Saturday, 30 October 2010

Black History Month

Just a few days left of Black History Month here in the UK!!!

But what does this mean to me? Growing up, I don't ever remember knowing that it was Black History Month. It was only in the last 5-8 years that I became really aware of Black History and how black people have influenced society. Only now do I appreciate what a big thing it was for Rosa Parks to refuse to give up her seat, how powerful Martin Luther's 'I have a dream' speech was...and that Mary Seacole was as a big a deal as Florence Nightingale! It makes me think, which people alive today will become influential in the 'black history' that we are writing every day? Who will our great great Grandchildren know about... who should they know about?

Here are some of the people who have influenced me lately... 

Maya Angelou

She alone got me inteested in literature, when little else could. 'From I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings' to 'Letter to my Daughter', you just have to love her words.. the relevance...the rawness....the strength and the wisdom... love her!
Barack and Michelle Obama
Whenever I see this beautiful black couple on TV, I feel really warm inside. I was convinced that Barack would not be voted to represent America, but he was. I remember when the votes were counted. I felt a huge sense of shock, pride, glee even! It felt feels like a very big deal to me and it is. This will no doubt make it into the history books... Aside from the politics of it all, I LOVE seeing a positive image of a black woman on TV. I love that the other Mrs O (Michelle!) doesn't have to be singing, dancing, running or making jokes for the world to like her. Not only does every style choice she makes result in the Michelle Obama Effect but she is using her brain, her heart and supporting her man. Simply, I just find her amazing to look at and listen to. I grew up with 'Claire Huxtable' from the Cosby Show. Little Miss O has Michelle Obama - and is she is real!!! That makes me feel so pleased to be raising a child in 2010. 

Dr Kevin Fenton 
He is the director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP) at the CDC in the US. This wont mean much to most people, but as I am currently in this line of work, he's extremely inspirational for me...he's really carved a great career for himself and I would love to follow in his footsteps.

Trevor Phillips
In keeping with my career progression and ambitions, I am also totally inspired by Trevor Philips in reaching his position as chairman for the Commission for Equality and Human Rights.

Who else is making their mark on future black history at the moment...?


Mrs O

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Little Miss O says the funniest things...

Me on the phone to Mr O: we're off to the shop before we head home, I need to get de-icer spray, a scraper and tights for baby girl.
Me to Little Miss O: (trying to sound enthusiastic!) So sweetie pie, before we go home, we're going to the shop to buy some tights for you!
Little Miss O: and a spray and scraper.
Me: Yes darling! You're so clever, yes, we're getting those and we're going to buy some tights for you!
Little Miss O: No, I have tights at home...
Me: I know, but we need to buy some more.
Little Miss O: I don't need tights, I have tights already!
Me: (sensing her lack of enthusiasm!) OK then, we're going to buy tights as a TREAT! (I used my extra enthusiastic voice!)
Little Miss O: (frowning) I need a different treat...
Me: What treat would you like?
Little Miss O: (now, grinning!) sweeeeets!

You just have to love Little Miss O! She is certainly her Father's daughter...talking about 'we've got tights at home!'... There is something so refreshing and hilarious about speaking with an innocent child!

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Little Miss O is 2 and a half!!!

Dear Little Miss O,

Goodness how time flies. Today is your half birthday - you're two and a half and fabulous through and through and officially you are a toddler and not really the 'baby girl' that we affectionately call you.

Being the (chic) geek that I am, I googled 'toddler'... here is what your Daddy's favourite 'urban dictionary' had to say:

"Tiny bipolar humans under the age of 3, who can swing rapidly between endearingly cute antics and screaming, kicking, biting fits of rage. Completely unpredictable and often unintelligible lovable little walking blessings/nightmares disguised as tiny human beings with giant heads. Prone to selective hearing and repeating overheard curse words at inopportune moments. More dangerous when traveling in packs. Evolutionarily speaking, it is ridiculous that humans have the ability to reproduce fast enough to be the parent of more than one toddler at a time."

I think most of that sums you up, but you are more easy-going than raging, more fun than furious, and you are certainly a loving and lovable child. Thank God that you are and thank your Aunty Shiffy - for praying on my bump about 3 years ago that you would give me an easy ride!

You feed yourself, can get your own cup and fill it with milk that you fetch yourself from the fridge. You even know that the one with the blue lid is for you and the one with green lid is for Daddy. Hence, I secretly think you're a genius (and that you practice weights when we think you're sleeping! - you're just so strong for such a little person). You also love hide and seek and enjoy 'writing' shopping lists with me. You always seem to remember the things that I have forgotten to add. Like I say, you're a genius... that said, you still think that all black men are 'uncle', which always makes for interesting conversations with random men in the supermarket!

Slowly but surely we'll get there sweetie. I don't really know where 'there' is, but if ever a Mother was determined to make sure her daughter gets 'there' - it is me!

Happy half birthday my sweetest sweetums! Mwah with love, kisses and cuddles and more love, kisses and cuddles from your


p.s. maybe one day soon calling myself that wont sound so strange!

Friday, 8 October 2010

Career vs. Motherhood vs Marriage minus the Mulberry!

'a woman can be married, with children and have a career, but she can only do two out of the three well'.

Years ago, I didn't do much with this info. but I sure did remember it. Now that I'm a married mother, who has a career, I see a lot of truth in that statement. Not that I agree with it, but I can totally understand it better now. 
I was reminded of this idea this week. I met a couple of mums at a work related training course. One of the ladies (in her 40s, with 2 boys) confessed that she feels like she is juggling all the balls in the air and that she's scared that they're going to come crashing down all around her.                

She explained to us 'younger mums' that she is tired of trying so hard. Ouch! I completely empathised with her. There have certainly been times where I have felt that way. But this woman, on first impressions made me think 'wow, check her out with her mahoosive mulberry bag - love her!' (I know it was real as I could smell the cow as soon as she walked into the room!). This woman seemed so poised, so well put-together, so in control - but through the course of the day, I realised that she too was winging it, day by day (and she wasn't happy about it!). I should have known better really, after all, I used to be her, minus the Mulberry! A year later, I feel like a completely different person, still winging it - but now I'm happy to be winging it! : ) It is so much easier!

Whilst I still know what my priorities are, I am determined to be a good wife, a good mother and have a fulfilling career! Call me super-woman, or call me crazy but I honestly think I am pulling it off. I think anyone can. The secret lies in having your own definitions of what a 'good' mother is, what a 'good' wife is and what it means to have a 'good' career. My success in this 'happy to wing it' attitude has come from doing things my own way and not feeling the need to keep up with the Jones', the yummiest mummy at daycare or the person who works every waking hour of the day. 

Having my own definitions and raising my own tolerance for imperfection has helped me to beyond measure! I feel like I should write a book on it! Seriously, I am so less frazzled than I was a year ago - and whenever I hear another Mum say that its all getting too much, I just want to shake them (then cuddle them) and show them a technique that may just work. Heck, it could work for anyone who feels like they're juggling too much - Mummy or not, woman or not....

Reminding myself that I don't have to be perfect all day, every day is something that I have consciously  had to do this year and slowly but surely, I'm internalising it. And guess what (?) - it feels AMAZING! Mr O is happy, Little Miss O is happy and work-wise, things are going well... I'm very nearly done with my PhD corrections..woo hoo, it's happy days!!!

Of course, Mr O's fabulousness contributes to my being able to juggle these things...but this week, I feel like I owe myself a special shout-out (big-headed, I know, but sometimes you just gotta toot your own horn!).

In the past week, I have successfully balanced bible study time (thanks to my trusty iphone), work, a training course, a sick kid, a sick husband, a teleconference whilst on my own sick day, cooked 5 dinners, did two major house clean ups, hopped on and off 4 buses, (finally) named my theoretical model (phd stuff), submitted a revised chapter of my phd, obtained a CRB disclosure (woo hoo!), had a catch up with a friend, had a girly night out, laughed at the apprentice and ugly betty and now I've found a few minutes to update this here blog!

I feel like I've achieved a lot this week (thanks to JC) and I am one happy bunny! So, toot toot and yey for me! 

Have a great weekend!
Mrs O
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