By Winnie Gaturu

Since my son started walking, I've received a lot of unsolicited advice from acquaintances to complete strangers: "You should have another kid to keep your son company," "You should have a girl," (as if I can determine the child's gender), or the one that bothers me the most..."You should have more kids in case one dies." That's downright disturbing!

Continue
Sometimes I want to yell, "STOP telling me to have more kids!
Some of my friends share the same sentiments. For instance, Emily, a mother of one feels offended since most of the people telling her to have more kids are the same ones who told her she was too young to be a mother in the first place. She doesn’t understand how the dynamic changed from her being too young to her being old enough. On the other hand, Valentine, a mother of four, feels that spacing kids out is wrong and the maximum age difference between siblings should be two years. That way, you get them all out in one go and get done with it. She’s also very vocal in telling other mothers, me included, to have more kids. Sigh!

That said, I have a couple of reasons why I'm not considering having another child now or in the near future. For starters, raising a child is not cheap. I want to offer my children the best I can and at the moment, I only have room for the one I have. Secondly, I have my hands full at the moment. I know you'll say I'm selfish but that's just how it is. Unless you'll pay the child's bills, help me carry the pregnancy to term, and raise the child for me, you have no business suggesting when or how many children I should have.

But I won't lie and say that these comments don't get to me. At some point, I even turned to Google to find out whether raising one child would make them spoiled, entitled or lonely like most people keep saying. To my relief, all these concerns are just myths. As a matter of fact, only children are as lonely as any other child with siblings, and being an only child doesn’t make them more antisocial than their counterparts with siblings. They also get to enjoy more perks since their parents can afford to provide more for them. Only children even end up developing a higher IQ. However, there are some disadvantages too, like only children feeling an immense amount of pressure to succeed by their parents, or feeling suffocated from too much attention.

Considering everything, I've made a decision to be content with my one child, at least for now. So to the people telling me to have more kids, STOP! 

Do you mind people telling you to have more kids? 
 https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-DnsMSFjLFNw/We9aV3iBeiI/AAAAAAAADII/F9HbMPX6PfYe6aCJqc-eDi3Wgmu41YE4wCLcBGAs/s1600/Winnie%2BG..jpg
Winnie Gaturu is a writer, tech lover, mom, wife and student from Nairobi, Kenya. During her free time, she loves trying out new recipes, diy projects, filling in crossword puzzles and spending time with her family. You can catch up with her on yourhairandbeautywrite.wordpress.com.



By Winnie Gaturu

Since my son started walking, I've received a lot of unsolicited advice from acquaintances to complete strangers: "You should have another kid to keep your son company," "You should have a girl," (as if I can determine the child's gender), or the one that bothers me the most..."You should have more kids in case one dies." That's downright disturbing!

Continue
Sometimes I want to yell, "STOP telling me to have more kids!
Some of my friends share the same sentiments. For instance, Emily, a mother of one feels offended since most of the people telling her to have more kids are the same ones who told her she was too young to be a mother in the first place. She doesn’t understand how the dynamic changed from her being too young to her being old enough. On the other hand, Valentine, a mother of four, feels that spacing kids out is wrong and the maximum age difference between siblings should be two years. That way, you get them all out in one go and get done with it. She’s also very vocal in telling other mothers, me included, to have more kids. Sigh!

That said, I have a couple of reasons why I'm not considering having another child now or in the near future. For starters, raising a child is not cheap. I want to offer my children the best I can and at the moment, I only have room for the one I have. Secondly, I have my hands full at the moment. I know you'll say I'm selfish but that's just how it is. Unless you'll pay the child's bills, help me carry the pregnancy to term, and raise the child for me, you have no business suggesting when or how many children I should have.

But I won't lie and say that these comments don't get to me. At some point, I even turned to Google to find out whether raising one child would make them spoiled, entitled or lonely like most people keep saying. To my relief, all these concerns are just myths. As a matter of fact, only children are as lonely as any other child with siblings, and being an only child doesn’t make them more antisocial than their counterparts with siblings. They also get to enjoy more perks since their parents can afford to provide more for them. Only children even end up developing a higher IQ. However, there are some disadvantages too, like only children feeling an immense amount of pressure to succeed by their parents, or feeling suffocated from too much attention.

Considering everything, I've made a decision to be content with my one child, at least for now. So to the people telling me to have more kids, STOP! 

Do you mind people telling you to have more kids? 
 https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-DnsMSFjLFNw/We9aV3iBeiI/AAAAAAAADII/F9HbMPX6PfYe6aCJqc-eDi3Wgmu41YE4wCLcBGAs/s1600/Winnie%2BG..jpg
Winnie Gaturu is a writer, tech lover, mom, wife and student from Nairobi, Kenya. During her free time, she loves trying out new recipes, diy projects, filling in crossword puzzles and spending time with her family. You can catch up with her on yourhairandbeautywrite.wordpress.com.

By Winnie Gaturu

I have a close friend, Janice, who always adds a piece of lemon to the water in her water bottle. I've always thought it looks pretty cool so in a bid to improve my water intake on a daily basis, I decided to add a piece of lemon to my water bottle too. After all, I've heard and read about the many benefits of lemons to our bodies. I found myself refilling my 16 ounce water bottle one or twice a day and was really proud of myself. Surprisingly, by the second day my lips, mouth and throat were feeling dry all the time and I started feeling dehydrated, so I  thought that the answer was to drink more lemon water. After two weeks of this, I decided to stop drinking lemon water in exchange for plain old water, and the dehydration was gone. Now we can agree that lemon water has a wide range of benefits. It is supposed to help digestion, boosts the immune system, and is even safe for kids, in a more diluted form, so what was I doing wrong?

Continue


Initially, after that experience, I had sworn to myself not to drink lemon water ever again. It was only after talking to Janice and some of my other friends that I realized some of the mistakes I had made.
For starters, I would put a half-lemon piece in the water bottle which made it hard to monitor the concentration of lemon I was drinking. Since I weigh 150 pounds, I should squeeze a lemon to get 1/2 ounce of lemon juice and mix it with 8 to 12 ounces of water. Janice didn't have a problem since she would only put a thin slice of lemon not half of it like I did. Secondly, I'd drink and refill the bottle once or twice during the day. Apparently, drinking too much concentrated lemon water leads to dehydration. Janice doesn't refill her bottle once the water she left home with is over. So maybe that’s why our outcomes were different.

I also realized that lemon water has its share of disadvantages too, like heartburn, frequent urination, aggravated stomach ulcers, and tooth sensitivity caused by the citric acid that can lead to tooth erosion. To avoid this, simply swish clean water in your mouth once or twice after drinking lemon water.

Clearly, there was a lot I hadn’t considered before starting my lemon water journey. I am wiser now! I’ve learnt that there's a limit to the amount of lemon water I can take daily and some of the precautions I should take. Although I'm now sticking to drinking plain water, I'll go back to drinking at least a glass of lemon water every morning soon.

What do you think? Yay or Nay to lemon water?

Winnie Gaturu is a writer, tech lover, mom, wife and student from Nairobi, Kenya. During her free time, she loves trying out new recipes, diy projects, filling in crossword puzzles and spending time with her family. You can catch up with her on yourhairandbeautywrite.wordpress.com.

By Winnie Gaturu

I have a close friend, Janice, who always adds a piece of lemon to the water in her water bottle. I've always thought it looks pretty cool so in a bid to improve my water intake on a daily basis, I decided to add a piece of lemon to my water bottle too. After all, I've heard and read about the many benefits of lemons to our bodies. I found myself refilling my 16 ounce water bottle one or twice a day and was really proud of myself. Surprisingly, by the second day my lips, mouth and throat were feeling dry all the time and I started feeling dehydrated, so I  thought that the answer was to drink more lemon water. After two weeks of this, I decided to stop drinking lemon water in exchange for plain old water, and the dehydration was gone. Now we can agree that lemon water has a wide range of benefits. It is supposed to help digestion, boosts the immune system, and is even safe for kids, in a more diluted form, so what was I doing wrong?

Continue


Initially, after that experience, I had sworn to myself not to drink lemon water ever again. It was only after talking to Janice and some of my other friends that I realized some of the mistakes I had made.
For starters, I would put a half-lemon piece in the water bottle which made it hard to monitor the concentration of lemon I was drinking. Since I weigh 150 pounds, I should squeeze a lemon to get 1/2 ounce of lemon juice and mix it with 8 to 12 ounces of water. Janice didn't have a problem since she would only put a thin slice of lemon not half of it like I did. Secondly, I'd drink and refill the bottle once or twice during the day. Apparently, drinking too much concentrated lemon water leads to dehydration. Janice doesn't refill her bottle once the water she left home with is over. So maybe that’s why our outcomes were different.

I also realized that lemon water has its share of disadvantages too, like heartburn, frequent urination, aggravated stomach ulcers, and tooth sensitivity caused by the citric acid that can lead to tooth erosion. To avoid this, simply swish clean water in your mouth once or twice after drinking lemon water.

Clearly, there was a lot I hadn’t considered before starting my lemon water journey. I am wiser now! I’ve learnt that there's a limit to the amount of lemon water I can take daily and some of the precautions I should take. Although I'm now sticking to drinking plain water, I'll go back to drinking at least a glass of lemon water every morning soon.

What do you think? Yay or Nay to lemon water?

Winnie Gaturu is a writer, tech lover, mom, wife and student from Nairobi, Kenya. During her free time, she loves trying out new recipes, diy projects, filling in crossword puzzles and spending time with her family. You can catch up with her on yourhairandbeautywrite.wordpress.com.

By Winnie Gaturu

In the black community, mental health is not an issue that’s commonly discussed. It is either treated as something that doesn’t exist or as white people problems. The result is that many black people suffer in silence or aren't aware that they have mental health issues, which can lead them to believe that they're making a big deal out of nothing. That’s what I used to tell myself too, a few years back. Now, I can see that what I was going through was not normal.

Continue  
I was always tired, but couldn't sleep, and I'd spend most nights crying in an unfinished building next to our house. Other times, I'd spend the whole day indoors, hating to talk to people. However, I attributed these feelings to pregnancy, and what I believed all pregnant women went through.
I was wrong. Data from the Health and Human Services Office of Minority Healthy shows that an estimated 20% of the African American population is more likely to suffer from mental health conditions than the white population. It also shows that African American teens are more likely to attempt suicide than their white counterparts. Some of the major triggers of mental health conditions include homelessness, racism, economic disparities and prejudice. Common mental health conditions in the black community include post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), suicide, major depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and anxiety. As a community, there are several things we can do to address mental health conditions. Here are 3.

 Speak Up About It
According to the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI), many people in the African American community don’t talk about mental health conditions. This stems from a common misunderstanding that relates mental health with personal weakness, or punishment from God.

Jennifer Lewis: "The elevator to success is broken. Take the stairs:"

Black celebrities are speaking up, among them Jennifer Lewis, Alicia Keys and Michelle Williams. Jennifer Lewis has undergone 10 years of medication and 17 years of therapy to help her manage bipolar disorder. She was diagnosed in 1990 although she says she knew something was extremely wrong even before then. Alicia Keys struggled with depression, acknowledging that she felt sad all the time and couldn’t shake off that feeling. Keys attributes her recovery to learning how to let go. Michelle Williams also opened up about her depression and suicidal thoughts when she was a member of Destiny’s Child, and has made it her goal to normalize the discussions about mental health.

Know Where To Find Mental Health Treatment
The good news is, there are many places you can seek help for mental health conditions. Since we all have access to the internet, you can start with a quick Google search to find a treatment center near you. The National Alliance On Mental Health (NAMI) is a great resource to finding treatment in your area, and you can also talk to your doctor. Although treatment can be expensive, the Affordable Care Act has made insurance coverage easier and more affordable. Joining a support group is also helpful so that you can surround yourself with people who understand what you're going through. 

Support Those Suffering From Mental Health Conditions
There’s a lot we can do to support loved ones when they are suffering from a mental health condition. Some of the things that hold us back from doing so include the person refusing help, being too afraid to approach them, not having a better understanding of the condition and feeling that we can’t offer enough support. Although these may be valid concerns, there are simple things you can do to offer your support. Simply listen, ask your loved one what you can do to help them and support their healthy behaviors such as sleeping, exercising and eating healthy. You should also ask whether they are receiving help. If they aren’t, assist them in finding a mental health professional or support group they can visit. Knowing that there’s someone who cares will go a long way in helping them recover.

Are you open to talking about your mental health issues?
Winnie Gaturu is a writer, tech lover, mom, wife and student from Nairobi, Kenya. During her free time, she loves trying out new recipes, diy projects, filling in crossword puzzles and spending time with her family. You can catch up with her on yourhairandbeautywrite.wordpress.com.