside was that my daughter was born with low blood sugar levels and she too had to do insulin shots every 2-3 hours from the moment she was born until the next day when her levels went back to normal. 

To any mum in this situation, the number one important thing to remember is that sometimes it’s inevitable, i.e. you can eat a balanced diet and exercise and still get it because of other factors beyond your control. Try not to feel bad or guilty and do your best to manage the condition as well as you can.

Love,

Lilia

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7 Ways I Use Raw Shea Butter

Lifestyle

Although I have always moisturised my body with some sort of Shea butter body product or other, I was first introduced to natural unrefined Shea butter by the hubby who swears by the raw African Shea butter. 
I have to admit that I wasn’t a fan of the unrefined butter at first because I didn’t particularly like the smell (of lack of, actually) of it but when I got pregnant, I decided to use it more frequently and let me tell you it’s one of the best things you can put on your skin. 

Shea butter comes from the seeds of the fruit of the Shea (Karite) tree and is naturally rich in vitamins A, E and F. Although it is widely used in Africa and other countries as food and to improve skin and hair, I feel that some of us in the West are still in the dark about its many other uses and benefits. I initially started using Shea butter as a body butter but I have since found other uses and benefits of this super product:

1. Moisturiser – my skin tends to get really, really dry and I have tired many beauty store moisturisers that claim to work on dry skin and for some reasons they just don’t quite hit my dry skin spot like I need them to (see what I did there?!). Since I’ve started using Shea butter, my skin feels smooth, hydrated and soft. If like me you’re not a bog fan of the scent, you can add other oils such as lavender oil

2. Eczema – my daughter has inherited by dry skin and a couple of weeks after she was born, she had a mild case of baby eczema. I found that using unrefined Shea butter on the affected areas really helped clear the eczema away. She still has dry skin but thankfully no more eczema. It works just as great on most skin rashes.

3. Cradle Cap – on top of baby eczema, I also had cradle cap to deal with. This is basically scaly/scabby patches that appear on babies’ scalps. Because my baby’s skin is sensitive and my GP wanted me to avoid chemicals on her skin, etc, I was left with using both coconut oil and Shea butter for her hair. I’d message the butter on her head and leave it over night then gently brush it off the next day.

4. Stretch Mark Prevention – I swear by using Shea butter to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy. I used this everyday on my belly and i didn’t get a stretch mark….until my Shea butter ran out towards the end of my pregnancy and Mother Nature refused to let me be great. I am convinced had it not run out, it would have been a win for me…well, i’m starting to love my stripes anyway.

5. Tough & Cracked Heels – i love a good pedicure. My favourite part is when they peel off the hard skin on the heels. Wellll…I found out some time ago from one of the people I follow on Twitter that pedicures aren’t as great for your feet as I first believed. Did you know that peeling off your skin makes even tougher skin grow up. I guess it’s a way of your skin defending itself. Now, every night before bed, I put a generous amount of Shea butter on my feet and wear socks and it works. 

6. Shaving Cream – this is a recent discovery (must have read it somewhere). I tried this and it left my legs feeling so soft. The consistency is slightly thicker but it does the job so much better than most standard shaving creams

7. Hair – my hair is natural and a lot of the hair products I buy contain Shea butter but nothing compares to actually using the unprocessed butter. I use it mainly on my scalp as a conditioner or put it all over my hair for shorter, more manageable hair. It locks in moisture and prevents my hair from getting dry and frizzy. 


As you can see the raw butter is a bit hard at first but it can be melted for a more oily texture. 

Love,

Lilia 

My Mother’s Day Gift Wishlist Under £30

Lifestyle, motherhood

It’s Mother’s Day in a few days but most importantly it is my very first Mother’s Day and I feel like a kid Counting down the number of sleeps they go to Disneyland or something. I’m too excited it’s becoming ridiculous!a candy! 

It’s just dawned on me that aside from Valentine’s Day, my birthday and Christmas, I now have an extra day to be given a gift (cue the hubby rolling his eyes) and rightly so. I created life and then pushed her out to the world. It should be Mother’s Day everyday if you ask me! Seriously though, I always wondered what my very first Mother’s Day would be like and now it’s here and I can’t contain myself! Whilst I still don’t know what hubby and bubba have in store for me on the day – if anything at all, I certainly have a few ideas for the gifts I’d love to receive. 

I love bargain hunting and online shopping is such a godsend because being a new mum, I can’t always go out to shop so it’s great that I can pretty much type whatever on Google and get my retail therapy on. It was actually my mother’s birthday last week and whilst browsing the net for possible gift ideas, I came across this website http://www.findmeagift.co.uk. The website is kinda like notonthehighstreet.com but much I found that it was more affordable and suitable for bargain hunters like myself. They’ve even got a sale on Mother’s Day giftsI which is even great so I was able to look around andcome up with my top 5 gifts under £30 – perfect for those on a budget:

1. Wine Bottle Glass £16.99 – I stumbled across this bottle glass and immediately fell in love with it. I’m not much a of a drinker and even less so since I fell pregnant and had my baby but there are times when I’ve worked so hard taking care of my baby, hubby, the home, etc. that I just feel like murdering a glass of red wine, if not a whole bottle and with this gift you get to do both. #happydays

2. Bath Bubble Machine £11.99 – I love the idea of a bubble bath at the end of the day after  I’m done being supermum and just want some time to myself. I wouldn’t have thought of such a gift but when I saw it, it made me wanna take a bath so this could be a perfect gift for mummy dearest. 

3. Mum Definition Candle £9.99 – my mother is my absolute everything and when I see the way my daughter looks at me, I can just tell that I’m her absolute world too. I’m obsessed with candles and this gift is perfect for illustrating the many different hats mums wear and let them know they deserve the world. 

4. Personalised I Heart My Mummy Mug £9.99 – rightly or wrongly, we’ve all given our mums a mug at least once (or 3) on Mother’s Day. It may be a predictable and cliché gift but this mug is so cute that I wouldn’t even be mad if I got it as a gift. It’s a constant reminder to mummies how much they are loved. 

5. Farrero Rocher Chocolate Tree £26.99 – giving chocolate on Mother’s Day is kinda like the mug situation but who can say no to this piece of art?! Can we all agree that this is genius right here!I’m on a no sugar diet so I won’t be eating this but I can sure look at it all day! Plus, it looks too cute to eat anyway. 

I’m sure I’ll love whatever gift my little family gets me on Sunday but a mamma can sure wish!
P.S: this post is not sponsored or an ad

Love,

Lilia 

3 Reasons Why I Co-Sleep

Lifestyle, motherhood

I swore up and down that I wouldn’t co-sleep with my baby before I had her. If I’m honest, my reasoning had little to do with any health guidelines or recommendations but rather that I just didn’t want to share my bed. I was weary of the difficulties I could encounter when weaning her off my bed (can I say that?). Of course as any first time mums will agree – mum plans, baby laughs! When the baby is actually here, you find that they are boss and you’re happy to oblige. 
I know the debate to co-sleep or not to co-sleep is as serious as that of breastfeeding. I’ve heard mothers and other people debate both sides and I’ve read the guidelines for both arguments to better inform myself. While I’ve found that both sides to have valid arguments, I personally co-sleep for these 3 reasons:

1. Feeding – my daughter’s cot is in my room and will remain there until she’s at least one year old because I can’t bring myself to even think of her sleeping in a different room to me. I almost get paranoid at the thought. Nonetheless, she shares our end because I quickly found out that it is very convenient when doing the nighttime feeds. Granted, she awakes less these days but I don’t have to get out of my bed to feed her when she is up at night and that to me is amazing. Also, she uses a dummy and fusses when it comes out of her mouth (happens all the time), so I can’t imagine getting up and off my bed just to go put it back in her mouth 3-5 times a night. Plus, she sleeps better and longer so that means more sleep for mummy as well!

2. I Keep My baby Safe – I can just picture those against co-sleeping roll their eyes at this one but to me, having my baby sleeping next to me actually puts me in a protective mode. I’m not a heavy sleeper naturally anyway but I’m even more aware of her presence and of the environment around us when she’s sleeping with me. This means if she was in danger, I would be quick to act and that provides me with a sense comfort knowing that I’m right there next to her if she needs me. 

3. I Enjoy It – aside from the convenience and safety reasons, I actually love and enjoy having my baby sleep in the bed with me (much to her father’s disapproval). She has this habit of caressing my face in her sleep for comfort and this literally brings me joy. It’s like she just needs to feel for me to know that I’m there (how can I say no to that!). Also, nothing compares to waking up every morning and seeing her cute little face smiling at me. 

I am well aware of the dangers of co-sleeping so this post is not by any means to disregard the genuine and valid concerns. At the same time, it should be acknowledged that so many mothers out there co-sleep with their babies and I think it is important that we are not made to feel guilty for doing it as long as we’re taking the necessary precautions to ensure that it is done safely, i.e. One shouldn’t co-sleep if consuming alcohol or smoking and not sleeping on a couch, etc. 

Like any mother ou there, my daughter’s safety and wellbeing is at the forefront of my entire being. Another thing to keep in mind for those who criticise this way of sleeping is accepted and practiced safely in many cultures, so the default reaction to it shouldn’t be a negative one as many would agree that it also has its benefits. 

Love,

Lilia 

5 Ways Having A Baby Tests Your Relationship 

motherhood, Relationships

I’m sure a lot of parents, especially new and first time parents would agree with the sad truth that having a baby can have an adverse effect on your relationship. 
Just before giving birth, a mummy friend of mine told me to expect arguments when the baby was here and I couldn’t understand for the life of me what she meant. Worry not, because I found out quickly enough just how right she was. 

If I’m honest, having our daughter actually caused us to have some of our worst arguments ever….to a point where it’s fair to say both of us questioned whether or not our relationship would actually survive. Hell, sometimes I didn’t know whether or not I WANTED it to survive. Four months down and we’re getting the hang of parenthood and a bit more sleep never hurt anyone but to be honest, it’s still a work in progress as far as getting back to a decent place in our relationship. 

There are obviously a million and one factors contributing to tension and issues having a newborn can bring to a relationship but here are my top five:

1. Tiredness – people told me to sleep as much as possible because I wouldn’t be sleeping much for a few years and though I knew there was some truth in it, I also thought they were exaggerating. Wrong!! My daughter would sleep ALL day and be up from about 10pm until 6 or 7am the next day. Yes, I tried sleeping when she did but things have to be done around the house too. Anyways with my lack of sleep and pure exhaustion, I became snappy and easily annoyed which created unnecessary arguments. Happy to announce she’s much better now.

2. Post Natal Depression – I wrote a piece on this a few weeks back and I still feel so self-conscious when this subject comes up because of all the taboo around it in African communities but although I didn’t know it then, I was affected with PND which also meant I was always crying and down right moody. Hubby didn’t understand what was happening and we’d argue because I didn’t know why I felt the way I felt so relaying any information to him was near enough impossible and we were both left frustrated and distant. 

3. Extended Family – now, we all know almost everyone becomes an expert in babies when there is a newborn but couple this with two different African cultures and you’ve got unsolicited, unwanted and damn weight crazy advice and opinions. The other half was being told one thing from his family but when he’d run it to me , I’d shut him down because that wasn’t a practice in my culture or whatever and he’d end up feeling like his contributions didn’t matter and become resentful, etc etc. Naming the baby was also another uncomfortable situation which I wrote about in one of my posts. 

4. Night Duties – now this is a funny one because the Mr would say I never let him help much but I remember getting so angry at the fact that I was up at night with the baby while he was sleeping. Poor guy would offer to take the baby sometimes and I’d say no because I wanted to be the one person who could soothe and comfort her and so I self-righteously thought he didn’t know what he was doing. Then I’d be angry with him if he didn’t offer to help (even though we both knew the answer would 90% always be no). I was just a right mess to be frank so don’t ask me questions because I know it doesn’t make sense.  

5. Communication – or the lack thereof as was our case. One thing which we would both agree on is that my other half is not the greatest communicator that ever existed. In fact, he wouldn’t even make the cut if there was such a process. His heart is always in the right place but he internalises things and is practically allergic to confrontation. This means if he’s upset about something I’ve said or done (which happens daily), he won’t tell me and if it’s something he considers to be major then his mood will change so I’ll be left wondering what’s wrong. One thing I’ve also found is I’m what I’d like to call an ’emergency communicator’, i.e. I only really want to sit down and talk when something has already happened. Throughout this process I’m learning the importance of every day communication and we’re slowly getting there. 

So there you have it. As a whole, having a child has been a blessing so I don’t want anyone thinking it just messes up your relationship but at the same time it’s foolish to be ignorant of the fact that adding a small human into the mix of things can definitely have its down points…..at least at first! I also understand that this is not necessarily the case for everyone all the time, but for me it sure has been a rollercoaster which is slowly but sure coming back down. 

You know what, I’m grateful nonetheless. For every bit of it (well…most bits). I’ve learned so much about myself, the hubby and our relationship in the last four months than the years prior to having our daughter and it’s all good! 

Love,

Lilia

Finding Out I Was Pregnant

motherhood

I’m sat here smiling because exactly a year ago I found out I was pregnant. The Mr and I had just come back from our holiday in Dubai where I spent the whole 7 days and 6 nights sleeping and then sleeping some more because I didn’t feel like I was sleeping enough…..go figure!
Before I fell pregnant with my daughter, I actually dreamed twice that I was pregnant. The first time it was a woman handing me twin girls and another was just a dream that I was pregnant. I didn’t pay much attention to it because i thought getting pregnant is something that happened to other women and quite frankly the idea seems so far fetched that my mind couldn’t fathom the idea quite frankly. Mind you, I’ve always known I wanted kids. 
I remember on our way to Dubai we stopped over in Ukraine for a couple of hours and I was complaining of having very sore boobs and cramps but I just put it down to my period coming. I even thought my period had came when I saw blood after going to the toilet so not in a thousand years did I think I was pregnant. 

Once in Dubai, all I did was sleep and sleep some more. The other half and I would bicker because we had a whole itinerary of activities and sightseeing during our stay but getting myself out of bed before noon was near enough impossible. I put this down to jet lag and went about my business getting even more acquainted with my hotel bed and pillow whilst he did everything by himself. 
Another tell tale sign I guess was the fact that my breasts were so tender that I would flinch every time I got dressed but again because I was still bleeding, albeit lightly, I just thought i was having my period rather than spotting.  

Imagine my surprise when we got back and hubby dragged me to Tesco to grab a pregnancy test. I remember laughing at him because I was so certain I wasn’t pregnant that even when I peed on the stick, I left it in the bathroom floor and went to sleep AGAIN until he came rushing in the bedroom asking what two lines meant! I actually thought I’d heard wrong until he asked again and I looked at the stick for the first time. 
A year on and the little madam is four months with a larger than life personality already. I’m amazed and overwhelmed at how much can happen and change in a year. Mostly, I’m grateful that God saw it fit to pick me to be this wonderful soul’s mother. 

Love,

Lilia

There Is Beauty In Self-Love

Lifestyle, Relationships

I know it always sounds like I’ve had this great epiphany since becoming a mother but I kinda have….in so many areas. I have become more confident in myself as a woman and as a person in general. I have more awareness of Self. I am more in tune with my feelings….happy and sad. My hopes, my aspirations, my fears….

I’ve also noticed that I love myself a little more everyday. I’m learning my real worth, my values, my importance. As a result , I have become less tolerant of the people and things that do not align with the woman and person that I’m becoming. I find that when we think low of ourselves, people tend to do the same. When we don’t value ourselves, people tend to mirror that and not value us either and we’re often blind to it because we haven’t yet discovered how to love ourselves and set standards and boundaries. 

As much as it is a clichée, people will really and truly only treat you the way that they see and feel you treat yourself. Looking back in past relationships, I actually cringe now because I can see that I was insecure, clingy and didn’t have much self worth.  I didn’t love or even like myself enough to put myself first and ensure my happiness was a priority. Can you imagine that I’d be surprised and confused when they didn’t love me or treat me as I needed to be? I’d wonder why they couldn’t see me and who I was and te love I had for them, etc. Little did I know their vision was crystal clear. They say me alright!!

I’ve had friendships where I have been there for the person, I have given my all to them in terms of being the best friend that I could be and only to be disappointed time and time again. Why, you ask? Because I didn’t have respect for myself enough to know that I deserved better out of a friendship. I didn’t set strict boundaries in our friendships and I didn’t hold them accountable for their actions or lack of. I let people waste my time, energy and sometimes money. I used to get so resentful and hurt for the lack of respect and consideration but I now realise I didn’t respect or consider myself, so why would they?

I’m now at a place of self – self healing, self growth , self discovery, self love. A place where I guard my heart from things and people who temper with my peace, my joy, my trust, my patience and my bloody sanity. This has meant loving some people – family and friends, from afar and that’s ok. I feel so liberated in knowing that I don’t even owe anyone an explanation either. I’m doing what I need to do for me and it feels great. 

I think I used to focus so much on changing people, changing the way they saw me, the way they treated me…downright trying to change who they are as people but I have now realised that there’s only person I can change and in all these scenarios, there was only ever  one person that needed changing and that was me. Hindsight is truly 20/20 but we thank Godfor growth!

My advise to anyone out there reading this – don’t ever, and I mean Never Ever dim your light for anyone. Never ever compromise your beliefs, values, worth, love or anything for anyone. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to say goodbye to anyone who doesn’t reflect who you are, where you are in life and where you want to go. Yes, sometimes it includes our nearest and dearest and when I say cutting off I don’t necessarily mean not ever talking or hanging out. I mean being so self-aware that when you so much as sniff danger (couldn’t think of a better work), you will have the courage to nip it in the bud. Having self-peace is more important and should be pursued daily!  

Love,

Lilia

What A Great Time To Be A Woman

Lifestyle, motherhood, Relationships

Happy International Women’s Day to all the women of the world. 
Our strength, courage, resilience, persistence is second to none.

Our love, patience, compassion, understanding is matched by none.

We are mothers, daughters, sisters, aunties, friends, wives…and sometimes fathers too.

We are God’s gift to humanity, life bearers, hope givers, faith havers and so much more.

Oh, what a great time it is to be a woman….
I never grasped my power, my strength, my importance as a woman until I carried life, protected it, nurtured it and then brought it forth 9 months later.

I am a QUEEN, 

I am a godess

I am virtuous

I am Mother Nurture

I love unconditionally, I give unexpectedly 
I’m a Teacher, a Counsellor, a Doctor 

I’m an Advisor, a Secret Keeper, a Confidant

I’m an alarm clock, a reminder, a personal planner

I’m a cook, a cleaner, an organiser

I am ALL that is good in this world.
I am a Woman and all good things begin with me!

5 Things I Wasn’t Expecting When Expecting 

Lifestyle, motherhood

So baby girl is gonna be four months in less than a week. I actually don’t know whether to cry or rejoice because I’ve found that when it comes to motherhood I tend to be conflicted more times than I feel should be allowed. 

I’m happy that she’s now passed the ‘boring’ phase where she’s just there (eat, poop, sleep)! Now, this little human has so much personality and is sooo loud I cannot believe 4 months ago she was still in my belly. Cue the crying bit. I just feel that time is flying  and although I’m amazed at her growth and milestones, I just don’t want her to grow….like who can I speak to about this? Honestly!! 

As much as I love and enjoy my baby now….I found pregnancy to be full of surprises and here are the top five things I just wasn’t expecting when expecting: 

1. Pregnancy Sucks – yes I said it! No, I’m not ashamed to say it. Yes, I know some women enjoy being pregnant but….Being pregnant has got to be the most uncomfortable thing a woman can go through…or at least it was for me. Also I know I’m not the only mamma who will attest to this fact. I understand it’s still taboo to admit as we’re supposed to just be happy because we’re growing a human and yes, we are but it’s the hardest thing ever!  

2. Brushing Teeth Anxiety – whoever invented the term ‘morning sickness’ should probably be slapped in the face (joking…..maybe)! I bet you the person who did was probably a man because if it was a woman, they would have known better than that. What surprised me however was the gagging and heaving when brushing my teeth. I used to actually get anxious about this because I would throw up which meant I’d have to brush my teeth AGAIN to get rid of the taste….talk about a catch 22!

3. Piles and Hemorrhoids – this didn’t affect me until the very end of my pregnancy and especially after I gave birth . It was like having two bum holes (excuse the language)and not only did it hurt, it was also very very itchy which made me very uncomfortable.

4. Pregnancy Mask – now this one I can’t say I didn’t know about as I had heard family members talk about this but boy oh boy did I get the curse of the mask or what?! I’m blessed with melanin skin and I love it but I was not ready for the deformation my face experienced. My nose increased by at least 4x its normal size. I got 10 shades darker from the beck up. Thankfully this occurred the last  couple of months of my pregnancy but it was so bad that I still can’t look at my baby shower pictures without cringing. Thank goodness that wasn’t permanent. 

5. Chronic Paranoia- as a mum, your heart is definitely outside of your body but what I didn’t expect was the total paranoia I experienced whilst pregnant. I developed a fear of driving and was so sure some crazy driver would hit me from the back that not only did I put P plates on my car, I also changed from manual to automatic out of the fer I’d stall and roll back or something…Funny enough, I drove until the very week I gave birth. Another thing was when the baby wouldn’t move. I don’t take this lightly because they do encourage women to seek help when this is the case but I just took it to a whole new level and would literally do all sorts to make the baby kick! 

Mummies – what are some of the things you found out that you didn’t know about pregnancy?
Love,
Lilia 

Whatcha Doing For Lent

Lifestyle

Eeekk….Lent is here!! Well, it started yesterday but I had a busy day being a mum and missed the memo until last night when I googled it…oh well!

I’ve noticed that the tradition (if I can call it that) is to give up the things you love for Lent such as cutting down on junk food or alcohol, etc. I fully understand this concept because the idea of sacrifice is to give up something you otherwise cannot go without or at the very least wouldn’t want to. A couple of Lents ago, I gave up social media because I felt that it had a stronghold on me in an unhealthy way. I felt that I was addicted to social media. The weird thing is I’m more active now than I was then in terms of posting but I sure love a good browse and it took over my mornings and late nights and anytime in between as well. It was so bad that I wasn’t even praying anymore. I’d browse till 2 or 3 in the morning knowing full well I had to get up for work at 6am. .  So for Lent, I knew that I had to get the shackles off and I did. It was actually not as bad as I had feared. After a couple of weeks, the urge went and it didn’t seem like a big deal anymore. I’d really like to do the same now but seeing as I’m trying to be this great blogger and do YouTube videos, I don’t think it’d be feasible at this moment in time but maybe next time. 

So yes, I fully appreciate the idea of sacrificing the things you like or love the most. I understand that sometimes, it doesn’t even feel like a sacrificiel unless it is something you like and it hurts to give it up  but for this Lent I want to let go of things that are more intangible than tangible. I have realised that I can be a very emotional person. No, I don’t go around crying on cue but I have noticed that I often let emotions get the better of me and I let them lead me rather than me taking control of them. I have come to realise that not all feelings and emotions should be validated and so I have decided to strive everyday – but first for the next 40 days to get back control of my emotions. I cannot control other people and what they do or say but I sure damn well can control myself, my actions and my emotions and so here goes….

Following from that I also want to let go of any negativities. This includes things and people. I want to guard my heart more  and be more deliberate in thinking more positively and looking at the glass half full rather than half empty. I want to choose to see the good in every and any situation no matter how dark and gloomy it may be. To make a long story short, I want to exercise more faith and trust in the Lord and let go of anything I cannot change. This to me is just as much a sacrifice as givi up the things I love because it doesn’t come naturally and I know it’ll hurt as all heck!

Last but not least, I want to start doing the things that I love more. Reading and writing are my absolute passion. They say  do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life and for me that’s writing. For years now, I have let life come between me and my passion and add motherhood to it – it’s been near enough impossible to find the time to read let alone write about anything. No more!!! I will now MAKE the time to write something…. anything for the next 40 days – be it on the blog or just my personal journal. After all, who knows what new habits I might develop and what new things I will create after these 40 days! 

So that’s my Lent sorted. I’m not giving up anything I love but I’m deciding to let go of things I know are not good for me, my happiness and my growth. I’m also gonna do more of the things I love.

Love,

Lilia