Adebisi Adegbite Kuforiji is a woman whose intelligence, transparency, industry, honesty, confidence and wisdom I so much admire. Not only is she a boss lady, she’s a mum to four children, a girl and a boy, and a set of twins!
You better sit back and grab a glass of your favourite drink while you pick her brains on this motherhood thing just like I did, because she’s an embodiment of wisdom. She’s also an author. I read her book (autobiography) ‘You Only Live Twice’ and I must confess that it’s one of the most amazing autobiographies I’ve read.
Enjoy the interview!
Before we even start, what are your three favourite motherhood quotes(from experience maybe)? ?
”Olorun Oba o da mi ni abimo ma jeun.” It literally means God didn’t make me a mum that doesn’t eat. This is because women sometimes take care of everyone but themselves.
”Two minutes is all it takes. I say this all the time to the kids when it comes to prostrating/kneeling when they see guests, pouring fuel into the gen, doing the dishes, mopping the bathroom etc.”
”Honestly, eyin omo yi o mo’yi mi.” You children don’t know my worth.
Bonus quote: The only problem you have is that you don’t have a problem.
What do you do and how long have you been a mum?
I’m an Income Diversification Strategist. I’ve been a mum for 26 years.
How many cuties do you have?
I have 4 beautiful children – Dolapo (26), Olamide (21), Yinka (16) & Nike (16). I call them my MANSIONS.
What did you like about being pregnant?
Anytime I was pregnant, I felt honoured that God would choose me to be the home of these fetuses. I especially loved the attention when I was pregnant with the twins because my belly was SO big! When people asked if I was having twins and I said yes, they would get more excited than I was?
What did you hate about being pregnant?
Pregnancy made me FAT and sick. The only stress free pregnancy was my first son. With my first daughter I was on bed rest for 6 out of the 9 months! With the twins, I was excruciatingly nauseous virtually throughout.
What do you wish you had known before you got pregnant?
I wish I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep on my stomach.
What items did you buy as a new mum that you didn’t end up using?
Definitely the cot. For our first baby, we made a very very expensive one and she never slept in it.
What’s your typical day like as a mum?
That’s a tough question because I don’t believe there’s a typical day in my household. However, on the average, I always wake up before my kids – they say they’re not “morning” people. We always fight over the cleaning of the house, dishes, who will go out to buy something, even who ate the last meat in the pot.
We watch a lot of the same programmes on TV because it helps us bond.
What are your panic moments as a mum?
I have one major panic moment for each child.
Dolapo – When she was 6 years old, I was carrying a full bucket of boiling hot water towards the bathroom and she was rushing out of the bedroom to ask me if she could have the Bounty chocolate on my dresser. We collided!!! The water burned her so bad that as I was taking off her dress, the skin was peeling along with it. I almost had a heart attack. I carried her on my head (yes, not back) and rushed her to the nearest hospital. Fortunately, the scars are virtually invisible today and she HATES Bounty?
Olamide – When he was about 8, he had a very mysterious illness where he could not walk and had to crawl. We were in the UK at the time and the best children’s hospital could not diagnose what was wrong. I turned to God to take me in place of my son and planned to fast for the rest of my life. On the 3rd day, he had a turnaround and we were discharged without incident. His own scared me the most.
Yinka – When he was a baby, we had a nanny that was not probably sterilizing his bottles (and I was totally unaware). So he had severe diarrhea and didn’t even have the energy to breastfeed after being totally drained from the trauma of running stool for 2 days. At about 3 a.m on the 3rd day, he appeared to stop breathing and I rushed him to the nearest hospital where they had to infuse him with drip from a vein on his head because there were no other veins seen around his body. The doctors said if we had brought him 2-3 hours later, we would have lost him.
Nike – When she started walking as a toddler, she loved to climb everywhere. So one day, she got stuck in a heater in the bedroom while I was cooking. While trying to struggle out of that position, she broke her ankle and I heard the worst piercing scream I have ever heard from a child. The soup I was cooking poured all over me while I rushed to see what was happening. Fortunately an ambulance came in time.
What did you wish you had known before becoming a mum?
I wish someone told me it gets better the older they get, I would have enjoyed the earlier years. Was so stressful juggling all four kids when they were young. But now, its just bliss?
Some people are of the opinion that marriage and motherhood makes it difficult for women to achieve their dreams. What do you think?
I’m a strong believer in the scripture, “seek ye first the kingdom of God….” in motherhood. Make your kids a priority and all other things will fall in place. I also use a quote by Tony Robbins as foundation – Success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure. What do we classify as dream fulfillment? Is it being the President of World Bank and having a son on drugs or in jail? Or is it living in a 2 bedroom house with 4 kids that are healthy, well behaved and brilliant? I’ll pick the second any day.
What makes you feel guilty as a mum?
I feel very stressed when I can’t immediately provide for their needs. I also have a major guilt trip when I have to leave my children especially the twins that are in the UK with their dad. However, the fact that they understand the intricacies of motherhood makes it bearable. The twins even started saying a mantra anytime I’m coming back to Nigeria from seeing them, “See you sooner than you think, mum!!!?”. That’s the title of my next book.
Teenagers can be a hard nut to crack. How were you able to raise yours successfully?
I ensured they knew who was in charge. When Olamide became a teenager, he threatened to call the police on me. I picked up the phone and pretended I had dialed 999, telling “the police” we were getting ready to go back to Nigeria. He sobered up kia kia.
It was the twins’ dad that dealt with Yinka’s teenage play ups. Almost burnt the house down, never made curfew, had detention in school almost everyday but thank God that phase is over.
Nothing works like prayers though.
What are the challenges you experience as a mum and how do you manage them?
Because I’m a single mum, the challenges include being a sole provider. But what has always worked for me is believing God is not One of coincidence so the children are mine for a reason. This gives me confidence in sourcing whatever funds they need, knowing it will be recouped.
Another challenge is discipline. I started very well in ensuring they were on the right track. My children are well behaved and do NOT lie. Yes, you read that right, NEVER lie. I drilled this into them that lying was totally unnecessary.
You can get whatever you want without stealing and the truth will set you free. Till date, even when we have a fridge full of drinks, they will still seek permission to take one, knowing fully well that permission will be granted.
They never hide my change or lie about errands because they have been trained to realise there’s nothing to gain. You won’t believe that I’ve beaten my kids times without number for doing something wrong when they could easily have lied that they didn’t do it at all. This is because they realise truth & punishment outweighs lies and escape (for a season).
Please, give three pieces of advice to mothers.
You’re not friends with your kids – you’re in charge, not them. Be a friendly parent instead and always have a listening ear.
Rely on your gut in dealing with your children. Stop taking too much advice from other mothers, they will not tell you everything.
Do, not say, what you want your children to do. Integrity is key, these kids see everything. “Live your life the way you would want your eulogy to be read”.
I keep reading this interview over and over again and my wisdom is renewed each time. I have to say, motherhood requires courage!
Are you a mum? Would you like to be featured in this segment? Do you want to share your motherhood journey and helpful tips with other mothers all over the world? I’m just an email away – email@example.com
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