Ijeoma Kola in print dress on boat - Featured Image for October Q&A on Mom Guilt, Baby Weaning, US Elections and More!

October Q&A – Mom Guilt, Baby Weaning, Elections, and More!

I can’t believe how fast the end of the year is approaching! And what a year it has been. I feel like I was answering the September Q&A just two seconds ago, and now we’re already sliding into the final quarter of 2020. I got plenty of interesting questions in October on mom guilt, weaning with TKB, the stressful US elections and more, so here we go!

Blogging and Content Creation

Q&A

  • Have you ever had self doubt when on your blogging/content creator journey?

    Hmm, not really. I blog because I enjoy writing, taking photos, and sharing my life, so I don’t experience self-doubt doing those things. Sometimes I second guess whether the content I’m posting is useful or impactful, but because I just share reflections from my own life, I don’t find myself doubting who I am or how I write. I also have a very take me or leave me approach to social media — I’m not for everyone and don’t try to be, which makes it easier to be sure of myself and the content I put out since I know I’m being true to who I am and not trying to change to appeal to the masses.

  • When you started blogging, were you ever discouraged by the number of views?

    I wasn’t discouraged by views when I first started because I was blogging just for fun. I didn’t really think about page views for the first few years because it didn’t matter to me — though I did like to see a month on month increase, I wasn’t trying to hit a certain number. Now that I blog full time, I’m much more concerned with page views and other metrics.

  • How do you incorporate your faith into your social media content without being preachy?

    I think that’s a reflection of how I feel about my faith in real life. I’m not a perfect person and I don’t claim to be perfect, so that “we’ve all fallen short” humility reflects in how I talk about my faith both online and in person. But I’m also not a faith blogger or a Christian blogger, so I can imagine if spreading the gospel through my blog was a passion or purpose of mine (it’s not), I might come across as more preachy than I do currently.

  • How do you promote your blog posts?

    I almost always share an accompanying post on my Instagram feed to announce my new blog post, then will do a round of promotion on IG stories, as well as on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. I also do a lot of interlinking of old blog posts (when it makes sense) in new articles, especially the Monthly Q&As. My team uses CoSchedule for a lot of the blog post promotion.

  • How do you manage your taxes for your blog while in Kenya? Do you still pay taxes?

    Haha yes I still pay taxes, I wish I could get away with not paying taxes like 45! As a US citizen I have to pay taxes no matter where I earn income, and my business is still registered in the US and is conducted primarily in the US. I use Quickbooks Self-Employed to help me figure out my taxes, and pay quarterly estimated taxes so I’m not hit with a ridiculously high bill come tax time.

  • How do you charge as an influencer? Or rather, what are your terms if someone wants to engage you?

    I don’t have set rates for campaigns — they range on a variety of factors (deliverables, exclusivity, usage, brand size, busyness, etc), but feel free to email me with any collaboration or partnership requests at hello@ijeomakola.com and we can get the conversation started.

  • Apologies if this is rude, but if I were looking for a business shout out, how do I get you to do it?

    I don’t do brand or individual “shout-outs”. I find it more authentic to create partnerships around storytelling that is based on real-life usage of a product or service, and I choose my partnerships based on the following:

    • brand values: does this brand care about people who look like me
    • product fit: is this something I actually use or want to use
    • audience value: is it something my audience will benefit from
    • logistics: can I execute the request in the time given
    • and compensation: will I be fairly rewarded (either monetarily or otherwise) for my time and effort

Motherhood

Q&A

  • How do you deal with the occasional mom guilt? Especially being a working mom.

    My general philosophy on mom guilt is that I can’t be a good mom if I’m not a happy and healthy person first, so it is imperative that I do the things that nourish me (including working on my passions) so that I can be a better mom.

    But on a regular basis, I try and ensure that the time I spend my son when I’m not working is intentional. So we’ll read, sing songs, make funny noises and faces, and play on the floor together. Since we work from home, we usually have an open door policy, where the office door is open unless one of us has a call or a deadline, and TKB is free to crawl in and say hi if he wants, so I’m able to sneak small interactions with him throughout the day. I also set aside around 6-7:30pm as “family time” so I’ll try not to schedule meetings or work during that time, so I can spend the last hour or so of his day with him. I also remind myself often that he’s super young and doesn’t remember why he cried 5 minutes ago, let alone why mommy didn’t play with him all day, so I’m anticipating that guilt may come on stronger as he gets slightly older and is more aware of my absence.

  • How do you juggle everything?

    Answered that here.

  • What blogs do you follow for motherhood inspo?

    I don’t really follow blogs or bloggers for their motherhood content (and I don’t think I follow any bloggers who are exclusively mommy bloggers), but a few moms who happen to blog/post on IG who inspire me include:

Baby

Q&A

  • Are you going to keep your baby off social media for good?

    I’m not sure. It’s now pretty easy to do so I can see myself just continuing with the back of the head shots as needed. On the other hand I feel like people are less pressed now so I don’t feel as if so many people are watching. Who knows?!

  • Will TKB be having a birthday party for his upcoming first birthday?

    We’ll be celebrating in some way, shape, or form, I just don’t know exactly how yet! But I’ve started with preliminary brainstorming, which is a start!

  • Do you have a nanny?

    Yes. First part-time and now full-time, and if you search nanny on the site, you’ll see a few different posts referring to the progression and my thoughts on having a nanny.

  • How do you start a schedule for an infant?

    Like with most things, you kind of just start, and iterate from there! I talked more about baby schedules at the 3 month mark, and again after 6 months.

  • Did you do baby led weaning with TKB?

    No we started with purées and still do mostly spoon feeding. Since my birthday trip we’ve been introducing a lot more finger foods and table foods.

  • Baby weaning ideas please? My one year old only takes watery cereals.

    TKB eats just about anything that can be mashed, and like I said in the above question, has now started eating table and finger foods. This month we’ve started doing mashed carb, protein, veggie mixtures instead of purees. A current fave is chicken + carrot + pumpkin, but we’ve also done rice + peas + tilapia. I shared a baby recipe in this family meal prep video!

  • TKB’s hair routine?

    His hair routine is low maintenance like mine, but then SUPER low maintenance since his dad washes his hair. His hair is supposed to be washed weekly (we use Aveeno baby wash) and then we add a leave in by Chao Botanicals (which was gifted). We usually just finger comb but if he’s not too sleepy I’ll use a wide toothed comb to gently detangle.

  • I have an 8 week old baby boy. Do you have any baby clothes you are kindly willing to lend?

    We’re hoping to have more kids (God-willing) and intentionally bought or requested clothing that was gender neutral, so I’m holding onto his old clothes for the time being.

Hair and Beauty

Q&A

  • Can you share the name of the hair you have on please?

    I can do you one better — I have an entire blog post about them, including where you can purchase the hair in Nairobi.

  • Would you ever flat iron your hair?

    Absolutely, and I have several times before! It doesn’t last that long when I do it so I don’t do it that often. The last time I had it pressed was two years ago, so I might get it done before 2020 ends.

  • Your skin though!

    Thank you!!! I’ve been loving the Black owned additions to my skincare routine!

  • Know any places to get facials in NYC?

    Tanya Thomas Skin Clinic in NYC is what really jumpstarted my clear skin journey, I talked more about her here!

Academia

Q&A

  • How did you get into public health?

    I was a premed major and took a class on Social Determinants of Health, which changed my perspective from addressing individual problems to better understanding the social and cultural factors that contribute to health.

  • What is the one thing you wish you had known when defending your thesis for your masters?

    I didn’t defend a thesis for my master’s, I just had to write a paper. But I was pretty nervous when defending my dissertation, so I try to remind other people that the committee ultimately wants you to succeed.

  • About to start my PhD and also thinking of having a second baby. Thoughts?

    I’m not at all an expert on having kids during a doctoral program, but people do it all the time!

Family, Culture, & Relationships

Q&A

  • How did you get your family on board even though they didn’t agree with your relationship?

    I was actually surprised that I haven’t written a dedicated post about this (which makes me think it’s in some YouTube video), but I basically just brought him around to family functions and activities so they could get to know him for themselves.

  • What advice do you have for those dating outside their culture?

    Just try and learn as much as you can about your partner’s culture, but I think in our generation cultural differences are few and far between, and not that relevant for the day to day of your relationship.

Advice & Personal

Q&A

  • How did you build your mental strength?

    This goes hand in hand with last month’s question on confidence, so I’ll link to it!

  • What advice do you have for a lady who feels like life is not happening?

    This is a tough one, especially because 2020 hasn’t gone the right way for many people. If you believe in God or a divine power, then I’d say to remind yourself that your life has a plan and purpose, and to not lose hope in the season that you’re in. If you don’t know what your passion and purpose is, it might be worth setting aside some time to figure them out. If you’re looking for a career switch, you can work on gaining new skills that are in demand now by taking free online courses.

  • Would you consider living in Nigeria? If yes, what would you like to do there professionally?

    I’m open to living in Lagos specifically, but I must admit the current sociopolitical climate (or rather, the current attention to the sociopolitical climate) makes me hesitant about building a life in Nigeria. And regardless of where I am in the world, I’ll still be doing what I’m currently doing — that’s one of the benefits of being self-employed in the digital age.

  • How and when do you think the pandemic will end?

    I’m not at all sure. It’ll be interesting to see how the parts of Europe that have gone into lockdown again are able to manage their cases, but in places like the US where there is no leadership and federal public health initiatives, combined with an undermining of science, I don’t see the pandemic going away any time soon, even once a vaccine is available.

  • Any advice on time management practices in COVID? It’s hard!

    It is hard! I wrote about being productive while working from home right before COVID became super real, and I’ve written about time management and productivity in the past, but my strategies are applicable to the present day as well. The only thing I’ll add is that if you find yourself at home a lot more due to the pandemic, think about how you can vary your environment periodically throughout the day, whether that means going for a quick afternoon walk or moving your laptop from one room to another, just to jog your brain and combat boredom.

  • How are you feeling about the US elections?

    This week has been one of, if not the most, stressful and anxious weeks of my life. I’m so glad I was by the ocean during all this mess because water calms me, but regardless of how the results turn out I’m still extremely saddened (not surprised, but saddened) by people’s inability to care about the blatant disregard that 45 has for Black, Latinx, and immigrant lives. I really thought the summer of BLM would have moved the needle forward, but I was very very wrong.

  • Funniest joke you’ve heard this month?

    I have really bad memory so this probably isn’t the best one, but while watching The Trial of the Chicago 7 recently the joke “why do the French only have one egg for breakfast” came up and I chuckled!

Your Kind Words

A new section this month, because I needed the positive vibes and encouragement after the stress of the week!

Q&A

  • No question, just really love what you do here. You are open and authentic!

    Thank you!! *sheds thug tear*

  • You are just awesome!

    So are you!!

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Comments

  1. I love you new design ❤. I haven’t been asking questions lately but I love to read the questions asked. You are awesome and always supersede my expectations being a WOC with so many goals accomplished.

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